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 My new favorite Estate find.

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standaman



Age : 58
Location : Philadelphia
Registration date : 2016-11-17

PostSubject: My new favorite Estate find.    Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:19 pm

I just picked up a real bargain on a Vauen "Wood" bent Apple. It's made with a blonde Maple stummel fitted with a briar bowl insert. It's really beautiful with the lightly grained, pale wood (almost the color of balsa) set against the supple curves of the black acrylic stem. Of modest weight, it's thin and comfortable button and excellent balance make this an easy thing to fall in love with. Best of all I stole this beauty for $65 in almost new, barely smoked condition. New this pipe sells for $175!! This is why I buy so many estates. I love finding THE pick of the litter in a new update, and get very excited when I score big! I'll post pics of this unusual, lovely pipe ASAP.
On another issue, I'm happy to tell you that the Soring issue of Pipes &Tobacco magazine is out, and this issue features a brief article in William Serad's "Pipefuls" column about me and my custom hand made Sterling silver pipe work. You can see a brief sample of the entire article on the home page of their website. I haven't gotten my copy in the mail yet, but I'm anxious to read it. I hope you get a chance to check it out when you can.
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standaman



Age : 58
Location : Philadelphia
Registration date : 2016-11-17

PostSubject: Re: My new favorite Estate find.    Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:23 pm

That's supposed to say SPRING issue. Sorry!
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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: My new favorite Estate find.    Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:46 pm

I look forward to not only seeing the pipe, but also the article. You do some beautiful work sir!
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Brewdude

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

PostSubject: Re: My new favorite Estate find.    Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:12 pm

I'll be looking forward to this as well. Thanks for the head's up Stan!

Cool


Cheers,

RR
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Lonecoyote

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Age : 65
Location : State of Confusion
Registration date : 2016-10-15

PostSubject: Re: My new favorite Estate find.    Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:04 pm

Stan, looking forward to seeing pictures of the estate jewel you purchased. Also looking forward to reading the article about your custom silver work. It's just absolutely stunning, your a Master at the craft. All those years you being a jeweler is paying off....congratulations!!



KEEP ON PUFFING!!!
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Thistleoak

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Age : 35
Location : Northwest Michigan
Registration date : 2012-08-14

PostSubject: Re: My new favorite Estate find.    Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:01 am

Looking forward to seeing and reading more about it.
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standaman



Age : 58
Location : Philadelphia
Registration date : 2016-11-17

PostSubject: Re: My new favorite Estate find.    Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:18 am

Thanks you guys!
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standaman



Age : 58
Location : Philadelphia
Registration date : 2016-11-17

PostSubject: Re: My new favorite Estate find.    Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:36 am

