söndag, september 26, 2010

Road to hell is paved with good intentions

I haven't really lived up to my last promis, but I'll try again...

tisdag, juli 27, 2010

Back again

First of all my apologies to any reader that may be left here. It has been an unforgivably long time since I last posted anything here.
I will not try and excuse myself with anything, I have simply been neglecting this. The drive has not been enough though there has been no shortage of article ideas.
I will make an honest attempt to make up for this, and will try to publish all new pipes and tobaccos that have been bought or received as gifts for the last six months.
Again, I beg your pardon for having neglected you, the potential reader of OleFattBlog.

torsdag, januari 21, 2010

Meer carving

Bought a REALLY cheap meerschaum pipe on eBay.

It is a clumsy rendition of a hand holding a rose, but the clumsiness of the execution leaves a lot of raw material left to try and improve!
I intended to make the petals of the rose thinner and more curled and even try and improve on the fingers and wrist of the hand. The sleeve leaves room to carve out a bracelet or even a watch.
Another project awaiting fulfilment...

lördag, januari 09, 2010

Last Stanwell - from Denmark

As Stanwell decided to move their factory to Italy in 2010, I decided to buy a "pre-transition" pipe before that. It came last week and I have been holding of lighting it up until I decided what to smoke in it.
Today I made my mind up to dedicate this Featherweight 242 Pot to Rattray's Red Raparree, and opened a very old tin of said weed.

lördag, oktober 17, 2009

Memorial Birth Year pipe from PeterWD

One of the really good guys over at Smokers forums, PeterWD, went and died. Sad but true... It came as quite a shock since it was sudden, and I had an ongoing conversation with Peter about tobacco blending and so-called birth year(BY) pipes.

For those not already in the know a BY pipe is a pipe made the same year you was born. For some makers this is a piece of cake to know, since they stamp their pipes accordingly, with others you just have to know, by asking the former owner, the re-seller or the maker.

Anyway, Peter passed away and another of the SF members helped sell some of the pipes Peter had left behind. I browsed through the albums of pictures of pipes for sale, and found a BY pipe, an Old Master London Made Twin Bore Bulldog which was mint, unsmoked and in its original box!

I immediately sprung to action and bought it. It came a week or so later, and in addition to the pipe the kind seller/helper had put a generous sample of Cornell&Diehl Epiphany, a blend which is said to imitate Revelation, which in turn is said to have been Einstein's favourite tobacco of choice.

The pipe, as said before, is unsmoked, and has been laying in wait for me ever since I was born, and Peter had kept it for me, unsmoked and in mint condition. Tonight I will pack it carefully with the gifted Epiphany and light up a bowl in remembrance of a good man, and fellow SF'er.

Rest in peace Peter.

onsdag, maj 20, 2009

Handmade Pipe #5 - J.M. Boswell

Here's a fine example of a modern American pipe carver. J.M.Boswell sells his handmade pipes on his site www.boswellpipes.com. They are extremely popular and fly off the shelves as soon as he publishes them for most of the time - and no wonder! The prices are extremely inexpensive for a very well engineered pipe.I use this "Long Prince" or semi-churchwarden for Balkans mostly, and it soon became a favourite for smoking on the balcony. A small narrow bowl, a long slender stem and weighs less than an ounce, IMHO a perfect pipe!

måndag, april 20, 2009

Handmade pipes - Dunhills

Dunhill is the "Rolls-Royce of pipes" or at least so do many think. It has been something for a newbie smoker to aspire for - on of those unobtainable pipes. These days, or rather a few years ago, it was possible to get "estate" (fancier word for "used") Dunhills on eBay at a fraction of the cost they once carried.

I managed to buy a couple of varying quality.

Here's my Group 1 (smallest size bowl there is) Dunhill Billiard Root Briar. It is from 1968 (Dunhill started stamping their pipes early on with patent no:s and other no:s, and adopted a very easy system in 1960 which was year Zero, marked accordingly with a "0" after the "Made in England" stamp), obvious from the "8" stamp.

fredag, mars 20, 2009

Tobacco jar in cast iron

It weighs about 3 kg I have been told! It has an inner lid to press down the contents and thereby preserve moisture. It has a Latin sentence on it:
Inter bibendum large fumandum.

Inter -- preposition: "among, during, while"
bibendum -- verbal noun (gerund) formed from bibo bibere, to drink: "drinking"
large -- adverb: "largely, plentifully, abundantly"
fumandum (est) -- verbal adjective used in the so-called passive periphrastic, formed from fumo fumare, to smoke: "you should smoke, it is necessary to smoke"

There are no conjugations per se in this quotation. Est is left out at the end, but understood to be there, as is typical of Roman style. Whoever made this phrase knew his Latin.

