Another way to rusticate is with a Dremel or some other rotary tool. This is my favorite way and the method I use the most. You get much more interesting and unique styles with the Dremel as opposed to the hole saw. You can use any type of bit you want and just go over the area you want rusticated. You can use the bit to make lines, or push it into the wood to make little craters in the surface, or whatever you can think of. This is where creativity and imagination come more into play.  A single pass with only one bit is all that's needed but the best looking rustications come from making multiple passes with different bits. I generally use 3-5 different bits and work my way from largest to smallest. As with the hole saw method I always stain the wood before using each bit so that while I am working I can tell where I have been and keep things uniform.

A stummel ready for rustication.

I started with a large bit and made some grooves around the pipe. Next I used a smaller bit and made some more grooves and trenches around the pipe. Finally I used a small bit to round off all the edges. With all bits I use a slow speed as this will give a slightly rougher surface than high speeds.


Here are the different bits I use.

Rustication complete and after being waxed.

A combination of the two methods also works well. I like to make some deep grooves in the stummel  with the Dremel and then use the hole saw.  It adds an extra bit of depth to the finished rustication.

After rustication is finished I then apply the final color using aniline dye. I generally go with black or dark walnut but any color can be used, or you can go with no color and leave the wood natural. Next comes the carnauba wax.  With some rustications you can apply the wax using a buffing wheel, but many of my rustications are deep and jagged and the wax has to be melted onto the pipe because a buffing wheel will leave little pieces of itself stuck in the rustication. I hold the wax over a heat gun until it starts to melt and then kind of rub that across the pipe to coat the wood. When the rustication is pretty well covered with wax I then hold the pipe over the heat gun and turn it this way and that until every part of the rustication is coated with wax. At this point there are two possible ways to finish. One way is to use a  small nylon bristle wheel in the Dremel tool to remove the wax from all the nooks and crannies. This does a good job and leaves a nice shine but it can leave a little to much wax on some rustications. What I do is once the rustication is covered in melted wax I continue heating and blot the excess wax off with a towel. Then I will use the nylon brush to buff the rustication to a nice shine.

Here is a stummel after the initial application of carnauba. Next I hold it over the heat gun to melt the wax and get the entire pipe covered.

Here I have gotten the entire pipe covered in wax and I have blotted of the excess.

Here is the completed pipe after being polished with the small brush attached to the Dremel.

Always use the low setting of the heat gun. On high it can send drops of melted carnauba flying up and carnauba has a fairly high melting point so if you get hit with a drop it hurts. Also you need to be careful to keep the pipe moving when melting the wax onto it because it is possible to scorch the wood with a heat gun.

Other finishes are used on rustication and I have experimented, but I won't go into them as carnauba is the only finish really accepted by everyone in the pipe world