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Tighter Draw- Am I Alone Here?

(45 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by tschiraldi
  • Latest reply from aldecaker
  1. tschiraldi

    tschiraldi

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    Inspired by another thread, I have to ask if I am the only one here who prefers a bit of a tighter draw than seem to be on most modern artisan pipes now? I like the draw on older Sasieni, Castello, Ascorti, etc pipes. Many new pipes, to me, are too open. I think I remember a comment from someone on here comparing them to wind tunnels, which I find perfectly relevant and accurate comparison. Does anyone else hold this view? I don't make or alter pipes, so I am ignorant as to the drilling size, in millimeters, that I prefer, I just know that the older pipes seem to have it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. smittyd

    smittyd

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    I would have to agree, to big and you get no flow its like sucking on a tail pipe . However if its to small of a hole i have noticed its easier to get some tongue bite. I am no pipe maker either so what do i know!

    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. hawky454

    hawky454

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    I think a lot of people prefer a 5/32 air way. That seemed to be the standard of the classic Pipes. I like my pipes drilled out to 11/64 or 3/16. I think it all just depends on your packing method, with an open draw, you’re going to want to pack the chamber a little tighter than you would with a more narrow airway.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    I have a range of pipe, my Savinelli Piumas and GBD military stemmed dublin, small bowls and less than 3mm draft seem to have this tight draw, of which you speak. And, I love to smoke them, but like saying that all of a certain type of transmission in a car are only the best, negates the fact that not all cars drive the same. My tighter drawn pipes with small chambers drive really well. My Beckers also seem to have a moderately tight draw, and some of my customs seem to be loose and squirrely. Just as you wouldn't want a truck or a small economy car to have Ferrari shifting, nor a Porsche to have the shift of a 72 stepside, you want balance built for the pipe. It has to fit the pipe, IMO.

    Some people may want just whatever pipe best fits their style of smoking, and the rest are crap (because they don't want or can't adjust their smoking style), in their opinion, whereas others among us enjoy the variety of styles that pipes prefer to be smoked best. It just depends on want you want. I enjoy pipes, and finding the sweet spot on each of them, just I enjoy driving. Give me a truck, sportscar, a land barge... If you enjoy driving, you'll enjoy exploring different vehicles. But, there are some that only want small Miatas, and that's ok too. Different smokes for different folks.

    I just know to blow off anyone who declares that there's only one way to do anything. You have to be open to new ideas and differences. If you enjoy it, good.

    Michael
    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. tschiraldi

    tschiraldi

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    Oh, don't get me wrong, I have newer pipes with a more open draw that I love smoking and, you're right, I have to adjust my packing to accommodate them, but PREFER, the tighter feel of the old ones.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    I just have to be in a mood for certain pipes. Some speak to me more than others.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. zack24

    zack24

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    The briar pipes I make are all 5/32-roughly 4mm...my bamboo pipes tend to be 3mm because of the carbon fiber or stainless tube I use- they tend to have smaller bowls. If you feel a draw is too open, just pack the tobacco tighter...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    What Zack and Cosmic say. I am agnostic as to size of airway- ignorant might be a better term. Packing and tamping makes each one "behave" to accord a good smoke. I've never had a problem with a tight draw that couldn't be cured by a pipe cleaner.

    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 1 year ago #
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    lawmax3

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    I prefer more open draw. As zack said, I just pack tighter to get the flow I want.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. zack24

    zack24

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    ...and if ya like them really tight, get an old Meer with a small bone screw tenon- those are tiny...but still smoke well...

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    aldecaker

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    I like 'em open. I've had to open up several pipes to 5/32" to get them to smoke the way I prefer.

    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 1 year ago #
  12. pipesticks

    pipesticks

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    I prefer a more open draw for most tobaccos but appreciate my pipes with a tighter draw too. I have several pipes where the restriction is in the radical bend of the stem, not the draft hole. No way to fix this short of heating, straightening, redrilling the stem, and rebending...a PITA and risky. So, I tend to use these tighter draw pipes with tobaccos I need to be reminded to sip slowly, like particularly bitey virginias. That said, I will drill out pipes wider when the draft hole is clearly the culprit for the tight draw.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. shanegreen

    shanegreen

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    I like the smoking through a wind tunnel type feel!

    They're plum loco. All of them.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. tschiraldi

    tschiraldi

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    Well, it looks like I am decidedly in the minority. Story of my life!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    I prefer my pipes to be 4.0-4.5mm. I pack my cube cut flakes firmly and I get a cool dry smoke every time. The pipes I have had over the years that were wet smokers were all Danish high ends. None of my Castello's, Radice's, Mastro's, Ser Jacobo, Caminetto's(radice/ascorti era) ever had issues being wet smokers.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. georged

    georged

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    The perfect tobacco pipe airway size varies for a googol of reasons, falling somewhere between one angstrom unit and one astronomical unit 100% of the time. The end.

