Why the thick cake?

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kangaroo

New member
Apr 19, 2017
36
0
Vietnam
I've never experienced how good a thick caked pipe smokes like because i always keep the thickness of my cakes under 2mm, but i HAVE experienced that 2 of thick caked pipes i bought from Ebay got some serious cracks when i removed the cakes. That's hurt, and irritating, folks.
Even in very early time when i got my first pipes and smoked very-very hot, the worst case i've had is some parts of the wall were burned into charcoal, i just removed the charcoal parts, and learned. These pipes got Cracked, probably because of the uneven expansion of the thick cake while smoking, i suppose. So the question is: What is the benefit of thick cake?
To protect the wall? What kind of protection that causes damage to the subject? Nah man, now i believe that my pipes will last a life-time with 1mm cake, all i do is smoke them calmly and slowly. It costs me 1/2 to 1 match box to finish a bowl. Too many matches? - Too cheap to protect the pipe (and the taste).
With thin cake i can also check the wall condition regularly by gently rub the tamper around the wall and listen to the different feelings. I would know if some part is not right.
To improve the taste of the tobacco? As i said i've never experienced that, need some confimations of experts here. I think the thick cake will absorbs the tobacco juice and takes longer to dry, maybe even causes some moist taste. To me a clean pipe brings good smoke. If the airway got dirty, i could feel some different taste which is surely not better than the original taste of the tobacco. My pipes have some light cake but the airways are always-clean.
Still, i've seen such dirty pipe with 5mm cake builded up in the chamber, 1mm in the airway, 1mm on the top! So what is the benefit of thick cake seriously?

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
10,825
4,654
There is no benefit to a thick cake. None. Zero. Nada. The previous owners were too lazy, spoiled, ignorant, and/or stupid to take proper care of their pipes.

 

kangaroo

New member
Apr 19, 2017
36
0
Vietnam
Sablebrush then there're just too many of them and i'm sitting here having no idea of what to do with my cracked bowls. I'm so confused even they're cheap. Pipe mud, water glass, or anything else shoud i do for the best?

 

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cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
19,955
5,542
Outer Space
In my youth, men would show off the cakes in their pipes like a badge of honor. I remember my Uncle Leon would show me every weekend how much cake had built up over the week. Then when the pipe wouldn't hold any more tobacco, they'd toss them in the fire place and start smoking a new pipe. I also never remember seeing pipecleaners at the General store where the men hung out on the porch and smoked after working. There was always more Grabows and lots of pouches for sale, but never do I remember seeing pipecleaners.

There are still plenty of men who smoke this way, but you won't find them on forums, pipe clubs, or even interested in talking about tobaccos. They just smoke them and toss them. I think a lot of these men's pipes end up on ebay nowadays, and people get confused about the need for cake and still wanting to treat their pipes like aficionados. But, ultimately, I think the whole cake mentality is giving way to men who want to preserve their pipes for as long as possible and enjoy more premium tobaccos in them.

So, with this new found way of smoking pipes, or maybe just the rise of city-slicker pipe smokers has made this notion of cake a moot point. I don't want cake in my pipes, as I'd rather enjoy the better tobaccos and keep my pipes for smoking long into the future. Your more likely now to find men in forums, pipe clubs, and pipe lounges wiping their bowls out really well after smoking. I tend to wash the bowls out with water and ream with a paper towel really well after smoking, if I have the time to do so.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
10,825
4,654
PIpe mud, water glass silicate. I'd suggest that you PM George Dibos, georged on the forum, or piffyr for suggestions. These gents would know best how to advise you.

 

philobeddoe

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2011
5,133
1,782
East Indiana
I don’t keep any cake whatsoever in my pipes. After each bowl, I wipe out the chamber with a half sheet of paper towel, the insides of the bowl are carbonized and that’s it! I’ve never had a crack, burn through etc. no trouble at all.

 

thesmokindragon

Preferred Member
Jul 12, 2011
3,811
5
I only keep perhaps a Dime's thickness at any one time , +1 w/sablebrush52 - If the pipes have cracked bowls perhaps it is time to say goodbye to them - if looking for cheap repl some MM Cobs will get you through but even some of the other great lower-costing models from Sav and Stanwell are great ways to get outstanding smokers without dropping too much $$$. This is how I started and built up my rotations.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
15,006
9,742
United States
The reason I keep the cake in my pipes to about a dimes worth is they smoke cooler and they taste better. I also dedicate my pipes which makes a difference taste wise.
In regards to estate pipes that have so much cake that they are hiding cracks in the bowls, I have never run into that issue. The reason being is I only buy estate pipes that are in pristine condition. The sellers show very good pictures and guarantee the pipes to be in great shape.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
29,601
9,380
There's a group of us who don't build cake, and it works well for us. In my case, I scoop out the bowl when I finish smoking, wipe it out with a paper towel (usually half of a small section) or paper napkin, then clean the airway with a pipe cleaner, and buff the whole pipe off with a cloth. Deeper cleaning is done after a number of smokes to suit. Cake reduces the size of the chamber, and some of us see no benefit in flavor or smoking characteristics of the pipe. I don't own a reamer. Some of my pipes, bought new, are forty years old and doing well. I'm not dissing the majority, who build cake, but I'm saying this works really well for me and my pipes, and other folks on Forums. Do what suits you.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
16,158
6,610
Monterey Peninsula
The benefit of a thick cake is it can hide cracks and potential burn outs.
For those who think cake makes their pipes smoke better, it does for them. The bowl will be cooler to the touch, but the temperature of the smoke will be the same. All things being equal, which they seldom are!

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
21,050
14,326
There's also the thought that a thick cake absorbs moisture giving a cooler smoke. None of my pipes have a thick cake, though I've attempted to develop them for years, so I can't attest to that theory.

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
4,426
3,130
30
WI
I love a good thick cake in my pipes. However, in my cob, I HAVE to keep it down to a minimum, to keep the walls from cracking. It's happened on all my other ones. Usually keep cake around a nickle or more thickness.

 

jeffro

Member
Jul 18, 2017
155
15
I have purchased estate pipes in the past that had cake build up so thick that I could not have put my pinky finger in the bowl!

To me that was pure neglect of the previous owner.
I believe my pipes smoke better with little cake build up verses a thick build up.

 

menuhin

Preferred Member
Oct 21, 2014
642
1
...I have purchased estate pipes in the past that had cake build up so thick that I could not have put my pinky finger in the bowl!...
When I clean out these pipes with reamer in frustration and fear - to see if it is also a burnout on the chamber wall or not, I always want to see a picture or two how these previous pipe smokers smoked their pipes. The description above by Cosmic above gave me a bit more clue - and I recalled seeing a few these old pipe smokers too, with their pipes not able to fill so much tobacco due to the cake built-up.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
15,006
9,742
United States
To those who do not build cake. have you ever tried it? If you have and determined it is not for you, could you explain why you don't like it. I don't remember who told me to keep my cake to a dimes worth, I was told so long ago. The theory behind building cake makes sense to me, but maybe I am wrong.

 
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