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Sasieni - Bowls Coated?

(38 posts)
  1. ssjones

    ssjones

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    Check out this Family era (pre '79) Sasieni, advertised as "unsmoked".
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Unsmoked-Sasieni-Ashford-Natural-Four-Dot-S-English-Classic-Author-Billiard-Pipe-/151789599125?

    The bowl is coated and the seller remarks:

    Additionally, Sasieni coated their bowls.

    He also adds:

    -If you're new to Sasieni you're probably not looking at this, but if
    you are please know that most bent Sasieni's do not pass
    a pipe cleaner to the bowl. Buy a straight one.

    All of my bent Sasienis, including two full bents, pass a cleaner. So, that doesn't give him a good deal of credibility on the bowl coating remark.

    I've never seen an unsmoked vintage Four Dot. Can anyone confirm the bowl coating remark?

    Al

    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. petes03

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    I don't know about the older ones.
    My only one is a newer 4 Dot bent Dublin, which did have a bowl coating, and does pass a pipe cleaner with no issues.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. bonehed

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    I'm no authority, but it looks legit to me... I'd go for it (if I had the funds to spare and was Sasieni hunting.)

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. dmcmtk

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    Coated bowl......I suppose it's possible. If I had to take a guess at dating that pipe, and it's a very subjective one, I would say 1970's. I'm saying that just looking at the deeper color tone of the dots, irrespective of whether it's "unsmoked" or not. Don't own an Ashford, but I prefer the taper stem to the saddle.

    Dave
    Duke Street Irregular
    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. mranglophile

    Mr. Anglophile

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    Even my Bent Old England passes a cleaner and its a sub brand. I bought a NOS Old England and I don't remember a bowl coating because I would of removed it but maybe my memory is failing.

    Michael - Poulsb, WA

    Pipes are not like cars. A Chevy cannot drive like a Mercedes, but the lowly Stanwell can smoke like the lofty Chonowitsch, even though the latter far exceeds the Stanwell in beauty, grain, and craftsmanship. It is the briar and not the brand. There is no place for elitism among pipe smokers. - Fred Hanna
    Posted 4 years ago #
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    jguss

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    Dave, I think your dating estimate is spot on. While this pipe could have theoretically been bought at the tail end of the sixties, it's much more likely to date from the seventies. The Iwan Ries sticker on the box is the giveaway; the shop didn't move to that address until May 31, 1968. Presumably it might have taken them a while to get stickers with the new address made and apply them to existing stock. Iwan Ries moved again, by the way, on July 1, 1984. So taking into account considerations associated with the termination of the "family era", the pipe must have been made in the decade between 1968-1978.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. neverbend

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    Bents are less able to pass a cleaner because there can be difficulty (more bent, more severe) in matching the stems' angle of entry (into the mortise) to the corresponding drill angle into the bowl. When drilling bents the bit often needs to be angled upwards, excavating the mortise above center, and that facilitates passing. The ability to pass a cleaner, especially on a machine maker, isn't related to the quality of the line (1sts or 2nds).

    This seller makes comments that seem aimed to sway the less experienced.

    Clever detective work Jon :).

    The Iwan Ries sticker on the box is the giveaway

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. buroak

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    Sasieni (family era) did not coat their bowls, but their heat curing method formed a carbonized layer in the bowl that looks a heck of a lot like a bowl coating. From a 1960s Sasieni catalog (http://pipepages.com/64sas3a.htm):

    "One of the processes to which all of our bowls are subjected is the special Sasieni carbonising process. During this treatment the bowls are subjected to high temperatures under scientifically controlled conditions. As a result the interior of the bowl is carbonised to the exact degree necessary to ensure a sweet mellow smoke from the start. This treatment also serves to remove the last vestiges of bitter oils or sap and also uncovers any hidden flaws which might otherwise pass unnoticed."

    I am glad at least some parts of Chris Keene's Pipe Pages remain functional.

    Life contains a particle of risk. - Allardyce T. Meriweather in Little Big Man
    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. buroak

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    By the way, three more purportedly unsmoked Ashfords are listed by shipsstore.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    bigpond

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    Looks like someone spent $400 on a $40 pipe.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. buroak

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    The photo below shows the chamber of an unsmoked Sasieni billiard. It actually looks more smoked than coated.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. dmcmtk

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    I am glad at least some parts of Chris Keene's Pipe Pages remain functional.

