Diary of a Bald Pipe Smoker

Want to share something posted on your blog, or the fact that you have a blog? Here's one for the bloggers.
User avatar
UncleBob
CPS Theological Dogmatician
CPS Theological Dogmatician
Posts: 35402
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:00 pm
Location: Lubbock, TX USA
Contact:

Post by UncleBob » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:44 pm

Very well...by popular demand....

The Adventures of Erik Ashwood: Pipe Smoker!

The Case of the Prince's Purloined Pipe

(Part 1)

It was a hot June night. I remember it well.

Those beetles were mounting a full assault on my tomatoes again. Every year it was the same thing; I sprayed, I powdered, but it never mattered. I fought them; I combated them with every weapon created by the most technically advanced agricultural army in the civilized world. Yes, even insecticides formulated by the eggheads at the USDA could not conquer the chitinous hordes of insects devouring my vegetables. Yet, I struggled on. What else could I do? I am Erik Ashwood: Pipe Smoker!

My favorite calabash rested gently in my hand as I lounged in my black leather wing-back that I had moved to the patio of my humble duplex in central Springfield. As I moved to puff on the lucite stem, I stopped and studied the darkened gourd. The seasoned cooling chamber had darkened to a rich mahogany which contrasted delightfully with the blackened meerschaum bowl. The pocket of my favorite royal blue robe produced my treasured golden pipe tool (a gift from a grateful client). I was reflecting on that particular case and softly tamping the ashes of Shorty's Blendwhen I heard the knock at the door.

My six foot frame towered above the slight (and may I say rather ferret-like) middle-aged gentleman that entered my home that evening. As he moved into the living room, his restless eyes quickly studied and noted all data collected from the furnishings in the room. Then his eyes fell on me as he stated, "You are Erik Ashwood."

"Yes", I replied. "And you are..."

"Chief Inspector Johnathan Teach of the Springfield Police Department."

As we shook hands I noted that he continued to gather minute details of my home and person. His eyes never once ceased from darting about in all directions and, instinctively, I knew he was born to investigate.

"You really should cease smoking heavy English blends while driving with your driver-side window down, " I offered, "or at least take the time to clean the right side of your billiard's bowl. The smoke is discoloring your pipe."

He was startled as he looked at me. "How on Earth..."

"Simple, really," I smirked. "I can smell McClelland 2040 a mile away and your facial features and build nearly scream a small billiard. Besides, I noticed your small Stanwell in your vest pocket as we shook hands."

"Very observant," he replied. "I see that your reputed knowledge of tobacco is accurate."

He followed me into my study (noting details as we proceeded) and after accepting an Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 (Maduro, of course) he was seated. As I relighted my calabash, be began.

"I must insist on total confidence in the matter we are about to discuss. Your reputation for discretion is surpassed only by your fame as a tobacconist."

I nodded in acknowledgement of his compliment as he continued.

"You are aware of the situation in Kuwait..."

"As well as CNN can inform the public", I responded.

He paused to knock the ash from his maduro into the walnut ashtray resting on the table at the right of his armchair. "During the build-up of Desert Shield, Fort Leonardwood was honored by an important guest. After the Crowned Prince of Kuwait had inspected the military transport vehicles destined to deliver his home from the tyranny of Saddam, he discovered that he had run out of his favorite pipe tobacco. After learning that the nearest pipe shop was in Springfield, the avid pipe smoker insisted on cutting his inspection short and proceeded with all haste to the Queen City that very evening!"

"Admirable, but surprising the local paper knew nothing of this visit," I commented.

"The whole visit was so hush-hush that only the Mayor, Police Chief, and Bert Smith, the tobacconist who prepared the special blend for His Highness, knew of his visit."

