Hans (Gustaf) Brandt is one of our newest pipmakers, who made his first entirely “home-made” pipe last year. The pipe was meant for his own use, so it was not for sale. But when he presented his great “homemade” pipe with beautiful pictures on the chat forum “cigarrprat.se” (there is a category “Pipes and tobacco” in the community), where he is known by his nickname “Masen”, I was so fond of the pipe that I wanted to buy it. Like I said, it was not for sale, but after some negotiations he sold it to me. After that another three HGB-pipes has landed in my collection of Swedish pipes and we have had a fairly frequent replacement of tobacco samples through the mail. His pipes are marked “HGB” (Hans Gustaf Brandt) because he does not want to be confused with the Danish pipemaker Hans Brandt. In the future, he is likely to stamp his pipes “Masen – Sweden” in an oval, “HGB” in the middle. All the pipes I bought from Hans have had very good smoking characteristics and his still rather small production, of about a dozen pipes, shows an imaginative artistry. Therefore, I would like to present both Hans and his pipes in our fine club magazine.
Early in the afternoon of Friday, July 6 I arrived per train to Hedemora. At the station, I was met by a very nice pipe-smoking man who first took me on a tour through Hedemora and gave me a thorough lesson in Hedemora’s history and sights, before we made a stop at “Systembolaget” to promote the city’s local brewery Oppigårds (and also some other Swedish microbreweries), ie we stocked facing a pleasure-packed weekend. Then we went home to Hans, where we after a cursory look at his workshop sank into the comfortable chesterfield armchair in his living room and savored a pipe before dinner. For dinner Hans cooked hash, a Swedish delicacy that I never tasted before, but I love to eat it again. After that, we spent most of the evening with pipes, tobacco and cool beer, as both pleasure and as topics of conversation. I had, inter alia, brought a “Turkish pipe” in the form of a beautiful woman, who lacked the shaft and therefore could not smoke and Hans had promised me to do a shaft to her over the weekend. Eventually it was time to put an end to this day. Saturday would be given to the manufacture of smoking pipes.
Hans is a fairly early bird person (which I am not), so when I woke up shortly before 10 am on Saturday morning, coffee was served and my Turkish pipe had got a new stem and lay on the breakfast table. So it was obviously time for a first smoke in the Turkish pipe immediately after the somewhat late breakfast.
Then it was time to go out into the workshop that Hans has in his garage. The problem with having many machines in a small area, he has resolved in a very smooth way. Several of the work benches are fitted with wheels, so when he is finished with a machine and use another, he simply gives the whole workbench half a turn.
Now it was time for a lesson in the manufacturing of a smoking pipes from the ground. The drilling he had indeed already done while I was asleep, but the other elements to transfer the briar block into a finished pipe, I accompanied during the day. The end result was a dark rustikerad pipe, a stump with a rough branch on
After a job well done – it was mainly Hans that had been working while I, between taking photos, mostly sat and watched and enjoyed some good Tobacco and some good beer. The time had passed fast and our stomachs began to feel hungry. It had become time for dinner, which today consisted of his homemade beef stew.
After dinner we spent the evening in the Chesterfield armchairs to try and compare four different tobaccos. Murray’s Erinmore Flake (from the 1980s), Erinmore Flake (from 2012), Murray’s Erinmore Mixture (from the 1980s) and Erinmore Mixture (from 2012). A very interesting experience, where we agreed that the old flake had won a lot of storage and was both softer and rounder than the flake from the new jar, while the Mixture from the old jar (despite unbroken vacuum packaging) had passed the best-Before date . On Sunday followed, except breakfast, of course, more pipe and tobacco chatter until a the lunch of sausage and mash was served, before it was time for my return trip to Gothenburg. But before I went home, I had managed to expand my pipe collection with another interesting Swedish pipe, I was allowed to buy from his collection. A pipe made in Harnösand in 1913, with a shell for tobacco chamber and a silver mount for the long shaft. Silver stamps showed the place and year it was made. But the silver-stamp indicating the silversmith’s name, I have not yet managed to decipher. However, it should not be difficult, but I must have time to look at the stamp in magnification and compare it to any of the Internet sites that have information on Swedish silver stamps.
Thanks Hans for a very enjoyable, rewarding and memorable weekend!
Masens ”klickset” (Army Mount)