Handmade Briar Pipes

September 2010

How is a raven like a writing desk?
Here’s a design I’m working on now:

I call this one “The Mad Hatter.” It’s whimsical design and almost nonsensical feel reminds me of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. It’s also quite a departure for me from my tendencies toward more traditional shapes. I’ve got more shaping to do and I’m leaning toward a light sandblast. I envision a black stain with the top of the rim, bottom of the bowl, and shank ring being left natural or a light yellowish brown.

To make life a bit easier, I turned what I could of the stem on the lathe.

After that, it’s rough shaping on the belt and disk sander. In this photo, I’ve done a first round of hand filing and refining the button. Things are still a bit thick. Next up: more filing then hand sanding. I can’t wait to bend the stem. I think the whole thing will start looking like it’s coming together after that.

I’m settled on sandblasting this one. I’ll be visiting Nate King, another aspiring pipemaker and repairman, to use his sandblasting setup. This will be my first sandblast so I’m excited to get the experience under my belt. I’m hopeful things turn out the way I envision it. More pics to come.

In the following photos I’ve done some more shaping on the stem, refined the stummel a bit, finish sanded and put the finish stain on the parts I intend to leave smooth, and masked them off for sandblasting. Early on I made a cap out of scrap briar (not shown in pictures) that will be inserted in place of the stem and stem ring that I’ve used while shaping. I’ll blast with the cap in place to protect the shank face and to keep from damaging the ring. The stem needs a little more refining with sandpaper then it’s ready for bending and buffing.

Here’s “The Mad Hatter” after sandblasting yesterday:

Not bad for my first sandblast, I think.

And here’s the final product after staining, buffing, waxing, and stamping:

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.