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Briar Pipes with a Virgin Finish

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Winslow

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If anyone out there can tell me,How does a virgin briar color?Does the patina
start being noticeable in the shank first,as a meer?What does the patina look like?
brown,black,? Anyone own one?
I don't recall seeing an estate pipe that was unstained briar.


Winslow
 
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Anonymous

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Winslow":u4bsqnwy said:
If anyone out there can tell me,How does a virgin briar color?Does the patina
start being noticeable in the shank first,as a meer?What does the patina look like?
brown,black,? Anyone own one?
I don't recall seeing an estate pipe that was unstained briar.


Winslow
Just keep smoking it gently- you'll see. It will get dark brownish red the more you smoke it. In fact I've owned Heeschens and Matzholds that were whitish blond when I got them and now they're redish brown.

I think similarly to meerschaum the softer you smoke it (ie the less hot the pipe gets) the more it will color and the more uniform it will be, however I have never seen the color change occur in the shank area exclusively as I have in Meerschaum. In fact I think it's more likely to see the transformation take place around the outside of the bowl area and the heel faster than the shank.

I don't know if you've noticed this but almost all of my pipes that aren't stained black get darker as you smoke them. Red shaded stains definitely get darker. I have several- dozens of red stained pipes that are a dark purple (plum?) color from smoking them. They hold a dark patina that says the pipe has unmistakably been enjoyed;)
 

Mikem

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I have a Comoy Poker that has a Virgin finish. It is getting darker, and to my untrained eye looks like it is getting a dull redish tint also. The shank and bottom of the bowl seems to be getting darker before the upper third of the bowl. Hope this helps.
 

howellhandmade

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Briar naturally turns a reddish brown as it ages. If you were to look at an aged briar block and then cut into it you could see the effect of oxidation -- it can be almost oxblood on the outside and very light inside. I think after 20 years most pipes, except of course those that start out with a very dark stain, will be pretty much the same color.

Jack
 

earl

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Mikem":jfq68u8j said:
I have a Comoy Poker that has a Virgin finish. It is getting darker, and to my untrained eye looks like it is getting a dull redish tint also. The shank and bottom of the bowl seems to be getting darker before the upper third of the bowl. Hope this helps.
Yeah, Mike, that appears to be a good generalization about my pipes, whether they started out virgin or not-though only have 1 virgin that's been in use for about 6 months and at this point is merely a darker brown. But on some of my older stained pipes I've noticed the darkening effect to be concentrated toward the bottom of the bowl more than anywhere. No doubt due to the concentration of the smoke and oils there. I've noticed this effect primarily with pipes with a red-brown stain as opposed to a walnut one. I'm not altogether pleased with it as it tends to give a mottled look to the pipe but what the heck. Earl
 
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Anonymous

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As people have pointed out :

Coloring more on the shank and bowl bottom : moisture/oils related ; Coloring more on the bowl: heat related.

One minor aspect of this is that the ph level of carnuba wax is somewhat acidic. Repeated heatings will necessarily activate the reaction of it with the underlying stain and briar, the result cumulating over time.

One favorite pipe here is a 22 year-old smooth, bent Caminetto estate that's been smoked incessantly. The end of the shank where the tenon fills it is still kind of sandy blonde-tan that was probably its original shade ; the rest has colored to a deep, warm, dark brown. Looks at first glance like a dark pipe that's had the shank sanded in fitting it with a new stem and never re-stained, but not so. Definite meerschaum effect.

:face:
 

Wet Dottle

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I think the color in the meer comes from the inside, while the color in the briar comes from the outside. I think it's the oils (and dirt) in your hands that ends up coloring the outside of briar pipes. In the past, when refinishing a couple of my pipes, sanding resulted in white briar being liberated from under the dark finish that had accumulated in the course of a few years. But perhaps it's just me and my filthy hands...
 

jamist

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This seems to be an appropriate place to post my question.

I've got an Erik Nording unfinished briar that I've been smoking on and off for several years. It smokes really well, and it's definitely darker than when I got it - due to smoke, tobacco juices oils from my hands, the wheel of time, whatever. ;). But I've never been sure how to care for the outside of the bowl. I'm afraid to clean it - seems to me like any kind of cleaner (I.e. Murphy's Oil Soap) would penetrate the unfinished wood. and Mr. Nordings signature is getting pretty faint as it is? Any thoughts? And what about waxing it?

thanks,

Jim d.
 

gravel

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Many unfinished signature Nordings that are well loved lose the signature.
 

Smoker99

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My only unstained is streaked darker in areas. I have read this is due to the density of the briar, softer will come thru first.
 

Kyle Weiss

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Yaaaaaay zombie thread. Feel free to start new threads. That's what the "new topic" button is for. ;)

Don't use oil soap. Don't try to clean it/treat it at all, for that matter, you'll not only make it look worse, but it will affect your smoke.

The one naked Nording I saw, that was pretty well used, had then later been buffed/waxed well after the user had handled it, dropped it, smoked in it for a few years...which was fine but...it looked like hell. Slightly shiny hell, but still hell. It looked way better before he started muckin' around with it. If you want a pretty pipe, get one that's pretty, and keep that one shiny.

8)

 

SpeedyPete

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I received an Old England Virgin Briar estate today, very small pipe with quite a long stem.

This is the most dirty pipe I ever had the "privilege " to hold in my two hands! The seller said it wasn't cleaned but that was the understatement of the century. The bowl and shank was blocked with what looked like cow dung. It seems to me as if this pipe belonged to someone who owned only this one. The hell has been smoked out of it, that's clear.

But, it's clean now and the grain is beautiful. And like all my other Old England pipes, this one already promises to be a super smoker very soon.
 
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Anonymous

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Kyle Weiss":d7052llb said:
Yaaaaaay zombie thread.   Feel free to start new threads.  That's what the "new topic" button is for.  ;)  
Funny how the etiquette on this varies from forum to forum. I have been a member of forums where members go mental if new threads are added that have been covered before. The corresponding admonition is 'that's what the search button is for'.
 

juanmedusa

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I'm in the "use an existing thread" camp myself. If there are 5 threads on BBF and you add something to the discussion of one thread then there are users linked to the other threads that are potentially interested in BBF that won't be brought into the new discussion. None of this matters to users actively browsing the sections though because they'll simply see it but really devalues the notification feature. Just one opinion.
 

riff raff

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I bought an unstained "Naked" Tinksy Coral Carved last year. I never really embraced the unstained look and the bowl top started getting black. I cleaned it with alcohol, then stained it a light brown and waxed it. I prefer that pipe now vs. unstained.
 
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