Blog by Steve Laug
I have been following BriarWorks pipe makers for a while now and each time they send out an email I go to the site and look at the pipes that they are offering. One of my favourite shapes is a bent apple and I have quite a few from various makers in my collection. These are the pipes that usually travel with me around the globe for my work. One of my favourites is on crafted by Mark Tinsky that I have had restemmed once already. So it was a simple decision when I got a notice from BriarWorks that their new offering was a bent apple.
I followed the link to their site and in the section that they called Classic Pipes I found one that grabbed my attention. Here is the description of the pipe and the description that caught my eye. I have also included the photo that was included in the email I received. I quote:
The BriarWorks Classic Line is inspired by the shapes of the venerated pipe factories of the early to mid 20th century. Simpler shapes, a lower price point, and the same high level of detail and hand finishing that go into all BriarWorks pipes make these a popular choice with novice and experienced pipe smokers, alike. BriarWorks Classic pipes are available with a variety of finish and stem options and start at $100.
The C91 Bent Apple is one of the larger pipes in the BriarWorks Classic line. It’s comfortably chubby and has a fairly large chamber for those that like a longer smoke.
Length: 5.79 in. / 14.7 cm
Width: 1.75 in. / 4.45 cm
Height: 2.0 in. / 5.08 cm
Weight: 2.0 oz / 56.7 g
Chamber Diameter: .8 / 2.03 cm
Chamber Depth: 1.5 in. / 3.81 cm
The pipe pictured above was a sandblast finish with a Tortoise Shell Acrylic stem. The size was right in my ballpark and the shape was perfect. I turned to the site and found one I liked. I have learned over time that if I see something that I like I had better pounce on it as if I pause it will be gone. So I quickly ordered one of them. Mine was a dark finished sandblast with a Tortoise Shell Acrylic stem like the one above. I waited patiently for the pipe to arrive and when it did I was excited. I opened the package and inside was a specially made BriarWorks box with their logo on the top that read Briar Works over Columbia, TN, US.I opened the box and inside was printed with the various BriarWorks lines and pipe shapes that served to decorate the box. Inside was a grey felt pipe sock with a draw string. On the outside of the bag it was stamped with the BriarWorks logo USA. I carefully removed it from the pipe sock and turned it over in my hands. I looked at the dark stained sandblast finish and enjoyed the depth and finish of the blast. It was well done. The stain on the bowl was either a very dark brown or a black. It was hard to tell honestly but the coverage was well done. The rim top stain went right to the inner edge and the shank end was also stained on the flat end and on the inner bevel of the mortise. The mortise itself was clean of stain! The inside of the bowl had a grey charcoal coloured bowl coating that was made to protect the bowl and facilitate the formation of a cake. The shank ended with a thin smooth band that the stem sat against. The pipe was stamped on the underside of the shank and read BriarWorks [over] Classic [over] USA [over] the shape number C91. The stem was a saddle acrylic Tortoise Shell that had great colour. The tenon was Delrin and the thin well shaped button ended the stem with a classic look.I took apart the pipe and carefully examined the drilling in the shank. It was well centered and entered the pipe at the bottom of the bowl in the centre. The tenon was well set in the stem and was also centered. The airway in the stem lined up well with the air hole in the shank. The tenon sat snugly against the end of the shank with no gap to collect debris. The draught through the stem and shank was open and effortless. The button slot was also well shaped and smooth with a Y shaped airway from the slot to the stem. The drilling in the airway in the stem was straight and centered though it was still slightly rough from the drill bit. (Not surprising when you remember this was a $100 pipe.) Overall I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the pipe in my hands. The fit and finish of the pipe was skillfully done and was proportionally well carved. I am enjoying a bowl of Friedman & Pease Fool’s Cap in it now and it is a great smoker. I would heartily recommend Briarworks if you are looking for a new pipe. They were great to do business with and the shipping and packaging was very well done. Have a look at their website and see if there is anything there that interests you. Here is the link to their website (https://briarworksusa.com/). Click on the link and check out the various lines that are available.