LAYTON PIPES Handmade Briar Tobacco Pipes By: Clark Layton
I started making pipes January 15 2012. I've made over 100 pipes now. I started out after visiting Colorado for my older brothers wedding and saw some pipes that his friend had made. My little brother was intrigued with them and wanted to make his own. I decided I would try it with him. Before we even got home we found Pimo's website and ordered some stems. The first thing I learned about pipes was that they don't make bent stems, you have to heat the stems and bend them yourself. Since then I've learned something more about pipes almost every day. In high school my favorite class was wood shop and I was pretty good at it too. I made a dining table with leaves and an oak roll top desk among other things. I've always enjoyed working with my hands. After high school I worked for a home builder for about 6 years. I learned all about building houses and worked with my hands everyday. My first pipe was made out of a chunk of Cherry wood from a tree that I had cut down the year before. I used the stem from an old pipe I had since our stems from Pimo hadn't arrived yet. I drilled the holes and mortise with a hand drill. I had to drill the air hole about 3 times to get it in the right place since the pipe was bent which is not the pipe to start with but I was copying one of my pipes and didn't think about it. Anyway I stained the pipe with some Minwax wood stain and finished it with an oil finish. This first pipe was very roughly made but it smoked so I was hooked. From there I kept making pipes from my Cherry wood with pre-made stems and a tenon cutter from Pimo. After I got pretty good at drilling the holes I ordered my first briar blocks. I acuired all kinds of tools, files, drill bits, sanding pads, buffing wheels, motors and much more. I soon moved to a drill press then a full size metal lathe that makes perfect holes, mortise, stems, shank connections, tenons and shapes.