Gary’s Wares: The Basics of Pipe Making

Hello, Internet User! My name is Gary of
"Gary's Wares" & I make wooden pipes out of exotic hardwoods & today I'm going to be going over the basics of pipe making. Some of you people on YouTube are not
doing the right thing. Like, some of you people are not just making bad pipes,
you're making pipes that are, like, toxic and, like, that have glue in the bowl.

don't do that. You don't do that. There's things you do, things you don't do. I'm going to be going over that. The physics of pipes and that sort of thing aaaaaaand here we go. This is a pipe. Well, this is a picture of a pipe. As you can see and here's the bowl here's
material the flame and the the air passage. The way that it works quite
obviously is you inhale, that draws the flame into the material, the material combusts, then you inhale the smoke. This is a Chilum and you'll see that you see the
only difference is there's a bend in a pipe and there's not one in the Chillum.
That's the only difference. Now, when you make your bowl you want the hole to be
concave or convex depending on how you look at it. And to do that, you're going
to need to drill with a Core Box Bit and you don't want to use, like,
a Forstner bit because that stuff gets caught this side this is not the way
that you want to do a pipe it's wasteful prove it
I have put together this I made a series of half inch holes one with a regular
bit one with a brad point bit low to the Forstner bit one of the spade bit and
one with the core box but I'm gonna load each of these holes up with tobacco and
run it through my shop vac and see what I come up with ah here are the holes and you can see that
a lot of material was left behind by the first three which were regular bit Brad
point bit and a Forstner bit that's because they each have a ledge the spade
bit didn't have much left behind but it's not a very good design for a pipe
for a number of reasons and I think a lot of the reason that there's not much
left is because I had a shot back attached to it here's the core box bit
and there's nothing left but ash it all fell out on the table so this is the
best choice clearly the type of wood that you use is
very important because some woods have chemicals in them that when heated get
released like zebrawood one time I tried to make a pipe out of zebra wood that
was a mistake one time I tried to make a out of orange agate that was a bigger
mistake so there's some ones that you can use the sub was that you can't
tobacco pipes the most popular wood to use is briar but the thing with Breyer
is that briar blanks cost about 20 bucks of blank so I use point B D org which
isn't necessarily an authority on the subject but these guys clearly know more
and have thought about pipe making more than I have um they put together an
alternative list for woods as opposed to using Pryor since it's so expensive
um this is a pretty good list there's a lot of good domestic choices maple
cherry walnut oak you know things like that things that you could find pretty
easily but by far the most popular choice is cherry cherry is very good
it's got a lot of good qualities it's not as good as briar but it's not nearly
as expensive here are some ebony pipes that I made
this one's an unfinished pipe this one's a Chilam with some hemp wick wrapped
around it so you can use different stuff and it won't make you sick like zebra
wood or orange agate wood this is a briar pipe that I bought and briar is
very good but you can abuse it I smoked too much too fast and it got too hot and
it burned out which is a which is one of the concerns when picking your wood you
don't want to pick up what that's going to burn out or make you sick
well first make you second you don't want this going to burn out
very quickly and so even with briar it could burn out if you abuse it this pipe
is mine I've been using it for about six months and it started off looking about
like this but over time over about six months of daily use it's kind of
corroded on the inside and it's not much of a bowl and if it wasn't for a screen
it wouldn't be working at all so I'm going to have to replace it eventually
but choosing your wood is very important next I'm going to show you how to make a
pill bottle pipe out of some cherry and final products going to look like this
and you want to start off with a blank that is 2 or 1 by 1 by 2 and so I
started off with a blank that was 2 by 2 by 6 and cut it down to size from there
now the problem with with wieck's is that they're not they don't come square
necessarily and if you think they're square you better check because they
probably aren't this one it was way off as you can see and so as such the blanks
are going to have to be shaped before I could drop them and start work on them
and this is going to come in handy later you absolutely have to square them I
pick the outside edge and I'm going to count that as straight and I'm going to
use that to square this side and I'm going to use the same edge to square the
other side as opposed to using this side square could be a real pain sometimes
anyway so I'm going to square these two come back the bikes have been squared
and I have marked them and what I did is I measured each side and I drew halfway
point and connected that then I took my stencil and I marked a inch and I use
the lines to find to mark the center now what I'm going to do is I'm going to
drill a hole right where they intersect with my Brad point bit and that's going
to be the pilot hole for the bowl the bottles have been drilled at this
point the bowl location is pretty well locked in so if you didn't nail you're
gonna have to go back and start over next I'm going to drill the bowl with