    Dogs live such short lives... and spend most it waiting for us to come home
    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. mso489

    mso489

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    I don't measure the airways, so I just go by feel. If I am aware of drawing harder, that's too restrictive. If I am getting too much air, so that the flavor is diminished, that's too open. I use an adaptor on filter pipes that feel too open, to focus the smoke more without a filter. I have some pipes that seem wide open, a Ser Jacopo for example, that still seem like great smokers, so it is highly subjective.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. briarblues

    briarblues

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    Tim, I'd day you're in the minority, but not because you prefer a "tighter" draw. I'd suggest, and some will disagree, that you have learned how to pack your pipes the way that works best for you. There is far more to getting the most out of any pipe than the draw alone. It is finding the correct packing technique, to fit with the tobacco cut /type / humidity, your climate, that blends with the way the pipe is "engineered".

    I have been at this for more than 4 decades and only in the past 10 years have I found my "sweet spot" for the above criteria.

    So much comes into play that one must adapt to each of these criteria. When I was in Cancun, I had to alter my packing technique for the pipes I brought with me, due to humidity and heat. The pipes I brought smoke far differently at home than they did in Cancun. Last week I was in Atlanta and had to adjust again, due to climate. Even though in my pouch was the same blend ( Escudo ).

    Taking it a step further, with a pipe which has a more open draw, one must adjust how they pack, compared to an "not so open" draw. Add to that what may feel tight to me, may feel open to you.

    When offering insight to new pipe smokers I would suggest the draw on a pipe should not feel as tight as a cigar ( depending on hand rolled long leaf / to short fill / to box press etc ). It should have an easier draw. If you were drinking a soda through a straw, the draw should feel similar. If you draw and it feels like a milkshake through a straw, it's way too tight.

    So I'd say while others find draws too tight or too open, the majority just haven't found that "sweet spot" that works best for them.

    Regards
    Michael J. Glukler

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Sometimes this airway thing just seems fetishistic. Is a wide airway better? No. It's just different. None of my ancient Britwood feels constricted, and airway dimensions varied depending on shape. It wasn't one size fits all. Surprise, British and French carvers had a clue. My modern wide open airway pipes smoke great. But that open airway has its limitations as well. Some very fine tobacco cuts have a way of getting sucked up that wide airway and into one's mouth. So, I don't smoke those cuts in my modern pipes.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. tschiraldi

    tschiraldi

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    I like Michael's answer best! Lol

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. badbeard

    badbeard

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    Draw, like everything else in pipe smoking, is highly subjective. If you are sipping your pipe slowly, and not attempting to suck the smoke out of it like a milkshake, then a difference of 1mm probably isn't going to have a significant effect. That said, pick whatever feels good to you. My completely baseless thoughts on this: those who tend to be frequent puffers, or those who take long draws tend to care more than those who sip and/or breath smoke. I can smoke through a 9mm filter and not really notice draw restriction(however I usually don't due to flavor disturbance), mostly because I am not trying to pull air through the draft fast enough for the filter to to be a restriction.. Not to say that frequent puffers are wrong for being what they are. To each his own.

    I am in slight disagreement with those who say that you can modify your packing or just tamp to tighten up the draw. Yes, this works for the draw, but it can also have a pretty detrimental effect on burn characteristics and moisture accumulation. Some blends taste better with a little moisture, and packing them tighter may result in very poor burn and over-numerous relights which increase heat and contribute to a swamped out heel and shank.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    All of my modern artisan pipes have airways of around 4.0-4.5. My Brian Ruthenberg pipes( are all a bit larger than my Rad Davis and other artisan pipes. His I would guess are around 4.3-4.5. I just pack firmer and I get a great smoke from them.

    One day I was at Zack's and he measured some pipes I brought over. The Rads were right at 4.0mm and my lone Mike Butera was at 4.3-4.5 if memory serves. I also believe I brought a Ruthenberg which was closer to the 4.5 or right on it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. georged

    georged

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    One day I was at Zack's...

    The cause of Hurricane Irma has been discovered at last. Someone needs to notify the NHC as soon as possible.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. briarblues

    briarblues

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    badbeard, you're not incorrect. Just adjusting the packing / tamping is not alone going to make every pipe smoke well. It's a full meal deal. One must consider tobacco cut, moisture level, chamber shape, wall thickness and many other variables. It boils down to what works best for you, and you alone.

    Regards
    Michael J. Glukler

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. briarblues

    briarblues

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    Just to offer a suggestion on how we each differ greatly ..... next time you're at a pipe club meeting or sitting with some pipe smoking buddies, each of you have the fellow to your right or left, whichever works, pack your pipe for you. Check the draw. You may be surprised at the differences. Forget about all trying the same blend. Just the packing alone, will be different.

    Regards
    Michael J. Glukler

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Some blends taste better with a little moisture, and packing them tighter may result in very poor burn and over-numerous relights which increase heat and contribute to a swamped out heel and shank.

    Agree with the premise, but your "little" moisture may be quite a lot to others. Otherwise, packing would not be a problem, nor poor burn nor many relights.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. badbeard

    badbeard

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    Agree with the premise, but your "little" moisture may be quite a lot to others. Otherwise, packing would not be a problem, nor poor burn nor many relights.

    Fair enough.

