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 Would you Buy..........?

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Cartaphilus

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

PostSubject: Would you Buy..........?   Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:07 pm

I just talked to a dealer that has long been in the business of selling estates but, not without controversial talk surrounding him. Today, well really several days ago I noticed a pipe he was selling was really intriguing to me to say the least, it was a well known Italian. But, at a closer look it looked to have a bowl coating and you could see it had just a bit of it on the rim also (fine craftsmanship). I thought to myself, "why would anyone put a bowl coating in an Estate pipe?" Hmm, I'll leave the rest to your imagination. So the question is, would you purchase an estate pipe that someone had put a bowl coating in? I'll tell ya my reaction to the question at hand, "Hell No!" no matter how nice a pipe it is, my arse still stings from the few other bad purchases in my past I surely am not going to blindly let it happen again. And that means whether I purchase it for my collection or to smoke, makes no never mind. "Stupid is not written on my forehead no matter how many think so. So, Why would you buy a used pipe with a bowl coating in it?
He said " All his customers prefer one." Not on my side of the planet they don't, I'm sorry. So lets hear why. Wink
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pipetrepid

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Location : upstate new york
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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:35 pm

cartaphilus, i`ve encountered this situation, myself. i like and trust the dealer but the bowl coating was a deal breaker. is it there to cover an impending burnout or some gouging while "reaming" out the bowl? i think a buyer has to do the smart thing you did and say no! i don`t like bowl coatings but at least in a new pipe you can sand it out. bill
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:00 pm

pipetrepid wrote:
cartaphilus, i`ve encountered this situation, myself. i like and trust the dealer but the bowl coating was a deal breaker. is it there to cover an impending burnout or some gouging while "reaming" out the bowl? i think a buyer has to do the smart thing you did and say no! i don`t like bowl coatings but at least in a new pipe you can sand it out. bill

My same sentiments sir, I purchase a Estate pipe for two reasons. One it's already broken in, Two, or because it's rare and in good Original condition and hasn't been changed (other then being moderately smoked).
Obviously there others who either don't care or are just plain unaware of what there purchasing. I might add too that no where does he state in writing that there was a bowl coating applied, I had to ask. So either ya know what a used tobacco chamber looks like or ya don't. I wonder how many don't or just didn't notice till they got there pipe? Suspect

Also, Not all his estate pipes have a coating, just certain ones. Suspect
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pipetrepid

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:22 pm

only certain pipes have a bowl coating? hmmmmm.......... gotta wonder! bill
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ftrplt

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:42 pm

Checked my more recent estate purchases after reading this. No bowl coating/s anywhere. Not sure I've ever gotten an estate with one. Sure can't remember one cheers FTRPLT
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:00 pm

Yes, from the right vendor.
I recently bought a Peterson Deluxe from Alan at the pipeshop.uk. He coats all of his bowls with an activated charcoal and gelatin mix. I think it is a UK thing. That kind of coating wipes right out with some alcohol and a paper towel. The bowl interior was perfect. I wound be wary of a vendor who doesn't disclose the coating or doesn't coat every pipe.
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Dutch

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Age : 52
Location : On the road.......
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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:58 pm

I agree with Al. It all depends on the seller.

Some pipe restoration experts use a charcoal coating, similar to a bowl coating. Some will use this to improve the overall condition of the pipe, in trying to bring it back closely to like new condition, because visually, it simply looks more appealing to a potential buyer.

Personally, I don't consider it a coating, at least not a protective coating like you see used in a new pipe to prevent burnouts.

In my mind, it is a similar situation to having a problem with a restoration guy polishing a stem to like new condition, in order to conceal the age of the original stem. Especially with vulcanite, the more you polish a stem the thinner it gets. This eventually sets the thinner stem up for failure.

Truth is, after you polish the stem or finish out the bowl with a charcoal coating, you haven't actually concealed a burnout or thin spot in a stem. Using pipe mud to conceal a burnout, and THEN using a charcoal coating, would be an attempt to sell a pipe that otherwise would have little resale value.

