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Do You Smoke Clay Pipes?

(96 posts)
  1. sherlock

    sherlock

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    I have a couple of clay pipes that I really like. I smoke them for two reasons. First it is kind of nostalgic. I like to image the day when tobacco was brought to Elizabeth's court by Sir Walter Raleigh or a Stub like sailor walking the decks of a whaling ship. The other reason I like to smoke clay pipes is that they are great pipes to try new tobacco in and the smoke surprisingly well. They also need very little maintenance; I have had mine for 5 years and I have never cleaned it. There are some drawbacks of course, like they break easily when you drop them, but they aren't very expensive. I usually smoke mine when it's raining, it somehow seems appropriate.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  2. nbpiper

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    I've been interested in getting one, but never heard anyone really talk about using one. Should probably just give into the PAD and get one on next order, as I do like the look of them. Question though, I have heard that the bowl can get hot, but what about the smoke? Does it also get hot, or does the clay/length help cool it down?

    Posted 7 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    No, I don't.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  4. pstlpkr

    Lawrence

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    Here is a pretty thread/article from many moons ago:
    Archeologists in New York

    Here is a copy/paste from the string:

    Yes, we are members of an old and venerable fraternity.
    Thanks Bob,
    I love the history that one cannot find in text books.
    The day to day inconveniences, struggles, prejudices and wider realities of life in our progenitor's past.
    The implication that the "Colonies" were given 'seconds' and flawed merchandise is illuminating. Makes one contemplate the worlds unconscious perceptions of our nations place in the larger world at that time.
    OR, is that all they could afford?
    It depends on the context of the find, the social status of the owners. The article said the fragment were found in trash. What type of trash? Was this the contents from a fireplace? If so, were they discarded from a public house (a pub or restaurant) or a home, or a place of business. How did their former owners make their living? Were they aristocrats, restauranteurs, carpenters, tinkers... thieves...... slaves? Romanticizing here: If from a pub; were these pipe smokers discussing taxation by the crown, or Suzy Rotten Crotch's ankles over on Wall street over a pint of ale or porter? Were they Dutch, or English subjects? Did they smoke their pipes by candle light or oil lantern?
    Damn... I love history.


    "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put." Winston Churchill
    View Lawrence  Whitcomb's profile on LinkedIn
    Posted 7 years ago #
  5. sherlock

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    They length and clay does help cool the smoke down, but it depends on how hot you smoke. If you are a heavy puffer, like my self, you may have to puff a little more slowly than normal and I wouldn't hold the bowel for too long. With that said I have really never had a big problem with the heat of the smoke and clays smoke as well as any other pipe I have owned.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  6. yohanan

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    No, I have not tried one yet, But sounds interesting.


    Smoke What You Like, And Like What You Smoke...Regardless Of What Anyone Else Thinks...
    Posted 7 years ago #
  7. sherlock

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    Thanks for the article Lawrence, I need the distraction from my homework, not that the forum isn't do a good enough job.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  8. tedswearingen

    tedswearingen

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    Clay pipes can be a lot of fun. I've got a few very old pieces I like to smoke from occasionally. But if your mouth is already agitated, or raw in any way from having smoked a bowl too many, a clay pipe can be hell on the gums and tongue. Still, my favorite way to enjoy Stonehaven is in a clay (recommended to me by someone on some forum, somewhere) as the minerals in the material tend to impart a dry, earthy flavor to the smoke.

    Superior Service, Superior Quality, Superior Pipes - http://www.smokingpipes.com
    Posted 7 years ago #
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    orko13

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    no ı have never try yet

    Posted 7 years ago #
  10. markw4mms

    markw4mms

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    Never had a clay pipe, but might try one soon.

