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1. The Calabash Project
703TM -NFS
704TM: -NFS
706TM - NFS
708 -NFS
C 07270
C 14262
C 54611
C 63230
Folding your Pocketmod
Other News
Pipe 10: NOV06 -SOLD-
Pipe 11: DEC06 -NFS
Pipe 12: DEC06
Pipe 4: OCT06 -SOLD-
Pipe 5: NOV06 -SOLD-
Pipe 6: NOV06 -NFS
Pipe 7: NOV06 -SOLD-
Pipe 8: NOV06 -NFS
Pipe 9: NOV06 -SOLD-
Buy TM Pipes etc.
TM Pipes, The Shop
Thos. Martin
Shaping The Stummels
Wednesday, 15 November 2006
Cindy Crawford
Topic: Pipe 5: NOV06 -SOLD-

So, I spent time fitting a new stem to the pipe, then shaping the shank to match the stem. So far the sand pit/blemish has not gone away and I started to think... Cindy Crawford has a "blemish" on her face but she's smokin'.  I wouldn't throw her out of bed, and likewise I won't throw the pipe in the wastebasket either. That's just crazy!

Posted by thos.martin at 7:01 PM EST
Tuesday, 14 November 2006
Topic: Pipe 5: NOV06 -SOLD-

Here you see Pipe 5 taken shape after the coping saw. The top will be round, and then there is a hip where it squares off a bit. see prior castle pics posted.

The shank will be sanded and the bowl will be rusticated per the method peculiar to me. I need to work a new stem as this one's tenonn is too small in diameter for the mortise.

The shank does have a sand pit which may or may not go away during further sanding and shaping. May not. There remains a lot of wood giving it a bulky appearance. This is needed to accomodate rustication. Also note no post yesterday as I take Monday nights off!

Posted by thos.martin at 7:28 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006 8:36 PM EST
Sunday, 12 November 2006
Now for the Fun Part . . .
Now Playing: Shop Pipe // Rum tobacco
Topic: Pipe 5: NOV06 -SOLD-

...I'm still loving the shop pipe (Pipe 3) but the rum tobacco is so wet I added coke and a couple ice cubes, removed the stem, inserted straw and enjoyed it that way...

(left) To drill the holes, I make sure I have some straight edges to work off of trying to keep the smoke hole at a right angle to the tobacco hole (unless a little tilt is part of the design as in this pipe.) Since I drill by hand I need to keep the hand drill level (the drill has a level built in.) I keep the bits parrallel with the attached square, and I make sure the Briar is level in the vise.

(right) The bits are shown in oreder used. The long bit is for the smokehole. The paddle bits are are for the tobacco hole. They increase from size from left to right; 5/8" - 1". The last three are round at the bottom. Lastly is the bit for the mortise; where the pipe accepts the stem's tenon. That bit is a PIMO tool which squares the shank as well as drilling the hole.

Once the stem is fit to the stummel, I need to countersink the mortise too, a crucial step for a snug fit. I also use a special PIMO bit for this to be pictured later.

I am looking forward to shaping the Stummel,




Posted by thos.martin at 1:16 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 12 November 2006 7:52 PM EST
Saturday, 11 November 2006
Roughin' It
Topic: Pipe 5: NOV06 -SOLD-

Here's your pipe and my dog. She HATES the workshop. 


Posted by thos.martin at 8:02 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 12 November 2006 1:04 PM EST
Thursday, 9 November 2006
Pyrography on Gourd (not calabash)
Topic: Pipe 6: NOV06 -NFS

I mentioned the influence of my pyrographic experience on Pipe 6: Here is an example of my previous work:

Its called "Find the River," and is in a private collection. The gourd is filled with Barley.

Posted by thos.martin at 9:06 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006 7:42 AM EST
Pipe Five Materials Have Arrived
Topic: Pipe 5: NOV06 -SOLD-

Your briar has arrived. I have sketched out the rough cuts but I have also erased the markings. I need to sleep on it. But.. The stem has begun to take life; the tenon is cut! I am going to re-mark it tommorow. I feared taken away too much briar.

