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dshpipes

dshpipes

Age : 36
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyThu Dec 22, 2011 11:09 am

I'm being overly ambitious and making a pipe completely from scratch, all by hand. I purchased six blocks of Tassili Mini from Pipe Maker's Emporium 2 years ago and started shaping them.

So far, I've cut the block down to a general shape using a coping saw. Drilling entirely by hand, I managed to connect the airway and the chamber on the first go! There's still a lot of chamber to do and it still needs to be shaped and finished, but I'm having a blast working on it.

The main hindrance is that, learning as I go, I keep running into situations where I need a specific tool to continue. For example, I'm working on the chamber right now, but only having gimlets which measure 2, 3, and 5 mm, it's slow going. What I've done so far is drilled a central hole and an expansion hole, starting each at 2mm and working up to 5. I then bridged the gap between them by using the same gimlets. The gap isn't completely together all the way down right now, but that's ok. My current goal is to get the general size of the chamber laid out before I finish it. However, I now realize in order to finish the chamber, I'm going to need a set of versatile rasps and files.

The video on the left is of the pipe I'm currently working on. As a bonus, the video on the right is of the first pipe that I shaped, but haven't drilled yet. Shaping before drilling on my first rodeo... what was I thinking?!:



Side note: the second video I find to be hilarious because it looks like I'm drunk or tripping. Unable to grab the pipe, eyes locked somewhere in the distance, completely blank face. For those who don't know, that was the first time I'd made a video with my laptop and was trying really hard to keep the pipe in frame and looking good. Hence my "drunken" behavior.

Also, please forgive the video quality. They're like an ultrasound: the image isn't terribly clear but you get the idea that something beautiful is brewing.

I'll update this thread and add videos as the pipe evolves, but so far so good!
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dshpipes

dshpipes

Age : 36
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyThu Dec 22, 2011 11:10 am

Whoops!

Any moderators who see this thread, could you please move it to the DIY area? Thanks in advance!
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Airborne



Registration date : 2011-07-06

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyThu Dec 22, 2011 11:26 am

I'm very impressed! Keep us updated on your progress! I'm eager to see the finished product!
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Harlock999

Harlock999

Location : Los Angeles
Registration date : 2010-10-22

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyThu Dec 22, 2011 11:35 am

Cool stuff Uber!
And I'm not bagging on you in any way, as I've tried my hand at pipe carving as well, but I keep envisioning a day where the carvers outnumber the smokers... Cool
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Kyle Weiss

Kyle Weiss

Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyThu Dec 22, 2011 4:33 pm

Neat! No stem? (enable, push, enable) Laughing
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dshpipes

dshpipes

Age : 36
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyThu Dec 22, 2011 5:39 pm

Actually... drilling out a mortise, shaping a tennon, and making them fit sounds a bit daunting for my first time out. As such, I've decided to make the shank and stem one and the same. One question that I've got burning in my mind right now is how to seal the wood towards the bit so it's safe to put in my mouth, safe from absorbing too much moisture from saliva, and also beautiful. The last thing I'd want is for the bit end to get nasty because I didn't take the initiative to protect it from the outset.

I'm working on getting my account at pipemakersforum.com active, but someone seems to be dragging their feet. Any of the pipe making brothers have a tip or two for me concerning making/finishing a briar stem?

Now the one in the video on the right will definitely need a stem. And to do that, I'm going to need some mentorship. Anyone know a good Chicago area pipe maker who wouldn't mind helping out a pipe making infant?
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ZeroContent

ZeroContent

Age : 37
Location : Swanzey, NH
Registration date : 2010-10-23

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyThu Dec 22, 2011 11:31 pm

Interesting, most people at the beginning of the game will drill the chamber and mortise and fit a stem before moving on to doing the outside of the pipe. Drilling them post shaping give the advantage of being able to work around flaws first but you run the risk of screwing up the pipe after you put in all your hard work.
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tyler



Age : 47
Location : Edmond, OK
Registration date : 2008-02-14

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyThu Dec 22, 2011 11:39 pm

UberHuberMan wrote:


I'm working on getting my account at pipemakersforum.com active, but someone seems to be dragging their feet.

