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Sara Eltang Pipe Opinions

(35 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by davidy97
  • Latest reply from Ali Alansari
  1. davidy97

    davidy97

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    I’m looking at the Sara Eltang line of pipes for my next purchase. Do any of you have an opinion, experience or review of this line of pipe? Any help, good or bad, is appreciated.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. cosmicfolklore

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    She is merely designing the pipes. You are mostly paying for the name. They are French factory made pipes, with comparable other French pipes being much cheaper. But, if you want the name on a pipe, then go for it. But, if you are just wanting a great smoker, you might look into other factory made pipes that don't have a famous last name. FWIW

    Michael
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. dmcmtk

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    They are French factory made pipes, with comparable other French pipes being much cheaper.

    ?

    "The purpose of the Sara Eltang line is to introduce a brand of affordable and well smoking pipes that falls within the level of quality my workshop represents.
    The design and engineering of the pipes will have the same level of attention as you will find in any of my “Eltang”-pipes. However, the grain might not be quite as perfect and the shapes will not demand hours and days of handcarving.
    I will use hand finished acrylic mouthpieces on all Sara Eltang pipes.

    All Sara Eltang pipes is made in my workshop and they are all finished by me. Often I make the pipes from start to finish, but sometimes I get help in the initial phase of the production."

    http://www.eltang.com/sara-eltang

    Dave
    Duke Street Irregular
    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. cosmicfolklore

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    Yeh, :::sigh::: I will only say that "people in the know" have told me that they are all made in France, as well as Eltang's pipes, except for a handful of his really rare handmades. I would challenge him to post himself, as himself that this is a lie. As reported by many Danes in the pipe world, there are no pipe factories still functioning in Denmark as I keep hearing and understand.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. bluegrassbrian

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    I think it falls into the same semantic category as Dunhills being "Made in England".

    Tobacco's a help because it clears the mind
    But like all your friends it is vilified
    They always say, the right amount's fine
    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. cosmicfolklore

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    I think that the major problem with companies doing this, is that we don't know for sure when (or if) they might change countries of origin. How do we know if he might have some made in Poland, or maybe he might decide to order some made in China. And, lets say they decide to go legit and actually pay workers and tariffs and such to have a Danish factory, how would we trust them?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. alexnorth

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    That's a real bummer of it is so, cosmic. I've seen some vids with Tom Eltang and he seems to be a nice enough guy. Produces some really nice looking pipes too!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. mso489

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    Like designer jeans, I think designer pipes are probably not any added value. However, I am a proponent of French pipes. Dollar for dollar, they are mostly excellent values. Chacom, BC, Genod, Villiard, EWA, and others are well above their price points in quality for fit, finish, design, durability, and smokeability. Then if you can buy them on a sale, they are just extraordinary deals. Love my French pipes. Just don't pay extra for a designer name.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. rhoadsie

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    Read down the thread for swilford (Sykes) opinion...

    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/how-much-will-you-pay-for-a-fraized-pipe

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Tom makes those pipes by himself.

    I just find this hard to believe. But, I haven't seen anything with my own eyes, just trusting the words of people in "the biz." Ha ha, would I swear on a stack of Bibles? nope. So, there's enough of a shadow of doubt, that if you trust them, then buy what you like. Same goes for Dunhills, and the rest of them. Are they worth the money to you?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. briarblues

    briarblues

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    Cosmic, I'd be very interested to know who these "people in the know" might be. Tom has worked with Chacom on design and creation of Chacom with Eltang design pipes. Sara Eltang pipes are not designed by Sara. Sara is Tom and Pia's ( Tom's wife) daughter.

    In Tom's shop there is no "fraising" machine. My understanding is / was that the Sara Eltang pipes were made by Tom, and 1 or 2 other fellows working with Tom in his shop. The Sara line comes fitted with Lucite stems as opposed to hand cut Ebonite stems that are on Tom's hand made pipes.

