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Old 12-22-2008, 05:45 PM   #21
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

whats the best way to pack a pipe? How tight should it be? My first shot was way too tight.

I have the following tools Pipe Cleaners, pipe lighter and a Czech pipe tool. Do I need anything else?

what is the best way to keep pipe tobbaco? Also, Some general care for my pipe? its a Savinelli Pisa.

Thanks FOGs!
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:21 PM   #22
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

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whats the best way to p...
O M ... somebody else, please, save him from the "P" word!
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:56 PM   #23
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

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O M ... somebody else, please, save him from the "P" word!
Shall I use Load? Ive figured out by mistake that you dont load it in there and mash down, but I havent figured out what exactly im supposed to do I suppose.
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:56 PM   #24
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

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O M ... somebody else, please, save him from the "P" word!
This is definately going to be added to my subscribed threads.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:42 AM   #25
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

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Shall I use Load? Ive figured out by mistake that you dont load it in there and mash down, but I havent figured out what exactly im supposed to do I suppose.
Anything but "pack".

Three stage, or child/woman/man method works for most people. There are other filling methods that smokers employ but the 3-stage is pretty much foolproof

1. let loose tobak fall in under gravity until full - push down halfway;
2. evenly/gently wad up some tobak, enough to half-fill the bowl, and push it atop the gravity fill;
3. firmly wad a smaller clod of tobak and push it atop the previous fill.

Pipe should end up not quite full to the brim and draw should be easy - lightly restricted at most. New briar should be only half-filled for a couple of dozen smokes. Light evenly, puff and char the top. Tamp smooth and relight if needed. Burn should be even and nothing is supposed to end up in your mouth except smoke.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:22 AM   #26
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

Hello gents. I just picked up a newbie Briar on a vacation trip to Monterey last week. I fumbled through a few bowls over the weekend and found that I like the pipe but I need to buy stock in matches. I've read one of the major FAQ's and it mentioned tamping the bowl while smoking. So I have a couple questions about the mid smoking tamp.

1. Is this only done if/when the bowl goes out? Or should it be done carefully even if the bowl is still burning?

2. How does one know when to perform this mid smoke tamping? I did notice an ash lattice work develop in my bowl so I'm assuming sometime around then =)

3. What's the purpose? It would seem the light ash would plug up the works if tamped but maybe it would help to keep the bowl lit more often.

I was even contemplating taking my cigar cutter and whacking one of my cigars into "plugs" to drop into the pipe. Any thoughts? I know it sounds kind of silly when you have a perfectly fine cigar but I think I like smoking from a pipe better.

Thanks for the help!
Chris
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:27 AM   #27
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

Yet another word on the "P" word. New pipe smokers think they should "pack" a pipe. I eschew the use of the word pack relative to pipes. It's the wrong message. Pack is not what you should do with a pipe. Everything about "packing" a pipe ends up with a pipe that is improperly filled and won't smoke properly. Fill a pipe. Load a pipe. Prime a pipe. Prepare a pipe. Caress a bowl with tobacco if you must, but never PACK a pipe. A packed pipe by implication is a carelessly prepared and, ultimately, PLUGGED UP pipe.

And while we're on the subject. A befouled packed pipe will not suddenly get made right by using that pointy poker-thingie on the multi-tool, either. That pointy poker thingie has a couple of uses but it isn't much good for correcting a pipe that is overstuffed and rapidly expanding into a rock-solid blockage of the airhole. Fergettabowdit. It is VERY good for getting the squirter thingie on the Zippo fluid can lifted open, though.

Pack a bag.
Pack a punch.
Pack a bearing.
Pack a lunch.

Don't pack a pipe.

This post is my Christmas present to all the new pipe smokers who are wandering these halls. Happy day.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:38 AM   #28
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benwoo View Post
Hello gents. I just picked up a newbie Briar on a vacation trip to Monterey last week. I fumbled through a few bowls over the weekend and found that I like the pipe but I need to buy stock in matches. I've read one of the major FAQ's and it mentioned tamping the bowl while smoking. So I have a couple questions about the mid smoking tamp.

1. Is this only done if/when the bowl goes out? Or should it be done carefully even if the bowl is still burning?

2. How does one know when to perform this mid smoke tamping? I did notice an ash lattice work develop in my bowl so I'm assuming sometime around then =)

3. What's the purpose? It would seem the light ash would plug up the works if tamped but maybe it would help to keep the bowl lit more often.

