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Do You Fear the Dark Rim?

(41 posts)
  1. npod

    npod

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    For the five years I’ve been smoking high(er) end briar pipes I’ve tended to baby the rim of the bowl as if it was a sin to taint it with even a speck of carbonization. Spit, lemon juice, wax, fill the bowl only 3/4, prayer, chicken blood, voodo spells, you name it and I bought in to it to keep the rims pristine. Then after a few years and many smokes my favorite pipes inevitably aged and garnered the tell tale signs of use, the dark rim. That’s when I realized that like myself, my pipes were aging and getting experience Then I saw a picture of Franco Coppo’s Personal Castello collection and noticed the wonderfully aged rims that certainly tell stories of many good smokes. I still try hard to avoid burns but as me and my herd age, I tend to baby the rims less. Anyone else have this experience?

    Picture link: http://www.fondazionecologni.it/application/files/8214/4232/1756/Middle_7109293379_947a21513b_o.jpg

    Neal
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    aldecaker

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    About the same here. I'm certainly a lot less kooky about it than I used to be.

    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 #
  3. lightmybriar

    lightmybriar

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    For me, it depends on the pipe. I love the look of my Cobbit pipe's charred and darkened rim...while on my Dunhills, I prefer them to look new. I think each pipe may have its own care protocol in my collection.

    On a pipe adventure
    Steve
    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. npod

    npod

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    I love the look of my Cobbit pipe's charred and darkened rim

    Same here. My virgin stained briars and cobs look great with darker rims. You raise a good point here some pipes like cooler with a bit of blackened patina, while others not so much.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    When I first started smoking, I fussed over my rims because I wanted to keep all my pipes looking prestine. Now I don't worry about it so much. But I still pack my tobacco just a bit below the rim and I suppose it's just habit now, that I don't allow the flame to pass outside of the chamber diameter and to the out rim. So far most my rims still look pristine. For those few pipes that do have a bit of patina on the rim, it doesn't bother me so much.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. jpmcwjr

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    Depends a lot on the rim itself. Some are beautiful grain, and I like to see it. Others, not so much. But for most of my pipe smoking I paid no attention to their condition. Now, slowly, I am returning some to a clean condition.

    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 #
  7. metalheadycigarguy

    metalheadycigarguy

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    When I started smoking pipes, I didn't pay much attention to it as its inevitable that the rims will eventually show rim darkening. I looked at it as character for the pipe, and just part of the story. Over time I paid more attention to the issue to try and limit the amount of rim darkening, and I'm still that way unless its a cob. With my cobs I'm not worried about it as its only a cob. With my meerschaum pipes and my really nice briars I try to limit the potential rim darkening as best I can. As the rims darken over time I do clean them up, but I don't worry if they don't look pristine.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. warren

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    Not something I worry about much. A little spit and a wipe with a finger and they are good to go for me. I smoke out of doors, in the snow, rain and dust. For me the pipe is not a hobby, it's simply part of me. I keep them serviceable but, not pristine.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

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    Unless you are buying them strictly as a Collector, it is a smoking instrument. I try not to char the rim with the flame but the carbonization is inevitable if it is smoked.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. seacaptain

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    Pipes are for smoking. I couldn't care less if they look like I've smoked them.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. snowhill

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    I have charred and darkened rims on all of pipes. Even when I baby a new pipe, the rim chars. I don't worry about it so much (anymore).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. olkofri

    Olkofri

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    I don't care for it in cobs. I try to avoid charring as much as I can on briars, and it's one reason I prefer rusticated over smooth finish.

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Fear? No. A great many of my pipes are estates so some of them already had a bit of char here or there. With pipes that are pristine, I tend to keep them that way, especially if the carver has thought about the play grain over surfaces and offered a fine display of birdseye on the rim. It's not a lot of work to keep the rims clean as long as one doesn't let them go to hell. Darkening will occur over time, but burning the rim is a matter of simple incompetence.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    sumusfumus

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    Never gave rim discolorations and "charring" the least bit of thought. I will, however try to avoid, or minimize these build-ups with routine cleaning and polishing techniques. But, it is what it is. I don't lose any sleep over discolored, scorched, lightly charred rims, on any pipes.

    Keeping "special" pipes, in pristine condition...regardless of grain, contrast staining, rustication patterns, etc....is not one of my pipe-smoking, goals. I buy my pipes, smoke them, and enjoy them, for what they are, i.e. objects of utility.

