Watch our "GettingThe Most Out Of Your Corn Cob Pipe" Video Series on Youtube

Google Voice has a long way to do.

I received a voice message via Google Voice, and while the message came through just fine I had to laugh at the transcription:

Hi Scott, My name is Grain, Staples, I'm down in south city ordered a couple of a diplomat, Thank you for or wherever. Not that general put the shore We're all going to call from you to see if that would be maybe call my be a weaker to go and I got a movie and i was like and I'm a little bit and get them with you, and one of them and a pretty large trial out of, well, actually. One large on one medium shock out of the you worry m of the pie. And a little bit of a I don't know what happened to it. But softened got a hold of it and The Chelsea ordering. Not necessarily a crack all the way through. The Rambo crack on top of the room for sure. And so I was curious. If you could do something about that for me gimme a call back. I need to talk to you a picture this thing. I can't. It's (601) xxx-xxxx  And I don't like. As soon as the for me. Just wanted to get after, but since I've given you and it looks like it might be something I need to ask you about. So, gimme a buzz (601) xxx-xxxx . I'd appreciate it, bye bye.

Like I said, once I listened to the message I was good to go, but the translation wasn't even close.  It is an amazing thing that Google is able to translate voice to text, but I look forward to this feature getting better.  

Tigtening Loose Missouri Meerschaum Pipe Stems (Bits)

Loose bits/stems in Missouri Meerschaum pipes.
If you've purchased a MM cob recently you may have noticed that the bit (as they call them) was loose.
Recently made MM pipes with the loose bits and ferrules have a wooden stem that MM is getting from a new vendor in Maine. Since they have about 150,000 of the new wood stems in stock they have attempted to come up with a way at the factory to “swell them up”. As experienced cob smokers know, the wood stem swells up some after they are smoked, so normally within a few smokes they fit snugly.
Personally I have had this issue with a half dozen pipes in my 35 years of smoking and I have three proven methods of dealing with them (and one that I've retired):
1.) Smoke it. As I said above, this usually does the trick after just a few bowls.
2.) If the bit is too loose to even get a few bowls smoked I wrap a single wrap of Teflon tape around the tenon. Since the stem will swell quickly enough I now use this option instead of modifying the stem or tenon and once things tighten-up I remove the tape. No Teflon tape on hand? Use any tape you have on hand but understand that you'll have to use a solvent to remove the sticky adhesive residue.
3.) Use the "hot water method" to heat the tenon and once soft gently press the end of a pen into the tenon to cause it to swell slightly. I no longer use this method as my first line of defense because once the wooden stem swells the bit will be crazy-tight.
4.) Glue a strip of paper or a shaving from a hand plane inside the stem. I even did a video on this several years ago.
I haven't done #4 in years, but if 1-3 don't work this is what I've done in the past. If you purchased your pipe from us and it doesn't tighten-up, we'll replace the pipe.

Here are a couple old vids on the topic:

A size comparison between the new Missouri Meerschaum Mark Twain and the 5th Ave

Someone on the PipeSmokersForum asked for a size comparison between the new Missouri Meerschaum Mark Twain and the 5th Ave (Kolonel), so here they are together. 
Get yours at

Neked Missouri Meershcaum corn cob pipes are back in stock!

The Double-Secret New Kreg Tool is a BLAST to use!

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to get my hands on the new Kreg pocket hole machine that they are planning on unveiling on 6/9/14, and while I am sworn to secret, what I can tell you is that you're gonna want one.  It's not a simple tool and it's going to set you back the cost of a 6" jointer, but boy, let me tell ya, if cabinetmaking or furniture making is on your bucket list but you don't want to spend all your time doing joinery, it's the tool of your dreams.

My best advise to you would be to click on this link on June 9th and then sort by price, from High to Low, and scroll down until you see what I'm talking (or not talking) about. I'll report back as soon as it goes live to fill-in the blanks.