Give me your username for pipemakersforum.com, and I'll activate it.

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dshpipes

dshpipes

Age : 36
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyFri Dec 23, 2011 12:51 am

PM sent.

Thanks a lot, tyler! I really appreciate you're hopping in to help me out. cheers
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Mozjo33

Mozjo33

Age : 51
Location : Columbus, OH
Registration date : 2011-12-04

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyFri Dec 23, 2011 11:38 am

Great thread Uber! I look forward to seeing some of your finished work.
Thanks again for your help yesterday.
Mo
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RDPipes

RDPipes

Age : 66
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyFri Dec 23, 2011 11:49 am

Uber, My eye's aren't what they use to be and its hard for me to really be sure of what I see in the first video. Am I right to say that somehow you drilled the air-hole right on through the other side of the bowl on that one?
If so, My condolences, it looked like it was going to be a nice look'en pipe.
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dshpipes

dshpipes

Age : 36
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyFri Dec 23, 2011 1:29 pm

Cartaphilus wrote:
Uber, My eye's aren't what they use to be and its hard for me to really be sure of what I see in the first video. Am I right to say that somehow you drilled the air-hole right on through the other side of the bowl on that one?
If so, My condolences, it looked like it was going to be a nice look'en pipe.

No, actually. Quite the opposite! When I drilled the airway in the shank then drilled the pilot hole for the chamber, I lined them up on the first shot. That pipe is still on its way to being a smoke machine. cheers

I do realize how poor the quality of those videos is. I'll try to remember to take some photos of both infants and post them here. Smile

Mozjo, my pleasure! Let me know how things go!
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RDPipes

RDPipes

Age : 66
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyFri Dec 23, 2011 1:36 pm

Oh, I think I figured it out now. That's the top of the bowl the sawdust was blown through. With my poor vision and color blindness it can be hard for me to really see things accurately unless there in person and even then.......
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dshpipes

dshpipes

Age : 36
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyTue Dec 27, 2011 4:29 pm

As promised, albeit a little late, here are some close up photos of the pipes that I'm working on.

Here's the one I'm currently drilling. As you can see, the chamber isn't quite done yet Razz :

Making my First Pipe Dsc00514
Making my First Pipe Dsc00515
Making my First Pipe Dsc00516
Making my First Pipe Dsc00517
Making my First Pipe Dsc00518
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Kyle Weiss

Kyle Weiss

Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyTue Dec 27, 2011 5:11 pm

Loving the shape so far!

I dunno, maybe you could go with a really narrow-gauge tobacco chamber, only for the most masterful breath smokers... Laughing
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Mozjo33

Mozjo33

Age : 51
Location : Columbus, OH
Registration date : 2011-12-04

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyTue Dec 27, 2011 5:15 pm

Thanks for the pictoral update Uber. It's cool to see your progression. I look forward to the finished product.
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dshpipes

dshpipes

Age : 36
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyTue Dec 27, 2011 7:14 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Loving the shape so far!

Thanks, Kyle!

Kyle Weiss wrote:
I dunno, maybe you could go with a really narrow-gauge tobacco chamber, only for the most masterful breath smokers... Laughing

I was thinking the same thing... but then I got my initiative back! Wink

Here's a photo update:

Making my First Pipe Chambe10

It's far from perfect, but it's definitely a pipe now!

With this update I have to admit that the pipe is no longer completely hand made. I had to go to my dremel to actually cut the chamber. Razz

That being said, I did cut the chamber freehand, if that counts for anything. It's got a nice taper to it, but the walls and the shape of the chamber will need further finessing. You'll also notice that the draft hole is a good deal off center. I'm considering taking a lot of the taper out in order to center the draft hole... but we'll see. Smile

More to come as things progress!
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Kyle Weiss

Kyle Weiss

Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyTue Dec 27, 2011 7:29 pm

Tapered bowls can make for funky smoking...I have a Nording with a very "V" shaped bowl, and it gets a little hot toward the bottom as the ash starts to compete for air space and all that... I'd shoot for a more evenly-chambered bowl, if you ask me. Granted, all of my carvers have been kits and pre-drilled in that regard.

