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 Considering a Meer

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idbowman

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Age : 35
Location : Painesville, OH
Registration date : 2011-12-19

PostSubject: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:03 pm

So...until now I've pretty much just been a briar guy, plus a good handful of cobs.

I've never really wanted a meer until recently, but I'm startin' to feel that bug coming on. I know there's a bit more care in handling that goes along with it, which is probably worth it considering that it doesn't impart its own character and give you a "truer" taste of the blend.

Still, I thought I'd toss a topic out there to have everyone fill me it - how would caring for a meer differ from a briar? If decide to pull the trigger, what am I getting myself into?
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Feazelle-n-it

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Age : 36
Location : Roanoke, VA
Registration date : 2014-10-07

PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:22 pm

I find my meers easier to take care of. You don't have to build a cake, or smoke once every 24 hours. Do be careful because they are more fragile than briar, so don't drop it or bang it on a hard surface (standard stuff).

Don't build a cake. It can crack the pipe because the cake expands faster than the meer. Just load, smoke, and clean.

Standard cleaning applies. When removing/inserting the stem always turn clockwise!! If you turn counter you can unscrew the tenon. To clean the bowl just bend a pipe cleaner in a U and run it in the inside of the bowl. This will help to keep a cake from forming. Because the meer is so absorbent I have found that I can usually smoke two or three bowls before I have to properly let it dry.

If you smoke outside stick with the briar in the colder months. The extreme temps can cause it to crack (so I've heard). I smoke mine occasionally in 30 degree weather without problems, but I'm a holder not a clencher.

Lastly get something you like. The imagination is your only limit when it comes to design. I got Bahri Tuner www.meerschaumpipemaster.net to custom make my Raven pipe and it only cost me $90 with shipping. I highly recommend him and if he doesn't have what you want he will make it. My wife has reached out to him about a custom pipe for Christmas (that's all I know on that). Plus his prices are way better than any other I've seen.
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idbowman

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Age : 35
Location : Painesville, OH
Registration date : 2011-12-19

PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:44 pm

Any pictures of that Raven?

With the cake, is it just a matter of taking care to fully clean the bowl after each smoke, or is there still the occasional reaming to clear anything away (I'm hoping for the former...the thought of attempting to ream a meer is kind of terrifying).
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Feazelle-n-it

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Age : 36
Location : Roanoke, VA
Registration date : 2014-10-07

PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:44 pm

Pictures are here http://www.brothersofbriar.com/t28656-custom-meerschaum-pipes .

As far as reaming goes, you should never have to ream a meer, as long as you stay on top of the cleaning. I make sure to run my finger on the inside of the bowl after cleaning to make sure it is still smooth. I've never had to dig anything off of it. Since meerschaum never really burns it shouldn't build a cake. Also it will never burn out like a briar can.
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DrT999

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Age : 59
Location : Piedmont of North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-08-31

PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:41 pm

I echo the general comments made above. As an outside smoker, I make certain not to smoke my meers any time it's anywhere close to freezing.

And even I haven't been able to burn out a meer! Cool
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ftrplt

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Age : 70
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:07 pm

You might want to be careful not to touch/hold the meer itself while smoking your pipe. Oils from your fingers may/can mix with the warm wax on the outside of the meer. It's possible to end up with blotches/fingerprints/rub marks on your meer as it colors. I'm always careful to hold my meers by the stem when smoking them. FWIW!! FTRPLT
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Feazelle-n-it

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Age : 36
Location : Roanoke, VA
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:14 pm

ftrplt wrote:
You might want to be careful not to touch/hold the meer itself while smoking your pipe. Oils from your fingers may/can mix with the warm wax on the outside of the meer. It's possible to end up with blotches/fingerprints/rub marks on your meer as it colors. I'm always careful to hold my meers by the stem when smoking them. FWIW!! FTRPLT

I have heard about that, but I have never seen that happen first hand. I hold my pipes just like any other pipe. The coloration is all part of the process to me. It will color itself over time as it absorbs moisture from the tobacco so I don't worry about the wax coating.