(forced break due to post limitation)
"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Many of the points here, taken to their logical conclusions, don't hold up to logic; they're simply Godded-up ways of saying "I don't like that." - Skip

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." -Mark Twain

User avatar
UncleBob
CPS Theological Dogmatician
CPS Theological Dogmatician
Posts: 35402
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:00 pm
Location: Lubbock, TX USA
Contact:

Post by UncleBob » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:13 pm

(Continuation)

"So why are you sharing this anecdote with me tonight?", I asked growing slightly impatient.

"On that diversion, His Highness attended a Baldnobbers performance and became instantly enamored with the charming country comedy and music. He has been secretly making occasional visits since his glorious recapture of his homeland."

Really!" I exclaimed in disbelief.

"Honestly!" Teach declared sensing my skepticism. "On these excursions, he has taken to stay at the Hammond's Holiday Inn on St. Louis St. in room 713 under the assumed name of Crawford."

"Hrumph!" I snorted as I absently tamped at the aromatic ashes in my calabash while this revelation sunk into my mind.

Purposefully the Inspector leaned forward in his chair and puffed furiously on his 8-5-8. "Last night, after returning from a late Baldnobber's performance, His Highness discovered his prized meerschaum pipe was missing!"

I caught my calabash that had fallen from my open mouth. Who would sink so low as to pinch the Prince's prized pipe I pondered!

"Forensics has combed the room and we are investigating several possible leads."

"So why tell me?" I asked while wiping white ash from the top of my meerschaum bowl.

Teach reclined back into the armchair and crossed his legs. I absently noticed Camel ashes on his pant's leg; Ultra Light, I thought.

"You know people who would be most interested in moving expensive meerschaum contraband. I want you to see what you can find."

"And my normal fee?" I inquired.

"The Prince is offering a $10,000 reward for its safe return. As a police officer I am exempt. You help me find the pipe and the reward is yours."

$10,000 sure would supply my humidor for some time, I mused. "What shape is the carving?"

"The Prince personally hired Andreas Bauer to carve the pipe into an exact scale model of his palace."

"I'll start looking tomorrow," I promised.

The tail lights of the Inspector's Caprice had not faded from view before I had dressed. Before I entered my garage, I grabbed my small black leather briefcase containing the equipment necessary for my investigation, lighted the fragrant Shorty's BlendI packed into my Peterson Deerstalker Smooth and thrust my Old Boy pewter lighter and golden pipe tool into my trench coat's deep pockets.

No one took interest in me as I arrived at room 713 only twenty minutes after Inspector Teach had commissioned my investigation. The door was locked, of course. Quickly I produced my tamper and, after two business men who exited the room next to me strolled to the elevator, I began working the deadbolt. I was relieved to hear the bolt slide open only after a few moments. Deftly, I ducked through the police tape and into the dark room.

After I closed the door, I was struck to the carpet by a heavy blow to the back of my knees. As I rolled over onto my seat, I looked up into the barrel of a Colt .45 automatic. Although this situation reflected as darkly on my evening as the blued finish of the slide, I noticed during my fall that I had forgotten my pouch of Shorty's Blend.I then knew that I was in trouble.

(End of Part 1)
"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Many of the points here, taken to their logical conclusions, don't hold up to logic; they're simply Godded-up ways of saying "I don't like that." - Skip

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." -Mark Twain

User avatar
fiddlestix
Brother of the Briar
Brother of the Briar
Posts: 1552
Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:00 pm
Location: Missouri
Contact:

Post by fiddlestix » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:37 pm

UncleBob wrote:"On that diversion, His Highness attended a Baldnobbers performance and became instantly enamored with the charming country comedy and music. He has been secretly making occasional visits since his glorious recapture of his homeland."
:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
My parents went to watch the Baldnobbers a year or so ago ago bought the DVD. They have insisted on showing it us at least every other time we visit.

Ready for part 2.

TNLawPiper
BrotherOfTheBriar YouHeartlessBastards
BrotherOfTheBriar YouHeartlessBastards
Posts: 17389
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:00 pm

Post by TNLawPiper » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:50 am

UncleBob for President and/or Resident Storyteller.

