Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

How It's Made- Smoking Pipes

How It's Made- Smoking Pipes



since the 19th century pipes have been made from briar a hard fire resistant wood from the root of the mediterranean heather shrub after the briar has cured for several months the pipe maker saws it into a rough pipe shape using a lathe and chisel he rounds the larger block to approximate the shape of the pipe bowl he bores through the center to carve out the tobacco chamber then he Slim's down the stem marking the center for drilling later the pipe maker finalizes the shape by hand next the pipes mouthpiece takes shape the pipe maker pierces a piece of hardened rubber called vulcan night to establish the center and then drills a channel through it using a grindstone he sculpts one end taking it from round to oval a shape that fits more comfortably between the lips then shaves the exterior of the mouthpiece reducing it considerably he shapes the other end to form the tenon which fits into the pipe stem he polishes the tenon with a special compound the smoother surface makes this part easier to join to the pipe stem he drills a tiny hole into the top of the mouthpiece then dips a thin plastic rod in glue and inserts it in the hole he sands it down leaving a white spot a marker that indicates the mouthpiece is right-side up for bent or curved pipes the mouthpieces are heated in an oven at 160 degrees Celsius this makes the vulcanic flexible enough to be shaped by hand the pipe maker bends the mouthpiece to the desired shape and a quick cool down in water re hardens the Vulcan height fixing its curve next he buffs the wooden part of the pipe this removes fine scratches and brings out the wood grain it also gives the wood a glossy finish after a final quality inspection this handcrafted briar pipe is on its way to making a statement at the Country Club


Reader Comments

  1. Personally I prefer hand made clay pipes .
    Or older hand carved wood pipes .
    Modern pipes have no true craftsmanship.
    It's all lathed nothing crafty about that.

  2. Anybody has an idea what is used on the inside of the chamber? To prevent just burning through after some time of using?

  3. All of that amazing machinery reminds us why Dunhill pipes are absolutely un-affordable to working stiffs like me. I just looked at the smokingpipes.com website and the cheapest Dunhill pipe listed was $490.00. No thanks.

  4. I bought my second pipe from an antique shop near to my house , they sold it at the price of 300 argentine pesos (almost 8 dollars) really cheap! So i bought the last one that they had , but forgot to bring more money to the place,i only had 250 pesos (close to 6,50 dolars) , they sold me the pipe anyway .the surprise that i had when i read "dunhill" in that old pipe an read what that means!

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