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I Can't Take It Anymore!

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  1. loseth

    loseth

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    Seriously, I am starting to get more frustrated smoking pipes than relaxed, I'm so tired of relighting 15 times. I've been smoking occasionally for years, more regularly for the past year and I still can't pack a pipe right. It hasn't bothered me much in the past, I just relight and keep going. But after so many bowls, much more than it should take to learn to do it right, I still can't do it. Sure I've had a few bowls where I've had a good 15 or so minutes without relighting, but rarely. Is it because none of my pipes have a cake? My Cob, which has probably been smoked too fast too many times, has the most cake, that or its just charred badly, ha. My old Wellington used to give me better luck it seems. that one probably had a cake at some point, but my Uncle probably cleaned it all out when he gave it to me as a child. I'm so sick of relighting so many times, then smoking too fast to try and keep it going and getting a bad taste after a while.
    I don't need to see more videos, I think I've seen just about every one over the years. I did have pretty good luck with that Harry method the one time, I tried again and it wasn't as successful. I should keep at that method a bit more maybe.

    How important is a cake in contributing to a limited amount of lights kind of smoke? Why can't I get this? This has recently started to really stress me out.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. gwtwdbss

    Chris

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    What type of tobacco are you smoking? Maybe you should let it dry out a little before packing the pipe.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. loseth

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    I've smoked a number of different tobaccos, only aros so far. I thought I wasn't drying them enough after recently reading some insightful comments on the site here, but I just finished a bowl where I let the tobacco dry out more than normal and it was still a brutal bowl. I can't tell if I pack it too hard or light sometimes, in the videos it looks like they pack it harder than I do, so i've tried packing it harder and it usually turns out worse :s

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipe8

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    Hi Lose, sorry to hear about your troubles!

    There are quite a few possible answers

    The best thing is to pop to your local B&M and have a chat with the clerk. Heck even buy some of their tobacco and ask him to show you how to pack it.

    I'm sure others will come up with some brilliant ideas as to advice; this place has been like an encyclopaedia to me!

    I wish you the best of luck with this, it will work, you will soon have that light bulb moment, whatever you do don't give up!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. jharvard

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    Pipe8"s suggestion is the one I would recommend. Good luck. Stay patient friend.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. philobeddoe

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    The amount of cake is irrelevant to the amount of relights.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. piperl12

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    I think some of the stress is coming from the fact that you are over thinking things, so you have to relight a few times. Is it that big a deal, part of the enjoyment of pipe smoking is the ritual. I have had nights that my pipe lasted an hour and others where it went out after five minutes. I agree with the advise about seeking someone in person through a BM or a pipe club to help, but honestly don't stress so much. As long as you are enjoying the moments you are not relighting thats the main thing right? One other thing I find, if I am relaxed already listening to music by the fire my smoke lasts longer. If I am working while I smoke or talking while I smoke or even walking the dog, I relight more often. Hope this helps.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipe8

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    Another Idea is to treat yourself to a Savinelli Corona Old Boy. You will hope your pipe goes out just to use the artwork that will be sitting in your hand.
    That will make you love relights for sure

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. brdavidson

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    I just started smoking iat the end of December, I've smoked pretty much aros only to date. I dried out some CBR overnight and tried that. The smoke was significantly better, drier, less goop and the smoke stayed lit longer. I've also tried the packing method I saw online, an older Irish guy talking about Peterson pipes (I think his last name was Fox) and he piled the tobacco jn his palm, turned his pipe upside down and just rubbed the pipe clockwise and it packs the pipe almost perfectly. I've had the most success using this method. I'll post a link if I can find it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Pipe smoking does take a lot research, lots of patience and a great deal of determination. Let's face it -- if puffing a pipe was easy, a lot more people would be smoking pipes.

    It's complicated. It's involved. It's not for everybody.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. mrenglish

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    +1 piper!