I have also spoken with some meer pipe makers on the subject and unless you are getting the pipe really hot it's not going to change the wax coating.
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idbowman

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Age : 35
Location : Painesville, OH
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:17 pm

That Raven is very cool...and that price is fantastic. If he does custom orders at that rate, I'm just about sold (would love a bulldog. Not a bulldog as in the standard pipe shape, but a figural of the actual dog breed).


Not to thrilled about holding it by the stem, but I guess that's not the biggest deal in the world (beats the idea of donning white, lint free gloves whenever I wanted to smoke the thing).
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Feazelle-n-it

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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:22 pm

idbowman wrote:
That Raven is very cool...and that price is fantastic.  If he does custom orders at that rate, I'm just about sold (would love a bulldog.  Not a bulldog as in the standard pipe shape, but a figural of the actual dog breed).

Not to thrilled about holding it by the stem, but I guess that's not the biggest deal in the world (beats the idea of donning white, lint free gloves whenever I wanted to smoke the thing).

He did that Raven pipe off a picture I sent him that I found online. It turned out amazing. I'm sure he could do the same for a Bulldog.

As I stated before I hold all mine like normal and I've never seen any damage or discoloration to the wax. But to each his own. That being said I wouldn't go holding it if I had just changed the oil in my car or was digging in the garden. A normal level of "clean" should suffice.
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:17 pm

I have three meers.   Two I smoke out in the below-freezing, both SMS meers, because I dig the way Star of the East tastes in 'em, no problems.   I took the third, an IMP meer, out in much warmer weather, and it cracked at the shank.   Felt like I broke a tooth clenching the thing in my jaw, snapped and sounded like a .22.  Laughing   The reason was condensation dribbled down where the heat from the tobacco was making a hot-spot, and like squirting a light bulb with water, boom.  

Meer is sensitive stuff.  It scratches and chips easily, shows fingerprints after a while, they to be cleaned regularly, but they're cool-looking and fun to watch change smoking it for years.  

Will I buy any more?  Probably not.  Two is enough.  Am I glad I have the few I do?  Sure.   Hell, IDB, if you wanna try a meer for cheap, I had the IMP that cracked fixed by Norwood with a band, can't even tell otherwise, and it's a real looker-- $40 and I'll ship it to your door.  Barely smoked it.   The only reason why I don't smoke it is it just holds too much tobacco for my needs.  Otherwise it works great.   PM me if you're interested, I'll send you a picture.

Cool
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puros_bran
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:26 pm

Doesn't the SMS have a standard type stem instead of that little tube thingy most others have???

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Feazelle-n-it

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Age : 36
Location : Roanoke, VA
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:28 pm

The only Meers I've ever seen have push/pull tenons. I've never owned an SMS though.
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:38 pm

CAO Becklers had the little tube.. And another no name I had was the same.. The only ones I've actually seen different than that set up was the Barling/Pete and the Altinok.. Seems like SMS advertised a standard setup but I can't remember.

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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:48 pm

I have but one Meer. A Royal Meerscham handcarved block made in Turkey. It's basically an apple shape, 1/2 bent, bowl carved like a golf ball. Nice pipe. Stem is acrylic in a tan swirl style.

It came as as gift from one of the brewery partners many years ago, and I've probably smoked it  less than 20 times. Nice enough pipe. So, it has only started to color on the upper rim area.

Not sure why I haven't smoked it more. It's certainly neutral on influencing the pipe weed, but it just doesn't stand out as a pipe that figures in my regular rotation. Guess I need to pay more attention to it.

No I don't want to sell it!

Wink



Cheers,

RR
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puros_bran
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:12 pm

How bout some pics? Not fair teasing it all up like that without a pic.

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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:23 pm

puros_bran wrote:
How bout some pics?   Not fair teasing it all up like that without a pic.

