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Date: Sun, 5 Feb 1995 22:08:29 -0500
Message-Id: <???????????????????????????????????????????>
To: ?????????????????
From: ???????????????????????? (Steve Masticola)
Subject: Pipes Digest #176 -- February 5, 1995
Status: RO

		Pipes Digest #176 -- February 5, 1995
		     Circulation this issue: 825

Welcome to new members:

	 Robert Frisbie			(????????????????)
	 Tom Collins			(????????????????)
	 Duane Kight			(????????????????????)
	 Ken Golner			(??????????????????)
	 BB				(???????????????)
	 Dan Lindsey			(???????????????????)
	 Alun Parkes			(????????????????????????)
	 Gary G. Bliesener		(?????????????????????????)
	 John				(????????????????????????)
	 ???				(???????????????)
	 Jim Parsons			(??????????????????)
	 ???				(?????????????????????)
	 ???				(???????????????)
	 Jim Thomas			(???????????????????????????)
	 Bill Moran			(????????????????????????????)
	 ???				(????????????????)
	 Jeffrey Pandin			(??????????????????????)
	 Walter Gorski			(??????????????)
	 Mark Lathem			(??????????????????)
	 Dave Andrew Baldridge		(?????????????????????????)
	 Tom Doherty			(????????????????????????)
	 ???				(??????????????????????????????)
	 Michael Hill			(????????????????????????????)
	 ???				(???????????????)
	 Scott Mathews K.		(???????????????)
	 Diane				(????????????????)
	 Mark				(????????????????)
	 Mario Wundrack			(????????????????????)
	 ???				(????????????????)
	 Ralph Sprang			(???????????????????)
	 Benjamin			(??????????????)
	 Gary Lucchese			(??????????????????)

Administrative note: Some of the folx on alt.smokers.cigars (including
myself) are arranging a get-together and group picture at the
Washington, DC "Big Smoke" on March 1. If you'd like to join in,
please send me your snailmail address so that I can send you an ID
sticker. We'll have two: one for a.s.c., and one for the Pipes Digest.
The stickers looks like this (only better :-)

			   Hi, my name is:
			      and I read


			   Hi, my name is:

			    and I read the
		      Internet Pipes Mailgroup!
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Also, if anyone would like to get involved in doing the artwork,
please let me know. (I never claimed to be an artiste'. :-) I'd prefer
the output be compatible with idraw, but most of the standard image
formats should be fine.

And, in the meantime, relax and light up with us on this cold, cold
winter's night, as we ponder phenomenology, nuclear weapons,
obstetrics, medicine cabinets, Scotland and Ireland, flowers, the
opera, Missouri and other meerschaums, and vampire kitchen utensils... 

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             Help Stop Prohibition -- Keep Tobacco Legal
                        Call -- Write -- Vote
                        Then, Smoke in Peace.

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[Message deleted on request of writer 2000-12-18 by SJB]

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From: "Weinstein, John, Dr, NSS" <????????????????????????????>
Subject: PD #175 follow-up

     I just finished PD#175 which, as usual, I enjoyed immensely.  I'd like 
to comment about your response to  the Zippo lighter info I included in 
#175.  It is correct that the Zippo does not have an angled flame as do the 
better quality pipe lighters.  Still, I have found it to be quite usable 
with only minimum care being required not to scortch the bowl.  I still 
encourage the readership to acquire a Zippo butane if they are still 
available for the following reasons:  rediculously low price, outstanding 
quality and warranty, and their excellence as a cigar lighter.
     There has been substantial discussion in recent PDs about inexpensive 
humidors.  I probably have the cheapest and ugliest but most effective 
"humidor" around.  First I wet and wring out a paper towel and place it 
inside a sandwich-sized baggie with the top folded back to ensure adequate 
air flow.  Then I place this baggie inside a larger freezer-sized baggie 
with a cedar placeholder from a box of cigars.  This leaves enough room for 
about 20-25 large cigars (7"x50 ring, and maduro if you have a lot of 
class).  Sparing no expense, I have separate humidors for my Honduran, 
Dominican and Mexican cigars.  They are ugly but they work.  I find that I 
only have to redampen the paper towel once every 2-3 months.  So there is an 
effective and inexpensive solution to cigar storage:  it's in the bag!
     BTW, congrats on your PhD.  Where did you study and in which field did 
you specialize?  It is a good feeling to finally get that weight off one's 
shoulders so one can pursue more serious, if not important, (a)vocations 
such as pipe and cigar- related activities.
     Thanks for your continued good work on behalf of the pipe and cigar 

73- John

[ You're quite welcome, John! I never meant to put the Zippos down;
they are an excellent buy for cigar smokers. -S. ]

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From: "Weinstein, John, Dr, NSS" <????????????????????????????>
Subject: clouds

     A quick note to those who wonder what the smoke clouds look like from 
someone in the nuclear weapons business.  Well, unlike the Commander in 
Chief, I only inhale so there have been no clouds yey.  No mushrooms in my 
living room although there are lots in the Washington, DC area.  They abound 
in areat that remain in the dark and are characterized by a lot of hot air.
73- John

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From: ???????????????? (Richard E. Byer)
Subject: Mushroom clouds

Having enjoyed a pipe or two in Dr. Weinstein's company (both at a 
meeting of the Capital Area Pipe Smokers and at John B. Hayes Tobacco), I 
can assure you that the shape of tobacco smoke coming from his pipe is 
definitely that of a mushroom.  The reasons therefor, however, are 
probably classified. :)

By the way, if anyone does come to the CAPS meeting, bring a pipe to 

-- Rick Byer <????????????????>

[ The controversy continues... -S. ]

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From: "Weinstein, John, Dr, NSS" <????????????????????????????>
Subject: high-minded tyranny

Here is an excerpt from an excellent editorial written by Russell Baker (New 
York Times, 31 May 94, pg. A17).  I trust PD members will enjoy this essay 
(Hopefully not butchered by my inadequate typing skills) which is entitled 
"The Danger State":

"    ...There is now talk in Washington about a smoke-free America with new 
laws enforcing prohibitions to save the country from smoke's deadly reach. 
 Doubtless there are smoke-haters eager to hear steel doors clang on 
incorrigible smokers, for this is a real crusade, make no mistake, and the 
true crusader doesn't stop at burning the village, killing the women and 
children and making off with the cattle if that's what it takes to purify 
the world.
     "The crusade against drugs has already filled prison cells with 
harmless people serving ridiculously long mandatory sentences at immense 
expense to the public.  A smoke-prohibition crusade would push us into the 
realms of public-policy silliness even more absurd.
     "What accounts for the present zealotry of the anti-smoking crusade, 
which began for such good purpose?  Part of it may be explained by the 
natural urge of high-minded people to rescue the rest of suffering and 
ignorant humanity from ignorance, squalor, godlessness and evil habits.
     "The missionary impulse of people blessed with higher wisdom can be a 
terrifying force, but why has it focused all this fury on tobacco rather 
than the many other things that are killing us?  Automobiles, guns, food of 
almost every variety--all are killing us, just as surely as cigarettes, but 
for every crusader against each there is a stalwart defender to moderate the 
     "(Alcohol, of course, is not available.  Crusaders did alcohol. 
 Disaster!  It gave crime a shot in the arm.)
     "Now something very sinister is developing.  Some businesses are 
refusing to hire workers who smoke outside the workplace, on ground that 
smokers' health problems are bad for their employers.
     "This is an illustration of a crusade entering its dangerous stage. 
 Give employers the right to control the habits of their workers outside the 
workplace, and you set the stage for a tyranny even worse than the evils of 
too much government which keep conservatives so alarmed.
     "It would appear proper for conservatives to get concerned about the 
anti-smoking crusade.  What it attacks, after all, is precisely what 
conservatives ought to care about:  the right of those who are disapproved 
of by the high-minded to be left alone."

