Is My Falcon Blocked? Help!

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Franco Pipenbeans

New member
Jan 7, 2021
32
86
EDIT: Fixed Capitalization in Title (See Rule 9)

Evening all, I’m desperately seeking a bit of advice about my Falcon straight stem.
I bought a new one about two or three months ago; straight with an Algier bantam bowl and I’m not sure if I’ve run into a problem with the flow down the stem or not.
To begin with, the first dozen or so bowls were great, lovely in fact and I thought I was onto a winner but, around Christmas Day, something odd happened; the pipe became incredibly sour, awful in fact. The moisture flooded my mouth and tasted like battery acid, not something I care to repeat.
As part of my smoking routine, Sunday is pipe cleaning day so I thought I must have missed giving it a clean so I gave it a clean and it seems to have got worse. This leads me to the next issue; there seems to be a blockage, manufactured into the bit, about an inch or so into it, which means that you can’t pass a pipe cleaner from the humidome end, all the way down the stem, to the mouthpiece for cleaning purposes and it is now virtually impossible to get a good draw on the thing.
I’m wondering if the pipe is made like that or if I’ve pushed a bit of baccy down or lost a bit of pipe cleaner fluff or something and created a dam that is stopping it functioning as it should?
Any help and suggestions gratefully received because, apart from this issue, I really like the weight and size of it and I don’t want to throw it away if I can fix it.
 
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edger

Preferred Member
Dec 9, 2016
890
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Mayer AZ
Stick a wire in and knock it out. Often there is,a jagged edge in the tube which picks up pipe cleaner fuzz. Also, and very important, is to scrape the hole in the bottom of the bowl gently. You will get buildup of tars and Schmitz around that hole. Use a penknife gently. If this hole clogs you will be inclined to draw hard on the pipe and this will lead to more moisture and a burnt tongue.
 

Franco Pipenbeans

New member
Jan 7, 2021
32
86
I shoul
Evening all, I’m desperately seeking a bit of advice about my Falcon straight stem.
I bought a new one about two or three months ago; straight with an Algier bantam bowl and I’m not sure if I’ve run into a problem with the flow down the stem or not.
To begin with, the first dozen or so bowls were great, lovely in fact and I thought I was onto a winner but, around Christmas Day, something odd happened; the pipe became incredibly sour, awful in fact. The moisture flooded my mouth and tasted like battery acid, not something I care to repeat.
As part of my smoking routine, Sunday is pipe cleaning day so I thought I must have missed giving it a clean so I gave it a clean and it seems to have got worse. This leads me to the next issue; there seems to be a blockage, manufactured into the bit, about an inch or so into it, which means that you can’t pass a pipe cleaner from the humidome end, all the way down the stem, to the mouthpiece for cleaning purposes and it is now virtually impossible to get a good draw on the thing.
I’m wondering if the pipe is made like that or if I’ve pushed a bit of baccy down or lost a bit of pipe cleaner fluff or something and created a dam that is stopping it functioning as it should?
Any help and suggestions gratefully received because, apart from this issue, I really like the weight and size of it and I don’t want to throw it away if I can fix it.
I should add that I have changed the dry ring, kept it out of my pipe rotation for a while and done all the other things that I can think of. At the moment it’s pretty near unsmokeable compared to my other pipes.
 
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Franco Pipenbeans

New member
Jan 7, 2021
32
86
Stick a wire in and knock it out. Often there is,a jagged edge in the tube which picks up pipe cleaner fuzz. Also, and very important, is to scrape the hole in the bottom of the bowl gently. You will get buildup of tars and Schmitz around that hole. Use a penknife gently. If this hole clogs you will be inclined to draw hard on the pipe and this will lead to more moisture and a burnt tongue.
Like a pipe cleaner with the fuzz taken off? I was wondering if giving it a soak in warm water might be the way forward?
 

edger

Preferred Member
Dec 9, 2016
890
4,666
71
Mayer AZ
Stick a wire in and knock it out. Often there is,a jagged edge in the tube which picks up pipe cleaner fuzz. Also, and very important, is to scrape the hole in the bottom of the bowl gently. You will get buildup of tars and Schmitz around that hole. Use a penknife gently. If this hole clogs you will be inclined to draw hard on the pipe and this will lead to more moisture and a burnt tongue.
Spell check doesn't appreciate Yiddish. That should read schmutz.
 

edger

Preferred Member
Dec 9, 2016
890
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71
Mayer AZ
I never bother with the dry rings. They are a way to sell Falcon accessories. If you must, cut up a pipe cleaner and make them yourself.
 
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Franco Pipenbeans

New member
Jan 7, 2021
32
86
Thanks guys.
I’m going to try and soak it because the wire approach doesn’t seem to be yielding any results.
It being my first Falcon, I wasn’t sure if a tight draw was just how they came or if it was blockage caused by me or a faulty stem.
There doesn’t appear to be any damage (kinks, dents etc) to the stem; the problem seems to be where there is the piece of plastic in the bit that narrows the channel down.
 

edger

Preferred Member
Dec 9, 2016
890
4,666
71
Mayer AZ
Thanks guys.
I’m going to try and soak it because the wire approach doesn’t seem to be yielding any results.
It being my first Falcon, I wasn’t sure if a tight draw was just how they came or if it was blockage caused by me or a faulty stem.
There doesn’t appear to be any damage (kinks, dents etc) to the stem; the problem seems to be where there is the piece of plastic in the bit that narrows the channel down.
The bits on Falcon stems are not intended to be removed, but I have done so on one older stem(1972) where the bit had worked it's way out and left a gap between the aluminum and the black nylon. You might try this but no guarantees. At this point what I have you got to lose? I will reiterate the scraping of the hole in the bottom of the bowl. This can significantly reduce draw. Also try chunkier blend and don't pack too tight!
 