I thought that I'd tell you how I managed to get an article written about my work. I met William Serad after I emailed a question to him for his column. He appreciated my question enough to ask my permission to reprint the topic in his next column. My question had to do with pipe engineering. Specifically why so many pipe manufacturers insist on designing pipes that by my standards, breathe poorly. I became aware of this situation in reading RICK Newcomb's "In Search of Pipe Dreams" chapter about how he routinely has virtually all of his pipe purchases, including the highest of high end pipes which are his good fortune to be able to afford, re drilled and opened by a professional pipe mechanic that he trusts. His standard is that an extra fluffy pipe cleaner should pass with only slight resistance all the way through to the draft hole at the bottom of the bowl.
The point is that ever since I've become accustomed and quite adept at opening the great majority of my purchases, new and estate alike, to my standards of breath ability. The question was why so many pipe makers don't get that for a pipe to be truly enjoyable, and valuable, we must be able to draw smoke with ease through it. No cigar manufacturer would consider his a premium cigar if they were routinely plugged and unsmokeable! Further I questioned why when selling or trading in an estate pipe, any noticeable modifications done to improve the draw are listed in the condition statement as detractions to its condition rather than recognizing them as proper improvements. I'm talking about professional quality modifications, not some amateur, ham handed butchery of an otherwise clean pipe.
Actually, this has changed quite recently among the new generation of artisan pipe makers like Jessie Jones, Todd Harris and Trevor Talbert. They too grew up in a world where they modified a majority of their own pipe purchases to breathe correctly, and now make pipes that breathe well right out of the box.
William Serad printed my topic in his column and he referred to my question and my name in two additional issues of P&T. In our correspondence I became aware that he resides in South Jersey, quite close to my South Philadelphia business, and asked him to stop by and visit me there. He agreed , and once he did so, our long conversation (one pipe geek to another) came around to me mentioning that I had done this private custom silver work for my own pipes. As luck would have it, at the time my collection of these customized pipes had been mailed to Scott Townsend, Jessie Jones and Primal Chheda at Smokers Haven, upon their request to see my work. Nonetheless, William graciously and out of the blue, asked if I would MIND if he were to write an article about my work and talent. My response was something like"Hamina-hamina-hamina! Yes that would be great!" After seeing the pictures of my collection and the few collaborations with my artisan friends, he agreed to write the article. William is a very kind and generous gentleman, with a professorial air about him. A man of high education and intellect, armed with a world of stories and experiences, backed by a depth of knowledge and taste that I would always look forward to conversing with him, and consider myself extremely lucky to be considered a friend of his. He virtually is THE prototype of the kind of person who smokes pipes, and a major reason for my passion for this studious, almost collegiate pursuit of knowledge about this time honored hobby. He exemplifies the type of man that I strive to be as I constantly seek opportunities to enlighten and include others, both young and old, and promote our shared passion for pipes. It's who WE ARE for the most part, brothers.
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taharris

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Age : 48
Location : Central Ohio
Registration date : 2011-11-10

PostSubject: Re: My new favorite Estate find.    Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:23 am

Stan,

That is a really cool story. Thank you for sharing.

What was the answer to your question, by the way.

Why are so many pipes drilled improperly?

Todd
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standaman



Age : 58
Location : Philadelphia
Registration date : 2016-11-17

PostSubject: Re: My new favorite Estate find.    Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:25 am

Well it's a complicated answer. First off both Wiliam and others like Scott Townsend and even Trevor Talbert will site old world established standards as sort of the default way many makers are wired to think on this subject. Scott even made the argument that at one time, historically, tobacco taste preferences were much stronger and fuller, and so manufacturers purposely made small draft holes to limit your exposure to this overly strong, bitter weed. Sounds a bit dodgy to me. The point is that there may not be a good answer other than tradition. For instance, I collect Kaywoodie pipes. Great every man's work a day pipes. A piece of Americana! But why did the genius who designed the drinkless stinger not ever notice that you can't breathe through the tiny, narrow airway, further reduced to a rectangular slot at the stinger. So if you try to improve it to actually be a well smoking pipe, you eventually come to the conclusion that you MUST remove the stinger! But after you carefully truncate that useless stinger that never saved a single bit of moisture from reaching a single person's tongue, you immediately reduce the value of the pipe. Suddenly it will be reported as "sorry but the stinger has been cut" instead of saying "thankfully the last owner knew enough to remove the ridiculous, restrictive, useless stinger so you can actually smoke this pipe. Congratulations!!" The question is what's more important to you? Are you a collector of pipes or a smoker of pipes. I decided long ago that they got it wrong in the 50s or whenever they decided to sell more pipes by promising that this stupid ball of aluminum would give you the sweetest , driest smoke. So I carefully, surgically removed all of them with precision and the look of a factory choice to give you instead, a smooth smoking pipe. And by the way, here's a new thing called "pipe cleaners" for any moisture. To me, these Kaywoodies are more valuable. But to the collector they've been forever destroyed because they're not "original ".
Button slots are an important way to identify the maker of a pipe when the nomenclature has been buffed away, or it's a shop pipe made for the store by another, larger manufacturer. But why do so many make these incredibly thin slots that even the thinnest of pipe cleaners has great difficulty getting through. So I will always open this slot. With my burrs and files and sanding wheels and paper, I create a thicker slot with beveled, smooth edges and many times drill a round ball burr right through the slot at the draft hole ( chamfered of course) to pass both ends of a tapered pipe cleaner. The pipe has been liberated, dare I say FREED from the tyranny of too thin a slot. Damm the historical value.
Another way we can look at this is that if a pipe comes to you restricted, you can always open it up, or pay someone to do it. If you do it yourself you do run the constant risk of damaging the pipe. Welcome to the first rule of repair. If your scared, get a dog! Or better yet, pay someone to do it for you. On the other hand if some idiot OVER opened any part of the drilling too wide, there's nothing for you to do to fix that, to my knowledge. So you must be reserved in these modifications and patient as well. I've messed up a few (very few) pipes because I was too aggressive or impatient. As you can see there's no one answer for all situations. Let's thank God that this new wave of artisans have decided to make pipes that they would want to smoke. Maybe the question will become obsellite in a future where every pipe breathes well!
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standaman



