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Thread: making tobacco pipes from hazel

  1. #1

    Default making tobacco pipes from hazel

    There was a thread a bit ago where someone made a pipe that had silver wire on it and at the time I mentioned about someone living just up the lane who uses hazel to make pipes, and that I would ask him about how he does them when i see him next. Well I had a word today, he uses mig welding wire as a "pull through" type thing. He makes tiny fish hook type barb's with a pair of side cutter's, rounds the end of the wire so it goes in smooth withoout snagging, push in a bit, twist gently, pull the pith out, then repeat, a little at a time. The hazel is only a year or 2 old, 12 to 15 mm diameter oh crap forgot to ask what the bowl's are made of I think briar?
    cheers Jonathan

  2. Default

    Very very interesting! I'll have to try that on the next pipe I make. Usually I use dogwood, then superheat a wire, and skewer it through, burning the pith away and making a fairly decent sized hole.. but I think the hook method may be much more useful for lighter pithed material.. definitely trying that one out.

    Cheers.
    The "Its" of Bushcraft; Learn it, practise it, hone it, love it, live it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default

    A spoke from a bicycle wheel works well too. Heat the end, flatten it out, grind to a small spear point and twist it through the wood a little at a time. Works for making flutes and whistles too.

    Eric
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr dazzler View Post
    There was a thread a bit ago where someone made a pipe that had silver wire on it and at the time I mentioned about someone living just up the lane who uses hazel to make pipes, and that I would ask him about how he does them when i see him next. Well I had a word today, he uses mig welding wire as a "pull through" type thing. He makes tiny fish hook type barb's with a pair of side cutter's, rounds the end of the wire so it goes in smooth withoout snagging, push in a bit, twist gently, pull the pith out, then repeat, a little at a time. The hazel is only a year or 2 old, 12 to 15 mm diameter oh crap forgot to ask what the bowl's are made of I think briar?
    cheers Jonathan
    That would be me then... Thanks for the idea, sounds like a handy tool.

    Briar is the traditional material for a pipe bowl.
    Dunc

    Never assume that somebody else has got the map.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Iowa U.S.A.
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    Briar is one traditional bowl material, just as corncob is.

    The key point is to use SOLID wood - not punky or half rotted.

    As you break in the pipe bowl, the inside of it ... chars ... a bit. That little bit of charring on the inside of the bowl helps protect and insulate the rest of the material from the burning/smoldering tobacco. Yes, occasionally you can have a spot burn through, but that rarely happens. Making sure you have solid wood solves most of those worries. But being able to use a section of corncob for a pipe (with part of the center pith removed to form the bowl) still amazes people. But they do work - if you slowly break them in.

    One of the traditional methods to bore out the pith of your future pipe stem is to use a heated wire pushed through to burn it out. But using a piece of wire with a hook or sharpened end to "drill/scrape" out the pith also works well, just a tad slower. And you don't need to worry about burning yourself on that hot wire.

    Have fun with your project.

    Mikey - yee ol' grumpy blacksmith out in the Hinterlands

    p.s. MIG or TIG welding wire works great! It has some pretty good internal strength that helps keep it from bending too easily - especially for its small diameter. Ditto piano wire and bicycle wheel spokes. But welder wire is pretty easy to find. Just stop by most any place that uses one and ask for a piece of scrap. They always have bits they need to cut off when they clean the welder gun tips, or hit the wire feed trigger before they are ready to weld, or when treading in a new spool of wire, or when there's too little left on the spool and just need to load a new spool. Also, there are several different thicknesses of that welder wire.
    Last edited by Mike Ameling; 10-03-2008 at 16:13. Reason: normal bad typing/spelling

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