How to Make Wood Tobacco Pipes

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How to Make Wood Tobacco Pipes
Learn to make your own authentic wooden tobacco pipe. (smoking pipe image by Photosani from Fotolia.com)

With the creation of pre-rolled cigarettes and cigars, the use of tobacco pipes became a thing of the past. Few people still smoke from wooden pipes and many old, wooden pipes now find themselves as displays in collections. If you want to experience smoking from a wooden pipe or need the pipe for a prop in a play or film, you can make your own wooden tobacco pipe and avoid using antique pieces. Instead of purchasing expensive wood, metal or glass pipes, you can make your own tobacco pipe with basic tools.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Hand saw
  • Sharp knife
  • Vice
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Drinking straw or chop stick
  • Ruler
  • Sandpaper

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Locate a small cherry tree to use to make the bowl of your wooden pipe. Cut a 6-inch length of stem from a cherry tree sapling or branch. Choose a section that measures 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cut the section out with a hand saw. Allow the section to season and dry for a minimum of 3 months before proceeding.

  2. 2

    Mark a 1 1/2-inch section on the bottom of the cherry cut to use as the actual pipe bowl. Mark the section by scratching the bark with the sharp knife.

  3. 3

    Use a knife to whittle a small hole into the centre of the cherry cut, on the opposite end as your mark in the previous step. Whittle down approximately 1/4 inch to make a groove for a drill bit.

  4. 4

    Place the marked end of the cherry cut into a vice and tighten the vice as much as possible without cracking the wood.

  5. 5

    Drill down through the centre of the cherry cut using a 1/4-inch drill bit. Stop occasionally to check the depth of the hole by sticking a drinking straw or chop stick down into the hole and comparing to a tape measure. Stop when 1/2 inch remains at the very bottom of the cherry cut.

  6. 6

    Change the drill bit and enlarge the hole to 1/2 inch, then 3/4 and finally to 1 inch in diameter. You need to enlarge the hole this way to prevent cracking or splitting. Work carefully and avoid drilling below the 1/2-inch mark.

  7. 7

    Use the hand saw again to cut the top portion of the cherry cut off the pipe. Use the cutting line made in Step 2 as a reference. Use sandpaper to smooth out the top and inside of the pipe bowl.

  8. 8

    Mark the bottom of the pipe bowl on the outside of the pipe. Make a small mark on the outside of the bowl and whittle a small groove with the knife.

  9. 9

    Find a section of stem to use as a stem for the pipe. Try to find a piece of wood with a diameter between 3/8 and 1/4 inch. Additionally you can choose a stem of elderberry, ash or catalpa and easily remove the middle. To remove the middle, whittle with a small piece of wire to produce a thin hole.

  10. 10

    Measure the exact diameter of the pipe stem piece and drill a similar or slightly smaller hole into the side of the pipe using a drill bit. The pipe bowl piece should still be in the vice at this point, though you may need to reposition it.

  11. 11

    Push the pipe stem into the smaller hole. The pipe stem should have a tight fit and require pressure and twisting to install; without a tight fit the stem and bowl will leak air and become impossible to smoke. If this happens, you will have to find a new pipe stem to fit into the pre-drilled hole.

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