Age : 58
Location : Philadelphia
Registration date : 2016-11-17

PostSubject: My new Favorite Estate find.   Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:48 am

That word is "obsolete". I hate spelling errors!
William Serad agreed with my basic opinions on this issue. He too has modified numerous pipes for himself. As to the printing of my question in his column "Pipefuls" he was a bit disappointed that the subject didn't receive a ton of comment or even disagreement. He expected it to generate more controversy. So in the next quarterly issue he mentioned the lack of interest in "Mr Stanley Nigro's topic". He printed my name a third time in the next issue as well. I was starting to feel important there for a New York minute! In the end I think that opinions must vary, but a lot of seasoned pipe smokers probably do what William and I do, faced with a pipe we like that does not breathe. But how many other, less adventurous or experienced smokers either accepted this fate as necessary, or discarded or sold the pipe as unsmokeable? I buy tons of estates that have horrible draws, yet obviously were well smoked, even maybe considered a favorite pipe, and it leaves me wondering why? How could a person enjoy not fully tasting the smoke, having to frequently re-light the bowl, day after day for many years? Maybe I'm NUTS? Maybe they are right? I kinda doubt it though. I'm almost always right, and I'm never in doubt!

Your Brother, Stan

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WarlockBob

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Age : 25
Location : Beaverton, OR
Registration date : 2012-09-30

PostSubject: Re: My new favorite Estate find.    Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:58 am

standaman wrote:
That word is "obsolete".  I hate spelling errors!
William Serad agreed with my basic opinions on this issue.  He too has modified numerous pipes for himself.  As to the printing of my question in his column "Pipefuls" he was a bit disappointed that the subject didn't receive a ton of comment or even disagreement.  He expected it to generate more controversy.  So in the next quarterly issue he mentioned the lack of interest in "Mr Stanley Nigro's topic".  He printed my name a third time in the next issue as well.  I was starting to feel important there for a New York minute!  In the end I think that opinions must vary, but  a lot of seasoned pipe smokers probably do what William and I do, faced with a pipe we like that does not breathe.  But how many other, less adventurous or experienced smokers either accepted this fate as necessary, or discarded or sold the pipe as unsmokeable?  I buy tons of estates that have horrible draws, yet obviously were well smoked, even maybe considered a favorite pipe, and it leaves me wondering why?  How could a person enjoy not fully tasting the smoke, having to frequently re-light the bowl, day after day for many years?  Maybe I'm NUTS?  Maybe they are right?  I kinda doubt it though.  I'm almost always right, and I'm never in doubt!

Your Brother,  Stan


As a younger pipe smoker (and very good friends with Jesse, having attended the same college at the same time), I agree wholeheartedly that most older, factory pipes need a bit of work before they smoke as competently as I'd prefer.

In regards to well-smoked pipes with horrible draws, I feel that 50% of the issue could be pipe smokers not realizing that the draw could be modified, and 50% is improper care/cleaning of the pipe. On the topic of estate pipes, I am fascinated by how many I find with draft holes almost completely junked up. I've had a few especially dirty ones open up by 1/32" to 1/16" just from a very thorough cleaning!

I certainly don't mean to knock this mentality (I find myself falling into this trap with Carter Hall), but it reminds me of the stories of the older gentlemen going to the local tobacconist or drug store, buying some OTC cherry blend, and smoking it exclusively for 40 years.

