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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; Pipe Mud; Minor Pipe Repair. From aspipes / NASPC Newsletter Pipe Mud: A Solution to the Problem of the High ...

  
  1. #46

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Pipe Mud; Minor Pipe Repair.


    From aspipes / NASPC Newsletter


    Pipe Mud:
    A Solution to the Problem of the High Draft Hole, and Other Pipe Bowl
    Problems


    There is a frequently occurring problem among pipes of nearly all
    grades and brands that seldom receives the attention it deserves.
    Unfortunately there has been no satisfactory solution that pipe
    collectors and enthusiasts can actually put to use with relative ease.
    It is the problem of the high draft hole (also known as the air hole
    or shank drilling). A high draft hole is a condition that occurs when
    the drilling through the shank of a pipe meets the bowl or tobacco
    chamber at a point higher than its bottom. In other words, the draft
    hole and the bottom of the bowl do not meet flush. The net result is
    that due to the high drilling, the bottom of the bowl of the pipe does
    not get properly caked. It gets wet and sometimes rank, and the pipe
    may not draw as well as it should. It seems to occur more often with
    bent pipes.


    High draft holes are a problem with workmanship and are seldom
    mentioned among pipesmokers or carvers, as most people believe that
    little or nothing can be done about them. I have known several pipe
    collectors who will avoid any pipe with a high draft hole due to the
    fact that the condition severely diminishes the proper function of the
    pipe as a smoking instrument. I have seen many expensive Dunhills,
    Charatan Supremes, Castello Greatlines, and other high grade pipes
    with this problem. I would like to offer an approach to this dilemma.
    I make no claims to this being the perfect solution but it does seem
    to work, and seems relatively harmless as well. It was jointly
    developed around 20 years ago by myself and my good friend Terry
    McLoughlin who is now the manager of the fine Port Royal Pipe and
    Cigar shop in Toledo, Ohio.


    The Technique


    Our solution is what we call "pipe mud." We experimented with other
    solutions to the problem, including many variations involving the use
    of honey, but pipe mud was by far the best. Please allow me to
    describe it to you. Pipe mud is a mixture of fine cigar ash crushed
    into fine powder, and then mixed in the right combination with water,
    so as to produce a thick "paste" or "mud" that can fill in the bottom
    of the bowl of a pipe. The bottom of the bowl is filled in with mud
    to eventually meet the lower end of the draft hole. Unlike honey and
    ash combinations, pipe mud is a nonsticky paste, and it can be formed
    or molded in any way the smoker wishes. But the best way is by using
    a pipe cleaner inserted through the shank, to serve as a guide to
    build a well shaped "false bottom" at the entrance of the draft hole.
    This simulates the actual conditions of a proper drilling by a
    competent pipemaker, and compensates for the lack of precision in the
    making of that pipe. The best tools to form the new bottom seems to
    be the rounded outside of the "spoon" of a pipe tool, and the rounded
    end of a pipe tamper (if you have one of that sort) to round out the
    new bottom.


    The single most important point to remember about making pipe mud is
    that the cigar ash and water must be mixed properly or the entire
    effort will be wasted. If too much water is used in the mix, the pipe
    mud will easily crumble, flake away, and disintegrate. The mixing
    should be thorough and complete. When mixing, as little water as
    possible should be used, so that there is no reflective "sheen" of the
    water showing on the surface of the "mud." If too little water is
    used, the ash will separate and the mix will not become cohesive. The
    ideal combination is to have so little water in the mix that any less
    will cause that separation. Mixing should be very thorough, and I use
    a pipe tool spoon to do the job. It takes a bit of practice but
    eventually one gets the knack. After creating the "false bottom" of
    the bowl, the mud should be allowed two full days to dry, so that the
    water can evaporate and the pipe mud can harden and "grab" onto the
    walls of the bowl. After the mud is dry, it is a good idea to gently
    rub it with a finger and blow out any loose grains before smoking.
    The pipe can then be smoked and a new cake can be formed over and upon
    the new surface. When done right, the pipe mud job is completely
    unnoticeable after a few bowls of tobacco. Of course, one would want
    to inform any new or prospective owner of the pipe that it had
    undergone this treatment.