    I used to stress out about that as well. But then decided that while it is a noble endeavor to strive for relight free bowls, it is not worth stressing out and losing the enjoyment of the pipe. So, I gave up worrying. I just pack and smoke and usually relight ten times thru a bowl, less if I am just watching a movie or reading. Every so often I get a relight free bowl but its not by design.

    Michael
    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. ravkesef

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    You could watch every video ever made, and read every book ever printed, and it still might not help. The best advice I can give you is to sit down with a pipe smoking buddy, who will walk you through, step-by-step, all the things that he does. Then you can emulate him, and within a very short while you will find yourself experiencing the pleasure of great pipe smoking. It is a bit complicated, and there is a bit of a learning curve. My advice: stick with it and eventually you'll be a very very happy camper.

    Eric
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    I'm with Mr. English. Sure do the homework, have patience and work on your technique, but I wouldn't obsess over it. Focus and given the chance, it does improve with time.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. coalsmoke

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    Try packing it looser. Also, does it feel as if the airway is clogged when you draw through it without anything in the bowl? If not, try the 3-step packing method, but don't push the tobacco down hard into the bowl. Another suggestion is to make sure you have a good, solid fire going after your char light. Let us know how things work out for ya...we're here to help.

    Russ
    Pipe smoking is true relaxation. Everything else is work.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. bobpnm

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    Hang in there! It gets better!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. jwp159

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    Here is how my Grandfather taught me to fill a bowl over 20 years ago and it has served me well. loosely fill bowl to top, press it down to 1/2 full, loosely fill to top and press down to 3/4 full, loosely fill to rounded up and press till level full. It works well with most cuts of tobacco. I still normally have to relight a few times during the bowl, sometimes I get a bowl that smokes all the way with no relights.
    Another thought is don't over tamp during your smoke, many people tamp way to much or to hard and this can cause it to go out. A little tamping goes a long way
    Last thought, if you pack the way I described and still have trouble then try not packing the bottom as tight by only pressing the first load down to about 2/3 full. Most of use have to do a few relights, don't worry about it, relights are free. just pick one packing method and work with it going lighter in packing or tighter till you get a smoke like you want. Hope this helps

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. baronsamedi

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    Try the "Harry Method" demonstrated here. It's amazingly simple and works for a lot of new smokers.

    [+] Embed the video | Video DownloadGet the Flash Video

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. brdavidson

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    Thanks @baron that's the video I was talking about, I've had the most success by far with this method, last night I had a bowl that only needed to be relit once

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. loseth

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    Thanks everyone, i'll give it some more time. That video is the method that has worked best out of everything I've tried so far.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. uberam3rica

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    I'd say try smoking something other then aros. You might have more luck with that way.

    As long as I got a pipe full of baccy and a nose full of snuff, I'm a happy camper
    Cigarettes are an addiction, cigars are a hobby, pipes are a religion
    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. loseth

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    I'd say try smoking something other then aros. You might have more luck with that way.

    I think I'll crack into my first English/Latakia blend after I'm done this one i'm on and see how that turns out.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. metalheadycigarguy

    metalheadycigarguy

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    The last time I checked there was no one way to smoke a pipe and no set rules on how many times you can and can't relight your pipe. You're stressing yourself out by over thinking the process. You're taking the your own enjoyment out of it.

    I gravity fill my pipes, so I pour the tobacco into the pipe and then lightly push it down. Then pour more tobacco into the pipe and then push that bit down and if necessary repeat the process. If I know I'm having a pipe later in the evening or the next day I sometimes fill the pipe ahead of time and then let it sit out. It will help dry out the tobacco, but not dry it out as much as if I just left it on a plate etc. I then when I'm ready to enjoy my pipe I do my charring light, then tamp and then light again. Then you're off and going.

    How often are you tamping? It helps to tamp while drawing on the pipe. I sometimes cover my pipe with my thumb while drawing in. That seems to help with the burning of the tobacco as well.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. freddysmoker28

    freddysmoker28

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    Your over thinking your method. Once you pack your pipe always remember that the draw should feel as if your sipping from a straw, if it feels like your having a milkshake its packed way to hard. Keep trying don't give up, it's an art to smoke a pipe. Hope you have better pipe smoking days soon.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. cortezattic

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    The presence of a proper thickness of carbon coating inside the pipe bowl does not affect relight frequency.
    However, a really thick cake, although improper, will reduce the chamber diameter and make the pipe easier to keep lit.

