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From: ????????????????????????
Subject: Pipes Digest #18 - July 15, 1989

		Pipes Digest #18 - July 15, 1989

In the pipeline:

 - S. Holmes [Consulting Detective] with some comments on pipe technique,
   and a request for smoking support;
 - Phil Gustafson on cigar alchemy and economy, and a reco for a worthwhile
   shop in California;
 - And yr. obedient servant visits the New York Pipe Club, and meets a bunch
   of good folks, including the Founder of the Pipenet.

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From: "S. Holmes [Consulting Detective]" <???????????????????????????>
Subject: Re: Pipes Digest #17 - July 9, 1989 

  >> From: ?????????????????????????? (Steve Masticola)
  >> Subject: Tamping, inhaling, "Pipe Smoker..." newsletter, etc.

  >> Sometimes, the tobacco leaves may lock together, especially in long-cut
  >> tobacco (like Cavendish). To unlock them, gently pull them apart as you fill
  >> the bowl. Try filling in stages - in each stage, fill the bowl loosely to
  >> the top, then compress the tobacco until it's springy. When the bowl is
  >> full, compress again until you get the proper draw.

I *had* to respond to this.  Reading this prompted instant memories of
my grandfather (lo these many years ago) putting his tobacco
(Granger?) into his hand and rolling it between his palms to grind it
into a finer texture.  Then dumping it into the pipe using his hand as
a funnel.  It was an extremely dry tobacco as I recall.  I can't
imagine rolling the tobaccos I smoke in my hands before smoking it.

And since I am writing:
  >> I had a little off-line conversation with Bill about blowing smoke through
  >> the nose; some others may be curious. I don't inhale (except on rare
  >> occasions when I want a little, legal rush! :-), though I have known pipe
  >> smokers who did - their lungs kind of creaked after awhile. Exhaling through
  >> the nose without inhaling smoke is kind of like swallowing while breathing
  >> air out through your nose. I hope those who want to learn to do it will
  >> persevere!

I don't inhale either, or exhale through my nose.  I still get the
occasional buzz.

In my introductory posting (many months ago) I mentioned that I was no
longer an active pipe smoker.  And I said that I might discuss the
reasons later.  Well, reading this list has tempted me to try my pipe
again and the old reasons have cropped up so maybe some has some

First ( and I don't expect any help here) my wife hates it.  I don't
smoke at home, but she know when I am because she can smell it on my
breath ( and taste it occasionally:-).  She is also very sensitive to
smoke in general.  If I have been at a meeting (and not currently
smoking my pipe) she knows whether someone in the room had smoked a
cigarette by the smell on my clothes when I get home several hours later.

Secondly, it makes my throat hurt.  Maybe not enough to keep me from
smoking, but enough to be distracting.

Thirdly, I am a singer and the sore throat doesn't help.  I am not a
professional, understand, but the hobbies can conflict. 

Forthly, I don't think there are any pipe shops at all in Lafayette,
Indiana!  I am reduced to smoking Captain Black, Borkum Riff and the
like.  To be premeditated enough to actually order tobacco from a mail
order house would certainly tip off my wife that her opinion is little
thought of (:-).

Steve Holmes

[ Hope our members can help Mr. Holmes see his way through this conundrum! -S. ] 

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From: ????????????????
Subject: Cigar chemistry, cigar prices, and turning briar

>How many pipe smokers actually inhale the stuff ?  My dad taught me
>that pipe smoke isn't to be inhaled, but rather drawn into the mouth and 
>puffed out.  Likewise, cigars.

I certainly don't.  My experience is like yours -- most pipe inhalers are
cigarette smokers trying to hurt themselves less.
There even may be a chemical reason for not inhaling pipes and cigars,
though the reference is long gone and I might be totally off base:
It seems that cigarette tobacco is so cured that the smoke tends to be slightly
acidic.  When it gets to the acid environment of the mouth, it finds nothing
to react quickly with, so you body can't get the "benefits" till it gets to
your lungs.  Pipe and cigar smoke is somewhat basic, so....

>I truly enjoy the finer cigars I've tried; Partagas, Plieades,
>and a couple other brands.  But they're just too danged expensive
>for my tobacco budget....

Um.  I agree they're a luxury and only smoke one or two a week.  But even
here, where the tax has just shot way up, a Partagas costs a bit under $4.00.
Look what else you get get around here for $4.00:

	From one to two martinis in a bar, depending on whether it's a fancy
	bar with small drinks or a down-to-earth one with big ones.

	Four Its-Its(tm) chocolate-covered oatmeal-cookie ice cream sandwiches.

	Two-thirds of the admission to a movie.

Put in perspective with other luxuries, it's not bad.  And unless you smoke
the hell out of it, it'll last an hour and a half or so.

On pipe manufacture:

I had a nice chat with Jim Andre' about lathes and pipemaking.  Jim, whom
I've mentioned before, makes pipes and sell them at:

	Andre''s Pipe Gallery
	127 West Main St.
	Los Gatos, CA

About half the pipes he makes are turned.  The others are freehand.  The
difference between "hand cut" turned pipes and the others is that the
mass-production pipes use automatic lathes, like key-making machines, to
chomp out pipe after pipe.  The hand-made ones may use templates, but the 
maker will alter the shape to his mood and the nature of the wood.

He does not use fill.  If he finds a little hole, he leaves it;  if he finds
a big one, he changes the shape of the pipe or does some carving.  (I have
a very good Andre' with LOTS of carving -- it doesn't imply poor quality.)
We agreed that old fill always turned color a a different rate than the rest
of the wood and that bad old fill sometimes fall out entirely.

