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The Frank Method

(52 posts)
  1. marmal4de

    marmal4de

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    I just finished loading my rusticated peterson lestrade (with dunhill nightcap) and it brought the question up, do many people use the frank method? I for a while used a three pinch, but never had a good smoke until I stumbled upon the frank method!

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    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. unclearthur

    unclearthur

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    I use the Geezer grab and stuff method . Developed over the last 40 some years of pipe smoking.

    If at first you don't succeed you are running about average.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. tanless1

    tanless1

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    Thank you , mister helpful.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. bubbadreier

    Bubba

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    I use the same method as Unclearthur, it is more of a modified three pinch method...

    Mason jars and bale top jars, mason jars and bale top jars.... that is all!

    "There’s truth in the statement that pipe tobacco will never be any less expensive than it is today, so think of your cellar as a cost averaged investment" - G.L. Pease
    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. marmal4de

    marmal4de

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    Hahaha! The geezer grab makes me picture my gramps loading his pipe!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. menckenite

    William

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    To be quite frank, I don't use it.

    Pics of my pipes & stuff: http://photobucket.com/menckenite
    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. cornguy

    cornguy

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    I use a modified geezer grab known as the senior stuff.
    All I know is: "If it's too tight, it ain't right."

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. bootlegbonvivant

    bootlegbonvivant

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    I've used it a few times, however, only had 1 good smoke. Since then, I've done pretty much as the others above have stated and just grab and stuff. The tricky part is getting the right density of your packing method, whether it's Frank's Method or your own.

    Southerners don't talk slow because they're dumb, we do it because there's really no rush.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. krgulick

    krgulick

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    I use the grab and stuff method myself with little or no problems.

    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are small and crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. tanless1

    tanless1

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    I've had great results with the frank method ; but I need occasional reviews.
    I really need to spend more time with pipe smoker's....just don't know many of them.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. marmal4de

    marmal4de

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    Im in the same boat tanless. I am the only person I know that smokes pipe.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. papipeguy

    papipeguy

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    Listen to Arthur and Bubba. I've been at it for 40 years and grab and stuff works just fine. Leave it to the German's to develop a 20 minute excercise to get you to the point where a 6 second stuff will bring you. I watched the youtube videos of the Frank method and it was mind numbing. I, for one, consider it a hoax.

    Blowin' smoke since 1970.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. sparroa

    simenon

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    The 3 step method never worked for me. I experienced very inconsistent results.

    I use a simplified approach inspired by the Frank method, but it's unorthodox enough to probably just be close to "grab and stuff" - it isn't so precise and deliberate as Frank's, but it has never failed me since I've seen his video. Great smokes time and time again. Before that, I was always packing poorly and never truly enjoyed the experience.

    Echoing unclearthur, I think there is something to be said for experience and simple intuition. But for a newcomer who doesn't know a tap about pipe smoking - take a lesson or two from Otto Frank.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. hessenland

    hessenland

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    I think the guy's name is Achim Frank.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. marmal4de

    marmal4de

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    Listen to Arthur and Bubba. I've been at it for 40 years and grab and stuff works just fine. Leave it to the German's to develop a 20 minute excercise to get you to the point where a 6 second stuff will bring you. I watched the youtube videos of the Frank method and it was mind numbing. I, for one, consider it a hoax.

    It only takes me +/- 3 minutes to load my pipe using the frank method, tho I do a sort of modified version that just kinda developed from doing 6+ times a day for the last 8 months. As for it being a hoax, isn't it the method used to load Brittish Pipe Smoking Championship pipes?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. johnnyrebel

    johnnyrebel

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    Like the rest of you, I also use the ol' grab and stuff method! I don’t take the time to care to use the Frank Method. I’ll give the Frank Method a try here soon, and let you guys know what I think. After watching a video of the method I must admit, that is a beautifully packed bowl of tobacco (It was the PipesMagazine video instructional).

    I’m interested to know if different manners of packing will provide a different smoke.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. pstlpkr

    Lawrence

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    To tell you the truth...
    I use the Frank method when I'm practicing for, or participating in a slow smoke competition.
    I found that it is quite conducive to a good slow smoke...
    Only one drawback... it has to be done in a hurry/quickly in competition because of the time constraints. It can be problematic if the match tobacco is in need of much preparation.
    (sorry about the puns)
    These may be of use for those who aren't familiar with the Frank Method.