     It seems to me that PD subscribers shoud write to Baker at the Times to 
share anecdotes that validate his fears.  The man is already sympathetic to 
the discrimination against us.  We should provide whatever grist we can to 
support him.  With the new, less hysterical Congress in session, a 
well-timed article from Baker could possibly focus attention upon the 
excesses of the past and result in a revisitation of the smoking issue.

     I'd like to request that anyone who has a short, simple factsheet 
debunking the myth of second -hand smoke send it to me via e-mail 
(????????????????????????????) or to my home address (12229-K Pender Creek 
Circle, Fairfax, VA 22033).  I am planning to take on the ban in my office.

     As always, I remain,

     Cordially yours-  John

[ Thanks for the reprint, John, and good luck on your quest! BTW,
Baker's autobiography, "Growing Up," is worth a read too. Personal
note: the article is in my briefcase, waiting to be copied. :-) -S. ]

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From: ????????????????
Subject: Re: Pipes Digest #175 -- January 29, 1995

Dear Steve,

I guess I'm a subscriber to the Pipe's Digest, but I haven't seen my name in 
the listing of new members yet.  Not that it matters, it doesn't, I get too 
much e-mail as it is.

You asked for a brief message about myself. I am a 48 year old
physician (Obstetrics and Gynecology).  I live in Las Vegas, Nevada,
and have done so for the past 14 years, originally from Chicago.  I
have been an on again, off again cigar smoker since about 1978.  That
gives me about 17 years.  Recently I began smoking cigars again.
Previously I smoked cigars that I got at Iwan Reis in Chicago.  They
were OK, but nothing spectacular.  My brother-in-law has been a cigar
smoker for many years and travels to Europe a couple of times per
year.  He had turned me on to Davidoff's in the past and once gave me
a box of Montecritso No. 1's that I must confess I did not care for
very well.

Fortunately, my profession has allowed me the luxury of purchasing the
finest cigars.  Since I don't drink alcohol I substitute cigars for
wine, which is the fetish of many of my friends.  Cigars are equally
expensive, to say the least, but less well known amongst my friends.
Actually, since most of my friends are also physicians, I get a good
deal of bullshit about cigar smoking.  The one thing I can tell you is
that anything costing a lot of money seems to generate more respect
than cheaper things.  A cigarette smoker, for example, would be
completely ostracized, but a cigar smoker, although considered stupid
for risking lung cancer would be tolerated because of the expense and
knowledge necessary to be a "good" cigar smoker.  Crazy isn't it?

I love Cubans, I currently have about 40 Hoyo de Monterrey Double
Coronas, 10 Montecristo A's, 3 Cohiba Robustos, 4 Hoyo de Monterrey
Robustos, about 10 Cohiba Lanceros and a couple each of the Ramon
Allones and Partagas (Habana) Robustos in my humidor.  I am really
lucky since my partner gave me a box of Hoyo's for my birthday.  I
also like many of the cigars that people talk about on the 'Net.  I
regularly smoke AVO Piramides, LGC #1 Torpedos, AVO XO Maestosos,
Macanudo Park Lane Cafes, Belinda Cabinets, and Partagas No. 10's.

I am always looking for a new "discovery".  Currently I am interested
in trying some Bode and Moore's, but I am having a hard time getting
them.  I would also like to try the Partagas Limited Reserve, but they
are pretty well backordered.  I have an order in another country for a
box of Montecristo No. 2's and a box of Bolivar Royal Coronas.

I would love to hear what "secret" cigars the other members of the
group enjoy. As for pipes, sorry guys, I haven't gotten into that.  I
do like the smell of pipe tobacco, however.

David Aberman

[ Thanks for the note, David! Sometimes the new members don't get
their names in the lists, either because I can't find them in the
subscription message, or just because there's a slip 'tween keyboard
and disk. In any case, good luck on your quest for secret smokes! BTW,
there are several other MDs on the Digest mailing list, so you're not
alone. -S. ]

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From: ??????????????????????? (Martin Golding)
Subject: Slick (OK, cheap) humidor

I got tired of my cigars getting crisp and my tobacco getting stale, so I
embarked on a humidor project. Being of Scots ancestry, I wanted something
inexpensive, but durable. The wood humidors I could afford are too small,
and we tend to run out of shelf and counter space to put them anyway.

It occurred to me that a standard medicine cabinet is a fairly well sealed
box, designed to mount in the wall. I could caulk the corners and the razor
blade slot, figure out how to seal the door, and have a large, more-or-less
hermetically sealed, box that would mount conveniently out of the way.
At our local home improvement (I think the British term is DIY) shop I found
a plastic medicine cabinet for about $35, complete with swing mirror. Thanks
to the miracle of modern manufacture (ie, it was cheapest to mold it in one
piece) the body had no holes to seal.

I picked a spot to mount it, cut a small hole next to the stud (discovered
another stud, cut a small hole next to THAT stud) and checked for anything
(wires, nails, more studs) that'd interfere with mounting it. Using a
sharp knife I cut a neat square hole in the plaster the precise size of
the back of the cabinet, next to the stud. Then I found that the cabinet
body was tapered, and recut the edges of the hole so the cabinet just press
fit, and put a pair of flathead screws through the side into the stud to
hold it firmly.

3/8 inch self-adhesive weatherstripping sealed the door, with careful
placement so the hinges and catch still worked. I found a square bowl
that fit, and filled it with salt and water (from advice on this very
list, a saturated solution of salt maintains ~70% humidity at normal
temperature and pressure). My cheap discount hygrometer is holding rock
steady at ~65%, I have no idea how accurate that is, but it's close 
enough for me. Voila, 23x13x~4" built-in humidor. 


There are shelves. It's entirely out of the way. It'd hold three or four
boxes of cigars, with careful packing. Larger ones are available, at
higher prices. It's got a mirrored door.


It's not quite as deep as a standard round tin of tobacco, I have to
stand them on edge. It can't sit out on a desk looking lush and inviting
(OTOH, at the price of good cigars, maybe humidors _belong_ hidden behind
doors.) If you don't know precisely where your studs are, you may have to
hang some extra art around the humidor to hide the holes.  It's got a
mirrored door.

Also: Now that I have a humidor wherein to store them, I suspect that my
inventory, and my consumption, of cigars will increase dramatically.

(I'll probably hang art over the door. Are there affordable copies of
any of the "Ce n'est pas un pipe" series?)

Ride German, smoke English,


          Martin Golding          |  Live to ride,
DoD #236  BMWMOA #55952  SMTC #2  |   ride to work.
???????????????????????   Portland, OR

[ What a great idea, Martin! I wonder if anyone else has done a
similar DIY built-in humidor? -S. ]

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From: ????????????????
Subject: Re: Your Pipes Digest subscription request

I just finished reading the Pipe Digest and was thoroughly impressed. 
I am a cigar aficionado, I only dable with pipes now and then. I also travel
quite frequently and this May I will be going to Scotland and Ireland so I
was wondering wether you or your subscribers have the names of good
tabbaconists in those areas.
                                                     Thank you
                                                     Robert Frisbie

[ I can't recall of any in the Guide, but perhaps our readers can
suggest... -S. ]

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From: ???????????????? (Brad Williams)
Subject: Pipe Digest Submission.


A few thoughts about pipe smoking have been rattling around my brain
(quite uncomfortable) and so I thought I'd better get them into the public
forum quickly. 

First, a *big* thank you to the maillist.  I am still relatively new to
pipe smoking and I have picked up tips here that have made it an enjoyable
endeavor.  I came to pipe smoking mainly because I found that while cigars
remind people of gangsters, pipes remind people of grandfathers or college
professors - I enjoy cigars, but people (in general) seem more tolerant of
pipe smokers.  A cigar-smoking friend gave me a pipe for Christmas one
year and off I went. 

My early attempts were weak and unfulfilling - I did not have any
experienced pipe smokers to guide me, and so I did a poor job of packing
the pipe and had a lot of trouble keeping it lit.  (You mean you tamp it
down?  Really?) Subsequently, I didn't feel comfortable smoking it at all. 
I probably smoked it about twice a year (gasp!) until recently.  I just
wasn't comfortable with it. 

