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The Process

First step in making a pipe is getting a briar block.

Here I am on Corse sitting and talking to ’the miller’ Antonio Salvai about briar blocks. He tells me, that they have not yet dried up completely, so they must not be exposed to sunlight. That is why we are sitting in the shade.

Meanwhile he is measuring the blocks in order to set a price.

Big blocks are expensive!

Small blocks are expensive! Just not as much!

Now the briar blocks are dry and ready for use.

Sketches are made on paper and transferred to the blo cks.

The block is fixed in the lathe and the shank is carved and drilled.

The stummel and the smoke chamber are carved.

The stems are selected and the blocks are allowed to rest for a while.

The pipe is shaped using different sanders and sanding belts.

The tenon is carved to make a perfect match to the mortise.

The stem is sanded down to match the shank.

A piece of olive wood is joined.

The final sanding of the pipe is made by hand with the pipe fixed on a wooden mandrel.

The pipe is painted with alcohol stain.

At first the pipe gets a dark color to enhance the wooden structure.

After a light sanding, it gets a coloured paint.

The pipe is polished using different kinds of waxes.

Last waxing is done with canauba, which gives a high gloss shiny surface.

The last inspection before the pipe is put in the display cabinet.

You will find a bigger picture of the pipe in the gallery ’pipes, sold'.

The pipe is no longer in stock, but if you are interested in a similar pipe, I will be glad to make one for you.