Reviving My Father's Meerschaum Pipe

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hairvise

Member
May 23, 2018
295
1,197
San Francisco
Hi all,
I recently took my dad's meerschaum out of its case and began smoking it:
A1F00FE5-248C-4738-B1F6-0828D38091A1_1_201_a.jpeg

Since it's inaugural smoke in probably 30 years, I cleaned up the rim and removed as much cake as possible. Here's my question:
Any tips for how to remove the cake that surrounds the draft hole at the bottom of the bowl? That's the one place that I can't get to safely with a knife or sandpaper.
Also, should I bother with beeswax? Or just smoke it au natural?

It really smokes very well, so I think I will add it into my rotation with my briars.
 

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warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
8,575
3,609
It is already coated on the outer shell, nothing need be added unless you want a beeswax colored bowl. Wax on the bowl is not going to permeate through the manufacturer's coating. So smoker applied wax/color isn't going to be permanent, that comes from the tobacco residues working their way through the porous mineral from the inside. Smoke two or three bowls daily and in a couple of months it'll be fairly well darkened in the shank and the bottom of the bowl. The lattice colors deeper and sooner inside so it's interesting to observe.

If you insist on smoking it bare handed, well wash your hands before handling, you are simply trying to keep the
shell clean of human oils and household dirt/dust.

If you aren't particularly interested in how well it colors treat it like a briar when handling. After a bowl I usually reload and smoke another, maybe four bowls between dinner and bed time. I keep the airway clean with regular use of cleaners, wipe the inner bowl now and then, ream it on Sundays. Sundays is when I clean all the pipes smoked during the week. Keeping cake out of a meer allows the tobacco residues to seep into the pores. Nothing you do other than smoking will really speed the coloring process. I say that after fifty plus years of meers but, it is anecdotal information only.

Have fun and smoke the hell out of it. Oh, as for storage I keep five meers sitting on my credenza or resting in the ash tray as I smoke them, two or three bowls in five meers I keep handy. My briers are for outside mostly.

My palate isn't particularly discriminating so, I've not found a meerschaum to be better than or different from a brier with regards to blend differences. They do ghost obviously. The ghosting is from the oils residing in the pores and is unavoidable and, for me, unnoticed for the most part.

Again, everything above is simply anecdotal.
 

FurCoat

Preferred Member
Sep 21, 2020
2,047
13,790
North Carolina
As far as cleaning the draft hole I would use a nylon brush sold by our sponsors. I use them on my briars with great sucess. I would say use a bristled pipe cleaner but that may damage the material, maybe not though, and use some Everclear or even hot water.
 

hairvise

Member
May 23, 2018
295
1,197
San Francisco
It is already coated on the outer shell, nothing need be added unless you want a beeswax colored bowl. Wax on the bowl is not going to permeate through the manufacturer's coating. So smoker applied wax/color isn't going to be permanent, that comes from the tobacco residues working their way through the porous mineral from the inside. Smoke two or three bowls daily and in a couple of months it'll be fairly well darkened in the shank and the bottom of the bowl. The lattice colors deeper and sooner inside so it's interesting to observe.

If you insist on smoking it bare handed, well wash your hands before handling, you are simply trying to keep the
shell clean of human oils and household dirt/dust.

If you aren't particularly interested in how well it colors treat it like a briar when handling. After a bowl I usually reload and smoke another, maybe four bowls between dinner and bed time. I keep the airway clean with regular use of cleaners, wipe the inner bowl now and then, ream it on Sundays. Sundays is when I clean all the pipes smoked during the week. Keeping cake out of a meer allows the tobacco residues to seep into the pores. Nothing you do other than smoking will really speed the coloring process. I say that after fifty plus years of meers but, it is anecdotal information only.

Have fun and smoke the hell out of it. Oh, as for storage I keep five meers sitting on my credenza or resting in the ash tray as I smoke them, two or three bowls in five meers I keep handy. My briers are for outside mostly.

My palate isn't particularly discriminating so, I've not found a meerschaum to be better than or different from a brier with regards to blend differences. They do ghost obviously. The ghosting is from the oils residing in the pores and is unavoidable and, for me, unnoticed for the most part.

Again, everything above is simply anecdotal.
Thanks so much for all of this advice. I will do my best to smoke the hell out of it!
 
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weezell

Preferred Member
Oct 12, 2011
12,117
23,732
If you aren't particularly interested in how well it colors treat it like a briar when handling. After a bowl I usually reload and smoke another, maybe four bowls between dinner and bed time. I keep the airway clean with regular use of cleaners, wipe the inner bowl now and then, ream it on Sundays. Sundays is when I clean all the pipes smoked during the week. Keeping cake out of a meer allows the tobacco residues to seep into the pores. Nothing you do other than smoking will really speed the coloring process. I say that after fifty plus years of meers but, it is anecdotal information only.

Have fun and smoke the hell out of it.
👍 👍 👍 👍 👍 👍 👍 👍 👍 👍 puffy
 

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