How to Make an Easy Pipe


Pipe smoking appeals to many people due to the sweet-smelling smoke and sophisticated look. If you don't want to spend a wad of cash on a new pipe from your local smoke store, you can create your own with parts found around most American farms. The most common homemade pipe is the corncob pipe, popularized by "Popeye the Sailor Man" and grainy black-and-white photographs of farmers from the early 20th century.

Things You'll Need

  • Yellow dent corn cob
  • Penknife
  • Drill with bits
  • Wild rice stem
  • Snap one end off your corncob so that the remainder is suitable in size for a pipe---approximately 3 to 4 inches long. Use your penknife to trim the rim of your pipe for a uniform look.

  • Use your penknife to dig out the pith in the center of the corncob with a twisting motion. The pith core is relatively soft compared to the wooden rim. Remove approximately 2 inches of pith, which is up to the second knuckle of your pointer finger. When finished, the cavity should measure between 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch in diameter.

  • Trim a rice stalk measuring 1/4 of an inch thick to a length of 6 inches. Ensure that the cut is just above a joint in the stalk to strengthen the tube where it will rest between your teeth.

  • Use the drill to hollow out the rice stalk. Most of the stalk is hollow, with the exception of a thin core at each joint. Insert the bit into the stalk before drilling to ensure it is the proper size.

  • Drill a small hole in the corncob just above the base of the tobacco cavity. Use the same bit you used in Step 4.

  • Insert the rice stem into the new hole. The tip may need to pucker slightly to fit into the hole, but this will make for a tighter seal. Ensure that the tip of the rice stem just barely passes the wooden rim of the corncob.

  • Blow through the rice stem before adding tobacco to remove any detritus or leftover dust. Add your tobacco and enjoy your homemade pipe.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may need to replace the rice stem after several smokes due to a buildup of tar. Simply pull the old stem out and replace another using the same procedure as the first.
  • Note that you will need to smoke your pipe two or three times before the corncob rim is properly seasoned.
  • Smoking tobacco is hazardous to your health.

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  • Photo Credit Corn on the Cob image by Karin Lau from
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