However, there is a happy ending to this story.  I have gleaned great
wisdom from this mailing list, and now can enjoy a bowl of tobacco without
such feelings of incompetence.  For the last month or so, each Sunday
afternoon has contained an hour of sitting on the back patio listening to
the rain (it's been a wet January in LA) and enjoying my pipe.  My wife,
seeing the amount of pleasure the pipe brings me and the mental health
benefits derived from an hour of down time, is starting to come around -
today, at lunch, she even went so far as to say it might be OK for me to
smoke it (are you sitting down?) *indoors* every now and then.  Needless
to say, I was floored. 

So here I stand, on the threshold of a new hobby.

Firstly, I would like some more information on my pipe - it is a
standard-looking straight pipe, with a black vulcanite stem and a wooden
bowl bearing a "GBD" logo, with "Made in England 7012" engraved in the
side.  Can anyone shed any light on this manufacturer?  I have not seen it
mentioned in the digest.  I am intrigued by the possibilities of owning
several dozen pipes, as some readers seem to, but I don't think I'll be
expanding my collection too terribly quickly.  Nonetheless, it is
something else to look for in those antique shops I seem to find myself in
from time to time. 

Secondly, I am having trouble finding a tobacco that I enjoy, and my local
tobacco place (Cigar Warehouse on Ventura Blvd.), while having an
impressive array of pipes and tobaccos, hasn't been especially helpful in
the selection process.  I currently am working through a pouch of their
cavendish, which, to quote another subscriber (describing Macanudos I
believe), is "like smoking fresh air."  It does have some flavor, but it's
extremely subtle.  The one tobacco that I have smoked that I really liked
was some I purchased when on a business trip through Amsterdam.  I had
heard about a tobacconist's that had been open since the early 1800's so I
went to check it out - the name of the store is P.G.C. Hajenius and it was
very nice - I recommend stopping by if only to see how pleasant the Dutch
can be.  I bought a tin of their house "Black Mixture" and enjoyed it
quite a bit.  It had a bit of an anise smell to it but did not taste like
that at all - that's the only good description I can offer, having little
else to compare it to. Of course, now it's all gone and I am left to
wonder when I will be sent back to Europe on business.  Has anyone else
ever smoked this blend, and if so, can they recommend something similar? 
Or, better yet, know of someplace I can get it? 

Finally, my wife and I have had a couple conversations along the lines of
"It's OK for you to smoke once in a while, but smoking is bad for you." 
Aaack.  Can anyone point me in the direction of printed medical reports
regarding pipe smokers vs. cigarette smokers vs. non-smokers?  I don't
think this is going to become a sticking point (see above remark), but I
wouldn't mind a little third-party printed information to counter with. 

Thanks for any information and/or recommendations in advance!

-- BW

|Brad Williams   |"Personally, I believe a hammock, a cigar and a gin and   |
|????????????????|tonic is the best way to save the planet." - P.J. O'Rourke|

[ Re GBD, from _The Ultimate Pipe Book_: "The initials stand for the
names of the three 19th century French founders, Ganeval, Bondier, and
Donninger. Founded in Paris in 1850, they began their enterprise by
making meerschaums, the most popular "high grade" of the day. Around
1900 the three founders opened a subsidiary in England to be closer to
the booming briar pipe trade that was starting to use London as a
nucleus. The GBD London subsidiary was operated by the historic
English firm of Oppenheimer. The three partners retired in 1903 but by
then their trademark, the GBD initials surrounded by an oval, was so
well known for quality briar, it has been retained on the stem of all
their pipes to this very day. After WW II the entire GBD factory was
transferred from Paris to Saint-Claude. Today, however, virtually all
GBD pipes are made in London." And, if you find any such article, I'd
love to see it. -S. ]

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From: "J.D. Jenkins" <?????????????????????????>
Subject: On-line catalog homepage

I may have made an error in the correct address for the homepage of 
Smokin Joes Tobacco.

It should be - http://www.charm.net/~ibc/ibc2/smokin.html

I may have listed it as  - http://ww (should be www)


Smokin Joes Tobacco
J.D. Jenkins

[ Corrected -- thanks! -S. ]

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From: Terence Ronson <??????????????????????????>
Subject: Pipes #171 - spongy styrofoam

With regards to:

[ Thanks, Andrew! From some discussion elsewhere, the spongy styrofoam
stuff that florists use to stick cut flowers in also works well as a
humidifying agent; one could replace the cotton wool with that,
too. -S. ]

The "stuff" is called OASIS (I know, I'm in the business).

Actually, this is the padding inside of the sponge holders on the humidors one
buys and should easily be obtainable from your local florist. Make sure though
that you ask for the type that is used for live flowers and not dried! A block
(size of a housebrick) should cost you around L1/$1.50 max.

Cut it when dry, then simply soak it in water, it holds twice it's own weight,
and hey presto!

Terence 100137,???????????????????

[ Thanks, Terence! -S. ]

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From: ?????????????????????????????
Subject: For the Digest

        I'm shopping for churchwardens, and my local tobacconist just
doesn't seem to be very enthusiastic about finding some for me.
Understandably, he wants to sell what he has first.  Anyone know of
any mail order outfits that are worth checking into?  I prefer a
photograph of the pipe at the very least.  I'm already on Carey's
mailing list, but I haven't seen that they've offered any
        And while I'm asking shopping questions, anyone know of good
mail order sources of tobacco furniture, i.e. stands, humidors, racks,
ashtrays, etc.

[ Please let us know if you find out! I've seen plenty of places for
mail-order cigars, but not too much for pipe-related items. -S. ]

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From: ??????????????????
Subject: display case

Hi all,

   First off I hope that this is going to the right e-mail address. In one of
my latest fits of cleaning my hard drive I accidentally erased the file
containing all of the neat how to commands for this list.
   Anyway., I recently purchased a dutch wine pipe that I love. It may seem
like a touristy thing to do, but it really smokes well once you get it lit.
My problem is how do I store the dang thing. It is too big and unstable for
me to trust it to my regular pipe rack. I was hoping someone might either
have the plans for a display box or know where to get one that is ready built
for the job. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

[ There is a special rack made for calabashes; it's a wooden "C" shape
suspended horizontally. Perhaps that would work. -S. ]

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From: Jeremy Lakey <????????????????>
Subject: Ted's Pipe Store (for the list)

Since there weren't any cigar stores in Tulsa listed, I'll throw one in that 
I frequent regularly.

Ted's Pipe Shops
2002 S. Utica Square
Tulsa, Ok

Oklahoma's Oldest Pipe Shop, Walk-In Humidor with large cigar selection, 
imported and domestic cigars, and custom blended pipe tobacco.  Also carries 
Zippo lighters, humidors, lot's of pipes ($25-$500) as well as nostagic 
stuff like metal signs, canes, umbrella's and the like.  Staff is extremely 
knowlegable and helpful.

Does anyone know of any cigar/pipe friendly restaurants in the OKC/Tulsa 

let me know,


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From: ?????????????????????? (David Malecki)
Subject: Looking for a Peterson

Hi Steve.

The time has come.  I'm looking to buy a Peterson by mail order.
I know of Levin Pipes, are there any others who have a nice catalog?

Thanks in advance, and as always, thanks for the digest.

