Over the past 3 months or so Ive been working on a new shape. I had been thinking of the misunderstanding people have for the pipe, and the sometimes interesting looks we get here on the West Coast. Out here in California, cigar smoking is the dominant beast. A man smoking a pipe may get strange looks or even be asked what is in his pipe ( thats California for ya! ). While a man smoking a cigar may only get strange looks because of the odor. So this stream of thought led me to a question... How can one have the best of both worlds?
I seldom meet a person who doesn't like the aroma of a lit pipe. That said, what could be the best possible combustion unit shape for this heavenly scent. Maybe a cigar? The great thing about a cigar pipe is the ability to literally put it in your pocket. It has a wind cap. It is much more durable to abuse than a pipe would be because of its linear shape. There is literally nowhere for the moisture to build up internally. There are many more reasons, but the best is its look. Lets face it, cigars are cool. Whether youre going for the Groucho Marx comedic look, the badass Arnold look, or just want to be the boss like Al Pacino in Scarface, cigars have a certain pinage to them.
Everyone knows about the old Zeppelin cigar shaped pipes. I looked at a few and determined that they were flawed in their price, shape, internal mechanics, and overall look. I wanted to come up with a shape that people would be proud to carry and use. A shape that was, in fact, indistinguishable from a real cigar. I also wanted to streamline and simplify the internal mechanics (or rather lack of mechanics). The windcap doesn't need to be metal. The pipe doesn't have to join with threads either. If I stuck to the basic rules of pipemaking, i figured I could come up with something really nice. So I started with a shape and then began to incorporate the chambers and airways. By the end , all that was left was a stem material and the end cap. I decided on Delrin for the mouthpiece due to its resilience to chewing ( though I may end up using Ebonite in production). The end cap is basically carved to resemble the ash on the end of a lit cigar. It joins the end of the tobacco chamber with a silicone O ring seal and is hight perforated to allow for maximum air flow.
The cigar pipe is now patent pending globally. I intend to produce a very limited number of the “Havana” cigar pipe ( the large version) this year. The small cigar pipe is now available for order. The price is $150 on these. Plans are in the works to release a limited number of Morta cigar pipes as well for those who are interested. Please let me know if you want in. These things are going fast!
I wish you and your families a safe and happy summer. Enjoy the smokes!
Its been and exciting couple of weeks! I was just told that the guys at Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine generously gave me a write-up in the magazine. The column is in the “Pipe Stuff” section of the Summer issue.
Im truly honored to be mentioned.
Congrats to Jeff Gracik for making the front cover! You deserve it!
Some of you have heard me talk of my grandpa quite frequently. He was instrumental in my decision to become a pipemaker and a huge supporter of mine for the past 5 years. Sadly, Larry Phillip Cembellin passed away peacefully at home on March 23rd 2011. He will be greatly missed.
My grandpa wasnt a high-grade collector. He didn't have a single Dunhill, Peterson, or even Savinelli. His collection, which was handed down to me , consists largely of Medico, Yello-bole, and Dr. Grabow, with a Whitehall or two sprinkled in there. He was a child of the depression and would never pay more than $5 for a pipe. He used to gasp and drop his jaw when I told him what i recently sold a pipe for. He was a man of great confidence and didn’t care what other people thought of him.
When I was little we would hop in his old 55 Ford dump truck and take a trip down to the hardware store in town. The truck didn't have seat belts, so at my mom’s request , he had to literally tie me to the seat with rope. We would make it down the hill and the engine would give out at a stoplight. People would curse at him and honk and he would just hold his arm out the window and wave. If he was feeling especially saucy, he’s stick his head out and smile at them. He’d just start the truck up again after several attempts and be on his merry way. Nothing could get him down.
His greatest stories would come up when I would complain about having to take a test at school or whine about helping him move bricks or something. He would just look at me and say, “this is nothing.” and follow up with “I used to pick prunes 18 hours a day when I was your age (approx. 10)” . The man had a full time farm job in Hollister, CA when he was 10 years old! He grew up extremely poor and built his own small empire in Los Gatos, CA. Around here, he was the lovable old guy that would take sometimes daily trips to the lumber yard in town. I would tag along some of the time. He would never admit it, but I could tell he just wanted to spend time with me and see his friends. No one needs that much wood! :)
I miss his ornery attitude and his constant questioning. “Are ya still makin pipes?” he would ask every time we spoke. “You better get back in the shop!” is how he’d end nearly every phone call. I think everyone needs a man like him in their life. He was a father, a teacher, and a hero to me. He will be missed greatly, but his spirit and message lives on in my pipes.