How to Make a Wooden Tobacco Pipe on a Lathe


Wooden tobacco pipes are preferred by tobacco enthusiasts all over the world as they provide smokers a wood flavor in the smoking experience. Wood pipes house a tobacco holder which slowly burns away the wooden interior, creating a smooth, smoky taste with the tobacco. Creating a wooden smoking tobacco pipe on a lathe is a rather simple job that allows you to fully customize the appearance of the pipe.

Things You'll Need

  • One piece solid wood, 1 inch in diameter by 4 inches long
  • One piece solid wood, 2 inches in diameter by 1 ½ inches long
  • Wood lathe
  • Chisels
  • Drill
  • 1/2-inch circle cutter bit
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Table clamp
  • Place a 4-inch-long section of solid wood in the wood lathe and lock it in place. Turn on lathe on to start the wood spinning.

  • Carve the wood piece with the chisels. This wood section will be the mouthpiece, so one end should be rounded for mouth comfort and the opposite end should be tapered down to ½ inch to insert into the bowl of the pipe.

  • Sand the wood piece with 220-grit sandpaper once it is carved to your desired appearance. Turn off the lathe and remove the wood from the machine.

  • Place the 1 1/2-inch by 2-inch section of wood into the lathe. Secure the wood in place and turn on the lathe to start it spinning.

  • Carve the wood to your desired appearance with the chisels. This section of wood will be used for the bowl on the pipe and should be rounded at the top and bottom edges.

  • Sand the bowl to a smooth finish with the 220-grit sandpaper once it is carved completely. Turn off the lathe and remove the wood from the machine.

  • Place the wood bowl section on a flat surface, gripping it to the surface with a strong clamp. Cut a circle into the bowl to create a place for tobacco with the circle cutter bit on the drill. This hole should be about 1 inch deep into the wood section.

  • Turn the wood bowl section to a standing position and clamp back down to the surface. The previously cut hole should be facing up.

  • Drive the circle cutter at an angle through the base of the wood bowl. Leave about 1/8 to ¼ inch of wood along the bottom. Drive this hole approximately ¼ inch into the side of the wood bowl. Do not press into the bowl as this hole should not go into the previously cut hole.

  • Remove the bowl section from the clamp and insert the tapered end of the mouth piece section into the side cut hole. Gently tap the end on a solid surface to create a tight fit between the two wood sections.

  • Switch the circle cutter bit to the 1/8-inch drill bit. Drive a 1/8-inch hole through the entire length of the mouthpiece section until the end of the bit protrudes into the circle cut into the body of the bowl. This will create a passage for the smoke to pass from the bowl into the mouth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Paint or stain the pipe for a more attractive appearance.

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  • Photo Credit pipe image by Anthony CALVO from
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