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 Ashton pipes?

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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Ashton pipes?   Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:19 pm

Ashton pipes seem to have a good reputation as far as I can tell. I've never owned one nor even held one, and hadn't considered adding one until recently. Some of them can be quite spendy, but others seem to be within my modest means. One in particular caught my eye recently, a blasted 'dog in a Pebble Grain finish. Right in my wheelhouse, with a great blast.

So what's the skinny on the current Ashton production? Like it or launch it?


TIA



Cheers,

RR
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:05 pm

I've owned Taylor and Craig Ashtons (currently only Taylor pipes). Despite their flaws, my preference is Taylor era pipes. My Craig pipes were from 2010 and 2011. I was never happy with the stem fitment on those pipes and during that era, the new pipes I viewed at shows had similar fitment issues. Lately, the stem work seems to have improved, at least from what I see on the web. I still worry about Craigs marketing for the brand (or lack thereof). He seems to no promotion work at all. (no website, etc.)
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MisterE
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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:57 pm

I have two Taylor era pipes that are spectacular. I can't really comment on later pipes as I don't have any. Definitely on par, or better than Dunhills of the same time period. I think of them in the same vein as Ferndowns. The next-generation Dunhill.

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Many of the greatest pleasures in life are illegal, immoral, or smelly.

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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:39 pm

My new-to-me Ashton took awhile in shipment ... And the weather hereabouts has not been conducive to giving nifty pipes their outdoor trial by fire. All that said ... It's a freakin' beauty. Classic English  Bulldog, nice blast leaving a beautiful grain pattern, but not craggy. Stain I guess would be called brindle -- mostly dark, but some reddish highlights. Fit of the stem and drilling looks AOK to me. The weather is supposed to get warmer and drier hereabouts, and the 60 mph wind gusts are supposed to go annoy someone else beginning Monday. I already have some aged Va #1 ready to go. I bought this Ashton as an estate, but the bit isn't scratched, and if it was smoked much you could fool me. My internet searches indicated collectors prefer the older ones and have reservations about Ashton's more recent production. Well, they ain't system pipes, and they're not produced for "the masses," as they say in Euro-land, what else can I say? As you said, prices aren't prohibitive, plus I got an IPSD discount on the price of an estate pipe, it was exactly the style and finish I'd been hankering, and "cold smoking" has been very promising -- nice draw, slightly sweet / nutty taste, no whistles and maybe just the slightest hint of English. (And maybe I'm imagining it). I'm glad I finally pressed "place order."
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Ocelot55

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:57 am

I've got four Craig era Ashtons. I actually smoke three of them quite often. They aren't the best pipes, but they are every bit as good as modern production Dunhills. I think Ferndowns look a bit more attractive, but aren't quite as open as I like.

I think if you stick to the Ashton sandblasts it would be hard to go wrong. The smooths IMHO are overpriced.
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:57 am

It appears that Jimmy Craig has an arrangement with Great Estate and Coopersark ebay sellers, they have a number of new Ashtons sold thru Ebay.

Ocelot's comment on the draw vs. Ashton is spot on. New Ashtons pack easily and have a very nice draw.
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ftrplt

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:23 am

I have three Bill Taylor Ashton's. Two large Pebble Grain Bulldogs and one large Old Church squat bulldog. All smoke wonderfully. I have no knowledge of Jimmy Craig's work. I do have one 3* Ferndown oval-shanked Canadian. Awesome pipe!! FWIW cheers FTRPLT
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:19 pm

The weather was chilly this evening but calm out on my deck, so without further ado I packed the bowl of my Ashton bulldog with Macb #1 and lit 'er up. Like buttered wheat toast. Went uninterrupted nearly to the bottom on the charring light. Perfectly dry. Wonderful.
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:25 pm

Thanks for the responses brothers, and keep them coming.

I edumacted myself today on pipedia and learned of the development of Ashton from Bill Ashton through to Jimmy Craig. I sort of knew some of this before but this brought me up to date.

