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 Reverse Calabash Designs

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Dutch

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Age : 52
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PostSubject: Reverse Calabash Designs   Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:57 am

Just wondering if any of the brothers own a reverse calabash pipe, and what do you think of the design?

Several talented pipemakers are making these designs available right now. Below are 2 videos, where Chris Morgan displays some of his reverse calabash designs, and explains the theory of how the design is supposed to work.









Last edited by Dutch on Fri May 11, 2012 10:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sasquatch

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:18 am

I will offer a theoretical ground for NOT purchasing a reverse-calabash, and you can all fight over whether I'm full of crap or not.

The idea works. A reservoir of smoke that is cooling in the pipe, to be drawn in on your next puff and replaced in the hollow chamber.... it works. So if you want ultra-cool smoke, go get one.

However.

There's a little mixup in what "cool smoke" is good for. Here's the argument from a "perfect pipe" perspective. Smoking pipe tobacco at a low temperature is better tasting than smoking pipe tobacco at a high temperature - heat the stuff up too much and you'll literally burn off all those yummy flavor molecules (sugars and essential oils) - burn'em right to CO2 and H2O. So keep that bowl from getting hot, boys, and you'll enjoy your smoke more. Which is also very close to saying that cooler smoke tastes better. What's really being said is that smoke from a cooler BURN tastes better, and that's what the reverse-calabash does NOT provide necessarily. In fact because the smoke will be cool no matter what, the pipe is perhaps capable of allowing really poor smoking technique with no tongue bite issues (but also with poor flavor).

So. The idea works, you get cool smoke. But it doesn't change the fundamental principle of pipe smoking, which is that smoke generated in a cooler burn tastes better - you can burn as hot as you like in a RC and still get cool smoke - it will simply taste foul in a nice cool way.

Smoked carefully and slowly, a RC will offer a very pleasurable smoke. Just like any "regular" pipe.

That's my $.02
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Dutch

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:28 am

Thanks so much for the thoughts Sasquatch. As I suspected, some ideas are more gimmick than a true form follows function design.

Below is a link displaying some of Michail Revyagin's reverse calabash designs.

http://tobaccodays.com/articles/changing-the-game/
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Ocelot55

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Location : Columbus, OH
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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:01 pm

I agree with Sas 100%. If you look at a old estate pipes, most are full of gimmicks to generate a cool smoke. Well, those systems are not around today, and that tells me all I need to know. Granted some of the artisan reverse calabash pipes are absolutely beautiful.
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acme



Location : Overland Park, Kansas
Registration date : 2012-01-19

PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Fri May 11, 2012 6:55 pm

I think all of Sasquatch's points are valid, but he leaves one out in my opinion.

A smoker who smokes hot enough to kill a tobacco's flavor will not be helped to good taste with a pipe designed to cool the smoke. In fact, cooling the tobacco my prevent them from learning better smoking habits because they are less likely to feel the pain of a burnt mouth, and thus not be encouraged to change their habits. They might never notice that they aren't getting good flavor - they might never have experienced it before - and never learn that their habits are bad.

What Sasquatch leaves out, in my opinion, is that regardless of what the tempreture of the smoke when it exits the tobacco chamber, it is cooled in the air chamber. Just like Sasquatch says, if a smoker has killed the flavor whilst the smoke is still in the tobacco chamber by smoking too hot, he will never get more than a flavorless, albeit cooler, smoke out of the stem.

However, the cooling effect of the second chamber starts with the smoke that comes in. If a skillful smoker keeps the tempreture low in the bowl, he will get flavorful tobacco coming into the second chamber, and then it will be further cooled by the time it gets to the stem. I suspect that there is a point of diminishing returns - a point at which the exersize of skill and technology won't render a more flavorful smoke. What I know, is that I have not reached that point of diminishing returns yet.

I know that it is only anechdotal, but after smoking second chamber pipes, I found a significant difference in the flavor I got from the smoke. This is important for me - I realized that there was a further horizon that I had not noticed before. While it was possible that I might have slacked off on seeking to improve my smoking skills because of the technology, instead I was encouraged to more care and attention and have further improved the flavor of my smoking experience beyond what the technology gave to me. Because the latter improvements are in my skills, the gains translate both in second chamber pipes and more typically designed ones.

anthony
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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Fri May 11, 2012 8:01 pm

Interesting design but it looks a bit clunky. A lot of carvers are playing with this idea and response is favorable.

The last thing I need is another excuse to buy a pipe.

I'll stick with my gourd calabash.


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acme



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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Fri May 11, 2012 8:26 pm

They are large, but weigh the same as a regular pipe because the shank is hollow. I generally try to keep the wall thickness of the air chamber under 1/8th of an inch. I do make the bowls pretty thick, but that is the style that I like

I own more than twenty calabash, and they were my main smoke before I started making the second chamber pipes. I actually measured the volume of a representative group of my calabash, and used it as a target for the volume of the second chambers. I have since made some bigger, but I never go for less - the volume is important to its function.

The main advantage of the briar second chamber pipes over calabash, beyond the fact that they are less cumbersome, is that the bowl, the hot part of the calabash, sits inside the cooling chamber heating it up. The second chamber pipes don't have that flaw.

anthony
acmepipes.com
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Dutch

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Fri May 11, 2012 10:17 pm

Anthony, thanks for your thoughts on this subject, and the addy to your site. I really like your designs with the reverse calabash, as well as your interpretation of the bakelite "baccyflap."

I have managed to add 4 of the originals to my pipe collection, and I simply love using them. They seem to dry my tobacco perfectly when used on a daily basis.

