Pipe Retort: How Long to Let the Pipe Rest?

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pipesolitude

Might Stick Around
Sep 2, 2016
63
67
The title edited for caps. Rule 9

I just cleaned a new (estate) pipe using a retort with isopropanol. Not the first time doing so, but I'm a bit excited to try my new pipe. How long do you advice to let the pipe rest before it is ready for use?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

paulfg

Lifer
Feb 21, 2016
1,297
2,346
Corfu Greece
surely the alcohol will have evaporated in a few minutes.its the residual water that needs to dry.
Probably ok after an hour or so
 

pipesolitude

Might Stick Around
Sep 2, 2016
63
67
surely the alcohol will have evaporated in a few minutes.its the residual water that needs to dry.
Probably ok after an hour or so
If so, I presume it will not only be a matter of not smelling the alcohol. However, an hour or so seems a bit short, since I can still smell the alcohol by that time. After just smoking a pipe I think it best needs to rest 3 days or so to fully dry out, some would prefer even longer. So... I'm thinking if something similar goes for pipe retort treatment. However, I think I probably waited 12-24 hours before. My feeling says that will probably do, but I am curious about common wisdom on this topic. I'm certainly no expert, but I'm under the impression that the chemical process that takes place infuses the pipe even "deeper" than a regular smoke. On that logic it would seem it needs more time to dry out after all.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
36,448
74,550
After just smoking a pipe I think it best needs to rest 3 days or so to fully dry out,
The pipe itself, assuming briar, isn't very absorbent. Any remaining moisture is residue from smoking and can be removed by cleaning rendering the pipe smokable again in the amount of time it takes to cool down. Multiple day rest periods and multiple pipe rotations are marketing gimmicks.
 

craig61a

Lifer
Apr 29, 2017
4,714
35,861
Minnesota USA
I’ve been buying and restoring estate pipes for over 20 years.

I’ve never found it necessary to use a retort to clean a pipe.

But if you like that chemistry lab vibe and flammable vapors, more power to ya…

I have had pipes that were plugged solidly with hardened goo. I chuck a 6” 1/8” drill bit and remove the crud stuck in the draft by hand. If you have a lathe you’ll most likely have a spare chuck laying around…

With draft and chamber clear, I stuff the chamber with cotton, fill it with alcohol using a dental syringe, soak a pipe cleaner in alcohol, jam it in the draft, then put the pipe in a gallon storage bag with the pipe upright.

The storage bag keeps the alcohol from evaporating rapidly, and allows the alcohol to dissolve the goo more effectively. I usually remove the pipe cleaner and replace it with a fresh one when the previous one has turned dark brown black.

24-48 hours and the alcohol will definitely be gone.