Dave McLary started making hand made pipes in the mid 60's. He writes, "I learned the basics of pipe making from Bill Mincer (Tracy Mincer's son). I frequented the Custombilt factory in Indianapolis where Claude Stewart was the foreman and Bill Mincer worked there. At first I would buy a couple blocks of biair and bill would drill the tobacco chamber for me and fit the stem."
Eventually I set up a shop where I did the entire operation and sold pipes to friends. I worked at the Indiana State Museum as Curator of Exhibits and chief Taxidermist. A gentleman also worked there who smoked a pipe and he purchased several pipes from me. He was from St. Louis and was familiar with the John Dingler pipe shop there. He showed Dingler some of my pipes and Dingler was interested. I made a trip to St. Louis and sold pipes to him for awhile. I also had 2 other pipe shops selling my pipes in Indianapolis and Anderson, IN.
I got married, built a house myself and raised a family not making any more pipes for several years. After I retired from the Museum, after 20 years, I worked for the Indianapolis Zoo as Curator of Exhibits/Graphics for another 16 years. After retiring from the Zoo I started making pipes again selling to a couple of pipe shops and then listing them on eBay in 2001.
I made a trip to Italy 2 years ago and hand picked some beautiful briar from Mimmo the briar cutter in Taggia, Italy.