Here's a teaser vid from Kreg:

Meet the Shortstop pipe from Aristocob and Missouri Meerschaum

We have been dealing with some outrageous time-suckers in our lives for the past few weeks and haven't been able to get several new pipes posted on including the new Shortstop. There has been a lot of talk on the pipe smoking forums about the new Mark Twain, the Tom Sawyer and the Huck Finn, and from what I can tell you at this moment they won't be available until July 4th.  The good news is that we have the new Shortstop pipe in stock and hope to have it ready for purchase before the end of Memorial Day.  The Shortstop is as small of a corn cob pipe as I have ever seen, yet it immediately earned a place in my pipe bag.  Have you ever wished you had a small pipe for tasting samples of new tobaccos?  Have you ever wished you had a pipe small enough to join your coworkers during a cigarette break?  The Shortstop is the pipe for you.

As you can see in the photo the Shortstop is available with either a black or amber bit and despite its small bowl it is the perfect length.  Here it is shown in the foreground with the Pony Express and the Legend in the background. 

Watch for the Shortstop corn cob pipe at

It's November, so it's International Corn Cob Pipe Month at!

It's hard to believe that it's actually been 5 years since we deemed November as "International Corn Cob Pipe Month", but that looks to be the case.

I was in such a rush when I recorded the announcement video below that I forgot to mention the other goodies that come with the celebration of ICCPM.  Place a corn cob pipe order during the month of November 2013 and you'll receive one free "Patented Aristocob Pipe Tamper" and a free replacement bit for each pipe on your order.  That's not too shabby, especially if you are purchasing a Freehand pipe with the Vulcanized rubber bit, which is a $8 value!

As if that wasn't enough, how would you like to shave some money too?  OK, when you get to the check-out enter the coupon code "ICCPM2013" and we'll deduct 10% off the price of your merchandise. 

Do yourself a favor and watch this video and get in on our video contest, and there's a good chance that you'll earn yourself a $20 shopping spree of MORE! 

"A Gentleman's Weekend"

We received a neat email and photo today that I thought I'd share with you.  If I haven't mentioned this lately, we have the best customers in the world!  Scott

You may remember several years back you helped me put together a starter kit for about 12 of my close friends. Well it was the start to a great tradition. We've all upgraded within your line of Missouri Meershaum corncobs over time, from those first Missouri Pride pipes. But your corncob pipes are now an enduring part of seeing off each man as he heads off toward marriage.
This past weekend we celebrated the upcoming marriage of our 8th man, and as we have done with each before him, we gathered for a gentleman's weekend of camping, fishing, and sharing of stories - of course we brought along our cobs.
I just wanted to thank you for your help in starting this great tradition among friends - while it is a rare indulgence for some of us, its one we look forward to whenever the occasion calls.



Upgrading the Missouri Meerschaum Country Gentleman

If you've watched any of my videos over the years you may have noticed that the Country Gentleman corn cob pipe from Missouri Meerschaum has always been one of my favorite pipes.  Unfortunately the Gent has never featured the hardwood plug in the bottom that's found on the more "premium" cobs, so it's possible that they might burn-through the bottom over time.

I've never personally had a burn-through, but seeing that the Country Gentleman pipe is the same price as the cobs that do have the plug, I've been bugging the folks at MM to add that as an improvement to the Gent for quite some time.

I am so happy to report that as of a few weeks ago the Country Gentleman now features a wooden plug!  (Pause for applause) 

On an interesting side note; last year as we were dealing with the "Incredible Shrinking Cobs of 2012" I pulled from our inventory what has got to be the smallest Country Gentleman ever made.  Fast forward to today as I was looking for an old Gent to picture next to a new one in order to show you the difference in the bottom and I fount that puny pipe.  Lick on the pic above to Biggie-Size it to see what the new plug looks like, and to give thanks that we haven't been seeing any small cobs like that recently.

Condensation in a new Amber Danish pipe bit

I just swapped-out several of my cob's bits (stems, mouthpieces) with the new Amber Danish bit and I really love the look and feel of them.  After smoking a bowl from a newly opened tin of McClelland Christmas Cheer 2012 I was surprised to see the water-works that were going on in the semi-transparent bit!  Man, that's some moist tobacco. (Click the pic to Biggie-Size it)

The new Missouri Meerschaum Amber Danish bit is available as a replacement from for any of the filtered MM pipes.  That includes the Diplomat, the General. the Country Gentleman, the 5th Avenue (That we call the Kolonel), all of the "Woodie" of maple pipes and even the smaller pipes like the Legend, the Washington, the Ozark Mountain and the Missouri Pride.

