I’ve spent quite a bit of time this summer making more pipes. I learn a little bit (and sometimes a lot) with each one I’ve made recently.
I’ve been experimenting with layering different stains on top of each other, and I think I’ve finally found a process that works. The idea is to sand the wood to a fairly fine grit, apply a dark dye, and then once it dries, sand back the wood evenly but not too much. Then I apply a lighter dye. The result is that the darker dye penetrates more in some places than in others, highlighting the variations in the grain. I then sand to my finest grit and apply a coat of Danish oil to prevent the dye coming off in the user’s hand. Last comes a coat of wax.
I’m planning to try some traditional shapes next, just to hone my skills. And while I enjoy working with briar, I hope to experiment with some alternative woods as well.
Some of the pipes above are available at my Etsy shop.