User avatar
Irish-Dane
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
Posts: 33109
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:00 pm
Location: The beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina
Contact:

Post by Irish-Dane » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:22 am

TNLawPiper wrote:UncleBob for President and/or Resident Storyteller.
Amen.
It's not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. --Colton

User avatar
Spyderweb
Brother of the Briar
Brother of the Briar
Posts: 2481
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 6:00 pm
Location: Sanford FL

Post by Spyderweb » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:39 am

Thank you UncleBob. I'd like to hear more - of all you have shared so far.

User avatar
Irish-Dane
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
Posts: 33109
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:00 pm
Location: The beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina
Contact:

Post by Irish-Dane » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:49 am

Spyderweb wrote:Thank you UncleBob. I'd like to hear more - of all you have shared so far.
Agreed.

I'd also like to hear about your first blending experiments. Any failures? Any successes where you forgot to write down the recipe? Stuff like that.
It's not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. --Colton

User avatar
UncleBob
CPS Theological Dogmatician
CPS Theological Dogmatician
Posts: 35402
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:00 pm
Location: Lubbock, TX USA
Contact:

Post by UncleBob » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:06 pm

Irish-Dane wrote:
TNLawPiper wrote:UncleBob for President and/or Resident Storyteller.
Amen.
Easy now. There are some actual writers here on the board (including you, I believe) that may tar and feather me for being a poser.
"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Many of the points here, taken to their logical conclusions, don't hold up to logic; they're simply Godded-up ways of saying "I don't like that." - Skip

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." -Mark Twain

User avatar
Irish-Dane
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
Posts: 33109
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:00 pm
Location: The beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina
Contact:

Post by Irish-Dane » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:41 pm

UncleBob wrote:
Irish-Dane wrote:
TNLawPiper wrote:UncleBob for President and/or Resident Storyteller.
Amen.
Easy now. There are some actual writers here on the board (including you, I believe) that may tar and feather me for being a poser.
I've only sold about a hundred books total, so I'm not sure I can yet be labeled an actual writer.
It's not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. --Colton

User avatar
JimVH
Ramone, the hair dresser with smokin' diapers
Ramone, the hair dresser with smokin' diapers
Posts: 21967
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as soon as I could.
Contact:

Post by JimVH » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:56 pm

Irish-Dane wrote:
UncleBob wrote:
Irish-Dane wrote:
TNLawPiper wrote:UncleBob for President and/or Resident Storyteller.
Amen.
Easy now. There are some actual writers here on the board (including you, I believe) that may tar and feather me for being a poser.
I've only sold about a hundred books total, so I'm not sure I can yet be labeled an actual writer.
Cool. I own two percent of all the books an important literary artist ever sold.

User avatar
Irish-Dane
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
Posts: 33109
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:00 pm
Location: The beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina
Contact:

Post by Irish-Dane » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:01 pm

JimVH wrote:
Irish-Dane wrote:
UncleBob wrote:
Irish-Dane wrote:
TNLawPiper wrote:UncleBob for President and/or Resident Storyteller.
Amen.
Easy now. There are some actual writers here on the board (including you, I believe) that may tar and feather me for being a poser.
I've only sold about a hundred books total, so I'm not sure I can yet be labeled an actual writer.
Cool. I own two percent of all the books an important literary artist ever sold.
That and a few bucks will buy you a cup of coffee.
It's not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. --Colton

User avatar
Ethell
Brother of the Briar
Brother of the Briar
Posts: 1271
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:00 pm
Location: South-Central, PA
Contact:

Post by Ethell » Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:50 pm

Irish-Dane wrote:
TNLawPiper wrote:UncleBob for President and/or Resident Storyteller.
Amen.

