Wood carving is a popular hobby for people from all walks of life. Carving can be done for fun or you can carve figurines and items to sell. Carving a wooden pipe allows you to create a one-of-a-kind piece that can be used for your own benefit or given as a gift. You can create a pipe that is an art piece by adding embellishments and using a rare type of wood. No matter why you choose to carve a wooden pipe and how your pipe ultimately looks, the basic carving is the same for all pipes.
You will want to choose a type of wood that is sturdy and attractive. Most wood carvers like maple or cherry, but keep in mind the wood can alter the scent and flavor of the tobacco. Many believe the alteration is an improvement, though. These harder woods are also more fire resistant, which of course comes in handy when you are using your pipe.
Once you have chosen your wood, carve the basic outline of the pipe. You will start with a cube shape of about two inches high. This will eventually be the bowl of the pipe. You will also need a handle and tube connected to the bowl, so carve a length of about three inches extending out from the bowl. Your shape should look like the letter “P” lying on its back with the hump of the letter facing upwards.
Make the Pipe Workable
From your basic shape, carve the pipe into a more defined and recognizable shape. You will want to round the bowl and the cylinder. Before you shape the pipe too much, insert the hole into your cylinder, so it is possible to let the air flow through into your mouth and out of the pipe. You will need a drill bit slightly longer than the pipe length to accomplish this. The hole should be of a small diameter, but the specific size is based on how much smoke you plan to inhale. The larger the diameter, the more tobacco smoke you can draw into your mouth. When drilling the hole, be careful not to drill all the way through your cube. Your goal is to get about halfway into the bowl with your drill bit.
Carve the Bowl of the Pipe
Once you have drilled the hole and shaped your pipe, you need to carve the center of the bowl. The bowl should be about an inch and a half deep. Once you have it carved, try blowing air into the tube and out the bowl. If you are able to inhale and exhale easily, your pipe is balanced and usable.
Carve the wooden pipe until it is the exact shape and dimension you desire. You can sand the pipe to make it smooth and avoid splintering wood. Some smokers choose to stain the outside of the pipe, but do not use too much stain or allow it to touch the mouthpiece or bowl.
Before packing tobacco into your pipe, make sure the wood shavings are cleaned away. This can be done by blowing out of the pipe several times until no more wood shavings are blowing out with the air. One the bowl and pipe are completely clear, you can enjoy smoking your pipe.