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How Long Did It Take You?

(36 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by sparrowhawk
  • Latest reply from wasnsfisher
  1. sparrowhawk

    sparrowhawk

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    ...To learn how to properly smoke a pipe, that is? I know it was a couple of years before I realized I was filling my pipe properly with barely the touch of a tamper, had developed an unconscious breathing rhythm, and so forth. Did it take you others so long? I should point out I had nothing but the forum's help in grabbing the reins of pipe smoking, but no personal instruction.

    There is no beauty without some strangeness in proportion.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. chasingembers

    Embers

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    When I started, the internet didn't exist. I started in early Summer '91, and by Christmas of that year I was smoking a pipe without thinking about it, so about six or seven months.

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

    nevadablue

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    I am happy with my progress. I am comfortable with the pipe now, no burnt tongue, pipe works well. About 5 months this trip. I had not smoked much at all for about 10 years and back then only smoked for about 8 months or so.
    The forum helped a LOT. I am sure that learning by myself would have taken a lot longer.

    ---
    Ken
    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    I think I got off to a ok start from day one, but the forums definitely helped me refine my technique and learn most of the dos and don'ts.

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

    pipestud

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    I've been smoking my pipes for 40 plus years and am getting close to getting the hang of it... I think.

    Pipestud
    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    Too long ago to remember, but I did struggle with scorched tongue in those early days weeks months -- that's it, months -- smoking moist aromatics. Then, one day, a clerk at Iwan Ries turned me on to their British blends, and it was downhill from then on. (I still haven't learned to not end sentences with a preposition.)

    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 #
  7. prairiedruid

    prairiedruid

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    Sort of like the benefit of aging tobacco; first 6 months to a year the most improvement, after that slowly incremental change for the better.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. zack24

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    It took me 2 years...or maybe it's just a matter of the tobacco I opened 2 years ago is getting a little drier and burns better...:)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. ray47

    ray47

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    I've been smoking a pipe for 50 yrs and to be honest it's an ongoing learning process.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. loneredtree

    loneredtree

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    + 1 ray. Still making break throughs after 50+ years

    There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable. Mark Twain

    “Very few people are focusing on the potential damage this ill-conceived and hastily assembled homage to the ability of bureaucrats to conceive of all manner of problems where problems don't exist then apply solutions to those problems that only create new problems without solving the original problems at all will bring to many sectors.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. fitzy

    fitzy

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    I'm still struggling after all these years.

    Hell I'm struggling right now as I write this to try and figure out why I can't keep this bowl of Mike & Russ Mind Meld Va/Per lit. I didn't over pack it and I barely tamped it after the charring light.

    "These are ghosts that are more at home in a girdle-filled drawer than one of my pipes." Quote by Neil Archer Roan on lakeland ghosts
    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. archerdarkpint

    archerdarkpint

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    Echo some of the others. Nearly 20 years now and still learn something new and sometimes unexpected.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Being here on this forum helped me a lot, but still I keep searching for the answer how on the earth I could avoid that leathery tongue feel which I often am experiencing, Ok Biotene comes to help.

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    47 years in, still working on it.

    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 #
  15. gloucesterman

    gloucesterman

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    I've been pipe smoking for over 50 years now and the learning has slowed down (or maybe it's just me!) but it never stops. Someone here always provokes a new idea I hadn't contemplated. It's what keeps it fun.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. indianafrank

    indianafrank

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    After coming back to the pipe a few years ago I'm learning a lot.

    fitzy -

    Hell I'm struggling right now as I write this to try and figure out why I can't keep this bowl of Mike & Russ Mind Meld Va/Per lit. I didn't over pack it and I barely tamped it after the charring light.

    For the life of me there are certain tobaccos I just cannot keep lit regardless of how I pack the pipe. So I've given up on them and will only smoke the less difficult.

    I don't know where I'm going...but sooner or later I'll get there.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Without much problem 50 years ago, a couple of months. But I had a great mentor. Since re-taking it up a few years ago, much learning has occurred. Another 20 years and I think I may have it mastered.......