this bit and this is its eye tech technically it's not a core box bit
because this is the core box bit core box but just makes a concave hole but it
doesn't have a thing on the bottom this has the thing on the bottom and I don't
know what to call this thing but this thing is very handy for beginning
pipemakers because it gives you a start on the air passage and it gives you
something to shoot for it's pretty wide as far as echoes and that will certainly
help you out later that weren't there it would be a little trickier but I'll get
into doing that later next I'm going to drill the bowl the ball has been drilled now it's time
to drill the air passage and this is where you're squaring really matters
because the drill press the drill bit just comes straight down at a 90 degree
angle so if your blank is a bit off one way or the other it's still going to go
straight down and you're going to end up missing it even if it's all just a
little that's going to make a difference so the way that I determine the depth is
I take it all and I stick it into the ball as deep as it'll go just like that
without you know actually making a new hole and then I use my figures and
determine the depth like that now this seems like a crude method of doing this
but I've yet to miss doing it this way knock on wood so you're going to want to
start with a brad point bit but you're going to want to finish with a regular
bit because a regular bit has a more forgiving tip it's not as sort of
destructive and you're going to want that when you get down to here because
it well you have to drill to a very specific depth that if you go much
farther than that you can screw the pipe up so here we go ear passages have been drilled ad as you
can hear it's clear so this point it is a pipe but it's not very pretty look so
next comes a bit more drafting what I did is I drew a circle around the air
passage hole and I drew a line marking the edge of that stem and also what I
did is I put a mark marking the edge of the bowl and on this side I drew a line
connecting these two and this is going to be cut off with my scroll saw after
that I'm going to take my oscillating spindle sander to it and I will go shave
it here are the pipes at various stages of
shaping first thing you want to do is cut the excess off like we were talking
about then you want to shape it down and get the get a nice curve going on the
top then draw lines that will show you how thick the stem is then you cut this
excess away and you're left with this from there you shape around the lines
try to get as close as you can you'll get something like this then you go to
the the circle de jure around the air passage and shape that and that will
give you a basic diameter for the stem and you can continue on shaping it
properly like that and at at this point and you want to kind of make it look a
little better and make it look a bit more like a pipe now the thing that
makes these pill bottle pipes is that they can fit inside of pill bottles this
is a little snug but we still got some sanding to go and that's okay because
you can always take more away but you can't add more so this is basically how
you do it and now it needs is final sanding and submission this particular
pipe is ready to go I still have these two left to shape and now we're
something slightly different next I'm going to show you how to make one of
these what I call a minicar pipe before I do let me go quickly over the physics
of carb pipes now this is my my pipe which is a chambered pipe and I've had
it for a while like I said before and the way that it is internally is
like this and you'll see that with with all chambered pipes they have basically
the same three components you have a bowl a chamber and a stem and of course
an air passage leading between all of these this is how all carburetor part
pipes work here's my glass pipe and you can see that all of the components are
basically there you've got the bowl right here you've got the chamber which
is the whole hollow part of the inside of the pipe and you've got the stem
which is part of the chamber which is a really elegant sort of solution to how
to do this sort of design and the carb which I haven't mentioned yet now the
way that the carb works is what happens is sort of stage one is you put your
finger over the carb and that means that all air flow comes through the bowl and
what happens is when you inhale the chamber fills up with smoke and it kind
of cools it and collects it and Stage two is sort of you taking your finger
off the carb and then that all that smoke comes at once through the stem
what I'm making is one of these and I like I said I call it a mini carb pipe
and it's going to be about three inches long so it's gonna be about an inch
longer than the pipe we made before and this internally is how it works you know
you've got the bowl here and you've got the chamber here and the stem over here
the carb will be drilled later it's not very it doesn't matter that much where
it goes just so long as it goes towards this side of it so that it clears it it
effectively clears it better so go so the first step is milling in square now
before when I was talking about wood selection I was specifically talking
about the bowl that you use stem can be anything tobacco pipes use like some
kind of acrylic rubber stuff it doesn't really matter about the stem what
matters is where all the heat happens and so therefore the bulb matters and
that matter a whole lot with our last pipe because it's all one piece
like so the stem is going for this one it's going to be made of black and white
evany so after you mill it and square it and I've gone over how important all
