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Wood at the Bottom of Missouri Meerschaum Bowls

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    astralogic

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    I guess this is a normal thing right since all four of my Missouri Meerschaum pipes have that chunk of wood in the bowl.

    How do people deal with that wood? Is the only option to just be careful?

    I only smoked wood once, on my first go with a MM, since then though I've been fine so it does look like I got the hang of it. The reason I ask though is because I just got a small one (The Shire Cobbit I believe) and it looks like it might be tricky since the bowl is so small.

    I presume that bit of wood is the reason MM pipes smoke so well?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    They are well made, top of the corn cob pipe chain.

    Not quite sure of your concern here. Can you please re-state?

    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 #
  3. warren

    warren

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    Without the wood plug the cob would be very hard to pack much less smoke. Tens of thousands sold and enjoyed. I've never given a thought to the plug. Like the above, I'm not sure I understand your concern.

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

    ericusrex

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    Isn't that the end of the wooden stem? I've never had a problem with them

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    astralogic

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    I just wish I could coat it in something non burnable so I can relax and just smoke my pipe without worrying I'm about to burn wood.

    Does no one really see the concern of putting your burning tobacco directly on top of wood? Easily burnable wood? I love the pipes, I just have to keep my wits about me, checking how low the tobacco has got so far, eyeballing it imagining where the wood is in relation to the top of the tobacco. I can never smoke a MM pipe all the way down until I feel I'm done, I have to stop early so the ember doesn't reach the wood.

    Know what I mean?

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    kanse

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    Quite a number of people modify their corn cobs. One of the most popular ones is the removal of the wooden thing. I can relate, I find it obnoxious.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Oh, that. Once they char a bit, it's pretty hard to burn that piece of shank anyway. Some people have had them burn clean away, but that takes a looong time. Simply smoke away with no worries.

    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 #
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    astralogic

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    I see, it goes black very quick, this gave me the impression it was easily burnable, and could possibly set on fire!

    Thanks for assuaging my fears

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Nope, no fire. Cobs are pretty well bullet proof, in my experience.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    If you're really concerned, switch to briar or meer. Or cover it with an inert material such as coffee grounds.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    What, John? People switch from briars and meers to cobs, not the other way around!

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    astralogic

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    I always used briars, but when I got my first MM, I sold all my briars and I am now I'm a pure MM fanboy I love em that much.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Yeah, they're hard to beat. And if you like them more than briars, you can get caught in the trap of, "Well, you haven't smoked a "quality" briar". "Oh, a Savinelli? You haven't tried a vintage Dunhill". "Oh, but you haven't tried a handmade artisan pipe". "Oh, that's only a thousand-dollar range artisan smoker. Briars really shine in the $5,000 dollar artisan range after being broken in for 17 years".

    Yeah, okay. Maybe I just like cobs better than briars.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. mso489

    mso489

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    I think that the anxiety about wood at the bottom of the MM bowl is misplaced, but it does illustrate how focused people become smoking pipes. In this case, you just need to find something more useful to focus on, like a good sunset when available, a spirited cup of tea (or a bourbon, or whatever's your pleasure), or Forums on the screen, or a companion animal or painting, etc. etc. The wood at the bottom of your pipe bowl is fine, no problem. As the old straw goes, don't sweat the small stuff.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    What, John? People switch from briars and meers to cobs, not the other way around!

    OMG! I completely forgot that shibboleth!!

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    frozenchurchwarden

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    Corncob burns much more easily than the wood plug. They put the wooden plug there to prevent the exact thing that you're worried about.

    Cobs that do not have the wood plug should probably be mudded (mix pure ash with a bit of water to make a paste and coat the bottom of the pipe with it). Lots of people still do that with Cobs that have a wood plug, but the need for it is actually greatly reduced.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. stevuke79

    stevuke79

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    I've definitely smoked a little wood once or twice. Not the best taste but not the worst.

    It's ok. After a few smokes the heat chars the wood and the risk is gone.

    What bothers ME is that you can neither smoke all of the tobacco surrounding that wood bit nor can you really clean it all out.... Which makes "ghosting" inevitable. So I just decided that ghosting from good tobacco is ok

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    That's what she said.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. cosmicbobo

    David

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    All I can see is the stem sticking through

    Be that as it may, it probably never was...
    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. jvnshr

    jvnshr

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    Just to make it clear:

    Shank inside the bowl

    Plug

    Regarding the shank inside the bowl, I removed that part in one of my MM corn cobs and filled it with some pipe mud. It smokes great.

