Curious... Anyone here stop smoking briar pipes?

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#1
After smoking pipes off and on for last 15 years or so, just recently discovered the joys of Meerschaum, I find that while at home my collection of briars are being ignored.

Love the cool dry smoke that a Meerschaum provides and the coloring. The only time I smoke my briars now is when I am away from home. As a matter of fact I am thinking of thinning my briar heard on the "bay".

Anyone else find their briars not being smoked as often?

Best

Bob
 
#2
I'll always be a Briar man. Its partly price thats put me off meerschaum in the past, but I'm not sure they suit my Image. I love a good cob, but theres something about briar that just sits well with me as a person.

Can you reccomend me a good place to start with Meers?
 

dmkerr

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#3
Once I discovered meerschaum, I sold off most of my nice briars. I still have 2 BST's and a favored Caminetto as well as the ugliest Savinelli Autograph in existence. But I'd say I smoke meerschaums 98% of the time.

I sold my briars because I thought they deserved to be loved again and someone deserved to love them. Better than sitting in the closet collecting dust. Plus I scored a fair bit of money, which I reinvested into more meerschaums! :ohyh:
 

User3940

Active Member
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#5
I have had a few meerschaum pipes but always seem to trade them away as I don't enjoy them. Might be because the first meer that I had was a hot burning bugger that was always uncomfortable to hold, and it ended up breaking too easily. So bad experience the first time out.

I also like briar pipes because I enjoy restoring them and smoking the results of my labor. I just can't do that with meers.
 
#6
I've snagged a few meers that I really enjoy. I'm looking to buy a new one very soon. That being said, I have a hard time smoking meers in public. A briar still gets a double take, but a carved white pipe is just asking for it. Plus when I'm out and about I don't want to worry about how fragile my pipe is.
 

bubbagump

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#8
I did early on, but went back to briars and cobs in short order. I'm concerned about breaking them, so I only smoke them when I'm home. As I do a lot of my smoking out and about these days, they don't get a whole lot of love anymore.
 

t-bear

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#9
Like Dan, I have a few briars, and smoke them *occasionally*. Most of my briars are gifts or have sentimental value, but they don't get smoked much. I really prefer the way a meerschaum smokes, and contrary to popular opinion, they are not all that fragile. Oh yeah....you buy some fancy carved pipe with tentacles and branches sticking out all over the place, its gonna bust! But I take my "classic" shaped meers anywhere that I would take a briar. I've only broken one....and I've busted a lot of briars "in the day"....
 

CoreyR

Living the sweet life!
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#10
I have two Meers and to ve honest, they almost never get smoked. Too much trouble and I am too worried about breaking them.

That said, if you do decide to thin your briar herd there Bob, it would just be a crying shame to sell those old briars to uncaring strangers. You should donate them to a fellow PSFer. Maybe one who is perpetually broke but who would lovingly care for them and appreciate them as they deserve :ohyh:
I am sure it would be rough and take a lot of work and upkeep but I will throw myself on that grenade and help you out....
Just trying to be helpful :th1:
 

dmkerr

PG- free since '83!
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#11
Like Dan, I have a few briars, and smoke them *occasionally*. Most of my briars are gifts or have sentimental value, but they don't get smoked much. I really prefer the way a meerschaum smokes, and contrary to popular opinion, they are not all that fragile. Oh yeah....you buy some fancy carved pipe with tentacles and branches sticking out all over the place, its gonna bust! But I take my "classic" shaped meers anywhere that I would take a briar. I've only broken one....and I've busted a lot of briars "in the day"....
Not only are meerschaums essentially not fragile, I have one that refuses to break no matter what I do to it. Ok, I haven't thrown it against a concrete wall, but I don't usually do that with briars, either. My knockaround SMS is as sturdy as any briar. It does have the added benefit, however, of smoking better than any briar. Then again, that was only after some minor surgery. :ohyh:
 

dmkerr

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#12
Um... I'm changing my stance. With the increase in the price of topnotch meerschaum pipes, I'm thinking the non-replenishable stone is getting hard to come by in the best grade. As a result, I don't want the demand to increase too much, thereby reducing the supply. Consequently, Meerschaum Is Bad! Too fragile! Don't buy them! :D
 
#13
Thanks everyone for responses. Interesting comments. I will never abandon briar totally, my Meerschaums do get most of my attention!

Lukasaurus:

I am far from being an expert on Meerschaum, but you usually get what you pay for. I learned a lot reading this forum from those who know a lot more then I do. Example I have 3 Meerschaum pipes, all Block Meerschaum.

Two of them, one a AKB and Altinok both top grade Block Meerschaum, light weight. The Altinok is very very open, perhaps more so then my Castello briars, wonderful!!!!

I also have a Meer that I paid under $100 for it new. I knew it was cheap, but it too is block Meer. Smokes ok, but it must be a low grade Meer, feels like a lead weight! I might us that one as a knock about!

Read up on this forum about Meer, lot of knowledgable people on here, far more then me!

Best to all!

Bob
 
#16
Dmkeer...

I love my AKB, not as much as my Altinok. Seems to be top grade Meer, just has a tight draw. Packing it lightly is the key. Posted a couple pictures, sorry about pic quality. Starting to color nice, had it since October 12.

image.jpg
image.jpg
 

dmkerr

PG- free since '83!
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#17
If you're handy, shoot T-bear a PM and ask him about opening up your draw. I've not tried it myself because I'm all thumbs. I send my too-tight pipes to Floyd Norwood and he opens them up for me, but if you're steady with a drill bit (turned by hand and NOT via the drill!), you can probably fix that pipe so it smokes better.
 

hoss

Member
Member
#18
I'll be the first to confess: i smoke em all. There are a handful of beloved meers in my collection (the likes of Fikri Baki, SMS, IMP, Altinok and one commissioned from Ahmet Govem), 2 mortas, a few cobs - 2 of which i smoke regularly - and then there are the briars. I make my rounds and smoke based on mood and application. If i'm working around the house i reach for the cobs, if i want a light lat blend i go for a morta, otherwise if my hands are clean i may goto a meer and if it's a walk with the dog or a sit on the porch - or just about any other occasion - my briars are my little brown buddies. But then again i always tend to favor a well-rounded edge to my extremist tendencies. :byg:
 
#19
Thanks dmkerr, I might just do that. Although it smokes pretty good as it is. Took a bit to get hang of it, it's a good smoker!:byg:

Hey hoss.. I hear you. I don't mean to imply that I don't like my briars, just love my meers! Always be briars in my life!!!

Best

Bob
 
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