Canada’s H. Wiebe Pipes bring us a truly 21st century take on the classic tobacco pipe. Falling back on a background of engineering, metalworking and woodworking, Hekthor Wiebe has designed a small selection of Modern design artisan pipes that offer the user one of the coolest smokes available on the market today.
When burning pipe tobacco, a large portion of the resulting smoke is actually water vapor. In classic pipes, this vapor passes through the airway and into the smoker’s mouth, causing a burning sensation on the tongue called Tongue Bite.
Radiator Pipes are designed specifically to reduce the temperature of the smoke / vapor combination. This lets the smoke to continue through the stem to the smoker’s mouth with the vapor cooling and condensing before it makes it to the smoker’s tongue. Less vapor equals less tongue bite.
Since pipes started being smoked, people have recognized the need to reduce the Tongue Biting moisture from the smoke. Over the centuries, elaborate designs such as German Black Forest pipes and long stemmed Churchwardens have sought to, as is said in the hobby, “GENTLE” the smoke.
Peterson System pipes were patented in the late 19th century with a special reservoir under the bowl to temporarily hold whatever moisture that naturally reduced as the smoke traveled from the bowl to the mouthpiece. It’s a great idea, but with more modern materials now available, H. Wiebe’s Aluminium Radiator base and the stainless steel stem take this process into the 21st century and work together to purposefully cool the tobacco smoke while gathering moisture in its reservoir – located in the finned base below the smoke draught.
H. Wiebe isn’t the first to marry the briar bowl with the modern metal in the quest to create an attractive and functional pipe. Falcon pipes have been around for over half a century and Tsuge of Japan brings multi mediums together for aesthetic and functional purposes. However, H. Wiebe may be the only pipemaker to have brought briar and metal together with a specific plan to “gentle” the smoke and reduce thus the gurgling effect common in as smoke cools.
And, what is the bane of most pipe smokers experience is the pipe clean-up after smoking. The Radiator is designed for incredibly simple cleaning. Simply unscrew the bowl from the base and discard any moisture that has gathered in the base. Empty the ash from the bowl with a pipe tool. Then run the metal parts under lukewarm tap water while passing a pipe cleaner through the stem. Set aside to air dry.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!!
Aside from the functional modern design and easy clean-up, Radiator pipes are highly flexible. The modular design allows you to take one stem and use it with an infinite number of bowls. A bowl for English, a bowl for Aromatic, etc… Use the same stem everyday of the week and swap out the bowls to allow them time to rest between uses. No special gaskets of “O” rings needed — just unscrew the old one and screw on the new one.
THREE INTERCHANGEABLE PARTS
The Radiator Pipe consists of three parts:
- Frames (Stem Assembly)
H. Wiebe Pipes offer four frames, all of which come with a black acrylic mouthpiece included. Frames are available with pipe bases in black, silver, purple, pink and maybe a few other colors as demand warrants (green and copper have been seen already.)
- Bent Stubby (Most Popular)
- Bent Long
- Straight Stubby
- Straight Long
While each stem assembly comes with an acrylic mouthpiece, you can customize your Radiator with Black, Bone or Ivory colored replacements.
The most flexible part of the Radiator is the bowl. Currently, they offer three styles of handmade Italian briar bowls — Stack, Brandy and Volcano. These three bowl styles all have a 3/4 inch diameter, 1 1/2 inch deep tobacco chamber. Depending on the mood Hektor is in, finishes include smooth, rusticated, sandblasted or hand etched styles in typical (black, brown or reddish) colors and maybe even not so typical colors (is you ask real nice.)
If you can dream-up a special bowl, depending on his schedule, Hektor may be able to make it your reality.