User avatar
UncleBob
CPS Theological Dogmatician
CPS Theological Dogmatician
Posts: 35402
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:00 pm
Location: Lubbock, TX USA
Contact:

Post by UncleBob » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:43 pm

Del wrote: But I still don't get how a pipe is really just a filter.
In the fall of 1993, we got a shipment of Peterson Pipes in the shop at JFH. Included in that shipment were 2 dozen Irish Seconds and 2 dozen Erica system seconds. These pipes were all unfinished and this particular batch was full of beautiful, almost white, briar pipes.

As I opened one of the boxes that held a dozen, I found one of my favorite pipes that gained some fame about the shop. It was an Irish Second in the Sherlock Holmes "Professor" shape, smooth, exquisite tight straight grain (with beautiful birdseye on the top of the rim of the bowl and bottom of the pipe), and seven conspicuous fills on the bottom of the shank and bowl. They had shortened the cheap vulcanite stem (with a fishtail bit) but it just adds to the charm of the pipe. As my eye fell upon it, I knew that I had to have it; it cost me $15 with my employee discount ($12.50 cost, $24.95 retail).

I loaded my new pipe and smoked it as we continued to check in the new pipes and other accessories in the shipment. We decided to display the Irish Seconds and Erica Systems in a basket that sat on the counter that constituted out tobacco bar.

This pipe smoked better than any other pipe I had yet smoked. In fact, it still gives any single pipe I own a run for its money. At the time, I had a "three smoke" policy for dealing with new pipes. Whenever I bought a new one, I would smoke it three times that day. If it did not gurgle by the end of the last bowl, I figured it was a good pipe. This one did not gurgle.

At the end of the day, we closed shop and were just chatting, smoking, playing chess, and drinking a Scotch before we headed home. On a lark, Woody (one of the more fun employees to ever to work at JFH) put my new pipe in the basket with the other Irish Seconds. After three smokes, it was significantly darker and this difference was instantly noticeable. Today, it is a rich, reddish chestnut color that looks stained that way. Why did it darken? It was filtering. That is how a pipe is a filter.

On a side note about this pipe, I was smoking this pipe while walking the floor of the 1996 RTDA show and a fellow named Tim West hollered over the din from about 30 feet away, "Hey! That's a great looking pipe! You should let me carve a duplicate for my collection!" That's how I met him.

UncleBob

Written while smoking Grey Flannel in an old friend: the Irish Seconds "Professor" Shape.
"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Many of the points here, taken to their logical conclusions, don't hold up to logic; they're simply Godded-up ways of saying "I don't like that." - Skip

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." -Mark Twain

User avatar
Rusty
In Memoriam
Posts: 25059
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Beelzebub's Rare Tobacco Emporium

Post by Rusty » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:00 pm

UncleBob wrote:
Del wrote: But I still don't get how a pipe is really just a filter.
...

After three smokes, it was significantly darker and this difference was instantly noticeable. Today, it is a rich, reddish chestnut color that looks stained that way. Why did it darken? It was filtering. That is how a pipe is a filter.

...

UncleBob

Written while smoking Grey Flannel in an old friend: the Irish Seconds "Professor" Shape.
Colour me skeptical. But I think it's mostly our hands (property of our skin chemistry) that are responsible for the colouring. Tell me do you have any other pipes that were light coloured and also went a ruddy chestnut? Because the colour is characteristic of the smoker and not the smoked. And it's much more likely that hands are responsible than are three smokes. Now if you want to test this cut into that pipe or any other that has coloured similarly and you'll see that the briar is mostly light coloured inside. You may also notice some wicking of tar/juices and sometimes that shows up on the exterior surface, as black dots, on virgin finished pipes. But no, I think they're not really very effective filters and it's unlikely that the colour is characteristic of anything but your hands, IMO.

