Worried About Burnout

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Senior Member
Apr 4, 2011
Hello All,
So I recently reamed out an estate pipe that I had purchased a couple of years ago, because I thought it would be a nice project to build my own cake in it. After a couple of bowl fulls, smoking slowly, with the pipe getting warm (never so warm that I could not hold it comfortably) I noticed a couple of pits of charred wood forming inside of the chamber. I hadn't even tasted anything but tobacco while smoking! Now, I have rarely smoked a pipe so hot that I could not hold it comfortably, that has only happened with my Peterson Churchwarden because the walls of the bowl are so thin and I was smoking it in the wind; but, after noticing those pits of char in the chamber walls of my estate I have become paranoid that they might be forming in my other pipes because I have thin cakes, I am afraid that one day I will have a complete burnout without warning. Are these shallow pits normal on a bare briar pipe? Perhaps I am mistaken and they were caused by the previous owner? 8O I wouldn't want to go prodding the baby cake of my churchwarden to check for similar pits or any of my other pipes. If someone is experienced in burning out pipes perhaps they could inform me of the warning signs, tastes, smells, temperature, etc. Thanks everyone!



Preferred Member
Mar 9, 2010
The char was probably already there in the estate. I find if fairly often. Scrape out all the charred wood then make a thick paste of cigar ash and a small amount of water. Stuff this into the pits you have after cleaning out the burnt stuff and let it dry for a day or two. Should cure the burnout if it isn't super bad.