[Old] Great Advice for New Pipe Smokers

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thebigragu

Can't Leave
Aug 31, 2019
310
358
32
Needs of the Army
I stumbled upon this in a different site but thought it was really good, and wanted to share

Original content by Spillproof, copied from old PSF with permission.

I'm going to try and come at this from a new angle, given that you can break in a pipe with any tobacco.

If you are breaking in your first pipe you are also just leaning how to smoke a pipe.
The things you do wrong when learning are hard on a pipe:
Smoking too hot and burning the briar
Smoking too wet - can't keep it lit.
Scorching the rim with sloppy lighting.
Chewing on the stem like a dog with a bone.
Dropping the pipe...

So mostly, don't do those things ;-)

The reason why OTC blends like Carter Hall and PA are often recommended is because they are Particularly Easy blends to pack and smoke. I generally break pipes in with Virginias but I've been smoking a pipe for a couple decades and sorta know what I'm doing. I don't labor over how to pack or light or relight anymore.

To make your break in process easier on you and the pipe, use a tobacco you already "know" and are able to keep lit and relatively "cool" (on the cooler side of burning that is).

How hot is too hot?
If you think your pipe may be getting too warm try the baby-bottle test on the inside of your wrist. If it feels much warmer than your skin, let the pipe rest for a bit and resume once it's cooled down.

How not to scorch your rim?
Smoke inside.
Never use a torch lighter.
Do not hover over the briar with flame; drop the flame toward the tobacco only while puffing, and remove the flame between puffs. You are only trying to light the top of the bowl - not immolate the whole thing at once.

How to get even cake?
Fill it rather loosely and smoke it all the way to the dregs. At the end of the bowl cup your hand over the top of the pipe, turn it upside down, and swirl the ash around the bowl- then let the extras fall out. Do not clean the walls of the briar, just clean the draft/mortise/tenon/stem between smokes. Repeat this several times and you'll have the beginning of a decent cake.

So use a simple tobacco.
Take your time.
Repeat as necessary.
Enjoy.

 
Jun 25, 2021
1,369
4,393
England
Never seen any damage to the chambers of my briar pipes... Ever. And am confident I never will.
And there's no damage lurking under any cake, as I don't let it build up.
Sometimes the bowl does get hot, hardly surprising !
What does it matter ?
Smoke the thing ,that's what it's for.
 
Last edited:

Cappy

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 19, 2016
127
596
Louisiana
I stumbled upon this in a different site but thought it was really good, and wanted to share

Original content by Spillproof, copied from old PSF with permission.

I'm going to try and come at this from a new angle, given that you can break in a pipe with any tobacco.

If you are breaking in your first pipe you are also just leaning how to smoke a pipe.
The things you do wrong when learning are hard on a pipe:
Smoking too hot and burning the briar
Smoking too wet - can't keep it lit.
Scorching the rim with sloppy lighting.
Chewing on the stem like a dog with a bone.
Dropping the pipe...

So mostly, don't do those things ;-)

The reason why OTC blends like Carter Hall and PA are often recommended is because they are Particularly Easy blends to pack and smoke. I generally break pipes in with Virginias but I've been smoking a pipe for a couple decades and sorta know what I'm doing. I don't labor over how to pack or light or relight anymore.

To make your break in process easier on you and the pipe, use a tobacco you already "know" and are able to keep lit and relatively "cool" (on the cooler side of burning that is).

How hot is too hot?
If you think your pipe may be getting too warm try the baby-bottle test on the inside of your wrist. If it feels much warmer than your skin, let the pipe rest for a bit and resume once it's cooled down.

How not to scorch your rim?
Smoke inside.
Never use a torch lighter.
Do not hover over the briar with flame; drop the flame toward the tobacco only while puffing, and remove the flame between puffs. You are only trying to light the top of the bowl - not immolate the whole thing at once.

How to get even cake?
Fill it rather loosely and smoke it all the way to the dregs. At the end of the bowl cup your hand over the top of the pipe, turn it upside down, and swirl the ash around the bowl- then let the extras fall out. Do not clean the walls of the briar, just clean the draft/mortise/tenon/stem between smokes. Repeat this several times and you'll have the beginning of a decent cake.

So use a simple tobacco.
Take your time.
Repeat as necessary.
Enjoy.

Good counsel.
 
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jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
21,897
20,362
Carmel Valley, CA
The last bit of advice is fine if you want a loose, crumbly and unstable cake. And you'll be getting bits of ash trying to get through the airway!

No mention of drying.

Some bowls get too hot to hold comfortably but are fine as to smoking. That is, some.
 
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