    What bothers ME is that you can neither smoke all of the tobacco surrounding that wood bit nor can you really clean it all out

    I use toothpicks to remove that tobacco surrounding the shank extension if needed.

    Javan
    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    Yet another excellent pictorial explanation Javan

    I have to admit I was initially confused by the OP's problem.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Agreed. Oddly enough I picked up a Barling Canadian that has a very thin heel, and I feel I should bolster it with pipe mud or something.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. woopigpiper

    woopigpiper

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    I always used briars, but when I got my first MM, I sold all my briars and I am now I'm a pure MM fanboy [:D] I love em that much.

    astralogic if this is true, I'm astounded! Haha. I really wish a cob appealed to me that much. What blends and etc. do you typically love and smoke the most?

    WooPigPiper
    u/feernot
    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. bluegrasspipe

    bluegrasspipe

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    I am not really sure this is relavent, but I did enjoy some of this guys modification videos on the MM cobs.
    Missouri Meerschaum modification He chisels out the wooden stem entry point and then packs it with pipe mud, changing the draft hole entry, and discusses leaving the wooden stem entry and packing with pipe mud only.
    All of which, although interesting seems unnecessary..

    For tho' at my simile many may joke,
    Man is but a pipe—and his life but smoke.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    On my only new purchased MM which is a 'Mark Twain' that too had a little of the stem protruding into the bowl. About two minutes with a Marples woodcarving chisel dealt with it no problem.

    Some folks are leary about using sharp tools on pipes and I can understand that. The thing is to be confident and work slowly.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. btsteve

    btsteve

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    I think chiseling out the shank in the bowl and adding pipe mud works great. I did it to all for of my MM's and they smoke wonderfully. I like them even more. It is extremely easy with a sharp chisel and does not take long. I recommend it if you do not like the burning wood taste you sometimes get when it is left in.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. jtaggie320

    John

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    This drives me absolutely bat $h!T crazy with cobs. I've really tried to give them a fair shake and enjoy them, but when they look like a class of kindergarten kids assembled them with with Elmer's glue and fiskar scissors I have a hard time appreciating them. I'm sure I'll get hung for this comment by the cob men around here, but I just can't get over it. I've never enjoyed a cob enough to ignore the thought that I'm inhaling whatever brand of crazy glue that I can see leftover from the process of bonding stem to bowl. Then there's this Haggard looking chunk of wood hanging onto the bowl that I have to work around to pack and clean this damn thing? No thank you. Don't get me wrong, I own plenty of cobs and use them on occasion to fish, mow, or do any other kind of activity where I'm lighting a pipe and then ignoring it. But I've also been known to send them down to Davy Jones' locker after a bowl while fishing with no regrets, or chunk them in the trash after a day of mowing. It's just a $3 cigar in my mind.

    Jesus said to him "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." - John 14:6
    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. lasttango

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    I cannot relate.

    I spend around $5 on a legend. It lasts for a couple months. I've never had a cob catch on fire or emit any kind of weird toxic fumes.
    When it starts looking fugly or when it doesn't taste as good I toss it away without concern. It's disposable.

    It's a piece of corn with wood and plastic? it's like $5 or $10... I'm happy if it lasts a week. Instead they last a couple months. If anything, the stem wears out too quickly. That's my fault because I clench and chew it.

    They've been around forever. They are tried and true. They are what they are?!?!!!

    Some people love them, some don't.

    You can get them in Walgreens for $5.

    They are awesome for what they are.

    If folks can extend their lives and modify them to derive more pleasure then that's great!

    It's Corn, wood and plastic... it's cheap. They can smoke like a champ. They cost $5-$10. What more do you want?

    A man that hoards up riches and enjoys them not, is like an ass that carries gold and eats thistles.
    -Richard Burton
    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. pappymac

    pappymac

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    I have a couple of Legends that are 3 or 4 years old. Still smoke them when working outside. This obsession with "too much shank in the bowl" is just that an obsession. If it was that big of a deal they wouldn't be selling 600 - 800 thousands of the pipes every year.

    Simply put, if you don't like them, don't smoke them. Just go out to a drug store and buy a cheap Dr. Grabow.

    I am glad we have a good admin and responsible moderators.

    Heave to you dark colored ship under sail! Prepare to be boarded!
    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. tbradsim1

    tbradsim1

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    I always pump some Fireplace Mortar repair on both sides , not because of the wood, because I can clean them better, tobbaco doesn't stay in the cracks.

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. fitzy

    fitzy

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    Hmm anyone every try a screen just above the shank extension so you don't have tobacco left underneath the shank?

