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smooth vs rusticated

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by David Emond, Sep 4, 2012.

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  1. David Emond

    David Emond Active Member

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    Evening everyone,

    So most pipe makers when they release a model release multiple types of finishes.
    The most popular and the smooth and rusticated.
    Ive noticed that there is often a great difference in price between the rusticated and smooth as much as 80$
    Is there a difference in briar quality between the two finishes ?
    Between the two finished i would assume that it would be more work to make a rusticated finish?
     


  2. Goat

    Goat Active Member

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    :popc:
     
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  3. Buckshot

    Buckshot Member

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    I think it was Sasquatch that pointed out somewhere on this forum that rusticated pipes are often (but not always) chosen for rustication because minor cosmetic flaws are discovered in the briar. The flaws usually don't alter the smoking qualities of the pipe.
     
  4. Spillproof

    Spillproof Mostly Harmless Moderator

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    The quick answer is that most factory rusticated pipes have pits and/or fills that are covered by rustication.

    However, many pipe-makers will rusticate or sand-blast a "perfect" piece of briar if requested.
    (and you gotta learn at some point)

    You never know what you will end up with when you are carving a pipe.
    Maybe you intended to make a rusticated pipe, but your briar is "clean." Sometimes rustication helps hide bad carving as well (i.e., the shank transition).

    Maybe you intended to make a perfect pipe but your briar is a mess.

    The best laid plans....
     
  5. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    Yup.

    Perfect flawless wood is pretty rare, so you pay a premium. Small flaws are often hidden/removed by sandblasting, larger ones might get taken up by rusticating, and a lot of manufacturers will do a little fill work on those pipes, sort of hide the flaw.

    Most artisan pipe makers won't fill any flaws, and most don't have a rusticated grade. Cracks/fissures/pits just means the pipe goes in the garbage.

    I smoke rustics and blasts all the time - prefer the texture, and I don't think too hard about what the briar underneath looks like.
     
  6. TheLonePipeman

    TheLonePipeman Member

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    David,
    Often rusticated pipes are made from briar that is perfectly good, but may have a shallow pit or other cosmetic flaw that doesn't lend itself to a perfect smooth finish. Also people who collect nice smooth pipes usually want either strait flame grain, or interesting birdseye patterns, and briar without these features is thus better suited to rustication. Another consideration is sandblast finishes which are chosen to reflect the grain when blasted. A nice ring grain is preferable for sandblasts. Although sandblasts have a "rough" look and texture similar to some styles of rustication they are more natural and allow another level of artistic expression for the builder. Often a good quality sandblast will be more expensive than either smooth or rusticated because of the quality of wood required and the extra attention required. Rusticated pipes tend to be cheaper because the maker can be less picky about the briar used, and is not worries about getting a smoothly sanded flowing shape. Some of the guys on here that make pipes could probably tell you more than me. I have never been able to tell any difference in smoking qualities between rusticated and smooth pipes. It's largely a matter of taste and budget.
     
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  7. daveinlax

    daveinlax Member

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    I think that the sanding and staining on smooth pipes would take longer. An experienced pipe maker can pump out a plain jane rusticated finish in a couple of minutes. Not all rusticated pipes are equal you can have a plain pock marked or scraped up looking rustication or a well done rustication with lots of under carving and a uneven kinda random look. Take The Sea Rock, even in the same brand/finish the carving ranges from so boring to wow! look at this one! I specialize in Castello Epoca pipes IMO they take rustication to a whole 'nother level. :confused:
     
  8. Spillproof

    Spillproof Mostly Harmless Moderator

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    Rusticating/blasting a pipe can take 2 minutes or 2 days.
    And then there is the matter of staining/sanding/staining etc....

    A pipe has to be "final shaped" before you can rusticate it. That's pretty close, in a relative sense, to being finished (literally).

    Then you decide to rusticate or sandblast. Or both. Or give it to your dog. Or whatever. That takes time. A LOT of time in my case.

    Then you still need to sand and stain the piece. In my case, the staining takes much longer on a rusticated pipe because I also do a contrast (and there are recesses), just like I would a smooth finished pipe.

    So..
    Basically, rusticating a pipe adds a lot of work, and time, and extra cursing during staining.
    It's not a shortcut.

    But, I don't get paid to make pipes, and I dang sure don't get paid by the hour.
     
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  9. David Emond

    David Emond Active Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
    So for my example, the rusticated is 140$ on smokingpipes. The smooth is almost imposible to find and is 200+ in europe.
    the rustication finish on this pipe kinda looks a bit plasticy dont you think?
     
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  10. Bman64

    Bman64 Member

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    Am I wrong in my supposition that heavily rusticated pipes are easier to handle when hot? I've only a few pipes, but my rustys seem cooler to the touch.... or maybe I'm all wet [theres been enough rain down here to saturate the noggin]
    :eek:
     
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  11. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    David, that finish is pretty hokey compared to the nicer carved finishes of days yore. Find a nice Ruff Root on an old Sasieni and you'll see a huge difference.

    Hugely rusticated pipes with seriously craggy textures have more surface area than a smooth pipe. They might feel a bit cooler because of that.
     
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  12. Wickwire

    Wickwire Member

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  13. Wickwire

    Wickwire Member

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    They flute the barrels of Some rifles to give it more surface area so that the barrel will cool faster. I guess the rusticated surfaces can work the same way.
     
  14. Vaquero

    Vaquero Member

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    Isn't it true also that sandblasting retains some of the traits of the grain in it, ie. ring grain, birdseye, etc. Whereas rustication leaves you wondering a little more what could be underneath. I think some sandblasted pipes are just as fun and intriguing to look at as some smooth finished pipes. You just gotta know what you look for ;)
     
  15. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    Yes... sandblasting is grain sensitive and used to highlight grain in the best cases.
     
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  16. Tsal

    Tsal Pipin'

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    Rusticated is my favorite. I have nothing intelligent to add so I must go.
     
  17. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    I prefer blasts too - much easier to maintain their finish. ;)
     
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  18. mattia76

    mattia76 Member

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    I've gone mostly blasts over the years as well.
    But the main reason for me is that I have a hard time lighting up an excellently-grained, unsmoked, smooth-finish pipe for the first time. It's difficult for me to resign myself that I'm going to keep that particular pipe and that I'm OK with cutting its value in half by smoking it.
     
  19. Rodfather

    Rodfather Active Member

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    I usta be a smooth only guy, but when the North American pipe makers started making their beautiful ring blasts I have become a serious fan. I have had a number of rusticated pipes, they are haphazard and they rarely ring my bell.
     
  20. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    I see what you mean. It would be like having that thick and perfectly marbled steak. Who would want to throw that on a grill and ruin it? Um -- wait -- I would. For me, a painting is to be looked at and a pipe is to be smoked.
     
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