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Meer-Lon?

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by woodbutcher, May 11, 2010.

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  1. woodbutcher

    woodbutcher Member

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    Attached is a pic of a really strange pipe that I picked up several years ago. I have since been trying to find out what in the world it is.
    The bowl seems to be made of plastic! It looks sort of like meerscaum, but it definitely isn't.
    It had been smoked before I got it (I haven't worked up the courage to try it myself). The size of the chamber (almost 3/4" dia. X 5/8" deep) makes me think it was not intended for burning fuels other than tobacco.
    The carving(?) work is really shoddy (mis-matched eyes, distorted features, etc.) and I can't tell if they were carved in or molded in.
    I know about Brylon (even own a couple of the abominations). Did someone try the same Frankenstein method on Meerschaum to obtain this beast?
    Any comments or information is welcome.
    Dan[attachment=555:plastic.JPG]
     
  2. dubhdarra

    dubhdarra Active Member

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    reconstituted meer was pretty popular for a while. sounds like what you've got.
     
  3. woodbutcher

    woodbutcher Member

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    Is "reconstituted meer" similar to brylon (dust of the good stuff mixed with plastic bonding)?
    Do you know if it was molded or carved? As a woodcarver, this thing doesn't look carved. It looks like a real poor mold job.
    I took some more pics of it to see if they help.
    You can see from the shot in the bowl that it is charred black. Obviously someone smoked it before. Maybe I'll clean that crud out and try smoking a bowl. It couldn't be any worse than brylon (could it)?
    Thanks again for any help.
    Dan
     
  4. CarlBC

    CarlBC Member

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    So, I have some questions pertaining to your pipe.
    Is it possible that your pipe has especially thick coats of wax on it?
    Does the bowl interior look or feel like meerschaum?
    Are there any mold lines to indicate the body of the pipe may have been cast or injection-molded, like plastic?

    I'm not sure if the following link will help you with your particular question, but it contains a letter that is a very good summation of the meerschaum pipe industry - and quality - in Turkey today.

    Pressed Meerschaum vs. Block Meerschaum

    Cheers!
    -- Carl
     
  5. woodbutcher

    woodbutcher Member

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    Thanks for that lead, CarlBC. That told me a lot about meerschaum and makes me doubt even more that meerscham is what this pipe is made from.
    Nothing about this thing looks or feels like meerschaum. The bowl feels just as "plastic" as the outside. I even took my trusty Czech-tool and tapped it and then tapped one of my meers. The difference in sound was about as much as you get when comparing vulcanite to acrylic.
    I've changed my mind about trying to smoke this thing. I think I'm going to fire up the rotary carver and see how it cuts (and smells) before I stuff it back in the box of "novelty" pipes.
    Thanks again,
    Dan
     
  6. Bri2k

    Bri2k Active Member

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    That's one unique looking pipe, Dan. I've often thought it odd to be smoking out of a bowl shaped like someone's head. Does anyone know how that tradition of pipe carving got started?

    I've never suffered Brylon, but I imagine plastic with a low melting point would be worse.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that it's meer,
    Bri2k
     
  7. user0003

    user0003 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if heat from smoking it had anything to with it's deformation?
     
  8. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

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    Hi,

    I wonder if the deformation is actually deliberate and meant to represent a classic mythical fiure such as Neptune or which ever famous poet of ancient Greek or Roman times was the blind one - Homer?????

    If it sounds deader and feels heavier tham normal meer could it be African meer?

    I think it might be worthwhile gently scraping or sanding off some of the black stuff inside the bowl to see what emerges, and finally I personally would fill it and light it to see how it smokes.

    Gerry
     
  9. CarlBC

    CarlBC Member

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    After doing a lot of reading today on meerschaum and its dopplegangers (thanks for the conundrum, woodbutcher :goodjob: ), I did learn that "African meerschaum" - if that can be used as a nomenclature - is most often pressed meerschaum or imitation meerschaum. There is indeed meerschaum found in Africa, but from everything I've garnered, it's rather crappy stuff.

    Just an FYI for those following the thread.

    Cheers!
    -- Carl
     
  10. dubhdarra

    dubhdarra Active Member

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    reconstituted meer (keep in mind i'm trying to remember a debate between two more experienced smokers) is supposed to smoke fine, i've never heard complaints about it and its pretty standard for lower end meers. the stuff is made of the meerschaum equivalent of sawdust and a high heat tolerance epoxy resin. no clue if its molded or carved but i'd guess molded as it seems like it would be easier given the nature of the material.

    figure smoke it, if you don't like it, sell it. good luck though
     
  11. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

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    Hi again,

    I used to find when a crossword puzzle clue evaded me if I went and did something else or shifted my mind onto a different track then the answer would pope up out of my subconscious. Was sitting out on the deck with a morning pipe when I remembered a couple of things and why that face looked so familiar.

    I'm pretty sure it's Odin, Father of the Gods, as the Norse called him, Woden or Father Grim, The Lord of the Crossroads as the Anglo Saxons called him. He passed into early British history as the "Green Man" and is often depicted on old churches as "Age"
    Odin according to legend traded one of his eyes for a drink out of Mimir's Cup of Wisdom. I'll be out for the day but tonight I'll try tp post a pic - he's even on Hamilton Mausoleum next door to Motherwell!

    On the question of whether meer compressed meer smokes well or not, Morleysson one of the best respected pipe authoritoes( and acknowledged meerschaum expert )around once posted to me "compressed meer may not colour, but it can tame the fiercest tobacco."

    I've never smoked a compresssed meer but Morleysson has smoked meers since he was in short trousers practically!

    Best to all

    Gerry
     
  12. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

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    Hi All,

    finally back on air - broadband at caravan site went off at noon yesterday and just back on.

    Here's Hamilton Mausoleum - the original phallic symbol - and the carving I mentioned

    Gerry
     
  13. Bri2k

    Bri2k Active Member

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    Thanks for providing insight into the carving, Gerry. It seems an unusual tradition, but it makes sense if one thinks of the classical education our forebarers got in the good old days.

    Bri2k
     
  14. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

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    Hi,

    Yes our pagan ancestors particularly the Anglo Saxons had a very different view of their gods; it comes accross very strongly that they believed they walked the same countryside, roamed the same hills and even lusted after the same women as mortals. Woden was seen as a fairly benevolent if on occasions capricious father figure while Thunnor ( as they called Thor ) was seen almost as the People's reprentative and was held in particularly great affection.

    This lingered long after the country that would become Britain was forcibly converted to Christianity by it's Kings and Sub-kings.

    My mother came from Hawick in the Borders, Hawick folk are called "Terries" or "Terriers" from the town motto "T Teribus Y Odin" - which is a battle cry and translates as "Take us Oh Thor! Take us Odin."

    Sorry to go off topic again - it's my age and rag bag mind!

    Gerry
     
  15. dubhdarra

    dubhdarra Active Member

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    now you've got me trying to remember the cool story behind wayland the smith. this stuff fascinates me though, most of the bladework i do (for myself, as opposed to custom jobs) is anglo saxon reproductions. i'm toying with the idea of copying some bits found at staffordshire and trying to turn them into one cohesive saxon piece when i get better with the whole casting thing (obviously replacing gold with bronze though)
     
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