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Why we choose the pipes we do

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Centurian 803

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Here's something I been mulling over for a few days: We all seem to have a particular style or shape of pipe we prefer. Is that preference based on personality (do thoughtful contemplative types smoke bents and edgy go for it types smoke straights?), that elusive and inexpicable thing called personal taste, or something else?
I prefer bents; quarter bents the best with a bulldog or apple bowl. Except when I'm reading I love an Oom Paul. I have two different personalities (not talking MPD here - yes you are - no I'm not - r two - am not) At work I'm a definate Type A and at home I'm pretty laid back.

So. Whatcha think? :scratch:
 

puros_bran

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Its subjective for the most part..

I like medium sized slightly bent freehand dublins with either platue tops or very wide tops with birdseye all over it.

Yet we have members here that swear by huge billiards.

Whose right?

We both are. I'd be less than satisfied with a giant billiard that is exactly twice as deep as it is wide... But for the man that prefers them.. There's nothing better

I'm not sure why we choose the pipes we do. Good experiances with that particular type of pipe? Notions that science has any part in pipe smoking? Maybe that's what our 'pipe heros' smoked? Who knows...
 

vaperfavour

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great topic! I collect Eltangs, and I find that I really like the more creative shapes and styles yet I buy his more classical shapes. I wonder about this. I find no difference in smoking qualities between them and I ohh and ahh over his snails, periwinkles and so forth but I buy billiards and classical bents.
 

Puff Daddy

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Well, here's a pic of my rack that holds almost 2/3 of my collection. Guess it speaks a lot about my taste, but it came about slowly and I didn't even realize that I was focusing mainly on these shapes until I'd culled down to almost nothing but straight billiards and bulldog/rhodesians.


The collection came to this point by simply buying what appealed to me and then keeping those that smoked and felt superb. Went through an awful lot of pipes to get to this point....
 
A

Anonymous

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After years of expensive mistakes I learned that form and function are inseperable.

In a positive sense, that a 13/16" bent bulldog or prince has to be really screwed up inside to not smoke flakes well. Ditto 7/8" billiards with English-style tobaccos.

Negatively, that stacks, pots, nosewarmers, big freehands, half or more bents &c. are very low-percentage gambles as far as their liklihood of delivering the kind of performance I've learned to appreciate and look forward to.

There's always going to be some head trip aspect to it -- this year, it's Cavicchis. Previously, it was old-time Anglo-Irish for decades. Next year it might be Stanwells.

But whatever it may be, the accumulated right guesses of years past have the form and size parameters pretty well defined.

:face:
 

Nick

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I buy pipes on a truely emotional level. I might admire a pipe, but unless it really calls up some deep yearning within me, I won't buy it. Mostly, I look for beauty and harmony. I have no certain shape i look for, but rather a pipe with a soul sililar to mine. Wierd, i suppose, but there it is.

Mostly i collect Anne Julies, Ballerinas, Roland Schwarz and Sixten Ivarssons.
 

the macdonald

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I'm a huge billiard guy. I like a pipe I can hammer a nail with or a railroad spike in a fix. I started out a freehand nut and have beautiful Karl Eric thats a classic, but these days I'm after a quality smoke. I turned to a strait pipe when I realized they were easier to smoke and read with. A large billiard or Canadian is all I want. It is where I get the best smokes for me English and Balkan blends…and there is a lot to be said for the aesthetic pleasure of the classic shapes.

For finishes, the last year I’ve obsessed with blasts, but I’m finally starting to look at grain again. I wish I could find an ODA size billiard with nothing but birdseye, top bottom, sides and down the shank.
 

ftrplt

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I'm a bit of an old fogie in that I prefer the more traditional "English" shapes. Billiards, bent billiards, bulldogs, bent bulldogs, pots, rhodesians/authors, liverpools, canadians, apples, bent apples, etc. I have a few "free forms," but don't stray to far from the traditional. I lean toward larger pipes, but have a fair collection of smaller ones. :pipe: FTRPLT
 

Mikem

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I started out with short stubby Lorenzo's in the mid-80's, gravitated to free-hands and billiards and some where started concentrating on Pokers and Bulldogs/Rhodesians. The shape of the pipe has to click with me then the finish and fit. I still have almost all of the pipes I have ever purchased (much to the chagrin of my wife). I have done the occasional trade or have given a new pipe smoker one of my old pipes that just didn't click with me. Carvers, mainly American or Italian. :poncho:
 

Justpipes

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When I got serious about collecting pipes approximately ten years ago I also started out loving Danish freehands and I focused on pipes out of Preben Holm's shop. Some with his own mark and a lot of them with the Ben Wade mark. After a couple of years my taste ran the gamut of everything imaginable. If a pipe appealed to me at the time and I had the money I purchased it, even sometimes when I didn't have the money. :lol: Don't tell my wife! I own quite a few Brissett's that are in my regular rotation and can't be beat! In the last couple of years I have grown very found of the traditional bent billiard or similar shapes. For several years now I have also been fond of Kaywoodies. I have a few very early Kaywoodies that are among my best smokers and the "new era" Kaywoodies produced by Bill Feuerbach at S. M. Frank are awesome pipes for the money. I am a sucker for nostalgia and Americana! This past New Year's I was fortunate enough to add a Dunhill 5102 Shell Briar to my rotation and I have to admit that Dunhills are "all that". I hope to one day add a nice Castello to my collection.
 