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


    "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put." Winston Churchill
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    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. python

    Bob

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    I have used it in the past, but now I mainly use the three step method now. The Frank Method just seemed like to much of a hassle for me.

    However, if you don't mind going through the motions, it is a good technique.

    You can see a few more different packing techniques, including a hybrid method of the Frank Method here:

    Tobacco Pipe Packing Methods Part 1

    Tobacco Pipe Packing Methods Part 2 (Videos)

    Part 1 has written instructions and Part 2 has the Video Tutorials.

    "When the Government Fears the People, There is Liberty;
    When the People Fear the Government, There is Tyranny." - Thomas Jefferson
    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. sparroa

    simenon

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    Hessenland,
    Otto would appear to be father of the famous Anne Frank. Thanks for pointing out my mistake - it has been a long time since I viewed that video! My apologies to Achim; he deserves all the credit.

    I think I'm in the same camp as marmal4de. An "abbreviated" customized version of the Frank method is very beneficial for a casual smoke. I'll give a shout out to Bob and his videos for providing us with a less precious, more concise example of the Frank method in action. His video was brief and to the point; I've smoked many enjoyable bowls since learning from his technique. Thanks Bob!

    I agree with Lawrence, it sure gives a slow smoke and allows for much more consistent combustion in my opinion. Another correlation I've noticed - a factor among many - I haven't experienced tongue bite since I adopted the Frank method. (I also smoke better quality minimally cased tobaccos, keep them at a proper moisture, and go slower than I used to - but I've noticed a biting tendency when I try other packing processes. Might just be human error.)

    Edit - Beat me to it, Bob!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. igloo

    igloo

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    The Frank method works . But so does the pack like a baby , pack like a woman and push it home like a man .Or if all else fails the Geezer grab and stuff method . Now flakes that would be altogether another story .

    “There was an awful suspicion in my mind that I'd finally gone over the hump, and the worst thing about it was that I didn't feel tragic at all, but only weary, and sort of comfortably detached.”
    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. pstlpkr

    Lawrence

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    While I do use the Frank method... when I need to.
    Mostly it's the Geezer Grab.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. hauntedmyst

    hauntedmyst

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    I tried using the frank method once and it struck me as being the single biggest waste of time without any tangible benefit within the pipe smoking world.

    A tattoo on a beautiful woman is like graffiti on a Ferrari.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  23. marmal4de

    marmal4de

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    I tried using the frank method once and it struck me as being the single biggest waste of time without any tangible benefit within the pipe smoking world.

    The only thing that matters when smoking your pipe is personal pleasure. Your ritual is your ritual, mine is mine, ad nauseum. So with that logic, any technique that makes an individuals pipe smoking experience better has weight in the pipe smoking world.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. juni

    juni

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    The Frank method works pretty well for me, but I think I might have modified it into a slight grab and stuff too.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  25. python

    Bob

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    Sparroa, I'm glad the articles helped you!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  26. python

    Bob

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    Igloo Said: Now flakes that would be altogether another story.

    I have an article with videos on those too:

    Flake Pipe Tobacco Preparation

    Posted 3 years ago #
  27. juni

    juni

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    The "cutting into cubes" method is way too time-consuming, but does work.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  28. cornguy

    cornguy

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    Marmal4de said it best: "The only thing that matters when smoking your pipe is personal pleasure. Your ritual is your ritual, mine is mine..."
    To me, pipe smoking is one of life's simple pleasures.
    I intend to keep it that way.
    I fill my pipe. I smoke it. I enjoy it. I really don't think about it.
    There is no methodology in play when I fill my pipe. I guess it's just something that I've learned to do through trial and error over the years. I am not conscious of any technique and had never really thought about it until I read this thread. It's an uncomplicated act, not unlike pouring a cup of coffee.
    Life has plenty of complications, but smoking a pipe isn't one of them.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  29. fatman

    fatman

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    I use a quasi Frank method for large(r) bowls.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    cobking

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    I stumbles across the Frank method a couple of days ago .I tried it and love it.It has consistantly made for a better smoke then the 3 step method.works well on both small and large bowls.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  31. yuri66

    yuri66

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    Man thats all too flippin complicated, I guess I am an old fogy when it comes to my pipes, I stuff pipe in baccy and cram with index finger into bowl, works great and takes about 10-15 seconds....after doing it for so many years I always have the right pack in the bowl I very rarely have a gurgle and seldom need to relight, unless I was Jawjacking too long..questions??????

