Daily Archives: September 4, 2013

Newbie tips (web links for the uninitiated) – Eric Boehm

Blog by Eric Boehm

Eric originally posted this compendium of information on Smokers Forums. I found it to be a helpful collation of information for both the beginning and the long time pipe smoker. His recommendations and the collection of web links is a great beginning point. Each of those who use it can add your own additions and adjustments as you use the material but Eric has done a great service to pipemen everywhere with this information. I wrote to him and asked his permission to post it on rebornpipes. He graciously consented. I have edited it to make the introduction broader than that of its original format. The material is just too valuable to be lost. Thanks Eric for your work on this. To all the readers of rebornpipes – enjoy the wealth of information.

…The old adage, “And though it is much to be a nobleman, it is more to be a gentleman” (– Anthony Trollope) pretty well sums up the experience of becoming a pipeman. It wasn’t so long ago, that wisdom was imparted in the old Brick & Mortar tobacco shop, where one could spend the afternoon, leaning on the counter, sampling tobaccos, learning about pipes, and shooting the breeze with the old timers – gentlemen all. Generations grew up that way. Unfortunately, those days are long gone – chalk it up to “progress”, the faster pace of life, skyrocketing costs, stagnant paychecks – in short, all leading to more work for less gain. Pipe smoking is my way of regaining a balance in a troubled world.

When I first started to smoke a pipe in the late 1980s, I remember being a bit overwhelmed by the number of choices. The primary question was – what to smoke? Although everyone classifies their pipe tobaccos differently, I can see about 15 different categories: (1) Straight (non-flake) Virginias; (2) Virginia Flakes (Light); (3) Virginia Flakes (Full); (4) Virginia /Kentucky Blends; (5) Virginia / Burley Blends; (6) Burley Blends; (7) Virginia / Perique Blends; (8) Virginia / Oriental Blends; (9) Light / Medium Latakia Mixtures; (10) Medium / Full Latakia Mixtures; (11) Lakeland Style (Unscented); (12) Lakeland Style (Scented); (13) Ropes and Plugs; (14) Cigar Leaf Blends; and (15) Aromatics. This classification is my riff on the one provided by the Pipe Club of Norfolk (UK). Within each category, of course, there exists a multitude of individual blend choices. Thus, as a newbie you will never want for a wide variety of choices – in fact, many pipemen pursue the perfect smoke as the pursuit of their “Holy Grail”.

I was also overwhelmed, in my beginnings, by the multitude of pipe materials to choose from (e.g., briar, corn cob, cherrywood, morta [bog wood], olive, maple, clays, meerschaum, metal, etc.) and the multitude of pipe styles to choose from (e.g., quarter bents, half bents, full bents, straights, etc.), not to mention the incredible array of pipe shapes (e.g., acorn, pear, apple, author, bent apple, bent ball, bent billiard, bent brandy, bent bulldog, bent Dublin, bent egg, bent pot, billiard, blowfish, brandy, bulldog, calabash, Canadian, cavalier, chimney, churchwarden, cutty, Dublin, freehand, hawkbill, horn, Liverpool, Lovat, lumberman, Oom Paul, panel, poker, pot, prince, Rhodesian, skater, tomato, volcano, Zulu). Then there were the terms associated with the architecture of the pipe itself (e.g., lip, bit, stem, tenon, stem face, shank face, shank, stummel, bowl, mortise, draft, plenum, heel, foot, rim, chamber, etc.). And lest we forget the types of stem choices (e.g., saddle, tapered, military/army style, screw type, combination type, etc.) and bit style (e.g., standard, wide comfort, fishtail, P-lip, regular and double bore, denture bit, and double comfort bit, to name but a few). A good place to begin to appreciate these terms might be Pipedia, a “wiki for pipes”.

Sitting in my garage in the early 1980s with a clenched Dr. Grabow pipe, full of Captain Black White, I was also trying to learn the basic technique of smoking a pipe – primarily how to avoid tongue bite and palate scorching. I mean if it’s not comfortable, why the hell spend time at it? I finally managed to learn how to develop the slow rhythmic cadence of imbibing tobacco in a pipe, that, when done right, can lead to a significant satisfactory state of mind. There definitely is a “zone” or “Zen state of mind” – call it relaxation if you will – that is reached when smoking a pipe, especially with quality tobacco. I believe it’s this actual mental state that draws me back to the pipe, time and again, rather than to any chemical addiction to the nicotine itself. I would even go so far as to state that, historically, it was the gift of tobacco pipe smoking that was bequeathed to the European by the New World Amerindian, who saw pipe smoking as a religious or sacramental exercise.