    When you find a link at pipepages.com that doesn't work, re-type it as chriskeene.com. That will usually solve the problem.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. ssjones

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    Nice job buroak, now we know the answer. That makes perfect sense and it was right under our noses!

    Those unsmoked Ashfords should be a hoot to watch.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. neverbend

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    "One of the processes to which all of our bowls are subjected is the special Sasieni carbonising process. During this treatment the bowls are subjected to high temperatures under scientifically controlled conditions. As a result the interior of the bowl is carbonised to the exact degree necessary to ensure a sweet mellow smoke from the start. This treatment also serves to remove the last vestiges of bitter oils or sap and also uncovers any hidden flaws which might otherwise pass unnoticed."

    If this process was done to the bowl (as stated) and the tobacco chamber looked like the picture above then something is amiss because it's not evident on the bowl.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. buroak

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    ssjones, My pleasure. I am glad some of the usually useless recollections and knowledge rattling about in my noggin could do some good. The Ashfords should indeed be fun, especially considering the dynamic of having three listed at the same time.

    neverbend, I have wondered about that, too. From what I have seen of unsmoked family era Sasienis, which is only three, I can merely speculate that the carbonizing process was performed after the chamber was drilled, but prior to cutting the mortise, boring the airway, or finishing the outside of the stummel.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. neverbend

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    Hi Buroak,

    In the era that this pipe was made, the tobacco chamber and bowl were frazed (rather) simultaneously by machine, basically a finished stummel needing only to be fine sanded and finished. That's serious char inside the chamber but not a hint on the bowl :).

    The idea that a company needed to artificially dry their briar implies that they bought inferior (wet) wood. The disconnect between what we see and what the catalog says makes me believe that the 'heat' process was just marketing. Thanks for the find, interesting.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. buroak

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    neverbend, Thanks for providing a pipe industry insider's take on what we see and read from Sasieni. Given that the carbonized layer is found only in the bowl (none of the unsmoked specimens I have seen had any trace in the mortise or in the airway past where it meets the chamber), perhaps their heat treatment was performed by directly subjecting only the bowl interior to a heat source. Doing so would produce the carbonized layer we see without affecting the exterior of the stummel. What they did may have been a variation on the Grabow Pre-Smoking theme.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. buroak

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    When you find a link at pipepages.com that doesn't work, re-type it as chriskeene.com. That will usually solve the problem.

    I have used the chriskeene.com workaround numerous times. Actually, today's search for that catalog page started at chriskeene.com but took me to pipepages.com. What you are recommending, though, sounds different than my usual workaround. Are you saying that you go into the URL of a nonfunctional link and replace pipepages.com with chriskeene.com?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. buroak

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    I tried what I think dmcmtk is recommending, and it worked. Below is a link to more information related to the heat treatment. Note the absence of any mention of carbonizing. That may have been a later development. Was it possibly an attempt to economize their seasoning process?

    http://chriskeene.com/sasi3

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. dmcmtk

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    Reading the info from the catalog, it seems to be referring to the blocks of briar before they are turned, drilled, and shaped, no? Although looking at the picture, it looks like "the girls" are wiping down shaped briar (looks to small for "blocks")......

    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. buroak

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    dmcmtk, I was left with the same question.

    Thinking about the carbonizing bit, it makes sense that they would change the heat curing process to something less labor-intensive at some point between the 1930s and the 1960s. Hiring "girls" to watch and wipe the bowls would, I imagine, have become much more expensive.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. jvnshr

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    perhaps their heat treatment was performed by directly subjecting only the bowl interior to a heat source.

    Hope it helps.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDAgaz5VLGE

    Javan
    Posted 3 years ago #
  23. ssjones

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    That carbonising process looks horrific.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. jpmcwjr

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    Holy cow! Horrific, yes, but at least it shows the briar can withstand intense immediate heat!

    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 3 years ago #
  25. buroak

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    jvnshr, Nice find! I wonder if Sasieni used the same technique. That process does not look like something conducted under the "scientifically controlled conditions" Sasieni claimed, but there may have been a gap (or gulf) between their claim and reality.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  26. neverbend

    neverbend

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    Jvnshr, thanks for the video of the Blakemar carbonization process.

    The Sasieni Ashford (that started this thread) probably was done with a similar process although I'd believe that it had a sweet wash beforehand (builds a little cake as seen).

    A lot of companies used a sweet wash, only some carbonized it. Carbon wash was used a as well but early washes sometime flaked.

    Buroak, Thanks for this link.