mark

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I'm still floundering in a sea of styles, shapes, sizes, lengths, finishes, colors, weights, and price. I've put a couple disappointing freeform pipes aside. The one pipe I cherished {expensive and gorgeous}I gave away because it just wouldn't smoke well no matter what, everytime I picked it up I felt I had to smoke it to justify the price. . I'm now leaning towards a back to basics approach and am on the hunt for a canadian and a straight bulldog. Maybe simple is better, that'll be my focus for now. But still the pipe has to appeal to something inside you,,, I don't understand it but ,,,,,
 

Justpipes

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mark":88zfygib said:
But still the pipe has to appeal to something inside you,,, I don't understand it but ,,,,,
Don't try to understand it. All those that have taken to the pipe have tried but it is incomprehensible. It is called PAD and we all get it at one time or another. It comes and goes and you never know when it will come. I have tried to fight it and I always lose! I was on a roll of resisting it for almost a year and then Randy at WV Smoke Shop posted a whole bunch of new Kaywoodie Majestics, Gold Choices, Elegantes, etc. and when I went there recently to order some Walnut the PAD came again. And now for the last few weeks I have find myself browsing his website on an almost daily basis. It didn't help any either when he marked all of those beautiful Kaywoodies down 25%!

Just go with it Mark.......it will pass, for a while anyway! :D
 

Funn

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I have and always will be a Peterson fanatic particularly bents. Then I had to have a pipe in every classic shape,THEN it was freehands because of Mike Kabik, the pipe repairman-maker at the shop I worked eons ago. Now..if it calls me I buy.I usually enjoy estates. Less break-in and affordable..some 187+ pipes later.

Funn
 

Ol'Dawg

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As for me, I've essentially two sets of pipes. One set is for outdoor use when I'm fishing, hunting or working etc. Most of these are small bent Dr. Grabows, Big Ben Barbados, and Weber's all with filters.

The other set is for indoor smoking and special occasions or situations such as reading, anniversaries, St. Patrick's Day etc. This set has evolved over time. Initially they were pipes of better known brands increasing in value as I went along to see if they were worth the higher price. None have passed the $500 mark though. The last several years I've been purchasing pipes from American craftsmen that I've met at pipe shows.

Overall, I like smaller bent pipes that are rusticated or sandblasted in the bulldog, apple, or brandy shape.

Jim
 
A

Anonymous

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'Form Follows Function' is an old Architectural philosophy, and I find it works for pipes too. My pipes tend to follow what I happen to be doing, I have light weight shorter pipes for driving to & from work, so I can clench and be able to turn and check blind spots quickly without flinging out a heavy pipe. I have heavies that I smoke while sitting and relaxing, I have an old Dr Grabow I use while on my tractor, it's light and cheap, so if I drop & break it there is no great loss. There are differing shapes in each catagory to fit the mood I happen to be in at the time. :pipe:
 
A

Anonymous

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I prefer bents...more bulldogs than anything else, and I tend to make my buys based on the manufacturer or carver, the looks of the pipe and if I can afford it...
 

alfredo_buscatti

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I buy anywhere from mid-grade down to cheapies. I don't find any difference in smoking qualities between them so if a Sav or Peterson catches my attention, great.

I exclusively smoke straights. My collection is ~60. I buy about 75% estates. Let someone else take the retail hit.

If I do have the money and want to treat myself I'll a buy a midgrade-I have two Catellos, a Milville, 4 Ashtons, an Eltang, a Matzhold and a Lane era Charatan.

I resist PAD unless I have the money to buy something. If a pipe is charged, it is paid off before any interest hits or I don't buy.
 

tg

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I prefer straight pots. Bents just don't feel comfortable to me.

The most important thing for me though is to avoid any sort of varnished pipes these days as the varnish bubbles if the pipe gets too hot. I have varnished pipes from the early 80s though where this never happened (and I smoked a lot faster then) so I suspect it's all about quality (bearing in mind I do not buy expensive pipes).

I always therefore go for "stained" pipes (there's got to be a more technical term for this - ie matt finish and not shiny).

The one exception is Vauen pipes from Germany which never bubble but they are a bit pricey.

Having said all of that, I still smoke Falcons 90% of the time because they are just so easy.
 

pipetongue1

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Even' All, Most of my Collection are bents to some degree[ :]. I do have some boring straights from the '60's, I'm a romantis when buying pipes,and I love old funky pipes from yesterday, Ken. :tongue:
Pacem en Puffing! :tongue: From The Northeast Kingdom! :tongue:
10-1-88 :tongue:
 

hazmat

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I prefer bents, they just seem "right" to me. Nothing against a straight pipe, I own a couple...but I'm mostly a clencher and the bents do it for me.

When it comes to "what I go for", I don't really have any preconcieved thoughts. If something stands out to me and I like how it's been made...and if I can afford it....I'm buying it. Simple as that.
 
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