25 November 2012

Inaugural smoke for the Buescher cobwarden

I finally selected the tobaccos (plural) for the inaugural bowl in the Buescher cobwarden.  I chose to parfait three Virginia blends: H&H AJ's VaPer on the bottom, then a generous middle layer of McClelland 5100 Red Cake, topped off with a few pinches of McClelland Virginia Woods.  This corncob pipe is smoking like a champ!
enjoying my Buescher cob-watden

tamping the Buescher corncob churchwarden

22 November 2012

Odd cobs

The corncob mania continues here (hubby is still participating as well) and has expanded to include a few odd cobs.  First up is an unsmoked cobwarden I won with a minimum bid on the evilBay.  I'm not sure just how old it is, but it sure didn't roll off the factory floor in the past couple decades since it was made by Buescher.  A bit of Google-fu has yielded up the information nugget that Buescher shut their factory down in the early 1990s, although there is quite a bit of speculation the company was a subsidiary of Missouri Meerschaum the whole time.  It has ridonculous proportions, which is exactly what attracted my attention.
My Buescher corncob churchwarden
Double-decker two-cob bowl of the Buescher cobwarden

Buescher cobwarden unsmoked after all these years
For the record, I do intend to smoke this unsmoked Buescher cobwarden ... a totally unsmoked cob is an unloved corncob pipe!  I'm just trying to decide which blend would be the awesome inaugural bowl.  After this long of a wait, it deserves a gangbusters-great tobacco for the occasion.

Now, my next two cobs are NOT made of corncob ... although they are made in the style to mimic a corncob pipe.  I got a message over at PipeSmokersForum from a fellow who goes by the handle of rekamepip offering to send me a couple pipes to smoke, in exchange for honest and thorough reviews of them, as he is still somewhat new to this style of pipe-making.  It's an ideal trade for us both: I get pipes, and I have a blog and am quite the chatterbox over at that forum (along with being on two other forums).  Here is his favorite style, a red pipestone carved into a cob shape:
Pipestone bowl with pine cob-style stem

red "rock cob" by rekamepip
It's a nice pipe, and very interesting and downright neato ... but it's too heavy for me to be able to "clench" due to my whacked teeth.  I did smoke it once, but had to set it down to cool after it got below midbowl.  Hubby is wanting to give it a go this long holiday weekend, as he thinks it looks really cool.

Now, for the one rekamepip sent me that I absolutely LOVE: the fruitwood "cob".  It's carved from the wood of a cherry tree, but there is a shape in pipes called "cherrywood" which causes confusion when you have a pipe carved from cherry-wood but in a different shape.  So, this is my hardwood/fruitwood cob:
Fruitwood "cob" made from cherry

hardwood poker made cob-style
Let me say again: I LOVE THIS PIPE!  It is extremely lightweight and balanced, which means I can actually clench it and do other things with my hands ... like typing this post.  It's easily the equal to my old Hirschl & Bendheim Cobb when it comes to efficiently turning tobacco into ash - but it does stop just short of the "smokes itself" stage (which I feel is good).  Now, for the best endorsement I can think of ... I really want another one (and will be commissioning one after the holidays probably) and I won't even haggle over the price.

For those of y'all wanting to browse his wares for yourself, here is rekamepip's Etsy store.

13 November 2012

Feeling Cobbish

Corncob pipes ... people either despise them or fall madly in love with them.  First I tried the cob from the estate box (which I had originally set aside for hubby, who never smoked it).  When I realized how much I was enjoying the old H&B Cobb, I decided to grab a small Missouri Meerschaum Pony cob from the B&M down in Florida when I bought hubby his Randy Wiley briar.  Then, I got that proverbial "wild hair" you-know-where and ordered P&C's Corn in the USA sampler pack ... and when it arrived, I was shocked to hear hubby ask which cob was his.  Not only did he want one of the cobs, but he wanted it filled with my Classic Burley Kake to boot.

What has followed over the past few weeks can only be described as "corncob mania" here in the house, with a generous dose of growing devotion to the CBK.  Along with adopting the Pony cob I bought in Florida, hubby ended up with his own Corn in the USA sampler pack ... not only to keep my cobs safe but to prevent him from smoking up all my CBK stash.  Then, we looked in our local B&M up here and discovered MM Generals in stock.
Hubby smoking his MM General cob
As y'all can see for yourselves, "That's all she wrote!"  Which means, more pictures.
7 cobs small to large

MM Legends, not Diplomats - GAH!

The old MM, in between a new Legend and CG

The old H&B, between a new MM Legend and the short General

Missouri Meerschaum company stickers, then and now (how old is "then"?)

10 November 2012

Estate meerschaum pipe

I popped into the local B&M today to pick up some humidity discs and browse the corncob and meerschaum pipes.  Surprisingly, hubby let me go without supervision and with a request for another MM General if there was still one to be had.  I discovered a second drawer of Missouri Meerschaum pipes, but this post is dedicated to the Turkish meerschaum I found.

Light as a feather and quite efficient at burning tobacco, this beauty has wonderful and lovely intricate carving, with tiny spirals in between the teardrop latticework and also around the rim.
D. Ural lattice meerschaum pipe

estate meerschaum lattice billiard, full bent

tiny spiral carved around the rim

tiny spirals carved in between the teardrop lattice windows
Someone really enjoyed this pipe before it found me, and I have fully intention of continuing that.  I probably should not admit how little I paid for it!

09 November 2012

Brand new Storient Meerschaum billiard

I've been openly coveting a new meerschaum pipe for a while now ... and my first arrived from Turkey the other morning.  It's a plain smooth classic straight billiard from Storient Meerschaum, with a pretty saddle-bit vanilla swirl stem, and it burns tobacco in a most efficient and enjoyable manner!  Enough of this blather and on to the pictures:
brand new Storient meerschaum pipe

The only pic of its white bowl
First bowl smoked in the new meerschaum billiard!
The inaugural bowl was McClelland bulk #5100 Red Cake, and as I type this I have C&D Blockade Runner burning.  Straight Virginia blends taste different in this pipe ... better.

Now the real fun begins - burning enough tobacco in it to color it.

08 November 2012

One diamond in the rough

Promised a while back ago, here is one out of two "diamonds in the rough" from the estate box - a BBB Own Make.  I not only had to ream it down to bare briar in the chamber but then I had to get a small pipe knife and carefully remove cake from the rim!  Like the Wally Frank, this one cleaned up to reveal some lovely grain:
BBB Own Make bent pipe

stamped VIRGIN 995 on this side

one of two big scratches in the finish
I don't have a real "before" picture, but I do have an intermediate pic after the initial film of grime was removed:
caked rim and green-grey stem, but cleaner than I received it!