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/).

March 11, 2013


Using bamboo are just like women in a way: they need lots of attention, but rub them up the wrong way and you'll be sure to be sorry!Bamboo is a fickle mistress. Except for getting the shank/bamboo and bamboo/stem transition seamless, the composition should also be perfect.
 I finished a little pipe with bamboo just before the weekend and thought I'd share some photos which I took along the way.

First, the stummel is rough sanded. I normally leave the bit of stubby shank over sized, so there is a bit of room for getting the shank/bamboo transition just right. A piece of stainless steel tubing is glued into the mortise.
A piece of bamboo that compliment the pipe is then chosen (which might be quite a task!). This piece is sawed to the right dimension and freehand drilled from both sides with a tapered 4mm bit. The capillary found naturally in the bamboo helps. A mortise is then drilled from both sides to accommodate the stainless steel tenons. I do it by chucking the appropriate bit in the headstock of the lathe and using the tail stock with center to advance the bamboo onto the bit. 
By using a pin gauge, the bamboo is then faced on both sides. The side that'll end up by the stem, also gets a little tenon to accept a ring with slightly larger diameter than the mortise. This ring is then glued in place and slightly countersunk. 
Sometimes, depending on the design, you can also do rings on both sides of the bamboo. 
You now have a piece of bamboo with a ring (or 2) attached, and a stummel with stainless steel tenon sticking out.
This is where the fun starts! The bamboo piece is pushed onto the stummel and the shaping begins. First I go to the sanding disc to get the diameter as close as possible to the bamboo. Then needle files, sandpaper or whatever works, to get the shank and bamboo transition flush and smooth, always taking care not too damage the bamboo. Nerve wrecking stuff! 
When done, the stummel is sanded to final grit, and stained. Only then, the bamboo is glued into place.              
Now you have a stummel, with the bamboo attached. An appropriate length of ebonite is then cut, drilled and a stainless steel tenon glued into place. The same procedure as on the shank side, is then followed.
Eventually, you'll end up with something like this: