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Unhappy with Strambach meerschaum pipe

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Cap'n Terrible

Guest
#1
Here is the message I sent to the seller shortly after receiving the pipe: "
I am very disappointed with this pipe. It arrived the other day and smoking it disclosed several faults.
In the first place the stem is slightly smaller in diameter than the shank so that the fit is not as perfect as it
ought to be in a pipe costing almost $100.00. More importantly, the bore hole through the stem is so narrow
that it is very difficult to push even a narrow pipe cleaner through it and even more difficult to get it to enter
the shank and reach the bowl. Frankly I do not think this pipe was worth what it cost and I will certainly not
be buying any more Strambach Meerschaum pipes.


Needless to say, I didn't receive a reply. A little later I realized that the pipe had another and more serious flaw. The stem is connected to the shank with a narrow 'plastic' tube and, although when smoking the bowl remains dry, condensation leaks from the connecting joint and gets onto one's fingers. I'm kicking myself now that, instead of this disastrous product I had ordered a Meerschaum from Turkey. Ah well, we live and learn.
Pipe No.05 Strambach Calcinated Meerschaum.PNG
 

Ozark Wizard

Well-known member
#5
Yah, good meers aren't so much an economical choice for dry smokes. Decent authentic block carved are in the $250- $400 range, more for crazy carving and/or well known artisans. Everyone I've met with a meerschaum under a hundred bucks new were ultimately disappointed, and sooner than later. Yours looks pretty well smoked with all the colouring. It was an estate, yes?
 

SmokeRings

Well-known member
#8
I would consider a good $100 meer a find I'd consider apologizing for finding, as with most pipe purchases, the best policy is to examine the item in question in person. Failing that there is a certain level of risk we all assume in buting "blind" and if you haven't bought a stinker...give it time, you will if you keep playing the game. On a more positive note, as it is unlikely they will answer or refund your purchase, it is a good looking pipe that would certainly serve well as the beginnings of a display
 
C

Cap'n Terrible

Guest
#9
Yah, good meers aren't so much an economical choice for dry smokes. Decent authentic block carved are in the $250- $400 range, more for crazy carving and/or well known artisans. Everyone I've met with a meerschaum under a hundred bucks new were ultimately disappointed, and sooner than later. Yours looks pretty well smoked with all the colouring. It was an estate, yes?
No, it wasn't an estate. It's new and came already colored. I assumed that's what "calcinated" means. I had a similarly pre-colored Meerschaum in Canada many years ago, wanted to replace it' and wasn't at all interested in the Meerschaums that come with all that fancy elaborate carving as I prefer simplicity. When I want a sculpture I buy a sculpture and when I want a pipe I buy a pipe. Anyway, thanks for cluing me in. I'll be sticking to briars in future.
 
C

Cap'n Terrible

Guest
#10
I would consider a good $100 meer a find I'd consider apologizing for finding, as with most pipe purchases, the best policy is to examine the item in question in person. Failing that there is a certain level of risk we all assume in buting "blind" and if you haven't bought a stinker...give it time, you will if you keep playing the game. On a more positive note, as it is unlikely they will answer or refund your purchase, it is a good looking pipe that would certainly serve well as the beginnings of a display
Yes, it is an interesting looking object and given time it I might even succeed in burning it in but there is that pesky problem of the leaking connection but my attitude is that you can't win 'em all. On most deals I do fairly well and on some you just have to take the loss
 

JustScott

Well-known member
#11
It's true, you won't likely find a meer for $100 that is a good smoker, regardless of how decorated it is or isn't. Look at the threads in this section, you'll see plenty of non-decorated meers, many in standard shapes even, and not an inexpensive one in the bunch. A decent block of meerschaum is quite a bit more than even the best, highest grade briar. Basically, there's no way to produce an inexpensive pipe out of worthwhile meerschaum. Probably even if you just took a chunk, drilled it, and stuck in a stem (kind of like buying a hobby block and just smoking it), it would still be more than $100 just in materials.
 

PappyJoe

Senior Chief
Patron
#14
There are some less expensive good meerschaum pipes out there. I have two Servi meerschaums that I paid $110 for one and $195 for the other. Both are great smokers and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another new meerschaum with his name on it.
 

JerseyPiper

Well-known member
#15
I've seen those Strambach's listed on Ebay. Always wondered about them... What's a shame is that the cultured Meer probably isn't bad in and of itself as a material, but they just did a bad job of making a pipe out of it. That seems to be the case with a lot of meers. Poor engineering. I wish they would allow Turkey to export the stuff and let pipe makers the world over make great well-engineered meerschaum pipes. Instead, there's only a handful of places that i can think of in Turkey offering good smokers and the rest are poorly engineered with those weird screw-in narrow-draw doo-hickeys.
 

blackmouth210

Well-known member
#16
I've seen those Strambach's listed on Ebay. Always wondered about them... What's a shame is that the cultured Meer probably isn't bad in and of itself as a material, but they just did a bad job of making a pipe out of it. That seems to be the case with a lot of meers. Poor engineering. I wish they would allow Turkey to export the stuff and let pipe makers the world over make great well-engineered meerschaum pipes. Instead, there's only a handful of places that i can think of in Turkey offering good smokers and the rest are poorly engineered with those weird screw-in narrow-draw doo-hickeys.
Agreed.
Those inexpensive meers appear to be made by great carvers who are lousy pipemakers.

If it's not an IMP, Altinok, or Baki I am not interested.
It's not snobbish to be picky about your meers.
In fact, it's quite the opposite.
It's those of us who are most on a budget that should avoid buying lousy pipes.

And for those on a budget, the first two on my list can be found for near $100 as quality estates or around $200 brand new.

If $100-$200 is out of your budget, hold off (or start saving) until you can spend more for a meerschaum pipe.
You'll thank me later.
 

Shasta Piper

Well-known member
#17
You must be producing a lot of moisture for it to leak at the stem/shank connection. I have never heard of that before. I want to kindly suggest three things that might help your Strambach smoke better for you.

1) try a non-aromatic tobacco and let it dry out, like crispy dry.
2) smoke slower, like so slow you have to re-light.
3) try Bj long pipe cleaners and use as many as necessary.

Good luck.
 

Siv

Mg4Si6O15(OH)2·6H2O
Sales
#19
Strambach were known for producing pressed meerschaum pipes (i.e. meerschaum bits compacted together with some kind of binder). I don't know if this "cultured" meerschaum is just another way of referring to pressed meer or if they're developed a new process (highly unlikely). https://pipedia.org/wiki/Strambach

In any case, I can't comment on their quality since I've never owned one but they've been around for a long time so can't be all that bad.
 

xrundog

Old Pipe Dude
Sales
#20
A word about your leak: I have a cheap meerschaum I was gifted that leaked like that. Turned out the plastic threaded portions of the "tenon/mortise" allowed moisture to wick up and leak by. I solved that problem with just a bit of wood glue. But since then I was informed that glue is a bad idea because the plastic wears out and has to be replaced. I think I could use a heat gun to loosen the glue. But I smoke that pipe so seldom that I doubt it will be a problem for me. Maybe a little teflon tape would be a better solution. Unscrew the threaded piece from the shank, put a layer of tape on it and screw it back in. That will likely solve your problem. If it persists try the same thing with the stem piece.
Also, if the shank portion has a tight hole, drill that sucker out a bit before you tape and screw it back in.
 
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