One of the hazards of hand-turning pipes is of course that nasty stem whomping
around and around. If you hit it with a tool, you're likely to ruin the pipe
by knocking it off entirely.  If you let it clobber your hand, it can ruin
your whole day.

Andre' is worth a visit if you're in Silicon Valley.  Los Gatos has nice res-
taurants, too.


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From: ?????????????????????????? (Steve Masticola)
Subject: The first-ever Pipenet Rendezvous

On Tuesday, July 11, it finally happened. In fact, a couple of "its" finally

I met Elias Mazur. The man who threw out the first bowl. The man who took
the flame for his beliefs. The man who set the Pipes Mailgroup alight.

OK, enough smelly puns (probably too much Latakia :-). Elias and I met to
explore the New York pipe scene, and smoke a few bowls with the members of
the New York Pipe Club.

Elias was in New York for a few days, mainly to visit relatives and go on a
few interviews there and in North Jersey. We rendezvoused at Penn Station,
and recognized each other after a bit of indecision (is this the right guy?)
We had about an hour and a half before the meeting, so we visited the
Connoisseur Pipe Shop at 51 W. 46th Street. He'd been there before, and liked
their handmade pipes and "Turkish Blend" tobacco, so I convinced him to humor
me and walk the nine or so blocks there.

The Connoisseur shop is tiny. It's also very good. The owner, Mr. Edward
Frederick Burak, designs all the pipes that the store sells; they also
custom-blend their own tobacco. There were no ceramic German beer steins or
lottery machines in evidence. It's a _serious_ pipeshop.

Mr. Burak wasn't in, but the salesman who was there was knowledgable and
helpful (in a New York-y kind of way, i.e., with vague disdain :-). We
admired the freehands behind the counter and in a glass cabinet at the front
of the store, but neither of us had plans to spend $250 for a pipe that day.
(If you've ever been in grad school, you know why not.) I decided on a
purchase - a huge bent rough-carved pipe ("NOT sandblast! Sandblasting shocks
the wood!" declared the salesman) and four ounces of their Turkish Black
tobacco, which he and Elias had both endorsed. ("What kind of tobacco do you
usually smoke?" "Well, lately I've been smoking some Sherlock's Choice from
the Tinder Box..."  "TINDER Box? Bah!" The salestype was assuredly not too
shy to express an opinion.) The three or four pipes I'd brought were
neglected for the rest of the evening, in favor of The Pipe That Burned
Manhattan And Parts of the Bronx.

Elias and I had hoped to also see Pipeworks and Wilke on 55th Street, but by
the time we got there the store had closed. We contented ourselves with a
short look through the window, then sallied forth to La Bonne Soupe to
negotiate the provendor of some souply comestibles. And, of course, to smoke
some good pipes and have some good conversation.

We asked where the Pipe Club meeting was ("Upstairs - you CAN'T miss 'em!"),
and up we went, following our noses. Steve Shoopak, also from Rutgers, had
been in the city all day, and he greeted us as we entered the dining room.
About fifteen people were there, smoking, trading, and talking pipes with

Steve, Elias, and I picked out a table to one side of the general hubbub and
ordered dinner. The food was excellent, and very reasonable. A few times
during dinner, one of the club members would come over and ask us if we had
any pipes to trade; unfortunately, none of us had (Steve, sadly, hadn't even
brought his own pipe; it had been temporarily, but irretrievably, buried in
the course of moving!) One gentleman was intent on selling his copy of
Richard Hacker's "Ultimate Pipe Video", and made a point of offering it to
all comers. (I'd like to see it someday, but have no plans to actually own

After dinner, Elias and I finally lit up, he with a small, beautiful briar
with brass inlays (which was admired by all), I with my new Connoisseur.
Sailorman Jack, the president of the club, eventually came in, welcomed us
warmly, and introduced us to the other members. We scouted around the dinner
tables, smoking, investigating the pipes on display, and exchanging views
with the members. Elias came across a nice buy: a small, straight-grain
Comoy that he picked up for a song; I, meanwhile, bought the Pipe Club's
handsome T-shirt (another copy of which was later given to the
long-suffering waitress!) 

We eventually drifted back over to our original tables, and joined the
Sailorman and a varying cast of other members in a wide-ranging conversation.
We talked of history, politics, plays, the ethics of the warrior, the nature
of college education, and of course pipes. Time flew; Elias and I shifted
from the Turkish Black to Balkan Sobranie, by way of a home-blended vanilla
mixture I accepted from another member. My pipe and I began to know and
trust each other, as did the old and the new members of the Club. My
friends, if you ever can an evening smoking your pipe and conversing with
intelligent fellows over good wine and beer, please by all means do so
without hesitation. It was a time of great quality.

Gradually, bowls burned low and members drifted into the night; soon it was
time to find our way home. Elias and I parted at the subway, vowing to
return to the Pipe Club next month if we could find a way. As I waited for
the returning train, I finished the last puffs from the Connoisseur's huge
bowl, and became aware of the glance of a pretty young lady, presumably also
biding her time for a train. Alas, I could do no more than to return it in
kind; the station, unlike the Club, does not encourage strangers to become

					Smoke in peace,
					~\U Steve.

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 )				       *   *				  )
( Pipe smokers will rule the world!      *   ??????????????????????	 (
 ) (if they don't run out of matches...) *   Steve Masticola, moderator	  )
(				       *   *				 (
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Article Index

  1. Subject: Pipes Digest #18 - July 15, 1989
  2. Subject: Re: Pipes Digest #17 - July 9, 1989
  3. Subject: Cigar chemistry, cigar prices, and turning briar
  4. Subject: The first-ever Pipenet Rendezvous
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