    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 #
  25. uberam3rica

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    I think I'll crack into my first English/Latakia blend after I'm done this one i'm on and see how that turns out.

    It doesn't even have to be an English or Lat heavy blend. I'm just talking about a non aromatic. I think you will have a lot more success. Aros are typically wetter and have a tendency to get goopy. I started with aros, and eventualy found that I love Latakia. I rarely smoke an aromatics now.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. thesmokindragon

    thesmokindragon

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    Perhaps some flake~Peterson UF, you can cube-cut or just
    fold/stuff, the stuff just burns really nice...give it about 60-minutes
    or so outta the tin for dry-time (normal temp/humidity conditions)
    and I find it works great on 3/4" diameter pipe chambers

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. judcole

    Jud

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    Lots of good advice here. The best things I can suggest would be, first of all, slow down - relax -take your time.
    Get away from the goopy aromatics. Both of these things caused me difficulty when I was starting out. Then, pack loosely, and make sure your tobacco is fairly dry.
    Take your time, take your time,take your time.

    And good luck!

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. cigrmaster

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    loseth, I relight a few time a bowl if I am not paying attention( which I am usually not)it is no big deal trust me. One trick you might want to try is when you feel like your pipe is going out, place two fingers over the top of the bowl and take a few quick puffs to reignite your pipe. It is faster than grabbing for a tamper and you will avoid over tamping. Hell I might only tamp once or twice a bowl and then only after I have dumped ash. Speaking of ash are you dumping it before re lighting. It is real hard to keep a bowl lit with a pile of ash in it.

    I can feel your frustration and understand it. You think by now you should be getting it. Keep at it because all of a sudden one day it will all click for you and then all your frustrations will go away.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. mikephillips

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    Well, I can't imagine having to re-light 15 times so I can certainly understand your frustration. Two to four re-lights is probably my average, less if I'm smoking Five Brothers.

    Whoever above suggested your tobacco is to wet was probably right. Tobacco should be at the very least dry enough that if you pick up a pinch of it and squeeze, and when you drop it there should be nothing sticking together, or to your fingers (unless your fingers are dirty or sticky). Any wetter and your pipe will probably bite you, and tend to be hard to keep lit, not to mention the gurgle factor, quickly souring pipe, etc.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. foggymountain

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    When a pipe goes out a lot it could be too wet and could be packed too tight. So dry the tobacco a little before smoking it and don't pack it too tight or too loose. I have heard it said it should require the same amount of draw as a cigarette. I disagree. I think it should be a little easier draw than a cig. Then if those things don't work, get a finer cut tobacco, maybe a shag. If there is still a problem it could be that your attention is wandering and you fail to draw enough on the pipe to keep it lit. Wow! Pipesmoking is more complicated than I realized.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. mikephillips

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    When a pipe goes out a lot it could be too wet and could be packed too tight. So dry the tobacco a little before smoking it and don't pack it too tight or too loose. I have heard it said it should require the same amount of draw as a cigarette. I disagree. I think it should be a little easier draw than a cig.

    Good comparison, if a slight understatement. When I load a pipe, it's far, far easier to draw than a cigarette. A harder draw tends to make a pipe bite much easier for me.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. spartan

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    Pipe smoking is complicated the same way that walking is complicated.

    You'll get the hang of it. Although from what I've read I'll be placing the blame on your aros of choice.

    Try a new cob. Try a small pipe. Try a big pipe. It's easier to change the pipe than it is to change your technique. I think you just need a pipe that "clicks" with your smoking style.

    Maybe OVER dry your tobacco. What's the worse that can happen?

    Good luck.

