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Fo0zle

Lurker
Jan 22, 2023
46
250
29
Western N.C.
It would help to know what your three pipes are.
For example- if the other two were no name basket pipes bought from a pile of them in a cigar shop - and the new one you like is a nice Castello estate - - that would impact our replies.

Mac
My first one is an in-house pipe from a B&M shop (AKA a no-name pipe with the name of the shop stamped in). It’s a bent horn shape.

The shape is the primary reason why I don’t like it. I find it clenches awkwardly and looks bad on me. The secondary reasons are that the bowl is tapered in such a way where I basically can’t get the last 1/3 of the bowl to stay lit, and the airflow in general isn’t great. I don’t know why I’m unable to smoke it down to the bottom, but it seems like no matter how lightly I pack, tobacco ends up jammed in the tight spot at the bottom.

My second is a Brigham Voyager, which is decent enough with the filter removed. But it’s kind of a heavy pipe and is slightly bent, so again it seems to be awkward for the clench. Brigham pipes have this weird aluminum and wood filter that I immediately removed since I didn’t like the restricted airflow. Given that the filter is gone, it’s like the bore hole at the bottom is too big so I always get tobacco in my mouth as I draw on it to check how tight the pack is. But still somehow the airflow doesn’t seem wide open. Maybe the bore hole is big and the stem hole is smaller?

I also hate that I can’t get a pipe cleaner all the way through to the bowl even with the filter removed.

My third and most recent pipe is a Savinelli Dolomiti 106, which has a smaller-sized bowl, is straight and very lightweight. It clenches perfectly. The airflow is nice and open, and tobacco seems to need relights far less often when I use it. The best way I can sum it up is it has an overall feeling of quality about it. It’s like “oh this is what pipe smoking is supposed to feel like”
 

Brendan

Lifer
May 16, 2021
1,412
7,538
Cowra, New South Wales, Australia.
My third and most recent pipe is a Savinelli Dolomiti 106, which has a smaller-sized bowl, is straight and very lightweight. It clenches perfectly. The airflow is nice and open, and tobacco seems to need relights far less often when I use it. The best way I can sum it up is it has an overall feeling of quality about it. It’s like “oh this is what pipe smoking is supposed to feel like”

Yep, I've had the same experience with my first Savinelli, especially the airflow (without a filter). Even from the first bowl, felt like I've had them a while.
My post earlier reflected my experience from Savinelli, same as yourself.
For now I'm happy with just buying 9mm filter straight Savinelli shapes for the way my two smoke (Miele 128, Fantasia 111KS), will be adding more to the rotation eventually as I like their selection of different coloured stems as well.
 
Jun 9, 2015
3,903
24,399
42
Mission, Ks
Thank you for these links. I'm loath to vary from the "as issued" state of many pipes, but, I can't help but like the idea of making some of my pipes smoke better with bigger airways. I could certainly use these tools on ones I make myself in the future.
FWIW I also funnel the end of most tenons with one of these. It's akin to doing a three angle valve job on any OHV motor. It improves air flow, velocity, and reduces shard edges and transitions. I'll find a pipe in my stash that I haven't "tuned up" and do a write up on it. Maybe I'll make another Perspex stem and do it on that, that way everyone can see the internals.
 

huntertrw

Lifer
Jul 23, 2014
5,270
5,507
The Lower Forty of Hill Country
Regarding opening the airway, I posted the following to another Thread here last Sunday. I hope that you find the information to be useful:

Forums friend Rick Newcombe is a strong advocate of opening pipes' airways in order to improve draw (and to make them easier to clean, by the way), and detailed his ideas in a article titled Your Pipes Should Have an Easy Draw which appeared in the Fall 1997 issue of Pipes and Tobaccos magazine. He recommends opening them to between 4.1 and 4.3 millimeters (that's 0.161 and 0.167 inches, respectively).

I took his advice and used a 5/32" (0.156 inch) drill-bit to open the airway on an estate Chacom Carat, and was amazed at how much better it smoked! Much easier to clean, too...
 
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Fralphog

Lifer
Oct 28, 2021
1,917
22,214
Idaho
I've found very few pipes I couldn't tune up and make smoke better. I usually ream the air way in the stummle to 3/32 with a straight 4 flute reamer and funnel the tenon/ bit back from the tenon with a 2/0 tapered pin reamer. I've been using the same two reamers for about 10 years. Links below.

Tapered pin reamer- McMaster-Carr - https://www.mcmaster.com/2990A16/
Straight 3/32 reamer- McMaster-Carr - https://www.mcmaster.com/2975A35/

This coupled with a proper ream and clean of the bowl will generally make a pipe smoke far better than it did. Having said that there are pipes that are just poor smokers no matter what you do.
Thanks for the link. Question: I noticed the straight reamer is for power tools and the pin reamer is listed as “hand”. Do you use the pin reamer with a certain wrench... tap wrench?
I have a couple of pipes I would like to modify.
 
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Jun 9, 2015
3,903
24,399
42
Mission, Ks
Thanks for the link. Question: I noticed the straight reamer is for power tools and the pin reamer is listed as “hand”. Do you use the pin reamer with a certain wrench... tap wrench?
I have a couple of pipes I would like to modify.
I use a tap handle for both. I wouldn't recommend doing any of this with power tools.
 
