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 Got my pipe back from Norwood

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Dave_In_Philly

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Age : 36
Location : Philly
Registration date : 2011-08-18

PostSubject: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:47 am

So I am one who wholeheartedly recommends Mike Myers at Walker to anyone needing stem work done. My only criticism would be his backlog. I sent two pipes in to be fitted with new vulcanite stems and it took about eight weeks, not including shipping time.

Based on Mr. Cartaphilus' glowing recommendation of Floyd Norwood I decided to have a new stem made for an old Peterson 80s that currently has a very poorly made replacement stem. I put the pipe in the mail as I left the office last Tuesday evening, and it was on my doorstep yesterday (I presume it would have been here Tuesday had it not been for the holiday.) The stem is shaped perfectly. The panels are square, and the taper is spot on, and the button is just right.

At first there was an obvious problem with the draw, but I ran a pipe cleaner through and dislodged a few chunks of Lucite that seem to have hung on. The draw is still tighter than I expected, but not so tight that I anticipate a problem smoking it.

I opted for a Lucite stem as the pipe is a bit of a beater, and I didn't want to be bothered keeping the vulcanite is good order. I didn't specify a color, and just assumed that it would be black. I was wrong. Its a bluish-gray swirl that isn't particularly unattractive, but just isn't something I would have chosen for myself.

Also, I don't know who actually made the stem, but I corresponded with Ken, not Floyd.

If the pipe smokes as well as I expect it will, I will be sending more pipes to Norwood, but I'll be careful to specify the color of the stem I want.


Last edited by Dave_In_Philly on Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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Briar Spirit

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Age : 49
Location : England UK
Registration date : 2012-08-30

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:54 am

Awesome BUT, where's the piccies!!!
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pepesdad1

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Age : 73
Location : Tallahassee, Florida
Registration date : 2013-03-03

PostSubject: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:48 pm

Norwoods' is wonderful.

Stem work that made two pipes that I sent him into two wonderful daily smokers.

Highly recommend his shop.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:19 pm

Used Norwood twice, once for a friend who sat on his pipe like a dumbarse and cracked the shank, and once on meerschaum. Ace work, cheap prices and quick turnaround. cheers

Mike and Floyd are both as cool as they get.

Cool
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:18 pm

I had a good experience with Norwood on a new stem for a James Upshall Silver Spigot. He turned it around in a total of four days.

I'm considering sending my new Dunhill CK to him to put a plug in the 6 mm filter stem. He quoted me $9 for the fix...
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daveinlax

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Location : Wisconsin
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:55 pm

From my experience I would NEVER Send a pipe of mine to Norwood again. They butchered a replacement tenon that had to be replaced again by Nite Owl. Those blind ftards sent the pipe back to me looking like it had a broken leg! I have plenty of pipes to smoke speed ain't what I'm looking for. Shocked
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Thu Dec 29, 2016 7:34 pm

Well, I just got back a Charatan Canadian from Norwood and it looks great to me. I had dropped it and the stem just ticked the foot of a piece of furniture. Had no idea that vulcanite will snap just as readily, apparently, as acrylic. Pipe was returned in less than a week--over Christmas, no less. I'm not going to wait three months for a friggin' pipe repair; in that time I could get materials from Pimo, learn to do it myself, and be ahead of the game. I won't, though, because I rarely need the service. Knock on wood...er, I hope.

http://www.norwoodspiperepair.com/
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Lonecoyote

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Age : 66
Location : State of Confusion
Registration date : 2016-10-15

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:09 am

Richard, post a picture of the pipe when you have time, thanks.

KEEP ON PUFFING!!!
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:58 am

This pic sux, but it's just a plain ol' regular size (5.75") Charatan Special, shape 0120. I like old Charatans a lot, but the shapes usually throw me off. This one is so conventional it hurts. Post-trauma--like, just now:

" />
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Lonecoyote

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Age : 66
Location : State of Confusion
Registration date : 2016-10-15

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:02 am

Richard, thanks for posting the picture. Very nice pipe and the stem looks original. The pipe has a good looking grain, now smoke it for the New Year cheers cheers

KEEP ON PUFFING!!!
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:18 pm

Back when Floyd ran the show at Norwoods and before I started making pipes, I sent probably ten or more pipes to him for repair and never had any problems and they looked new when I received them back. Have nothing but, GOOD to say about Floyd not to mention he was very helpful in pointing me in the right direction as how to repair my own. I would imagine his son is just as good being he was taught by him.
Also, I know if anyone was unhappy with his work he would have made it right at the drop of a hat. Wink
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Sasquatch

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

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:21 am

This is a Dunhill a friend of mine had re-stemmed by Norwood's recently. I think the pipe community is full of people who are too nice to make a fuss. Anyway, sending this out as finished product is imho unacceptable.

