Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Green Wood Pipes

Robin Wood posted pictures on the Bodger's Forum of some pipes made from Hickory.  Someone else suggested using Elder and as we have plenty I went in search of some suitable branches.  They're harder to find than you'd think and it was difficult to get ones with a straightish stem and a large pith in both the bowl and the stem.

I drilled out the pith in the bowl and burned it out of the stem with a hot wire.

Growing one minute - being smoked the next...

A word of caution - Wiki says about Elder:-

"The leaves, twigs, branches, seeds and roots contain a cyanide producing glycoside. Ingesting any of these parts in sufficient quantity can cause a toxic build up of cyanide in the body. In addition, the unripened berry, flowers and "umbels" contain a toxic alkaloid.
Due to the possibility of cyanide poisoning, children should be discouraged from making whistles, slingshots or other toys from elderberry wood."

Is Wiki always right and are these things any worse than those contained in tobacco or other smoking material?


Mark said...

Grand stuff, i use Elder for all sorts of things and have never had any adverse effects, in fact it was widely known as the "country folks medicine chest", think id be more worried about the effects of the tobacco than the elder in all honesty.

Gorges Smythe said...

It wasn't until after I'd used one many times as a drinking straw for tiny water sources that I read that it was poison. Maybe I'm dead and just don't know it yet.

Woodland Antics said...

Umm. I can't say for sure about Elder, but there are a lot of fruit that contain cyanide. For example apple pips also contain cyanide or a cyanide product, so be careful not to crunch on them? Well actually although cyanide is very toxic, the levels in the fruit are extremely small so there is little danger unless you develop a sudden craving for apple pips. Though apricot pips are a different matter and contain a lot more I believe. So at a guess I'd expect that the concentration in elder is similar to apple pips. That's the problem with all these 'elf and safety things, the box is opened with genuine concern, but once it's open its bl**dy hard to shut it up again unless you become an expert on the subject. Nobody dares say it will be fine in case somebody falls ill and sues them,



Canis Dirus said...

Interesting approach to pipe making, I'll have to look into American versions! Thanks for sharing!

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Vred Kneckersen said...

This comes very late in the conversation. Regarding cyanide in fruits, esp apple seeds, it is interesting to note that there is relationship between vitaminB17, laetrile and amygdalin. Laetrile was used in cancer therapy 40 years ago until the AMA/FDA alphabet soup said, essentially, if a mouse eats the laetrlle equivalent of 50 gallons of apple seeds it will kill the mouse. Loosely translated. I suspect that the warnings are borne out of an abundance of caution. This link may answer a question or raise two.; https://www.onlineholistichealth.com/vitamins-2/2824-2.html