Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gone to Chicago!

Get your motor runnin'
head out on the highway
racing w/ the wind
and smoking a pipe all the way!

We'll be back with tales to tell and plenty of photos! -T

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Last Minute Teaser!

Anders and Martin ( Vollmer & Nilsson )just sent me an email letting me know they have finished their batch of pipes for Chicago and that they are on the way. They also sent a few more photos as teasers. They seem to have a cruel streak I haven't seen before. They seem to take delight in tempting me. Here's a picture of one of the  really amazing pipes they are bringing to the show. Yes, I have a cruel streak too, so I thought I would spread the temptation! -T

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Musical Interlude

My daughter Maggie came by for the weekend. It's always great seeing her and we always have a lot of fun. Maggie is a young woman of many talents ( visit her website -  ) and while the family was talking it up in the living room, my wife Pat brought up the old Dolly Parton song "I will always love". I broke out the guitar and Maggie and I sort of figured out the tune. Pat grabbed the camera and recorded the event on a whim. Maybe I'm biased, but I think Maggie sings like an angel. Thought I'd share it with you. -M

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Looking Our Best

Mark and I both attempt to keep our pipes clean. We are not absolute pigs when it comes to pipe maintenance - but at this time of the year, we both turn into cleaning machines. We may look shabby, old, slightly pathetic, but our pipes will look good for the Chicago Show! 
I recently had several stems oxidize and turn green rapidly. I am not sure why. Weather? Anyway, they looked bad. As though I never cleaned them. And they were difficult to clean w/ any of the creams, pastes, gooes that I have accumulated over the years. Nothing was working until I saw Jeff Gracik's blog. He had 3 posts on ways to clean your stems and they work. The bits on my pipes haven't been this black and shinny since they were new. Thanks Jeff! -T

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Vollmer & Nilsson Chicago Preview.

Here's  a sample of what Martin and Anders will be bringing to Chicago this year. They make great pipes! I own 7 and I want more! -T

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What They Smoke Part 5 - Anders Nilsson

I was very happy to receive an email from my friend Anders Nilsson of Vollmer & Nilsson today. He sent some photos of a few of the beautiful pipes that he and Martin will be bringing to Chicago ( I'll post those soon) and he included a shot of the pipes that he smokes. -T

Here's what Anders had to say about them-

Evil tongues may brand me a "billiard taliban", but a look at this selection proves that accusation to be patently untrue. As a matter of fact, many days when I feel a bit adventurous, I reach for a Lovat, a Dublin, or even a Canadian... However, it is true that I prefer straight pipes of a classic cut - for some reason bents aren't really my cup of tea.

The pipes in my daily rotation are a mixture of our own rejects and classic English makes, with a sprinkling of Danish brands added. It should be mentioned that, much as I love the old English pipes, most of them have had to be "opened up" to provide a really good smoke. The exception to this rule is Dunhill: Of the few old Dunnies I have come in contact with, all have had a nice, open draw from the start.

The picture shows, from top to bottom: Dunhill Tanshell billiard; V&N billiard; GBD New Standard lovat; Comoy's Grand Slam billiard that has been among my favorites for ages; Dunhill Root chimney, cut down to billiard size; V&N army mount billiard; Stanwell Brass Band Canadian.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

More Bookends

Another pair of bookends. One side for pipes, the other side for stuff. -T
Yours for $50 plus shipping (Sold)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tobac 4 Chi

Okay- this was easy. I will be taking my 2 favorite tobaccos to the Chicago International Pipe & Tobaccaina Show (in just 2 weeks!). I love their flavor and they both stay lit and burn like champs. No multiple lighting or even worse- won't light. I suppose the only dilemma here is ... I wish I had something special to take and share w/ friends. I'm not really good at that - sharing that is. It's not that I'm stingy (well, not just that) but I really haven't a clue what other people would want to share. I don't know what's "Special". A couple of years ago pipe collector and all around good guy, Neill Roan, brought some nicely aged John Cotton and it was wonderful. But I don't know about vintage and extinct tobaccos- so I have nothing to share w/ friends. Maybe this will be part of my pipe quest this year- to discover the world of tobacco more fully. That's the fascinating thing about pipes and tobacco- the more you learn , the more there is to know. -T

