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Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

This is a discussion on Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started within the General Pipe Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; Methods to Clean Estate Pipes. Part II, (cont.) As you can see, this seems fairly effective; As a side note, ...

  
  1. #16

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Methods to Clean Estate Pipes.

    Part II, (cont.)

    As you can see, this seems fairly effective;





    As a side note, I've found good old spit can do wonders for the build up on the rims of pipes. It won't remove charring, but it'll grab alot of carbon if it's allowed to sit for a few minutes before buffing with a rough rag.


    Words of warning; alcohol can, (and does) strip the stain from some pipes.



    Next, I set off to clean up the exterior. Cleaning a blasted pipe, (sand blasted finish, not the comment often made but our long-suffering wives), is a little difficult, since there are many nooks for gunk to hide in. The method I chose was Murphys Oil Soap, since it's made for wood anyway, and an old toothbrush.



    Since it wasn't used much to begin with, not much came off except the silver polish remnants. And since I was at it, I decided to see if I could shine it up a bit. There are many products, (Briar Pipe Wipe, for instance), that can be used, but I have none onhand. A post on another BB mentioned neutral shop polish, and since I have that, that's what I used.



    Sparkly... no. Huge difference... on a blast, hardly. A little bit, but not much. It has brought out more of a luster in some of my smooth pipes, FWIW. All told, maybe an hour of scrubbing, leading to Q-tips that come out white from the stem. I'll leave the cotton in the bowl for a second night just to reinfoce my distate for the previous owners choice in tobacco.

    (continued)
    God, Country, Corps!

    "Only Accurate Rifles Are Interesting."
    Col Townsend Whelen

    Just because it sounds good doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about...

    "No matter how good she looks, somebody, somewhere, is getting tired of her shit."

  2. #17

    IHT
    IHT is offline
    - IHT's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    instead of a cotton ball, have you poured salt in there, then used an eye dropped to drop about 10 droplets of alcohol in it??
    that's what i use. you should seee the shades of brown the salt turns over night.

    my Q-tips never start out that clean, they're normally black...

    i might get that device where you boil the alcohol, as that's how my local B&M does it, and from what i've read on other boards, that's how most professionals/restorers do it, too.
    "To be second guessed, you have to be the first guesser."

  3. #18

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Methods to Clean Estate Pipes.

    Part III: The Stem.

    Stem oxidation happens, just like... well, you know. You'll find it on estates, and the ones in your collection sooner or later. While serious(ly ugly), it can be effectively treated in all but the worst cases. (Man, am I spending too much time in a hospital.)

    In my case, the oxidation wasn't horrible, but it wasn't something I wanted to ignore.



    My first battle plan was to scrub it off. It's pretty easy, and sand paper of varying grit, (usually starting at 220, then moving "up" to the finer grits), can zap oxidation, as well as the dreaded "Dracula" marks. Since all I wanted to deal with was the oxidation, I chose Mr. Cleans Magic Eraser;



    Very fine grade abrasive, (and it really does get stuff off of walls), and it works particularly well in this arena. I then set off to deal with the bore. While a little smaller than I"m used to, a scrubbing pipe cleaner, (with little plastic bits intertwined with the cotton), dipped in the rum worked well for the most part.



    Now, the pipe cleaners came out pretty clean, for the most part, and the oxidation was eliminated, except for that nasty little bit up by the bit. Not to mention that I'm not totally trusting the pipe cleaners to get every little molecule of ghost out of the bit. Maybe I should have just used Oxyclean for the stem. It will remove oxidation and built up gunk from the stem, (not to mention the markings on the stem. Place a small drop of Vaseline on the mark prior to dunking the stem. That'll save it.). Straight or diluted bleach also works on all of the above.



    HOWEVER, once you're done with all of this, you'll have a squeeky clean stem, but it'll have a dull finish on it. What to do??

    (continued)
    God, Country, Corps!

    "Only Accurate Rifles Are Interesting."
    Col Townsend Whelen

    Just because it sounds good doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about...

    "No matter how good she looks, somebody, somewhere, is getting tired of her shit."

  4. #19

    SophisticationPersonified Nooner's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by IHT
    instead of a cotton ball, have you poured salt in there, then used an eye dropped to drop about 10 droplets of alcohol in it??
    that's what i use. you should seee the shades of brown the salt turns over night.

    my Q-tips never start out that clean, they're normally black...

    i might get that device where you boil the alcohol, as that's how my local B&M does it, and from what i've read on other boards, that's how most professionals/restorers do it, too.
    yep, I do the salt treatment - I use Sea Salt, and it does turn brown - looks pretty though. I've got a pipe I haven't cleaned yet, so I'll set it up now so I can take pictures in a little bit...

