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Why do you clean rim soot?

(72 posts)
  1. tdehart

    tdehart

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    So... I've been smoking for just over a year now and I fully understand the importance of cleaning my pipes on a very regular basis and have gotten into a good routine for doing so. But there's one thing I'm not sure I understand or even agree with: that's cleaning the rim. I have a couple briars and a couple corncobs - all I need. I've let the soot build on all my pipes, I've cleaned all the soot off the rims of all my pipes over the year I've smoked so, I know for a fact that the build-up isn't char - it's definitely soot. But my question is why? Frankly, I prefer the look of my pipes (especially the cobs but also the briars) with the soot on the rims.

    Why do you clean the rims of the pipes and is it necessary?

    "CAVE FVROREM PATIENTIS - ...beware the fury of a patient man."
    John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (1681)
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    I wouldn't say it's necessary, I think a lot of pipe smokers just don't like the way it looks. That is probably especially true for those smoking expensive pipes with attractive rim grain, or a nice plateau. It actually never occurred to me not to clean the rim.

    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 2 years ago #
  3. jefff

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    I clean it because I like it clean. No reason you should feel the need.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. cosmicfolklore

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    I keep mine clean, because to me it's ugly. But, beauty is in the eye of the cupholder.

    Michael
    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Some I clean, some I don't.

    Do what pleases you; there's no must!

    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 2 years ago #
  6. dottiewarden

    dottiewarden

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    I picked up an Estate at an antique shop and I'm sure the rim hadn't been cleaned ever. It came off easily with a little hair gel. I would think it can serve as a protective coating, but as jpmcwjr says "Some I clean, some I don't."

    Dot
    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. pagan

    pagan

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    I just wipe it when I wipe out the bowl, nothing special to it

    Nowhere in the world will such a brotherly feeling of confidence be experienced as amongst those who sit together smoking their pipes
    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. woodsroad

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    My partner finds it to be unsanitary.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. ray47

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    With briars I generally just use saliva on the rim after each smoke or I'll use some hot black coffee. With cobs I let the rims darken because I like that well used look.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I keep all my pipes clean. Now I'm retired so I clean well between every smoke. Here is something I've done for years so the rim cleans up easy and removes all the tar quickly. After every smoke on my briars I have a rag nearby with a mixture of Bee's wax and mineral oil. I do a wipe down and leave a small amount on the rim, with the next smoke it's easy too wipe clean and all the tar is removed.

    KEEP ON PUFFING!!!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. didimauw

    didimauw

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    I don't clean my rims. I perfer the look of the well used and worn pipes.

    "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 2 years ago #
  12. chasingembers

    Embers

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    I clean my rim so I don't leave marks in my underwear.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    I keep mine clean because I enjoy the look of the wood on the rim. Some very fine straight grain pipes feature spectacular displays of birdseye on the rims. I also wet the rim with a bit o spit before applying flame, which helps prevent singeing the rim. It's a no effort precaution.

    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 2 years ago #
  14. tdehart

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    I picked up an Estate at an antique shop and I'm sure the rim hadn't been cleaned ever. It came off easily with a little hair gel. I would think it can serve as a protective coating, but as jpmcwjr says "Some I clean, some I don't."

    ...see I wondered if it provides a protective coating too - seems like so long as its soot/tar it would. When I've cleaned it in the past I've used Everclear and plain old rubbing alcohol and both work wonderfully to remove the build up - but it almost seems to me that it would act more like cake does on the inside of the pipe if you allow the soot to build up on the rim.

    Here's my one of my two MM Legends with some delayed satisfaction still in it from this morning-(She's one of my go-to pipes that I use and abuse and often put to bed wet but when I pick her up in the morning she still loves me!)

    Isn't she beautiful?

