This discussion started in this thread, Meet an old friend, Nørding. I think it would be good for it to have its own thread. I am interested in hearing others experiences, thoughts, and opinions on the subject.
Here is the start of the discussion:
Cortezattic Said: The conventional wisdom is that pipes with finishes such as shellac, paint, etc., should be avoided because they don't allow the briar to "breathe." But I have five such pipes and I don't notice any difference from the naturally finished pipes. Perhaps my rotation is large enough to rest them sufficiently. It is also possible that, thru the miracle of modern chemistry, pipemakers have found a coating that allows the pipe to breathe. The alternative conjecture is that such pipes are condemned to a relatively short life (whatever that may be.)
Does anyone have experiences or opinions regarding pipes with non-natural finishes?
Would such a finish deter you from buying a pipe that appealed to you in all other respects?
Kevin Said: Keep in mind there is a difference between shellac and stain. Shellac will block the pores in the wood and not allow it to breathe. Stain, on the other hand, will add a color, whether it be green or brown (which will look like a natural wood color) and allow the pipe to still breathe.
The green Nording pipe above is stained green. I think green stained pipes were most popular in the '70s.
Cortezattic Said: Right. The pipe pictured above has only stain and carnauba wax.
The other pipes to which I subsequently referred were shellac'd (or varnished, whatever,) and a couple of them were "clear," not blasted. I really don't think I would have purchased them if I had known that, but they were online purchases. I tried them, they seemed to be OK, and they're smoking as sweetly as any other pipe I own.
I was wondering if others had similar reservations and experiences with, shall we say, "coated" pipes.
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