What Should a Draw Feel Like? Keeping the Pipe Lit.

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martiniman

Preferred Member
Apr 6, 2012
886
0
First off, thanks for all of the expert advise to date........

I just viewed the many methods of packing a pipe(thanks Bob) and one thing is resounding in my brain. always check the draw???? i find the if i were to pack a pipe to the draw im used with a cigar i'm sure i would be packed too tight. I'm having an issue with my bowls needing constant relighting. annoying to say the least. If i try to keep it going i get tongue bite since i go way too fast. It seems unless i really pack the bowl very tight, i get too free a draw.
I had my 5th bowl tonight, very pleasing short of relighting 6-7 times. I see videos of guys that seem like their pipe stays lit forever!

 

baronsamedi

Preferred Member
May 4, 2011
5,692
0
Dallas
I always compare the draw to sipping iced tea through a straw. If it feels like a milk shake, it's too tight. If it's a little loose, it's OK, because you can always tamp it more, but you can't un-tamp it once it's lit. You can loosen the pack a little with the pipe tool afterward, but it's easier to have it right before you light it. When I tamp, I try to do it just enough to chase the ember into the unsmoked tobacco. Too hard and you'll put it out.

 

puffy

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2010
2,437
3
North Carolina
I suppose that the desired draw could vary a bit from one pipe smoker to another,but probably not much.I like mine to be about the same as a good cigar.You probably will always have to relight some.Proper packing and smoking technique will cut it to a minium though.Tobacco moisture content can make a difference as to how you pack your pipe as well.Just give it a litle time,and you'll find what works for you.

 

philip

Preferred Member
Oct 13, 2011
1,706
0
Puget Sound
I suppose that the desired draw could vary a bit from one pipe smoker to another...
It varies with different tobaccos, too.
Most beginners pack too tight. So pack looser that you are used to and experiment. It won't take long to find out what works best.

 

zanthal

Preferred Member
Dec 3, 2011
1,839
0
Pleasanton, CA
It really does vary with different tobaccos. It's easier to put a stopper on the draw with a wetter tobacco, than with a dry one also.
But anyhow I think the best description of "what the draw should feel like" was that the amount of suction required should be comparable to drinking soda from a straw.
In other words, it should be easy. But you can still have a fairly densely packed pipe and get an easy draw. It takes practice but isn't difficult to master.

 

nsfisher

Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2011
3,567
0
Nova Scotia, Canada
I find the Pipe and tobacco type/blend, is instrumental in how I pack my bowls. Lots of times gravity filling will win the race for you when you are first starting out. After so many yrs it just becomes second nature and you don't even think about it. If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again mate!. As far as relights go, don't sweat em. Relight as often as you need to untill you get the hang of what works best for you. Once again, alot depends on the baccy and the pipe you use. If I don't relight, that is ok. If I have to relight 2-5 times, that is ok too. Main thing is to enjoy.

 
Apr 16, 2012
186
0
I agree with the straw analogy. That's what I always tell newer pipe smokers anyhow. But don't feel like relighting is taboo, it's better to relight than it is to try and save the ember and in the process earning a couple days worth of tongue bite and heating your pipe up excessively. Just sit back and relax. Pipe smoking is an art, it's going to take some time to figure all the little facets an things that work for you. :puffy:

 

markw4mms

Preferred Member
Jun 16, 2011
2,177
0
Bremen,GA
Good advice all around! The bottom line is don't worry about a few relights, it happens. Just relax, and enjoy your pipe!

 

martiniman

Preferred Member
Apr 6, 2012
886
0
@ohlin3 I never had a cigarette. Cigars are my background.

I just view the many ways to pack a pipe on this site(good stuff),

everyone says to pack lightly but is seemed like all method there seemed to pack pretty tight from what i could tell watching.
My comment in the OP was 5th bowl total, not tonight. I'm trying a slow start at 1 per night.
Once again thanks to the fellow posters for the advice.

Like there is no stupid question, don't assume i know anything.........

