Pipe Mud and Pipe Cement (WARNING: GIANT POST)

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dimm

Junior Member
Jan 7, 2012
74
0
Montréal, Canada
I would like to agree with group4. Experimenting with science is fun but be careful. If I've learned anything from this its that not all woods are equal. You should not use ash if you don't know what wood it came from. I found some information online about woods used for smoking meats. It was a very large list of woods which were safe and woods which were not. I don't know how it relates to the safety of the ash. If anythingit simply goes to reenforce the notion that not all woods are equal. And that some are bad for you. Also make sure that only pure wood was used. I know that people burn scraps of anything in fireplaces. Paint, glues, varnished, and lots of other things can be very toxic for you.
I actually like the idea of ash from matches qs it is something readily availabe to pipe smokers and obviously time tested as safe in a pipe.
So be careful At the same time I know that people used to and still light their pipes by taking an embers from a fire and sticking it right in their pipes. So wood ash is not something that is historically foreign to your pipe.

 

maineyachtie

Senior Member
Aug 14, 2010
346
0
Great thread Dimm, you're a bright guy.
See what I did there?
Anyway, very interesting topic. I appreciate your dedication and enthusiasm. For me though, I'm just gonna stick to pipe or cigar mud since I already know it's safe to smoke.

 

wildcat

Preferred Member
Jan 1, 2012
683
0
Great thread Dimm
+1

I missed this earlier and I sure am glad I was directed her tonight! I have a bent Wally Frank Chadwick with an interior bowl crack or sand-pit that needs repair. As stated earlier, this would make a great sticky! :clap:

 

jcinpa

New member
Jul 8, 2012
31
0
Great thread, thanks! I have a bent with an air hole drilled way too high, this is perfect!
It is middle of summer and our fireplace is cleaned out. Anyone know how the fine ash from regular Kingsford Briquets from my Weber kettle might work? I do note that if it gets wet in the grill it can be hard to get out, lending credence to the cement thing.
I am hoping to get good results, but in the meantime was wondering if anyone else had tried it.

 

gmwolford

Preferred Member
Jul 26, 2012
1,355
0
WV, USA
Wish I'd read this thread before I mudded my cob; Toker's idea would've come in real handy then! LOL
This is a good read but, like the title says, huge. I actually had to read it in segments. :roll:

 

topd

Preferred Member
Mar 23, 2012
1,746
0
Emerson, Arkansas
"Overheard one afternoon in Egypt about 3500 years ago"
Make Bricks without straw? How can we make bricks without straw?
HaHahahaaaa!

 

numbersix

Preferred Member
Jul 27, 2012
5,452
1
This is weird - but I needed this exact info at this moment and there it was, a the top of the recent posts list. Great info!

 

taerin

Preferred Member
May 22, 2012
1,853
0
Time to take out some ash from my fireplace and mud a cob with it to test it out. The ash is all from firewood cut down from our property so I know it is safe.

 

morton

Preferred Member
May 3, 2012
649
0
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
I used some birch ash from my fireplace. After I sieved it and experimented with the right water/ash mix, I mudded two new cobs that I have now smoked for about 30-40 times each. Works like a dream with no ill effects and no breakdown of mud. These cobs are my work truck pipes and as such, take a beating on a regular basis. I highly recommend this technique. Thanks for the great info, Dimm!

 

piperphil

New member
Jun 11, 2012
24
0
A word on safety: If using wood ash to make pipe mud be sure to use ash that came from woods that are nontoxic or have little to no health hazards such as allergic reactions and the like. If the ash is pure white then most likely all the problem compounds like the big C's (carcinogens) and allergens have probably been removed or degraded to the point of inert or harmless. But IMO i wouldn't use woods known to be or have toxic compounds in them.

Here's a few: Cedar, Satinwood, Teak, Mahogany, Beech, Cyprus, Birch, certain Maples, Elm.....

Many people probably don't use many of these for fire wood but a wood worker or amateur pipe maker might burn scraps and decide to use it for pipe mud. Just looking out for y'all. Smoke happy, smoke safe.

 

piperphil

New member
Jun 11, 2012
24
0
Oh while it's on my mind i was wondering while I have seen that cigar ash is the most popular material as a base with pipe ash a close second i have seen much more solvents used. Honey, water, saliva, and jams/jellies being the most popular. But i have yet to see anyone use liquor. Why? Water would be an inert substance that would leave only the ash in the bottom which would crumble until one smokes some tobacco in the bowl which would add tars and oils to the mud finally "curing" it. While Honey or Jams/Jellies would add a taste (at least for the first few bowls) and make a mud that would be more of a true paste and "cure" even harder than just ash/water because the sugars would caramelize and form kind of a "hard candy"/ash cake when heated by smoking. But in theory wouldn't liquor be the best of both worlds? Lets consider an aged whiskey or rum: these would allow for the ash to emulsify/solvate and form a mud and would dry quicker because 35-50% of the solvent (the liquor) would be alcohol which evaporates much more quickly than water. Plus upon heating by smoking the sugars in the liquor would caramelize and form a cake more easily and readily than just water without adding all the other compounds found in fruit preserves. Just thought I would throw this out there. Anyway I have a Bertram (grade 80) that I got for $1 at an antiques barn that I will try a 101 turkey/cigar ash mud on and report back in a few weeks.

