Ramses (May 2003)

Bo22We do not very often see a completely new shape of a pipe, but here is one. The pipe is called Ramses, is made by Bo Nordh and we are quite sure you have never seen a pipe like that before. When we visited Bo last February he had three pipes in this shape ready, one sand-blasted and two in a smooth finish. All three pipes were sold.

As most things in this world, Ramses was born due to a coincidence. In the beginning of last year Bo was looking at a wonderfully grained block, but he could not figure what shape would make justice to its beautiful graining. He took a pencil and made some lines following the grain – then he put the block away and did not think of it any more.

Last spring Bo was taken ill and had to spend some time in a hospital. When he eventually got back home and started working in his workshop, he happened to take this specific block and saw the lines he had made. “Well, this could be a beautiful pipe”, Bo thought. He once again took a pencil and made some sketches – and the first Ramses-pipe was born (but it did not get its name until much later). Bo was not entirely satisfied with this first pipe, but after some more attempts he had found a shape he was completely happy with.

One special thing about Ramses is that it must be placed in a very special way in the block to get the grain as you want – and very few blocks are suited for this shape. Then, it is a full bent and a full bent is always a problem to drill. If you drill it as usual, the hole where the channel meets the tobacco chamber will become oval. A pipe drilled like that is difficult to smoke to the very bottom, a well known fact with full-bent pipes. Of course Bo could not accept this, so he drills the hole so that it ends a few tenth of a millimetre at the side of the tobacco chamber. He then stitches a hole in the wall with an awl and forms the hole with a small steel ball. In that way the hole becomes circular and not oval and it ends at the very bottom of the chamber. A pipe cleaner can be thrown through the entire pipe without removing the stem, but you have to bend it a little at the end before.

It got the name Ramses thanks to a German customer visiting Bo. This customer immediately associated the pipe with the statue of Ramses II in Abu Simbel and Bo was immediately enthusiastic. So now this shape also had got a name.

Of course I would have liked to finish this by telling you, how it is to smoke a “Ramses”. But (so far!?) I have not got a pipe to test, so that has to wait.

Jan Andersson