Introduction: How to Make a Wooden Pipe Out of a Single Piece of Wood

Picture of How to Make a Wooden Pipe Out of a Single Piece of Wood

In this instructable, I'll show you how to make your own tobacco pipe out of a single piece of wood.



For this project you will need:

A piece of wood about 1 inch square by about 4 inches(can be larger if desired.)

A 3/4 inch forstner bit, and faucet screen.


Belt sander for rough shaping


Natura oil(NOTE: Do NOT use any other finish but non toxic stuff. Remember you are going to be burning tobbaco in this pipe, so you don't want to burn any other harsh chemicals)

A small drill bit no smaller than 1/8 inch or no larger than 1/4 inch.

Files and rasps for final shaping, and chisels for and detail work.

Japanese saw, or other thin kerf saw.

Clamps and a bench vise

Step 1: Boring the Holes: Bowl and Stem

Picture of Boring the Holes: Bowl and Stem

Ok, for the first step you want to bore your bowl.

What you want to do is to bore your bowl, so that its deep enough to hold the tobacco, but not too deep, as the stem will be connected from the bottom of the bowl.

In the 1st image, we see the forstner bit about to bore the bowl hole. Note how I evenly spaced the hole so that the bowl walls will be even. The second image shows the bowl.

Next, you want to bore the stem hole. The placement of the stem is crucial. If you want to make a fancier stem, you can drill diagonally, but make sure that you leave a small amount around the stem, so that the heat dosnt burn your lips. You don't want to drill the stem hole into the side of the bowl, so make sure you have good control with the drill. You can check the depth of the stem hole by inserting the bit till it hits the end of the hole. Then with your finger, place it in the drill bit and the entrance of the hole. Then move it outside the hole and cross-reference your finger position with the outside. See the diagram for more details.

Step 2: Shaping

Picture of Shaping

Next, you are going to shape the pipe. Start off by cutting into the side of the bowl on all 4 sides of the piece of wood. as seen in the first image. once that's complete, do the same for the stem end. seen in the second image.

Once your lines are cut in the stem, cut the waste off.
as seen in image 3. Note the edge of the bowl is cut to the depth of the stem lines.

Once you have the square pipe, round it off with the belt sander and the rasps. be careful not to go through the material into the stem or the bowl.

Once in a while, you will want to check for leaks. A good way of doing this it to cover the bowl with your hand, providing a seal around it. Then blow into the pipe, and if you did it right, there shouldn't be any air escaping. if there is, just rub a little wood glue around the leak. and instead of blowing, suck in a little to get the glue down into the leak site.

Step 3: Final Shaping, and Finishing

Picture of Final Shaping, and Finishing

Once you have your rounded out version, sand it down to remove and saw marks. this would be the time to add and visial flares, such as lines or grooves carved into the side of the bowl. One all that is complete, apply the finish and insert the screen. Pour a bit of finish in the bowl and tilt towards the stem to coat the inside. olive oil works well for this.

And with that, you should be done.


ringai (author)2014-10-09

That's nice. Looking at the pics got me to thinking about making one on the lathe. You can do almost the whole thing (including the diagonal stem hole and bowl) on a lathe if you're comfortable with offset work.

wiccanman82 (author)2010-01-07

now is there any kind of wood that wouldnt be good to smoke out of? awsome ible by the way, im def gonna make a bunch of these

Stick4444 (author)wiccanman822010-01-07

Well, i forgot to mention in the instructable, but you need a species of wood thats REALLY dense and hard, like ash or some tropical woods(be aware of some natural oils in some species) I used cocobolo for a more recent piece, and it works excellently, only problem is, cocobolo is incresingly rare.

SlickSqueegie (author)Stick44442012-12-18

Cocobolo is questionable. I worked with it before it has lots of oils in it that cause alergic reactions to most people... The last time i used it, i made a pen. for three days after i had blotchy red marks on my hand... I would stay away from most tropicals unless you know its safe... There is a list somewhere out there. I find briarwood blanks far to expensive and small for the types of pipes i make. And dont make the mistake of buying the whole briar root and think you can make your own blanks. They have to dry it properly before it is concidered fireproof.

wiccanman82 (author)Stick44442010-01-14

Awsome thanks, so i would b safe with cherry or rock maple?

