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Favourite pipe finish

Favourite pipe finish

Postby Geo3rge » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:08 am

What's your preference, if you have one, regarding the finish on your pipes? On balance, I think I prefer smooth ones, though I have several great rusticated and 'blasted pipes that look wonderful. Difficult to choose, really; I think it goes with the shape, size and colour as well.
I'm not overly fond of very bright colours (exceptions are the amber coloured stem on a Rattrays Six Friends and the blue stem on a Falcon Shillelagh) and I prefer a walnut finish to a more ruddy complexion of the briar.
Preferences change with time, don't they, so any of the above might be out of the window next year. Some of the newer pipes from artisan makers look exciting developments. Whether I'd buy one is another matter...
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Re: Favourite pipe finish

Postby KevLa » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:29 am

I have a lovely Bjarne brandy glass with a generally smooth bowl except for the foot, which is sandblasted. This gives a tremendously satisfying feel in the hand when smoking, with the contrast between rough and smooth rewarding one's caresses :)
Where pipes are smooth, I much prefer them without any varnish or lacquer as I find this often bubbles and flakes off with the heat level to which I usually smoke :roll:
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Re: Favourite pipe finish

Postby Irminsul » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:41 pm

I prefer a rich walnut stain, either glossy or satin, yet I do not exclude other finishes as I consider other factors in choosing a pipe. For meers, I prefer smooth or latticed, not the figurals.
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Re: Favourite pipe finish

Postby Dodger » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:40 pm

KevLa wrote:Where pipes are smooth, I much prefer them without any varnish or lacquer as I find this often bubbles and flakes off with the heat level to which I usually smoke :roll:

i agree .
i prefer a smooth finish ,but it is not written in stone and like Steve some of my best smokes are sandblasted .
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Re: Favourite pipe finish

Postby KevinP » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:06 am

If I picked my x favourite pipes, you'd probably see all three types (smooth, sandblasted, rusticated) represented, and maybe some mixed-finishes as well.

Smooth is the most aesthetically pleasing if the grain is particularly beautiful. Sandblasted is more comfortable to hold. Rustication can result in some very interesting pipes, but it can be gimmicky and generally obscures the grain.
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Re: Favourite pipe finish

Postby acaciavet » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:38 am

I like a smooth medium finish.
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Re: Favourite pipe finish

Postby Hermit » Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:15 am

Blast!
(Especially if Rad did it.) ;)
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Re: Favourite pipe finish

Postby TigerJack » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:36 pm

Smooth with satin tung oil finish, wax finish I find doesn't hold up very well, but even with tung oil maintenance work is required once in awhile. G'Day
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Re: Favourite pipe finish

Postby ratatosk » Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:16 am

Definitely a dark, blasted/rusticated finish because-

I prefer the tactile qualities over a smooth finish.

I would guess that twice as much surface area is exposed which means that heat will dissipate faster and the pipe will smoke a little bit cooler.

I appreciate fine grain patterns, etc., but am not willing to pay the difference in price for upscale pipes, a blasted Castello is just as good as a smooth when it comes to the smoke.

With low to mid range pipes, a smooth will display fills once the finish starts to fail (and it will eventually), while there are no fills with a rough finish, the pits are just part of the contours.

And I do not care to spend my time waxing briar bowls, I spend maintenance time on vulcanite stems instead.

There are also some materials like morta and strawberry wood that just beg to be blasted and provide amazing results.
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Re: Favourite pipe finish

Postby Desolbones » Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:30 am

I like my cobs plastered smooth and mortas blasted deep...go figure. Briar and meer are open as to finish. Lately morta has encroached on my love of cobs, neutral flavor, cool smoking, durable and awe inspiring in a cross blast. I'm maybe a lost cause?
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Re: Favourite pipe finish

Postby Geo3rge » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:03 pm

Desolbones wrote:I like my cobs plastered smooth and mortas blasted deep...go figure. Briar and meer are open as to finish. Lately morta has encroached on my love of cobs, neutral flavor, cool smoking, durable and awe inspiring in a cross blast. I'm maybe a lost cause?


Not at all, D. Have a look at Kevla's post on his new (secondhand) Morta pipe. I'd like a Morta myself at some point. Enjoy it when it comes...
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Re: Favourite pipe finish

Postby PipeStoke » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:07 pm

This is one of those difficult questions on which I know I've changed my mind a few times over the years.

I used to prefer smooth pipes to the point that I wasn't particularly interested in rusticated ones at all, but as time went on, that seems to have changed to being a preference for rusticated pipes. Having said that, there's more to it though. I love seeing a smooth pipe with great grain and for some pipes that's just how it should be. To me though, when smoking, nothing really beats a classic rusticated billiard, of which I have a few.
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Re: Favourite pipe finish

Postby KevinM » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:25 pm

At present I am infatuated with sand blasts that have nice stacked ring grain. The coloration doesn't really matter. Second place goes to rusticated.
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Re: Favourite pipe finish

Postby PipeStoke » Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:21 am

KevinM wrote:At present I am infatuated with sand blasts that have nice stacked ring grain. The coloration doesn't really matter. Second place goes to rusticated.


Reading this, I'm realising that I had never really given much thought to the difference between the terms rusticated and sand blasted. When thinking about it, I think it's fairly obvious what one would infer in difference between them where rustication would tend toward deeper offsets, giving what one might call a finish to the surface which is in a way independent of the grain of the pipe — often with its own patterning, whereas sand blasting will tend to be a surface finish which does depend on the grain for its completed expression as you can better see the grain through it.

Arguably though sand blasting could be said to be a sub-category of rustication, or?

Not that it all matters very much. Just musings, because when reading your post KevM, I realised that what I should have said was that I prefer sand blasted pipes, as those are the pipes which I tend to use most. I'm sure there are some wonderful treatises out there detailing how one should denote each finish.
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Favourite pipe finish

Postby AaronVed » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:43 pm

Where to start?

Dinophasma viridis is super cool, as is Phobaeticus foliatus. For the one that is actually in captivity itd have to be Epidares nolimetangere or Dares sp. "Crocker Range", although Dryococelus australis is rapidly heading up my favourite list....
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