Pipes Magazine » General Pipe Smoking Discussion

Search Forums  
   
Tags:  No tags yet. 

Tamping vs Relighting

(32 posts)
  • Started 11 months ago by pianopuffer
  • Latest reply from crashthegrey
  1. pianopuffer

    pianopuffer

    Senior Member
    Joined: Jul 2017
    Posts: 418

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Was thinking about this last night while enjoying a bowl outside. When do you decide to tamp and draw to increase/deepen the ember versus relighting? I understand the need for a relight after one tamps, especially if you've left the bowl sitting for some time and it goes out...

    Or perhaps these two methods go hand in hand every time?

    Posted 11 months ago #
  2. bassbug

    bassbug

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 899

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    My preference is to keep the ember going by tamping whenever possible. Relight only when there is no other choice.

    I don't care who you are, you're not walking on the water while I'm fishing
    Posted 11 months ago #
  3. mso489

    mso489

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 25,949

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    What bassbug said.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  4. ignaciojn

    ignaciojn

    Member
    Joined: Aug 2016
    Posts: 204

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Not a fan of tamping, really.

    The true light usually gets me to around mid-bowl. There, I drop some ashes, tamp, and yes, it takes me a few religths to finish the bowl, but they don't bother me at all.

    Ignacio
    Posted 11 months ago #
  5. npod

    npod

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2017
    Posts: 2,720

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I think it is important to clarify what you mean by tamping. There are two types: cold tamp and hot tamp.

    One of the top five, if not top two, most important things I learned about smoking a pipe was how to tamp correctly. For the first two years I would simply tamp the ash down using only a tamper, and generally after the smoke had gone out, that’s cold tamping. Then a very experienced pipe smoker taught me how to do it correctly. You actually tamp while the bowl/ember is still going and actively producing smoke. Then you draw in while tamping to help distribute the hot ash. Once I started to do this I was able to keep a pipe lit with very minimal relight. That is the correct way to tamp, but most new pipe smokers wait until the bowl has gone cold and then tamp and then re-light. That tends to just pack the ash tighter and thus more relights.

    Neal
    Posted 11 months ago #
  6. madox07

    madox07

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 1,327

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Quite frankly I prefer a hot tamp ... not sure what you mean by relighting, as in let it go out and use the flame instead of tamping? Not sure how that works. I am in accord with npod Although I must admit ... I don't like to over tamp, and sometimes when I am not paying attention the fire in the bowl goes out because the ash is not letting the oxygen get to the right spot. I guess that if you know your pipe pretty good, you can get to the point where you know when you need to tamp.

    Sea Wolf Pipers

    "Like the mariners of old, a loner is acceptable but a pipe is best enjoyed in a pack"
    Posted 11 months ago #
  7. techie

    techie

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2018
    Posts: 599

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    As a beginner, I've found that the method npod described is what is working best for me. I am getting less relights the more I practice. If I am past the halfway point and my bowl goes out, I dump the top layer of ash, tamp lightly, relight, and I am usually good to go if I tamp lightly as needed.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  8. mso489

    mso489

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 25,949

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Yup, if you tamp early enough to keep the ember going, and don't tamp down too hard, it works well. If you find the ember is dwindling after you tamp, try covering the bowl about 2/3 with your fingers and sipping gently to bring it back to life. Frequently this works. It's a gentle art, and you can play around with it to get it just right.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  9. smittyd

    smittyd

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2018
    Posts: 658

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Hot tamp i very rarely ever have to re-light.

    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 11 months ago #
  10. chasingembers

    Embers

    Captain Of The Black Frigate
    Joined: Nov 2014
    Posts: 15,411

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Then you have the method that I used to create my user name.

    Ember Chasing

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 11 months ago #
  11. nitemair13

    nitemair13

    Member
    Joined: May 2018
    Posts: 267

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Over time I just sort of naturally fell into the hot tamp method. When I first started I often made the mistake of tamping too hard and causing the ember to go out on me. I've since sort of learned how to tell from the draw I'm getting, it if starts to loose strength I gently tamp things down and it goes back to it's usual cadence.

    “A pipe is the fountain of contemplation, the source of pleasure, the companion of the wise; and the man who smokes, thinks like a philosopher and acts like a Samaritan.”
    -Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
    Posted 11 months ago #
  12. warren

    warren

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2013
    Posts: 7,547

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    It's not a versus thing. Tamp when you need to tamp and relight when called for. This pipe smoking thing is all rather easy. Do what gets you a good experience.

    I have found that turning my finger, my tamper, as I tamp, as opposed to simply pushing the ash down, is beneficial. Don't know if you will.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 11 months ago #
  13. unkleyoda

    unkleyoda

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2016
    Posts: 1,099

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I tamp a lot.