    I think sometimes we forget that Tom has been involved with pipes for more than 50 years. From his time with Suhr, ( Poul Rassmussen / Anne Julie ) to his years with Stanwell, and beyond.

    davidy97 - if you want to get the low down, call the Danish Pipe Shop and ask to speak with Tom himself.

    Regards
    Michael J. Glukler

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. cosmicfolklore

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    I wasn't the one who mentioned the frazing. That was on another thread.
    Even if just a rumor, the idea is ubiquitous enough that if I had not posted it, someone else would have.

    But, I think that it's one of those ideas that does make you think... before spending $500 on a pipe, if you were excited about a pipe in the beginning, if you find out that someone else makes the pipes, does that sway your opinion on spending $500 on the same pipe?
    I had made a post years ago about Beckers. I posted the question that if you'd pay $800 on a Becker, if we found out that it was really made by his son and a team of guys, would that dispel your pixie dust about that pipe? Then we found out that his son was making his pipes and had been for a while.

    Becker, Nording, Eltang, I've heard all of this from the same sources. Nording and Becker confirmed. So, you can see where some of us will still hang onto the Eltang idea.

    But, there's always doubt.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. chasingembers

    Embers

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    if you find out that someone else makes the pipes, does that sway your opinion on spending $500 on the same pipe?

    It would sway me. When Bruce is doing a commission for me, I get progress pics from his shop, and know he's shaping it with his own hands. $500-$800 is easily spent knowing who the pipe is coming from. If a carver says they are doing it, and are not, that's false advertising and a deal breaker for me.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. swilford

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    She is merely designing the pipes. You are mostly paying for the name. They are French factory made pipes, with comparable other French pipes being much cheaper. But, if you want the name on a pipe, then go for it. But, if you are just wanting a great smoker, you might look into other factory made pipes that don't have a famous last name. FWIW

    Here we go again. My response last time this came up is still applicable (http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/how-much-will-you-pay-for-a-fraized-pipe). This assertion simply is not true.

    I have literally watched Sara Eltang pipes being made. I'm intimately familiar with the processes involved. I've spent, cumulatively, somewhere around three weeks in and around Tom Eltang's workshop in the past decade, a couple of days per year. Add Shane Ireland, Ted Swearingen and other Smokingpipes.com people to that total, and we've probably spent months collectively with Tom in and about his workshop.

    I don't know who these mythical 'people in the biz' who have pretense to knowledge, but are both sufficiently uninformed to spread incorrect information and sufficiently malicious to to just run around and say nasty things about good people, but, seriously, they should just stop doing such things. It isn't nice. And it isn't true. Clearly, this 'person in the biz' or 'person in the know' failed all of the important lessons in preschool.

    Specifically to Sara Eltang, they are fraized (see previous post on commentary about fraizing) by Tom (or helpers from his workshop) at Former's workshop because Tom and Former share the copy fraizer and Former has, at present, more space for it. They're finished in Tom's shop, mostly by Tom (some steps others can do; some steps only Tom does).

    Sara's involvement was the design of the logo. That's it. She's a clothing designer. Tom, Pia, Sara, Smokingpipes.com, no one claims that Sara designs them. He used her name for the project and she thought it a cool idea. End of story on Sara.

    So, seriously, can we please put this to bed? What's next? Faked moon landings?

    Sykes

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. dmcmtk

    dmcmtk

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    Read down the thread for swilford (Sykes) opinion...

    Good link back to an older thread. I think if I had the money to spend, and saw something that caught my eye, I'd feel very comfortable buying a Sara Eltang pipe.

    Sykes, thanks for the post above.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. disinformatique

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    I was about to message Sykes about this and saw his reply already.

    Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.” One of the reasons behind this statement is that pipe smoking is meant to be a slow leisurely activity. It takes patience to smoke a pipe. Unlike cigarettes and cigars, there is a certain amount of technique to smoking a pipe. Where cigars and cigarettes can just be picked up, lit and puffed on, pipes require the development of a technique in order to get the best smoking experience.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. craiginthecorn

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    Regarding the Stokkebye 4th Generation Pipe of the Year models made by Tom Eltang with a "TE" stamp, is it fair to say that these are basically rebranded Sara Eltang pipes? Probably fraised and with acrylic stems. I have a couple Sara Eltang pipes already and think they were an excellent value, but I don't have a Tom Eltang pipe to compare them to. Great smokers with quality construction and finish at a relatively affordable price. I actually prefer the acrylic stems, too.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. deathmetal

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    A pipe being made by a woman or minority has such novelty value.

    Then again, that value does not persist, so I'd avoid this investment.

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. cigrmaster

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    I love the look of this pipe, the shaping is amazing to my eye. Unfortunately it comes with an acrylic stem. For 500.00 I expect hand cut vulcaniite.

    https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/sara_eltang/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=264757

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    At least they got in some different designs. When the OP posted this it was like ten exact copies of just four designs on the whole page. Now, they are all starting to at least look hand made.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. deathmetal

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    All Sara Eltang pipes is made in my workshop and they are all finished by me.

    http://www.eltang.com/sara-eltang

    Oh. Finished.

    So, someone else does everything, and he handles the details?

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    lyso

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    So I just googled Sara Eltang Pipes looking for an opinion and came here. Is there anyone that can provide their experiences, thoughts, or an opinion now that the issue above is settled?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  23. rhoadsie

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    I have Sara Eltang pipes and they smoke flawless. Given that Sykes Wilford has weighed in above (along with my firsthand experience), I would tend to dismiss the above chatter from denizens here that have not experienced the pipes firsthand. If you can accept the pricepoint, then I suggest that it is well-worth giving the pipe a go.

    Posted 3 months ago #
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    bigpond

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    OP, I have a Sara Devil Anse, an Eltang Poker and an Eltang Arne Jacobsen all rusticated. They smoke ok, are fun in the hand and are a treat for the eyes. I haven't noticed much difference on the business side of things, as in the wood seems to be the same quality, as is the "engineering" with the exception of last inch or so of stem, naturally.

    So, from a smoking perspective a Sara is an Eltang imho, or at least 90% if you're a stem snob..err, aficionado. I don't mean to make light really; that last inch is often what separates a good pipe from a great one. It's just that I'm stem material agnostic and have had my stem standards ruined by Castello

    I will say this thread and the last have taken a turn for the weird though. A bit hard to follow. Quotes are all from Sykes.

    Tom's pipes aren't fraized.

    Fraizing leaves the manufacturer with very, very little control over grain patterns and the like, but it's a fairly efficient way to turn, say, 400 bowls. The Danish copy-fraizer offers more shaping flexibility and more control over grain placement, but requires a bunch more expertise to run and it's a lot slower.

    Copy-fraizing involves a bit of human interaction to rough shape what may become a decent pipe. Ok, got it.

    Tom also makes a substantially similar shape under the Sara Eltang label that has different production standards and methods. The Tom Eltang pipes have hand cut vulcanite stems; the Sara Eltang version has stems made from modified acrylic blanks, for example. There are a number of other differences associated with the care with which they are finished.

    Ok, so the Sara's aren't made with or finished with the same level of care as a TE handmade. Ok, we're good.

    Specifically to Sara Eltang, they are fraized (see previous post on commentary about fraizing) by Tom (or helpers from his workshop) at Former's workshop because Tom and Former share the copy fraizer and Former has, at present, more space for it. They're finished in Tom's shop, mostly by Tom (some steps others can do; some steps only Tom does).

    Wait, what? So Sara's are copy fraized and then finished by a crew that may or may not include Tom.

    Ok, so that means Eltang produces two versions of the same pipe? One batch he hand-makes alone from a jig that produces near identical pipes, and the other batch is copy-fraized and finished by Tom or someone else. Have I got that right?

