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 Making my First Pipe

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tyler



Age : 44
Location : Edmond, OK
Registration date : 2008-02-14

PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:50 pm

UberHuberMan wrote:
Why is a spoon bit better than a spade bit while freehand boring the tobacco chamber?

Are spade bits mainly used in drill presses?

The spoon bit is basically a steel rod turned to the shape and size of the tobacco chamber, then half of it is removed along the vertical axis. The reason it works well for freehand drilling is the half-round shape slides around in the hole being drilled and prevents chatter and "catching." If you freehand drill this way with a spade bit you have to be careful not to rip a finger off.

The spade bits are used with any form of "traditional" drilling where the wood is clamped by something other than your hand. I use spade bits all the time to drill with my lathe, but a drill press or hand drill can use a spade bit too.


Last edited by tyler on Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:04 am; edited 4 times in total
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tyler



Age : 44
Location : Edmond, OK
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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:56 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Spoon bit, spade bit... I guess whatever will get the job done. The tobacco chamber just needs that nice U shaped cup at the bottom...since I have a drill, again, clamped to a guitar case, the freehand "spoon bit" is what I was really referring to. I don't have a drill press, nor do I intend to spend the money on one. I suppose a spade bit would do the job nicely too.


Well, OK.

FWIW, one spoon bit will cost you as much as a drill press, so good luck with that.
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dshpipes

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Age : 34
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:04 am

tyler wrote:
UberHuberMan wrote:
Why is a spoon bit better than a spade bit while freehand boring the tobacco chamber?

Are spade bits mainly used in drill presses?

The spoon bit is basically a steel rod turned to the shape and size of the tobacco chamber, then half of it is removed along the vertical axis. The reason it works well for freehand drilling is the half-round shape slides around in the hole being drilled and prevents chatter and "catching." If your freehand drill this way with a spade bit you have to be careful not to rip a finger off.

The spade bits are used with any form of "traditional" drilling where the wood is clamped by something other than your hand. I use spade bits all the time to drill with my lathe, but a drill press or hand drill can use a spade bit too.

Thanks for the info! I'm learning so much during this process and largely thanks to you and Kurt. And the gentleman who goes without saying: Kyle. I am loving every minute of this.

So no photo update this evening. I spent about 5 hours working the mortise, tenon, and stem today so not a whole lot of new visual updates to share. I did discover that I need to use a larger stem from my inventory (of 9 stems), or else I'd have to reshape the pipe to accommodate the small size of the stem, and that ain't happenin'!

As such, there'll be a lot more stem work being done on a different stem tomorrow. Hopefully by the end of Wednesday I'll finally have a stem in my stummel!

...Is it just me, or was that last comment slightly dirty? scratch



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szyzk

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Age : 37
Location : Warren, PA
Registration date : 2011-03-21

PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:36 am

UberHuberMan wrote:
As such, there'll be a lot more stem work being done on a different stem tomorrow. Hopefully by the end of Wednesday I'll finally have a stem in my stummel!

You pig!

Also - you're making me want to carve a pipe. This is not another slope I want to jump off.
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dshpipes

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Age : 34
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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:39 am

szyzk wrote:
UberHuberMan wrote:
As such, there'll be a lot more stem work being done on a different stem tomorrow. Hopefully by the end of Wednesday I'll finally have a stem in my stummel!

You pig!

Also - you're making me want to carve a pipe. This is not another slope I want to jump off.

You're posting in the wrong place, buddy.

Jump! Jump! Wink
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:09 am

tyler wrote:

Well, OK.

FWIW, one spoon bit will cost you as much as a drill press, so good luck with that.

Sure as hell easier to tote around... Laughing Spoon bits, I can get 'em for $35 - $50. Only need to buy one. Cool

Honestly, I'm probably going to have a friend machine me something that will work.

Again, use what works. If you carve a pipe with a river rock and it comes out beautiful, who's to say you're "wrong?" As they say in Thailand, "Phuket."

UberHuberMan wrote:

Thanks for the info! I'm learning so much during this process and largely thanks to you and Kurt. And the gentleman who goes without saying: Kyle. I am loving every minute of this.


With all of this filthy commentary, I'm not sure I want to be included in this conversation. People... talk... Laughing

If initiative is the best lesson, experience is the best teacher. No contest. Cool
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tyler



Age : 44
Location : Edmond, OK
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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:01 am

Kyle Weiss wrote:
tyler wrote:

Well, OK.

