And why?

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Pipes

In all of the things going on in life these days I have failed to post any pics of recent pipes that I have completed so here are a few of them.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A New Addition and Much More

Greetings all you disciples of the briar, hope you have all been well this past couple of months and enjoyed many good smokes. After a brief absence for reasons to be explained I am back to this small corner of cyber space to rant, rave and discuss all things pipes in general and pretty much whatever else is on my mind. I have so many things to share. Several new pipes have been made and leaving for their new homes, many great new tobaccos tried and lots reflecting on the everyday, mundane and extrodinary things of life but this must all wait for I have news of much greater relevance. On November the sixth of 2012 my wife gave birth to our first child, our son James Langston McCartor! It was not an easy entrance into the world by any means. Arriving a week early by means of an emergency c-section, we spent a roller coaster week in the hospital dealing with unstable blood sugars, jaundice, a heart murmur and a small whole in his heart known as vsd. We experienced new levels of stress and concern like we had never known. We spent five sleepless nights in the hospital making constant journeys to the special care nursery where he was under close supervision and monitoring. And we once again experienced the miracles of our most gracious God when we went home with a happy and healthy baby a week later. James is doing fantastic today. We still have to follow up this month with a cardiologist to monitor the vsd but the doctors feel confident that it will heal on its own over the next year and have no concerns of any complication from it. He entered the world at a whopping five pounds twelve ounces and just a few weeks later we have already gained three pounds which the doctors said was outstanding, this kid can seriously eat. As told to me by countless friends and family members, life has changed in ways one can not express in mere words alone. At first I was fearful of this "change" but now I have that understanding that only fatherhood can bring. I have joined that fraternity of proud dads world wide whose purpose in life has re-focused to the raising of such a precious gift.
Doing a fathers duty!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Playing with Rustication

Made this little poker the other night and decided to play around with the rustication, so give me you thoughts on it. Tomorrow is the last day, for real this time, of my old job and the end of the nearly four hundred mile a day commute to work. So those of you patiently waiting for pipes shall see them soon. The only thing that could side track me now from filling pipe orders is..... the baby is due in ten days!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Briar in Idle Hands

Got in the shop tonight with no ideas or direction trying to think of something constructive to do with these idle hands and picked up a piece of briar. Now actually I should have started on a few furniture projects being that a couple of store fronts have offered to carry some of my items but this night the briar was calling. No mark ups, no lines and no ideas, just picked up a block and started shaping. No sure of the shape, kind of dublin-esk I would guess but I like it so all is good.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fruits of This Weeks Labor

Well now that we are pretty much moved I have been able to get back into the shop a little bit. Next order of business is to expand! The property our new house is on already had a "crude" but workable shop measuring about 2oo square feet which houses most of my equipment but does not leave space to move, literally. So the next major undertaking is to expand. But in the mean time I sacrificed comfort in order to try to get a few new pipes out. I will try to remember and keep you all posted with the ever so exciting expansion of the new shop, yes, yes, I know all are gripping the edges of their seats but you must contain yourselves and in the meantime check out the new pipes!

Friday, August 31, 2012

She Does it Again

Well I have just noticed that a new pipe of mine, one of great distinction, has not made an appearance hear on my blog. This simply can not remain and must be corrected at once! If you were to go back some time in this here blog space you would find an entry relating to an extraordinary gift form my dear wife to commemorate our twelfth anniversary, it was my first meerschaum pipe. A beautiful CAO Beckler. That brings me to the next point, I was recently making comment on my youtube channel, I believe discussing the fact that there were many brands of pipe that would probably never grace my collection solely based on their hefty price tags. I could not see myself dropping such money on a pipe. Well a couple of weeks ago the time came again to celebrate our anniversary, this time our thirteenth. Being that we have just moved and purchased a new house and with all the expenses related to doing so, it was agreed to keep this celebration quaint and most of all inexpensive, you know the sweet and simple remembrance of our love and union. I traveled to see her that night, remember she had already relocated and I was soon to follow, it was to be a sort of surprise. We had reservations at a special place for dinner and upon returning to the house I would give her the sweet but simple gift that had accompanied me. But before we left from diner she throws in the proverbial "monkey wrench". I was preparing to leave and suddenly there before me was a small humbly wrapped box in the middle of the table. The proportions of the box instantly brought forth my speculations of its contents. To myself and many of you who read this page, a box in such a size leads one to conjor the possible contents, not wishing to jump to conclusion but at the same time optimistic of its nature. I slowly removed the wrapping to reveal the words Cavicchi C. . To say the least she had outdone herself, once again. The wife I have been blessed with loves to give like no other. I can honestly say that her greatest joy is in giving to others. As I looked upon this marvelous piece of briar with its tulip wood band a feather-like feel, I looked to her and said "You know, two years in a row sets a presidence so I can only imagine what next year will bring", lol. But in all seriousness it is awesome and heart felt and I will let the picture do the talking. So Kayla, hears to you and thirteen years of bliss!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Pipe Finished

Just wanted to show you all my latest pipe, it is finished and en-route to the Northwest Youtube Pipe Presenters Conference along with my previously completed one. I have several more in the works but slightly delayed due to getting my shop move to the new house. And on that subject... I have finally got moved into the new house!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Couldn't Pass on Sharing this Pic!