*                                                                         *
*                                        ||||                             *
*  David Malecki                   ||||\ ||||   tel:  (613) 599-3600      *
*  Newbridge Networks Corporation  ||||\\||||   ext:  1210                *    
*  600 March Road P.O Box 13600    ||||\\\|||                             *
*  Kanata, Ontario, Canada         ||||\\\\||   Newbridge owns my mind,   *    
*                                  |||| \\\\|   but these opinions are    * 
*  ??????????????????????          ||||         mine.                     *
*                                                                         *

[ With Pipe and Book has some Petersons, though not too large a
selection. Any others? -S. ]

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From: ???????????????????? (Duane Kight)
Subject: Pipe mailgroup Introduction

Hello again, Steve.  I'm sending you an introduction of myself for the next
Digest; I assume that it gets channelled through you, since I couldn't find
a group address other than yours.  Let me know if messages should be sent

     I'm an assistant professor of French at Haverford College in suburban
Philadelphia, live in Philadelphia itself, and am 39 years old.  I am
equally fond of pipes and cigars, but tend to go in cycles:  since it's
hard to smoke a cigar while working at the computer (soggy ends!), I tend
to smoke my pipes more often when I have more work to do.  I'm an opera
lover and have a large collection of CDs; bliss for me is to sit down with
a good cigar and a brandy and listen to an act or so of something.  I am
somewhat of a closet smoker, since none of my close friends smokes and I am
reluctant to impose something they find distasteful on them; the campus
where I work is smoke-free, so I don't really smoke at work either.  One of
the reasons, by the way, that I was delighted to find this group was that I
miss being able to smoke and socialize at the same time, and this is the
next best thing.  (Speaking of which--anyone know of any cigar/pipe clubs
in the Philadelphia area?  I was pleased to know that my local tobacconist,
Holt's, is opening a new store soon with a smoking room in it)  In pipe
tobacco, I favor English types, Balkan Sobranie and some blends which I get
from a tobacconist in Albany, NY, by mail, and I prefer large freehands or
bents; in cigars, I am fond of large maduros (they last for more than an
opera act!) and am currently favoring Arturo Fuentes and Gloria Cubanas,
although I like anything Dominican or Honduran, I've found.  So there you
have it--if you want to know more, just let me know, and I look forward to
participating in the group.

     I guess I do have a cigar question--is the way a cigar burns a
function of the cigar or of the way I smoke it?  Sometimes I can get a
cigar lit perfectly evenly, and then about halfway down it starts burning
more on one side than the other, resulting in a mess of burned wrapper
fragments and filler that burns down inside the wrapper.



Duane Kight

[ I sometimes find that happens too, Duane. Any ideas on the cause? -S. ] 

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From: "Johnson, Bill" <?????????????????????????>
Subject: The Cigar Company, Pasadens

Jeff -- Sending this to you with a copy for Steve so that others can learn 
of The Pipe Company.

I did finally get around to visiting The Pipe Company.  Needless to say, I 
forgot to get an address.  But it's located on South Lake Street (the 
300-block I'm pretty sure) in Pasadena.  That's on Lake, about three blocks 
south of Colorado Blvd.  It's across the street from Bullocks in the arcade. 

The Pipe Company is run by Carl, who was quite helpful and more than willing 
to spend time with me.  The store is essentially one large room with most of 
the walls lined with boxes of cigars.  No separate humidor -- the store is, 
in effect, the humidor.  Although I've been smoking cigars for about 30 
years, I'm not much of a connoisseur (sp?), and don't feel qualified to 
judge the quality and/or range of the selections.  But it was enough of a 
range to impress _me_.  I explained to Carl that I'm fond of Churchills.  He 
offered me three, and I chose three of A-Fuente brand ($3.70 each -- $4.00 
with tax).  I've smoked two of them and have been pleased with their flavor. 
 No doubt I'll be buying more of them, as well as trying others of his 
products.  As The Cigar Company is only a block-and-a-half from my office, I 
can walk there, buy a Churchill, and have time to smoke it on my lunch hour. 
 Fewer calories than eating a cheeseburger -- and probably more healthy.

In addition to the walls full of cigars, there are display cases with 
various cigar-related accessories.  And I noticed on one of the display 
cases a stack of flyers advertising a Cigar Event to be held at one of the 
local restaurants.  Dinner, drinks & fine cigars, sponsored by the 
restaurant and various vendors.  I thought it would be fun to attend.  Then 
I saw that the price was $75.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity) and decided 
that such events will have to wait a while.  Perhaps if the IRS ever ceases 
garnishing my wages I can afford such entertainments again.

The Cigar Company only carries cigars.  Carl recommended I try The Tenderbox 
(in the Pasadena Mall) for pipe-related needs.

I hope the above gives a valid picture.

Good Ol' BillyBob
Rebel Without A Clue

[ I'll put this in the Guide if I can get their address. Thanks! -S. ]

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From: Kevin Cook <???????????????>
Subject: The Smoker, Tim West, Pipeworks and Wilke

Passed through Albany, NY a couple of weeks ago and stopped in at one of 
my favourite places, The Smoker.  He had just reopened after doing some 
renovations, the most important of which was the building of a big 
humidor, as he wanted to increase his cigar selection.  Unfortunately for 
me, all of his pipes (he specializes in pre-owned) weren't yet moved back 
into the store, so I focused on tobacco rather than pipes while there.  

He blends his own tobaccos, both English and aromatics and has a good 
selection.  He also does mail order.  His English tobaccos are 
excellent.  His "Smoker" blend has a wonderful woodsy aroma that I can't 
seem to get enough of.

His address (which is incomplete in the resource guide) is 136 Washington 
Ave, ALbany, NY 12210.  (518) 462-1302.

In the last digest, someone was asking about Pipeworks and Wilke.  They
still exist; they've kept their workshop and are running their business
from there.  For a while they maintained their workshop as well as a
retail outlet in touristy Manchester Center, VT.  Seems it didn't work
out.  Indeed, whenever I'm in Vermont, I don't get the impression it is
much of a smoking state.  Their mailing address for mail orders is RR1 Box
275, Shaftsbury, VT 05262.  Their phone number was not supposed to change,
so it should still be (800) 832-8309, fax: (802) 375-2401.  (Please update
resource guide) I haven't been there for a while but remember particularly
enjoying their #10 Equinox, a fragrant Turkish/Virginia/Latakia blend,
that really hits the spot, although I tend to find it a bit sharp at the
end of a day. 

My other little discovery while in New York was a pipe shop in downtown
Buffalo.  For the first time I ran into a few Tim West pipes, rather big
and funky freehands, which I instantly fell in love with, especially given
their low price ($48-80).  A true artist's pipe, which smokes beautfully
already and I'm barely at the half-way point of breaking it in (the bowl
is quite tall) and flares out from the bottom and also shoots forward
slightly as it rises.  Something tells me I'm going to want more of these 
:)  Hmm, maybe I'll have to go back to Buffalo to find these again....  
Anyone know if he puts out a catalogue of sorts?

Happy smoking all!  A warm pipe is wonderful during a walk on these cold 
winter nights!


Life is a test

Kevin Cook,
Computer animator, Montreal

[ Thanks for the corrections! -S. ]

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From: Bubbamike <????????????????????>
Subject: Pipes Digest #175 -- January 29, 1995

Andy Wallace mentions the Falcon pipe in Digest #175.  Andy should know 
that the Falcon is a copy of the Kirsten.  The Kirsten is the originator of 
the Metal bodied pipe.  It was designed to produce a cool smoke without any 
hubble bubble.  It is a vulcanite stem, a metal body, a plastic end cap 
with a hole which can be turned to prevent any of the moisture from getting 
back into the bowl, and a briar or Mershaum bowl which screws onto the 
metal body.  While you're smoking the moisture condenses in the body and 
does not drain into the bowl of the pipe.  If you need to allow the pipe to 
go out, you turn the plastic cap which locks the moisture out of the bowl.  
You can then put the pipe in your pocket or whatever and when you wish to 
relight it you just turn the cap again.  When empting the pipe the cap 
keeps the moisture in the body and prevent it from turning the bowl sour 
and rancid.

I have two or three bowls for my Kirsten and change them to keep them 
fresh.  It gives a fine smoke without a dottle.  The bowls need little 
breaking in .  I think I can say that it has become my favorite pipe.

