This one sold for the amazingly low price of sixty five Canadian dollars. Let’s see what that gets! I have it a thorough looking over, though without calipers. I’m no frozen churchwarden.
The stem is quite well done. Feels like a tapered airway from running a pipe cleaner through it. And the tenon is fully chamfered like Castello does them. It’s a good fit, tight, but not too tight. The stem is beautifully shaped and has a great high gloss finish.
The bit is a tad thicker than I am used to, but not by much. The button is big, which I quite like. It reminds me of an Ashton button. Good for hanging off a tooth.
The slot seems a bit smaller than your normal handmade pipe, but it reminds me of my Trypis pipes. Squarish.
The shank drilling is good. The chamber walls are a bit rough, with some crevices. The walls are thick enough I doubt it’ll be much of an issue in use. The chamber is drilled a little too far for my tastes, so the draught hole is not at the bottom of the chamber, but up a little. And the thinnest part of the bowl seems to be the heel. In practice that means it leaves more dottle, about the amount my bent Peterson 301 does.
The shaping is mostly very good, except the last quarter inch of the shank where it forms the mortise. This has some flat spots and they are a bit more roughly sanded. Being flatter spots, perhaps the buffer missed them. You don’t notice them unless you go looking.
But the bowl is great, and the nice wall thickness makes it comfortable to hold.
The first few smokes, when the ember got near the walls, gave off a sharp taste, and it wasn’t pleasant. But after I kept filling it with burley for a dozen or so bowls, that has passed. Now it smokes quite well.
For sixty five Canadian dollars, this pipe is a great bargain. It’s going to be my workhorse for the fall, alongside my similarly priced Trypis pipes. I’d be interested in pricier pipes from Chris, if he decides to try his hand with the more expensive blocks. And with a bit more attention to the shank shaping and the depth of the chamber.