Meanwhile have a look at a couple of Native Flutes I carved before taking up pipes:

Posted by thos.martin at 9:05 PM EST
Tuesday, 7 November 2006
Shelock Holmes Pipe Club
Now Playing: Ardor Fantasy// miscellaney
Topic: Other News

Posted by thos.martin at 1:33 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 3 December 2006 8:06 PM EST
Monday, 6 November 2006
Prelude to Pipe 5
Now Playing: cb laxely-isle of man//black and tan
Topic: Pipe 5: NOV06 -SOLD-

today's pipe is an interesting dublin from CB Laxey, Isle of man. They used to make Meers but switch over to Briar when they had difficulty getting supplies. The shift was ill-fated and the company closed its doors in '02. What makes the pipe interesting is that the tobacco chamber is conical. I wonder if this is why its "whistled" or if I just could' pack it right.

The tobacco is a Black and Tan mix with the bottom of the bowl, that part which I wouldn't smkoe: Borkum Riff. The BR will be cellared anyway so I figured what the heck wince I didn't have enough B&T to fill a bowl.

About Your Pipe

I have it all up in my head and some of it scetched out. I'll sketch more later while I wait for Briar. I only hope the briar reconiles with the idea. . . .

Posted by thos.martin at 5:46 PM EST
Sunday, 5 November 2006
Pipe 5: The inspiration
Topic: Pipe 5: NOV06 -SOLD-

The famous White Cliffs of Dover stand guard at the Gateway to England where millions pass each year on their journey to or from the continent. In some places over 300 feet high, the White Cliffs are a symbol of the nation's strength against enemies and a reassuring sight to returning travellers, they have been immortalised in song, in literature and in art.

The history of Britain is intricately linked with the White Cliffs from the Roman invasion to the assault made by Germany in both World Wars. The first recorded description of Dover describes the scene that Julius Caesar saw in 55 BC when, with two legions of soldiers, he arrived off Dover looking for a suitable landing place and ' saw the enemy's forces, armed, in position on all the hills there. At that point steep cliffs came down close to the sea in such a way that it is possible to hurl weapons from them right down to the shore. It seemed to me that the place was altogether unsuitable for landing.' (Caesar's Commentaries, Book IV.)

But they did land just along the coast in Deal and a year later a full scale invasion followed. As an aid to navigation for the Roman ships, two lighthouses(Pharos) were built on top of the cliffs. One is on the east cliff and stands adjacent to the church of St. Mary, in Dover Castle and is today in an excellent state of preservation. A second Pharos was built on the Western Heights, its remains were called in the 17th century the Bredenstone and by some, the Devil's Drop of Mortar. During excavation work for further fortifications of the site in 1861 the foundations of the tower were discovered and left exposed in the wall of the Officers' Quarters.

The east cliff with its commanding view over the channel is a position of natural strength and has been the site of fortification since the Iron Age. The Castle dates back to the 11th century but additions and alterations have been made up to and including the twentieth century. Looking up at the cliffs from Townwall Street, on the approach to the Eastern Docks, you can see signs of massive tunnelling works at various levels in the cliff below the Castle. The upper level of excavation took place in Napoleonic times to provide cannon ports and were used during World War I as an hospital. In World War II this level was used to billet troops during the excavation of Dunkirk. The lower levels housed the operations room for Channel Command during the Battle of Britain and the rooms that Winston Churchill used as his personal war-time headquarters.

It was at Churchill's insistence that superior artillery positions were maintained along the White Cliffs, leading perhaps inevitably, to the first gun installed being called ' Winnie' . There were gun batteries along the cliffs at St. Margaret's Bay, Langdon Bay, St. Martin's Battery and the Citadel (the Western Heights) and at Capel near Folkestone. The counterbombardment and anti-aircraft gun fire was directed from a control room in the cliff complex.