FWIW, one spoon bit will cost you as much as a drill press, so good luck with that.

Sure as hell easier to tote around... Laughing Spoon bits, I can get 'em for $35 - $50. Only need to buy one. Cool


Please PM me a phone number.

I was just in a group buy where we had to buy 100 bits to get them down to $100 apiece. I'd love to have a source for $50.

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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:43 pm

http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/indextool.mvc?prodid=EE-SB6355.XX

http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/3_8-Parallel-Spoon-Bit-by-Clifton/productinfo/640-0267/

http://japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=12816&s=JapanWoodworker
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dshpipes

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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:14 pm

Ladies and gentlemen, for your viewing pleasure, I present to you a Stummel with a Stem in it!



Oh, and by the way, it passes a cleaner with absolutely no issues.



Aaah!! ::runs around flailing like a little kid::
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dshpipes

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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:15 pm

:takes a breath:

I am far from done, however. There's a lot to be worked out, as you can see, but man does this feel like a triumph. 7 hours spent on two stems to get this fit. What a benchmark! cheers
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:36 pm

I can tell already if you approach that stem pragmatically and artfully, that pipe is going to be a STUNNER. Cool I can totally see where the smoothing-down process and slight bend is going to occur... very cool.

Congrats on the next step! cheers

What are you using to turn your stems and tenons to shape?
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dshpipes

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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:49 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
I can tell already if you approach that stem pragmatically and artfully, that pipe is going to be a STUNNER. Cool I can totally see where the smoothing-down process and slight bend is going to occur... very cool.

Kyle, I have a feeling you and I think a like. I was just thinking about that slight bend towards the bit before I saw this post.

Kyle Weiss wrote:

Congrats on the next step! cheers

What are you using to turn your stems and tenons to shape?

Thanks! Very Happy

A dremel plus rasps and files. All by hand! Ugh.

As awesome as it is that the stem fits, I have a sincere feeling that this was beginner's luck.

Here's a video for everyone to oggle:

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dshpipes

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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:43 pm

Just an FYI for those watching and participating:

I made a lot of headway over the last three days as those were my days off this week. I probably won't have any new progress to report until next week when my time off comes up again. Until then!
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tyler



Age : 44
Location : Edmond, OK
Registration date : 2008-02-14

PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:28 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/indextool.mvc?prodid=EE-SB6355.XX

http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/3_8-Parallel-Spoon-Bit-by-Clifton/productinfo/640-0267/

http://japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=12816&s=JapanWoodworker

Those are the wrong kind. Unfortunately the pipe making kind probably stole and bear the wrong name.

Those might work though. I suspect it's been tried, but who knows?. Let us know if you give those a go. It would save me some money if they work well

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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:41 pm

tyler wrote:
Kyle Weiss wrote:
http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/indextool.mvc?prodid=EE-SB6355.XX

http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/3_8-Parallel-Spoon-Bit-by-Clifton/productinfo/640-0267/

http://japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=12816&s=JapanWoodworker

Those are the wrong kind. Unfortunately the pipe making kind probably stole and bear the wrong name.

Those might work though. I suspect it's been tried, but who knows?. Let us know if you give those a go. It would save me some money if they work well


Some are more V shaped than U shaped. I believe these would work ace. Good bowl at the bottom, nice straight-sided chamber. When I get to the point where I'm figuring on making my own tobacco chambers, I have 'em bookmarked and ready to buy. Cool I'll keep BoB apprised.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:42 pm

UberHuberMan wrote:
Just an FYI for those watching and participating:

I made a lot of headway over the last three days as those were my days off this week. I probably won't have any new progress to report until next week when my time off comes up again. Until then!

Slacker. Razz

lol!
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kurthuhn



Age : 46
Location : Western RI
Registration date : 2007-12-17

PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:10 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
tyler wrote:
Kyle Weiss wrote:
http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/indextool.mvc?prodid=EE-SB6355.XX

http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/3_8-Parallel-Spoon-Bit-by-Clifton/productinfo/640-0267/

http://japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=12816&s=JapanWoodworker

Those are the wrong kind. Unfortunately the pipe making kind probably stole and bear the wrong name.

Those might work though. I suspect it's been tried, but who knows?. Let us know if you give those a go. It would save me some money if they work well


Some are more V shaped than U shaped. I believe these would work ace. Good bowl at the bottom, nice straight-sided chamber. When I get to the point where I'm figuring on making my own tobacco chambers, I have 'em bookmarked and ready to buy. Cool I'll keep BoB apprised.

