How to Make a Wooden Smoking Pipe




Introduction: How to Make a Wooden Smoking Pipe

About: I love woodworking and making fun stuff on the lathe, I really enjoy making stuff and posting it on this website, and I love the Hobbit

The smoking pipe has been around for ages. It is a very popular item and comes in many different styles from "The Gambler" to "The Churchwarden". I made a pipe just for the fun of another DIY out in the workshop. But, I do not smoke. There are plenty of ways to make a pipe. You could turn one on the lathe in two separate pieces and then fit them together, or you might want to carve it out of Briar wood and then just drill your way through from the stem to the other end. But, in this easy step-by-step instructable, we will cut two identical pipe shapes out of wood and use a Dremel to carve out the inside and then glue the two halves together.

Step 1: Cut Out the Pipe

 Print out the PDF file below on an 8 inch by 11 inch sheet of paper. Cut out the pipe stencil and trace it two times on a piece of wood that is 3/4 of an inch thick. When you trace the pipe, it is very important to make sure that the stem of it is parallel to the wood grain. If you trace it against the wood grain, the stem will be very fragile and will probably break. Next cut out the two pipe shapes. I used my band saw for this, but you could use a jig saw or whatever you have at hand.

Step 2: Drilling the Bowl

You will need a 13/16 drill bit, a drill press (a drill would work, too, but it might not come out as good), and a C clamp. Line up the two halves of the pipe and clamp them together at the bottom. Next, draw a straight line from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. Draw another line from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Where the two lines intersect is where you are going to drill your hole. Put your 13/16 drill bit in your drill press and drill so that the point on the bit will go straight into the center of the pipe bowl. Go down an inch and stop there.

Step 3: Dig Out the Airway

I have attached an image above. It is a diagram of the pipe airway that you should carve. Copy this onto your pipe cutouts so that when you put the to halves together, the drawing of the airway is on the inside. Use a dremel or a rotary tool to carve this out. don't go down to deep in the stem. Once you are done with the carving, line up the two halves of your pipe so that the airway is on the inside. Put your lips to the end of the stem and blow. If you could blow through it easily then you are ready to move on to the next step. If not, then keep carving until you can.

Step 4: Glue the Two Halves Together

Take out some strong wood glue and dab a little bit in the blank spots where you haven't carved anything and put a LITTLE LITTLE bit on the stem because when you put the two halves together, the glue will want to seep into the airway and block it up. Clamp the two halves together or put them in a vice for a few hours. Once it is completely dry, take it out of all the pressure and blow pretty hard into it. If you could blow through, then you're ready to move on. If not, then place the tip of a flathead screwdriver on the seam where the halves met and tap the top of the screwdriver with a hammer to split them apart. Sand all the glue off and carve the airway a little deeper, and then try to glue them together again.

Step 5: Cut Out the Stem

You could use a hack saw for this or a band saw. I chose the hack saw because I have a little more control over it. Mark a line down each side of the stem, showing where you want to cut. Make sure to widen it at the end where you will blow through. A wider stem will fit more comfortably in one's mouth. Put your pipe into a vice and tighten it around the bottom. Carefully, cut down each line you drew. If you are using a hack saw, cut in from the side to the point where you stopped cutting on the pencil line. This will let the hack saw turn more freely.

Step 6: Sand the Stem

Use a dremel or rotary tool to carve the corners off of your stem. Keep carving your stem until you think it looks good. Use some 80 grit sandpaper and just sand the stem a little bit. Move up to some finer 150 grit sandpaper and sand the stem some more. Keep moving up in grits until you get to about 500 grit.

Step 7: Carving and Sanding the Bowl Section

I put my pipe in a vice and cut off all the corners of the bowl with a hack saw. Be very careful not to cut too deep into the pipe. Once all your corners are cut off, Take some 80 grit sandpaper and sand all of the bowl section. You could sand by hand, but it takes a very long time, so I used my electric DA sander to get the job done. Once I was done with the 80 grit I went to some 150 grit. I started to sand by hand at this point with the 150 grit. Move up through the same grits that you used on the stem.