The coolest thing about these amber bits is the wonderfully dark patina that they gain after a few dozen smokes.  The photo at right shows a bit that I've had in rotation for a few months against the brand new one that was just put into service.  Isn't that top bit gorgeous? 


Smoking pipe sends radio transitions to CIA operatives!

OK, now this is just cool.  This pipe is from an online collection on the CIA's website.  It's a sub-miniature radio receiver that is concealed in a modified pipe.  The user hears the sound via "bone conduction" from the jaw to the ear canal.  How cool is that?

Here's the link to this pipe, and be sure to click around the entire collection.!/artifact/131

Sad news from Cornell and Diehl

I just receive the news that Craig Tarler, founder of Cornell and Diehl pipe tobacco company has passed away. I had the pleasure of meeting Craig during a drop-in on their NC facility a few years back on a cold, rainy Saturday while heading to Gatlinburg. Craig was smoking away on his pipe and after a friendly greeting and a short tour, he passed me on to his son who gave me the full fifty cent tour. Upon my departure Craig gave me several tins of their fine products, and as I've mentioned before, they have been kind to by supplying us with most of our Taste Bud samples for the first six months of our promotion. Craig was a neat fellow and we are blessed to have had his influence in our industry.
Here's an official statement from Cornell and Diehl:

DIY Bagder Hair Bristle Shaving Brush

It doesn't happen very often that several of my interests converge, but it turns out that there are some neat DIY shaving items available that I'm excited to try.  As you can see in the attached video, I recently got a dual edge Gillette razor as a gift from my uncle (It's from 1966 and it's NEW!) and now I'm needing a better brush.  Woodcraft just happens to have genuine Badger brush parts so I can make my own brush! 

Here's a link to Woodcraft's Badger Hair Bristle Shaving Brush and related Shaving Stuff It looks like a great deal, but please note that you'll need to purchase a 20mm Forstner Bit too.  Heck, perhaps the best plan of attack would be to make a couple extra and toss them out on eBay?  Let me know if you do that.

FF to around the 3:45 point to skip the ramble.

How about a FREE Riccardo Santia Corn Cob Pipe?

As I mentioned in a recent video (below) we are looking for a "Naming Convention" for the Riccardo Santia Ultimate Corn Cob Pipes.  The link leads to a Wikipedia page that sort of explains what a naming convention is, but in general terms it would be like naming the individual pipes after the names of Popeye characters, or after citys, or lakes, etc.  The prize for the winning convention will be the new "First Generation" Riccardo Santia pipe shown in the photo.

The contest runs through July 6th, and there is seriously a bonus if your naming convention is chosen, AND you shared it in the form of a Video Response on Youtube.  Good luck!
Here's the video where I explain the naming contest:

This is an update where I share some new Ultimate Corn Cob Pipes and give more details on the contest.

Your new Riccardo Santia Ultimat Corn Cob pipe is ready

It’s been a bit of a journey, but the first batch of Riccardo Santia “Ultimate Corn Cob Pipes” are in their new homes, and hopefully being put to good use.  Just last night we posted the over 20 on and as I type this 12 hours later we have sold 4 of them.  Of course the first one sold was the one that I was thinking about buying for myself!  I thought I’d share a few photos with you that you might like. 
The first one is a photo of what Riccardo and I consider the first generation.  Most of these pipes were awarded as prizes in a contest on the Aristocob Youtube channel as we were looking for feedback on the pipes. 

The next photo (With all the letters next to the pipes) is the pic that was sent out to all the guys who committed sight unseen to purchase one of the pipes from the first batch of what we call generation two.  These are what we are currently calling the Riccardo Santia Ultimate Corn Cob Pipe line, and these showed a major evolution in Riccardo’s skill, as well as a vast improvement in the cobs themselves.  These pipes are made from genuine Missouri Meerschaum cobs that Riccardo now purchases unfinished from MM.  You really can’t beat the quality of the cobs that MM has grown for their use, and we were pleasantly surprised that the folks at MM are willing to support a “competitive” pipe maker.   Our hat is off to Phil Morgan, General Manager at Missouri Meerschaum..

