Pamplin Pipe Factory, Appomattox Co., Slideshow

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The Home Pipe-Making Process.

The first step in making a pipe entailed preparing and molding the clay inside a form to shape it. After removing the pipe from the mold, a woman would smooth or refine the mold marks with a shaper.
   It was not unusual for a pipemaker to also stamp an identifying mark on the pipe base.
   The pipes next would be put out to dry on a board in the sun or, during the wintertime, in an oven.
   To "fire" the pipes in order to harden them for use, they were placed in iron pots and the pots set into a large stove outside, usually in a pipemaker's back yard.
   A pipemaker then surrounded the pots with seasoned chestnut logs and set a fire to bake the pipes. After the fire had completely burned, the pipes were removed to cool.
  The finishing step was to rub each pipe with bee's wax or mutton tallow, followed by polishing with a woolen cloth.