 

piperphil

New member
Jun 11, 2012
24
0
Ok so I used bourbon and cigar ash for pipe mud and it is by far the hardest I have seen yet. Literally went off like dried clay. Dries and sets in less than 24hrs. Absorbs moisture like a sponge and dries super quick as well.

So: dryer, cooler, and easier to clean. If any one wants to try I recommend high proof whiskey and cigar ash.

 

mlyvers

Senior Member
Sep 23, 2012
487
0
hey gents, i tell ya i have used honey and reamings from my pipes. this really works. no taste of any kind from the paste. this is good for inner bowl repairs. however i would like too try cigar ash honey for my next repair. i do think that all these suggestions will work for us. great topic here.
take care.
mike.

 

vermonter

New member
Nov 29, 2012
8
0
Thanks for the warning, but using wood ash for this is not a good idea and not just for toxicity concerns.
Could you elaborate on your concerns, about toxicity or other issues? I'm curious and I'm sure others are too, given that the rest of this thread makes wood-based pipe cement sound like rather useful stuff...

 

vermonter

New member
Nov 29, 2012
8
0
Having researched a bit myself, I'm putting my vote in for sodium silicate solution and cigar ash. This is mostly because I don't have a wood stove, and would not be able to guarantee that the ash was free of chemicals and was burned at high temperatures.
Sodium silicate has been mentioned a few times on this thread, and I believe it is relatively non-toxic. From what I've read, a mix of sodium silicate and water will turn into silica gel when heated, the hard little balls that come in packets with your vitamins. The cigar ash helps to make a paste that can be applied to the inside of a pipe, which will then dry. When the pipe is smoked the paste should harden even further from the heat.
As you might expect, there isn't much scientific research on using this stuff in a pipe bowl, but it seems relatively safe. I ordered a bottle to fix a Kaywoodie I have with some cracks in it. I will post the results. Does anyone else have experience using sodium silicate? Or concerns?

 

taztime

Junior Member
May 15, 2013
91
0
Texas
>> I'm still trying to locate some quality cigar ashes so I can make some pipe mud for my corn cob pipe. I emailed Scott at Aristocob for some; but I haven't heard form him yet. I don't smoke cigars .... so with that in mind what I would like to ask any of you cigar smokers out there if you could be so kind as to send me a couple of packages of quality cigar ashes. I would be more then willing to pay you for some quality cigar ashes. .... -- taztime

My mailing address is as follows:

taztime

633 Texas street

Longview, Texas 75601

email - taztime@att.net

 

ragman

New member
Oct 13, 2013
1
0
I have a theory. I'm starting out as a knife maker, but I found a website that shows a number of handmade pipes with wooden bowls and mouthpieces fixed to a brass stem. I wanted a way to sort of pre-carbonize the bowl to protect it and give it a longer life. I have a wood stove, but the talk about some wood ash being harmful has me a little concerned. The wood ash pipe mud sounds to be quite superior to using tobacco ash, but I have to wonder, what if you take your tobacco ash and keep burning it in a hotter fire until all that's left is the fine grey ash you get from a wood stove? I might have to look around a thrift shop for a ceramic mug to sacrifice for the cause. The nights are getting colder and I'll be lighting fires soon, might be a good time to experiment.

 

pipebastard

New member
Oct 30, 2013
1
0
What I've found makes the best pipe 'cement' is the ash from a burnt hookah coal. These coals can be purchased at most smoke shops, they burn clean and smoke free, and are obviously used for smoking hookahs so one would assume they are somewhat toxin free.
I just happen to smoke a hookah regularly, so once I stumbled across this thread I tired using the coal ash and it has outperformed any other type of pipe mud or cement I had previously made; including various wood ashes, cigar ash, pipe ash, and various combinations of each (perhaps I have too much time on my hands, but this thread interested me). Let it dry for at least 24 hours, 48 is probably better. I make it slightly wet, so its thin and goes into small spaces - applying it while thin in consistency also allows you to shape it babies butt smooth yet still allows you to make a fairly thick application, if required. It's the best.... particularly once it absorbs some tar and oil to really bond it to the pipe. That being said it bonds strongly to the pipe even before it's 'broken in'.
edit: I even repaired a broken bowl in a glass pipe with this cement with outstanding results.

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,186
176
Maryland
I'm not sure if anyone is still following this thread (OP, Dimm?).
I have a problem bowl that pipe mud doesn't seem to be able to fix permanently.
Today, I picked up a small tub of black "Fireplace Mortar & Cement" at Lowes. It is silica based and is already mixed, ready to apply. It dries fast and hard. I tried it in one of my pipes. It is drying now, but I believe one could even sand the bowl interior smooth with this stuff.
http://www.lowes.com/pd_64843-85334-GA0188_4294856693_4294937087?productId=1191571
The MSDS Sheet is here:

http://www.greentek.ca/userfiles/file/GA0188%20Stove%20&%20FP%20Mortar.pdf