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Ok, so this is not entirely a wood pipe. It's a stylish wooden pipe with all metal interior pieces to make it more durable and have cleaner smoke.

This is a culmination of ideas I've been having for a while about a pipe project, and I'm glad it all came together so easily.

It's cheap too! Even if you bought all the materials fresh, it would probably be around 10-15$ US.

This pipe is intended for tobacco use, like most long pipes are. Don't use it for things you shouldn't smoke, etc, etc. Smoking is bad, don't start, and lets leave it at that.

I wanted to make a Gandalf-style pipe, but it just didn't turn out that way, but I still like how it looks.

Let's make one!

Step 1: Materials

  • A piece of wood about 1.5 inches long and in diameter. You can use really whatever kind of wood you want, since the wood won't be burning, but I used walnut.
  • A thin shoot from a pithy-centered tree about half an inch in diameter, maybe a bit more, I also used walnut, It helps tremendously if it is still green. Straight is highly recommended.
  • A 1/4 inch piece of brass or steel tubing. Normally, brass is discouraged for pipes, but in this case it is being used for the stem instead of the bowl, and will not get hot enough to release toxins.
  • A standard 12-gram CO2 cartridge. You can pick these up at a bike shop for refill kits, or in the airguns section at a Walmart or other store. Please disperse the gas safely, either by shooting it in an airgun or by filling a tire with it.
  • Gorilla Glue Wood Glue, found at home centers.

Step 2: Tools

  • Pocket knife- Sharp!
  • Power drill and an assortment of bits
  • Rotary tool, mine's a Dremel- specifically grinding bits, sanding drums, and cut-of wheels
  • A long thin metal rod, like 1/8 of an inch and two feet long
  • Source of hot flame, plumbers torch or gas burner is ideal
  • pruning shears
  • permanent marker
  • sand paper of varying grits.
  • Olive oil or some other good natural wood finish

Step 3: Trim Down Your Wood

Get your piece of wood and trim off the bark and cambium layer until it is down to the bare wood.

It will become apparent that these layers are a little thicker than they look.

Step 4: Drill and Carve Wood Bowl

Clamp the wood in a vise, and drill about 2/3 down the length of it with a 1/2 inch drill bit.

Then, grab your rotary tool and grind down the interior of the hole so it is a large enough diameter to fit  the rounded end of the CO2 cartridge.

The center of your piece of wood may be pithy like mine was, poke it out and forget it, it doesn't matter really, we can plug it later.

Step 5: Cut, Burn, and Drill Metal Bowl

Grab the CO2 cartridge

Cut the bottom part off as shown. I use a heavy duty tubing cutter, but you can use a cut off wheel on a rotary tool. This steel is very tough, so it will take a while.

Once it's cut, clean the edge of any burrs with a grinding bit until it is pretty smooth.

These cartridges have zinc coatings on the inside and outside to prevent corrosion, and we don't want any of that in our pipe, we just want the plain uncoated industrial steel. Take the metal bowl and heat it for a good five minutes in a gas flame, I used a burner on a camp stove. This will burn the coating off. Quench it in water to flash cool it and boil off any grease or char residue.

On the edge of the curved bottom of the bowl, make a few light nicks with a cutting wheel on the surface as shown. This is to create a divot to prevent the drill bit from slipping.

Now, grab a 1/4 inch drill bit and drill the hole. Clean up any burrs with a grinding wheel.

Sit the metal bowl in the wooden one. The rims of the two bowls should line up perfectly. If not, grind out the wooden bowl more, or be prepared to add spacers when you glue it later.

Step 6: Drill Hole in Wood Bowl

Put the metal bowl next to the wood bowl and mark where to drill the holes so that they line up. Make sure to mark the place where the hole will go on the thickest part of the bowl wall.

Grab a 1/4 inch drill bit and drill the hole, make it clean and straight.

Take the 1/4 inch tubing and test pit it into the newly drilled hole, it should fit very snugly, but still be able to be pushed in and out with force. Once you are sure it fits snugly, remove it and set it aside.

I was still roughing the bowl out through these various steps, just follow the directions.

Step 7: Stem

Take your stick, and shave the bark off. Poke a metal rod down the center of the stick, to poke out all the pith.

Now, your stick may not be perfectly straight, but you can make it look a bit straighter by smoothing down the outside edges of the bends in the stick. Be careful not to shave too deep though, the stick is hollow and you may break through to the center. I made this mistake, but I left it there, since it didn't look horrible, nor did it really affect the strength of the stick.

Now, take your brass tube and stick it into it's hole in the side of the bowl, until it fits perfectly. Then, mark the depth on the length of the tubing.

Finally, stick the brass tubing down the length of the stick, so only the tubing past the mark is sticking out.

At this point you can glue the tubing into the stick, if it is loose. Mine was very hard to get in there, and got stuck in there, so glue was not needed, nor possible.

Step 8: Final Assembly and Finishing

Step 9: Smoke!

Make sure the inside of the bowl and the stem tube are clear of any debris before you smoke.

Grab some tobacco of your choice and smoke away! I personally don't smoke, but this was a gift for a friend, and she says it smokes very well.

Enjoy and don't forget to vote for me.

Anyone who builds one of these and posts the pictures on this Instructable will get a patch from me!
Yes, i did burn the inside, i think i used a copper cartridge, maybe that wasn't really smart, i still have a chemical taste in my mouth :). I will try it again tomorrow with a steel cartridge. <br> thanks,
Oh god, copper is really bad man... like toxic. I'd do some reasearch and see if you should be worried. <br> <br>But yeah, steel or nothing else.
It is a very nice idea, And it looks very cool. <br>But DON'T smoke it, i build one and it tastes very very chemical.
Did you burn out the inside of the bowl with a torch or gas burner like I said? Also, did you make sure you had a steel cartridge? <br> <br>If you have a clean steel bowl it works fine, all the ones I have made people say are awesome and adds no taste.
Nice job. I was trying to understand how you get the long tube inside the long stem, but you said you used a piece of wood with a soft pithy center, so I am assuming you simply pushed the tube into the pith until you were able to push the pith out and the tube in. I am a little surprised you can make that work.
To be perfectly honest, I didn't think it would work either, but it did.<br><br>You need the stem to be green wood, I cut mine directly off the tree. It was originally about 3/4 inch in diameter, and it definitely had a pithy center. Our tree was an English Walnut, but some other fruit woods, reeds, willows, flowering woods, or root woods have a pithy center that can be pushed out easily.<br><br>I used a thin metal rod from an old whip antenna and just pushed it through the stick a bunch of times, then jammed the brass tube in. If you use a dry stick, it's nowhere near as flexible, and you need a much straighter stick. <br><br>If you are having issues finding a stick with a pithy core, drive along a country road and snip off a few shoots from random plants until you find one, it's how I got mine, just don't cut anything that is in front of someone's house. Conversely, if you live in a city, go to a nursery and ask when they do their prunings, and if they have any sticks left over that you could grab or buy. They know their stuff. <br><br>
Thank you for all of the information. I doubt I will ever make a pipe, but I was very curious about how you made a passageway for the smoke in the stem.

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Bio: I am a recent graduate of the Sustainable Manufacturing program at California State University Chico. I currently consult with local businesses and provide freelance design ... More »
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