    I also just sent off a box of pipes to Jim Benjamin - I am pretty excited from what I've heard about the work he does.
    Last edited by Nooner; 01-27-2006 at 01:24 PM.
    Found It!

  5. #20

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Methods to Clean Estate Pipes.


    Part III: The Stem. (cont.)

    So I've got a squeeky clean stem, but it's not the lustrerous black we've come to know and love. How to get that back?? Two words; olive oil.



    after an application and wiping off all the residue, the bit in the photo above went from there to here;




    A little bit of elbow grease and some mildy caustic chemicals later, a fairly clean pipe with an evil past seems to have become a tamer beast;



    As for the band, I think I'll leave that the way it is, tarnish and all. Kind of a testement to the pipes history. There are a number of methods to shine silver bands, including brasso, duraglit, and rubbing the band with ash.

    As I've mentioned, the course salt has a history of bowl cracking, and it's easier to get a single cotton ball out of the bowl, at least for me. The method Greg mentioned, a Retort, (there's a link to a description in one of his earlier posts,) is excellent in removing large quantities of gunk and other nasty residues quickly. I've used one with a Stanwell, (pictured in another thread), with outstanding results, and I may use it again if my ghosts aren't completely exorcised with the Pete. It was a little more dirty than I had originally anticipated, but the methods mentioned can (hopefully) cure most of the common maladies found with estates. This pipe didn't need to be reamed, so I won't have to do that until I get a pipe like this

    Last edited by Scott M; 01-27-2006 at 01:41 PM.
    God, Country, Corps!

    "Only Accurate Rifles Are Interesting."
    Col Townsend Whelen

    Just because it sounds good doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about...

    "No matter how good she looks, somebody, somewhere, is getting tired of her shit."

  6. #21

    SophisticationPersonified Nooner's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Okay, a couple pictures:





    I usually use the Bacardi 151, but this time I decided to use the Elijah - the pipe just seemed to warrant it!

    I'll take another pic this evening with the saturated salt. That second pic is after adding the alcohol.
    Found It!

  7. #22

    SophisticationPersonified Nooner's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    after soaking - it took about 15 pipe cleaners to run a clean one thru the stem!!!

    Found It!

  8. #23

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Dating Peterson Silver Mounted Pipes.

    All Peterson Silver Mounted Pipes carry three distinctive marks :

    1) The Symbol Hibernia (Ireland) denoting the country of origin.
    2) .925 is a new European standard mark denoting the high quality (purity) of the silver used.
    3) The Date Letter Code for the year in which the silver was hallmarked and the pipe made.
    [SIZE="1"]From the Peterson website.[/SIZE]

    An image of silver hallmarks.
    God, Country, Corps!

    "Only Accurate Rifles Are Interesting."
    Col Townsend Whelen

    Just because it sounds good doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about...

    "No matter how good she looks, somebody, somewhere, is getting tired of her shit."

  9. #24

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    More on Flakes:

    As a follow-up to the thread found here, this is an article on rubbing out flakes. Not anything new or dramatic, but someone, somewhere, at one time or another will ask about it.

    From McClelland Tobacco Company;
    A PIPE SMOKER’S GUIDE
    HOW TO SMOKE FLAKE TOBACCOS

    English and Scottish-style Matured Virginia flake tobaccos are among the most interesting and rewarding for the smoker to taste; yet, they are avoided by many smokers who simply do not know how to approach them. This guide is intended to help the pipe smoker learn how to fully appreciate the zesty character and subtle sweetness of these premium, aged products. (It should also help smokers of the flavored American sliced plug and European flake Cavendish tobaccos.)
    One reason flake tobaccos are left in slices after cake-maturing is that they retain their freshness better than in ribbon form. Flakes also enable the smoker to have some control over the burning rate and, to a small degree, the flavor.
    It is important to prepare the tobacco before packing so that it has an even texture and to fill the bowl evenly, no matter what degree of brokenness is preferred. (The more fully-rubbed – meaning gently separated – a tobacco, the faster it will burn. Similarly, it is true that the thinner the cut, the faster it will burn.)
    The more moist tobaccos should be packed more loosely than normal so they won’t pack down densely enough to prevent a good draft. The ideal is to have the tobacco draw firmly, with a little resistance, throughout the smoke. The smoker may be able barely to hear a little hissing through the pipe as it is smoked. Too firm and the tobacco won’t burn at all or one small spot will burn hot and maybe wet as the smoker puffs hard to keep it going; too loose and the tobacco will burn inconsistently and unevenly, perhaps causing the bowl to overheat in spots and moisture to condense.

    Five Steps to Success

    1. Put in the palm of one hand the amount of tobacco that it is believed will fill the bowl. Then pinch at the slices or rub them between the palms until the tobacco separates to the degree preferred, keeping the texture even, avoiding clumps. The denser the tobacco is left, the slower it will burn. (This becomes especially valuable on windy days outdoors.)

