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Leather Wrapped Pipes

(23 posts)
  1. tarak

    tarak

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    What's the deal with leather wrapped pipes? Is it purely aesthetic, or does it serve a purpose? Pros and cons?

    Looking for any insight.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. alex87

    alex87

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    I doubt there is any real benefit from wrapping a pipe, except for protecting it. I think it is just for aesthetic reasons....I like the look though. Can't see a positive result regarding smoke quality AFAIK.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    This guy used one to prevent nicks, dents and scratches while swinging through the trees.
    Tarzan pipe photo tarzan3pipe_zpsee4bd027.jpg

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. alex87

    alex87

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    You are referring to his tobacco pipe right?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    I always assumed that the leather was a dressy way to cover pits and ugly, but serviceable wood.
    The leather would also have some insulating qualities, but I'm not sure that is an advantage.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. papipeguy

    papipeguy

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    Those became popular with GI's returning from Europe after WW II. Most, if not all, were made in France and as Cortez notes the leather, usually pigskin, covered less than A grade briar. I think there is a certain charm to them and a sporty look.

    Blowin' smoke since 1970.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. gtclark

    gtclark

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    I always assumed that the leather was a dressy way to cover pits and ugly, but serviceable wood.

    That's what I've always assumed as well. I actually have an old "Longchamps" leather wrapped pipe, but I've never smoked it. I've thought about unwrapping to see what the brier is like underneath, but once that cover comes off, it's not going back on - the leather appears quite tight, and is sewn on "just so". If there's interest, I might be persuaded to unwrap the thing photo document the whole thing in the interest of exploration and discovery

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. papipeguy

    papipeguy

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    I would not unwrap the pipe. You can safely assume that the cosmetics of the briar underneath is not as pretty as it's stained cousins. Enjoy it for what it is. Wear a herringbone tweed jacket with elbow poatches and light it up. You'll look chic and quite the gentleman.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. mso489

    mso489

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    It's "a look," and somewhat appealing. I remember these from childhood. My dad never smoked one, but I saw
    them around, on the commuter train platform, etc. Personally, I am sufficiently enchanted with all the various
    finishes on briars, plus cobs and clay, that wrapping a pipe in leather seems like gilding the lily, but it's a nifty
    variation, just not for me. No! Don't unwrap the pipe. It's a period piece. Leave it be.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. gtclark

    gtclark

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    Personally, I don't care for the look, but you're right about it being a period piece. I actually found a post on another forum where a Longchamps was unwrapped to reveal heavily pitted and filled brier - just as we suspected! My curiosity has been satiated for now, I suppose. Here's the link: Naked Longchamp

    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. metalheadycigarguy

    metalheadycigarguy

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    I always assumed one, it covered up flaws in the briar, two, it helped insulate the pipe and at the same time kept it cooler to the touch. Personally I've never cared for the look.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. lincolnsbark

    lincolnsbark

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    I have one I inherited from my grandfather but the stem is stuck in the shank and I cannot remove it even with leaving it in the freezer. It is a leather wrapped african Meerschaum.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. txbeerboy

    txbeerboy

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    alex87 @ cortez that was good. I think my side is damaged now.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  14. vlodko

    vlodko

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    I am afraid beside the aesthetic reasons the main idea is really to cover something. One of leather covered estate Medico, which I bought for my experiments has a long neat crack over the all bowl. But no problem for this manufacturer - they have covered and sold the pipe.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. pitchfork

    pitchfork

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    I forget now where I read it (it may not be online), but Longchamp came up with the idea immediately after WWII when good briar was impossible to get and the leather was meant to cover flaws. Anyhow, they sold well and were soon after stocked at many US overseas bases. There was some kind of personal connection here that facilitated this arrangement, but I forget exactly what it was.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. 4dotsasieni

    4dotsasieni

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    I always worried that the leather cover would result in the pipe overheating - but, what the heck, if it's already cracked under the leather, what's the difference?

    "Thus shall you view these fleeting worlds: As bubbles in the stream;
    A lightning flash, a puff of smoke, a phantom, and a pipe dream."
    - The Diamond Sutra (slightly edited for pipe smokers)
    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. snagstangl

    snagstangl

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    I have long champ that smokes well, Leather intact. I know I saw a picture somewhere that someone had removed the leather and it was still pretty good briar. While I got the impression that the walls of the pipe were thin before getting one, and the leather made it look more filled out. But upon inspecting mine when it arrived the walls were 5/16's think, so more thana quarter inch. Oh and I unscrewd the stinger with little problem.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. User has not uploaded an avatar

    plateauguy

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    Think of it as pig cracklins covering your pipe. Quite a picture isn't it?

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    smokertruck

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    i have one 50 years old smoked the old erinmore in it exclusively - now 50 years later having not smoked it , it still had the flavor from the erinmore when i drew on the empty pipe - used some latikia in it & killed the flavor - bad move - but now i smoke todays erinmore flake in it - pipe still smokes nice back to the erinmore - example of a pipe meant for a particular blend.

    oh it looks nice with the darker tanned leather from the oil from my fingers - the stitching has opened but the leather is well formed to the pipe so still holds its shape

    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. spud

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    The leather wrapped pipes were made by stiching up the leather so it easily slid on the pipe, then it was soaked in water. When as the water dried out the leather shrunk to fit the pipe. Perfect fit every time.
    Grand Prix, a leather wrapped pipe, is a brand name of Savinelli, they usually go much cheaper on the bay. If you buy one on Ebay you will get a very nice Sav.. for almost nothing.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    plateauguy

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    Glad to see you, Spud. Was beginning to wonder where you were.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  22. dukdalf

    dukdalf

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    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. keith929

    keith929

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    I have two leather wrapped Longchamps that were given to me by my mother when I first took to the pipe when I was 17(1968).
    I have since replaced the stems and tenons but they are still in my rotation and are good smokers. My mother passed away 23 years ago so whenever I smoke them I think of her.

    A smart man learns from the mistakes of others.
    A wise man learns from his own.
    ---Anonymous
    Posted 5 years ago #

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