Meerschaum Showing Tiny Pits in Bowl After First Smoke

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badbeard

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Sep 9, 2017
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107
Oregon, USA
I recently acquired a Paykoc as my first Meerschaum pipe, and after the first smoke I noticed these tiny pits in the bowl. I am not sure if they were there prior and are just much more visible now due to the contrast, or if these developed after. My question then is, is this a common occurrence? Should I be worried?


 

unadoptedlamp

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Mar 19, 2014
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I've seen one in a pipe that I have, which has never amounted to anything. I do wonder a bit about the quality of the block, with so many pits and a semi-rusticated finish. Maybe those are from impurities, maybe just not a completely smooth treatment? It's really hard to tell.
I've never been able to burn one out, if that is a concern. I'd be worried if I saw any hints of a crack developing, otherwise, I think you're fine. They will fill in after a few more bowls, assuming the tobacco is filled up to that level.
Wouldn't hurt to ask the seller, I think, just to make them aware in case a rare crack develops later.

 

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badbeard

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Sep 9, 2017
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Oregon, USA
Thanks for the input. I was thinking that the pits would probably just fill in after a few smokes.

I got the pipe in un-smoked condition off of ebay, and it was sold as a "Vintage" Paykoc. Since the pipe itself has no nomenclature, the only indication that it is what has been said is a sticker inside the case.


The only other thing I can think of that may have caused this was perhaps my habit of sweeping the bowl out with a pipe cleaner bent into a U after finishing the smoke. I've read that this could've been a mistake given Meerschaums nature of softening when it has absorbed a lot of moisture. Any case, hopefully they will fill in after a few smokes.

 

metalheadycigarguy

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Apr 26, 2012
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I run pipe cleaners through my meerschaums immediately after a smoke all the time, and have never had an issue. I wouldn't worry about it to much and just enjoy the pipe. It looks like a nice meerschaum.

 

warren

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Sep 13, 2013
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Not sure how they would fill in or why. Most meerschaum smokers shun cake as it would slow the coloring process and there is no identifiable reason for cake that I know of. Ignore the blemishes, they are inside the bowl after all, and simply enjoy the meerschaum smoking experience.

 

badbeard

Member
Sep 9, 2017
169
107
Oregon, USA
Fair enough! Thanks again for the input. I will ignore, keep calm and puff on.
As far as them filling in - my though was that while I will actively discourage cake formation, that the pits may inevitably collect a little cake and fill in with it regardless of my efforts. At this point, as long as it keeps on smoking I really don't care either way. I just wasn't expecting the pits to suddenly appear and needed some reassurance :)

 

jpmcwjr

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May 12, 2015
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I rinse my meers out with hot water. They don't absorb any real amount of water, nor do they soften one iota. The process does push a bit of color out to the surface of the bowl, though.

 

jonasclark

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Aug 4, 2013
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Paykoc pipes' cases and labels look the same today as they did at least as far back as the late 90s, so this may indeed not be brand new. I wouldn't worry about those tiny pits.

 

jeffro

Member
Jul 18, 2017
155
16
I remember looking at that pipe when it was up for bid on ebay. I agree just continue to smoke it and it will be fine.

Please post some photos has it colors over time.

Congrats on the purchase, and welcome to the joys of meerchaum pipe ownership! badbeard :)

 

badbeard

Member
Sep 9, 2017
169
107
Oregon, USA
Update on the pipe - After the first smoke, there were only 7-8 pits in the bowl. After about a dozen smokes, there are now around 20 pits in the bowl all the way around. To make matters worse, the pipe smells intensely foul(like open sewer) every time it heats up. I was hoping this would dissipate, but it seems to be getting worse with every smoke. It's to a point where the smell is making it's way into the flavor of the smoke, and it's extremely off-putting.
I sent Paykoc an email about the whole situation, and they've been very helpful. They offered to replace it multiple times, despite me expressing some inner conflict to them, being that it was not purchased from Paykoc directly. At this point I don't really think they should be accountable for replacing it, but it's nice to have someone back their products up like that.

 

balkisobrains

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Jun 27, 2016
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Their site says that the manufacturers warranty is 90 days, and they are located in the USA. The pipe is probably not old at all, and if necessary you should be able to prove that you recently bought it in brand-new condition via the ebay listing, so they are willing to deal with you directly. Dealing with them directly and being able to avoid dealing with ebay, and the fact that they are in the USA all seem like bonuses to me. :puffy:

 

metalheadycigarguy

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Apr 26, 2012
2,577
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If you're that concerned with the pits, and Paykoc is willing to replace the pipe then I would send it in to them and gladly accept a new pipe from them. Much better idea then going through ebay.

 

balkisobrains

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Jun 27, 2016
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Also meant to ask how you are cleaning the stem and shank, since you mentioned the open-sewer odor. A meer bowl smells good to me after a smoke, but I clean the stem & shank / airway with alcohol & paper towels/soft pipe cleaners after it cools down. I don't soak the meer airway, just a quick swab there with a non-bristled damp pipe cleaner. And the bowl I just wipe with a dry towel. The bowl always smells pretty good to me, but seems to me that even a clean shank will usually stink after a single smoke.

 

badbeard

Member
Sep 9, 2017
169
107
Oregon, USA
I have been cleaning the stem and shank with a non-bristled pipe cleaner with a dab of alcohol on the tip, being sure not to go much past the threaded liner. As far as the smell goes, it was kind of an interesting progression. First smoke, the pipe smelled a bit fishy, like low tide at the beach. When it would cool it would smell like sulfur. This all seemed very odd to me, as I had always read that Meerschaum was supposed to be very neutral, so I asked Paykoc about it and they asked me to throw the pipe in a jar with some baking soda for a few days. I let it sit for 3 days, then pulled it out and gave it a few more smokes. The fishy odor it had is mostly gone, but now it smells like a dirty diaper on fire(and now I can taste it too).
As far as it possibly not being new when I got it, it was in pristine, unsmoked condition. The bowl was stark white, it smelled a bit like wax, shank and stem were totally clean without any odor of smoke whatsoever.


I am sure Paykoc will take care of me on this one, so I am not really worried about it anymore. Thank you everyone for your input. Much appreciated!

 

mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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Interesting account of a less than satisfying Meerschaum experience. It sounds like Paykoc will take care of this. The increase in the number of pits makes it sound like a process, some deficiency in the quality of the material. Of equal concern is the odor. I think Meerschaum is created by ocean or seas, but I've never heard complaints about a low-tide smell. People who regularly buy and smoke Meerschaum pipes seem to enjoy them and seldom complain, so I'm hoping Paykoc can help you get into that mode. I think this negative experience is unusual. I'll probably use this as yet another reason not to buy a Meerschaum, but it's really because I don't want another path to pipe acquisition disorder. Plenty of pipes on hand, and I find the more smoked ones get better. I'm a briar and cob guy, and a few other woods.

 

jeffro

Member
Jul 18, 2017
155
16
My thoughts on this, I feel that your pipe will never stop smelling bad.

Being that meerschaum is made up of mineral deposits of magnesium silicate it could potintally have several other residual minerals in there too, Sulfer would be my guess.

Now I have not heard of a meerschaum exzude an oder like yours is doing, But this is a product fromed by nature. :puffpipe:

But if Payok is willing to exchange your pipe for a new pipe jump on it.

less heart ache that way.

 
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