Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Gandalf's Pipe

Aside from being a wizard and vagabond of Middle Earth, Gandalf the Gray/White was also an avid pipe smoker. 

 I believe his favorite was 'Old Toby Smoking Weed' from The Shire.

I thought it would be fun to attempt to make his pipe.  I researched various websites and videos on how to make it, and it seems the best way for me to do it will be to layer a few pieces of wood together, glue it and shape it.  To that effect, I drew up plans in Adobe Illustrator. 

I then printed those plans.

And cut out the pieces to use as templates.

Next I traced my templates on to a piece of pine wood I had hanging around.

Next came the tedious task of cutting these delicate shapes out.

After much time of careful cutting I had my shapes.  Next I started cutting out the inside of the bowl, and the stem to make it thinner.


Using my template guides, I started to carve out the innards using my dremel tool.

Once the insides were carved and sanded, I glued the pieces together and clamped them.

Once the glue had hardened, I started sanding the stem of the pipe.

I wanted the stem to get thinner towards the mouth piece, so I used my block plane to shave off a nice taper.

Then I sanded some more.  Next it was time to complete the bowl.  I used two pieces of wood and glued them on.  I clamped them tightly.

Once the glue dried I removed the clamps and began trimming the wood that was glued on.

The pressure on the thin step was growing with all the work I was doing to the bowl.  I eventually cut off the stem.

And started working on a new, smaller and better bowl.  To create it I drew the shape I wanted on a piece of wood, and glued that to 2 other pieces of wood and clamped it until it dried.

Then when it dried I used my saw and dremel to start shaping it.

Once I had the shape I wanted I sanded the bowl.

And then I drilled holes on the top and the side.

....until the 2 holes met up with each other.

Then I used my dremel tool to create the right sized hole for the bowl....

...and the stem.

When everything fit well.... was time to assemble.  I used a little gel glue to hold the 2 pieces together temporarily.

Then I taped it and used wood glue.

When the glue dried I took out the wood filler...

...and I began to fill in some imperfections, and filled in the spaces between the stem and the bowl.

Then the filler dried, I began sanding.

When sanding and cleaning was complete, I gave the whole pipe a layer of brown acrylic paint.

When that dried I mixed in light browns, whites and yellows to give it the appropriate look.

...and some black in the bowl to make it look like it's been used.

Next I took the pipe outside and gave it a few coats of clear matte enamel.

And I'm done!

I should like to note that this is only a decorative pipe, and not meant for smoking
(I photoshopped the smoke in).

Thanks for reading!


  1. Another of my dream props - and you made it look so easy!

  2. As always you flatter me Phil. I know you are a much better wood worker than I am, so if I can do it, you most certainly can too!

  3. What are the mesures you used for this pipe?

    1. The stem is about 15" long. The bow is about 2.25" tall and 2" wide.