Talk:Pipe Tobacco Today

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I'm new to pipe carving but I've made my living working wood most of my life. I'm too old and worn out to carry heavy lumber anymore, and bending at the waste with this hernia disk is out of the question.

I began carving my first pipe from a Mesquite Briar I dug up and aged for several months. I selected a portion of the briar I thought would have the best grain. I have been a pipe smoker since 1964 and all these years I never knew just what made some of my pipes smoke better than others. I never owned a top quality pipe and still don’t.

I intend to become a real good pipe maker and the information found here on the subject has fascinated me to the point, I’ve read nearly all listings and re-read some of it. So much information can be confusing though.

There are no pipe makers in my area and any pipe repair has to be sent away. I feel about pipe carving just like I feel about building a cabinet. It takes the same amount of effort, equipment and time to build anything from inferior material as it does to use top quality material and if you expect to charge top dollar for your product, you’d better be sure the quality matches the price.

After reading all the information on air flow I see there is some controversy between some of great pipe makers you’ve quoted here.

I’ve spent too much time on this pipe to ruin it at this stage although I realize the material I selected may not produce a good smoke. The finished pipe will be the final test. At the moment I’m waiting for my shop machinery to be delivered. Drill press, scroll saw, grinder/sander and buffers. I plan to make four buffer/polishers from 1/3 hp. Motors, each a different grit. I own thousands of dollars worth of construction and machinist tools and have been able to use some of them but still need a different set for pipe making.

I wonder if there is a pipe maker I could go to and learn some of the important points of the process. I imagine good pipe makers are like most good machinist and carpenters. They have their own way of doing basic processes to produce the same product. I hungry for this knowledge but don’t know where to learn more.

I’ve learned that the best materials aren’t always the most expensive of the choices. Is there really a difference, other than price in stem material?

I will continue reading and absorbing the information found here but I know I can learn much more by watching and asking questions. I would work in any capacity for a good pipe maker for nothing just to learn more if you know of anyone willing to share their knowledge with someone eager and energetic to learn some of what they know. I know that trial and error, known as the school of hard knocks is one of the best teachers but it is always better to have a good set of working ethics to begin with.

I read most of the information on tobacco, which is a point of great interest to me. For many years I smoked a blend called W. D. Supreme sold in a tobacco shop called W. D. Gas, located in the Abilene Texas Mall. I live quite a way from Abilene and only went there a few times a year. I purchased enough tobacco at a time to last me several months. Back in 1994 I think, I went to replenish my supply only to find the shop closed and nobody knew where they went. I haven’t found a tobacco I like as well since and wish I could find the blend again. Do you have any knowledge about this blend? Someone has to know something about W. D. Gas/W. D. Supreme pipe tobacco.

Well this note has turned into a book so I’ll shut it down here. I don’t expect anything for nothing and if you don’t have the time or interest in communication with me, I truly understand. I just like pipe talk with people who know a lot about the subject. Thanks for your effort here. I will use it to my best ability.

James Laughlin Stanton, TX. 4325993473

Hello James,

Welcome to the pipe making community. I have some good news for you, since it seems you may not as yet have discovered this website: pipemakersforum All of your pipemaking questions can be answered there. To my knowledge, it is the only pipemaking forum on the web, hosted by a really great guy, Kurt Huhn, and contributed to by both professional and hobbyist pipemakers. Most of your questions might already have been addressed, so I would suggest you do as I did, read as many of the existing posts as possible before asking questions. This forum is a veritable gold mine of knowledge when it comes to pipemaking.

As far as I know, the only pipemaker who runs organised scheduled classes on pipemaking is Tim West. He is listed here in the supplies section [Materials and Supplies]. Once you have joined the above mentioned forum, you will likely find a pipemaker in Texas quite willing for you to swing by and watch him at work.

To address your question on price and stem material, yes, there is a big difference in quality which would affect price. There is also a difference in stem material types. These are all issues addressed on the above mentioned forum. Hope to see you there.



Great to see you here James, and look forward to seeing you on the pipe makers forum. You'll find lots of info there, as well as a great group of pipe makers, like Frank!! I agree with him on the stem material. Yes, there is a huge difference. I have found that the German Ebonite and Cumberland are well worth the added expense and hassle. We invest so much time into these things it really seems like false economy to me to cheap out on the materials. On the other hand, when you're learning, you might as well use less expensive stuff until you quit ruining things! I think you'll find there is a learning curve to pipe making even though it sounds like you do have some series woodworking chops. At least I certainly found it so, and I still ruin perfectly good materials from time to time. Rad Davis alluded to another stem material he's been experimenting with, and you'll find all sorts of other experimentation going on in the forum threads... --sethile 17:19, 16 October 2008 (CDT)