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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, 28 February 2007
Pipe 708 doesn't make it past QC
Topic: 708 -NFS

I thought I was nearing completion with Pipe 708 but my wife told me what I alredy knew but didn't want to admit. It needs to be either carved or smoothe. I had sanded down some of the carving trying to tone it done a little and it just looked a little crappy so I need to continue sanding and make it smooth. IT will be nice.

My brother once told me, while fishing with a rubber worm, "if you think your reeling it in too slow, your not reeling it in slow enough." This translates to piemaking as well:

 "When you think your done sanding, you need to sand some more."

Posted by thos.martin at 12:08 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 4 March 2007 1:05 PM EST
Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Save the Calabash!
Topic: Other News

Just added to the personal collection, for restoration:


 Save the Calabash !

Posted by thos.martin at 9:00 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007 9:15 AM EST
Monday, 26 February 2007
Pipe proletarienne
Topic: 708 -NFS


In continuation of the Van Gogh peasant pipe inspiration, 708 or pipe proletarienne, I hand carved with a knife, complete with cuts and divots.

Unique to this pipe are the matt black cuffs: the rim of the bowl and the end of the shank. (see pics above) These are in response to the four "dress black" pipes I tried so earnestly to make, never satisfied with the black. Short of soaking the briar, I tried everything. Anyway Cuffs; you saw them here first.

Other pipes in the series:




Also important to note, growing up, this (Artco) planter sat on the windowsill, above the sink. I own the house now, and it still sits thereabouts reminding me of my childhood and forcasting the pipemaker I came to be!





Posted by thos.martin at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007 6:37 AM EST
Sunday, 25 February 2007
707 dies on operating table...
Topic: 707TM- PITCHED
good riddence to ya ya dumb pipe! this pipe was cursed! The pipe itself wouldn't take a stain, had no good grain to brag about. I fitted and busted four stems in the making. I was going to rusticate it to make it lighter and because of "the stain thing" and I put the stem on the vice held by a nail punch... trying to keep it out of the way. Well, I knocked it and cracked it at the tenon. I fitted another stem (#4 or 5) and in the process busted the shank. again, good riddence.

Posted by thos.martin at 7:28 PM EST
Saturday, 24 February 2007
Topic: Other News

TMpipes is working on getting its own Blackfriar blended by someone who can legally sell it to you. Until then, I will give to you the recipe. Use, preferrably McClellands blending tobaccos and Black Cavendish as it has hints of vanilla. The recipe is:


  • Perique
  • Latakia (twice amount as Perique)
  • McClellands Black Cavandish (twice amount of Latakia)

'N Joy!


Note a/o 3/13: The name has been Changed to Blue Monk, and McC's 5100 has been added in the same proportion as the Latakia. To my taste, its a fine blend and will only improve with age as the Va.s mature and the flavours marry.

Posted by thos.martin at 7:40 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007 8:07 PM EDT
Friday, 23 February 2007
The Yellow House
Topic: Other News
I just finished reading "The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles". by Martin Guyford. For the most part well written and researched. Both artist were ardent pipe smokers (the bohemian and proletarian alternative to the cigar.)

Vincent short on sales, short on cash he still managed to buy tobacco from local merchant, Maria Ourtoul. Pipe smoking was a great solace for Vincent- he recommended it as a source of comfort and remedy for Melancholy. He unfortuneately also soothed himself with drink.

As you all know, when Vincent's mental state worsened, he cut off part of his ear. The next morning upon waking from his stupor, all bloody and bandaged, Vincent asked for: his comrade (Gauguin, his pipe, and his tobacco.) Weeks thereafter, at the beginning of July, he tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest.

When he awoke from this ordeal, and before dying of the wound, again he asked for his pipe and smoked it calmly in his bed. Towards the end, he wrote his brother Theo and said, he wished he could pass away like this. Vincent Van Gogh died Tuesday, July 29, 1890.

Posted by thos.martin at 7:20 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007 9:17 AM EST
Tuesday, 20 February 2007
Peter Stokkebyes Bullseye Flake
Topic: Other News

Funny thing hapened while smoking Stokkebye's Bullseye Flake...  This is a true story, and it could happen to you. I'm at a red light lighting my pipe and a very attractive woman walks by. Let's just say I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing, (lighting my pipe).

So I'm smoking on my pipe and its tasting like Butane, which was odd since I used a match to light it. Then it starts tasting like kerosene and I thinking what the... I start hearing all this crackling, like my tobacco was a small campfire or something.

I look down and the contents of my ashtray were on fire! Flames coming out of it and lapping on my dashboard. Earlier in the day I had peeled off the little plastic sticker from my windshield that tells me when to get my oil changed. They send me a reminder anyway.

Well the lit match I put in the ashtray ignited it along with a bunch of matchsticks, and two or three used pipecleaners. Talk about distracted driving, I'm driving down Storrow drive trying to put out a small car fire before my Zebrano dash is engulfed in flames. So I closed the ashtray thinking it wouldn't get any oxygen... I wish I could say that was the end of the story.

I'll spare you the rest, but lets just say things got worse. I only told you as much as I did as a warning: Be careful out there, this could happen to you!

  • Don't smoke Bullseye in the car!
  • Never peel the oil change reminder off your windshield
  • And if ya gotta check out the ladies, for God's sake, light your pipe later!

I can only imagine what would happen if I peeled the tags off my mattress!!!!!