I regreat to say that I've just had a bad experience with the Dunhill in
Seattle.  I went in there today and bought a Royal Jamicia Parklane and
thought I'd pick up a tim of 965.  The assitant recomended that instead of
getting the 100 gram tim of 965 for $11.00, that I buy a 8 oz. tin for $15.
I did so and I'm afraid that when I got home and opened it, the tobacco was
quite dry.  I should have known, as they keep the 100 gram tins in the
humidor, the tin he gave me was in a cabinet, without any humidy and was
not hermeticly sealed.  I gather that this is a Lanes mixture and is bulk
packed.  I am going to have to bring it back and let them know that they
must do a better job.  This is sad.  I remember going to the Dunhills in
Chicago back in the early '70s and the wonderful tobacco bar they had.  The
one in Seattle, not only does not have a tobacco bar, but does not allow
smoking in the shop.

In the many years that I've been smoking pipes I've never smoked a tobacco 
like Bengal Slices.  So when I picked up a tin I was a bit put out trying 
to figure out how to prepare it for smoking.  I just try tearing it apart 
and then putting it into the pipe.  If anyone has a proper method, please 
inform me.


Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof!

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From: "W. Scott Monty" <??????????????????>
Subject: Another satisfied customer...

Dear Steve,
	As a young smoker (25 years old) I have come to enjoy the Pipes
Digest, especially for some of the tips and pointers concerning pipe care,
smoking habits, and the like.  I have been smoking for about 5 years, but
have never had any formal training on the matter, since I have no older
male relatives who are well-versed in the art, and I have felt a little
embarrassed in tobacco shops.  I sometimes get the sensation that one
should know what one wants and what to do with it when one gets it, so
I have refrained from asking too many questions.  Pipes Digest has been
my own guru in terms of answering some of the long-standing questions
I have had.
	And while I'm on the subject, is there any way for me to
overcome my seemingly irrational phobia of asking too many
questions of Mssrs. Peretti and Erlich?  Is this a common embarrassment 
of younger smokers?
	Keep those issues coming.

		Smoking in peace,

	Also, I would appreciate it if you could send me as many
back issues of the digest as possible.  Thank you!

[ Ask more questions? If Messrs. Peretti and Ehrlich are decent chaps,
they'll answer you. If not, you'll learn what kind of chaps they
are. Disclaimer: I have no personal experience. -S. ]

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From: "J.D. Jenkins" <?????????????????????????>
Subject: electronic catalog & reference guide


Smokin Joes is in the process of compiling an electronic catalog of the
items we carry.  It will include a description of the item, with
price, and allow the user to place an order.  We carry cigars, 
humidors, pipes, pipe tobacco, etc...

In addition, it has a reference guide.  Information on how to light a
cigar, how to store them, etc...

There is a section on online forums, newsgroups, web pages, etc...
Where to find them and what each one consists of.

Many sections.

Severl people have contributed to the reference guide and I was
wondering if you would, email me some information on alt.smokers.pipes?

Ben Ricci did a nice one for the cigar forum on Compuserve.  I have
included it below as an example.
Online Forums and Newsgroups:

Compuserve Cigar Forum:

Introduction by Ben Ricci
of section 13, cigars/pipes, of The Compuserve Wineforum

For intelligent, moderated discussion of fine tobacco products,
consider joining the good folks of the Bacchus Wine Forum on
Compuserve Information Service.  This group was the first organized
special interest area on the information networks for tobacco lovers
and have been sharing factual contributions for several years.  Our
"smoking room" is not only well ventilated, but a safe place where
people who choose to enjoy good tobacco products can talk about them
in a friendly and intelligent manner akin to the enjoyment of the fine
beverages that we discuss elsewhere in the forum, and that while
tobacco issues can certainly get a thorough, er, airing here, we're at
pains to keep the issues of politics and connoisseurship separate.
The Cigars/Pipes section of the Bacchus Wine Forum hosts Blind Cigar
Tastings (BCT's), On-line Smokers, and features PCCA Digest a weekly
newsletter written by Robert Hamlin.  In addition, there are over 150
library files on all topics of interest to the tobacco connoisseur.
Many industry notables have contributed information to the
Cigars/Pipes section of the Bacchus Wine Forum (directly and
indirectly).  They include: Robert t Hamlin (PCCA), Mike Butera
(Butera Pipes), Richard Di Meola (Consolidated Cigar), Gordon Mott
(Cigar Aficionado), JM Boswell (Boswell Pipes), J.D. Jenkins (SMOKIN'
JOES), Brian Dewey (Lane Limited), Lew Rothman (JR Cigar), Craig
Nelson (Cigar of the Month Club), Brian Hurst (Club Connoisseur), Jack
Ehrmantraut (Edward's), Sid Gottlieb (Cigar Club International) and
others. The Bacchus Wine Forum is a comfortable place to exchange
information regarding tobacco and it has developed a significant
membership of regular participants who have become good friends and
electronic smoking buddies over the years.

To find the Bacchus Wine Forum on Compuserve:
CompuServe subscribers GO:WINEFORUM
then set your forum options to include section 13, Cigars/Pipes.

To join CompuServe call 1-800-848-8199

I would appreciate ascii text.  If possible, I need it no later than

In addition the the description on the alt.smokers.pipes I would like
to include information on pipes.  Information that would be good for
the new smoker concerning pipes and pipe tobacco.

What do you think?  Are you up to it?

Waiting the hear form you,

One last item.  The software is free.  It will be available for
download as well as mailed to those who ask for it.  It should be ready
to ship on or about 02-15-95.

J.D. Jenkins
Smokin Joes

[ Sent a brief blurb on the Digest; hope that's what you'd had in
mind! -S. ]

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From: ??????????????? (D.C. Stultz  )
Subject: Intro & digest fodder


I've been on your digest list for a few weeks now. Really enjoy them. I've 
been remiss in taking the time to tickle the QWERTY keyboard and let you and 
my fellow puffers know a bit about this 55 year old smokestack. (Like most 
smokers, I've been called worse.)

Never been much of a cigarette smoker -- only as a kid behind the barn and 
on airplanes back when you could do that. Started smoking cigars at age 21, 
switched to pipes about 20 years ago -- mainly for economic reasons (was out 
of work at the time and my 7 or 8 cigar a day habit was a tad expensive).

While I've always held a white collar job, I'm sort of a blue collar smoker. 
 Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the best -- I've smoked my share (maybe more) 
of good true Havanas when I worked in or visited Europe -- but for day to 
day smoking pleasure, I enjoy my corncob and my drug store bought Sir Walter 
Raleigh Aromatic.  

I thought I'd be the blight of the list being a corncob man, but sprinkled 
among the tales of treasure hunts for  multi-hundred dollar pipes you get a 
few references to 'em.  Corncobs are cheap (we won't use high falutin' 
language like "inexpensive"), they are easy to break in, they smoke good and 
if you break or lose one, you don't cry for a week about it.  But they are a 
bit difficult to find nowadays -- especially here on the Space Coast of 
Florida.  The tobacco/newsstand at the Melbourne Mall carries them only once 
in a great while and that's the only tobacco shop within at least 30 miles. 
(Remember them though if you come to Melbourne and visit the mall -- inside 
their shop is the absolute only place you can smoke inside the mall. So feel 
to browse and puff!) 

Because of limited local supply, I contacted Missouri Meershaum in 
Washington, MO 63090 and got them to send me a catalog and I ordered some 
direct. They will ship to customers direct if you don't have a local 
supplier. I was going to be a nice guy and give you all the complete 
address, but I'll be darn if I can lay my hands on the darn catalog. (Lesson 
#1: Don't follow your wife's direction to clean up your home office!) 
Anyway, they'll get your letter addressed to just the town -- they're the 
biggest company there.

Have similar problems with my favorite tobacco, but I made friends with the 
sales clerk at the Eckerd's I frequent and she goes the extra mile to 
override their inventory system and keep enough pouches coming in and hid to 
keep me puffing and happy. 

Love the comebacks tag section of the Digest.  I have a habit of knocking 
the fire out of my pipe, entering a store and immediately filling one of the 
pipes in my pocket so I'll be able to light up as soon as I leave.  I often 
use the unlit pipe as an oral pacifier while in the store.  After recently 
getting yelled at about no smoking allowed in the store even though the pipe 
was unlit, I'm now ready and looking forward to using this comeback: "It is 
also illegal to have sex in this store. Just because you have the equipment, 
doesn't mean you're going to use it." (Ahem, does Pipe Digest also have a 
bail bondsman list?)

