Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tools and Forum Pipes

Big news brewing here today. I've listed a particularly cool tool on my site that I call a "French Wheel Motor Arbor". I came up with a similar idea about a year ago and then continued to tweak and massage the design until I was completely happy with it. What I've got here is the final result.

Most pipe makers have some sort of wheel setup that they use to help shape their pipes. Me, not wanting to spend loads of money on a professional setup, decided there must be an easier alternative, so I set to work. Since I was already using a dual-action sander pad (DA pad) held in a Jacobs chuck, I figured that I could use it on a motor and simplify the entire ordeal. Then, instead of only having one pad, I could have several, each with different grits. Changing grits used to be an exercise in frustration, but since I've developed this tool, it only takes a matter of seconds. All I do is spin one DA pad off the arbor, and spin the next one on. I only have to change the abrasive once every dozen pipes (or more) and even then it only takes a moment to get everything lined up since I don't have to do it while the pad is mounted.

I'm offering them to pipe makers and other craftsmen on my site, check it out here. Soon I should have other strange and obscure tools available there as well, and I'll post announcements here when I do.

The other news this week is that I'm working on a huge order of forum pipes, so don't be dismayed if it takes me a day or two to get back to you. These are of the Zulu shape, but have a twist that I've developed instead of being a completely classical shape. I actually have a prototype ready, but am going to give the forum members first look. I'll post a photo here later on this week so everyone can see it. I'm in a Zulu frame of mind these days, so if you're looking for one, shoot me an email.