What might appear to be a steep learning curve for the beginner has, I am sure, led to the gradual demise of pipe smoking in our culture, in favor of the dreaded cigarette – a fatal transition that occurred throughout the 1950s and 60s. Combined with the physical disappearance of the small mom and pop tobacco shop, where the tradition of pipe smoking was orally passed down “father to son”, so to speak, it spelled the end of the wide-spread pipe smoking culture.

As I grew up in the 1960s, I distinctly remember many pipe smokers in the streets and shops, but by the end of the decade, an entire generation gave up the pipe for the cigarette. Chalk it down to advertising, or the faster pace of life. I know that deep, repeated inhalation of tobacco will most definitely kill you. I have seen it in family members first hand. Perhaps it is this that has driven the anti-tobacco movement to mistakenly group all tobacco products as dangerous. Of historical interest to the new pipe smoker, it would be worthwhile to visit the various sites listing the biographies of famous pipe smokers, many of whom lived well into their late 80s. I think I speak for many of us when I say that pipe smoking has progressed far beyond a mere hobby, and, in fact, has become a way of life. A deeply satisfying way of life, I might add.

Why did I decide to write this article? I found that as I was welcoming new members to an online pipe smokers forum, I began to think what I would be seeking in an on-line community of pipe smokers, if I were new to the game. Due to accumulated wealth of information available in the archives on most pipe forums, a real wealth of data related to the pipe and cigar smoking community may at times seem a bit overwhelming to the newbie. I realized that what I would be seeking initially would be a single thread that could serve as an introduction to the pipe smoking craft. The thread would contain a list of hyperlinks that related to: (1) Forum options, (2) Blogs, (3) e-Magazines, (4) Societies and Clubs (5) Tobacco reviews, (6) Retailer Listings, (7) Retailers (8) Less expensive pipes, (9) Estate Pipes, (10) More expensive pipes, (11) Pipe repair sites, (12) Pipe cleaning / maintenance sites, (13) Pipe smoking technique links, (14) Pipe books, (15) Famous pipe smokers, (16) Introductions to pipe tobaccos and, finally, (17) a series of my favorite pipe related quotes.

Essentially, this is what I have prepared here: A single package of links that would enable the newbie to at least get a firm footing in the craft of pipe smoking. With a firm basis of links, the newbie would then be off to a running start and have access to the wealth of information available of the internet. It should be remembered that these are merely recommendations, and do not constitute all the links that are out there. As such, the links are meant to be jumping off points for those of you who are new to pipe smoking – nothing more, nothing less. (I would also like to take this opportunity to ask my fellow pipe travelers if there are sites not listed that you think should be, please, by all means, let me know, and I would be more than happy to oblige you). In the end, as a new pipe smoker, you will eventually find what works for you, through trial and error. Hopefully, these links will minimize the latter. Of course, you’ve already done the best thing by joining up with this forum. My goal throughout is simply to try to retain the newbie so that our pipe smoking community can continue to grow. The more the merrier. So, here goes…


(2)Pipe Blogs:
http://meanderingsmoke.blogspot.com/ (Meandering Smoke)
http://www.pipesmokerunleashed.com/ Pipe Smoker Unleashed

(3)Pipe eMagazines:
http://pipesmagazine.com/ (Pipesmagazine.com)
http://www.pt-magazine.com/ (Pipes & Tobacco Magazine)
http://www.pipesmokemag.com/ (Pipe Smoke Magazine)

(4)Societies & Clubs:
http://naspc.org/ (North American Society of Pipe Collectors)
http://www.corpipesmokers.org/ (Conclave of Richmond Pipe Smokers)
http://www.seattlepipeclub.org/ (Seattle Pipe Club)
http://www.pipeshowonline.com/ (Pipe Show On-line)

(5)Tobacco Reviews:

(6)Retailer listings:

http://www.smokingpipes.com/ (Smokingpipes)
http://www.cupojoes.com/ (CupOJoes)
http://www.iwanries.com/home.cfm (IwanRies)
http://www.uptowns.com/index.php (Uptowns)
http://www.pipesandcigars.com/ (Pipes & Cigars)
http://cornellanddiehl.com/ (Cornell & Diehl Tobacco)
http://www.4noggins.com/ (4 Noggins)
http://www.mac-baren.com/TopMenu/Main-2.aspx (Mac Baren Tobacco)
http://villigerstokkebye.com/ (VilligerStokkebye Tobacco)
http://www.paylesspipes.com/ (Payless Pipes)
http://www.pipesandcigars.com/ (Pipes & Cigars)
http://www.lewispipe.com/ (Lewis Pipe & Tobacco)
http://www.thebriary.com/ (The Briary)
http://www.alpascia.com/pipes/ (Al Pascia)
http://www.mkelaw-pipes.com/ (Mkelaw Pipes)
http://www.libertytobacco.com/ (Liberty Tobacco)
http://www.pipemakers.org/ (Pipe Makers Emporium)
http://www.cigarandtabacltd.com/ (Cigar &Tabac, Ltd.)
http://www.faderstobac.com/ (Fader’s)
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-B…34344463248233 (The Briar & the Burley) http://www.kramerstobaccoshop.com/fr…eframeset.html (Kramer’s Pipe & Tobacco Shop) http://www.greentreetobacco.net/home.html (Greentree Tobacco Co. Inc.)
http://www.obsidianpipe.com/ (Haunted Mists New Obsidian Oil anti-oxidation curative) http://www.parklanetobacconist.com/ (Park Lane Tobacconist)
http://tobaccoshop.com/tobacco.html (Tobacco Shop of Ridgewood NJ)
http://www.pipestud.com/ (Pipestud – rare tobacco tins)
http://www.justforhim.com/catalog/ (JustForHimTobbacconist)
http://www.marscigars.com/ (Mike Rutt’s Mars Cigars & Pipes)
http://fujipub.com/briarpatchcigar/ (Briar Patch & Cigar)
http://www.alleghenysmokeworks.com/ (Allegheny Smoke Works)
http://www.abnersworld.com/ (Abners’ World)
http://www.tobacco-barn.com/t-so-pipesandtobacco.aspx (Tobacco Barn)
http://www.ljperetti.com/ (L.J. Peretti)
http://www.outwesttobacco.com/ (Out West Tobacco)
http://www.rdfield.com/ (R. D. Field LLC)
http://www.thebriary.com/ (The Briary)
http://www.thebriarpipe.com/ (The Briar Pipe)
http://www.tinderbox.com/index.fx? ca…6406&cid=&csm= (The Tinder Box) http://www.chiefcatoonah.com/index.html (Chief Catoonah Tobacconist)
http://www.smokershaven.com/about-us.aspx (Smokers Haven)
http://www.pipeshop.com/ (Pipeshop.com)
http://www.milantobacco.com/ (Milan Tobacco)
http://mccranies.com/store/ (McCranie’s Pipe & Tobacco)
http://www.natsherman.com/ (Nat Sherman)
http://gatlinburlier.com/ (The Gatlinburlier Tobacconist)
http://www.smfrankcoinc.com/ (S.M. Frank & Co.)
http://www.boswellpipes.com/ (Boswell Pipes)
http://www.briarblues.com/ (Briar Blues)
http://www.brighampipes.com/2006%20Update.htm (Brigham Pipes)
http://www.pipeandpouch.com/avcopi.html (Pipes & Pouch)
http://www.pipes2smoke.com/ (Maxim Engel)
http://www.meerschaumstore.com/categories.asp (Meerschaum Pipes)
http://www.milantobacco.com/pipes.htm (Milan Tobacco)
http://www.aab-taxfreepipes.com/defa…=false&lang=uk (Bisgaard Pipes)
http://www.neatpipes.com/store/comersus_index.asp (Neat Pipes)
http://www.finepipes.com/ (Fine Pipes International)
http://www.lenuvolepipes.com/ (Le Nuvole Pipes)
http://www.pulversbriar.com/ (Marty Pulvers)
http://piapipes.com/default.asp?lang=uk1 (Pia Pipes)
http://www.jamesislandpiper.com/ (The James Island Piper)

(8)Less Expensive Pipes:
http://www.corncobpipe.com/ (Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipes USA)
http://www.charlespipes.com/charlespipecollectibles (Stanwell Pipes)
http://www.peterson.ie/pipes/pipes.html (Peterson Pipes Dublin)
http://www.drgrabow.net/ (Dr. Grabow Pipes USA)
http://www.smfrankcoinc.com/kaywoodie/index.htm (Kaywoodie Pipes)
http://www.smfrankcoinc.com/ybmd/index.htm (Medico &Yello-Bole Pipes)
http://www.boswellpipes.com/index.html (Boswell Pipes USA)
http://www.premierpipes.com/Falconpi…lconpipes1.htm (Falcon Pipes)

