Stanwell Golden Danish Problems

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Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
South Dakota
Hi all. A couple years ago I bought a Stanwell Golden Danish 141- and extremely classic looking straight brandy shape. It was an estate in fantastic condition, stem looked untouched, the bowl had a light amount of cake. Still had a high polish.
I gave her a little ream, cleaned stem with alcohol, and she was ready to go. Problem is....its been a horrible smoker for me. No matter what I smoke, it seems to be hot. It gurgles requiring pipe cleaners, and I really can never have a satisfying smoke past the first 1/3 of the bowl- then it turns bitter an acrid. This experience has happened with a variety of tobaccos, preps, and cuts, and in a variety of temp and humidity conditions.
I adore the look and feel of this pipe. Just love it. But hate smoking it. So I have some questions:
1. Anyone have tips on how they've improved a poor performer?

2. Would it be crazy to sell it and buy the exact same pipe?

3. Anyone else have experience with The Golden Danish or other affordable Stanwell models? Is it a "get what you spend" kind of thing?



Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
1. I cure gurglers by blasting out the shank and stem to 5/32" and funneling the tenon.

2. No. This is piping. Nothing is off the table on this genteel crazy train.

3. I have a Brushed Black and a Brushed Brown, Both Shape 32, that are absolutely amazing. They retail at about $50. Doesn't get much more affordable than that. I got way more than I spent with those.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
tarak, I think I can assure you this pipe's problems have nothing to do with its price point. One of my Stanwell's, the little bulldog shape 32, was about $88, and my other two, a brushed black and a brushed brown, were $49 each, and all three of these smoke in the superior category. As we know, individual pipes can have material problems with the briar or even the stem, or engineering problems with the drilling. The inexpensive fix on this pipe is to do various repairs yourself and see if those will do the trick, and Forums members will have good ideas on that, I suspect. The other route would be to send it to a pipe repair person, who can probably improve the pipe for not a great deal...I'd guess maybe $30. Either way, will it ever be a primo smoker? Perhaps, if it is a specific problem that can be fixed, but maybe not. Good luck. This is the rare Stanwell that just isn't up to snuff.



Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2012
Sunset Beach NC
Clean and scrape the bowl airway and the mortise with alcohol, let it dry completely etc etc etc. Do the same thing on the stem airway. If a pipe cleaner tends to "hang up" in the stem when fed from the tenon end, that might be the problem. A not-so-smooth transition from the tenon to the rest of the stem airway, it also tends to collect crap if there's a slight gap there.....



New member
Aug 2, 2014
I've had a similar experience with a couple of estates from a factory brand I know and really like. No matter what I did - ream and sand, deep internal cleaning, salt and alcohol the bowls - after first third of the bowl they turned bitter and acrid. I even gave them to a friend after telling him about it and said that if he liked the way they smoked he could keep them. After a few weeks he gave them back, so I know it wasn't just me. So apart from the possible engineering fixes, I wold chalk it up to the occasional piece of briar that for whatever reason just doesn't smoke right. Stanwell is a solid brand. I don't think it's crazy at all to pick up another one of the exact same shape and finish if that's what you like. It will most likely smoke just fine.



Senior Member
Jan 4, 2010
tarak, I have the same problem with two of my pipes. I love the way they look and feel but the damn things gurgle. No matter what I smoke in them, or how I pack them, they gurgle. I never got rid of them though, because I like everything else about them.

I didn't know anyone could fix that kind of problem. I would send them off in a minute if I did.



Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
Chicago, IL
The gurgling (condensation problem) is doubtless a result of being a "hot smoker" -- a wood problem.

This caterpillar will never be a butterfly. As you already suspect, this is why it's an estate pipe in good condition.



Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
South Dakota
said succinctly Cortez, and that has been my fear the risk of estates I suppose.
Well, if you see a real Classic Stanwell Brandy shape in great condition on eBay soon....don't bid :)



Preferred Member
Jan 4, 2015
Just a little food for thought. Is it really fair to pass along something you know is no good. Let your conscience be your guide. Swallow hard and do the right thing.



Preferred Member
Jun 1, 2013
Is it really fair to pass along something you know is no good.
One man's trash is another man's treasure. Just cause the pipe does not smoke well for one, it could be a favorite in another persons collection. I absolutely love my 141 Golden Danish.



Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2013
Gurgling can also be caused by an improper tenon and mortise fit. If the end of the tenon is not flush with bottom of the mortise it will result in a Venturi effect creating condensation and therefore gurgling.



Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2013
To bad about your experience. My golden danish is one of my favorite pipes.



Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2013
The Stanwell Golden Danish Sandblast (03) Billiard I own has been a perfect smoker for years.
Stanwell's, especially ones made in Italy, have spot-on craftsmanship and top-notch materials.
Haters going to hate.



Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2014
The 141 is one of the most beautiful pipes Chonowitsch designed for stanwell. Can see why you don't want to part with it. That said, a dog is a dog.



Preferred Member
May 26, 2015
I have a Stanwell Featherlight that gurgled.

I started smoking it with a pipe cleaner folded over as a filter. That fixed the gurgle.