Pipe Lost Color After Heating It?

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Nohone

New member
Aug 4, 2020
16
5
Hey guys,

So I noticed some left over wax on my pipe, so I heated it with a blow dryer to wipe it off. In doing so, it looks like some color disappeared.

I'm a bit disappointed because I thought color would only be lost as a result of leaving it out in the cold, not from heat from a blow dryer. It's been 2 hours and the color hasn't returned.

Has this happened to anyone before?
 

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Country Bladesmith

Preferred Member
May 2, 2020
3,326
14,269
Louisiana
But the color tho! :p
One of the reasons I don’t mess with rewaxing anymore. Smoke it. Any color that is really there on the surface will still be there. Wax makes an optical illusion of color, because it makes the meerschaum translucent, so you can see tar that hasn’t really made it to the surface yet. Smoking it, or heating the bowl from the inside will push wax out (I guess), making the meerschaum more opaque. Smoke it and then you’ll know what you’re really working with.
 

Nohone

New member
Aug 4, 2020
16
5
One of the reasons I don’t mess with rewaxing anymore. Smoke it. Any color that is really there on the surface will still be there. Wax makes an optical illusion of color, because it makes the meerschaum translucent, so you can see tar that hasn’t really made it to the surface yet. Smoking it, or heating the bowl from the inside will push wax out, making the meerschaum more opaque. Smoke it and then you’ll know what you’re really working with.

Noted. Smoking as we speak.
 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
8,551
3,532
Never happened to me as I do not use wax for color. I prefer coloring my pipes through smoking and not, faking. The wax simply sits on top of coating applied by the manufacturer, it's not going to be permanent as you found out. Consider it a learning experience.
 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
5,264
14,235
So you melted off the way with a heat gun and expected that may not affect the pipe or the color huh? Seriously? Aside from someone inventing a time machine, what do you think could be done about it? If it's that big of a deal for you, melt some wax on the pipe and spray paint it.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
33,347
25,030
I'm not experienced with Meers, though I know they are delicate creatures in terms of coloring. I have really enjoyed smoking "unfinished" briar pipes, those that haven't been stained, waxed, or finished at all. At first they look the color of raw lumber, though nicely sanded. Over time they change, just from smoking, no wax or anything required. At first they darken slightly in a matte finish, which is kind of pleasant. At the ten year mark, most of them gain a little depth and shine, and then as time goes on, a couple have developed deep and polished finishes, like a piece of fine furniture. It is a slow, slow process, but over time, it is truly satisfying.
 

F4RM3R

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2019
389
1,538
35
Canada
I've found if you apply too much heat and dont reapply the wax, it will soak deeper in to the meerschaum. Just smoke it as other members have suggested, but you could also apply some more wax to that portion of the pipe and heat it gently again with your blow dryer or just apply the wax while you are smoking if it gets warm enough and it will sink in a bit. Too much heat and the pores open up wide and the wax goes too deep. You want the wax to just soak in near the surface by using a little heat or alot of heat for a very short period(several seconds).

Or just smoke the f*cker and don't worry about it ;)
 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
8,551
3,532
Wax puts an applied "hue/color" to the mineral's surface. If you desire a properly "colored", a natural looking meerschaum, you will have to insure the residues from the tobacco get into the mineral from the inside. Anything else appears as artificial. So smoke three or four bowls, whatever you can handle, every day and in a few years you will have properly and fully colored pipe. I have one almost done, it's thirty years old and has had a lot of tobacco residue sucked into the material. Meers used to come with a proper coating from the maker. The coating was impervious to wax. I haven't added to my collection in thirty years so I can't speak to the quality of newer pipes or if they are still coated.

So, wash 'em, wax 'em, broil 'em in the oven, do as you will. To properly color a meerschaum pipe you must smoke the damn thing! I'm betting washing the inside of a bowl simply slows the process as one is removing the residues which when reheated through smoking will seep into the pores. Also, being an inert material impervious to heat ... well, heating won't open or close the pores. At least I've never seen any scientifically based theory on such. If that were true, smoking the bowl hot to the touch should speed the process. I've heard nor seen any evidence of such.

But, it's your pipe, you've in a hurry and, while you haven't a ghost of a chance at speeding the process, you can at the least feel as though you are "participating" in the coloring. I suppose that's something.
 

Nohone

New member
Aug 4, 2020
16
5
Never happened to me as I do not use wax for color. I prefer coloring my pipes through smoking and not, faking. The wax simply sits on top of coating applied by the manufacturer, it's not going to be permanent as you found out. Consider it a learning experience.

On this forum I noticed there is this prejudice against people who wax their pipe, which I find laughable and notably cringe worthy.

We should all be so noble as you so as to avoid the sinful application of that dreaded substance that only a heretic like myself would dare to use.
 
Last edited:

Nohone

New member
Aug 4, 2020
16
5
So you melted off the way with a heat gun and expected that may not affect the pipe or the color huh? Seriously? Aside from someone inventing a time machine, what do you think could be done about it? If it's that big of a deal for you, melt some wax on the pipe and spray paint it.

I mean when we smoke the pipe, does it not increase in heat? I know the heat from regular smoking is not on the level of applying heat from a blow dryer, but in all the articles I read on Meerschaum waxing I never heard of color disappearing from heat.

So yeah, it's a valid question that shouldn't have offended you.
 
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hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
5,264
14,235
I mean when we smoke the pipe, does it not increase in heat? I know the heat from regular smoking is not on the level of applying heat from a blow dryer, but in all the articles I read on Meerschaum waxing I never heard of color disappearing from heat.

So yeah, it's a valid question that shouldn't have offended you.

It didn't offend me. You melted the wax, you didn't change the color.
 
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hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
4,262
6,291
Austin, TX
Wax makes an optical illusion of color, because it makes the meerschaum translucent, so you can see tar that hasn’t really made it to the surface yet.
That’s very interesting. I never did really understand what waxing a Meer did. I mean, I knew people did it to help color their pipes but I didn’t know how it worked. Yeah, look at the Meers that @weezell and @condorlover1 smoke. Those pipes are truly beautifully colored from years of smoking, some of them have deep, dark almost purple color, they are just gorgeous. There is another member here that has some amazing color on his meers too, unfortunately I don’t remember his username.
 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
4,262
6,291
Austin, TX
I've found if you apply too much heat and dont reapply the wax, it will soak deeper in to the meerschaum. Just smoke it as other members have suggested, but you could also apply some more wax to that portion of the pipe and heat it gently again with your blow dryer or just apply the wax while you are smoking if it gets warm enough and it will sink in a bit. Too much heat and the pores open up wide and the wax goes too deep. You want the wax to just soak in near the surface by using a little heat or alot of heat for a very short period(several seconds).

Or just smoke the f*cker and don't worry about it ;)
What happens if the wax goes too deep into the pores? Wouldn’t it eventually smoke out after several smokes? I’m not too familiar with Meerschaum but I’m definitely a convert after I was gifted that Kaywoodie Meer. I think my next new pipe purchase will be a Meer. The coloring aspect is a huge plus but I love how they smoke, given the pipe has an open draw. That was my biggest turn off with the Meers that I had before the Kaywoodie, the draw was so tight on all 3 of them, I never wanted to smoke them. I open up my briars all the time but I’m not comfortable modifying a Meer.
 

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