"Freehand" definitions vary according to some carvers, I've learned, and provided you're using hand tools, and finishing and shaping by hand, you should be fine as far as its "purity." Laughing I think so long as you are doing the work and the tool is just rotating, you're "freehand."

What are you using to drill the chamber? What do you plan to use to drill the air hole and mortise?
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dshpipes

dshpipes

Age : 36
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyTue Dec 27, 2011 7:48 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Tapered bowls can make for funky smoking...I have a Nording with a very "V" shaped bowl, and it gets a little hot toward the bottom as the ash starts to compete for air space and all that... I'd shoot for a more evenly-chambered bowl, if you ask me. Granted, all of my carvers have been kits and pre-drilled in that regard.

"Freehand" definitions vary according to some carvers, I've learned, and provided you're using hand tools, and finishing and shaping by had, you should be fine as far as its "purity." Laughing I think so long as you are doing the work and the tool is just rotating, you're "freehand."

Good point! Let's forget I said anything. This pipe is completely hand made!... Cool

Kyle Weiss wrote:
What are you using to drill the chamber? What do you plan to use to drill the air hole and mortise?

I cut the chamber by first drilling 3 5mm holes right next to each other. I used gimlets to do this. Then I bridged the holes by... well... by cutting through the walls of each hole with a Gerber. Razz At that point, I could fit the smallest sanding attachment on my Dremel into the infant chamber and used it for everything else up to now.

The airway is already drilled, thank God. I drilled the airway with a 2mm and then a 3mm gimlet. Jury's still out on whether I'm going to add a prefab stem or not. Drilling a mortise and fitting a tenon to it freehand seems a bit daunting. As such, I've been looking into simply carving the stem out of the latter part of the shank and sealing the "stem" end with a black, consumption safe shellac to differentiate. We'll see what happens.... Smile
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Kyle Weiss

Kyle Weiss

Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyTue Dec 27, 2011 8:08 pm

Normally the drilling is via spoon bit or some other "one-pass" drilling, probably because it'd be easier for cake to build up evenly on an even surface. Plus, later on down the road, reaming will be much easier.

If that's the case, you should be easily able to drill a mortise and add a pre-fab "freehand" type stem--a good set of calipers would be handy in that case, I've heard making the stem's tenon about 0.2mm wider than the mortise (or if it's pre-fab, simply measuring to that end, and drilling 0.2mm less than the tenon's width) and you could have a stunning piece. If your goal is an all-wood pipe, I guess that'd work, just as long as you're happy with it. I tend to be light on the shellac I've used, as I'm not carving top-end pipes, but want to give a little shine to my rusticated finishes. It can bubble and get a little weird under high-heat conditions, and taking a smoke directly off heated wood and a shellac'ed surface may prove... interesting. Just a thought. There's obviously reasons why added lucite/vulcanite stems have been used for so long, and I'm pretty used to this setup, so I will stick with it for my projects.

Again, not criticism, or stepping on your creative idea, but you seem so close to such a neat pipe!
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dshpipes

dshpipes

Age : 36
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyWed Dec 28, 2011 2:22 am

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Normally the drilling is via spoon bit or some other "one-pass" drilling, probably because it'd be easier for cake to build up evenly on an even surface. Plus, later on down the road, reaming will be much easier.

If that's the case, you should be easily able to drill a mortise and add a pre-fab "freehand" type stem--a good set of calipers would be handy in that case, I've heard making the stem's tenon about 0.2mm wider than the mortise (or if it's pre-fab, simply measuring to that end, and drilling 0.2mm less than the tenon's width) and you could have a stunning piece. If your goal is an all-wood pipe, I guess that'd work, just as long as you're happy with it. I tend to be light on the shellac I've used, as I'm not carving top-end pipes, but want to give a little shine to my rusticated finishes. It can bubble and get a little weird under high-heat conditions, and taking a smoke directly off heated wood and a shellac'ed surface may prove... interesting. Just a thought. There's obviously reasons why added lucite/vulcanite stems have been used for so long, and I'm pretty used to this setup, so I will stick with it for my projects.