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mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
41,210
60,455
Since you seem to have just a few pipes, it is possible the first few were not great pipes. I'd gradually buy a few more of the brand you favor and see if they are equally superior to the first few you owned. I buy only one pipe at a time, to stay focused on the purchase; it works better for me.

Being a thrifty lad, I don't trash pipes, but trade them to SP for store credit to apply to pipes I'd prefer. Sometimes I don't get much in credit, but it is a nice discount.
 

Fo0zle

Lurker
Jan 22, 2023
46
250
29
Western N.C.
Yeah I think I’ll just get rid of the two worse pipes and grab a cheap corn cob for aromatics in the meantime.

Then I can save up a bit of money and get another similar Savinelli. I quite like the look of the Clark’s Favorite. Anyone have one?

I’ll probably stay loyal to Savinelli for briar pipes until I try one I don’t like. Then maybe I’ll branch out.

I also really want a meerschaum… I’m not big on collecting tons of stuff to the extent that I only use things occasionally. I’d much rather have 3-4 good pipes and smoke them all at least once a week.

Would it be better to go ahead and spring for a really nice meerschaum and then just smoke that and my Savinelli for the foreseeable future? You don’t really have to rest a meerschaum and it doesn’t ghost so that’s pretty versatile. I only smoke 1-2 bowls a day
 
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Seeleybc1

Starting to Get Obsessed
Dec 29, 2022
161
714
Palmer AK
My first one is an in-house pipe from a B&M shop (AKA a no-name pipe with the name of the shop stamped in). It’s a bent horn shape.

The shape is the primary reason why I don’t like it. I find it clenches awkwardly and looks bad on me. The secondary reasons are that the bowl is tapered in such a way where I basically can’t get the last 1/3 of the bowl to stay lit, and the airflow in general isn’t great. I don’t know why I’m unable to smoke it down to the bottom, but it seems like no matter how lightly I pack, tobacco ends up jammed in the tight spot at the bottom.

My second is a Brigham Voyager, which is decent enough with the filter removed. But it’s kind of a heavy pipe and is slightly bent, so again it seems to be awkward for the clench. Brigham pipes have this weird aluminum and wood filter that I immediately removed since I didn’t like the restricted airflow. Given that the filter is gone, it’s like the bore hole at the bottom is too big so I always get tobacco in my mouth as I draw on it to check how tight the pack is. But still somehow the airflow doesn’t seem wide open. Maybe the bore hole is big and the stem hole is smaller?

I also hate that I can’t get a pipe cleaner all the way through to the bowl even with the filter removed.

My third and most recent pipe is a Savinelli Dolomiti 106, which has a smaller-sized bowl, is straight and very lightweight. It clenches perfectly. The airflow is nice and open, and tobacco seems to need relights far less often when I use it. The best way I can sum it up is it has an overall feeling of quality about it. It’s like “oh this is what pipe smoking is supposed to feel like”
Ok yep makes sense, I know what you mean.
like others have said, I have made sure draft holes that have accumulated gunk have been cleaned out to original size with a drill bit, on a couple estates in particular.
have also done DIY “tune ups” that I believe helped immensely. One example being taking a Peterson army mounted full bent pipe, and drilling down into the shank past the draft hole to create the reservoir seen on a system pipe. This was an immediate improvement on moisture build up, or really where it Wound up. Instead of being in the bottom of the bowl, it accumulates in the reservoir, and being an army mount, can be immediately broken down and cleaned after each smoke.
Another would be cutting in a little pipe cleaner “ramp” with a dremel to a full bent pipe with the draft hole at 12:00 position, not lining up with the exit hole of the tenon. It previously wouldn’t pass a pipe cleaner, but because of the little ramp, now does with little to no effort.
anyways it seems lots of factors can contribute to how we experience one pipe or another. Pretty cool when you feel one that you really like, or improve on one
 
Feb 12, 2022
3,437
47,630
31
North Georgia mountains.
So I’ve found myself in a situation where my newest pipe smokes at least twice as good as my other two.

The difference is so glaring that I find myself struggling to be disciplined enough to rotate my pipes.

What do you do when a new pipe just puts everything else to shame? Do you immediately retire the inferior pipes and list them on eBay? Do you just bite the bullet and keep smoking them? Or do you throw caution to the wind and start buying more nice pipes?
Make note of every aspect - weight, length, drilling, bowl depth, brand, type of briar, stem type, etc

Buy something similar. I have specific dimensions I smoke and almost never will buy a pipe outside of those dimensions because it's just works for me.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
43,414
109,233
Add that to the pipe myths thread lol.

I’ve always heard they’re good for trying out a lot of blends because they don’t ghost.
I've got one that I bought for Captain Black Grape that is so saturated, the outside of the pipe smells like grape.
 
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Fo0zle

Lurker
Jan 22, 2023
46
250
29
Western N.C.
You don't have to rest any pipe if you keep them clean.
What do you mean by keep them clean? It seems like everyone means something different by that, and certainly the VAST majority of advice out there says that pipes should be rested.

It seems everyone has a different rule and also doesn’t explain the reasoning behind said rule.

Everyone says you have to rest pipes to avoid burnouts but then every anecdotal story is about some old timer who’s smoked one pipe 13 times a day for 40 years with no issues…

Starting to think people are full of crap about the whole thing and I should just do whatever I want rotf