My New Ropp Pipes

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robwoodall

Senior Member
Apr 29, 2015
423
0
My two new Ropps came in yesterday, and I'm a bit disappointed in the horn-stemmed Rhodesian.

It's a very pretty pipe, very light, with a good sized bowl. Unfortunately, the stem is drilled to 1/8 inch, which is a bit more restricted than I like. To make matters worse, it doesn't seem to have been correctly drilled. Right at the transition from stem to button, the airway just barely made it through, so it shrinks to an off-center, far less than 1/16 inch passage that will not pass even a very thin cleaner. I haven't tried smoking it, of course, but when I draw air through it, it's a tiny, high-pressure stream aimed at the far left of my tongue.
I'm thinking I can possibly fix it, using a tiny, tiny drill bit as a saw, to open it up from the button end. I'm also afraid that I could really mess it up. I also kind of feel that, even after a bit of work, I'd still have a pipe with an eighth-inch draw, so I don't know what to do. I've never returned a product to a manufacturer in my life, and I don't really want to start now, but I am quite disappointed.
Now, the acrylic-stemmed Bulldog, is a really nice pipe.

The draw is perfect. I didn't measure it, but it feels right, nice and open so I can feel what the tobacco is doing. It looks a bit odd, with the delicate stem (is that a French thing) mated to the bulky Bulldog body. It looks a little unbalanced to me, but I knew that when I ordered.
I decided to break in the Bulldog with Frog Morton, because I love it, and it's very forgiving, so I loaded up a bowl last night, and again this morning. OK, only 12 hours of "rest." Sue me!
As I said, the draw was perfect, the .8 by 1.25 inch chamber seems like a great size, particularly in such a light pipe. I've only filled if half way both times ('cause that's what people say to do with a new pipe) but I think it'll give a nice, long smoke once broken in.
Break-in is going well. A bit of an odd taste, but less than my other briar pipes were, and FAR less than my Grabow. New pipes (for me) also seem to want to smoke hot, but the Frog Morton helped tame that. It's early, but I think this might become a favorite, despite the fact that I bought it only to fit in a change tray in my truck. It does fit perfectly, by the way, but I'm thinking it might be too nice a pipe to become a truck-living beater. I wonder if Grabow makes a fairly large bent pipe?
Anyway, that's my take on my new purchases. I'm sad about the pretty little Rhodesian...

 

johnnyreb

Preferred Member
Aug 21, 2014
1,786
0
Sorry to hear that about the horn Rhodesian, Rob! That is very disappointing. The two Ropp's I ordered are out for delivery according to USPS tracking so I should have them by the end of the day. I'll update & post my impressions then.

 

clickklick

Preferred Member
May 5, 2014
1,673
0
I agree with drennan. Send it back. If you end up cracking it by trying to mod it into the acceptable realm, you'll just end up regretting the whole thing.

 

johnnyreb

Preferred Member
Aug 21, 2014
1,786
0
Mine have arrived and everything seems to check out fine. The drilling seems to be perfect. Here are a couple of bad phone camera pics, with the pipes quickly posed on an old Homburg with grosgrain ribbon that closely matches the color of the horn stems.
Only one pic of the cutty as the other pic was blurry when I uploaded it:


And the billiard:





 

robwoodall

Senior Member
Apr 29, 2015
423
0
Well, cool!
I was privately contacted by the GM of SmokingPipes, and he's offered to fix it for me. He said that he'd gotten one for himself that had a similar issue, and that it will be an easy fix.
(He didn't imply that that had been a common issue, in any way. Just that is had happened at least once before.)
He's going to fix my issue, AND make the overall draw a bit more open at no cost to me!
Now I'm happy, but I also feel guilty, like a whining little complaining man. I'll probably have to buy one of those Savinelli 2000 Bulldogs to assuage my guilt.
Seriously, have you guys seen the partly rusticated Bulldog? It's beautiful... I mean, uhh, wait. It's ugly. Bad ugly. Looks like a bad smoker, too. Don't bother looking, you wouldn't be interested...

 

wyfbane

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2013
4,040
0
Smoking Pipes has IMPECCABLE customer service. I have never had any pipe issues, but did have some questions and they moved heaven and earth to answer them.
Great company, Great humans.
SP.com

 

pipebuddy

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2015
504
7
I have bought only one Ropp with a horn stem. And, whatever I smoked it with, it was a very bad smoker.
Good thing I only spent 70 bucks on it.

