Sandblast or Rustication?

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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,842
13,990
Humansville Missouri
I love sandblasted pipes and a good portion of my collection is dedicated to sandblasts. I like some rusticated finishes, but I'm pretty picky about the ones I do like. I love Castello's Sea Rock finish as well as Radice's Rind finish.

I also love the Corallo di Mare finish that Savinelli used to do. If I recall, it is a sandblast/rusticated hybrid type of natural finish. If I remember correctly, there was only one person in the factory that knew how to do this finish, and once he was gone, then they were unable to recreate it the same way. I have two and they are great smokers.

But a natural sandblast that patinas and colors over time is my absolute favorite!
Bria Lee, please don't take this personally but I think all of your Lee pipes are pretty freaking ugly. So far there is not one Lee pipe that I would ever consider buying. I would also never buy a pipe with a stinger. I honestly don't understand your fascination with that line of pipes. Show me a Lee pipe that looks as good as the following pipes.
Jack Howell

Larrysson

Rad Davis

Bruce Weaver

Rad Davis


This is just a few of my good looking blasts.
I absolutely love those beautiful modern pipes, and own several similar modern pipes, some with rustication and blast finishes.

A Star Grade Lee is an acquired taste, as is a classic Kaywoodie or high grade Weber from the same era.

People do not ever change, at all. Human nature is constant. But tastes and styles change so much, and so quickly that only current fashion clothing can be marketed in retail stores.

Two things turn off the modern pipe smoker to a Lee, Kaywoodie, or Weber from the late 30s to about 1963.

The first is those pipes are small compared to modern pipes. So were men’s wristwatches of that era. Such was the fashion.

The second is classic era pipes were highly conservatively styled, and their value was measured almost entirely by the beauty of their grain. A dollar bought a beautiful pipe. Even a $3.50 Kaywoodie Drinkless had to have very nice grain, and not one tiny fill. At $5 the grain had to be better yet, and for $10 and higher it had to be spectacular.

Sometime in the middle 1960’s the E A Carey became very popular, and for years the only shape Carey sold was a large billiard that would swallow the typical Kaywoodie or Lee.

The Danish pipes also invaded the American market. Later the orange (and large) Italian Lorenzos, dyed a modern orange brown.

When new, a Dr. Grabow Omega was huge. Today it looks normal, even small.

One advantage I do claim for classic Lee pipes is even today they are stylish if, and only if, you are wearing a classic men’s business suit.

They were made to be clenched and smoked all day by people who could afford beautiful little $5 and $10 pipes, and it’s a pity men don’t wear hats or they’d look better.

When you see the classic photos of Edward G. Robinson, Jimmy Stewart, Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby, and others with a pipe it’s more than likely a Kaywoodie, or a Weber, Mastercraft or Lee. They all look nearly the same from arm’s length, at least to us today.

He usually smoked Camels, but when he smoked a pipe could the Chairman of the Board have smoked anything other than a classic small American smooth pipe? .:)

 
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cigrmaster

Lifer
May 26, 2012
20,249
57,291
66
Sarasota Florida
Briar Lee, you make a lot of valid points and I get why people would buy them especially from that era. I believe they wouldn't be very successful in today's market, but then again you could probably keep them in business just by your self.

I only buy classic shapes and the Lee classics are not what I am used to. As long as you love collecting them then that is great. You are having fun and that is all that matters. Not everyone can have incredible tastes in pipes like I do. LOL
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,842
13,990
Humansville Missouri
Briar Lee, you make a lot of valid points and I get why people would buy them especially from that era. I believe they wouldn't be very successful in today's market, but then again you could probably keep them in business just by your self.

I only buy classic shapes and the Lee classics are not what I am used to. As long as you love collecting them then that is great. You are having fun and that is all that matters. Not everyone can have incredible tastes in pipes like I do. LOL

A lot of of my Lee love is from finding out that a Lee is essentially an improved Kaywoodie at a Dr Grabow price in today’s used market.:)

But make no mistake, a classic Kaywoodie is the only truly collectible classic era American production pipe. Late 1930s Kaywoodies have briar quality that is never again going to be matched in any factory pipe on earth.

There must be a sort of survivorship bias in the existing market, because I see few high condition medium billiards, likely the most popular shape of that era.

A three quarter or full bent Lee is also very rare.

And a medium Lee is about the smallest size of modern pipe sold today.

The good points about a Lee are these:

1. The build quality exceeds even pre war Kaywoodies, in 7 and 5 point star era Lees. The best new custom pipes would be hard pressed to equal the typical Lee.

2. Lee used some kind of oil cure that truly made a Lee good from the first smoke.

3. Lee’s stinger is removable and I remove them all.

4. Nonsmokers and cigarette smokers absolutely love the style of a Lee, especially the gold stars. They make great decorators, and conversation pieces. So much so, I believe most Lee pipes were ordered for a man by those who loved him.

5. No pipe is better when wearing a classic men’s business suit.
 

tzinc

Can't Leave
Mar 24, 2021
346
1,388
Toronto
For some reason before I smoked pipes I never noticed rusticated or sandblast pipes I didn't know they existed. Once I started smoking I went with smooth to start after a cob... but now I prefer the rusticated AND sandblasts I will not get a smooth pipe anymore.
 

Sacred_summit

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jan 24, 2024
129
466
Calgary, Alberta.
Hello everyone, this has been an insightful thread to read. I have read several threads now comparing rusticated versus sandblasted Petersons to better understand their differences.

I still have my initial question regarding the performance of a sandblasted versus rusticated Peterson. Does one smoke better than the other?

If Peterson chooses to use a briar with a blemish for a rusticated finish, is this purely cosmetic? Or will the briar itself have a fault that's noticed in the quality of the smoke?

I've read people talk about rusticated pipes smoking cooler due to more surface material on the bowl. Is this true? I never read a concrete answer; people seemed to skip these questions when someone had asked.

Thanks guys.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
43,989
112,087
Does one smoke better than the other?
Does a green straw drink differently than a blue one? External cosmetic differences won't change how a pipe smokes.


I've read people talk about rusticated pipes smoking cooler due to more surface material on the bowl.
Only externally. The interior temperature remains the same and the hotness or coolness of the smoke is up to the technique of the smoker. The pipe doesn't change that.
 
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jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
25,329
28,533
Carmel Valley, CA
Blasted, smooth, rusticated, quaints: All other things being equal, there's no difference in how they smoke.

Where there's more surface area to dissipate the heat, do they smoke cooler"- Nah. Do they feel cooler in the hand? Probably, but actual temp difference has not been assayed.
 
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Puffaluffaguss

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 30, 2021
692
2,192
32
The City Different
You also have to take into consideration weather the pipe was oil-cured in any type of way like Ashton, Dunhill, Radice, that will give the pipe differences in flavor during the break in. They could be carved, blasted, smooth, but would it change from variation to variation, probably not, but take the same pipe not cured and it will be different from the cured pipe.