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Tamping?

(30 posts)
  • Started 1 month ago by bogfire
  • Latest reply from crashthegrey
  1. bogfire

    bogfire

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    I am just wondering what is tamping? I see great pictures of members with brass tampers, what are they used for?
    I am a simple man and just put the tobacco in the pipe bowl,push it down with my finger, light it and smoke it.
    Is there some other way I could be doing it?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  2. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    Sarcasm noted.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 1 month ago #
  3. bogfire

    bogfire

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    Sorry, no sarcasm intended. I honestly have no idea what a tamper is used for. I love the Thoreau quote by the way.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  4. didimauw

    didimauw

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    Tamper, finger, stick, big toe, it's all the same. Some cost more than others.

    As you smoke, push it down occasionally. Sposed ta keep er going er something.

    "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 month ago #
  5. npod

    npod

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    Tamping may (or may not) be important to an individual pipe smoker.

    Tamping Important: FLAKE TOBACCO, slow smoke competitions, for those who want to smoke to the bottom, for long smokes, for mixing tobacco.

    Tamping Not Important: SHAG/AROMATIC TOBACCO, smoking without considering the experience or timing, walking the dogs, in the car, etc. For example, my Grandpa never used a tamper, always his finger or a nail. He didn't care at all.

    Also, never underestimate the ability of a pipe smoker to over think minuscule details like tamping. Many even collect tampers and care very much about the quality it adds to the smoking experience.

    Neal
    Posted 1 month ago #
  6. tufftony

    tufftony

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    A tamper is a tool the flat end of which does what your finger
    does -- it tamps the tobacco down as it burns in the bowl thereby
    saving your finger from getting ash all over it or getting burned.

    The other end is usually a spike -= or as in the case of mine a
    spoon shaped end -- used after after a smoke for loosening the
    dottle at the bottom of the bowl and tipping it out.

    There are many kind of tampers, the simplest being a large nail.
    More commonly a tamper will have 3 tools - the flat tamping end; a
    spoon-shaped part for removing damp dottle; and a spike that can
    be useful for punching a hole through the tobacco to improve the
    draw or to scrape out any bits of tobacco that may be blocking
    the draw hole at the base of the bowl. The spike on mine is attached
    to the spoon that screws into the acrylic body.

    Hope this helps.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  7. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    toe, it's all the same. Some cost more than others.

    Didi, is my brain (or whatever's left of it) playing tricks on me? That sounds familiar, like I've seen you use it before?

    Bill

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. tufftony

    tufftony

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    This is one of the most common tampers - it's called the Czech Tool,
    is dirt cheap, available on eBay and often given away as a free gift.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  9. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Just keep in mind that they are meant to gently crush down the ash. It's not a ramrod for a cannon.

    Michael
    Posted 1 month ago #
  10. tufftony

    tufftony

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    That's right.

    Gently is the word.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. chasingembers

    Embers

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    I only use the weight of the tamper to bring the ember back down to the tobacco as it expands.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    ^^^ Yeah, but your tamper weighs a pound & a helf. }:) [grin, duck, & run like hell]

    B

    Posted 1 month ago #
  13. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    ...and a golf tee isn't going to have any weight at all... well, not enough weight...

    Posted 1 month ago #
  14. tufftony

    tufftony

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    I don't see how it's possible to smoke a pipe without one.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  15. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    I have a few nice tampers I have gotten over the years but basically just use the one that is part of my lighter. I tamp after the charring light. I use the pick end of my tamper to gently stir ash before dumping it. I use a tamper to scrap the edges of my bowl when smoking folded and stuffed flakes. If my bowl begins to fade I will tamp to get the embers going again.

    A tamper is a very useful tool when smoking. I have also seen old timers who never use one, but codgers are not what we are here. We are the mavens of the pipe world and accoutrements are part of who we are.

