Bad Pipe?

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Log in

Search on Site

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Recent Posts

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

leacha

Preferred Member
Jun 19, 2013
940
2
Colorado
I just received my new Peterson St. Pats pipe (shape 107) and while it's beautiful on the outside I have some concerns on the construction. Whenever I receive a new pipe I insert a pipe cleaner to see if it would pass cleanly. The pipe cleaner did not go in and seemed to have stopped. I tried it three times and it finely passed through to the bowl on the third time. I then shined a high powered flash light through the bowl and looked down the bit. The drilling is off.
I next pulled the stem off and had a look. The mortise is drilled twice as long as the tenon. Almost as if it was being constructed for a filter. It is a non filter pipe BTW. After checking my other pipes, none of them have that big of a gap between the mortise and tenon.
So while looking at it I twisted the stem so that the Peterson “P” was upside down. I then looked down the bit again and the draft hole was lined up a little better but was still off.
With all of the quality concerns about Peterson pipes lately, my question is this. Is this a screwed up constructed pipe. If it was your pipe would you return it?

 

ravkesef

Preferred Member
Aug 10, 2010
2,530
4
Cheshire, CT
It's not my pipe, it's yours, and you're the final judge. If you don't like it, by all means return it. The company is ethical, and will take it back and exchange it for one that will satisfy you, or refund your money.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,422
146
The P-lip can sometimes be bear to get a cleaner through all the way to the bowl. I put a wee bend in the tip of the cleaner and when it hangs up, twist it a bit while pushing it towards the bowl. Usually works for me.
Unlike some other members I've never experienced a Peterson that had a production deficiency. Most of my 30+ pipes are Pete's, some P-lips, some not. Some system, some not. All are bent to some degree so I would expect if any wouldn't pass the cleaner test, those wouldn't. All do, although it is a struggle on a couple of them.
Try putting the wee bend on the very tip of the cleaner.

 

mikestanley

Preferred Member
May 10, 2009
1,313
14
Akron area of Ohio
In my, albeit limited experience with Petersons, I fine fit and finish to be less than stellar. But, they seem to be popular. I would send it back if you're not happy. A pipe that isn't "right" will be a life long PITA.
Mike S.

 

rmbittner

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2012
2,099
1
Leacha:
Are you familiar with Peterson System pipes? I suspect that what you're interpreting as "flaws" are actually features of a System pipe, specifically the moisture trap drilled just below the draft hole in the shank, which will often cause a detour for a pipe cleaner.
Bob

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,422
146
ravkesef: I've seen a "Silver Cap" 107 with a P-lip. But, you may be right, all the 2014 St. Pat's I've seen on the net are fishtail. Nice catch!

 

leacha

Preferred Member
Jun 19, 2013
940
2
Colorado
The pipe is a fishtail and a non system pipe. The gap after the tenon does not seem to be a normal construction practice, at least comparing it to my other pipes. However a reverse calabash would be designed the same way as the Peterson.

 

onepyrotec

Preferred Member
Feb 20, 2013
661
0
Nevada
This post prompted me to look at my newest pipe.
The 999 is not a "system" either but this drill job is way off center too. "I'm" looking to have it replaced. The hole is at the top of the mortise and comes into the tobacco chamber on the side, just above bottom.


 

petes03

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
5,245
0
That sucks! I'm a big Peterson fan, having close to 20 of them in my collection (none of which have any major issues), but these reports of bad quality is disheartening. I sure hope Peterson gets their act together soon. If I recall correctly, the 107 is a straight billiard, a pipe which should pass a cleaner with no problem! A straight pipe that will not pass a cleaner is unacceptable!

I can deal with it on full bent pipes, but straights, there's no excuse!

 

leacha

Preferred Member
Jun 19, 2013
940
2
Colorado
This is my first Pete. I've been on the fence about getting one for a while. I wanted a pair of spigots but thought I'd start a yearly St Pats purchase. So much for that.

 

pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,803
7
I can't speak directly to the 107 model, but many Peterson's are made exactly like you describe, by design. It's almost like a reverse calabash, but not quite. Even though it's not a system pipe, that big chamber acts as a moisture trap. For Peterson pipes, this is arguably a design problem, but it doesn't sound like a quality control problem in this case. That's just the way they make them.
I have some older pipes that are made the same way -- big tenon-mortise gap, short, fat tenon, gloriously cool smokers. That being said, you end up with a ton of moisture in the shank, but it doesn't collect in the airway of the stem, so no gurgle. The very precisely made airways made by today's best artisan pipe makers -- where the tenon-mortise gap is made as small as possible, represent just one of many ways to drill a pipe. It's considered best practice, today, but it's not the only way to make a good pipe.
If you're not happy with the pipe, I'd return it. Most retailers will accept returns without too much fuss.