    "I was born to lose. So I'll die to win." -Breaking Benjamin
    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. mrenglish

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    When I started smoking a pipe, I went a year with a lot of frustrations and almost chucked the whole thing when I found The Ultimate Pipe Book by Hacker. It taught me the basics like how to pack a pipe in thirds and what not. I also realized I was stressing way to much about trying to get it right. Now, I just pack and fill but then, it was a large learning curve. Point is, just relax man. The pieces will all fall into place, just stick with it and do not over think it. When it gets down to it, all you are doing is stuffing tobacco into a pipe. It's not more complicated than that unless you want it to be.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. numbersix

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    @rothnh

    Pipe smoking does take a lot research, lots of patience and a great deal of determination. Let's face it -- if puffing a pipe was easy, a lot more people would be smoking pipes. It's complicated. It's involved. It's not for everybody.

    @cigrmaster

    One trick you might want to try is when you feel like your pipe is going out, place two fingers over the top of the bowl and take a few quick puffs to reignite your pipe.

    +1 on both of these comments.

    I tend to be drawn to hobbies that are a challenge. Which is one reason why I enjoy fly-fishing instead of spincasting. Chess instead of checkers. I enjoy the complexity. And pipe smoking is no different.

    Pipe smoking is almost an art-form. It takes a lot of patience.

    There are many times where I struggle to keep my pipe lit. On those days I cannot get a smoke in without multiple re-lights, I really examine what I could be doing wrong.

    Then I go back and test out my theories. For me, that is part of the enjoyment. To allow oneself time to dwell on something simple and inconsequential rather than the typical worries so many of us have. If success came easy, I probably wouldn't enjoy it as much.

    "Be seeing you"


    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. smokeybear

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    i just the "Harry Method" right now for the first time and besides the tobacco on my pants and on the floor the pipe is actually packed quite nicely ha, guess i need to watch more videos im off to smoke it now during my late lunch break ill late you all now how it worked.


    A Great Storm No Matter How Great, Will Always Pass.
    But The Clam After, Is What You Must Master, In Order For Life To Last.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  36. rlunderhill

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    I have one tobacco, McClelland 5125 Coyote Classic Full that requires constant relights. I don't mind that much. I always have my lighter in one hand and my pipe in the other anyways.

    I tried a larger pipe with the larger draft hole, it made the relights much less. Some of my tobacco's require using larger pipes to smoke better. I switch from standard sized pipes for finer tobaccos and larger pipes for the ribbon style tobaccos. The difference is extremely notable.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  37. smokeybear

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    "Henry Method" is my new Method

    Posted 1 year ago #
  38. cynyr

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    I use the Harry Method almost exclusively, but it's difficult in a full-bent pipe.

    metalheadycigarguy:

    The last time I checked there was no one way to smoke a pipe and no set rules on how many times you can and can't relight your pipe. You're stressing yourself out by over thinking the process. You're taking the enjoyment out of it.

    Can't agree more. YOUR way is the only way.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  39. austinxpipe

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    Yeah friend don't stress out, it'll come in time. One day you'll have a pipe that blows your mind, and then they will all start to have the same effect. I feel like in certain ways almost every pipe I've ever smoked has been better than the one before it.

    I like to smoke pipes
    Posted 1 year ago #
  40. loseth

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    Hmm, lots of encouraging posts here. I'm a little confused now, I thought that I just learned that aros were basically anything that wasn't an English/Latakia blend . . . what is an example of a non aro that is non Latakia or non English blend? Also, a few people have mentioned that they have tobaccos that require less relighting just because of the type of tobacco it is. What would some of these tobaccos be?

    @cigrmaster

    Speaking of ash are you dumping it before re lighting. It is real hard to keep a bowl lit with a pile of ash in it.

    This is a something that sheds a lot of light on some internal questions that have been floating in my head. I don't normally dump ash, for some reason I thought that its better to leave it in simply because I hear of people smoking entire bowls without relighting, and I figured there wouldn't be ash dumping during those bowls. I will try dumping the ash when my pipe goes out now and see how that works.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    what is an example of a non aro that is non Latakia or non English blend?

