Costello Question

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ofafeather

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Apr 26, 2020
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This is why I also ask the pipe cleaner thing. Well im still new, but I did try that mid smoke to resolve the gurgling / wetness and it worked.

Now I learned that I just need to dry my tobacco to fix the wetness.
That doesn’t always fix wetness/gurgling in the pipe. I smoke mostly outdoors so I often use the flick method to get rid of gurgling moisture. Later will follow up with a cleaner to avoid build up in the stem.
 
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ofafeather

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Apr 26, 2020
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Sadly, just saw the link to Tabacceria Luca. Forced me to buy 2 Castellos. Dammit! Now what? Guess I’m stuck. Been wanting a Castello for a while. Had one ages ago and sold it when I needed cash. Got a Sea Rock 55 KKKK and an Old Antiquari Cherrywood. Usually my pipes are all sub $200 but I couldn’t resist and it was at least $200 cheaper.
 

cigrmaster

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May 26, 2012
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I won't own a pipe that will not pass a tapered fluffy BJ Long pipe cleaner. I believe it is sacrilegious if a pipe will not pass one and I don't respect a carver that would sell one.
 
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anthony416

Senior Member
Sep 30, 2016
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Just bought an Occhio di Pernice 93 from Luca. His service is top-notch and my pipe arrived beautifully packaged in an old-school fashion via DHL in less time than USPS delivers packages from Longs, SC. Unfortunately, the finish on my pipe is disappointing. It's a contrast finish to accentuate the birdseye grain, but it's a weird purplish-grayish-brown on one side (not enough of the contrast stain not sanded off?) and with an obvious fill in an incompatible color. This is a Collection grade? That said, it smoked beautifully from the start, sans bowl coating, and it hangs effortlessly.
If I understand correctly the price of these pipes is north of $500 so that finish and the fill is totally unacceptable in my opinion. I once bought a higher end Castello and sent it back due to poor drilling. I do have a nice poker and am very happy with it. I actually have been looking at one (another poker) Luca has on his site and have been asking him some questions but the finances are not available at this time.

I think some of the trouble is that Castello high end pipes have a following in China and standards have fallen in such a easy market to sell into so we have to be careful and ask heaps of questions to be confident (I was a bit disappointed to hear that the response to the "pass pipe cleaner" test was a photo showing cleaner in place but no mention of the poor drilling......)
 
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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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I don't attribute a bent pipe not passing a pipe cleaner to the airway not matching up. I just don't expect deeply bent airways to accommodate pieces of stiff wire and fluff. If that was the way wire behaves, I'd be unhappy. If the draw on a pipe behaves by allowing smooth passage of smoke during smoking, that is a good airway to me. The pipe cleaner thing is a matter of materials and physics, to me.
 

JLD66

New member
May 8, 2020
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West Kentucky
I don't attribute a bent pipe not passing a pipe cleaner to the airway not matching up. I just don't expect deeply bent airways to accommodate pieces of stiff wire and fluff. If that was the way wire behaves, I'd be unhappy. If the draw on a pipe behaves by allowing smooth passage of smoke during smoking, that is a good airway to me. The pipe cleaner thing is a matter of materials and physics, to me.
Even deeply bent pipes can pass pipe cleaners if drilled properly. I just purchased an oom Paul from Todd Barnard (Sasquatch) and I can tell you it will pass a pipe cleaner like a raisin through baby.
 
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oldgeezersmoker

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Oct 7, 2016
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I think some of the trouble is that Castello high end pipes have a following in China and standards have fallen in such a easy market to sell into so we have to be careful and ask heaps of questions to be confident
Was ever thus. In the 1990’s, the former agent for the US distributor for Castello lived in the Virginia suburbs of DC. Seems like I had lots of excuses to go to DC on business. Many times, I would visit him at his home when the latest shipment had come through Dulles. I was really into long shanked Canadians and Lovats in those days, and draft holes entering wide right or wide left, or too high, or with no clearance at all from the bottom of the chamber, were commonplace. Yeah, they would pass a cleaner, but still.... But they smoked just fine for me.

There are no Castello seconds. If Franco Coppo thanks he can smoke it with no issue (and he is a pipe smoker), he thanks you can, too. So, for over 30 years, I’ve asked questions. Or bought from an authorized US dealer with a return privilege. Your choice. Your money.
 

kcghost

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May 6, 2011
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Mine usually will but I may have to maneuver the pipe around a bit. On the other hand some just won't permit it. About 1 in 4 I'd say.
 

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