    Pipe mud has several important advantages. When properly mixed it
    dries very hard, almost as hard as cake. It adds little or no flavor
    to tobacco, and is made of a completely inert, noncombustible
    material. Unlike honey, it will not run down the sides of the bowl
    when it heats up, and leaves no carbon residue from excess sugar. It
    is very readily and easily caked over by the normal process of
    smoking. Remarkably, it is absorbent of moisture, more so than briar
    itself. Another advantage is that it can be removed with a standard
    reaming tool if one decides to get rid of it. A final advantage of
    pipe mud is that it is inexpensive, costing no more than the enjoyment
    of a fine cigar or two. It is important to add that only high quality
    cigars should be used for this process, so that no bits of tobacco
    residue are embedded in the ash.


    Other Uses of Pipe Mud


    In addition to adjusting high draft holes, we used it to fix heat
    fissures in the inside of bowls for customers, and to fill in heat
    cracks around a draft hole that is starting to burn out. Hungarian
    and full bent shapes are especially prone to such burnout due to the
    steep angle of the shank bore into the bowl. Pipe mud can protect
    areas that are starting to burn. With regard to another form of draft
    hole problem, my friend Jeff Goldman once acquired a Ser Jacopo Picta
    that had one side of the draft hole literally burned away from
    combustion. He used pipe mud to fill in and restore the old draft
    hole and the pipe now smokes wonderfully. Recently, a friend from the
    Christopher Morley Pipe Club in Philadelphia told me with some concern
    that a favorite old Ben Wade had mysteriously formed large heat cracks
    in the inner bowl walls. This sometimes happens through no fault of
    the pipe smoker. After all, briar is a thing of nature and subject to
    the laws of physics. My friend made a batch of pipe mud and pressed
    it into those cracks and caked it over with great success, saving the
    pipe.


    Another use for pipe mud has been for bowls or tobacco chambers with a
    "U" shaped bottom, that is, one that does not allow tobacco to burn
    completely and, consequently, leaves too much dottle in the bottom of
    the bowl. In these cases, pipe mud can be used to reshape the bottom
    of the bowl, tapering it gently into the draft hole, as it might
    appear in a well bored pipe. This greatly increases the efficiency of
    the draw, and makes for much less accumulation of dottle. In another
    case, I once acquired a Castello Collection Greatline that was so
    poorly reamed that the cake was plagued with large uneven lumps, and
    with craters in the cake that went all the way down to bare wood. It
    was quite disconcerting to see that such a great pipe had been so
    poorly treated. I carefully smoothed the lumps with a 3-sided pipe
    knife/reamer (made by Savinelli), filled in the craters with pipe mud
    (to protect the bare wood), and caked it over by smoking my favorite
    tobacco. After smoking 3 or 4 bowls one would never have known there
    was a problem. Although there is a just a hint of cigar taste when
    pipe mud is applied to the walls (but not draft holes) of a pipe, in
    this case that Greatline was smoking great after those 3 or 4 bowls.


    Many of my fellow pipe smokers have used pipe mud successfully. My
    friend Bill Feild, a discerning collector and a long time critic of
    high draft holes, has used pipe mud to great advantage to compensate
    for the poor drillings of several of his pipes. I should mention,
    however, that we use this stuff very conservatively, only if and when
    there is need. There is no point in overdoing it or getting fancy
    with this method. In closing, I know that this approach might be
    controversial for some, but please bear in mind that pipe mud can
    usually be removed with a good pipe reamer. We have never had any
    negative consequences as a result of using it. In any case, I welcome
    comments, criticisms, suggestions for improvement, or better solutions
    to the high draft hole, a problem that remains, nevertheless, in need
    of more attention.


    Fred Hanna
    Baltimore, Maryland

    Last edited by Scott M; 03-25-2006 at 10:25 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."

  2. #47

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Stem Refinishing By Hand
    How not to be afraid of estate stems.

    In a prior post, I did a little bit regarding polishing the stem on estate pipes. But what happens when the stem is in really poor condition with oxidation, scratches and un-namable crud? Many professionals and some hobbyists have electric buffers, but what to do if you don't have one? All it takes is some slightly specialized but less expensive items, and a little elbow grease.

    First, I had to find a stem* in said bad condition;







    First, it needed to be soaked in Oxyclean to sanitize it and clean the bore out a little. Since it has an emblem, I placed a small drop of vaseline on it to protect the emblem, (in this case, the emblem was a small gold colored metal circle. The Oxyclean wouldn't have hurt it, but emblems that are painted on can be dissolved by this, so I made an example).





    And the result after 2 hours: a flim of gunk has covered the stem from the residue;



    Continued;
    Last edited by Scott M; 03-25-2006 at 07:33 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."