    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 #
  18. btwes7

    btwes7

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    Not too long. When most kids were asking for a sip of their Dads beer, I was asking my Dad for a puff off his pipe.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. jndyer

    jndyer

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    I have been learning since I picked up the pipe nearly ten years ago. I have been able to pack a bowl and smoke it with decent results after just a few months; however, I continue to have breakthroughs which keep improving my smoking experiences. Basically, I thought I knew a lot in the past, but now realize I did not know as much as I thought I did. I am sure in another ten years I will be in the same boat.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. hawky454

    hawky454

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    This is good thread!

    I’ve been smoking a pipe pretty close to 8 years now and just from memory I feel like I got it down pretty quick and was lucky to find English blends early on in my journey as they are pretty darn forgiving. Once I got into VA’s it took me a lot longer to master and just like others had said before me, it’s an ongoing process and I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning. It’s a new challenge every time I get a new blend and/or a new pipe and I think it’s all part of the fun, keeps me on my toes.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. voorhees

    voorhees

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    There are days I smoke without issue. Then I'll have a day where nothing goes right. Is it me? The pipe I picked? The tobacco? Weather? Could be.

    Jason
    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. mikethompson

    mikethompson

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    Some times we are better than others. One of my first times I didn't need any relights and I didn't get any bite. I was super proud and overconfident. But that was one time.

    It's the journey not the destination right?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. paddypiper

    paddypiper

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    Several times I've thought I know all I need to know, then I learn something new which often improves what I've been doing.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. didimauw

    didimauw

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    That's a good question. After a year, I thought I had it down. Then another year I figured out how to pack in a way that worked for me. Then I found "My" tobacco. Then I leaned how to breath smoke. So probably a couple years.

    "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 #
  25. keith929

    keith929

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    I have been smoking a pipe for 50 years and I am still learning new techniques thanks in part to this forum.

    A smart man learns from the mistakes of others.
    A wise man learns from his own.
    ---Anonymous
    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. sparrowhawk

    sparrowhawk

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    This may sound like heresy, but after three years I learned to fill the burning chamber entirely with just fingers, tamping down often with just my thumb. But not always, otherwise I'd forgoe using my best .12 gauge tamper shell Erik made for his woodcock Hunter's pipe

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. choch

    choch

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    I've been smoking pipes for 35 years since I was 16 but it hasn't been until the past 7 or 8 years that I've really mastered the craft. I credit this site more than anything else for helping me learn how to properly load my pipes and how to keep my tobacco at the right moisture level (drier than I used to keep it) among other things. I don't have to relight as often as I used to, I get a cooler smoke and I'm able to smoke right down to the bottom of the bowl now.

    "I must point out that my rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking tobacco and also the drinking of alcohol before, after, and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."
    Winston Churchill, Said during lunch with Arab leader Ibn Saud, when he heard the king's religion forbade smoking and alcohol
    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. seagullplayer

    seagullplayer

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    I'll let you know when it happens...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. fitzy

    fitzy

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    Frank that's probably a good idea. Some blends aren't worth the struggle.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. madox07

    madox07

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    A few months to properly smoke, as in no tongue bite, no bowl gurgling, no relight every other puff - but I guess pipe tobacco never seizes to amaze me. Every so often I get into a blend that makes me wonder ... how on earth do I properly smoke this!? I guess there is no right way, except for the way you feel comfortable with ...

    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 #
  31. chasingembers

    Embers

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    I guess there is no right way, except for the way you feel comfortable with ...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. jorchamp

    jorchamp

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    It is a life long learning experience. When smoke attentively (not out of habit and mindlessly) I learn something about the smoking experience: from how to pack, light up and how to taste. Also about the tobaccos.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. krizzose

    krizzose

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    It took me a good year before I was pretty sure I'd have a good smoke instead of a swampy inferno. Since then it's been incremental gains but sometime I surprise myself with laughably inept packing. But experience pays off: now I don't hesitate to shitcan a bowl if necessary and start over

    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. rigmedic1

    rigmedic1

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    I got the basics worked through in a few months, but I didn't even know about tampers for 20 years. After 40 years of this, I still am learning new things about technique.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. psychpipes

    psychpipes

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    It's been only 5-ish years of pipe smoking for me. I can keep it lit, not singe my facial hair, and not burn my tongue. Smoke properly? I don't know what that is.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    wasnsfisher

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    25 years ish. Put baccy in pipe. Light it, smoke it. Get another pipe later, repeat. Takes some time. More for some, less for others. Don't sweat it, just do it. Life's too short

    Posted 1 year ago #

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