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 Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?

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Dreadgerbil

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Location : Boise, Idaho
Registration date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:47 pm

So I got a pretty good deal on a Rustica the same as this one a couple of weeks ago on Ebay.



I was excited since I'd heard good things about them and loved the look of the pipe.
However, I've found that it gurgles A LOT. Windy outdoors or safe indoors... Medium Moise or Super Dry tobacco.
I even had a friend smoke it to see if it was just me and he had the same result. I find I have to unscrew it mid smoke and shake out the diffuser as much as that goes against my better judgement.

Has anyone else had this experience? Is it common or is mine defective? When I bought it the cake inside was so thick I could just about get my pinkie in the bowl and the diffuser was COMPLETELY blocked. It took a lot of cleaning.
I'm sad to say I'm enjoying the Brylon Medico I got way more than this. (It's actually a surprisingly good smoke.)



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lestrout



Location : Chester County, PA
Registration date : 2008-04-19

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:02 pm

I have quite a few KWs, both very old (estates) as well as new ones, and they are all among my better smokers. I would guess the extreme cake the previous owner put on yours has also clogged the air draft. This is an easy fix - just get a 5/32" drill bit and gently twist out the channel by hand. The Senior Reamer has one of those drill bits with a handy knob to make the operation easy.

hp
les
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Leyte

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Location : West of St Louie
Registration date : 2011-11-16

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:00 am

I agree with lestrout. My Kaywoodies are old estates and smoke as well as anything else in my stock.
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Sasquatch

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Location : The Garage
Registration date : 2008-12-14

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:17 am

I can't stand 'em myself. I'll take an open draw and no contraptions over the stinger any day.
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PipeLeisure

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Age : 40
Location : Dartmouth Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-08-28

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:34 pm

Kaywoodie...my first pipe I ever bought, she smokes real nice and I will never part with it.
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flytyer

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Age : 51
Location : N E Pa.
Registration date : 2009-03-22

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:12 pm

Ive had alot of luck with the older kaywoodies.One of my favortes is a lovat from the 60's.
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Dave_In_Philly

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Age : 37
Location : Philly
Registration date : 2011-08-18

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:36 pm

I love mine. Never let me down.
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docwatson

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Location : Central Massachusetts and midcoast Maine
Registration date : 2008-03-21

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:01 pm

You might say that I like them and enjoy smoking them as much as any pipe I own, so I think I'll hang onto the 100+ Kaywoodies in my collection!!! Very Happy
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Ocelot55

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Location : Columbus, OH
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:46 pm

I've worked on a lot of Kaywoodie estate pipes. Some were good. Most were bad. Some high grade Kaywoodies are nice pipes, but most of the stuff they sell are IMHO just poorly made.
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kieveryuu

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Location : Greater Boston
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:22 am

docwatson wrote:
You might say that I like them and enjoy smoking them as much as any pipe I own, so I think I'll hang onto the 100+ Kaywoodies in my collection!!! Very Happy


This is certainly a strong endorsement. Razz

Doc, can you provide more information? Such as when you have had a sub-par pipe what have you done to rectify the problem? Also, what kind of problem(s) did you encounter?

Same questions to Ocelot.

I am rather curious about this question as I too have been under the same impression that the OP has regarding these pipes.
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Stinger4me



Location : Near the Great Lakes
Registration date : 2010-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:03 am

The only Kaywoodies here are older ones. They smoke well, my favorites are the Hand Made. A lot of sentimental value there for me. I did purchase a meerschaum lined Kaywoodie, from E-bay. It is a good smoke but has a very small bowl. None of the pipes have the stingers intact. They presented problems and many years ago an old-timer suggested removing them. It worked for me.
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Ocelot55

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Location : Columbus, OH
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:16 am

kieveryuu wrote:
[C]an you provide more information? Such as when you have had a sub-par pipe what have you done to rectify the problem? Also, what kind of problem(s) did you encounter?

Most Kaywoodies I've worked with have been poorly constructed in the following ways. First IMHO any pipe with a stinger won't smoke as well as pipes without. The stinger does nothing more than condense moisture and decrease the airflow. In fact if you look at all the higher grade Kaywoodies they typically have no stinger. Second, many of the bits wont even pass a cleaner. I was always surprised by how many said they never cleaned their pipes until I started working on estates from the early to mid 20th century. The slot on a lot of these pipes can't pass a cleaner at all. Quality of the briar sucks. Fills, fills and more fills. Not just cosmetic flaws, a burl with too many fills can be an indication of poor quality briar. Shaping and symmetry are always bad on lower grade Kaywoodies. The top of the darn bowl isn't even round sometimes. The finish is a thick goopy shellac that flakes over time, but while its on doesn't allow the briar to breathe. This creates hot smoking pipes that is probably already weakened by so many fills. Finally, they age poorly. After so many times screwing on and off the stem, I have seen worn off threads, stems that didn't align properly, and a myriad of other problems caused by a stinger.