Franco Pipenbeans

New member
Jan 7, 2021
32
86
The bits on Falcon stems are not intended to be removed, but I have done so on one older stem(1972) where the bit had worked it's way out and left a gap between the aluminum and the black nylon. You might try this but no guarantees. At this point what I have you got to lose? I will reiterate the scraping of the hole in the bottom of the bowl. This can significantly reduce draw. Also try chunkier blend and don't pack too tight!
Thanks Edger,
It’s a newish bowl so there’s no cake or blockage on the humidome/bowl hole at the moment but I will definitely take your advice about not packing the bowl too tight on board.
 

anantaandroscoggin

Senior Member
Sep 9, 2017
389
448
67
Greene, Maine, USA
I keep on hand both a small and a large paper clip straightened out to use for clearing such clogs near the bit end of a stem. I also have a thin piece of metal coat hanger that's about twice as long, to use if the airway is large enough, or to use inside the stummel.

I have found inside the stem of a new pipe a blockage that appeared to be a plastic chip from when the airway was originally drilled.
 

Franco Pipenbeans

New member
Jan 7, 2021
32
86
I keep on hand both a small and a large paper clip straightened out to use for clearing such clogs near the bit end of a stem. I also have a thin piece of metal coat hanger that's about twice as long, to use if the airway is large enough, or to use inside the stummel.

I have found inside the stem of a new pipe a blockage that appeared to be a plastic chip from when the airway was originally drilled.
I’ve soaked it in warm water for an hour or so which seemed to loosen something; when drawing on the pipe I could definitely feel something acting as a valve, that “flapped” shut and I am back to square one.
I’ve tried to put a piece of wire down, from the mouthpiece end, but there doesn’t feel to be any gaps - it’s feels like a solid wall. With little room to manoeuvre the wire about I am starting to think that whatever is in there has made a permanent home for itself.
Even if I go from the bowl end, I have the same problem; I can wiggle the wire, that is in my hand, around but the wire that is at the pit face (so to speak) just comes up against a solid wall of plastic, again, with little room to waggle it about.
I appreciate that there must be some aperture or other, to allow the smoke to the mouth, but I can’t find it. Also, there isn’t the feel of anything there to make me think “right, there’s some fluff blocking it.” Or anything - it’s just a solid wall.
I am beginning to think that I have a duff stem and I’m thinking of getting another one, just to see. The alternative is for me to email Falcon and see what they recommend; I might do this actually.
 

edger

Preferred Member
Dec 9, 2016
890
4,666
71
Mayer AZ
I’ve soaked it in warm water for an hour or so which seemed to loosen something; when drawing on the pipe I could definitely feel something acting as a valve, that “flapped” shut and I am back to square one.
I’ve tried to put a piece of wire down, from the mouthpiece end, but there doesn’t feel to be any gaps - it’s feels like a solid wall. With little room to manoeuvre the wire about I am starting to think that whatever is in there has made a permanent home for itself.
Even if I go from the bowl end, I have the same problem; I can wiggle the wire, that is in my hand, around but the wire that is at the pit face (so to speak) just comes up against a solid wall of plastic, again, with little room to waggle it about.
I appreciate that there must be some aperture or other, to allow the smoke to the mouth, but I can’t find it. Also, there isn’t the feel of anything there to make me think “right, there’s some fluff blocking it.” Or anything - it’s just a solid wall.
I am beginning to think that I have a duff stem and I’m thinking of getting another one, just to see. The alternative is for me to email Falcon and see what they recommend; I might do this actually.
Try drilling the plastic with a small bit if the obstruction is at the bit end. You're probably SOL if the plastic is a jammed fragment near the humidome end. Don't give up on Falcons, however, as your problem is very rare.
 

mikefu

Preferred Member
Mar 28, 2018
1,717
6,681
Colorado Springs
if you can't get a stout piece of wire to run through from bit to bowl, there is definitely a blockage. I had a Butz-Choquin that had a burr from the drilling stuck in the stem, and it took a fair bit of power to get it shoved out. After that all was good. I'd suggest that you give it a good power shove, and anything "acting as a valve" in the stem should not be there and needs to be removed. I don't thing you have to worry about breaking anything, as its basically a 2 piece straw, and if you push straight you should ram the blockage out.
 

Franco Pipenbeans

New member
Jan 7, 2021
32
86
if you can't get a stout piece of wire to run through from bit to bowl, there is definitely a blockage. I had a Butz-Choquin that had a burr from the drilling stuck in the stem, and it took a fair bit of power to get it shoved out. After that all was good. I'd suggest that you give it a good power shove, and anything "acting as a valve" in the stem should not be there and needs to be removed. I don't thing you have to worry about breaking anything, as its basically a 2 piece straw, and if you push straight you should ram the blockage out.
I’ll give this a go. I was unsure if there should be something in the stem - I’m thinking for moisture regulation or what have you - but I definitely can’t pass a pipe cleaner, from either end, all the way through like I can with my other pipes. Like I say, I wasn’t sure if this was by design or a fault.
 

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