    Thanks for the responses - it's great to hear everyone's opinions.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Yeah, I clean and polish my pipes after each smoke. A lot of mine have different staining around the rim than the rest of the pipe and I like to keep that pronounced. How in the world did you blacken that cob rim? Even my oldest cob, 15+ years, doesn't look like that.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Tdehart-

    I think you're right; a few layers of cake on the rim might lessen the chance of charring, but is no guarantee.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. tdehart

    tdehart

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    ...How in the world did you blacken that cob rim? Even my oldest cob, 15+ years, doesn't look like that.

    ...I don't know?? I'm feeling a little self-conscious now like I've just been told I've always had three eyes but never knew it - I just fill up my bowl all the way to the top and proceed to smoke that bad boy. Typically, during the week I smoke on the way into work and then again on the way home. Maybe later in the evening I smoke again one more time as I sit and smoke with my lady. (Haven't won her over yet - she still smokes cigarettes.) Weekends, I smoke 2-4 times each day? I don't know how I've gotten such a black rim - I haven't been trying to; I just have. I've cleaned the rim on this pipe in particular at least once over the last year - I've had it since like... September of last year(?)

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    That corn cob sure is a beauty! I like the darkened rim on the cob.
    Chasingembers, I was waiting for a butt rim laugh!

    KEEP ON PUFFING!!!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. paulie66scandinavian

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    whil using lighters I have had bad experience with many a pipes to get rim, darkened ,good if not burnt, because of cheap lighters ,and what I had leard , from this on I will only do that char light using matches and only- then I shall buy a proper Peterson or similair lighter for relightin purposes- these Bic lighter can be leathal to pipes,,

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. didimauw

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    All of my cobs have really dark rims now!

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    And to think they used to have to use a chunk of glowing ember or a smoldering stick to light their pipes. Must have had to be very careful if they cared about rim char. Which, they may not have.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. chasingembers

    Embers

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    I don't know?? I'm feeling a little self-conscious now like I've just been told I've always had three eyes but never knew it

    No, no! Don't get me wrong, It looks good on a cob! Just never knew how they got that way. Have seen many with it, was just never able to do it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. chasingembers

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    Chasingembers, I was waiting for a butt rim laugh!

    I was honestly trying to be good, but was never any good at it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. cosmicfolklore

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    - these Bic lighter can be leathal to pipes,,

    IMO, those pipe lighters that bend the flame down into the bowel are way more lethal to pipes. They char the inside of the chamber walls.
    For me and my high end pipes, I only ever use Bic lighters ever. You just hold the lighter half an inch above the bowl and draw the heat (not necessarily the flame) down into the bowl with my breath. This is how I've always seen men light their pipes, be it match or lighter. The return puff is flames jumping up out of the bowl a few times, without ever having had the flame dip down to the bowl. Never ever get char on my rims. YMMV.
    I consider those piece of crap pipe lighters to be the biggest lie of the whole hobby. IMO.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. chasingembers

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    BTW, put one of MM's amber stems on a cob. Over time, they darken too. Love that look ad well.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. mcitinner1

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    It's just wrong to let built up soot stay on the rim of a briar pipe.

    Stan
    Godfrey Daniels!!
    The Plenipotent Key to Cope's Correct Card of the Peerless Pilgrimage to Saint Nicotine of the Holy Herb:
    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. tdehart

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    Maybe you're onto something paulie66scandinavian - I've used my Zippo Pipe Lighter most of that time and I wonder if the rim has built-up so quickly because of the not so clean burning butane. When I have them, I use matches too but usually it's my Zippo.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. warren

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    Habit, I suppose. Dad taught me to take care of my stuff and it'll last longer. Pride of ownership enters into it I suppose.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    shutterbugg

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    I don't clean off the rim soot because Idgaf about it. Pipes are not "a hobby" for me, just a vessel to contain tobacco for smoking purposes. Keeping the smoke tube clean and unobstructed by tar and crap, and keeping the cake thin and even so as to not crack the bowl, those are things I'm willing to spend time with.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. mcitinner1

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    Habit, I suppose. Dad taught me to take care of my stuff and it'll last longer. Pride of ownership enters into it I suppose.

