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Thos. Martin
Shaping The Stummels
Wednesday, 29 November 2006
10th Reason I'm not selling
Topic: Pipe 8: NOV06 -NFS

All background images in these photos are from the Winter 2007 Edition of Pipes & Tobacco Magazine. The article titled "Briar Cutters" featuring the Romeo's of Italy. "Mimmo"Romeo states in the article that the outside of the burl is the MOST desireable. Pipe 9 includes the absolute, spot on, dead-center of the burl, which is safe to assume is the LEAST desireable part of the burl. For this reason PIPE 9 is mine and not yours.

I do feel that I did reconcile the dead center of the burl with the heel of the pipe, wrapping around to each side. I actually like it and like I said before it is rock solid. It is by definition the oldest part of this burl.

Mimmo also says that once the wood is processed/milled/cured it is not possible to dertermine the origin of the wood, neither i it as important as many people suggest. What is important is in fact the service Mimmo to the pipemaking community. The people with the sawing the blocks, in my humble opinion have a huge impact on the final product. For instance, if I put out a straight grain or other gorgeous pipe, it is because the folks with the saws made it possible.

 The pictures below hopefully demonstrate the center of the burl as it presents itself in my pipe:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by thos.martin at 6:06 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 3 December 2006 7:34 PM EST
Permalink
Tuesday, 28 November 2006
Finished Finishing ~ The Reader
Topic: Pipe 8: NOV06 -NFS

Can't wait to smoke it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by thos.martin at 7:20 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006 7:26 PM EST
Permalink
Stalling on Pipe 8
Topic: Pipe 8: NOV06 -NFS

I've been stalling on Pipe eight a bit because its my last bit-o-briar. I have a shipment on the way but as of today its in Erie, PA. I'm in Beverly, MA. It'll be a couple of days. And I took Monday off because that's what I do. Although I did do some sanding: 2-300 grind, with the staining inbetween.

Today I did 300-600 grinds and stained it for the last time. Tonight and or tommorow I will do 800 - 100, polish and wax it. I also carbonised the bowl.

Top ten reasons why this pipe is not for sale:

  1. Drilling tobacco chamber at too high a speed vaused the paddle bit to wander a bit do to the different densities occuring in one small piece of Briar.
  2. I like it too much.
  3. Why quest for the "ultimate pipe" when I can make one?
  4. I experimented on engraving my name on the stummel and didn't like the results. This will be the only such engraved pipe.
  5. Inconsisten bowl thickness which shouldn't be a problem because this wood is ROCK solid.
  6. I want a new pipe.
  7. I also experimented with treating the inside of the bowl:pre-carbonizing it. I did this because JP Cooke does it, not for the smoker, but for the protection of the pipe. I like that Idea. I watched his video, and he twice referred to the gender of the briar he was working on. Cool.
  8. I need to test it (see number 7)
  9. I'm currently sick of all the other pipes I own (except the Peterson Green Dublin.)

Posted by thos.martin at 4:42 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 29 November 2006 6:06 PM EST
Permalink
Sunday, 26 November 2006
It Was My Wife's Suggestion. . .
Topic: Pipe 8: NOV06 -NFS

... to use an acrylic stem for once. I hadn't because" the pipo tenon turner wasn't working on  acrylic for me because it was slightly bent and it was breaking and chonpping and making a bloody mess. Solution: I straigntened it out a bit and that help, but more importantly I use it in a different drill. An OLD drill of my dads. Its from back when they made them with aluminum casing. This drill has a higher RPM and worked much beter. Excellent actually.

About the briar. This is the hardest briar I've ever seen. Its not much to look at but its solid as a rock. As usual I'm going throught the same old thought processes as usual: love it hat it love it hate it, want to keep it, sell it, keep it. It's the best pipe yet, the worst, its a masterpiece, its trash. So, i decided it was time to put the ipe down and watch the Pats.

 


Posted by thos.martin at 4:45 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 3 December 2006 8:02 PM EST
Permalink
Saturday, 25 November 2006
Taking Shape
Topic: Pipe 8: NOV06 -NFS

Pipe 8, altough put on the back burner for two days is finally taking shape. In an attempt to

  1. Avoid using the Lather, while
  2. having a nice round bowl

I had an idea... I used a 1 1/2" hole saw to rough the bowl and start the hole. Ouch! Thats gotta hurt. It seemed to work fine. Then I took the Coping saw to it and broke another blade. DAMN.

And, I had replacements in my hand this afternoon when I purchased the hole saw and put them back figuring my blade breakin' days are done. Guess not. Could've, Should've. Would've. Anyway, here 'tis:


 

 


Posted by thos.martin at 5:06 PM EST
Permalink
Wednesday, 22 November 2006
The Inspiration
Topic: Pipe 8: NOV06 -NFS

I read an article on Pipelore.net by By Corneel Vermeulen about a pipe called the "Belge."  I was amzded and inspired that after so much "research" on pipe shapes, I had never heard of the Belge! Seems it is a carry over shape from the days when clay pipes roamed the earth. The shapes were readily transferable to briar except without the spur. When I get the right piece of wood, I will make one with a spur.

I hate setting a pipe down on its side and having ash spill out. I do this a lot as I dont really leave them in my mouth if Im not puffing. Its a 'me" thing. Anyway, I loved his article and especially the examples of modern Belges he presents. The thought of creating one for myself was overwhelming. So I made the following plan by which I can "kind of" work off of. You see, I basically need to move the shape of the pipe up on the block about 1/8" so that I can leave enough wood to round the stem. Also mine will be more of a "Borraine" than a Belge. I have to also mention that the works of: Larry Roush, Michael Parks, Rad Davis as cited in the article are truely inspiring!

Heather Coleman reports that "Gambier was the largest and most famous of pipe makers and flourished in the 1850-1920 period. They were winning gold medals for pipes in the mid 19th century and producing over 26 million pipes a year, many using steam powered presses." Her collection, reserch, and committment to the clay pipe is extensive, perhaps she would know how it made its transition to briar.

Remember I have a laxley Zulu which is of intrest because it was made on the Isle of Mann. Laxley being a onetime manufacturer of the meerschaum, but when materials became scarce they switch to briar. Perhaps Gambier "marketing department" decided when fashions changed to briar that they would "'ave a go a it." I'll ask her if she knows the answer to Corneel's question

Here (left) are some early 19th century Clay pipes from Heathers collection. Impressive and  for me, inspiring. Months ago I had thought of mimicking the shapes of clays. Reading Corneels article whelp to reinforce that desire. Seeing Heather's collection has opened my eyes as well, and reminded me of when I was a teen snorkeling by the coast by my house in Beverly, Mass. I found a stem from a clay pipe. I assumed it was from the 1700's when half-way between my house and the beach stood the Woodbury Tavern. I was hooked and did a bit research myself and remember learning that tavern pipes were community property, and after they were smoke, the stem would be broken off for the next person. I have since/recently learned that the tavern pipes were pretty much the "estate pipe" of today. Taverns were effectively the secondary market for clay pipes.



 


 


Posted by thos.martin at 4:02 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 22 November 2006 4:02 PM EST
Permalink

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