Meerschaum

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Wilderness Pipe
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Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:25 pm

Here comes another topic in which I'd love to ask for some advise and expertise :roll: . Seldom does a day go by without me thinking about Meerschaum Pipes. At the Moment I have 4 different Pipes on my wishlist and a Meerschaum belongs to the top of it. I have never smoked one and so I would love to here from any of you that likes or hates them. What are the main differences to Briar? Anything I should watch for when picking on? Any tip on makes and models below 200 - 250 bucks?
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Bruyere_Royale
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Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:19 pm

Meers don't have to be expensive to be a good pipe, they just have to come from blocks and not pressed pieces. There are plenty to be had for under 100 dollars. I have one that Fr Tom gave me and it smokes great.
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Bro Uhaha
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Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:58 pm

Meers are great all around. The biggest difference is flavor - briar does impart a little flavor to your smoke. Meerschaum does not. Even fancy meerschaums should cost less than 150. With briars you can spend thousands if you like.

If you really want to round out your experience you should pick up a clay. Clays are dirt cheap and fun.
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simplepipes
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Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:07 pm

I would not buy a meerschaum unless I had an opportunity to see the pipe in person regardless of price. I have seen too many meerschaum pipes where the emphasis is on the carving versus engineering. Give me a well engineered meerschaum of classic design and push tenon . . . Billiard or one of its variants and leave all the adornments off the pipe.

-sp
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Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:20 pm

simplepipes wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:07 pm
I would not buy a meerschaum unless I had an opportunity to see the pipe in person regardless of price. I have seen too many meerschaum pipes where the emphasis is on the carving versus engineering. Give me a well engineered meerschaum of classic design and push tenon . . . Billiard or one of its variants and leave all the adornments off the pipe.

-sp
That's interesting, since i don't care for ones with a lot of carvings. I've looked around a bit and haven't seen a single one with carvings. I do like the looks if a lot of the classic ones though. Seems to me though, as if there were more fancy looking carved ones than classic ones on the online market. Unfortunately I narely ever get to see a pipe in person because of the remote location of where I live. 95% of my pipes have been ordered online
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houtenziel
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Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:40 pm

Mind you this reflects my personal opinions and experiences, and PSF does not endorse anything you are about to read..:D
Meerschaums are a pretty different smoking experience. To say that they don't influence the flavor, I think is perhaps a little misleading. They absolutely do change the flavor - they ad a sort of mineral-ey sort of taste that reminds me of Evian water, especially when they are new. Also when new, the Turkish variety of Meerschaum can let off an odor that smells sort of sulphur-esque(like the smell of a spent shell casing). It usually abates after 10-15 smokes, but I've had two Turkish meers where the smell would always manifest as soon as the pipe warmed up, far past the 50 smokes mark. Turkish Meerschaum is also fairly soft, and scratches pretty easily.
African Meers are a different story. They are about as close to completely flavor neutral as I've experienced(next to clay pipes). They don't have an odor, nor are they particularly soft. They are getting a lot harder to come by(pretty much only 2nd hand at this point), and there is a lot of competition out there to buy them up.

And let me crush a few myths you are likely to hear.. Meers can gurgle.. they are not immune at all. They definitely can be ghosted - I don't care what anyone says.. the material is highly absorbent and yes, scents and flavors are absorbed too. Meers are also not indestructible - if you live in a climate where you see temps drop below freezing and you tend to like to smoke outside.. don't do it with a meer as they are highly susceptible to cracking due to heat shock. That's about all I can think of at the moment.
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Wilderness Pipe
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Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:12 pm

"if you live in a climate where you see temps drop below freezing and you tend to like to smoke outside.. don't do it with a meer as they are highly susceptible to cracking due to heat shock. That's about all I can think of at the moment."

Well I guess no smoking outdoors 6 to 7 months out of the year. Does that go for storage as well? What I mean is that could a meerschaum under no circumstances handle extrem cold?
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Bruyere_Royale
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Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:54 am

I smoke my meer outside in the winter with temps way below freezing and never had a problem, this said pipe was also sent to me with a zip tie holding it together and it still smoked well. My advice would be to just buy one and smoke it, that's the only way to get first hand experience.
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houtenziel
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Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:32 am

Wilderness Pipe wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:12 pm
"if you live in a climate where you see temps drop below freezing and you tend to like to smoke outside.. don't do it with a meer as they are highly susceptible to cracking due to heat shock. That's about all I can think of at the moment."

Well I guess no smoking outdoors 6 to 7 months out of the year. Does that go for storage as well? What I mean is that could a meerschaum under no circumstances handle extrem cold?
Storage is fine. Just burning hot tobacco in a very cold meer can crack them. It's a lot like pouring boiling hot water into a very cold glass.
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CoreyR
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Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:24 am

One of the best meers that I have I picked up at a county fair flea market. The stem was broken off and it was very caked up. I cleaned that puppy up and sent it off to have a new stem fitted. I am 90% certain it is African meerschaum. Got it back and it is one of my best smoking pipes. I have no idea who made it though.
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