Ashton Pipes Question

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mordy18

Can't Leave
Mar 12, 2019
381
1,370
Northern New Jersey
I have quite a few Ashtons from current production era( from 2017 and on,) for the money I find them terrific, but one thing is certain, stem button shaping leaves something to be desired, yet i have noticed during these past few years 2018-20 the overall quality of JC Ashtons has improved, haven't had any issues either with drilling or stem fitting, all mine smoke great from the get go
I posted in the other day in another thread that I just received a new ashton pebble grain and initially was quite happy with it until I took a look a closer look at the button. Picture below. Looks like a drunk five year old finished it. Question for those more experienced with these pipes and pipes and general: How bad is this. I am not happy and have reached out to smoking pipes - it is disappointing that they would sell a pipe with so obvious a flaw.
8E576FE4-2B7A-4BF1-99E8-DDEC844FBDD1.jpeg
 

mingc

Lifer
Jun 20, 2019
4,037
11,330
The Big Rock Candy Mountains
I posted in the other day in another thread that I just received a new ashton pebble grain and initially was quite happy with it until I took a look a closer look at the button. Picture below. Looks like a drunk five year old finished it. Question for those more experienced with these pipes and pipes and general: How bad is this. I am not happy and have reached out to smoking pipes - it is disappointing that they would sell a pipe with so obvious a flaw.
View attachment 58425
It looks a little rough, but the picture's out of focus so it's hard to tell.
 
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ChuckMijo

Part of the Furniture Now
Sep 26, 2020
775
2,351
I believe you know my opinion. It’s the first thing I look at is the stem and button work. It tells you a lot , about craftmenship, pride in work, how good they are. The devil is in the details. I would not be happy with sub par sloppy work on a pipe like that.
 
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mordy18

Can't Leave
Mar 12, 2019
381
1,370
Northern New Jersey
I believe you know my opinion. It’s the first thing I look at is the stem and button work. It tells you a lot , about craftmenship, pride in work, how good they are. The devil is in the details. I would not be happy with sub par sloppy work on a pipe like that.
Just started another thread on this topic in the general forum. I am leaning towards sending it back. When buying a pipe on SP i expect some measure of quality control at least for obvious defects like this. They certainly take enough time snapping pictures and writing their little selling pitches for each pipe. Very disappointed and dont think I would buy another Ashton. Agree that this is inexcusable sloppiness. I have twenty other pipes ranging from lower end savs and Petes to a castello and ser jacopo. The buttons on every one are perfect.
 
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mingc

Lifer
Jun 20, 2019
4,037
11,330
The Big Rock Candy Mountains
Just started another thread on this topic in the general forum. I am leaning towards sending it back. When buying a pipe on SP i expect some measure of quality control at least for obvious defects like this. They certainly take enough time snapping pictures and writing their little selling pitches for each pipe. Very disappointed and dont think I would buy another Ashton. Agree that this is inexcusable sloppiness. I have twenty other pipes ranging from lower end savs and Petes to a castello and ser jacopo. The buttons on every one are perfect.
I like SP and do most of my shopping there, but I do wish they'd post more photos of their pipes. The cheaper ones have only one photo! Let us know what response they give you if you decide to return it.
 
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mordy18

Can't Leave
Mar 12, 2019
381
1,370
Northern New Jersey
I like SP and do most of my shopping there, but I do wish they'd post more photos of their pipes. The cheaper ones have only one photo! Let us know what response they give you if you decide to return it.
Will do. This was a 330 dollar pipe and had a number of pictures but I didnt see the problem in the photos. What a pain. Honestly I should not have to deal with this. They shouldn’t sell a pipe, let alone a higher end pipe, with this kind of sloppiness.
 