  3. #48

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Stem Refinishing By Hand
    How not to be afraid of estate stems.

    Part II

    To remove this film, I went back to the Magic Eraser;





    And where it left off;





    Oxyclean leaves the surface in a fairly rough condition. However, my first job out of High School was at the local MAACO auto body shop, so I'm vaguely familiar with achieving a mirror finish. I took some 600 grit sandpaper, followed by some 1500 grit to knock the rough down to a smoother level. Some have found good result with products from Micromesh, with abrasives down to 16000 grit. WARNING: It's entirely possible to remove edges with this part... be careful. This was then followed by automotive rubbing compound. This part is where you'll make your money if you spend a little time with it.

    To finish it off and protect it, I shined it up with some regular Kiwi natural shoe polish. The wax will help protect it from getting in that quite so much oxidation and crud again, at least for a while;





    In the prior post, I mentioned Olive oil as a method to shine pipes up. It's OK, but brief...looked good in the photo though, didn't it? The shoe polish works much better while protecting at the same time, plus it won't leave you wanting an order of linguini after your smoke. The end result was a close to mirror finish;






    Sadly I'm better at sanding things than I am at taking photographs, but I can see outlines / shapes, with some parts showing details... very smooth, glossy black finish. 'Couple hours of work will bring back a nasty stem and keep it looking great for a long time.


    And none of you bizznitches had better be saying anything like "ScottM spent all day Saturday polishing his pipe...winkwinknudgenudge!"








    [SIZE="1"]*Thanks to John B. Hayes & Sons Tobacconist, Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, VA. for providing this.[/SIZE]
    Last edited by Scott M; 03-25-2006 at 07:35 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."

  4. #49

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    G.L. Pease on Rehydrating Tobacco.

    Q: What should I do about a tobacco that's too dry?

    A: My method is to put the tobacco in a large, clean bowl, and cover the bowl with a damp towel. The towel should not touch the tobacco. Check the tobacco every couple hours, and when it reaches the moisture level you like, store it in an airtight container. Glass "bail top" jars work well, but be sure to clean them thoroughly. (See the next item on mold.)

    Different tobaccos take up moisture at different rates. The denser leaf, like Virginias and some orientals, take up moisture very slowly. Spraying with water is dangerous, since it's difficult to control the overall moisture level of the tobacco. It's hard to evaluate the difference between damp leaf and soggy leaf. The method outlined above is pretty much foolproof.
    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."

  5. #50

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    DATING ENGLISH TINNED TOBACCO.
    John C. Loring


    Interesting page / site. For the lovers of the TRUELY arcane.
    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. #51

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    What makes a Good Smoke?
    Mark Tinsky, from his Pipe Musings page.

    In the past few weeks posters have been discussing and evaluating the relative importance of briar in smoking pipes. I think there are others factors equally important that while obvious to the experienced smoker may not be evident to the newbie. There are times when the experience of pipe smoking is indescribable. The subtle, textured taste of your favorite tobacco is a pleasure to behold. Unfortunately every smoke is not like that.

    Of foremost importance in getting a good smoke is finding a tobacco that tastes good and smokes well. When I first started smoking a pipe I started on, what else, Middleton's Cherry Blend and a corncob. I still remember glimmers of good taste before my tongue was reduced to char by that hot burning blend. I think it was that hint of good taste that kept me smoking. While working for Jack Weinberger I was exposed to Tinder Box blends and smoked their Crown Royale. Working for a pipe maker I had a free supply of good pipes too. However, while Crown Royale was better than Cherry Blend, that elusive good smoke wasn' t there for me yet.

    Sometime in the early 80's I discovered Georgetown Tobacco. I wound up smoking one of there blends for a while that was made by Lane Ltd. Its trade name is I-Q. That blend tasted similar to the Vanilla flavored Crown Royale but it burnt better. I remember CR as being kind of gooey toward the bottom. As I became a more experienced smoker I was able to consistently pack a pipe better, draw the smoke more evenly and control the burn. Though the good smoke, wasn' t consistent yet. While I was able to get I- Q at almost any good shop it suffered from a lot of the problems associated with aromatics.