that is drafting a draw an inch wide circle on the bowl and then then draw an
inch wide circle on this and then a 3/4 hole for the Forster bit which we're
going to drill later and an inch wide is circle on the other side and off we go
the bow holes have been drilled as I showed you before without a make the
pill bottle pipe you start with the pilot hole and then you drill with that
bit and then you drill the air passage like that next comes the UM chamber now
as shown here I'm going to drill down to one 3/8 inch with a Forstner bit and
that's going to give me a big wide chamber in here and so that is the next
step the chamber hole has been drilled and this is where drafting carefully
really pays off when you bring your Forster bit down just bring it down just
a little bit just to make sure that you're lining up with the line that you
already drew if you're not repositioned your piece and directly because if you
don't you could drill through the side that's no fun
I've also drilled the air passage hole next I'm going to shape the stem slash
chamber and I'm going to do it on my oscillating spindle sander and I would
do it using this bit of what do you call one of these things we hang up clothes
our clothes hanger there you go at what you do what I'm going to do is I'm going
to put this up to like the sanding belt and it's going to be able I'm going to
shape according to that circle and that circle and it's going to come out round here's the chamber after it's been
shaped and now it's ready to be glued now if you're going to make a pipe that
is going to use glue in some way you want to make sure that it is as far away
from where the heat takes place as possibly as you can get it would act
reacts in a very predictable way when exposed to heat glue on the other hand
may not who knows what sort of toxic nonsense it would release and you don't
want to be smoking that so you want to keep wood well away from the bowl I you
know and I saw a YouTube video of this guy who wanted to make a pipe by cutting
it right in half and then gluing it back together don't do that keep glue away
from from the heat as far as possible this is good enough that that works just
fine so I'm going to glue this part on and clamp it and come back what it's
done the glue is dried and now it's ready to be shaped and now what I'm
going to do is I'm going to shape this corner in this corner on the edging
attachment of the oscillating spindle sander but I'm going to use the actual
spent oscillating spindle sander to shape the mouthpiece and this line is
3/8 of an inch and the inside this should come to I don't know somewhere in
here there something like that I don't know but this is plenty of room it won't
cut into the the chamber and mess up the fight because I would mess it up and
there would be no good um yeah so I'm going to go shape that here's something fun um the sharp-eyed
out there might notice the problem right away
I made the mouthpiece on the wrong side the mouthpiece is meant to go like this
so this is actually something I can recover from pretty easily I'm going to
take it back the oscillating sander it's sort of round this up man this is what
happens when you don't pay attention it may come out even looking cooler but you
don't do that could have been worse so I'm gonna go take care of that Edie
Quebec alright now that I've somewhat recovered
from that and it's not too bad and it kind of looks cool with the the grain
and everything so that didn't turn out to be too bad I've got some lines to
help me shape it and this is a 3/4 inch line or around a circle around the bowl
that's going to help me shape it and next I'm going to go to work on it with
a rotary tool so I've shaped the pipe with the rotary
tool and I've taken them all the way to fine grit and now I'm going to take put
some actual actually sand it by hand I've drilled the the carb up here and
and that's about the right place you want to do it and so now I'll come back
with it's edited finished and Aran is finished sanded and ready to go you see
it's about an inch longer than the pipe that we made before now one of the
things about these two pipes is that these projects are specific to this bit
or this bit is specific to this project depending on where you won't look at it
now this is a part of the dremel 692 six piece router set and I highly recommend
picking that up considering the price and apparently the core box bit is part
617 so that is that you definitely need to make these with and the thing about
this bit that makes some that makes it so much easier is this little part right
here now this is meant to go on the edge of something and not meant to cut
anything at all and it's meant to be like a sort of a buffer between
and what you want to cut what you don't want to cut but when you're making a
pipe almost fun on the hole when you're making a pipe this little part right
here is very handy for drilling the air passage and hitting it and nailing it
when you're making a tobacco pipe that's somewhat more difficult which is what
I'm going to show you next and it's the last thing the both tobacco pipe is much
a much wider and is capable holding a lot more than the other pipes that I
made and so it you should be able to get to you should be able to get your finger
in there I use a 5/8 inch cord box but to do it this I think is about 7/8 or
maybe about an inch I think it's a bit less than an inch so it's probably not
7/8 and the reason for this is tobacco pipes work a bit differently than other
pipes because they what happens in its backhoe pipe is that the tobacco
smoulders and so it smolders it basically it's like a little hot coal
that the tobacco bowl has to handle and so it's constant heat and that's why
