Peterson System Gurgling

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Charlie718

Part of the Furniture Now
Mar 25, 2021
955
8,660
34
Bronx, New York
I like my one and only Pete. It can gurgle but that’s only if the tobacco is wet or ambient humidity is high. I also think that because it’s a bent pipe there is a void in the mortise that causes whatever moisture is in the smoke to condense. It’s a military mount so I just break it down, blow out the stem and wipe out the mortise and it’s back to a gurgle free smoke. I figure if it condenses moisture then that just means a dryer smoke even if I don’t dry out my tobac all the way.
 

bullet08

Lifer
Nov 26, 2018
5,127
24,726
RTP, NC. USA
Pretty much everything there is to know..

Very interesting reading. Higher draft hole, as I have been saying, indeed has benefit and designed by purpose. Not just an accidental or mistake of craftsman who couldn't drill in the center. What I'm wondering is, why is Peterson started drilling in the center recently. I assume, non-system pipes do not benefit much with higher draft hole in mortise. But, it still helps with moisture collection and prevention moisture getting to the chamber.
 

captpat

Lifer
Dec 16, 2014
1,125
4,605
North Carolina
My Pete’s seldom gurgle, when they do I just dump the spit chamber, quick swipe with a pipe cleaner, problem solved. Oddly I haven‘t found a Savinelli that doesn’t gurgle for—with or without a balsa filter.

OTOH all my Castellos are wonderful smokers ?
 

Alex.Jr

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 30, 2020
218
656
I have 2 Petersons. One system and one donegal shape 05.

I haven’t seen the system gurgle once, but the 05 gurgles quite a bit.

It’s annoying but I just smoke it with a pipe cleaner near and use it whenever required to keep moisture under control.
 

rnewcombe

Lurker
May 15, 2009
24
22
Make sure the shank is drilled to a width of 5/32" and smoke tobacco that is crispy on the outside and slightly cold (which means moist) on the inside. I talk about these things in my books. Guaranteed -- this will stop the gurgling. Any pipe maker or repair person can open the shank for you in a matter of seconds, and your pipe will be a joy for a lifetime. I have dozens of Petersons, and they are some of my favorite pipes. All have been opened as I describe. Actually, mine have been opened even more, to at least 11/64". With that type of opening, puff gently and let the tobacco barely smolder. Your pipe will stay lit and never ever gurgle.
 

paulfg

Lifer
Feb 21, 2016
1,213
2,144
Corfu Greece
Make sure the shank is drilled to a width of 5/32" and smoke tobacco that is crispy on the outside and slightly cold (which means moist) on the inside. I talk about these things in my books. Guaranteed -- this will stop the gurgling. Any pipe maker or repair person can open the shank for you in a matter of seconds, and your pipe will be a joy for a lifetime. I have dozens of Petersons, and they are some of my favorite pipes. All have been opened as I describe. Actually, mine have been opened even more, to at least 11/64". With that type of opening, puff gently and let the tobacco barely smolder. Your pipe will stay lit and never ever gurgle.
Its all very well to open the shank but what about the stem?
If the shank is opened then surely the stem needs to be also as it would still be restricted there.That kind of defeats the Peterson tapered draft idea.
Not a criticism but a question.
 

rnewcombe

Lurker
May 15, 2009
24
22
Its all very well to open the shank but what about the stem?
If the shank is opened then surely the stem needs to be also as it would still be restricted there.That kind of defeats the Peterson tapered draft idea.
Not a criticism but a question.
I used to agree with the sentiment expressed in your question, and I made that point in my first book. But over the years -- unless the mouthpiece is extremely tight -- I have found it much less important than opening the shank to between 4.0 mm and 4.5 mm. That will solve the gurgling problem with his Peterson.
 
May 8, 2017
1,465
1,099
Sugar Grove, IL, USA
Any chance the gurgling occurs after dumping ash midway through your smoke? If so, it is possible that it could be contributing to the gurgling. If dumped, moisture which has collected in the well can make its way into the stem. If dumping ash is necessary, remove the stem first, and swab out the moisture in the well with a pipe cleaner before inverting. Removing the stem on a system pipe is safe mid-smoke because they are a form of military mount.
 
