Salsa making

This post is a little tangential to our usual pipemaking, but I thought it might be a little interesting since it’s the season for it.

I planted a small little garden this year, and it’s done really well. There were 8 Jalepenos, 8 Bell Peppers, some banana peppers, a habanero, a row of arugula, and a row of lettuce.

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When I need a break from pipemaking, or I lack inpspiration, I usually just pop out to the garden and get a little messy. Something interesting is always happening in nature, and in a garden, something always needs attending to. It’s a different part of the brain, and it usually helps tremendously.

Needless to say, I’ve harvested a LOT of peppers over the summer, and I thought that a few pictures of my last batch of salsa might inspire some of you to go out and do a little gardening of your own.

 

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What’s in my Bag? … (Case)

What is in my bag! Well, I actually have a case at the moment (Pelican 1170).

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Pelican is a hard case company that has made cases for technology for decades. They make Rack Cases for Professional Audio/Visual hardware, as well as various other cases for transporting very expensive and delicate technologies, etc…

This particular case has an interior dimension of 10.54″ x 6.04″ x 3.16″ without foam. All this to say they are about as robust as you can get … You can throw it across the room!

Inside:

  1. Sandblasted Blowfish (English Blends)
  2. Comoy’s of London Pouch (w/ C&D’s Snug Harbor)
  3. Sandblasted Apple (Virginia Blends)
  4. Plastic zip-locked bag (Peter Stokkebye’s Luxury Twist Flake)
  5. Rusticated Dublin (Aromatic Blends)
  6. Horse Hide Pouch (Personal Aromatic Blend of Lane Ltd. and Stokkebye)
  7. 8Deco Tamper
  8. Bic Lighter

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Highly recommended for keeping smells in when you’re borrowing your wife’s car, walking through the rain to your smoke shop, or waiting for your lunch break at a construction site where who knows what might fall!

Cheers, John

Shoptalk Episode 43

Jared and John discuss their new item and how you can enter a raffle!



Check out our new Hats at our STORE. If you purchase one by August 31, 2015 at midnight, you will be entered into a raffle to win the pipe in the photos below. Cheers and hope you enjoy the hats!

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Dentists and Pipe Smoking!

I literally just got a tooth pulled. When I was 18, my dentist set me up with an appointment to get all four of my wisdom teeth removed. When I showed up for the appointment, the surgeon only pulled my bottom wisdom teeth and said that I didn’t need my top two pulled. Sure enough my top right came in and caused problems for me.

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All this to say, that I am always surprised by how doctor’s, especially dentists are about smoking pipes. My brother went to get his teeth cleaned and after he told the dentist that he did drink coffee and he smoked a pipe, the dentist said, “be sure to floss.” My friend went to the doctor for a check up on his diabetes and after he told the doctor that he smoked a pipe, the doctor shrugged his shoulders and said, “that’s fine.” When I went in to get the tooth pulled, the surgeon’s assistant asked me if I smoked, and I said that I smoked a pipe. She said, “Oh that doesn’t quite smell so bad.”

Later the surgeon came in and as he shoots my mouth with wonderful numbness, he asked, “So, what do you do?”

I said, “I make tobacco pipes,” mumblingly.

He said, “I used to smoke a pipe.”

The assistant said, “I didn’t know that!”

He said, “It was a lot more popular back then, and all I remember as that I really enjoyed it!”

As pipe smokers we are in an interesting minority. I don’t want to get into a debate on the health, or lack there of, with pipe smoking. I just want to share my little conversation with the dentist that I went home and chuckled about with my wife as I laid back and watch TV with a mouth full of gauze and one less tooth.

Cheers, John

Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired

The quart size mason jar that was once full of Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired is reaching it’s final days, so as I sat down to enjoy what will be one of the last bowls from this jar, I thought I’d rustle up some information on this tasty tobacco. I bought 8 oz of this some time last year, and was immediately impressed. It satisfies my need for full flavors in the darker spectrum. Chocolate, raisin, and mince meat pie; all those savory things that elicit high marks from this smoker.

Below are some links (videos and written reviews) for you to peruse.

http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/5214/mac-baren-hh-old-dark-fired

http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/pipe-tobacco-reviews/mac-baren-hh-old-dark-fired-pipe-tobacco-review/

A note about weekends

 

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All too often, I find myself wondering how it’s been so long since I really enjoyed a pipe. We have a smoke free policy in our shop (that is, smoking freely), and so both John and I smoke while we work, and that’s quite pleasant. But sometimes I realize that it’s been a week or more since I actually sat down with no intentions except to smoke. There’s always something that distracts me: some commitment, some family function, some chore, some email. All of these things are, of course, wonderful. It’s just surprising that as a pipemaker, I rarely follow my own advice, and simply sit down and smoke. No funny business, just me and the tobacco.

Please take the time to smoke this weekend. If you can’t bring yourself to do it for your own sake, do it for us. It will make us happy. We’ll join you in this, we’ll all have a beer, and the world will get a little more pleasant.

Cheers, Jared

 

Commission

Commissions are a fun journey. When someone asks us to make them a particular pipe, it is always new. We find out what shape the person wants, the kind of finish and accents they desire, and then the adventure begins. Finding a block that has the size and grain orientation suitable for the shape and then the rough cutting is the birth of the pipe.

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This particular commission is a small bent apple with a sandblasted shank and a smooth bowl with an orange accent ring and a slightly longer ebonite stem. In order to find a block with no blemishes to be finished as a smooth, it can burn briar dust. going through two blocks that have minor pits on the bowl that will dedicate them for full sandblasts, it is time to try another block.

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After rough shaping up from 36 grit to 150 grit we can see the grain and any blemishes. After drilling and tweaking the shape, we will know if this block will become the pipe that this person is searching for. So far it looks promising, but the journey is not complete until the bowl coating is dried and the tobacco is lit.

Sandblasted Apple

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We’ve become enamored with the more danish shapes lately, and that’s shown itself in the last few months in the form of apples, brandies, acorns, etc. The Danes really figured out what shapes were the most enjoyable to smoke. As young pipe makers, it was very tempting (especially at the beginning) to try and invent new shapes, completely redesign existing ones, and put your own flair into pipe shapes. The reality is that you impart your own flavor regardless of your intentions, and usually the result of those experiments would end with a real turd of a pipe. There are definitely times to push boundaries, experiment, and explore. But those times are rare, and must be informed by the years of practice with simpler pipes.

This particular pipe comes in the form of a squat apple. While it is fairly simple, it has a number of elements that add depth and complexity: the matching smooth rim and shank face, the hard line of the fading tear drop shank, and the use of copper to reinforce the military mount stem.

The price is $425, please email us at sales@jnjpipes.com for more information.

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