I don't want to sound like I'm parroting Tyler, but...

Those bits are all wrong for drilling a tobacco chamber for a variety of reasons, but primarily because they will grab the wood, since the cutting edge is at an acute angle to the direction of the rotation/movement. Trying to use these under power will result in all sorts of frustration, pain, sadness, and possible conversion to a Luddite. These are designed for use in a brace, and to be turned by hand through relatively soft wood in comparison to briar.

If your goal is to actually use a brace and employ elbow grease to shape the chamber, then these are okay, but please do not attempt to run them under power. Trust me, I've tried it, and somehow managed to escape with only minor injury to my hands and no lasting damage to my sanity.


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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:09 pm

kurthuhn wrote:


If your goal is to actually use a brace and employ elbow grease to shape the chamber, then these are okay,


Good to hear. Thank you. My idea was to use them by hand in a responsible manner, actually...which is fine, I have no power tools to speak of. Nothing that can injure me. Laughing I have no idea what I'm doing; motivation, common sense and chaos are my guide.

I guess we should have all clarified our methods.

With that said, Kurt, where's the place you get your tools for the craft? Information is best served shared. Cool

Downie pipes apparently are made with these:



...then there's this...

http://www.pipemakersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3104


...are some vehemently against using "traditional" spoon bits versus custom-made, very expensive bits, or is the matter a closed one among everyone? There has to be more options, I've tried doing a LOT of research on what tools everyone uses, and since I don't have the space or $5,000 to drop on custom lathes, drill presses and the like. there's got to be a way to do this. I'm not Rad Davis, nor will I ever be.

*shrug*

Another option, modified spade bits:




...but again, I'd have to track down a metal worker to do this for me. A much higher likelihood when I get to the point I want to try drilling my own chambers.

Overall, part of the reason why I don't post on pipemakersforum.com is there seems to be only one way to do things, the juggernaut carver's way, or the wrong way. Perhaps there's some truth hiding in the power trips, egos and arguments on there, but the conflict does little to help out those who are either starting out or try to make do with what they have.

It's only discouraging to newbies and those who's immediate goal isn't to produce a $600 stunner pipe at Chicago Pipe Show.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:15 pm

This link has some possibly innovative and sought-after tools and wares as well, forgot it was in my extensive (unorganized) bookmarks on the subject...

http://www.pimopipecraft.com/tools.html
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dshpipes

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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:42 pm

When you start drilling your own chambers, you could always do what I've been doing: drill a pilot hole and then use your dremel to carve out the rest of the chamber freehand. It's a learning experience, but it's a lot of fun, although time consuming.

Also, I'd say that pipemakersforum is a fantastic resource. There's a lot of support for newbies, and the big players also chime in, which I think can really help someone who wants to continue to get better at making pipes. If someone isn't interested in making a high functioning and beautiful pipe, then they probably shouldn't be asking for feedback on a forum that is designed for high end pipe makers and for people seeking to learn how to make high end pipes. I think it unfair to say that the forum consists of only "power trips, egos and arguments" when 99% of the time the only thing anyone is trying to do is help people improve.

My experience so far in what I've read and been told there is that you don't have to make a pipe exactly like the big boys, but they do have a plethora of experience to share with people who are learning. To me, this is invaluable. There are also conversations on that forum about creating with your own voice, essentially, but learning all the tricks of the trade to make a beautiful and excellent smoking machine that you can then shape into whatever you like. Learning the basics, however, is essential to doing it well. It's important to learn the rules before you break them.


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kurthuhn



Age : 46
Location : Western RI
Registration date : 2007-12-17

PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:49 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:

With that said, Kurt, where's a good place for folks to get proper bits for powered use?

Downie pipes apparently are made with these:



Those were made by Brad Pohlmann. They are the current gold standard for freehand drilling tobacco chambers. Every few years he finds some time to make a new set and offer them for sale. His current run is going on now, but since I have a set in the two sizes I use most, I have not partaken of this round. I did not look at the price for this production period, but the last one was about the cost of a drill press - each.