mtwaller

Lifer
Nov 21, 2018
1,332
5,673
34
Atlanta, GA
Will do. This was a 330 dollar pipe and had a number of pictures but I didnt see the problem in the photos. What a pain. Honestly I should not have to deal with this. They shouldn’t sell a pipe, let alone a higher end pipe, with this kind of sloppiness.
The slot and button are jacked on that, I wouldn’t be happy either. I happen to love Ashton’s - I own one ‘89 Sovereign and the rest are 2014-2019 Jimmy Craig’s. I’ve noticed minor inconsistencies with the slots on the new ones, where you can see they have been worked by hand. A slight curve here or there, and maybe a touch wider on one side or another. But I’ve never seen anything like that. All of mine are fantastic smokers, stunning blasts, excellent mortise-tenon fit, etc. Sorry to see you got a rare dud.
 
Jul 28, 2016
7,688
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Finland-Scandinavia-EU
I posted in the other day in another thread that I just received a new ashton pebble grain and initially was quite happy with it until I took a look a closer look at the button. Picture below. Looks like a drunk five year old finished it. Question for those more experienced with these pipes and pipes and general: How bad is this. I am not happy and have reached out to smoking pipes - it is disappointing that they would sell a pipe with so obvious a flaw.
View attachment 58425
Well, based on my experience ,this rater rough button slot finishing is not extremly rare event with contemporary Ashtons, I have had one with almost similar 'second rate slot, which I did fid fix up by myself via failing , otherwise my pipe was perfect so decided to keep it further and do some home work, could a been worse ,perhaps I have to write a letter to Mr J Craig asking him to pay more attention to this rather important detail
 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
18,614
11,785
Maryland
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Well, based on my experience ,this rater rough button slot finishing is not extremly rare event with contemporary Ashtons, I have had one with almost similar 'second rate slot, which I did fid fix up by myself via failing , otherwise my pipe was perfect so decided to keep it further and do some home work, could a been worse ,perhaps I have to write a letter to Mr J Craig asking him to pay more attention to this rather important detail
Do you have a way to reach him? No website (to my knowledge). I had his ebay seller account saved, but discarded after it was unused for many years.
 

mordy18

Can't Leave
Mar 12, 2019
381
1,370
Northern New Jersey
Well, based on my experience ,this rater rough button slot finishing is not extremly rare event with contemporary Ashtons, I have had one with almost similar 'second rate slot, which I did fid fix up by myself via failing , otherwise my pipe was perfect so decided to keep it further and do some home work, could a been worse ,perhaps I have to write a letter to Mr J Craig asking him to pay more attention to this rather important detail
So, question for you. I also really like this pipe. To my layman’s eye, the drilling, bowl and blast all seem excellent. I like the aesthetic and feel. But is such blatant sloppiness an indication of possible problems elsewhere? The touted “oil treatment” or selection and quality of the briar? If there is no pride of craftsmanship in one aspect of the pipe isn’t it reasonable to conclude there may be other problems. I just don’t understand how a craftsman or owner who gives half a shit can let something like this leave the workshop, especially as it appears to be a not uncommon occurrence.
 

mordy18

Can't Leave
Mar 12, 2019
381
1,370
Northern New Jersey
I don't recall any claims from Craig that the briar used in his pipes is oil-treated.
I’ve seen posts on various sites about Ashton pipes being oil cured. At least in the Bill Taylor era. It seems that Craig is a bit of a man of mystery with no web presence so not sure what he claims about his pipes. Would be very interested to learn.
 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
18,614
11,785
Maryland
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I’ve seen posts on various sites about Ashton pipes being oil cured. At least in the Bill Taylor era. It seems that Craig is a bit of a man of mystery with no web presence so not sure what he claims about his pipes. Would be very interested to learn.
Taylor- yes
Craig - no

Correction:
Pipes2Smoke says Craig pipes ARE oil cured.
 
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ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
18,614
11,785
Maryland
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Not that it is gospel but pipedia article mentions that “Jimmy Craig is the only person we are aware of that carries on William's traditions in crafting pipes the “Ashton” way”
I'm not exactly sure what the "Ashton way" is, but Ferndown also oil-treats the briar.
 
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