I have begun work on my first pipe, made completely by myself. No drilled blocks. No preformed stems. A chunk of raw cut briar. Some ebonite rod. A piece of acrylic. From raw form to finished polish, I will be making this one from start to finish.
I got up late Saturday morning (7/24) and headed for Wayne's house to begin work on my next pipe. Fought oddly insane traffic for a Saturday morning, but made decent time and was only a half hour late. The Wayne I speak of is Wayne Teipen who has made quite a few fantastic artisan pipes. He has opened up his shop and knowledge to me and I jumped at the opportunity! I am blessed to live so close to a pipe-maker who is willing to assist me as I begin this journey into the art.
After tracing out my design onto graph paper and altering it slightly to make it look a little better, I cut out a template from which I would transfer my design to the block I would select. With some sage advice, he helped me select a nice block and orient the grain properly. Using the template from before, I drew the design onto one side of the block. Next I drew out the differing holes and centerlines. Now to the drill press.
Next step was to make the extension which will be glued to the block later in the process. I decided to use and ebonite extension with a white acrylic accent band. Chucked up the ebonite in the lathe and turned the tenon to the same diameter I drilled earlier in the briar. After that, I finish-drilled the draft hole in the extension to match the one in the block. A couple of slight adjustments to the tenon diameter and it was ready to go. Now the acrylic band. Marked out a small piece and began to drill. A little too much pressure on the acrylic and....snap! Just as the drill passed through the thickness, the small piece broke in two. Wayne grabbed another piece, and with a little lighter touch, I had my extension piece. De-burred the acrylic and glued it to the extension. Figured that would be a good stopping point for the day as I had to head back home to finish my Ebay sales.
A great day's work complete, I was pretty pleased with the progress. I can't wait to get back in the shop and do more!