Stick4444 (author)wiccanman822010-01-14

Unfortunatly, no, as they burn REAL easy. That pipe In the instructable burned up pretty badly, but I have another one made from tropical wood that dosnt burn as much. The key is to use very little flame on whatever it is that you're burning.

dubcg (author)Stick44442011-08-04

if you get a hard cherry or maple, they should work fine, there are just a couple tricks to it. always light your pipe with a match or piece of wood. using a lighter will likely burn your bowl, because lighters typically burn at a much higher temperature than a match. however, keep in mind that when you use a match, you want to let the sulfur at the tip burn away for a few seconds before lighting your tobacco, otherwise you'll be inhaling sulfur along with your tobacco.

Jackoffmanytrades (author)2014-01-11

Lol even herb in the bowl. Classy

SMOKINACE99 (author)2013-07-17

I like the blocky pipe in step 10! lol

RainDog07 (author)2012-12-14

Why the screen? None of my 30+ pipes have one. Also, briar is the most common wood for pipes, you can get a chunk on the 'net.

rattyrain (author)RainDog072013-03-06

Just in case someone borrows it and decides to smoke something other than tobacco.

SlickSqueegie (author)RainDog072012-12-18

I think thats a personal choice... Certain types of tobacco would need a screen I would guess.

eyesee (author)2012-12-20

Very sophisticated

ilpug (author)2012-12-19

Nicely done, just use a very hard wood, or a metal bowl.

x3n0c1dal (author)2012-05-21

I've been making 'ibles about smoking, and I haven't had many page views... It would be appreciated if some people would read and comment on them. So far, I have one for making a cheap bong. Just click on my name and view my instructibles if you want to.

aorcutt (author)2011-07-11

if you use honey and ashes it creates a nice seal that you wont burn thru google it

reeding (author)2011-05-15

I am sick of people telling everyone that they need a drill press to make pipes well. I think if you practice it gets easier to finish them and make them cooler in the end.

Stick4444 (author)reeding2011-05-16

A drill press certainly helps, but like you said, it is an expense that a lot of people reading this instructable cant afford. The beauty part is, that these things are so simple to make, that if you do wreck one, you can easily start another

rust093 (author)2009-07-22

how does it not burn when you light it?

Stick4444 (author)rust0932009-07-22

You use a dense tropical wood, or a special wax for the bowl

Bradlez92 (author)Stick44442011-01-12

I am NOT a teenager and would like to know what sort of waxes are available.

A message will do fine if you wish to sidestep the minor's comment above or beneath me ;)

Stick4444 (author)Bradlez922011-01-13

Caranuba wax. Thats a food-safe wax that penetrates and protects the wood. Trick is, you have to seal the wood before you use the wax, as it'll just chip off. Seal the wood with a food-safe mineral oil, and you'll be fine.

I've also just finished another type of pipe, made of wood, but utilizing a metal bowl rather than solid wood.

Stick4444 (author)Stick44442011-01-13

on another note, it probably wouldnt be a great idea to coat the inside of the bowl with wax; as soon as you hit it with a flame, it'll melt..

what kind of wax??? im just a teenager with too much time and no money, is such a wax A) cheap B) accesable???

reeding (author)2008-06-11

any advice on drilling straight without a drill press?

jack8559 (author)reeding2010-12-13

Try having a friend or two to look at the piece that you're drilling as you do it to keep the alignment right with the block clamped firmly in position. I made a pipe from a solid paver type brick - it ruined the bir, but I had plenty of them at the time. I drilled the stem hole first, then matchrd up the bowl hole to it, then filed the excess away. I cut it out rough with a tile saw.

oakspoor (author)reeding2008-08-21

follow the point and don't shake ;) If you draw a line down the side and the top, drill with little pressure and check both lines frequently. This should go straight enough.

