Memorial Day Weekend project- Tinsky pipe kit

Discussion in 'The Brown Leaf' started by Kentos, May 24, 2012.

  1. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus


    I am hoping to make a stubby VaPer poker/cherrywood out of it. 3/4 bore with 3/4 walls if everything goes as planned. I am almost tempted to smoke a bowl in it as is, just in case I mess it up and make it unsmokable.:lol:
  2. I also thought the same thing... but that's a heck of a block for a clencher :biggrin:
  3. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    I plan on doing some push ups with my face to strengthen the jaw up in anticipation :smile:

    Those huge pokers seem to be in vogue so I figured "what the hay?".
  4. Thats pretty cool, I never thougth about carving my own pipe before.....
  5. wow!
  6. Good luck, can't wait to see the finished pipe!
  7. I'm still debating which shape to go with my new PIMO kit.
    Volcano sounds interesting, poker would be cool, freehand churchwarden would be fun....

    I just need to order 5 or 6 more kits.
  8. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    Any advice Rich? I know you have been down this road once already. My problem is nothing on the block is square so I am having a hard time determining where to start. I guess I will square up to the stem and go from there.
  9. Ya, depending on how you want the stem fit. The flush stem is going to be difficult, which is one reason I gravitate toward the military stem... but also because I like the more ornate stems.

    I started by laying the block on one side and bandsawing the top and bottom profiles, then I cradled the cut back into the bottom profile to provide a suare-ish surface for the side cuts.
    Most everything else was done the scary way.... holding the bowl and literally freehanding it against the bandsaw, and a final shaping with the Dremel and a sanding drum before moving to the hand sanding.

    $firstcuts2.jpg $firstcuts1.jpg

    I was lucky though... only the bark surface, which made up the rim and stem seat, were not square. The sides, bottom, and front were quite square with the bowl.

    If yours is that far off, it may not be a bad idea to run it through a band or table saw to square it up. Don't worry about the marks on the side... don't trust them :wink: My bowl marking was pretty close, but the air hole line was off by almost 1/8" and not quite the right angle, which is one of two reasons my stem and the shank don't line up.
    The other reason was that I cut off the flat surface that the mortising tool made... had I worked assuming THAT was square, the stem/shank alignment would have been good.

    Lesson learned... stick a drill through the air hole and visually verify it's location and angle... transfer your own line to the side of the block.
    Same for the bowl.

    Now... the tricky thing about a poker is that it is easy to cut the angled bottom with flat sides of the virgin block.
    It is also pretty easy to cut the bowl's "tube" with the flat bottom of the virgin block.

    See the conflict?
    Cut one and you no longer have the other.

    Now, following my method of cutting the side profile of my freehand, what I would do is cut the angled bottom first, then rough in the area above and below the shank, then while you still have the "front" and side references, reattach the bowl to the bottom with a very small spot of glue or even double-sided tape... just something to hold that base on while you work the rough shape of the bowl.

    Being a large, flush-fit stem is going to take some skills.
    You absolutely must keep the mortise and tenon square with the end of the shank or you'll have a gap around the stem's perimeter.
    Likewise, you must keep the stem parallel with the mortise... at least 1/4" or so down from the stem. You can work a curve into the bowl from it, but you don't want a taper.
    You're also going to want to rough in the stem a fair amount oversized so you have plenty of room to work down during the finish sanding.

    The difference between these two pictures is 90% hand sanding with 80 grit.... I did a little Dremel work on the inside curves to clean up some marks that the bandsaw left... so it is going to be critical on yours that you leave enough wood to sand down to the stem... and you'll have to sand all the way into it.

    $finalcut4.jpg $ready2stain3.jpg
  10. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    Thanks Rich!

    Your info really helps a bunch to visualize all the angles in my head.

    I might chicken out and just keep the bottom square on this one. Or maybe sand the bevel in. Decisions!!
  11. I'd think about doing a flat bottom volcano. Maybe do a 1/2 to 3/4 on the walls or 3/4 to 1. Then bevil the edges across the bottom and the edge going into the bowl for ease of filling. The. For the sides you could either do panels or a cone.
  12. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    A panel poker or volcano is plan "b" ;).
  13. I think a panel poker would be the easiest, and that would maintain a flat side to index the angle on the bottom.
  14. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    Progress report
    Trying to line things up before cutting

    Cutting was surprisingly easy even with an old coping saw blade.

    Rough sanded shape on a belt sander

    Sanded to 220 and test stained. I got lazy and didn't sand the shank down to the same circumference as the bit. Trying to sand a square into a circle was pretty difficult, and a lathe would make things so much easier. My next one is going to be a free hand, although carving the briar isn't super easy either. I plan on sanding up to 1k and staining between sandings.

    Gonna be a jawbreaker when clenching for sure
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  15. Looking good!
    Will be interesting to see it shape up with the final sanding. On mine, I stopped at 600, then stained dark, hit it with 600 again, then the light stain and wax.

    Ya know... I think I am going to do a paneled poker for my newest kit.

    For one thing, I'm more than out of space on the pipe stand :biggrin:
  16. Nice work Kentos. That poker is a beast.
  17. Looking awesome so far man! Also, I was pretty excited when I saw pipes & lasers in the same pic. It may not be the way ye olde pipe carvers did it but it's still cool.
  18. Argonaut

    Argonaut Moderator Emeritus

    Kentos, metal files work wonderfully well on briar for faster shaping of areas like the shank.
  19. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    I will try that. Upon closer inspection I need to do a LOT more sanding on it, so I might as well finish off the shank. I will admit I am tempted to just light it up already and call it a weekend!
  20. Kent-Nice work. A beast to say the least. I love those big pokers. FYI I see that you have sanded up on the stem a little. To minimize that put some tape around the stem to keep from scratching up the stem to much and still gives you a reference to the diameter you need to get down to. If you meant to sand down the stem a little disregard the tape...

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