Welcome to my world of pipes. On these pages you will see some of what goes on in my workshop. A bit of work-in-progress, mess-ups (they do happen!) and also some other pipe-related posts.
I love talking about and discussing pipes, so feel free to contact me at charl.chillfactor@gmail.com.
Should you wish to have a look at my pipes, please drop in at my website (http://goussardpipes.com/).

April 25, 2013

Commissioned rhodesian: a couple of process photos

I recently did a commission for a gentleman and along the way I took a couple of photos. In general, I'm not very good at remembering to do that. I get into the "muse" and too late think: Ha, I should have taken a pic of that step!
But well, I thought someone would think it's interesting.
 The above photo is of the stummel after the lathe work is finished, with rough shaping started. I normally get it to this stage before deciding on stem length, -shape, etc. There's nothing concrete yet, but the rough idea is there.
Here the drilled stem has been added. I first check that the stem/shank junction is good and then go between the 16 and the 60 grit disc, to get the shape I want going.
This is also the stage I hate the most. The pipe looks like a blob, like a toddler's play dough. It's up to me, what I "see" in my mind, my hands and the sanding disc to try and coax the shape from the briar.
At this stage rough shaping is finished and I have started with sanding at 150 grit by hand. It's starting to look more like a pipe now. This is also the time where the "fine tuning" start. Thinning the shank a bit, taking a bit more off the heel of the stummel, getting symmetry, working on the flow.

And eventually, something like the above will be the result. It always amazes me that in this process, where we take a block of wood and a round piece of rod, something as graceful and flowing as this, can be made.
Every pipe is a little miracle.

April 11, 2013

Something from nothing

I've had this stummel lying on the bench for over a year now, but being the frugal person I am, I did not want to throw it away. I was hoping that one day I'll be able to do something resembling a pipe with it. As you can see in the first photo, in the mean time I even used it to try out different staining techniques.

Originally, the bottom of the bowl was much sharper and lower, the rim was convex and the chamber drilled, but not the airway. I flattened the top and took away the pointy bottom. Then I drilled the airway, along with a mortise to accept a stainless steel tenon.

This photo above is before final wax and polish. And the following photo is the final result.

 I must say in all honesty that I did not expect the grain to be that good! Perfect flamegrain all around, with a bit of birdseye on the bottom and of course the rim. Except for one small blemish on the rim and a pinprick on the bottom, this would have been spotless. But alas, briar is a natural product!
More photos and specifications on my website at http://www.goussardpipes.com/.

April 5, 2013

Fresh bamboo

One I finished today.