Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Rhialto, Apr 1, 2013.
Please clarify the question. Do you mean how many years a pipe will last? Or how long a bowl smokes? The answer is the same. It all dpends on the variables.
How many years.. Good quality pipe, when you keep it clean and all.
I'm assuming that you're talking briar (I saw your Dunhill thread)... if it's properly cared for and you put it in a rotation (get a few more pipes so it's not being smoked every day)...it could potential "live" to be an heirloom piece.
That's why many people (myself included) end up with so many pipes (well...one reason, lol). I'd rather get some enjoyment out of a briar pipe by smoking it only occasionally and get years out of it (if not decades), than smoke the crap out of it daily and lead it to an untimely end. That's one reason I got a meer pipe. You can just smoke the crap out of it (multiple bowls per day) and there's no concern with it burning out. Just my $.02...
A decent briar or meer should outlive you. A well maintained cob can last for several years.
My oldest pipe, a meerschaum, is about 120 years old. Can't really say how long they will last but there's no reason they should simply disintegrate. A well-maintained pipe should last hundreds of years, I should think.
You must have done a really good job with the break-in on that one.
If you've been here since July 18th of last year and you still think meerschaums need to be broken in, I have failed you miserably, and I'm sorry!
In my experience about 40 years. After that it gets a little soggy tasting, but may still be smoked.
A good pipe, maintained adequately will outlive you...
If properly cared for I see no reason why a briar would ever wear out.A new stem maybe.Cake doesn't burn unless it's abused.
Tell that to my Ex
The cherrywood pipe I was smoking when we were relieved at Mafeking is still going strong!....but it's had three new bowls and four new stems
I must echo what was already said. A quality briar pipe will last many, many, many years if it is properly taken care of.
-If the pipe is smoked normally, and not made hot all of the time.
-Proper cleaning, and normal pipe maintanace.
-As long as one does not chew a hole through the stem--that can be replaced.
Just normal everyday smoking, and some care--heck I have seen pipes from the early 1900's still in great shape. The original owners however--well at this point as far as their condition--well lets just say they can no longer smoke a pipe as they are no longer with us.
Most of my main rotation is +30 years old. The barling i just got done smoking probably dates from the 60's. AFAIK the oldest pipe i have dates from the early part of the last century. If pipe smoking isnt outlawed i wouldnt be suprised if someone is smoking these pipes a hundred years from now.
I'm still here for you son!
I have several that are approaching 50 years, though to be fair they were not smoked regularly all that time. The weak point of most briars seems to be the stem. I have seen cracked shanks and bowls, but that is rare and often the result of abuse. The bowl could easily last a hundred years or more. Most of the problems I see are found with the stem. The stems, particularly vulcanite can get brittle with age. If you clench pretty hard you can eventually bite through the stem, which is difficult to repair. You can sand and polish out some bite marks, but if they they are deep, you start reshaping the bit. You can get replacement stems, but it kills the value of the pipe, costs a good bit of money, and usually involves sending your pipe off to someone. Vulcanite oxidizes over time, this can be cleaned and polished, but sometimes no amount of cleaning will ever get rid of that occasional sulfur taste/smell. The only pipes I have had this problem with were lower quality restoration projects that had sat neglected for decades. Your pipes will likely outlast you, so a little care and occasional cleaning now will be appreciated by whoever owns them after you.
I love these questions! This is how I learn...from experienced pipe smokers posting their own input. Thanks everyone.