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Q- Does pipe shape, bowl size, or type of finish affect how cool or hot a pipe will smoke? I realize that a Churchwarden will smoke cooler due to the longer stem, but when comparing “average 6 inch pipes” with various shape, bowl size, and surface finish, are there noticeable differences in the coolness qualities of the pipe features ?

Gary
Missouri

A-

Gary

The first and most important point about pipe smoking is the how the pipe is packed. The packing process affects all aspects of the smoke and a proper pack will give you the best chance for a great smoke. Personally, I smoke a lot of straight pipes with billiard shapes and most of the time I smoke English blends. I have found that when I smoke thinner walled pipes or “Stacks” I have better luck with a straight Virginia tobacco than I do with an English blend.

I have found that long term pipe smokers will gravitate to a specific shape and finish which works best for them and this is certainly the case for me.

Many of these choices have to do with what works for you more than what shape or finish is best. A great deal of the enjoyment with pipe smoking has to do with keeping an open mind about trying different tobaccos and experimenting with different shapes and finishes until you find just the right combination. There is no hard and fast rule as to what is best, but the fact that you are thinking about such things indicates that you are on your way to solving this riddle.

Good Luck

The Pipe Guru

Q- What drill bits are used to bore the chamber of a pipe? And where can I get them ???

Ray
Virginia

A-

Ray

There are various ideas about what diameter is best for pipe draft holes and since I am not a pipe maker it seems to me that you would be better served to check out some pipe making forums on the internet.

Good Luck

The Pipe Guru

Q-I bought my first pipe from Tinder box when I was 19.Now I’m 43,and getting into carving pipes for myself. But I’m having a small problem. I only have hand tools, and a cordless drill. So as you can imagine, it’s very hard to get a nail file into the chamber to make round. I must have spent 20 hrs. ea. just getting the chamber round in the bottom. My question is-“what are those drill bits called?” I can’t find them on amazon or E-Bay. Do you know where I can find them? I’ve looked, but to no avail. I am using a spade, but it leaves a flat bottom, then I have to go in with a regular drill bit to round it out some. But then I have to use a nail file to extract the excess, and finish it with a piece of sandpaper and my finger. It’s hard enough that all I have are hand tools. So on average. I spend about 100 hrs. or more carving a pipe. The right drill bit would sure speed thing up. I hope you can answer my question. And, even though I’m not a pro. They really turned out very good. I’ll send you some  photos if you’d like to see them. Thanks

Ray
Virginia

A-

Ray

I am not a pipe maker but many people have told me that there is much information on the web about pipe making and I am sure if you search in this area you will get all the information you will need.

Good Luck

The Pipe Guru

Q – Could you tell me what kind of pipe is used by Sherlock Holmes in the series in which he is played by the actor Jeremy Britt?

Cathy

South Carolina

 

A – I am not as familiar with the Brett productions of Sherlock Holmes as I am with Rathbone’s, but I do know a few things about the churchwarden style pipe he used. In the final series, “The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes” Brett smoked a churchwarden pipe designed by Rick Hacker, pipe author, and made by pipe maker Steve Waddell.

Pipe Guru

Q – I am looking for a pipe tobacco that is mild and has a good aroma to it can you help me out with something ?

Robert

Ohio

 

A – I would suggest you start out with Tinder Box Wilshire since it is easy to pack, burns nicely and has a lovely aroma. Give this a try and then you can always work your way through other interesting blends.

Pipe Guru

 

Q – I bought my first pipe yesterday, a Stanwell Legend 141. The tobacco I

purchased was the Frog Morton Original Blend.

My question, do I need to keep that pipe reserved for the Latakia mixtures

or not worry about it and smoke whatever I want in the same pipe?

Thanks,

JK

Ohio

A – This situation is a dilemma for most pipe smokers and you have to be aware of “ghosting” that can take place in your bowl. “Ghosting” has to do with residual flavors that are left over from tobacco that is smoked. As long as you keep your pipe clean with pipe cleaners and keep your cake in check you will be fine. When you go from latakia to a sweeter tobacco, the latakia taste will burn off quickly. As you add more pipes to your collection you will want to rotate these pipes as much as possible and maybe even designate certain pipes for certain blends. This is what your future holds.

