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A Bad Seed

(19 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by pianopuffer
  • Latest reply from mrenglish
  1. pianopuffer

    pianopuffer

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    So I bought an unsmoked Butz-Choquin estate pipe about 6 months ago, one of their Belami pocket pipes. It's a lightweight, small straight apple that's perfect for lunting, my preferred method of enjoying a pipe.

    It's never smoked dry, not even remotely. I've tried all sorts of adjustments: slowing my cadence way down, using the driest of dry tobaccos, even opening up the draft hole a bit (since that worked on other pipes with similar problems) and still no dice. I've heard that sometimes you just get a pipe that wasn't cured properly, which may be the case here. Before I let it go and move on to something more reliable, are there any tips/tricks that I am overlooking?

    It wasn't terribly expensive, so I'm fine losing it to the discard pile, but it's so damn perfect in its dimensions that I'd like to salvage it if possible. Thanks.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. npod

    npod

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    Steve Forbes once said that his favorite business quote is, “the way it begins is the way it will go.” I think that applies to pipes as well. Sounds like tried everything to make this pipe work without reward. Thus, probably time to move on. It happens.

    Neal
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. oldmansmoking

    oldmansmoking

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    Hope it gets fixed, always a shame to discard a pipe. If you could smoke it a few times it might ease up.

    A pipe is the fountain of contemplation, the source of pleasure, the companion of the wise ☪️
    OLDMANSMOKING
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    aldecaker

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    I'm pretty stubborn about letting a pipe go. If I don't like the way it performs, I'll open the draft hole up to 5/32". I use a straight bit on the stummel, a tapered bit on the stem, and needle files from the button end. It has been my experience so far that if you leave any restriction anywhere along the airway, this does not work, and may even make a wet smoker worse. I am also a firm believer in funneling the tennon to smooth the transition and eliminate a big ol' square ledge for the condensation to precipitate onto.

    At the end of it all, though, some pipes are just dogs.

    A man who serves his country is a patriot. A man who serves his government is an employee. The two are not always the same thing.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. pipebuddy

    pipebuddy

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    Could have been insufficiently cured. But the briar might have been too young, as well. Actually, it could be that it was both. And, unfortunately, this kind of pipe could just be a lost cause.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. pianopuffer

    pianopuffer

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    Davey- thats my suspicion. Life is too short to smoke janky pipes.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. mso489

    mso489

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    A short straight pipe that smokes wet. Odd, in the wrong direction. I'd set it aside and come back trying various remedies. Some really dry tobacco. Flake. Plug. Boring it wider is a last resort, but a good one. But I wouldn't wrestle with it ongoing, just now and then when you are relaxed and want to puzzle over something. The French do a nice pipe, generally. It's a small competitive proud pipe making culture. But this one sounds like a bad job. When it's just laborious, set it aside ... in the dust bin.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. cortezattic

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    Look, the pipe isn't a joy to smoke, and it will provide even less pleasure sitting in a drawer somewhere, forgotten. If it's a smooth pipe, get rid of that terrible lacquer finish that BC uses to disguise fills: sandpaper it followed by a quick coat of wax (carnauba preferred). The pipe will smoke better for it. I can't say it has to do with heat dissipation, or increased breathability, but I did this to my BC D'Accord 1024 and it became a better smoker for it. Don't worry about altering the pipe. Briar is tough wood, and a reasonably fine grit sandpaper isn't going to do much more than remove the lacquer (or shellac, or whatever they use).

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. chasingembers

    Embers

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    I just use acetone to remove the lacquer, no dust to get into the chamber.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. pianopuffer

    pianopuffer

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    Cortez - I hadn't thought to remove the lacquer but I'm open to options. What grit should I use for this sort of job?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. cortezattic

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    I knew you were going to ask that! ...And I forgot what I used! I think it was 400 grit. Maybe you should start with some fine, and move to medium if it's going too slowly. Well, this just goes to show that it's so easy, even a numb-nuts like me can get good results. (My first instinct was to use acetone, but it didn't touch the finish on my pipe; neither did mineral spirits. I even spot-checked paint remover without luck.)

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    headhunter

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    Instead of sandpaper use 0000 steel wool, works great.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. jpmcwjr

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    What Chasing said.

    But refinishing won't cure the problem. The one thing to try to to load half bowls of dry tobacco, over smoke them (increasing heat), smoke to the bottom, and repeat 30 times. This will drive moisture out of the briar, but whether it's enough is anyone's guess, but it should improve it to become a drier smoker.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. maduromadness

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    Maybe try Nording Keystones

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Or Akadama pebbles.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. jpmcwjr

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    Those are simply bandaids.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. chasingembers

    Embers

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    but it should improve it to become a drier smoker.

    And that's wishful thinking. Some pipes never smoke dry.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. pianopuffer

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    Tried sanding off the finish as suggested above, along with some super dry CH, but nada. In the trash, life's too short.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. mrenglish

    mrenglish

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    You should give it a Viking funeral.

    Michael
    Posted 1 year ago #

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