Making an Artisan Briar Pipe
Artisan Pipe Maker David S. Huber will teach you how to execute one of 4 primary processes used in the making of fine artisan pipes per session: Freehand Shaping and Drilling, Turning and Drilling a Straight Billiard, Making a Handmade Mouthpiece from Ebonite Rod, or Finishing Smooth and Sandblasted Pipes. While each session will begin with a detailed demonstration by David, the majority of each class will be a guided, hands-on experience. When registering, please indicate which process you'd like to learn.
Each one-on-one session lasts for 6 hours and includes a 30 minute break for lunch. Up to 2 blocks of briar are included in the price of the Drilling classes and up to 3” of undrilled Ebonite Rod is included in the Mouthpiece class.
After taking all 4 classes, you will know all you need to know to make excellent pipes. Each class can also be taken alone and will provide you with a wealth of information to apply at home.
David has studied with many of the world's most experienced and respected Artisan Pipe Makers, learned the processes used by the masters, and modified those processes for his own workshop. With knowledge and experience like this, he can help you to dramatically improve your pipe making, no matter your experience level.
Details for available sessions can be found below. Contact me if you’re interested in a concentrated, multi-day study involving the content of all 4 sessions.
*Note: In person classes require proof of vaccination against the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19.
Freehand Shaping and Drilling
Learn how to shape and drill a briar pipe using David’s freehand, shape first method which he developed after his study sessions with American Master Craftsman Jeff Gracik and Danish Master Craftswoman Nanna Ivarsson. This class is best as a prerequisite to the Handmade Mouthpiece and Finishing classes.
Learn how to
- Read a block of briar prior to and during the freehand shaping process
- Isolate the best grain pattern within any block
- Design a pipe on the fly, working with each unique block of wood
- Drill a pipe that you've shaped by hand
- Fit a brass ring for a tapered mortise
- Refine your pipe and prepare it for finishing after drilling
Turning and Drilling a Straight Billiard
Learn to turn and drill a Straight Billiard pipe using the method David learned from Master Craftsmen Hans “Former” Nielsen and Jess Chonowitsch. This class is best as a prerequisite to the Handmade Mouthpiece and Finishing classes.
Learn how to
- Read a block of briar
- Align the grain pattern within a briar block to your desired orientation
- Square a briar block prior to placing it in a briar chuck
- Further prepare a briar block for turning
- Fit a prepared briar block into a briar chuck
- Turn and drill a Straight Billiard on a metal lathe
- Make your own chamber drill bits at home
Make a Handmade Mouthpiece from Undrilled Ebonite Rod
Learn how to create a handmade mouthpiece from raw ebonite rod. This class is best as a follow up to the Freehand Shaping and Drilling class and/or the Turning and Drilling a Freehand Billiard class and a prerequisite to the Finishing class.
Learn how to
- Decide the length of any mouthpiece before cutting a piece from a raw rod
- Gauge proportions between any mouthpiece and a briar stummel
- Turn, drill, and fit a mouthpiece to a briar stummel
- Refine and finish a mouthpiece by hand
Finishing Smooth and Sandblasted Pipes
Learn how to create a stunning finish on a smooth or sandblasted pipe. This class is best as a capstone to this 4 class series.
Learn how to
- Prepare the surface of any pipe for textured or smooth finishing
- Sandblast a pipe for a textured finish
- Stain and finish smooth and sandblasted pipes
- David S Huber