I got a lot further along on my Cheery wood pipe today; it’s pretty much finished save for a little fitting between the stem and bowl. This first picture shows the large hole being bored. The stem is in two pieces, one is a piece of pine that I think is from the 1870’s. That piece has walnut stain on it, but no clear yet. The shroud for the stem is Cholla wood from Texas that my daughter sent. When I got it, there was a dark grey outer layer on all the surfaces. I took a small pocket knife blade, and scraped all that off. It was a bit time consuming to get at all the contours, but worth it. Then I put a coat of amber colored shellac on it; because it already had an unusual yellow color.
In the next picture, it’s assembled and ready to test. As I said, it still needs some more fitting. You can see the threaded brass piece I used to attach the stem to the bowl, which would be hidden had the fitting been better. The bowl is Cherry wood, with one coat of clear shellac. these days people use fast drying lacquer as a seal coat, which works really well, in terms of production time. Shellac is traditional, which I like, and they say it brings out the color of wood better.
The next picture was obviously hand held in low light conditions, but there it is, smoke from the first bowl full. In case you’re seeing this pipe project for the first time, I’ll reiterate: Pipes aren’t smoked the same way cigarettes are. they’re not inhaled, which makes a huge difference in terms of health hazard. Yes, there are warnings about oral cancer, but I don’t have one of these in my mouth all day, so I’m not terribly worried.
This pipe is actually huge in overall size compared to the average tobacco pipe. I’ve been researching the Indian smoking blend called KinnikKinnick; and have mixed up a bit of it. That’s what I thought I’d use this pipe for, but I decided to break it in with a Cavendish Tobacco blend, because frankly, the two part Indian blend I made up smells like a cross between Autumn leaves and cardboard when burned. Maybe the addition of Red Willow bark will help. Not a big deal, as I wanted it for the novelty and variety. I think I’ll do a separate post about the Kinni-Kinnick, because it’s worth it.