So, today didn't go as planned.
My daughter isn't well today, nothing serious, but nonetheless enough for her to be at home so I had to make the phone call to work who were very understanding and supportive.
After doing several chores around the house I sat in the garden with a pipe and sailing book and found my mind drifting to my other things.
At the beginning of my piping journey I traded a bundle of baccy for a couple of pipes from Kirk, aka Briar Spirit. I hadn't seen the pipes but when they arrived it was clear they were made up to Kirk's high standard. As you'd come to expect from Kirk, they're both great smokers but one of them always felt a little 'off piste' for my tastes. I'm more a traditional chap so found myself smoking it less and less. So, as I was at home I decided to apply a few hours to a redesign!
Here's the before:
Using coarse sand piper and a narrow sanding block I set to work and got the shape I was after. The feel in the hand is really important to me and I love a rusticated finish so, clamping my hand drill between my knees, I set about it with a 4mm wood drill bit. Next came the colouring but a rummage in the garage for wood stain drew a blank. Not to be deterred and determined to get the job done I resorted to my trusty shoe polish collection, applying liberal amounts of dark brown with a tooth brush. All it needs now is a good polish with some wax which will have to wait for now.
I had deliberated over the ethics of reworking an artisan's pipe but I figured Kirk wouldn't mind if he knew I'd be smoking it more. So here it is. The lines aren't perfect and it's revealed an imperfection in the briar where the stummel meets the bowl. The shoe polish hasn't coloured evenly either but for 2 hours work I'm quite pleased. With a tip of my cap to Kirk...