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Ageing without hoarding

ALL the pipes are now in the drawer. Birthday pipe, Christmas pipes, the lot. Laying them away was a nice idea, but it also meant that every time I opened the drawer, I was looking at several vacant slots... which was leading to me doing a bit of online window shopping. 😟

Also, I'd been shuffling the drawer around, making room for the new cobs, and also the five "live tobacco" tins, and wanted to make sure everything fit.

That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it :biggrin1:

Everything DOES fit. Just! The Lightweight Reader has a slightly compromised position, lurking beneath the stems of the four fat pipes, but being so long, it didn't readily fit anywhere else. The Baccy Bank has had to be evicted, but I'll still keep that going. It's far too good a plan to abort on it.


The drawer is now FULL. No room for a modified Sav 305. No room for a Nording Compass. No room for additional Falcon bowls. Yes, I probably could jiggle things round a little more, but I won't. Not yet anyway. :nono:

You see, the truth is, they DON'T all fit, as there's still one more pipe to go in. The modified cob. I don't think that will fit, but then it was never planned for. That one is Dave's and Brandon's fault, not mine :lol: The saving grace is it doesn't really need to fit either. If it's a complete abomination it will likely be chucked, and if it looks good, it'll sit out on show somewhere. :thumbsup:

As for the little 1oz baccy tins, I managed to squeeze them in too, in the front right hand corner, all loaded and ready to go.


Any flakes are all ready rubbed out ready, and they're all only loaded with around 5g-10g, so there's plenty of airspace for them to start shedding moisture into, to reduce drying/airing time. 🤓

LAKE - The last of the GH No.7 Broken Flake sample
ENG - Sammy G Balkan Flake
ARO - Sammy G Celtic Talisman
VIR/PER - GH No.27 (Reunion) Perique Flake
MISC - GH Brown House (Reunion) Roll Cut

I realised as I was loading these up, it's all worked out pretty much perfectly! Going back to my three main "roles" for tobacco, there's the ENG tin for the evening smoke, the LAKE for the busy man's smoke, and the ARO, VIR/PER and MISC for the anytime smokes. Occasionally there'll be some crossover between the tobacco blend families and the various roles, but whatever role tobacco I want, it should be sat there waiting in the same drawer as the relevant pipes. :clap:

"I love it when a plan comes together"

Oh wait, he smoked cigars didn't he 🤣

I'm still going to be good, and not smoke the new pipes till their allotted time, but they're now going to stop in the drawer to try to dissuade me from looking around at other things I don't need ;)
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Mine is going to be defuzzed I think. If I can. I don't need a clothes brush that removes lint, and replaces it with ash and tar :p
I took a bit of 240grit paper to it, and defuzzed it somewhat. It's better, but not smooth. I think I'll need to wait till all the pores are filled with hardened gunk before I can make it a truly smooth bowl.

I also shuffled the pipes around again. Taking the fatter pipes out, I was clattering the delicate stem on the Lightweight Reader :eek: and didn't want to risk damaging it. There is now room for another pipe after all... :whistling:

(yes, there's flecks of tobacco in there, but that's why I lined the drawer with cardboard)

I need to determine how all the new pipes smoke first though, is order to know what needs sourcing next. I'm pretty sure it will be a small pipe, but not what type of blend it will be for smoking (i.e. how the new pipes will all be deployed, and what gap remains). That may affect my choice of bowl diameter or wall thickness.
Another pipe may be culled/evicted.

Over the last 24 hours, I've been wrestling with "Big Ugly", a Molina Hobby which I tended to reach for when smoking blends that were a little overwhelming in flavour. The 9mm filter helped tone such blends down.

I hadn't smoked this in quite some time, and had forgotten how restricted the draw was on it. I loaded it up with some Ennerdale Flake, and fired it up, and it was like sucking on a thick milkshake. I let the pipe go out and cool, before removing the stem and filter, and passing a pipe cleaner down the stem. A small piece of what looked like paper from a filter was cleared, and I put the filter back in, and fired it back up again. Better, but far from good.

After a while I decided to let it extinguish and cool again, before swapping the carbon filter for a White Elephant meerschaum one. I'd bought these recently based on recommendations off the forum, and again it improved things, bat was still "effort" to smoke. It wasn't long before I disposed of that too. A Savinelli 9mm balsa filter makes the pipe tolerable, but I still don't think it's as pleasant to smoke and the similarly sized and shaped Mr Brog cent. I really ought to load that up with the same stuff, and give it a test smoke with different filters. I might just have gotten out of touch with smoking 9mm filter pipes over the last 12 months or so.

