- Feb 21, 2013
I have always worshipped the pipe nail, for its simplicity, multi-purpose design, and low-low cost. Since they are so inexpensive, you almost can't lose them, except in among the change and keys in your own pocket. The Czech tools and the pocket-knife folding tools run a close second. But wait. Years ago when my wife was in rehab after hip surgery (don't ask, it's a long story) she managed to order me a gift certificate for a pipe rack from Two Cousins. We had fun designing our commission, red barn wood with a storage compartment for tins, and we celebrated by my bringing the rack, loaded with pipes and tins, to her rehab hospital bed and having a birthday take-out meal delivered. Okay. Along with the rack, Two Cousins included a tin of Mac Baren blend and a handmade willow tamper with a special tamping end of non-flammable material. For years it lived on the top of the rack, and I'd admire it from time to time. Only lately have I discovered it and grown to seek it out for tamping. It's wider, thicker, and perhaps lighter weight even than a pipe nail, and gives a somewhat more commanding tamping than my pipe nails and horseshoe nails, which I still use and dearly love. But it is a whole new day in the tamping department. I don't want to have too many pipe tools on hand, for clutter, but this is a resource I didn't appreciate nearly enough. Do you have a pretty tamper you haven't used much? Give it a try. It might become a habit like this lovely Two Cousins willow branch of mine.