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Dipping my big toe in....

ehehatehehat Posts: 1,536 ✭✭
After a little more than a year with cigars I really want to try pipes. I know there were a couple threads on where to start but it looks like these have gone away. Who can give me some advice on where to start/what to stay away from? Looking for a decent starter kit and advise on tobacco

Comments

  • J.S.J.S. Posts: 754
    Best I can do is to say jump in! I would pick up a few cobs to start with or a cheap 30.00 range pipe that is still a decent pipe but not a top end pipe (really if you are careful anything over $100.00 is largely aesthetics). Learn what makes a pipe expensive vs. cheap and what makes one good vs. poor (e.g., draw hole should be at the bottom of the bowl. The mortise should align correctly, etc.). Then pick up some tobacco. I would start with a handful of blends. Often people start with aromatics, but I do not care for them. So try 1 like Captain Black (an aromatic), it is the best selling pipe tobacco in the U.S. for a reason. Maybe a nice med. bodied English like Peterson's Dublin or Peter Stokkebye's English Luxury or Proper English. Find out if you like the aromatics or prefer the non-aromatic type of stuff and then go from there. I always recommend that beginners stay away from straight VA's for a while until you get your pack and puffing pace down. VA's will bite if not treated with care. I also would avoid flakes (usually VA's) plug's, and rope/twist (very strong) until you get into it.
  • J.S.J.S. Posts: 754
    Oh, as far as what else you will need. Pick up a pipe tool you will need a tamper. I would pick up a couple of packs of pipe cleaners, I like the bristled kind as they seem to clean better but it is a personal taste. That should be enough to get you started. You should be able to pick up a pipe, 2 or 3 blends, the tool and cleaners for around $50.00 not too bad to find out if you like it or not. Then, the sky is the limit.
  • J.S.J.S. Posts: 754
    All this pipe talk makes me want a bowl now. Which reminded me, look on youtube for the Frank method, and the Bob method of packing. Learn how to properly pack a pipe will save you constant relights and tongue bite.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,482 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Bumping the Cigar Tips thread for you, if you get nothing else, remember that the importance of tamping cannot be overstated.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • ehehatehehat Posts: 1,536 ✭✭
    J.S.:
    Best I can do is to say jump in! I would pick up a few cobs to start with or a cheap 30.00 range pipe that is still a decent pipe but not a top end pipe (really if you are careful anything over $100.00 is largely aesthetics). Learn what makes a pipe expensive vs. cheap and what makes one good vs. poor (e.g., draw hole should be at the bottom of the bowl. The mortise should align correctly, etc.). Then pick up some tobacco. I would start with a handful of blends. Often people start with aromatics, but I do not care for them. So try 1 like Captain Black (an aromatic), it is the best selling pipe tobacco in the U.S. for a reason. Maybe a nice med. bodied English like Peterson's Dublin or Peter Stokkebye's English Luxury or Proper English. Find out if you like the aromatics or prefer the non-aromatic type of stuff and then go from there. I always recommend that beginners stay away from straight VA's for a while until you get your pack and puffing pace down. VA's will bite if not treated with care. I also would avoid flakes (usually VA's) plug's, and rope/twist (very strong) until you get into it.
    This is all great stuff, thanks. other than the things you stated here, what should I look for in a pipe? I've read around and heard some people buying a "deal" only to find the pipe lasts 3-4 bowls. Also. What are VA's? Sorry....noob.
  • J.S.J.S. Posts: 754
    Often pipes (briar) that lasts only a few bowls either have a weak/soft spot in the wood and burn through or they have pushed the briar too hard. A good rule for me is to not let the bowl get hot. I try to keep the bowl as close to room temp. as possible when smoking, it keeps the smoke cool and helps keep tongue bite down.

    Some of the cheaper briars are cheap only because they use young briar (15-25 yrs. old) they are good smokers and well built with a good amount of briar (usually around the $30-50 range) below that there are good machine made pipes too but they are not that much below it. Anyway, the point is you do get what you pay for. Some of the expensive pipes have briar well over 100 yrs. old. The grain is much tighter. The only real difference between old briar and a well made cheaper pipe that I can tell is the older the briar the longer between cleanings it will go. I too am still very new to pipes. Just a little over 3 yrs now so I am sure there is more too it than that too.

    VA refers to Virginia tobacco. It is sweet(er) and the high sugar content will give some nasty tongue bite until you get your smoking pace down.
  • ehehatehehat Posts: 1,536 ✭✭
    Got it, thanks again. Now, any recommendation on where to get a good starter pipe? I'm reading about the bowl finish and seasoning, is there a way to know online if the bowl is already carbon coated, etc?
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,482 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ehehat:
    Got it, thanks again. Now, any recommendation on where to get a good starter pipe? I'm reading about the bowl finish and seasoning, is there a way to know online if the bowl is already carbon coated, etc?
    Pipes & Cigars.com, lots of choices, from $30 - $1,200 or so. One of my favorite pipes, smoke it every day, was a $40 pipe on sale for half off, I've had it about 15 years.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • J.S.J.S. Posts: 754
    ehehat:
    Got it, thanks again. Now, any recommendation on where to get a good starter pipe? I'm reading about the bowl finish and seasoning, is there a way to know online if the bowl is already carbon coated, etc?
    I would start with a pre-carbonized bowl and usually, you can tell by looking at the picture. This is not always true, sometimes the light can make it look blackened and it is not but this is almost never the case with the lower end briars. Usually (there are some exceptions), most pipes below $75.00 will come with the pre-carbonization.

