Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Pipe and other hardware related discussions
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SlowToke
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Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by SlowToke » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:38 pm

What are the characteristics of your perfect pipe to smoke?

For me, I prefer smaller pipes in the Dunhill group 3 size range. I prefer the chamber depth to be right around 1.25" with the chamber diameter 3/4" or 13/16". The most comfortable shapes are 1/4 to 1/2 bent although, oddly enough, the majority of the pipes in my regular smoking rotation are straight. I also prefer sandblasted pipes over smooth for practical reasons. I find the hand feel more pleasing as well as being easier to maintain. I don't care for smooth pipes that lose their shine from use and buffing them often is too much work. I like saddle stems with bit thicknesses around 0.15 to 0.16". The stem airway must be very open with proper 'V' slots cut. Airway diameter of 9/64" to 5/32" smoke best for me. I also prefer the flavor of 'dirty' pipes. I almost never clean my pipes and only rarely run a pipe cleaner through them.
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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by hugodrax » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:42 pm

SlowToke wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:38 pm
What are the characteristics of your perfect pipe to smoke?

For me, I prefer smaller pipes in the Dunhill group 3 size range. I prefer the chamber depth to be right around 1.25" with the chamber diameter 3/4" or 13/16". The most comfortable shapes are 1/4 to 1/2 bent although, oddly enough, the majority of the pipes in my regular smoking rotation are straight. I also prefer sandblasted pipes over smooth for practical reasons. I find the hand feel more pleasing as well as being easier to maintain. I don't care for smooth pipes that lose their shine from use and buffing them often is too much work. I like saddle stems with bit thicknesses around 0.15 to 0.16". The stem airway must be very open with proper 'V' slots cut. Airway diameter of 9/64" to 5/32" smoke best for me. I also prefer the flavor of 'dirty' pipes. I almost never clean my pipes and only rarely run a pipe cleaner through them.
Everything you said except for the bit about the comfort of bent pipes and your preference for a wide open airway. The rest rings eerily close to home. That should scare you.
Etiam mihi opinio anserem perirent.

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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by Jester » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:48 pm

Made of wood and functions.
I smoke a cigar because the body is a temple and the temple needs incense. -Michael Knowles

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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by hugodrax » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:59 pm

Jester wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:48 pm
Made of wood and functions.
So nothing by Jocose, then?
Etiam mihi opinio anserem perirent.

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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by Pepik » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:23 pm

Something with a Brair Stem.

Hmm... there's someone here who makes 'em. Wonder if that's possible. Better save my pennies.


My view there's two such Attributes: Light and comfortably clenchable for the straight pipe. A perfectly ergonomic "handful" in a bent pipe like a Rhodie, Brandy, or Apple.
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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by DepartedLight » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:15 pm

Jester wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:48 pm
Made of wood and functions.
hmmm




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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by JimVH » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:44 pm

No gurgle.
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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by DepartedLight » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:25 pm

Plato's theory of Forms.

That is all.
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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by FredS » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:21 pm

I'll echo Slow Tokes preferences. My go-to's are smallish, usually straight, light weight (that's why I prefer saddle stems), rusticated, and dirty. I've even taken to oval stems as they're lighter than comparably sized round stemmed pipes.
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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by Cleon » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:22 am

I see a pattern here.

For function I like small, light, straight, and easily clenchable pipes. My go to shape is a plain straight billiard.

For looks I like silver bands with saddle bits. I like cumberland stems for sandblasts. I like straight tapered ebonite stems (not the tapered stems with the pinch in the middle like Savinelli and a few other make). It really doesn't matter if they are sandblasted or smooth. I don't care for rustication. No lucite. Maybe a horn stem or maybe briar stem. I don't know, I've never had one.