    I just smoke them as they are and don't worry about it. Not crazy about that cob taste though.

    "These are ghosts that are more at home in a girdle-filled drawer than one of my pipes." Quote by Neil Archer Roan on lakeland ghosts
    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    "I've never enjoyed a cob enough to ignore the thought that I'm inhaling whatever brand of crazy glue that I can see leftover from the process of bonding stem to bowl."

    Yet you are quite content to smoke tobacco which contains a plethora of poisonous chemicals?

    Quite bizarre.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. ben88

    ben88

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    The way I used to deal with protruding shank - microwave cob for about 20 seconds. Pull the shank out. Trim it. Glue it back using carpenters glue. Raise the bottom with pipe mud. "Paint" walls with the same mud using pipe cleaner. Voila.

    Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate
    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. danno44

    danno44

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    I still have my first pipe purchased, a MM Legend from over 2 years ago, smokes great.
    When I get a new cob, for the first handful of bowls, once I smell or taste wood, I set the pipe down and let it burn itself out.
    Once stem is charred and bottom is caked I don't notice anything funky in taste or how it smokes.
    My MM legends are my workhorse pipes when I am doing yardwork or anything other than just relaxing with a pipe. Stuff it with some burley light it and forget it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    Lemme see...

      buy the cob
      un-glue and remove the shank
      file away the intrusive part of the shank
      re-glue and re-insert the shank
      make some pipe mud and coat the bottom of the bowl
      buy a forever stem
    sounds like too much hobbying around for me.
    My solution? Buy a Rinaldo and enjoy the ecstasy immediately and forever more.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 1 year ago #
  36. jtaggie320

    John

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    ""I've never enjoyed a cob enough to ignore the thought that I'm inhaling whatever brand of crazy glue that I can see leftover from the process of bonding stem to bowl."

    Yet you are quite content to smoke tobacco which contains a plethora of poisonous chemicals?

    Quite bizarre."

    Yes Jay, but I'm familiar with the "poisonous" chemicals created during the combustion of tobacco as I've performed extensive research on the subject . I'm not however familiar with what chemicals this or any other form of epoxy creates when burned. I enjoy a good smoke and am aware of the risk associated with it. I'm also semi aware of the risks of huffing spray paint, and therefore choose not to pursue that "hobby". There's a reason that adequate ventilation is required while painting but not life threatening while smoking a pipe. There's quite a difference in my mind.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  37. andrew

    Andy

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    After smoking the pipe let the shank smoker on it's own, after about 10 bowls it will have burnt away, speaking from experience

    Posted 1 year ago #
  38. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    ^^^ Sounds logical.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    webpoppy8

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    What about using a hole-saw bit to remove the shank?

    Also, why no actual adhesive in "pipe mud"? Isn't there a non-toxic high-temp adhesive that could be used?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  40. jazz

    jazz

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    What about using a hole-saw bit to remove the shank?

    There is really no need. It will either burn away or go black. It just doesn't matter.

    Also, why no actual adhesive in "pipe mud"? Isn't there a non-toxic high-temp adhesive that could be used?

    Because there is no need.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  41. upnorth1

    upnorth1

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    Just posted this the other day:

    What I've done to all my MM's is to drill out the bottom of the bowl, including the part of the shank that is glued too the bowl's interior bottom. Then the stem easilt twists out. I insert the right sized hardwood dowel, adjusting where the hardwood meets the airway, and gluing it with Elmers glue and let it dry. Then I saw off the dowel, reglue the stem to the bowl, and voila, a MM with a hardwood bowl bottom. It's a lot less trouble than it sounds like.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  42. didimauw

    didimauw

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    So many posts are wrong in this thread...

    Where's banjo when you need him!

    So this is what I do. Everyone pay attention and listen very carefully. If you want a perfectly smokeable corn cob pipe you MUST follow these steps.

    1. Do nothing.
    2. Smoke.
    3. Enjoy.

    "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 months ago #
  43. davek

    davek

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    That shank in the bottom is much softer wood than the hardwood plug. As has been said, it's more responsible for the wood taste you get at first. If you want to hurry the process of getting the bottom of the bowl to look like the pic above, after a bowl or three to char, put a little honey on both sides of the shank. Regardless, for the first 10 or so bowls when you first taste wood or otherwise know you are at the bottom, set the pipe down to smolder a bit. When you pick it back up, put your thumb over the bowl and shake the ash in there before dumping it.

    All totally not necessary, though. It'll get there by just smoking it. That's all I do anymore.

    Posted 2 months ago #

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