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Friday, November 04, 2005

Tube lining, or How to Over-Obsess

Like most pipemakers, I use a lot of my spare time to experiment and see if I can find better ways of making pipes. As with most experimentation, well... It isn't a task for the easily bored or the easily-discouraged. Also, perhaps not a task for the sane, as in cases like this! Most bamboo-shank pipes fit together by steel tubing joining the different pieces internally. Now, steel has totally different heating and condensating behaviour than wood, and I decided to test an idea to see if I could affect this. For this pipe, I drilled out the steel tube and then drilled, turned, and fitted a lining of briar inside the tube - the reasoning being that it would present a seamless wood airhole and avoid any undue condensation on the inside of the steel tube (not that this has ever been a problem in any of the various bamboo-shank pipes I have owned). After a good bit of smoking, the result was that it smoked just like any other bamboo-shank pipe I had - but I did find an imaginative way to add more useless labor hours to the job of making a pipe. File under "Things that Fascinate Collectors and Generate Debate, While being Totally Economically Unfeasible" :)

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