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 Clay tobacco pipes

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Headmint



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Age: 46
Location: South Dakota
Tobacco: Burley mostly, but always up for something new!
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Registration date: 2011-05-17

PostSubject: Clay tobacco pipes   Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:48 am

Can a guy buy himself a decent, real clay pipe for smoking these days? Looking around they all seem be commemorative, reproductions, or decorative items...in other words, not exactly for smoking. I have read that the clay needs to be handled or prepared in a special way for a real smoker....

Mike
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Kapnismologist



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Registration date: 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Clay tobacco pipes   Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:34 am

Yep. The venerable Dutch ceramics maker Goedewaagen still produces them (although the size range is limited), and you can find them now and again through various retail outlets. I have had the best luck, however, buying Goedewaagen NOS pipes on eBay. Happy hunting!
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Kapnismologist



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PostSubject: Re: Clay tobacco pipes   Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:47 am

Addendum:

A snapshot of a few of my Goedewaagen clays:




Last edited by Kapnismologist on Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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NeroWolfe



Number of posts: 442
Location: Southwest United States
Tobacco: Robust Virginia Flakes and Virginia-Perique Blends; Varietal Orientals on occasion
Pipe: Skoda Pipes, Mark Tinsky (American Smoking Pipe Company), Perry White Pipes (Bob Swanson), Lane-era Charatans, pre-1970 Dunhills, Baki Meerschaums, a Calabash on occasion
Registration date: 2009-07-29

PostSubject: Re: Clay tobacco pipes   Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:47 am

1 - You want a pipe made from solid clay, not those cheapie slip-formed clay pipes made for re-enactments, etc.
2 - At some tobacconists you can get Pollack-brand clays from the UK, made with the original molds, or Goedewaagen-brand clay pipes from Holland; both are suitable for smoking. The Pollack may look like a repro, and it is, but it is an authentic repro and can be properly smoked. The Pollack pipes tend to have larger bowls.
3 - Many clays would have the tip dipped in wax, so that your moist lips do not stick to the stem; some old-timers would wrap string around the end to give them something to put their lips or teeth on. You can even get one of those rubber tips used to put on the end of a briar pipe bit (for "clenchers"), as long as it is a small size.
4 - You break-in a clay just like a briar....SLOWLY. Be patient.
5 - Until a clay is truly broken in you will find that it does smoke very HOT. That is why you see those old clay Churchwardens; more stem to let the smoke cool.
6 - Hold by the stem, not the bowl; the bowl gets very HOT.
7 - A clay will color and darken just like a meerschaum over time from the oils in tobacco.
8 - Do not let too much cake build up, as expansion and contraction can crack a clay bowl.
9 - If you smoke a clay a lot, and it starts to get too oily, dirty, stinky, etc., you can put it in the oven on a small tray and bake it clean at 400 degrees F or so. Let the pipe cool down slowly in the oven (when it is clean, turn off the oven and let it cool down before removing the pipe). Take off any string or rubber tip beforehand! If you have wax on the end, it will melt off and need to be re-applied. You can also clean it in your fire-place or camp-fire.
10 - Handle with care; clays break very easily. That is why they find so many in old dumps, rivers, privys, etc.
11 – Even if the tip breaks off, you can still smoke a clay; it just becomes a nose-warmer!
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Buddy Springman



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PostSubject: Re: Clay tobacco pipes   Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:03 am

NeroWolfe wrote:
1 - You want a pipe made from solid clay...

Nice reply. I can only add that you have to clutch a hot clay by the bowl once, and then you learn your lesson.

Buddy
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Guy



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Location: New York City
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PostSubject: Re: Clay tobacco pipes   Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:24 am

Also there are nice delft and porcelain pipes from Zenith of Holland.
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docwatson



Number of posts: 1794
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Tobacco: Peretti's Burleys, Samuel Gawith Va.'s,Gawith & Hoggarth Va's., J.F. Germain Blends, MacBaren's Blends, so I'm a tobacco slut.
Pipe: Browning Hi Power
Registration date: 2008-03-21

PostSubject: Re: Clay tobacco pipes   Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:52 am

Some time ago Mr. Chip Dull was selling some reproduction tavern clay pipes from Sheffield Exchange. Don't know if they are still in business, but it was a nice product.
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Lesath



Number of posts: 488
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PostSubject: Re: Clay tobacco pipes   Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:17 am

I have a pair of Lepeltier pipes, and highly recommend them. Unlike a traditional clay, they are double-walled, keeping them easy to handle when hot. Another plus is the fact that they are glazed, you can handle them to your heart's content without worry of staining them. I have had no issues with fragility either. Both of mine are sitters, and have a generous chamber. I am careful of two things. First, if using a fine cut, insert a toothpick in the vent. Second, if you buy one, go ahead and order more cork joints--that is a potential weak link. I've had no problem in that regard, I simply wanted to have spare parts on hand. If I were to make a comparison, I would place them in a category between meers and cobs, they are nothing like a briar. One other thing, her communication is outstanding, and she will do custom work based upon her firing schedule.

