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Re: [Pipe smokers] On Grabows and "cheap" pipes

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  • Joe H
    Jason, any pipe has the chance to be a good smoker, and any pipe has a chance to be a bad smoker. What may smoke good for me may smoke bad for you, and what
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 1, 2003
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      Jason, any pipe has the chance to be a good smoker, and any pipe has a chance to be a bad smoker. What may smoke good for me may smoke bad for you, and what may smoke bad for me may be your best smoker. The only way to tell is to load the pipe up and see how it fits you. As far as the "functionality" standpoint, the pipe is but one part of that equation. The tobacco, the way it is packed, and the way it is burned all play a part in how functional any pipe may be. Altho it has been debated over and over, whether here or on ASP, the fact remains that there is much subjective character to the question and the answer, if there is really an answer.

      Joe


      Jason <jason_lunsford@...> wrote:
      As a quick preface please understand I am not trying to stir up a
      debate on cheap vs expensive pipes. I'm sure this has been debated to
      death on other forums like ASP but wanted to know what the folks here
      thought.

      I am still a newbie pipe smoker who is enjoying this hobby quite a
      bit. I have about a dozen pipes and only a few that I bought myself.
      Most of them I inherited from my father. I have a couple of Dr.
      Grabows one of which was his and the other I received in a PIF package
      from a great guy on ASP. I don't recall ever having smoked them and
      while I plan to I was wondering what folks thought of inexpensive
      pipes like these from a 'functionality' standpoint.

      I ask this because of course I can appreciate as much as anyone else a
      beautiful hand crafted pipe from the likes of Zeman, Tinksy, Bjarne
      etc. They are one of a kind and much care has been taken in their
      creation. But for just a knock about pipe do the cheaper ones really
      smoke 'badly'? As in do they not absorb moisture as well, not
      facilitate air flow as well, don't keep the tobacco burning as
      consistently. Well you get the idea. (Of course there's always the so
      called 'mid-grade' pipes which can often be an excellent value but I'm
      just sticking to the low end for this question.)

      Sorry if this is a belabored point for some but something that's been
      on my mind as I move into the New Year employed at a much lower salary
      than what I am used to as I ponder my next steps in life towards a new
      career. Maybe I'll fire up one of those Grabows for my next smoke and
      just give her a whirl. If I like it maybe I'll grab another one next
      time I'm in Walgreen's picking up a big bulk bag of Burley Light. Mmmm
      I do love that burley!

      Take care and thanks for letting me ruminate.
      -Jason



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    • John Offerdahl
      Jason - just as McDonald s sells more hamburgers to Americans than anyone else, Grabow probably sells more pipes. A Dr. Grabow pipe is not going to be made
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 1, 2003
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        Jason - just as McDonald's sells more hamburgers to
        Americans than anyone else, Grabow probably sells more
        pipes.

        A Dr. Grabow pipe is not going to be made from choice briar. It's
        going to have putty fills in it. It is going to be varnished, so that
        the briar doesn't breathe, and so smoke hotter than most pipes.
        That said, if so many people smoke and enjoy them then they
        must have something going for them! They aren't unattractive,
        they hold plenty of tobacco, and they smoke it.

        A lot of people swear by Grabows. One person who immediately
        comes to mind is Kendall Francheschi, aka "Frenchy," of
        Frenchy's Pipes. Another was, when he was smoking pipes, my
        Uncle. These are two people I trust and so two people who can
        state an opinion to which I'll listen. Remember, there are those
        who will refuse a Dunhill, an Il Ceppo, an Ashton, etc. People are
        going to find reasons to NOT like a given pipe.

        Fill one of those Grabows, light it up, and see what you think. If
        you like it, then smoke it!



