Disappointed in a Peterson

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Idlefellow

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I bought this Pete Sherlock Holmes edition Squire from Smokingpipes in February. Haven't smoke it yet; waiting for the right time. Last night I took it from the rack and noticed these three large flaws; can't believe I never noticed them before! At first I thought they were huge fills, but the grain is evident throughout. Maybe they are spots that didn't take stain? Never seen anything like it. I emailed Smokingpipes and got a prompt response from Chris who said I could return the pipe of course, or wait until Monday when he could show my photo to his supervisor. I'll wait, but I expect they'll just say send it back. I'm really bummed. I love the shape, and I really like this particular pipe and the color, but I don't think I can live with it in this condition :cry:. I asked if he had another comparable Squire but no response as yet.

 

ftrplt

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There are other Peterson threads here that discuss this subject. My standard reply is overall I love Peterson's shapes (classic English!) but truly despise their quality control or lack thereof!!! For some reason, Peterson thinks gaping flaws and sneaky fills are OK!! I have a Kinsale XL26 with such a crappy, though smaller, flaw/fill such as yours. Plus a Shamrock with a dark brown fill starring right at me as I smoke it!! My Mark Twain has a "hidden" fill that just plain azz pisses me off!! Soooo...I quite buyin'em!! I would hope that Sykes Williford's ownership would have corrected this situation; I guess not. Keep sendin'em back!!!!! FTRPLT
 

Idlefellow

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It's one reason I often buy blasts or rusticated pipes - not that the flaws aren't there, but I can't see them and don't know about 'em! Some shapes just call for a smooth finish though, and this is one in my opinion. I've got 23 other Petersons with no real complaints so I guess I've been pretty lucky. I did have to send my first Mycroft back as it had a very poor finish. I know Smokingpipes will make it right; I just hate it as I really love this shape in this finish.
 

Ranger107

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Several months ago I bought a Pete Jekyl &Hyde from Iwan Reiss. Looked fine but smoked like crap. Had a couple of bad hot spots and I mean hot. Smoking slow and after 5 minutes there was a spot on the front of the bowl that would literally burn my hand. Sent it back and told them I didn't want it as I was sure it would "burn out" at some point. They gave me store credit and I bought two vauens for the same price. Really disappointing as my other Petes (5) smoke great.
 

Mikem

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I have a couple of Peterson's with flaws, fortunately with no hot spots and good smokers. I own several Vauens and Jirsa's (a couple of which are considered their high grades) and think for the money they can't be beat. One of the Jirsa's I initially had issues with but blame the local shop where I purchased it. The guy behind the counter would clean with a mystery cleaner inside and outside the bowl on new pipes purchased and would leave a nasty taste for several bowls.
 

Idlefellow

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Smoking pipes suggested I send to in to see if their restorers could do anything with it. Got the verdict today; nope! They gave me a full refund on the purchase price (though I did have to haggle with them a little on the return shipping which they agreed beforehand to pay: they wanted to give it to me as a house credit which I didn't think was fair) but I really did like that pipe :cry: . I'm in the market for a smooth Squire if anybody knows of one; have a couple spotted but they're not terracotta and I really liked that finish!
 

WTHall

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Idlefellow, You know, briars are living things - well, once were. These spots don't look like fills to me, but definitely some sort of flaw. Other posters mentioned 'hot spots,' which I think you'd encounter if you stayed with this pipe. Return appears to be the answer. Good luck.
 

Idlefellow

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Ordered another Squire, this one on ebay from Harrison Simmonds. They were super helpful; sent me detailed photos of the two they had in stock and I picked the one I preferred. I told them my story of the last one and asked them to look this one over carefully for flaws since they're in England and I didn't want to send it back; they assured me that they did. They seem like really great folks. This one is the "dark" finish; I really wanted another terra cotta but they said they didn't know when, if ever, those would be available. It's in route so we'll see how I did 🙏.
 

Timbo

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Sorry to make you paranoid Idle, but Peterson tend to use their dark stains on pipes with fills. All my dark Pete's have a fill or two, not that a fill matters to me at all, they smoke just as well as the rest of them.
 
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Idlefellow

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I'm sure that's true but as long as it ain't huge I'm OK with it. I have a SH Strand in the dark and really like it; beautiful grain, and if there a fill I can't see it...
 

