Smokin Pipes - what wood to use

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Forum topic by snowdog posted 02-18-2011 04:32 PM 4548 views 5 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1166 posts in 4219 days

02-18-2011 04:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wooden smoking pipes

Hi Guys,
I have been thinking of trying a pipe these past few months. I was wondering if any of you have made your own? I did see a few jocks here have made them and I will contact them for advice. But do you have any suggestions on wood types and tips?

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

10 replies so far

View darrenjttu's profile


83 posts in 3328 days

#1 posted 02-18-2011 04:34 PM

Briar wood.

View mafe's profile


11771 posts in 3325 days

#2 posted 02-18-2011 05:32 PM

Yes this is also the only wood I know for pipes, it’s acually rood as far as I know.
It is due to the fact it needs to be able to withsatnd those extreme temperatures.
I will book mark the page, it is also a wish for me, just did not have the time and energy yet.
Look forward to see the result,
best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View mafe's profile


11771 posts in 3325 days

#3 posted 02-18-2011 05:33 PM
look what I just found for you!

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5148 posts in 4197 days

#4 posted 02-18-2011 06:02 PM

General McArthur used a cob pipe. Founding fathers used clay. I would think that any burl wood would work. That’s what the briar is. Root burl.


View Pop's profile


429 posts in 4182 days

#5 posted 02-18-2011 07:49 PM

I’ve owned them made of walnut & various other woods as well as meerschaum. It has to do with the materials ability to absorb charred tobacco residue to form what is called “cake” in order to “break-in” the pipe. This requires that what ever material is used it has to be somewhat porous.

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

View snowdog's profile


1166 posts in 4219 days

#6 posted 02-18-2011 08:24 PM


How to:

Mafe, that is a great website. Thanks

1. Maple (Acer) – Maple has been used for many years here in the States and I have used both Sugar and Red Maples. Some of these get pretty hard for my hand tools but still makes a nice pipe.
2. Cherry (Prunus) – Well everyone is familiar with Cherrywood pipes, so I will just say that Cherry allows one to carve some great figurals.
3. Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) – Other than briar, this is the wood I like to work with for its workability and excellent finishes one can achieve. Black Walnut does have rather large pores that allows tobacco juices to reach the exterior fairly rapid.
4. Oak (Quercus) – Most American oaks are what I call brittle, they split to easily when making a cut and like Black Walnut, but only more so, it has large pores. Thus I am not to crazy about it for pipes.
5. Olive (Olea) – Great wood for pipes. Back in the early seventies, I decided to go into the pipe making business and looked around for an unusual wood to catch peoples interest until I could build up a stock of my briars. I thought of Olive wood and checked many tobacconists but none who I was familiar with had never heard of Olive wood pipes. Yes this could be it so I wrote several countries for suppliers of Olive wood, Greece, Israel, etc and never received an answer. Two years later all of the tobacconists, whom I had check with before, were carrying Olive wood pipes from both Greece and Israel. Oh well, At least I gave them some ideas.
6. Rosewood (Dalbergia) – I think this is a good wood for pipes.
7. Manzanita (Arctostaphylia manzanita) – Here in the States this wood was used during the Second World War. I have ordered this wood from two different suppliers and as of yet I have not received one that did not have many drying cracks, certainly not a piece large enough for a pipe.
8. Hickory (Carya) – It is okay but I do not like to use it.
9. Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) – Since their leaves are poisonous, I am leery of making pipes from this one though it like Manzanita was used quite a bit for pipes during the war years.
10. Mahogany (Swietenia mahogani) – Mahogany is a rapid growing tree and as such sucks up many gallons of water a day along with a quantity of silica particles, so though I have made pipes from Mahogany I am leery of it as well, you know silicosis. Of course if you do not inhale—-!
I have never used bog oak simply because I have never tried obtaining any. I do like Trevors Morta (bog oak) pipes.
Well how about it pipe makers, what are some of the woods you use?

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

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Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4219 days

#7 posted 04-28-2012 12:20 AM

soapstone works great

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Gaston's profile


2 posts in 2451 days

#8 posted 05-03-2012 03:57 AM

Pretty much any hardwood will do. Some you may have to do some research on to make sure they arent irritants or poisonous. But everything from briar to oak to…well even petrified wood will work.

-- Cypress Smoke

View PersimmonHill's profile


8 posts in 1416 days

#9 posted 04-11-2015 04:34 PM

Has anyone used Persimmion wood? I have more than 30 Persimmon trees around my yard. and have considered making a pipe from it.

-- "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it" Henry David Thoreau

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2740 days

#10 posted 04-11-2015 04:53 PM

Smoking causes cancer. Why do you want to smoke?

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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