Beeswax or Not?

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erratum

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Jun 30, 2017
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I was gifted a nice little meer from my fiance a couple of years ago. It's not a high grade artisan piece, but the scentamental value is off the charts, of course. I keep it in its case & smoke it every so often, wiping the bowl clean after each session.
I'm contemplating waxing it but have my fears about the process. What's anyone's thoughts on this? Do you wax your meers? Do you feel it not necessary? I would like it to be protected & in as good of shape as I can keep it for...well, forever, really.

 

warren

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Sep 13, 2013
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If you want to put wax on top of the original wax ... go ahead. Won't help nor hurt and you'll feel like you're participating. In my years of smoking meers I've never had the original wax go away. Don't know why it would. After a pipe is colored I handle mine with bare fingers and the original wax stays put. I don't smoke hot though.

 

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metalheadycigarguy

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Apr 26, 2012
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I wax my meerschaums once maybe twice a year depending on how much I smoke a particular pipe. By waxing the pipe you can draw out some additional colors, but it probably won't be much; especially if you don't smoke it very often. The best way to color a pipe is to smoke it frequently, and smoking nicotine heavy blends and/or aromatics will also help it color faster.
I did recently read an old Tobacco Pipes magazine article where the owner of SMS meerschaum pipes would smoke is pipe frequently and wax it monthly. He stated it improved the color of the pipe, but again he was also smoking it regularly.

 

warren

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Sep 13, 2013
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I haven't purchased a meer in many years. But, back when I did,60's early 70's they came with a hard wax finish, which was the reason to keep ones fingers clean, wear cotton gloves or simply to not handle a warm bowl, all additional wax accomplishes is to add the hue of the wax over the finish. Now, the finishes on newer pipes may be different these days so, I may be writing through my ass.But, I do know additional wax only sits on the pipe and the "real" color, the liquid residues from the blend, rises up through the porous meerschaum. Wax a warm bowl, I tried the waxes early in my smoking career, simply causes the wax to get soft. Once the pipe cools the wax hardens of course giving a warm, light brown hue to the white or colored meerschaum. then you buff and have a nice waxy colored pipe.
The above is all anecdotal, from personal experience and conversations in the pipe shop with older smokers than I was, of course.

 

metalheadycigarguy

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Apr 26, 2012
2,577
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Washington State
It should also be noted that if you do wax your meerschaum pipes, and in the process you get your pipe to hot, you can actually remove the color from your pipe. For lack of a better term, you can actually bleach your pipe if you get it to hot during the waxing process. Whether that's from the waxing being to hot, or just over heating the pipe during the waxing process.
For the record I've done both when waxing my pipes. On one occasion I was distracted and got one of my pipes to hot and removed some of the color. I wasn't happy. I've since got that color back through smoking it. On all other occasions I've had success in adding some additional color to the pipe. It's not going to be a night and day difference but just a subtle change. Again the best way to color the pipe is to smoke the heck out of it no matter what blend(s) you prefer.

 
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