How to Carve a Wooden Pipe

Since ancient times, the wood pipe has been used by everyone from peasants to kings, pioneer to chief. They have been used to smoke a variety of materials. Having been around since before rolled cigarettes, the pipe gives off an aura of sophistication and wealth. Today you can buy them from your local tobacco shop, but nothing really goes better than lighting up some cherry tobacco in a pipe of your own design.

Required Materials

  • A block of briar, cedar, or any other “soft” wood
  • A pencil
  • A ferrule
  • A circle
  • Drill with gimlets
  • Grafter
  • Small saw
  • Dremel tool
  • Sand paper
  • Milling cutter and chisel


First things first, you need to find out what you want your new pipe to look like. Draw it out on some paper, or take a look for some designs on the Internet. This is your chance to decide if you want it to look simple or elegant? Do you want to copy from a movie or book?


  1. Cut out the block in the shape of the design you just made using your saw. We just need the basic shape of the bowl and stem.
  2. At the bowl end of the block of wood, we need to draw two circles, one inside the other. This is going to be how you decide the thickness of the bowl. The inside circle will be the hollow of the bowl.
  3. Turn the wood around and on the narrow part, draw a small horizontal slot. This will be the mouthpiece.
  4. Now, drill a cut in the holes outlined by the circle and the slot you just drew. We need to try and keep a thickness of 8mm. the depth should be 18mm around the bowl. For the mouthpiece, 7mm deep. These are averages and should be regarded as suggestions. If your pipe design is different, adjust accordingly. Make sure the neck of the pipe is connected to the bowl of the pipe when you drill into it.
  5. Use the chisel to cut the edges and the inside of the bowl to make it smoother and rounder. Continue to cut away and shape the pipe to its desired design.
  6. Now break out the sand paper and smooth out the edges. Use a lacquer to seal up the wood. Once the lacquer dries, you have a nice wooden pipe!


  • In making more intricate pipes, you may need to carve the bowl and neck in separate pieces, and then use an epoxy to glue them back together. Other times you can order mouthpieces from books and websites, and carve your own bowl. Different woods make the tobacco taste different and you should try out various kinds to find the ones you like!

Pipes can make great gifts, and the personalization opportunities are great. Think of how you can make a loved pipe smoker feel by carving his or her name into a brand new hand carved pipe!

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