    In my quest to find a better burning tobacco that still has a sweet taste I experimented and liked Mac Barren's Golden Extra and a few years later their Navy Flake. I now smoke these blends exclusively and one in one set of pipes and one in another. When I get a new pipe I smoke it with the Golden Extra, if its not sweet it usually works great for the Navy Flake. Golden Extra seems to smoke best in shorter straighter bowls, Navy Flake in tapers. I m very happy with this two tobacco, two set of pipes situation. Most of the time I get a really fine smoking experience with it.

    I realize there are other factors involved. One I rotate my pipes a lot. I try not to smoke one more than once a week. Is this strictly necessary? Probably not, but I usually get a good smoke when I do this

    . I think a great factor in tobacco tasting good is temperature. Many people talk about Canadians smoking cool. As an experiment a few years back I made sort of a water pipe without the water. I used a briar free standing bowl connected to a three foot tube that I fitted over a regular bit. It smoked cool, very cool, but tasted lousy. Kind of like cold pizza tastes. Tobacco needs some heat to bring out its flavor. Too much or too little and its untastable. I' ve never heard any studies done on this but I would bet there is a certain temperature envelope where tobacco tastes the best. I think this is why I prefer smoking indoors where I can control the airflow into the pipe better.

    In summary I think the most important factors in a good smoke are a good tasting, good burning tobacco, and a good pipe. When I say good pipe I mean one that is broken in, dry, and not sealed with lacquer and soaked in stain. I think for a pipe to function well in the long run it needs to have some grain which facilitates the pipes drying function. For a newbie I'd recommend pipes without any stain in the bowls or even any coloring on the outside. Don t worry about the fills. Peterson makes a nice line of Natural seconds that are excellent starter pipes. Lastly, experience in controlling the burn, keeping the tobacco warm enough to taste good but not so hot as to burn

    . I guess if this was easy there would be a lot more pipe smokers. A great smoke is the result of experimenting and practice. People who are seeking immediate gratification generally aren't pipe smokers. For those who take the time to find a Good Smoke, the wait is well worth it. Mark Tinsky


    American Smoking Pipe Co.
    HC 88 Box 223
    Pocono Lake, Pa. 18347
    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."

  7. #52

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Still MORE on Breaking In A Pipe...

    THE MYSTERIES OF THE BREAK-IN PROCESS
    Fred Hanna



    There is quite a bit of hidden mystery involved in the outwardly familiar phenomenon of breaking in a pipe. The traditional wisdom says that developing a cake is the primary process through which a pipe eventually attains that nutty, rich, sweet flavor that we all have come to love.

    I have come to the conclusion that attributing this great flavor to merely developing a cake is rather like saying that a car reaches great speeds solely because of a great number of cubic inches in the engine. Of course, cubes are an important aspect of what contributes to speed, but this is hardly the entirety of the story. There is also the influence of weight, cams, turbo charging, type of fuel, the exhaust system, aerodynamics, and so forth. If all one has is a big engine in a huge, heavy frame, the car can actually be quite tame. On the other hand, a lot of horsepower can be generated from a relatively small engine, without much in the way of cubic inches. Similarly, the cake in the tobacco chamber of a pipe is but one of a variety of factors. I have put a fine cake on pipes that still never really broke in no matter what I did and never quite achieved that aforementioned great taste. It is
    clear that there is more to this story.

    Before we address the mysteries, however, let us give the importance of cake its due. Cake builds up in the tobacco chamber, as we know, and mostly consists of carbon residue from the burning tobacco. We also know that carbon can absorb hundreds of times its own weight in other substances. The net result in a pipe is that much of the impurities in the tobacco smoke is absorbed or filtered by the cake, which "mellows" the smoke delivered to the tongue, especially if the bottom of the pipe has some cake. However, because of the capacity for absorption, relatively little cake is actually needed for a great-smoking pipe. I believe that we need far less than the traditional thickness of a dime. Thus, only a bit of cake is generally good for break-in purposes.However, the traditional explanation of break-in stops right around this point. I have been collecting notes on breaking in a pipe for quite a few months now and would like to mention a few observations and speculations. For example, on the topic of cake, I have owned pipes that smoked well from the first bowl, with no bowl coating, but do not improve to any noticeable extent as a cake developed. Curiously, several years ago I bought a Charatan Selected from a guy who loved to ream pipes. He took the cake in that poor pipe down to bare walls, but you would never have known it by smoking it. It tasted sweet and nutty with no cake whatsoever. That was when I began to question how much the cake actually has to do with flavor and taste.