    Posted 3 years ago #
  32. marmal4de

    marmal4de

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    On the rare occasion I get the chance, I love watching other pipers load their instruments. Its such a unique and individual art!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  33. hauntedmyst

    hauntedmyst

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    The only thing that matters when smoking your pipe is personal pleasure. Your ritual is your ritual, mine is mine, ad nauseum. So with that logic, any technique that makes an individuals pipe smoking experience better has weight in the pipe smoking world.

    True, but over time you'll find you'll learn to load your pipe without all the complications and it will smoke just as well with 10 seconds of load prep as do the minutes of the Frank method, which always struck me as a solution looking for a problem. Every new pipe smoker goes through a learning curve but if it works for you use it.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I use the Frank Method when I have some lazy time, it provides a wonderful slow burning smoke. On a regular basis I use the air pocket method or the three step.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  35. jankomatic

    jankomatic

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    Well being new to pipes a year ago, I watched a lot of videos and read explanations on packing your pipe. I have tried the 3 step method, Frank's method and the air pocket method. I had the most luck with the air pocket method, then Frank's and lastly the 3 step. I realized that even though I got a better smoke with the air pocket method, that I was never building any cake up in the bottom of the bowl at all, which I read was bad. So now I kinda just do a grab and stuff and make sure I get tobacco to the bottom of the bowl. I always wanted an experienced pipe smoker to load my pipe for me one time so I could see it being done AND smoke a properly loaded pipe.

    No matter how I pack any pipe I own, with any tobacco, it is gurgle city.

    Towards danger; but not too rashly, nor too straight
    Posted 2 years ago #
  36. marmal4de

    marmal4de

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    True, but over time you'll find you'll learn to load your pipe without all the complications and it will smoke just as well with 10 seconds of load prep as do the minutes of the Frank method, which always struck me as a solution looking for a problem. Every new pipe smoker goes through a learning curve but if it works for you use it.

    I hate to admit it, since Mr. Myst is a tattoo/ vegan hater but he's right, I really don't use the frank method anymore, i load and smoke my pipe much faster and without thinking.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    zachchandler92

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    I use the Frank Method with my English tobacco. I find it wakes up the flavor, since most English tends to taste the same after a while.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    mustanggt

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    It seems to me that the flake tobacco has it's own way of packing and for everything else I fill the bowl loosely to the top and then depending on the size of the bowl I take a pinch like I'm putting a dip of Copenhagen in my lip into a small bowl and for larger I pinch a big hunk like Redman and stuff it and puff it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  39. smokeybear

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    Ive been using this method and it works wonders for me


    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 #
  40. foggymountain

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    Never having heard of the Frank method I went on youtube to watch it. It has to be a joke. But I wasn't laughing & couldn't watch more than a minute of it. What a load of bull. HOW TO LOAD A PIPE: 1)grab a pinch of tobacco 2)pull out stems and slightly round the bottom with your finger so it doesn't clog the air hole. 3) insert in the bowl with light pressure.4) repeat until full, packing each layer slightly tighter. 2,3,4 or 5 layers are ok. END OF INSTRUCTIONS

    Posted 1 year ago #
  41. moses

    Moses

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    @cornguy and @foggymountain: You cats have it right.

    Also, on a personal level, I guess I use a geezer grab hybridized two-to-four-stage packing method. It's all feel. Absolutely depends on the blend and pipe. So yeah. No method. Feeeel.

