My two pipe theory...

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by KleinToit, Jan 21, 2013.

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  1. KleinToit

    KleinToit Member

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    Hi guys and gals… just a little bit of rambling



    I have a two pipe theory and was wondering whether any of you guys have had some similar thoughts.

    I have an ever growing collection and it seems that for buying pipes, I needed some ground rules. If there is one thing I hate it is not smoking a pipe I spent hard earned money on and this is what I got so far:



    I give every brand two chances, maybe it’s just me, but I noticed I tend to buy pipes from the same brand if I liked the first pipe… Now I decided that it would not be fair to judge a company by only one pipe because as we all know, you do tend to get some lemons. Take Lorenzo for example, My first churchwarden was a Lorenzo and I never could get the thing to smoke right no matter how hard I tried, and it really put me off. The second pipe I bought from them is a medium size halfbent, and it’s a great smoker, now had I discounted Lorenzo based on the first pipe I would never have found that little gem. Design Berlin on the other hand has only ever been great smokers in my opinion, and I have four. Why use a brand to judge a pipe you say? Well the reasoning went like this. I believe that companies have certain philosophies they embrace, you get the Striving-for-excellence guys and then you get the That’ll-do guys, and it leaks through into their entire enterprise, I think it affects all their decision making and processes. Take Sas for instance, I’ve never smoked one of his pipes but his entire operation screams quality and from what I can tell off the photos and what I’ve read, that’s not far from the truth (thanks for the buyers guide BTW:gjob: ). I don’t necessarily buy off a brand name or a certain price range, but I take a look at the entire visible company and range of pipes (I buy wine this way too, have stumbled onto some magnificent wine at great prices because of it, but I digress) the key point for me is that when I buy a dud, I give it away, because I can’t sell something I wouldn’t buy…( buy twice anyway) and that can make a fairly cheap hobby very expensive, very quickly.

    Does anybody else have similar ideas or am I completely wrong? (I tend to be a bit of an idiot sometimes:shead: )

     
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  2. briarhoff

    briarhoff Member

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    I say if you don't like it, hang onto it. Maybe tinker with drilling the opening or making some other change that could improve the pipe. Or hang it in the house somewhere as eye candy. What the heck, you invested in it. Make a door handle out of it or something. And giving a pipe away instead of selling what you think is inferior is certainly not the mark of an idiot. It's good character. So make use of those pipes! I'm resisting a rant from my inner belly. :blah:
     
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  3. KleinToit

    KleinToit Member

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    Pipe doorhandles... now there's an idea... :bing: (queue: A-Team opening sequence)
     
  4. StubrnDutchman

    StubrnDutchman Member

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    It's obvious you have put a lot of thought into this. It seems like a good system/philosophy that is working well for you. Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    It depends on the issue with the product. Pipes as with anything else are subject to the odd duck which fails in regard to performance or aesthetics. Personally I can get past a mere blemish in finish, maybe even a slight flaw in craftsmanship. But when the issue is one of poor quality, either in the materials used or the workmanship thereof, that becomes a deal breaker for me.

    Quality, craftsmanship, and overall consistency in a product is paramount to its longevity and ultimately, survivability in my thinking. I won't write off a manufacturer for something that occasionally slips past quality control standards, but if I find it to be a common occurrence or issue with said product it will absolutely deter me from investing my money in it as a consumer.

    In regard to pipes, the ones I own several of from the same manufacturer are limited to Peterson, Randy Wiley, Ben Wade, and Savinelli. Although I found a blemishes or two on my Savinelli's, I've yet to experience it with any degree of consistency, and have yet to find any issues with function as they are all fantastic smokers.

    My experience with Randy Wiley pipes has been as expected, absolutely wonderful. But I expect no less from a custom artisan.

    Where I've been surprised, and find myself very firm in my opinion of, is that I am personally done with Peterson Pipes. The pipes that were manufactured in the past I'll take a gamble on. But the newer Petersons I personally find to be lacking in quality of material and workmanship. I have five or six vintage Pete's that are really nice. Gems in fact!

    But several of the newer ones I've owned lately have been peppered with small fills, issues with improper drilling, and materials that I feel are inferior to those found in vintage Peterson Pipes.

    Unless you're buying an estate, or one made by a custom artisan, there should never be an issue with getting stuck with a dud pipe. If I found a newly purchased pipe to be a problem in any way, I would return it ad demand a refund or replacement.

    If the company or product line continued to be an issue as discussed, they would never get any further business from me from then on.
     
