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 OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe

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smoker13



Age : 63
Location : Western Mass
Registration date : 2016-01-12

PostSubject: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:54 am

Not an elaborate, carved effigy of Don Quioxte or such, just a smooth, bent billiard.

I've spent an hour or so (maybe TWO) watching various youtubes dedicated to coloring these pipes, and I'm no closer to understanding just what is the best way to actually ENJOY SMOKING them while acquiring some nice color along the way.

SO, dear brothers, have any of you got any tips for me regarding the best varieties of tobacco to smoke in a Meerschaum, as well as any other things you've learned while smoking yours along the way?

I'd appreciate any wisdom you'd care to share.
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:30 pm

More power to ya' if you can do both; i.e., enjoy smoking it and coloring it nicely. I just smoke mine any old way, no extra care whatsoever. Apparently, from what I've read and experienced by cutting into a meerschaum bowl with a knife, it's the wax that colors, not the meerschaum. That's not counting the shank, which appears to color from the "juice" condensation inside, created there by smoking. It's the first thing you'll notice after 50 bowls or so, maybe less.

That being the case, I just don't care about the coloring, since the pipe can be re-waxed fairly easily. But they do indeed look cool if done correctly. I don't think it matters what tobacco you use, though some say heavy perique is best for coloring--but I think that's because they think it colors from the inside.

Some guy in Tom Dunn's The Pipe Smoker's Ephemeris (house organ of TUCOPS, The Universal Coterie of Pipe Smokers) wrote about a quick way he discovered to color a meerschaum really well, by subjecting it to heavy smoke in a chamber of some sort. That was years ago, and all I remember. Wish it were online, but I'm not going to attempt digging it out of my archives. Too much work. Good luck, in any event.
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smoker13



Age : 63
Location : Western Mass
Registration date : 2016-01-12

PostSubject: Re: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:29 pm

I think your approach, in the end, is the best approach, Richard. I just watched a video by a guy in Germany who has about 30 Meerschaums or so- they were spread out on a huge desk and table in his library - and he went on and on about all the "myths" about what to do and what not to do. He's been smoking them for well over 20 years.

Near the end of his half-hour video he pulled out a beautifully colored classic eagle claw and egg Meerschaum. He said that was the first pipe he started smoking by just SMOKING, i.e. breaking all the rules about coloring. No extra application of beeswax, no smoking with cotton gloves, no smoking by holding the stem only, etc etc. His advice: Just smoke the damn thing and enjoy it, because the best thing about a Meerschaum is that it gives a really fine smoking experience.

So I think I'm going to just do that and leave the whole coloring magic to the smokey gods and their muses and not get in their way.
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:52 pm

Yeah, Bremen Pipe Smoker. I like that guy for some reason. Forgot about him. Bear in mind that having dirty hands on a warm pipe will muck it up pretty fast. The dirt will embed in the soft wax. Sometimes it will kind of wipe off, other times it won't. Just sayin'. My only meerschaum at the moment is also a smooth bent billiard. It definitely doesn't look babied. Laughing
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smoker13



Age : 63
Location : Western Mass
Registration date : 2016-01-12

PostSubject: Re: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:16 pm

No problem there. I got a thing about keeping my hands clean. Just one of those hang-ups or whatever. No way I'm gonna say I'm anal about keepin' my hands clean, so let's just drop it right there. But you know what I mean.
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smoker13



Age : 63
Location : Western Mass
Registration date : 2016-01-12

PostSubject: Re: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:18 pm

And yeah, it was Bremen Pipe Smoker and yeah, I also like him for some reason. Seems like he hits the nail on the head most of the time.
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Brewdude

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

PostSubject: Re: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:57 pm

I've but one Meer, a Royal Meerschaum 1/2 bent billiard with the golf ball treatment (lattice?). Gifted to me back around '01/'02, and for some reason I seldom smoke it. Must rectify that.

Anyway, lets say it's been smoked about 20 times. And the shank is starting to colour. Also I never use gloves and hold it the way I do normally. Which is to say by the bowl towards the bottom. No problems there.

