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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:14 pm
Posts: 3
Hi all. So after lurking for many months I finally am posting a pipe. This is either my first or second pipe depending on how you count. Last year I did a kit pipe and it resembled a potato more than the brandy it was supposed to be. So I signed up over here and have been reading everything I could. This pipe is the result. In many ways this is a big thank you to everyone here, I couldn't have done it without you.

I am not really looking for a critique at this point. I have a huge laundry list of things I can improve already. I would like to give a self critique though, if you would care to get meta feel free to critique my critique. For a first from scratch pipe and first stem, I am pretty happy. Some big things I learned working through this
  • God damn symmetry is hard, but it is so obvious when it is wrong
  • How the hell did I not notice the huge asymmetry between the left and right side when I noticed every other tiny little deviation
  • Toolmarks and other scratches never go away, they don't buff out, you have to go back to a coarse grit
  • There is nothingmore disheartening then thinking you have a perfect mirror finish on your stem only to have scratches reappear when polishing because they were not really gone just hiding
  • If you don't get the slot straight it sure is hard to fix
  • Briar is more heterogeneous than I expected
  • Spending an hour to do it right is better than 4 hours to cover up a shortcut
  • Sometime it is better to call something done, learn, and move on, rather that screw it up worse
  • When shaping the stem, pay attention to where the stummel is and vice versa
  • I need to up my photography game.

So big things to work on next time
  • Shape - Bottom is too parabolic and not spherical. It is supposed to be a billiard not a belge
  • Fit issues with stem - This came from grain swelling when stripping a bad finish with an alcohol soak. After that I should have worked it back after but to be honest I didn't notice it got wonky until later
  • Line of shank needs a little work. I didn't pay enough attention to differential removal rates when working the stem
  • Blast is uneven but I kept hitting some big craters in the briar. If it wasn't a learning piece this would have gone in the BBQ pile pretty early on. Pits and fissures inside and out.
  • Slot is fugly. Oh well, I will do better next time
  • Stem has a slight twist
  • Some duckbilling
  • There are still scratches in the stem, but god damn I am tired, oh so tired, of reworking the stem. Next time will be better. Note the things that look like gouges in image are actually fingerprints in the flash. I forgot to clean up the pipe before taking pictures. I was smoking it about 10 minutes before these were taken

Things I am happy with
  • I actually did it!
  • It sort of looks like a billiard
  • I still have all my fingers
  • Drilling is good. Need a better chuck though, holding the block in only 2 jaws of an 4-jaw made me nervous
  • Bowl is circular even though I didn't use the lathe for shaping. I did it mostly on a 1" belt sander followed by hand work.
  • Smokes really well. About 5 bowls of Prince Albert through it this week
  • Managed to actually bring out some grain with the blast and did a reasonable job of blending the blast into the stem without a masking line
  • Only took about 40 hours! (in 15-30 minute chunks over the course of 3 months or so)

I will do another billiard in the not too distant future. I have a backlog of other projects but have another block and rod at the ready.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:44 am
Posts: 609
Professor, I think you did a good job for a first pipe.
You mentioned most of the things that I would cite.
I believe that “duck bill” refers to a biconcave stem. Yours is the opposite- “blimpy”
You have potential.
As for your photography, the lines will show up better is you use a light back ground and stay away from that leather pipe rest.
DocAitch

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" Never show an idiot an unfinished pipe!"- same guy


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:49 pm
Posts: 1888
Location: Zimmerman, MN
For photography, the important part is to have enough light so you don't need to use a flash. The flash casts shadows that obscure details.

As for the pipe, it's probably the best first billiard I've seen. Honestly, aside from the stem needing a bit of tweaking, it looks pretty close to a Dunhill. You'll do better on your next 9. And doing 10 billiards will mean you have it down pat.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:14 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks for the encouragement guys. Hopefully over the next few I will progress to the point where you can offer criticism!

Doc
Quote:
I believe that “duck bill” refers to a biconcave stem. Yours is the opposite- “blimpy”

Yes, I am getting my messed up stem nomenclature backwards. Mine is like a zeppelin.

Jeremiah
Quote:
it looks pretty close to a Dunhill

While I will gladly take the compliment, I was actually trying to copy the profile from a Savinelli billiard with a much fatter bottom.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:49 pm
Posts: 1888
Location: Zimmerman, MN
Good for you on recognizing the distinction between what you're going for and what you've achieved. That attitude will help you go far in pipe making.

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Jeremiah Sandahl
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:18 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:53 pm
Posts: 162
It's good dude. Solid start, you already listed some good things to work on for the next one... So go make the next one. Thumbs up emotojiconvention.

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