    ~seanMoses

    "There can be no doubt that smoking nowadays is largely a miserable automatic business. People use tobacco without ever taking an intelligent interest in it. They do not experiment, compare, fit the tobacco to the occasion. A man should always be pleasantly conscious of the fact that he is smoking."
    -John Boynton Priestley
    Posted 1 year ago #
  42. protestantpiper

    protestantpiper

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    Huh...interesting I prefer a 2 step method:

    1. Loosely fill pipe, do not compress

    2. Make a ball of tobacco and shove it in the top

    Done. Works like a charm for me. I call it the "Cork in the bottle". When the cork is done, tamp it down and finish it up.

    "Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times."

    Mark Twain
    Posted 10 months ago #
  43. 4dotsasieni

    4dotsasieni

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    The Frank Method: the Tai Chi exercise of pipe smoking.

    Frankly, since I'm all thumbs anyway, if I tried to use the Frank method, my pipe would be in pieces on the table, and the tobacco would be on the floor, mixing with ready-rubbed cat fur.

    No thanks, I'll stick with the tried-and-true scoop, grab, and push method.

    "Thus shall you view these fleeting worlds: As bubbles in the stream;
    A lightning flash, a puff of smoke, a phantom, and a pipe dream.
    - The Diamond Sutra (slightly edited for pipe smokers)
    Posted 10 months ago #
  44. ciderguy

    ciderguy

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    I use a modified 3 pinch method, that I call the 3 scoop method. Instead of sprinkling the tobacco into the bowl, I just gently scoop it in, shake until its settled, and tamp it down with my finger. I then repeat two more times getting a little bit more forceful with each tamp. Finally, I always check the draw before lighting.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  45. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Anonymous

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    I always got a kick out of this (the Frank method).

    I drop-feed everything and tamp lightly to even it out as I go.

    Of course, the various cuts/blends sometimes require some modifications in packing, but I think those of us who've been smoking the pipe for a while eventually develop a packing method that works best for us.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  46. werdna

    werdna

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    I use the Frank method occasionally. It's not difficult, gives an almost foolproof pack, and I can load nearly as quickly as the stuff and puff. The videos are way too complex, it's not as hard as it looks. But my hands are pretty arthritic and I need to make it easy on myself, so the 3 step works.

    And to all a good night.
    Posted 10 months ago #
  47. tennsmoker

    tennsmoker

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    I'm with 4Dot. I do the Frank method and everything will wind up on the floor. Me included.

    I use the Tennessee Method: Put pipe inside pipe pouch. Fill pipe. Light match. Smoke.


    The past is never dead. It's not even past--Requiem for a Nun
    Posted 10 months ago #
  48. papipeguy

    papipeguy

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    Too fussy. It's loading a pipe, not open heart surgery. Pinch, stuff, light, tamp, relight. 20 seconds is all it takes.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  49. kris

    kris

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    I think every now & again we all tend to overthink / romantictize everything about this habit we have.

    Essentially it boils down to: Put baccy in big hole. Set on fire.

    If you enjoy it, you're"doing it right".

    Posted 10 months ago #
  50. lordwolf

    lordwolf

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    Stuff and Puff.
    Unless its a flake.
    Then its rub, stuff, and puff.
    Or fold, stuff and puff.
    Or cut into squares, stuff, and puff.....

    Just do whatever works for you. I starting smoking a pipe when I was 17 and I didn't have anyone to show me how to pack a pipe and keep it lit. It all came down to experimentation.

    Just keep smoking!!

    Smoke your pipe and be silent; there's only wind and smoke in the world. ~Irish Proverb
    Posted 10 months ago #
  51. zekest

    zekest

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    There are some things you can try to teach.
    There are some things that you just have to learn for yourself.

    No one can tell you how to load your pipe keeping the tobacco "springy". How springy? In which pipe? Using which tobacco?

    There is little springyness in my Stokkebye Bullseye Flake, lots more spring in my Stokkebye Proper English, a little more spring in my Paladin Black Cherry, and my Lane Ltd BCA is a sticky mess that sticks to my fingers and leaves sticky tobacco on the table top that sticks to my cats paws as they walk back and forth in front of me wondering what I am doing.

    Its all part of the fun of the pipe smoking hobby.

    Call me Zeke
    Posted 10 months ago #
  52. allan

    allan

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    What's amazing to me is that this thread is two years old! Some folks I haven't seen on the forum since then

    Stuff and puff for me

    Allan
    Posted 10 months ago #

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