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Do you think this clay pipe is safe to smoke?

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by AlabammyComet, Jul 17, 2012.

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  1. AlabammyComet

    AlabammyComet Member

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    About a year and half ago, my best friend brought me back this pipe from his honeymoon in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.

    [​IMG]

    Since that time, I've tried to research it and I haven't found anything on pipes like these or found any pictures that resemble it. Now that I'm smoking pipes, I'd really like to fire it up.

    Here's the draft hole at the end of the stem:

    [​IMG]

    I can put a pipe cleaner through it, but the draft hole in the bowl doesn't seem to be centered:

    [​IMG]

    Also, I'm concerned that the glaze or the clay itself might be toxic.

    Anyone have any experience with pipes like these? Should I look and not smoke?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Capt

    Capt Active Member

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    When it doubt, well, you know the rest.......
     
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  3. AlabammyComet

    AlabammyComet Member

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    Right. "When in doubt...ask some dudes on the Internet." :)
     
  4. Capt

    Capt Active Member

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    In my opinion, I would not. Ya never know what that pipe was finished with, and even if it was ever intended to have a flame put to it.
     
  5. dwaugh

    dwaugh Moderator Moderator

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    +1
     
  6. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    I'd toss it on a bed of coals for a while. Unless there is something such as lead in the glazing the heat will kill everyting toxic. There doesn't appear to be any glazing except natural clay so the coals should cure everything. I would smoke it but I'm not a toxicologist so I really can't recommend that you do it.
     
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  7. Steve Dennis

    Steve Dennis Member

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    I say smoke it, what's the worst that can happen? Of course I am still sporting a scar on my forearm after asking the same question on Independence Day, so you might want to take this with a grain of salt!
     
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  8. WrightwoodJohn

    WrightwoodJohn Wrightwood expatriate

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    +2. And ya know, the whole Mexico thing... (sorry)
     
  9. Ozzie

    Ozzie Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  10. woody

    woody Aloha! Admin

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    Pull your man pants up and smoke it!
     
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  11. andrew

    andrew Member

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    Ummm... run a geiger counter over it, or just check to see if it glows in the dark :D
     
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  12. andrew

    andrew Member

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    Yeah, I'd go with the pull up your pants thing. Woody's hunches are pretty good.
     
  13. andrew

    andrew Member

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    I guess that's more of a goad than hunch... same rules apply.
     
  14. woody

    woody Aloha! Admin

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    :th1:
     
  15. AlabammyComet

    AlabammyComet Member

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    There actually is some kind of glazing on it. If it was just naked clay, I'd be a lot less apprehensive.

    I was hoping someone here would have had some first-hand experience with pipes like these, but this may just be an odd-ball thing some dude was making & selling down there. Barring that, I may have to pull my smart boy pants up and just let this one be a display piece...unless I'm especially brave or stupid some night. If that happens, I'll let you know how it goes. If I live.
     
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  16. Waino

    Waino Active Member

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    If it is not coloured, it is not toxic. Could clay be toxic? In Chernobyl.
     
  17. Ozzie

    Ozzie Member

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    There looks to be no glazing inside the bowl though
     
  18. AlabammyComet

    AlabammyComet Member

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    Waino & Ozzie: Good points.

    UPDATE: OK, I got brave and/or stupid and decided to pack a little HS-3 in the thing and give it a smoke. The fact that the inside wasn't glazed gave me a enough peace of mind to give it a shot.
    Smoked surprising dry, cool and clean compared to my briar. It didn't explode or put off any acrid odors.
    It was a bear to keep lit though. The irregularity and jagged texture of the stem and bowl made it hard to pack & clean. The back of my throat felt more scratchy and dry than usual. Also, I'm still concerned about having that mystery glaze on the stem in my mouth.
    So, I don't think this thing's going to make it into my regular rotation, but I'm glad I was able to help it fulfill its function at least once. Unless, you know, I don't wake up in the morning.
     
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  19. 1858remington

    1858remington Active Member

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    Montazuma is your friend:D
     
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  20. Waino

    Waino Active Member

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    Doctors will be astonished if they hear we are afraid of Mexican clay instead of HS-3!

    But truly, clay pipes (and meers) doesn´t hide anything. You can taste tobacco without strange ghosts.
     
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