My pipes do the same thing and I'm pretty sure it's from handling. My dear departed mentor used to point out to folks that mine coloured to a very ruddy chestnut as compared to his and others. He claimed mine looked more like well coloured meerschaum. You can see it as well on some eBay estate pipes. On some it is very obvious that the pipe smoker holds the shank more than the bowl because of the rich ruddy colour in one area of the shank. Well, maybe it's 'filtering' the oils and dirt from your skin. It may also be that the smoke byproducts are contributing but the colour is your signature and not the signature of smoking. Eventually with a lot of smoking the rims will darken. I have one that looks like the smoke stained rim of the Castello Old Antiquari as incl. on some of that line esp in the past.
You're out of the woods
You're out of the dark
You're out of the night
Step into the sun
Step into the light

User avatar
Irish-Dane
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
Posts: 33109
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:00 pm
Location: The beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina
Contact:

Post by Irish-Dane » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:32 pm

Rusty wrote: Tell me do you have any other pipes that were light coloured and also went a ruddy chestnut? Because the colour is characteristic of the smoker and not the smoked.
There's the real test.
It's not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. --Colton

User avatar
UncleBob
CPS Theological Dogmatician
CPS Theological Dogmatician
Posts: 35402
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:00 pm
Location: Lubbock, TX USA
Contact:

Post by UncleBob » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:19 pm

Rusty wrote: Colour me skeptical. But I think it's mostly our hands (property of our skin chemistry) that are responsible for the colouring. Tell me do you have any other pipes that were light coloured and also went a ruddy chestnut? Because the colour is characteristic of the smoker and not the smoked. And it's much more likely that hands are responsible than are three smokes. Now if you want to test this cut into that pipe or any other that has coloured similarly and you'll see that the briar is mostly light coloured inside. You may also notice some wicking of tar/juices and sometimes that shows up on the exterior surface, as black dots, on virgin finished pipes. But no, I think they're not really very effective filters and it's unlikely that the colour is characteristic of anything but your hands, IMO.

My pipes do the same thing and I'm pretty sure it's from handling. My dear departed mentor used to point out to folks that mine coloured to a very ruddy chestnut as compared to his and others. He claimed mine looked more like well coloured meerschaum. You can see it as well on some eBay estate pipes. On some it is very obvious that the pipe smoker holds the shank more than the bowl because of the rich ruddy colour in one area of the shank. Well, maybe it's 'filtering' the oils and dirt from your skin. It may also be that the smoke byproducts are contributing but the colour is your signature and not the signature of smoking. Eventually with a lot of smoking the rims will darken. I have one that looks like the smoke stained rim of the Castello Old Antiquari as incl. on some of that line esp in the past.
Actually, every dark stained pipe I own lightens over time and every light stained pipe darkens. I do not agree with your handling theory for my pipes at least for the following reasons:

1. My hands are clean. Even when I handled tobacco all day I washed my hands after bagging or mixing every time. This is important because I was handling many different blends and aromatics can cross-flavor that way--including the chew we sold by the ounce. We also sold gifts that would stain easily. In any event, this continues even after I left the tobacco business.

2. My briar pipes color evenly (and lighten evenly). If it were handling, there would be sections that color more quickly than others. One would suppose to see thumb print areas on the bowl would color more quickly than the end of the shank, for instance.

3. I seldom hold my pipes while I smoke. I hold them with my thumb and first finger when I pack them and I cup the heel when I tap the pipe to remove the last of the ash at the bottom of the bowl. When I smoke it, it is almost always in my mouth unless I set it down for some reason. *EDIT* While re-reading this post for spelling errors, I noticed that I was doing something else I often do: letting the pipe "dangle" between my first and second finger--from the stem.

4. The oils DO wick to the surface. This originates inside the bowl or shank. Also, the wicking tends to follow the tendrils of the briar and emerge in birds eye, in my experience.

5. The inside is light colored while the surface is not. It may be staining from the outside but it could also be the briar drawing the oils and tar along the grain. When it reaches the surface, it stays. Also, it may be lighter than the surface, but the inside briar is darker than it was originally.

