Pipe Update and Meerschaum Vendor Question - Puff Cigar Discussion Forums
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  • 2 Post By greypilgrim76
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-18-2019, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Pipe Update and Meerschaum Vendor Question

Hi All,

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!
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-18-2019, 01:01 PM
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@greypilgrim76, it sounds like you're going to enjoy your revived pipe hobby. It's wonderful that both you and your wife enjoy woodworking. The places you've listed for buying meerschaum's are all reputable as far as I know. I bought my one meerschaum at Altinok and I'm very happy with it. Their inventory waxes and wanes. Some pipe vendors in Europe carry meerschaums both in their new and estate sections.
on YouTube has a beautiful collection of meerschaums. He speaks highly of Mehmet Ali Birinci.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-18-2019, 01:03 PM
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I should have added that you should check out the size of the meerschaum you're interested in buying. Many meerschaums have smaller bowls than you might prefer.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-18-2019, 01:40 PM
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The sites you’ve listed are all good,
Fresh Meerschaum can be a bit fragile, especially some of the more ornate pieces.
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Last edited by OneStrangeOne; 08-18-2019 at 01:43 PM. Reason: Invalid link
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-18-2019, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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So it sounds like any of the vendors I listed, plus Altinok, will work well. So other than making sure I get a pipe carved from genuine block meerschaum and double-checking the bowl size before ordering, does anyone have any other tips. (No rush. I just ordered the woodcarving chuck today, which was almost as much as the lathe, so I won't be buying a meerschaum for a bit yet.)
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ďIf more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.Ē --J.R.R. Tolkien
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-18-2019, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greypilgrim76 View Post
So it sounds like any of the vendors I listed, plus Altinok, will work well. So other than making sure I get a pipe carved from genuine block meerschaum and double-checking the bowl size before ordering, does anyone have any other tips. (No rush. I just ordered the woodcarving chuck today, which was almost as much as the lathe, so I won't be buying a meerschaum for a bit yet.)
Itís preferable to get one with a push tenon rather than a screw-in. The screw-in type is okay as long as you donít take it apart very often, the threads are cut into the Mortise directly or into a sleeve thatís glued in, the sleeves can come unglued and the threads ca wallow out if youíre not careful.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-18-2019, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneStrangeOne View Post
Itís preferable to get one with a push tenon rather than a screw-in. The screw-in type is okay as long as you donít take it apart very often, the threads are cut into the Mortise directly or into a sleeve thatís glued in, the sleeves can come unglued and the threads ca wallow out if youíre not careful.
Or you end up with the bone screw in tenons.. if you can get those gummed up ones apart without breaking something, you missed your calling as a brain surgeon..

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