They are executed so the symmetry of the pipe remains the same; I never touch the growth rings and only remove the softer wood. In this fashion, I am certain that the shaping of the piece is never compromised.
I was extremely fortunate to have found a style that had not been done, in blasting, and endeavored to not copy those that did a similar style previously. To have found something unique in an object that just has two holes was thrilling. To be candid, I felt rather blessed, in this regard.
From the onset, I didn't want to replicate what Mr. Cooke or Mr. Von Erck had developed early on; they were the pioneers in pencil blasting. I had spent quite a bit of time studying and experimenting with different styles and landed upon my style rather quickly.
The fact that I attack the briar in such a fashion that I can either go deep or subtle, keeping the symmetry constant.
To be honest, I've never really been cognizant of the time. I will say that I've sat down at 10:00AM and looked up, and it was 4:00PM! I simply get lost in the process. Some might find it tedious, but I find what the briar does simply fascinating.
It's a well lit cabinet with a large and powerful magnifying glass attached to the window!
I want to blast every pipe because I love the process. There are a number of factors that force me to make a smooth: superb grain sans blemishes, rings that are simply too tight, letting customers know I have the chops to make a smooth, and ring/grain structure.
When blasting, just watching the patterns and structure of the grain. One can see how the climate has changed between seasons. It's as if you know when the growing season had a lot of rain and when it was dry. It's much like looking at the rings on a fallen tree. It also gives me time to think, but most of the time I have the TV on and listen to that while blasting. I'm not big on music in the shop while I work. I have CNBC on the TV or listen to books on tape.
Lee von Erck introduced me to this process. What has happened over the years is that I've become confident in my style and am now able to read what the briar is going to offer in a blast.
Blasting setups can be rather expensive, mine was quite costly. Save and purchase the finest setup you can afford, read, talk to other pipe makers, and find a style that best suits you and your temperament.
Honestly, I can't. I blast at such a low PSI, it's difficult to blast away a shape. I have lost a pipe to the blades of a dust collector! Sanded a stem into the air hole! And, have had one crash to the floor while buffing. I think these are things that most pipe makers have done, at least once!!!
So there you have it: 11 secrets behind Bruce Weaver and his unique sandblasts. Check out our site for our latest Bruce Weaver offerings! Have a favorite Weaver blast in your collection? Feel free to share your stories and comments below. We'd love to hear from you!