Softy Pipe Bits, Do You Use Them?

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carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
14
Raleigh, NC
I have a couple of pipes that have stems slicker that owl snot and they just won't stay between my teeth when I try to clench them unless I hold them juuuuuust right. I grabbed some of the softy bits at my tobacconist and put some on a few pipes that like to slip around too much. Mostly, I don't want a chomped up bit, but keeping them from scooting around in my teeth helps to keep that from happening.
I once had a pipe I was clenching dump half my tobacco when it slipped sideways between my teeth due to the acrylic stem being so damn slippery. I put a softy on that baby and it stopped it from happening. That's the good part.
The bad part is getting over the rubber taste you get for the first few smokes. I do need to get some smaller ones, as I have a Charatan's Make that I refurbed a while back and I don't want it to get all chattered up again. The problem is, the ones I get from my tobacconist are too big and I know P&C has the small and the large, but I can't tell if what I have is the small or large already. Anyone else use these? I just want some smaller options for my smaller bit pipes.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,756
1,749
I have an Ardor bulldog that had a stem like you speak of. I just took a file and roughed up the part just behind the button, just enough to give me some bite to hold the pipe steady in my clench. Not enough to mess up the stem. If I wanted, I could easily sand and polish it back to owl shit.
But, I just can't do the softy bits, they feel like I have a ball gag strapped to my face. They are too much, IMO.

 

spartacus

Preferred Member
Nov 7, 2018
744
214
Mesa, Arizona
I have and use the smaller ones. You need to wet them down a bit to get them on. The acrylic stems doesn't feel comfortable in my teeth. I find myself chewing on the rubber though and need to replace it every once in a while. I do not care for them on my P-Lip stems though.

 

crashthegrey

Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
2,848
39
I use them or something like that to castrate my goats. They don't go near my pipes. I do tend to prefer vulcanite or ebonite stems, but if it is acrylic I use a similar method to Cosmic.

 

timt

Preferred Member
Jul 19, 2018
1,156
854
There's an old thread from several years ago where a member talked about using latex tubing that you can find in hardware stores in like 10ft lengths. I like it better than the bits because it's a little more firm, thinner and definitely cheaper over the long term.
I only use it on my meer which is 2oz, straight and with an acrylic stem. It's not a big deal after I got use to it and like you mentioned, it makes it much easier to chomp onto the pipe and keep it in place without wearing on my teeth.

 

saltedplug

Preferred Member
Aug 20, 2013
2,954
7
As you may remember I had two-dozen used softies available in my last sale at a great price. I don't know why this was not taken seriously:).

 

blackadderlxx

Senior Member
Jun 17, 2018
370
2
Man...some of the imagery in these responses...
I'm not a big fan. I Use them on estate pipes if they have chatter marks though.

 

milehighpiper

Senior Member
Sep 10, 2018
360
128
I also use them on all my pipes. I wash them before putting them on and have not had a rubber taste to them ever. When in doubt, get the smaller tips since they stretch a bit.

 

ray47

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2015
1,276
243
I always smoke my pipes after I take out my dentures and softie bits help my gums. All my pipes have them.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
14,738
3,164
Monterey Peninsula
Not a fan.
If it's slippery, take a kitchen scrubbing sponge, add a drop of detergent and scrub the bastard. May have too much wax and too slick a surface without the wax. This should help for both.

 

3rdguy

Preferred Member
Aug 29, 2017
1,727
660
Midwest
Did not like them, got used to them and now I like the feel of them. Saves a little wear and tear I figure. Cheap in bulk on eBay.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,844
430
An oldie but goodie classic http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/parafilm-stem-wraps

 

lordofthepiperings

Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
6,320
34
Las Vegas, NV
I never ever even tried them until I picked up a Silver Gray hawkbill. It was a step up in my collection, so I got the whole, "Oh I need to protect this stem from tooth marks.", thing going on and actually bought some softie bits. It was really weird to get used and I never really did. After a few times using them I thought about it and came to the conclusion that stem work is almost ALWAYS declared the most difficult pain in the rear aspect of pipe carving. Carvers take so much time to make the bit as comfortable as possible, so if I'm putting a softie bit over it I'm essentially taking all of their efforts and throwing them out the window. I settled on enjoying the pipe exactly how the maker made it. I'm definitely more in the collect to smoke camp than the collect to stare at the beauty of the pipe camp.
I understand if people have dentures or caps or missing teeth that then it makes sense to use them.

 

craiginthecorn

Preferred Member
May 8, 2017
1,159
130
Sugar Grove, IL, USA
I don't generally use softie bits because they feel too big to me. On a few of my pipes, I have used non-adhesive heat shrink tubing. It makes clenching easier and more comfortable and seems to do a decent job of protecting the bit.