        --- In pipesmokers2@yahoogroups.com, "Jason"
        <jason_lunsford@h...> wrote:
        > As a quick preface please understand I am not trying to stir up
        a
        > debate on cheap vs expensive pipes. I'm sure this has been
        debated to
        > death on other forums like ASP but wanted to know what the
        folks here
        > thought.
        >
        > I am still a newbie pipe smoker who is enjoying this hobby
        quite a
        > bit. I have about a dozen pipes and only a few that I bought
        myself.
        > Most of them I inherited from my father. I have a couple of Dr.
        > Grabows one of which was his and the other I received in a PIF
        package
        > from a great guy on ASP. I don't recall ever having smoked
        them and
        > while I plan to I was wondering what folks thought of
        inexpensive
        > pipes like these from a 'functionality' standpoint.
        >
        > I ask this because of course I can appreciate as much as
        anyone else a
        > beautiful hand crafted pipe from the likes of Zeman, Tinksy,
        Bjarne
        > etc. They are one of a kind and much care has been taken in
        their
        > creation. But for just a knock about pipe do the cheaper ones
        really
        > smoke 'badly'? As in do they not absorb moisture as well, not
        > facilitate air flow as well, don't keep the tobacco burning as
        > consistently. Well you get the idea. (Of course there's always
        the so
        > called 'mid-grade' pipes which can often be an excellent value
        but I'm
        > just sticking to the low end for this question.)
        >
        > Sorry if this is a belabored point for some but something that's
        been
        > on my mind as I move into the New Year employed at a much
        lower salary
        > than what I am used to as I ponder my next steps in life
        towards a new
        > career. Maybe I'll fire up one of those Grabows for my next
        smoke and
        > just give her a whirl. If I like it maybe I'll grab another one next
        > time I'm in Walgreen's picking up a big bulk bag of Burley Light.
        Mmmm
        > I do love that burley!
        >
        > Take care and thanks for letting me ruminate.
        > -Jason
      • Jeffery Suter
        I have been lucky enough to purchase and smoke many different grades of pipe... Most of the higher grade pipes I have are estate pipes, which can afford you to
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 1, 2003
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          I have been lucky enough to purchase and smoke many
          different grades of pipe... Most of the higher grade
          pipes I have are estate pipes, which can afford you to
          get a higher quality briar, for far less cost...

          Now, with that said, one of my favorite smokes is a
          Medico... I removed all the varnish, and did a nice
          bees wax buff... it smokes wonderfully! After smoking
          2 bowls, however, it will need to rest for 48 hours
          before I pack it again...

          BUT, I have gotten several Meerschaums over the last
          month, and I have to say, if you want to remove all of
          the science and variables involved with smoking
          briar, get a meer!

          I LOVE them! I can smoke them for hours and they taste
          great from first to last light and they need minimal
          rest (jsut let them cool).

          Now I need a Meerschaum Churchwarden!

          Best-
          Jeff




          --- Jason <jason_lunsford@...> wrote:
          > As a quick preface please understand I am not trying
          > to stir up a
          > debate on cheap vs expensive pipes. I'm sure this
          > has been debated to
          > death on other forums like ASP but wanted to know
          > what the folks here
          > thought.
          >
          > I am still a newbie pipe smoker who is enjoying this
          > hobby quite a
          > bit. I have about a dozen pipes and only a few that
          > I bought myself.
          > Most of them I inherited from my father. I have a
          > couple of Dr.
          > Grabows one of which was his and the other I
          > received in a PIF package
          > from a great guy on ASP. I don't recall ever having
          > smoked them and
          > while I plan to I was wondering what folks thought
          > of inexpensive
          > pipes like these from a 'functionality' standpoint.
          >
          > I ask this because of course I can appreciate as
          > much as anyone else a
          > beautiful hand crafted pipe from the likes of Zeman,
          > Tinksy, Bjarne
          > etc. They are one of a kind and much care has been
          > taken in their
          > creation. But for just a knock about pipe do the
          > cheaper ones really
          > smoke 'badly'? As in do they not absorb moisture as
          > well, not
          > facilitate air flow as well, don't keep the tobacco
          > burning as
          > consistently. Well you get the idea. (Of course
          > there's always the so
          > called 'mid-grade' pipes which can often be an
          > excellent value but I'm
          > just sticking to the low end for this question.)
          >
          > Sorry if this is a belabored point for some but
          > something that's been
          > on my mind as I move into the New Year employed at a
          > much lower salary
          > than what I am used to as I ponder my next steps in
          > life towards a new
          > career. Maybe I'll fire up one of those Grabows for
          > my next smoke and
          > just give her a whirl. If I like it maybe I'll grab
          > another one next
          > time I'm in Walgreen's picking up a big bulk bag of
          > Burley Light. Mmmm
          > I do love that burley!
          >
          > Take care and thanks for letting me ruminate.
          > -Jason
          >
          >


