Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Wooden Decorative Pipes

This entry is about making some wood decorative pipes.  I say decorative because they are not meant for smoking.  A while's back I made a Gandalf pipe replica.

When I made that pipe I was not much into wood working - not as much as I am now.  However, the method is going to be similar.  To start I drew 2 pipe shapes that I wanted to make.

I printed out these shapes and cut them out.  

Using them as a template, I traced the shaped onto pieces of wood.

I then cut out the wood with my jigsaw.  A band saw or scroll saw would be much better at this task, but I don't have one (yet).

Once my shapes were cut out I clamped the 2 halves together and drilled out the hole for the bowl.

I then unclamped the 2 halves.

I repeated this process with the other pipe halves.

Once both had been drilled, I drew in lines that connect the bottom of the bowl to the mouth piece.

Using my dremel, I drilled out the line I made.

Next I glued the halves and clamped them tightly.

Once the pipes had dried fully, I began shaping them with my tabletop belt sander.

In addition to the belt sander, I also used my dremel with a sanding bit.

I went back and forth between the belt sander and the dremel to get the shape that I wanted.

Once the shape was more-or-less there I finished up sanding with my detail (mouse) sander and sandpaper.

Next I added a little wood filler to fix up a few spots.

When the filler dried I sanded.

After sanding was complete and the pipes were cleaned, I broke out some older stains that I don't normally use.  I stained the pipes using rags and rubbing the stain on.

When the stain was fully dry I applied some glossy polyurethane.

I added several coats so that these guys were super glossy.

These pipes are coming out so well that I decided to make one more.  Specifically, I am going to make one reminiscent of Gandalf's pipe.  To start I drew the shape of the bowl onto a small piece of wood.

I glued and clamped that piece to another small piece of wood and left it to dry.  Since this pipe will consist of 2 sets of pieces (bowl & stem) it was ok to glue the 2 halves together at this point.

Once it dried I drilled out the bowl.

Then I took it to the belt sander to begin shaping it.

I also used my dremel to widen the inside of the bowl.

I finished shaping with various grits of sandpaper.

Next I drew the shape of the stem onto another piece of scrap wood.

I cut out the shape, then traced it onto the wood again and cut out the second shape to make 2 halves of the stem.

Then I used my dremel again to carve out the inner track.

Then glued and clamped.

When the glue was dry, I removed the clamps and began shaping with the belt sander.

I finished shaping with sandpaper.

Next I drilled a hole into the bowl for the stem.

After a little adjusting, the stem fit into the bowl snugly.

Next I applied glue and attached the 2 parts.  I positioned it in my table vice to make sure it stayed up straight until dry.

Once it had fully dried I applied a little wood filler to the spots that needed filling.

Then I sanded when the filler dried.

After cleaning it up I applied some stain.

Once the stain dried I added some polyurethane.

Unfortunately I was sanding a different project in my workshop while the poly was drying, resulting in dust which stuck to the pipes.  Once the poly dried I had to sand these pipes.

They might not be as glossy as I would have liked, but they are still good looking.

Now I think I'll make some nice pipe holders for them.  I looked online and found various holders.

I'll use these as reference for building my own.  To start I drew a shape similar to one I found online.  I made this shape using my protractor.

I folder the paper in half and cut the shape out with scissors.  Then I traced it onto a piece of wood.  This will be the first stand for the pipe with the curved stem.

For the second stand - the one for the pipe with the straight stem - I used a rectangular piece of wood and marked the corners with curves.

Next I cut out the shapes with my jigsaw.

Then it was off to the belt sander to smooth out the shapes.

Next I wanted to route the edges.  For large pieces of wood I usually clamp the wood to my work table and use the router.  Since these pieces are pretty small, it would be difficult to use clamps.  So I drilled holes in each piece and screwed it to the table.

For the egg-shaped stand, I used a round over bit to give it rounded edges.

For the rectangular stand I used a cove bit to give it a more decorative look.

Once both were done I smoothed out all the curves with some sandpaper.

Next I used a spade bit on my drill press to make a round level for the pipe bowl to sit in.

I sanded the inner edges and smoothed them with my dremel.

For the part of the stand that will hold the pipe's mouthpiece, I cut a small block of wood...

...which I sanded into a nice decorative piece with the belt sander.

I made a groove on the top of the piece with the dremel.  This groove will let the pipe stem sit nicely.

I cleaned and smoothed with sandpaper.

And it looks pretty good.

I placed the pipe on to see how it works.  It's a bit too tall....

...so I trimmed a little from the bottom and it fits better now.

For the rectangular stand, I also cut a small block of wood...

...but instead of shaping it first with the belt sander, I used a smaller spade bit on the drill press to make the groove for the pipe stem.

I placed the new piece on, but it's much too tall...

...so I simply re-positioned it to lie horizontally.

The straight pipe fits nicely, but it needs that little hole for the bowl to sit in.

So I used the drill press again to create the round indentation.

Now it sits perfectly.

With the 2 stands working well it was time to glue the pieces on.  The rectangular stand is simply glued together.  The rounded stand is held together with glue and a screw.

For the long-stem pipe I grabbed some more scrap wood and actually laid the pipe against it.  I traced the shape of the stem onto the wood piece in back of it.

I have no predetermined look for this stand, so I'm just winging it.  Next I made several levels for the bowl using 2 different sized spade bits.

I cut the shape I had drawn earlier for the vertical part of the stand, and cut out a random shape for the base.  I then used the shape I had cut out as a template for the other side, and then cut that shape out too.

I smoothed all the edges and curves with the belt sander.

I placed the pieces of the stand together and pit the pipe on.  So far it's ok, but I can make it prettier.

To do so I decided to use the router again, but this time I decided to use a dovetail bit for the router.  

This gave a cool edge, but dovetail bits do not have a ball bearing on the bottom to help guide the router along the edge of the piece.  As a result the bit ate away a small area it was not supposed to.  

To fix the look slightly I changed to a round over bit and rounded the top edge of the piece.  The error is still there, which I will fix later with some filler.

The bottom of the stand definitely looks nicer now, but the top part of the stand looks too blocky to me now.

So I cut away the middle a bit, and it looks much better.

Next I glued and screwed the 2 pieces of the stand together.

The piece of wood I used for the bottom had pocket holes from a previous project.  I used some wood plugs and glue to fill in these holes.

When the glue dried I sanded the plugs smooth with my belt sander.

Then I added wood filler to all of the stands.

Once the filler dried I sanded, cleaned and prepped for staining.

When the stain had fully dried on each I applied some polyurethane.

And I'm done!

These were a fun little project to work on.

I think they all turned out great.

A reminder: these are not for smoking!  The wood used and the stains/polyurethane would probably be extremely hazardous to inhale.  I can not take any responsibility to anyone who might make these based on my steps above, and injure themselves smoking from pipes like these.

Thanks for reading!!

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