I was downsized from a Fortune 500 company last August and have been 
unemployed since.  But it hasn't been all bad -- at home I can smoke inside 
and use my computer at the same time!  If any of the puffers out there need 
a good software engineer or would like help setting up web pages or could 
use a dynamite newsletter editor/writer or humor columnist, let me know.  
Have pipes, will travel.  :)

Steve, keep up the good work.
 D.C. Stultz    **  ???????????????  ** (407) 676-5603
 Darl Communications  **  Melbourne, FL   
 ** Let us help you lead the pack **
 "If you're not the lead dog, the scenery never changes."

[ Good comeback, and good luck, D.C.! And we'd appreciate the contact
info of the Missouri Meerschaum Company if any of our other members
has it handy. -S. ]

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From: Kevin Cook <???????????????>
Subject: Congratulations!


I just sent an image for the picture gallery.  I tried sending this intro 
text in the same mail as the image, but couldn't get it to work.  Do let 
me know if the image got to you in a readable format; I haven't had lots 
of practice with sending images.  I'll try again if it didn't work right 
the first time.

I thought the image was amusing and would be worth sharing. Unfortunately,
the scan was incomplete.  The entire text said "Congratulations!  Now you
are a pipe smoker" or something very similar.  Instead, we see
"Congratulations!" only, along with the caricature of the man contentedly
puffing on his pipe (as I am doing right now) and the woman happily
sniffing the drifting aroma of latakia :).  The image is from a
promotional pamphlet I came across that was put out by Dr. Grabow. 

Next time I get free access to a scanner, I'll scan the whole document it
and upload it.  Hope someone gets a kick out of it like I did...  In the

Happy smoking all! 

Life is a test

Kevin Cook,
Computer animator, Montreal

[ Thanks, Kevin! I sent the image along to Steve Beaty, the able
maintainer of the Digest Web site. -S. ]

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From: ?????????????????
Subject: Smelly Meerschaum

Date: Saturday, February 4, 1995
Time: 11:21 PM

Yesterday I purchased a new pipe... a meerschaum in the form of a lion's
head. As far as meerschaum goes it is in the low end of the spectrum--but
above the drugstore variety--I paid about $65.

I smoked it first thing last night and was quite pleased with it. The only
problem was an off smell coming from the bowl after I was done. This evening
when I entered my room it was the first thing I noticed. Now, normally I
would not worry too much about the smell. I don't spend much time in my
room--it's a place to sleep. However, my parents are rabid anti-smokers. My
mother has complained about the smell of tobacco (un-smoked) permeating the
house--either a gross overstatement or she has an extremely sensitive
sniffer--and at the time of complaint I was still smoking aromatics. If she
will complain about that, she'll definitely complain about this. Bottom line,
I need the smell to go away. Any suggestions? Does the type of tobacco smoked
have anything to do with it? I smoked a strong latakia blend in it. Would,
perhaps, a fragrant matured Virginia do better?

Now, about cleaning meerschaums. I understand that I am not to let a cake
develop. Is this accomplished by rubbing the bowl out with a cloth after each
smoke, or does one wait until there is a very light cake developing and then
remove it somehow?

I gather that it is the beeswax coating on the pipe that will cause the pipe
to turn an amber color. It seems to me that the lion's mane offers a good
opportunity for a nice contrast in colors. If I handle the pipe, touching
only the lions mane, while smoking this will remove the wax from the surface,
but leave the wax in the depths of the lines forming the hair. If the wax
will turn an amber color, what will become of the high points where the wax
has become worn off?

Am I also correct in my understanding that a meerschaum can be smoked as much
as one desires without any negative repercussions? My understanding is that a
meerschaum actually wants to be smoked continuously to develop a nice color.
  Christopher D. Walborn              ~  ~          
  ?????????????????               ~    ~   ~        
                                         ~  ~       
           ~  ~                            ~        
        ~   ~    ~                         U______  
       ~  ~                                         
        ~                   A man and his pipe are  
  ______U                    comrades inseparable.  

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From: Mark Lathem <??????????????????>
Subject: By way of introduction...

Hello, all.
I did not intend to submit an introductory letter; however, after perusing
past issues I see this is something of a tradition, so here goes:
I am a 31 year old male, a US Army officer by trade (Military
Intelligence branch--no oxymoron comments, pliz <g>).  I have a wife, three 
children, a dog, a cat, and a profound addiction to caffeine and nicotine.
I have been a tobacco user since my teen years, and have enjoyed the weed 
in all its many forms.
I smoked a pipe while in college--a beautiful clay that cost me half 
a week's wages at the time and has since, sadly, vanished.  I only
recently resumed the habit (largely in an attempt to shake off cigarettes 
and snuff), and was delighted to re-discover the joys of pipe smoking and
its associated rituals.  There are no good tobacconists in my local area,
but, thanks to the Resource Guide, I am eagerly awaiting brochures from 
several firms.  I am looking forward to replacing my lost clay, as well
as trying some of the Dunhill blends about which I have read so much.
May your tobacco stay moist, and your matches dry.
 --  Mark Lathem   =   ??????????????????   =   ??????????????????  --
"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign,
that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."  --  Jonathan Swift

[ Welcome, Mark, and glad to know that the Guide was of use to
you. -S. ]

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From: ????????????????
Subject: Still more stuff [PIPES]

Dear Steve -

In #173 I saw a posting from John concerning questions he had on pipe
cleaning.  I sent a response directly to him, but I thought I'd pass a cc.
along to you in case you think it might be worth putting in the next digest.
 I know I'm probably going over old territory, so again I say that whatever
you want to do with it is o.k. by me.  Also - if there's anything there you
think might be worth adding to the "how-to" guide please feel free to add it


Steve J. (Briar Man)

P.S.  I contacted Tom Bliley's office a few days ago.  Unfortunately
he doesn't have e-mail (at least not yet - his assistant say's he's
thinking about it).  I do, however have the fax number to his
D.C. office.  It is: (202) 225-0011.  BTW - Linwood Hines of CORPS
says that Mr. Bliley appreciates getting notes from fellow pipe
smokers who like having a friend in congress.  If nothing else, we
should write (or fax) him to show our support for his efforts on
behalf of those want to see their liberties restored.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

Dear John:

I saw your posting in Pipes Digest #173, and I thought I'd respond to you
directly concerning your questions on pipe cleaning.  The answers are fairly
straightforward, so here we go.

Concerning the use of pipe cleaners:  A pipe should be cleaned with a pipe
cleaner after every smoke.  First you'll need to remove the stem.  Do this
only after the pipe has cooled down (AT LEAST 1/2 hour after you are finished
smoking it).  If you take a pipe apart when it's still warm the stem will
become loose-fitting, and you may find yourself looking at a lit pipe sitting
on the ground - possibly broken.  Here's how you should remove the stem:
Hold the bowl firmly in one hand.  With the other hand grasp the stem near
the shank (not the mouthpiece end), then turn it counter-clockwise (as though
it had screw threads) as you carefully pull it out.  NEVER yank on the stem,
as this is the best way to break it.  After you've removed the stem run a
pipe cleaner through it once.  Then take the same end of that pipe cleaner
and run it all the way through the draft hole until you see the end come out
into the tobacco chamber.  Move the pipe cleaner in and out while rotating
it, and this will swab out the draft hole.  Be carefull not to ram the end of
the pipe cleaner into the other side of the heel since the will chip away at
the carbon cake, and may actually poke a hole in the wood that could lead to
eventual burn-out.  If you want to be economical you can save the pipe
cleaner and use the other (clean) end for another pipe.  You can also bend
the pipe
cleaner until it's doubled over and use that for cleaning a pipe.