Can't wait to get it in my ManCave!

tisdag, mars 03, 2009

Man Cave developing

I have made some new arrangements to my Man Cave where I sit and smoke my pipes.
In the larger room, I cleared out all the boxes and whatnot that were just occupying precious space, and instead installed my new pool table!

Yup, it is a dinky one and the balls do not roll and bounce like on a tournament table, but STILL! I now have set up a little "cosy corner" (seen in the picture) with two chairs, some pipes and tobacco, my fly tying stuff (even a "guest" vice) and my little fridge stuffed with beer... Let the pool games begin!

fredag, februari 27, 2009

Forerunners of spring

I don't know what they are called in English but a straight translation from Swedish would be "snowdrops". They carry the happy message that soon, really soon now the winter is over, and spring is coming.

I spotted this little bunch today on my daily walk with Rufus, the Swedish vallhund, and had to share it with you!

After the walk I made a cuppa and went out on our south-facing balcony. Brought out a wicker chair and stuffed my Boswell Prince with a Balkan (which one it is in my little tin can, I have now forgotten, but I am guessing it is Erinmore...) and sat down with Rufus happy by my side.

I had almost forgotten how lovely it is to just sit in the sun, drink some hot coffee and smoke a bowl as an hour passes by - bliss!

onsdag, februari 25, 2009

Handmade pipe #4 - Bjarne Nielsen

This pipe I bought at my B&M when Bjarne was there on a visit to show his pipes and tobaccos - and to meet his customers! I had a nice chat with him and bought this pipe from him because of the shape and the grain which I think is extraordinary!

It is a Prince (of sorts) and apart from the lovely grain it also has a partial rustication underneath, at the heel of the bowl. It is a great smoker even though the bowl is about as big as I can stand them. I use it for Balkans and Englishs.

I don't think that Bjarne has done this pipe himself (in his last years he didn't do too many pipes from what I have heard) but rather he has designed it - in principal - and let someone from his team of excellent pipemakers and -designers do it. That's OK by me - it is still a handmade...

måndag, februari 23, 2009

Handmade pipe #3 - Mastro de Paja

This pipe I found in a candy store that had just changed owners. The pipe had been on display in a three-pipe stand for quite some time and no-one had bought it from the former owner. He had probably sighed, shrugged his shoulders and stowed it away, and over time forgotten about its existence until it was time to sell the store. The chaps that bought the store didn't intend to continue selling pipes, at least not expensive ones.

It had been sun bleached on one side of the rim and there was a small nick in the rim so I got it quite cheap. I dusted it off, cleaned it and gave it a good rub with some Carnauba wax before I smoked it the first time. These actions all restored it to its former glory (apart from the nick in the rim).

It is a very typical MdeP in shape, and it is a 3C with a Sun stamp. It has a golden spot in the stem and a gold ring. It is one of the straightest grains that I own (together with the Burak below).

Handmade pipe #2 - Ed Burak

This pipe I bought straight from the man himself, in Ed Burak's Connoisseur Shop in New York, on my birthday, as a gift to myself. I spent a good two hours chatting with this very knowledgeable and charming man, about pipes, shapes, making, tools and later about tobacco blending (came out of his shop carrying not only the pipe but 2 lbs of different bulk tobaccos of his own blending).

Mr Buraks pipes are well known in the pipe community and he is also represented in art museums etc with his work. One thing that does set him apart from other makers (other than his extraordinary craftsmanship) is the fact that he never stains his pipes, and that he does not care about sand pits and other "flaws" in the wood as long as they don't disturb the smoking qualities.

That is not the same as to say that ALL his pipes have pits etc, but it does give the more "ordinary" collector (such as myself) a chance of smoking a really well-engineered pipe from a truly great pipe maker at a fraction of the price his "flawless" pipes demand.

My pipe is a Prince made of really old and hard briar, so hard in fact that the end of the tenon turned black when Ed was drilling it. It also has a colour shift from light to dark on the outside of the bowl which Ed explained came from the briar being so old. He also pointed out certain features that made the Prince shape such a beautiful shape, things I hadn't thought of before but which I now collate on every Prince pipe I stumble upon...

Handmade Pipe #1 - Ronny Thunér

This pipe I acquired in a trade with a fellow member on Smokers Forums. It is an early pipe from Ronny, and I have discussed it briefly with him by mail after I got it.

As any artisan looking at his early work, Ronny said that he wasn't totally pleased with the way it came out, if he had done it today he would hav made it different etc, but to me it is a real beauty.

