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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
Monday, 3 March 2008
New Lathe
Mood:  lucky
Topic: Other News

Its a no-name but had a 3/4 hp motor v. the 1/2 hp of the name brand in the same price range. It also affords me the more clearance, 5 positions of the drivestock up to a full 180 degrees for outboard turning, and variable speeds with on the fly shifting via a lever instead of stopping the machine and switching the belt config. Rather than pick and average speed and leaving it there I can range from slow to fast. It also has the same size spindle as its competitor @ 1" with 8rht and the tailsock accepts #2 MT:




Posted by thos.martin at 4:35 PM EST
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
I've not been Slacking...
Topic: Other News

Tripod has not allowed me to log on to the blog tool. (I am finally in thru a back door.)

I also spent the weekend at the Northeast Pipe Show in Albany, and am also finishing up on Michael Martine's pipe . . .

Posted by thos.martin at 2:58 PM EDT
Monday, 9 April 2007
what I know I need to know
Topic: Other News
To summarize what I'm now learning, and accepting that I need to learn:
  1. Without the lathe especially... I need to strive toward perfect symmettry BEFORE trying to make a statement with asymmetry. Put another way, you can't embrace asymmetry as an excuse for not being able to be symetrical. Put another way- sort of-, learn the trade before the tricks of the trade.
  2. I need to make more such that I can make more mistakes.
  3. Sand with intention, sand mindfully, stop sanding when you reach the pipe.
  4. (to conclude the first lesson and bring us back to number one) A good round starts good and square. *

* As told to me by a master carver, as told to him, and so-on and so-on and so-on.

Posted by thos.martin at 11:29 AM EDT
Thursday, 5 April 2007
Wrapsacks: To Protect & to Serve
Topic: Other News

Not your grandfather's pipesocks:

Read how you can help The Calabash Project, and Save the Calabash!


Posted by thos.martin at 8:22 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2007 8:51 AM EDT
Monday, 26 March 2007
Blue Monk
Topic: Other News


Read how you can help The Calabash Project, and Save the Calabash!




Posted by thos.martin at 5:35 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007 10:35 AM EDT
Tuesday, 20 March 2007
The Sacred Pipe- Who was Black Elk?
Topic: Other News

Black Elk
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa) (c. December 1863 – August 17 or August 19, 1950 (sources differ)) was a famous Wichasha Wakan (Medicine Man or Holy Man) of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux). He was the second cousin of Crazy Horse. Black Elk participated, at about the age of twelve, in the Battle of Little Big Horn of 1876, and was wounded in the massacre that occurred at Wounded Knee in 1890.

In 1887, Black Elk travelled to England with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, an unpleasant experience he described in chapter 19 of Black Elk Speaks. He was accidentally left behind and had to make his own way back to his homeland.

Black Elk married his first wife, Katie War Bonnett, in 1892. She became a Catholic, and all three of their children were baptized as Catholic. After her death in 1903, he too became baptized, taking the name Nicholas Black Elk, and continued to serve as a spiritual leader among his people, seeing no contradiction in embracing what he found valid in both his tribal traditions concerning Wakan Tanka, and those of Christianity.

He remarried in 1905 to Anna Brings White, a widow with two daughters. She bore him three more children, and remained his wife until she died in 1941.

Towards the end of his life, he revealed the story of his life, and a number of sacred Sioux rituals to John Neihardt and Joseph Epes Brown for publication (The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux (1953) (as told to Joseph Epes Brown) , and his accounts have won wide interest and acclaim. He also claimed to have had several visions in which he met the spirit that guided the universe.

Books about Black Elk, emphasizing his Catholicism:
  Black Elk: Holy Man of the Oglala, Michael Steltenkamp
  Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism, Damian Costello

Also see:
  The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux (1953) (as told to Joseph Epes Brown)


Posted by thos.martin at 9:49 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007 8:50 AM EDT
Monday, 19 March 2007
When it rains it pours!
Topic: Other News
Although there was no flooding, I did have the msifortune of being rushed to the emergency room at 3 o'clock Sunday morning due to pian caused (presumabley) by herniated discs. Not much coming out of the shop til the end of the week. Sorry.

