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F.E.S.S. Churchwarden

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User3940

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#1
In addition to the beautiful meerschaum that my wife bought me for Christmas, she bought me a F.E.S.S. Churchwarden. When I opened the box and looked inside she immediately said "If you want to use it to trade I don't mind.", which told me that she thought it was ugly. I have to agree with her.

I have wondered about F.E.S.S. pipes as I see them on Amazon all the time. IMHO opinion the only nice thing about this churchwarden is the bowl, which is beautiful, well carved, good draft hole, etc. But the shank is very very long, curved, and metal...yep metal, with some kind of wood texture coating on it. The stem is short and plastic. The push in tenon is plastic with a short stinger. This pipe is cumbersome, unattractive, and heavy. Here is the F.E.S.S. as it came out of the box. Make sure you scroll down past this pic, because there is good news.



However, all is not lost. I like the bowl so much that I started searching my boxes of parts in an effort to find a stem that would work, and I was successful. I now love the look and feel of the pipe. So the wife done good.

 

User3940

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#5
What type of wood is the bowl made of? It sure is pretty.
Based on the weight and feel of it I believe it is Briar. Certainly not Pear wood as it is not light feeling in the hand. I guess it could be Rose wood. Not stamped anywhere, except F.E.S.S. on the shank. F.E.S.S. does put that coating in their bowls so it takes a bowl or two to burn it off. The coating has no flavor or smell though. Overall it is a great smoke.
 
#6
I think the F.E.S.S. are rosewood. I have been looking around for a LOTR Gandalf looking pipe and these seem to be popular as just that. Most reviews are not so great. It looks really nice with that short stem on there!
 

User3940

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#7
I did some reading after my post and found that they are indeed rosewood. I was very disappointed that the churchwarden came with a heavy metal stem, especially given the fact that that stem is a foot long. But all is good now and I am sure I will get good service out of the pipe with a standard length saddle bit.
 

User3940

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#10
Nice save, indeed. Just wondering if a churchwarden Forever Stem would work, if you wanted to have a churchwarden option.
I prefer a standard size stem, so will stay with this one. I already have 3 churchwardens, plus two churchwarden stems that came off other pipes that I converted.
 
#16
Hmmm...I "won" 3 on eBay last year, cheap! When they got here, I sent them back because with a metal, wood textured stem and made in china, I didn't want to risk smoking some strange chemicals. So I was just out return postage. Now I know better, ask questions before buying.
 

User3940

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#19
I did a little more work on the F.E.S.S. CW. As stated earlier I did not like the 12" metal stem, so switched it for a standard length 1/8 bent black saddle bit. That was much much better, but just not completely right. So this morning I turned down a short CW stem, clay colored, and now the pipe is what I want it to be. This is my first time turning down a tenon without a tool and it went well. I used 220 grit sandpaper cut into a long ribbon, clamped the stem in a vice with rags wrapped around the stem to protect it, and patiently, very patiently sanded the tenon down to 5/16th.

 
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