Thursday, August 07, 2008

Epic FAIL....

Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

This is the second go at this particular pipe. The first try had to be seriously cut down due to a flaw in the top of the bowl. By the time I was finished modifying the bowl, it was far too small to be used with the stem I had already prepared. It will be a nice pipe, but I had to shift gears and make another, slimmer stem for it.

In this try, I got all the proportions right, and the wood was really cooperating - or so I thought. You can see right inside the tobacco chamber here that there's a giant flaw that extends from just under the bowl rim to somewhere about the midpoint down. For whatever reason, I didn't notice the flaw until after I had started roughing in the pipe and had gotten to the point of laying down the first layer of contrast stain. That's really too bad too. As this photo shows, the outside of the pipe has some reall nice grain, the kind that makes Karin (my wife) pick it up and say "Holy Crap!".

Back to the briar pile, I guess. This pipe is begging to be made - at least it's burning a hole in the back of my head. You may have seen last year's "beers of summer" pipe, the Summer Ale, and this year's version of that pipe is nearly ready for pictures. This pipe here is going to be the "Pale Ale", and is darker stained with a different stem material. It's also slightly bent, so that this is a variation on a theme rather than just being a different color of the exact same pipe.

Last year I kind of tested the waters a little with the Summer Ale, and this year I'm going to expand it even further to include Autumn and Winter seasons. This year's Oktoberfest pipe will finally gel into a year-round offering of themed special editions. If I ever get the Pale Ale made that is....