For those of you who have just finished cutting out your pipe, the next thing you'll want to do is file it down to the desired thickness.
In this picture, I try to show what type of file works the best for doing this. It is a 12" farrier's file that has a "rough" side (shown on the picture) and a "smooth" side. According to people I've talked to these files can be hard to find, depending on where you live, and it's something we hope to soon have available (and at a good price) on our website.
If this type of file is not available in your area, try to find something comparable or Contact Us
and we'll try and help you out.
We've found that if you have a 1/2" wide by app. 6" long piece of scrap wood nailed down to a work bench and can set your pipe blank against the block to hold it in place while you file, it makes this step go much smoother.
By the time you finish this step, your pipe blank should be app. the same thickness throughout, unless if you want the front end of the pipe to be thinner than the back of it. If this is the case, now's the time to do that! As an example: On a 6" pipe bowl, you may want the back of the bowl (where the stem is going to be inserted)to be app. 1" to 1-1/2" thick while the tip of the bowl tapers down to 3/4" or so. It just makes for a "sleeker" and more attractive finished pipe in our opinion.
Also in this step, you are going to want to "square up" your pipe bowl. Using your file, make sure the pipe looks "straight" when it's standing up. On most of the pipes we do, we try to make sure there's a 90 degree angle from the bowl to the part of the pipe where the stem will be inserted.
By the time you're done with this step, your pipe should be looking very proportional with nice straight edges or "cuts" on it.
Proceed to "Step 3" unless if you purchased a pipe blank that has not been drilled. (or are working off of a piece of raw stone that you purchased) Then you may want to go directly to "Step 7" and come back to "Step 3" after you've completed that step.