So a quick update on all things pipe around my place. @UBC03
is (very kindly) reconditioning the two briar pipes I've currently got, and I'm planning to order some corncobs to try out a variety of tobaccos and get the hang of pipe smoking. (I haven't done it for years, and even then, I'm not sure I ever really knew what I was doing.) I'm also collecting a few different varieties of tobacco, since most of my current stash is the old stuff I may or may not have successfully resuscitated.
On the pipecrafting front, I've dug out all of my old tools, bought a lathe, and will be ordering a woodcarving chuck for the lathe soonish. (I know that probably seems like overkill for a beginner, but my wife and I have both been wanting woodworking tools for a variety of reasons, so it seems like a good way to kill several birds with a few tools.)
Basically, I'll be ready to start smoking and
making pipes soon!
The one other pipe item I've been eyeing is a meerschaum pipe. I almost ordered one years ago, when I first tried my hand at pipe stuff, and now, I think I'd like to get one, maybe for my birthday or Christmas. My wife has a better eye for style than I do, so I've told her that I'd be happy to let her buy it as a gift, as long as it's block meerschaum and has the traditional orange-ish marbled stem. (I'm sure there's an actual name for that style of stem.)
I've read through a number of useful threads here that lay out a lot of the "rules" for meerschaum, both in buying and smoking, but the one thing I can't seem to find is a summary of the best places to actually buy a meerschaum pipe. Some quick Google searches show that eBay is hit-or-miss (as always), and the first five or six vendors that come up look
like they'd be fine, but I wondered if any of experience pipe folks had recommendations on where the best places are to buy a quality block meerschaum pipe without overspending. Meerschaum Market, Royal Meerschaum, Smoking Pipes, and Pipes and Cigars are the sites I've looked at so far, and I'm assuming places like Amazon are generally to be avoided for this sort of purchase, but beyond that, I'm even more noobish than usual on this topic, so as always, any thoughts/feedback would be appreciated!