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Thread: wood grain... which way

  1. #11
    PSU Member BillyPM's Avatar
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    I don't think there is any "should" about it. Crosscut pipes, most often with the bird's-eye end grain on the sides of the bowl and stripes of straight grain along the front and back, have devoted fans. As do straightgrain pipes, with stripes of grain going up and down around the bowl and bird's eye on the rim and bottom. I own and admire both. But most of my pipes are somewhere in between, with asymmetric patterns on each side of the bowl or with angled grain or less than organized flame grain here and there.

    I've not found any measurable difference in smoking qualities no matter the grain orientation (although I reckon some hereabouts will have opinions about that), so the easy answer to your question is: Figure out a pleasing or creative plan for your particular piece of briar and then have at it. You'll likely change your plan a few times as the wood surprises you, but that's part of the fun. It's what makes pipe carving as much an art as a craft.

    Don't forget to show us what you come up with!
    Billy
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    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

  2. #12
    PSU Member RP McMurphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyPM View Post
    I don't think there is any "should" about it. Crosscut pipes, most often with the bird's-eye end grain on the sides of the bowl and stripes of straight grain along the front and back, have devoted fans. As do straightgrain pipes, with stripes of grain going up and down around the bowl and bird's eye on the rim and bottom. I own and admire both. But most of my pipes are somewhere in between, with asymmetric patterns on each side of the bowl or with angled grain or less than organized flame grain here and there.

    I've not found any measurable difference in smoking qualities no matter the grain orientation (although I reckon some hereabouts will have opinions about that), so the easy answer to your question is: Figure out a pleasing or creative plan for your particular piece of briar and then have at it. You'll likely change your plan a few times as the wood surprises you, but that's part of the fun. It's what makes pipe carving as much an art as a craft.

    Don't forget to show us what you come up with!
    Couldn't have said it better Billy!
    "JUST HONEST HANDMADE SMOKING PIPES"

    http://rdpipes.briar.club/

  3. #13
    PSU Member craigmillar's Avatar
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    Good thread Nicky and 2 more Beauts Ron, Is the Danish for sale Ron?

  4. #14
    PSU Member RP McMurphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigmillar View Post
    Good thread Nicky and 2 more Beauts Ron, Is the Danish for sale Ron?
    Sorry Joe, it sold back in June.
    I've made three twisted pipes so far and I'm afraid it's going to be awhile before I make another, they're really a whole lot of work.
    But, with the endless pipe shapes available I'm sure I'll hit on something sooner or later that catches your fancy again sir.
    "JUST HONEST HANDMADE SMOKING PIPES"

    http://rdpipes.briar.club/

  5. #15
    PSU Member RP McMurphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicky1 View Post
    Thank you for the reply and photos. Those pipes are amazing !!!
    Nicky
    This is the 2nd time this week I've missed someone's reply, please forgive me I wasn't ignoring you, just missed it somehow.
    Your very welcome sir, I hope it helped answer your question, although I think Billy did a much better job of it.
    "JUST HONEST HANDMADE SMOKING PIPES"

    http://rdpipes.briar.club/

  6. #16


    3 members Liked or found this post helpful.

    Keep in mind that the rarest pipes are a true straight grain on bowls that don't naturally follow or as we say "chase the grain". It's much easier to get a "straight" grain on a dublin or V shaped pipe than on a billiard.

  7. #17
    PSU Member Slowroll's Avatar
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    Thought I'd add my observations here to give some comfort (or exasperation ) to others with the same questions as brought out here. While I haven't made 100's of pipes yet, it's been my experience that with the blocks we can buy, one doesn't have a lot of choice how the grain orientation ends up, unless one is I'd making a really small pipe. I find that typically I can only lay out a pipe in one direction, maybe 180 degrees around, but not even that always. So, the grain you get is whatever is there.

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