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!