If smooth I like light stained cross cuts, or burgundy/darker stained straight grained pipes. If sandblasted I really like the look of a smooth rounded rim to go with it. Strangely, smooths are more likely to be work type pipes that I'd take with me. Sandblasts are sitting around and relaxing pipes.
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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by Irish-Dane » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:06 am

DepartedLight wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:15 pm
Jester wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:48 pm
Made of wood and functions.
hmmm




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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by Bloodhound » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:45 am

I'll throw this out. I select the pipe for the activity I am going to do while I smoke...but what I have the most experience with is smoking and thinking or chatting with a friend and that means a big pipe clinching is not an issue as I will likely keep the pipe in my hand 99% of the time. Smallish pipes have their place and I like them too, but most of my smoking is done on the patio in a patio chair and that lends itself to a big pipe. Oh and I like the Canadian platform, Lumberman, Lovat and so on.
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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by Jester » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:54 am

Stuff tobacco in one end and draw smoke out of other end.
I smoke a cigar because the body is a temple and the temple needs incense. -Michael Knowles

Pumpkin Ale is more American than apple pie! -Tuttle

When chaos manifests itself, what makes you think that anyone tame will be good for anything? -Jordan B. Peterson

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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by SlowToke » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:03 am

Bloodhound wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:45 am
I'll throw this out. I select the pipe for the activity I am going to do while I smoke...but what I have the most experience with is smoking and thinking or chatting with a friend and that means a big pipe clinching is not an issue as I will likely keep the pipe in my hand 99% of the time. Smallish pipes have their place and I like them too, but most of my smoking is done on the patio in a patio chair and that lends itself to a big pipe. Oh and I like the Canadian platform, Lumberman, Lovat and so on.
That's a good point. I think I prefer small, light pipes because my hands are nearly always busy doing other tasks so I primarily clinch. My preference for more shallow chamber depths is due to typically only having 45 minutes to an hour to smoke a bowl. Interestingly, though, when I'm in the shop working on pipes, I find I experience disappointment when I'm smoking a pipe and it only lasts an hour. When I'm working, it would be nice to have a larger capacity. The quandary then becomes finding a pipe with a larger capacity that is light and comfortable enough to clinch while I work.
Wayne Teipen
http://teipenpipes.com
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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by Bloodhound » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:19 am

SlowToke wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:03 am
Bloodhound wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:45 am
I'll throw this out. I select the pipe for the activity I am going to do while I smoke...but what I have the most experience with is smoking and thinking or chatting with a friend and that means a big pipe clinching is not an issue as I will likely keep the pipe in my hand 99% of the time. Smallish pipes have their place and I like them too, but most of my smoking is done on the patio in a patio chair and that lends itself to a big pipe. Oh and I like the Canadian platform, Lumberman, Lovat and so on.
That's a good point. I think I prefer small, light pipes because my hands are nearly always busy doing other tasks so I primarily clinch. My preference for more shallow chamber depths is due to typically only having 45 minutes to an hour to smoke a bowl. Interestingly, though, when I'm in the shop working on pipes, I find I experience disappointment when I'm smoking a pipe and it only lasts an hour. When I'm working, it would be nice to have a larger capacity. The quandary then becomes finding a pipe with a larger capacity that is light and comfortable enough to clinch while I work.
It is interesting that you like the smaller pipes, because one of my very favorites is a very large Lumberman that you made. It is very perfect for sitting on the patio with a friend or in the still of the night.
Scott ( aka - Thor )
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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by UncleBob » Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:10 pm

Perceptions of Pipe Smokers
For example, the following is from a quite unexpected source, “How to Try a Jury Case: A Lawyer’s View,” a chapter in The Litigation Manual (John G. Koeltl and John S. Kiernan [eds.], 1999). A lawyer, describing his court experience, recounts that he had read an article about the tobacco industry from which he extrapolates the common biases and the hasty, initial impressions—i.e., stereotyping— of jurors and witnesses:

They found that people equated the fat cigar with the crooked politician, the gambler, the Mafia, the hood, and the B-movie villain. In addition to finding out about the fat cigars, they also found out that when females go to the store to buy a pipe for their boyfriends, they always buy a curved pipe. When the male goes, he buys a straight pipe, but a curved pipe reminds women of a kindly old professor, the old philosopher, old granddad, solidarity, understanding, that kind of thing.
The Lore was always that people perceived a pipe smoker smoking a straight pipe as an authority figure (eg Ward Cleaver). For pipe smokers, straight pipes better kept the smoke out of the smoker's eyes so they could smoke while engaging in some activity. On the other hand, people perceived pipe smokers smoking a bent pipe as more kindly, relaxed, and even jolly (eg Santa Clause).
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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by hugodrax » Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:17 pm