Ronny also offered to "spiff it up" at no extra cost, as the real gentleman he is, if I would send it to him but I declined. I think it looks just great the way it is, and as with any work of art, you shouldn't really mess with it once it is finished, even if it is the artisan himself who does the "messing" ;)

Handmade pipes Pt1

I just wanted to show you some of the handmade pipes I have in my collection. Very few pipes are actually 100% handmade, depending on what you put into that definition. Most makers do use a drill, sander, and some other macines, some use a lathe, others again use milling machines etc etc.

I think of handmades as opposed to machine-made pipes, where NC or other computerised/mechanic machines form a pipe out of a piece of briar wood, disregarding the wood's structure, grain etc.

Instead my handmades are made by a person, the maker, who has chosen a shape for that specific piece of briar, worked it to find flaws, oddities like sand pits etc and maybe had to discard one or more pieces until a pipe bowl appeared as the maker had intended it from that piece of wood.

Probably the maker also made the stem, maybe from a rod of some plastic material that was formed using whatever tools/machinery necessary to create just the stem to fit that stummel that would then cohese into a truly handmade pipe.

There is a lot more work involved in creating a handmade pipe, such as staining, sanding, possibly sandblasting and/or rusticating etc etc, but these are the basics that go into what I call a handmade pipe.

tisdag, februari 17, 2009

Paraphernalia aquisition

I bid on this Laguiole pipe lighter and won it. It came in a belt holster (which I find too geeky to use) and it is absolutely gorgeous!
I have some problems keeping the gas in (the lighter, that is), and it tends to leak a little bit from the bottom every time I light it up, but what the heck, I'll live with that now that I got such a stately lighter to adorn the pipe desk in my ManCave!

måndag, februari 16, 2009

Back by popular demand

Sorry if I haven't been blogging lately, life tends to have a way of getting in between me and my pipe blogging.
I have made a few new aqusitions, a Pete Meer (more with pix later), a bunch of tobaccos ffom different sources (l8r) and some other stuff.
Today though this is just a life sign and a few random pipe shots for your enjoyment...

onsdag, december 10, 2008

The Chacom is dead - long live the Chacom!

Went out to get a Christmas tree and brought the dog. On my way home carrying a potted Juniper, I let him run loose. As we approached home I decided to put him back on the leash. Balancing the pot and tree I bent over sideways to reach down to my little Swedish Vallhund´s collar I more felt than heard something snap in my pocket.

Drat! I thought but of course forgot about it 'til it was time for another bowl. As I pulled out my Chacom Superflamme from the small pen case I use for my pipes, I remembered that snapping sensation, but it looked as if it had lasted OK.

As soon as I touched the stem though, the shank crumbled and two smallish pieces of briar fell into the high, dry grass surrounding the log where I had sat down to smoke. Blast! I managed to shove the stem tenon into what was left of the mortise enough to smoke it one last time as I wept (metaphorically) over its demise.

A few days later I was out with my daughter hunting Xmas presents (havent bouhgt more than one yet) we entered the arcade/shopping mall where Brobergs, my B&M of choice is located in Gothenburg. Daughter wanted to go into a store for posters and other knick-knack so I suggested that she could decide the first store then I could choose the second (cunning little sneak I am;)).

She agreed, and for the next half hour I was looking at Simpsons posters and mugs, Manga, cute little fur balls and whatnot with the absent mind of a prisoner on the day he is about to be released. After that she said: "OK, let's go to Brobergs and get it over with"!

I shouldn't be surprised - I am transparent to her, and this one was probably TOO obvious. We went there and I spoke to the fluff bearded youth behind the counter who smilingly helped me choose a new Chacom. At first he wanted to sell me a pipe from the slightly more expensive line, but I soon found a nice Chacom Match Prince. I even found two specimens and was quick to get the one with the nicer grain!

At 30 grams, and the nice natural finish it almost reminds me of the Superflamme which I have put away in the ManCave, awaiting inspiration for its repair...

tisdag, november 11, 2008

SF POY 08 Rad Davis Pt II (Pix)

måndag, november 10, 2008

Rad Davis SF POY 2008

I was lucky enough to be one of the 62 (?) members of Smokers' Forums who managed to order one of the Pipes of the Year 2008 by Rad Davis before they ran out!
It was by far the most expensive pie I have ever bought and the fact that the Swedish customs intercepted the package and demanded a ridiculous VAT/Toll of app $55 didn't help cheapen it :(

When I got it I soon forgot about the petty cash trivia however, since this is a BEAUTIFUL pipe! Rad is famous for his sandblasts (among other things), and this was a great example of his work. Haven't had the time to photograph MY specimen yet, so the picture is of a "generic" SF POY (if the expression may be allowed). Might return with close-ups of my great swirling ringblast when time permits...