I Definitely Have Issues

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cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,524
84
United States
I am sitting here on my computer smoking a bowl of Solani 633 which is one of my favorite Virginia/Perique flakes. It is tasting really good and the pipe I am smoking it in, is smoking it cool and dry. But I am also sitting here saying to myself my teeth hurt and this pipe has to go. The pipe is a Caminetto KS Business shape 186 that is one from the Radice/ Asscorti era and fairly old. The pipe is a nice group 4, light as a feather bent Billiard that really delivers a good smoke but all I can think of is I really hate this stem. When I bought this pipe last summer, I loved it and was very pleased to own it. I had another Caminetto from that era so I knew it was going to be a great smoker and it was. If I had never put a hand cut cumberland stem from Rad in my mouth last August I would still be enjoying this pipe. Now after a third of the bowl my jaw hurts as do my teeth and I am going to have to hold the bowl till I am done.
It is obvious to me that now my teeth and jaw have been assimilated to only enjoying soft hand cut stems that are very flat and that fit my teeth properly. I really should not be having this much of an issue because the pipe is so light but it is what it is. I honestly hate giving up on this pipe because of how well it smokes but I cannot see me reaching for it anymore. So it is obvious to me that I do have some serious issues in regards to how freaking picky I have become when it comes to the stems on my pipes. I never used to be this way, I used to be a pretty flexible guy and never saw myself as being anal about anything, but there you have it, I am a man with some serious issues now and I will have to learn to live with them. Is there anyone else out there who has issues like this, are there pipes in your collection that are great smokers but for some reason or another you just don't reach for them.

 

rickpal14

Preferred Member
Jun 9, 2011
1,442
0
Harris, I agree with ya! There are some pipes in my collection that are just not as comfortable as my others. I still reach for them once in awhile but like you halfway thru I realize I made a mistake. Back to the rack they go until I forget just how uncomfortable they are and the cycle repeats itself..... :crying:

 

pipestud

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
1,717
2
Robinson, TX.
Harris, you are like a lot of folks, so don't feel alone. Part of the overall experience is the stem. That is why I shy away from a lot of ovtherwise great Castello pipes. For whatever reason, they make the stems too dadgum thick on a lot of their pipes and that lowers the smoking pleasure. Caminetto pipes, particularly the older, gold logo ones, are the same way. Life's too short to smoke a pipe that doesn't deliver the goods, including the bit. If I was a horse I reckon I'd not mind a thick bit quite as much as a human. But, I'm not a horse (well, at least not the front end of one.
Best,

Pipestud

 

4dotsasieni

Preferred Member
Jan 6, 2013
756
0
Harris, surely holding an uncomfortable stem in the mouth can't be as painful as sitting on your computer!

 

checotah

Preferred Member
Feb 7, 2012
505
0
Seems apparent you're a "clencher"? Any chance this pipe might be dedicated to those "kick back" times, when you sit and contemplate the mysteries of the universe (and women), holding said pipe in-hand? Alternatively, you could send it to me and I will give you my unqualified opinion of the stem and its relative comfort level....

 

kashmir

Preferred Member
May 17, 2011
2,713
0
Northern New Jersey
Harris - You're not alone. Stems are important to me too. The thinner the better, which is why I like Comoys so much. Some of their early stems are cut almost paper thin at the end. The edges are so sharp, you can almost shave with them. But when buying a pipe, it's still the strummel that makes it or breaks it for me. I can always have someone, like Floyd Norwood, cut me the perfect stem. Out of whatever material I choose. So, while the stem is important, it's the wood that counts the most for me.

 

foggymountain

Preferred Member
Aug 14, 2012
2,862
0
Harris: In answer to your question, I have lots of great smokers I don't reach for. Too many pipes, all good. I just gave away the second, and last Dunhill this month.

 

captainbob

Preferred Member
Oct 5, 2010
768
0
Harris, I own a Savenelli quarter-bent pot with a wafer thin mouthpiece that fits my teeth and jaw perfectly. And, the pipe is a great smoker. I have owned and smoked this pipe since 1972! You may know that Bob Hayes is my Artisan pipe-maker and I own 19 of his pipes and love them all. So, I decided to ask him to do an exact replica of the Sav that I love so much and to replicate the wafer-thim mouth piece, as well. He had me send the pipe to him and he did an exact replica of it. I received it two weeks ago and smoke it every day. Therefore, consider asking an Artisan pipe-maker to make pipes and stems exactly the way you want them. It is possible. If you are wondering the cost it was $250. Most of the pipes I have purchased from Bob Hayes are $350. You will just have to check it out with an Artisan that is willing and who you have confidence in.