 

pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,803
7
I just looked it up -- the 107 is a big, fat billiard. I like it. The tenon-mortise gap aside, the drilling should still be centered on a straight pipe (even a Peterson). I think you have plenty of reason to ask for a refund or replacement if that's what you decide to do. Good luck!

 

jarit

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2013
333
1
This post prompted me to look at my newest pipe.
The 999 is not a "system" either but this drill job is way off center too. "I'm" looking to have it replaced. The hole is at the top of the mortise and comes into the tobacco chamber on the side, just above bottom.
I'm not a particularly a fan of Petes and so I'm not making excuses for them, but I've had one 999 and seen many others. All were drilled in similar fashion so that the smoke channel is on the very top of the mortise. It's actually very typical for bent pipes of other brands, too. The smoke channel has to be bored in a different angle than the mortise in order it to meet the chamber at the very bottom.

This blog post explains the problems of drilling bent pipes well: http://goussardpipes.blogspot.fi/2011/07/why-i-do-not-make-lot-of-full-bents.html
As for OP's problem: I think that I read somewhere that all Pete's are now bored with larger mortise/tenon diameter so that they can accomodate both a filter and a normal tenon. I'm not sure if this is true.

 

sothron

Preferred Member
Sep 20, 2011
3,734
0
I agree with Petes03. Though not a Peterson collector, I have one of their newer, non-Irish made pipes: a 106. Also a straight billiard, after burning off that nasty bowl coating it smokes wonderfully - far above its price class. But to have a straight pipe that won't pass a cleaner is, IMO, unacceptable. Send it back for a replacement.
*One thing I'll say about northern European brands shifting a chunk of their production to Italy or wherever: there's no reason why a pipe can't be made very well in Italy. Obviously Italy has a fine pipe making tradition and many top tier brands of its own. The issue is the contract offered by the producer- in this case, Peterson. As the old saying goes, if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.
I also have a new-school Stanwell that is made, I believe, in Italy. Like my Pete 106, this Stanwell 242 smokes very well. It's also $20-40 more expensive than the Pete. One rarely if ever hears quality complaints about newer Stanwells. If the quality issues we hear about from Peterson on their lower priced pipes really are true, Peterson may want to increase their quality control and/or pay their employees more, even if it means a little lighter price, rather than sacrifice their brand. But you never know today... A company run by modern MBAs might not care about the brand or the history. They care about "share holder value" and positioning the company for a sale so they can bail out with a big bonus.

 

petes03

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
5,245
0
@perique. I also have a Pete "106" in the "Zippo" series, although it's a little older it passes a pipe cleaner with ease, as do the rest of my straight Petes. I have a 2013 St. Pat's "606" straight pot that smokes like a champ and passes one easily. All of my straight Petes have nice, open draws and spot on drilling.

As illustrated above, most all full and 3/4 bent Petes are drilled high in the shank, it's not a QC issue, it's just the way they're engineered. Most full and 3/4 bent Petes (and full and 3/4 bent pipes in general) will not pass a cleaner, at least not easily. I have many full and 3/4 bent pipes, from many different manufacturers, most of which will not pass a cleaner. That being said, I have no issues with the way they smoke.

That's not to say that a pipes drilling can't change the way a pipe behaves, but it's usually not the only factor.

 

onepyrotec

Preferred Member
Feb 20, 2013
661
0
Nevada
According to Peterson, this is how they designed their "system" pipes. I have a pipe that is constructed in this fashion, the 999 is not anything like this. The air hole is drilled parallel with the mortise, just not centered. Had it been drilled in the center, it would have come in at the bottom of the tobacco chamber.


 

leacha

Preferred Member
Jun 19, 2013
940
2
Colorado
I was looking at the pipe today in more detail. Using a flash light pointed down in the chamber while looking inside the stem, with the "P" logo on the left, rotate the stem clockwise for 315°. The draft holes will then finally line up. This pipe was dilled incompetently.

 

leacha

Preferred Member
Jun 19, 2013
940
2
Colorado
Thank you everybody. The pipe will go back. With some of the quality problems I've read about and with the amount of pipes that's produced in a year, what would be the odds be of a bad pipe. Still the issues reported have kept me from buying a Pete. So what happens when I finally pull the trigger on a Pete? Yep. I'm still not 100% turned away from Peterson yet so maybe I'll try again in a few years.