Now, I want to make it clear. This is NOT the one and true way to drill a tobacco chamber. Is is A way. And when I say "freehand drilling", that means that the pipe is fully shaped before a single hole is made. It is a very advanced technique that requires a lot of practice and more than a few screwups. Essentially you shape the pipe in it's entirety, then drill the mortise, airway, and tobacco chamber. It is, frankly, not for everyone. It's really not even for me. I actually don't care for the method, though I do use it from time to time as necessary. OR when I feel like pushing my envelope. Others use it every day. They've earned my respect for that.

The majority of my pipes are drilled with a silver and deming bit that has had the tip reground to the proper shape. I could just as easily use a spade bit, and sometimes I do. It depends on what the pipe shape is, and what sort of chamber I want. I have found the reshaped silver and deming bits to provide the most consistent results and best finish inside the chamber, but the spade bits are doggone inexpensive. Really it boils down to personal choice - what can you afford, and how much time are you going to invest in making your tooling (or cash to buy it).


Kyle Weiss wrote:

...then there's this...

http://www.pipemakersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3104

I love all the posts where I suffix things with "and you might die". Very Happy

If you look hard enough on that forum, you will find my method for reshaping silver and deming bits. It's dangerous and stupid. Don't look for it. You have been warned. I accept no responsibility to your estate.


Kyle Weiss wrote:

...are some vehemently against using "traditional" spoon bits versus custom-made, very expensive bits, or is the matter a closed one among everyone? There has to be more options, I've tried doing a LOT of research on what tools everyone uses, and since I don't have the space or $5,000 to drop on custom lathes, drill presses and the like. there's got to be a way to do this. I'm not Rad Davis, nor will I ever be.

*shrug*

The standard bit for beginners is the reshaped spade bit. It's solid, it works, it's inexpensive, and it's not complicated. A lot of very experienced pipe makers use reshaped spade bits that cost them a $1 at the local hardware store, and 15 minutes to reshape. I use them all the time, and I've been doing this for over 10 years.

I also don't own a crapload of high precision and custom tooling, outside of what I've made myself. If you want I can list my daily tooling, which I think would surprise a lot of people. Suffice to say, I don't think I have anywhere near $5000 invested in the totality of my tooling.

Pipes can be made any number of ways. But if I make a suggestion on what NOT to do, please believe me, it's because I want to save someone time or health. Some things I see suggested on pipemakersforum.com are just downright dangerous, and it's those things I encourage folks not to do.


Kyle Weiss wrote:

Another option, modified spade bits:



...but again, I'd have to track down a metal worker to do this for me. A much higher likelihood when I get to the point I want to try drilling my own chambers.

If you have access to a bench grinder or belt sander, you can make these. If not, PIMO (as you've found) offers these for sale. If you're looking, I suggest the PIMO bits. They are very good, and I still have the original set I bought all those years ago - along with the book. For the beginner, PIMO has all teh tools you need, and they're not expensive in the least.

Kyle Weiss wrote:

Overall, part of the reason why I don't post on pipemakersforum.com is there seems to be only one way to do things, the juggernaut carver's way, or the wrong way. Perhaps there's some truth hiding in the power trips, egos and arguments on there, but the conflict does little to help out those who are either starting out or try to make do with what they have.

It's only discouraging to newbies and those who's immediate goal isn't to produce a $600 stunner pipe at Chicago Pipe Show.

By and large, we are a supportive group that is very open to alternative methods.

We will make suggestions, however, if we see inefficiencies in process or tooling. So if you say you want to use nothing but hand tools, you will get a reply or two that indicates that a drill press, at minimum, would be a good investment. BUT, nobody will hang you for it. If, however, you say you want to make two pipes a day and go full time, and sell pipes that cost $1000, but are not willing to listen when a pro (or dedicated semi-pro) tells you to reconsider your methods, then you tend to get ignored or berated. I suppose it's all in the presentation, as with most things.

Even if you want to use mostly hand tools, there are those of there that are just geeky enough to have done that and can offer advice on how to best do such things. Wink
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:55 am

I dunno, forget I said anything. Laughing

I don't really feel comfortable posting on pipemakersforum...it isn't that they're mean necessarily, it's just a place for people who really either want to or have perfected the craft. I'm just a hobbyist with no money and no real tools, and that means if I do this, I have to do it in a very non-traditional manner, and it's something that seems to be frowned upon over there, by and large. Then there's the tools (yes I added it up...) band saws, lathes, drill presses, french wheel kits, drill bits, etc: I came to about $4500, no joke--all stuff folks use on the forum and that's been suggested to me privately from other real carvers...