My late Pap had a straight Meer billiard that had coloured nicely from the shank partway up the bowl. Pity I couldn't have inherited all his pipes, but alas his second wife threw them all out after they married and he had given up on the pipe. And yes this was long before I got into the hobby!


Cheers,

RR
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monbla256

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Age : 71
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:07 pm

I've got 4 meers ranging from 40 to 20 yo and sadly I've not smoked 'em regularly. My oldest, an SMS Eagle Claw/Egg which I bought in the mid '70s has really started to color so if you keep at it by the time you turn 100 it'll be to your liking !! Twisted Evil
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:02 pm

I'm with the smoke it and enjoy it school of thought. I found the effort to tend to coloration detracted from and sometimes replaced the calm enjoyment and relaxation of smoking a pipe. My epiphany came when I caught myself getting concerned with a thumbprint smudge on the bowl of my CAO. "Ooohh, nooo," I thought, "how can I fix that? " But then it occurred to me that the meer hadn't been smoking as well as my favorite briars, so cosmetic questions weren't worth worrying about. I'm definitely a much slower smoker now than I was when I bought my meers, and I've been told the blotchy coloration is a clue to excessive puffing, but at this point I don't give a hoot. Relax and enjoy.
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:34 pm

I had a Meer some time ago, an estate I snagged at a yard sale, very reasonably priced. The seller had no idea of the age and there was no nomenclature. It was slightly yellowed, though it had been smoked plenty of times by the look of it.

I went off on a flyfishing trip for a few days, and returned home to a cheerfully bright watercoloured and crayon piece of artwork my second daughter(6 or 7 years old at the time) had made 'beautiful' for me. I kept it for many years after that. I gave it to her for a wedding present a couple of years ago. She got a very nice stand for it and it sits in a curio cabinet with her other keepsakes.

I think I smoked it twice. I don't recall my impressions of it's performance however. Haven't had one since. Never really got attached to a pipe for a long time after that.
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:26 am

Ozark Wizard wrote:
I went off on a flyfishing trip for a few days, and returned home to a cheerfully bright watercoloured and crayon piece of artwork my second daughter(6 or 7 years old at the time) had made 'beautiful' for me. I kept it for many years after that. I gave it to her for a wedding present a couple of years ago. She got a very nice stand for it and it sits in a curio cabinet with her other keepsakes..

LOL
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smoker13



Age : 63
Location : Western Mass
Registration date : 2016-01-12

PostSubject: Re: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:30 am

Mister Wizard, that's more than likely the best example of a colored Meerschaum pipe that ever existed anytime, anywhere! Many Thanks for a great story and the great shot of reality to this whole subject.
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Idlefellow

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Location : The Kansas Prairie
Registration date : 2009-02-24

PostSubject: Re: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:37 am

I have two, both brought to me from Turkey by friends; this one...



...and a billiard shape which I assume is a very low grade pipe; it has some small textures in various places which I assume were placed to disguise pits, etc.  Neither are smoked very often; the billiard hardly at all.  Sometimes I remember the bird dog pipe which sits in its case in the back of my pipe cabinet, and drag it out for a go.  I doubt it's had more than 10-15 bowls through it and it hasn't colored much at all; a bit on the very bottom.
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ftrplt

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Age : 70
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: OK. I finally bought a Meerschaum Pipe   Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:01 pm

I have acquired over a dozen Meers since 1970. Many of them are still unsmoked including my very first one purchased in the Ramstein AB, Germany Base Exchange! Others came directly from Turkey as I was there courtesy of my Uncle Sam. I visited the meer pits at Eskisehir on many occasions picking up pieces that interested me. I smoke my meers irregularly. While some have colored a bit, none are "meer brown!!" I do like/enjoy them; they just don't seem to make it into any sort of rotation with me!!

While some will say that meers are made for English/Latweed/Oriental type tobacco, I say smoke anything you want in them!! A good friend of mine smokes meers almost exclusively (his are well colored!!). His favorite 'baccy...the old Middleton's Cherry Blend (in whatever concoction he can how find it!!). FWIW cheers FTRPLT
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