Burning down the middle

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alex87

Member
Jul 30, 2012
194
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So i've been at it for a bit now and i have had my share of "learning experiences" and it has rewarded me with a few great smokes of late.
However i'm noticing that i've been having a problem with my tobacco burning down the center of the bowl leaving the edges closest to the bowl either unburnt or just charred.
Anyone got any tips or advice on how to not burn right down the middle of the bowl? I've tried a 45 degree tamp to try and get the baccy from the sides towards the middle but it doesn't seem to help all that much.
When i go to relight, i stir my ash and dump, and what i see is a crater shape in my baccy. Is this something i shouldn't worry about or should i be concerned at the ammount of unburnt tobacco i am leaving on the inside of my bowl?

 

rosney

Member
Nov 12, 2012
128
0
Good question as it is something I struggle with from time to time. Smoking slowly like rothnh said helps a lot. That is what I find is the cause of most of my problems. I haven't found the end all cure so I look forward to some more answers.

 

matchstickman

Preferred Member
Jul 15, 2011
2,352
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Are you lighting with a lighter or a match? A wooden match can sometimes help get a better light on that tobacco around the sides of the bowl, but even then, it can be a little tricky. If I've got good ash going on around the center but not on the sides, I sometimes use the pick end of my pipe tool to kind of scoot the tobacco on the edges a little closer to the center and light again to help get everything even.

 

alex87

Member
Jul 30, 2012
194
0
I'm using my Zippo with pipe insert.
I've been smoking really slowly, almost to the point of relighting every few mins and it seems to start when i light. I'm putting it down to lighting technique rather than smoking technique.
Slowing down is always good advice though. Perhaps its one of those things that will just come with time. I'll experiment with different lighting techniques and let you know how it goes. I suspect its just a combination of everything, packing, lighting, tamping, and draw....oh well, such is the art of smoking a pipe. Heaven help me, i have to smoke more bowls to practice.../sarcasm

 

peckinpahhombre

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2012
7,118
50
I too use an angled wedge tamper to tamp down the sides of the bowl while leaving the middle of the bowl conical. I have found this works for me in terms of getting an even burn. I see you have tried that with no success, which I am a little baffled at. Hmmmm.

 

taerin

Preferred Member
May 22, 2012
1,851
0
The bowl is designed to be in contact with the hot ember, if it's made from briar, you would only have to worry about burning the pipe itself if you smoked it too quickly/hot. Make sure you wipe down the top of the pipe after every smoke to prevent buildup of carbon on the top of the bowl, that way it will continue to look like new, however the rim will darken from the tars in the tobacco over time just like the rest of the pipe will.
It can be very tricky to get a good burn, the trick is to light the tobacco on top until it turns black, then tamp it down until you have a flat surface for lighting, then light it and achieve an even light. If it is real uneven, I will tamp it down, let it go out, and relight.

 

pstlpkr

Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2009
9,739
1
Birmingham, AL
Try to insure you have a good Char-light and a good True-light.

That should help your ember to cover the top nice and evenly, and with a not overly thick ember...

IMHO.

 

pstlpkr

Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2009
9,739
1
Birmingham, AL
Try to insure you have a good Char-light and a good True-light.

That should help your ember to cover the top nice and evenly, and with a not overly thick ember...

IMHO.

 

wnghanglow

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2012
696
0
Rothnh is right on the mark here, I do want to add that you should time yourself smoking, if you have a "regular" size bowl it should take you at lest 40 min to smoke, if not your still smoking to fast. I know even the most experienced smokers can still struggle with smoking to fast so I doubt you have mastered it yet. *i know I still have to consciously slow down when I smoke*

 

thebadkitty

Member
Feb 29, 2012
271
0
Albany, Oregon
Alex, thanks for asking this question. I was just taking a break from homework and smoking a flake, and because I had just been reading this thread a little while ago (yes, instead of doing homework) decided on folding and stuffing the PS LNF, something I don't do a lot because I haven't really been able to get it to burn right. It was an Aha! moment.

Peckinpahhombre, thanks because it was your recent photo and descriptions of your wedge that made me click a bunch of things I've been reading (thanks everybody!)about flakes which have become a favorite in the last year.

Roth, I can't thank you and Cigarmaster enough for all your posts, and remember you asking about cob photos. I've been meaning to do a "photo shoot" for you, but have been really busy. A very flat excuse, I know, but this term is kicking my ass on top of all the other major life changes. There. Now I've written it in the open, and I'm committed. My spring break would be better spent doing an amateur photo shoot of another kind, so I will be doing that too haha.

Lawrence, I don't mean to hijack this thread, but thank you and the rest of the mods and the Big Kahuna because this site has become pretty amazing with all there is to learn and think about.

Fantastic thread Alex, gave me a *blink* moment during my smoke break.

 
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