So it's just...kind of pointless to ask questions for "permission" about gear and method rather that just figuring it out.

The thing that frustrates me is the methods people say should and shouldn't be used, then one contradicting another, but not so much how and why--Kurt, you've done one better by defining these opinions, and I thank you.

Anyway, I appreciate at least knowing what might do damage to me, so the spoon bits I linked are apparently out only because though I could use them with a hand drill, they aren't good for other equipment.

Since car analogies are popular, I have a broken-down lawn mower, some wheels and a jeep seat, and I'm trying to get racing tips from a forum of NASCAR mechanics and engineers. Laughing

I think what it boils down to is, I'm kind of out of my league--again, forget I said anything, really sorry. I tell people all the time not to listen to me! I'm full of bull most of the time, get misunderstood the rest of the time. Laughing Honestly I think I'm gonna stick with carver kits...that's what they're for, guys like me. Cool

Thanks for the replies, anyway.
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dshpipes

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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:43 am

Kyle, I think you'd do yourself a disservice if you decided not to pursue a part of pipe making that interests you because you've received advice that involves tooling up.

It sounds like you've checked out pipemakersforum.com, but I'd recommend looking again. Based on what I understand your experience to have been, mine has been completely different. I've felt encouraged to create with what I have at my disposal because I don't need all those tools to make an excellent pipe. All those tools only help one to make an excellent pipe faster.

I for one would be sad to see anyone back down from an aspiration because they think they cannot measure up, whether that feeling is self inflicted or inflicted by others. I think that the tips that Tyler and Kurt have been giving us both are invaluable, but I think that you should go with your heart if your heart says to create a pipe. Heed their tips, especially the ones involving safety, but stay in the game.

I've heard you talk a lot about attempting to drill a block in order to make a pipe from scratch recently. Based on the tools that I believe you have, you can do it without anything else. All it would take is time and a little ingenuity.

Also, something to consider: Tyler and Kurt are both high end artisans who are knowledgeable and experienced and they both clearly care about helping young carvers who are passionate to excel. Neither of them have encouraged me to tool up in order to finish this project. They've both offered awesome advice and very positive support. That to me is what this hobby is all about.

I sincerely hope that you decide to make a pipe from scratch because I believe that you're capable of it. Please keep us posted. Smile
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kurthuhn



Age : 46
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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:55 am

UberHuberMan wrote:
All those tools only help one to make an excellent pipe faster.

This is really the main point I like to drive home when folks ask for advice. All the tools in the world won't make you a good pipe maker, or even a passable one. The only thing that helps you get better is practice.

You really don't need $4500 in tools to make pipes faster, either. I just ran the numbers, going for bare minimum to get tooled up to make pipes quickly, and I came in under $1500 - and that includes a lathe! Now, I'm not telling anyone that they should do that, I only want to stress that you could. It really doesn't require a whole lot of tools.

That said, I encourage you to continue making pipes in whatever fashion you can afford or desire to get tooled up for. If using a brace and bit to hand drill chambers is what you want, I say go for it! If it makes you happy, then nothing else matters, and everyone else can bugger off.

Hmm. Now I have an odd desire to make another pipe using nothing but hand tools. Very Happy I've done it in the past, just to prove to myself that it could be done. Wouldn't that make for an entertaining video! Kinda like my own version of Stuck with Hacket, except it will be Stuck With Huhn: in the workshop with no power.
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dshpipes

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PostSubject: Re: Making my First Pipe   Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:18 pm

[quote="kurthuhn"]
UberHuberMan wrote:
Hmm. Now I have an odd desire to make another pipe using nothing but hand tools. Very Happy I've done it in the past, just to prove to myself that it could be done. Wouldn't that make for an entertaining video! Kinda like my own version of Stuck with Hacket, except it will be Stuck With Huhn: in the workshop with no power.

Just gotta show me up on my first time out, dontcha? Wink

So there's a question. As far as making a pipe "entirely by hand" there seem to be a lot of discrepancies as to what that actually means. I started out with the goal of doing everything without the use of power tools, but wound up using my dremel because I'd still be sanding the chamber out if I hadn't. Does the pipe that I'm working on qualify for made entirely by hand still?

I see a lot of pipemakers who use lathes and all sorts of power tools to get the job done, but they do everything freehand. Does that qualify for a completely hand made pipe? What are the criteria?
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Making my First Pipe
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