So if you are a reader of this blog, which would probably make you an all around glutton for punishment, then you are familiar with my love of Mark Twain. Often people ask who is your favorite pipe smoker? Well it goes without saying that mine is Twain. Twain embodies so much of my childhood romanticism with classic americana that extrudes coolness with a smattering of eclectic distinguishement (yes I may have just made that last word up, or at least spell check says so). Anyhow to the point now, I came across this picture of the man today that I have never seen and found it way to good not to share. Come on it is Twain in a bath robe with pipe and dog in tow. That's good stuff!

Check out some of my Twain ramblings at:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Getting Back to Work

So I received a new shipment of briar about four weeks ago and was anxious to get at it but it was just this week that I found the time. Anyhow enough of my complaining, it's time to get back in the shop and get busy. I am going to try to get several cranked out this week in order to fulfill a couple of commitments to some good people who have patiently waited on me. This is the first pipe from the new briar and I finished it late last night. I already have a few other blocks prepped and drill so hopefully by next week I will have more to show. So check out this sweet little nose warmer poker with its tortoise shell lucite stem and check back later for more to come.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Revisiting a Pipe shop in D' Town

So now that I am trying to tie up the final loose ends at my soon to be "old" job, I am trying my best to use all remaining vacation time. This has been easily accomplished by simply following my wife on all of her "official" business travel for work. So far it has been Houston, Dallas and soon to San Antonio. This has also given me the delightful opportunity to peruse out of town pipe shops. Now all I need is to convince the wife of a "New pipe acquisition allowance". Well I can dream right? Though I should not protest to much due to the fact that I have come home with a new pipe from the first two cities and there is still San Antonio to come! While in Dallas I visited a familiar shop called Up in Smoke. Now it is a shame that such a classy shop first conjures up images of a "head" shop with its unfortunate name. The shop does not quite live up to "Cheech and Chongs" high brow standards but a nice quaint pipe and cigar shop it is. So as I looked over the inventory of briar goodies searching for something new but budget conscience, I spied a delightful little Stanwell. It just so happened that up to that juncture in time, I did not own a Stanwell and the price was choice. So a Stanwell it was to be. The particular model is a Stanwell Statement, it is lightly sandblasted with a short bit and a nice nose-warmer length. All and all a great looking pipe and equally great smoker.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Quick Vid

Just a quick, and mostly pointless, video to show pipe number twelve to my youtube pipe community friends. Smoking my Peterson Aran with a little Blackney's Best Latakia Flake. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Briar!

Just got a shipment of new briar so it's time to make dust again! With a whole twelve, lol, pipes under my belt I am anxious to get back in the shop this week and get some more rolling out the door. It has been hard to find the much pipe making time lately with the slow move and training my replacement at work but alas things are slowly clearing out and I itching to further my endeavors at pipe making. I was was very pleased with the last one but have so much more to learn and hone. But as I said, I have more briar,so off to the shop! Cheers!

Oh, and Brad one of these has your name on it!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Road Noise

Lately I have spent a lot of time on the road traveling back and forth from the old home to the new in preparation of eventually getting moved. There is still a lot of work to be done on our old house but I am getting thing finished up at work and almost ready to make my exit there at least. But in the mean time all the traveling gives me good opportunities to make more pipe videos to keep up with my youtube pipe community friends and then drag over here to share with you wonderful blog readers... or blog viewers as I guess its a video. Anyhow if you find yourself in a aromatic kind of mood let me suggest Cornell & Diehl's Autumn Evening!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Twelve And A Move

