Some anecdotal data. This is a random $25 block of briar. Or it could be, say, a $15-$20 block if you buy a few thousand at a time like a larger scale manufacturer could. Would this "good" a block be used on a smooth pipe that ultimately had a retail price of $200? I don't know, but I would guess not. Still, let's assume this is representative of the quality block that would go into a $200 smooth pipe from a larger production company like SAV or Pete. The larger flaw with the arrow pointed to it is a smaller version of something I was chasing away. The smaller circled one is a new story emerging from the chase. Who knows what the next chapter is? ----> This block is full of "flaws." I don't like thinking of them with that terminology, but whatever you call them, they're everywhere.
This is one big advantage of drilling after shaping btw, but that's definitely not happening with the pipes we're talking about.