    2. Gently but firmly and evenly work the tobacco into the bowl of the pipe until it is filled slightly over the top and feels firm but still springy under enough finger pressure to flatten the surface of the tobacco even with the top of the pipe. (We assume the pipe is clean at the outset, free of obstruction to a good draft, well rested.)


    3. Now, while drawing through the stem, light the pipe evenly across the entire surface of the tobacco. After a few puffs to develop an ash, and while continuing to draw, tamp the tobacco down evenly all around the bowl with a tamper. The goal is to have the tobacco packed so that it will burn as evenly and firmly as a good cigar.

    4. Relight the pipe after tamping to get the entire surface of the tobacco burning again. Even burning is very important. Otherwise, hot spots may develop.

    5. With only occasional tamping as the tobacco burns down, since it tends to expand and loosen as it burns, the pipe should now smoke evenly to the bottom. The aim is to maintain a firm, even draft throughout the smoke. The process is not difficult to master and with practice will soon be effortless.

    Flavor Expectations

    For those who are used to the “aromatic” or sweetened tobaccos that dominate our market in the United States, it may take some time for the flavorings remaining in the pipe to dissipate. Many smokers prefer to maintain one set of pipes exclusively for the natural, matured tobaccos and another for the sweetened varieties. It may be necessary to smoke up to four ounces of a natural product before the mouth adjusts to the clean taste and subtler range of flavors typical of these Matured Virginia tobaccos. The smoker is rewarded for the effort by becoming able to distinguish the delicate variations in taste and deepening richness these tobaccos develop as they are smoked.

    Take the time to enjoy the taste of McClelland.
    As an aside, McClelland VAs are very highly regarded, an opinion which I personally agree with.


    Scott"untilIfindsomethingbetter"M
    God, Country, Corps!

    "Only Accurate Rifles Are Interesting."
    Col Townsend Whelen

    Just because it sounds good doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about...

    "No matter how good she looks, somebody, somewhere, is getting tired of her shit."

  10. #25

    Feeds the god of mischief


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Ok, I have pipe tobacco, i have a pipe.

    I went to the Cigg. store and bought a pipe, i was gonna get a corncob, but found some that looked a lot better for the same price. I dont know what its made of, but kinda "painted" to look like wood. it has metal in/as the bowl of it.
    since it has metal as the bowl of it, does that mean its not going to need breaking in? that was the assumption i made.

    I was trying out some of the China Black "whiskey" that I have. It felt kind of damp to the touch. ive read that it should not be too wet, heard like 30% somewhere. I put it in the pipe as suggested, but could not get it to stay lit for anything. i would light it, and it would go out as soon as i would stop smoking on it for a second.

    While it was lit, it was ok. just trying to figure out why it would not stay lit.
    When i was smoking it, i could hear air "whistling" through it, does that mean it was not packed in tight enough?

    Just trying to figure this out so i can enjoy it with out a whole lot of trouble

    Thanks.
    David
    "...like licking gogo dancer panties soaked in head shop lamp oil."~~~Hammerhead on Acid cigars

    "Some people say strippers have a distinct smell- well, they don't, they smell like Acid cigars."~~~Pistol

  11. #26

    In a corner mr.c's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    let the tobacco dry out before packing it, 20 minutes or so.

    I Think the whislte sound is gurgle? from the juicy steamy tobacco.

    Aromatics my not be the greatest place to start, as the burn scalding hot (usauly) and are so wet (usualy)


    If you really want to give "pipe" a shot, I think you may have to make a small investment in a good pipe. I bought 2 estate pipes from ebay, $30 to my door. read up on how to clean them, and how to pack them and all the different tobaccos. And have been very happy. think I got pipe packing down, just takes practice.

    I used to smoke pipe long time ago, had a cheapy pipe from the tinderbox along with their aromatic crap tobacco -stuff was like a blowtorch to the tounge- and would never stay lit. as a side note, I used to smoke their $1 and $2 dollar cigars also ........

    then found club stogie, and that the more expensive cigars tasted better.. who would of thought???

    I am Enjoying the cool burning and quite flavourfull english blends right now, and a really nice aromatic, macbarens vanilla cream, yum!

    Well thats my take, and for the record I am a pipe noob.

  12. #27

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy17sc
    Ok, I have pipe tobacco, i have a pipe.

    I went to the Cigg. store and bought a pipe, i was gonna get a corncob, but found some that looked a lot better for the same price. I dont know what its made of, but kinda "painted" to look like wood. it has metal in/as the bowl of it.
    since it has metal as the bowl of it, does that mean its not going to need breaking in? that was the assumption i made. Not really sure of a metal pipe bowl. Sounds like it would get kinda hot. Might want to reconsider a cob.(Pics would be cool!)

