Work in Progress

N80

Well-known member
Stem work this morning. Sanding, squinting, staring, thinking, sanding some more, filing a bit, sanding again, etc.
View attachment 52642
That looks great. Would really like to see pictures of it when you're finished. I'm really struggling with stems. Also, if you don't mind sharing, where did you get the ring and how did you fit it on the shank? Will the stem fit flush against the ring when pushed all the way in?
 

Adam Bybee

Well-known member
Patron
That looks great. Would really like to see pictures of it when you're finished. I'm really struggling with stems. Also, if you don't mind sharing, where did you get the ring and how did you fit it on the shank? Will the stem fit flush against the ring when pushed all the way in?
This was my first attempt at putting silver on a pipe. The ring was purchased from Vermont Freehand. They have them in mm by mm sizes so you can select the correct one for the pipe you're making.

The super pro pipe guys usually spin the rings out of pure silver for each pipe that they make, but I don't have that level of silverwork skill yet. For this pipe I turned down the shank until it was just barely small enough to start getting the band on. Once the band is on you can "spin" it to fit the rest of the shank shape, i.e. spin it on a lathe and form it by pressing a smooth tool into it and sort of drawing the silver out into the shape of the shank. For this pipe I was originally planning on doing a bullet shank but I didn't quite design the shank correctly for that shape to work, so this one is a military mount with a flatter end. Because it's a military mount the stem will not be perfectly flush when it's installed.

Check out this video at 1:35. That's the general idea.
 

MakDragon

Optimistic Curmudgeon
Sales
Patron
Old Ted Award Winner
I have an unfinished block from Tinsky with the stem too. All the drilling is already done. All I have to do is shape it and finish it. I will have to do it all by hand tools and maybe if I can sneak into the shop class here at school once in a while.

You all have motivated me to start the process. I am sure it will be one ugly pipe!
 

DGErwin11

Supreme Curmudgeon
Staff member
I have an unfinished block from Tinsky with the stem too. All the drilling is already done. All I have to do is shape it and finish it. I will have to do it all by hand tools and maybe if I can sneak into the shop class here at school once in a while.

You all have motivated me to start the process. I am sure it will be one ugly pipe!
In the stickies at the top of this section is an intellectual treatise compiled by @Spillproof & myself about tools you will need. You probably have most of them already.

This can not be emphasized enough. The faster s tool removes wood the faster you can get to the oh carp point.
 

MakDragon

Optimistic Curmudgeon
Sales
Patron
Old Ted Award Winner
In the stickies at the top of this section is an intellectual treatise compiled by @Spillproof & myself about tools you will need. You probably have most of them already.
Thanks! I printed it out and will start to find the few tools I don't.
I watch those lathe videos and am amazed!
Not enough coin to go that route. Maybe if I get the bug.....
 

N80

Well-known member
I think you have to decide where you want to go with the hobby. If you want to make a device to smoke tobacco in, it will be fun and easy and not require too much in the way of tools. If you want to sell $500 pipes you need to have tools, time and talent. (Of those three I have a few tools. :rolleyes:)

I'm shooting for somewhere in between. I don't have any plans to sell pipes but I'm trying to learn what it takes to make a fine pipe. In the mean time I'm cranking out pipes that look okay a little past arm's length. They do not bear up under a collector's or a pro's inspection.

What you will find at this level, however, is that your friends who are casual pipe smokers who don't own a Dunhill or a Castello much less a fine handmade artisan pipe, will like and want the pipes you make. They're not going to pay you for them, or not much, but they will be very happy when you give them to them and most of them will never notice the little mistakes scattered here and there.

That part has been quite gratifying to me even though I haven't made a pipe yet, out of maybe 30, that I'm satisfied with.

I've got an old drill press, a nice band saw, a belt sander, lots of drill bits and files, a Dremel tool and a decent basement shop to work in. I had all of it before I started making pipes except for the belt sander. But even with all that the absence of a decent metal lathe is felt. Without one the process will continue to be slow and getting things perfectly round, centered, squared etc remains a huge challenge. But still fun.

George
 

Sir Saartan

The Tan Saarlander
I find that I really like smoking my first few pipes which were indeed ugly. Even so, I've grown fond of several of those dogs. Dive in. Have fun and enjoy the pipes you make.
absolutely.

I made a couple of pipes and am planning on continuing. unfortunately, time doesn't permit it at present (or for the last 12 months).

I did buy a small wood lathe for small money that I think will make stem work quite a bit easier and give me "better" results.
 

RickB

Well-known member
I have an unfinished block from Tinsky with the stem too. All the drilling is already done. All I have to do is shape it and finish it. I will have to do it all by hand tools and maybe if I can sneak into the shop class here at school once in a while.

You all have motivated me to start the process. I am sure it will be one ugly pipe!
It'll look like everyone's earliest pipes and you'll love it anyway :)

This can not be emphasized enough. The faster s tool removes wood the faster you can get to the oh Carp point.
This times about a hundred. Learn how to get where you want to go by creeping up on those lines with files, IMO. Switching to the disc after that feels great, but it really helps to know where those lines ought to be first.

I find that I really like smoking my first few pipes which were indeed ugly. Even so, I've grown fond of several of those dogs. Dive in. Have fun and enjoy the pipes you make.
In another 10 pipes or so, you'll throw all the old ones in a box and never think about them again. You know, probably. :LOL:
 

DocAitch

Well-known member
Sales
This times about a hundred. Learn how to get where you want to go by creeping up on those lines with files, IMO.
Cannot agree with this more. I have had a couple of guys in the shop leaning the fine points of making a pipe, and my version of that is “ Use a file and sneak up to that line (or surface).” - probably my second most used verbal expression, right behind “What the f**k do you think thats going to do?” 😀😃😄😁😆
DocAitch