Too much rotation

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Preferred Member
May 28, 2014
How many of you guys are smoking such a number of pipes that its a struggle to build cake or really get to know a pipe? I have about 70 pipes many remain unsmoked and I can only thing of one that I truely know, which was my first estate. Add the variety of tobaccos in rotation and I'm wondering if I am 'channel hoping.' Hope that expression translates and isn't a euphemism for something else altogether.



Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
Pick seven pipes and three tobaccos. Appreciate the nuance in each. You're a lucky man to have such bounty.



Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
Just past 80 here, and that puts me around 3 pipes per blend. I smoke blends typically seasonally, so each genre of pipe finds its way into usage throughout the year, and cake finds its way to them with no problem.



Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2015
I have the opposite issue. 5 pipes and way too many tobacco types. I'm trying to get down to less than 10 blends that I really like.



Preferred Member
Jan 23, 2015
I have just over 30 pipes. All get smoked, some rarely and others with more regularity. I don't like a lot of cake and wipe the bowl out after each smoke. It's all good. :puffy:



Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
I'm just around 20 Briars, but hopefully not for long.

(And Cobs don't count toward collection limits, I think I'm going to buy two or three annually since you still get variation according to the weather that year.)



Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2015
I have 128 pipes and smoke each one. They have very little cake in them, but that's how I like them.



Preferred Member
Jun 3, 2015
I don't want the cake, so I clean the bowl out after 5 to 6 smokes. Now one thing I've noticed, is the cake seems to build up in the bottom and half way mark of the bowl. And that's even in spots. Some say that this will make the pipe smoke uneven and constantly go out. Not the case, in my opinion..
As far as tobaccos, it looks like you should dedicate tobacco to pipes. I have 14 pipes and about 20 jars of tobacco in rotation, some of these jars are aging. I wish I had more pipes, but I spend all my cash on tobacco, trying to out run the Tobacco Nazi's lol.



Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
Monterey Peninsula
I've plenty of pipes in rotation, and another dozen estates I haven't touched yet, and am trying to narrow down the tobacco choices. If I can get down to three or four, I'd be happy, but now I am into about ten blends.
I don't try to build up cake, and like some others, I act against it by using damp rough paper towels to "ream" out the bowl after most smokes.



Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2015
I will have 18 pipes total by next week. Slowly working to 21 or more. As for tobacco, I'm always up for trying different blends. In my opinion, different pipes smoke different genres better. So a pipe is assigned to a genre. I generally enjoy VA's, Vapers, English, and Balkan styles. Certain pipes only see night time relaxation use. Others around the house or out and about use. I have two pipes that travel to farm. When I finish a blend I always have a blend ready to take its place, for variety is the spice of life.
Farm pipes: Brigham mountaineer, any blend. Primarily English. Pete Kaput chop top, OGS.

Around the the house and travel pipes

All Ehrlich's

Billard- 3p's

Bulldog- xxx blend (English)

Rusticated stack- Vabur and English

Canadian- Kentucky dark fires based

Pot- English blends

Lovat- Vaper

And a Charatan stack that's a VA and Vaper pipe.

Then night time only pipes

Cobbit- bothy flake

Ehrlich rusticated bent egg is Baltic

Ehrlich freehand/poker is Baltic

Savinelli Trevi author is English.



Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
I have pipes that are not regularly smoked. Not many. I do not buy groups of pipes. I purchase a pipe I want, if it smokes well, it is added to my regular smokes and properly broken in. A pipe that does not measure up is disposed of.
Not counting cobs I have near thirty pipes, of which seven are meerschaums. Haven't purchased a pipe in four years now. I haven't had one catch my eye in any of the shops. Next trip to Ireland and the UK I'll browse the shops with no intention to buy. If a pipe looks good and passes the various tests I'll buy. Otherwise, I have a sufficient number of bowls.
When at home, I smoke what is close at hand or strikes my fancy at the time in the bowl that strikes my fancy at the time. Out working I smoke what is in my pocket or kit, choosing the blend from the same. I shy away from complicating my smoking. It's neither a hobby nor an obsession.



New member
Nov 20, 2015
I am a beginner and i have 5 pipes and 14 different tobaccos (will buy more to test). I smoke twice a day, morning before work and at night with some drink to relax. As a former GAS (guitar acquisition syndrome) patient, i am now suffering from PAD. :) I quit smoking cigarettes right after starting to smoke pipe. As i am testing all premium tobaccos i can get, my pipes are full of ghosts :) I hope i will be trying to match my future pipes with certain tobacco types someday. Cake is not a concern for me at this stage, they are all carbonised and black inside. I found a good K&P Peterson today and going to buy it, it will give me some peace as a PAD patient. :)



Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
Almost forgot this thread is about cake.

I consider a pipe "broken in" once the bowl has an even black coating. Having a "thick" cake seems overkill. If it got treated at the factory, I don't worry about it. If it's bare briar and seems to be taking its sweet time, I might apply some form of liquid sugar to the inside of the bowl to assist.



Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2011
My "collection" is at about 24 or so pipes now and only grows by one or two a year. At a given moment, I keep 12 or so in regular rotation; there are a few that I keep for sentimental reasons; and and there are four or five in play to be sent along to the next happy puffer.
I put collection in quotes becuase I don't really collect -- that is, own to own, to assemble a group with a theme, to curate -- none of that. My pipes are to smoke.
Not to say I don't admire and appreciate guys who really to collect. I.E., NAR's collection of Comoys Bleu Ribands -- that is something to see.



Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2015
The real collectors and their stock are something to admire. Banjo and peck, come in to mind. Banjo gets a lot of nice pipes that I enjoy looking at and Pecks cellar is something to admire. However pipes are tools and are only as good as the stuff you enjoy. Therefore I buy cheaper and have found myself lucky to enjoy what I got. I may never own a white dot, but with enough pipe purchase, they still ain't worth the dot!



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
I like the illusion of shopping in my own pipe shop, but I also know that some of these mostly really good pipes don't get smoked often enough. It's a fair question, what are too many? Although I am not in any sense a collector -- that's not my concept or purpose -- clearly the pleasure of buying another pipe is enchanting enough that I don't completely refrain from doing it. I guess this is where emotion and reason part ways, somewhere north of your 25th pipe. Choose your own number.



Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
I don't have problems with the issue the OP mentioned simply because it is rare for me to buy more than one pipe at a time. I buy a pipe, I smoke it a bunch. Not a big problem. I keep lots of blends in rotation, but it's always a mixture of old friends and newer blends. :puffy:



Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2014
Moody, AL
I began as a collector, but over time have sacrificed quantity for quality, as I could not have both :( this makes me sad. I also loved viewing my collection as entering a nice pipe shop, reproducing the retail experience inside my home, more pipe shop than museum, very similar to the old timers who love cars and build the service station of their childhood dreams, complete with gravity gas pumps, signage, and a cash register.
I've not been smoking a pipe long enough to have developed a loving, long term relationship with my smoking tools. I'm still very much the newbie, but time will change that. I've definatly developed a sense. When I acquire a pipe and get it in my hands, I know immediately if we're M2B or just a one night stand.



Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
Oddly enough, I remarked to my wife just this weekend that sometimes, I wish I had never discovered anything beyond MM cobs and Carter Hall. Lord, how that would simplify things.