Good Luck

The Pipe Guru

 

 

I will post questions that I receive from pipe smokers…along with my answers here!

Q –  I have a Ben Wade Danish Pride pipe made in Denmark. First do you think it was made by Preben Holm? Second the stem has no makers mark but appeared to be original to the pipe,has this happened before? Or is it a mistake. Thanks DK                                                     Ohio

A – The Ben Wade Danish Pride was an entry level pipe for Ben Wade that retailed for less than $50 and I do not think Preben made this pipe. Most of the Wades had a crown stamped on the mouthpiece and in the case of the Danish Pride, this mouthpiece was made from acrylic. If the mouthpiece is not acrylic it probably is a replacement and if the crown is missing it could have been buffed off. We sold many of these pipes and they were enjoyed by all.

Pipe Guru


Q – I’ve recently started back smoking my fine Tinder Box pipes, please recommend a aromatic mild pipe tobacco that does not bite my tongue. I will order with your recommendation. In past I enjoyed cherry and vanilla flavors. Thanks,                                                      WK North Carolina      

A – Since you are just getting back into pipe smoking I would recommend the Tinder Box Wilshire blend. It is a great seller and has the characteristics you are looking for. Keep in mind that Wilshire mixes well with TBI Midnight       (vanilla) and TBI Anniversary or Cherry Almond. Welcome back and Good Luck.

Pipe Guru


Q – Who might have crafted the Tinder Box Unique in London, England,   when was it likely to have been made, and how many were made? Also, in your   opinion what is the best semi-aromatic blend (flavored is OK) with a   pleasant aroma and little to no bite? Thanks.  Gayle     Alaska

A –                                                 I am going from memory here but I think the Unique would be from the late 70’s to the mid-80’s and was probably made by either Parker or GBD in London. These pipes would have been mass produced for Tinder Box since there were about 200 stores at that time and all of them carried pipes. One tobacco you might try is Wilshire from Tinder Box which seems to have all the qualities you are looking for. Pipe Guru


Q – Why is the GBD Jollyboy the best smoking pipe I have ever smoked in my life? What makes it different, even from the Peterson’s Systems pipes, to create a smooth, even burning, dry, cool smoke?                                                      Timothy     Alaska    

A –  I think it is true with most pipe smokers that there will always be favorite pipes that lead the pack in smoking quality. Personally, I know that I have several pipes that will never let me down in terms of the way they smoke and these pipes are not all the same brand or shape. With your Jolly Boy the shape is most unusual and it is possible that with the type of tobacco you smoke and how you smoke happens to work well with this shape. I think this is one of the reasons why pipe smokers are committed to a specific brand or shape and hope that the consistency remains the same. I would keep an open mind about other brands, particularly Peterson, since there are many fine pipes to explore. Pipe Guru


Q – Being someone who has not done this for quite awhile I need your help. I have   just received the Manhattan Freshie and have forgotten how it works. All I   remember is it has something to do with water. Do I soak it first? And for how   long? And should I continue to soak it every now and then? Or is it just good   for a limited amount of time and then needs to be replaced? Thank you. Richard Kentucky

A – This disc has clay inside to absorb moisture so all you need to do is drop the disc in a glass of water and when the bubbles stop rising take the disc out and wipe it off with a paper towel. Usually you can see the clay inside through the holes and when it is not pink it needs to be re-hydrated.   Good Luck                                                                                                     Pipe Guru


Q – I have a Tinder Box pipe stamped on the left side of shank “THE TINDER BOX”           in arched script.  Under that is “MILANO” and under that is “MADE IN ITALY”.         It is a smooth briar bowl with very nice grain in a Calabash style and about         3/4 bent, long saddle bit.                                 I can’t find this pipe in the Tinder Box catalogs I can access on-line or by         doing a google search and was wondering if you could inform me which pipe         company made this pipe for Tinder Box and about when it was made or sold by         Tinder Box?                                 Thanks in advance for any info you provide. Gerald       Indiana    