I was even contemplating taking my cigar cutter and whacking one of my cigars into "plugs" to drop into the pipe. Any thoughts? I know it sounds kind of silly when you have a perfectly fine cigar but I think I like smoking from a pipe better.

Thanks for the help!
Chris
The nature of the tamp was best described (for me) by BOTL EvanS. He said use a tamper to "collapse" the ash column. In fact, if you only ever need to tamp/collapse the ash column in your pipe (as opposed to "compressing" the ash column) then you have probably filled your pipe near to perfectly.

Planning for expansion prevents a plugged up pipe minutes after the first light. A proper fill and sensitive tamping accounts, as much as possible, for tobacco expansion during the smoke. As the tobak burns it may expand outward and upward and make it difficult for the burning pieces of tobak to stay in contact with one another. The draw may become completely unrestricted and the light may extinguish. If you feel this process getting a foothold, a gentle tamp atop the ash column may reconnect the embers and commence a continued good burn. When I feel a pipe drawing very loosely and notice that smoke isn't very rich I'll press gently with a tamper and puff - usually the pipe fires right back up. Pressing too lightly is no problem - just press again a tad harder; but pressing too hard may overly compact the remaining tobacco which, when reheated, will expand and plug he bowl. Just go easy with the tamping. A gentle tamp on a properly filled bowl is a light touch.

Tampers come in different diameters. Take care not to use one that is too large for your pipe or you'll scrape off the cake you've been working on. The tamper on the Czech multi-tool covers the bases for most pipes and most people. A large nail is good - and cheap. Many people are satisfied finger-tampers.

I like cigars and I like pipes but am not fond of cigar leaf (or cigar chunks) in a pipe, though. Many are - it might be perfect for you. Somebody here smokes Lipton Tea in their pipe. Whatever. We are open minded and this is a no-snob zone. So, if you want to take cigar chunks and screw up a perfectly good pipe and make me want to barf just thinking about it, WTH? Have at it. Merry Christmas, you sick, twisted degenerate.
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:04 PM   #29
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

Here's a couple:

A question I've never heard a clear answer for....

How does one know if the pipe they have is a good "smoker"?

To elaborate, how do I know if my process is poor, or if the pipe is just not a good one. I've always heard price isn't always a tell tale sign of a good smoking pipe, as proven by ebay purchases from a number of people.

Second:

Using cigars as a reference, a particular brand (at least with cubans) have a similar taste through out the marcas. This is clearly not the case with pipe tobacco, short of saying Pease is the Lat king. Do you find it possible to favor a brand, or is it just a "try as much as possible" thing? Seek out VAs, across the board, because I enjoy VAs?
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:28 PM   #30
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

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Here's a couple:

A question I've never heard a clear answer for....

How does one know if the pipe they have is a good "smoker"?

To elaborate, how do I know if my process is poor, or if the pipe is just not a good one. I've always heard price isn't always a tell tale sign of a good smoking pipe, as proven by ebay purchases from a number of people.
I'll have a go at your very interesting question #1, Drev's.

You know because you know, after sufficient experience. Elaboration: once you have enough experience under your belt to properly fill and burn through a bowl evenly, time after time, you will begin to notice that some pipes do parts of the process better than other.

Early on the smoker is necessarily concerned with "am I tamping too much" or "is the tobacco too wet" or "did I fill the bowl too tightly" to really grasp what the pipe is doing. Absent some reasonable amount of experience comfortably smoking tobacco "a" in a couple of pipes, it's hard to judge what one pipe does differently than another.

Once you get a handle on the fill, the even burn, the tamp and how to judge tobacco for wet/dry or rubbing of (flake) folding, etc., you will probably have a few pipes with some developing cake. Now you begin to cipher out what one pipe does differently than another with a given tobacco. In other words, and to answer part of your question: you can know your pipes AFTER you develop your process. In my view. As an old Fart.

I have a $7.00 ebay bulldog that, after cleaning and reaming etc. has only ever smoked cool, dry and gurgle-less. I have other pipes at 10x or 20x the cost that overheat quickly or were chronic gurglers without some modifications. A pipe from a highly regarded craftsman or factory will probably smoke well but there's no guarantee; a crap piece of no-name briar may smoke better than your Uncle Bob's Dunhill. Go figure.