After you've cleaned your pipe put the stem back in by following the above
procedure, except turn the stem clockwise as you carefully push it in.  If
the stem seems very tight when you take it out get a pencil and rub some of
the graphite on the tenon before you put it back in.  The graphite acts as a
dry lubricant, and will save you from cracking shanks and/or breaking stems.
 If the tightness of a stem is a persistant problem, then take a piece of
fine-grit (320 or 400) sandpaper, wrap it around the tenon, and put some
pressure on it as you turn the tenon.  This will take off a little bit of
material on the tenon and make for an easier fit.  But BE CAREFUL to not take
off too much - a few turns with the sandpaper should do it.  After you do
this rub some graphite on the tenon before you put the pipe back together.

You may want to let your pipe rest with a cleaner in it.  If you do so be
sure to put the cleaner all the way through to the bowl, and bend the other
end over the mouthpiece.  There is some debate as to whether or not pipe
cleaners should be left in pipes between smokes. Some authorities (such as
Rick Hacker and Georges Herment) advise against it, while others say you
should do it (I do it myself).  The argument against this practice is that
the cleaner cuts off the air flow through the pipe, which keeps the shank
from drying out completely.  My experience tells me that it all depends on
how often you smoke the pipe.  If you smoke it once a week, or thereabouts,
then Hacker, et al. may be right.  If, however you have a lot of pipes and
smoke a particular one less often, then I think that there is enough time for
the stem to dry out since cotton is an absorbent material.  As for me, I have
many pipes that it takes me about a month to go through a rotation of pipes.
 And I've taken out enough pipe cleaners that have turned brown just from
being in a resting pipe to believe that there is indeed some benefit in
following the practice.

Concerning the use of sweeteners:  In my opinion you should avoid all
commercially available sweeteners - I have yet to see one that's any good.
 The best thing to use is a pipe cleaner with one end dipped in pure grain
alcohol (see my entry on pipe reconditioning in the new Pipes Digest, #175).
 The advantage to using the pure stuff is that it is unflavored and contains
much less water than the commercially available pipe sweeteners, making it a 
much more effective cleaning agent.  If you absolutely cannot get any pure
grain alcohol, then Vodka or high-proof rum (like Bacardi 161) would be an
o.k. substitute - still preferable to using a pipe sweetener.  Rule of thumb
on using these cleaning agents is to do so when the draft hole becomes
restricted with a buildup of tars.  You may choose to do it more often, but I
wouldn't do it every time I cleaned a pipe.  If you're inclined to follow my
advice on keeping a pipe cleaner in your pipes you can do the same with a
cleaner dipped in the alcohol.  Just dip one end in, and make sure that end
is going through the shank.  Once again, though, I wouldn't do this every
time I cleaned a pipe.

Concerning the use of reamers:  A pipe should be reamed out when the carbon
cake gets too built-up.  Generally speaking a proper carbon cake should be
thicker at the bottom than the top, thus making the tobacco chamber conical
(tapered).  This is critical to the smoking quality of the pipe.  Most folks
say that the carbon cake should not be allowed to get more than about 1/16"
thick.  Here's my take on it:  I think it's fine for the cake to be from
to 1/8" thick at the top.  How thick it is at the bottom depends on the
original shape of the tobacco chamber.  If it started out cylindrical, the
the cake should be thicker at the heel.  If, however it was originally
conical, then the cake will roughly follow the countour of the wall of the
tobacco chamber.

There are a number of reamers on the market.  I myself own a Savinelli pipe
knife and a 9/16"-diameter fluted reamer (I think it's made by GBD, and I
believe they are - or were - made in different sizes).  There is also a
reamer that's adjustable to different sizes.  They're rather expensive (which
is why I don't own one yet), but I hear that they're the best.   Anyway, I
use my fluted reamer most of the time.  What I do is every so often just
the inside of my pipes.  When I see the bottom of one getting really caked I
just put in my fluted reamer and turn it as I push down.  I do this until I
get down to the draft hole, but don't go overboard - you don't want to ream
out the bottom of your pipe.  It's also a good idea to do this with your pipe
taken apart since this will allow you to put a pipe cleaner through the shank
to the tobacco chamber, thus clearing the draft hole's entrance into the bowl
so that you can gauge whether or not you've gone down far enough with your
reamer.  Truth is that most of the time I ream a pipe I'm basically just
clearing out the bottom of the bowl - I don't ream out towards the top nearly
as often.  I feel it's better to leave some extra cake than to go too far the
other way and end up reaming down to the bare wood.  Some might think that I
let my pipes get a little too caked up, but fact is that I have never cracked
a bowl and my pipes smoke very well.  So that's my advice, for whatever it's
worth.  The other thing about reaming is that you want the cake to be of a
reasonably even thickness all the way around.  And please do yourself a favor
- NEVER use a pocket knife or penknife for reaming.  I've seen too many
otherwise good pipes that were trashed by an owner who carved the hell out of
'em with a knife!

Now that we've discussed the "manicuring" of the carbon cake, let's look at
the other side - building it up.  This is just as important as the reaming
bit, since it's the cake that gives briar pipes their own distinctive smoking
qualities.  Once again, the experts are divided on whether or not to coat the
tobacco chamber of a new pipe with honey.  I personally think it doesn't hurt
and may even help a little in getting the cake started - as long as you don't
use a lot, just a light coating will do.  Be prepared, however, for the first
few smokes to be wet.  In fact you would do well to keep a few pipe cleaners
by your side so that you can run one through the pipe when condensation
starts burbling up through the shank and stem.  If you can't get the cleaner
all the way through try bending it a little and put it through again.  If
that doesn't work you'll probably have to take the pipe apart (but be sure to
observe the rule about letting it cool down first!).  I've found that tongue
bite is often caused by merely letting the condensed juices get into your
mouth, so bear in mind that the above suggestion is useful whenever you smoke
a pipe.  It also has the advantage of keeping the draft hole from becoming
plugged up by a stray shred or two of tobacco.

The buildup of the carbon cake is further assisted by how you empty out your
pipe.  First, take a pipe tool and loosen up the ash in the bottom of the
bowl.  Then cover the top of the bowl with the palm of your hand.  Now shake
the pipe around, uncover the bowl and tap the side of it with your finger.
 This knocks the loose ash off the sides of the tobacco chamber.  You can
then empty out the ash and knock out the remaining loose ash, but do yourself

another favor - use a cork knocker, not a tree, mantlepiece, concrete
sidewalk, etc.  Using this technique will go a long way in helping you build
up a good cake, and do it all the time - even with your broken-in pipes.  A
word of caution on breaking in new pipes, though:  When you fluff up the ash
do so carefully.  If there's any unburned tobacco adhering to the bottom of
the tobacco chamber you should not disturb it as removing it will tear out
chunks of the fledgling cake, preventing you from developing a good cake at
the heel.

Concerning the black buildup on the top of the bowl:  This usually comes from
residues deposited by the burning tobacco at the top.  Some people mistakenly
refer to this as charring of the wood (although it CAN char if you overfill
your pipe and allow burning shreds of tobacco to sit on the wood).
 Overfilling the pipe can also allow the carbon cake to build up on the top
of the bowl.  In other words - don't overfill the pipe.  I disagree with Mr.
Masticola about chipping away at any excessive buildup with a spatula.  You
run the risk of scraping up the top of the bowl, and the only real way to get
rid of the black stuff is to get the pipe buffed.  Another word of caution
here:  I'm a pipemaker (presently inactive, unfortunately), and I have a lot
of experience with buffing pipes.  Care must be taken to avoid having the
pipe get thrown by the buffing wheel.  The nature of the beast is such that
buffing the top of the bowl carries the greatest risk of throwing the pipe,
which can result in some damage (albeit usually the cosmetic kind).  Bottom
line is that once in awhile is fine, but one should not become obsessed with
keeping the top of the bowl clean all the time.

