It’s Saturday morning and with coffee in hand I begin. I’d like to get another four bowls roughed out and drilled today. Things go pretty fast after that point. It’s also the point where you really begin to see how the pipe will look once finished. One trick I learned is to spray a light mist of water on the briar after it’s had a rough sanding. This brings out the grain so you can see what sort of lines it will have. If something looks wrong it’s still not too late at this point to do some correcting.
Here I’m using the template (my fancy word for a simple paper cut-out shape) on the briar. You can see the ones I’ve already ran through the band saw sitting between the stems and the template. Notice the rough plateau that I’ve left on the top. This will be the rough area on the rim.
Finally, after a few more hours, I have three (wasn’t able to do four) new bowls ready and marked for drilling. I use a laser to help mark the lines. This is perhaps the most important aspect to getting the drilling done right. If the tobacco chamber and the draft hole line up and come together perfectly at the very bottom of the bowl, the pipe will smoke better and just look more professional. I’m hoping to have them drilled tomorrow morning. If so, it’s just a matter of sanding to erase any left-over tool marks. Then the final stem fitting. Finally the staining and buffing is always exciting because to me it kind of marks the birth of the pipe.