-Lesath
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Texican



Number of posts: 20
Age: 29
Location: Wyoming
Tobacco: Escudo Navy De Luxe, Dunhill Navy Rolls, Davidoff Flake Medallions, McClelland's St. James Woods, Rattray's Hal o'the Wynd, Dunhill Nightcap, G.L. Pease Jackknife Plug
Registration date: 2013-07-12

PostSubject: Re: Clay tobacco pipes   Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:46 pm

The Dutch pipes are good. You can find them on eBay if you know where to look.

Honestly, I am not a big briar smoker. I prefer clays and cobs. Aside from a Grabow and a few Savinellis, when I want to smoke I turn to my clay. Besides, Insm always smoking/sampling new tobaccos that I don't have to worry about ghosting my pipes. When she needs cleaning, she goes into the wood burning stove or our self-cleaning oven.
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Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Clay tobacco pipes   Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:28 pm

The pre-treatment the old-timers routinely did (my great grandmother smoked one) was to cure the bowl before smoking it in the embers of a hardwood fire. Wink 

What a Face
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Texican



Number of posts: 20
Age: 29
Location: Wyoming
Tobacco: Escudo Navy De Luxe, Dunhill Navy Rolls, Davidoff Flake Medallions, McClelland's St. James Woods, Rattray's Hal o'the Wynd, Dunhill Nightcap, G.L. Pease Jackknife Plug
Registration date: 2013-07-12

PostSubject: Re: Clay tobacco pipes   Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:17 pm

My great-grandmother smoked a clay as well. And she dipped Garrett's Sweet Tobacco. I'm not sure what she smoked though but she lived to be almost a hundred and had every tooth in her mouth before she died.

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alfredo_buscatti



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Pipe: cobs, wire-brush rusticated Jobey, Milville Dublin (my best smoker), tortoise-stained GBD billiard with white acrylic stem, AeroBilliard, taharris stubby smooth Dublin, lots of cobs, blasted Savinelli Autograph
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PostSubject: Re: Clay tobacco pipes   Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:45 pm

Now that's the version of tobacco use I want to hear. Live a century and die using.
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Texican



Number of posts: 20
Age: 29
Location: Wyoming
Tobacco: Escudo Navy De Luxe, Dunhill Navy Rolls, Davidoff Flake Medallions, McClelland's St. James Woods, Rattray's Hal o'the Wynd, Dunhill Nightcap, G.L. Pease Jackknife Plug
Registration date: 2013-07-12

PostSubject: Re: Clay tobacco pipes   Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:22 pm

alfredo_buscatti wrote:
Now that's the version of tobacco use I want to hear. Live a century and die using.

Yeah. I can remember in the early nineties before she died my grandmother and my mother trying to get her to quit.

"I'm in my nineties," she said. "I am not stopping now."

She claimed that tobacco kept worms away and somehow acted as a preventative for allergies and sinus infections.

She lived in a nursing home at the time and when we told her that it was unlikely that her meals would be so undercooked as to give her worms she replied, "When you get my age, you distrust authority."

Meemaw was one stubborn woman.
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ftrplt



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PostSubject: Re: Clay tobacco pipes   Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:38 pm

Yak wrote:
The pre-treatment the old-timers routinely did (my great grandmother smoked one) was to cure the bowl before smoking it in the embers of a hardwood fire.  Wink 

What a Face

This is also the way you clean the bowl of cake buildup. Don't scrap it; just put it in a wood or charcoal fire/coals. Nothing but fine ash will be left.

I have the Pollacks; darn good clays. Whatever one thinks of them, I've been smoking the Williamsburg clays for dang near 50 years. They do just fine by me!!! I still have one I bought in the 60's; smokes just fine. i do enjoy godd ginny-weed in a clay! cheers FTRPLT
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