Alan Brothers

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FredS
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Alan Brothers

Post by FredS » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:10 pm

Maybe I've had my head in the sand, but I just happened upon some Alan Brothers pipe at SmokingPipes.com and was intrigued. The google machine finds that Jeff Gracik (my favorite pipe maker) and his brother Jeremy have teamed up to produce some 'artisan inspired' pipes at more affordable prices. This will be interesting to watch.

This looks similar to what Todd Johnson is doing with Briar Works. They're both trading on their reputations as very expensive artisans to design a line of machine made, hand finished pipes at 'affordable' prices. I looked at some Briar Works pipes at the KC pipe show last summer and they look nice. They've removed the critical process of fine fitting the stem to the shank by either putting a ring at the junction or making the stem smaller than the shank as part of the overall design. Pretty clever ways of cutting out a process requiring a skilled craftsman.

Anybody have experience with either of these new American pipe companies?
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Re: Alan Brothers

Post by rgcurrey » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:55 am

Glad you asked because I can’t stop looking at the Alan Brothers Fairmount and would love to hear from someone who has smoked one of their pipes.
Well I got a job and tried to put my money away
But I got debts that no honest man can pay - B. Springsteen

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"Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding." - Job 28:28

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Re: Alan Brothers

Post by Bloodhound » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:46 am

I bought an estate BriarWorks pipe about 2 years ago from a member here. It was a decent pipe but the bit while it didn't look huge, or out of proportion, it was it was thick and blocky. I smoked it 3 times and cleaned it and sold it...it just had the wrong mouth feel for me. Like I said, you didn't notice it just looking at it.
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FredS
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Re: Alan Brothers

Post by FredS » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:48 am

rgcurrey wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:55 am
Glad you asked because I can’t stop looking at the Alan Brothers Fairmount and would love to hear from someone who has smoked one of their pipes.
The problem is that I asked six months ago and nobody has chimed in about Alan Brothers pipes.
"If we ever get to heaven boys, it aint because we aint done nothin' wrong" - Kris Kristofferson

"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

"I'd like to put a hook in that puppet and swing it through a bunch of salmon!" - durangopipe

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Re: Alan Brothers

Post by Bloodhound » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:53 am

New blood stirring the pot or in this case the old threads :)
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Re: Alan Brothers

Post by hugodrax » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:23 am

Bloodhound wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:53 am
New blood stirring the pot or in this case the old threads :)
Dude wants to learn pipes and tobaccos. Let's support dude. Let's not call him "Dude," though.
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Re: Alan Brothers

Post by Bloodhound » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:46 am

hugodrax wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:23 am
Bloodhound wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:53 am
New blood stirring the pot or in this case the old threads :)
Dude wants to learn pipes and tobaccos. Let's support dude.
This could be a very dangerous plan of action...the discussion and dissemination of pipe and tobacco information...here...risky :D
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Do Justice...Love Mercy...Walk Humbly With Your GOD

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Re: Alan Brothers

Post by rgcurrey » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:11 am

hugodrax wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:23 am
Bloodhound wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:53 am
New blood stirring the pot or in this case the old threads :)
Dude wants to learn pipes and tobaccos. Let's support dude. Let's not call him "Dude," though.
No worries, the Dude abides.

https://youtu.be/EsKoxi12jbI
Well I got a job and tried to put my money away
But I got debts that no honest man can pay - B. Springsteen

And he said to the man,
"Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding." - Job 28:28

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Re: Alan Brothers

Post by Gabriel » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:00 pm

Sounds like what Wayne had been doing with his Heritage Pipes.
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FredS
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Re: Alan Brothers

Post by FredS » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:24 pm

Gabriel wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:00 pm
Sounds like what Wayne had been doing with his Heritage Pipes.
Yes. It pretty much is.

I like Wayne, and Gracik, (not fond of one of the principles at Briar Works) but I agree with a blogger I read a year or so ago, that these guys are in a 'race to the bottom'. I understand it's tough to earn a living making artisan pipes, and I understand they can make their 'factory pipes' (or 'serially produced pipes', as Briar Works calls them) in perhaps *1/6 to 1/10 the time of their handmades yet sell them for 1/4 the price of their handmades, but I'd be somewhat concerned with diluting their brand if I were them. Sure, Eltang does it with his Sara Eltang line, but I think he's a once-in-a-generation pipemaker and thousands of people want a pipe that was touched by him so he can get away with it.

Just my two cents.

*I'm taking a swag at the time and price comparisons.
"If we ever get to heaven boys, it aint because we aint done nothin' wrong" - Kris Kristofferson

"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

"I'd like to put a hook in that puppet and swing it through a bunch of salmon!" - durangopipe

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Re: Alan Brothers

Post by rgcurrey » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:26 pm

Looking at the briar works pipes I can’t help but notice the ring now and now that I know it is to delete the need for a better fit I find the pipes less desirable. Alan brothers do not use that, however, I see what is meant by race to the bottom.

Still for a guy like me who will probably never spend anywhere close to two bills for a pipe some of these seem like good deals. That said, looking at my list of pipes I have my eye on almost all of them are estates anyway.
Well I got a job and tried to put my money away
But I got debts that no honest man can pay - B. Springsteen

And he said to the man,
"Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding." - Job 28:28

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Re: Alan Brothers

Post by Cleon » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:25 pm

The ring at the stem/shank junction, I don't mind so much. The stem being smaller than the shank bothers me. It looks like, "Here, lets just shove this stem in there and see if it fits."
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Re: Alan Brothers

Post by FredS » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:01 pm

I'm not dogging those brands, simply stating some of the ways they take skilled labor out of the pipemaking process to keep costs down. Alan Brothers also has some pipes in their line that avoid the fiddly fit of stem and shank to. It's part of their design. Of their current crop at smokingpipes.com, the only pipes with a smooth junction are billiards/lumberman styles that have a straight shank which can be turned to precise and repeatable dimensions on a lathe. Again, it's not cheating, or poor quality, it just a way to reduce labor on pipes that are, after all, made in America.
"If we ever get to heaven boys, it aint because we aint done nothin' wrong" - Kris Kristofferson

"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

"I'd like to put a hook in that puppet and swing it through a bunch of salmon!" - durangopipe

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