Originally Posted by mattathayde
i would argue it doesnt impact the rig. messy welds are a sign of either in experience of the person making them or the person not caring which probably means they dont care about the strength, also sloppy welds can allow for more corrosion at those points and/or trap things in the weld that will allow it to break down.
These things aren't welded; they're brazed/soldered. Technically speaking it's soldered but I tend to use both terms interchangeably because the only difference between them is the temperature the solder/brazing alloy melts at. Welding is fundamentally, physically, and procedurally different. If you are really unhappy just redo the soldering yourself. It takes less skill, experience, and equipment to solder/braze than welding and it isn't very expensive. Welding is overkill for hookahs and would only drive up the costs significantly.
Hookah is one of the only industries where I see "hand-made" being used as a cop out for quality. Typically "hand-made" implies more quality but when I consider how much these things are being built for, it's not surprising to me when I see sloppy soldering or crooked/dented parts. For example, take the price of your average KM, deduct vendor profits, the vendor's shipping cost, distributor's profits, and the distributor's international shipping costs to get what KM is charging for one of these. Then deduct KM profits and material costs to see about how much the laborer is making to put one of these together. Not much is left is there?
My point is it would be cheaper, easier, and quicker for you to clean them up yourself. I say that because even if you could get a manufacturer to make some built better, costs/profit margins for everyone will increase. Just take John's premium KMs for example. His costs are way up for those things because they're limited and pricing is changing which means he can't offer them at prices he would like to, and that has kept a lot of people from buying them despite how much they're liked. The cost and time it would take for you to do some work on your own hookahs to get them to your liking would be far less than trying to convince a vendor/distributor/manufacturer to get you a hookah built the way you want it. Personally I know the industry wouldn't survive if they supplied units at the level of quality I'd want so I do my own work to them. I would actually prefer if I could just buy the parts alone and assemble everything myself.
FWIW, my KM trophy chiller is built better than my AF solid. There is more soldering on the KM and it came cleaner/in better condition than the AF, but I am still redoing most of the soldering anyways. The AF has more solid pieces but all of that is in the decorative portions of the stem so it doesn't really matter much. Actually, my AF is slightly lighter than my Mya Bohemian despite the Mya being smaller by about 3 inches. The KM is the largest, heaviest (hollow stem), and best smoking & purging of the three. The AF performs better than the Mya. The purge tubes in both my KM and AF are crimped instead of properly bent so I'm making new ones for both. The AF came with a very small leak in it that didn't really impact it's performance but it's been bugging me so I planned on replacing it anyways.