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Meerschaum Question?

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by chambers11283, Jan 4, 2011.

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  1. chambers11283

    chambers11283 Member

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    I have recently been contracted to do a big art project for my fathers new fiancée and her payment to me is a SMS Meerschaum Eagle Claw Pipe, now this will be my very first meer so i am VERY excited. But my question to all the meer smokers is, what do yall think of the SMS meer's, are they good smokers, a good brand with high quality meer? I have a feeling it will quickly become a favorite very fast, i have been in love with this pipe for a good long while, and i love the claw series. But any feed back would be awesome, thank you!!
     
  2. dubhdarra

    dubhdarra Active Member

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    I've seen a lot of "budget" meerschaums in person, IMP, CAO, Paykoc, SMS etc. based on other smokers reviews, personal ownership and close examination they were the ones i wound up stocking in the store, so I'd definitely give them a good mark. I'll not say the others are bad, but speaking from personal experience, for meerschaums under the 200$ mark, they're quite probably the best available stateside. there are a lot of different junior carvers working for them, but whoever does their selection does it very well.
     
  3. chambers11283

    chambers11283 Member

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    Also if a few tips found there way on here that would be cool lol, like i think i have read somewhere that after every smoke you wipe out the inside of the bowl and dont let a cake build up, but im not sure so any tips can help!!!
     
  4. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

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    Hi All,

    While I'm not a full time meerschaum smoker I have dabbled a little! You are right - do not allow a cake to build up - doing so it is said will possibly lead to the pipe bowl cracking but more importantly will probably stop the meer colouring. Dry reaming with scrunched up tissue after each smoke helps stop this happening.

    Meers are said not to need breaking in - this is not quite true. They can taste raw, asprin -ish and smell quite dreadful for the first few smokes until you get some taste into the clay and drive off some of whatever oils the carver dipped the pipe in. After the first few smokes however this all changes and you will get a pleasant neutral smoke which will give you a new slant on even favourite tobaccos.

    As I have said I am not an expert and had to find out a lot about meers the hard way - I think my tongue in cheek piece "All Wot I have found out about Meers" is still on this Forum and you might find it of some help,

    Enjoy your new pipe in good health for many years,

    Gerry
     
  5. chambers11283

    chambers11283 Member

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    Thank you for the responses, being that this is my first meer i wanted to go into it with as much know how as possible.
     
  6. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    Quality of block comes into play and your higher priced meers don't necessarily mean better block. Usually do but no guarantee. Sometimes the price is according to difficulty of carve. Pipe may smoke ****tay but the carve is AWESOME! Pipe may be way OK but crappy block or look like a "scrotum" or "pecker" and will look even worse when it's starting to color, and not as absorbent as a better block would have been. It all comes into play. No guarantees. Going with a reputable name/carver/meer-house helps you but still no guarantees. I've not had a bad smoke/experience with IMP, CAO Beklers, or Baglan meers. All exceptional. Other masters are out there but I've not experienced any others worth mentioning.

    :velho:
    Ed Puff!
    cogito ergo puff
     
  7. t-bear

    t-bear Well-Known Member

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    When you get your meer, first thing to do is wipe out the inside of the bowl with a damp paper towel to remove any lingering meer-dust. this is what often gives the pipe an off taste. Also blow out the shank & stem.

    Keep the cake to a bare minimum...wipe with a dry paper towel after each smoke and if build-up shows, lightly scrape with a sharp knife or pipe tool. Reamers exert too much pressure if you're not careful, and can crack your pipe...voice of experience.

    Smoke the bowl full...no half bowl crap necessary. In fact it's not a good idea. Coloring is caused by the absorption of smoke and oils from the tobacco. It's stopped by the wax barrier on the outside of the meer. You need to "cure" the wax with your first few smokes. Smoke as slowly and as coolly as possible or you can "burn off" the wax coating. Half bowls leave the upper portion un-cured.

    For the first 5-6 bowls, handle the meerschaum as little as possible...the wax is still being absorbed into the stone. After that, you can handle your pipe much like any briar. Just be sure your hands are clean and free of any contaminants. Even with older pipes, the wax will soften a bit and trap any dirt etc. on the surface.

    When you are finished, allow your pipe to cool a bit, then buff with a clean soft cloth. After it's completely cool, clean the innards as I described earlier in this ramble.

    Most of all......have fun! You are now a member of the "Worshipers of the White Goddess".

    Here is a photo of two of my claws...the bottom one is a 5 year old SMS claw....I love it!
    [​IMG]
     
  8. SSGpiper

    SSGpiper Member

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    I use 600 grit sandpaper for this. Just very lightly and carefully. I do mine about once a month.
     
  9. chambers11283

    chambers11283 Member

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    Thank you all for the words of wisdom. My meer should be here very soon, all this snow kinda delayed it a little but i cant wait to join the "Worshipers of the White Goddess". club lol.
     
  10. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator Moderator

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    And?
     
  11. t-bear

    t-bear Well-Known Member

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    He just hasn't come down off that heavenly smoke-ring yet....meers will do that to you............. :thumbsu:
     
  12. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator Moderator

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    Nice thought... we can all use some of that.
    :thumbsu:
     
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