Off center drilling

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Russ H.

Patron-Fight The Good Fight
#41
The thing is that when one cannot handle a pipe firsthand, and we are relying on pictures, and the judgement of a person, or persons at a far away place to determine whether a pipe is made well we are in fact opening ourselves up for possible problems.
Currently I am not in the market for any new pipes, and honestly have the nervous jitters thinking about it. When one shells out $300-$400, and up for a pipe on the estate market I get the jitters. Wondering how the previous unknown owner handled, and smoked the pipe, How was the pipe cleaned, and was there any damage done during the process? All one can do in the end is take a chance I guess, but for a guy like me shelling out $300 plus on a estate pipe I cannot hold in hand is kinda scary. I realize one can send it back if certain sellers allow, but the whole process can be daunting.
It's hard to accept that one would end up taking a total loss on a $300 plus pipe with total dis-satifaction, and end up just having a pipe you'll never enjoy--laying there as a reminder of a purchase gone really wrong.
These days I would have a extremely hard time taking a chance on a estate pipe in the several hundred dollar range. I cannot see myself doing that at these clearing houses for pipes simply because I cannot afford to currently, and secondly I have become very concerned with unforseen issues I cannot see in pictures, and having to trust others I do not know--far away to judge on my behalf whether the pipe may meet my standards.
I will admit that in the past I have gotten very lucky, and have some estates I am highly satisfied with--My fear is that my luck will run out especially with higher priced pipes--I simply am unwilling to take the chance these days.
 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well-known member
#42
I didn't post this earlier because it felt like piling on & other than this pipe I've been satisfied with s.p. But I also noticed a crack in the shank. The inside of the air hole looks pretty rough too, although you probably can't see it from the pics. Again, to the pipe makers, or knowledgeable folks, I know this is not good. But how bad is it exactly? P.S.A. Don't buy a caminetto smooth hawkbill (05) (AR) if you see it pop up on smokingpipes in the next few days.
That shank face defect is grossly unacceptable. I'd return a pipe for that alone, never mind the drilling.
 
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¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well-known member
#43
SP will sell ANYthing. I don't know if they've changed policy or if they just move so many pipes... but I've had a few real losers from them, and it's such a hassle for me to send a pipe back internationally that I kept them. But I don't really buy from them anymore because of it. The one that broke it was an unsmoked "estate" which I believe they have to call the pipe once it's been returned by someone...thing's so crooked it's laughable, and that on a 400 dollar Autograph. It's not right. Good folks there, and they've worked hard to be #1 in many departments, but they'll sell anything, in my experience.
I bought an "estate" Ashton from them, stamped with a 2016 date, and it was such a mangled piece of Carp on the inside that I couldn't imagine smoking it.
  • The mortise seemed to have been drilled about six times, with varying size bits.
  • The draught hole was a full centimeter high, off the bottom of the bowl. I'm not kidding. Like, half an inch away from its preferred location.
  • And, just to add insult to injury: the tenon was un-chamfered. It also had a 1mm bore, but I wasn't surprised by that. Just annoyed that no one had fixed up the tenon-end to reduce gurgle.
They spend money on full page ads insisting that "every pipe is inspected" but it's become plain to me that the inspection process isn't worth squat. They are perfectly willing to sell crap.

P.S. Worst of all, the "pipe turd" I bought is back on their site, re-listed at $190 like no one had returned it.

https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/england/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=299881

(Don't buy this pipe. Gorgeous outside, worthless inside.)
 

Sasquatch

Wizzard
Staff member
#44
I bought an "estate" Ashton from them, stamped with a 2016 date, and it was such a mangled piece of Carp on the inside that I couldn't imagine smoking it.
  • The mortise seemed to have been drilled about six times, with varying size bits.
  • The draught hole was a full centimeter high. I'm not kidding. Like, half an inch.
  • And, just to add insult to injury: the stem was un-chamfered.
They spend money on full page ads insisting that "every pipe is inspected" but it's become plain to me that the inspection process isn't worth squat. They are perfectly willing to sell crap.