Finally I’m sharing a couple pics of a few of the pipes that have just been posted to  Some of these have already sold, but other like them will be on their way, so check back or contact us with your request.  Click any of these pics to Biggie-Size them.

I've noticed that the Ultimate Corn Cob Pipes that catch my eyes are ones that I'd describe as partially smooth and partially rusticated.  Two pipes shown here have really captured my heart, and unfortunately the bent one is the one that was sold out from under me.  

Get your own Riccardo Santia Ultimate Corn Cob Pipe at  Click on the Riccardo Santia link on the left side of the home page.

2012 Pipe Smokers Survey

Two years ago one of my favorite web sites, conducted a fascinating survey of just under 1000 pipe smokers.  It covered such things as current age, age you began smoking, how much you've spent on any single pipe, and so on.

I was excited when I learned that they were conducting another survey, and it looks like I just squeaked in under the deadline.  This morning I received the preliminary results and just as before they are quite interesting.  Below is a link to both the 2012 and the 2010 survey, and I think you'll see as I did that they've done an excellent job improving the visuals and keeping the topics varied and interesting.  

Another job well done by Kevin Godbee!

2012 Pipe Smokers Survey

2010 Pipe Smokers Survey

Hi. I'm Scott, and I smoke Lane 1Q

Several times a week I get an email or PM asking what tobacco I enjoy.  I'm always reluctant to answer that because I know that tastes vary so much. I normally suggest that the new smoker visit , but even then it's still just a bunch of individuals giving their opinion. 

So, in the interest of getting it out there, I smoke many different tobaccos, including many that are manufactured by Cornell and Diehl, but in the end I have to admit that for the most part I smoke Lane 1Q. I was thinking about this one day, and I'd be willing to bet that I've smoked half my weight in Lane 1Q, which is just about what my doctor says I should weigh!

Lane 1Q is most similar to the OTC tobacco Captain Black Royal, which is sold in the blue pouch.  In fact, they are both made by Lane Limited and while the recipes are slightly different, Captain Blacks Royal is almost identical to Lane 1Q.  As for the other Lane bulk tobaccos vs Captain Black, Lane RLP-6 and Captain Black White are quite similar. Both of these bulk tobacco blends are sold at your local tobacconist, though they may have their own names for them.  Just ask for the Lane product by name (number) and they'll direct you to the proper jar.

There's a great article on the differences between the most popular over the counter tobaccos, including Captain Black, over at

The Riccardo Santia YABO's are starting to roll in

If you missed it, we have received the fist ten Riccardo Santia "Ultimate" custom corn cob pipes, and because I opened my fat mouth and mentioned a price that was $10 lower than what Riccardo and I ultimately agreed to as a MSRP, we decided that we'd allow the first 6 pipes to go for the price that I mentioned in my video. These preordered pipes have been trickling out as each person on the list selects their pipe, and we just noticed the first YABO ("Yet Another Box Opening") was just posted for one of the first pipes we shipped. Here's that first YABO and there's one funny moment to watch for. I failed to mention that Riccardo (Whom I call "Carlos") added a bamboo tamper to each order, and when Steve pulls it from the pipe pouch you can see that he has a moment where he is wondering if the pipe arrive in pieces. More to come and if you are interested in getting your own Riccardo Santia pipe, check them out at

With so many options, which corn cob pipe should I smoke?

I just received the following message from a new smoker, and after typing my response to him I decided that you might want to hear the answer too.

Dear sir. 
 I am new to smoking and got two very nice pipes from a friend of mine (briar). I would like to get two pipes from you to break myself into pipe smoking. Do you have some good recommendations for me to look at? I am a cigar smoker for 1 year and would like a pipe that smokes 10-40 minutes and one that smokes 30-60 minutes. Any suggestions or help is very appreciated.  Jamie 

Hey Jamie,
For a quick smoke I would suggest one of the following as they are all basically the same pipe with a different finish:
The Legend
This is Missouri Meerschaum's most popular pipe, and it's the one most people think of when they think of a corn cob pipe.  The bit is amber in color and the bowl has a slight yellow color that's added to the finish on the cob.  This cob is filled, but is still a little rough.