(9)Estate Pipe Listings:
http://www.estatetobaccopipes.com/search (Ticker tape estate pipe listings)
http://exilesplace.dk (Exile’s Pipes)
EBay favorite sellers: This’ll get you started on the estate listings…

(10)More Expensive Pipes:
http://www.qualitybriar.com/ (Quality Briar)
http://www.twofriendspipes.com/(Two Friends Pipes)
http://www.oldnelliepipes.com/ (Old Nellie Pipes)
http://ssl.cybersun.com/4Dscripts/we…enterstore?ams (Mark Tinsky Pipes)
http://www.downiepipes.com/home.html (Stephen Downie Pipes)
http://www.remingtonpipes.com/ (Adam Remington Pipes)
http://www.baweaverpipes.com/ (Bruce Weaver Pipes)
http://www.ashton-taylor.com/ (Ashton-Taylor Pipes)
http://www.annejulie.com/pipes.html (Anne Julie Pipes)
http://www.chhedapipes.com/ (Chheda Pipes)
http://www.bonaquisti.com/ (Bonaquisti Pipes)
http://www.cornelius-maenz.de/ (Cornelius Maenz Pipes)
http://www.pohlmannpipes.com/ (Brad Pohlmann Pipes)
http://jwh.fastmail.fm/ (Jack Howell Pipes)
http://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/ne…dson/index.cfm (Adam Davidson)
http://www.willpurdy.com/index.htm (Will Purdy Pipes)
http://www.parkspipes.com/ (Michael Parks Pipes)
http://www.shurewoodbriarpipes.com/Welcome%21.html (Colin Rigsby Pipes)
http://www.beckerpipes.com/ (Paolo Becker Pipes)
http://www.perrywhitepipes.com/ (Perry White Pipes)
http://www.florovpipes.com/ (Alex Florov Pipes)
http://www.pipendoge.de/mehret_infoengl.htm (Tom Richard Pipes)
http://www.hedingpipes.com/ (Peter Heding Pipes)
http://www.heeschen-pipes.dk/default.asp (Peter Heeschen Pipes)
http://www.matzhold-peter.at/ (Peter Matzhold Pipes)
http://www.ailarov.com/ (Sergey Ailarov Pipes)
http://www.smpipes.com/ (Steve Morrisette Pipes)
http://www.tatupipe.com/english.html (Tatsou Tajima Pipes)
http://www.pipendoge.de/mehret_infoengl.htm (Tom Richard Mehret Pipes)
http://www.jalanpipes.com/ (J. Alan Pipes)
http://www.lobnik.com/ (Gregor Lobnik Pipes)
http://www.ming-kahuna.com/ (Ming Kahuna Pipe Accessories)
http://www.pipemoretti.com/ (Moretti Pipes)
http://perrywhitepipes.com/ (Perry White Pipes)
http://www.vollmer-nilsson.com/ (Vollmer & Nilsson Pipes)
http://www.willpurdy.com/index.htm (Will Purdy Pipes)
http://www.wolfgang-becker-pfeifen.de/ (Wolfgang Becker)
http://www.crosbypipes.com/ (John Crosby Pipes)
http://www.moritz-pipes.com/Bitmap/A…8/album_01.htm (Jurgen Moritz Pipes)
http://www.kentpipes.com/ (Kent Rasmussen Pipes)
http://www.shekitapipes.com/ (Konstantin Shekita Pipes)
http://www.ballebypipes.com/gallery/index.html (Kurt Balleby Pipes)
http://www.larryssonpipes.com/ (Larrysson Pipes)
http://www.maigursknetspipes.com/smo…71present.html (Maigurs Knets Pipes)
http://www.pipendoge.de/Revyagin_infoengl.htm (Michail Revyagin Pipes)
http://www.von-erck.com/ (Lee Von Erck Pipes)
http://raddavispipes.com/ (Rad Davis Pipes)
http://emarklepipes.com/ (Ernie Markle Pipes)
http://claessenpipes.com/ (Dirk Claessen Pipes)
http://www.andersenpipes.dk/ (Søren Eric Andersen Pipes)
http://www.formerpipes.com/former.html (Former Pipes)
http://www.p-i-p-e.com/ (Andrew Marks Pipes)
http://www.kevinarthurpipes.com/ (Kevin Arthur Pipes)
http://www.davidjonespipes.com/index.php? page=about (David Jones Pipes)
http://www.drbobpipes.com/pipes.html (Dr. Bob Pipes)
http://www.pipestudio.com/ (Elliot Nachwalter Pipes)
http://www.lunapipes.com/ (Luna Pipes)
http://www.rmperkins.com/ (RM Perkins Pipes)
http://www.enriquepipes.com/fr/accueil.htm (David Enrique Pipes)
http://www.danishpipemakers.com/makerindex.html (Danish Pipemaker List)

