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Spadefan

Lets see your Grabow Starfires

Here are my notes on the Grabow Starfire.  Most of the history was contributed by TED if I remember correctly.  Thank you TED.

If you have additional info on Starfires either notes from forum posts or memories please post it for us to learn more about the handsome pipes.

Made 1956 to 1992.  Named after the Oldsmobile Starfire, Olds Starfire nameplate made its debut 1954

Made banded (Aluminum shank extension) and not banded.

Made ajusto mostly but a few push stems were made

Available in SMOOTH with two-tone effect from full-grained briar.

Available in RUSTIC, wire carved single pass in which carving follows the grain, each bowl is unique, no two are alike.

Available in SPORTSTER, young menís styles with either a saddle stem or a thin tapered stem giving it smooth modern lines.  Sportster series appears to be a for-runner name for the Collegiate series.  

Early wire carved Starfires had very deep wire carving which was continuous over the entire pipe similar to Belvedere.  JoeMan has an excellent example of this early form.

Later Starfire wire carved had discontinuously carved grooves.

Starfire briar quality was amongst the best using only #1 and #2 grade blocks , #1 and #2 were "wet selected" being evaluated for full grain after being wetted with water.
.
#1 -- Clean, absolutely perfect (for application, see more below).
#2 -- Has a few small imperfections, easily filled (for application, see more below).

#1: A -- Full grain (EMPEROR, ELDORADO, most VISCOUNT, some STARFIRE, SCULPTURA).
#2: E -- Full Grain (VISCOUNT, SCULPTURA, STARFIRE, WESTBROOK, GOLDEN DUKE, some SILVER DUKE and a few others)

The Starfire Ajustomatic was introduced by DG about 1956. It became a push-stem VPS pipe in about 1992. They stopped stamping the 2-digit shape numbers sometime in the 1980s, and went to ABS stems also in the 1980s.

So if your Starfire is ajustomatic w/out the shape stamp, it was probably produced between 1980-1992.

I'll go first:  
pipesbywhitney

Here's a few I have had, or have:






TigerJack

Hi guys, I have 4 , I believe all of mine are the older pipes as they all have a continuous wire carve pattern. G'Day Gents.

Thelonious Monkfish

25

84L

42 has a saddle stem now.

Think that's all I have pictures of.
Benton

a 42 I rescued



WayneD

Nice pipes gentlemen. Here's some unbanded WC Starfires.
C.E. Purdy

WayneD wrote:
Nice pipes gentlemen. Here's some unbanded WC Starfires.


Very nice!  Now where are all the other ones?  You Starfire hoarder, you?
WayneD

Hey CE, cool yer jets, speed racer. I'm trying to build some suspense here, son.
Troy_nov1965

Two Starfire Wirecarved 85 and 69s



Starfire 25 smooth and wirecarved and a wirecarved 40



Wirecarved 10 and 39



Starfire smooth 85

pwoodard

Great looking pipes guys, I really enjoy seeing the different collections.
JoeMan

Here are a few of my favorites...

20



21



25



42

Spadefan


WayneD

A few banded WC Starfires. There's just something about pipes with the aluminum shank extension, that really catches my eye.
WayneD

A few more WC SF's.
Spadefan


WayneD

Hey SF, I dig the grain on that 39? Here's a few smooth and banded Starfires.
WayneD

Well, here's the last of my hoard. I wouldn't call myself a hoarder since I don't have multiples of any one shape. So far. Still have a ways to go to complete all the WC and smooth shapes.

Spadefan

Steveaux

45

Spadefan

TR-69
UncleBob

Spadefan wrote:
TR-69


Pretty!
UncleBob

WayneD wrote:
Hey SF, I dig the grain on that 39? Here's a few smooth and banded Starfires.


Say.. is that a TR? Nice.
WayneD

Yep. A shape stamped TR361. A nice smoker.
Thelonious Monkfish

WayneD wrote:
Yep. A shape stamped TR361. A nice smoker.

Found a pic of mine.

Chapu

Gosh, those are some seriously beautiful Starfires!

 Here's mine, a wirecarved #40. Actually my first Grabow, bought only about two weeks ago. Picture is after I did some restoration on it (the stem was absolutely rusted, stummel was dirty and dull and the bowl had the thickest cake I've ever seen firsthand). Still needs some more polishing, specially on the stem, and maybe some more reaming (I need a proper reamer for that), but I think it will do for the time being:





 I spent most of the last two weeks restoring it (the usual reaming, alcohol and salt cleansing, stem sanding and carnauba polishing), so I only got to smoke it for the first time a couple of days ago. Boy, oh, boy: I fell in love. Barely warms up at all, super smooth and dry smoke. It became my favourite pipe by far, so now I'm looking for all the Grabows I can find (not easy here in Argentina). Actually found one by chance today, bought it without thinking it twice (pics later in the appropriate thread).

 I had been wondering when this particular Starfire had been made, after reading the first post here I assume it's from 1980 onwards (ajusto, no number stamping). Would that be about right? I was hoping it to be older, but it's such a great smoker that I don't care Smile
Spadefan

Chapu wrote:
Gosh, those are some seriously beautiful Starfires!

†Here's mine, a wirecarved #40. Actually my first Grabow, bought only about two weeks ago. Picture is after I did some restoration on it (the stem was absolutely rusted, stummel was dirty and dull and the bowl had the thickest cake I've ever seen firsthand). Still needs some more polishing, specially on the stem, and maybe some more reaming (I need a proper reamer for that), but I think it will do for the time being:





†I spent most of the last two weeks restoring it (the usual reaming, alcohol and salt cleansing, stem sanding and carnauba polishing), so I only got to smoke it for the first time a couple of days ago. Boy, oh, boy: I fell in love. Barely warms up at all, super smooth and dry smoke. It became my favourite pipe by far, so now I'm looking for all the Grabows I can find (not easy here in Argentina). Actually found one by chance today, bought it without thinking it twice (pics later in the appropriate thread).

†I had been wondering when this particular Starfire had been made, after reading the first post here I assume it's from 1980 onwards (ajusto, no number stamping). Would that be about right? I was hoping it to be older, but it's such a great smoker that I don't care Smile


Chapu, welcome to the forum.
Here is some info on the 40 shape, a continental.

http://drgrabows.myfreeforum.org/...l-series-shapes__o_t__t_8926.html
pipesbywhitney

Here's some DG Starfires I have refurbished over the years - most have been sold:










Tiki Vegas



Here is the #81 Starfire I bought from Dave. Still haven't lit it yet. It's the finest pipe I have. I do enjoy looking at it, it lives on my computer desk.
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