ABOUT // 10/04/2014, 03:00h

Fynn Pipe - Handmade Pipes from Austria

Oscar Pilinger, the boy behind Fynn Pipe , tells his story himself:

I was born on March 21st, 1999 in Feldbach. Each pipe I build is elaborately handmade, and unique. The wood, "Bruyere", which I use almost exclusively, comes from the tuber root of Erica Arborea, a species of flowering plant.

Handmade Pipes from Graz, Austria

One day in 2011, I saw a beautiful pipe in a store, and I really wanted to have it...But I am a Non-Smoker! I just wanted it because of its beauty. In 2012, on my twelfth birthday, I received a lathe as a birthday present. Two weeks later I had built my first pipe underneath our balcony. The quality of this pipe was not very good, but I loved the process of its creation! So I built a second pipe, and then my third. Then I started to make videos showing my creation process and uploaded them to Youtube.

fynn pipe handmade pipes

Manufacturing Procedure :

The first step is to drill the holes for the tobacco chamber, flue, and filter pins, which are set on the lathe . If the pipe has a rectangular hole , then the head is turned on the tie-bar. If the pipe has no rectangular hole, I will shape the pipe on the grinding wheel. Then, I complete the form of the pipe on a specially built belt sander. The curve of the pipe is then reground, or done by hand.

Next, I start on the mouthpiece. Once again, the holes are set on the lathe. Then a pin made ​​of Teflon is bonded, in which the filter is to be placed later. The rough shape is set back on the grinding wheel. The rest will be filed and sanded while wet for optimum shine after polishing.

When the pipe and mouthpiece are finally attached to each other, they are finely ground,up to a grain size of 700.

Each pipe is stained black at least twice, then sanded again. The pipe then has a unique "touch", since the black stain sets deeper and differently into the coarse wood. When this process is completed, the pipe gets its final color. It is then polished with several different polishing pastes and finally with carnauba wax, which comes from palm trees and is not chemically treated. It is very important that a pipe is not treated with normal paint, which would lead to the pipe not breathing properly. Pipe tobacco is mostly damp, and when smoking, moisture can collect in the tobacco chamber, which will penetrate later to the outside wood. The pipe cleans itself, but when the outer wall is coated, the pipe will not taste good after a certain amount of time.

It's very important to only smoke a pipe once in a 24 hour period, otherwise too much condensation is formed, which subsequently can no longer be absorbed by the pipe. One of the biggest problems I had with my pipes was not being able to smoke it and judge for myself. I had to rely on as many other people as possible for feedback and suggestions on improving them.

The name „Fynn“

Even when I first started to build pipes, I had planned  at some point to sell them. The videos were always planned from the beginning. Since I did not initially want to reveal my real name, I had to think of a different "me". "Fynn" was my "alter ego" before I started pipebuilding,  something like a second "first" name for me. On my original Youtube channel, I combined "Fynn" with my nickname "Ossi", coming up with "Fynn Isso". When I bought a stamp to mark the pipes and customize them with this name, it seemed too long, so it was shortened to simply, "Fynn". The pipes are no longer being produced with this name and year.

History of Pipe Making :

Pipe making is an ancient craft. The oldest known discovery of a pipe that was definitely used for smoking tobacco comes from the island Marajo on the Amazon estuary. It was dated around the time of the 15th century. The earlier pipes that were produced were made mostly ​​of wood, horn, Catlinite stone, or ceramics.

In the 17th Century, many pipes were produced from sea foam and spread throughout the world. However, sea foam has a distinct disadvantage. They are very fragile, and not cheap. Only the upper class could afford such an exquisite pipe. Looking for the perfect material, pipes were then made ​​of clay, glass, plastic, corn cobs, metal and even paper mache.

In 1880, for the first time, the ember resistant and tasteless briar wood pipe was made by the French of Saint-Claude (Jura) for tobacco pipe production. Bruyère is made from the tuberous roots of the tree heath that mostly grows wild in Mediterranean regions. It has a structure that consists of alternating solids and a spongy character that can absorb a lot of condensation. It has a typical light wood color that can be changed with stains, without losing its original wood grain. Particularly high-quality pipes are made ​​from the edge region of the tuber, the so-called plateau - wood, which usually has a very beautiful grain.