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Brelh

Lurker
Feb 14, 2023
5
7
Hey everyone!

I have another newbie question since I am not familiar with all the aspects that can affect the quality of a pipe. I have 8 pipes that are working very well for me; one of them is a corncob, and the rest are briars. I really enjoy them all, except for one. I understand I am still a newbie (smoking pipes for one and a half years) and am pretty sure I still make mistakes or smoke too fast. However, as I mentioned before, my other pipes are very enjoyable. I can taste the flavors, the bowl never gets hot—just sometimes warm when I slow down a bit, and everything is perfect again. However, with that one pipe, it's never like that.

I have a hot bowl even after just lighting up the tobacco following the charring light. It even got so hot once that the paint started to bubble, and there is also a strange aftertaste which is fading but still there. Not to mention, this is my only pipe that gurgles, and the bottom of the bowl is always very wet after a smoke, no matter if I smoke an aromatic or an English blend from it. Can someone help me identify the cause? I am not sure if any faults in the pipe could be causing it—bad craftsmanship, material issues, wrong hole—or if it's just me who still smokes too fast. I am not sure what to do with this one; it is the only pipe giving me no pleasure. If it's because the pipe could be of bad quality, I am not sure if it would be nice to sell. Perhaps I'll just keep it on the shelf, or if you all say it's my fault, then I'll just be patient and master my technique until I have a good smoke.

Here are some pictures of the pipe; it is an OpusOne from Lubinski.signal-2024-01-21-161211_002.jpegsignal-2024-01-21-161211_003.jpegsignal-2024-01-21-161211_004.jpeg
 
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Jbrewer2002

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 17, 2023
613
4,519
Somerset Ohio
Not all briar is equal. After googling this pipe it sounds like it’s a budget pipe. When buying these types of pipe you can end up with a good one or you can end up with a bad smoker. It’s hit or miss. When spending slightly more you are more likely to get a pipe that smoke well. The quality of the briar can vary. Some of the variations can be moisture level in the wood, and density of the wood. I don’t know much about this brand so I can’t speak to it specifically.
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri
I have one pipe, an early seventies Kaywoodie Magnum, to remind me that there are bad tasting, wet, hot smoking briar pipes.

The Opus brand is genuine Italian briar.

The briar must be carefully selected, and cured, and seasoned or it’s no good.

This was the best smoker ever.

Pre 54 top grade centuries old, tightly grained, oxblood red Algerian briar,,,,any maker.

IMG_6852.jpeg

This $30 new SON is almost as good tasting and actually a bit milder.

IMG_3526.jpeg


Keep on buying more.

99% are good, some are just gooder than others.:)
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri
You keep mentioning tight grained briar, over 100 growth rings to the inch, but have never come up with any evidence.

Don't try to make a sap out of me!

Last night I noticed one of my huge Marxman Big Boy billiards, a massive pipe, was stained.

Marx only stained the cheapies, this one could have been the most expensive factory pipe on earth, before 1937.

So I got out my steel wool and went to work.

It was hundreds and hundreds of years old, almost white. It made an enormous pipe, with only three small fills.

So they stained it umber, as much as it would take.

IMG_6878.jpeg

That color isn’t from the stain I sanded off.

It’s from inside.


The $30 SON I bought a couple of years ago is fill free, stained the same color, and it’s a wonderful smoker, too.

But it’s not the same. It’s milder, less zesty.

IMG_3526.jpeg

The top Algerian was like all else in life.

Second best is plenty good until you’ve had the best.
 
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Hillcrest

Lifer
Dec 3, 2021
2,731
13,099
Bagshot Row, Hobbiton
Hey everyone!

I have another newbie question since I am not familiar with all the aspects that can affect the quality of a pipe. I have 8 pipes that are working very well for me; one of them is a corncob, and the rest are briars. I really enjoy them all, except for one. I understand I am still a newbie (smoking pipes for one and a half years) and am pretty sure I still make mistakes or smoke too fast. However, as I mentioned before, my other pipes are very enjoyable. I can taste the flavors, the bowl never gets hot—just sometimes warm when I slow down a bit, and everything is perfect again. However, with that one pipe, it's never like that.