On the west cliff, known as the Western heights, are two Napoleonic forts linked by miles of ditches. Construction of these began in 1804 and was not completed until the 1860s. The Drop Redoubt, the smaller detached fort, housed a team of Commandos in World War II. Their task would have been to sabotage the port in the event of Dover falling to German forces.

It was after the was that Castello (Castle) Pipes was born. It was 1947 and Carlo Scotti created the Castello pipe in a little artisan workshop in the village of Cantu, Italy which overlookled a castle. Certainly I do not share the same inspiration as my workshop overlooks but a fence. My inspiration comes actually from my dislike of Pipe 2 believing it looks too anotomical. My idea was to make it more architectural. As it has a tall bowl, I had the idea to make it look like a castle.

I looked at all my chess sets for inspiration and found no rook suitable. So, I searched the net and stumble upon what will most influence Pipe 5. the briar and stem materials are on order as of this morning, and i am currently "chomping at the bit," excited to make this dream a reality. . .

Posted by thos.martin at 1:20 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006 7:15 PM EST
Saturday, 4 November 2006
King of My Castle
Topic: Pipe 6: NOV06 -NFS

Don't ask how Pipe 6 is finished before Pipe 5. You don't have too.

Pipe six is mine; it is a prototype of my proposed castle pipe 5.

 I am not blogging much about it save to tell you that the rustication is my process and is supposed to give a blockish texture as this is the tower of a castle. The crosses in Medieval times were actually cutouts in the castles curtain and were used  to shoot arrows through. The rustication process is, as far as I know, unique to me. More specifically the finish is not a stain but in fact pyrography. Well pyrography is too good a word. It is burnt briar and Carnuba wax. I call the overall finsish Castlerock, not to be confused with the tobacco. Thanks for checking out Pipe 6.



Posted by thos.martin at 9:15 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006 7:11 PM EST
Friday, 3 November 2006
Pipe 4 SOLD, Greenwood , South Carolina
Now Playing: Medico apollo ~ Borkum Riff
Topic: Pipe 4: OCT06 -SOLD-

I finished. The final "tweak" was countersinking the Mortise to accept the tenon on the stem ll the way such that it's a closer tighter fit. Had the tool from PIMO. Now I know what its for.

 Thanks for reading about the process of Pipe 4. Here are more pics:

Posted by thos.martin at 1:41 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006 7:10 PM EST
Thursday, 2 November 2006
Finished Finishing
Now Playing: unknown
Topic: Pipe 4: OCT06 -SOLD-

Today, after three days of finsihing, I finsihed. At lest i think I finished. Its rustic. lets leave it at that. The draw is awesome though. I need to sleep on it before I say its done and put it up for auction starting at $19.99. Basically, I'm selling it for less than the cost of materials. Its a pipe... Its one of a kind... Its odd in that from some angles it looks really nice but from others, not so much. From the top down, and If you were smoking it, are the worst two angles. So for the pipe smoking SPECTATOR, it looks great!

If you are considering buying this pipe, remember it is about enabling me to make another, and in one year, I'll give you a $19.99 trade in value and first refusal of a pipe made net year... think about it. I'd appreciate it. I'm exausted. I'll post a picture tommorow. I need to reference the PIMO Guide tonight.


Posted by thos.martin at 7:24 PM EST
Wednesday, 1 November 2006
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Now Playing: Sm "Pocket Pipe" // Unkown Tobacco
Topic: Pipe 4: OCT06 -SOLD-

Today,I pcked up some new buffing wheels for your pipe at True Value. So... I go down to the basement and check 'em out with some whit matchless buffing compound... prematurely no doubt, but It did bring out the grain a bit better and I noticed:

  1. The grain fits perfectly the pipes design, or vice-a-versa to be eact. Sunburst radial type grains on either side, with completely straight grain on the far side of the bow, opposite the the stem side.
  2. More cut marks than acceptable... as if any are acceptable. they gotta go!
  3. The shank is a bit oval/oblongish as previously suggested by the expert.
  4. The top of the shank, is efectively end-grain. Not a problem per se' but unfortuneate. "Nature of the Beast" I'm told.