I'm posting a link to your page on your double chamber designs- http://acmepipes.com/Double-Chamber.php
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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Fri May 11, 2012 11:56 pm

acme wrote:
The main advantage of the briar second chamber pipes over calabash, beyond the fact that they are less cumbersome, is that the bowl, the hot part of the calabash, sits inside the cooling chamber heating it up. The second chamber pipes don't have that flaw.

Good point Anthony, it bears a second look.

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Smoker99

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Sat May 12, 2012 4:27 am

I have never liked sump/well system pipes like the Petes because they just create condensation chambers that create a mess I would not otherwise have. This is just an expansion on that premise. I don't care for the looks or the theory of the tubos/conducta type pipes.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Sat May 12, 2012 11:15 am

Some good thoughts here.

* The smoke is only as good as the smoker's control over combustion.

* Cool smoke is not necessarily good smoke.

* Expansion chambers both promote and redirect moisture condensation.

All of that said, it might bear to mind that if you smoke your pipe and gain some otherworldly enjoyment out of it, you're probably doing it right. If you need a gimmick, contraption, thingamabob or whatchamacallit in order to achieve this, well, there ya go.

I'm paraphrasing, but someone around here once said, "It's a block of wood with too holes in it, you stuff tobacco inside and light it on fire."

My only wish in this cruel world is that every pipe without a home can go to one, with someone who cares about it someday. All those poor, sad, starving pipes out there...no one to appreciate...have you adopted a homeless pipe today?
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Sasquatch

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Sat May 12, 2012 11:21 am

I adopted a 400 dollar Dunhill the other week and an old Zettervig handmade, so I've done my duty!
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Sat May 12, 2012 11:25 am

Won't the rest of you please take Sas' example and do your part--today? If not you... then WHO? Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad

...remember, these pipes have likely not been fed in a long, long time--if ever. Why not pick up some quality, hand-crafted Pipe Food for them while you're at it? Think of the poor pipes!
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ejames

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Sat May 12, 2012 11:32 am

I don't care much for the looks of most of this type of pipe that I have seen. Anthonys Checkmark is one I do like the looks of.
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dshpipes

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Sat May 12, 2012 12:21 pm

Please, a starving pipe is in need of your love. Won't you adopt a pipe today?

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laherb

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Sat May 12, 2012 7:17 pm

UberHuberMan wrote:
Please, a starving pipe is in need of your love. Won't you adopt a pipe today?





That's too funny! Someone really needs to make of video of badly abused pipes for that song.

Abe
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acme



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PostSubject: grunt work   Wed May 23, 2012 3:04 am

eJames, one of the checkmark pipes is soild - happend just before I went to Chicago.
I just re-did my website this evening. It isn't something I like to do, what my old job used to be, but I usually get around to it before the dust covers up the bits and bytes in the pictures.

anthony
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Natch

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Wed May 23, 2012 11:13 am

It seems to me that this concept (large chamber to cool/condense smoke) is what Kirsten and others of the numerous clone pipes of the past tried to do. I own and smoke Kirstens as part of my rotation, but brother Todd (Sas) makes an excellent point about controlling the temperature/rate of of the burn. I can get a bit sloppy and over-puff with a Kirsten and although the smoke never gets too hot or steamy, there does seem to be a loss of flavor.

It is good to see constant "experimentation" and attempts as trying new pipe designs, though, as our gentle art is a journey, and I doubt that I'll ever arrive at the perfect pipe for life? And you know, if I ever did achieve such narvana, some other puffers would dispute my arrival and argue that I am a fool, have no taste (or taste buds?), and wouldn't know a good smoke if it bit me in the tounge! (Fools that they are!). Laughing

Natch
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Dutch

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:21 am

The folks over at Quality Briar have blogged about a pipecarver from Sweden named Jonas Rosengren. His ball calabash design may appeal to some folks who don't care for the abstract design of some of the other reverse calabash designs. Here is a link to the blog for those interested. -http://www.qualitybriar.com/tag/pipe-blog/
















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alfredo_buscatti

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:50 pm

I just got wind of RC pipes. But except for Rosengren's, above, they're ugly as sin:).
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Dutch

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:41 pm

alfredo_buscatti wrote:
I just got wind of RC pipes. But except for Rosengren's, above, they're ugly as sin:).

For the most part, I would have to agree, however there are some designs that appear to pull it off with quite a bit of style, such as this new Radice AeroBilliard.....






http://www.apassionforpipes.com/neills-blog/2013/3/23/neatpipes-aerobilliard-takes-flight.html
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morganpipes

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PostSubject: Re: Reverse Calabash Designs   Tue May 28, 2013 9:01 pm

I think everyone has made some good points. I agree with Sas in that, you can end up destroying what you set out to create. If you smoke an RC too hot and too fast (and you can easily let it get away from you), there is potential for a pretty rancid smoke. An RC pipe must be treated with the same care as a traditionally drilled pipe, if not more. You cant let the chamber get too hot or it will defeat the purpose. Youve got to keep it super clean as well.

There is a place for dual chambered pipes, but theyre not for everyone. My current production is about 40% RC pipes. People still need their normal pipes Smile Personally, I just like the extra possibilities that an RC pipe gives you. In a traditionally drilled pipe a blend may taste a certain way, but in a RC pipe you get a completely different experience. Granted, this system doesnt always lend itself to graceful shapes. Although, for some pipes, its a necessary feature. In The Briar Cigar, the RC is necessary. And, as Anthony said, it really does lighten the pipe.

I dont want to get too preachy right out of the gates. Wink Just lending my opinion.
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