    My Dad is the same way. He's 87 and can still work a garden. My parents both quit cigs in '64. I didn't quit until 31 months ago. My gardening is just a good blueberry patch in the making now.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  31. davet

    davet

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    I clean my rim so I don't leave marks in my underwear.

    What are you doing to get soot on your rim ? Never mind, I don't want to know

    Posted 2 years ago #
  32. checotah

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    I don't clean mine, not as a general rule, that is. Once in a while, I might tackle any given pipe. My father didn't, neither of my grandfathers did, so I just didn't get into the habit. Shucks, wasn't until I saw the subject mentioned on this here internet thingy that I even thought about it. By then I'd been smoking about 40 years, and it's a little late to start a new habit.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  33. cobguy

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    Isn't she beautiful?

    Thanks for the responses - it's great to hear everyone's opinions.

    She is ... that is a well-loved Cob!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  34. jmatt

    jmatt

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    I clicked this thread for the sole purpose of posting this joke:

    I clean my rim so I don't leave marks in my underwear.

    Duane beat me to it. Nicely done sir.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  35. chasingembers

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    What are you doing to get soot on your rim ? Never mind, I don't want to know

    I thought soot was just a euphemism. How was I to know?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  36. paulie66scandinavian

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    All Right, my special thanks goes to Mr, Cosmic,Ineed to rething this matter over, me too, I have seen many experienced pipe smokers using them Bic lighters and only and the way you've been telling- that is the way I ought to practice with my cheaper end pipes ,truly these specific pipe lighters can give you an illusion being a safe and harmless to pipe rings no matter you are using them,but obviously are not,but cant help going back with my peterson pipelighter,since it is on its way,and shame those are pretty expencive ones but not so like IMC Old Boy lighters
    shall I send it back to tobacconist?Hardly,Nevertheless extrem Precautions would be taken with them, Grazias to all

    Posted 2 years ago #
  37. metalheadycigarguy

    metalheadycigarguy

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    The only time I clean the rim of my pipes is when I'm giving them a deep cleaning which is maybe once a year. I leave the char/soot there mostly. Sometimes I might give it a wipe if there is heavy char on the rim but that's only a quick wipe with a bit of saliva and a paper towel. I like the look of a well used pipe. With that said the char/soot on my pipes is minimal so to me it's not a big deal.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  38. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    My briars look more or less unsmoked externally, after dozens even hundreds of bowls of tobacco have been smoked in each of them, save for a few bite marks on the stems. I let the inside of the bowl carbonize and allow no cake whatsoever on the inside of the pipe. The only pipes I own, that have any external discoloration at all, are the odd estate pipe that I wasn't able to get fully cleaned up. You can call me anal or obsessive, but I just try to take care of my belongings.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  39. ray47

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    [quote]I also wet the rim with a bit o spit before applying flame, which helps prevent singeing the rim. (posted by sablebrush 52).

    I learned ^^^^^^^^this from an old timer when I first started pipe smoking. Works great everytime.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  40. jerwynn

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    First, more soot on the rim makes it easier for Santy Claus to get in.

    Second, cobs, I let be. Briars get cleaned after each smoke, and at least rims, if not all the stummels, get carnauba waxed each time.

    Third, I don't EVER let Everyclear/GrainAlcy get anywhere NEAR the exterior of good briar pipes! The stuff is a zip-stripper furniture refinisher to some/many fine finishes on wood. I have learned this the very hard way. I will never hear the end of a certain couple teeny tiny spots on the dining room furniture. (great cleaner on pipe-cleaners for cleaning out the interior airways though)

    But, as others have said, don't give a rip about what OCD others do, just do what pleases you!