    You can go with a basic starter kit from several places, or you can select your own pipe and just pick a few tobacco blends.
  • J.S.J.S. Posts: 754
    Hey, not trying to steal the tread here but I just noticed that this makes my 500th post. I get very busy and I often have little time to get to post. Hopefully the next 500 will be quicker then these were!
  • ehehatehehat Posts: 1,536 ✭✭
    J.S.:
    Hey, not trying to steal the tread here but I just noticed that this makes my 500th post. I get very busy and I often have little time to get to post. Hopefully the next 500 will be quicker then these were!
    steal away brother! Thanks for your input and congrats on 500!!!
  • J.S.J.S. Posts: 754
    Thanks, I hope I was able to help. I think you will really enjoy the pipe. It is a completely different flavor profile than cigars.
  • CigaryCigary Posts: 630
    I hear ya....I got into pipes about 30 years ago and developed TMJ so I had to stop but my jaw is ok now so I jumped in with all fours...pipe, 2 pounds of assorted tobacco, tools, lighter and I'm off to the races.
  • ehehatehehat Posts: 1,536 ✭✭
    Cigary:
    I hear ya....I got into pipes about 30 years ago and developed TMJ so I had to stop but my jaw is ok now so I jumped in with all fours...pipe, 2 pounds of assorted tobacco, tools, lighter and I'm off to the races.
    Now that's how you commit. I'm hoping to have my much smaller start here around Christmas time...
  • dr_frankenstein56dr_frankenstein56 Posts: 1,613 ✭✭✭
    newbie question, hope i dont intrude.......

    whats the opinion of glass pipes?

    Aj
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,482 ✭✭✭✭✭
    dr_frankenstein56:
    newbie question, hope i dont intrude.......

    whats the opinion of glass pipes?

    Aj
    Never used one. I thought those were for smoking crack.

    Just kidding, didn't know there were such things for tobacco.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • dr_frankenstein56dr_frankenstein56 Posts: 1,613 ✭✭✭
    Amos Umwhat:
    dr_frankenstein56:
    newbie question, hope i dont intrude.......

    whats the opinion of glass pipes?

    Aj
    Never used one. I thought those were for smoking crack.

    Just kidding, didn't know there were such things for tobacco.

    I thought so too, but i was gifted a nice glass pipe from a non smoker who assumes all smoking is smoking. But I just didnt know if this was a real gift or what you were suggesting was the joke. it seems easy enough to clean.... thats for sure. I think I will just set it on the shelf for a momento.
    Thanks!

    Aj
  • J.S.J.S. Posts: 754
    dr_frankenstein56:
    Amos Umwhat:
    dr_frankenstein56:
    newbie question, hope i dont intrude.......

    whats the opinion of glass pipes?

    Aj
    Never used one. I thought those were for smoking crack.

    Just kidding, didn't know there were such things for tobacco.

    I thought so too, but i was gifted a nice glass pipe from a non smoker who assumes all smoking is smoking. But I just didnt know if this was a real gift or what you were suggesting was the joke. it seems easy enough to clean.... thats for sure. I think I will just set it on the shelf for a momento.
    Thanks!

    Aj
    Glass has a few problems I would think. First, it is nonporous so the oils, etc. cannot go anywhere. You might get around it using a filter but I would just put it on a shelf. Second, glass will be very hot. So will clay but it is porous and it allows the oils and other things out. It might be OK to use for a part of a bowl to try a new blend but long time/term smoking would be difficult I would think. Finally, I do not know of anyone that makes glass for tobacco as their life's work.
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,446 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Have you heard of The Pipe? This was a plastic pipe with a graphite lined bowl. Back when the space race was on, someone came up with the idea of using a space age graphite lining developed for heat shields. Makes an impermeable bowl; but what it does is, the heat gets reflected back into the tobacco, the oils dissipate that way, the ash is clean and dry, and you can use the same pipe day after day. Dynamite pipes; just plastic, is all.

    You can still buy some on the web
    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • J.S.J.S. Posts: 754
    That is an intersting idea. Have you smoked one? I wonder if it would make tongue bite worse being hotter and bringing more oil/tar into the smoke? I would be very interested to hear about the experience.
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,446 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Boy, that was so very many years ago. IIRC, it tasted cleaner, if that makes sense. No briar wood taste, no tarry taste, yet different from the meerschaum. Even with a meerschaum, you get a certain tarry buildup. Not with The Pipe. All your oil and all your damp just heated up and went. I had a couple of them and they were among my regulars at the time. Prolly better for tasting the tobacco itself, but less character in the whole experience. My favorite briars I would rub in my palm and feel and admire them. The meerschaums I would get them good and warm and rub them on my nose to make them brown and shiny. The Pipe I would pull out to taste a new blend. The plastic shell of it just doesn't lead to any moody admiration. It's not always how technically good a job a thing does. Figure this way: I kept my favorite bulldog briar, my favorite meerschaum lined bent apple, and my favorite carved meerschaum in a case for twenty, twenty five years after I gave up smoking a pipe. The Pipe I promptly discarded.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


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