Hi, I'm thinking about purchasing a gourd calabash from this website
It looks great and all, but the bowl actually looks really small...
Has anyone had problem with the small size of the bowl or does it just smoke fine like regular briar pipe?
I own a goard calabash. They are nomaly the best pipe you can own. It tames the harshest tobacco you can find. The bowl come yn 3 sizes. They all prytty much smoke better than a briar. Cleaning can be tedius.
"They are nomaly the best pipe you can own. It tames the harshest tobacco you can find. The bowl come yn 3 sizes. They all prytty much smoke better than a briar."
I respectfully disagree, Toker.
I have two gourd calabashes which I have owned for over twenty years and I would not say they smoke categorically better than briar.
Ok, but what size should I get to smoke "average" amount of tobacco? I mean, what size of calabash (Medium, Large, X-large) should I get, so I wouldn't be pissed off by the tiny amount of tobacco that I am allowed to smoke with it?
That isn't a gourd calabash. If you read the description, you'll find that the body of the pipe is made of mahogany. Calabach gourds are nearly impossible to obtain now, so some companies are making the pipes using carved wooden bases, usually mahogany.
The bowl does look small, you might ask them for dimensions beforing buying one.
Regarding the size, I don't think it would be too small. I didn't see any dimensions listed, but from the photos it seems adequate.
I've never smoked a mahogany calabash so I can't comment on its quality. But I don't think there's anything about to the gourd as a material that makes it superior. On one hand I think the only way you're going to find out is to try one. It's not a lot of money ($69) so it may be worth the risk. On the other hand I've never heard of this company. Has anyone?
I own about a dozen true Clabash gourd pipes with meerschaum bowls. IMHO they can certainly cool down a hot or harsh smoke but at the same time they seem to also take out some high notes that you would get in a briar. They certainly smoke drier than a briar. I like them for what they are, a different smoke and they look cool as hell.
Regarding the pipe you are looking to purchase, they look small, and if the body is mahogany, that's an oily wood and may impart some of it's own taste to the tobacco.
Real Calabash gourd pipes are all over the auction sites, you can pick your size and curve. There's one now at $6.99, just needs a new stem and these type stems are not hard to find or make.
Gourd calabashes usually have a "military" type stem, just a push fit into the ferrule on the pipe. I have a box of old stems and I can usually find something to fit.
To make a stem for your churchwarden is a "whole nother level", it's going to have to match the shank. I had a pro make a replacement stem for an old Dunhill CW for me once and it came out clunky as hell. Had to have it reworked to thin it down. Also, a CW stem is more work than a standard stem, more $
You may want to take a caliper and measure your shank and tenon size and post a WTB in the classifieds, maybe someone has one that will fit or be oversized so you can take it down.
Another negative opinion here. I had one of those in the 1950s. It was the biggest waste of money in my pipe collection. The bowl was made from a meerschaum composite and tasted awful. It also kept falling out of the gourd. The Calabash was very difficult to clean, and it wasn't worth the effort. The pipe was a nuisance and I eventually tossed it.
meerqueen, will MeerschaumStore.com's new calabash pipes be made of African gourd?
BTW, in the late 1960's AFAIK, Pioneer made a gourd calabash with a pressed meerschaum bowl that was renowned for its fine
smoking properties and, curiously enough, its ability to color quite nicely (albeit differently from block meer).