About The Pipe Maker

Tyler Lane Beard

All Tyler Lane Pipes are hand made by Tyler Lane Beard in Edmond, OK. They are produced on an irregular basis as I find time between my full-time vocation as a an engineer with an oil and gas company and my family of seven.

 

I have been making pipes since 2000. In 2003 I started what is now Pipe Makers’ Forum. The work involved in making pipes and maintaining the forum began to cut too much into family responsibilities. Pipe making, while a passion of mine, is far below my faith and family on my list of priorities. After the Chicago show in 2005, I announced that I would no longer make pipes available for sale. It was an incredibly difficult decision, but I began to see the decision as gambling between ruining my “career” as a pipe maker versus my “career” as a dad. When I saw it that way the answer became obvious. I also announced that I was transferring Pipe Makers’ Forum into the capable hands of Kurt Huhn (Thanks Kurt!). It was a great decision for my family and me.

 

My children are now all school aged. That still doesn’t offer me a lot of time in the shop, but it offers a lot more than when they were babies and toddlers. I feel I am now to a point in life where selling pipes is something I can do in moderation, not only with no harm to my role as Dad, but benefit.  That is why I am back.

 

During my hiatus from selling my pipes I remained involved in the online pipe world, though much less regularly. I also occasionally ventured into the shop to make a pipe for myself or a friend. Fly fishing is also something I greatly enjoy, and I dabbled with making bamboo fly rods during my break from selling pipes.

 

The exacting process of making a bamboo fly rod was exciting to learn, but not a lot of fun to repeat. It lacked the creativity that I so enjoy about pipe making. While making more fly rods is definitely part of my future plans (someday a rod and pipe set must be made), the rod making process only reaffirmed my love for pipe making.

Pipe Making Philosophy

My primary pursuit in pipe making is beauty.

A perfectly functioning pipe is of course critical, but that is relatively easy to achieve. Drill three holes in the right places in the best block of briar you can buy. Drill one hole through a piece of stem material and file it open to the appropriate dimensions. I do not mean to suggest I don’t care about those holes. I make each of my pipes with fastidious attention to detail.  I am of the belief that smooth air flow is critically important to the best possible smoke, and correspondingly pay considerable attention to the details of air flow, fit and finish.

 

My point is that well-drilled holes are not what stir the soul. What moves us when we see the pipe is getting lost in a sea of iridescent birds eye magnified by a marvelously executed shape; it is the just-right texture of a craggy blast in the palm of our hand; it is curves and lines and flow accentuated by a liquid-smooth finish. What stirs the soul is beauty. My role as a pipe maker is to pursue beauty. It is a good task.

 

Any pipe that is less than ideal is not stamped a Tyler Lane pipe. It is my goal that every Tyler Lane pipe thrills each buyer so much with its beauty and function that the buyer feels that he got the best possible value in an artisan pipe.

Nomenclature

I have always marked my pipes with my first and middle names, Tyler Lane.  I wrote that by hand with a Dremel until 2012.  In early 2012 I bought a Tyler Lane stamp and a small USA stamp. Those are now the only marks on my pipes: TYLER LANE and USA.

   

My earlier pipes were also numbered.  The number on the pipe represents the count of all my pipes to date when that one was made.  If you have, for example, a pipe with the number 56 stamped on it, then you have the 56th pipe I made.

 

PLEASE NOTE:  I have sold a handful of seconds.  I marked these TBR, which stands for “Tyler Beard Reject”.   There are less than a dozen of these in the wild, but recently two have been sold on eBay.  I now realize that my care in distinct markings for seconds is only valuable if the markings are known.

Pipe Making Instruction

I used to have pipe making instruction on this site. I wrote up my methods and included about a dozen how-to videos. It was nothing fancy, but I a few aspiring pipe makers have found it helpful. Most of that material still exists in other places on the web. Before I provide links to that information let me first make clear that greater minds than mine developed the methods I used and wrote down. I came up with almost none of it. I was taught by dozens of pipe makers via the web, email, phone calls, and conversations at pipe shows. I should take the time to thank them all, but the list is so long it would be impossible to be appropriately thorough.  To those that have helped me let me just say, thank you; you know who you are.  Second, let me add the disclaimer that I have not updated this information in the last six years. I recommend you visit Pipe Makers’ Forum and join the conversation there for the latest information in hobbyist pipe making.

 

For my pipe making write ups, please visit Pipedia, where you will find most of what I wrote interspersed with other pipe makers’ (better) write ups.

 

For my videos go to my YouTube Channel.

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