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Old 06-22-2007, 09:29 AM   #1
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Which Pipe?

I've been gathering an interest in pipe smoking, and after some browsing I've come across two pipes that I really like.

http://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/r ... t_ID=29585

and

http://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/s ... t_ID=27423

Is one better than the other? My favorite is the first one. I really love those sandblasted bent dublins.

What do you think?
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:29 AM   #2
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Jason,
Both of those look like excelent pipes. I can't vouch for the Wiley but Stanwells are great smokers. Currently my favorite is a Stanwell because it smokes so dang well.
The real delima is do you buy one or both?

Either way, I'd recommend that you also get a couple of cobs to try different blends. I dedicate my briar pipes to a particular blend or a family of blends.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. There is a lot of expierence floating around this forum. I'm still a new guy compared to some of these guys. And remember, puff slowly; It'll help.

Sam
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:24 AM   #3
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I have a Wiley that is similar to the one you posted, and it is one of my favorite pipes. It's huge, and fits my hand well, plus it holds enough tobacco for a very long smoke. Smokes very well. Like I said, probably my favorite.

But then again, like Sam said, you should probably go ahead and just get both.
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:29 AM   #4
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What would be the purpose of getting more than one pipe?

If I had to go for one pipe, I'd base it on looks and buy the Randy Wiely Galleon.

What are you supposed to look for in a pipe?
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:34 AM   #5
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I'd do the Stanwell. I have been looking at that EXACT one for a few months now. Either way, you can't go wrong with ordering from Smokingpipes.com. I have recently switch to them, and have been very happy.
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jason762
What would be the purpose of getting more than one pipe?
Variety is the spice of life! You wouldn't just smoke one kind of cigar would you? Plus, many pipe smokers use a certain pipe for a certain blend, so you don't mix flavors.

I don't know what you're "supposed" to look for when buying a pipe, but when I'm buying a pipe I focus on how it fits and feels in my hand, first and foremost. Bowl size, stem thickness, etc. also come into play for me. Most pipes draw/smoke well enough, so that's not usually a problem except with some of the cheap ones.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Maggot
Originally Posted by Jason762
What would be the purpose of getting more than one pipe?
Variety is the spice of life! You wouldn't just smoke one kind of cigar would you? Plus, many pipe smokers use a certain pipe for a certain blend, so you don't mix flavors.
I didn't think of that. So when you buy a new flavor to sample, how do you test it?

What should I buy for my first smoke? I was thinking one of each of the Cornell & Diehl Aromatics, Englsh, and Virginia sampler.
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Old 06-23-2007, 03:00 AM   #8
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Jason, buy a handful of corncobs. They are only 5 bucks or so, and they smoke great. That way, you can sample all you want, and not have to worry about contaminating your briars.

As far as samples, call C&D and tell them what you like. They are great with their customers, so I am sure they will put you on the right track. If you really enjoy cigars, make sure to pick up some Purple Cow. It has maduro cigar leaf added.
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Old 06-23-2007, 06:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Capt
Jason, buy a handful of corncobs. They are only 5 bucks or so, and they smoke great. That way, you can sample all you want, and not have to worry about contaminating your briars.

As far as samples, call C&D and tell them what you like. They are great with their customers, so I am sure they will put you on the right track. If you really enjoy cigars, make sure to pick up some Purple Cow. It has maduro cigar leaf added.
I called C&D and it was great. it was fun and I did learn a bit. Capt, I am going to have to get some of the purple Cow.
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Old 06-23-2007, 07:55 AM   #10
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Chris, you'll love that stuff! I still want to know how they come up with some of their blend names, i.e. cross-eyed cricket, bow-legged bear, etc....
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:40 PM   #11
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Chris,

If you've never smoked a pipe before, I would also concur the idea of getting a few cobs. I personally take the filters out, they simply get in the way. They're inexpensive and you can try different tobaccos in them. Use one for aromatics, one of Virginias, and one for English blends.

