Hello my name is David Keegan, or “Spillproof” as I am known online. I am a wildlife biologist/independent consultant living in Northern California, slowly transitioning into a full-time pipe-maker and pipe restoration specialist.
Several years ago I began restoring estate pipes primarily to feed my “PAD” (Pipe Acquisition Disorder). While it seemed like a good idea at the time, it immediately led to an even more severe affliction known as “PRD” (Pipe Restoration Disorder). Once I had amassed a rather large pile of restoration tools and gained some experience with refinishing pipes, I had a life changing and (not-so) brilliant thought: “Well how hard could it be to make a pipe?”
Fast forward a few years, many boxes of Band-aids, a couple of stuffed-to-the-brim curse-jars, and I finally feel like things are coming together for me. My hobby has become my life and I’m spending a whole lot more time in the shop than in the field (much to my dog’s dissatisfaction). A wise man once said; “The difference between a pipe-smoker and a pipe-maker is that the smoker can quit.” He was right. I’m completely hooked.
Perfect pipes are the inspiration for my work and I have fairly unreasonable (nearly masochistic) standards. I cannot compete with the big names in pipe-making, but I can make a perfectly engineered pipe with all of the expected bells and whistles (5/32″ taper drilled and V-cut stem, integral/chamfered tenon, <.17″ behind the button, etc.). I believe I’m just hitting my stride with shaping, but that’s the part of the process I most enjoy- the place where art meets science. Some days in the shop are better than others, but I have never had dissatisfied customer, and I put everything I have into every pipe I touch.
Both my father and my grandfather smoked a pipe and I was indoctrinated at a relatively young age. I am confident I can now make a finer pipe than either of them ever owned, but let’s just keep that between us.
Thank you for visiting my website. It is still under construction but I do hope you enjoy poking around.
David Keegan aka “Spillproof”
Big thanks to Jim Amash for the avatar, Brian Metcalf for the logo and stamp design, and Devan Johnson for all his help with creating this website.