    I'm not a pipe maker, but wouldn't it be less complicated to simply use one method to create all the pipes and simply cherry pick the best bowls of the lot for more detailed finishing work?

    https://www.danishpipeshop.com/d/Tom-Eltang-Devil-Anse-Black-i7939.html
    https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/eltang/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=178905

    It's cool that these are both still in production 3 or 4 years on.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with a fraized pipe. I have a bunch and love them. Some of my best pipes are fraized, in fact, my best friend may be fraized. The only thing I think sucks about fraized pipes is when you've been lead to believe they aren't.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  25. cosmicfolklore

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    Let it go, bigpond, don't question Sykes!!! He keeps the lights on in this place.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  26. mso489

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    I used to have some excitement about having pipes from different nations on my racks, believing the stamps on the pipes as to their origin. With older pipes, I still somewhat believe the stamps. With more recently made pipes, i don't.

    Posted 3 months ago #
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    bigpond

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    Let it go, bigpond, don't question Sykes!!! He keeps the lights on in this place.

    10-4

    Posted 3 months ago #
  28. craiginthecorn

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    Honestly, I couldn’t care less if the pipes are fraised to start. What I care about in a pipe at this price point is that it looks and smokes great. Obviously, Tom and his very skilled assistants know how to effectively use the fraising machine because the pipes are beautiful. And yes, they smoke very well too. A lot of handwork remains after the fraising is complete, including the finishing, which is something that Tom Eltang is well known for. The stems are good, but not quite to the level of his hand cut stems.

    The compromises that have been made to produce the Sara Eltang line greatly reduce the cost with only a modest reduction in overall quality. I own six Sara Eltangs and two Tom Eltangs and one Eltang Basic pipe. None of the lines are inexpensive, but the Sara Eltang line represents an excellent value.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  29. johnbarleycorn

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    ^ What he said.....

    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
    Posted 3 months ago #
  30. rhoadsie

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    Honestly, I couldn’t care less if the pipes are fraised to start. What I care about in a pipe at this price point is that it looks and smokes great. Obviously, Tom and his very skilled assistants know how to effectively use the fraising machine because the pipes are beautiful. And yes, they smoke very well too. A lot of handwork remains after the fraising is complete, including the finishing, which is something that Tom Eltang is well known for. The stems are good, but not quite to the level of his hand cut stems.

    The compromises that have been made to produce the Sara Eltang line greatly reduce the cost with only a modest reduction in overall quality. I own six Sara Eltangs and two Tom Eltangs and one Eltang Basic pipe. None of the lines are inexpensive, but the Sara Eltang line represents an excellent value.

    +1
    The vast majority here don't know crap about how a pipe is made but pretend that it means the world to them. In the end, how a pipe smokes and craftsmanship are important, yet, again, the vast majority couldn't distinguish between different pipes, if we could effectively put together a blind "taste" test.

    Posted 3 months ago #
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    bigpond

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    Oh, I think folks can tell a good pipe from a bad one pretty easily once they’ve had enough pipes fly through the rotation. I also think folks tend to adapt their technique to compensate pretty quickly, after a bit of experience. But to your point about a blind test between hand made or all machine made stummel I’m in total agreement wrt smoking.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  32. alialansari

    Ali Alansari

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    What is fraising exactly?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  33. craiginthecorn

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    Fraising is a duplicating process used for roughing out pipe shapes with a tool that operates, I believe, much like the ones used for making copies of keys. I’ve never seen one used, but this is a photo of the one that was in Uhle’s workshop in Milwaukee in 2017. The contents of that workshop has since been purchased by Jamie Connelly of Stem and Briar. It’s not the best photo of the machine, It doesn’t even include the entire tool. Sorry, but it’s the only one I’ve got.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  34. cosmicfolklore

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    Awesome picture of a fraising machine, Craig. It is hard to find a good picture of one. I am fascinated with these. Thanks for posting it.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  35. alialansari

    Ali Alansari

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    Thank you very much Craig!

    Posted 3 months ago #

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