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On budget briars.

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Old Ted, May 21, 2012.

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  1. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    We are often asked to recomend a good low priced briar, and many good suggestions are made. The one I would name is Peterson's 'Donegal' line. The 'Rocky' 150 below was bought about seven years ago, and if memory serves - cost around UK £36. Being mainly a meerschaum man, I don't have any really expensive briars, and certainly none that smoke significantly better than this bulldog. A good solid pipe in the traditional style, it seems to fit the bill when I'm out countryside walking, and handles my VA flakes perfectly. The only issue I had with this pipe was the mouthpiece, and I 'flattened' and smoothed-out the taper a little, for better clenching - but this was probably just a personal thing.
    All in all - I can't think of any better value in that price range than these Petes. :th1:
    OT
    [​IMG]
     
  2. FlatbushPaul

    FlatbushPaul Cellar is in an undisclosed Bunker

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    It's interesting you mention flattening the taper a bit. That is the one thing I dislike about my Bulldogs. I have 3 Bulldogs, 1 Dunhill, 1 Dr G, and one labled John Surrey's of London. All 3 are not comfortable to clench due to the taper. I am going to try to flatten the Gr G to see if it helps. I hadn't thought of trying that. I find myself just not smoking them very often. And all 3 are good smokers. If I ever try another Bulldog shape I will look into a saddle bit type stem.
    Thanks,
    Paul
     
  3. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    It's a case of 'throwing caution to the winds' with a keen file, and then ascending grades of abrasive paper, keeping in mind the size, and position of the bore hole!
    OT
     
  4. FlatbushPaul

    FlatbushPaul Cellar is in an undisclosed Bunker

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    I will have to be very carefull, all 3 are really nice pipes. Even the Gr G is a Silver Duke from the '50's. The John Surrey's is from the '40's and also has a Sterling Silver band so I will take my time and go really slow. I think I will just have to increase the slope just a smidge to accomplish what I want. I won't touch the Dunnie. Lol.

    Paul
     
    Old Ted likes this.
  5. buistd

    buistd Active Member

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    Whilst I do not own one (not the best way to preface a pipe recommendation, I know!) I think that the Blakemar Aristocrat line offers pretty sensational value. I own a Blakemar Champion and got Mike from Blakemar to make me up a carve-you-own-kit, and they are both good smokers (the Champion is excellent). The Aristocrat line are merely those pipes which were not cosmetically up to scratch and at around £20 a pop are not to be sniffed at. I know Bluepipe has a couple and he is a fan of them, plus Mike is a great chap, and very tolerant of my long, rambling and indecisive phone calls!
     
  6. Spillproof

    Spillproof Mostly Harmless Moderator

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    I have picked up a few very affordable English pipes in the past couple months (~$65 US/pipe).

    I have posted about the Barber B-lines. They're a good pipe, with varying degrees of obvious imperfections (some cosmetic, some mechanical). I have 3, two of them I like very much. One gurgles. Briar Boy and I each got one that was poorly drilled, but both smoke just fine.

    Invicta Briars are a new interest of mine. Pound for pound (pun intended), I can't think of a better buy at the moment. I had two custom ones made recently (one pretty much unique, the other a modded available pipe) and was charged the same price as a basic-model pipe. They are not basic model pipes by a long shot. I don't know if he was doing me a favor, just felt good that day, or is always this good, but I would happily pay him another $75 per pipe for the rest of my life. And the history of craftsmanship at Invicta (being the makers of Dunhill and Charatan high-end"freehand" pipes for many years) is about as good as it gets. Peter, if you are reading this, thank you again sir.
     
    psquared and Old Codger like this.
  7. ruffinogold

    ruffinogold Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large. Mayor

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    Thats a nice Pete , Old Ted ! I always say .. bag a kaywoodie Relief Grain for 25 bucks and you'll get a good smoking pipe
     
  8. buistd

    buistd Active Member

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    I believe that Blakemar (from experience) and Invicta (from what I've read on here) are two massively undervalued companies. It would appear that they consistently turn out excellently crafted pipes for a fraction of the cost of many big-name producers. Never say never, but if I'm on the lookout for any new pipes in the future I will look no further than these two companies. Mike at Blakemar also makes custom pipes and whilst I don't know the cost, I presume that a custom-made Blakemar would be comparable in price to many entry level pipes produced by big-name manufacturers. Good video here of a Blakemar custom job
     
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  9. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    Comments like these go to prove that you don't have to have a big wad of dough to get decent smoking new pipe!:)
     
    Old Codger likes this.
  10. Marker

    Marker Active Member

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    The Invicta I got from Spillproof is fantastic. No flaws or issues. It was a custom build that smokes great (the penzance inside of it not withstanding). In my short time smoking pipes I have only got a couple of gurgles and that was my own fault (not from the Invicta, it was my Jarl bent in my avatar). This Invicta will be amazing for years. Peter, if you are watching this I am amazed by this pipe and thank you for the excellent work.
     
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  11. Spillproof

    Spillproof Mostly Harmless Moderator

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    Ah screw it, LOOK ($154 for both, shipped)
    [​IMG]No fills that I can detect. No major grain flaws. Spot-on mechanics. Honestly, how do you beat that?
     
  12. Marker

    Marker Active Member

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    You forgot custom straight bulldog with the rings lathed in and the 4 way taper mouthpiece. None of which is standard in that finish. The leather strap sitter is also a nice touch which was added free. One day Spillproof and I will smoke those together.
     
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  13. cobbsmoker

    cobbsmoker Active Member

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    Invicta Briars :thu2:
     
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  14. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood Member

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    Blakemar!! Excellent service. I just received a rusticated apple from Mike today. I'm going to do a write up after i've "given it a go".
     
  15. dwaugh

    dwaugh Moderator Moderator

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    That Peterson looks nice, most I have seen photos of, and the one I held, looked like they would double as dead-blow hammers..... That one looks nice and light.
     
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  16. Old Codger

    Old Codger Well-Known Member

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    The entry level Petersons have always served me well. If the exchange rates headed south I could drop a level and if the rates headed the other way I could step up a level or two.
     
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  17. MakDragon

    MakDragon Illegitimi non carborundum

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    I too have that pipe! I love that pipe!!! Smokes great! I am comfortable with the mouthpiece though. I actually bought another Donegal from them, the 80s and love that too, but not like this one!
     
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