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Design Principles

 

General Design Principles

In principle, Briar wood is cut in such a way so as to ensure that the grain direction is visually and functionally optimized. The cut Briar is then bored on a lathe and formed on a sanding wheel. After the briar has been machine sanded it is then dry sanded by hand. Having been sanded to form, the briar is then wet sanded to ensure that the surface is completely void of debris. After the Briar has dried, the first alcohol base contrast color is applied. The alcohol base contrast color allows the pipe-maker to see any last deficiencies. Once the stain has dried the briar is again wet sanded to ensure that the surface is appropriately porous and smooth. After this, water based contrasting color is applied to the surface upon which the surface is sanded using a finishing oil and 1000 grit sand paper. The process is repeated twice more and ultimately contributes to the smooth, rich, finishes of the pipes. The final high gloss polished is accomplished through the use of Carnuauba wax. Occasionally, customers have requested that a pipe be wax hardened or oil cured.

Various materials are used to enhance the appearance and durability of the pipes. Buffalo horn, bone, vulcanite, cumberland , amber, silver, brass, durable aluminum, Teflon, bamboo, acrylic mixtures, ivory and precious woods. Elegant, thin shanks are common in my pipe designs. To strengthen these shanks Teflon or vulcanite housing are inserted into the tenon area.

The bits are typically made of vulcanite, Cumberland , acrylic, amber, horn, or bone. Berlin Cumberland or acrylic amber bits are self-made. The material is hardened into a block and then cut and sanded to form. The tenon is either hard or soft Teflon and stabilized with metal inserts.

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Oval Bore Design

By employing special drilling procedures, the oval drillings are generally conical causing both the bore and shank to meet at the base of the pipe. To achieve the minimum bowl width of approximately 22mm the lateral drilling widths are 12-15 mm allowing for the bowl to maintain a minimum upper wall thickness of approximately 5-7 mm. By drilling conically the bore is naturally wider at the top of the bowl and tapers in towards the base allowing the lower wall thickness to maintain a sufficient thickness of approximately 8-10mm. Usually, bore lengths can range from 25 to 50 mm. A pipe designed for a connoisseur or an experienced pipe smoker, the oval drilling procedure ultimately produces an elegant pipe that has a consistent grain on both the left and right sides of the pipe. In addition, lighting the pipe is done not with traditional circular movements but rather in a linear motion.

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Bit Design

Berlin Cumberland

The Berlin Cumberland can only be found at Nils Thomsen Pipes. The material is manufactured, cut, designed and polished in the Berlin workshop The material is fundamentally similar to that of the Cumberland Technology. However, the Berlin Cumberland is slightly softer in bite than traditional acrylic and does not age like vulcanite. For these reasons, the Material can easily be repaired in the event of damage and manipulated to achieve unique designs. Further, the material can be mixed with an endless array of colors. Subsequently, Berlin Cumberland is often colored such that it coordinates with the finished color of the pipe.

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Berlin Tobacco College Pipe Design

The Berlin Tobacco College Pipe was developed in 2003 and has since been manufactured in several different variants. The form is always principally maintained, however the surface and application always changes. To meet the needs of different smokers the pipe is made both with and without filters. In addition, the bits are made at different lengths with different materials. The bowl is a medium oval size similar to that of a tear drop and is ergonomically sound. The round bore is decentralized. The base of the bowl and shank are flat and can therefore be easily engraved. The Berlin Tobacco College Pipe has been sold to over 160 smokers and collectors and can be recognized both by its form and NTP-K engraved designation.

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Berlin Shell Design

"Berlin Shell" (Freehand)

This special pipe was developed by Nils Thomsen in 2005 and registered with the German Design Patent Register Office. File Number: AZ 40502430,4 (see a copy of certificate below):

By cutting the Briar diagonally and through the use of special grinding and manipulation techniques, the brilliant grain and form of the “Berlin Shell” is brought forth in an elegant and compact design. The “Berlin Shell” is made with or without filter and usually with a high gloss polish. One of the unique features of this freehand is It's suitability for ambidextrous use. Some of these pipes come with a special stand that allows the owner to display the “Berlin Shell” for all to see.

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