I will say that Kaywoodie is an important brand in pipe history and, when it really tries, can make a decent pipe, but expect to pay $100 instead of $25. I will also add that Kaywoodie has Dr. Grabow beat in quality by quite a bit. Razz

I hope I haven't offended anyone by offering my opinion on Kaywoodies and Grabows, but as a pipe maker I have done a lot of research into how to make the best smoking pipe possible. A lot of this was learned from other pipe makers, and some was figured out myself. The second pipe I owned actually had a stinger. When I got my first Peterson I wondered why it smoked so much better. I finally removed the stinger on my pipe. It worked much better. Just some observations from a rank amateur so take it all with a grain of salt.
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docwatson

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Location : Central Massachusetts and midcoast Maine
Registration date : 2008-03-21

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:27 am

kieveryuu wrote:
docwatson wrote:
You might say that I like them and enjoy smoking them as much as any pipe I own, so I think I'll hang onto the 100+ Kaywoodies in my collection!!! Very Happy


This is certainly a strong endorsement. Razz

Doc, can you provide more information? Such as when you have had a sub-par pipe what have you done to rectify the problem? Also, what kind of problem(s) did you encounter?


Kiev
I've been collecting Kaywoodie pipes for over 30 years. I smoke them regularly and like any brand of pipe you will encounter some that don't smoke as well as others. The reasons are complex usually and can be just a bad piece of briar or simply poor draw. IMHO having a problem is the exception not the rule. Many folks will sneer at them because they have a fitment/filtering system, others have no problem with the ball fitment. If that's the case, search out the push tenon stems of NEW manufacture or the much OLDER if you wish to get into the history of Kaywoodie as well. You will pay dearly for some of the much older pipes because there is an avid collector base out there that really likes them, both for smoking qualities and collectibility. I am one of those collectors.
The new Handmade Kaywoodies are exceptional smokers for very reasonable cost in comparison to other handmade pipes. And for even less money they have some machine made, hand finished pipes that are super with no fitments. Many of the Handmade special series pipes that are made today can be of a much larger size. There's something for everyone.
As for rectifying problems, I do not alter an original pipe!!!! It's the same with firearms. Anything to me that has been altered has lost its collectibility. So if there is a pipe that does not smoke well, I will give it away and explain that it didn't smoke well for me, and it may be just fine for someone else. I know of many folks that will snip off the ball fitment/stinger for a better draw and being able to pass a pipe cleaner. I have acquired some of these pipes over the years and find that it does work well but also loses collectible value. Being a collector and a smoker as I previously stated my preference is to collect and smoke all original Kaywoodie pipes.
I have found the stems to be always comfortable for me; some of the sandblast pipes to be incredible deep blasts, and the bowls on smooth Flame Grain pipes to be equal to many high grade handmade pipes of today. Not saying that the higher graded Straight Grains, Connoisseurs, etc. are even more nicely grained bowls.
Well, that's only part of my story but long enough to get my drift I think. Thanks for the inquiry and hope this helps in understanding MY reasons for enjoying Kaywoodie smoking qualities, collectibility, and history.
Andy C.
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kieveryuu

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Location : Greater Boston
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:12 pm

Doc,

As a collector myself I understand the desire to maintain the collectable nature of the item and appreciate your position and thank you for sharing your information. Likewise, Ocelot, thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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Dreadgerbil

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Location : Boise, Idaho
Registration date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:14 pm

You know, I have a few higher level Grabows that I really like. This just didn't live up to the hype, but it's a cheaper model so that's probably the cause.
It's never really going to be a collectible, so I bit the bullet and sawed off the diffuser, leaving just the screw thread. what a HUGE difference it made.

I genuinely think it was likely a malformed diffuser causing the issue. It smokeds like a much better pipe, now.
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Smoker99

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Age : 71
Location : Florissant, Mo
Registration date : 2010-08-23

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:36 am

Bought one in 1967. It smoked hot and wet, and I thru it away. Never tried another one. I understand some love them, but that is my experience.
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LIPIPE

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Age : 69
Location : Setauket,Long Island and upstate Granville, New York
Registration date : 2010-12-18

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:59 am

I have several Kaywoodies and I am happy with them. The problem may be with the tobacco blend that you are smoking. If it is a wet aro perhaps that is the problem. I am a balkan lat lover and my smokes don't create any gurgling or wet dottle in the bowl. I would suggest that you experiment with an English/Balkan blend to determine the quality of the construction of your pipe. I also fully agree that you should not try to alter the stinger. Just keep it clean, sip your smokes and be sure that the small airway on the side of the stinger is clear.http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/kaywoodie-booklet-pic-heavy

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elshano

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Location : Sarasota, FL, U.S.A.
Registration date : 2012-05-16

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:51 pm

Have a Kaywoodie 07 that may date back to the early 70's, though I've only had it less than a year. Yes, it does collect, even with plenty of drying, a considerable amount of moisture. Depending on the day - I do get some good, relatively dry smokes out of it - I usually have to open it and blow it out. On the 'worst' day, I'll do it several times. I like the pipe, but can't say it's my favorite. Dreadgerbil, you're a good step ahead of me, for I haven't resorted to removing the fitment yet. I just don't think it's worth the trouble, but minds are made to be changed.