 

tslex

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2011
1,483
0
SPC has some of the best customer service anywhere (not just anywhere in the pipe world -- AN-Y-WHERE). Do not feel guilty. They are happy to help make it right, for at least two reasons:
1. It's the right thing to do.
2. Just how loyal a customer are YOU going to be, now that you have gotten that level of service?
Warms my libertarian, free market heart I tell you. Seriously -- SPC are tops.

 

johnnyreb

Preferred Member
Aug 21, 2014
1,786
0
Here's a better pic of the cutty since I didn't have a real good one earlier. I christened it tonight at the end of Happy Hour with a half bowl of PS English Luxury #17. The smoke & taste was excellent! I would say the mouth feel of the horn stem is softer than acrylic and not near as clanky against the teeth. I believe this cutty will be just fine & well worth the money.


 

robwoodall

Senior Member
Apr 29, 2015
423
0
That sure is pretty, johnnyreb.
If I'd seen that one, I would have had a hard time deciding!
Anyway, mine is packed, awaiting a UPS pickup. I'm glad I've got the Bulldog to smoke in the meanwhile...

 

sjfine

Preferred Member
Mar 4, 2012
653
0
I can't say why, but I was a little disappointed in my "almost lumberman" (29C) when I opened the box. I suppose it felt a little small. And, the aura surrounding the lineage of these seemed to have been dimmed for me.
But, the bowl fits an entire flake, the draw is just fine, I like the bone and the button, and I think it will become a favorite of mine.
It smokes a bit hot, though. I will figure out how to tame it. In the meantime, the stem fits neatly between the fingers.

 

johnnyreb

Preferred Member
Aug 21, 2014
1,786
0
I've smoked 5 bowls in the cutty (2 PS English Luxury & 3 Black Magic Woman) and 2 bowls of Gaslight in the billiard. Both pipes smoked perfectly. For what they cost I like the pipes very much and though I don't normally care for acrylic the mouth feel of the horn stems is nice & different. I'm not normally a clencher so the fact the horn is softer than acrylic just adds to my enjoyment.

 

tslex

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2011
1,483
0
All this Ropp talk prompted me to pull mine out of the rack.
I like this pipe more than I should. While I am partial to bulldogs, I usually favor much large pipes and much larger buttons -- as you can see, this a petite pipe with a strong tape to the stem, ending in a small button.
But this thing smokes like a dream -- effortless, fluid draw, and bone dry even when pushed. So it has become my test pipe for new English blends. Right now enjoying my first small bowl of CD Pirate Kake VERY much.
SPC picture:

Nestled in a pipe stand my wife made for me, Xicar Scribe and Czech tool for scale:

Just noticed I have the stem turned 180 degrees.

 

fishnbanjo

Preferred Member
Feb 27, 2013
3,035
0
For me this is where smaller pipes shine when I don't want a large bowl of some kick ass tobacco or one with high vitamin N it is just thre right size to meet my desire.

banjo

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,941
116
I took fishnbanjo's praise of small pipes to heart, tried one, and it was a whole new day. Along with many mid-sized pipes, I have a selection of both extra large and small and very small pipes, and use them all with satisfaction. robwood', for a car pipe, I'd recommend (again) a Dr. Grabow Royalton bulldog. They're pretty, durable, big-enough bowled, somewhat bent, and usually less than forty bucks, just about what you need. Don't feel small about bringing problems to the attention of retailers; they don't want to lose your business and would rather hear from you on any reasonable basis. SP has been amazing to me -- brought a pipe to a pipe show to save me shipping and gave me a small show discount besides; when a gift didn't reach a friend on time, they stood me to shipping on my next purchase. There's a reason they've done really well with their online retail. I've met some of their staff at the local pipe show, and that's really how they are, and why they do so well.
Back to small pipes, they're excellent for sampling at pipe shows, having a series of blends in a limited time, acclimating to stronger blends so you don't get knocked over, smoking flakes/plug/rope that can be much slower burning, serving as pocket pipes, providing short smokes outside during music festivals/weddings/other events; and so on and on. fishnbanjo is our patron saint of small pipes.

 

sjfine

Preferred Member
Mar 4, 2012
653
0
I am liking my horn-stemmed Ropp so much that my Rhodesian is on the way.