How to make your own chunky pipe step by step

How to make your own chunky pipe step by step

By James Pagni

How to make your own chunky pipe step by step

It helps if you know some necessary information about ceramics before starting here. Begin by wedging no more than one pound of clay.

Once wedging has been completed, pull apart one-third of the pound to begin making the barrel.

Make the barrel by rolling this piece of clay into a three to five-inch long cylinder by one to one and a half inches in diameter. You will then want to begin hollowing out the barrel with a carving tool.

Continue to remove excess clay from the inside but be sure not to make the cylinder walls too thin; try for a 3/16 of an inch thick wall. Make sure you don't carve so far that your tool comes out the other end of the shaft. When finished with the carving, make sure you drill a hole where the mouthpiece should be with a tool or drill bit.

Next, we will take another third of the pound of clay and begin making the bowl. Depending on the shape you want, you can start rolling the clay into another cylinder or ball. Try for a two-inch in diameter wide by 2 inches tall for your first time.

Carve or hand form the bowl to be one inch in diameter at the top by half an inch to one inch deep (adjust as needed depending on the cylinder size) and have it taper down into the bottom of the bowl. Smooth it out with a sponge once desired size.


Go to the bottom side of your bowl and cut off the base of the cylinder.


Once the base is removed, begin carving up towards the bowl. Be sure not to carve through the bowl you just made. You are merely trying to hollow out a chamber for the smoke. Keep the walls of the cylinder at least 3/16 of an inch thick.


After hollowing, you will need to see where to attach the barrel onto the bowl's cylinder. Put the parts one against the other and gently carve an outline of where the rod will connect with the bowl's cylinder.


Remember how thick the barrel walls are, then gently carve another circle inside the one you drew on the cylinder, but mark it 3/16 of an inch smaller. Make sure the barrel can attach to the cylinder instead of sliding into it.

Cut out the inner circle.

Smooth it out, then slip and score the barrel and the bowl. Connect the two together and smooth out the seams from the inside and out.

Slip and score

Before we finish, use a 1/8 inch drill bit to make a hole in the actual bowl.

Use a 1/4 inch bit to drill a carb hole on the left side of the bowl cylinder.

Clean the holes with a sponge so they look nice. To finish, grab the base piece you cut off at the beginning and reattach by slipping and scoring both parts and then press them together.

Once the pipe is complete you will need to allow the pipe to dry in a not sealed bag (meaning it is open and air can get in) for about one to two weeks, depending on the pipe's room temperature and thickness. You can take the pipe out of the bag to dry quickly after it begins to look dry on the outside.

Once dry, place in the kiln and bisque fire your pipe
to the appropriate temperature for your clay.

Thanks for stopping by for this post on making a ceramic pipe.
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