The Missouri Pride
This pipe is completely unfinished, or "Neked".  Some folks like this, others don't.  The cob is very rough but it smokes nicely.  This is probably the one pipe that I would say is most likely to burn-through.  The bit is black.

The Washington
This is a rather sophisticated cob.  It is filled with plaster before being smoothed and finished with a clear finish.  The bit is black.

The Ozark Mountain
Again, this is the same size as the pipes listed above, but rather than being made of cob it's made entirely of the hardwood birch. 

As for the longer smoker, I'm a fan of several:
The Gentleman
I LOVE this pipe!  This would be my all-around favorite if only it had the hardwood bottom like the others listed below.  This has the same black bit as is found on the pipes listed above.  I always swap these out.  Read on...

The Diplomat
This has become my everyday pipe in my van and in my shop.  Depending on what I smoke in it, it will last me from 30-45 minutes.  Like the Washington the cob on the Diplomat is filled, finished with a clear finish and has a black bit; but the bit on this pipe is my favorite.  It's called the Danish bit, and it's the bit that I use on all my pipes.  The Diplomat is also available with a rare earth magnet sit into the bottom and is sold as the Magnacob.  You can see it at

The General
This is a very large bowl, but not ridiculously so.  This pipe will smoke 40-60 minutes every time.  It has the same smooth finish that's found on the Diplomat, and also features the Danish bit.

The Freehand
This pipe is just in a class by itself.  It's hand turned on a lathe and is in the style of the classic freehand briar pipes.  It has a very expensive vulcanized rubber bit, that's just like the aftermarket bits that are sold elsewhere for $20 and up for just the bit alone.  This is the perfect pipe to put on your birthday wish list. 

Final thoughts:
With the exception of the Freehand, all of these pipes can accommodate a filter.  You don not have to smoke them with the filter installed, and many people actually cut the filters into two or three short sections to act as an ash catcher rather than a filter.  

I am not a huge fan of the Patriot or the MacArthurs.   The bits are very slim and delicate and are prone to breaking, and the Macs are very though to keep lit.

Gentlemen, allow me to introduce "The Kernel"

In response to the lack of large diameter cobs that they need to make the apple-shaped Diplomat, Missouri Meerschaum has informed us that they are reintroducing an old bowl shape that was used in the original Diplomats called the "5th Avenue".  If you click on the photo at right you'll get a better look at it.  The pipe in question are the three on the card that have the straight, cylindrical sides.  I like the shape a lot, but to my eye it's more of a small General than is is a Diplomat.

How about a little story?

When I was a teenager my dad was a US Air Force Colonel and was the second in command of the F-16 program.  This was way back in the late 1970's-'81 and one of my favorite things to do when visiting his office was to change his name on his white board (something that was new and exciting back then) from "Colonel Markwood" to "Kernel Markwood".  It always made me laugh, and I'm sure it annoyed him to no end.

So it is with that thought that I'm happy to announce that while we will begin stocking the new 5th Avenue pipe, it will be sold at as "The Kernel" or perhaps as "The Kolonel".  The best news of all is that The Kernel will soon be available as a Magnacob as well! 

Where do you stick you Magnacob?

Someone asked a question about the Magnacob that I didn't know the answer to: Is the magnet strong enough for it to stick to a drywall screw in a wall. I had no idea, so of course in the interest of science...


A Fun Change With Our "Taste Buds" Tobacco Sample Program

As I explained on the video below, we've been giving away so many "Taste Bud" tobacco samples that we've decided to change the way we are announcing them. Instead of shooting a video each time we are going to ship the samples with a simple code on the bag, and then we'll post the code here on our blog, as well as a link to the tobacco on If you've received a FREE Taste Bud pipe tobacco sample, or if it you have experience with the tobaccos that we post, we encourage you to leave your review either here, or on our Facebook page.

Here's the list of Tastes Buds so far:

McClellan's "Easy Street"

Cornell & Diehl's "Burley Flake #1"

Cornell & Diehl's "Burley Flake #4"

TFH = Two Friend's "Heritage"

CEPS = Cornell & Diehl's Captain Earle's Private Stock

AHF = Cornell & Diehl's After Hour Flake

GLPCM = G.L. Pease "Chelsea Morning"

GLPF = G.L. Pease "Fillmore"

HO = Cornell & Diehl's "Herman's Own"  There doesn't seem to be a review on, so this would be a great time to add one! (Hint)

BF (cc) = Cornell & Diehl's "Briar Fox" (crumble cake).  This is an excellent Danish crumble cake made of Virginias. 