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        • Richard Olszewski
          In all honesty I have to personally admit to starting off with inexpensive pipes then moving on up to the Zeman s, Bosi s, Dunhills, Petersons, etc. I have
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 1, 2003
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            In all honesty I have to personally admit to starting off with inexpensive
            pipes then moving on up to the Zeman's, Bosi's, Dunhills, Petersons, etc. I
            have two knock-around Savinelli's, which use the balsa system even, yet
            there is more moisture when I'm done with that bowl then in any of the
            others. As far as Dr. Grabows, there was always an enormous amount of heat
            and it smoked very very wet even with the paper filter. I'll use my
            knock-around Sav's if I'm doing physical activities (e.g., cleaning the
            yard, doing stuff outside, etc) and I also use them sometimes to try new
            blends or blends that I have created. I tend to only fill the bowl half-way
            as it prevents excess moisture. These bowls are half the height and hold
            half the amount of tobacco of my more expensive pipes, yet pipes like my
            Peterson (due to the well inside), the Dunhill, Ashtons and Zeman pipes all
            smoke very dry. I do run a pipe cleaner down into the bowl several times
            during the smoke, something I tried with the Sav's w/o the Balsa filter, but
            still to no avail.

            Just my 2 cents.



            -----Original Message-----
            From: Jason [mailto:jason_lunsford@...]
            Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2003 11:31 PM
            To: pipesmokers2@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [Pipe smokers] On Grabows and "cheap" pipes


            As a quick preface please understand I am not trying to stir up a
            debate on cheap vs expensive pipes. I'm sure this has been debated to
            death on other forums like ASP but wanted to know what the folks here
            thought.

            I am still a newbie pipe smoker who is enjoying this hobby quite a
            bit. I have about a dozen pipes and only a few that I bought myself.
            Most of them I inherited from my father. I have a couple of Dr.
            Grabows one of which was his and the other I received in a PIF package
            from a great guy on ASP. I don't recall ever having smoked them and
            while I plan to I was wondering what folks thought of inexpensive
            pipes like these from a 'functionality' standpoint.

            I ask this because of course I can appreciate as much as anyone else a
            beautiful hand crafted pipe from the likes of Zeman, Tinksy, Bjarne
            etc. They are one of a kind and much care has been taken in their
            creation. But for just a knock about pipe do the cheaper ones really
            smoke 'badly'? As in do they not absorb moisture as well, not
            facilitate air flow as well, don't keep the tobacco burning as
            consistently. Well you get the idea. (Of course there's always the so
            called 'mid-grade' pipes which can often be an excellent value but I'm
            just sticking to the low end for this question.)

            Sorry if this is a belabored point for some but something that's been
            on my mind as I move into the New Year employed at a much lower salary
            than what I am used to as I ponder my next steps in life towards a new
            career. Maybe I'll fire up one of those Grabows for my next smoke and
            just give her a whirl. If I like it maybe I'll grab another one next
            time I'm in Walgreen's picking up a big bulk bag of Burley Light. Mmmm
            I do love that burley!

            Take care and thanks for letting me ruminate.
            -Jason



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          • Todd R Jerabek
            Jason, In a nutshell - YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Only you can make a decision of what smokes well for you. I can tell you my opinion that, Brand X pipes
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 1, 2003
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              Jason,

              In a nutshell - YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).

              Only you can make a decision of what smokes well for you. I can tell you my
              opinion that, "Brand X pipes smoke better than any other pipe made." Yet, I
              have a friend who found that he is allergic to something used in the
              Castello oil-curing process.

              You see, there are a lot of factors that go into what makes a pipe smoke
              well. In fact, sometimes it is the tobacco and not the pipe at all.

              I personally have not found a Dr. Grabow that smokes well. (Again I state,
              not to my tastes).
              On the other hand, I love corn cobs - I recently had to throw out another
              one which I have smoked to the extreme. I have a few other pipes that were
              obtained for minimal amounts of money (less than $30) that smoke incredibly
              well.

              I have traded off some other pipes which didn't suit my tastes at all. I
              have also had higher end pipes (higher end to me is over $125) which I
              couldn't get to smoke well no matter what tobacco I used.

              Other pipes I have, both lower and higher end, required extensive
              experimentation to see what tobacco really "sang" best in them.

              Again, if you are happy smoking Walgree tobacco in a Dr. Grabow, then don't
              be cajoled into putting more money into a pipe or tobacco than you feel
              you'd like to spend.

              Personally?

              I have found that I'd rather not spend more than about $60-$150 on a pipe.
              Don Carlos rusticated pipes seem to be the best bang for my $$. There are
              some others in that price range I want to try. I have smoked some
              Dunhills - they never really 'wow-ed' me.