    Harris
    Posted 1 month ago #
  16. mso489

    mso489

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    Tamping is an art. You can use the tamper before your first light to even up the bowl and break down pieces that might not have settled in place. You can use the tamper as you smoke to bring the ember closer to the unlit tobacco below it. Before a relight, you use the tamper to settle leaf and ash in place for more even burning. You can even use a tamper to detect when the ember has burnt so low it is unlikely there is any more tobacco down there. As you learn this very gentle art, its subtlety and nuance will occur to you and you will enjoy your growing expertise. It's better learned through experience than taught, but there's a first lesson.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  17. crashthegrey

    crashthegrey

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    I often use my finger, but I quite like the results of a tamper. My finger is slightly less discolored and the callous is lessening lately. Lol. Seriously, I find a tamper quite a nice addition.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  18. warren

    warren

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    double post

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  19. warren

    warren

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    If, I sayIsay, if I'm at a "dressy" occasion I have a "Cosmic", custom made, tamper I break out. (I'm quite proud of it. I owe him and the crowd here a photo. I've only had that obligation for a couple of years now. Sorry Cosmic!) Otherwise, usually a finger and with either I usually tilt it a little and give it a quarter turn while pressing gently. "Why?" some of you ask. "Dunno. Just seems to get results with fewer relights."

    There is also "aingiseoir" but, only an Irish speaker could begin to explain the subtleties of that word. I am a third degree black belt Aingiseoir. Should be some "fadas" in the spelling but, I'm too lazy to switch the keyboard to Irish.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. didimauw

    didimauw

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    Bill, yes I can clench my pipe and use my toe to tamp the tobacco with.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. didimauw

    didimauw

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    I have heard of these "cosmic Tampers". But they are only for the worthy.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  22. bogfire

    bogfire

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    Thank you all for taking the time to explain. Much clearer now. I also understand the joy of acquiring. My wife asks why I need more pipes or more then one guitar.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. warren

    warren

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    Reply to her question that, "It is not a matter of need." Then ask her, "Why more than two pair of shoes. One is actually sufficient."

    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. admiral

    admiral

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    Interesting for me is just the opposite. The light usually gets off because of tamping.

    If my bowl begins to fade I will tamp to get the embers going again.

    Posted 1 month ago #
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    bullet08

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    if you tamp too hard, that kills the ember and there goes your light. you have to feel when and how to tamp. and how to keep light going. you can always relight again.

    Posted 4 weeks ago #
  26. tschiraldi

    tschiraldi

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    I have learned that, for me, lightly tamping only after the charring light, and when the pipe is about to go out yeilds the best results. Tamping too often seems to smother the ember and cause it to die. I may only tamp once or twice after the true light.

    Posted 4 weeks ago #
  27. pufferfish

    pufferfish

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    You can get some quite inexpensive lighters with a tamping tool attached to the bottom, I had one for a while. These days I have a small pen knife which I occasionally use to ream the bowl a little and at other times I gently tamp the tobacco down in the bowl with the end of it. You can over tamp and the smoke/draw gets very tight so for me, further flame and a very gentle tamp will bring the pipe to life. You can make your own tamper. A stone of the correct size and shape is good.

    Posted 4 weeks ago #
  28. mso489

    mso489

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    Yes, yes, tamping is a gentle art as described. If you pack the bowl down too tight, even just a little too light, the whole burn will be smothered. You need to leave just that bit of spring in the pack. Don't get macho about it.

    Posted 4 weeks ago #
  29. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    can clench my pipe and use my toe to tamp the tobacco with

    Uhhhhhh. Now there's a classic case of TMI!!

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  30. crashthegrey

    crashthegrey

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    Gentle is key, or you put the pipe out and you're running a pipe cleaner up the shank to untamp that tobacco. Haha. We all learn through experience. And what works for one, may not work for the next. Tampers are nice. And while I wouldn't say I have a collection, I have a few for different occasions. My favorite is an old Kaywoodie pocket knife and tamper from the sixties, with a knife and poker that fold out stamped Kaywoodie, NY. Of course the foot of the tamper is in the shape of their logo, so it makes it a little extra special for me. That's the one in my pocket almost every day.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #

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