Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sanding pads and new pipes

Now that the forum pipes are all on their way to their new owners, it's back to letting the briar tell me what shape is inside it. I've got several pipes in the works right now, and in the image on the left you can see a dublin, bulldog, a short little apple, a big billiard, a blowfish (not a discus), and even an ukelele (aka eskimo). Of these, the blowfish and ukelele are going to be firsts for me. The blowfish is a more strict version of the blowfish, and while it will be cross-grained, it won't be a discus similar to some pipes I've made in the past. I will try to accentuate the birdseye however. Of these, the bulldog is already spoken for.

In other news, I've started carrying the backup pads for the motor arbor I introduced here a while back. No longer do you need to hunt down the right kind at an autobody shop, or pay shipping from somewhere else to get them. They've got their own page - click here.

I've also got ideas for a few other tools, but I need to find time to create some prototypes and test them out. Since I'm one of these people that really needs to make sure something actually works well, that could be a couple months. More here as things develop.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What does a pipe maker do to relax?

So, what does he do? If the pipe maker is me, he makes other things aside from pipes. On the left is a pen I made with absolutely no kit parts at all. And below to the left is another. I made both of these after some particularly trying days in the workshop - one after a day of sandblasting, and one after I messed up one stem after another.

These were a lot of fun to make, and you can bet I'll enjoy using them. The one made from ebonite is already a daily use pen. I've already had an idea floated past me for a pair in that style - one made of ebonite, and one bone white. I think I could play with the design a little and create a Yin and Yang pair that play off of each other.

And today I manage to make a couple really good copies of some brass pins that will be going into an antique chandelier owned by my parents. The originals were lost by the moving company that moved them from California to Massachusetts, and being an antique, you can't just walk into Lowes and get replacements. At elbow's distance, they're indistinguishable from the original, and once a patina develops, they'll be even harder to pick out. They won't stand up to an antiquarian or art historian, but that's not really the point. The point was to make them invisible to 99.blah% of the population out there. I am quite pleased with the results of my efforts - hopefully they pass muster once they're installed in the chandelier as well.

Friday, December 05, 2008

It's been a busy November

I figure I'll show off what's been taking up my time here recently, a forum pipe. This is the prototype I made a while back. It's a Zulu-ish shape, long and light, with the oval shape of the shank carried up into the bowl. These are actually being completed this week and early next, and will get shipped out next week. Just in time for Christmas!

In other news, the motor arbor that I posted here not too long ago has really proven popular! I keep a good supply of these on hand (actually, I end up making a bunch every week), just to be sure that I've got enough on hand for immediate shipment. The feedback has been incredibly positive, and I'm very happy that other folks have gotten good use out of this little hack.

So, that begs the question: the website is bare, when are you going to make some new pipes? Later next week I'll begin work on a few pipes that I've been itching to make. After a month of Zulus, my head is full of ideas for apples, blowfish, and even an Ukulele/Eskimo. And yes, pipe kits. I know folks are looking for these. I promise I'll get some made up next week.