Pipe info please

ejgormanejgorman Monroe, WIPosts: 1,115 ✭✭✭
Looking to take the plunge and looking for some advice on buying pipes. My father and grandfather both smoked pipes, I smoke cigars so I doubt this is something I will dabble in and am unconcerned about investing money to "try" something. In other words, I'm not terribly interested in buying corn cob pipes. I understand briar is the way to go, but don't really understand what people mean about breaking them in. I also may have a line on some old, used pipes (via my father). Is there anything I would need to do with those pipes, which haven't been smoked in years, to get them ready?
East Side 2015
KLMOW Badge 8/2014
Team Trident 2014

Comments

  • J.S.J.S. Posts: 754
    ejgorman:
    Looking to take the plunge and looking for some advice on buying pipes. My father and grandfather both smoked pipes, I smoke cigars so I doubt this is something I will dabble in and am unconcerned about investing money to "try" something. In other words, I'm not terribly interested in buying corn cob pipes. I understand briar is the way to go, but don't really understand what people mean about breaking them in. I also may have a line on some old, used pipes (via my father). Is there anything I would need to do with those pipes, which haven't been smoked in years, to get them ready?
    Your best bet would be to start with a nice briar in the $50-75 range. Really, closer to 50 is fine. Most of these will come with a pre-carbon bowl so there is no break in period. You can start smoking full bowls right from the start. I would go slow, don't let the pipe get warm in your hand (that will help reduce tongue bite too) and smoke all the way to the bottom of the bowl to make sure the cake is even all the way down.

    On the estate pipe side if they have not been smoked for years a good cleaning is necessary. Start with Everclear on a bristle pipe cleaner (make sure not to get any on the briar and if you do wipe it off immediately). Scrub the stem and the shank until you get a clean pipe cleaner. You should let one soaked in Everclear stay in the stem overnight it will pull a ton of stuff out. Then for the bowl. I would ream it but I would not take it all the way down to the wood unless it was absolutely necessary. Then I would do an alcohol and salt clean. You can Google that and see YouTube videos on it. That should get them back into working order.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,793 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Learn your packing. The tamper is for while you're smoking, not for packing. Don't be afraid to buy a pipe if you like the look and feel of it, assuming it's of any fair quality from any reputable source, because when well cared for it will last a long time. One of my favorites, probably the most expensive one I have, I've taken to the field on the tank, many times, it's travelled with me by motorcycle through the Alps, the Rockies, and the Appalachian mountains, as well as many other places. $90 spent, in 1985, still smoking.

    J.S. is on the money as usual with his advice. I'd be really interested in those "old" pipes, if I were you. In the piper lingo those are "Estate" pipes, and you can sometimes find such things at tobacco stores. A B&M I visit a couple times a year in Nashville has a whole window full of estate pipes.

    Your goal during the break-in phase is to build up cake inside the bowl. This simply takes time. My routine is to smoke a pipeful, after it has cooled I run a pipe cleaner down the stem, pull the stem with the pipe cleaner still in it and then pull it on through. Never pull the pipe cleaner back out through the mouthpiece, as this will bring nasty oils to your lips the next time you smoke. Then, make sure the hole is clean, fold the pipe cleaner in half, and swab up and down inside the bowl. I rarely smoke the same pipe twice in one day, as the bowl needs time to dry thoroughly.

    There is a much wider variance of tastes available in pipe tobacco than one finds in cigars. This is one of the reasons for the corn cob pipes popularity, they're cheap, and you can try out a tobacco without worrying about break-in time, find out if you like it or not without "ghosting" your good pipe with a taste that might take a long time to go away. Personally, I usually dedicate one pipe to one tobacco for a long time. Some people will put many types through one pipe, in my experience you'll never really come to appreciate the full experience of a blend that way. I do have one fairly inexpensive pipe, a La Rocca, that I smoke many blends in, for trying new ones. I know that I'm getting background tastes with the new tobacco, but hey, if I discern that I really like this tobacco, I'll buy a pipe for it.

    Good luck, be patient because it takes time to get it right, enjoy.
    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.  
  • ejgormanejgorman Monroe, WIPosts: 1,115 ✭✭✭
    The estate pipes would be my father's pipes from his pipe smoking days over 30 years ago. He may possibly have some of my grandfather's as well although I'm not sure what happened to those after he passed.
    East Side 2015
    KLMOW Badge 8/2014
    Team Trident 2014
Sign In or Register to comment.