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My son's project for me....

So, a week or so ago I was looking at some of the "carve your own" pipe projects that many of you have completed, and my 15yr old son was looking with me. When we were finished he looked at me and said, "Dad, I want to carve you a pipe!". You have to understand that my son loves to whittle and carve stuff all the time, and he's pretty good at it.

I agreed and bought the briar blank below, as I've requested some sort of poker ;-)

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It came in the mail from Pipesandcigars.com and you would have thought he'd gotten a new X-box game, lol. He's been working on it all day, and it's starting to come together. I've offered to help with some "power tools", but he declined saying that he wanted to use hand tools. My only complaint is that the blank was a little small which limited the design somewhat, but who cares really. I'll post some updates as they happen. It already looks different than the pics above ;-)

Okay, here's an update: I'm thinking I should have started a thread for this, mod's feel free to move these posts if you want.

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He still had some clean up to do here, and he's been working on it quite a bit and here's where we are tonight.....


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I decided to start a thread for the picture updates, so that I don't clog up any other threads. I'll keep posting updates on his progress. He's got to do some more touch up sanding around the shank and then do all the finish sanding before staining and waxing. Anyone know of good trustworthy places that I can pick up alcohol based stains and carnuba wax??

Also, we've turned this pipe into a sitter/poker, which is really what I wanted. However, the stem that pipesandcigars sent with this pipe is too heavy and pulls the pipe over. I'd like to try and find a smaller or lighter stem...any ideas or suggestions? Thanks
 

Kentos

Wiped out at 25
Wow looks great! Whittling the briar isn't easy.

I got my block of carnauba and powdered stain from woodcraft. I have read leather dye for the local shoe repair shop works just as well and is cheaper.

A new stem might cost more than the pipe kit cost, but you can try Walker Briar, or other pipe repair guys.
 
A quick question....I've read that we can use a water based stain instead of the powdered color & denatured alcohol mixture. Has anyone had any experience with this. What I've read suggests that it can be used, but it just takes longer to dry and might raise the grain on the pipe.
 
Here are a few update pictures that I just took with my phone. The phone doesn't do the grain justice. He's done some touch up sanding on high spots on the bowl near the shank and has moved to 400 grit sandpaper, next will be 600 and then probably 800 or finer. I am wondering if using a water based stain will screw up all his sanding efforts by raising the grain, does anyone know??

Okay, on to the pics:

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I have to say that I'm incredibly amazed at how well he's done, lol. I was fully prepared to have him make me a jacked up pipe, that I would have smoked and loved all the same. What's interesting is that he's used one wood file, two pocket knives and lots of sand paper...and the sides are perfectly straight. I'm very proud and cannot wait for him to finish this baby so that I can smoke it ;-) I'm tempted to load it up and have at it now, lol
 
Looks great! A lot of effort goes into removing moisture from briar, water based stains are generally frowned upon in the pipe making world. If you can get alcohol based stain, or the mentioned powder mix, then use that. If not, use what you've got, it's your pipe. It's a beauty!
 
Got some on the way...just pulled the trigger ;-) If we're going to do this...we'll do it right. Now my son says that he's going to carve them for money..ahahahaha. I told him I'd buy all the blanks his little hands could carve. How funny is that?

I think we'll do a two step staining process...darker color first then sand it almost off, then go with a little lighter color. I've read this will accentuate the grain. Should be able to get it done by mid week next week...I'm so ready to smoke this puppy, it's not funny. I am dissapointed in how freakin' heavy the stem is, any ideas on where I can pick up a lighter stem? And are acrylic stems typically lighter than vulcanite? The one that came with the kit is vulcanite and is so wide and heavy that it will barely allow the pipe to sit upright. Even when the block was uncarved it would tip when bumped. I thought about just cutting this stem off and trying to reshape the lip...not sure what it's called, lol. Anyone ever have luck with this? I fear doing this would close the draft hole and generally just jack it up ;-)
 
Wow!! great job by your son!!

for wood dyes...I LOVE the wood dyes by ReRanch.....the are used mostly by guys to refinish guitars, but prices are very good, and they have a ton of various colors....

The have both alcohol and water based powders you mix....in my opinion, the alcohol seems to make grain "pop" more......here is a link to them....http://reranchstore.stores.yahoo.net/andyecol.html
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
Wow, looking good. You will get a nice pipe, and your son develops a skill that could garner some walking around money.
 
Hey..anyone know if I can cut this stem off shorter and then reshape the mouth piece?? I'm seriously about to try this, before buying a stem that's lighter. the problem I'm having is that this particular stem is heavier than the pipe itself and it won't sit correctly due to the excess weight of the stem.
 
Hey..anyone know if I can cut this stem off shorter and then reshape the mouth piece?? I'm seriously about to try this, before buying a stem that's lighter. the problem I'm having is that this particular stem is heavier than the pipe itself and it won't sit correctly due to the excess weight of the stem.
That can be a problem, you'd have to cut it pretty short to counter balance the tipping weight.
 
why not just turn the stem and shank thinner? or maybe shape a "chair leg" shape in the stem? You'd have to be really careful not to cut to deep, but if you are gonna likely buy a new stem anyway, why not experiment. I'd be willing to "test" a handmade pipe by a new carver if you need vict....I mean volunteers. ;)
 
He cut the stem off last night and I rather like the way it looks and feels. Now, he'll start shaping it a bit to see what we can come up with. I ordered the stains and carnuba so when they get here early next week we'll finish it up. I'll post some pics of the "new" stem and look later tonight ;-)
 
Oh, another quick question....should we treat the inside of the bowl with anything to aid in building cake or protect the virgin briar?? I've read about using honey and a few mentions of using some sort of carbon powder, or should I just smoke the thing, lol?
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
Oh, another quick question....should we treat the inside of the bowl with anything to aid in building cake or protect the virgin briar?? I've read about using honey and a few mentions of using some sort of carbon powder, or should I just smoke the thing, lol?
I have never done anything but smoke them
 
So here's an update...

Today the stain came in the mail, as did the carnuba but he'll wax it tomorrow ;-) I decided that he should do a contrast stain because he and I read about that process and that doing it will bring out the grain in the briar. So he mixed up a really dark batch of stain and then did the first coat of stain, which we let dry all day. Then tonight he sanded it off and the grain really pops now....so much so that he doesn't want to do the final "lighter" color stain to finish the contrast staining process. I agreed and we'll do the polish tomorrow....at which time I'll also polish up several others that I have while we're at it. Here are the pics:

CRAP...photobucket is down. Let me see if I can post them from my computer:
 

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