Pictured above- Orlik Golden Sliced, wonderful Wolfgang Becker Bamboo, and S. Gawith Best Brown Flake

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Book Case Finished + 2 Pipe Racks

The book case is done. While I was working on it I was able to use the "drying time" to make a couple of pipe racks. I've been wanting to make some bookend racks for a while, but just haven't gotten around to it until now. I think everything turned out pretty good ... at least pretty much the way I envisioned them.
If anyone is interested in any of them, send me an email. I would love to sell them. I plan to take the pipe racks to Chicago, so if you're going you can see them there. -T

Victorian Pipe Rack-
Simple Bookends -
$40 pair (Sold)
Book Case -
$225 (Sold)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A baff? Preview

Just got a few photos of pipes in progress from David Wagner. He tells me he's hoping to have 8-12 pipes for Chicago. I can't wait to see them all! Think of all the great pipes being made right now. What a great time of year! -T

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Making Our Fortune

It's slowly dawned on us that maybe pipe racks won't make us rich. So with that in mind, we're branching out! Book cases! That's where the real money is. Okay, I'm joking. We do want to do some other things and the photo above is a little preview of coming attractions. It's a small book case with a secret top compartment for ... secret stuff. I'll be painting it over the next couple of days and post photos of the completed project then. I would love to hear any feedback you might have. -T

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Chicago Dilemma- What to Pack?

It's getting close to that special event of the year- The Chicago International Pipe & Tobaccaina Show! And now I am confronted with the yearly problem; what to pack for the show. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not talking about clothes- that's easy. I'll be there for 3 days, so 3 pairs of cargo (plenty of room for stuff) pants, 3 pair of underwear, 3 t-shirts, 3 pairs of socks, a sweater and/or jacket (it's usually chilly up north) and I'll be wearing my hiking boots. Check, roger, over and out on that. The real dilemma is ... how many and which pipes to take? It's a day's drive up, 3 days there and a day back. Approx. 100 hours total. I'll sleep about 18 hours of that. That leaves 82 hours. Say 5 hours in the Mega Center (where we can no longer smoke). Now I'm down to 78 hours. 4 hours for meals at non-smoking restaurants puts it at 68 hours of pipe smoking time. That means if an average bowl lasts 40 minutes, I'll need to take 102 pipes. I don't own 102 pipes, so I'll have to smoke them more than once on the trip. I prefer not to smoke a pipe more than once a day. If I adhere to this limitation, I'll need 20 pipes. Still a bit much, so I'll say 12 or maybe 13- a baker's dozen. Ok- I've got a number in mind, but what about other considerations? Which pipe maker's will be there? I don't want to be sitting around a table w/ pipe maker X and not have the pipe he made. Wouldn't he see that as an affront? Maybe not, but it's something to think about. And then there's the recently purchased pipes that I want to show off. I would hate to leave them behind. This is the one time of the year where I am around people who will actually want to see my new pipes. Another thought- I have to bring pipes that are good smokers. I don't want to bring a pipe that may be finicky with certain tobaccos - I'd hate to be seen relighting a pipe more than once or twice in such august company as this. I pride myself on being a pipeman. I don't want to look like some greenhorn.
There's a lot to consider. It's good that I have nearly a month to get my plans ironed out. Oh- jeez! I haven't even thought about what tobacco I'll bring! I need to get busy. There will be some long days ahead. I'm sure it will work out fine- it always has- but careful planning will certainly help. -T

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What They Smoke Part 4 - Wolfgang Becker

If I were Wolfgang Becker, I would smoke Wolfgang Becker pipes. Apparently Wolfgang agrees with me- he has a fantastic selection of his pipes reserved for personal use. Take a look- T