6. It is possible that the coloring comes from the external smoke except it does not wipe off. So, if it is the smoke, it is absorbing the particles in a uniform, filtering way.

7. The redder the briar, the less the effect. Not stained red, but some briar is intrinsically more red than others. This redness is (or was) equated with lesser quality briar for smoking. In other words, it tends to not smoke as well. I think this is because it absorbs less.

8. If you buff the lacquer off, well, lacquered pipes, they always smoke better. This is because, IMO, the lacquer seals the briar and it can't filter as well.

These are all my opinion based on experience, induction, and observation of many pipes over my years of being a tobacconist. You are certainly free to disagree. :)
Last edited by UncleBob on Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Many of the points here, taken to their logical conclusions, don't hold up to logic; they're simply Godded-up ways of saying "I don't like that." - Skip

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." -Mark Twain

User avatar
UncleBob
CPS Theological Dogmatician
CPS Theological Dogmatician
Posts: 35402
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:00 pm
Location: Lubbock, TX USA
Contact:

Post by UncleBob » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:29 pm

Now, see I-D? Having a blog in a thread may garner "moronic" comments that can't be deleted, but it can also attract good questions/debates that enhance the whole thread.

:taco:
"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Many of the points here, taken to their logical conclusions, don't hold up to logic; they're simply Godded-up ways of saying "I don't like that." - Skip

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." -Mark Twain

User avatar
Rusty
In Memoriam
Posts: 25059
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Beelzebub's Rare Tobacco Emporium

Post by Rusty » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:14 am

UncleBob wrote:
Rusty wrote: Colour me skeptical. But I think it's mostly our hands (property of our skin chemistry) that are responsible for the colouring. Tell me do you have any other pipes that were light coloured and also went a ruddy chestnut? Because the colour is characteristic of the smoker and not the smoked. And it's much more likely that hands are responsible than are three smokes. Now if you want to test this cut into that pipe or any other that has coloured similarly and you'll see that the briar is mostly light coloured inside. You may also notice some wicking of tar/juices and sometimes that shows up on the exterior surface, as black dots, on virgin finished pipes. But no, I think they're not really very effective filters and it's unlikely that the colour is characteristic of anything but your hands, IMO.

My pipes do the same thing and I'm pretty sure it's from handling. My dear departed mentor used to point out to folks that mine coloured to a very ruddy chestnut as compared to his and others. He claimed mine looked more like well coloured meerschaum. You can see it as well on some eBay estate pipes. On some it is very obvious that the pipe smoker holds the shank more than the bowl because of the rich ruddy colour in one area of the shank. Well, maybe it's 'filtering' the oils and dirt from your skin. It may also be that the smoke byproducts are contributing but the colour is your signature and not the signature of smoking. Eventually with a lot of smoking the rims will darken. I have one that looks like the smoke stained rim of the Castello Old Antiquari as incl. on some of that line esp in the past.
Actually, every dark stained pipe I own lightens over time and every light stained pipe darkens. I do not agree with your handling theory for my pipes at least for the following reasons:

1. My hands are clean. Even when I handled tobacco all day I washed my hands after bagging or mixing every time. This is important because I was handling many different blends and aromatics can cross-flavor that way--including the chew we sold by the ounce. We also sold gifts that would stain easily. In any event, this continues even after I left the tobacco business.

2. My briar pipes color evenly (and lighten evenly). If it were handling, there would be sections that color more quickly than others. One would suppose to see thumb print areas on the bowl would color more quickly than the end of the shank, for instance.

3. I seldom hold my pipes while I smoke. I hold them with my thumb and first finger when I pack them and I cup the heel when I tap the pipe to remove the last of the ash at the bottom of the bowl. When I smoke it, it is almost always in my mouth unless I set it down for some reason. *EDIT* While re-reading this post for spelling errors, I noticed that I was doing something else I often do: letting the pipe "dangle" between my first and second finger--from the stem.

