Dr. Medico ....."Brylon-Pipes".....Total Disaster!

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Jan 26, 2018
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So, I had no idea what a "Brylon" pipe was, never heard of them, never knew they existed... until I read about them in some old posts on various pipe smokers forums.  

I was curious.  Went to eBay, and found a cheapo, estate Brylon.  I bought it, and waited with baited breath for this novelty pipe to show up in my mail box.  The worn away stem was in terrible condition, and I wondered why the former smoker clenched for years, or, certainly long and hard enough to his teeth to wear out the stem.  The answer would soon come.

I cleaned up the pipe and disinfected the stem with alcohol.  I used plenty of them annoying scrubby pipe-cleaners.  The bowl was sanded to remove any scratches and it polished up really well, and I thought if the pipe was a decent smoke....I'd have it fitted with a new stem.  It was time to try out the plastic pipe.

I should have heeded all the negative Brylon pipe reviews, but you see, I'm a slow study, and needed to experience, for myself, the magic of the Brylon pipe.

Words fail me.  I thought sucking on the fumey plastic stem, and varnish-tasting corn-cob pipe, was my worst pipe experience.  It was after all, a gift.  So, I reluctantly smoked that cob.  It went into the garbage while still smoldering.  But, smoking my $14.00 estate- Brylon was the absolute zenith of my disgusting pipe-smoking experiences.  Like I said:...words fail me.

The acrid, hot, plastic taste was bad enough, but after a few minutes the pipe almost glowed like a hot barbecue grill...that's how hot the bowl felt.  NOW...I finally realized why the stem was so worn out.  You can't hold the damn pipe...that's how blistering hot it gets!  The smoker is compelled, to clench the pipe!  The smoker has no choice.  No matter how slowly I sipped, the bowl became incandescent with accumulated heat, which just never dissipated!

I'm being kind....but, what a piece of crap!  Bet the pipe bowl is a damn close relative to old fashioned Bakelite, old poker chips, and 1950s Melmac dinner ware.  From what I can gather, wood-flour and thermoset resin, is molded into pipe stummels, then made into pipes.  The one positive aspect that I noticed: the finish work on the bowl, after coming out of the molds had to be done by skilled hands.  The seams along the bowl and shank were nearly invisible, and the mortise hole also had to be finely machined and reamed.  The stem could actually be twisted 180 degrees- and it was still dead-centered.  That ain't too easy to do, cheaply.  Machinists will know what I'm talking about.  The bowl gets an "A+" for fit and hand-finishing....and a "Z-" for its smoking qualities.

Even with all the fine, hand-finishing at the factory, those efforts went towards, nothing.  The pipe cannot be smoked without burning the fingers, the mouth, and the tongue.  The smoker gets a mouthful of hot, acrid, overheated, burnt tobacco fumes.  

Brylon is dead.  Good riddance.

Caveat emptor.  Brylon is terrible.


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B of B Supporter
Dec 15, 2007
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Had one back in the 60's when working in a pipe & tobacco shop during my college days. Damned awful mouthfeel and taste :evil: Plastic and nylon!! That thing got sent to the circular file after about two bowls :D :D :cheers: FTRPLT


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Mar 23, 2018
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I've never heard of Bryon until having read this thread.  I guess I bought a few cheap Dr. Grabows early on then turned my attention to higher end pipes.

I did a little research and found a bit of information on them including this:

pipedia":woemrem5 said:
Brylon (High Temperature Resin and Wood Flour)

Medico Lancer made of Brylon
In 1966, S.M. Frank developed a material called "Brylon" made of a high temperature resin combined with "wood flour", which is pulverized wood of varying consistency. The pipes were cheaper and more durable, but heavier in the mouth and had a tendency to smoke hot and wet. They are still made today, and favored by some for their inability to be burnt out or otherwise damaged without significant effort and the ease of cleaning the pipe. For more information see S.M. Frank.