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What exactly do 'machine made' and 'hand made' mean?

What exactly do 'machine made' and 'hand made' mean?

Postby KevinP » Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:46 am

Of course, I know what the words mean. But obviously they don't drop the burls into a machine and press buttons for Dublin, brandy, etc.

Would 'assembly line approach' more accurately denote what we mean when we say 'machine made'?

Hand made pipes generally include some things that could be called machines, no?

I've seen many films and videos over the years of pipes being made, but I think they were all handmade pipes, which may be the source of my confusion. Just trying to understand.
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Re: What exactly do 'machine made' and 'hand made' mean?

Postby daveinlax » Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:44 pm

When I think of a machine made factory pipes I think of many blocks of roughed out ebauchon clamped into a copying machine with little or no regard to grain. IMO the most precious and rarest of rare pipes are not "hand made" pipes that were individually cut for grain and flaws but a perfectly shaped clean, straight grain Dunhill, Charatan, Barling or other First grade pipes that began life on a copying machine. :ugeek:
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Re: What exactly do 'machine made' and 'hand made' mean?

Postby 4nogginsmike » Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:33 pm

I've seen a number of videos lately that clarify the question, but never witnessing any of this personally puts my opinions in the armchair.

From what I can tell an artisan uses a machine for most of the steps in the making process, yet using a lathe, he puts a file to the spinning object; at other times he sets the degree of cut and just stands by while it is produced. When he drills the shank and the draft into the bowl he guides the drill and bores a little at a time, pulling the drill out and reinserting it.

In comparison I watched a bit of footage on the Dr. Grabow factory in Sparta, NC taken I believe in the 60s. Pipes revolving on some gizmo to have their bowls exposed to flame to substantiate their claim that they make the only "pre-smoked pipes." Celebrating their machines as fabricated by the workers. Much less hand work. After the flame step they are removed, and three or four pipes just tossed into a pile. I also saw a worker-artisan in the Ser Jacapo shop make a pipe, and he made a pipe very quickly, no more than two hours total and probably less.

I would bet that an artisan-assisted machine process does a better job on each step than machine alone.
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Re: What exactly do 'machine made' and 'hand made' mean?

Postby CodgerBriar » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:33 am

This might help: it's a stummel-to-pipe film made at the Charatan factory in 1945.
The "Made by Hand"s were shaped freehand on an abrasive wheel.

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Re: What exactly do 'machine made' and 'hand made' mean?

Postby Steveaux » Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:52 pm

Anything cut on a pantograph falls into the "machine made" category.

If you look at some of the new 'boutique' pipe sellers (search YouTube for "tobacco pipe"), the "machine made" category has gone full CNC.
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