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
    - Benjamin Franklin
    Posted 7 years ago #
  11. rigmedic1

    rigmedic1

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    It's worth a go. I tried Blockade Runner in a clay just to get a feel for what the sailors smoked so long ago. Some blends taste better to me in a clay, when I don't care for them in a briar or meer. So I keep a few clays around for a change of pace.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  12. pawpaw

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    i will be soon and i am looking forward to them

    Posted 7 years ago #
  13. yohanan

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    If you wanted to try a clay, who would you recommned to buy a clay from.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  14. sherlock

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    Here are a few places. I have one from Dawnmist and one from pipeshope, both are great.

    http://www.pipeshoppe.com/ps_clay.php

    http://www.pipesandcigars.com/claypipes.html

    http://www.dawnmist.demon.co.uk/pipesale.htm

    Posted 7 years ago #
  15. yohanan

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    Thank You Sherlock, The info is appreciated.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  16. pawpaw

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    dang sherlock that was quick i just went looking for the dawnmist thread
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/excellent-clay-pipe-from-dawnmist

    Posted 7 years ago #
  17. yohanan

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    Thank you everyone for the information.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  18. yoru

    yoru

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    I have several clays, most of my new ones have gotten broken over the year or so since I bought them, but all my old pieces are in tact and will be my 'favourite' at some point again I am sure, just as they have been in the past.

    My favourite clay piece in all cases though is the one using the old replaceable bowl style with a bamboo stem instead of a wood (usually cherry in my experience)

    Sincerely,

    Yoru
    Posted 7 years ago #
  19. sherlock

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    Thanks for the link pawpaw, I figured there was another post somewhere. As a said before both Dawnmist and pipeshoppe make good clays. Personally I like the ornate designs of dawnmist.

    Posted 7 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Isn't there a distinctive clay taste to the stem? Sometimes I see the end of the stem coated, but I wonder if the coating could be poisonous.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  21. jcsnaps

    jcsnaps

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    Yep, I smoke a clay from time to time and was just getting one out for our pipe club meeting tomorrow. I am doing a Sherlock thing, with the 221b tobaccos, a clay, a briar, and that ever popular but erroneous Calabash. Should be fun. No clay taste, and the coating is so you lips don't stick(burn) to the pipe, it is just a glazing.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  22. jaybird

    jaybird

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    Does it have to be a certain type of clay?

    Posted 7 years ago #
  23. romeowood

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    Play-Doh is no good at the Dawnmist site Heather has oodles of information about the specific types of clay that have been used historically and the kinds she uses. I recently got a black clay one from her that sits on my computer stand at all times so as not to be too far from my sight--it's a beauty!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  24. spartan

    Spartan

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    Has anyone ordered from Lepeltier Pipes?

    P.S. I guess I really don't care if a clay pipe smokes hot (duh) Gives me an excuse to find a snazy smoking glove to keep my hand cool.

    "I was born to lose. So I'll die to win." -Breaking Benjamin
    Posted 7 years ago #
  25. juni

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    Here are my two Dawn Mist pipes:

    That little one is a perfect short smoke-break pipe. I use it a lot.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  26. nemrod

    nemrod

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    I smoke my dawnmist (I made this thread pawpaw linked to) several times a week and it still performs very well. Have to use a knife to scrape out the cake every now and then since the bowl is so small and it builds up surprisingly fast (get about 15 minutes out of it).

    Posted 7 years ago #
  27. juni

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    I hear you can burn the cake off too but I haven't tried that. Some people throw them in a fire to clean them.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  28. yoru

    yoru

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    Throwing them into the fire is just about the only way to actually clean them. You basically end up 'sweating' out all the crap that has soaked in. If the fire is hot enough (preferably in the range of the temperature used to create it) it will come out brand new again. re-firing clays does wonders for their longevity, though you do need to re-'season' them afterwards, this could be a good thing if you smoked one type of tobacco in it too long, or just had one really bad blend put in.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  29. marmal4de

    marmal4de

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    No, I don't.

    Likewise, though I'll be smoking a couple meers soon.

    In a society that has destroyed all adventure, the only adventure left is to destroy that society.
    {o,o}
    |)__)
    Posted 7 years ago #
  30. robinmzg

    robinmzg

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    I always got some clay pipes.
    Both kind the churchwardens and the smaller ones.
    In Germany we got a clay pipe bakery.They got a lot
    of different shapes and sizes for a great price
    http://www.pfeifenbaecker.de/html/uber_uns.html

    Posted 7 years ago #
  31. nemrod

    nemrod

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    robinmzg: that looks pretty awesome, but from what I can tell there is no way to buy anything except calling or e-mailing? Does he speak English at his age?

