Cheap pipes can be found online, at your local tobacconist, and in some cases even at a gas station convenience store. What makes cheap pipes cheap? Mass production. Most of the cheap pipes you will find are cheap because they are made by machines in a factory.
How are Cheap Pipes Made?
Cheap pipes are also often made with cheaper materials than handmade pipes. Cheap pipes are often smaller too. Cheap pipes have smaller chambers and bowls, and smaller or thinner stems and bits.
For the infrequent smoker or the workingman smoker this will not affect the smoking experience necessarily. But for the connoisseur, the cheap pipes may not taste as good as a handmade pipe. They also will not be unique and therefore will not give the smoker any identity support via his smoking tool.
One particular form of cheap pipes is the corn cobb pipe. While this has become a term for a wooden or clay pipe that is carved to look like an actual corn cob pipe, there are some actual corn cobb pipes out there for sale. But the cheapest of cheap pipes are homemade pipes.
The basic components of a pipe are the bowl, the chamber, the draught hole, the stem, and the mouthpiece (or bit). There are pipe kits available but anyone can improvise and create cheap pipes with a little wood, a knife, a drill and some imagination.
Corn Cobb Pipes
For a classic homemade cheap pipe, try the corn cobb pipe. First take an ear of corn and shear off all the husk and kernels. What you are left with is called the corn’s pith. This will serve as your bowl.
It is best to have a wide pith to give yourself enough bowl area to pack in a good amount of tobacco. You can cut the ear down to whatever length you want for your pipe. Next hollow out a portion of the pith in the shape of a bowl. Don’t go too far down as this may hinder your ability to pack a good pinch.
This hollowed out portion is your chamber. Then drill a small hole into the side of the bowl for smooth air flow. This is your draught hole. Then for the stem you can use any hollow straw like piece. This will be your stem and bit.
For the full rustic look, get a thick tree branch and drill a hole through the center and then whittle it down to your ideal shape and size. Finally, drill a hole near the base of your chamber roughly the width of your stem at the opposite side of the bit and you have yourself the best of cheap pipes.