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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Ligne Bretagne 2.0, the Video


After a longer silence than usual, I'm back with a video clip of how our Ligne Bretagne "A" series are made. These are the pipes I referred to in Ligne Bretagne 2.0 - new, custom shapes that we create here using standardized templates in limited runs (Today's opening picture shows some of the first examples). What that means is, I grind and set up a new shape by modifying our cutting heads, and then create a series of pipes using that basic shape. Afterwards, the blades are re-shaped and rearranged to create a new design, and the previous shape can no longer be made (at least not exactly). While we "top" the bowls and turn the shanks by machine, the bulk of the bowl shaping must still be done by hand, allowing for a great variation in pipes made using the same template (as can be seen in the picture - I have so far produced chimneys, pokers, and dublins all from the same "top" cut). I have created another (very crude) video clip which shows the entire process - click here to download (75 meg). This is a compressed AVI file using the DiVX codec. A smaller (22 meg) version of the video in RealPlayer format can be downloaded via streaming video here.

The reason I have been absent for a bit has been because of finishing a large shipment of pipes for Pipe & Pint. We hope to get all of these boxed and out the door today or tomorrow, so they can reach P&P in time for the December shopping season. There are four of these new Ligne Bretagne shapes included. The new series is stamped with an A in a circle (our inside joke being that these are the "American" series, to allow us to make larger LBs for the US market). Aside from the "A" stamping, they are differentiated from the standard-production LBs by not having stem dots - normal LBs are now marked with a liquid metal stem dot for each grade, but the A series are not. This will, no doubt, be confusing until the last of the old, unmarked-but-standard-line LBs are out of the sales cycle. The "A"s are not the only nice pipes in this shipment, though! Here are some preview pics for what will be arriving at P&P in the next couple of weeks:









I should point out that there is nothing wrong with the pipes that have their stems partly-removed - We take them apart for shipping and just leave them lightly tucked together to keep the right stems with the right pipes. That's all for now - Thanks for visiting!