    There are hundreds. A few examples include all virginia blends, all burley blends, Virginia/burley blends, Virginia/Perique blends, OTC burleys, such Prince Albert, Carter Hall, Sir Walter Raleigh Original, Velvet and Granger.

    a few people have mentioned that they have tobaccos that require less relighting just because of the type of tobacco it is. What would some of these tobaccos be?

    Any of those OTCs I mentioned, straight out of the pouch in most cases. Also, as noted more than once, proper drying a blend can go an extremely long way to help this along too.

    I will try dumping the ash when my pipe goes out now and see how that works.

    You don't have to be OCD about dumping, but it is a good idea occasionally to do so. Think of it this way: Ash, in a thick layer, smothers air. A fire does not perform very well without air.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  42. loseth

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    There are hundreds. A few examples include all virginia blends, all burley blends, Virginia/burley blends, Virginia/Perique blends, OTC burleys, such Prince Albert, Carter Hall, Sir Walter Raleigh Original, Velvet and Granger.

    Ok, so then I have never smoked an aro, besides the one I'm on right now possibly. But I'm confused with all Virginia blends being non aro. There seems to barely be a tobacco without Virginia in it, and I thought I've seen what I thought were aros with Virginia in it. I thought Royal Yacht was considered an aro, and it has virginias in it.

    What are some common aros then? I feel I have drastically gotten so much of this stuff mixed up.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    But I'm confused with all Virginia blends being non aro.

    Sorry, sure -- there are lots of aromatics with virginia leaves in the blend. I see you mean examples of specific blends that are classified as virginias, but want example of those that are not also classifed as an aromatic. Here's just a few:

    Escudo. Mac Baren HH Mature Virginia and McB Virginia #1. Dan's Hamborger Veermaster. Dunhill Flake. McClelland Black Shag. McC Blackwoods. Rattray's Hal O' the Wynd. Rainier Long Golden Flake. Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake. Dan's Limerick. Esoterica Dorchester.

    I don't smoke many aromatics, thus I am not well versed in which ones contain virginia (I'd say quite a few have some) or if they do, how much of that blend is virginia.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  44. cigrmaster

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    loseth, I don't remember the last time I smoked a bowl without re lighting. It is not something I strive for. I smoke my pipe, if it goes out I dump the ash, tamp down and re light. If I have to do that 3 or 4 times, I could care less, the tobacco still tastes great. Forget about trying to finish a pipe without relighting, it is not important. Now if I concentrated, did nothing else but smoke and paid attention the entire time, yeah I could smoke it down without relighting, but that is not how I smoke. I am usually on my computer typing away and my pipes goes out, or I have to take the dog out and it is too windy to take my pipe, or I have to make dinner for the kids or any other reason, my pipe goes out. I re light and I am off and running again. I never count how many times I have to relight, there is no prize for smoking a bowl with one light so just have fun and no more stressing about it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  45. prettyinpink648

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    I actually don't mind the relight. I think because the first video I watched to learn how to smoke a pipe, the guy explained relighting is normal and to be expected. So to me it goes hand in hand. I can say I tried the method in the video on this feed today and I didnt relight once! Relighting doesn't mean you are less of a piper. My grandpa smoked for over 20 years a real pro ya know and he had to relight. Try to relax hun this hobby is too cool and fun to not be able to enjoy it

    Posted 1 year ago #
  46. loseth

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    I definitely realize relighting is normal, but I'm not exaggerating when I say 10 times, sometimes more sometimes less. I think my frustration arises because when I'm smoking I'm usually not doing much and I end up paying too much attention to it. If I don't take a puff within 10 seconds it will often go out (not sure if thats normal or not either.)

    Its interesting to learn so much, in my previous years of occasional pipe smoking I never paid much attention to how to pack or the tobaccos, if feels like i'm learning how to smoke a pipe years after I started (like I said, up until recently it was definitely occasional).

