My Favorite Pipe is a Hybrid

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georged

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Mar 7, 2013
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The mini-magnum Dunhill that board member guylesss rescued from oblivion a few weeks ago got me to thinking about which specimen I'd probably part with last, if forced to sell off my collection one by one.

It turned out to be something a bit strange. No longer a brand or specific model, but not a total one-of-a-kind, either, like one of those designs Misha Revyagin is famous for.

It started out as a full-on churchwarden made by Paul Bonaquisti of upstate New York in 2004. And though a clay pattern design, definitely not dainty. A full foot long, and the bowl was easily a Dunhill Group 5 size.

Like many such pipes it didn't get smoked much for logistical/practical reasons, but became a special occasion piece.

Then I started thinking about ways to change that. Make it more accessible.

And when that barrier came down, next came thoughts about "tuning" or "personalization."

The final result?

The top 1/8" of the bowl came off, the peg got shortened, the chamber was opened/widened, a new & shorter stem was made, and the stummel was given a more contrasty finish.

Still a statement to smoke at 8.5", it's definitely clenchable. Not "driving pipe" convenient, but no problem otherwise.

And now, though Paul was never consulted about any of those modifications, the pipe feels like a team effort. And for that reason will always have a special place in my heart. :)

Oh, yeah... it smokes great. Always has.

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ssjones

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May 11, 2011
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I've been to Paul's shop a number of times and handled some of his pipes (sadly, he seems to have stopped pipe making). I picked up a little Rhodesian twice, then gave it back. On a 3rd visit, I decided I would buy that pipe. Gone...love lost.

I can see the newly envisioned piece getting a lot more use. I've had several Churchwarden's and I cannot get past how ungainly they are. That bowl was probably far too large for that style of pipe.

As my old woodshop teacher used to say, "now it looks like it growed that way"
 
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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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Very attractive. I think the deep blast and bright stain, plus the refined shaping of the bowl, bring it all together. It doesn't look patched together at all, as it might from all the modifications. Tasteful updates.
 

BROBS

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Nov 13, 2019
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so did you re-sandblast the top or rusticate it?
a much better length now for sure.

I had a churchwarden and after smacking it on a few things around the house and otherwise looking like a fool with a ridiculously long pipe clenched in my mouth I sent it on its way. If one were to always smoke sitting in a chair by the hearth they may have their place.
 
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Country Bladesmith

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May 2, 2020
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so did you re-sandblast the top or rusticate it?
a much better length now for sure.

I had a churchwarden and after smacking it on a few things around the house and otherwise looking like a fool with a ridiculously long pipe clenched in my mouth I sent it on its way. If one were to always smoke sitting in a chair by the hearth they may have their place.
Now I have a pretty comical image in my head 🤣
I’ve done that same kind of stuff with shorter pipes. I’d be a bull in a china closet clenching a ‘warden.
 
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georged

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Mar 7, 2013
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so did you re-sandblast the top or rusticate it?
By hand. True blasting would be a true PITA and wouldn't necessarily look better or even right, since none of the original variables was known (pressure, media type & size, etc).

Matching manually is simple and direct, though. No muss, no fuss:


 

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