307. SPECIAL BULLETIN: New System Gear
Out today at SPEu is the new Grafton System Pipe Travel Case. So who other than “we few, we happy few, we band of Pete Geeks” could get so excited? And if that isn’t enough, out tomorrow or Thursday at SPC is the Thinking Man pewter tamper (as well as the new travel case). There are those who will politely, respectfully disagree among the geekhood, but for myself, I’d have to classify these as essentials for the System aficionado.
The pewter Thinking Man tamp is similar in design to the Sherlock Holmes pewter tamper that’s been available for a few years now. I have always been a Gratis Tool guy, but I can’t resist this tamp.
The Thinking Man is the K&P icon and has been since his first appearance in 1905—that’s 117 years ago, if I worked my calculator correctly (no snorts from the maths crowd, please). One of my fondest memories working on the Peterson book with Marie was my double-page spread on the icon (pp. 66-67), so I won’t repeat all that here.
The tamper weighs in at 71 gr / 2.45 oz and has plenty of heft. It measures 92.6 mm / 3.64 inches, with a base tamping surface diameter of 15.3 mm / .60 in, so it will fit inside even the smallest Pete’s chamber. It’s priced at $32.
The new Grafton System Hardshell Pipe Bag is also unbelievably awesome. It’s designed to house a System pipe, just one System pipe, using the leather pipe stand to separate bowl from stem. The metal ball is attached to loop the pipe stand over and keep the bowl and stem from rubbing one another.
The case also contains a lined suede, Peterson-branded top-zipper tobacco pouch. The top half of the case seems deep enough to house a lighter, paper tobacco mat (like the one at the end of the post*) and even the Thinking Man tamper or a 3-in-1 if the tobacco pouch isn’t loaded to capacity.
The System case isn’t large enough for the PUB Pipe or some of the largest longer-stemmed Systems, but most seem to fit. My Halloween XL5 fits comfortably, thanks to its shorter acrylic stem. Some of my DeLuxe stems need to have the tenon extension uncrewed, but this can be stored inside the leather pipe rest loop.
The zipper is looser than that on my standard Grafton Hardshell and has more give and flexibility than the full-size Grafton case, which can be a little tedious to get open and closed. Like its big brother, however, it has the wonderful P zipper pull.
The case measures 108 mm /4.25 in square x 87.7 mm / 3.4 in tall. With pipe stand and pouch, it weighs in at 292 grams / 10.30 oz. Priced at $52.
I’m just stoked to have a dedicated, branded System case for the first time in K&P’s history, one more proof that K&P is continuing to promote and stand behind the System not as a monument but a flagship in its catalog.
I keep meaning to mention the Peterson-branded folding plastic pipe stand available at SPEu. €3.25.
They also have the Thinking Man 3-in-1 tool at €12.97. This is a great, heavy-weight tool. Maybe not quite as useful as the Gratis tool (which has a shovel instead of the scraper blade) but solid.
Thanks to Steve Mawby, Adam O’Neill & Andy Wike
* I love paper tobacco mats that I can lay out tobacco to prepare and pack into the bowl. Sometimes no drying time is needed, but even then I make a mess and find it’s easier to load a pipe by rubbing out tobacco over a paper mat. When the bowl is packed, I curl the paper into a funnel and slide the remaining tobacco into the jar. Here’s a mat that’s fits inside the new System travel case. Once printed, cut along the edges and fold four-square.
System Travel Case Tobacco Mat