    So you say you can drink? Well, I'm from Wisconsin. Try to keep up.
    Posted 11 months ago #
  14. pianopuffer

    pianopuffer

    Senior Member
    Joined: Jul 2017
    Posts: 418

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I'm definitely a hot tamper, but my tamp game is severely lacking. I find my relights come when my tobacco isn't dry enough, but that's rarely a problem anymore.

    I'll give the twist and tamp a shot, thanks!

    Posted 11 months ago #
  15. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 13,349

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Twist and shout! Move it all about!

    Both types of tamp from time to time, but usually prefer to keep the pipe going with out adding more fire.

    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 11 months ago #
  16. techie

    techie

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2018
    Posts: 599

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I tamp a lot.

    That's pretty funny

    Posted 11 months ago #
  17. scooterdoo

    scooterdoo

    Junior Member
    Joined: Jul 2018
    Posts: 64

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    @npod thanks for the info on tamping correctly. Just tried this out and got through my first bowl without a relight.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  18. npod

    npod

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2017
    Posts: 2,720

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    ^^^right on scooterdoo^^^
    Little tips can make a big difference.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  19. skaukatt

    skaukatt

    Senior Member
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 381

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Tamping is such an integral part of any smoke to me. I find it to be the the key to a successful smoke.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  20. bassbug

    bassbug

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 899

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    ^^^ what he said.

    Judicious tamping allows me to keep my pipe lit and thereby minimize/avoid relights, which can be harsh on the tongue and palate.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  21. cajomu

    cajomu

    Member
    Joined: Jul 2018
    Posts: 129

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I've been smoking a pipe for nearly fifty years and, until quite recently, I always tamped to keep the tobacco burning. But, recently, I started to gently knock the ash from the bowl about halfway through the smoke and only tamp when I get near the end. It seems to me that this improves the flavor in the second half of the smoke and helps keep the pipe from overheating (tamping makes the tobacco burn hotter, IME).

    Does anybody else do this?

    Posted 11 months ago #
  22. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 13,349

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Removing ash doesn't change how the ember is going unless there's a good breeze. If the pipe is already going fine, I pretty much don't tamp, but if it starts to wind down, a light tamp and a couple of big pulls often saves it. So, if tamping in that situation makes the ember hotter, all's good.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  23. User has not uploaded an avatar

    redone

    Member
    Joined: Aug 2018
    Posts: 259

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Thanks to the tips here by @npod I am now getting through all my bowls without a relight by hot tamping. Appreciate it!

    Posted 11 months ago #
  24. cajomu

    cajomu

    Member
    Joined: Jul 2018
    Posts: 129

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    @jpmcwjr

    Removing the ash exposes the ember to more air, whether there's a breeze or not and, IME, a cooler smoke is a better smoke. Try it, you may like it.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  25. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 13,349

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I agree that cooler is better, but exposing the ember to excess oxygen is counter productive. In other words, it gets plenty of air when drawn, but excess when there's a wind blowing over the chamber.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  26. cajomu

    cajomu

    Member
    Joined: Jul 2018
    Posts: 129

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    @jpmcwjr

    This thread is about what to do when your tobacco is no longer burning well. You can relight or tamp and I'm suggesting based on my experience that removing the ash may also work. I don't understand why you would think that it counterproductive to introduce more oxygen to an ember when it is burning low. More oxygen means it will burn better, which also means you may hot have to relight or tamp.

    Again, I say give it a try before you knock it.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  27. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 13,349

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I don't understand why you would think that it counterproductive to introduce more oxygen to an ember when it is burning low.
    I don't. But dumping ash, unless extraordinarily thick or tamped too hard, doesn't increase the airflow to any meaningful degree. And, yes, it's been tried. I dump ash from time to time, but not "to increase airflow".

    And as I pointed out, there are times when a layer of ash can mitigate the effects of strong winds.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  28. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2018
    Posts: 2,593

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Agreed, John. Personally I tamp as I feel it's needed, usually hot. Gentle tamp & relight of a cold bowl's a different issue, for me at least.

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 11 months ago #
  29. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2012
    Posts: 13,698

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I normally use 2 fingers over the bowl to get it going again when it looks like it is going to die. I have been using this method for years. When I dump ash around the halfway point then I will do a cold tamp and relight my pipe.

    Harris
    Posted 11 months ago #
  30. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 13,349

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Same, two fingers or a thumb on the rim, but some times I have to suck like a $5.00 hooker to revive it.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  31. bassbug

    bassbug

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 899

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    but some times I have to suck like a $5.00 hooker to revive it.

    See? There's your problem right there...you really need to move up to higher class of...well, never mind

    Posted 11 months ago #
  32. crashthegrey

    crashthegrey

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Dec 2015
    Posts: 2,827

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Once you figure out the tamping you will find relights are really only necessary if you get distracted and forget to smoke, most of the time.

    Posted 11 months ago #

Reply

You must log in to post.

 

 

    Back To Top  | Back to Forum Home Page

   Members Online Now
   charf, sparrowhawk, mityahicks