Making New Pipe. Any Recommended Precautions for First Use?

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Not open for further replies.


New member
Sep 7, 2017
Let me predicate my question with some personal history. Ive been smoking cigars for years. LOVE them. Wife bought me a leather wrapped Briar estate pipe for my birth day a year ago. been trying many different blends. finally starting to find some with full enough flavor to make me happy.

SO NOW, im looking at carving my OWN pipe. I bought a pear wood Churchwarden to try first. When I am finished carving and surfacing, do I just put my favorite mix in and light er up? or do i have to 'break it in?" and how does this 'ghosting thing' affect it?? as i like lattika (sp???) and Asian mixes, which im told are very strong, that mean this pipe is forever gonna be for only those??

Thank you for humoring my ignorance.
Edited by jvnshr: Title capitalization.



Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
Chicago, IL
I don't have any experience with alternative wood pipes, but I believe they are less resistant to heat than is briar, which leads me to my second point. I believe a churchwarden is a poor choice for a beginner because it will likely promote poor smoking habits. Its smoke stream is measureably cooler than pipes with a standard length stem, and beginners are prone to experiencing burnout from puffing too aggressively. So the combination of wood and shape is a recipe for failure -- for beginners, at any rate.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
Ghosting: For most people, this is only a problem with unusual aromatic blends like Lakelands. Some people are sensitive about Latakia and other condiment blends, but I think they do fade after a few smokes, except for the ultra-senstive who may need to designate pipes for each different genre. That's not me.
Breaking in: Pear wood needs cake building, I've heard, to have good fire resistance, so you'd gradually build that with partial bowls and gentle smoking. I don't cake build, and I don't do any partial bowls in breaking in pipes, so I don't have any pear wood pipes. Others with experience with pear wood may have advice. Cortez has a point that a churchwarden may not be the best first project, but if you own the kit you may want to go ahead with it. Let us know what you do. Welcome aboard.

Not open for further replies.