Meerschaum Dust Pipes

Thought I’d tell you a little about meerschaum dust pipes. When meerschaum is processed or carved, dust is created. Rather than waste the dust, some meerschaum pipe manufacturers will mix the dust with an emulsifier and compress the whole thing into a mold.

Meerschaum dust pipes are heavier, less absorbent, and don’t smoke as well as true meerschaum. While it may not be important to you, they’re also less valuable.

There’s no strenuous regulation of meerschaum pipes, so the only way to increase the odds of you getting a true meerschaum pipe is to buy from a reputable dealer. Also, the quality of the carvings are a good indicator. Good carvers usually don’t waste their time manufacturing dust pipes and the level of carvings are impossible to mold. S. Yanik is an example of one amazing pipe carver, and I feel guaranteed that my S. Yanik pipe is genuine meerschaum. It’s impossible to press that level of detail on the pipe.

2 Comments

  1. Tobacco Barn says:

    Jack,
    You are quite right in the “dust” or reformulated meerschaum is certainly not preferred for most pipe smoker’s needs. The only items that we (and hopefully you’d consider us a reputable vendor) produce out of reforumulated or pressed meerschaum are some of our carve kits, calabash bowls and some decorative item. The primary reason for making reformed meerschaum in some of our carve your own meerschaum pipe kits or in our calabash bowls is the keep the cost dow.
    I didn’t notice, did you have a picture of your S. Yanik pipe on the blog somewhere? Love to see it!
    I’m intrigued as to what sparked this particular blog entry. Did someone ask about “dust” pipes or did you encounter some on the open market?

  2. Jack says:

    You can find one pic of my pipe at http://broodmetkaas.com/blog/2007/09/29/new-halloween-skull-pipe/
    There’s a couple more pics throughout this blog. I always wanted a skull pipe, just didn’t look like it was the size of a baseball when I saw the pic online. Wow, it’s big!

    Someone did ask me about “dust” pipes. It had come up a few times in the past, and I thought I’d post something about it. I’m kind of random in my pipe posts, as you might have noticed.

    While I haven’t dealt with the Tobacco Barn myself, I’ve heard good things about you from other folks! I’m on a pipe-buying moratorium until I get a few random pipe repair experiments done, so I can embarrass myself on this blog. I’m hinting for a meerschaum coloring bowl for Christmas, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Tory, if you’re reading this, c-o-l-o-r-i-n-g b-o-w-l. Feel my psychic power!

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