Davy Jones

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I have been disappointed by more than one Peterson in the past years. But I have noticed recently after a few purchases that they have significantly improved on various levels, notably the drilling to the tobacco chamber and they seem to have stopped using fills (as the OP pointed out this issue in his post). This being said, they are still not very high quality pipes for the most part (briar, engineering and finishing) but one cannot expect too much at the price ranges they offer. The fact that a pipe cleaner cannot be passed on anything that is not a straight shape creates issues such as extra moisture, etc., that ultimately disappoints. Even their System pipes, which I have tried, were good at first but quickly went downhill despite proper cleaning after each pipeful and maintenance. Passing a pipe cleaner is key to a good smoke as everything is properly aligned from tobacco chamber to button. And it does matter.
However, I still get a Peterson phase every once in a while despite the fact that I promise myself not to buy them anymore every time I buy a new one. That's because their shape interpretation is very personal and distinctive. It makes some of their pipes very attractive regardless of the known issues. That's why they have so many iconic shapes. A pipe smoker likes to look at his pipes, not just smoke them. They are more than an instrument and I think this could be an aspect that explains why Peterson pipes are still so popular.
 
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mtvernon

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The fact that a pipe cleaner cannot be passed on anything that is not a straight shape creates issues such as extra moisture, etc., that ultimately disappoints. Even their System pipes, which I have tried, were good at first but quickly went downhill despite proper cleaning after each pipeful and maintenance. Passing a pipe cleaner is key to a good smoke as everything is properly aligned from tobacco chamber to button. And it does matter.

If it matters to you, it matters, but I’ll say that until I started reading posts like these, I never realized passing a pipe cleaner through without disassembly was an expectation anybody had. Now it’s something I notice in many of my pipes (including my Petersons), but it doesn’t bother me that I have to do so. It definitely isn’t a deal breaker in and of itself.
 

Timbo

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Passing a pipe cleaner is key to a good smoke as everything is properly aligned from tobacco chamber to button. And it does matter.
You're doing it wrong. A system pipe should not need a pipe cleaner at all for one smoke. By all means, empty the chamber out as needed but it should not need a cleaner during a smoke, that's what the chamber/military mount are for. After a smoke run one through the stem then reload and keep going. That's what I love about my system pipes, I can use one all day with a pipe cleaner or two involved after each bowl.
 
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Davy Jones

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I am not doing it wrong, mate. Obviously, I worded it in a way that did not describe what I meant to say. Referring to the pipe cleaner was just to point out the necessity for everything to be internally aligned. After all, there was a time when pipe cleaners did not exist. The chemistry of the whole thing is regardless of the of the presence of a system or not, as soon as the airway passage between the shank and the tenon is not aligned (thus, the pipe cleaner factor for us modern smokers), extra moisture will accumulate because of the break. And this will, in many cases, create gurgling or other unfortunate happenings (pipe juice) during a smoke that a proper alignment will not cause. When one ends up with pipe juice and you can't pass a pipe cleaner (excluding army mounts, of course), then one has to wait for the pipe to cool down before removing the stem, addressing the issue and carrying on. When everything is internally aligned and the smoker does what he must (tobacco is not too moist, pipe is packed properly and the puffing cadence is relaxed), all is well.
Now, how people consider this being an issue -or not- is something personal. I hope what I'm trying to explain is more intelligible.
 
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Davy Jones

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@mtvernon: Indeed, it is something personal. And it is more than an expectation for any good quality pipe. It is a requirement. There is a reason why established pipemakers and brands dedicate the extra time and effort in order to ensure that everything is internally aligned.
 
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Davy Jones

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Nah, mate, you did not. I read myself again after your comment and realized I was misleading for sure, which justified your reaction.
That's what happens when you write something shortly after waking up in the morning. ;)
 

Ranger107

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Only happens to me after tequila shots which I only do a couple of times a year, lol.
 

Davy Jones

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Hahaha. I got real sick over tequila, once. But it was the cheap stuff, Jose Cuervo Especial. Couldn't stand the smell of that spirit for 20 years afterward until somebody convinced me to try the quality stuff which is wonderful. It was called Espolon Reposado. You drink it in a snifter just like a fine Cognac or Armagnac. I've been only buying that ever since.
 
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