A – Back in the 70’s and 80’s Mauro Armellini made a number of pipes in Italy    for Tinder Box. Two of the main brands were Verona and Napoli both of which    had multiple finishes. So, it is a good guess, going with the Italian city    theme,that your Milano was also made by Armellini. However, there was a    short period in the mid to late 90’s when Savinelli produced some pipes    exclusive to Tinder Box and just maybe your Milano( I cannot seem to    remember the exact name) is one of these. You can be confident that either    one of these manufacturers made a fine reasonably priced pipe for Tinder    Box. If you know the time frame in which your pipe was purchased you may    solve the mystery.   Pipe Guru


Q – I work at a mom and pop coffee shop, the kind where everyone knows everyone and the customers are more like family. One of these customers, an older gentleman, gave me two estate pipes. Both are Dunhill’s in excellent condition! One if them is a beautiful hand turned one. I wasn’t able to find any info about them. I’d love to find info about their dates and how much they are worth.  The stamping:     MADE IN ENGLAND’ (3)R      note the small accent after England & 3 is circled 251 F/T DUNHILL ROOT BRIAR         Hand turned one:     S/G     **     DUNHILL ROOT BRIAR     MADE IN ENGLAND_14 15     Made in England is a smaller font & just the 14 is underlined.     Any information you could give me would be appreciated.   Randy           California

A – We don’t do appraisals on the site but I can give you some dating info. Your first pipe should have a number after England on the shank- this is key. The circled 3 refers to group or size and the R to finish, which is probably a root finish.    The second pipe was made in 1974(14) and this pipe is also a root briar.    Both pipes are hand made.   Pipe Guru


Q – Hello…among my late husband’s pipes I found a  very nice looking one whose maker’s name I cannot quite read– It is hard to  read but looks like “baxter rosenbur_ (a silver cap covers the letter(s)  at the end of the second name.) Other marks on the pipe are: Hand Cut, La Rue.  It is a very nice looking pipe with a gorgeous grain and a silver cap. Any information you could give me about the pipe and the  maker would be greatly appreciated! Katie R.               Arizona
A – From  your description it sounds like you have a Huntsman’s or Tyrolean pipe.       Most  of these pipes were made in Germany  or Austria  and had decorative tassels, wood extensions and silver work. It sounds like you  have a lovely pipe.         Pipe Guru


Q – Are there any pipes that stay cool to the touch, while  your smoking? Kelly A. Florida
A – Any  pipe whether it is briar or meerschaum should stay cool to the touch if it is  packed properly and smoked slowly. You might want to alter your packing so the  tobacco is loose at the bottom and more springy toward the top of the bowl.  This will allow the tobacco to burn down evenly all the way to the bottom and  will require minimum re-lights. Also, slow down on the puffing and this will  help your pipe to remain cool. Pipe Guru


Q – I was given a pipe by my grandfather that is stamped  “Hand Made In Denmark.” It also has the initials/stamp of LS, IS, HS  or _S. It supposedly came from a Tinderbox store in the mid seventies. Any idea  what the initials mean. They are located about an inch below the Hand Made  stamp. Thank you very much for your time.

David W.                                                     Georgia                                                 

A – Most  of the time initials on pipes have to do with the finish, size or the model of  the pipe. In the 70’s there were a number of Danish pipes sold by Tinder Box  including Stanwell, Karl Erik, Ben Wade and Erik Nording.

Pipe Guru


Q – Trying to find information on an old pipe my  grandfather had for as long as i know. It is a John King made in France  #1227, which all this information is stamped on the pipe. I can’t find any info  even about the company.

Christopher                                                   Tennessee                                                 

A – This  sounds like a private label pipe to me, which was a very common practice when  your grandfather may have purchased the pipe. A shop would order pipes from  English or French manufacturers and put their name on the pipe which I believe  is the case with John King- the #1227 is a shape code.