I'll close with some advise on cleaning meerschaums.  I offer this in the
event that you now, or will sometime in the future get into smoking
meerschaums.  Meerschaum pipes are the exact opposite of briars - they should
NEVER be allowed to build up a carbon cake.  After you smoke one let it cool,
then clean out the stem and shank as per my above instructions (although I
don't leave pipe cleaners in my meerschaums when they'r resting).  Then take
a dry cloth or paper towel and wipe out the ash from the tobacco chamber.
 You will get some buildup, but this is where the Savinelli pipe knife comes
in handy.  I find its edge to be just about right for scraping out the
buildup without damaging the meerschaum in the tobacco chamber - but BE
GENTLE.  I find that I need to do this after about 5 or 6 smokes, so don't do
it every time.  Also, you can use a pipe cleaner dipped in alcohol to clean a
constricted draft hole in a meerschaum, but be judicious and just dip the
very end of the
cleaner.  If you dip it too far you can get alcohol running down the shank,
and this will damage the finish.  If, however, you're nervous about even
trying this you can always use a dry "ream-n-clean" pipe cleaner.

Anyway, I hope all this b.s. helps you out.  Please let me know if you find
any of it useful.

Best Regards,

Steve J. (Briar Man)

[ Thanks, Steve! I will be sending a fax to Sen. Bliley. -S. ]

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From: ????????????????
Subject: Barney's "Punchbowle", etc.

Dear Steve -

In the last Digest Mr. Hendricks was asking about Barney's "Punchbowle".  And
a timely inquiry it was, since I've been working my way through a tin (in
fact I'm smoking some right now).  "Punchbowle" is basically an Oriental
mixture, with Viriginia, Turkish, Latakia and just a hint of Perique.  It has
a very nice balance between the Latakia and Turkish, with just enough of both
to make for a pleasantly subtle flavor.  If he likes English blends, but
finds mixtures such as Dunhill 965 or Balkan Sobranie 759 a little
overpowering, then he should like this one.  I don't know why they describe
it as being "in full strength", but I think "strength" is a relative term
anyway.  Full strength or not, in this reviewer's humble (ha!) opinion it's a
very pleasant smoke.  Hope that helps you out, Tom!

Spent some time yesterday evening with my friend Joel (??????????????????),
and he passed along the '95 Dan Pipe catalogue which he wrote away for after
seeing Joachim Posegga's recent posting.  All is can say is WOW!!!  What an
incredible collection of stuff!!!
The catalogue is just full of pipes, tobaccos and related accessories, all in
living color (plus it's huge - 208 pages in a coffee-table format!).
 Although some of the pipe lines in the catalogue can be found here (such as
Ser Jacopo, Stanwell, Peterson, etc.), they carry a number of Italian lines
which aren't imported in the U.S., as well as some very attractive
German-made pipes.  I've already selected a few pieces I plan on trying to
get as soon as I can scrape together some simoleons.

What really caught my eye was the impressive amount of different tobaccos
they sell, many of which they also apparently make.  Being the perpetual
experimenter in tobaccos, I'm always looking for things which I can't find
here at home.  As I feel inclined to "take the plunge" on their smokeables
there are a few things I need to find out.  First, what about Customs?  I'm
wondering if it's possible to get tobacco shipped from overseas without it
being opened by the U.S. Customs service, and thus getting hit with a bill
for duty (and probably an excise tax bill from State and Federal agencies).
 I'd appreciate hearing from any of you with some experience on this.

The other thing is:  What about the tobaccos themselves?  I understand that
German tobaccos generally don't enjoy a very good reputation over here.  My
experience with 'em is rather limitied - some good and some bad.  I realize
that's true of tobacco eveywhere, but since overseas shipping adds to the
cost, I figured I should get some feedback before I put out my shekels.  I'll
rattle off some names here, and see if any of you have any knowledge of 
these tobacco lines:  "Hamburger Pfeifentabak", "Treasures of Ireland",
"Tordenskjold", Torben Dansk" mixtures, "Olaf Poulsson", "Kaept'n Brammer's",
"Bulldog", "Timm"  KM-xbenhavn mixtures, "Th. Timms Own Blend" series, "Timm
Best Blend" series, "Timm No Name" series, "Holger Danske", "Danske Klub",
and "Peter Rasmussen".

What I'd like to know is how any of this stuff compares with the more
familiar tobaccos (such as Dunhill, Rattray's, etc.) in terms of smoking
quality.  I speak enough German to understand the descriptions, so I know
basically what the blends are.  I'm just curious to know if they smoke as
well as the generally available high-quality tobaccos.  I'm not looking for
detailed analyses, but simply a general overview of what I'd be getting into.
 Certainly price-wise most of their tobaccos seem about on par with the
better tobaccos here (which surprises me - I thought they'd be a lot more
expensive).  Anyway, I welcome input from anyone who can tell me about these
tobaccos.  I'm e-mailing my inquiry about the tobacco quality directly to Mr.
Posegga, but I thought I'd throw it out to all of you in case someone has
anything to say on the subject.  Anyone with information on either the Dan
Pipe tobaccos or my Customs question should e-mail it to me,
?????????????????  I'll be most grateful for any responses I get!

To close things off I wanted to let you know that I'm forging ahead with my
EPA article.  I should have it done soon, maybe even in time to get it into
#177.  Keep the faith!  Keep it lit! 
Keep it up!

Best Regards,

Briar Man

A really bad joke:  Q.  What kitchen utensil comes out only at night?
                           A.  Count Spatula

"'Tis a poor thing, but mine own."
                                 - Wm. Shakespeare (or someone else, maybe?)

[ I should send off for a copy too! And re Count Spatula, that one got
me right in the jocular vein. -S. ]

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                       Today's Snappy Comeback:

(To a wealthy snob:) "Why? Are you waiting around for the butt?"

                                - From "101 Ways to Answer the
                                  Question, 'Would You Please Put Out
                                  that #(!&*!$ Cigar'," Hague et. al.,

 U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~    |||_______{@}__)  (__{@}_______|||
(                                      *   *                                  )
 ) Pipe smokers will rule the world!    * *        Internet Pipes Mailgroup  (
( (if they don't run out of matches...)  *  (for all who enjoy fine tobacco)  )
 )                                       *                                   (
(  Mosaic/Web:               http://www.craycos.com/~beaty/pipes/pipes.html   )
 ) Steve Beaty, Maintainer               *               (?????????????????) (
(                                        *                                    )
 ) Plain FTP:                   ftp://ftp.netcom.com/~brookfld/pipes_digest  (
(  Richard Geller, Maintainer            *             (???????????????????)  )
 )                                       *                                   ( 
(  Steve Masticola, moderator            *        (????????????????????????)  )
 )                                     *   *                                 (
 |||_________{@}__)  (__{@}_________|||    ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U

Article Index

  1. Subject: Pipes Digest #176 -- February 5, 1995
  2. Subject: PD #175 follow-up
  3. Subject: clouds
  4. Subject: Mushroom clouds
  5. Subject: high-minded tyranny
  6. Subject: Re: Pipes Digest #175 -- January 29, 1995
  7. Subject: Slick (OK, cheap) humidor
  8. Subject: Re: Your Pipes Digest subscription request
  9. Subject: Pipe Digest Submission.
  10. Subject: On-line catalog homepage
  11. Subject: Pipes #171 - spongy styrofoam
  12. Subject: For the Digest
  13. Subject: display case
  14. Subject: Ted's Pipe Store (for the list)
  15. Subject: Looking for a Peterson
  16. Subject: Pipe mailgroup Introduction
  17. Subject: The Cigar Company, Pasadens
  18. Subject: The Smoker, Tim West, Pipeworks and Wilke
  19. Subject: Pipes Digest #175 -- January 29, 1995
  20. Subject: Another satisfied customer...
  21. Subject: electronic catalog & reference guide
  22. Subject: Intro & digest fodder
  23. Subject: Congratulations!
  24. Subject: Smelly Meerschaum
  25. Subject: By way of introduction...
  26. Subject: Still more stuff [PIPES]
  27. Subject: Barney's "Punchbowle", etc.
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