Step 8: Finishing Your Pipe

I used wood stain to give my pipe a little more character. But do not stain it if you plan on smoking it. Because when you light it, the pipe will go up in flames and burn to ash. Next, I coated it with lacquer. Once again, do not use lacquer, varnish, wood stain, etc. I only used it because I'm not going to actually smoke it. If you are looking for a finish that will not go up in flames, try some mineral oil. Mineral oil is a food-safe finish and could be used to finish a smoking pipe. Dab a little bit of mineral oil onto a piece of 1500 grit and wet sand your whole pipe. Once the entire pipe is wet sanded, polish it off with a rag or paper towel. Now, you are done! Enjoy your new pipe.

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20 Discussions

Dangerous and Misleading:
This is a prop pipe. Do not smoke out of it. Pipedia, or Pimos Guide to Pipemaking is a great reacourse if you are interested.

HPandLOTR I understand you said you will never smoke with this. BUT- PLEASE change to title to “Wooden Prop Pipe” Or “Wooden Display/Stage Pipe” the title of “Smoking Pipe” is misleading and potentially dangerous.

How do you insure the two outlines in step three are exactly in line so when you glue the two pieces together you do not end up with a staggered stem?

1 reply

You probably don't need to worry about it being perfectly aligned. Just take a bit of sandpaper or a small hand plane and knock off that edge!


2 years ago

what is the size of your pipe?

Don´t you think that the glue (if no toxic when smoking) will go away with the heating and you will end with the pieces and the ashes in your hands?

9 replies

I created my own pipe for smoking and used wood glue. After the first burn, all smell and remnants of the glue will disappear. I used a non-toxic craft glue actually but it holds up just as well

You have to remember that things which are labeled "non-toxic" generally don't cover burning. A non-toxic craft glue can very well be toxic when burnt. This is the case with PVA glues, you don't want to inhale burnt PVA, it's definitely not good for you.

If you want to make an actual smoking pipe go with briar or pear wood and use the tools for the job. There are plenty of styles of pipe you can do even with limited tooling, just takes more determination.


If you look I was actually not replying or commenting to you or your instructable but to a comment made by someone else. So please, take a chill pill.

So is there any glue that can be used that would be safe?
While there are steaming and bending techniques for curved stems, this type of pipe making would allow a lot more flexibility of design.
Perhaps making the bowl out of one piece and then attaching the stem since the stem has to deal with a lot less heat than the bowl.

Some sort of non toxic craft wood glue would probably work. I only used this as a prop. it was never even lit so I wasn't worried about staining and gluing

For sure, there are definitely glues that can be used, glues which are meant to be used in high temperature applications, PVA or regular wood glue is not an option there. There are already pipes out there which are made from composite materials, such as Brylon which is essentially just wood dust and nylon bound together, or the Stiff pipe which is a plastic pipe.

However, as I've only bothered with making pipes using proper materials I have never actually researched what exact adhesive to use when fixing or making pipes. So unfortunately I cannot give you any names.

Well, like I said, I do not plan on smoking this pipe. But I've done a little research and watched a few other videos and tutorials on how to do this and a lot of them use wood glue. Thanks :)

hahahaha where did you get treated wood from? I never said anything about treated wood. this was just a random common board. My own safety is my own concern. Your safety is your own concern. If you think anything in this tutorial is dangerous, then just don't do it. There is no need to tell me how to do my job. Enjoy the fruit!

Really nice work. I read the comments re: toxicity of the stain, glue, etc. (and I thought the same thing when I viewed those sections). Of course, the staining/finishing could be avoided altogether, and I bet you could modify the joining of the two parts in such a way that you avoid chemicals...perhaps you'll come up with a cool variation of this to address that? I would definitely love to see it. Thanks for sharing!

2 replies


maybe he could use brass rods. that would make a fine/interesting looking pipe :)