    Frank
    NYC

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    sumusfumus

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    Never gave rim discolorations and "charring" the least bit of thought. I will, however try to avoid, or minimize these build-ups with routine cleaning and polishing techniques. But, it is what it is. I don't lose any sleep over discolored, scorched, lightly charred rims, on any pipes.

    Keeping "special" pipes, in pristine condition...regardless of grain, contrast staining, rustication patterns, etc....is not one of my pipe-smoking, goals. I buy my pipes, smoke them, and enjoy them, for what they are, i.e. objects of utility.

    Frank
    NYC

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. mikethompson

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    I guess the consensus here is that when starting out with pipes, one is careful to keep it pristine, and then as time passes, you just get used to the inevitable darkening.

    I prefer a little character to my pipes, but then again, most of my pipes are rusticated so the darkened rim blends well.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. ssjones

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    I've never cared for burned rims (or even dark) and make sure none of my pipes end up in that condition. That's one reason that I avoid using a lighter. I like the pinpoint accuracy and softer flame of the match (and I can avoid charring the tobacco as well). My rims get wiped/buffed with a cloth after every smoke. I suppose that some are darker than when I received them, but not by much, if any.

    This Ligne Bretagne, a gift, and I love smoking this pipe. But, it drove me crazy with the natural finish. Despite my best efforts, the rim was darkening and not attractively. I sanded the top to a smooth finish and waxed it, problem solved.

    Al

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    It's the careless guy who actually chars the rim. (Meaning the wood is damaged) All rims will darken over time but that's either the briar aging or the rim sooting. Sooting can happen on both the light and the smoke. A quick wipe down after a bowl, perhaps a bit of saliva on a finger tip will help with your rim maintenance.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. bluegrassbrian

    bluegrassbrian

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    On smooth pipes I lick my finger and give the rim a wipe before each light.
    I don't sweat discoloration too much, but an ounce of prevention..

    Tobacco's a help because it clears the mind
    But like all your friends it is vilified
    They always say, the right amount's fine
    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. jazz

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    The way I see it is that if I'm charring the rim then I'm doing it wrong and thankfully I have never had this issue. As for the darkening of the rim with oils and tars, well, my pipes are for burning tobacco in. If I'm going to smoke them then this is going to happen and I'm fine with it. Some saliva and a paper towel is the cure for me but I'm not obsessive about it. If I notice it and it's convenient to deal with it then I will or else it can wait. I think there is comfort in the way that my pipes age with me.

    I don't believe I have a pipe worth over £200 though. Perhaps if I had some dearer burners I would be a little more fastidious. I doubt it though.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. midwestpipesmoker70

    midwestpipesmoker70

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    It depends on the pipe for me. If it is one of my better looking pipes I actually spit clean while I am smoking it. If you spit clean while smoking it really reduces or even stop the charring as long as you are lighting carefully. But there are some pipes that I don't care if they show some darkening.

    Nate
    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. cigrmaster

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    On my pipes that show really nice birdseye on the rim, I keep nice and clean. My other pipes I could care less.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. cosmicfolklore

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    I have a Becker Danish scoop that he blasted the entire thing and stained it black, and then polished the rim, which is slopped into the shallow bowl. I fretted over keeping that thing looking nice, till I just gave up and let the creep take over the rim. It's still one of my favorite smokers for tasting Virginias, but the pipe is entirely black now, except for a few inlaid bands on the stem. Still a pretty pipe, but just not as sharp as it once was.

    Michael
    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. 3rdguy

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    I take care of my pipes enough to allow me to enjoy the part that is important to me, the tobacco. Never been concerned on the looks of them really.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Who knows, maybe a layer of soot on the rim actually protects it from an inadvertent char (capricious breezes leap to mind).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. johnsteam86

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    It really depends on the pipe for me. On my cobs I really don't mind it since it kind of gives it the classic Mark Twain feel to them but with my Savinelli I try to keep as much of it off of it as possible. It really has to do with taste I guess. Some like it, some don't.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. paulie66scandinavian

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    I prefer using matches, lighters in my hands too often led to darkened rims even how watchful I was, but what really pisses me off is the fact that 90% of the stems on my pipes are starting exposing tooth chatter marks and I have a hard time to get accustomed using to those softy bites.

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. midwestpipesmoker70

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    @paulie66scandinavian Have you ever tried vinyl tubing cut to fit as a softy bit? I like them because they are harder than the softy bits but still comfortable on the teeth. They last much longer as well. Pretty cheap to make as well.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. badbeard

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    For me, it really depends on what type of finish is on the pipe. Blasts or rusticated finishes, especially if they are darker, I tend to care a lot less about. Smooth finishes, I do what I can to minimize and clean it away whenever possible. I still don't lose any sleep over it if it does happen, despite my efforts.