    There are some other phenomena that got me to questioning the traditional wisdom. Some pipes smoke great from the first bowl and without any carbon coating in the bowl from the pipemaker whatsoever. And they then continue to get better and better. Contrast this with the fact that other pipes can smoke quite poorly--bitter and harsh--at first but then end up surpassing in smoking quality some pipes that smoked great from the beginning. An example of this is a Castello Collection Fiammata I currently own, as well as a L'Anatra Fiammata. I have had other pipes in which the first bowl was quite good and then the quality of the smoke degraded over the next four or five bowls and only then proceeded to improve. Why is this? What is going on here? I don't have the entire answer, but I would like to share with you a few thoughts on this matter. For the remainder of this discussion, LET US ASSUME THAT ALL THE PIPES DISCUSSED HERE ARE WELL MADE AND THEIR BRIAR WELL CURED so that we can focus on particular variables relative to the break-in process.

    As for curing the briar, the traditional wisdom tells us that sap in a briar block is a bad thing, and there is no doubt that too much of it can clog a pipe and make it heat up and smoke wet. However, I have long wondered if saps may not be as horrible as many of us have come to believe. Breaking in a pipe may well involve heating--COOKING if you will--the remaining saps in that briar as well as the wood itself. Wood is vegetal material, of course, but we tend to easily overlook this. Wood will slightly undergo subtle changes in its structure as it absorbs and endures heat from the burning leaf. Heat is one of the most powerful catalysts known to chemistry, and this "cooking effect" may be what is primarily responsible for that highly sought after sweet and nutty flavor to the smoke. Remember that the great taste of Vermont maple syrup (which is actually tree sap) only manifests after it is cooked for a long time and converted into that wonderful liquid. It is quite nasty before the cooking. Similarly, smoking tobacco certainly cooks the sap remaining in the briar after curing, and it cooks the wood itself as well. Just as the taste of a carrot or a clove of garlic changes after cooking or roasting, the taste of briar can change as it cooks or roasts during the smoking process. It can become sweeter and more mellow, and this translates as "breaking in."

    I like the taste of briar, and I do not get excited over a pipe brand that seeks to remove all taste of the wood. If I wanted to remove all taste imparted from the smoking instrument itself, I would favor meerschaum. This line of inquiry makes me inclined to wonder if it is possible to "overcure" a pipe, that is, to remove so much of the flavor of the wood that the briar is left with no flavor at all. Some may believe more curing is better because it allows only the flavor of the tobacco to come through. But for me, I LIKE the taste of that briar, especially in those instances when it adds that sweet, mellow, nuttiness. Unfortunately, not all chunks of briar add that sweet and nutty flavor after being fully broken in. It is a matter of degrees, and, once again, we come down to the variables in the briar itself, apart from brand. Many great grained pieces of briar do not have this flavor, while other plain pieces do, and this is one of the great mysteries of pipe smoking.

    I recently spoke at length with Rainer Barbi on this subject. He and I both agreed that the soil and climate in which the heath tree grew have a major role to play in how that briar tastes, as I have written previously. There are so many possible variations of climate and soil content that we still have much to learn as to which combination produces the best-tasting briar. However, Rainer and I both agreed that it is not a matter of geographical origin. In other words, whether the briar is from Greece, Corsica, or Italy is not an issue on the factor of taste. Each of those regions contains within its borders many microclimates and soil variations. And, of course, even though the briar is from the best environment, it must be well cured, and, as a pipe, it must be well made, or it will not produce a satisfying smoke, as we all know. And just for the record, I would not dream of using honey to break in a pipe.

    There are quite a few variables involved in the break-in process that I have not addressed. I would like to hear the views of other pipe lovers on the various aspects of this fascinating part of our hobby.
    From The North Armerican Society of Pipe Collectors website.
    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."

  8. #53

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    GBD model information.

    They seem to pop up alot on Ebay.
    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. #54

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    The Pipe Retort.

    IHT graciously sent me one of these, and I've finally got a chance to use it. A description has been discussed in previous posts, but I thought I'd give a visual.

    First, the retort with some IA in it. Nice and clean...






    The system hooked up to a Custombilt, (the refurb of the day);



    and in use;



    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."

  10. #55

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    The Pipe Retort. (cont.)

