Trever Talbert on Finishing
Finishing a pipe is sometimes as laborious a process as the rest of creating it! Sanding to a smooth shine is a big part of it, as the better a natural sheen to the wood, the better it will hold its gloss from waxing later. I use sandpaper from 80 grit to 8000 grit, as well as fine grade steel wool.
If the pipe is going to be stained, there's quite a process involved. I will generally stain in repeating stages, where one dark understain will be applied, sanded and buffed, and then another applied over it. Eventually I'll finish with the surface color, which is chosen to look its best with the various tints of under-colors showing through it. The pipe will then be waxed and stamped with its year of creation, its grade, any special stampings, and finally the Talbert Pipes logo. On Signature grades and Minaria grades, I sign each by hand with a scriber rather than using the standard logo stamp.
Once the pipe is buffed and hand-polished, it's ready for smoking!