Why the char light? And do you?

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willisk

Member
Aug 27, 2018
105
0
I do it cause I was taught by y’all in instructional sand testimonials. But last night at music on the square I lit up with some old times and they looked at me like I was from outer space!!

And then asked why I lit it to put it out then relight lol!!

 

seanv

Preferred Member
Mar 22, 2018
1,063
130
Canada
I char light because I find the smoke stays lit better with the second light.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,422
146
Fascinating! Who is "they"? And, what did you reply to "they"?

 

jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
787
0
UK
I do it because I find I get a more even burn going. I don't have to do it, though. I can get it going fine with most tobaccos off of one light.

 

tschiraldi

Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2015
1,154
1
I agree with all above. I find I get a nice even burn and the ash on top provides insulation that keeps the fire going.

 
Nov 14, 2015
100
0
I do it because the tobacco will burn more evenly, I also am a believer in delayed gratification. Do your char light( preferably with a match) and then set it down for ten minutes. May not be for everyone but it always makes the bowl more appealing.

 

willisk

Member
Aug 27, 2018
105
0
Warren they is a couple really old school Tennessee hillbilly’s named Roger and Jim!!

I told them it’s how I learned online ( which evoked another odd look ) they don’t know how to internet as Roger

Put it. They said they would learn me proper next week and offered to bring me some of Jim’s baccy that he grows and cure himself

So I’m looking forward to that!!
On a side note I really enjoyed sharing a smoke and convo with them. Definitely a perk of pipe smoking is connecting

With old timers, I did not have a pawpaw growing up so I really enjoy hanging out with them when I get the chance!!

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,209
408
I end up doing a char light about half the time, and when I do, it is because the tobacco seems to need to settle in the bowl. It burns and expands and is no longer packed. This doesn't relate to how hard it's packed in the first place, more about how it is cut and how dry it is. I admit I'm happier when it just lights up and forms a steady ember, but you can't always choose. I take it in stride.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,868
764
Monterey Peninsula
Char light: Nice ritual for some. Completely unnecessary 19 out of 20 times, but that one time it goes out, you can say the first time was a charring light.

 

mikefu

Preferred Member
Mar 28, 2018
917
134
Colorado Springs
I do a char light with any ribbon or shag for sure, not so much out of methodology, but out of necessity. These tobacco is expand when the flame is put to them, and I find myself having to tamping them down relatively aggressively at first, which leads to the tobacco usually going out. But then, after tamping, I try to get as far as I can without touching the flame to them again, by tamping gently and often. But if you don’t have to relight, there is no reason to do so just because someone says to.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,209
408
New pipers tend to feel they've flunked their dexterity test if they have to immediately relight, and they are feeling self-conscious anyway. Relights come with the territory, charring or otherwise.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,422
146
I like a nice even char, tamp and relight. It's my style. Don't know if I need to do it as I always do, do it.

 

64alex

Senior Member
May 10, 2016
386
7
I was doing char light religiously when I started for the first couple of years. Now maybe 50% of the time. I found that if the tobacco is properly dried many times there is no need for char light as I get a nice even homogeneous light on all surface with a single match (sometime even 1/2 match). In addition to dry appropriately the tobacco another thing I am doing now is loading the pipe in advance sometime even 1 hour before actually lighting up and I suspect this help the tobacco to settle down in the bowl making easier the lighting. Now if I get a nice lighting at the first attempt I don't see any reason to let it go and doing a second start. However, if the first light is not even I let it go down and do a second light.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,868
764
Monterey Peninsula
Addendum: Don't mean to single out a single company, and these folks might be completely innocent of nefarious promotion of match use. (thought it was old match boxes from four companies, but clearly is not)

 

pipestud

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
1,726
31
Robinson, TX.
I think a char tamping light depends on a lot of variables, just like about everything else in this crazy fun hobby. If I load up my pipe and its smoking like a champ from the get go, why stop, tamp and relight? If, on the other hand, it is packed a little loose and goes out quickly, then you bet I tamp it down to just the right density and fire it back up and puff until it needs another tamp or two.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,105
441
Sounds like these two old people just started smoking pipes. It’s your duty to teach them proper form. Just because they are old and grow tobacco doesn’t mean they know everything, nor do we.

Really, I don’t always do a charring light, unless (as stated above) there is a necessity, sometimes one will do to the very end. Sometimes the tobacco expands. Sometimes it needs some fiddling. Sometimes I just feel like doing it. There are no rules to pipes. But, it sounds like these guys just felt like ribbing you a bit. You should have snarked them back. Back slapping among pipesmokers is a form of camaraderie. You gotta get you shots back in. :puffy:

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,813
174
Tell them you are a member of an elite team of internet members with secret knowledge of the way of the pipe. But please don't teach them the secret handshake necessary before the charring light.