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How To Clench A Pipe

(19 posts)
  1. scmkr

    scmkr

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    I'm not talking about "how do I smoke while clenching". I'm talking about the mechanics of holding the pipe between your teeth.

    I know this may seem like a no brainer to some people, but I have an overbite, and I haven't found any way that doesn't stick out the side of my face (instead of out front), nor have I found a way to hold it stable enough that it doesn't move around when I move my head around.

    How are you normally supposed to do this? Which teeth? Do you hold the bit with your teeth, or is that behind your teeth while you bite down on the stem? Is it your front teeth?

    I don't like the softy bits, I can't even chew gum - makes me gag.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  2. ericusrex

    ericusrex

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    I choke up on the stem a little, so the stem held in place mostly by my back teeth. This way, the pipe is hanging out the side of my mouth but pointed straight forward. Some pipes jibe with my teeth better than others, and I find vulcanite much better for clenching than acrylic.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  3. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Hang the bit from your lower teeth and close your jaw just enough to make contact with the stem. More of a dangle than a bite.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 9 months ago #
  4. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    A pipe sticking straight out front just looks... silly, to me. It puts the damned pipe right in your line of vision, and besides, it makes the person look like they have no idea what they are doing. Mine always hangs to the side. And, men in pictures always have it to the side. It’s more comfortable, out of sight, and I can just focus on reading or working at my bench, without having to look around the pipe. I can better forget about the pipe, and in forgetting, I tend to have more sublime smokes. YMMV

    Besides, most people have some sort of natural overbite, at least normal looking people do. It would be precarious for me to try to hang a pipe out front, which is why maybe guys who do hang front and center look silly.

    As to how, my eye teeth are used to hold the pipe straight as my molars lightly grasp the stem. Just be careful not to drill a hole in the stem with your eye teeth. A lot of guys do, and I guess it makes a seat for their eye teeth to better grasp the stem.

    Michael
    Posted 9 months ago #
  5. seldom

    seldom

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    I haven't given this much thought. I just stick the pipe in my head the way it fits best and puff away.
    That said, although my teeth line up well in the back I've a bit of an underbite in the front. I believe my premolars do most of the clenching and the pipe is thus always sticking out the side of my face. Sort of suck in with one side and puff out with the other.

    Seldom Seen
    Posted 9 months ago #
  6. olkofri

    Olkofri

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    I agree with Cosmic; even Popeye clenches his pipe on the side.

    But if you want to clench front centre, then this might be the pipe for you: Dunhill 3105.

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 9 months ago #
  7. chasingembers

    Embers

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    I guess the best answer would be however it feels the most comfortable.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  8. jaytex969

    jaytex969

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    I have an overbite, as well.

    I started with straight pipes, as that was my idea of a "proper" pipe.

    My first bent pipe fixed that perception issue. They hang much more naturally and comfortably, for me.

    I don't clench much, actually, at least not for extended periods. My hand feels compelled to interfere rather often.

    When I am "clenching", as Duane and others have said before, it's often more of a dangle with the teeth closed just enough to catch the bit and keep the pipe from slipping out.

    I find that the most natural position for me is roughly a 45 degree angle on either side, with the stem in close proximity to the canine teeth area. I just learned that those are also the "eye teeth" of which Cosmic speaks.

    Stem composition and shape also factor in. Some just "feel right" in a clench and others don't.

    EDIT: In re-evaluation, it's closer to straight than 45 degrees. More like 20-30 degrees.

    Gunner, Black Frigate. Say "Hello" to my little friend!
    Posted 9 months ago #
  9. warren

    warren

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    I rest the pipe between my rear molars, usually no clenching as in bite pressure. If I'm doing something physical I'll bite down a bit to keep the pipe in position. It does sit to the side of my mouth a bit. What works for you will be determined by the condition of your teeth, size and weight of the pipe, and some other variables.

    Embers nailed it, "I guess the best answer would be however it feels the most comfortable." Not every one can find a comfortable clench, only the chosen few!

    Oh, I only smoke pipes which are bent to some degree or another.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 9 months ago #
  10. tbradsim1

    tbradsim1

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    . Nuff Said!

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 9 months ago #
  11. jaytex969

    jaytex969

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    Feelin' a bit froggy, there, Brad?

    Sorry. Couldn't resist...

    Posted 9 months ago #
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    aldecaker

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    You're lookin' happier than usual, Brad. What's the occasion?

    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 9 months ago #
  13. weezell

    weezell

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    Bradley = JAWS!!!!...

    "the weez"...
    Posted 9 months ago #
  14. bnichols23

    Bill

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    Alde', you're such a mess....

    These days I have dentures, so not much clenching for me, but when my teeth were natural I had an overbite too, so for me clench was natural with either/both the lateral incisors &/or the canines, at about the 45° thing. To this day that's where I position it, almost always.

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 9 months ago #
  15. johnbarleycorn

    johnbarleycorn

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    More of a dangle than a bite.

    Duane, you have described my method exactly. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve never understood why anyone would “bite” their stems hard enough to leave tooth marks. But I suppose we are all different. As many others have said just do what feels right to you.

    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
    Posted 9 months ago #
  16. unkleyoda

    unkleyoda

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    I bite down on the button in my front molars. I keep the button at an angle in my teeth.


    So you say you can drink? Well, I'm from Wisconsin. Try to keep up.
    Posted 9 months ago #
  17. chasingembers

    Embers

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    I’ve never understood why anyone would “bite” their stems hard enough to leave tooth marks.

    Me either. The only pipes in my collection with dental indentations are some of my estate pieces. I even have a ten year old cob with a near pristine original stem. To each their own though.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  18. scmkr

    scmkr

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    I only have one bent pipe and I don't want to clench it (not sure if I want to sell it yet).

    The rest are straight. One in particular has bite marks all over because I can't find that perfect spot. I'll find something that's comfortable, but then when I turn my head it slides around. That poor stem.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  19. warren

    warren

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    A couple of my smokers, "house pipes", have a very comfortable canine tooth indent. It's an index point for me, the pipe just kinda slips into the right spot and all is right with the world as I read, pipe is pretty much forgotten until it has to be removed for a bit of port. Interesting book + nicotine + sedative = a pretty good evening.

    Posted 9 months ago #

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