The one I'm eyeing is clearly a Jimmy Craig production. And based on Jesse's comments (as well as Al's re: the stem fitment improving) it just might be worth a flutter. Gonna sleep on it before making any decisions. Lord knows I don't need another pipe...........

.........ya I know, that's what they all say!

bom



Cheers,

RR
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fsu92john

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:43 pm

I have only one, a Jimmy Craig-era Brindle XX bent brandy. Honestly, I'm not fond of it. When smoked new, it had the most "dead" flavor of any pipe I've ever owned--it just seemed to rob the taste from anything I smoked in it. It's gotten better as I've smoked it (infrequently), but it's one of the last pipes I think of reaching for. It may eventually find its way to someone who'll enjoy it more.
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:48 am

Like with Ferndown, Maxim at Pipes2Smoke has the best selection of Ashton pipes:
http://www.pipes2smoke.com/Ashton.htm

New pipes sold thru Chance at Great Estate often go under $200, so I would watch his offerings. Here are his sold listings. Coopersark new Ashton auctions go slightly higher.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/great-estate-pipes/m.html?_armrs=1&_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=Ashton&LH_Complete=1&rt=nc&_trksid=p2046732.m1684
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:58 pm

OK, so here's the one that caught my eye. It was listed on SP's last Thurs newsletter and it's still there, along with a duplicate which is essentially the same -







$216, which isn't out of consideration. I buy mostly estates these days, with the once-in-a-while commission. So this isn't out of my reach, finacially.

At the same time I'm more concerned with its smoking qualities, and a few here have raised issues about Jimmy Craig era pipes. So that gives me pause.

What to do..............

.................. Question



Cheers,

RR
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riff raff

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:37 pm

That reminded me about one more important distinction. Jimmy Craig appears to be using acrylic stems (both of mine were acrylic). Pipes2Smoke says they use vulcanite. Jimmy Craig replied via his ebay store (which appears to be closed) that the stems were acrylic. I'm a vulcanite guy, so that's a deal breaker for me.
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Ozark Wizard

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:44 pm

Looks pretty sweet!
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:55 pm

riff raff wrote:
That reminded me about one more important distinction.    Jimmy Craig appears to be using acrylic stems (both of mine were acrylic).  Pipes2Smoke says they use vulcanite.  Jimmy Craig replied via his ebay store (which appears to be closed) that the stems were acrylic.  I'm a vulcanite guy, so that's a deal breaker for me.

I don't mind an acrylic stem myself Al. I have both and have no particular preference. Vuncanite needs more attention and maintenance and is softer when clenching, yet I'm trying to move away from clenching since it produces the inevitable results (as you'll well know). So that's not a deal breaker for me, at least.

More to the point about about the stem fitment and smoking qualities. Regardless of how nice the pics look I'm looking towards these issues.



Cheers,

RR
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ftrplt

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:32 pm

IIRC, Bill Ashton-Taylor had his own bit material called "Ashtonite." All three of my Ashton's have this type bit. FWIW, cheers FTRPLT
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riff raff

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:05 am

ftrplt wrote:
IIRC, Bill Ashton-Taylor had his own bit material called "Ashtonite." All three of my Ashton's have this type bit. FWIW, cheers FTRPLT

Yep, I'm a big fan of Ashtonite stems.
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KevinM



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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:15 am

Dude -- that's a very handsome Ashton, and I congratulate you for the trust shown to your acquisitive brethern😉 Just for jollies, you can revisit the same site and search 004-002-10548. It's another Ashton estate you might have missed. I like this style and the price is attractive. The text indicates a "soft spot" which might merit an inquiry from an interested piper. It could just be another too enthusiastic reamer.
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daveinlax

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:57 am

I had 7 Ashton in the mid 90's with the Ashtonite stems. I always assumed it was a softer acrylic than Lucite but never really knew. I should have asked him when he was a regular at shows. Shocked


Last edited by daveinlax on Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:55 pm

KevinM wrote:
Dude -- that's a very handsome Ashton, and I congratulate you for the trust shown to your acquisitive brethern😉  Just for jollies, you can revisit the same site and search 004-002-10548. It's another Ashton estate you might have missed.  I like this style and the price is attractive. The text indicates a "soft spot" which might merit an inquiry from an interested piper. It could just be another too enthusiastic reamer.

