How to Apply Pipe Mud on a Drawhole Burnout?

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cersono

Might Stick Around
Feb 11, 2016
72
27
Vallis Lacrimarum
Gentlemen, I have a question on repairing a burnout.
Here's my cheap oak-wood Pipe made by B&B in Poland. I bought it just to have an oak-wood pipe in my collection and never thought I'd like it too much. Surprisingly, it turned out to be one of my best-smoking pipes, which makes a perfect job in mellowing the edges on even the sharpest and bitiest mixtures.

The major setback is that it's Oak. However gently I tried to break it in, the wood at the bottom started to burn out.

So I plastered the chamber with Pipe Mud made of pipe ash and water (something I've done successfully to fine-tune drawhole levels in many of my Petersons). However, unlike in my briar pipes, the mud in this pipe gradually crumbled and fell off after several months. I see now that it has burnt even more wood under the crumbled coating - this time around the drawhole.

I plan to apply a Pipe Mud repair again, this time based not on water, but on Waterglass, hoping it would be sturdier.
The repair obviously will be a harder task this time, as now I'll have to cover somehow not just a spot on the bottom, but the whole area around the drawhole.

If any of you would share some tips on how to apply Pipe Mud correctly to the drawhole area, I would be most grateful.


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OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
3,385
16,001
70
Sydney, Australia
Oak is a fairly soft wood. And even morta or bog oak will char/burn if subjected to high temperatures. More so than briar.

If the pipe mud cracks and crumbles away, it usually means that you haven't got the correct consistency.

Also after an application of pipe mud, I take care to smoke carefully for the 1st half a dozen bowls to build up a layer of hard cake to stabilise the surface.

Before applying pipe mud around the orifice, insert a pipe cleaner into the shank until it just appears at the opening.
You may choose to apply some Vaseline/petroleum jelly to the pipe cleaner first.
I haven't found this necessary.

Then slop away with the pipe mud.
 

craig61a

Lifer
Apr 29, 2017
4,905
37,707
Minnesota USA
I use waterglass mixed with 4F pumice. Adding a little powdered activated charcoal will make it black.

Wet the inside of the bowl before applying so it adheres better. I wait about 12 hours for it “set” so it’s workable and open a new airway. Then let it dry for several days.

Never had to redo such a repair.
 

Humblepipe

Lifer
Sep 13, 2019
1,405
3,625
Guerneville, CA
I am with Ozpiper, but would add you might consider using THIS as your "pipe mud". I did a similar repair on a first era Larsen Copenhagen 3 years ago and it is still going strong. Of course, the bowl's interior needs to as clean as possible before applying the cement. And, it's messy! I applied it heavier where need be and used my finger to taper it/thin it out as I moved up the bowl. Now that I have a thin layer of cake, you would never know the cement was applied. The downside is the pipe is essentially worthless in terms of resale, but it continues to be one of my favorite smokers. I have a few "injured" pipes like this that remain in my line up are sentimental favorites.
 
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Humblepipe

Lifer
Sep 13, 2019
1,405
3,625
Guerneville, CA
I am with Ozpiper, but would add you might consider using THIS as your "pipe mud". I did a similar repair on a first era Larsen Copenhagen 3 years ago and it is still going strong. Of course, the bowl's interior needs to as clean as possible before applying the cement. And, it's messy! I applied it heavier where need be and used my finger to taper it/thin it out as I moved up the bowl. Now that I have a thin layer of cake, you would never know the cement was applied. The downside is the pipe is essentially worthless in terms of resale, but it continues to be one of my favorite smokers. I have a few "injured" pipes like this that remain in my line up are sentimental favorites.

By the way, I used the opposite end of a small drill bit that was just the right diameter... sending it down the shank with a thin coat of vaseline to protect the draft hole while applying the cement and allowing it to dry.
 
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cersono

Might Stick Around
Feb 11, 2016
72
27
Vallis Lacrimarum
Made the repair. Charcoal powder and Waterglass, full chamber coating, thin layer on walls (no more than a usual pre-carbon in factory-made pipes) and thick layer on the bottom. I slightly wetted the chamber before applying the mix, formed a new drawhole opening with a nail while the coating was still soft.
Looks very hard, I was unable to scrap it away after a day of drying.
Now I'm smoking my pipe again, what a pleasure, thanks all for your suggestions!
 

cersono

Might Stick Around
Feb 11, 2016
72
27
Vallis Lacrimarum
Tomorrow, I hope to add to my collection another firewood pipe: a Cherrywood-shaped one made of Maple-wood. I think I will coat it too, with Charcoal and Waterglass, prior to the first smoke.
 
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craig61a

Lifer
Apr 29, 2017
4,905
37,707
Minnesota USA
Tomorrow, I hope to add to my collection another firewood pipe: a Cherrywood-shaped one made of Maple-wood. I think I will coat it too, with Charcoal and Waterglass, prior to the first smoke.
Depending on how hard the Maple, probably better to put coating in it.

I coat all the fruit wood pipes I make, and some of the softer hardwoods, as they tend to char if I don’t.

But never had any problems with rock maple. Moistening the chamber on the first few smokes helps though…
 
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cersono

Might Stick Around
Feb 11, 2016
72
27
Vallis Lacrimarum
The tomorrow's acquisition is made of Common European Maple, not Rock Maple. I looked up the characterictics of that wood and it seems to be about the same hardness as Oak. So yes, I would be better to coat it beforehand.

Besides the excellent smoking qualities of my Polish Oak Pipe, I'm much disappointed with how the Oak wood behaves in it. Apart of charring, it's got quickly soaked through with tars which discoloured the wood along the fibers, even in the thickest parts. I liked the natural finish of the pipe but now the wood looks quite messy with all those tar-blotches, so I'll have to re-stain (which I hope I'm good at, the pipe from my 2017 post still looks like new) the pipe sometime.
I love it anyway though, so I am OK to dedicate some time to its maintaining.
 
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