As for your question about why a number of pipes? Well, the most simple explanation is this. Smoking builds up condensation in the pipe. For a pipe to smoke cool, it needs to be dry. So, after one or two smokes in a day, that pipe needs to "rest" and dry out. I usually let a pipe sit 3 or more days. I smoke 4-7 times a week, so 7 pipes gets me through the week, allowing each pipe to "rest" between smokes. This keeps a pipe from getting "sour", where it tastes bitter and just nasty. Nasty is a technical term meaning yuchy. ))

Have a few packages of pipe cleaners handy. If condensation forms while you're smoking (you'll hear a gurgle when you draw on it), run a pipe cleaner through it. A good pipe will allow the pipe cleaner to pass through the stem and down to the bowl. Avoid taking the pipe apart while it is warm, it is hard on the pipe. Simple physics tells you things swell when they are hot. I have seen more broken stems because someone tried to take it apart while smoking. Make sure that the pipe cleaner doesn't have a hooked end - that the metal innards (technical term) are straight all the way to the tip you are inserting into your pipe.

Also, get a tamper. A nail tamper can be gotten for less than a buck. Purpose? After filling your pipe, you light it. Immediately after lighting - tamp it even and light again. Do this repeatedly till you get a nice even burn going on top. Sip the smoke. Do not puff too aggressively as this can cause the pipe to burn hot and fry your tongue.

And yes, call Cornell & Diehl. You can speak to either Craig or Patty and they'll set you up to get started. Tell them Todd in Embarrass said to call. Here's the web site: http://www.cornellanddiehl.com/

God's blessings on your new venture into the pipe world.

Todd
Hope this helps you get started.
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:15 PM   #12
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Find a local pipe shop!

A decent shop will have cansiters of tobacco blends and sell the stuff in bulk. You can buy a half oz or a couple pounds.

You're looking at some "high end" pipes on this site.

You can get decent pipes in the $30 range at a shop. Ask to see the "pipe basket." This is a basket full of "seconds." A second may have small pits or fills in the briar, or the grain isn't magnificant. But as smokers, they're fine and the price is right.

I like a "bent" shape because moisture in the bowl stays in the bottom of the bowl rather than being drawn up the stem and into your mouth.

You want FAT walls on the bowl. The fatter the walls on the bowl, the cooler the pipe will smoke. (Some like a lightweight pipe they can hold in their mouth. I think a heavy pipe in the hand is the way to go.)

A good pipe has a vulcanite, acrylic, or hard rubber bit. Cheap pipes have plastic bits that get chewed up. Any "basket" pipe in the $30 range will have a decent bit.

You don't want "filters" or inserts in the stem. They're a waste of time, and just complicate cleaning. They don't "filter" anything. By the same token, rings around the stem are a nice feature, but stay away from "metal inserts" in the stem or bit. A good bit fits flush in the stem, no rings, gaskets, shims, lugs, etc.

The vent in the bottom of the bowl should be at the bottom of the bowl, in the center. A well drilled vent hole will be slightly elongated . . . like a "trench" in the bottom of the bowl. When the vent is located at the bottom of the bowl the tobacco burns to the bottom of the bowl.

If the vent in the bowl is "high" in the bowl the tobacco won't burn to the bottom and you end up with a wet heel, sludge and soot gathered at the heel with unburned tobacco.

Grain on a pipe makes for heady prices. Just like gun stocks. You have "straight" which is vertical and straight. "Flame" -- which looks like flame. And "birdseye" which is small, tight little knots of end grain.

A lesser grade pipe will have mixed grain -- and cost about $30. An expensive pipe will have distinctive grain and run $100 up to as much as $1,000.

Seconds will often have "pits" and "fills." These are flaws in the briar resulting from rocks and growth quirks in the briar root. Smooth finish pipes often have these pits "filled" . . . with wood putty. Connoisseures object to fills. Pits in a pipe, if small, are part of the character in a pipe. Sandblast finishes often are used to "blast out" pits and imperfections. The nice part about a sandblast finish is that it' smokes cooler, is more rugged.

Finishes on a pipe are just like furniture. Cheap pipes, with plastic stems -- like you find in Walgreen's -- are finished with shellac or varnish, polyurethane. The finish doesn't breath and wears off.

Nice pipes are finished with stains for color and often waxed or oiled. You get what you pay for in finish, but a decent, well made "second" or "standard grade" pipe should run about $30.