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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:47 am

That is sad Sas, I've never known Floyd to do such work, obviously things have changed there.
I would let him know about it so he can make things right and change the way things are done.
I'd hate to see Floyd get a bad rep after all these years of fine work. Embarassed Sad
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Sasquatch

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

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:15 pm

My friend was dissapointed to say the least.  And the response from Norwood's shop was not real positive (EDIT: this is my memory of the situation from... 6 months or a year ago, my friend thinks he in fact did not contact them).  So, onward and upward.   Now, maybe they had a bad day, it happens.  But the fact that this would get out of a repair shop, and on a real nice pipe, and would be met with indifference when the customer questioned it.... yeah something's changed.


Last edited by Sasquatch on Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:57 pm

That sucks for the poor customer. Thanks for letting us know, Sas'. That pipe should have never been returned to the customer as is. Not only are there the holes but the jonction stem/shank seems incorrectly fitted as well.
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:16 pm

I've seen some cheap stems on cheap pipes in my day, but never anything with holes in it. Looks like something defective picked up on ebay, imported from Dontgiveadamnistan. This inconsistency of Norwood is bothersome. Someone should take pity and send them a link to this thread.
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daveinlax

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Location : Wisconsin
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:24 pm

Cartaphilus wrote:
That is sad Sas, I've never known Floyd to do such work, obviously things have changed there.
I would let him know about it so he can make things right and change the way things are done.
I'd hate to see Floyd get a bad rep after all these years of fine work. Embarassed Sad

If anything there changed it was over 10 years ago when they butchered my pipe and they didn't give a fuck about it. Shocked
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:47 pm

affraid
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Stinger4me



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

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:59 pm

Bad news! I must have 10-12 repair jobs which were done by Norwood's and all of them were were done and no complaints from this customer. I am curious about what has happened to the business. These days it is getting tough to find qualified firms to make repairs.

Stinger
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Lonecoyote

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Age : 66
Location : State of Confusion
Registration date : 2016-10-15

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:15 pm

Sas, did you make an attempt to send the pipe back for a properly made better quality stem? That's a great pipe to have a stem with tiny holes on it.

KEEP ON PUFFING!!!
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Sasquatch

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

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:30 pm

I have gone back to my friend for details so that I don't mis-represent this, and I have no intention of reporting every last word spoken between 2 other adults, I'll fill in as I can though here, and as accurately as possible. I don't have a hate on for Norwood's, I wish there were more good pipe repair places - it's a dying art.

But the point is, this guy sent in two pipes, both came back totally botched, totally unacceptable. Work like that can't leave the shop. If work like that DOES leave the shop, you gotta get on top of it with apologies, free swag, and a re-do. So I can't sit here and watch people ooh and aah over a shop that I've seen some pretty shitty work out of over the years. Every once in awhile, a piper comes to me and says "Sas, does this look okay?" and even sometimes "Sas, do you think you can fix this?" when someone else has worked on a pipe. I've seen some stuff that's made me shudder out of a few different "experts".

And look, this pipe repair thing is HARD. There's a reason hardly anybody does it. Hell, I broke a tenon on my own Radice a few months back, thought I'd quickly drill it out and do a delrin insert. Blew it right up, had to make a whole new stem. LOL. But then... I don't do pipe repair for a living either. Making 'em and fixing 'em isn't quite the same set of operations.

But bad work is bad work. Burnt ebonite is burnt. Dull tools are dull. Poor polishing is poor polishing. These things are easily quantified.
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Lonecoyote

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Age : 66
Location : State of Confusion
Registration date : 2016-10-15

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:49 pm

Sas, give Dan a call from Paul's Pipe Shop in Michigan. Paul is no longer with us but his son Dan is a good guy to deal with!! Take a look at his website, even has what he calls a pipe hospital, excellent repairs!!  This place has been in business forever and my grandfather always dealt with Paul. A nice place to visit, more pipes under one roof than you can imagine. Even a pipe museum on the premises.      www.paulspipeshop.com/

KEEP ON PUFFING!!!


Last edited by Lonecoyote on Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Cartaphilus

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Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:54 pm

Well, y'all got me feeling bad now that I boasted his work all these years, I had no idea that this kind of work was being put out through them. All I can say is I've never gotten a poor job done by Floyd out of the many pipes I had him do about 5 or more years ago. Please accept my deepest apology.
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LL

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Location : KCMO
Registration date : 2007-12-29

PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:32 pm

Hi guys.

Sas gets it.  

I posted to another forum a while back about why there are so few pipe repairmen, and came up with the following.  Thought I'd cut & paste it here.

