Do You Believe In The Cake? Yes or No

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.

.

Log in

Search on Site

SmokingPipes.com Updates

18 Fresh Musico Pipes
3 Fresh Mike Sebastian Bay Pipes
12 Fresh IMP Meerschaum Pipes
4 Fresh Il Duca Pipes
3 Fresh Grechukhin Pipes

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
Country Squire Banner
.

Recent Posts

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
Country Squire Banner
.

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
2,265
595
The Cake Is A Lie!

(I can't believe this thread made it so far without that quote.)

Seriously though I'll probably never smoke a pipe enough to build a cake, even if I were to smoke a bowl every week for the next 50 years that would be less than 50 bowls per-pipe that I own over my entire lifetime.
Having a collection of Falcon bowls makes the statistics even worse for building cake.
Even if I live to 100 I'd just barely get every pipe broken in.

(Probably need to thin the herd... except for a few more Kings's Imperial pipes from Blakemar Briar, and one more super bent Peterson, and maybe another Rattray's, and there's a few really neat Brebbia pipes I found recently...)
 
  • Wow
Reactions: sandollars

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
4,332
9,142
Possibly the cake can provide a more even distribution of heat,? not necessarily lowering it. This would be especially helpful on some cheaper pipes that might have "hot spots" but probably less noticable/necessary on a nicer pipe with better briar or a straight grain.

Just a theory
How can cake provide a more even distribution than a sanded, polished virgin surface?
 

wayneteipen

Senior Member
May 7, 2012
420
118
As I said before, I keep a thin layer (1-2 mm).
I wonder, if there is no need for building cake, why precarbonise pipemakers (e.g. with a mix of activated charcoal and potassium silicate) the tobacco chamber?

Only to hide flaws?
Nope. I can speak to this frankly now since I don't make pipes to sell anymore beyond a hobby and could care less if it offends potential buyers. The number one reason pipe maker's pre-carbon coat is for insurance to prevent the buyer from destroying the pipe by not smoking it correctly and burning it out. Pipe maker's don't have much if any control over the proficiency of the buyer. It only takes watching a few videos on YouTube of people smoking pipes who have no idea what they are doing chugging on their pipe like a freight train to see that this is necessary. These same novices are quick to blame the pipe rather than their own carelessness or ineptness. Pre-carbon coating, whether you like it or not, is insurance for pipe maker's to reduce the likelihood of having to be put in a position of having to replace a pipe that was smoked incorrectly. Now, I'm not saying that all burnouts are caused by carelessness but many if not most are.
 

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.

.

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
4,332
9,142
I think the point is not the questionable distribution of the heat but even a thin layer of cake prevents the bare wood from getting in direct contact with the ember. This results in less risk of burnouts. Another idea is the absorbance of moisture by the cake.
That seems reasonable but wasn't my point at all. His comment pertained to an even distribution of heat which I couldn't understand because the cake certainly isn't going to be more even than the sanded interior of a new pipe.
 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
23,880
23,322
Possibly the cake can provide a more even distribution of heat,? not necessarily lowering it. This would be especially helpful on some cheaper pipes that might have "hot spots" but probably less noticable/necessary on a nicer pipe with better briar or a straight grain.

Just a theory
Straight grain will never improve the ability of the smoker. Technique is what lowers heat, hotspots, and burnout, not cake or a "better pipe".
 

Admiral Byrd

New member
Jul 9, 2020
20
60
62
Alabama
In my non-scientific approach. I like very little cake if none at all. I thoroughly clean all the pipes I use once a week. Wipeout the bowls daily. I go through about 7 different pipes a week. And, I have around 4 different blends a week. No ghosting here :)
 

GlassMan

Junior Member
Jul 13, 2020
95
196
Tempe
No.

I’ve tried to avoid cake at all costs. I do have that hard packed layer of carbon, but not even close to 1/16 or 1/8 of an inch like many people suggest. I actually need to buy a proper reamer set because it’s getting out of hand, though I try to control it.
 

GlassMan

Junior Member
Jul 13, 2020
95
196
Tempe
0CEE7DD2-4BDC-4255-A754-8B7876FDB385.jpegI inherited this old foster from my late grandfathers estate via my uncle who lived in the same state as him. It’s hard to show well, but this has to be 3/16 of cake at least. It flakes off like mud stuck to the side of a truck. He was a borkum riff man, rest his soul. One of the greatest men I ever knew. Exceptionally frugal though, in all ways. This pipe was probably dirt cheap, but it was too expensive to get a new one. It has almost no airflow.
 

maduromadness

Junior Member
Jan 3, 2014
86
75
Yes

Whats this paper towel stuff about...I've read it before but dang so many people do it...like I need another thing to do after I smoke😒. Ive always had more than a few pipes, always rotated them equally, only use 1 pipe cleaner pass after I smoke, and I wipe off the rim with the same cleaner (clean end) and my saliva. I used to use a pipe cleaner to wipe the bowl but it leaves fibers everywhere. Now I smoke to fine ash with minimal dottle, cover the bowl with fingers and shake the ash around after every smoke. Empty the ash. Whatever cake that produces after how many years gets sanded off with sandpaper wrapped around a pencil, my finger, or whatever else I see around the house. Ive only had to do that 2 times over my 10 years of pipe smoking. They smoke great. Zero issues with excessive cake.
 
  • Like
Reactions: edger

Capt Morgan

Member
Oct 4, 2020
279
841
Dallas, Texas
Going to have to say no. I have not experienced any cake build up, I water flush and use q-tips on the bowl, and one pipe cleaner for the whole day, after each smoke. At the end of the day I water flush, use pipe cleaner, and paper towel the bowl, then it sits for a few days before I use it again.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
21,424
10,975
Helena, Alabama
I rinse my pipes out with water at the end of the day, and then ream the inside of the chamber dry with a paper towel, and then dry the draft with a pipe cleaner. Then just buff the outside a bit with a towel, maybe use a polishing cloth on the stem if it needs, or rub the rim on a board with stretched suede to tidy it up. Doesn't take long at all, but it keeps my collection of artisan pipes in pristine condition. Ready for another perfect smoke when the mood hits.
 

bent1

Preferred Member
Jan 9, 2015
640
959
60
WV
Minimal to no cake works for me. I clean out the chamber with a wadded paper towel, then follow with a q-tip moistened with alcohol to finish the wipe. I’ll use a qtip for the shank as well.
 

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.

.