• Jim's Pipe

    I had been planning on doing a pipe for Jim (Jimbo) for a while now, what with one thing and another finances have not been favourable. I would have been able to rally a few quid together just now and decided now was the time to look into getting a pipe done for Jim before the boat sailed kind of thing.

    I looked into buying a pre-drilled kit in the UK and let me tell you the choices are none to why bother, things were not looking good. I wondered if it would have been too cheeky to ask Chris (Askwith Pipes) if he could make me a pre-drilled pipe kit with a stem for 30. I knew I was pushing my luck as Chris is a professional and asking him something like this just seemed like as cheeky as I could get, but I was in dire straights so I took the plunge, after all, the worst thing he would say would be no, so I PM'd Chris with my request.

    I explained to Chris how I wanted to make a gift pipe for Jim as a sort of 'cheer him up' present as he'd been through the wringer of late and I wanted to do something nice for him. Chris got back to me very quickly and would you believe his response, just you check this out. Chris said of course he would do me a pre-drilled kit with a stem and that 30 was more than enough as he would do it as a kindness due to the reason for my asking for the kit, very decent of him I feel.

    We had several interactions via PM regarding the block and stem, Chris has been fantastic, he not only selected a superb block for the kit, he fitted a gorgeous Amber coloured Lucite stem and he even pre-cut the basic shape for me to help me in my endeavour. The pipe kit arrived this morning and I have been working away at it like a mule all day, I have already spent over 8 hours on this pipe so far, it's a little ways off so far but it is nearly there, have a butchers at some piccies showing the kit as it arrived and some stages in the process....

    This is how the pipe kit arrived.

    Here I have cut away the excess briar for the shank.

    Here I have cut away the excess for the bowl.

    The following are 3 stages of filing, this was the longest stretch of work, about 5 hours all together and the changes are so small they're actually hardly noticeable.

    This is the initial phase of finishing off the shaping and the pre-cursor fine sanding.

    The fine sanding is now finished.

    I need to look over the pipe in better full daylight on the morrow before the first stage of dying gets under way.

    I have finished the final shaping, fine sanding and dying of the pipe.

    This is the pipe after the final shaping and fine sanding

    This is the pipe with the dye having just been applied (this is to really draw out the grain)

    This is the pipe with the dye fine sanded from the pipe leaving a really heavily accentuated grain.

    Further dye will be removed with tripoli on the buffing wheels, this is yet to be done.

    The first round of buffing with Tripoli revealed a horde of nasty little scratches all over the place on the Briar which weren't evident prior to buffing, so it was back to 400 grit sanding and through the fine sanding process again. An hour of fine sanding later and I was ready to go with no more nasty little scratches any more, don't you just love it when life gives ya a slap in the face like that, anyhoooo......

    This is the pipe after it has been buffed using Tripoli and then Diamond White in readiness for waxing.

    Now the pipe is waxed and ready to go.

    Jim is now enjoying his pipe, may the best of all things good be with you my friend.