So in the mix of all the craziness that life has dealt in the last couple of months I have managed to finish pipe number twelve. To bring you all to date if you have not been following, the last couple of months have brought a new job for my wife which in return brought a move (in the process of) along with us anxiously expecting our first child this fall. Busy to say the least. My lovely wife began her new job almost three months ago and we have been traveling back and forth to spend the weekends together, fortunately it is only a two and a half hour drive. I in the mean time have been trying to tie things up at my job and help find my replacement while at the same time pondering the ever daunting task of getting our house ready to go on the market. Now if a new job, new city and new baby were not enough, lets throw in a new house to the mix! Yes we unsuspectingly stumbled upon a house that we fell in love with, two months later, countless head aches and miraculously coming up with the down payment we own a new house. I while soon give you a virtual blog tour of the new home but in the mean time my short description will have to suffice. It is about one mile out of the city limits of Buffalo Gap Texas sitting on roughly two acres. The location and property is awesome and added bonus of a shop already on site and a cool room above the garage that my wife says can be my indoor smoking lounge! Anyways enough of that, more to come so stay posted. As mentioned earlier I finished my twelfth pipe, a free hand dublin from a plateau with a lucite stem. This one was requested by my wife as a Fathers Day present for her dad. I am pretty happy with the results so check out the pics. And with that I leave you with promises of more pipe and pointless ramblings to come.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Next Best Thing to Smoking a Pipe

Pipes are not the only thing that I love to smoke! Weather its a virginia, english, beef or pork, its all good! Must just be something about smoke that makes all the world right. Well, unless its that Shiner Bock Smokehaus beer, that was just wrong. Cheers to all things born of smoke!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Moving, Growing and Two New Pipes. 10 & 11

Just wanted to put up a quick post showing my newest two pipes, numbers ten and eleven. And Also posting a most shaky video update for my youtube friends, apparently my videoing while driving skills could use some help not to mention using my phone to record. So just cut me some slack and enjoy the new pipes and update on all that is going on in my life, unless your prone to motion sickness then turn away!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


One of the great perks of having a good tobacconist where you live is the hosting of "Events"! If you are not familiar with this occasion, it is when a producer, distributor or someone somehow involved in the tobacco industry host events at your tobacconist's store and give away free, discounted and promotional products along with food and beverages and a good time is had by all. That is it in a nutshell. These are things not to be missed if at all possible. Now unfortunately they are almost always for cigar companies. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good cigar but my heart is in the pipe. But that being said these events are a great time to enjoy good food, drinks and fellowship with your fellow smokers. A couple of days ago I went to the Miami Cigar Companies event at my local shop Smokers Haven. Had a great time hanging out with some really good friends, smoked some fine cigars and attempted to solve the problems of the world (which happens to be a common occurrence in such moments). All in all its was another delightful evening spent with good company at the smoke shop and oh ya I actually won a door prize! Door prize pic to follow.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weekend Score

Greetings friends, I hope you are all well on this first day of spring. It actually rained here in west Texas today which is truly a blessing being that we have been in a severe drought for the last couple of years here. All of that aside, if you follow this blog you then defiantly know of my love for the old and nostalgic especially when it involves old pipe stuff. My wife and I often hit the area antique stores and where ever else we may come across some old eclectic piece that cries for a new home. This last weekend we drove to a small town about forty five miles from our home to explore the refuse of the past and to just get away for a few hours.
Now laying that foundation, I have been on the lookout for one of those old, simple pipe racks that sit on a table top with the glass humidor in the middle. I often come across them but usually they are in bad shape and have some sort of hideous decoration or at least don’t appeal to my eye. But last Saturday my luck changed and I stumbled upon a pristine condition, seven pipe, corner pipe rack made of walnut and sporting simple but refined, classic lines, the perfect addition for a room and not to mention giving seven of my pipes a proper nesting spot. Oh and also I left with a really old Velvet pipe tobacco tin that will also enjoy a new home in my smoking lair!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pipes From the Abyss

Well after a couple of weeks bout with a fierce cold, I have a couple of new pipes finished to present to the world or at least the beloved few of you that follow this sporadic blog. And to all of you I say thanks. These two pipes will make my eighth and ninth to have completed. The ninth one, the bent Dublin, is by far the best quality one thus far. Not only was the piece of briar for this one superb quality with virtually no flaws, everything just seemed to work out wonderfully with it making for a great pipe. Each one is getting better as I learn from my previous mistakes and figure out new ways of doing things. So please take a look and leave your thoughts.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stuck On A Plateau

