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2020 Corn Cob Pipe Modification Contest

Greetings fellow Brown Leaf members! Brandon (brandaves) and I thought it would be a great idea to have an end of the year Corn Cob Modification Contest. The idea is for folks to color, stain, sand, deconstruct and/or reassemble a corn cob pipe into something more aesthetically appealing and useful. The sky is the limit when it comes to doing a cob modification. In the end though, the pipe should appeal to you for your enjoyment.

Particulars for this contest:

1) Although not required, it is HIGHLY recommended; a new corn cob pipe be used whether its purchased from Missouri Meerschaum, Old Dominion, or cob blanks from Vermont Freehand. New pipes can also be purchased from Aristocob, Smoking Pipes, and Pipes and Cigars.

2) A selfie of you smoking the finished and modified cob pipe.

3) A creative mind.

4) Have fun doing this! :pipe:

This contest run will run from now until December 1st. A poll will be created so members of the Brown Leaf can vote on their favorite modified cob pipe. The winner will receive a tin of tobacco from the contest organizers. All participants will receive a small sample of tobacco so we all can do an online Zoom Herf later in December. To receive any tobacco, you MUST have a Brown Leaf badge or access to the Brown Leaf Stock Exchange. Please post here or PM either myself or Brandon for any questions you may have. Also, post on the thread itself any progress images you have of your modification. I hope everyone has a great time doing their modification.

R/
Dave
 
Good day to all! I wanted to quickly share some of my experiences and examples when it comes to modifying a corn cob pipe. My personal approach is simple and doesn't cost a lot of money. Please note though, this is not a comprehensive list of how to modify a cob pipe. This is offered up to everyone for a place to start.

I have personally modified 5 cob pipes to date. An image is attached below. My first modification was simply taking a natural, unfinished Morgan nose warmer and applying some tan Fiebing's leather dye to the cob and shank. The second modification was with a bag of some Missouri Meerschaum Smokable Natural Seconds. For pipes 2-4, I used some DAP plaster of Paris to coat the outside of the pipe. Pipes 2 and 3 were just the natural white of the plaster. Pipe 4 I colored the plaster with some black acrylic paint. For pipe 2, I used the same leather dye for the bowl and shank. Pipe 3 I decided to wrap the pipe shank with some hemp cord from Walmart. For both of these pipes, I used shellac for the finish.

Pipe 4 is a little different. For it, I sanded the pipe down a bit before applying the plaster and then sanded it as smooth as I could to achieve a more polished finish. The shank is a briar blank purchased from Steve at Vermont Freehand. He cut and quartered the linked cubes to make briar blanks for me to use. The finish is with some clear lacquer spray.

Pipe 5 is the most recent modification. The cob used was a General cob pipe. The modification for this pipe was to cut off about 3/4" from the top and open the chamber with a 7/8" forstner bit. Again, I took a natural, unfinished cob and applied a colored plaster and dyed both the shank and bowl.

The things I learned along the way:

- An unused cob is best to start with. SWMBO probably wouldn't like the smell of spent tobacco in the microwave for point 2 below.
- To remove the shank from the bowl, stick the pipe in the microwave for about 20 seconds. ENSURE both the metal ferrule and plastic stem are removed before turning on the microwave!
- Removing the shank allows for the most comprehensive way to work with the pipe.
- Simple Elmer's wood glue works great to glue the shank back in.
- Use paper towel to stuff the chamber and shank hole. I then use masking tape to cover the opening.
- If plastering, ensure a wide range of sandpaper grit is available from 80 to 3000.
- Tack clothe goes a long way to help remove fine particles.
- To thin out leather dye, I use denatured alcohol.
- Fiebing' leather dye works really well.
- Once the pipe is completed, let it sit for a few days before smoking any tobacco in it.

I hope this thread helps folks be inspired and not feel as daunted as to where to start. More ideas can be found here.