Posted by thos.martin at 5:34 PM EDT
Wednesday, 7 March 2007
I Wrote, and I Quote...
Topic: Other News
Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:05 am  
 Post subject:
Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post

PipeAndPint wrote:  Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:05 am  
I enjoyed what you wrote. I confess to a near complete lack of knowledge when it comes to Van Gogh. What was it that caused him such melancholy throughout life? Is anything known about his spiritual state?

Thanks again for the interesting post!

I wrote, and I Quote:
There are of course suppositions, but the most common was that he was bi-polar.

Concerning his spiritual state, there was mention. When I get home tonight I'll respond. I don't want to misquote but thats an excellent question so I want to give it a good answer.


Feb 28, 2007 12:21 pm  

Short Answer: He was ecstatically pious.

Long Answer:You need to look at the question, "Why did Van Gogh cut off his ear?" The author of this book, at first specualtes that he was somehow emulating or trying to right the wrongs of "Jack the Ripper."

Vincent & Gauguin would read and follow crime in the local newspaper.
Jack the Ripper was international news. Vincen had spent some time as an evangelist near London. This was to be his vocation but he never finished (was kicked out) his education, and his congregation thought him mad and had him removed.

JTR had hacked off one of his victims ears.
His victims were mostly prostitutes. When Vincent cut off his ear and delivered it to a prostitue at one of the brothels he frequented, some say he was making this offering as a gesture of goodwill, empathizing with their lowly stature.

Others speculated he cut off his ear to put a stop to his auditory hallucinations.

Gauguin's interpretation was more Biblical.
He said that when Vincent presented his ear to the prostitute he said to her "you will remember me, verily I tell you this." When asked why he did it, Vincent replied that his reason were "quite personal."

After subsequent attacks Vincent said he was plagued be religious fears, what he also dubbed "religious exhultation. and frightful ideas about religion." He identified greatly with the story of Christ's agony in the Garden of Gethsemane when he foresaw his arrest, torture and crucifixion.

In the new Testament, after Christ accepted his fate, Judas burst into the garden with armed men, [sic] to arrest him. When the disciples saw what was going to happen, they thought of defending Christ by force, "And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear."

Vincent also read avidly the works of Emile Zola.
In his fantasy novel, The Sin of Father Mouret , the central figure, a priest, was ecstatically pious and collapsed in front of a stutue of theVirgin and later awoke in an overgrown garden. The priest is nursed back to health by a woman who was to become his lover. They were later driven from the garden by a viloent and local friar, Brother Archangias.

The priest, FatherMouret, later returned for his lover's funeral. When he finished his prayers, he calmly pulled a knife from hi pocket, opened it, and cut of the friar's ear!

In his writings, Vincent implied that his spiritual struggles were more compelling than his struggles with the flesh.
So, its hard to say whether Vincent cut off his ear to: punish himself the way the friar Archangias had been punished, or as St. Peter punished the soldier in Gethsemane, or as the prostitute had been punished by Jack the Ripper. But remember, it was Gauguin his "comrade" who refers to his actions as "Biblical mortifications."

So, PnP, if your still with me, now you know why I needed to take some time in responding. Glad you asked? Laughing Serioulsy though, I'm glad you did. Thanks.

Posted by thos.martin at 8:51 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007 7:31 PM EST
Tuesday, 6 March 2007
Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club March Meeting
Topic: Other News

 Tonight @ 7:  SHPC Boston


Posted by thos.martin at 8:55 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007 8:03 PM EDT
Thursday, 1 March 2007
Sherlock Holme Pipe Club Article
Topic: Other News

Read the article I wrote on beginner pipemaking in the March 2007 Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club of Boston newsletter. If your reading this in mid April , 2007 or after, go to


Posted by thos.martin at 1:06 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 4 March 2007 2:10 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
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
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

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