Algerian briar is favored stuff. High end pipes use aged briar, with fine grains. You should be able to find a "second" with decent briar, a good bowl, and bit in the seconds basket.

Seconds start out like any fine pipe and as it's shaped and finished it becomes evident that the grain, or pits detract from its finish.

A decent pipe will have a brand name marked on it. Shops often have seconds marked with the shop name and sold as "basket pipes."

Don't shy away from basket pipes. I've found nice Dunhill Algerian briars in the basket. They're seconds that Dunhill never fitted with bits. Someone bought out the stock and fitted them, sold them as seconds. They're marked "Algerian briar" and one has a sterling, hallmarked ring at the stem.

I have three of these pipes, $20 each a few years ago, out of the seconds basket.

Cultivate a relationship with a shop that blends its own tobacco and knows who you are. My blender has given me pipes (Brit. Comoy) and knows what I like to smoke in a tobacco. When a special pipe comes in, he'll set it aside for me to have first choice on it. (But then I've found pipes he was looking for online.)
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:18 PM   #13
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just my 0.02 but I've got a couple pipes already...but absolutely love my meerchaum one...........

Wish I'd known not to mix blends in it before hand but hey...guess it gives me yet another reason to get another!
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by metalhead357
just my 0.02 but I've got a couple pipes already...but absolutely love my meerchaum one...........

Wish I'd known not to mix blends in it before hand but hey...guess it gives me yet another reason to get another!
You can mix similar blends in a pipe. English blends together, Cavendish blends together.

Aromatics with lots of what I call "syrup" in the tobacco tend to leave flavor in the pipe. I'm not a big fan of aromatics and so I won't worry much about residue and mixing tobacco in a pipe.

Meershaums don't develop a "cake" and so are going to stay pretty much free from picking up a "flavor" from a specific blend. -- But then again, I don't smoke syrupy aromatics.

That would be chocolate, strawberries, brandy, whiskey, caramel, hot fudge, petunias, candy canes, truffles . . . I'm exaggerating, but I think if it's "candy" it doesn't belong in a tobacco blend. The sugar forms a caramelized tar in the cake of the bowl. It's generally gummy, soft, and builds up rapidly. Also it' holds condensation from the pipe and leads to wet heels.

Corn cobs -- I've had a few. The cob imparts a flavor to the smoke until it gets well broken in. The cob is absorbent and will take on the flavor of aromatics -- like a sponge. If you have a decent cob that you like smoking a specific blend in, all's well. But you can find briars that are not expensive and smoke much better than a corn cob. Also, a half decent briar lasts a lifetime while a cob will burn out in pretty short order.

I see these $300 pipes offered online and understand why smokers in here have only one or two pipes. You can find "seconds" for $30 and have a fine smoking collection of pipes.

I paid $200 maybe six years ago for a Strambach, block meershaum Calabash. But the calabashes are antiques. They're not making gourd calabashes any more.

I have a few block meershaum pipes I paid in the $60 to $100 range for. CAO's -- which is a decent meerschaum.

My briars are running anywhere from $15 for a "basket pipe" that's a "second" to Nordings, Comoys, BBB, that approach $85. I don't think I've ever paid more than $85 for a briar.

They're all nice smokers, good looking pipes, and the collection runs about three dozen. I'd have a hard time paying more then $150 for a briar unless it were a collectable antique. And then I'd be hard pressed to smoke it much.
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:52 PM   #15
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Thanks xeke again for the info here and on the other thread. I WISH I had know about all this well before I jumped in. Truth be told I bought a METAL LINED pipe at the tobacco store from a chick that knew even less than I did.......

Its a nice kick around pipe & wouln't care now if it broke. Think its now gonna be relegated to the 'trial' pipe much like how you guys have all mentioned corn cobs; I just cant stand the look of the cornys

My Meerchaum's a "SWS" if that tells you much of anything; was priced at $80 but the guy knew I'd been searching for a "decent" pipe and sold me it for $45 ((I know he probably still made a profit after looking online at similar models)) but also threw in SIX different ziplock bags of tobacco for me to sample. THAT sold me on the place and the samples led to me 'discovering" I do seem to flock to the dark & heavy & aromatics.........
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