Shop's Log #13: Bent Apple Pipe

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Blog entry by terryR posted 09-01-2014 08:16 PM 2041 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Pipe for LJ Swap Part 13 of Shop's Log series Part 14: Turned Boxes »

Wow, cannot believe it’s been over 2 months since I posted a Blog…still behind I am…

I promised a bent pipe at the end of the last Blog, so here goes…

The challenge for this project was to create a BENT pipe; meaning the airflow and tobacco chambers do not line up at 90 degrees. Seemingly simple, but not so using a lathe. Many pipe makers use specialized jaws to hold the workpiece for this geometry, but I’ve also seen a few use the techniques below…

First, we need a plan, Stan…

...lots of calipers, squares, and measuring thingys to properly layout our intentions on the workpiece…which happens to be a lovely piece of dry Apple wood given to me by an LJ buddy. (Thanks, Jordan)

You can see my plan, and how I removed a bit of excess wood with the bandsaw. Of note, is the 1/8” I removed from the entire blank since I felt it was a bit too wide for a pipe. Remember this fact for later…

OK, real quick like, here we go with a pipe stummel…

Onto the lathe whilst being held with 2 of 4 bowl jaws. Needless to say, don’t try this at home without a bit of reading and care. Note how the Apple is aligned with the drill bit, and the block is out of square in the chuck’s jaws. The proper choice of jaws should allow for a decent amount of steel to contact the Apple, although it’s hard to make that out in the photo…

Now, before moving the stummel, bore the mortise for the stem.

Then a quickie with a Fortsner bit of proper size to completely square off this face of the piece.

Move up the 60 degree cone, and shape the pipe’s shank.

(remember, the yellow tape? Reminder to keep knuckles a safe distance)

Then, aligning the piece so that the tobacco chamber can be properly bored; first with a 7/8” Forstner bit, then the expensive bowl bit just until we reach into the air hole. Here, you can see the type of bowl jaws I’m using a little better…

And, after a small amount of turning, our pipe stummel is roughed out. I was hoping for an ‘Apple-shaped’ finished pipe, so am shooting for a rounded, fat bowl.

Sorry for the nasty looking fingernails…I was into black dye the previous day.

Now, for some power sanding to remove the excess wood quickly.

Then, work with the rasps, for slower stock removal…still trying to keep that fat-bottomed look for the bowl.

And, more rasps…

I guess I forgot to take photos of the stem being produced, but it looked a LOT like the last one! LOL. This one is made from an Acrylic pen blank. And here you can see both stem and shank being rasped to the same diameter.

Then hand-sanded to remove the rasp marks…all the way to 400 grit…

And, to go with the bent pipe stummel, how about a bent stem? Same heat bending set up as previously shown…

...heat gun on low, block of wood for a mold, and water. Only thing missing…gloves! Wear leather gloves when you guys try this at home. I will next time. LOL.

But, in the end, all came out pretty nice…

The Apple had a lovely natural color and a small knot for enhancement, so only wax for a finish! I was able to pull off the fat-bottomed look I had hoped for…except from the front view.

That shape is called a ‘Brandy’ not an Apple as I wanted. Bummer. I shouldn’t have re-sawn that 1/8” off at the beginning! Doh! Lesson learned.

No more pipes on the next Blog, I promise.

Comments and suggestions are always welcomed

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

11 comments so far

View August McCormick Lehman III's profile

August McCormick Lehman III

1753 posts in 914 days

#1 posted 09-01-2014 09:26 PM

Damn terry your good with that lathe.
I can’t wait to modify the one I got as a payment for all the stuff I have to a guy in Texas.
Very nice bud
Now is that the one your sending me?


View Brit's profile


6586 posts in 2266 days

#2 posted 09-01-2014 09:32 PM

Amazing craftsmanship Terry and by the way if 2 months is a long time not to have posted a blog then I’ve been sorely neglecting my blog. The last one I posted was 281 days ago!

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Jimthecarver's profile


1123 posts in 3209 days

#3 posted 09-01-2014 09:57 PM

I’d smoke that baby!
Nice blog, nicer pipe though.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View fatandy2003's profile


258 posts in 1668 days

#4 posted 09-01-2014 10:20 PM

Another beaut Terry! Maybe time for another swap!


-- -- Andy, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it” - Thomas Paine

View Mauricio's profile


7115 posts in 2575 days

#5 posted 09-01-2014 11:21 PM

Wow, thats nice man. I want to smoke one. Not sure I ever have.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View terryR's profile


6232 posts in 1732 days

#6 posted 09-02-2014 12:36 AM

Thanks, MEN.

I hope you’ll still read along when I post the baskets later. LOL!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Spoontaneous's profile


1332 posts in 2754 days

#7 posted 09-02-2014 12:57 AM

Turned out looking GREAT and I bet an apple pipe would smoke well. Thanks for the blog.

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View AnthonyReed's profile


8606 posts in 1864 days

#8 posted 09-02-2014 02:09 AM

Fantastic skills you possess Terry. It’s a pleasure to read your blogs that beautifully capture the fine work you do. Thank you for taking the time to share with us.

-- ~Tony

View Don W's profile

Don W

17882 posts in 1991 days

#9 posted 09-02-2014 11:41 AM

fantastic workmanship Terry.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View jim65's profile


800 posts in 1357 days

#10 posted 09-02-2014 05:07 PM

Excellent job on that, you have a new profession! compliments

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View lysdexic's profile


5078 posts in 2047 days

#11 posted 09-29-2014 02:59 AM

Well done, sir!

-- I love Jeeps

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