SHF = Cornell & Diehl's "Sunset Harbor Flake"  This Taste Bud was a little on the dry side, so we rehydrate it, rendering it much less of a flake than you might normally expect.  Smokes great though.

HRF = Honeyrose Farmers.  This is not non-tobacco smoking product that I purchased to try for myself, and after just one bowl I knew I just had to share it with you.  Because I liked it?  No, because I knew there was no way I was ever going to smoke another bowl, so I had to do SOMETHING with what was left!  Anyway, give it a try, 'cuz who knows, you might love it.

EI = Earth Impact Herbal Mixture.  Again, just like Honeyrose Farmers above this non-tobacco product this stuff just wasn't for me.  It's sold by if you want more of it.  I'd love to hear from you if you liked this! 

Here's the video that started it all.

Aristocob Tagline Contest Winner Announced!

Today was International Pipe Smoking Day, and we were happy to announce the winner(s) in our tagline contest. Below is the video announcing the winner(s). Thanks to everyone who posted a tagline and watch for some awesome SWAG with these new taglines!

Here's the winning video and tagline. Congratulations David!

Win a "Neked" Diplomat corn cob pipe Tagline Contest!

Watch the video below and leave your best tagline here or on our Facebook page: (Got to do something about that silly URL!)  Anyway, we'll pick a winner or winners next Monday, Feb 19th, 2012.

We're on to Taste Buds #3!

If you missed it, we announced a few weeks back a new project where we are including sample packs of tobacco upon request, with any pipe order.  We call this project "Taste Buds".  So far we've distributed McClelland "Easy Street", Cornell & Diehl's "Burley Flake #1", and now we are moving on to Cornell & Diehl's "Burley Flake #4". 

Check our Youtube Channel for the latest Taste Bud flavor and for information on how to get in on the action!

Here's the original Taste Bud announcement video:

What a day! Back orders are on their way, but we still have "Egg" on our face.

Jandy and I spent the evening packing orders, now that we can finally ship most of the back orders we've been sitting on.  January was a very busy month, and Missouri Meerschaum hasn't been able to keep up! 

The picture at right is a very large pile of orders that we packed tonight. I don't know what your image of Aristocob is, but we are truly a Mom (Jandy) and Pop (Scott) business, and a day like today is something special. Thank you all for supporting our efforts, and we enjoy being of service to you.

Now for the rest of the story...

If you are a fan of the Great Dane Egg shape, I have bad news to report.   

Missouri Meerschaum has been dealing with a shortage of their largest cobs, which are the ones which are used for the Diplomat and the Great Dane Egg.  As a result we have been in a back order situation for the past month on the Eggs, and have been spotty on the Dips. (Our name, not MM's) 

Well, we received the bad news last week that MM is ceasing production of the Egg for a while so that they can dedicate their larger cobs to the more popular Diplomat.  We fully support this decision, but it does leave a couple of our customers in the cold. Just so you know, we are happy to swap-out the BO'd Eggs with any other similar pipe, and as a plan B we have also offered full refunds. 

We have a standing order with MM for the Eggs, so when they do get them back into production we'll have them too.

Just in case you missed it... new upgrade for your Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipes!

Missouri Meerschaum recently made a change to their top of the line Freehand pipe that has exciting side effects.  First off, the new bent Vulcanized rubber bit can now fit EVERY Missouri Meerschaum filtered pipe!  Vulcanized bits are a bit thicker and substantially stronger than the stock plastic bits found on all the other pipes int he MM line, and this change means that if you've always wanted a higher quality/strength bit on your cob, you now have a great option.

The second thing the change in the Freehand did was it made it possible for the Freehand to be used with pipe filters!  I know that most American pipe smokers turn their noses up at filters, but our European customers and new pipe smokers are quite fond of them.   Yes, this would mean that you'd be exchanging the excellent vulcanized bit that I just talked about for the less expensive plastic bit, but you are gaining the ability to filter. 