    “Deep peace of the running wave to you.
 Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
 Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
 Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
    Deep peace of the infinite peace to you." - Fiona Macleod
    Posted 2 years ago #
  41. jpmcwjr

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    Jerkin-

    Look up French polishing, and hide those blemishes! Though I'd have thought that dining tables would be finished with more than wax or weak shellac.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  42. stranger

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    Every so often I'll give the rims a wipe, but I'm thinking of leaving one of my cobs alone to see how 'well loved' it will look in a year or so. I like to keep the pipes looking good but I don't stress too much if they look a little used.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  43. chasingembers

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    I clicked this thread for the sole purpose of posting this joke:

    I clean my rim so I don't leave marks in my underwear.
    Duane beat me to it. Nicely done sir.


    Thank you very much! I like the way you think!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  44. thomasmartin

    thomasmartin

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    Everything called soot has to be cleaned IMO no matter where.

    Thomas
    Posted 2 years ago #
  45. jerwynn

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    @jpmcwjr ... "JERKIN" huh??!!!! Well I made up a word to remember your flippin cryptic avatarasaurus: Jappem-COW-ajer!! HA! Take that!

    Now... is french polishing anything like french kissing? (And NOWHERE near The Captain's underwear!!!)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  46. jpmcwjr

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    OH, thank you, auto correct. I just didn't catch it. Jerwynn - hmmm it shows it's "misspelled" but didn't change it this time.

    And, no, French Polishing is for furniture, and nothing like french kissing, although that may lead to polishing knobs, which some pieces of furniture have....

    Posted 2 years ago #
  47. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Just put a little spit on it and rub it on the carpet a few times briskly. It keeps it nice and polished.
    My dog does something similar for the same reason.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  48. chasingembers

    Embers

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    For French knob polishing, the only furniture involved would be removing the Captain's drawers.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  49. tdehart

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    This is AWESOME!!! I'm TOTALLY glad I joined this forum and even more so I'm totally glad I asked the question! I got a lifetime of learnin' about rim cleanings, clean drawers, french kissing, french knob polishing, how dogs clean their rims on the carpet... You all are a bunch of freakin hilarious guys!!! Glad to witness greatness in action!

    ...what I don't understand is how the Captain is able to keep tying all this to his drawers - masterful!

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    @jerwynn- Ha! Take that, you, you...close-fitting leather vest, you! Hell, at least he didn't AutoCorrect you as "Merkin". This could be a new trend, going by our AutoCorrect screen names. I can only imagine how it would mangle "Aldecaker".

    Posted 2 years ago #
  51. jpmcwjr

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    My auto correct came up with "Old cock". That's actually almost a term of endearment on the auld sod. Did I say sod? The UK, to be clear.

    Edmund Blackadder and Baldrick converse:

    EB: "First Name?"
    B: "I'm not sure."
    EB: "Come on, you MUST have a first name."
    B: "It might be 'Sod Off'."
    EB: "Sod Off??"
    B: "Yeah, when I was a young lad playing in the gutter, I used to say to all the other snipes, "Hello, my name's Baldrick". And they'd say, "Yes we know, Sod Off, Baldrick"

    - Blackadder and Baldrick filling out an application form.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  52. agnosticpipe

    Orley

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    I like to clean the soot off the rims of my briar pipes for the same reason I like to wash my car, it just looks better. But... I live on a gravel road so I don't wash my car all that often.

    The pipe smoker formerly know as agnostic pipe
    "Fried food, hard liquor, and tobacco, that's the holy trinity!"- Stacy Keach
    Posted 2 years ago #
  53. chasingembers

    Embers

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    You all are a bunch of freakin hilarious guys!!! Glad to witness greatness in action!

    Hang around, it get's worse.

    ...what I don't understand is how the Captain is able to keep tying all this to his drawers - masterful!

    Because that's where I keep the first pipe in my collection!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  54. mcitinner1

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    Posted 2 years ago #
  55. jerwynn

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    @ JappumCowAjer and OldeCocker... MORE HAHA's!!! >>>

    I woke up Siri to take dictation and said "Jerwynn" three times and it came out jerilynn, German, and "chair win"... "chair win" wins it for me! All my old Easton/Allentown/Bethlehem&Nazareth (PA) PennsyDutch relatives started any word with J with a CH sound. Hey Cherry, srow me over mein chacket... it's cold outside!"