4. The oils DO wick to the surface. This originates inside the bowl or shank. Also, the wicking tends to follow the tendrils of the briar and emerge in birds eye, in my experience.

5. The inside is light colored while the surface is not. It may be staining from the outside but it could also be the briar drawing the oils and tar along the grain. When it reaches the surface, it stays. Also, it may be lighter than the surface, but the inside briar is darker than it was originally.

6. It is possible that the coloring comes from the external smoke except it does not wipe off. So, if it is the smoke, it is absorbing the particles in a uniform, filtering way.

7. The redder the briar, the less the effect. Not stained red, but some briar is intrinsically more red than others. This redness is (or was) equated with lesser quality briar for smoking. In other words, it tends to not smoke as well. I think this is because it absorbs less.

8. If you buff the lacquer off, well, lacquered pipes, they always smoke better. This is because, IMO, the lacquer seals the briar and it can't filter as well.

These are all my opinion based on experience, induction, and observation of many pipes over my years of being a tobacconist. You are certainly free to disagree. :)
Interesting. On your point 2 I notice that mine colour with handling. And there are areas that aren't handled and are lighter coloured after years and hundreds of bowls through it. But overall the lightly stained clear finished pipes (even those with a shellac finish) tend to go the same colour. And it's a different colour than other folk's pipes. But I do see some pipes on eBay that do have a similar colour to mine.

Haven't you noticed that the colour of your lightly stained pipes is different than other folks similarly stained pipes? I think it's the smoker.

Here's a pic with an example....
Image

The foreground pipe was virgin unstained and very light colour (not quite white) when I bought it. It has, what I think of, as my signature colour and all my lightly stained pipes tend to go that colour. But you'll notice that it is heaviest where I handle it and that's on the shank and lower bowl. There is almost a line demarcating colour on the bowl. It's becoming less obvious over time; that pic was made a few years ago. That's a 1979 briar that I purchased in 1979. It very quickly started going that ruddy colour and so do all my others.

Dueling pics... Produce!
You're out of the woods
You're out of the dark
You're out of the night
Step into the sun
Step into the light

User avatar
Irish-Dane
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
Posts: 33109
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:00 pm
Location: The beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina
Contact:

Post by Irish-Dane » Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:09 am

UncleBob wrote:Now, see I-D? Having a blog in a thread may garner "moronic" comments that can't be deleted, but it can also attract good questions/debates that enhance the whole thread.

:taco:
I like it.
It's not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. --Colton

User avatar
UncleBob
CPS Theological Dogmatician
CPS Theological Dogmatician
Posts: 35402
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:00 pm
Location: Lubbock, TX USA
Contact:

Post by UncleBob » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:37 pm

Rusty wrote: Interesting. On your point 2 I notice that mine colour with handling. And there are areas that aren't handled and are lighter coloured after years and hundreds of bowls through it. But overall the lightly stained clear finished pipes (even those with a shellac finish) tend to go the same colour. And it's a different colour than other folk's pipes. But I do see some pipes on eBay that do have a similar colour to mine.

Haven't you noticed that the colour of your lightly stained pipes is different than other folks similarly stained pipes? I think it's the smoker.

Here's a pic with an example....
Image

The foreground pipe was virgin unstained and very light colour (not quite white) when I bought it. It has, what I think of, as my signature colour and all my lightly stained pipes tend to go that colour. But you'll notice that it is heaviest where I handle it and that's on the shank and lower bowl. There is almost a line demarcating colour on the bowl. It's becoming less obvious over time; that pic was made a few years ago. That's a 1979 briar that I purchased in 1979. It very quickly started going that ruddy colour and so do all my others.

Dueling pics... Produce!
I have seen pipes that stained where they were held but they we all auto mechanics. :)
"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Many of the points here, taken to their logical conclusions, don't hold up to logic; they're simply Godded-up ways of saying "I don't like that." - Skip

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." -Mark Twain

Post Reply