Anyway, these two new options are great news for two groups of customers: now you just have to decide which camp YOU are in.  Click the pic to be taken to the listing for the new bit.

Getting a corn cob pipe to arrive in one piece

We've had several customer's comment after receiving their order that they expected to see it packaged a bit more securely. If you've not ordered from us before we use three different size boxes: a small one that will hold two pipes and several boxes of filters, a medium size box that will hold six or so pipes, and a large box that holds the HUGE MacArthur pipes and can accommodate over a dozen of our standard pipes.

What seems to surprise folks is that we wrap the pipes in paper to keep them safe, and that's about it. Well, this week I finally remembered to snap a photo of a shipment to us from Missouri Meerschaum. Note that most of the pipes from them are lose in zip-top bags! They used to ship the pipes lose in cardboard boxes, just like the ones seen in the box that contain several "Macs". Considering the fact that Missouri Meerschaum has been making and shipping these pipes since 1869, if they think the pipes are strong enough to handle this treatment, who and I to judge?

So here's the bottom line. At we do our best to handle and package the pipes in your orders so that they arrive undamaged and pristine; and we can assure you that we provide more cushioning than the manufacturer feels is warranted.

The video that I've embedded below is one were I did a box opening of our of the pipes that my bride had ready to ship. Feel free to search on Youtube for other box openings from Aristocob. Many of them are listed as "YABO" for "Yet Another Box Opening". It's a Youtube thing.

We have WINNERS in the 2011 International Corn Cob Pipe Month video contest!

We were excited to have eight great entries in the 2011 International Corn Cob Pipe Month video contest, and after a tough vote, which was decided by the entrants, we are proud to announce the winners, WINNERS, plural? Yep. This year we decided to award prizes to the top three entires, and everyone who posted a video won a Magnacob!

This year the top prize of a $50 gift certificate to, a Julie Nordine glass pipe tamper, a butane lighter replacement core for a Zippo and a custom beer stein. The top prize went to Jay, aka Dighsx, for this entry:

Second prize is a $30 gift certificate to and a custom coffee mug. Second place went to Brian, aka Cobunist, for this entry:

Third prize is a $30 gift certificate to and went to Harvey, aka Hjrosasq for this entry:

You can see all of the videos that were entered into this years contest in this Youtube playlist:>

Pipe school at JR's in Burlington, NC

Steve (L) and Rudy (R) behind the pipe counter.

Tonight my son, his buddy, my bro-in-law and I took a little drive to Burlington, NC to attend what was promoted as a pipe smoking evening with JR's Corporate Trainer, Steve Nathan and Burlington's resident pipe and cigar expert, Rudy Baker.

As we all bellied up to the glass pipe counter Steve and Rudy covered several useful subjects including choosing the right pipe, packing and lighting and a very interesting discussion on choosing tobacco. The tobacco bar was then opened for sampling, and by the time our three hour session flew by we all purchased several tobaccos and no doubt there were pipes purchased as well.

Me, Chris, "Boy" and Davis

As a cob smoker I was happy to hear that Steve and Rudy were cob-friendly, and Steve was smoking a Missouri Meerschaum Ozark Mountain pipe all night long. If I'm not mistaken it was the same one he was smoking during the cigar school last July.

My son's friend, Chris brought along a couple of his dad's pipes, but smoked his new MM Diplomat all night. It was the first time he's smoked a pipe and I can say that he is clearly a convert.

I hope that this is something that other shops jump on, because the young guys were like dry sponges anxious to learn all they could. If I had one bit of advise it would be to plan on total newbies in the crowd and teach to them. Those of us in the crowd who think we know everything can always learn from a review of the basics; and the newbies need to learn from the ground up. Adds New Missouri Meerschaum Natural pipes

In 1869 the founder of Missouri Meerschaum was granted a US patent for a unique method of corn cob pipe construction that includes a filling coat of plaster of Paris and a finish coat of lacquer.

Due to popular demand Missouri Meerschaum has just launched a new Natural line that is simply just corn cob, a wood stem and a plastic bit.  (The Freehand has a vulcanite rubber bit)  The retail prices are the same as the standard corn cob pipes due to the rare, extra large cobs that are needed to produce an all-cob bowl.

