Need advice on hairline crack

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Shaunk2007

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Hello all, new to the forum. I have been smoking pipe now for about 2 years. I recently purchased a Neerup Ida Cut Class 4 bent billiard and it smokes like a dream. I have smoked it relatively even paced now about 10 times to break it in. I came to notice a hairline crack on the rim that I suspect has been there since I purchased the pipe. It is on kind of a natural fault line on the plateau rim and I believe since the bowl coating is turning to cake it is now noticeable, however it may have just developed I don’t know for sure. The pipe came with a fairly thick layer of coating. The crack does not go all the way through the wall and does not show up on the outside of the bowl at all. It is pretty hard to notice, the light has to be just right to see it. It is too small to put any superglue into and I have now smoked the pipe once since noticing the crack and it didn’t seem to change any. The bowl on this pipe has pretty thick walls. My hope is that I can do nothing to it and that the cake will cover the crack eventually and it doesn’t really get any bigger. However with my limited experience that may just be wishful thinking. I have some anxiety now as it was a fairly expensive pipe $200+ and was hoping it would last well past my lifetime. The pipe was brand new when I bought it. I am attaching some pictures and looking for any expert advice as to what you think would be the wisest path forward. Thank you all in advance!
 

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Idlefellow

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Bummer for sure. Can't say what will happen; a good maker would probably take it back. One of my favorite pipes is an ancient Peterson billiard with a crack nearly all the way down the back of the bowl. It doesn't show on the inside, or else it's caked over. It's ugly, but it never gets any worse and doesn't seem to affect the pipe at all. Good luck with yours!

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Zeno Marx

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If it was new and me, I'd ask for a refund and/or replacement. If off ebay, I'd ask for a refund and return it.

As for it getting worse, chances are good that it will not. I recently came across a pipe maker who ran into some big flaws while making a pipe. Instead of discarding the block, they finished it and tried a little experiment. They offered the pipe to ten smokers who signed up to abuse the pipe and try to burn it out. Smoke the crap out of it like you wouldn't normally do to a pipe. Purposely try to ruin it. The briar has since picked up a lot of color, but all the huge pits, cracks, and other flaws have not worsened. Briar is TOUGH stuff. If there is a crack in the mortise, that's more of a concern because the stem might let the bowl fall out. In the case of the bowl like this, it doesn't matter...except psychologically.
 

alex

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I wouldn’t do anything with the crack on the inside surface. Cake will cover it eventually. On a few where I had a crack on the outside I’ve used a Bob Smith cyanoacrylic. You can get different viscosities including super thin or void filling. I’ve also used black varieties from Stewart-McDonald. You can work right over it and it looks like natural markings. You probably have a natural irregularity and not a crack. Stuff it. Light it. Don’t worry.
 

Shaunk2007

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Thank you all for the input, this helps greatly. I did send it back to smokingpipes.com and they are going to inspect it. Depending what they find they said they would refund me in full. I am hoping they do because I already bought a new pipe haha. You all are great and I appreciate the insight! I will let you know what they say when they receive it back.
 

alex

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I once had a similar problem with a Vauen. I didn't get any sort of acknowledgment when I complained (eBay whoever seller). So I stripped the finish off the exterior and removed the bowl coating and sent photos - instant refund, no comments. Refinishing and re-coating is way too easy if you ever have that issue again. I'd do it in a minute.
 
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