Again, it all depends on the seller. If I were buying a restored pipe with a charcoal coating from Rob Cooper, Chance Whittamore, or any number of other reputable pipe restoration experts, I wouldn't give the issue a second thought.

Sometimes for all the trouble involved, it's just simpler and easier to buy from a seller who has a great reputation.
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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:32 pm

Polishing a Vulcanite stem makes it thin? Just how much are you polishing lol!
That's the biggest crock I've heard in a long time. Yes, it takes a minute bit of material off and yes, sanding the tooth marks off take more material off. Anyone that polishes or sands a stem to the point that it's too thin doesn't know what the hell there doing. Proper Polishing is done to improve a pipe not hide something.
To hide something, you cover it up, polishing does not cover up anything, it removes it.
If one could remove a burn out, gouge , defect, etc. I'd be happy but, as it is this is impossible as of yet.
Originally the pipe sold without a bowl coating and without tooth dents to add something that was not original is devaluing the item. To remove something that was not original to the piece is restoring it.
There's a difference, the problem is that there are too many yahoo's out there that call themselves restores who haven't got a clue what there doing.
Now, bowl coatings if not original to the pipe don't fricken belong in the pipe, period.
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riff raff

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:43 pm

If you pull marks out of a stem, and do so buy sanding, you definitely can make it significantly thinner than the original (and a problem for clenchers). That is why I like GBD and Falcons, they are pretty meaty and it's hard to thin them out. If you sand teeth marks (versus filling) out of say, a Comoys stem, you could be heading for trouble.

And yes, the organic coating (activated charcoal/gelatin) is easily removeable and it seems to be the coating of choice. Some folks put in a waterglass coating that gets like ceramic and is much harder/impossible to remove. I can't say if they taste bad, as I've never smoked a pipe with that coating.

I would not want an estate pipe that had a coating that couldn't be easily removed (off hand, I can't think of any of the big estate guys who use such coatings).
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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:55 pm

riff raff wrote:
If you pull marks out of a stem, and do so buy sanding, you definitely can make it significantly thinner than the original (and a problem for clenchers).  That is why I like GBD and Falcons, they are pretty meaty and it's hard to thin them out.  If you sand teeth marks (versus filling) out of say, a Comoys stem, you could be heading for trouble.

And yes, the organic coating (activated charcoal/gelatin) is easily removeable and it seems to be the coating of choice.  Some folks put in a waterglass coating that gets like ceramic and is much harder/impossible to remove.  I can't say if they taste bad, as I've never smoked a pipe with that coating.  

I would not want an estate pipe that had a coating that couldn't be easily removed (off hand, I can't think of any of the big estate guys who use such coatings).  

I have NEVER made a stem too thin from sanding it, someone that does shouldn't be sanding stems.
If the the tooth marks are severe enough to sand them out and make the stem that thin, the stem should be replaced or look to other ways of restoring it.
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Dutch

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:17 am

Ron, some of these collectible estates nowdays are 50 to 100 years old and sometimes even older. It stands to reason that they have been restored multiple times during that period, and visited the buffing wheel even more frequently. As Al stated, the tooth marks can only be reduced in appearance, by reducing the stem thickness in the button area. It's just like buffing scratches out of paint with rubbing compound, in order to remove the scratches, you have to remove some paint, but the key is not removing all of it.

I'll give you a an example of a positive experience I had with 2 pipes I bought from Chance Whittamore back around Christmas. One was a Barling Pre-Transition Billiard, and the other a straight grain Charatan Bent Brandy. If you happen to have a copy of the Spring 2015 issue of Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine, you can turn to the profile they did on Chance, and see before and after pics of both of these pipes. The Charatan had teeth marks that had been reduced to the point that they couldn't be seen, and both pipes had a charcoal coating. Chance is so skilled with his restoration abilities, it is hard for most folks to imagine they were ever in anything but pristine condition. In fact, the stems on both of these pipes shined like glass.

I've been smoking both pipes in my regular rotation for over 6 months, and neither have any internal bowl flaws. As usual, I keep the cake in my pipes very thin, and haven't found any pits or burnouts, but the carbon coating that Chance applied in both pipes, is long gone.