    I was trying out some of the China Black "whiskey" that I have. It felt kind of damp to the touch. ive read that it should not be too wet, heard like 30% somewhere. I put it in the pipe as suggested, but could not get it to stay lit for anything. i would light it, and it would go out as soon as i would stop smoking on it for a second. Mr C.'s right...let the tobacco dry out. In my limited expirence, the dryer tobacco is, the less trouble I have keeping it lit. It doesn't affect the flavor as much as it does with cigars. Also helps eliminate the nasty "gurgles". My biggest problem to date is that I wasn't packing it in tight enough and my pace was too slow, (overdoing what everyone says to do). Try a variety of packing methods, (thirds, quarters, Frank; all can be found somewhere in this forum.)

    While it was lit, it was ok. just trying to figure out why it would not stay lit.
    When i was smoking it, i could hear air "whistling" through it, does that mean it was not packed in tight enough? Probably.

    Just trying to figure this out so i can enjoy it with out a whole lot of trouble.

    Thanks.
    David
    Meaningless filler.
    Last edited by Scott M; 02-05-2006 at 06:16 AM.
    God, Country, Corps!

    "Only Accurate Rifles Are Interesting."
    Col Townsend Whelen

    Just because it sounds good doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about...

    "No matter how good she looks, somebody, somewhere, is getting tired of her shit."

  13. #28

    Feeds the god of mischief


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott M
    Meaningless filler.
    Ok,so from my understanding (a)tobacco was too moist, and (b) It was not packed good enough. Right?

    I was going to put a picture up yesterday, but the batteries were dead, so here it is today. (nothing to brag about, im just curious about the metal bowl.)

    Thanks for the help Scott
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started-img00001.jpg   Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started-img00002.jpg  
    "...like licking gogo dancer panties soaked in head shop lamp oil."~~~Hammerhead on Acid cigars

    "Some people say strippers have a distinct smell- well, they don't, they smell like Acid cigars."~~~Pistol

  14. #29

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy17sc
    Ok,so from my understanding (a)tobacco was too moist, and (b) It was not packed good enough. Right?

    Lets find out; Take whatever blend you tried and leave enough to fill the bowl out to dry for 30 minutes or so. Pack it the way you normally do and smoke it.

    OR

    you could take the same moist tobacco and try packing it a little tighter. (probably lead to alot of gurgle and unsmoked tobacco, though.) There should be some noticable resistance when you test draw, but not enough to suck your eyeballs into your skull, ("like water through a straw" is the popular analogy).

    OR

    You could dry the tobacco out AND pack it a little tighter, but you won't know which one contributed to a longer burn if it occurs.

    Sometimes it just works out that you'll use 3 or 4 matches for the entire bowl, if that. Other times, you'll need more.

    Oh, and by the way, I'm a total newb too.
    God, Country, Corps!

    "Only Accurate Rifles Are Interesting."
    Col Townsend Whelen

    Just because it sounds good doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about...

    "No matter how good she looks, somebody, somewhere, is getting tired of her shit."

  15. #30

    Feeds the god of mischief


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott M
    Lets find out; Take whatever blend you tried and leave enough to fill the bowl out to dry for 30 minutes or so. Pack it the way you normally do and smoke it.

    OR

    you could take the same moist tobacco and try packing it a little tighter. (probably lead to alot of gurgle and unsmoked tobacco, though.) There should be some noticable resistance when you test draw, but not enough to suck your eyeballs into your skull, ("like water through a straw" is the popular analogy).

    OR

    You could dry the tobacco out AND pack it a little tighter, but you won't know which one contributed to a longer burn if it occurs.

    Sometimes it just works out that you'll use 3 or 4 matches for the entire bowl, if that. Other times, you'll need more.

    Oh, and by the way, I'm a total newb too.
    I found out the problem (at least for the min.)
    The problem lies in the pipe, not the user (other than being an idiot and not thinking of it)
    The stem was not connecting airtight with the bowl. so all this whistling ive been hearing was from the air around the stem, not through the baccy.
    So, lets try this again without any more dumba$$ noob mistakes if possible...
    Thanks for the help Scott. Even though you forgot to mention the possibility of the entire problem being "user is a moron"


    EDIT...after a few min of fooling with this POS, burning my tounge, and trying to find the right twist of stem to get air....ive decided its simply a case of get what you pay for...im gonna find a clay pipe if i can. something simple that i can see if i like it or not.
    Last edited by Shaggy17sc; 02-06-2006 at 08:57 AM.
    "...like licking gogo dancer panties soaked in head shop lamp oil."~~~Hammerhead on Acid cigars

    "Some people say strippers have a distinct smell- well, they don't, they smell like Acid cigars."~~~Pistol

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