    Sasieni Seasoning Process

    Fun read but... Did you guys follow it and if so, what did they do to the bowls and what to the briar?

    The techniques mentioned were could warp (bowl) or fissure (block). Sounds like the briar that they were buying was soaking wet (that's possible) but more likely marketing mumbo-jumbo.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  27. ssjones

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    I wonder how many pipes were ruined if this was the process?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  28. buroak

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    neverbend, I am unclear on the specifics of either process. As dmcmtk says, the pictures and description in the 1930s catalog do not mesh. Both processes sound like they produced failure.

    ssjones, I, too, wonder what percentage of bowls failed at the heat treatment stage.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  29. prairiedruid

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    Probably not many failures......most of the heat is transferred from the heated metal so it's more like a hot iron treatment than totally open flame. Flash heating like that would just sear/glaze the surface. Similar to how wood spears used to be strengthened/hardened by heating the blade/point in the campfire.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  30. neverbend

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    PrairieDruid said...

    Probably not many failures....

    Agreed, this was a cosmetic touch, not a test of materials (like deep sandblasting). Sometimes the char was a touch more than superficial and this could be a problem when pipes (usually bought as gifts) were brought in for exchange because they looked and felt smoked.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  31. jvnshr

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    @buroak and @neverbend, you are welcome. Thanks for the nice thread guys.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  32. misterlowercase

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    Just now getting back online after a feverish work schedule,
    catching up here.

    I was particularly interested by this:

    Buroak, Thanks for this link.

    Sasieni Seasoning Process

    Fun read but... Did you guys follow it and if so, what did they do to the bowls and what to the briar?

    The techniques mentioned were could warp (bowl) or fissure (block). Sounds like the briar that they were buying was soaking wet (that's possible) but more likely marketing mumbo-jumbo.

    The image is a glorious snaphot indeed.

    I count around 6 or 7 ovens and maybe two dozen girls attending them, surely labor intensive with expensive wages to be paid, no wonder that the process couldn't continue into the post-war years.

    A while back I did a post about the oven and the involved patent, which is pretty interesting, it seems that Sasieni did improve upon the Dunhill process to some extent, perhaps/
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/a-look-into-the-sasieni-oil-curing-method

    Interesting stuff.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  33. ssjones

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    Well, I can attest to the fact that they did use a bowl coating. I'd like to think a lovely, young maiden applied the coating to this unsmoked Natural. Ok, if I'm dreaming, two young maidens.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  34. buroak

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    Misterlowercase, Thank you for connecting us to that thread. A lot of what has been discussed here now has more context and makes more sense

    Ssjones, That looks exactly like what I have seen on other unsmoked Sasienis from the same era.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    marvich

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    Hi. Took a few photos yesterday, and took a shot of the inside of the bowl of my unsmoked Bewlay Spiral Patent. The pipe looks coated to me. This has been thinned by sanding, which stops neatly at the point where the bottom radius begins. I believe this to be a 1920's Sasieni, and having noticed this thread, I thought you'd like to see it. Sodium silicate filled with carbon black, would be my guess.

    There's more photos of this pipe on the Bewlay thread. Have a look.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Thinking about the carbonizing bit, it makes sense that they would change the heat curing process to something less labor-intensive at some point between the 1930s and the 1960s. Hiring "girls" to watch and wipe the bowls would, I imagine, have become much more expensive.

    A previous incarnation of the Barling page @ Pipedia said (from memory) that the first noticeable quality hit, after WW II, was from hiring new, still-unskilled women to replace the men they'd lost in the war and its aftermath. The problem wasn't that they were women (who are typically better at hand-eye co-ordination than men) (back in the '70s, my then-wife & I applied for jobs at a Colt firearms plant; I was turned down because no male assembly line workers was company policy; she was offered a job on the spot).

    Female craftspeople were the backbone of the pipe industry when it still was one, and of more than pipes. Leo Fender, for example, preferentially hired immigrant Mexican women for his coil-winding department because their childhood training in sewing &c. gave them nimble, skilled hands.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  37. misterlowercase

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    Much like Parkers which in many cases didn't get the Dunhill oil-cured process,
    I'd speculate that many Sasieni 2nds didn't receive the oil curing and that most likely the treatment was exclusive only to proper Sasieni Dot pipes.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  38. buckaroo

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    When P&C just first started selling estates they had a handful of unsmoked family era Sasieni's. The two I purchased had factory coatings. They are great pipes and I'll have them for a long time.

    Posted 3 years ago #

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