What Is So Great About Castellos

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sasquatch

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Jul 16, 2012
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Yeah, constant-volume would mean that the cross-section (round in the shank, flat and rectangular at the button) area of the airway is the same at all points. So you are moving the shape of the tube from being a 5/32" round hole to an equivalent size of rectangle (kind of like the ducts in your house being 3x10 rectangles as the terminal points of a 5" round tube, right?).
One way to do this is to not slot at all - just bang a 1/8" hole all the way through the stem - this is essentially what Wiley pipes look like. Nice draw but a thick stem for it.
A venturi is a tube that tapers, and the flow rate has to increase through the taper. Why would this be good? Bernoulli's laws suggest that the pressure of a liquid on the sides of the pipe it's flowing through varies inversely with the speed - if the gas is zipping through the line there's hardly any interaction with the walls of the pipe, and that ought to mean there's less time/inclination for condensation. So to build a pipe this way, you would use whatever drilling you like, 11/64" I think was pretty near Rick Newcombe's spec, and you taper that down through the stem to the bit, where you'd have the point of greatest restriction somewhere just inside the end of the stem. You could terminate it there, P-lip stems do just that, or you could make a slot for greater comfort after that. But at this point, the hot smoke is zipping along, hardly interacting with the walls of the tube (the inside of the stem) and not condensing and gurgling.

 

mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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I know Castello makes a range of sizes, but in the U.S. market I think it is the primo luxury brand for extra large pipes. They fulfill a promise to make a perfectionistic pipe in design and function in some of the larger/largest sizes.

 

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bnichols23

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Mar 13, 2018
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Fascinating stuff, Bill. First you conclude a series of declarative statements with the one-word sentence "Period" to emphasize their clarity and lack of ambiguity; then, when called on it, try to dismiss the subject entirely since variations in perspective must be allowed
Oh, good grief. [chuckle] Remind me never to be figurative here again. :) BTW, veiled attempts at sarc-snark personal put-downs have little to no effect on me, since I very seldom let anything much get under my skin. :) However there are of course others around who might be, shall we say, less forgiving. :)
B

 

huntertrw

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Jul 23, 2014
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The Lower Forty of Hill Country
What Is So Great About Castellos?
They have been famous for years and years. Here's a picture of Abbott and Castello:


 
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bnichols23

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Mar 13, 2018
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But there's for sure no single right or wrong here, it's a sliding scale of preference - on one end, a pipe you can't get a pipe cleaner through is not going to be much fun, and on the other end, the milkshake straw airway is maybe easy to smoke but probably a hot burning flavorless mess for most users
Agreed, sas. All relative, all personal preference, & personal experience. Like a few bosses I had in the military who seemed to think that because they had the brass & I had extensive experience in my field, their opinion was better than mine because they disagreed with my judgement. Not many of them lasted very long, because they often also thought they knew more that people in their own fields who had more experience. Fortunately I also had a lot more who weren't as arrogant. They got along with everyone, brass or not, a lot better. :)
Bill

 

georged

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Mar 7, 2013
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Oh, good grief. [chuckle] Remind me never to be figurative here again. :) BTW, veiled attempts at sarc-snark personal put-downs have little to no effect on me, since I very seldom let anything much get under my skin.
I'm delighted to hear that your feelings are intact, Bill.
Words cannot convey the depth of my concern in that regard.

 

sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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I own two Castellos and love how both of them smoke. Are they appreciably better than any other pipe that I own? Nope. But then again, I own a number of great smokers. Above a certain price point, you're paying for looks and care in construction.
Every maker has its specialities. Your never going to see birdseye like this on a Stanwell:


That's not a knock on Stanwell. I have several of them and I like how they smoke. It's just not what they're about.
And as oldgeezersmoker wrote,

You also smoke with your eyes.

And the beauty of this Occhio di Pernice, as well as my other Occhio de Pernice, contributes to the pleasure I experience when smoking them.

And no maker hits a home run with every pipe. I've smoked Barlings that were great, and Barling's that were only so so, same with Dunhill, Sasieni, Comoy and other makes. Fortunately, the two Castellos that I own are both great smokers, and the fit never varies to any appreciable extent, which was not true with most of my Dunhills, and a few of my other Britwood pipes.

Are Castellos "better" than all other pipes? Is any one maker better than all other makers? In my experience, no. But Castellos offer me an effortless smoke, as do many other makes. They offer me pleasure, as do many other makes. And as an end user, that's what I care about.

 
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jfred

Member
Apr 30, 2018
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My goodness, sablebrush, that Occhio di Pernice is out of this world! Does it have a "k" grading? If so I'm guessing it must be 4k.

I own 4 Occhios, 1 "k" and 3 "kk", and they are beautiful, but the birdseye on this one is just on another level.

 

georged

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Mar 7, 2013
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So.
This is frustrating.
I've seen pretty much every American carver's work including lots of beginners. Alexander Hasty, whose pipes were discussed here a couple days ago, is a good example. Though being quite new to carving, he would never in a million years put his name on a pipe with the line problems seen here.
In fact, I can't think of a single maker of high(er) grade pipes---company or individual---who would. Anywhere in the world. Outside of Italy, that is.
Hold on...
Could such casual/sloppy shaping actually BE some sort of "Italian thing" that you'd have to live there to "get?" Something akin to exaggerating an object's "hand made-ness" to PROVE it isn't a machine-made item?
Stranger cultural things than that have evolved, to be sure. (Japan's obsession with ultra-cleanliness having created a generation of young adults who have compromised immune systems being a good example).
So, the choices seem to be:
1) They literally can't see and/or don't notice weird/goofy/sloppy lines
2) They see them but don't care (a.k.a. people buy our stuff anyway)
3) "Are you crazy? You want a handmade item to look balanced and perfect? The correct amount of casual slop is something we work very hard to achieve!"
.



 

hoosierpipeguy

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Jan 28, 2018
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George, how many out of 100 pipe smokers have your eye? I think, very few if any. I'm sure Castro counts on that.

 

alaskanpiper

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May 23, 2019
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Alaska
Meh. I could smoke it without puking my aesthetic guts out in a fit of maddening rage. But then again, I don’t know shit about shit........thank God.

 

sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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Hi George,
So what you call shaping sloppiness I call an aesthetic choice. And since I have 50+ years making my living as an artisan craftsman as well as fine artist, I know the territory as well as anyone. The lines you propose are perfectly fine if the intent is to create a proportionate flowing shape. But it is not the only way to shape, and clearly this was shaped to be more angular. Frankly there's nothing wrong or incorrect about how this pipe is shaped, nor how it smokes for that matter. It's simply a different esthetic than yours.

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
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Frankly there's nothing wrong or incorrect about how this pipe is shaped, nor how it smokes for that matter. It's simply a different esthetic than yours.
Not just mine. If the pipe were posted on the pipemakers forum critique board, every experienced carver there would think---and say---the same thing.
Telling in the extreme is that the pipe's primary line problem---its wasp-waisted shank---looks EXACTLY like someone got heavy-handed when leveling the stem/shank junction on a French Wheel... which happens to be the tool used for that purpose in the Castello shop.
Referring to laziness, a mistake, or a lack of skill as a "different esthetic" is a charitable stretch, I think.


 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
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I absolutely refuse to smoke pipes with a wasp-waisted shank. I’ve always said that, FROM DAY 1!!!!!
Right???
It's like, you know, a girl having her ass on backwards, or a grizzly bear that behaves like a kitten. It just ain't the way shit's 'sposta BE.

 
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