Looking for 'economical' pipes - and a blasphemy ...
First, the blasphemy. I do not suffer from the various AD mentioned around here. I went a bit nuts on lather products, but have it firmly under control. Compared so some around here (Price?) I never really did go nuts. I have two excellent razors, and I'm done. A few brushes, and I'm done. When I got into the fountain pen thing, I got a Lamy to find out if I really like it, then got one used Cross Townsend and that would have been it except I wanted a fine nib. So I got another Townsend from a B&B member. I never click in there anymore, I have a couple pens, why would I want more? The odds of me ever spending $200 on a briar pipe are astronomically against. Why I could get a decent Milsurp rifle for that kind of dough!
To me a pipe is a tool, the tobacco is the key. If the tobacco is the nail, then the pipe is the hammer, and I don't buy hammers with exotic wood handles or weird looking heads designed by Scandinavians. Lord knows I can drop a ridiculous amount of money--truly stupid money--on a handgun, so I understand the condition, but pipes just ain't my bag, so it's not where I will spend my dough.
ON THE OTHER HAND ... after a bit of net surfing, I now realize why I probably had so many wet, gurgling pipes in my youth. I bought the cheapest junk I could find, including screw-togethers. Now I realize that gaps between the stem tenon and the shank mortise can cause moisture problems. I now realize those pipes of my youth with perennially wet heels probably had air holes drilled above the bottom of the bowl.
So what I'm looking for, I guess, are seconds, or decent used pipes where I have a fair degree of confidence they are properly built. If the bowl has a blemish or large fill, I care not a whit, as long as it smokes properly. I want a decent hammer, in other words, not a collector or designer hammer.
I will also pay up a bit for confidence. For example if I can get $30 used pipes on eBay from some knucklead who knows nothing about them and every 4th or 5th pipe is a dog ... well that's foolish. If there is a respected seller who would sell those same pipes for $40 or $45, but I knew he examined them and knew they were all good, and would take returns, I'd use him exclusively. I'm cheap, but I'm not penny-wise and pound foolish. I've wasted enough money in my life that way to finally have learned my lesson.
Any ideas? I did search 'economical' and 'inexpensive' in thread titles and got nothing. I'm sure this has been talked about before, but I don't know how to turn it up in a search. Thanks for any help you can give.
And no, I'm not gonna 'get the itch'. They said I would in razors, and I did not. They were positive I would in pens, and I did not. Like I said I'll pour money down a rat hole on guns sometimes, but not pipes. Sorry, fellas, pipes just don't make my socks roll up and down like they do some of you guys! But clearly I acquired some really crappy pipes in my youth and now I know why they were such dogs. I want to spend enough, but just. No more than needed.
Noble Knight of The Veg Table
Proud member of Brotherhood Of The Open Comb!