MAINTAINING THE TRADITION
With a circular saw, the pipemaker cut the briar blocks so they have a thickness and height corresponding to the pipe we want to create.
The briar blocks are turned so the chamber and the upper part of the bowl can be designed.
The objective of this step is to shape the shank of the pipe, when this is done, the briar block become a rough shaped pipe.
By milling the pipe, the pipemaker remove the surplus of briar located between the bowl and the shank.
The miller can't remove the briar on the lower part of the bowl. So, the objective of the the rasping step is to remove it with another machine.
This step is difficult and require precision. Indeed, the bit has to drill straight and finish perfectly in the bottom and the center of the chamber.
The sorter check and grade all the pipe head. There are 9 different categories of quality which impact the price and the finish of the pipe. A sorter finds only one or two perfect pipes in his life.
This is during this step that the pipemaker assembles the stem with the head. Both part have to perfectly fit together.
Polishing is the most difficult but also the most important step in the pipemaking process. It consists in placing the pipe under turning abrasive disks to give it its final shape.
During this step, thanks to a paintbrush or a stamp, the pipemaker adds color to the pipes. After that, the pipes is slightly burned to fix the stain on the briar.
After the drying, the pipemaker lightens the pipe with cretonne rolls to obtain a consistent colour on the whole pipe. It also give to the pipe its final color.
Finally, the marking step. It is the affixing of the manufacturer's mark, the name of the serie and the model reference. After a final check and a light polishing, the pipes are finally boxed and shipped all over the world.
In 2013, CHAPUIS-COMOY & Cie obtain the Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (EPV) label is a mark of recognition of the French State, put in place to reward French firms for the excellence of their traditional and industrial know-how.