Breaking in an MM Cob.

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F4RM3R

Preferred Member
Nov 28, 2019
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Canada
I kind of like the first few bowls of a cob in regards to the flavour imparted by the sidewalls, but that goes away very quickly. As for the stem at the bottom. Yes I agree it doesn’t taste very good. But just stop smoking once you start to taste that, don’t worry about burning it away, after 10 or so bowls there will be some tar and deposits that will form on and around the stem at the bottom of the bowl and you won’t taste it much anymore.
 
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bullet08

Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2018
4,343
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RTP, NC. USA
In Japanese martial art of Kendo, there are few traditions practitioners follow to prevent bamboo staves from splitting and possibly entering opponent's eye. Well only two death due to Kendo was both due to this issue. One of more unique way of "seasoning" the bamboo is to make a tube that's long enough to hold the bamboo and the oil of choice. You more or less leave the bamboo in there untill you are satisfied. No, I don't follow that tradition. Other than it takes very long time to clean that out, you get yelled at every time you hit someone with oil loaded bamboo sword. Bad manner. But since honey coating seems to be popular with pipe smokers, might I suggest picking the cob in a mason jar of local honey for a through job. Any job that needs to be done well should be done till the cob dissolves in the honey. Don't follow that tradition either.
 
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chopper

Preferred Member
Aug 24, 2019
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Thanks for your thoughts gentleman.

It's interesting how some don't taste that vegetal quality when breaking in a cob [yet some of those who don't probably pick up nuances of flavour in tobacco that I'm unable]

Regarding the wood stem; It occurred to me that one big difference might well come down to what one pays for tobacco.
If ones able to buy a codger Burley blend for $3 a pouch, then dumping the last bit of a bowl is not a big deal.

Although I bought my stash of tobacco from the U.S., I still look at the replacement cost and treat my baccy with the respect it deserves.
At $125 for 50g, one simply does not dump a bowl for any reason.

So when one tastes hardwood in a cob for instance, ones reflex is to burn that farker to the ground. :LOL:
 
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saltedplug

Preferred Member
Aug 20, 2013
5,221
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Heat the junction of the cob and stem and the shank will come right out. Remove the shank and cut it to size. Insert the shank back into the cob, gluing it with Elmers. It's what MM uses.
 
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chopper

Preferred Member
Aug 24, 2019
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Heat the junction of the cob and stem and the shank will come right out. Remove the shank and cut it to size. Insert the shank back into the cob, gluing it with Elmers. It's what MM uses.
It's surprising then that the heat from smoking does not interfere with the glue.

When I receive my new cobs, I will try to maintain the stem in the chamber and see how that goes.
If that entails wasting even the slightest bit of tobacco however, I'll resort back to my old ways. [Burn! Burn the bastard! :LOL: ]

The three MM cobs that I've smoked [two in rotation - one was killed by my car - btw; cobs do not survive being run over by a car :eek: ] have all had the stem burnt off without compromising the structural integrity of the stem.
A small sample for sure. Maybe I've just been lucky not to have encountered any problems doing so?
Or maybe, the hard cake around the stem where it enters the chamber helps to cement it in place?
 
Dec 19, 2018
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I have no idea if my method is right or wrong. I've been smoking cobs for years and love them. I simply take a new cob, load it with tobacco, light it, smoke it and repeat. I've never had off flavors from the first few bowls but if I did I would not consider it abnormal. With a new cob, when I get to the bottom of the bowl and start to taste wood from the shank, I'll take a couple of extra puffs to try and expedite burning it off. Over time, the portion of the shank that extends into the bowl disappears. This method works for me and I have cobs that are well over 10 years old.
 
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anantaandroscoggin

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
527
767
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Greene, Maine, USA
I have two or three MM cobs where my pufferbilly cadence has managed to loosen up the shank from the bowl. I also have some where the spoon has burned away on its own, without any deliberate help from me. I even have one where if I clench it, the weight of the bowl/tobacco/shank is enough to bend the plastic stem's tenon downward, making the pipe droop.

I seem to have developed a habit of using the filter that comes with some pipes, during the break-in until it's time to throw it away, then not bothering with filters at all.
 
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shermnatman

Preferred Member
Jan 25, 2019
674
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Philadelphia Suburbs, Pennsylvania
I am a huge proponent - as most of you know - of prepping a new cob with either Honey or Maple Syrup prior to smoking it the first time. Simply wet your finger, apply a drop or two to your wetted finger tip, coat the inside of the bowl and the upper rim, let dry for a day.

You'll never taste that horrible 'burn cob' taste again, if you adopt this old-timer trick. - Sherm Natman
 
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chopper

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Aug 24, 2019
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I am a huge proponent - as most of you know - of prepping a new cob with either Honey or Maple Syrup prior to smoking it the first time. Simply wet your finger, apply a drop or two to your wetted finger tip, coat the inside of the bowl and the upper rim, let dry for a day.

You'll never taste that horrible 'burn cob' taste again, if you adopt this old-timer trick. - Sherm Natman
When my cobs finally arrive, I'll give the honey/maple method a try in one bowl and @jpmcwjr sugar method in another.

I've not ever seen the need to do so before but it kinda makes sense if one wishes to negate the vegetal taste in a new cob.
 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
3,010
2,551
With my last few Cobs I used a dehydrator to coat the bowls with a paste of brown sugar.
The main problem is the shank will shrink, one of the pipes still barely accepts a standard plastic stem but the other needs to be re-drilled.
I suspect that finding a drill bit to snugly fit in the shank would prevent it from changing size too much, but the wood might just split instead.

Just smoking the pipe with syrup inside is probably the way to go.
 
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