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Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby ScotsJim » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:32 am

acaciavet wrote:
ScotsJim wrote:
Falconeer wrote:Jim - Chuck's the finest trading partner you'll ever meet - he's 100% pure gold and has access to the Indian Reservations!


I wasn't really looking to trade. The offer was out of the kindness of my black little heart. Having said that, I never refuse free tobacco, unless it's aros :)

Falconeer wrote: Ooops I forgot he likes St Bruno!!!


I like to think that Iam openhearted enough to forgive him that :lol:

Regards,
Jim


This trade is going to be A challenge ! No Lat and no Aero :o .You in to Virginias or Burleys? I am all out of Bruno :lol:


Know something ? Forget the no Latakia. I love the bloody stuff. The PSW will just have to bloody live with it. I love virgina blends and burleys too Chuck :)

The wife had been getting on my case recently because I'd been smoking English Oriental, Ol Limey Bastard, and Engine 99, all blends containing latakia. These tobaccos were sent to me by Cornish Dave, who posts on this forum.
My wife visits Cornwall on holiday a lot and already hates Dave now. There's even a chance she'll bump into him in real life and give him what for.

You, on the other hand, live in the USA so you'll never bump into her and are perfectly safe.

Regards,
Jim
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby acaciavet » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:07 pm

Jim I just tried the Old Limey Bastard and I love it.

Up Spirits
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby ScotsJim » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:01 pm

Aye. It was Cornish Dave put me on to it. And Engine 99. Loved em both matey :)

Regards,
Jim
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby KevLa » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:49 am

Beck's Ol' Limey Bastard is a very fine smoke. I haven't tried Engine 99 yet...
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby Taff » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:48 am

Well I realise this is a long quiet thread but I really do think it needs resurrection, as Gerry gas posted some real pearls of wisdom here.

Why my sudden interest? Well, as I am currently visiting my old man in uber-English Berkshire I have struck gold!! Being the reformed smoker that GW is, he no longer has use for his collection of battered old pipes, and has passed them onto me. Most, frankly are beyond help, but in amongst the pipes is a straight falcon dating from around 1970.... And I've been toying with buying a falcon too. The stem needs polishing (if it will, maybe Gerry can advise? :) ) And the humi-wotsit needs a good wash, the bowl will need some work etc. Anyway, I'm still chuffed to f#$k with it!!

Being a wet smoker, I think me and this pipe are going to become firm friends!!!
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby Falconeer » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:23 am

I took to Falcons in the late sixties for that very reason - I was a wet smoker then and nothing else would work for me consistently.

With an Old Boy Special, I take the thing apart and drop the stem unit into a bowl of hot water with a little washing up liquid in it and leave it for a while while I look at the bowl. Once I've reamed the bowl, if the rim is scorched I work away at it with spit and a rag, then gently clean the bottom of the bowl and wooden threads with an alcohol soaked cloth. Once that's done any furniture polish or shoe polish will bring the bowl up nicely ( with a rustic finish you may need to apply the polish with a baby's soft toothbrush and polish it off with another)

Once I can see through the stem unit to the humidome (several bowls of hot water may be needed), I take an opened out paper clip to the sides of the nylon mouthpiece - solidified goo and fluff from pipe cleaners can lurk there and cause ghosting. Then i dry off the stem unit and clean the metal threads again with an alcohol smoked cloth. That done, Brasso, Dura Glit etc will bring up the aluminium stem nicely.

The mouthpiece is nylon - if it's badly chewed, I personally think its easier sending the thing back to Falcon with a tenner and having them replace the centre tube and mouthpiece, than it is to try working on it yourself. BTW unless it's an International Falcon - odn't try to take the mouthpiece off - it's sealed

Hope this helps

Gerry
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby Taff » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:48 am

Thanks for that Gerry, much appreciated!

I think I'll have to have a couple of new bowls for it; the one attached is a rustic Apple (I think) and I prefer smooth finished ones for some reason. It'll be interesting to try the boot polish method on this old bowl, cos it does look very, ahem, rustic :lol:
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby Falconeer » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:02 am

Believe it or not, the rustic apple is one of my favourite Falcon bowls - especially if it's one of the older chunkily rusticated ones - give it a polish. That shape handles any type of tobacco well, especially the hard-to-keep-alight ones and is good for knocking the edges off a rough tobacco.

Greens of Leeds does replacement bowls at about the best price going, you get them the next day....but the newer bowls do have visible fills and if this bothers you buy in person rather than on line. The newer ones start out quite red but look good after about a years regular smoking as they darken. The blonde Extra/Hunter bowls are of better quality vis a vis fills btw.

Happy smoking

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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby Taff » Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:38 pm

I figured Greens would be the cheapest to be honest, and seeing as going in person would be about a 400 mile round trip, I'll entrust the selection to Claire or Paul; I'm certain they'll no let me down.

