How to Open the Draw

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The Amish Tyrant

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 26, 2021
976
3,211
Metro-Detroit
I like an open draw on a pipe. Missouri Meerschaum consistently has the best open draw I've experienced. I have a few briars with a decent draw (Sav, Weber), but nothing close to a MM.

First, what other pipe brands have open draws?

Second, how can I open the draw on a pipe (as I have about 2 that are annoying me and think the issue is fixable with a nominal skill set)?
 

brian64

Lifer
Jan 31, 2011
8,062
8,958
I like an open draw on a pipe. Missouri Meerschaum consistently has the best open draw I've experienced. I have a few briars with a decent draw (Sav, Weber), but nothing close to a MM.

First, what other pipe brands have open draws?

Second, how can I open the draw on a pipe (as I have about 2 that are annoying me and think the issue is fixable with a nominal skill set)?
1. You can get a filter pipe and smoke it without the filter...which is essentially what you're experiencing with a cob.

2. If it's a straight pipe you could drill it...if not you'd probably have to send it to a pro if you don't want to chance ruining it.
 
Mar 1, 2014
3,367
4,222
I like an open draw on a pipe. Missouri Meerschaum consistently has the best open draw I've experienced. I have a few briars with a decent draw (Sav, Weber), but nothing close to a MM.

First, what other pipe brands have open draws?

Second, how can I open the draw on a pipe (as I have about 2 that are annoying me and think the issue is fixable with a nominal skill set)?

"First, what other pipe brands have open draws?"
Castello, outside of that practically the entire Briar pipe industry has unanimously settled on 3mm drilling.

If you want anything different then by far the best option is to get your own tools.



When it costs all of $16.50 for the two drill bits and slotting tool you'll need to open the draft on an average pipe (assuming you only need the shortest drill bit, but 3" is a very common stem length), it's hardly even worth the cost of sending your pipe in the mail for someone else to work on.
Buy some basket pipes or burned out estate pipes for practice and from then on you'll be able to tune all your favorite pipes to whatever type of draw you desire.

Bent stems are more involved because you need to straighten and re-bend the stem, but if you're fine just smoking straight stem pipes for a while then opening the draft is not expensive or complicated.

I will emphasize that the high quality Taper Point drill bits are practically a necessity for this job, normal tip drill bits wander way too much.

And the worst case scenario if you do blow up the stem is you get to send the pipe to a professional repairman to have a stem made to your exact specifications, which is probably better than buying an entire custom made pipe in the first place.
 
Jan 28, 2018
10,154
80,682
65
Noblesville, IN & Sarasota, FL
Most US Artisan pipes have an open draw. Castello. I've had a number of Moretti pipes and all have a great draw. I don't see how removing the filter on a filtered pipe would help the draw much as the rest of the airway will still have the same diameter. I suppose it would draw better than with the filter in but it still could have a tight draw with the filter removed.
 

The Amish Tyrant

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 26, 2021
976
3,211
Metro-Detroit
Thanks to all who have posted so far.

I remove any filters and still have a tighter draw on one particular pipe than I'd prefer. It's to the point where I'm hesitant to smoke out of it because that particular pipe is just not enjoyable (almost like getting a milkshake through a straw).
 
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brian64

Lifer
Jan 31, 2011
8,062
8,958
I don't see how removing the filter on a filtered pipe would help the draw much as the rest of the airway will still have the same diameter. I suppose it would draw better than with the filter in but it still could have a tight draw with the filter removed.
Well, I can only speak to my own experience, and admittedly all my filter pipes are meers...but they all have a much more open draw than my non-filter pipes. The only other ones that are close are a meer spigot and a meer army mount. But all the rest of my non-filter pipes, meer or briar, have a noticeably more restricted draw.
 
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hauntedmyst

Lifer
Feb 1, 2010
3,967
20,593
Chicago
Opening the bowl is as easy as finding the size you want the draft hole to be and then drilling it. Just make sure you stop early before you go beyond the center of the bowl. Do it in steps, from smaller to larger drill bits. Drilling out the stem is the hard part because you have to open it from one end to the other in a tapper, requiring long tapered drill bits. You can get them at Vermont Freehand Trying to take out too much material at once will result in the acrylic or ebonite splitting. Also, acrylic melts with heat and it's also easy to melt the drill bit to the mouthpiece with too much eagerness. I split multiple stems learning how to do this the right way. Be smarter than me and pick up some old mouthpieces on ebay or from a supplier and practice on them. It's worth the effort if you like an open draw.
 
Jan 28, 2018
10,154
80,682
65
Noblesville, IN & Sarasota, FL
Well, I can only speak to my own experience, and admittedly all my filter pipes are meers...but they all have a much more open draw than my non-filter pipes. The only other ones that are close are a meer spigot and a meer army mount. But all the rest of my non-filter pipes, meer or briar, have a noticeably more restricted draw.
I have IMP, Altinay and SRV Meers. None have filters. I wouldn't rate any as having an open draw. I think they're drilled to 3 mm. I believe Brian Ruthenburg drilled to 5 mm. That's an open draw.
 
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brian64

Lifer
Jan 31, 2011
8,062
8,958
I have IMP, Altinay and SRV Meers. None have filters. I wouldn't rate any as having an open draw. I think they're drilled to 3 mm. I believe Brian Ruthenburg drilled to 5 mm. That's an open draw.
My Altinay 9mm meers are the only filter pipes I've ever owned and they all have wide open draws, so I perhaps mistakenly came to the conclusion that all filter pipes would be more open than non-filter pipes. I did also recently get a Vauen churchwarden 9mm but I haven't smoked it yet.

So to re-answer the OP, I can at least vouch for Altinay 9mm's...open draws for sure w/o filter, and even with a Falcon filter they have great draws...not so much with other filters I've tried though.
 
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