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Mar 1, 2014
3,309
3,910
Its all very well to open the shank but what about the stem?
If the shank is opened then surely the stem needs to be also as it would still be restricted there.That kind of defeats the Peterson tapered draft idea.
Not a criticism but a question.
The point of opening the shank is you allow water to pool in the bottom of the chamber without getting sucked up by the draft hole.
For a given volume of air flow a larger hole is lower pressure, so you just won't vacuum up as much water.
It's as if the smoker is drawing from the bowl more slowly, then the restriction in the stem... Well it's my opinion there should be no restriction in the stem but it seems 99% of pipemakers disagree with that premise except for Castello and Missouri Meerschaum.
 
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paulfg

Lifer
Feb 21, 2016
1,213
2,144
Corfu Greece
The point of opening the shank is you allow water to pool in the bottom of the chamber without getting sucked up by the draft hole.
For a given volume of air flow a larger hole is lower pressure, so you just won't vacuum up as much water.
It's as if the smoker is drawing from the bowl more slowly, then the restriction in the stem... Well it's my opinion there should be no restriction in the stem but it seems 99% of pipemakers disagree with that premise except for Castello and Missouri Meerschaum.
I can see your reasoning but the whole idea of the Peterson system is that the smoke condenses in the drilling and stem extension so there should be no water to pool in the heel of the pipe unless the tobacco is way too wet.
The peterson system also relies on the tapering of the drilling in the stem from 5mm to 1.5mm to reduce the strength of the suction.
therefore it achieves the same effect you are proposing
 
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craig61a

Lifer
Apr 29, 2017
4,338
32,796
Minnesota USA
I mentioned this in another thread, but here goes again…

As far as the draft hole meeting the chamber, centered and and just above or removing some material from the floor of the chamber is optimal in my opinion. Most other pipe makers drill their bent pipes this way.

I have seen Peterson’s with the hole drilled high above the floor and at or near the floor with no apparent consistency. They generally are more near the floor. But if it’s even quite high they seem to get through the QC process.

The problem with that is that in the final 1/3rd of the bowl the tobacco towards the rear of the bowl will burn, but the tobacco near the front of the bowl remains unburned.

I have a Deluxe 2s that I recently built up the floor on because the draft was too high up in the chamber. Probably because of a prior owner’s fascination with reaming the bowl when it wasn’t necessary.

When I redrilled the draft (at 1/8”) I came in below the floor a bit. I sanded the floor down to meet the draft, but left it a little below the floor so there would be sufficient material on the back wall of the chamber to keep it from breaking out. The draft is mostly centered between the front and back of the bowl, and I can smoke it all the way down to a few remaining strands of tobacco with absolutely no gurgle…

I have accomplished repairs like this to a number of old estates and never had any issues.

B2161324-32E8-4E77-98A8-26AD3925B39D.jpeg
 
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craig61a

Lifer
Apr 29, 2017
4,338
32,796
Minnesota USA
I can see your reasoning but the whole idea of the Peterson system is that the smoke condenses in the drilling and stem extension so there should be no water to pool in the heel of the pipe unless the tobacco is way too wet.
The peterson system also relies on the tapering of the drilling in the stem from 5mm to 1.5mm to reduce the strength of the suction.
therefore it achieves the same effect you are proposing

Yes, the larger area of the well creates a lower pressure allowing the moisture to condense out of the smoke. The same concept was used in the WDC Wellington and Yello Bole Imperial large billiards back in the 1930’s, without any metal chimneys or stingers.
 
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Mar 1, 2014
3,309
3,910
I can see your reasoning but the whole idea of the Peterson system is that the smoke condenses in the drilling and stem extension so there should be no water to pool in the heel of the pipe unless the tobacco is way too wet.
The peterson system also relies on the tapering of the drilling in the stem from 5mm to 1.5mm to reduce the strength of the suction.
therefore it achieves the same effect you are proposing
And so if you like aromatics then system pipes are not a good option.
For me it's also a no-go because of the habit of pushing smoke back through the pipe.

