Introduction: Bacchus' Calumet
I called this Instructable originally 'Crazy Horse's Calumet'. But, some members mentioned the 'abusive' use of this Lakota name. Since I never wanted to offend or provocate anyone I decided to change the title. It became 'Counterfeit' Calumet.
Member Joni - see comments - told me that this pipe would surely be loved by the god Bacchus. Touched by his story and wiseness I changed the title one more time. Thanx Joni!
Why a peace-pipe?
My best friend asked me to be his witness at his wedding in a couple of weeks.
His wedding will be very customised and inspired by ancient traditions, he told me.
There will be smoke, streams of beer and a lot of nude people, I understood ;-)
(maybe I understood wrong).
What to offer? Always a difficult question...
My friend's callname (for insiders) is 'Crazy Horse' and all his life he's being passionated by Native American's culture. Inspired by Dances With Wolves - remember that goodbye scene at the end? - I thought about offering him a calumet aka peace-pipe, as a symbol to wish him and his brandnew wife good luck on their mutual way.
The handle was easy: I thought immediately about olive, one of the most beautiful wood-species ever. Nice to find, nice to handle, nice to see.
The pipe-head was more complicated, since I don't have pottery or stone-carving skills.
Why not iron, I thought? Okay, I'm not a professional welder but welding a calumet is within the limits of everyone...
(If you read the comments below you'll see that this item caused a lot of controversy. Even if it's for decorative use, I didn't know that the use of iron in calumet-building shouldn't be take lightly. I like the combination of iron and metal in an artistic way and that's how I see this calumet: a piece of art with no functional or ceremonial use. Keep this in mind, it's artwork.)
This project turned out to the most heavy calumet ever (almost 5 Lbs). This calumet is yak-proof, believe me!
And for all it's big fun to make!
NOTE: I've build this pipe as if it was smokable and in every step I tried to find the appropriate solutions for this use. If anyone would really build a pipe to smoke (using stone or pottery): you'll find some ideas in the following steps.
This artwork is for decorative use only!!! I used a lot of metal and glue and heating this stuff can cause severe health damage.
So, again: DON'T USE IT FOR SMOKING!!!
- a log
- saw, drill, drill bits
- angle sander
- some pieces of iron pipe
- safety gear
Step 1: Raw Shaping the Handle
I didn't have a lot of time because the wedding is in a couple of weeks.
Since I decided to make the handle in olive - it would have been a lot easier just to buy a beam of oak and play with it but doing concessions is not my cup of tea - I needed to find a piece of wood already dry.
Why working easy if it can be done so much more complicated?
Many hours in abondoned Southern France's orchards, I spent, until I found a dead three with exactly the log I needed.
I cut a beam of more than two feet long and went back home.
Plane the log into something straight and flattened. I didn't want a round handle, I wanted it to be ellipsoid.
This is no rocket-science. Feel free to shape it as you like!
Step 2: Drilling the Handle
The niciest part of the job!
Look for the longest drill you can find (I had one of almost 1 food) or use an extension for flat wood bits.
I used both. The traditional drill went a lot better than the flat one.
Clamp the log and start drilling (I used a diameter of 14 mm - half inch).
Use a powerful drill, and a lot of natural oil. Olive oil is just perfect!
Somewhere in the middle of the log I had a problem.
My bits weren't just long enough.
Cut a piece of the log, you'll say.
Again: I never do concessions. In a few minutes I made the longest wood-drill bit ever aka wood-harpoon - see my Instructable 'Wood harpoon drill': a flat bit, a tube of aluminium, some chemical anchor and ready for the drill!
Pay attention to evacuate the drill dust every minute, otherwise the bit may stuck in the tunnel!!!
The new drill made it through the end - powerful tool - and a tunnel was born.
Somewhere in the middle of the handle a hole appeared due to an old wound in the log. Plastic surgery needed!
Step 3: The Mouth Piece
For one reason I wanted the mouth piece to be seperated from the handle.
Drill a bigger hole in the mouth-side (twice the diameter of the hole, one finger deep).
Take a hole-drill and cut out a 'sigar' from a piece of log - I chose oak.
Inner diameter: same as a sigaret, sou you could easily put a filter in it.
Some sanding (put an axis in the center hole and sand on a fixed band-saw!) and the mouth-piece is ready.
This separated mouth-piece makes it easy to remove the filter after smoking.
Again: I'm launching the idea. This pipe will not being used for smoking.
Step 4: Tubing
To manage to problem of the hole in the middle of the handle I decided to glue an aluminium tube in it.
Put some glue in the hole, some glue on the tube (after having sealed one end) and smash the tube through the tunnel.
Let it dry.
Step 5: Plastic Surgery
Take some wood paste with the same color as the wood and fill up the wounds in the handle.
Let it dry.
Step 6: Sanding the Handle
Use angle sander and fixed band saw.
Go on mode 'manual' at the end.
I started with grain 50 and ended with 800.
Don't forget to sand a 'reduction' at the pipe-head end. This end will be fixed INTO the head later.
Step 7: Welding & Sanding the Pipe-head
I searched for some big pieces of iron pipe (diameter 2 inch).
YES THIS IS BIG - It's a multi-person-pipe, you know!
- a 'T'
- two muffs
- a piece of pipe with thread
- a male cap
- a smaller male cap
- a reduction
Cut the threaded parts of the iron pipe and use them to put this all together.
Remove the excess iron with an angle- grinder, add some more welds if necessary and end with a sander.
Finish the head with fine 'aquatic' sanding paper (600 to 800).
My pipe-head doesn't look perfect at all - the welds are 'dirty' and the sanding is not 'polish-level' - but in one way I didn't care because I wanted it to look 'old' & 'used'.
Step 8: Welding the 'bell'
This iron piece wil serve as bottom in the pipe head. You need someting to hold the tobacco in place, no?
The bell is hold in place by the piece of thread in the head and should not be welded within the head. This will allow you to clean the head properly after use in case of a non-iron-nor-glue-build pipe.
Weld the reduction and the small male cap together.
Cut the upper part of the reduction.
Drill a hole rom the iside in the center of the bell, not too deep!
Drill a hole from the outside to become an 'L'-shaped hole.
Ready it is!
Step 9: 'Vinegeration' of the Head
I wanted the pipe-head to look ancient. Real metal-workers will kill me after seeing this work, but let's say that it's an old peace-pipe I'm building, it hasn't to be perfect.
And my welding level is not the same as my woodworking level ;-)
Rob O told in his Instructable 'Modify a Tomahawk' to boil the piece of metal in vinegar - thanx Rob!
I did. It boiled it for one hour in vingar and this process developed a black ashy patina. And it revealed all the welds, oops!!!
If you don't want to see the welds: don't do this with your artwork! I didn't mind, the head will be covered by straps anyway.
Step 10: Assembly!
Put some fire-resistant silicone at the end that'll go into the pipehead. Add some fire-resistant glue and glue handle and head together.
Let it dry!
Step 11: Oiling & Finishing
Almost ready is that calumet. All you need is finishing!
Use natural oil. Put it on the handle with bare hands and remove the excess with a towel.
Decorate as you feel it. I used some greased leather strap but I'm sure there are plenty ways to customise your calumet!
End of the job, hope my friend will like it!
Thanx for watching!