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cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,524
84
United States
Thanks for all the opinions guys and it looks like I am not alone.
pipestud, I have stayed away from Castello myself because of their stems but recently bought one because I had always wanted an Occhio di Pernice and the stem looked a lot flatter than many others I had seen so when I got it I was very pleased that while not vulcanite, it was still pretty good.
checotah, I am a clencher and that is how I enjoy smoking, not one for holding my pipes anymore. I used to have to when I had heavy ones but I really enjoy clenching much more.
Kashmir, I hear you about the wood and agree, but I want it all. Maybe I will look into Floyd, does he make really flat vulcanite stems?
roth,
Every aspect of a pipe should work together to enhance, not detract from, our smoking pleasure.
I couldn't have said it better, I totally agree.
4dot, lol
foggy, my goal is to have a collection of about 35-40 pipes that I want to reach for, more than that for me would make it difficult to have them all get used enough.
Captainbob, I have 15 Rad Davis pipes and another 7 different American artisan pipes in my collection that all have great stems. I have had rad do about 6 commissions for me so far and agree that having them custom made is awesome.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,876
61
It would take some thinking it over, but I would seriously consider trading off those pipes that are

consistently uncomfortable. The other consideration is figuring out how to buy only those pipes

that are comfortable, and this may take some calculation since you can't try pipes out, even in person.

Softie bits are a stopgap, and may work for some of your pipes. I would get the value out of those

pipes that don't work for you, and use it to get pipes that do.

 

batdemon

Preferred Member
Dec 20, 2011
834
0
Harris, you identified the true culprit right there in your post.
If I had never put a hand cut cumberland stem from Rad in my mouth last August I would still be enjoying this pipe.
It is clear to me that Rad owes you some sort of compensation for making some of your other pipes less enjoyable to you.

 

assaad

Senior Member
Apr 4, 2011
339
0
I have an inexpensive Lorenzetti billiard that smokes like a dream most of the time but the stem is too wide, the button oddly shaped, and all made out of an uncomfortable acrylic. I tell myself it's not that bad but it just sits on the rack. Poor thing.

 

numbersix

Preferred Member
Jul 27, 2012
5,452
0
Harris, I am not a clencher, but if I was, I would think I'd be the same way. A well fitted pipe seems essential for a clencher to truly enjoy a pipe.

 

barleynbaccy

Senior Member
May 31, 2013
437
0
I have a Peterson straight dublin that is my go to for new latakia blends. Every english I have, never tastes better than it does in that pipe. The problem is, it's a p-lip and I hate it. I thought about turning it into a fishtail but then I worry it will change how good it smokes.

 

hodirty

Preferred Member
Jan 10, 2013
1,295
0
I have a lot of teeth problems and use softy bits on ALL my pipes. They really help me when I do clench. I know they aren't aesthetically pleasing, but they work well for me. I don't know if this helps you or not, Harris (if you don't mind me using your first name, not your screen name), but I hope you find some way to make every pipe as pleasing for you as possible.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,524
84
United States
teddy, too funny.
mso, I have come to the conclusion that I need to unload all the pipes that just do not cut it. I started last week when I sent off 8 pipes, but I held some back and I honestly don't know why. I am going to send off the other 9 I have and be done with it.

For future pipes, I will contact the seller to make sure the stem has the features I am looking for and make sure they have a return policy if I am not pleased.
batdemon, you are so right, it is all Rad's fault but I will be forever grateful.
assaad, I know what you mean, I hate watching pipes sit for months at a time and not get used, especially when they are really good pipes and it is not their fault.
six, it is like night and day when you have that stem that makes it feel like you are clenching nothing at all, it is so much more enjoyable.
Barley, I tried a P-Lip once and hated it, you should try the fishtail, you can always put the P-Li back on if it doesn't work.
hodirty, you can call me Harris, not a problem. Thanks for the suggestion, but I have decided to just unload the offending pipes.

 

bentmike

Preferred Member
Jan 25, 2012
2,423
0
Luckily I don't clench my pipes so your issue is a non-issue to me. However I do hear where you are coming from Harris. After reading this thread I started thinking about my different pipes and how much the stem materials do differ in composition and shape. I only clench a pipe momentarily if I happen to be doing something requiring both hands. I could see myself developing the very same issue if I was a hands free smoker as I tend to be obsessively picky about things too.
Fortunately with Rad's help I think you've got things under control. :puffy:

 

mustanggt

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
820
0
Now that I've had my Rad experience too I can say without doubt that his stems are the most comfortable. I am not a clencher at all. If I clench for too long I start to salivate too much and have to take it out of my mouth anyway so the stem isn't as critical to me though I do like a comfy stem. I don't care for the P-lip for clenching either. I don't know how many times I've spilled hot ash and embers on my self because the P-lip shifted in my teeth but like to keep it mixed up to give my tongue a break if I smoked too moist a tobacco.