Breaking in an Uncoated New Pipe

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t1m3kn1ght

Lurker
Nov 3, 2022
6
23
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hi all!

I just picked up a new Chacom Elephant pipe and have some questions about the break-in process. In terms of pipes I've personally smoked, they've all had a good carbon cake already developed (since those were inherited) or have that coating applied to the inside of the bowl out of the box. Are there any tips, tricks, or do-nots to bear in mind for smoking a pipe that lacks the factory coating? Any wisdom would be great!

PS: celebrating my first post beyond the introductions thread!
 

PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,654
28,352
Hawaii
For an inexpensive pipe, someone might not care, so I’ll include in the conversation expensive pipes too.

Don’t let them get hot when they are new an uncoated, there is always the possibility of developing thin cracks inside the chambers.

Just let them get barely warm feeling to the touch when holding the pipes, until you eventually start to develop a thin carbon layer inside, generally 1mm thickness.

Any decent pipe someone cares about, should never smoke them hot to the touch anyways, even though briar is extremely dense and fire resistant.

Have fun... :)
 

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
5,691
15,007
One other tip: don't go nuts trying to burn every last bit of tobacco at the bottom of the bowl. You can char the draft hole that way. If the bowl seems to be almost done, and it's not taking a light, go ahead and dump it.

Yup.

The whole "nothing left but a quarter teaspoon of fine ash" thing isn't how pipe fizziks works as a rule. Do not aim for it as an imagined ideal outcome. Airway charring awaits if you do.

Here's a pipe in chamber-axis cross section. Notice how the wood that comprises the "top" of the airway thins to a "zero thickness" edge. It will burn readily if you try to force a Fine White Ash conclusion to every smoke by touching it with flame. Especially if you use a gas lighter instead of matches.

(A nothing-but-ash finish can happen of its own accord, but it's rare and a blind luck combination of conditions when it does.)



Screen Shot 2022-11-11 at 4.37.54 PM.png
 

judcole

Lifer
Sep 14, 2011
7,294
35,452
Detroit
I make sure to use a tobacco that I am very familiar with, and is fairly neutral. I typically use Lane Ready Rubbed, Stokkebye Natural Dutch Cavendish, and Sutliff Virginia Slices. I load it up and go. One bowl a day for two weeks, then let it rest a good 10-14 days.
 

Dublin Old Man

Might Stick Around
Aug 22, 2020
55
128
Dublin, Ohio
I agree with the recommendations to start with a Virginia. I wouldn't use a Latakia or flavored blend. My experience is that the uncoated briar absorbs and retains the flavor of the initial tobaccos that are smoked in it.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
25,416
28,704
Carmel Valley, CA
I agree with the recommendations to start with a Virginia. I wouldn't use a Latakia or flavored blend. My experience is that the uncoated briar absorbs and retains the flavor of the initial tobaccos that are smoked in it.
And for whatever reason, I'd recommend starting with a mild English!