How to Make Your Own Native American
Sacred Catlinite or Pipestone Ceremonial Pipe
Step 7



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1/4" Pilot Hole -How to Make a Pipestone Pipe Make Your Own Catlinite or Pipestone Pipe - How to Make Your Own Native American Sacred Catlinite or Pipestone Ceremonial Pipe Step 7
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1/4" Pilot Hole
This is the step in the process of making a pipe where we drill the pipe. There is not a good reason why we wait until now to drill the pipe. It is simply the way that I was taught by my mentor. I have since learned that many people are better off and more comfortable drilling their pipe much earlier in the process. This is where an unrepairable mistake can be made and it could save the pipemaker a lot of time, if they do not successfully get their pipe drilled.

That is why we've directed the people, (at Step 2) who have yet to drill their pipe, to come directly here. If you are confident in your ability to drill a nice straight hole, you can go back to "Step 3" and do this later when the pipe is nearly completed.

You're going to want to start with a 1/4" drill bit. Try to center the bit in the center of the pipe bowl and drill a small pilot hole. Try to keep the bit as straight as possible to insure that you will meet the pilot hole from the top of the bowl and to insure that you don't drill out the "side" of the bowl. You want to drill into the bowl only as far as needed to make sure the holes from the top of the pipe and the back of the pipe will meet each other.

Once you are successful in getting the holes to meet with your 1/4" bit, you can then follow up with a 3/8" bit. When you're drilling the hole that the tobacco will go in, do not run the 3/8" bit completely to the bottom. We like to keep the hole a little smaller at the bottom, so that when the pipe is smoked, there is less chance of tobacco being sucked into the stem. The 3/8" bit is generally the size that we stop with on most of the ceremonial pipes that we make. Some people go on and use a 1/2" bit. It's simply personal preference.

We follow up the 3/8" bit (only on the part of the pipe where the tobacco will go and not the part of the pipe where the stem will be inserted) with a cone shaped "rotary file". (You can see what one of these looks like in the 2nd picture) This allows for more tobacco to comfortably fit into the pipe bowl.


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Cone Shaped Rotary File used to "ream out" the bowl -How to Make a Pipestone Pipe Make Your Own Catlinite or Pipestone Pipe - How to Make Your Own Native American Sacred Catlinite or Pipestone Ceremonial Pipe Step 7
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Cone Shaped Rotary File used to "ream out" the bowl


For those of you who came from "Step 2", once you are happy with the way your pipe is drilled, you can go back to "Step 3".
All others can proceed to "Step 8".

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