Was it good? Maybe.
Did they do it because that's what they had? More than likely.
Was it necessarily the best thing? I doubt it.

It's the same thing with Kaywoodies and stingers, etc.

Just my two cents on the topic... Smile
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standaman



Age : 58
Location : Philadelphia
Registration date : 2016-11-17

PostSubject: My new Favorite Estate find.   Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:33 pm

To WarlockBob- I agree with you. I've purchased batches of pipes, handed to me in a plastic t-shirt bag, for $1.00 a piece that had obviously been smoked literally "To Death", never cleaned ever. This smoker thought of a pipe as simply a utilitarian thing, like a comb or a shoe. I've met men like these who've told me they buy one pipe. They smoke it till they can't smoke it anymore or burn it out. Then they go to their favorite tobacconist and buy another basket pipe for twenty bucks, and smoke that till the next one. I've seen one memorable straight pot that had a build up of cake that had almost completely filled the bowl, all the way to a small funnel shaped spot at the top leading to a very narrow hole leading to the draft hole. Of the three quarter inch opening of the original bowl, the cake was easily 13/16ths thick, I kid you not!! How the bowl didn't split was amazing! I wanted to keep it as the ultimate example of how NOT to care for a pipe. But I gave into my desire, the challenge of restoring this abused little pipe to usable shape. I accomplished my goal well, and still have that poor pipe. The question is how did he smoke it at all, for lets say, the last 20 or 30 smokes? He must have been loading a mere pinch of baccy at a time, like a one-hitter! A guy like that doesn't give a shit about proper engineering. The man I mentioned earlier who smokes one pipe at a time was named Dwight. He was in his eighties. He smoked Grainger and surprisingly Early Morning Pipe for a change of pace, and he told me he smokes his pipe from the second his eyes open in the morning until he lays his head down to sleep at night. He admitted that he sometimes even smoked IN THE SHOWER!! Then he told me that he was a WWII veteran who fought in the Battle Of The Bulge!! Dwight was a mans man, and he did whatever he wanted after surviving the German's Hell! I don't blame him. Would any of you?
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Brewdude

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

PostSubject: Re: My new favorite Estate find.    Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:04 pm

Very well and succinctly stated Stan. That's a very good evaluation and well thought through. No wonder Serad wanted to quote you!

Cool


Cheers,

RR
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standaman



Age : 58
Location : Philadelphia
Registration date : 2016-11-17

PostSubject: My new Favorite Estate find.   Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:46 pm

Thank you BREWDUDE- I sometimes worry about the length of my posts. I notice that the majority of others post very brief comments. Maybe a sentence or two, and I'll admit to some insecurity about being perceived as verbose or just a plain old "Wind Bag"! It's not my intention, and believe it or not, I try my best to edit my words for economy. I just haven't mastered brevity yet, while still getting my point across. Thanks for your observation of "succinctly". It makes me feel better about my writing!

Brother Stan
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Brewdude

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

PostSubject: Re: My new favorite Estate find.    Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:57 pm

standaman wrote:
Thank you BREWDUDE-  I sometimes worry about the length of my posts.  I notice that the majority of others post very brief comments.  Maybe a sentence or two, and I'll admit to some insecurity about being perceived as verbose or just a plain old "Wind Bag"!  It's not my intention, and believe it or not, I try my best to edit my words for economy.  I just haven't mastered brevity yet, while still getting my point across.  Thanks for your observation of "succinctly".  It makes me feel better about my writing!

Brother Stan

Not at all Stan. In fact I was rather impressed with your observations and analysis of the issue, including and especially how exacting you were in your presentation of the data. Looks like you've spent some time sussing this out.

Many of us, myself including, are not nearly as fluent in marshalling the details and presenting them in a logical fashion as you seem to be. Frankly I believe you'd be a great author for articles in P&T, NASPC, PipesMag.com, and such. You clearly speak from confidence and experience.

Please feel free to continue writing your responses in whatever detail might necessitate. Just don't expect the minions like myself to be as verbose, unless it's about beer or something!  clown


Cheers,

RR
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