Category Archives: Tobacco Pipes

How to Make a Tobacco Pipe with Hand Tools, Part 4: Stem-Bending, Staining, and Finishing

On balance, I would say that half of pipe making involves sanding. It’s not exactly the fun part of making a pipe, but the results are worth the care and effort. Theoretically, rasps and files are used to establish the … Continue reading

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How to Make a Tobacco Pipe with Hand Tools, Part 3: Shaping with Rasps and Files

When we left off last time, we had a stem inserted into a drilled block of briar wood.  Now, you could smoke this block if you wanted to (I’ve seen it done!), but you probably want to do some shaping … Continue reading

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How to Make a Tobacco Pipe with Hand Tools, Part 2: Drilling the Briar Block

In my last post, I explained how I prepare a stem to be fitted to a pipe.  In this post, I will show how I drill the holes in the block of wood itself. This stage of the pipe-making process … Continue reading

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How to Make a Tobacco Pipe with Hand Tools, Part 1: The Stem and Tenon

Five years ago, I wrote here about making a tobacco pipe with hand tools.  That post assumed you were starting with a “pipe kit,” i.e. a pre-drilled block of wood with a stem pre-fitted into it.  I still think that … Continue reading

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Classical Training–for a Pipe Maker

A lot of people who try their hand at making a tobacco pipe do so because they want to make a special shape that they cannot afford to buy, such as a blowfish: But pipe making is kind of like … Continue reading

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Recent Pipes

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 … Continue reading

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Two for One: A Freehand Dublin and a Churchwarden Apple

Trying out materials from different suppliers is always an adventure.  Some time ago, I ordered a “medium” sized block of plateaux briar wood from a vendor who came highly recommended.  When I got the block in the mail, I was … Continue reading

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Two More Churchwarden Pipes

Here are my latest two pipes, both churchwardens made from briar. This one is my first attempt at using a stain on briar. The color is not quite as even as I had expected, but I am pleased with the … Continue reading

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Tobacco Pipe Aesthetics and Design: Whole Number Ratios

Why do some tobacco pipes look smooth and graceful while others look clunky and clumsy? I had been looking at classic pipe shapes, especially in old Dunhill catalogs I’d found online. I began wondering why some designs stood out, and … Continue reading

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Literary Workshop Is Now Live on Etsy

It is with some trepidation that I announce that the Literary Workshop has gone commercial.  I will now be selling my tobacco pipes (and perhaps a few other items) at my new Etsy shop. I plan to make one or … Continue reading

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