              There are some new carvers out there making some incredible smoking
              instruments. I have two from Mike Brissett that smoke like champions - both
              right out of the sock. Yet, his pipes run under $100. They also look very
              nice.

              I also favor rusticated or sandblasted pipes over the smooth pipes. Drop an
              expensive smooth and you put a little dent in it - there goes the value,
              right down the toilet. Not only that, I like the way a rough pipe feels in
              my hand. Do they smoke better than smooths? I haven't noticed that yet.

              Again, you have to satisfy your tastebuds, you aesthetic sensitivies, and
              your own pocketbook. I encourage you to try different things (pipes and
              tobaccos), that is the only way to make an informed decision. But, you are
              the only one you have to satisfy. Ultimately, it is your tongue that need
              to be happy. (the same is true of the tobaccos you smoke)

              Smoke what you like, and enjoy it.

              Todd
            • uisqebaugh
              I m a big fan of inexpensive pipes, because I too, am on a tight budget. First, try clay pipes. They re cheap, and they re easy to clean ( jsut set them in a
              Message 6 of 9 , Dec 1, 2003
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                I'm a big fan of "inexpensive' pipes, because I too, am on a tight budget.

                First, try clay pipes. They're cheap, and they're easy to clean ( jsut
                set them in a self-cleaning oven for a cycle and any remnants will be
                burnt away). Also, Petersons and Lorenzos are great smokers which do
                well for their price.

                I started with Dr. Grabows, and they're not bad at all. The only warning
                I can offer is that if they have a lot of varnish, which the smooth
                Grabows do, then they will smoke hot because of poor heat dissapation.
                This can be handled by visiting your local hardware store and asking for
                their recommendation for a varnish-removing product.

                Finally, if you are on a cheap budget, BUY MORE COBS! I'm serious! You
                just can't beat their prices.

                Jason wrote:

                > As a quick preface please understand I am not trying to stir up a
                > debate on cheap vs expensive pipes. I'm sure this has been debated to
                > death on other forums like ASP but wanted to know what the folks here
                > thought.
                >
                > I am still a newbie pipe smoker who is enjoying this hobby quite a
                > bit. I have about a dozen pipes and only a few that I bought myself.
                > Most of them I inherited from my father. I have a couple of Dr.
                > Grabows one of which was his and the other I received in a PIF package
                > from a great guy on ASP. I don't recall ever having smoked them and
                > while I plan to I was wondering what folks thought of inexpensive
                > pipes like these from a 'functionality' standpoint.
                >
                > I ask this because of course I can appreciate as much as anyone else a
                > beautiful hand crafted pipe from the likes of Zeman, Tinksy, Bjarne
                > etc. They are one of a kind and much care has been taken in their
                > creation. But for just a knock about pipe do the cheaper ones really
                > smoke 'badly'? As in do they not absorb moisture as well, not
                > facilitate air flow as well, don't keep the tobacco burning as
                > consistently. Well you get the idea. (Of course there's always the so
                > called 'mid-grade' pipes which can often be an excellent value but I'm
                > just sticking to the low end for this question.)
              • freddy
                Hi all,Freddy from Chico,calif,,,says in defence of cheap pipes..ive found very few i didnt like. Being as i was an outdoors cont.-ironworker,there is no way
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 1, 2003
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                  Hi all,Freddy from Chico,calif,,,says in defence of "cheap"pipes..ive found very few i didnt like.

                  Being as i was an outdoors cont.-ironworker,there is no way id take a good pipe to work..only what i was ok to lose,,and i lost just a few
                  As you can imange we walked many step in the course of a day,,,but id remember my steps to find a lst pipe...jusy hopeing they werent pouring concrete,cus under that stuff it would be imposible to find....but i knew i had another in the truck(eme)type...but if not any store or gas station had one "cheap"

                  Now when i filled in at dads machine shop i could take a better one to work...my two-handed pipes required a chair before it handle it.....

                  so remember any pipe can be good...you be good to it and hope its good back...oh we live on 5 ar.here and i do have 2 pipes out there somewhere...maybe in a few years they will work their way to the top.and ill get to enjoy again



                  Freddy-N.Calif,,,"while im open to the initial nature of an assignment,i am decidedly disposed that it be so oriented as to at least partially incorporate the experience enjoyed heretofore and that it be configured so as to ultimately lead to the application of more rarefied facets of financial management as the major sphere of responsibility"













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