    My favorite was my very first income tax from the IRS... it came in the mail "Jerry Eye-shit". (I can't write my true surname here... they are watching me ALL the time... if anyone guesses it, I'll either confirm or deny only. It's a fine non-anglicized German family name btw.)

    What are we supposed to be talking about here???? Oops....

    Posted 2 years ago #
  56. jerwynn

    jerwynn

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    I remember now.... RIMSHOTS!!!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  57. cosmicfolklore

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    Keep it on topic. We're discussing the Captain's junk.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  58. mcitinner1

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    It's a short topic.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  59. tdehart

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    I don't know but I think I got the answer I was looking for - I forget what we're even talking about anymore. I keep trying to walk away but you all keep pulling me back and it's worth it!

    OK, OK back on topic - did the Captain's drawers get French knob polished yet or what?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  60. cosmicfolklore

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    I've always heard that French knobs prefer rims.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  61. jpmcwjr

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    That's all Greek to me!

    Do you know why shepherds wear tunics??

    Posted 2 years ago #
  62. mso489

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    You'll notice on estate listings on smokingpipes.com, rim char gets demerits. I have noticed that some pipes are made to char at the rims, my Sav Oscar Lucite prince, for example, whereas other pipes char little or none over years. Personally, I'm certainly accepting of a little char; like fills, not desirable in themselves, can lend some personality and patina to a pipe if it is a good smoker otherwise. I'm not much for selling and trading, so in general, the resale value doesn't matter to me. I do cull pipes now and then, trade them for credit, but it's not a major focus or concern. I prefer matches for a softer flame and more control, though matches do not guarantee against some rim darkening. I do buff my pipes after nearly every smoke, or as soon after as I can, and at that point, I buff the rim with the rest. Spit or a cloth with a little sizing (fabric stiffener) in it can remove very superficial darkening, but to some degree, once burnt, the rim remains that way unless sanded and refinished. I'd rather enjoy my pipes, wear and all, that try to maintain them in new-looking condition. It's a balancing act. I don't want dirty battered looking pipes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  63. chasingembers

    Embers

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    It's a short topic.

    Only because I fold everything that goes in drawers!

    Back on topic though....I'm drawing a blank.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  64. chasingembers

    Embers

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    You'll notice on estate listings on smokingpipes.com, rim char gets demerits.

    A lot of their estates that say minor rim darkening are just covered with tar and can be fixed with saliva or coffee and cleaned with a soft cloth. Have gotten a few estates from them in that condition and have cleaned up nicely.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  65. jerwynn

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    I CAN'T STAND IT!! Someone has to ask...

    @ jpmcwjr>>>
    [quoteDo you know why shepherds wear tunics??[/quote]

    Ok j, why do shepherds wear tunics???

    Posted 2 years ago #
  66. jerwynn

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    dmn quote thing.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  67. jerwynn

    jerwynn

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    Probably my rim-charred french knob got polished off.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  68. zekest

    zekest

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    Why clean your fork when you are just going to eat again?
    Just wipe the fork off on the towel that has been hanging from the refrigerator handle for three weeks.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  69. jpmcwjr

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    Ok j, why do shepherds wear tunics???

    Because over time, sheep have started to panic when they hear a zipper.

    Bada bing!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  70. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    You'll notice on estate listings on smokingpipes.com, rim char gets demerits.

    A lot of their estates that say minor rim darkening are just covered with tar and can be fixed with saliva or coffee and cleaned with a soft cloth. Have gotten a few estates from them in that condition and have cleaned up nicely.

    I like the distinction between charring and sooting/darkening/cake on the rim: Charring implies the wood is damaged; the others merely dirty.

    Does anyone else make that distinction? Especially vendors?

    Posted 2 years ago #

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