Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 398

Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 398! Our featured interview tonight is with Robert “Lawdog” Lawing. Lawdog is a well-known, easily recognizable figure at all of the pipe shows around the country. He specializes in the estate market for high-end artisan pipes – restoring, buying and selling. He also does restorations for any type of pipe.  In Pipe Parts, Brian will discuss tongue bite, and how to avoid it. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!

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Robert "Lawdog" Lawing with artisan pipe maker, "Former"
Robert “Lawdog” Lawing (L) with artisan pipe maker, “Former” (R)

Lawdog’s Pipes on Facebook

The Pipes Magazine Radio Show features interviews with pipe makers, tobacco blenders, pipe and tobacco aficionados, collectors, and more. Episodes air every Tuesday.

Our show is sponsored by SmokingPipes.com, Cornell & Diehl, Missouri Meerschaum, Savinelli Pipes and Tobaccos. Please give them some consideration when making your next pipe or tobacco purchase.
We hope you enjoy our 1-hour show produced just for you—the pipe smoker and collector.

Robert “Lawdog” Lawing Interview

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3 Responses

  • I really enjoyed all aspects of this week’s show.
    I think people, sometimes, mistake the tang of a good Virginia for tongue bite. And, if I’m smoking something that I know might get too hot, I always have an iced drink to ease the sting.
    Lawdog was thoroughly entertaining. The Piston was terrific.
    I, too, loved the “God Friended Me” show. It was an incredible ensemble of actors, who portrayed characters who were, as you said, nice. I never missed an episode. TV will be less rich now that it is gone.

  • Great show, Brian, I’m a pipe maker myself, and I always enjoy listening to other pipe maker speak about their contributions to our hobby. Your advice about tongue bite was spot on. Greg Pease brings up a chemistry aspects to tongue bite, that when tobacco burns too hot, it raises the PH and can actually cause an alkaline chemical burn. I’ve been smoking a pipe since 1979, and for the first ten years, tongue bite was a consert companion of mine. I was smoking aromatics right out of the pouch or can, and constantly had problems with the pipe gurgling and biting my tongue. I was also dumping the ash constantly throughout the bowl, and ending up with a a quarter bowl of gooey dottle. I had an ‘old timer’, an English expat that had lived in South Africa for the previous forty years (Gerry Gore), step in and school me. He steered me away from the aromatic blends, and into the Virginia, VaPer, and English blends. He told me that almost all tobacco is shipped at a moisture level that is great for storing and aging the tobacco, but too wet for smoking. So I started spreading my tobacco out on a piece of paper and letting it dry before smoking it, if it needed it. It’s perfect when it’s still pliable, but not sticking together when pinched. It should not feel cold to the touch. He said the perfect smoke is all about temperature control. He explained that the tampped ash, creates an insulation layer on top of the tobacco, that helps to regulate the temperature. It also defuses the flame to allow relighting the last quarter of the bowl. Otherwise, it will light only the bit that is over the air hole. I became an ash tamper, rather than an ash dumper, and smoking successfully all the to the bottom. I’m happy to say, that his advice kept me in the hobby. I was on the verge of throwing in the towel at the time, and I’ve now been overwhelmingly tongue bite free from the past thirty years. I pass on what I learned from this gentleman every chance I get. It’s invaluable knowledge that we who are now old timers, owe to the new pipe smokers (pay it forward). I still get bit once in a blue moon, but a certain amount goes with the territory. It really only happens when I get careless, and let things heat up.

  • As always, a great show. Wonderful pipe parts that hopefully lots of new smokers hear. You answered some very often repeated questions. Wonderful interview with Lawdog, as expected. He’s always easy and pleasant to talk to. I’m glad he discussed the rounding of the tenon end of stems on restorations. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing this on estate pipes. It’s nice that someone takes the job so seriously.

    Finally, thank you for reminding people to shop around instead of attending the Chicago pipe show. As retailers and pipe makers, a lot of our income, if not a majority, comes from these shows. While I did not make nearly what I would have in sales, I was very happy when some customers pointed out that they were waiting to see me in Chicago and made purchases on my website over the weekend. It brought a little joy to my weekend.