I have a hot bowl even after just lighting up the tobacco following the charring light. It even got so hot once that the paint started to bubble, and there is also a strange aftertaste which is fading but still there. Not to mention, this is my only pipe that gurgles, and the bottom of the bowl is always very wet after a smoke, no matter if I smoke an aromatic or an English blend from it. Can someone help me identify the cause? I am not sure if any faults in the pipe could be causing it—bad craftsmanship, material issues, wrong hole—or if it's just me who still smokes too fast. I am not sure what to do with this one; it is the only pipe giving me no pleasure. If it's because the pipe could be of bad quality, I am not sure if it would be nice to sell. Perhaps I'll just keep it on the shelf, or if you all say it's my fault, then I'll just be patient and master my technique until I have a good smoke.

Here are some pictures of the pipe; it is an OpusOne from Lubinski.View attachment 281347View attachment 281348View attachment 281349
Hi, to try to answer your question, yes, briars can be good or 'somewhat' less good. It sounds to me like you have a briar pipe that has some very porous dark fine grain xylem in it which can be very porous. The xylem are the dark grain capillaries that carry water to the briar branches. They are very porous so they also conduct heat. That may be why your pipe has been sandblasted and lacquered.

So what can you do to correct that ? You can't completely but you can try to make it an enjoyable pipe. First, pack lighter and smoke slower as a general rule. But with regard to the pipe ... go on youtube or search this forum to learn how to make pipemud to coat the inside of the bowl. That will provide a layer of insulation as it were and help with carbon build up. Next ... if the outside is already shot and the lacquer peeling off you can apply Elmer's real wood filler per the directions on container to those areas that get really hot; then sand it a bit then refinish the outside. Those things will help make it a better pipe but perhaps never perfect. IS it worth it ? That's entirely up to you. Sometimes, sometimes not.

Finally, you may end up saving it as winter only pipe for smoking outside in cold weather. It happens.

Good Luck whatever you decide to do. Next time consider buying thicker walled pipes as well.

SmokingPipes.com has some nice Rossi's that look similar to that pipe.
 

kcghost

Lifer
May 6, 2011
13,457
21,999
77
Olathe, Kansas
When you buy inexpensive pipes, they occasionally will encounter problems, but expensive can have the same problems but fewer of them.
I you know someone who smokes a pipe ask him to it try out for you. If he reports the same problem, then you can be pretty sure the pipe is bad. If not, then give him the pipe. Every once in while a pipe is just doesn't like you.
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri
Also, those are not growth rings. Carry on.

I call them razor blade apart lines.

Whatever else, they are, the top grade of Algerian briar had those lines. You can’t always see them, unless you sand down below the top finish.

The new pipe smoker can be assured, he’s got a good smoker.

Walk into a cheap booze and smoke shop where real briar pipes by Dr Grabow are sold.

Buy the biggest one.


IMG_6881.jpeg


The Dr Grabow factory is the largest customer of selected, cured, and seasoned briar still left.

They haven’t been pre smoked since I was too young to smoke, so you’ll need to break it in.

The odds are 99% plus that Omega will be a great smoker, and it will taste like a good briar pipe in a dozen smokes or less.

Just don’t expect it to ever be quite as good as this $19 fully restored, as new, 70+ year old pipe I just bought on eBay.

IMG_6872.jpeg

IMG_6875.jpeg


Grabow used Algerian briar too, back when it was the most common.
 
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Hillcrest

Lifer
Dec 3, 2021
2,731
13,099
Bagshot Row, Hobbiton
Hey everyone!

I have another newbie question since I am not familiar with all the aspects that can affect the quality of a pipe. I have 8 pipes that are working very well for me; one of them is a corncob, and the rest are briars. I really enjoy them all, except for one. I understand I am still a newbie (smoking pipes for one and a half years) and am pretty sure I still make mistakes or smoke too fast. However, as I mentioned before, my other pipes are very enjoyable. I can taste the flavors, the bowl never gets hot—just sometimes warm when I slow down a bit, and everything is perfect again. However, with that one pipe, it's never like that.