    Posted 7 years ago #
  32. lankfordjl

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    I purchased this estate clay pipe on ebay last week; it's between 60 and 120 years old (don't know). I just finished cleaning it up; removed the cake. And I made this nifty reed stem (from bamboo). So hopefully its as close to an original as possible. Can't wait to try it out.

    "Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." -Mark Twain-
    "A pipe helps a wise man to think and gives a fool something to put in his mouth" -Trischman's Paradox-
    "Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim;...but I discipline my body and make it my slave." -1Cor 9-
    Posted 7 years ago #
  33. youngpipesmoker

    youngpipesmoker

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    I just got my first clap pipe and am smoking it now. Its 16ins long and the style is in the 18th century tavern pipe and i love it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    thehappypiper

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    I almost bought a Lepeltier Pipe and emailed the company for more information. Mdme Le Peltier herself emailed me back very quickly but I didn't order one. I can't remember why. I suspect it might have been the outrageous Canadian Postal charges. The photograph with juni posted is apposite- there is a handmade briar pipe in this shape at my local pipe shop and it is an absolute peach. It is made beautifully, with an elegance and lightness I have rarely seen anywhere, even online. Trouble is, it's $750. I could probably negotiate 30% off, but that is still rather a lot of money for a curiosity when I need only one more pipe to have a complete rotation.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  35. foggymountain

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    I used to smoke clays when I was a teenager. They only cost about a quarter back then. I couldn't afford a good array of briars, so I got some clays. Once they got brownish they smoked very well, if hot. The problem was that if you laid the pipe down with insufficient care, the clay stem broke off. The pipes started as churchwardens and ended up as nosewarmers, which made them too hot to hold.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  36. anglesey

    anglesey

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    I also bought a dawnmist pipe. Arrived well packaged, in good time. I don't smoke it very often, but when I do I can easily get through three bowls before getting bored, and mostly I don't even get bored, just interrupted.

    I've got a few other clays, but I can't remember ( or never knew) the name of any of them. They're all lovely smokes, and always more moreish than a briar.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  37. condorlover1

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    I think a variation of this thread surfaced somewhere else on the forum. I smoke clays quite often and have a couple at the house and at the office. I have never really enjoyed the long church warden style of clays as they are very fragile so I have always stuck with the cutty style short clay pipe. Foggymountain is correct in that as they turn brown/crud color through use they really do smoke well. The tip on the stem is either yellow or red glaze to stop you getting lip cancer! If you are a regular clay users like myself you have to watch out for 'notches' on your teeth which occur when the stem grinds down the tooth causing a circular hole in the top and bottom set of your jaw! This happens when you clench the pipe in your mouth for long periods while working.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  38. arno665

    arno665

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    I never clench my clay pipes, the mouthpiece and my teeth are thankful for that!
    For some more info about (Dutch) clay pipes and links where to buy clay pipes (also see the comments) see this blogpost of mine: Dutch Clay Pipes

    Posted 5 years ago #
  39. halfdan

    halfdan

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    I bought a Victorian clay pipe for £5 a few weeks ago at Chesterfield flea market and have smoked it a few times, though only with cigarette rolling tobacco as this is all I could lay my hands on! It smokes well but like all clay pipes it burns hot, especially as tobacco intended for roll your own cigarettes tends to burn hotter than pipe tobacco.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  40. winton

    winton

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    I have three clay pipes. I recommend the pipes from Old Dominion Pipe Company. http://www.olddominionpipe.com/everyday

    Posted 8 months ago #
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    molach95

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    I have a collection of Victorian/Edwardian clay pipes, although I only smoke two traditional clays - one a Dutch churchwarden and the other a cutty from Heather Coleman at Dawnmist. I also smoke three Peterson-style clays with regular stems made in the '60s. I'll take some pictures of the collection, there's about 13 or 14 or more in there.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  42. eaglewriter1

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    I have two Clays in my collection and while I dont smoke them regulary every time I do smoke them I ask myself why I dont smoke them more often. Clay gets hot but if you can get over that fact it smokes as well as any briar, just a little different.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  43. anantaandroscoggin

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    The ones which have been glazed are more properly thought of as "porcelain pipes" rather than clays. I've always owned at least a couple of clay pipes over the years, in various lengths or kinds of decorations embossed into (or standing out from) the basic pipe shape. I have yet to own one with what amounts to a tiny statue of "whatever" attached to the bowl/stem, though I've got my eye on one lately.

