Actually, this is my son’s pipe that I made.
In woodworking, I have always had problems with finishing the project. For some reason, I can bend metal or carve very intricate things without issue. Getting it to look all nice and shiny after I am done has always been an issue. The folks over at Woodcraft actually steered me in the right direction this time.
The product and method that the Woodcraft guys suggested was similar to the method that people turning pens use. Doctor’s Woodshop Pens Plus polish and finish is what they suggested. Here is what they had me do:
- Load up a polishing wheel on my bench polisher.
- Polish up the pipe using several loads to the polishing pad.
- Coat the pipe, let it dry, and then buff it back out.
I still have to do the final polish/buff on the pipe and apply a couple more coats. It did turn out really nice, however. The final wood color was only a shade or two darker than when the wood was wet.
Mostly finished pipe
The color and the way that the grain was made to just pop is really exciting. Both of the other blanks I did had a much lighter colored wood. With the etching that Jerry is doing I am thinking a dark stain to the etched area and then use this polish for the rest will be perfect.
Due to my son’s inability to wait to test the pipe out I still have another coat and some polishing to do on this build. He said that the draw was actually quite nice and the tobacco stayed lit longer than his other pipes. This made me feel pretty good about the time and energy I spent building this thing.
Here is a good picture to the polish/finish that I used:
Again, just load your pad and go to buffing. It will polish and apply the finish all through the use of the buffing wheel.
Well, the wife has another reason to be completely annoyed with me. I discovered that there is ANOTHER way for me to waste time and money. The pipe store has drilled briar wood pipe blanks. That is correct…. PIPE BLANKS!!!!
Now I not only have the opportunity to sit and smoke my pipe, drink beer, and hang out with my dog. I have the opportunity to make it look like I am doing something OTHER than smoking my pipe, drinking beer and hanging out with my dog. By finding these little gems I now look like I am working on some sort of project.
The pipe blanks are actually pretty simple. The stem is already set as are all the drilled holes. All that is required is some elbow grease to form the bowl. Here are some pictures of where I started and the progression until almost completed. It is not done yet because I have to get my friend to etch in a Navy Chief’s Anchor onto it and then polish.
After some sanding, filing and carving, I got to this point.
Pipe in progress
Here is another angle after some more carving, filing and sanding.
Pipe in progress
Although I have got it to the point where I am ready to do final sanding and polishing, I want to wait until I get it actually done in case I have to go back and fix something.
These pipe builds are actually pretty sweet. Thus far I have got 3 to the point where I just need to polish them. The shape for all 3 has been the same, but I will soon be doing some creative work on one or two. Although I am not fond of straight stem pipes, I will probably grab one because that is all the local store has left in stock. I can do a shorty, rounded bowl straight pipe that won’t look too bad.
Once I get the polishing done I will post some more pictures.