If the Cent is noticeably better, then I think Big Ugly's days will be numbered. I've too much effort and funds into getting my array right this year, to be accommodating pipes that aren't fun. It still might be retained somewhere for toning down obnoxious blends should I make a duff purchasing decision, but it won't be the "go to" large bowl for Lakelands as planned.

Out of all the pipes left in the array, only that one, two cobs and two briar were in my possession 12 months ago. Everything else I owned a year ago has gone, and everything else I now own has arrived this year, as part of the recent refinements and rediscovery phase of my journey. in other words, since starting this thread. I'm really enjoying revisiting Ennerdale though. It's quite an unashamedly aromatic Lakeland, but a nice blend to visit once in a while.
I've also just sent an email to all five of my usual online tobaconnists, asking them to be clearer as to which pipes they offer are sitters, and which aren't. Two of the pipes I bought in the last 6-8 months, thinking there were sitters, weren't. One was returned, and the other has found a new home across the pond.

I don't know if anything will come of that, as most smokers don't seem to care if their pipes fall over or need a deck chair to sit in, but I plan on rewarding the ones that take heed with both any other pipes I order in the next year or so, and favouring them for tobacco orders too. I expect to be buying one larger bowl pipe, two smaller bowl pipes, and a few tins/bulk pouches of tobacco over the course of the next 12 months. The ones that start specifying sitters vs topplers will get priority.
Those emails are a very smart move. I'm glad to hear you sent those. And I would be very surprised if you didn't hear back from 4. Maybe most smokers don't care if their pipes sit or not, but that's not important. Some bright cheery CSR will open your emails and shoot your request down to her warehouse staff. Yeah the warehouse guys will grumble and curse, but bear in mind that's how they communicate.
Those emails are a very smart move. I'm glad to hear you sent those. And I would be very surprised if you didn't hear back from 4. Maybe most smokers don't care if their pipes sit or not, but that's not important. Some bright cheery CSR will open your emails and shoot your request down to her warehouse staff. Yeah the warehouse guys will grumble and curse, but bear in mind that's how they communicate.
I think with several of these companies, they're the same person :biggrin1: They might have 2 or 3 staff total, plus the gaffer, and they'll all muck in as necessary.

I would like some form of acknowledgement from them, even if it's just "thank you for your feedback, we'll give it our consideration", or even "but you're the only customer that feels like that, you weirdo" :p I was a little disappointed not to have heard back from any of them yet... and then I realised it's Sunday 🤣
First response from one of the companies, and a well mannered conversation ensued. It seems many customers are even more fussy than I am 🤣

To me, the Ben Wade Banjo is a great sitter.


There's zero risk of that falling over, as far as I'm concerned. However, them calling that a sitter, based on their previous experience, would result in complaints as it does/can rock on its curved underside. As such, they are loathed to call this a sitter or table pipe.


My Mr Brog Chochla would fall into the same minefield.



That one can't lie on its side at all, it's either right side up, or completely upside down, yet it will rock and wobble when right side up, and so has the potential for complaints and returns etc.

Likewise, calling any of these sitters...


... is likely to result in complaints too, because the stems rest on the tabletop, instead of being elevated. It seems having a stem rest on a lighter, or overhang the table, isn't good enough for some people.

So, if any of my forum friends think I'm an awkward bugger with my little quirks, it would seem you all got off rather lightly 🤣

... oooh, reply number two just landed. Let's see what these guys have to say...
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Three responses so far. All welcoming feedback, and lending a sympathetic ear, whilst sharing how its difficult to comply. Pipe variations, customer expectation variations, etc. Not been a waste of time for them or me though, even if neither of us heard exactly what we wanted. Good banter with two of the three, and an "ask if you need to know, and we'll help where we can" type response.

Back to my pipes though, and the Cent has been loaded up for a comparison smoke with Big Ugly.


So far, the Mr Brog with a meerschaum cartridge filter seems to smoke as freely as the Molina Hobby with a 9mm balsa, so Big Ugly might be losing its place in the line up.
That pipe looks so nice next to that behemoth. You may convince me on "sitters", yet.

And "Big Ugly" could always be re-tasked as a doorstop.
Or remain to hand for things that go bump in the night... 🤣

Big Ugly is the carving project that never happened. Maybe one day it will, but that won't secure it a place in the array :)
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