I have a hot bowl even after just lighting up the tobacco following the charring light. It even got so hot once that the paint started to bubble, and there is also a strange aftertaste which is fading but still there. Not to mention, this is my only pipe that gurgles, and the bottom of the bowl is always very wet after a smoke, no matter if I smoke an aromatic or an English blend from it. Can someone help me identify the cause? I am not sure if any faults in the pipe could be causing it—bad craftsmanship, material issues, wrong hole—or if it's just me who still smokes too fast. I am not sure what to do with this one; it is the only pipe giving me no pleasure. If it's because the pipe could be of bad quality, I am not sure if it would be nice to sell. Perhaps I'll just keep it on the shelf, or if you all say it's my fault, then I'll just be patient and master my technique until I have a good smoke.

Here are some pictures of the pipe; it is an OpusOne from Lubinski.View attachment 281347View attachment 281348View attachment 281349
See also:
 

burleybreath

Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 29, 2019
971
3,368
Finger Lakes area, New York, USA
When I get an obviously bad smoking pipe I just toss it. I don't even try to inflict it on someone via ebay or some other trade scenario. I've had about three toxic pipes out of 200, say. One was an Edward's ALGERIAN BRIAR bent billiard. No idea why it tasted so bitter. Dog urine aging, or something. I've had Pete's that gurgled quite a bit until they were well broken it. Don't know what else to say, other than to give your pipe a fair shake, then toss the sumbitch.
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri
IMG_6426.jpeg

When Kaywoodie had that printed the demand for Algerian briar, all of it graded and inspected by government officials to ensure grade and quality, was 43 million pounds each year.

That’s not counting all the French, Italian, Greek, Albanian, and Spanish briar—just Algerian—priced from a penny and a half a block to over fifteen cents a block.

That chart is still relevant today.

Except with briar demand about one hundred times less, there’s likely no market at all except for prime cuts.
 
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Hillcrest

Lifer
Dec 3, 2021
2,731
13,099
Bagshot Row, Hobbiton
🙀The O.P.'s pipe was made by this guy:

Lubinski Ltd. was founded in 1962 by Wojciech Lubinski, or Polish origin. It is now run by his son, Mario Lubinski.

R.D. Fields has this to say about Mario, in connection with their relationship through Il Ceppo: A word about Mario Lubinski, if I may. I have known Mario for twenty years or so, from the time he was one of a number of small distributors of pipes and smokers' accessories in Italy. Since that time Mario has become the largest such distributor in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. Why? A number of reasons, really, but I'll mention just one here - expertise. Many in our small industry are known as experts, but real expertise is very rare indeed. Mario is a true expert regarding everything to do with pipe making, although he would never say so himself. A few of Mario's credits? This man knows briar better than anyone with whom I have ever spoken, having dealt with all the briar sawmills throughout Italy over a period of thirty years. As both a designer and sourcer (one who can find the source) of quality products there is again no one better. Perhaps one would not think that a distributor has a hand in pipe design, but Mario helped design the Original Sherlock Holmes Series of pipes for Peterson, plus the original (closed) Sherlock Holmes pipe rack. I feel sure that those among you who smoke cigars have seen the Romeo & Julieta cigar cases - designed and made by Mario. My reason for writing this? To pay homage to a real expert in an area where many are faux.

I have previously read that Cesare Barontini supplied the blocks or heads to Peterson for the Sherlock Holmes series. Who knows ??? 🤷‍♂️
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
24,725
27,321
Carmel Valley, CA
I call them razor blade apart lines.

Whatever else, they are, the top grade of Algerian briar had those lines. You can’t always see them, unless you sand down below the top finish. << Snipped bits out >>
So, are you ready to retract your "100 growth rings in an inch" claim?

And those quaints, by whomever, are among the ugliest pipes on the planet. Mileage varies, of course; some people seem to smoke them.
 
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Let’s not derail the question of the OP.

You can continue the sidebar in the battleship thread I opened last week 😀

 

Jbrewer2002

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 17, 2023
613
4,519
Somerset Ohio
Let’s not derail the question of the OP.

You can continue the sidebar in the battleship thread I opened last week 😀

Wait. Who’s the moderator here 😂
 
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