Olive-Wood Smokers Pipe





Introduction: Olive-Wood Smokers Pipe

About: I've built houses, decks, custom cabinets, furniture of all types. Ive done furniture repair and restoration, residential and commercial remodels, restaurant seating and tables and hotel furniture. Ive been ...

This pipe was made for a very good friend of mine. He has been fighting a losing battle for 2 years now.
It is a solid piece of wood with 2 connecting holes strategically drilled to meet at the right spot.
Buffed with the 3 stage system Tripoli, White diamond and carnauba wax and completed with my food grade wax.
The inside of bowl is lightly rubbed with a honey/water 1:1 mix and let sit for 24 hours, then re-peat for a longer lasting pipe.

Step 1: Prep Your Blank

I used Olive-wood. It is commonly used for making pipes. there are several hardwoods that would work for pipes, though they may burn faster or give off a "campfire" taste. you don't want this. Do some interweb searching and find a chunk of wood you have on hand.

****I do not condone smoking in any way shape or form.****
****Make and use at your owns risk****

If you are still interested, read on...
After you find a suitable blank for your pipe. It needs to be mounted on the chuck at one (the bowl end) and lightly tightened with the tail-stock on the other end.
In my case I had to put it between centers to make a tenon that fit the inside jaws of my chuck.

Step 2: Round the Blank

I used my skew to round the stock from end to end.
Rough turn it close to what you want the finished diameter of the bowl to be, and then thin out the stem end of the pipe. I am bad for not measuring while turning, I eyeball dimensions and use a fibonacci gauge all the time for projects. So, I'm sorry about not having dimensions for you. To me, this is the best part about turning (stop when it looks good) ;)
Basically, turn the stem to the correct shape you want and remove your tail-stock so you can square up. Then flatten the stem opening.

Step 3: Drill the Stem.

Time to drill the stem. This can get tricky, so it's best to drill a pilot hole for the finished sized hole. I use a 3/16" brad tip bit shoved as far (and straight) as the Jacobs chuck will allow. then using about 1-1/2" of the bit I drill with the tail-stock. After that I pull the bit out further and drill further in with the same bit.
If you do this properly, you can use the jacobs chuck by hand and drill out the hole with the larger bit It is much faster, just go slow and pull out often to clean the bit. keep checking your depth. you don't want to go to far, you want to stop at where you want the center of the bowl to be, or just before.

Step 4: Finish Cut and Drill the Bowl

With the tail-stock in place, finish cut to desired shape and size. You can give it a quick rough sanding if you want at this point.
My lathe has a spindle lock, (this stops the lathe from turning and locks it in one place). I locked it with the side I want to drill out facing me and used my cordless drill with the 3/16" bit to drill a straight hole about half way into the bowl from the top. You can tape off the bit to give you a stopping point at the halfway point if needed. Now blow out the holes with compressed air and see if they meet up properly.
You may need to drill a little more from either end until they meet. Once they met properly I used a specialized "marble" router bit and an old paddle style bit rounded and sharpened on my grinder. This worked better than expected.

Step 5: Finish Sand and Buff It

You can finish sand the whole pipe at this point all the way to 400 grit.
TIP: After sanding the pipe with each grit, I pulled the tail-stock away and folded the sand paper into a cone shape and smoothed the inside opening of the mouthpiece.

Cut it the rest of the way off and sand away the cut marks. I used my stationary belt sander to sand the top of the pipe flat, then finish sanded by hand the opening and the newly formed flat.

Now you can buff it or leave it raw. The oils in your hand should be enough to keep it looking great for a long time to come.
I buffed it with the three stage system.

Step 6: Treat the Inside of the Bowl

After the bowl is finished, its time to treat the tobacco chamber ie bowl. This is done with honey and water.
Simply mix equal parts water and honey and rub the mix on the inside of the bowl with your fingertip. Let it sit over night and repeat one more time.
After it has sat for 24 hours after the final coat of honey water, the pipe should be ready to smoke from.
The first few times the bowl is smoked from should be half full.
Following these steps, should give the inside of the bowl a "cake" of carbon. This will prevent the wood from burning.
When I bring this one to him I will try to get a pic of the old one I made for him.

Thanks for looking



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a buddy of mine says that if you microwave it about 15-20 seconds, it heats up enough to allow the resin to drip out through the bowl... Other than that I don't know how to clean these, I don't smoke pipes...

love to read your instructables, keep them coming. I am anxious to turn anything from Laburnum wood. Any ideas. I just got several 7 inch diameter logs given to me. one is six feet long.
Anyone in Boston Lincolnshire UK want a log....free

3 replies

Thank you Biker18, It is comments like these that keep me posting them!

I have never hear of that wood. It is quite beautiful! It reminds me of Tamboti. Have you turned anything with it as of yet? How dry are the logs? If they are still wet, I would cut a few lengths about 8-12" long and paint the ends and let them dry. Or you could make a set of salad bowls? I would run the salad bowl Idea rough them, then let them sit for a couple months to finish drying then finish them. By Christmas you would have an excellent gift for someone!

Hi, I do believe this wood is poisonous the dust produced could (So I am told) lead to hospitalization if inhaled in quantity. I use a filter mask with twin filters. Actually I cannot smell a thing no matter the source when this mask is in use. I also use a full face see through mask to prevent injury from flying turnings. I mention all this for other woodturners, also not sure about making anything other than ornamental bits. Just in case. Absolutly lovely wood. I have done as you suggested & cut off & sealed several pieces for slow drying. The wood was cut down just a few weeks ago. I will post some photos later.

I would love to see what you came up with...

Thanks Dr. Qui, I like the idea with the pen mandrel. I did think about going that route when I was thinking up a way to make a pipe without a kit.
As far as the finish, Mine is a beeswax/minearal oil wax. and a honey/water mix on the inside of the smoking chamber.

Awesome. They make such great gifts.

Awesome. They make such great gifts.

Awesome. They make such great gifts.

Awesome. They make such great gifts.

Thanks, They are quite simple. My buddy loves these wood pipes. He says they last longer than any pipe he has ever purchased...
The key is that honey water mixture. don't forget...

Beautiful pipe, nicely written Instructable. I'm a woodworker but with little turning experience. You've motivated me even more to find mini lathe!

1 reply

Awesome looking, but if you live in the US be warned. If a police officer sees that in view in your vehicle, it constitutes probable cause to search your vehicle WITHOUT your permission.
In public and in your car, a police officer CAN legally charge you with possession of drug paraphernalia if discovered on you, even if it is for tobacco!
The reason is that too many pipes of this type are used for illegal drugs.
(I am sure there are other countries that have similar laws but I don't know enough international law to comment on that)

1 reply

Yes, I am aware of local laws and such.