Again, not criticism, or stepping on your creative idea, but you seem so close to such a neat pipe!

Thanks for all your input and compliments! I don't take it as criticism at all. Hell, I'm no pipe maker... yet! Wink

A lot of this has been spinning in my mind and I've gone back and forth on going for a briar stem or a pre-fab vulcanite one.

The first thing that pops into my head is how to cut the tenon and the mortise precisely without the proper tools. I'm afraid of wavy surfaces that don't fit correctly.

Before I get too far with shaping, I'm going to look further into what would be necessary to finish this up with a vulacnite stem on it. I have a dozen prefab stems that I ordered when I purchased the blocks that may do the job nicely. Only problem is that they're all rough cut, so I'd have to adjust the size of the tenons. Ugh.

If you spot any more info that you think might be helpful, please feel free to let me know. Smile
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Kyle Weiss

Kyle Weiss

Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyWed Dec 28, 2011 2:31 am

UberHuberMan wrote:


Thanks for all your input and compliments! I don't take it as criticism at all. Hell, I'm no pipe maker... yet! Wink

A lot of this has been spinning in my mind and I've gone back and forth on going for a briar stem or a pre-fab vulcanite one.

The first thing that pops into my head is how to cut the tenon and the mortise precisely without the proper tools. I'm afraid of wavy surfaces that don't fit correctly.

Before I get too far with shaping, I'm going to look further into what would be necessary to finish this up with a vulacnite stem on it. I have a dozen prefab stems that I ordered when I purchased the blocks that may do the job nicely. Only problem is that they're all rough cut, so I'd have to adjust the size of the tenons. Ugh.

If you spot any more info that you think might be helpful, please feel free to let me know. Smile

Good, I didn't want to come off as "that guy" going all poo-poo on your efforts, because, I'm learning as I go too--I'm merely parroting advice from those experts kind enough to lend their ideas and techniques, or figuring it out on my own, through practice and my own warped mind. Laughing

Anyway, for approaching the mortise, start small and work your way up in size if you're that worried about it. Steady as she goes, boy, steady as she goes. A little space in there won't be the end of the world, so long as your mortise/tenon setup fits right. My second pipe I did I had TOO tight a stem, and then took too much off... nothing a little beeswax couldn't fix! Cool It's all good, man, have fun with it. There's solutions to almost any problem. Ideally, get a good drill bit, mark the length of the tenon to the depth you need on the mortise. Go slowly and drill no deeper than the mark you put on the drill bit. As it spins, the black line will stay true and visible. Stay shallow, and if in doubt, back out and put the stem in to see how your progress is going. Believe me, I've re-played this theory of how I, too, can do this without proper tools. Even if your mortise/tenon setup isn't exact to the draft hole, it won't matter. Plus, the draft hole undoubtedly will help "channel" your mortise hole.

If you have to make adjustments, don't sweat it. Even if it means steaming/boiling the tenon of the stem to make up for an overzealous mortise. It can be fixed!

Do you have a proper digital caliper or precise measuring tool? This is indispensable. I have one from Harbor Freight, got it for a paltry $15. It works ace. Cool

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dshpipes

dshpipes

Age : 36
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyWed Dec 28, 2011 3:14 am

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Anyway, for approaching the mortise, start small and work your way up in size if you're that worried about it. Steady as she goes, boy, steady as she goes. A little space in there won't be the end of the world, so long as your mortise/tenon setup fits right. My second pipe I did I had TOO tight a stem, and then took too much off... nothing a little beeswax couldn't fix! Cool It's all good, man, have fun with it. There's solutions to almost any problem. Ideally, get a good drill bit, mark the length of the tenon to the depth you need on the mortise. Go slowly and drill no deeper than the mark you put on the drill bit. As it spins, the black line will stay true and visible. Stay shallow, and if in doubt, back out and put the stem in to see how your progress is going. Believe me, I've re-played this theory of how I, too, can do this without proper tools. Even if your mortise/tenon setup isn't exact to the draft hole, it won't matter. Plus, the draft hole undoubtedly will help "channel" your mortise hole.