    I appreciate all the advice and encouragement everyone, I will take it all and try to put it to use. I realize I need to calm down about it and smoke for the enjoyment again.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    it feels like i'm learning how to smoke a pipe years after I started

    Welcome to the hobby! I have been smoking a pipe for more than four decades and I am still learning something new and useful all the time.

    Chill, and with patience, you'll do fine

    Posted 1 year ago #
  48. freakiefrog

    freakiefrog

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    After seeing the Harry Method I've made that my sole method for packing ribbon cut stuff especially stuff that smokes a little wet. I've found that I don't pack it as tight so the moisture seems to have a chance to dissipate since the bottom of the bowl is so loose and open to the draw.

    To the OP, don't get discouraged remember this isn't a contest and the match police aren't going to come get you for relighting as many times as yo need to, and these aren't cigar's or cigarettes. Pipe smoking is allot like driving an antique car some days it's start right up and run like a top, next day you're pulling over every 50 miles adding oil and kicking it..

    Hang in there, it's all an adventure.

    I have some friends, some honest friends, and honest friends are few; My pipe of briar, my open fire, A book that's not too new.
    Robert W. Service
    Posted 1 year ago #
  49. rhogg

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    I understand the feeling. There are YouTube videos on pipe packing. Try some of those methods. Also make sure you have a good char before your first real light. Even if my pipe is going strong on the first light I'll tamp it out and relight. This helped me immensely in the beginning.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  50. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    I tried the Harry Method, after watching the above video, for the first time today. I have to say I had my best smoke yet. I did do it a bit differently than he did though. I took the amount of tobacco I normally fill my bowl with and put it in my hand, and then I did as he showed. When it appeared I couldn't get any more tobacco in my pipe however, I still had about half that tobacco in my hand. No problem, I just pressed it down like i normally would have and then continued with the Harry Method once more. I used my tamper perhaps twice, after knocking out some excess ash,(I normally find myself using the tamper quite often) and simply put my thumb over the bowl occasionally when it appeared I might be losing my smoke.

    After the char light and then the true light, I didn't have to relight even once.

    I think I may have found my technique.

    Loseth, try doing what I did. It worked for me, it may work for you as well. I Just had the most enjoyable pipe smoke yet.


    Cut me... I bleed black.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  51. sjfine

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    I have been smoking pipes for a little less than a year. I smoked cigars for about 13 before that. The learning curve for me lasted a long time. At first, I couldn't keep a pipe lit to save my life. And then there was the tongue burn. Not bite, burn. I have scars to prove it.

    I didn't much like English tobaccos, and I hate Latakia, but I really didn't know the difference between those types of tobaccos and aromatics. I also thought that aromatics were somehow the Acid-cigars of the pipe world, and having smoked Cuban cigars almost exclusively for a long time, my ego had a hard time.

    I'm not sure why I stuck with it, but I did.

    Eventually, I found my ritual. And now, I can't keep a pipe out of my mouth.

    I can, much of the time, keep a pipe of aromatics lit - with no hit on my ego, if I'm doing nothing but smoking. If I'm working, or doing crosswords, or whatever, I relight often.

    I have learned how to sip. I have learned that my favorite packing method is, what I think is the air pocket method; I take stuff a bunch of tobacco in the bowl, clean some of the hanging strands, and push around the rim (not in the middle) until the tobacco is level with, or just under the rim. I think that this leaves an air pocket in the bottom of the bowl. I confirm this when I draw; it is almost as if there is nothing in the bowl, even if the tobaccos feels like is is packed too tightly.

    I have found that some pipes, as well as some tobaccos, require slight modifications of my ritual, but over time, I have come to be able to feel my way around.

    For me, pipes are so much fun, it is a wonder that they aren't fattening.

    Stick with it. Give yourself time. I am confident that you will find your ritual. And, once you do, there will be no turning back.

    Edit: Also read this article on the thermodynamics of smoking. It helped me to no end.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  52. numbersix

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    For me, pipes are so much fun, it is a wonder that they aren't fattening.

    lol!

    Posted 1 year ago #

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