I just finished up my first ever pipe build and am reasonably pleased with the end result. I’ve certainly paid more money on a cheap off-the-shelf pipe, and I get the bonus of claiming this one as my very own creation.
I started with one of two briar blocks I bought from a local gent who had had them on his shelf for years. The chambers had been drilled out but curiously not the airways, so it was definitely a “for learning experience only” project. I won a lot of 3 acrylic stems on ebay, which helped greatly, as I do not have the tools to turn my own stems (yet!). This little pipe was made using only a drill press, rotary tool, an assortment of carving and drill bits and various grades of sandpaper.
Anyway, I messed up more than once and backtracked a couple of times as is usual for me when tackling something new, but I ended up with a nice little nosewarmer. The little pipe tops out at 4-3/4″ long, with a bowl height of 1-5/8″, an outside bowl diameter of approximately 1-1/4″ and a bowl diameter of 3/4″. Should be perfect for yard work, fishing or hiking, as it fits in just about any pocket and it very lightweight.
Unfortunately, I did not take photos during this build, as I was focussed on not screwing up too badly at any given stage, but pics of the finished pipe are below.
I plan to fire up the inaugural bowl this evening!
UPDATE: I am happy to report a successful first bowl. This little pipe smoked only a tiny bit hotter than my larger pipes, though I did need to run a pipe cleaner down the shank halfway through the bowl to clear a case of the gurgles. Not a surprise, as the moisture really has nowhere else to go.