I decided to fix these issues and ended up taking two steps back in the process; not the proverbial "square one." but defineately square two. By doing so I learned, a few good tricks of the trade. One an invention of my son who is in middle school. He showed some invetive thinking or what once they would have called Yankee Ingenuity. He saw me working furiously the steel wool so I told him its literally steel and is like wool in that its sort of a fabric. As I was telling him, I was bemoaning the mess it made: all the little pieces that break off. He noted that they could be picked up with a magnet. I noted that those little steel wool pieces could be re-used, impregnated back into the steel wool pad once magnitixed. It works a little like sandpaper in that as it wears, it becomes finer... hmmmm

The other thing he showed me in an unrelated project- his project- is how to start a nail hole by nipping the nailhead off a nail, putting it in a hand drill and "drilling a starter hole with it. All the while I quized him in plate tectonics for a quiz he's having tomorrow.

 Also invented this week was what we dubbed "thumb armor!" Basically it's duct tape wrapped around my thumb that serves protects my tumb from getting cut as I draw the knife toward my thumb, and secondly it protects my thub from little teel wool slivers that stick into my thumb. Not comfortable.

Thanks for your patience.

Thanks for reading,



Posted by thos.martin at 8:41 PM EST
Tuesday, 31 October 2006
Happy Halloween
Topic: Other News


Posted by thos.martin at 6:18 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 26 November 2006 5:06 PM EST
Monday, 30 October 2006
How Many Bowls Does it Take to Fill the Albert Hall?
Now Playing: Chopin, Waltz in D minor
Topic: Pipe 4: OCT06 -SOLD-

Two posts today because tommorow is Halloween and i don't think I'll get down to the shop.  

More about the hole, just when I thought it was perfect, I find it could be perfecter. I feared that I would go beyond perfect to the point where the hole went too far below the airhole. The Pimo guide says that this makes it impossible for the smoker to smoke to the bottom, thereby leaving the heel of the bowl wet and prone to souring.

It was asked of me The size of the hole, and if the stem is round or Oval. The stem is round.

      • Tobacco Hole Depth
        • 3.75cm
        • 1.5 "
      •  Tobacco Hole Width (inside of course)
        • 1.99cm
        • .75"
      • Total Length (includes stem of course)
        • 15.2cm
        • 6"
      • Height of Bowl
        • 2.3cm
        • 2.5"

So, I did make the bowl a little deeper and am glad that I asked. I am also glad I listened! I have always believed, "If its worth doing, its worth doing right." On that note, I was reading in The Pipe Companion about Danish pipemakers. It mentions that they strive to make their pipes perfect. 

Danish pipemakers do seem 100% committed to perfection, but more importantly they define perfection differently. What their definition is, I do not know. It varies from maker to maker I am sure. I think they afford themselves a different definition from pipe to pipe as well which is what makes some of their pipes masterpieces.

I see on the internet, pipemakers all over the world sitting behind bins of briar stummels which are considered "waste." I think in this industry they are referred to as firewood. I can't imagine they actually burn them. There must be a market somewhere for these "seconds?" What to they do with them?

Pipe 4 seems a little farther away from being finished than it did yesterday, but that is what pipemaking is all about. A pitfall maybe, an opportunity defineately.The shadows take away from the actual shape, and for that I appologize. But, I am sure you get the gist.

I also need to get a better representation of the lip of the bowl. As you get to the stem side of the bowl, it "unfolds" downward. The picture makes it appear as if it in fact disappears.

 I need to include pictures from the stem towards the bowl, or as I will refer to as "Point of view." (POV) Anyway, think of the cap of  the bowl as being the combination of: top of an acorn combined with a flower in bloom. The top of the bowl is the outside of the rootball, with the skin taken off with a wire brush.

On this pipe, i will stain the top of the bowl and the lip walnut. I think in future pipes I will lose the lip and probably stain the top walnut. We'll see. . . .