P.S. Worst of all, the "pipe turd" I bought is back on their site, re-listed at $190 like no one had returned it.

https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/england/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=299881

(Don't buy this pipe. Gorgeous outside, worthless inside.)

Which is why I spoke out. I don't mind that they don't spend an hour with every pipe under the microscope. But a POS maybe should not be sold, there should maybe be some limit about what we consider acceptable. And yet, as we see with the CnD end of Laudisi, this is NOT the case - make it, sell it, replace it if it gets complained about. Very, very corporate. Guess they won't be knocking on my door for pipes any time too soon now, LOL.
 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well-known member
#46
Which is why I spoke out. I don't mind that they don't spend an hour with every pipe under the microscope. But a POS maybe should not be sold, there should maybe be some limit about what we consider acceptable. And yet, as we see with the CnD end of Laudisi, this is NOT the case - make it, sell it, replace it if it gets complained about. Very, very corporate. Guess they won't be knocking on my door for pipes any time too soon now, LOL.
I'm not sure it's even deliberate. I have two reasons to think that it's accidental, just incidental stupidity born of a lousy corporate culture:

  1. The ad copy on their estate pipes is wild, just completely hit-or-miss.

    Sometimes it's dead on and they spot non-obvious items. Othertimes it's completely f'in wrong, with just dumb mistakes that even a rookie pipe buyer like me wouldn't make. It's a little bit hard hard to mistake a pre-1980 GBD for post-1980, but it's very hard to mistake a post-1990 GBD for a pre-1980!

    Sometimes they completely ignore the CoM stamping on the pipe when choosing the category!

  2. The glassdoor complaints about Laudisi all follow a similar pattern: nobody is in charge.

    It doesn't sound like anyone keeps an eye on ... well, anything.

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well-known member
#47
I've always got really decent customer service from SP. Even to the point where I asked customer service to determine whether a given "estate" passed the pipe cleaner test or not.

But I shouldn't have to rely on personal service, should I?

Shouldn't the descriptions be correct?

Shouldn't they, well, not sell obviously crap pipes? (That Ashton is superficially beautiful, but you would never be able to unload it at a pipe show, because folks would break it down and look inside!)
 

Sasquatch

Wizzard
Staff member
#48
Well I think so, but then I run a two bit BS little pipe company that's never going to amount to anything, and those guys are handling a multimillion dollar operation, so my opinion about running something real big is... just ignorance, I've no idea. But as a buyer, hell yeah. These guys should be dead-on experts, and should be sending poorly built stuff back to Italy, Ireland, and whatever mud hut @ScottiePinKC lives in. (Sorry lady, I couldn't resist).
 

Mr Beardsley

Well-known member
#51
In any business time is money, obviously. I'd bet that the majority of the pipes that come in, both new & estate, are given a cursory glance by the "inspector" before being photographed and listed. In some cases a guy may send in a pipe that's an uber turd but he's a super double diamond level badge customer and you don't refuse an estate pipe from someone like that and risk losing their business. I can't even begin to guess the number of pipes that they sell but I'd bet the vast majority stay sold so the law of averages tells them to keep on keeping on.

To the OP good call on sending that one back
 

Kayro

Well-known member
#52
I lay the responsibility directly at the feet of the manufacturer. SP should send back any pipes found below standard instead of putting them up for resale. After all, quality control should ensure no defective pipes leave the factory unless identified and sold as a second.. As the retailer SP has an obligation to their customers to ensure they get what they pay for. Accepting substandard products to begin with is not the way to do it. Knowingly reselling a defective product as new and supposedly without defects is inexcusable. Isn't it odd that good old Dr. Grabow can get the drilling spot on in 99.9% of the millions of pipes they have made and a $400.00 showpiece misses the mark? It will continue to happen until retailers get in the face of the makers and hold their feet to the fire. SP is big enough to do it. Whether they will or not depends on how long their customers continue to put up with it.
 

