Alternative Woods Used For Pipe making

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While Briar pipes are by far the most common wooden pipes, a wide range of other woods have been used. Times in which briar is scarce or completely unavailable (war, economic depression, etc.) have prompted curious carvers to explore the properties of less expensive and more abundant materials. While softer, less porous or more susceptible to burning than briar, a temporary solution is often better than not smoking at all. The following woods have been used for smoking pipes to various extents:

Maple, Cherry, Black Walnut, Oak, Olive, Rosewood, Manzanita, Mesquite-wood, Beech, Hickory, Mountain Laurel, Mahogany

A roughly executed Cherrywood pipe from 19th Century France

Of all the woods listed, only Cherry remains common as an inexpensive substitute for briar in times when briar is readily available. Large-scale makers of cherry wood pipes are few, but include the Missouri Meerschaum Co. which is better known for their corn-cob pipes.

While now known for manufacturing Briar pipes, major Danish marque Stanwell began in 1942 as a producer of danish beechwood pipes. The political circumstances of the time made the importation of briar from standard sources such as the U.K. and France impossible. At the end of the war, normal trade resumed and imported briar became Poul Stanwell's wood of choice. Despite this, the company has not forgotten its humble roots and currently offers a commemorative beechwood pipe in its original bulldog design. The pipe is small, which was also a product of hard times. Tobacco, in addition to briar, was made scarce by the World Wars.