 

digitalshave

Junior Member
Jun 21, 2011
80
0
Martiniman, I am in realatively the same boat. I have tried a few different packing methods,like the others said it varies with tobacco/moisture level.
The problem I am working on now is getting down the rhythm of draws. Some wise soul on this forum suggested sitting down while smoking...which has helped somewhat. Lawerence suggested Breathe Smoking, but I am just too retarded to get the concept...guess I am gonna have to track down a video of it online so maybe it will make sense.
I decided in an effort to slow myself down I would try to count between puffs gradually increasing the time between. So far am up to 15 seconds between draws, but obviously I still need to slow down some more because bowl gets too hot too quick.
Need to do more research...

 

slowpuffer

Junior Member
Apr 9, 2012
72
0
Keeping a pipe lit is not an exact science. I have gotten to the point where I only have to relight about every 20-30 minutes on average. It can depend on the tobacco and pipe as well. All that being said, here is what I have learned by my own experimentation.
I recommend that inexperienced pipe smokers start with drier tobacco and preferably a ribbon cut or fully rubbed out flake. Bulk tobaccos are often dry enough at the time of purchase, tinned tobaccos rarely are. Set some tobacco out on a paper towel for 15-20 minutes prior to smoking. Now for the packing. I recommend that you start by simply gravity filling the pipe. Don't pack it (you may have to give it an assist to get it in the bowl). You can now light it. Smoke slowly and if it goes out, don't worry about it. Give it a light tamp and light it again. Be patient and repeat this until you find the right balance where the tobacco stays lit for a reasonable amount of time. Pay attention to how the draw feels too. Now, the next time you pack your pipe, do the gravity fill method again, but this time pack the tobacco very lightly. Repeat this step with every bowl until you find that it burns satisfactorily from the start. Also, I wish someone had told me this: if your pipe stays lit 5-10 minutes, you are probably doing it right. Over time you will see that the time increases due to the fact that your "smoking coordination" is improving.
Another tip: smoke in an area with a little air movement. A room of still air lends no help in keeping the tobacco lit, too much wind and you will find that the tobacco burns too hot!
As for smoking too hot: if the smoke is cool and flavorful, but the bowl is getting hot it could be a pipe problem or you have not yet built a good even cake in the pipe. I have had cheap pipes that would get hot no matter how slowly I smoked due to inconsistencies in the briar. If you haven't built the cake up in the pipe yet, be careful not to fill the bowl full every time and only smoke 1/2 or 2/3 of the bowl. You may want to only fill the pipe halfway sometimes to ensure that the heal forms a cake and becomes broken in.
I'm not an expert, but these are things I have learned. I hope it helps!

 

nsfisher

Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2011
3,567
0
Nova Scotia, Canada
16 yrs on the pipe. Most bowls is 1-3 relights. If, on occasion, I am smoking something harder to stay lit, I don't care if I have to relight 5-10 times. It's all part of the process. Never count between puffs, there is no time frame, it is all according to the person. Count this, clean this, swab this, puff this way, load this etc... way too much technical crap! How are you going to enjoy your smoke when your whole experience is taken up with mumbo jumbo tecnicalities? Smoke it, learn as you go, and most importantly, enjoy

 

barkar

Preferred Member
Apr 17, 2012
1,105
0
Smoking a pipe is a lot like playing golf. A nice calm, slow, easy pace is what is needed and what provides the best taste and overall pipe experience.

Packing is a "feel" that you learn over time and is hard to explain in words. Try to visualize something familiar that helps to get the "feel"...here is an example.

1st load...tamp as easy as you would poke a baby's arm with your finger to get their attention.

2nd load...tamp as if your poking your daughter, niece, or wife in the arm.

3rd load (usually my final)...tamp as if you poke a man's arm to get their attention.

Light in a revolving circle until you think the whole bowl has felt the touch of the flame.

Tamp down the tobacco that raised up from first light with the same pressure as the 3rd load.

Now light again.

About halfway through the bowl tamp down again with 3rd load pressure.

Once you get the feel you will usually get through the bowl with minimal relights and no bite.

Remember to draw slow...its not a cigar or cig.

I hope this helps and isn't overly simplified.

 

ruraldean

Junior Member
Apr 27, 2012
90
0
I always pack lightly and have an effortless draw - the pipe seems to do all the work. you might try putting in a pipe cleaner, all the way. Pack your pipe as normal and remove the pipe cleaner. You should get a consistent draw no matter how tightly you pack, but looser is always better.