Posted by thos.martin at 8:33 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007 9:18 AM EST
Saturday, 17 February 2007
Contemporary Black 'Bash...
Topic: Other News

The second and third calabash prototypes are in the works:

  • I decided to stain and shine the gourd before cutting to eliminate off odors
  • More importantly I have stems from Turkey that have: threaded inserts to accept the nylon tenon of the stem. This is proving to be an excellent design solution.
  • I tap the gourd itself to make the 5/16" threads. Although probably not neccesary, I will affix the insert with adhesive. Typically it is the stem that is threaded which causes registration problems.
  • You can get whatever color you want so long as its black...

Posted by thos.martin at 9:53 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 17 February 2007 11:27 AM EST
Thursday, 15 February 2007
Topic: Other News
  • Briar unharmed
  • Meerschaum unharmed
  • Peronal pipes and tobacco cellar unharmed
  • Power to shop lights, drill press, and stereo lost.

Posted by thos.martin at 6:36 PM EST
Tuesday, 13 February 2007
freehand calabash
Topic: 706TM - NFS

Well, the first calabash is finished, made with American gourd, Stained ala Medico, acrylic bit mounted direct, meerschaum bowl from Turkey:









Posted by thos.martin at 7:34 PM EST
Sunday, 11 February 2007
The new blog
Topic: Other News

The contest is over, as is my weekend snowboarding....

I have been offline and out of the workshop doing a lot research the calabash, setting up a frgn exchange account, talking by phone with a framer in South Afirica, and emailing him through hi more computer savvy daughter. I will have some genuine SA calabash in months

Meanwhile I have been practicing with four gourds from WA state. Also, I must note that my "research" has become more of a study as I have found the definitive text on this topic: "The History of the Calabash Pipe" by Gary B. Schrier. Also moving forward, each pipe will have only 3 or 4 posts allowinf more time in the shop pursuing the Calabash... Neither will I post too many pictures that directly allude to the process as they will be considered propritary.

Posted by thos.martin at 5:26 PM EST
Wednesday, 7 February 2007
Tobacco Fiction
Topic: Other News
Altadis Voodoo Queen** in a selfmade Black Friar:

The blend was unabashedly laced with Perique and enough Latakia to smoke like a backwood distillery. I picked a stick out of the pouch and am fairly sure there were also a few rocks in it- like kidney stones I could not pass. After the first Jarring light, it seemed to be off-gassing as if I'd stepped in a bog, and tasted like I imagine peat would taste if I packed it my pipe and smoked it.

The "room note" was aweful, enough to chase away snakes, women, children, and animals: wild and domestic. Somewhere after the middle of the bowl I blacked out... woke up in a small woodshack with my head shaved and rope burns across my chest. Cloven hoof prints headed back toward the wood. Black magic.

Trying to regain my composure, instinctively I reached for my pipe. It was still burning. I puffed again at this Voodoo Queen and coughed until my shaven head ached! In the name of all that is Holy, I knocked the dottle from the bowl and swore to God I'd never smoke it again. I felt a stabbing pain in my chest as if struck by lightning. It was then I noticed, nailed to a cyprus beam, the voodoo doll in my likeness.

I grabbed it, crossed myself and ran. Voodoo Queen, I hated her for what she had done to me but I'll be back someday to finish what I started. Despite my promise. Despite myself. Someday.


* I wouldn't smoke again if you gave it to me
** I"ll finish what I have but will not buy again
*** Would defineately buy it again sometime...
**** Would defineately buy it again by the pound

Posted by thos.martin at 9:16 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007 9:18 AM EST
Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club Feb. Meeting
Topic: Other News, as always, the first Tuesday of every month: Shop Closed.

Posted by thos.martin at 10:10 AM EST
Saturday, 3 February 2007
Our House is a very very very fine house...
Topic: Other News

Posted by thos.martin at 11:34 AM EST
Friday, 2 February 2007
Guess What's Next & Win!
Topic: 706TM - NFS

Guess what Pipe 706 will be and win a free pouch of pipe tobacco!

Email Tom Martin at

First correct guess wins!

(this means there's only one winner- sorry, one will win, many may play)

Entry Deadline:
Your email must be "postmarked" on or
before February 9, 2007.

Posted by thos.martin at 7:19 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 3 February 2007 11:56 AM EST
Gandalf Inspired Pipe Finished (C 63230)
Topic: C 63230

This pipe is the opposite of my many creations. Usually I try to make a pipe first for sale, and if it isn't saleable but it is serviceable, it becomes MINE. This pipe I made for myself, and it is saleable... so  its for sale. Its too nice to be wasted on me, I can make more...


Posted by thos.martin at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007 10:27 AM EDT
Thursday, 1 February 2007
...almost there
Topic: C 63230


Left to do:

Stamp shank "TM", Polish, wax, & pre- carbonise.....

Posted by thos.martin at 7:01 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007 10:28 AM EDT
Tuesday, 30 January 2007
R&D instead of R&R
Topic: Other News
Get your FREE Pipe Tobacco Review Journal, Pocketmod which serves as a little pocket diary/log of the pipe tobaccos you've smoked and your impressions of them!

Learn to fold your Pocketmod with these instructions.

Posted by thos.martin at 10:56 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 2 February 2007 7:57 PM EST

Topic: Folding your Pocketmod


Posted by thos.martin at 9:50 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007 10:52 AM EST
Sunday, 28 January 2007
Update on pipe in progress...
Topic: C 63230

2007-01-2820:47:29 :    705 is shapes up nicely. Pics to follow.

Posted by thos.martin at 8:46 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007 10:28 AM EDT

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