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Off center drilling


Well-known member
Pad has hit hard this month. I had some expendable cash after Christmas & decided to splurge on a few pipes. One of them was a caminetto hawkbill. It's nice but, out of the 3 pipes I bought it's my least favorite, the most expensive($320), and the only one with a obvious defect. It's been drilled off center. How will this effect the smoking/mechanical properties? I'm wondering what I should do & am looking for advice, especially from the pipe makers in the forum. I bought it from smokingpipes and have not smoked it yet. Should I or could I ask for a discount? Should I send it back for a full refund? Or, should I just smoke it and not worry? Normally I would do the latter, assuming there were no mechanical issues, but $320 is a lot of money to me and it might be better spent on tobacco or....... Maybe even something nice for the family. So, what do you all think, issue or no? P.S. I'm including pics but don't think I can illustrate the drilling issue. You might just have to take my word on it.


Well-known member
It looks like it's drilled a little high.

I've never noticed an off-centering to the left or right to make any difference in anything, but I'm hardly an expert.

High drilling is the thing I flip out about, because an excessively high draft hole leads invariably to gurgling.

This looks like it's a little high from your photos. All bent pipes are drilled a little high. The question is how high is too high.

You'll have to feel in there with your finger to get an impression of just how high drilled it is.


Well-known member
Thanks everyone for your input. I was so focused on the off center issue that I didn't notice that it was also drilled a tad high until the shrugster pointed it out. How hi is too high? Sadly won't know until I smoke it. From the feel, I probably wouldn't ever be able to smoke to the bottom of the bowl. I talked to sp and I'm gonna send it back for a refund though they said it passed every ones QC tests. It's really too bad because I've been looking for a cool hawkbill nosewarmer for a while & thought I couldn't go wrong with a caminetto. I'd probably keep the pipe and deal with the issues of the price was >$150 but for $300 + it would wrankle me every time I smoked it.


Well-known member
Just about every bent pipe is drilled a little high. Literally anything drilled with a straight drill, 99% of all bent pipes, will be drilled a little high.

Optically they're all gonna look a little bad.

If you get your finger in there, and you feel there's too much space at the heel, return it. You're well within your rights to do so. No number of photos on a web site is a substitute for being able to stick your finger in the bowl and feel how deep the heel is under the draught hole :)


Nuclear Moderator
Staff member
smokingpipes.com said:
Pipe Returns/Refunds: A pipe may be returned for any reason within one month of purchase, provided it hasn't been smoked.
Whether it "passed everyone's QC tests" or not, their site says you can return it for any reason if you have not smoked it. If you are not happy and it would bother you every time you smoked it, that's reason enough.


Well-known member
Whether it "passed everyone's QC tests" or not, their site says you can return it for any reason if you have not smoked it. If you are not happy and it would bother you every time you smoked it, that's reason enough.
Well said.

I must admit I'm a little disappointed at their comment "it passed everyone's QC test", too.
Then "everyone" dropped the ball.
I'd rather this was a simple oversight by only one person.


Well-known member
Honestly, I'm almost relieved I'm not happy with it. This is only the second time I've paid over $200 for a pipe and I went back and forth for almost two weeks before pulling the trigger. While I'm no expert on pipe making, there is a healthy fingertip's worth of depth in the chamber under the draught hole. S.P. Was very accommodating and candid but I heard a couple of things that made me wonder. The first was about how it passed both caminetto and smokingpipes QC tests, and also that once they receive it back, it will go back up for sale at the same price. I don't know, those decisions are above my pay grade. I'm just happy that for once, I had the discipline to actually think about it before lighting up. I guess that's what happens when I pay over $100 for a pipe. On a side note, has anyone else had issues with caminetto? Because if made and priced right, their take on the hawkbill still catches my eye. That is, assuming that my latest purchase was an anomaly. Thanks again everyone for helping me step back, take a deep breath, & save $320.

Russ H.

Patron-Fight The Good Fight
There has already been good advice given. For me $320.00 isn't just pocket change, and a straight up answer from is--return the pipe.
I know all to well that things like this haunt me. Every time I would pick that ppe up to either look at it, or smoke it I would think about the issue I have, and the monet I spent. You will have no regrets in sending it back.
Again---send it back--this is what I would be doing if I were in your situation.