If by that, you mean I'm exposing the pipe I'm considering acquiring (but haven't yet pulled the trigger on) to all and sundry who might scoop it up first - all I can say is that if another brother falls in love with it and scoops it up before me, then jolly good for them. First come, first served.

And, there are 2 of them still on offer at SP anyways. Frankly I don't feel there's any feeding frenzy on Aston pipes at the moment. So, I'll take my time and ponder this further.

Further to your link of the estate 'dog, yes that looks pretty sweet. And at an attractive price. But having my 'druthers, I'm a bent sorta guy (see my sidebar) so will sit that one out. The one I referenced is new, btw.

And I did make a cursory reconnoitre of the 'bay listings, but I rarely play there. So there you have it.



Cheers,

RR

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KevinM



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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:20 pm

The hunt can be so engrossing that, in the end, acquisition can be a let down. I tend to stretch out the examination / comparison / transaction part of the hunt and then sometimes go back to find the pipe g o n e! Once I'd been mulling a purchase for a week, finally decided to buy, was about to put it in my cart but decided to take one more cursory look at a similar item, then decided to go with Plan A . . . And in that 30-seconds you can guess what happened. But I remain more of a Look Before You Leap type of guy than a He Who Hesitates is Lost type. Good luck with your hunt.
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KevinM



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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:56 pm

Meant to add agreement on the "no feeding frenzy" observation. It looks to me as if particular artisans get hot, and there seem to be a plenitude of them, too many for me to keep up with. Meanwhile, Ashton prices seem to be held down by mixed reviews, the brand's history, occasional reported quality issues and , perhaps, by the traditional look, which is the thing I like about 'em.
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:42 pm

KevinM wrote:
The hunt can be so engrossing that, in the end, acquisition can be a let down. I tend to stretch out the examination / comparison / transaction part of the hunt and then sometimes go back to find the pipe g o n e!  Once I'd been mulling a purchase for a week, finally decided to buy, was about to put it in my cart but decided to take one more cursory look at a similar item, then decided to go with Plan A . . . And in that 30-seconds you can guess what happened. But I remain more of a Look Before You Leap type of guy than a He Who Hesitates is Lost type.  Good luck with your hunt.

Ya, I'm usually that kinda guy as well. And I've had a few instances that when I finally made up my mind - poof - it was gone. A Tinsky estate author comes to mind......

KevimM wrote:
Meant to add agreement on the "no feeding frenzy" observation. It looks to me as if particular artisans get hot, and there seem to be a plenitude of them, too many for me to keep up with. Meanwhile, Ashton prices seem to be held down by mixed reviews, the brand's history, occasional reported quality issues and , perhaps, by the traditional look, which is the thing I like about 'em.

Roger that.



Cheers,

RR
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:22 pm

And..........

In todays SP newsletter there's yet another Ashton which caught my eye. Here's a Brindle Bent 'doggy-









Slightly larger than the Pebble Grain, but not by much. Tapered Cumberland stem, which is a nice touch. The saddle stem on the Pebble Grain is black which still complements the strummel. But Cumberland is much more attractive.

This Brindle is adventurously priced at $288 though! For that kind of dough I can get a brand new Tinsky and be assured of a fine smoker. So I'll probably pass on this one and return to pondering the Pebble Grain Bent 'dog with the saddle stem.

But the Brindle shure is purdy!

tongue


Cheers,

RR
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Ozark Wizard

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PostSubject: Re: Ashton pipes?   Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:31 pm

Yah, that's pretty too!

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