Stick4444 (author)reeding2008-07-14

Not really, you just have to practise. I went through about 5 blanks to get the bowl just right. But I recomend practising on some MDF or plywood for a while And the pipe is so small, its no big deal if you mess it up the first couple of times

cbrown222 (author)2009-06-16

i made an awesome ipe one

Stick4444 (author)cbrown2222010-01-14

Can I see it? I love looking at other people's work, as it gives me inspiration for some waay cooler stuff!

BloodSyphon666 (author)2009-05-11

Hey, thanks for the tips! By the way, what kind of saw did you use exactly?

Stick4444 (author)BloodSyphon6662010-01-14

I used a japanese Dozuki, as it has a MUCH finer cut than a european saw, this just makes the final sanding easier.

lil jon168 (author)2009-08-07

lol i liked the pipe square

and7barton (author)2009-05-24

I made a couple of pipes from bog-oak. You can buy a massive hunk of it in aquarium and pet can cut a dozen or more pipes from one piece. I bought my stems from Ebay - you'll find people selling old collections of smoked-out pipes and stems. I found it a great help to use NEW drill bits that hadn't been used on metal before. Bog-oak drills and reams out very nicely without grabbing. The wood just flies out as a fine dust. I used an angle-grinder for rough shaping, then finer finishing on a sanding belt unit. I finished off with a polishing mop and wax block and got a glassy finish.

x.CanAbyss.x (author)2009-05-01

What kind of wood did you use, looks kinda like cherry

ageth-thymepipes (author)2008-11-24

hello, being a the owner and head crafts man of Ageth-thyme Pipes. I use a 5/8 spade bit. I also make my pipes with very long stems, with usually a nice arc. up to an arm length long on some orders. kind of like what is seen in lord of the rings. any questions fire away

Yeah I got a question. How do you make those long pipe stems? I've been racking my brain thinking on how to do it, but The solutions I've come up with just wont fit the bill. How can I make those long stems?

I wont relinquish all. but you must steam bend them, and make them out of 2 pieces with a tunnel bored. it can be very tricky. we needed to build moulds and a steam bender before we could do anything.

tykenfitz (author)2008-08-06

OMG this will be great for all my illicit substances!!! lol

drummonkey92 (author)2008-06-05

nice impressed that its all from one piece of wood! :) it does look a bit like a spoon, but i reckon its cool lol

Stick4444 (author)drummonkey922008-06-05

Yeah the spooniness is a little odd, but this was the first one i ever made, so its got some bugs. I f you want, I could start an instructable on how to make spoons.....

drummonkey92 (author)Stick44442008-06-06

just so you know, i wasnt having a dig at you, i think it looks good. the imperfections in it give it a more rustic style. ible on spoons would be cool...but i buy mine in wilkinsons (a pack of 5 teaspoons for 79p wooo!!!)

Stick4444 (author)drummonkey922008-06-08

Nice I wasnt trin to be nasty, i just have a couple of actual spoons i made outta wood that might make a good instructable

drummonkey92 (author)Stick44442008-06-11

haha cool

unjust (author)2008-06-04

you'll do better with a narrower draw hole, which can be accomplished with a long twist bit (~1/8") and you won't need the screen. this will result in a more apt burn temperature for tobacco, your pipe will burn very hot. now, if you're smoking for nicotine and not flavor, and want a lot, fast and painfully, then this will work wonderfully.

Stick4444 (author)unjust2008-06-04

Yeah I just used a 1/4" Spade bit, because thats the only size that would've been long enough to drill through. To be honest, i havent smoked pipe tobacco in this pipe yet. I just smoke hukka Tobbaco and Shisha in this thing, and it works great for a quick Shisha session.

Stick4444 (author)Stick44442008-06-04

Rather 1/4" is the only size long enough that I had with me at the time. Not being a tobbaco smoker i wouldnt have known that stuff about the holes. Thanks for the advice

unjust (author)Stick44442008-06-04

ah. then you'd definately want a screen. you can probably manage to go with a larger bowl and a small charcoal block beneath a second screen. with hooka tobacco it's a lot wetter so the increased draw is not nearly as detrimental as it would be for european pipe tobacco.

iKill (author)2008-06-03

that doesnt look like tobacco ;) i just ordered a double bubbler "tobbacco pipe" offline

About This Instructable




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