Do You Fear the Dark Rim?

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npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,837
386
For the five years I’ve been smoking high(er) end briar pipes I’ve tended to baby the rim of the bowl as if it was a sin to taint it with even a speck of carbonization. Spit, lemon juice, wax, fill the bowl only 3/4, prayer, chicken blood, voodo spells, you name it and I bought in to it to keep the rims pristine. Then after a few years and many smokes my favorite pipes inevitably aged and garnered the tell tale signs of use, the dark rim. That’s when I realized that like myself, my pipes were aging and getting experience :lol: Then I saw a picture of Franco Coppo’s Personal Castello collection and noticed the wonderfully aged rims that certainly tell stories of many good smokes. I still try hard to avoid burns but as me and my herd age, I tend to baby the rims less. Anyone else have this experience?
Picture link: http://www.fondazionecologni.it/application/files/8214/4232/1756/Middle_7109293379_947a21513b_o.jpg

 

lightmybriar

Preferred Member
Mar 11, 2014
735
183
For me, it depends on the pipe. I love the look of my Cobbit pipe's charred and darkened rim...while on my Dunhills, I prefer them to look new. I think each pipe may have its own care protocol in my collection.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,837
386
I love the look of my Cobbit pipe's charred and darkened rim
Same here. My virgin stained briars and cobs look great with darker rims. You raise a good point here some pipes like cooler with a bit of blackened patina, while others not so much.

 

anthonyrosenthal74

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
7,334
96
When I first started smoking, I fussed over my rims because I wanted to keep all my pipes looking prestine. Now I don't worry about it so much. But I still pack my tobacco just a bit below the rim and I suppose it's just habit now, that I don't allow the flame to pass outside of the chamber diameter and to the out rim. So far most my rims still look pristine. For those few pipes that do have a bit of patina on the rim, it doesn't bother me so much.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
14,357
1,923
Monterey Peninsula
Depends a lot on the rim itself. Some are beautiful grain, and I like to see it. Others, not so much. But for most of my pipe smoking I paid no attention to their condition. Now, slowly, I am returning some to a clean condition.

 

metalheadycigarguy

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2012
2,577
1
Washington State
When I started smoking pipes, I didn't pay much attention to it as its inevitable that the rims will eventually show rim darkening. I looked at it as character for the pipe, and just part of the story. Over time I paid more attention to the issue to try and limit the amount of rim darkening, and I'm still that way unless its a cob. With my cobs I'm not worried about it as its only a cob. With my meerschaum pipes and my really nice briars I try to limit the potential rim darkening as best I can. As the rims darken over time I do clean them up, but I don't worry if they don't look pristine.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,539
414
Not something I worry about much. A little spit and a wipe with a finger and they are good to go for me. I smoke out of doors, in the snow, rain and dust. For me the pipe is not a hobby, it's simply part of me. I keep them serviceable but, not pristine.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,221
627
Unless you are buying them strictly as a Collector, it is a smoking instrument. I try not to char the rim with the flame but the carbonization is inevitable if it is smoked.

 

snowhill

Member
Apr 23, 2015
282
0
I have charred and darkened rims on all of pipes. Even when I baby a new pipe, the rim chars. I don't worry about it so much (anymore).

 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
2,510
470
I don't care for it in cobs. I try to avoid charring as much as I can on briars, and it's one reason I prefer rusticated over smooth finish.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,874
855
Fear? No. A great many of my pipes are estates so some of them already had a bit of char here or there. With pipes that are pristine, I tend to keep them that way, especially if the carver has thought about the play grain over surfaces and offered a fine display of birdseye on the rim. It's not a lot of work to keep the rims clean as long as one doesn't let them go to hell. Darkening will occur over time, but burning the rim is a matter of simple incompetence.

 

sumusfumus

Senior Member
Jul 20, 2017
353
10
Never gave rim discolorations and "charring" the least bit of thought. I will, however try to avoid, or minimize these build-ups with routine cleaning and polishing techniques. But, it is what it is. I don't lose any sleep over discolored, scorched, lightly charred rims, on any pipes.
Keeping "special" pipes, in pristine condition...regardless of grain, contrast staining, rustication patterns, etc....is not one of my pipe-smoking, goals. I buy my pipes, smoke them, and enjoy them, for what they are, i.e. objects of utility.
Frank

NYC

 

sumusfumus

Senior Member
Jul 20, 2017
353
10
Never gave rim discolorations and "charring" the least bit of thought. I will, however try to avoid, or minimize these build-ups with routine cleaning and polishing techniques. But, it is what it is. I don't lose any sleep over discolored, scorched, lightly charred rims, on any pipes.
Keeping "special" pipes, in pristine condition...regardless of grain, contrast staining, rustication patterns, etc....is not one of my pipe-smoking, goals. I buy my pipes, smoke them, and enjoy them, for what they are, i.e. objects of utility.
Frank

NYC

 

mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
4,194
394
I guess the consensus here is that when starting out with pipes, one is careful to keep it pristine, and then as time passes, you just get used to the inevitable darkening.
I prefer a little character to my pipes, but then again, most of my pipes are rusticated so the darkened rim blends well.

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,301
331
Maryland
postimg.cc
I've never cared for burned rims (or even dark) and make sure none of my pipes end up in that condition. That's one reason that I avoid using a lighter. I like the pinpoint accuracy and softer flame of the match (and I can avoid charring the tobacco as well). My rims get wiped/buffed with a cloth after every smoke. I suppose that some are darker than when I received them, but not by much, if any.
This Ligne Bretagne, a gift, and I love smoking this pipe. But, it drove me crazy with the natural finish. Despite my best efforts, the rim was darkening and not attractively. I sanded the top to a smooth finish and waxed it, problem solved.


 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
14,357
1,923
Monterey Peninsula
It's the careless guy who actually chars the rim. (Meaning the wood is damaged) All rims will darken over time but that's either the briar aging or the rim sooting. Sooting can happen on both the light and the smoke. A quick wipe down after a bowl, perhaps a bit of saliva on a finger tip will help with your rim maintenance.

 

bluegrassbrian

Preferred Member
Aug 27, 2016
2,108
881
36
Louisville
On smooth pipes I lick my finger and give the rim a wipe before each light.

I don't sweat discoloration too much, but an ounce of prevention..

 

jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
787
0
UK
The way I see it is that if I'm charring the rim then I'm doing it wrong and thankfully I have never had this issue. As for the darkening of the rim with oils and tars, well, my pipes are for burning tobacco in. If I'm going to smoke them then this is going to happen and I'm fine with it. Some saliva and a paper towel is the cure for me but I'm not obsessive about it. If I notice it and it's convenient to deal with it then I will or else it can wait. I think there is comfort in the way that my pipes age with me.
I don't believe I have a pipe worth over £200 though. Perhaps if I had some dearer burners I would be a little more fastidious. I doubt it though.

 
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