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Old 09-26-2010, 01:13 AM   #1
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Default Breaking in the ol'e pipe

Can anyone give me pointers or tips on how exactly I am suppose to break in a pipe? Along with what it entails.
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

It sounds simplistic, but my suggestion would be to simply smoke it... Depending on the pipe, you might find some benefit in filling it 1/3 - 1/2 to begin with, but I haven't always found it makes a difference. Most pipes (especially those with some type of bowl coating) will show some 'off' flavors for the first few bowls... This link gives a fairly good description of the method I have followed: http://www.ehow.com/how_2243280_brea...riar-pipe.html
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

Thank you for the article. My new pipe seems to have a bowl just about as deep as my pinkie is long. I'm not sure if that's considered a deep bowl, but it looks deep to me. I'm not sure how I'm suppose to pack it half way...and actually light it.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

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Originally Posted by Cigar_Noob View Post
Thank you for the article. My new pipe seems to have a bowl just about as deep as my pinkie is long. I'm not sure if that's considered a deep bowl, but it looks deep to me. I'm not sure how I'm suppose to pack it half way...and actually light it.
Matches work better in this regard than lighters do (just so you can light that far down in the bowl).

As far as breaking in, I usually just smoke whole bowls anyway.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

There are many different methods to breaking in a new pipe. I just smoke, without much thought. Some guys want to build cake inside quickly or season the bowl right. It really depends on you. Some like the extra attention to detail, some just smoke their pipes...
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

Something I was told when I first started concerning the whole 1/3 1/2 full fill on a pipe was the reason some did the the 1/3 1/2 was to make sure you got a cake started at the bottom of a bowl. This was because alot of smokers did not smoke all the way down to a fine ash with a full bowl so you would end up with a nice cake formed in the top half and none in the bottom. Now I do not know hoe true that is nor did it much matter to me as I smoke mine down to the bottom with little to no dottle. just some food for thought.
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Old 09-26-2010, 01:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

I just load it up and smoke it slow. I will sometimes light one of my other pipes to smoke and then smoke the new one slowly. Smoke the new one for 10 min till it gets warm then let it go out. Relight and continue.ECT. ECT.
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

Yeah, I just break in a pipe by smoking in it.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

Apparently I am one of the few who takes the long way about things. I either buy estate pipes or I do this:

First bowl: Coat inside of pipe in honey. Fill 1/3, smoke slowly. Let rest overnight afterward.

Second bowl: Coat inside of pipe in honey. Fill 2/3, smoke slowly. Let rest overnight afterward.

Third bowl: Coat inside of pipe in honey. Fill full, smoke slowly. Let rest overnight afterward.

Fourth & Fifth bowls: Fill full. No honey. Smoke slowly.

I find this builds up the cake without dealing with that nasty new-pipe flavor. For somebody like me, who smokes a couple of bowls a day, this ensures that there is a good cake built up before the pipe hits regular rotation and gets smoked way too often.

Custom Pipe Maker TC Fuller told me to do this.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

gently dampen the inside of the bowl with water no honey the honey will only serve to produce a soft cake and that won't do you any good The honey method was developed by yello bowl to make it a pain in the butt to break in pipes and sell their pre-honeyed pipes faster.
smoke 3-5 half bowl slow and steady all the way through no more than once per day
then 3-5 more 3/4 bowls slow and steady all the way through no more than once per day
then 3-5 full bowls slow and steady all the way through no more than once per day. This will produce a hard cake.
Then do as you will though I still strongly recommend smoking an individual pipe not more than once per day.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

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Originally Posted by Pat1075 View Post
gently dampen the inside of the bowl with water no honey the honey will only serve to produce a soft cake and that won't do you any good The honey method was developed by yello bowl to make it a pain in the butt to break in pipes and sell their pre-honeyed pipes faster.
smoke 3-5 half bowl slow and steady all the way through no more than once per day
then 3-5 more 3/4 bowls slow and steady all the way through no more than once per day
then 3-5 full bowls slow and steady all the way through no more than once per day. This will produce a hard cake.
Then do as you will though I still strongly recommend smoking an individual pipe not more than once per day.
It's not any more of a pain in the butt than your method. I figure, if the person who made the pipe tells me to honey or syrup my brand new pipe that he just built, I'm going to trust him.

There are 2 types of cake? Soft and hard? This is new information to me. Tell me more.

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Old 12-13-2010, 06:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

load the pipe, smoke it....lather rinse repeat
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

I am continuously reaming out peoples old and abused pipes at work and for my own enjoyment while restoring them. Hard cake is just that a denser stronger cake where the cake is primarily carbon. It seems to conduct less heat. Soft cake comes from the people who choose to smoke cigarette tobaccos and very syrupy aromatics out of their pipes usually when they have been oversmoked and get past the need for a reaming. I learned my method from my boss and he learned it from Milton M. Sherman who wrote a book called All About Tobacco. Which though hard to find is very interesting if you can locate it.

I am just a believer in Milton's method because it allows me to taste the qualities of the wood as well. What good is it spending money on an oil cured english pipe if I'm just going to make it taste like sugar and not the deep woodsiness that they have been known for. Or an air cured italian pipe if I don't get to taste the transition from sour to sweet. just my two cents.
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

I will certainly be looking for that book sir! Thank you for the tip!

This place man, it's crazy. I guess that's why they call it the asylum. How do you all know so much?

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Old 12-14-2010, 08:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

I'd normally say, "Just stuff it and smoke the rascal," but a really deep bowl (which is what you got) will probably start gurgling before you hit the bottom if you fill it up. The bottom 1/3 of the bowl will want to get all soggy and then you'll have a hard time getting to the finish.

I'd start it out with a few dozen half- or even one third bowls to get a little cake action going at the bottom while keeping the briar driar. I mean drier. In the meantime you'll get comfy with the pipe - deeper bowls take some getting used to; take care to fill it without restricting the draw by more than a bit and tamp only as needed to keep the tabak burning - don't mash things too tight.

I never got into honey and grape jelly and spit wiping and all that - I just fill 'em with something on the dry side and smoke slowly.

Have a ball.
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Last edited by Mister Moo; 12-14-2010 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: Breaking in the ol'e pipe

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I just fill 'em with something on the dry side and smoke slowly. Have a ball.
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