How to Make a Tobacco Pipe. Make your own personalized pipe to keep or give one to someone to commemorate a special occasion. With just a few short steps, you can be ready to slip into that smoker's jacket and slippers to enjoy a good smoke.
- Clamp or Vice
- Seasoned limb from Cherry (hard maple or plum work well also)
- Set of drill bits
- Ice pick or strong sharp knife
- Tape (for marking hole depth)
- Branch from Edelberry tree (for stem)
Choose a limb from a cherry tree making sure the size is the diameter of your pipe bowl. Cut about a 6-inch section from the cherry tree. Be certain that whichever wood you choose has been seasoned for at least 2 months. Mark it to the length of the pipe bowl and add an extra ½-inch (this allows for the pipe stem). Don't saw the bowl from this piece of wood just yet, as it will need to be clamped before the center of the bowl can be drilled out.
Chip away at the center of the bowl with ice pick or knife. Remember to keep it centered. After you get a hole going, use a small diameter bit to drill a pilot hole. After you measure against the side to see how deep you want your bowl, wrap a small piece of tape around the bit for depth gauge. Be careful not to drill into the ½-inch pipe stem at the bottom.
Clamp the section just under the bowl into a vise, or C-clamp it to a solid object. Drill the hole as straight as possible. Stop at the tape marker on the bit. Progressively use larger bits to widen the hole (don't forget to tape these bits off as well to mark depth).
Drill the hole for the pipe stem. Next measure the depth on the outside of the bowl where you will place the stem. Make a mark about ¼-inch higher than the bottom of your bowl. Start a hole with a knife or ice pick. Clamp the part below the bowl and with a small pilot bit, drill at 90 degree angle. Stop at the depth of the bowl side. Enlarge the hole size to 5/16 or 3/8 of an inch.
Saw the bowl slowly out of the section of wood. Leave enough wood below the stem hole for strength (maybe 1/2 inch).
Choose a small branch of elderberry the length and diameter that fits your pipe. This particular tree has a pith (heart of soft wood) that can be easily removed with a wire. Push the pith thru with a piece of wire or a slender rod to create your stem.
Insert your stem into the pipe hole. Your old-fashioned pipe is finished.