S. M. Frank & Co. Inc.
1000 N. Division Street, Box 789, Peekskill, NY 10566
Written By: Bill Feuerbach III
S. M. Frank & Co., Inc.
November 20, 1997
What Everyone Should Know About Pipe Smoking
In the interest of better pipe smoking, we've put together some hints and techniques that pipe smokers, both old and new, will find helpful. Smoking a pipe does require a little more than just "lighting up", so take a few moments to read through our tips and you'll be on your way to years of enjoyable pipe smoking!
Choosing a Pipe
Unless you've been smoking a pipe for many years, your safest bet is to choose a well known, brand name pipe, because these are the manufacturers who have established reputations over the years. To maintain this zealously guarded reputation, they must consistently furnish a good value, quality pipe. You don't need to spend a lot of money to get a quality pipe.
Getting Accustomed to a Pipe
If you have never, or only occasionally smoked a pipe, the most important ingredient is patience. Experience shows that you must "break in" your mouth and taste as well as your pipe. If you smoke a pipeful a day for the first week, then increase gradually ..... by the end of a month you'll be right in the swing of it. Smoking a pipe takes a little time, so relax and enjoy your pipe.
Break in Your Pipe without Hurry or Haste
To Savior Full Flavor And Rich Mellow Taste, Break In Your Pipe Without Hurry Or Haste. Actually, there are only two things you must do: Fill the pipe and light it. If it's a new pipe, fill it about a third full. Pack it a little looser than usual. Smoke it to the bottom. Do this five or six times. Repeat this half full and three-quarters full so that the pipe will start caking from the bottom to the top.
Keeping it Lit, Follow these Tips
No Mystery To Keeping It Lit, Follow These Tips. If you pack your pipe too tightly, there will not be enough air space. It will draw poorly and keep going out. If packed too loosely, it will burn fast and hot. Therefore: Not too loose, not too tight. Put some tobacco in. Tamp it down lightly. Add more and tamp down until pipe is filled. Always light your tobacco completely and uniformly around the top surface. Important: To fully enjoy your pipe, you must tamp ash down often while smoking. It will stay lit longer and smoke cooler. As you acquire this "tamping technique", you will cut down on relighting. Remember also to smoke in short, easy puffs. NEVER DRAW HARD OR FAST.
For Your Pipe to perform at its Best
Your Pipe Will Perform At It's Best If, Between Fillings, You Give It A Rest. When you finish a pipeful of tobacco, blow through the stem to remove all lingering smoke. Then, give your pipe a "cooling off" period before refilling. Do not refill and relight while it's still hot. Experienced smokers recommend changing off from one pipe to another. This allows each pipe to properly cool and dry out. Some "cake" in the bowl is desirable, provided it doesn't get to thick. Excessive "cake" should always be thinned out or removed with a reamer or pipe tool. Don't use a knife or sharp instrument. Never let "cake" exceed thickness of a nickel.
Tobacco is Tasty, Find a Few You'll Enjoy
Tobacco Is Tasty, Try Different Types To Find A Few You'll Enjoy. The choice of tobacco is truly a matter of taste. There are really only two requisites for a tobacco. One, that you'll like it. And two, that it's slow burning. If you are just beginning then you'll also want a mild tobacco, such as the cavendish types. Not all tobaccos are blended for mildness. Try different brands and types until you find just the right ones for you.
Caring For Your Pipe
If properly cared for, your pipe can provide many years of smoking pleasure. Follow these tips to keep your pipe in great shape.
Smoke slowly. Fast puffing may burn the pipe bowl and your tongue.
Maintain a thin cake. A buildup of "cake" inside the bowl is desirable and should be as thick as a nickel. When it gets too thick use a pipe reamer to remove it. If excess cake is not removed the bowl could crack. Make sure the cake is reamed evenly. Off-center reaming can also cause the bowl to crack. This cake buildup will help your pipe smoke cooler and protect the wood from burning.
Storage. When not using your pipe, store it in a pipe rack with the bowl down and the stem up. This facilitates the drying-out process.
Don't knock your pipe against hard surfaces. This can damage your pipe beyond repair by chipping or denting the rim or even causing the shank to crack. The palm of the hand or a cork knocker should be used to knock out ashes.
Don't bite the bit too hard. While pipe bits are strong, you can bite right through it if you try hard enough. If you have a strong bite try using Softy Pipe Tips to protect the end of the stem.
Cleaning. After smoking a bowl full of tobacco, use a pipe cleaner to remove moisture from the shank and stem. In the case of a disposable filter, such as the Medico filter, these should be replaced after about 3 bowls full of tobacco have been smoked. When finished with your pipe for the day dip a pipe cleaner in a pipe sweetener and run it through the stem and shank.
Keep the connections clean Periodically clean the tenon or threaded fitment of the mouthpiece to keep pipe from freezing together. A pipe with a threaded fitting, such as a drinkless Kaywoodie, is more resistant to freezing together, however its a good idea to wipe the threads clean at the end of the day. Reassemble but do not tighten until pipe has cooled, this could cause mouthpiece to become overturned. It is important to keep the tenon on "push bit" pipes clean of resin buildup to prevent pipe from becoming "glued" together. If your pipe becomes stuck together, don't try and force it open as this can snap the tenon or crack the shank. Try putting pipe in a ziploc bag in the freezer for a couple of hours and then gently try and take it apart. Also do not scrap in the mortise of pipes shank as this can loosen the connection to the point where the pipe won't stay together.
Shield lit pipe from windy conditions Shield the bowl from the wind, including the breeze inside a car with window open, with your hand. This forced air creates a mini blast furnace that can cause the tobacco to burn hotter and also force the heat to burn into the briar, causing a burnout.