At this time we've decided to add the straight and bent versions of the General, and the Diplomat, as well as the Natural Freehand,

I shot video review video which you can view below.  I've always been a fan of the classic Missouri Meerschaum smooth pipe, and the previous natural Missouri Pride was never my favorite.  They're very light, very porous and rough, and in my limited experience with the Missouri Pride and Natural MacArthur, I believe that they'll be prone to burning through the walls if you smoke them too fast before they develop a good layer of char.

If you want to experience them please drop back by and leave a review.

November is International Corn Cob Pipe Month at!

Hey, it's November, which means it's International Corn Cob Pipe Month!  Just as we've done for the last two years, we are sponsoring another Video Contest where YOU can win STUFF!

Watch the video below and make sure to get into the contest.
To quote John Belushi from Animal House: "It don't cost nothin'."

Here are the details:

During the month of November we'll be adding a FREE Aristocob pipe tamper as well as a FREE replacement bit with every Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipe purchased from  There's no need to add these to your order, we'll add them to every order automatically.

We're also happy to announce that we're hosting another video contest!  Light your favorite Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipe in front of some historic site in your town and tell us a little something about the site and about what you enjoy about smoking your corn cob pipes.  Tell us stuff like where you like to smoke, what you like to smoke, and if you have a favorite cob smoking memory too that in too. Make sure to put the name Aristocob in your video title, and add the url of our site in your description. Once you've uploaded your video to Youtube link it to the video above to be entered in the contest.  Feel free to email me at if you have questions about this process.

What can you win? How about a $50 shopping spree at, a customized commemorative stein and some other SWAG to be named later?

I'll add another video later in the month explaining how the voting will take place, but this year the winner will be chosen by the people who enter a video!  I've embedded a few of the past entries to give you an idea of what we're talking about.

Just a couple hints:
  • Shorter is better.  The most-watched videos on Youtube are under two minutes long!  I know it's tough to rush a pipe smoker, but keep talking.
  • Yes, you can spend days editing, but if you shoot your video several times odds are you'll get a good take that won't require much editing.
  • Try not to script what you say too much.  You may have noticed that videos that are scripted, or even worse, read just don't feel genuine.  Again, take a look at the past entries for examples.
Post your video any time now through Sunday Nov 27th, and voting will take place on the 28th & 29th, with the winner announced on Nov 30th!

Don't forget to let me know that you've posted your video!

Here's some of the previous entries from 2009 and 2010:

Here's the 2010 winner:

It's November! That means it's International Corn Cob Pipe Month!

During the month of November we'll be adding a FREE Aristocob pipe tamper as well as a FREE replacement bit with every Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipe purchased from

Additionally we'd love to have you shoot a video of yourself smoking your Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipe in front of a historic location in your home town. Again, you can get more details on our blog, but if the idea of winning some pipes and some other SWAG sounds good to you, then get in on this!

I'll post a few more details shortly, but feel free to email any questions you have to Good luck! Scott

Acrylic blanks for the ultimate DIY pipe bits

If you've watched any of my videos you've noticed that I film most of them against a very boring wall in my wood shop. I've been an active woodworker all my life, and even worked fro the PowerBook company Shopsmith for about ten years in two stints. I mention this because I've noticed that a bunch if cob smokers have been drawn to replacement bits for their pipes which are made from acrylic. Some folks market them a "Lucite" bits, but Lucite is simply a brand name of DuPonte for one of their acrylic products.

One of the most rewarding projects that Woodworkers have been making in the past ten years or so have been pens and other small, turned accessories. Once a woodworker gets the hang of tuning them from wood the next logical thing to try is acrylic. Companies who cater to Woodworkers have been stocking some very cool acrylic blanks that are roughly 3/4" x 3/4" x 6" for $7-$15 or so which could yield one to two pipe bits!

If you have any interest in giving this a try you should stop by your local Woodcraft store for an excellent selection of blanks. You'll be surprised that some of the very colors and patterns that you've seen for sale for up to $30 a bit are available at Woodcraft.

Here's a link to Acrylic Pen Blanks for making pipe bits