The bowl on is indeed the chunky rustic as you referred to it; I shall post some pics when I get back home, might even do a YouTube vid showing the restoration, again if I do I'll put a link for it here.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge Gerry, its a wonder how us pups coped before the days of t'interweb!!!
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby Falconeer » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:37 pm

You'd have learned the same way I did - by getting it wrong first time round....come to think of that I'm still doing it that way!

For instance this thread was meant to be called "Breaking-in and Fine Tuning Your Falcon"

Happy smoking all

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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby Gig » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:35 pm

I own and smoke quite a few Falcon pipes and they are all terrific. If you don't already own a Falcon do yourself a favour and get one in your rotation as I can highly recommend them to all pipe smokers :)
Regards

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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby jpberg » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:10 pm

Gerry, I don't know if I ever got round to telling you - Moo sent me one of yours a while back, he said I'd been living a sheltered life, but anyway, re-reading through this made me think of it. I've been using it to smoke the two newish Pease plugs, along with Wessex Gold Brick.
They certainly do have their place, and I've been enjoying this one, so if I didn't tell you before, Thank You.
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby Wez » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:16 pm

I really must get myself a falcon, the trouble is I want so many pipes ! My dad smoked a falcon and loved it so I think i'll invest, new or estate though?. Too many choices!
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby Falconeer » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:22 pm

Estates are good- watch Ebay and bid at ther right time and you can pick up, as I have done, a Falcon for £0.99p - read the stuff about refurb-ing it and remember if all else fails you send the aluminium section back to Falcon with a crisp tenner and they replace the centre tube and mouthpiece...you get it back by return of post so as the Americans say "What's not to like?" Send them an email in advance and they'll replace the bowl washer at the same time FOC and you are good to go for the next 30 years!

If you want to buy new - see Greens of Leeds - fast delivery and best prices going!

JP - Moo said he'd send them off to the Good Guys - glad you got one!

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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby mgtarheel » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:53 am

I saw a couple of Falcons(Unsmoked) that dated back to the 1960s, I think that I will get one now. By the way, do I need to get some of the absorbing rings for the Falcon?
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby Gig » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:32 am

Make your own absorbent rings by using a pipe cleaner and wrapping it around a pen then cutting it. Works for me :)
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby Falconeer » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:13 am

Absorbing rings or as Falcon calls them Dry Rings? Like all filters of any kind there's two schools of thought about them; some love them and some don't.

I personally prefer not to use them; I like afree drawing pipe and I prefer the taste of my tobaccco as it comes, not filtered. When Bugg designed the Falcon all those years ago he designed it as a stand-alone system that didn't need "extras." For me a Falcon has always worked just fine if you mopped out the humidome and bowl base after each bowlfull with a tissue - you can always spot the Falcon man in any company of pipesmokers btw - he's the one with the pockets bulging with tissue, the tail of it often peeking out of his pocket coyly.

Filters came later, and I well remember the VP of Dr Grabow once posting that while he didn't use filters he was profoundly grateful that they's been invented as the profits from repeat sales of them had guaranteed his pension. As Gig says if you want to use them you don't need to spend money on patented Dry rings - just wrap a pipe cleaner round a pencil to get the curve and the centre plug size and clip to fit. One pipe cleaner'll give you a lot of rings!

Happy smoking whatever,

Gerry

P.S. unsmoked 60s and 70s bowls are worth grabbing. While the bowl walls are slightly thinner than the present type and some were varnished, the older ones were made out of a particularly hard dry briar - they smoke well and you don't have to waste time driving out the sap and oils when breaking them in. I have some and they are A1!
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby ScotsJim » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:27 am

Absorbing rings ? ! :shock:

I never use those damned things. They affect the draw. A needless affectation.
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby mgtarheel » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:41 pm

Gerry , It seems that the person who is selling these old Falcons is the granddaughter of one of the men involved in the manufacture of the pipes back in the 1950s. She claims to have found alot of old Falcons in a warehouse that her grandfather owned in Chicago. She has some stems that are blue and a stem called a Shillelagh. Do you know anything about these?
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Re: Breaking and Fine Tuning your Falcon

Postby Falconeer » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:48 pm

Very interesting. The coloured bowls and leather covered ones were features of the 1970s. The coloured stems were made until fairly recently and were known as the Rainbow Series, being made in Rainbow colours.

The Shillelagh's and the Twists come up from time to time. No one is actually quite sure if they were ever made officially or if they were knocked out by employees during their lunch hours and breaks - but they do originate from the Falcon Factory (factories at one time - America, Britain and Ireland ) In good condition they can fetch good prices on Ebay and I have even seen them with white mouthpieces. I am told they haven't been made for around 30 years in any event.

Other than checking to see if the bending has produced any cracks in the centre tube, and bearing in mind that cleaning them isn't necessarily going to be straighforward I can't think of any other caveats,

Best meantime

Gerry
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