In the first step, I take the stem to a sanding disc, where I'll start with 60 grit and get the taper (i.e. on a tapered stem) and rough shape going. This will be followed by a 220 grit disc.
How do you like that button?
That was the easy bit. Now the elbow grease starts. First I use a very rough file to get the shape more defined. I'll also do a rough-over of the stem/shank joint, to get it smoothed. And I'll also work up the shank towards the bowl a bit.
Then I move onto the bit side, thinning the bite down, while also keeping in mind that the top and bottom of the taper have to form a straight line.
File work, lots of file work and then filing, filing and some more filing!
Next the button will be thinned down. In this step it is important to use an edge-safe file, of course. It's happened quite often that I have the file the wrong way around! So take care and double-check yourself.
When everything is more or less roughly the way I would like the end product to be, I'll have a look at the thickness of the bit. Sanding and final finishing will still remove a couple of microns. I normally at this stage like to have the bit thickness by at least 4mm, but preferably a tad less.
I know these couple of photos and bit of text only gives you the rough idea, so please feel free to contact me should there be any questions.
Next we will be looking at final sanding and finishing.