R/
Dave

IMG_3804.jpg
 

brandaves

With a great avatar comes great misidentification
Ambassador
Thanks Dave! I'm excited to get started on something...although I'm not sure what yet. I can't wait to see the creativity that comes out.
 

brandaves

With a great avatar comes great misidentification
Ambassador
Some thoughts on what I'm thinking of doing at the moment. I was thinking of going with a nautical theme and perhaps adding one of my collar devices to the bowl...I like Dave's pipe with the fancy work on the stem also. I may get even more creative with the stem and add the CG racing stripe as well. Not 100% on my design at the moment.

Anybody else got something on the drawing board?
 
Early planning is to get a Morgan nose warmer or two, an oak wood dowel and possibly do my own churchwarden style pipe. Also want to try reversing the order of how I do things and dye a natural cob black first and then add some plaster, one white and another tan. I hope to have a really nice , smooth finish as well.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
I do have an idea, but don't know if it would work...

Also, I'm not in the stock exchange, as receiving tobacco here is problematic. How would you gentlemen feel about me joining in and playing along for fun, but NOT as a participant in the competition?
 
I do have an idea, but don't know if it would work...

Also, I'm not in the stock exchange, as receiving tobacco here is problematic. How would you gentlemen feel about me joining in and playing along for fun, but NOT as a participant in the competition?
Oh, please do! I'd love to see what you'll come up with!

I'm picking up my Legend today. I'm thinking of sanding it smooth and busting out the dremel for some very light rustification. I think the slight grooves should capture the stain and show darker than the rest. If it works out how I see it in my head, the same swirling pattern should transfer to the shank beautifully.
 
Oh, please do! I'd love to see what you'll come up with!

I'm picking up my Legend today. I'm thinking of sanding it smooth and busting out the dremel for some very light rustification. I think the slight grooves should capture the stain and show darker than the rest. If it works out how I see it in my head, the same swirling pattern should transfer to the shank beautifully.
Sounds like an awesome idea! I might have to try that sometime as well!
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Just ordered a new cob for this event :thumbup1:

Dave, Brandon, what's the form here? Do we have to say in advance what we're planning? Show in stage pics as we go along? Or just reveal the abomination at the end? :biggrin:

What I'm planning is... ambitious :lol: There's a high possibility it could end up unsmokeable, but I think there being very real potential to make a complete fool of yourself, just adds to the fun 🤣
 
Just ordered a new cob for this event :thumbup1:

Dave, Brandon, what's the form here? Do we have to say in advance what we're planning? Show in stage pics as we go along? Or just reveal the abomination at the end? :biggrin:

What I'm planning is... ambitious :lol: There's a high possibility it could end up unsmokeable, but I think there being very real potential to make a complete fool of yourself, just adds to the fun 🤣
Sweetnesses! For me, no need to share in advance your plan. If you’d like to, that is ok with me. Also, no need to post progress. However, it would be neat to see your progress if you’re willing to share. Ideally though, it’s a pipe and should be able to hold tobacco and be smoked. The MOST important thing though is you have fun!😄
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Sweetnesses! For me, no need to share in advance your plan. If you’d like to, that is ok with me. Also, no need to post progress. However, it would be neat to see your progress if you’re willing to share. Ideally though, it’s a pipe and should be able to hold tobacco and be smoked. The MOST important thing though is you have fun!😄
The last part I can guarantee. The functional part, not so much. :lol:

There's a technical challenge, and an artistic challenge on mine. Neither will be easy. I'm planning on starting with a Little Devil Acorn, with the bowl sat upright, and the stem pointed down.

IMG_20201010_233324.jpg

That then needs splicing into... something... so a stem can be mounted in a bent position further away.

IMG_20201010_233441.jpg

That's the technical challenge. Trying to both get that smokeable, and also have the joint in such a way, that a pipe cleaner can find its way into the bowl.

Then the artistic challenge is building round it...

IMG_20201010_233750.jpg

...so I end up with something like a meerschaum claw, but holding a cob.

s-l500(13).jpg
 
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