In continuing my exploration into pipe making it was only a matter of time before I took aim at sinking my saws and other instrument of mass destruction into a seemingly pristine piece of plateau briar. Now one must understood the each and every piece of briar has its own unique and distinctive qualities that set it aside from the next. These distinctions give each piece of briar its character and grain patterns but also give rise to the dreaded flaws that haunt and perplex all pipe makers. Up to this point I have been mostly spared from the cursed flaws in the ebachuans that I have worked with but fate was soon to play his ill-gotten hand when I dropped the cash for some premium briar plateaus. When I cut into plateau number one I instantly discovered a large hole nearly an inch in diameter near the edge of the piece, thinking that this gargantuan flaw would quickly play out I cut a bit further into the chunk of briar only to discover it continued on, and on, and on. Plateau number one, after being reduced to nearly nothing, was tossed to the scrap pile. That makes me 0 for 1.
Number two started out quite differently. After getting around its odd dimensions to start with, everything seemed to fall nicely into place. I had picked a large green swirly Lucite stem and began to shape a jumbo freehand dublin. All was well until the final bits of shaping were taking place and then slowly, a few, so very small voids began to open in the wood as the tiny flaws pushed their ways to the surface of my sure to be master piece. The more I sanded the more feverishly they worked their way center stage to star on the surface of my precious hunk of briar. But not to give up without a fight I trudged on sanding and reworking till all but the most stubborn flaws had all but disappeared. That being said a strong plateau of briar is not one to be shown up and still had a few surprises of its own! As I began to do the final stages of sanding a large crater of a flaw emerged right smack dab in the middle of the gloriously glowing flamed straight grain. The size and placement led me to scout out it path and after a light bit of sanding in the bore there it stood, shooting straight through to the other side of the bowl. Now it was not nearly as pronounced on the inside but still it was there. I at this point almost tossed it the scrap pile but due to its good grains and well being almost completed, I finished it. Now a good formed cake inside the bowl from some thoughtful, gentle smoking could very well make a enough amends that it would be a good long time smoker…. but the fact remains that there does indeed exist a heart breaking flaw straight through the bowl of the briar. But never fear, for my father has valiantly offered to take possession of said pipe and with kid gloves give it a suitable home. What a man. So it’s off to face the next plateau directly in the eyes and sand it into submission.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Luck is a Ben Wade Tonight

Just a couple of miles from my house is a great antique shop that my wife and I frequently visit. It has some nice old tobacco advertisements, way expensive of course, but never have I found an interesting estate pipe there. But as we all know things are always bound to change and this time I was there to reap the rewards. Ok nothing as great as the cache of Savinells that I came across last year but defiantly not the normal load of burned out Grabows and yellow-boles. This time around I stumbled upon an old Ben Wade free hand in excellent shape with only the slightest bit of use. I will post a pic of it with this entry and them post another later in the week after i have refurbished it. Oh ya, it was only twelve dollars! Now just trying to determine its age and which revamp of Ben Wade it hails from. All in all its a cool find for the price and condition.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

And Number Five is a Nose Warmer

Went with a stubby little nose warmer on this one and all went great for a change. I have one more on the way and then its a wait for more briar to get here next week. With the next few I hope to send some out to friends and get some response from others on how they smoke and overall opinions. As for smoking today, I am revisiting Bob's Chocolate Flake. I was a bit critical of it on my first quasi review but as it so often happens, time has been favorable to this blend and is somewhat enjoyable this go around.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dublin or Bust

Just finished pipe number four and this time it is an attempt at a dublin. I really dig using patches of rustication on the pipe, plus its a great way to cover flaws or grain issues as pipe makers discovered long ago. So anyhow I hope all of you have not yet grown tired of my pipe making endeavors for I am having a great time in doing it. With each one I have encountered several obstacles and ruined a few pieces of briar in the process but it is all part of the challenge. And with each one I find a new way of doing a particular procedure. Oh and as a side note I have really been enjoying Mac Baren's Plumcake, if you have not tried it I suggest getting a tin and giving it a whirl!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Finding the Silver Lining

So tonight my dear wife cornered me into watching a "chick flick", yes, yes your condolences are appreciated. The particular flick that crept it's way into my humble home was Larry Crowne, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts and was certain to spoil a Friday night. But I being one to accentuate the positives(haha) found a glimmering light in this cinematic ruination to ones masculinity in that two, yes two of the characters, and main characters at that, actively smoke pipes in the film! With that I officially give the film two thumbs up! And any rumors of me laughing throughout the movie are just that, rumors!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Welcome to 2012 and Pipe #3

So the holidays are over and it's time to get back to life as usual, ha, as if life is ever usual! Anyhow hope you all had a merry Christmas and a happy new years. Well now it is time to leave the festivities and distractions behind and return the pure and important things in life and by that I of course mean pipes, tobaccos, brews and other such glorious things. Along with my greetings into 2012 I present to you my third attempt at pipe making. This time I endeavored to create a rusticated free-hand poker and all in all I am happy with the results and noting the flaws to try to avoid on the next. I had planned to keep this one for myself but haven't quite decided on it due to my dad's affinity for this particular pipe... hmmm, such decisions.