Looks pretty much like this-

http://www.royalmeerschaumpipes.com/Deluxe-Golfball-Meerschaum-Pipes-p/1070.htm



Cheers,

RR
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:09 am

the push-pull tenon used in a lot of meers is delrin. They still advise removing and assembling in a clockwise direction.

I simply wash my hands well before handling meers and haven't had any blotches appear.

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puros_bran
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:22 am

I like that Brew... I've debated an Altinok for 5-6 years.

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huffelpuff

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Age : 47
Location : Laramie, WY
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:54 am

I've been smoking meers for more than 20 years. Just keep your hands clean and you should be fine to hold it however you want. I'm a bit of a rebel though. I smoke them in the cold, in the snow, in the rain. I figure if it breaks it breaks. I have that attitude because I had one virtually explode on me in 100 degree heat. If its going to break it doesn't matter how much you baby it its going to break. Be as gentle as you can and just enjoy it for what it is. Don't get all wrapped up in rules.
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:24 am

puros_bran wrote:
CAO Becklers had the little tube.. And another no name I had was the same.. The only ones I've actually seen  different than that set up was the Barling/Pete and the Altinok..  Seems like SMS advertised a standard setup but I can't remember.

SMS has this weird threaded plastic collar that screws into the pipe, then another piece that screws into the stem, so basically I have to use a clockwise motion to separate the stem from the shank or I'd just be unscrewing all the stupid bits and pieces SMS uses. Laughing They're great pipes for the money, not super constricted airflow (like some meers), so...

Cool
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:26 am

huffelpuff wrote:
I've been smoking meers for more than 20 years. Just keep your hands clean and you should be fine to hold it however you want. I'm a bit of a rebel though. I smoke them in the cold, in the snow, in the rain. I figure if it breaks it breaks. I have that attitude because I had one virtually explode on me in 100 degree heat. If its going to break it doesn't matter how much you baby it its going to break. Be as gentle as you can and just enjoy it for what it is. Don't get all wrapped up in rules.

This is how I feel about the whole meer thing.   The IMP meer that self-destructed was design flaw-- mortise/tenon setup was extremely tight, and moisture + heat + pressure... I know exactly why it broke in 65F weather. Laughing They just do that sometimes...

...the only reason why I wear gloves and don't touch one of them is I want to see the coloration difference between that one and one I do hold, which is gonna take a long time.   20 years or so.  Laughing  

Meerschaum can get effing HOT while smoked, so on smaller pipes holding 'em by the bowl isn't advisable anyway.  

Cool
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:35 am

Maybe it was IMP I'm thinking of... What brand was it smokingpipes used to sell? Supposedly twin brothers carved them or something.

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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:17 am

I got my IMP from smokingpipes... :shrug:
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idbowman

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PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:21 am

Thanks for the info, all.

Kyle, mighty fine offer and I think I'll take you up on it - check your PMs if you haven't already.


My HOPE is that I'll get a hold of the meer, find I enjoy it very much, and decide to get at custom Bully done down the road. I don't really see myself gearing my collection towards meers (but who knows with these things), I could see it being nice having two or three to complement the usual briars.
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KevinM



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Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Considering a Meer   Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:49 pm

I have three meers, all of them in traditional, not figurative shapes, which just look heavy and, well, odd, to me, though others prize them. Meers are fine, but I don't see a point of preference when compared to a briar or 'umble cob. I find that the meer coloring thing is a distraction, so I mostly just smoke mine, though with accommodations to season and weather as described by the previous posters. One of my meers has a thumb print on the bowl from holding it. I hold the others the same way, and there's no thumb print. Each of my meers seems to have a personality of its own, to some extent. One of my meers seems softer than the other two, judging by the fine scratches. One of my meers is coloring nicely (the one with the thumb print); another has what looks like a bathtub ring at mid-bowl, and the other seems to be coloring reluctantly. Get block meer, not the kind that's pressed. (You likely know that.) I've noticed attractive prices from estate pipe sites. Look for a meer that comes with a fitted case, if you can find one. Good luck.
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