How to Make a Pipe Stem


You can make your own pipe stem at home using simple items most likely found in your home and yard or surrounding area. This pipe stem is made from wood. To fashion a stem out of wood, you must be sure that it is a type of wood that has a removable pith, such as elderberry or ash. When you are finished, you can make your own pipe bowl and attach your stem to it, if you wish.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine-toothed saw
  • Thin branch of elderberry or ash wood
  • Thin, stiff wire
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Cut a thin branch of wood with a saw off of a tree. Make sure you select a type of wood that contains a removable soft pith such as elderberry, ash or catalpa. Also make sure the piece has the width and length you desire your pipe stem to have. A good length for a pipe stem is about 5 or 6 inches. A comfortable diameter for a pipe is about 1/3 to 1/2 inch.

  • Allow the wood to sit and season for at least three months in a dry place that allows air to circulate around both ends of the piece of wood. This will reduce the moisture content of the wood from 80% down to about 25%.

  • Holding the branch in your hand, carefully push a thin, stiff wire through the center of the branch and push the pith out.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use some fine sandpaper to smooth the outside of the pipe stem, if you wish.
  • Take care when holding the stem and pushing the wire through the branch. Keep your hand away from the far end of the branch so you don't puncture yourself.

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  • Photo Credit pipe image by Anthony CALVO from
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