    One problem some (including me) find with the clay pipes is that the stem is so very, very round -- if one stops paying attention while smoking and clenching, the pipe can quickly roll over and dump out its load of coals and ash into one's lap.

    I have owned a (now broken) hollow-walled porcelain pipe with a double-bent (S-curve) vulcanite stem. The originally pure-white bowl colored (greys mostly) more than any of my clay pipes have done.

    I would like to try one of the clay-bowl with reed-stem pipes out, but who knows how long 'till I succumb to that particular temptation . . .

    Posted 8 months ago #
  44. jpmcwjr

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    Here are some antique pieces from the Greenwich (England) Museum. The early clay pipes in the US came from England. Wonder when the first Colonial pipes were made.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 8 months ago #
  45. mso489

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    My sister got a fourteen inch clay pipe home from the Netherlands and to me out-of-state in one piece, so I consider it a lucky pipe. There has been a health issue about the advisability of smoking a clay pipe with a bare clay stem, with its potentially starting a process with the cells of your lip. Mine has a thin plastic coating to address this, and some clay pipes have stems of alternate material. They smoke hot, so hold them by the stems. They are a lovely old tradition reminiscent of previous centuries, the colonial period in the U.S. and elsewhere, and the coffee houses of Eighteenth Century England, and so on. It is a special occasion thing for me, not at all part of my rotation. Boy this post goes back a ways! I didn't check all of the posts, but I may have something in the "early years."

    Posted 8 months ago #
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    molach95

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    My collection of clays there. I'm happy to give better, closer pictures and descriptions of any of these if anyone is interested.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  47. oldmansmoking

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    Just love the skull one further photos would be great!

    A pipe is the fountain of contemplation, the source of pleasure, the companion of the wise ☪️
    OLDMANSMOKING
    Posted 8 months ago #
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    molach95

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    Here is a small album of pictures for the skull pipe.
    It's one of my favourites, I call it Boney, named after the posh talking skull from that low budget UK kid's program Trapdoor. (Skip ahead to 0:57) It's a Scottish made clay pipe from the 1950s or 60s, I don't know what the stem is made of. It was unsmoked when I got it but I have smoked a lot of erinmore in it since then

    Posted 8 months ago #
  49. haparnold

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    I love the Peterson System pipes made out of clay. Nice collection, Molach!

    De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum
    Posted 8 months ago #
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    64alex

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    I have a Lepeltier which is my favourite pipe along with a Morta. Lepeltier differs from tavern clay pipes as they are double walled so they are not too hot and can be hold by the bowl, and they have a vulcanite stem. In addition they are also glazed. The smokes fantastic, cool, dry (never need to use pipe cleaner while smoking) perfectly neutral and do not ghost.

    molach95: the calabash one in front is very nice, is it double walled?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  51. jrenko

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    Nothing beats the beauty of a good briar so no, i would not smoke a clay pipe even if i got it for free.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  52. lasttango

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    I just smoked my first last evening. It was a Lepeltier.

    As advertised, it was a great experience. I had a bowl of Royal Yacht followed by a bowl of Semois/ La Brumese.

    Flavor was great. The pipe was easy to use and it performed very well.

    A man that hoards up riches and enjoys them not, is like an ass that carries gold and eats thistles.
    -Richard Burton
    Posted 8 months ago #
  53. haparnold

    Hap

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    Nothing beats the beauty of a good briar so no, i would not smoke a clay pipe even if i got it for free.

    You mean you wouldn't smoke clay because of how briar looks?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  54. jpmcwjr

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    My answer is no, I won't again smoke a clay. Did so, don't care for the fragility, look or taste of a clay pipe. Interesting historically, though.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  55. halfdan

    halfdan

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    My clay pipe got smashed last night; I'm currently pipe-less. I've decided to quit now!