(11)Pipe Repairs:
http://www.nightowlpipeworks.com/home/ (Night Owl Pipe Works)
http://www.precisionpiperepair.com/ (Precision Pipe Repair)
http://www.walkerbriarworks.com/ (Walker Briar Works)
http://www.jhlowe.com/tobacco_pipe_repairs.htmhttp://www.norwoodspiperepair.com/ (Norwood’s Pipe Repair)
http://www.lewispipe.com/repair.htm (Lewis Pipe Repair)
http://www.jmarini.com/ (J Marini Pipe Repair)
http://www.americansmokingpiperepairs.com/ (American Smoking Pipe Repairs)

(12)Pipe cleaning & Maintenance:


(13)Pipe smoking techniques:

(14)Books on pipes:

(15)Famous Pipe Smokers:
http://josephcrusejohnson.blogspot.com/http://homepage.mac.com/ericmelby/Pi…us/famous.html http://www.fumeursdepipe.net/personnalites13.htm

(16)Introductions to Pipe tobaccos:

(17)Favorite pipe quotes:
“The fact is, Squire, the moment a man takes to a pipe, he becomes a philosopher. It’s the poor man’s friend; it calms the mind, soothes the temper, and makes a man patient under difficulties. It has made more good men, good husbands, kind masters, indulgent fathers, than any other blessed thing on this universal earth.” – Sam Slick, The Clockmaker

“I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.” – Albert Einstein

“As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain from smoking when awake.” – Mark Twain

“A pipe is a tool by which we use our breath to turn leaves into ashes.” – Marty Pulvers

“A cigarette is to be smoked. A cigar is to be enjoyed. A pipe is to be savored.” – Groucho Marx

“A woman is an occasional pleasure but a cigar is always a smoke”. – Groucho Marx

“Nowhere in the world will such a brotherly feeling of confidence be experienced as amongst those who sit together smoking their pipes.” – The Results and Merits of Tobacco, 1844, Doctor Barnstein

“The value of tobacco is best understood when it is the last you possess and there is no chance of getting more.” – Bismarck.

“Pipe smoking is the most protracted of all forms of tobacco consumption. It may explain why pipe smokers are generally regarded as patient men and philosophers.” – Jerome E. Brooks, from The Mighty Leaf, Tobacco Through the Centuries

“Well, it keeps my hands busy, and my mouth shut.” – Exile

“…So it shall be for all time. If discord has broken out between two beings, let them smoke together. United by this bond, they will live in peace and friendship thereafter.” – Attributed to the Great Manitu, the Great Spirit.

“A pipe is the fountain of contemplation, the source of pleasure, the companion of the wise; and the man who smokes, thinks like a philosopher and acts like a Samaritan.” – Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

“The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish; it generates a style of conversation, contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected.” – William Makepeace Thackeray, from The Social Pipe

“It smelled like cherry or chocolate or chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Or leaves burning in the back yard in those long-ago autumns when you were still allowed to burn leaves in the back yard. In those days, pipe smoke was a man’s signature scent. It was the incense in the Church of Dad, a burnt offering to the god of domesticated masculinity, a symbol of benevolent paternalism. A passing whiff of your father’s or grandfather’s brand — Erinmore Flake, say, or Royal Yacht Mixture — can summon vivid memories even decades after his death. Smell is a key that unlocks the vault of memory, and the rich aroma of pipe smoke conjures up a lost world of armchairs and ashtrays, humidors and dark-wood racks holding pipes with WASPy names like Dunhill and Ferndown and Hardcastle. It was a world of wise, contemplative men who sat and smoked and read serious, leather-bound literature, as well as a world of rugged outdoorsmen, canoeists and fly fishermen and clipper ship captains who puffed their pipes as they pored over nautical charts before sailing ’round the Horn. It was a magical world, part reality and part myth, and now it has all but disappeared, fading like smoke.” – Peter Carlson (Washington Post Staff Writer), Sunday, June 19, 2005, title: “Bowled Over No Longer”. (I’d like to add that our presence on this site refutes that pipe smoking “…now has all but disappeared, fading like smoke”).