Posted by thos.martin at 10:26 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 26 November 2006 5:07 PM EST
Handholding Briar
Topic: Pipe 4: OCT06 -SOLD-

carving clip 

View a bit of the process on this video clip. After boring/drilling the holes, roughing out the shape with a coping saw, the stummel is handcarved. Finishing includes steel wool, tripoli, and carnuba wax.

A buffing wheel will be used for final finsihing. So close...

Also I have received word from the expert that I did the righ thing by making the smoke hole deeper and that I might want to bring it down even a bit more for those who like to smoke to the last "crumb." Thank you sir!

Posted by thos.martin at 1:29 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 26 November 2006 5:07 PM EST
Sunday, 29 October 2006
Peasant with a pipe
Topic: Pipe 4: OCT06 -SOLD-

It turns out that the intersection of the airhole and the tobacco chamber was not a problem at all. I merely had to deepen the tobacco hole so that it ended at the bottom of the airhole. Its perfect, and I'll post a pic of it when the pipe is more presentable.

The pipe will not be dissimialr to the one in Van Gogh's painting "Peasant with a pipe in 1884." Pipe 4, as I think I mentioned is rustic in appearance due to its shape and its texture. The texture is a result of the carving process not an attempt to hide a flaw in the biar

That is to say, it was not "rusticated" intentionlly. The texture adds a great feel and look to the wood so I decided to leave it. It is in fact a straight grain piece of plateau, T shape per the Pimo Guide to Pipe Crafting. I purchased the briar from Pimo several years ago. I have great hopes for this peasant pipe which i am presently carving.

Thats it for now. Be sure to check out the Ser Jacopo website at Giancarlo Guidi has reached the top most echelon of his craft and truely serves as an inspiration to me. Off to the workshop:


Posted by thos.martin at 11:25 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 26 November 2006 5:08 PM EST
Saturday, 28 October 2006
Coping Skills
Now Playing: Venturi//Dutch aromatic: sliced.
Topic: Pipe 4: OCT06 -SOLD-

...a bit about the Captain BlackAromatic. Seems Lane Industries has changed mixes/recipes/processes since when I used to like it. People have described it as smelling like bleach. I agree, sort of, I don't get bleach, but its defineately not up to snuff...

...a bit about Borkum Riff. Picked me up a pack today. I wonder why if it Virginas and burley's and Tennesse whiskey why is it from Denmark?

... a bit about Venturi pipes. I like them. I am not a purist in anything, so if I like it, thats what matters to me. So, it makes a good everyday pipe because since it is non-absorbent, non-porous, it works well if my tobacco is a bit on the dry saide. Also a good pipe for kicking around in the Car...

Coping Skills:

I'm not going to write much about "the process" today. As you can see, Pipe 4 is coming to life. This pic shows the first slice with a coping saw which I am finding to work for me as a great shaping tool.

The picture below shows where it is at now after a couple of hours on Saturday. Its not finished, but its a start.  As you can see it is resting on the the Ser Jacopo section in The Pipe Companion. It is from the "Picata" series. Each pipe is fashioned after pipes appearing in Van Gogh's painting.

I was originally inspired by acorns, saw the Ser Jacoba ( Giancarlo Guidi) and while carving this pipe , I defineately felt the Van Gogh influence. Defineately rusic. I have literally been carvinf this pipe with a skew/draw/ knife. "Chipping" might be a better word, but its taking a long time but I'm enjoying the process, and resultingly, I think whoever ends up with this pipe will be glad.


Posted by thos.martin at 7:12 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 29 October 2006 11:59 AM EDT
Friday, 27 October 2006
Watts a Volt? What's a Stummel?
Now Playing: Ladd 01 Dublin//Captain Black~ Royal: Aromatic Black and Cavendish
Topic: Pipe 4: OCT06 -SOLD-

OK, so this is the second or third bowl of this I've smoke with much dissapointment, thinking how I remembered it fondly. Ahhh, perhaps my tastes are more discriminating. Nope. I looked everywhere for the cherry and couldn't find it. I forgot that I got the Royal out of desperation. I need to find a quality cherry aromatic. Any recommendations are welcomed. Ifyou would like to trade for a pipe cleaning that's be good too. See for more info on that...