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  6. Tate

    Tate Member

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    Stonewall,

    I agree fully with your statement. I bought a rather large 2XL bent Peterson some few years ago and during the break in the lacquer finish bubbled revealing imperfections and fills. The shank has a metal band which soon simply fell off much to my dismay. The pipe smokes alright but the faults cannot be overlooked. I've found myself increasingly weary of buying new pipes and actually prefer estate pipes of known repute now. I've also purchased a few Savinelli pipes. They've had cosmetic flaws of the forgivable variety, but one in particular, a Churchwarden is hexed with poor airflow and gurgling. I went so far as to countersink the tenon which relieved the issue to a point. However, its an unforgivable sin in my book.

    My one deviation as of late is to commission a BST on the firm recommendation of so many on this forum. Other than top notch artisans, I'm done with the newer production pipes.
     
  7. StubrnDutchman

    StubrnDutchman Member

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    It saddens me to see so many negative comments about Petes in threads lately. I have about two dozen of them. Six or eight are estates and appear considerable older manufacture compared to the others and are of much better quality. Several of the newer ones, purchased new back around 2006, have numerous fills with one being quite improperly drilled.It's a good thing all are decent smokers. If I ever had the cash to put down on a quality artisan pipe I would probably get upset over my previous new pipe purchases. I'll never purchase a new Pete again.

    I do not see how so many negative comments can be attributed to minor slips in QC. I attribute it simply to corporate greed.
     
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  8. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    You know, in all honesty, I can overlook a small (and I mean small) fill, or blemish in the finish, but I've seen three Pete's (newer ones) here lately that have had near burnouts in the bowls. All three near the draft hole or shank part of the bowl. I suppose this could be from improper smoking on the owners behalf, but who knows. Its enough to turn me off of them I know that. Now the older ones I have....solid as the rocks. I dunno...
     
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  9. aieeegrunt

    aieeegrunt Member

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    I have two new 4 dot Brigham's that don't smoke anywhere as near as the thirty year old two dotter my father-in-law gave me. Then I learned that Brigham no longer makes pipes in Canada and outsourced it somewhere.

    ....and thus began my journey with the White Goddess.
     
  10. DakOOk

    DakOOk Member

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    If you smoke a cob you don't have to worry about these kinda things. :whis:
     
  11. fogpipe

    fogpipe Member

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    i have never had a dissapointment with an estate pipe from a known good brand except for one charatan. So i wont buy an estate charatan again. Truth be told if i were given 500$ that had to be spent on pipes, id probably end up with a few estate gbd's.
     
  12. Raffxr7

    Raffxr7 Active Member

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    I've discovered via my estate collection, that the low level pipes of days gone by are now on par with the mid level pipes of present. I'll take a kaywoodie over a pete--at least I'll get what I paid for, and have a pipe I don't need to screw with. My cut off is 30 dollars, over that I better not have to modify the pipe to get a satisfactory smoker. I'm cheap, but resourceful. Depending on what is wrong with a pipe, I may or may not give the brand a second chance. If it is basket pipe grade, and sold as a branded pipe... no second chance, unless the flaw is in the stem.
     
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  13. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Yezzir. Same thing with a Falcon.
     
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  14. StubrnDutchman

    StubrnDutchman Member

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    Since joining here I find myself smoking my MM Prides about 3/4 of the time.
     
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  15. Longshanks

    Longshanks Member

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    I read somewhere that only 3 in 10 briar blocks (on a good day) are good enough for a smooth pitless finish. Those aren't great odds. That being said, a rusticated bowl smokes just as well as a smooth bowl, so I don't understand why pipe makers need to fill (yuck). Rusticate that bad boy and put it in a box! No one is going to fault a brand for rusticating a pitted briar... putty, on the other hand, gets poor marks in my book.
     
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  16. Old Codger

    Old Codger Active Member

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    Peterson has been good for me, so I have a few. When there's been an issue with a Peterson I've just mailed the pipe to the factory and they've either replaced it or made it perfect. My tolerance level for things that don't work properly has gotten progressively lower over the years. Couple of car brands that'll never see my driveway again since even the dealers couldn't make them right. I guess another factor is just how badly a screwup in design or manufacturing is involved. A couple of times I've looked at something and wondered what brain dead cretin designed it. Sometimes a good design gets butchered at the manufacturing stage by some number cruncher and those brands are only of value if they're publicly traded since they're an opportunity for a good short trade. Diesels with fuel water separators that are not easily bled and drained are one of those, not my money in this lifetime, type of stupidities.
    I have one BST and it raised the bar as to my expectation of how a pipe should perform right out of the box, so I'll buy more from him.
     
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