    Posted 8 months ago #
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    geejay61

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    Good morning,

    Yes I do smoke a claypipe sometimes.
    I use one of my Zenith pipes
    Never heard of them?? Here is a picture who's tell you all.
    https://imgur.com/a/zNtXv9x

    Posted 8 months ago #
  57. jeffro

    jeffro

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    I like the one clay pipe I have .
    It is a clay pipe that pipes/cigars calls "The Old German" clay pipe. It is a Cutty shape with a vulcanite stem.
    I got it couple years ago so I don't know if they still sell them. I mostly smoke Gawith, Lake land style tobaccos in it.
    or sometimes use it to try out new tobacco. It does not ghost flavors. And parts of the bowl are getting a nice brown patina.
    The bowl itself gets very hot. So I hold it by the stem army mount when using the pipe.
    When smoking the clay pipe it tastes very clean much like my meerschaum pipes and much different than my briar pipes.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  58. halfdan

    halfdan

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    I've bought a replacement clay pipe now; I'm told it dates from the 1890s and has a heel on the base of the bowl. It appears to be slip cast.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  59. bluegrasspipe

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    I love VaPers in my clay.

    For tho' at my simile many may joke,
    Man is but a pipe—and his life but smoke.
    Posted 7 months ago #
  60. davem

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    I plan to purchase a couple of clay pipes from Penn Valley but I have to lay low for a few days... I ordered 5 pipes and a bunch of tobacco today... don't want the wife to catch me!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  61. mindglue

    mindglue

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    Just bought a few weeks ago a Lepeltier clay pipe. Its well done, not getting very hot when smoked, smokes cool and dry. Taste wise, I am not sure, I tried 3 different blends, and I like them more in briars. Will see.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  62. lasttango

    lasttango

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    Over the past couple of weeks, I have found myself reaching for the Lepeltier Clay pipe most often. It's extremely comfortable with a nice ebonite mouthpiece. It's lightweight and doesn't get hot.

    It's great for relatively shorter smokes.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  63. legrand52

    legrand52

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    Yes I do. Williamsburg, VA tavern pipe.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  64. haparnold

    Hap

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    I like my Gouda clay a lot, but clays are rather fiddly. It's really only good for smokes indoors at home, which are rather rare for yours truly.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  65. canadianpuffer

    canadianpuffer

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    I love clays. I’ve got a few from dawnmist, a few Williamsburg tavern pipes, some old Wilson’s ones from the UK. Nice clean smoke. Only annoyance is most don’t have a glazed bit and as a result stick to my lip. It’s really the historical aspect that got me into them. They aren’t smoked that often because they are front porch only pipes.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  66. halfdan

    halfdan

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    I think it's time I put my clay pipe away for a bit so I don't damage my health!!!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  67. halfdan

    halfdan

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    I've bought another clay pipe at Chesterfield flea market today; it's a heel-less pipe like the first one I had that got smashed - but better! Already had a pipeful of Gold Leaf in it.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  68. cajomu

    cajomu

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    I bought eight clay pipes on eBay from a German seller about a year ago for about three dollars each. I gave a few a way and broke one. I smoke them every now and then. I like the taste of tobacco in them. As someone else said, they are especially good for trying out a new tobacco because they don't impart any taste to the smoke. They do get hot, though, and the bowls are small, so its not a long smoke. If I could find a clay pipe with a large bowl, I'd smoke it more often.

    I also have a couple of Delft porcelain pipes. They look great but are terrible smokers. For some reason, tobacco has very little taste in these pipes and they get scorching hot very quickly, even though they are double-walled.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  69. legrand52

    legrand52

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    Happen to find this documentary. Don’t know if it was posted in the past.

    1938 Film of Clay Pipe Making at Broseley Clay Tobacco Pipeworks - Brose...

    https://youtu.be/r8TEN65Nnus

    Posted 7 months ago #
  70. samuelgawith01

    samuelgawith01

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    I own and smoke one long stem tavern clay pipe.It does cool the smoke down,but the bowl gets very hot,so don’t grip it with your hands,hold it by the stem.

    Posted 7 months ago #

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