Concerning The Ladd o1. Anyone with information on pipe nomencalture, please step forward. I had a document from somewhere but can not find it. I also had a printout which I can not find....

In carving Pipe 4, I find myself over analyzing it a bit but will not be crippled with fear! I'm also findingthat any discussion on pipes is like the Pirates Code. As Captain Barbosa said in the Pirates of the Carribean said, "I like to think of them more as guidelines. RRRRrrr. Pimo's Guide to Pipe Crafting (PGPC) refers to the stummel as:

  1. Pipe heads- Bowl and Shank.
  2. The German word for "stump."
  3. That part of the pipe that is not the shank or the stem...

Maybe, in the case of a home craftsman like myself, the word doesn't apply. PGPC notes that it is tpically used in reference to industrial pipes. Hmmm 

 Despite potential of analyisis by paralysis paralysis by analysis, I will be in the shop tommorow weathering a storm; a classic Nor' Easter.

 Share your exeriences with Pipe crafting at home here! If you feel you have guidance and advice to offer, I'll put it in my pipe and smoke it!



p.s. I forgot to mention the craving for Borkum Riff.When I was a kid,my friends father would pick me up for hockey practice around 5 in the morning. It'd be dark and freezing, and the van'd be fll of pipe smoke. I liked it (just not at 5 A.M.)

Thos. Martin

Posted by thos.martin at 7:56 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 29 October 2006 2:07 PM EDT
Thursday, 26 October 2006
Pipe 4: Hole Issues
Now Playing: Cards vs. Detroit Game 4 of the Fall Classic
Topic: Pipe 4: OCT06 -SOLD-

A note on pipe three which you can see at a study in pipemaking, I mentioned that I had no briar, so I made it of Ash. I could only find one other mention of ash pipe on the internet and the maker wrote that it imposed an off flavor to his tobacco. He believe that was due to ash smelling bad when burned. So, I experimented and burned some. It smelled like marijuana, and I wasn't put off by this at all. Although I don't smoke pot, it seemed a natural smell for a pipe.

After smoking the first bowl, before cake was even formed, I detected little or no discernable "off" flavors being imparted to a burley I had beensmoking all week long out of briar. So, just tonight I smelled the ash bowl and it smelled almost exactly like pot! Now I'm starting to wonder about that "Burley" of mine and the sudden urges to for Doritos. Anyway, now about Pipe 4.

Pipe 4 is being carved from found briar; that is to say, I don't know I had it (which is why I carved Pipe 3 of Ash.) I'm owl, going for a sort of acorn shape for the bowl and am keeping it small. In this pic you'll see where the tobacco hole intersects with the top edge of the air hole. I haven't finished drilling it deep enough yet, but before I went too far, I have asked the opinion of a Danish pipemaker who has agreed to correspond if I:

  • Ask SPECIFIC questions
  • Work diligently in my basement for a good 5 years.
  • and, consider a one-year apprenticeship.

Also notice in the second pic of this pipe-in process, that the shoulder on the end of the shank is slightly discolored. This is where I propose to remove some wood to better match the shoulder of the stem. Again, I queired Denmark for his general opinion... how best to make this "joint."

I notice in Pimo's Guide to Pipe Crafting at Home (PGPCH) that they have all sorts of jigs, for all aspects of the process. I did in fact use their adjustable tenon turning tool for the stummel but alas, having no money, I am retro fitting anorphan stem for this pipe. This is actually more difficult (for me) than starting from scratch. (I think)

I also asked Denmark about how to incorporate the lathe into the process. PGPCH has a chapter on that too. I'll need to better study the Pimo guide BEFORE botheringanyone. Lesson learned. Thanks for reading. I spent far too much time setting up this blog, and the only time today spent in the shop was taking the two pics. Thank you for reading "Shaping The Stummels."

Waxing Briar,



Posted by thos.martin at 9:56 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 27 October 2006 8:10 PM EDT

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