-------------------

In the pipe repair world, for reasons lost to history, the output of repair shops is viewed as a consumer commodity in the same way as tires, toasters, or cameras. When buying those items, the only difference is who sells them to you and for how much. The quality of the same make & model item is the same at all retail outlets.

In the artisan pipe making world the output of carvers is unique, though, and each piece is considered individually and priced accordingly.

While the second case is fitting and economically sustainable, the first is not.

There are several reasons why carvers outnumber repairmen by fifty (or more) to one in our hobby, among them being the equipment and inventory requirements. While a carver needs only what's required to create pipes that fulfill a chosen aesthetic, a full-service repairman needs the tools and materials to replicate the work of ALL carvers and brands, both new and old (some go back a century or more), and in every style.

Another reason is the stress of working on someone else's property. It is enormous. There are no "do-overs". Tossing a project into the fireplace when a fatal mistake is made is not an option.

But the main reason is the commodity pricing structure, especially when it comes to replacement stems. No matter the quality or price of the original pipe, there's an expectation that a new stem for it should cost a fixed, nominal amount.

What pipe repairmen do however, is not the same as being a retailer of tires, toasters, or cameras. They sell labor, not merchandise.

In fact, it's not even equivalent labor. Most pipe makers agree that the stem often takes as much time to shape---sometimes more---than the rest of the pipe. In addition, shaping a replacement stem after the stummel is complete and its shape cannot be further modified requires the stem to be made "in a vacuum" to fit that stummel exactly. That adds to the difficulty considerably, and takes additional time. Then, the labor/time demand is (often) increased still again by requiring the replacement to exactly match the original in external dimensions. (The original maker didn't have to follow any pattern or meet any particular set of dimensions... whatever simply "looked right" to them became the finished product.)  Such dimension matching is unforgiving and slow-going at the best of times.

For the record, and to be 100% clear, I am emphatically NOT criticizing or trying to minimize what "whole" pipe makers do in any way---being truly good at it is insanely difficult and requires having ALL of MANY uncommon skills rolled into a single person. I know any number of them personally, and respect what they do---and am occasionally in awe of what they do---more every day. That their work and business model is more linear and streamlined isn't something they are responsible for creating, it's simply how things are.

It's the combination of those three main things---high financial barrier to entry, the stress of working on other people's property, and the laborious nature of matching the work of others as opposed to creating it in the first place---that keeps people from entering the repair field (or staying with it for long when they do).

Entire articles have been written about this situation before by highly qualified people, btw. Here's a good one:

http://talbertpipes.blogspot.com/201...pe-repair.html

So, what's my point with all this? It is to take a swing at raising awareness, and thereby, eventually, make the specialty field of pipe repair more attractive to newcomers by encouraging them to adopt a tradesman model of business instead of a fixed-price commodity one. In short, price their work according to time spent instead of by simplified task categories. That's how it has always been for other tradesmen, from plumbers to machinists to welders. Try getting a fixed-price/categorical quote from one of those guys for clearing a blocked drain, machining an antique motorcycle engine part from billet, or repairing a cracked flange on an oil pipeline. Their pricing is, and has always been, based on labor and (when applicable) materials.

I think that such an approach would not only help to attract more repairmen, but, over the long term, would benefit their customers. First, since there would be more of them, turnaround times would improve. Second, because the quality of EVERYTHING in life varies, workmanship included, after a while skill would correspond with cost. Demand would make it so.

Why would that correspondence be a Good Thing when shopping? Consider the following sets of photos.  Four replacement stems are shown (each in top and side view), with their REDONE (by a different shop) replacement next to them.

How that situation came about was because somebody thought that since replacement stems cost essentially the same, he might as well go with the closest shop to possibly save on shipping time and postage.  Had that first shop not been able to "hide in the level pricing bushes," the customer might have been curious why shops charged different rates, done some digging, and been spared having to buy a second set of replacements before he was satisfied.
















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Sasquatch

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PostSubject: Re: Got my pipe back from Norwood   Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:30 pm

The other side of this is that a guy can do 20,000 repairs just perfect, and 1 little screw up, and it's "Ohh my god this guy's a fucktard!" all over Facebook, right?

The picture I posted is one of 2 pipes my friend got back. This was not the Dunhill, I was wrong. The Dunhill was a military mount. And the stem that came back for it was totally horrible in a different way. He thinks he did not go back to Norwood about it, being basically disgusted with it. I remember the incident differently, I was certain that he had asked about the bulldog stem (I will edit my previous post to indicate this).

So it looks like this left the shop and went unreported. So going off the deep end about it is maybe not real fair to the repair shop in question. At the same time, you can't say "they never knew about it". It's obviously garbage material and there's no way anyone should have boxed that up and shipped it, so that's my official stance here - that shouldn't have been shipped out.
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