Chance has used this charcoal coating in every pipe I have purchased from him, except for the new unsmoked pipes that needed very little attention. As of this morning, Chance has a 100% positive feedback rating involving 8393 buyers on ebay, with no negative comments about any of his charcoal bowl coatings.

Another example of a pipe restoration expert that uses the charcoal coating is Rob Cooper. The Bruce Weaver Sandblasted Bent Brandy I purchased recently has the carbon coating, and like the 2 pipes mentioned above, has no burnouts or gouges from over zealous reaming. The pipe has smoked fantastic, and I have been very happy with all the pipes I have purchased from Mr. Cooper, as he does fantastic restoration work as well. Mr. Cooper has a 99.9% positive feedback rating as of this morning, with 12,770 positive, and 3 negative. The 3 negative were all left by the same buyer in reference to packing and shipping issues during the same purchase, but no feedback left by any buyers indicate negative responses to charcoal bowl coatings.

The reason I took time to respond to your original post, was because I wanted to point out my personal experience with these charcoal coatings, which bring a smoked pipe bowl back visually to like new condition. Personally I feel that we as pipe smokers are truly lucky to have such skilled restoration experts available to us in the hobby, and I would hate for a new pipe smoker to get the idea that either of these highly ethical gentlemen are trying to cover up flaws in a pipe during the restoration process.

I'm sure there are probably some other pipe restorers who use the charcoal coatings, but I am only speaking of the experience I have had with these 2. I do understand your concerns buying over the internet, as there are some very shady characters who would definitely take the opportunity to cover up a flaw in a severely depreciated pipe. That is why I stated that sometimes it is just better to stick with the reputable sellers, and refrain from bidding on pipes from unknown sellers, even when some of their auctions are very tempting.

The pipe community is a tight knit community that are constantly sharing this type information, so I like to think that most of the unscrupulous sellers have a hard time selling questionable pipes to educated pipemen. The sad part is, that most of the victims of this unethical behavior, are new pipe smokers who haven't had the chance to educate themselves yet.
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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:12 am

Fine, but that doesn't change the point of not stating that the bowls have been coated and that it is NOT original to the pipe. And if your going to coat bowls on estate pipes, why only coat some? This certainly leaves an unanswered question. I'm a purist and very much a perfectionist which most know by now and that's my stand on it.
And sanding is not the only recourse to remove bite marks. If a pipe is truly rare and it's stem is marked in such a way that can't be reproduced filling is always an option if one wishes to accept fills and sometimes heat can also bring the stem back to near original condition with little sanding required. Although sometimes I do realize the stems can get pretty chewed up and in this case they've already lost too much value to try and save and retain any value they would have if they were pristine. In this case I would suggest not to purchase such pipes if collectible value is what your after.
And just to add, I would not call the restorer of the pipe I seen skilled by having slopped bowl coating on the edge of the bowl rim and not cleaning it off before offering it for sale.
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riff raff

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:27 am

Can you post a link to the pipe in question?
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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:29 am

riff raff wrote:
Can you post a link to the pipe in question?

Sorry Riff, I won't do that in respect to the seller (no matter how much I disapprove of his practices)and buyer being it has closed going for much under what I would have paid had it not a coating. Wink
Just stating the fact that there are sellers out there putting coatings on estate pipes should make buyers aware and to ask questions and be wearing of such practices.

And I surely would not make up such a thing for conversation sake. Wink

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riff raff

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:58 am

Sorry, but I don't get complaining about a seller with bad practices and then not sharing that vendor. We know enough to stay away, but what about the new folks to the hobby? I guess if you are just venting, I get that.
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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:21 am

I haven't any concrete proof that he or she is doing anything unscrupulous except the questions in my own mind, why a bowl coating, why only certain pipes, why is it not in writing to see? That and I don't approve of adding anything to a pipe that wasn't original to begin with.
To be fair this does not warrant exposing the seller and that's why I won't post it. And again, the information given should be enough to make people aware of the goings on in estate sales.


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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:39 pm

Ron. this is the very first I've ever heard about someone selling estates with a bowl coating. Call me naive, but I always figured they reamed the bowls and that was it.

