Finding tampers

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dontbeaburleyman

Might Stick Around
Dec 22, 2013
95
173
Central California
I enjoy rooting around antique stores looking for pipes and accessories. Been doing this for quite some time but have never seen tampers.

Why can’t I find tampers at these places? Don’t find them at estate sales with pipes for sale either. Do they just get thrown away? Do people not know what they are? Or did people just not use manufactured tampers back in the day?
 
I enjoy rooting around antique stores looking for pipes and accessories. Been doing this for quite some time but have never seen tampers.

Why can’t I find tampers at these places? Don’t find them at estate sales with pipes for sale either. Do they just get thrown away? Do people not know what they are? Or did people just not use manufactured tampers back in the day?
Not sure how long ago “back in the day” is, but if you didn’t want to use a finger, you could use a cut twig or a golf tee. And, I’m pretty sure antique shops tossed burned dirty golf tees that would come in with a pipe.

On the other hand, if you want a silver or gold heirloom tamper… I know a guy. puffy
 

kcghost

Lifer
May 6, 2011
13,754
22,537
77
Olathe, Kansas
There are a few guys who make tampers that are pretty nice but are pricey. Prices of those run from say $30 to the moon. If you just want a pipe nail you can get those for around a buck. As for why you don't see them in antique mall just look at them. They small have no obvious users to a non-pipe smoker. This suggests they got thrown out or are in a different part of the store.
 
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Zeno Marx

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 10, 2022
240
1,269
When I worked at a pipe store, the hardcore smokers...the ones smoking a pound a week who only owned a single pipe...didn't use a tamper. They stuffed their pipe until ribbons were hanging over the rim of the bowl, lit it, smoked the pipe like a banshee, and repeated the process all day long. They didn't buy pipe cleaners, tampers, or a second pipe. Their entire kit was one pipe, a big bag of tobacco, and a lighter. The hardcore cigar smokers were the same. Bite off the tip and light it up. No clipper. I'd be surprised if most pipe smokers ever used a tamper, outside their finger or something off the ground they discarded as quickly as they picked it up.
 

Ray Popp

Starting to Get Obsessed
Dec 14, 2022
173
249
My dad used his finger, or the other end of a kitchen match. I like a fired 30-06 case or a 300 WBY MAG case, again, previously fired, spent primer still in its pocket. And then again, when I fly, when I get to my destination, I buy a Czech tool or a "nail" as the airlines frown on spent ammo cases in luggage.
 

mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
41,210
60,474
Really handsome well-crafted tampers, if they are carried and used regularly, get lost more than cell phones and car keys. However, if you carry pipe nails or horseshoe nails that cost about a dollar, they never get lost. I think they carry cab or uber fare to find their way home if they are dropped. Neither the artisan crafted tampers nor the pipe and horseshoe nails are identifiable to the average person. They puzzle over them and throw them in a drawer or the trash. For utility, a pipe nail is a masterpiece of efficiency, everything you need and nothing you don't. They aren't pretty, and they aren't all that versatile, but you'll rarely want for something else. However, in Czech tools, I believe I have the one carried in the desert by Moses. I know it goes back to my grandfather anyway.
 

scloyd

Lifer
May 23, 2018
5,948
12,085
I enjoy rooting around antique stores looking for pipes and accessories. Been doing this for quite some time but have never seen tampers.

Why can’t I find tampers at these places?
I found a tamper in an antique shop about a year ago. It was stamped AUSTRIA. I purchased it and sent it to @mikethompson. Mike has an interest in Austrian made pipes.

It's the first and only tamper I've seen at an antique shop.
 

Briar Tuck

Lifer
Nov 29, 2022
1,109
5,740
Oregon coast
My dad used his finger, or the other end of a kitchen match. I like a fired 30-06 case or a 300 WBY MAG case, again, previously fired, spent primer still in its pocket. And then again, when I fly, when I get to my destination, I buy a Czech tool or a "nail" as the airlines frown on spent ammo cases in luggage.
I never thought of using a spent rifle casing. That's a great idea. I know what my next tamper will be now!