Pipe Making #1: Introduction

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Blog entry by MadMark posted 05-18-2016 04:03 PM 540 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This is a first draft of what should become a nice illustrated tutorial on making a pair of one piece pipes.

The pipe making process is much more complicated and needs a lot of tools to make.

Pipe making requires:
  • Table saw
  • Drill press (several bits)
  • Band saw
  • 4” Stationary Belt sander
  • Oscillating Spindle Sander
  • 1” belt sander
  • 8” disc sander
  • ROS sanding @ 120 & 240
  • Hand sand with sanding sponge

At this point the pipe is ready for finishing.

We start with the table saw and cut a blank that is 1-1/4” sq and 9” long. This blank will yield two pipes. Our pipes bowl form is basically a cube. We use a 5/8” drill to help the neck shaping. To make these holes we find the side center and mark a parrallel 5/16” past the center. If you use a drill other than 5/8” adjust the spacing to the new radius.

Likewise mark 1-1/4” plus the same 5/16” from the end. Rotate the stock 180° keeping the lines up and mark this end the same way. Drill 5/8” thru holes at both ends.

While at the drill press, drill the bowl down to 3/8” from the bottom with a 3/4” Forstner bit.

Move to the bandsaw and cut in at the drill tangents and cut down the center on the line to split the block.

Back to the table saw and trim the curved end off at 7”.

Mark lines approximately 1/4” in from each side of the stem. Move back to the bandsaw and remove the sides, exiting as you get near the bowl.

Back to the drill press to start drilling the stem. Most drill presses don’t have a 7” travel so we have to drill the stem in two parts. First we pilot on the drill press with a 3/16” brad point bit as deep as possible. Then we clamp the pipe with a wooden clamp and finish drilling the stem with a 12” x 3/16” brad point drill in a hand power drill.

The stem drilling is hard to do consistently and wild grains will make the long drill bit stray.

Check the stem is clear by blowing in the bowl end of things – save the stem end for the customer!

Next stop is the 4” belt sander. We form the stem and bowl shapes and remove as much bulk material as possible.

Use the end of a file in the mouthpiece hole to get a controllable grip on the stem. Bring down the stem to an even wall thickness. Use the 1” band sander to final shape the bowl.

The disk sander rapidly forms the mouthpiece taper.

There will be a rough area at the neck of the pipe. Use the OSS to get into the area.

Use the ROS at 120 & 240 to smoothen the flats left by the other sander.

Use a fine sanding sponge to even out any remaining divots.

Final finishing to follow.

-- Madmark -

2 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9325 posts in 3470 days

#1 posted 05-18-2016 06:48 PM

Looks interesting… Thank you…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Druid's profile


1230 posts in 2213 days

#2 posted 10-03-2016 07:56 PM

Interesting posting. Thanks for sharing.
Here’s a link to some of the characteristics of various types of wood that are commonly used for pipes.
Hope it helps…
Waiting to see the finishing part. ;)

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

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