period pipe making

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period pipe making

Post  Stu on Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:13 pm

Had a thought today while chatting with a friend. just how did our ancestors bore the billet when you did not have a modern lathe with a through live centre on the tail stock?
With a pole lath and the billet on the dead centre poppets you had the drive rope wrapped about the billet, no way to bore on the lathe.
Perhaps you could do it differently on a flywheel lathe?
I did not have a through centre on my first mini lathe, or a chuck for that matter, I made a stuff chuck out of some scrap wood, stuffed it in, turned the wood round, then pulled the tail stock off with the lathe running and just bored it out with the billet hanging loose in the air. It worked well enough to make my first set of SSP.

So, just how would you bore without a modern lathe?
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Re: period pipe making

Post  Yuri on Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:20 am

There is a description in Laurence Picken's book "Folk instruments of Turkey" of how they do that over there, on a bow lathe. It seems there is a hell of a lot of skill involved, it's not just going through the motions. What they do, as far as I remember from years ago, is they use the tip of the auger as the tailstock, that's all. Like in twisting the bow around the stick, the left end being stuck into the "headstock" spur (just a bent nail, in fact), and the right end being held by the auger's tip, the auger being held by the right hand. I bet it needs an amazing sense of aligning.
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Re: period pipe making

Post  Stu on Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:13 am

That sounds right. I saw a show years ago about the making of pakistani pipes and they were using a bow lathe at their feet, but I could not remember just how they were doing the boring. Thanks.
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Re: period pipe making

Post  Yuri on Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:41 pm

By the way, the auger in question is just a steel rod (I wouldn't be surprised if it was iron rod, with a flattened tip, filed down to a spur and two prongs on the two sides. Sorta like a spade bit, but very much more home-made.
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