I'm sure the sump design is fantastic, but I would never smoke one without boring the shank to 4mm first.
 

badbriar

Can't Leave
Oct 17, 2012
455
829
Central Florida
None of my Petersons gurgle, however, a few others that I own and quite like do. I suspect most gurgling to be drooling by the pipe smoker or condensation from overly moist tobacco. just MNSHO!
Not a big deal and certainly not a deal breaker on an otherwise good smoking pipe. Just dry your tobacco properly and slow down a little - it most often dries and goes away.
If any gurglers have a killer nice Peterson pipe that just drives them bat-crap nuts from gurgling and will sell said pipe cheap - drop me a line. I'll darn sure take that irritating, crappy, despised, off-drilled problem pipe offa your hands in a second !!! Oh, Sh!t - that describes some of my other Petes ! rotfrotfrotf
 

badbriar

Can't Leave
Oct 17, 2012
455
829
Central Florida
I mentioned this in another thread, but here goes again…

As far as the draft hole meeting the chamber, centered and and just above or removing some material from the floor of the chamber is optimal in my opinion. Most other pipe makers drill their bent pipes this way.

I have seen Peterson’s with the hole drilled high above the floor and at or near the floor with no apparent consistency. They generally are more near the floor. But if it’s even quite high they seem to get through the QC process.

The problem with that is that in the final 1/3rd of the bowl the tobacco towards the rear of the bowl will burn, but the tobacco near the front of the bowl remains unburned.

I have a Deluxe 2s that I recently built up the floor on because the draft was too high up in the chamber. Probably because of a prior owner’s fascination with reaming the bowl when it wasn’t necessary.

When I redrilled the draft (at 1/8”) I came in below the floor a bit. I sanded the floor down to meet the draft, but left it a little below the floor so there would be sufficient material on the back wall of the chamber to keep it from breaking out. The draft is mostly centered between the front and back of the bowl, and I can smoke it all the way down to a few remaining strands of tobacco with absolutely no gurgle…

I have accomplished repairs like this to a number of old estates and never had any issues.
I mentioned this in another thread, but here goes again…

As far as the draft hole meeting the chamber, centered and and just above or removing some material from the floor of the chamber is optimal in my opinion. Most other pipe makers drill their bent pipes this way.

I have seen Peterson’s with the hole drilled high above the floor and at or near the floor with no apparent consistency. They generally are more near the floor. But if it’s even quite high they seem to get through the QC process.

The problem with that is that in the final 1/3rd of the bowl the tobacco towards the rear of the bowl will burn, but the tobacco near the front of the bowl remains unburned.

I have a Deluxe 2s that I recently built up the floor on because the draft was too high up in the chamber. Probably because of a prior owner’s fascination with reaming the bowl when it wasn’t necessary.

When I redrilled the draft (at 1/8”) I came in below the floor a bit. I sanded the floor down to meet the draft, but left it a little below the floor so there would be sufficient material on the back wall of the chamber to keep it from breaking out. The draft is mostly centered between the front and back of the bowl, and I can smoke it all the way down to a few remaining strands of tobacco with absolutely no gurgle…

I have accomplished repairs like this to a number of old estates and never had any issues.

View attachment 91065
Very Nice - Looks Good! Well Done!
 

chopper

Lifer
Aug 24, 2019
1,338
2,863
A Sherlock Rathbone I have can be counted on to gurgle every time I smoke it. It's the only one out of six dozen of various brands including "no names" that does this. But I like Petes in general. Not sure why, other than looks and history. In my experience, they smoke OK. Just OK. Can't say a Castello or Dunhill is overwhelmingly better.

Now cobs, cobs are another matter. :col:
Before I found pipe smoking forums I didn't have half a clue.
For several years I smoked the one pipe, day in day out; a Peterson Sherlock Holmes.
It never gurgled and did not turn sour.

Not sure if many other pipes could have stood up to such abuse.

MM cobs you say? If I had to choose from just one brand of pipes, MM cobs would be a serious consideration.
 
Last edited:

chopper

Lifer
Aug 24, 2019
1,338
2,863
I think chamfering the tenon could have the same effect:
236. Chamfering Tenons for a Cooler Smoke – Peterson Pipe Notes

I've tried this on a couple 'expendable' pipes and it helps, though I just used a drill bit. Maybe I'll have to get the tools to do it right (chamfer & tapered bit).
Too easy to bugger a pipe by using a drill so I bought a pack of pencil thin files for the task of opening up the hole in the chamber with excellent results.


Paid around $12 for 7 files of varying sizes on Fleabay.
 
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