Do You Believe In The Cake? Yes or No

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
Tobacco Treasures Ad
.

PipesRock

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2020
334
2,447
Florida
Yes.
But I keep it thin by wiping the chamber with a doubled up pipe cleaner or a paper towel after each smoke. A few times yearly, 3-4, I scrape and sand excess cake down to as thin as I can without removing it completely.
I like a little more cake in my larger chambered pipes, but still trimmed down.
Well I guess technically my answer is yes then. Since this is along the lines of what I do but I thought I was in the NO cake camp. Hhmmm...
 

Richmond B. Funkenhouser

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2019
2,773
12,699
30
Al/Ga
That soft cake from not wiping out the bowl will throw off the flavor and make the pipe stank. I rinse my pipes after every couple of smokes, even my cobs.. except for one, because I am afraid that using water with cobs will hurt them in the long run. That one cob is my favorite.. the others I will just replace, as they are not an expensive thing.
 

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
Tobacco Treasures Ad
.

peregrinus

Preferred Member
Aug 4, 2019
867
2,150
Pacific Northwest
No.
But l used to believe a good thick cake was desirable.
When I started smoking pipes (last century) the prevailing thought was that a pipe wasn’t properly broken in until it had a good thick cake to protect it from the heat and to absorb moisture from the burning tobacco. Also, a companion piece of accepted theory was you always smoked down the bottom of the bowl, like it or not, because failing to do so would result in a thin cake at the heal and doom the pipe to eventual burnout.
Now I ream back to at, or just before, the wood and wipe out the bowl and use the occasional water flush to maintain a thin hard carbon layer. Also, I no longer try to smoke to the bottom if it becomes unenjoyable.
Smoking slowly and not overheating the briar is the key to pipe longevity and having a good experience
 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
15,972
18,744
United States
I keep a nice thin layer of very hard cake made from flakes and plugs. It insulates the pipe and makes it smoke cooler and gives the pipe more favor as I dedicate my pipes. Cake that is britle and breaks off all the time is crap cake and I wouldn't let it in my pipe. I might have to ream my pipe once every couple of years.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
21,424
10,967
Helena, Alabama
Yes,

I always took for granted that there would be buildup. I didn't know you could prevent it. That said, I've certainly noticed burning briar on occasion after reaming out a pipe.
I may be wrong, but I don’t remember anyone saying that they didn’t want at least a little coating of some sort. But, as far as thickness, some guys do seem to hang onto the idea that fat cake is good. I remember guys when I was growing up sorta being proud of how much cake they got in their dime store pipes. Then they’d just toss the pipe and start smoking a new one. But, really it wasn’t till I visited my first pipe shop that I realized that there were any pipes out there over $10.
 

ophiuchus

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2016
1,421
1,344
I used to do cake ... and would diligently ream down to just under the thickness of a dime and all that jazz. For the last several years, though, I wipe my chambers out. My more recently acquired pipes may have what looks like an enamel-like coating in the chamber walls, but no cake.

I really don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to this one, though.
 

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
Tobacco Treasures Ad
.