Oom Paul

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greyfoxactual

Junior Member
Jun 17, 2015
89
0
Minnesota
I've searched the forum and didn't see any topic that matched, so here goes.
I'm considering gently boring out the tenon of my (first and only) Oom Paul. I've always loved the way the Oom Paul looks and love the way it rests when I'm clenching the smoke. The only problem is getting that dang draw on the thing. It's a beast to get lit it seems.
I'm still fresh to the hobby and working on my drying/packing technique, so I'm not saying it's the pipe and not me. It that I have a pearwood pipe (my favorite smoke actually) and would love for that Oom Paul to smoke as well as that beaut does.
The Oom Paul is Chacom Cassette. Perhaps it's the make? Anyone else with the same experience?

 

agnosticpipe

Preferred Member
Nov 3, 2013
2,586
4
I've got an Oom Paul from Jansen's of New Orleans, and it smoke fine, and I have no problem getting it lit, but it's a bit of job keeping it lit after a little while because the bowl is so deep! I think it's the nature of the pipe, having a rather narrow deep bowl. So I tend to smoke rather dry blends in it that are not too strong. Keep trying, and maybe dry your tobacco out a little before loading it. Good luck... :puffy:
I don't know what's going on with the site right now, but even though this post went through, nothing else I've tried to post has worked.

 

greyfoxactual

Junior Member
Jun 17, 2015
89
0
Minnesota
I had better luck keeping it lit yesterday, but I had to smoke it really fast. Bummer, cause I really like the pipe. Practice, practice, practice.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,401
173
Chicago, IL
Those deep pipe bowls work best for outdoor smoking. If you're toying with the idea of opening the draw, have a professional do it.
ps. I'm having trouble posting too! Screen goes white after posts and edits; requires that I re-enter the URL in the command line (Windows 8 )

 

4nogginsmike

Preferred Member
Aug 20, 2013
1,043
0
Succumbing to deep draws on a pipe to manage the flame is, I believe, a poor choice. If the draw is indeed occluded, then of course open it yourself or have a professional do it, but unless the shank and stem are straight, or if you heat the stem to make it straight and then file it, a technique that I leave to the pro's, one must have repair skills that are beyond me; but as I smoke straights, I bypass this difficulty. I've had luck this year, however, in using small files to open the draft, shank, stem and bit. For me the stem is the trickiest, as as it narrows to the bit the chance of the file coming through the narrowing stem grows. In this case I've just went very slowly, constantly measuring the penetration of the file inserted through the tenon against the narrowing. Good luck!
Getting back to smoking quickly, my feeling is that that risks scorching your mouth, and the greater the rate of burn, the less flavor. The trick is to keep the pipe at a smolder and lit. This takes literally years of practice and for me has been the hardest part of smoking. The lure to suck, suck, suck, as quickly as you can, the most of that tasty smoke as possible is almost irresistible. I smoke slowly best when I keep part of my mind focused on slow smoking no matter what else I'm doing. So it's certainly a matter of concentration, and effort, I think, to manage the smoke rather than cruise along on the autopilot of mindless puffing.

 

4nogginsmike

Preferred Member
Aug 20, 2013
1,043
0
Part Two: Opening the Shank
Carvers often drill a bent shank such that there is an offset between the draft hole and the beginning of the shank. I've heard that a flexible drill with a bit that follows the curve of the shank is available, but I suppose due to cost most don't use one. At any rate this means that many bent pipes won't pass a cleaner. Frankly I don't know how drilling is accomplished through the bent shank, and you'll notice that the draft hole is not straight through to the chamber but instead angled downward. As it would seem impossible to drill the draft hole from the chamber into the shank, all drilling is probably accomplished through the mortise. To drill a straight line through the shank becomes impossible at or near the bottom of the bend, and there is very little room at the mortise to angle the drill to manage that curve. As you can see I know little about how all of this is accomplished, but I've written what I know anyway to prepare you for the rigors of opening a bent shank. One of these days I'll have a bent that I think needs opening, and after working on it I may know more.
Also, there is a school of thought that says bents are better if drilled a bit high

 

greyfoxactual

Junior Member
Jun 17, 2015
89
0
Minnesota
Practice will come into play for a great while before I even consider doing anything to the tendon/stem. I honestly think it's because I went the inexpensive route and got a filter-less stem and attempting to smoke it too fast due to circumstances upon first receiving it.
Thanks for all the input. Great appreciated.