briar is such a good choice cherry is also a good choice but the so that's why
bowl the thickness of your bowl wall matters with my pipe I should have this
this is on my on the real pipe it's like just less than an inch and I should have
made the ball about an inch in it and a half maybe an inch in a corner too
considering how much I use it and considering how much heat it has to take
because when you subject it to large amounts of heat this part right in here
takes a lot of abuse and it sort of becomes a funnel which is not exactly
the best it's not exactly the best so you want to start off with a thick Bowl
wall so here we go so I've this piece of cherry with us
really gnarly knot in it I've been wanting to make a bowl out of it forever
and this video is a good reason to do it so I'm going to just drill the bowl and
I'm not going to make the entire pipe because I don't know exact
what I want to do with this but it will be a tobacco type bowl the bowl I think
is about an inch and a half and the the bowl the bowl thickness the total
diameter the bowl is about an inch and a half and the bowl interior is five
eighths of an inch which is the size of my core box but and I'm going to drill
down about a inch and a quarter and this is the real trick this is where squaring
really matters because if you're off just a little bit then this connection
isn't made and then you have a piece of scrap wood and I hope I don't make us
grease and scrap wood out of this because this is a really cool piece of
wood so I paid extra careful attention to the squaring and what I found out was
this edge was not exactly square but that's okay because this is square this
is square the bottom square when it's drilled it's going to be like this and
so this little bit of error is it going to matter that much
because it's going to be square on the bottom and square on the sides and it's
going to work that way so next up is the next thing the next thing you want to do
is drill a starter hole for the bowl using a Forstner bit the reason you do
this is because phenomenon known as walking where you'll take a bit like
core box bit that doesn't have a brad point tip on it and you'll drill into
the wood and it will sort of go wherever at once you want to avoid that
especially when drilling the bowl now if I haven't mentioned it before you always
want to align your bowl with the end grain of the wood that's very important
because the in grain is tough stuff and you want your bowl to be tough should've
mentioned that earlier but I didn't so first thing you do is you drill a
starter hole and it doesn't matter got a quarter of an inch whatever then you
drill the bowl when you're drilling the bowl you want to position the wood as
carefully as you can the first thing you want to do is get your wood so that it's
just light up so it's just above the level of the of the bowl that you
if you have a laser sight on your laser sight you've got lasers on your drill
press this would be helpful to to line the point up with the very center point
of the of the Forstner bit but if you don't have that that's alright what you
want to do is you want to take the bit and take it down and rotate the bit and
make sure that it doesn't touch any of the sides and make sure it's as centered
as you can like that and after that then you're clear to drill the bowl the bowl
has been drilled now if you notice there's a little ledge right toward the
top that's where the Forstner bit stopped and the core box bit started
that can be taken away with a loop with some very careful sanding you don't want
to mess with the inside of the bowl too much though and you see down toward the
bottom there's some like scoring a bit of charring that happened because the
core box bit got a whole bunch of sawdust caught in the middle of it and
it it started like scorching the inside of it you want to avoid doing that if at
all possible other pipe makers make their bowls with specialized Spade bits
that have been grounded very specific like angle up I don't have that and you
can't really buy one of those and so this is the best option when you use a
core box but you want to make sure that you go slowly and you clear away as much
sawdust as you can otherwise it'll get compacted in there and things will start
to burn and that's no good the next step is drilling the air passage and you're
really going to have to count on your drafting so make sure that it's good you
want to start off with a brad point bit but you definitely want to finish with a
regular bit because the regular bit is going to go into the inside of the bowl
and if it's too if it's a brad point bit it's going to take away too much and
it's not going to work with the aerodynamics of the pipe that's going to
make it not work is good so start with a brad point bit end with a regular bit
here it is happening the air passage has been drilled and as you can see the way
it works this actually was a very near miss the air passage came in just under
the bowl and it was just close enough to where I could poke my all through there
and it came out just they came actually a lot better than I
could have managed it so so that works so yeah that is how you do it at this
point the bowl can be shaped into whatever pipe you want to make it into
I'm not totally sure what I want to do with this this bowl just yet so I'm
going to wait no love on that but I hope this video has been helpful and showing
you how to make pipes and give you the basics and well my name is Gary a please
subscribe to my channel please if you like my stuff check me out on Facebook
my name is Gary and I'm out

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