    This just further illustrates how subjective it all is. I personally think English blends taste flat when crispy dry, some will only smoke them that way. I like most blends where they are just dry enough for ribbons not to stick together when pinched. At that moisture level, and with the atmospheric humidity what it is in the Pacific Northwest, packing tighter or tamping it down for a tighter draw will result in a damp, troublesome smoke.

    badbeard, you're not incorrect. Just adjusting the packing / tamping is not alone going to make every pipe smoke well. It's a full meal deal. One must consider tobacco cut, moisture level, chamber shape, wall thickness and many other variables. It boils down to what works best for you, and you alone.

    Cheers to that!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    My post above was supposed to have an 8 next to Brian Ruthenberg pipes, not a smiley guy with shades, no idea how that happened.

    Mike, totally agree with type of pipe, chamber shape,type of cut ect. I never light a pipe without checking the draw and making sure it has the resistance I am looking for. There are so many variables that go into a great smoke. It is a wonder any of us enjoy this thing of ours.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Good read,all my Stanwells,(total of 5)wheter is Denmark or Italy made have a 3.70-3.80mm and thats just about right for me, they smoke wonderfully.I was surpriced that My French made Comoy's had more open airflow than Chacoms what I have or Rattrays,those come with tighter airways.but no problems with any of them,whereas if I smoke my Savinellis without 6mm balsa or adapter,then I have a hard time to get them behave to a good satisfactory smoke,
    Cosmic,you made a good point when referring to cars and drivin'

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. anthony416

    anthony416

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    The only time I had to adjust a pipe was a Peterson P lip that had a smaller exit hole than all my other Peterson P lips. My other pipes vary in draw but packing can adjust them.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. civalwar

    civalwar

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    I prefer a looser draw

    My ex-wife told me it's either me or your pipe collection. I considered that a win-win.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. ssjones

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    Oh, don't get me wrong, I have newer pipes with a more open draw that I love smoking and, you're right, I have to adjust my packing to accommodate them, but PREFER, the tighter feel of the old ones.

    That's exactly where I am at. I did learn to accommodate pipes with more open draws.

    Interesting suggestion from BB about letting someone else pack your pipe.

    Al

    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Just to offer a suggestion on how we each differ greatly ..... next time you're at a pipe club meeting or sitting with some pipe smoking buddies, each of you have the fellow to your right or left, whichever works, pack your pipe for you.

    Yeah, but first I'd want to be sure he's washed his hands after he went to the can.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. saltedplug

    saltedplug

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    I wish all my pipes were as open as a cob. I've never had a problem sucking tobacco into my mouth, even with a cob, and the only time I do is at the bottom of the bowl or when I am purposely drawing very hard to clear the airway.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. 9mmpuffer

    9mmpuffer

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    I mainly smoke pipes with 9mm Dr. Perl filters so I definitely don't like an easy draw. I think it's really personal preference though. Lucky, there are so many different pipes with all different attributes, to keep us all happy.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  36. jravenwood

    jravenwood

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    Reviving this thread Tim! I agree with a really like the feel of a tight draw. I have an Aldo Velani of all brands that has a perfect feel to it, just a slight restriction, but no idea what it’s drilled to. I’m going to keep an eye out for the pipes you mentioned too. Good thread here...

    "It is quite a three pipe problem..."
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    No

    Posted 1 year ago #
  38. hoosierpipeguy

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    I think it's easier to adjust to an open draw than vice versa. I like lots of smoke, admittedly, I'm not much of a sipper.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  39. newbroom

    newbroom

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    Seems I've watched videos and read 'stuff' that describe a tapered draft hole that creates something of a venturi effect.
    One such carver suggesting this method, if memory serves, is J.T.Cooke.
    Wider draft configurations seem to be easier to maintain. Cleaners pass more easily.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  40. tschiraldi

    tschiraldi

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    Much of this "opening up" hoopla, according to a friend whose information I trust, was started by a guy named Jim Benjamin back in the 90's. "A pipe repairer by trade, he convinced people that the draw on pipes was too narrow. He would drill them out and people were convinced that he had done something miraculous. It grew from there.". I think the attention paid to the drilling and finishing (smoothing) of the airway, in both the shank and stem more beneficial than enlarging them.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    aldecaker

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    So, how did people get convinced that he had done something miraculous?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  42. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    I think the main factor was proselytizing by Rick Newcombe.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  43. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    This^^^^^. Though I do very much agree that 4mm openings smoke better for me.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  44. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    I think the main factor was proselytizing by Rick Newcombe.

    +1

    Jim Benjamin was at the top of the mountain, in his day, the go to guy for pipe repair, so I imagine, if he was the source for this idea, Newcombe would have been the reason it took hold. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't Newcombe take credit himself for the wider airway? It's been a while since I read In Search Of Pipe Dreams.

    Like I said, I like the traditional draw of my old Britwood and to me they're not tight, but perfectly fine and open. The wider airways are merely different to me, an option, one that I adjust for and enjoy as well.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Sounds like half placebo effect, half Stockholm Syndrome. I'm with Philo; wide open is where it's at.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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