 

xrundog

Preferred Member
Oct 23, 2014
737
0
Ames, IA
A tight draw can have several causes. Sometimes the shank is drilled too narrow. Most full bent pipes are well pipes. That is, first the shank is drilled down to form a moisture trap or well. Then the airway is drilled straight from the side of that hole down to the approximate bottom of the bowl. It's not unusual for this type of pipe for the hole to come out a little high in the bottom of the bowl. Usually it's not a problem. Anyway, to check to size of the airway simply hand turn a drill bit through it until you have the biggest bit that fits through. If you think you need to, drilling it out to the next size is pretty easy. If the idea of a fast spinning drill bit scares you, you can probably do it by hand using a pliers or an easy out T handle.

I think a more common problem though is with the stem. Oom Paul stems are often full bent. That is, the bit is at, or close to, 45 degrees to the lower portion of the stem. When the stem is bent it sometimes partially collapses the airway. So if you remove the stem and draw through it and it's tight, that's the most likely cause. Is it hard to get a pipe cleaner past the bend?

I've opened up a couple stems like that using a Kemper Clay saw to carefully ream the bend. But it's tricky. That thing is sharp and it's easy to mar the bit. A pro would probably straighten the stem, open it up and bend it back.

But you maybe have an idea of what to look at now.

 

greyfoxactual

Junior Member
Jun 17, 2015
89
0
Minnesota
I picked up the Oom Paul yesterday for a smoke and after a week, the draw was extremely light - just the stem. I went to run a pipe cleaner through it and could not advance it further than about two inches. So, I'm going to insert a pipe cleaner into the tendon and dip the tip (HA!) of the pipe into boiling water and attempt to slowly bend until I can "easily" push through the pipe cleaner.
Wish me luck. I'll update the progress.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,923
95
I've always like the look of Oom Paul pipes, but I have always avoided buying one because of the difficulty of cleaning. Bent pipes often don't take a pipe cleaner, and I can work around that, but Oom Paul's don't look that easy to clean when the stem is removed because of that U-turn in the airway. Iwan Ries used to have an excellent Oom Paul as a house pipe, nice briar and low price, but I avoided it all the same. I'm not all that crazy about the pipe's namesake, but that's not the issue. They are good clenchers and have an interesting look. If you are a wet smoker with gurgle problems in a number of your pipes, this is probably not the shape for you.

 

maxpeters

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2010
435
0
I've only had one Oom Paul pipe. It was made by S. Bang, and it smoked perfectly. I didn't like it though because the smoke from the bowl came straight up into my nose and eyes. I sold it. They do look neat though.

 

greyfoxactual

Junior Member
Jun 17, 2015
89
0
Minnesota
Time for some acrylic stem work.
Last night I put water on to boil, placed a bristled pipe cleaner in the tenon, and held the bend just inside the boiling water for 30-45 seconds. I placed it on a paper towel and gently decreased the bend (just a few small pushes). I then pushed the bristled pipe cleaner through with a little effort. I ran the pipe cleaner through a few times from both tenon-lip and lip-tenon. I tested it for airflow and noticed a much better draw. I placed a fresh bristled pipe cleaner in the tenon and held it in the boiling water again for another 30-45 seconds. I gently decreased the bend just a fraction more - probably didn't do anything - and ran the pipe cleaner through again.
I tossed it in some cool water and let it set for a few mintutes. My plan is to light a big bowl this week and see how well the new bend works. If the bend is not great enough for that Oom Paul chin rest, I may rebend with two pipe cleaners through the stem to keep the airhole from collapsing.