I like variety and especially given that I had not smoked for decades, prior to picking it up about a year ago, I'm looking to learn/re-learn all I can. I'm certainly not going to toss this, as it is - like all my pipes - a unique individual. I await the opportunity to find a pipe that will take it's place as wood in a fire. Wink
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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:21 am

LIPIPE wrote:
The problem may be with the tobacco blend that you are smoking. If it is a wet aro perhaps that is the problem.
This is an important point. From my B&M shop experience, the Kaywoodie and Dr.Grabow smokers also smoked the wettest, sweetest, case-laden tobaccos we offered. They also seemed to take the least care of their pipes. Out of control cakes. Watery sludge oozing out the mouthpiece if they sat it down for a moment to shop. LOUD smokers from the gurgling. If the amount of tobacco someone smokes relates to how much they enjoy it, then these pipers were in the upper one percentile of pure pleasure smokers. I don't happen to believe that, but man, in general, they smoked A LOT of tobacco out of those disgusting pipes.
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docwatson

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Location : Central Massachusetts and midcoast Maine
Registration date : 2008-03-21

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:46 am

Yes, this is a point well taken. Being regarded as a drug store pipe (Kaywoodie and Grabow) during the sixties, they were merely utilitarian smoking vessels seldom cleaned, and burning drug store blends for the most part which were as you stated, gooey, sweet and wet. Times have changed for our benefit for sure.
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SPUD 15

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Age : 70
Location : Winter Springs Florida
Registration date : 2011-09-07

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:15 pm

I have to agree with doc, my first pipe that I purchased was a Kaywoodie white briar bulldog which did gurgle alot due to the fact that I was smoking the aeros of the day which if you let dry all day they would still be goopy. The comment made about poor fitment, shellac, and fills and alignment of the stems I personally have never seen except for stem alignment epecially on 01 yacht shapes which is a easy fix to realign. Below are pictures of three of my grandfathers Kaywoodies cheap ones of the day the top one is a drinkless suntan 1933-1938, The second is a Drinkless 1932 syncro pat applied for, and the third is a 1932 8 panel Drinkless pre syncro pat pipe.None of these pipes have fills or shellac bowls are all round stingers are intact, and the stems have always been aligned they all have good draw and smoke very well. MIKE





I hope the pictures do them justice as they are lovely pipes.
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docwatson

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Location : Central Massachusetts and midcoast Maine
Registration date : 2008-03-21

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:00 pm

Mike,
Those are some very nice vintage Kaywoodie's. Thanks for sharing the photos. The newly made Kaywoodies without the filter systems are also some fine smoking pipes today and can be had for very reasonable prices.
The new pipes are also push tenons.
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DoverPipes

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Age : 49
Location : HUDSON VALLEY NY
Registration date : 2009-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:52 pm

docwatson wrote:
Mike,
Those are some very nice vintage Kaywoodie's. Thanks for sharing the photos. The newly made Kaywoodies without the filter systems are also some fine smoking pipes today and can be had for very reasonable prices.
The new pipes are also push tenons.

I have to concur with Andy. I own six or seven Kaywoodies. All of them are very good smokers. All of them are without stingers. The most recent ones are the pipes from the Kaywoodie event back in December. Bill makes a decent pipe. I'm not just saying that because I know him, my Kaywoodies are part of my rotation and I smoke them proudly. Go on and take the plunge and grab one of the POY's or larger freehands.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:44 pm

Quote :
As for rectifying problems, I do not alter an original pipe!!!! It's the same with firearms. Anything to me that has been altered has lost its collectibility. So if there is a pipe that does not smoke well, I will give it away and explain that it didn't smoke well for me, and it may be just fine for someone else. I know of many folks that will snip off the ball fitment/stinger for a better draw and being able to pass a pipe cleaner. I have acquired some of these pipes over the years and find that it does work well but also loses collectible value. Being a collector and a smoker as I previously stated my preference is to collect and smoke all original Kaywoodie pipes.

Undoubtedly a good thing to know if you end up with an old, original one.

But while sound advice re. any collectable, it must be a KW collector thing. Reason being that virtually all old Britwood came equipped with "fitaments" that were immediately discarded -- without this seeming to affect their desirability to smoker-collectors today in the least.

What a Face
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Stinger4me



Location : Near the Great Lakes
Registration date : 2010-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Disappointed by a Kaywoodie. Anyone else?   Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:05 pm

I have five or six Kaywoodie pipes and all of them are older pipes. Three of my favorites are the Super Grain Hand Made versions and they may date to the late 40's. They were passed on to me. I had quite a few others and passed them to others so they could enjoy them. One of the Hand Made pipes had to have some repiars to the stem. The repair guy made a push stem and put the logo onto the the new stem. It is the best smoking pipe of the three. The "collectable status" of these pipes means less than the smoking qualities of the pipe. I enjoy them for what they are, pipes to be smoked. I am not a fan of the stingers and all of them have been removed. Soon another pipe will be going in for a new stem and I am fairly certain with a push stem it will be a good smoker. I have not purchased a new briar pipe in ten years or more. The older pipes to me show more workmanship and pride than many of the newer pipes. Just my $.02.
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