Thursday, June 11, 2009

Long time, no post...

Jeez it's been a long time with no posts. What can I tell you - I got busy, then forgot all about this blogging thing. I guess I ought to make up for lost time by showing a little of what I've been up to.

Here's some snaps of a few pipes that have escaped from the shop recently. The first is a nice apple that's sporting a swirled vulcanite stem. This isn't the traditional cumberland that most folks think of when you say "swirled ebonite", but a new pattern in a new color. In this case, the color is a light brown, and does a great job of matching the lighter colors in the pipe itself. In addition, it also has a shank end-cap made of briar - just a little piece of interest that I thought the pipe needed.

Second is a chubby billiard. It's short, but not so short that smoke will be going up your nose the entire time you're smoking it. Pipes of this kind have enjoyed a renewed interest for reasons that aren't entirely clear. Maybe it's because they're just so darned comfortable. I don't know, but whatever the reason, I think it's great because I've been making pipes like this for myself for about three years now. If you haven't tried a pipe of this size and proportions, you definitely should. I'm sure you'l love it.

Last pipe to show off is a first for me. This is a longshank acorn that I've been dying to make for about four years now, but never really had the courage to attempt until now. The problem is with the way that these are drilled. While shaping the shank, you need to be incredibly cognizant of the location of the mortis and airway. If you don't know exactly where they are, you're going to sand right through and into the airway. It's not a lot of work, but it is an exercise in courage, and does require a high level of comittment to the shape. Without a doubt, this is one of my greatest personal triumphs.

And there's no pictures yet, because it's not finished, but I've been putting a lot of time into building a swingset for the kids. The basic frame is up, and the special bolts for the swings arrived this afternoon. I still need to frame in the clubhouse area, attach the slides (oh yes, plural), erect the rock climbing wall, and figure where to put the monkey bars. And later this year, when I get new tires for the truck, I'll take one of the old ones home with me, and put a tire swing on it. This is going to be the best swingset EVER!!