If you have to make adjustments, don't sweat it. Even if it means steaming/boiling the tenon of the stem to make up for an overzealous mortise. It can be fixed!

Once again, great advice! I've noticed a good chunk of this as I've been doing the drilling and it's comforting to be reminded that most minor errors are fixable. I think I'm going to do a few trial fittings in left over chunks before I try it on the pipe. This is starting to feel like the way to go.

How wide were the mortises on your pipes? The largest gimlet I have is 5 mm.

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Do you have a proper digital caliper or precise measuring tool? This is indispensable. I have one from Harbor Freight, got it for a paltry $15. It works ace.

I don't yet. However, there's a really good hardware store close by that may sell these. Sounds like a good errand for tomorrow! Cool
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Kyle Weiss

Kyle Weiss

Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyWed Dec 28, 2011 3:28 am

UberHuberMan wrote:

How wide were the mortises on your pipes? The largest gimlet I have is 5 mm.

As a reminder, my kits were pre-drilled. My first pipe had a mortise of 7.92mm, with a stem tenon of 8.02--a difference of 0.1mm (pipe carvers suggested to me a 0.2mm tolerance difference, so this is a little thin). My second pipe is mortise 6.95mm and stem tenon of 7.01mm--and it fits WAY too lose....to thin.

Now--how to get that precise? Look for a VERY precise drill set, use your caliper to go just under the size of the tenon, and that'll be your mortise size. From that point, try narrowing the gauge of the stem tenon (assuming you get a per-fabricated stem) and very carefully decrease the size of the with sandpaper. You could conceivably enlarge the mortise hole, with tiny and precise files, but I had good results keeping the "roundness" true on the stem's tenon by wrapping a piece of 300 grit sandpaper (or 500, less is usually more in this case, if you catch my dift Smile ) and twisting inside the "sandpaper tube" so that there was always equal pressure on the sandpaper.

Most good pipe carvers have a great selection of very precise (down to half a millimeter) drill bits to make this pretty easy, but with a general set, you may have some work ahead of you. Also, a lathe is a good choice for really getting a stem turned by hand rather than a pre-fab, but I believe they still finish them down to the final size by hand (I never got that detailed).

This is instruction of the blind leading the blind here. Laughing I can hear the volley of groaning pipe carvers now. Laughing

The thing I've learned is, no surprise here since it has to do with pipes, there are no "rules," except if you churn out a good pipe, you churn out a good pipe. GREAT and FANTASTIC pipes take skill, time, patience and good tools to make the job faster and easier.

For us though? We're messin' around, so personally, I'm gonna have fun with it. Cool My pipes will always be filled with whimsy and love of the project!

Go get a caliper tool, digital if you can. They run about $30 usually for cheap ones, but you'll appreciate this for much more than pipes...I've measured everything from sink attachments to glass thickness with 'em! While you're at it, go look for precision files and drill bits in metric. Cool

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dshpipes

dshpipes

Age : 36
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

Making my First Pipe Empty
PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Making my First Pipe EmptyWed Dec 28, 2011 11:49 am

Kyle Weiss wrote:
This is instruction of the blind leading the blind here. Laughing I can hear the volley of groaning pipe carvers now. Laughing

lol!

That being said, it's nice to have someone who's just gone through the process of figuring out how to finish their first pipe(s) offer some guidance. The lessons are elementary but they're major discoveries to us!

Kyle Weiss wrote:
The thing I've learned is, no surprise here since it has to do with pipes, there are no "rules," except if you churn out a good pipe, you churn out a good pipe. GREAT and FANTASTIC pipes take skill, time, patience and good tools to make the job faster and easier.

For us though? We're messin' around, so personally, I'm gonna have fun with it. Cool My pipes will always be filled with whimsy and love of the project!

Amen, brother! cheers

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Go get a caliper tool, digital if you can. They run about $30 usually for cheap ones, but you'll appreciate this for much more than pipes...I've measured everything from sink attachments to glass thickness with 'em! While you're at it, go look for precision files and drill bits in metric. Cool

Picking up the caliper is on my list of things to do today. *writes down "pick up needle files and metric drill bits"* And now that's on my list. Wink
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Making my First Pipe
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