    The theory is that the heated alcohol will seep into the wood and lift out any residual oils and flavors a previous owner bestowed upon the pipe. As the retort is passed over a heat source, the heated alcohol vapor travels from the retort through the stem and into the pipe stem / shank. When the retort / alcohol cools, a vaccum is created, drawing the alcohol back into the retort. It's very useful if the pipe's been used alot and / or has a space between the tenon and mortise, (where a large quantity of gunk can get caught), as shown here in #2;





    After a couple of passes;




    What I've found is that it loosens alot of gunk from that area so that it can be removed more easily than by using multiple q-tips / pipe cleaners;



    Makes getting to the briar much easier.


    Pipe Retorts can be found on Ebay fairly freqently.

    Cheers!
    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."

  11. #56

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by IHT
    i have yet to read the directions very carefully, but i thought you held the pipe at an upward angle and made about 10-12 passes to really get the gunk out?
    The guy in the instructions has his level with the retort. My thinking in having the pipe lower than the bulb is the same as alot of my O-Chem stuff... the alcohol heats into gas, goes up toward the retort stem where it cools slightly, (i.e. resorts back to liquid / gas phase), then proceeds down the retort stem into the pipe. Kind of like distillation.

    And you're right... it takes a number of heat / cool cycles to do this right. One set of instructions I've seen says to replace the alcohol after it's turned black. I just got lazy since I had alot to do today, and the Custombilt was seriously neglected.

    The only thing I'd change, (and I may redo it at some later date), is to have the rubber connector a little further down onto the pipe. Supposed to make a better seal that way.

    Cheers!


    Edit: oughtta give the guy that made them a plug.

    Manufactured by: The Sanctuary for Unwanted and Neglected Animals, Inc. as a fundraiser. ... Silver Springs, NY.

    suna@rochester.rr.com

    http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/suna.html
    Last edited by Scott M; 05-13-2006 at 11:46 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."

  12. #57

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    More on Pipe Refurbishing

    Now I gotta get the bench grinder set up and some beaters to practice on.
    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. #58

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    A bit of a heads-up; if you're using a bench grinder, keep the RPM as low as the thing will allow. Anything over 1800RPM is kind of on the hairy side, and the wheel will take off markings quicker than a drunk coed takes off her... well... whatever drunk coeds take off. And it's really amazing how quickly the thing'll snatch stuff from your hand and wing it wherever it damn well pleases. A nice, firm grip really comes in handy.


    Cheers!
    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."

  14. #59

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish sspolv's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    After doing minor restoration on a pipe for a friend, I found that, instead of using straight olive oil to get a shine on the stem (and you don't feel like buffing), a tin of Badger Healing Balm and a cloth do wonders, turning it from a dull, lackluster stem to a bright and shiny one. And it smells like wintergreen after you're done, to boot!

  15. #60

    Young Fish texaspipes's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottM
    Oxyclean leaves the surface in a fairly rough condition. However, my first job out of High School was at the local MAACO auto body shop, so I'm vaguely familiar with achieving a mirror finish. I took some 600 grit sandpaper, followed by some 1500 grit to knock the rough down to a smoother level. Some have found good result with products from Micromesh, with abrasives down to 16000 grit. WARNING: It's entirely possible to remove edges with this part... be careful. This was then followed by automotive rubbing compound. This part is where you'll make your money if you spend a little time with it.

    To finish it off and protect it, I shined it up with some regular Kiwi natural shoe polish. The wax will help protect it from getting in that quite so much oxidation and crud again, at least for a while;





    In the prior post, I mentioned Olive oil as a method to shine pipes up. It's OK, but brief...looked good in the photo though, didn't it? The shoe polish works much better while protecting at the same time, plus it won't leave you wanting an order of linguini after your smoke. The end result was a close to mirror finish;



    Sadly I'm better at sanding things than I am at taking photographs, but I can see outlines / shapes, with some parts showing details... very smooth, glossy black finish. 'Couple hours of work will bring back a nasty stem and keep it looking great for a long time.


    And none of you bizznitches had better be saying anything like "ScottM spent all day Saturday polishing his pipe...winkwinknudgenudge!"








    [SIZE="1"]*Thanks to John B. Hayes & Sons Tobacconist, Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, VA. for providing this.[/SIZE]

    Hi Scott, Great job you've done on that stem. An alternative to rubbing compound and boot polish is to grind up tobacco ash and mix it with olive oil. It acts as a fine abrasive and blackens the stem in the process. If you don't have a buffing wheel you may want to try microcrystaline wax which a lot of people are using now, because it doesn't require buffing. I must say I haven't tried it but heard good reports. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by IHT; 01-31-2007 at 10:46 AM. Reason: to fix the quote tags.

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