Thanks for that. Fascinating and so quick - but it kinda feels impersonal. Sure I know its reproducable and the shape is precise and quite nice.... but once that initial artistry of the tempplate is done, that's it - or am I being a bit of a purist? I recall a BW photo of a guy in wartime UK standing beside a rough bench on the roadside, handcarving pipes for servicemen. I'm pretty sure the QA and "drilling" was a bit arbitary but man... that was pipemaking. From my own experiamce of "carving by hand"... the scrapes, cuts and blisters of handcarving and the stress of hand drilling makes you appreciate the art.
Having said that, I'm pretty darn sure that those Neerups smoke great , look beautiful and are machined and drilled to perfection. I guess it's nice to know that even though there are "production" pipes, some are made with more care. But for some unfathomable reason.... it is STILL a crapshoot in finding a pipe that looks OK and has a combination of shape and draw that makes it a great smoking pipe, not just something expensive that ends up sitting on a shelf...... I just have not yet found one in my budget that hits that mark.
It's an odd pastime, finding a pipe that matches your personality and sense of artistry, then it must suite you tobacco (if you have managed to find your blend).... and then suite your smoking knowledge and style...... therein lies the multitude of variables that drives some of us pipers to distraction or becomes the Zen of the pipesmoking.....
That’s pretty cool! Given our age of automation and mass production, two pipes at a time seems pretty old-school. I wonder if the other factories (Peterson, Stanwell, etc) use a similar tool? How about the Italians?