Bowl Coatings….Why!?

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Mar 13, 2020
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missouri
I just got a Nuttens Heritage sandblast Bing the other day. To my dismay it had a bowl coating, but I really wanted the pipe so I bought it anyway. When I received it I considered removing the coating but upon further inspection it didn't seem too bad. Definitely not like the good awful one Peterson used to use a couple years ago.

Anyway, first smoke it imparted an off taste to the tobacco. I just smoked my fourth bowl from it this morning and the taste is pretty much gone. I wish all coatings were as quick and painless as this one was.
 

VDL_Piper

Part of the Furniture Now
Jun 4, 2021
996
10,767
Tasmania, Australia
Interesting, what sort of coating does the Castello have? Did you buy it from a Castello dealer? You can never say never with Castello but Castello doesn’t coat their bowls other than possibly a clear, thin coating of orange shellac.
Definitely a black coating Dave, possibly stain but not shellac. I’m still waiting on a response from Castello which is pretty slow in coming. Pipe came from Mike at Briar Blues, so very reputable dealer and great service.
‘I’ve been smoking it once a week with Burley and a nice fine cake is forming and taste is diminishing. I still get a bad flavour mid bowl for some reason, so I think it will disappear it’s just going to take some smokes. My other Castello’s are complete opposite to this one with no flavour from the bowl or pipe, just all the nuance of the blend.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
24,708
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Carmel Valley, CA
Happens pretty commonly, here’s a quick shot of one right now. I have others but already coated over them. Can be from any part of the bowl depending on the grain, thickness, and external texture of the briar upon application. It happens most with the first darker applications in early sanding stages or after rustication and the pores are really open.
fe2b0bfa-a4bc-4563-8220-d47cbfa41e97-jpeg.161607

make it to the bowl in a spotty fashion.

That photo doesn't appear to demonstrate anything.. Stain soaking through the wall? Very unlikely.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
24,708
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Carmel Valley, CA
Ah, ok, I see the dots, and will believe you that they migrated through from outside stain. I doubt that anybody else would notice!
So, that was applied to raw, freshly sanded briar?
 
Jan 30, 2020
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New Jersey
Correct. This application had 3 colors. Black was applied while smooth to 320 grit. Red was applied after rusticating. Top coat of orange was applied after that after sanding to around 600 grit.

Only the red leached to the bowl in this case, I imagine from the raw, open pours of a fresh rustication.
 
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Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
43,412
109,217
Correct. This application had 3 colors. Black was applied while smooth to 320 grit. Red was applied after rusticating. Top coat of orange was applied after that after sanding to around 600 grit.

Only the red leached to the bowl in this case, I imagine from the raw, open pours of a fresh rustication.
Looks more like flicked in when applied with a pipe cleaner, I've had that happen when staining a pipe. I've never seen stain go more than a millimeter deep on the surface of briar.
 
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Jan 30, 2020
1,899
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New Jersey
Looks more like flicked in when applied with a pipe cleaner, I've had that happen when staining a pipe. I've never seen stain go more than a millimeter deep on the surface of briar.
It wasn’t. I handle the pipe with the bowl plugged with an adjustable reamer.

just like with oil curing, the goal is to fully penetrate the Briar completely with oil which is much thicker than stain.

If you don’t want to believe it, I don’t know what to tell you.
 
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jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
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Carmel Valley, CA
fireground: Very nice illustrations! One reason I was skeptical is that all the sawn-in-half pipes I've seen haven't exhibited stain penetrating.

At the same time, I understand that some/many (?) pipe makers apply very thin coats of shellac as part of the finishing. But I don't know at what point— before staining? After? During?
 
Jan 30, 2020
1,899
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New Jersey
yeah, it's very block and finish dependent in my first hand experiences. If kept smooth, I usually don't see penetration all the way to the bowl. Rusticated is sure to have it assuming I apply a stain layer after rusticating. If a block happens to be pretty light/porous, I might see some penetration to bowl or even on the airway from shank application on a smooth.

I don't really know what many others do, but I apply oil after staining to act as a sealer and help bring out some grain details. Then I'll carnauba wax. I've never used shellac so can't comment on it, I prefer pure oils.

I've never tried oiling and then attempting stain. The ones I use harden as they cure so I'd expect there would be slim to no penetration but I can't confirm from experience. I could probably give it a go at some point......I'm always trying to do different things just to see what happens.
 
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sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
19,747
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Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
I'm agnostic when it comes to bowl coatings. Don't care one way or the other and have never once experienced an unpleasant taste from one. Most of what I smoke are ancient Britwood, so the wood has already gone through its break in, probably decades before I was born.

With the new pipes I've bought, some came with a coating and some didn't and I experience no issues either way. I've clearly been lucky that breaking in a pipe has never been a problem. Then again, I notice which makes people tend to bitch about, and don't buy those makes.

One thing though. If you are of a mind to pop the cherry of an ancient pipe, in the neighborhood of a century old, you better make damned sure to coat that chamber first with a thin insulator of charcoal infused silicate or it will likely be the last bowl you'll get from that pipe because you will have split it. Really old briar can become quite delicate. So there's a "why" for the OP.
 
fireground: Very nice illustrations! One reason I was skeptical is that all the sawn-in-half pipes I've seen haven't exhibited stain penetrating.

At the same time, I understand that some/many (?) pipe makers apply very thin coats of shellac as part of the finishing. But I don't know at what point— before staining? After? During?
I sawed a few in half, just on my own, and until the cut edges have been sanded smooth, you can't see the tars and such penetrating. The ones that get posted on here, are usually by people who want to demonstrate that they are smarter than the rest of us and they use this to prove that briar does not absorb tars. And, the pics are of rough cut edges, that prove that they are "righter" than the rest of us. But, if one were to sand the edges a little, it would show that the rest of us were right to begin with. So, I just don't play into the BS. Someone wants to prove their smarter than us... sure feed your own egos. Personally, I haven't anything to prove. Just don't buy hook line and sinker, stuff you see or hear on the interwebs. puffy
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
19,747
45,290
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
I sawed a few in half, just on my own, and until the cut edges have been sanded smooth, you can't see the tars and such penetrating. The ones that get posted on here, are usually by people who want to demonstrate that they are smarter than the rest of us and they use this to prove that briar does not absorb tars. And, the pics are of rough cut edges, that prove that they are "righter" than the rest of us. But, if one were to sand the edges a little, it would show that the rest of us were right to begin with. So, I just don't play into the BS. Someone wants to prove their smarter than us... sure feed your own egos. Personally, I haven't anything to prove. Just don't buy hook line and sinker, stuff you see or hear on the interwebs. puffy
Do you have any pictures you can post of cross sections after the side has been smoothed out, or before and afters? Would be interesting to see.
 
Jan 30, 2020
1,899
6,277
New Jersey
Wasn't playing believe it or not, just haven't seen it happen. Are you saying that you are trying to saturate the wood with stain? What kind of stain are you using?
No, certainly not saturating with stain. The somewhat sloppy oil reference was to allude to the fact that it's possible to saturate briar with oil, a much thicker substance than a stain, so getting penetration from stain is much easier under varying circumstances. It kind of shoots through at certain spots if the grain is open enough without any special external encouragement.

I use Fiebings Leather dye, premixed.