You can bend the odds of getting a good smoking pipe by studying certain parts of pipe geometry* before you buy; and good cake makes for a generally cooler and drier piece of briar as tie passes. You can understand your pipes better after you are totally comfortable with the process.

*Always carry a little LED flashlight. Inspect the airhole position entering the bottom of the bowl looking for center-low. Blow thru the pipe and hope not to hear a whistle, some say. Measure, with a pipe cleaner, the depth of the mortise in the shank relative to the length of the tenon - it is good when they are very close to the same length/depth, thus avoiding a water/gurgle trap. Stuff like that.

This may be my clearest answer ever, btw. Happy holidays, mate.
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:29 PM   #31
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

A straight forward answer from Dan, the 4th sign of the apocalypse.

Thanks, I was afraid it came down to experience. Hence the reason I tend to stay away from the higher end briars until I get a better feel. I have seen recently that even a highly respected custom carver can't bat .1000, and that scares the .... out of me.

Guess all I can do is smoke more....

Thanks again, and have a great holiday yourself, sir.
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:51 AM   #32
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

ok, I have a question I can't seem to find the answer to

I've read descriptions of tobak say, it's almost a honeydew... what does honeydew mean in reference to pipe baccy? (unless it just means it's the flavor)
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:40 AM   #33
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

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A straight forward answer from Dan, the 4th sign of the apocalypse.

Thanks, I was afraid it came down to experience. Hence the reason I tend to stay away from the higher end briars until I get a better feel....
Funny boy...

There are good reasons why Old Farts often suggest to newblings that they commence with a cob. The cob is inexpensive, smokes brilliantly and lacks most of the performance difficulties or nuances that characterize many briars. A cob lets you learn the mechanics of filling, lighting, tamping and tasting without trying to figure out how your briar is performing. Having grown comfortable with what you call the "process" it becomes easier to sort out the character of the operating briar. Learning curve.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:34 AM   #34
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

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ok, I have a question I can't seem to find the answer to

I've read descriptions of tobak say, it's almost a honeydew... what does honeydew mean in reference to pipe baccy? (unless it just means it's the flavor)

I've always assumed that it has to do with the flavor and/or the aroma. Unless other people out there are doing other things to Honeydews that I don't know about.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:10 PM   #35
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

Storage of bulk baccy?

Which are exceptable?

Mason Jars?
Tupperware?
Ziploc Bags?
Glass Jars with seal lid?
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:40 AM   #36
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

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Storage of bulk baccy?

Which are exceptable?

Mason Jars?
Tupperware?
Ziploc Bags?
Glass Jars with seal lid?
Each item listed will store tobacco, but only keep for a certain period of time. I keep tobacco in a bag from the local shop if I can smoke through it within a week or two. Any longer and the tobacco will dry out. Tupperware will last just a little longer than bags, so not ideal for long time storage.

Both glass jars will hold for a rather long time, a mason jar can be sealed air tight, the air left inside is good for the aging process of tobacco. But to seal a mason jar, heat is required which will alter the flavor and aging of the tobacco. A glass jar with a rubber seal is good, but after time the rubber seal can wear out. It will hold more air than a sealed mason jar, so it may age differently.

I will also add tins to your list of containers to use for storing bulk tobacco, they are rather cheap and easy to come by. Many have extra sitting around. I have read that these can be vacuum sealed at home without heat. These may be good for long term storage, but usually the tins are not large enough for bulk storage and a lot more tins will be required.

It all depends if you are going to smoke it now or later.
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:34 PM   #37
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

What about tobacco that has been sitting in baggies for a period of time? Do they need to be re-hydrated or is it more of a case by case basis?
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:37 PM   #38
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

case by case, but moisture buttons are super handy...dub
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:13 PM   #39
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

Dub's right, check each bag to determine if they are good or not. If the bags were stored in a humid environment, then the tobacco may not be dried out.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:14 AM   #40
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Default Re: New Pipe Smoker With A Question? Ask an Old Fa

Ok... In my recent huntings to expand the pipe collection I started noticing some details. My new Savinelli pipe showed up and had a little wand stamped in gold on the stem. It seemed from searching around that each manf may do their own little brand, but then on Ebay I see an "Oscar" with the same stamp on the stem. So is it a telling brand mark? Would it seem that some mixing and matching of parts happened? It's not mission critical to me that everything is the same. My shank and stem align flawlessly. I'm just trying to get a grip on things.

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