    Thanks for this clever solution @bluegrassbrian:

    On smooth pipes I lick my finger and give the rim a wipe before each light.

    I am not sure why something this simple never occurred to me.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. balkisobrains

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    I used to worry about it, now I don't. I usually see some colorization between 8 and 12 o' clock on my pipes, if the stem is 12. Radiant heat from the lighter flame, and sometimes I'll light off some "wood gas" above the tobacco and it will float over to that area.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. mrenglish

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    This is one reason why I prefer blasts over smooth pipes, though there are a lot of sandblasts with a smooth rim. I am very bad about keeping the rims pristine but they do get cleaned after every couple smokes.

    Michael
    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. deathmetal

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    That's one reason that I avoid using a lighter. I like the pinpoint accuracy and softer flame of the match (and I can avoid charring the tobacco as well).

    Hmm. That's compelling. And these Bics are not ever going to get sexier.

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. msjones99x

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    Glad I found this thread as I've been obsessing over this lately. I have darkening on the rim of one of my Savs & it's driving me nuts. I am completely far sighted & had trouble hitting the inside of the bowl with my light until I got a pipe lighter. That lighter has helped but I'm thinking of trying matches, too. I guess some darkening is inevitable, but I don't like it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. upnorth1

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    No. My Father, Grandfather, and Great Grandfather had dark rims. So will I. That's one of the great things about pipe smoking. All pipes have their stories. I have their pipes, and I've refurbished and smoked each of them. I refurbished them to make them smokeable, but I didn't erase their history. Those rims tell a story. An estate pipe might be a different story.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. wyfbane

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    I do my best, but many of my pipes are also estates that came pre-darkened. Having an estate darkened up, just gets me a better deal usually, and many times the rim can be cleaned. I don't like charred rims, though. A hacked up ream job with turn me off an estate way before rim darkening will.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  36. luigi

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    Not being a collector I don't care too much about rims. However I catch myself sometimes being worried about it and feel sorry for leaving marks on it. With time they probably will get darker but I'm fine with that. Scorching it instead would be a pitty, even for just an instrument for burning tobacco.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  37. madox07

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    Like most guys here, I don't worry much about it. I used to be a bit more attentive with the rims, but ... neh, I need the pipe to smoke well, and that's pretty much it. If I really want to take a pipe outdoors and don't want to give a bad impression by displaying a oxidized stem/dirty briar/stained rim ... I just clean it. I take huge comfort in the fact that I have learned how to clean my pipes properly, at the same time that made me less obsessive about their outer shape.

    Sea Wolf Pipers

    "Like the mariners of old, a loner is acceptable but a pipe is best enjoyed in a pack"
    Posted 1 year ago #
  38. paulie66scandinavian

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    MidWestPipesmoker:Thanks for the reminder,I have had this in my mind since then when I watched a Y T Video uploaded by username North West pipesmoker Tom'

    Posted 1 year ago #
  39. didimauw

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    I like a Dark rim. For me, it's like a feeling of accomplishment. Especially when the cake flows over the top!

    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    mithrandir

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    Most of the pipes I smoke are like me, a little rough around the edges.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  41. pipesticks

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    It's usually the inside rim lip closest to your nose that darkens as it's inevitable due to the way the pipe hangs from our mouths. The only way to avoid it is to keep the pipe perfectly horizontal, and that's just silly and would look even sillier. No matter what you do, anything coming in contact with direct smoke is going to darken over time, including your teeth and even the walls. It's unavoidable but regular maintenance is all that is required to keep it from forming any buildup. But staining from smoke does not bother me. The lava buildup does though and is easily avoidable with a bit of spit and a wipedown after every smoke. An unforgivable sin, however, is burning your rims with a lighter, and I too wet the rim a bit before lighting to avoid that.

    As far as cobs go, of course I don't worry as much about them. But they are the easiest to maintain. The lacquer used on MM cobs is not alcohol soluble, so wiping down your cob rims with an alcohol soaked rag or Q-tip keeps them looking nice. You can NEVER do that to a briar or you'll ruin the finish. I've had very good success with Murphy's Oil Soap on briars, but prolonged contact will also cause issues. Be quick, get off what you can and rinse it under the sink, then dry with a towel. I've never had any problems drenching my pipes in warm water inside and out briefly.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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