UncleBob wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:10 pm
Perceptions of Pipe Smokers
For example, the following is from a quite unexpected source, “How to Try a Jury Case: A Lawyer’s View,” a chapter in The Litigation Manual (John G. Koeltl and John S. Kiernan [eds.], 1999). A lawyer, describing his court experience, recounts that he had read an article about the tobacco industry from which he extrapolates the common biases and the hasty, initial impressions—i.e., stereotyping— of jurors and witnesses:

They found that people equated the fat cigar with the crooked politician, the gambler, the Mafia, the hood, and the B-movie villain. In addition to finding out about the fat cigars, they also found out that when females go to the store to buy a pipe for their boyfriends, they always buy a curved pipe. When the male goes, he buys a straight pipe, but a curved pipe reminds women of a kindly old professor, the old philosopher, old granddad, solidarity, understanding, that kind of thing.
The Lore was always that people perceived a pipe smoker smoking a straight pipe as an authority figure (eg Ward Cleaver). For pipe smokers, straight pipes better kept the smoke out of the smoker's eyes so they could smoke while engaging in some activity. On the other hand, people perceived pipe smokers smoking a bent pipe as more kindly, relaxed, and even jolly (eg Santa Clause).
So Pepik should prefer a group 4 straight billiard, then?
Etiam mihi opinio anserem perirent.

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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by SlowToke » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:05 pm

Bloodhound wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:19 am
SlowToke wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:03 am
Bloodhound wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:45 am
I'll throw this out. I select the pipe for the activity I am going to do while I smoke...but what I have the most experience with is smoking and thinking or chatting with a friend and that means a big pipe clinching is not an issue as I will likely keep the pipe in my hand 99% of the time. Smallish pipes have their place and I like them too, but most of my smoking is done on the patio in a patio chair and that lends itself to a big pipe. Oh and I like the Canadian platform, Lumberman, Lovat and so on.
That's a good point. I think I prefer small, light pipes because my hands are nearly always busy doing other tasks so I primarily clinch. My preference for more shallow chamber depths is due to typically only having 45 minutes to an hour to smoke a bowl. Interestingly, though, when I'm in the shop working on pipes, I find I experience disappointment when I'm smoking a pipe and it only lasts an hour. When I'm working, it would be nice to have a larger capacity. The quandary then becomes finding a pipe with a larger capacity that is light and comfortable enough to clinch while I work.
It is interesting that you like the smaller pipes, because one of my very favorites is a very large Lumberman that you made. It is very perfect for sitting on the patio with a friend or in the still of the night.
It's true that I don't tend to make small pipes. Most are in the group 4 or 5 size range.
Wayne Teipen
http://teipenpipes.com
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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by joegoat » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:53 pm

FredS steered me toward 5/32 airways soon after starting my pipe making journey. After smoking something with a truly effortless draw for the first time I have a hard time going back. Just about every pipe on my racks has a smaller airway than 5/32 and while many smoke well as they sit now, I feel they would benefit from an absolutely unconstricted airflow. Someday I may set about doing the upgrades.
Other than a great, free draw I don't have something that makes for a great pipe. I don't have a favorite shape or finish, though I prefer some to others. As others have already said, what I'm smoking depends on what I'm doing.
I do like the maintenance free nature of acrylic stems. Many of the colors available aren't for me, but to each their own. If I had the choice of black acrylic or vulcanite on the same stummel I'd go with acrylic. I don't feel enough of a difference between the two materials to have to bother with oxidation someday.
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Re: Characteristics of a Perfect Pipe

Post by durangopipe » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:13 pm

I have pipes in many shapes and sizes, vulcanite, horn and acrylic stems, artisan and factory, all kinds of engineering choices of which I am utterly ignorant.

Some smoke great, some okay, none I still have are dogs.

Except for Stanwell factory pipes that seem to smoke well almost without exception and a few artisans whose pipes never fail to please, I have no preferences that I can clearly identify. Small or large bowl, straight or bent, smooth, blasted or rusticated - I have pipes of many description and lots of makers that I enjoy.

Were I still buying pipes, except for a very strong fondness for FredS's pipes and Mark Tinsky's pipes, I could not predict what pipe would speak to me until I were to see it.
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