Designing a pipe is not the work of a few minutes sketching. Every block of briar has different strengths that you try to highlight while working around the flaws or weak areas. This is the reason why I値l never claim that I値l be able to make an exact copy of a past pipe. There are simply too many possible variables in the briar to find a block the same as the one that spawned the original design.  

I start by choosing a block of briar, sanding down the surfaces and wetting it to get a good idea of what the grain looks like. Based on grain I値l decide if it will be a smooth or blast. This decision is based on the grain, whether the strength of the block is in the vertical grain, the horizontal grain or the birdseye. From there I値l draw in my sketchbook and on the block itself. It usually takes an hour or so to come up with a final design. When I make a pipe I find that it really helps to have a sketch of the shape and design elements I値l include as a reference. Having a drawn guide like this helps me to envision what the pipe will look like and also it helps me from getting side tracked into dead-end designs that end up getting tossed into the reject box. Once the design is set I redraw the design on the briar itself as reference.