Sir Saartan

The Tan Saarlander
#53
I lay the responsibility directly at the feet of the manufacturer. SP should send back any pipes found below standard instead of putting them up for resale.
That would most likely be the easiest way to do this.

There could be several reasons why their quality control sucks, and to me it makes no sense to speculate about it.

Everyone's different and likes different pipes, so I understand not everyone can have the same opinion I have.
That said, anything that is more expensive than the pipes our forum artisans sell should have at least the same
quality when it arrives at my home. I have personally found this not to be the case, which is why I - as still quite a
novice pipe smoker - have already commissioned 3 pipes (in 2.5 years of smoking a pipe).

just my 2 cents on that.
 

Russ H.

Patron-Fight The Good Fight
#54
For me--just me (maybe) I am a working class schlub who's money comes hard. When I see a pipe I want it requires some saving, and adjustment on my finances-especially now with other in house personal issues. If, and when I make a decision to shell $300 plus for a pipe--it's serious carp on my end--it's a big deal financially. If, or when I would purchase a estate, or for that matter a new pipe, and end up with a total dawg it would really upset me.
My biggest fear is not being able to send the pipe back, and taking a loss on it. Also the total let down of actually wanting the pipe only to see that it's totally unacceptable to my standards.
Personally I have NEVER had any issues with SP. They have always treated me exceptionally good. They are a massive business for sure, and see, and move a lot of pipes, and pipe related items. Perhaps there simply isn't enough time to give attention to each pipe, or maybe the individual looking at the pipes isn't up to speed with what they need to know in order to do a full inspection on pipes--I'm not sure.
One thing though---I surely hope it isn't an issue where they simply don't care.
 

Kayro

Well-known member
#55
SP didn't make the pipe. The maker should know better than anybody what goes out with their name on it. In my opinion the only mistake SP makes is putting pipes with known flaws back in inventory for resale. Its not a question of the customer being dissatisfied with the size or shape. Flawed pipes should be sent back to the maker with detailed instructions and pictures as to what to do with them. I like SP and have bought a lot of tobacco and a couple of pipes from them with no complaints at all. What I am saying is, recycling a flawed product to the next unsuspecting customer is just plain wrong.
 

ScottiePinKC

Well-known member
#56
Well I think so, but then I run a two bit BS little pipe company that's never going to amount to anything, and those guys are handling a multimillion dollar operation, so my opinion about running something real big is... just ignorance, I've no idea. But as a buyer, hell yeah. These guys should be dead-on experts, and should be sending poorly built stuff back to Italy, Ireland, and whatever mud hut @ScottiePinKC lives in. (Sorry lady, I couldn't resist).
Haha....we all know you're the one that makes ugly pipes
 

Davidmackv

Well-known member
#57
SP takes individual photos of every pipe. When you buy a pipe on their site you get the actual pipe in the photo. So, if they take the time to photo every pipe, would it really take much time to inspect that pipe at the photo shoot? I am also sure there are a lot of pipe smokers out there that just buy pipes and smoke them and are not nearly as critical as some of us here are.
 

leacha

░░░░░
Sales
#59
SP doesn't care because someone will buy the pipe, never inspect and light up.

I bought a Peterson St. Pat's 107. When I couldn't get a pipe cleaner in (I know, "all pipes do not pass a cleaner". This is a straight billiard so it should) I pulled it apart and it was drilled by a legally blind one armed person. It was returned, relisted and sold as a new pipe, which somebody bought. So I'm sure they inspect returns.
 

blackmouth210

Well-known member
#60
SP doesn't care because someone will buy the pipe, never inspect and light up.

I bought a Peterson St. Pat's 107. When I couldn't get a pipe cleaner in (I know, "all pipes do not pass a cleaner". This is a straight billiard so it should) I pulled it apart and it was drilled by a legally blind one armed person. It was returned, relisted and sold as a new pipe, which somebody bought. So I'm sure they inspect returns.
Not doubting the details, I'm just curious...How were you able to ID the pipe they sold as "new" was the same one with bad drilling that you had returned?
 
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