Keeping a Deep Bowl Lit

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jruthledge

Junior Member
Feb 17, 2015
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I have one pipe with a bowl that's probably about 2 1/2" deep. I like it, but it's a pain to keep lit. I've realized that packing it differently might help. Usually I gravity feed to the top, pack lightly, gravity feed to the top again, medium pack, gravity feed again and pack firmly. It seems like the tobacco at the bottom doesn't get packed enough with this deep bowl. So I've tried filling a little at a time and packing more firmly as I go - which seemed to help. Any other tips from you oom paul and chimney puffers out there? I read about someone doing two char lights in a very deep bowl and using a zippo...

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
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I do not pack my deeper pipes any differently than my other bowls. If a relight is required, I simply relight and continue with whatever I am doing. I rarely have to relight more than three, possibly four times in any one bowl. I do one thing I've not heard others speak of, I tamp with a wee twist of my finger as I load, that seems to "nestle" the blend a bit. I do it with loose, crumble and other cuts. I always rub out twists and coins, not too fine, maybe crumble texture.
You do not say how long you've had this pipe or problem. It's probably just a matter of mucking around until you find what works.

 

perdurabo

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Jun 3, 2015
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That's an art, perfect pack technique with dry tobacco. You can of course over tamp.

 

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jruthledge

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Feb 17, 2015
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I like the twist tip. And I could stand to dry out the tobacco more too. With a deeper bowl, it seems like more moisture accumulates at the bottom. And if more moisture is an issue, then more dry time at the beginning makes sense.

 

cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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The trick isn't to get the flame down into the bowl, but the heat. I smoke quite a few stacks and chimneys, and I just hold the flame about a half inch above the bowl and draw the "heat" down into the chamber with a normal puff puff, and then carry on easy peasy. However, you may or may not have other issues going on, the pack, cadence, moisture, etc...

But, back in the day, a guy could hold a hot coal well above the bowl, without touching it, and draw the heat down to light their pipes, so it's never been necessary to draw an actual flame down into the bowl.
But, by all means, if just don't want the hassle, then maybe you might prefer a more shallow pipe bowl.

 

cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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This is one of my favorite pipes by forum member, Dan Chlebove, and it weighs in at 3"+ with a width of about .6" and it has some awesome birdseye around the rim that stays pristine by my lighting method. Some have reported that it doesn't work for them, so YMMV. But, I have always seen men light their pipes this way, even with a match it's held half an inch or so above the bowl. It works for me, and I love the way a tall bowl stoves a Virginia as you smoke it, getting sweeter and more robust as it proceeds to the bottom.



 

mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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It seems to me some tobaccos burn better in deep pipes than others. The best I've found are loose tobaccos that ship very dry, like Semois (thick or medium cut) or Five Brothers. These burn fairly fast and usually burn nearly completely, and stay lit well. Others, it's highly variable. Some you wouldn't expect do very well, and others won't ever get started, so you have to go by trial and error, and accept that some blends just won't work.

 

cosmicfolklore

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McCrannies Red Ribbon, Annie Cake, Red Cake, rubbed out flakes, and really any Virginias work best in my stacks. Dried to crispy, packed a little more loose, and tamped gently while smoking works best for me. I love Semois and Five Brothers, but they stove like crap and taste even worse as the bowl passes half way down, and after an hour of smoking Semois or 5B, I'd be too sick to care whether I finished the entire bowl or not, YMMV.

Now, latakias and orientals in a stack or chimney, eh, no, IMO. And flakes require too much fiddling for me to keep lit, unless fully rubbed out. Like I said, YMMV

 

deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
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I smoke quite a few stacks and chimneys, and I just hold the flame about a half inch above the bowl and draw the "heat" down into the chamber with a normal puff puff, and then carry on easy peasy.
Reminds me of how my more knowledgeable friends in the area of cigars light their sticks.
I do one thing I've not heard others speak of, I tamp with a wee twist of my finger as I load, that seems to "nestle" the blend a bit.
This might solve the lack of compression at the bottom.

 

disinformatique

Preferred Member
@cosmic Mike I light my pipes exactly as how you described. When I started pipe smoking, inexperienced as I was, got the tobacco to overburn and turn bitter in the chamber.
@jruthledge If you have a tall chamber, you can periodically tamp the ash out and relight. It helps in maintaining the smoke fresh and facilitates evaporation. Matches are your friend. I tend to avoid lighters.
Cheers,

Chris :puffpipe:

 

ophiuchus

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Mar 25, 2016
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The trick isn't to get the flame down into the bowl, but the heat.
I've hyperpyrolyzed the first act of many bowls before applying this major piece of insight. Remember to dump the fine ash on top when it gets too thick before relighting.
I have had success with rolled up slices of Dunhill Flake in tall, narrow chambers, especially if I load them the night before smoking (stuff on top dries a bit).

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
15,445
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Monterey Peninsula
I like the twist tip. And I could stand to dry out the tobacco more too. With a deeper bowl, it seems like more moisture accumulates at the bottom. And if more moisture is an issue, then more dry time at the beginning makes sense.
You might also trying drying first load (the bottom half) quite a bit, and the top half merely quite dry. Moisture from the heat of the tobacco burning does push moisture out, and gravity takes it towards the bottom. Good luck! For a very deep bowl, this technique would be worth the extra effort, though YMMV.

 

jruthledge

Junior Member
Feb 17, 2015
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0
Experimenting with the pack is helping a bit. But the I laid out the tobacco for the last bowl I smoked in that pipe for over 24 hours before I smoked it and it made a huge difference. Much, much better. So drying is a really big factor with this pipe.
This kind of adds another wrinkle though. Because the tobacco I smoked is a latakia cross over blend with a little bit of a fruity top note (IRC Dr. Bradley Blend) that seems to evaporate when it dries. It's still pretty good, but you don't get the full effect of the blend, so now I'm thinking that that blend is going to have to be smoked in another pipe. My Peterson system seems to like it. This big meer with the super deep bowl is probably going to be reserved for blends that still taste good dry.
And thanks for all the tips, guys.

 

jerwynn

Preferred Member
Dec 7, 2011
1,033
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I enjoy the hemp wick solution that many love to hate for that. When the going gets really rough, then the acetyl-oxygen torch with extension tube... don't forget the face and eye protection!

 

jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
787
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UK
Being a Welshman I use an old dragon to get the bottom of my bowls lit. Well, I used to but then she left me :lol:

 

jruthledge

Junior Member
Feb 17, 2015
97
0
I've also started lighting a candle when I know I'm going to be using a lot of matches for relights. I'll relight a match on the candle and can get 3 times the lights out of a regular wooden match that way. A lot less stuff in the ash tray, less fumbling about with the match box, and I just like candles.
But I want to look into this dragon idea...

 
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