No, I wouldn't like to get an estate with a bowl coating either as I don't favor them. And if a seller does this for whatever reason I would clearly like to be made aware of it beforehand. It would certainly influence my buying decision.

So far all my estates have either been from bro Mattia or smokingpipes. And neither of those coat the bowls. At least the estates I've purchased.

Thanks for bring this subject up.


Cheers,

RR
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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:00 pm

Brewdude wrote:
Ron. this is the very first I've ever heard about someone selling estates with a bowl coating. Call me naive, but I always figured they reamed the bowls and that was it.

No, I wouldn't like to get an estate with a bowl coating either as I don't favor them. And if a seller does this for whatever reason I would clearly like to be made aware of it beforehand. It would certainly influence my buying decision.

So far all my estates have either been from bro Mattia or smokingpipes. And neither of those coat the bowls. At least the estates I've purchased.

Thanks for bring this subject up.


Cheers,

RR

Thank you BD, I'm glad that a few appreciate my concern and have taken my warning for what it is. Wink
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riff raff

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:10 pm

Actually, I remembered that I did buy a coated estate pipe a few months ago, that was a surprise. The seller, ShinyPipes, doesn't have the best reputation, but we struck a deal on this pipe rather easily and they took returns, so I took a chance. The pipe did come coated, but it was the easily removed charcoal coating. I was relived to find a pristine bowl which was actually quite pretty. I'm not sure why they bothered to coat the bowl. At any rate, the coating was removed quickly and it has been a nice pipe. So, I got lucky on that one (I really didn't want to have to return this shape). Well, I say "surprise" above, but from the picture below, I really should have noticed that the bowl was coated. (her ad doesn't say anything about coating bowls). In this case, it worked out for me.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/251972108816?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

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eklektos44

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:24 pm

riff raff wrote:
Actually, I remembered that I did buy a coated estate pipe a few months ago, that was a surprise.  The seller, ShinyPipes, doesn't have the best reputation, but we struck a deal on this pipe rather easily and they took returns, so I took a chance.

I'm confused. Why exactly doesn't "Shineypipes" have "the best reputation"? I've bought two pipes from him and they were both excellent. His feedback is very good. So what's the issue with this seller?
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MisterE
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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:53 pm

Just tell him you'll buy it if he removes the coating first? If he says no, that's that!

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Dutch

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:24 am

Cartaphilus wrote:
riff raff wrote:
Can you post a link to the pipe in question?

Sorry Riff, I won't do that in respect to the seller (no matter how much I disapprove of his practices)and buyer being it has closed going for much under what I would have paid had it not a coating. Wink
Just stating the fact that there are sellers out there putting coatings on estate pipes should make buyers aware and to ask questions and be wearing of such practices.

And I surely would not make up such a thing for conversation sake.  Wink


Ron, if I were to come up with a 408 symbol cryptogram similar to the one the Zodiac used, and included 2 tins of original AC Peterson Escudo for your consideration, is there any way you might consider divulging the identity of the seller?

I would certainly cover all bases, including electrical tape over the webcam of my laptop, while working on the cryptogram. If your answer is "YES," call my cell, and only let the phone ring once, and then quickly hang up, so that I will know everything is a go.
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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:48 am

What the hell are you talking about?
Ya know I though I was being informative but, evidently not. What is this fascination with a website link
some of you have? Ya wanna call me a liar while your at it? End of conversation.
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tslots

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:48 am

I know one highly respected pipe seller on eBay (coopersark) that has been coating his reconditioned estate pipe bowls for years. I've never dealt with him personally, but his reputation and feedback are excellent. I know that he always has many good, detailed pictures on his auctions and the coatings are obvious, but not always mentioned.
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eklektos44

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PostSubject: Re: Would you Buy..........?   Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:04 am

For what it's worth here's my take. I prefer the bowl coated. Breaking in pipes is a pain, and anything that makes it easier is fine by me. As long as the seller isn't hiding something by doing it I don't have a problem with it. When I see a decent picture I don't have a problem telling that the bowl's been coated. I can stick my finger in the bowl and feel, that'll usually tell me if it's hiding a flaw. So that's my view on the whole thing.
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