Why Was My Pipe Clogged?

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Jun 5, 2015
249
5
Hi everyone, it's been years since I've been on this site, so I apologise in advance if this was posted in the wrong section, or there was already a thread about my issue that I just failed to find.
So last night I smoked a bowl of Pirate Kake in my brand new Peterson Irish Harp (in case this is important somehow) before putting it down and heading to bed. This morning when I tried to clean it, I noticed what must be a layer of unburnt tobacco that had hardened overnight and it completely covered up the draught hole. I first tried to scrape it out with a pipe tool but it was too hard and too stuck and wouldn't budge. Then I tried to go in the other way via the shank with a pipe cleaner, and after several tries, managed to poke a hole through the layer. I eventually got most of it out of my bowl with a combination of the scraper on my pipe tool, bristle pipe cleaner, and even a reamer. It is now smokable again, though there are still tiny chunks of it on the wall that I couldn't remove. I'm worried that I might have damaged the bowl somehow with my harsh scraping, mind you, it's not the most expensive pipe I've bought, but I do want to find out why this happened, and how to avoid similar things in the future. I've never had this kind of experience before in my 5 or 6 years of pipe smoking.
Was I smoking too hot? Was the air-conditioned room too dry? Did I pack it too tight? Should I have cleared the bowl immediately after smoking? Or was there something wrong with the pipe?
 
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Jun 5, 2015
249
5
If it's a new Pete it may well be the bowl coating. It's supposed to help build cake fast, but leaving the dottle in may result in it setting like concrete. I'd get rid of the coating.
That's strange, I always leave the ash and whatnot in my pipes and clean them the next day (because I've heard somewhere ages ago that doing this is better for your pipes somehow), never had this problem before though, even in my other Pete's. You're probably right, might be the coating in this particular one. I'm not familiar with how to remove it, but I'll be more cautious from now on. Thanks for your help!
 
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pipesandscotch

New member
Sep 29, 2010
46
178
Northeast PA
So, I received an Irish Harp for Father's day. A very nice straight bulldog. Love the new line/color contrast. I also saw a recent post that was a similar issue. i have been at this almost 50 years, (like many on this forum), and have many higher quality pipes. Let me say right off, I absolutely hate bowl coatings, but will also not go to large extents to remove them. If I have a commission, I will make sure to not have a bowl coat applied.

All that said, I've put 2 bowls of Mac Baren's Mixture Scottish through this Pete, and the inside of the bowl after each smoke looks like dried lava, and has caused some clogging. Disgusting. Never seen this before, at all. It absolutely isn't the tobacco, it's whatever concoction they are using for the bowl coat, and it seems different than any of the other Pete's that I've purchased new over the past couple of years.
 

Merton

Senior Member
Jul 8, 2020
472
1,302
Boston, Massachusetts
Whenever I get a Peterson pipe I always do my best to remove as much of the bowl coating as I can. For example, just yesterday I received the Carrol of Carrolton limited run pipe. A quick rinse under the faucet revealed a steady stream of blackened water through the shank. The inside of the bowl was slick, slimy and left its mark on my finger and several Qtips ( it's a really small bowl. ) Other Pete's have required a bit more scraping and elbow grease but it can be done.
 
Jun 5, 2015
249
5
So, I received an Irish Harp for Father's day. A very nice straight bulldog. Love the new line/color contrast. I also saw a recent post that was a similar issue. i have been at this almost 50 years, (like many on this forum), and have many higher quality pipes. Let me say right off, I absolutely hate bowl coatings, but will also not go to large extents to remove them. If I have a commission, I will make sure to not have a bowl coat applied.

All that said, I've put 2 bowls of Mac Baren's Mixture Scottish through this Pete, and the inside of the bowl after each smoke looks like dried lava, and has caused some clogging. Disgusting. Never seen this before, at all. It absolutely isn't the tobacco, it's whatever concoction they are using for the bowl coat, and it seems different than any of the other Pete's that I've purchased new over the past couple of years.
Glad to hear that I wasn't the only one who's encountered this. Mine is also a straight bulldog, sandblast finish.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
36,083
37,151
I leave partially smoked bowls overnight fairly often and have never encountered this problem. They always light right up, and I finish off the bowl, which usually tastes as good or better than the previous day. My first suspect would have been the blend, but if you have smoked it with no similar problems in other pipes, I guess the bowl coating could be the next suspect, and that should be solved with a few bowls of well dried leaf. Or it could be a particularly moist wad of tobacco that wasn't typical of the blend that got lodged in the bottom of the bowl. I've never had this kind of solidified tobacco after a smoke.
 
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bullet08

Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2018
4,344
21,474
RTP, NC. USA
I have about 35 Peterson I bought brand new in last 3 years and no such problem. I might be lucky or I just enjoy cleaning my pipes right after the smoke.

The bowl coating on Peterson gets mentioned occasionally. To me, they are not much of an issue at all. It takes less then 5 bowls worth of smoke to get rid of. But I do wipe out the bowl right after the smoke.

In 2019 around the time they released POTY, Peterson did have very unusual coating. It looked like black hair mousse at the bottom of the bowl. This coating left thick "cake" after the first smoke. But that too went away after about 5 bowlful of smoke.

Solution then is to clean your pipe. Or at least, wipe out your bowl after the smoke.
 

FurCoat

Preferred Member
Sep 21, 2020
3,520
27,489
North Carolina
If it's a new Pete it may well be the bowl coating. It's supposed to help build cake fast, but leaving the dottle in may result in it setting like concrete. I'd get rid of the coating.
Bingo. The bowl coating is garbage in Petersons. The pipes are great once the coating is removed in my opinion. Alcohol won't touch that tar. Use 200 grit sandpaper and work at it until it is back to bare briar.
 

burleybreath

Senior Member
Aug 29, 2019
376
1,235
Finger Lakes area, New York, USA
So, how long as Peterson been making pipes? Just saying….😂😂😂
Too long to have the original ownership and direction. Somewhere I read (pretty sure it was Pipes & Tobaccos magazine) that no one who works there smokes a pipe, which makes my gizzard quiver just a bit. Guess it's under good ownership now (Laudisi Enterprises), but the question of bowl coating remains. It's obviously unnecessary, if not repulsive. Coatings generally don't appear on their higher end products--exactly like Savinelli's practice. And Castello's. Et alii. Wonder why that is?
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
31,094
50,260
Coatings generally don't appear on their higher end products--exactly like Savinelli's practice. And Castello's. Et alii. Wonder why that is?
Not at all true. It's sometimes done to give a pipe a finished look. Many artisans do it for that reason.

Savinelli Giubileo d'Oro

002-033-34393_2.jpg

Peterson House

002-029-64514_2.4005.jpg

Castello (KKKK)

004-006-31655_2.6756.jpg
 

coming to_falling too

Preferred Member
Mar 13, 2020
1,944
19,090
30
missouri
I don't think the Pete naturals have a coating. All the others I've gotten have a coating. I've noticed aftet the first couple bowls out of a new Pete, when I clean the chamber with a paper towel, it comes out black as night. That coating just does not do it for me. Granted, I've never done anything about it. Also it makes those first many bowls taste bad. Bleh.
 
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