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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; By no means comprehensive, and by every means stolen from various sources across the web, please add as you feel ...

  
  1. #1

    SophisticationPersonified Nooner's Avatar


     

    Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    By no means comprehensive, and by every means stolen from various sources across the web, please add as you feel appropriate

    [SIZE=7]Equipment[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=6]Pipes[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=5]Corncob[/SIZE]

    A long-time favorite first pipe is the corncob. It fits the parameters mentioned above as it is readily available, inexpensive (less than $5.00), durable as you can afford to buy more if one breaks, and easy to care for. They are available in most drug stores and possibly a better buy and a better smoke than a cheap briar pipe.

    [SIZE=5]Meerschaum Pipes [/SIZE]

    German for "sea foam", meerschaum pipes are recognized for providing a cool, dry smoke. The best meerschaum is mined in a very small section of Turkey where it is then carved into works of art by the talented Turkish carvers who turn the raw blocks of mineral into intricate designs treasured by pipe smokers everywhere. It is a stone made of compressed coral and sea shells millenia ago.

    [SIZE=5]Briar[/SIZE]

    This is where most people end up, but it might not be the best place to start. There are more things to worry about with this type of pipe (for example, read about the cautions when cleaning, below), and many more types. Briar takes more care than the two kinds above as you have to worry about keeping the pipe clean and breaking it in properly. Briar pipes also should be rotated, so you'll need more than one if you plan on smoking more often than once every couple of days. Some generic recommendations:

    Consider a 'second' pipe (one that doesn't make the cut to be best from a manufacturer) as there are some good deals to be found in this type, or an 'Estate' pipe, which is a used pipe sold by a reputable dealer.

    There are two types of pipe surfaces: smooth and rough. The smooth is just as it sounds; the rough can either be sandblasted or carved. Pipes are usually roughened to hide imperfections in the wood that could be very noticeable in a smooth pipe. This is not necessarily bad: inexpensive smooth pipes can have putty fills to try and cover up these flaws. It is said the rough pipes also dissipate heat better.

    There are two types of finishes on most pipes: varnish and wax. Most people recommend that you buy a waxed pipe instead of a varnished one as this allows the pipe to 'breathe' better.

    Consider a 'bent' pipe instead of a 'straight' one as this will reduce the possibility of ingesting any juices that might accumulate in the bowl.

    Pipes with thick walls smoke better than pipes with thin walls, so look for this if you can.

    It is generally recognized that paper filters don't do anything but get in the way, so look for a pipe that doesn't have them. You can always removed them if you buy a pipe that is built for them.

    To make it easier to break in a briar pipe, you can get a 'pre-carbonized' one for starters. This greatly reduces the number of bowlfulls you must smoke in order to have a good tasting pipe. Another possibility is get a meerschaum-lined briar pipe as these require no break-in.

    Consider a Lexan stem instead of vulcanite one. They require less care and aren't damaged as easily. Vulcanite is always a dark black; Lexan comes in many different colors, usually with a swirl pattern.

    [SIZE=5]Clay[/SIZE]

    Couldn't find much on this type of pipe.

    [SIZE=6]Lighting Methods[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=5]Wooden matches. [/SIZE]

    These are the least expensive and probably the easiest to use. Don't use paper matches as they taste terrible. Allow the chemicals to burn off the end of the match before bringing it to your pipe.

    [SIZE=5]Zippo pipe ligther[/SIZE]

    These are nice and simple and work well outside. It's recommended that you allow the flame to burn for a second or two to remove the chemical taste. Zippos and matches are both kind to the rim of briar pipes as they burn cooler than butane lighters. They have a hole in the flame guard to light your pipe.

    [SIZE=5]Butane lighters[/SIZE]

    Caution - these can burn your pipe pretty easily.

    [SIZE=6]Pipe Tool[/SIZE]

    You'll need one of these to lightly tamp the burning tobacco from time to time and to loosen the left-over ash at the end. The one below the Czech Republic pipe tool is a good choice for about $2.00. There are also pipe 'nails' that look like a nail with a scoop on the end. A nail with a large head coul work well too. You also use these to scoop out leftover tobacco after smoking, and maintain the bowl of your pipe.



    [SIZE=6]Pipe Cleaners[/SIZE]

    Get the bristle kind as these are better at cleaning the stem. After each smoke, run a cleaner down the stem. Don't remove the stem from a briar pipe until after the wood is completely cool or you will loosen the stem. When you are done cleaning leave a clean dry cleaner in the stem for storage to soak up an excess fluids.
    Last edited by Nooner; 09-13-2005 at 08:36 PM.

  2. #2

    Parisian Pimp croatan's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    As far as butane lighters go, the Corona Old Boy is my personal favorite (and is highly favored by many pipe smokers I know). It has a built-in tamper tool that also comes completely out of the lighter and can be used to gently clean out the bowl. It lights a stogie just fine, as well

    [SIZE="1"]For Rent[/SIZE]

  3. #3

    SophisticationPersonified Nooner's Avatar


     

    I've got the stuff now I want to smoke

    [SIZE=6]Packing your pipe[/SIZE]

    Although differing qualities of pipes and tobaccos will make a difference, you can take any pipe and smoke any tobacco in that pipe if you pack it right. It is true that better pipes and tobaccos smoke better, but if you have a pipe that is not varnished but has a carnuba wax on the finish and a tobacco that has no chemicals added then you are ready to go!

    One thing about pipe smoking is to remember that a pipe is basically a filter! The pipe absorbs the moisture and disperses the heat; it affects the flavor and clarity of the tobacco. The tobacco is best enjoyed when moist and chemical free. That means no drug store tobacco! But the pipe is most important to enjoyment and a good or better smoke.

    Having said all that, lets get to it! Pipe packing is basically a three step process.Step #1: Sprinkle the tobacco loosely into the pipe until it fills up to the brim. Note that I said sprinkle loosely and not pinch and put! This is one of the biggest problems with even guys who know how to pack their pipes! Sprinkle loosely until full and then poke it down until the bowl is half full. If you have a tapered bowl then you may wish to make it more like two-thirds. If you were to draw on the pipe there would be little if any resistance.

    Step #2: Sprinkle loosely again until the bowl is full. Poke it down evenly until the bowl is three-fourths full. If you were to draw on the pipe there would be a little resistence; say less than a cigarette.

    Step #3: Sprinkle loosely until the bowl is full and then round up the top so that a little mound of tobacco rests over the bowl. The mound should be less than a half inch tall and nicely rounded. Then poke it down flat and even with the brim of the bowl. If you were to draw though the pipe it would seem slightly less resistence than a cigarette. The pipe should be ready for the lighting!

    [SIZE=6]Lighting[/SIZE]

    Lighting: Now I know that many of you out there are now going, "Hmphf! Why is he bothering me with this?" But this art is often lost in todays hustle and bustle light up a quick cigarette world. If you have problems keeping your pipe lit even after packing correctly then try this: take five or six puffs as you walk the flame around the whole bowl charring the entire area of the tobacco. Then tamp the ashes flat and even and relight using another five or six good puffs and you are ready to go! You can relight as often as you'd like, it doesn't affeck the flavor. After a little while, the tobacco may go out. If so, tamp it down a little and re-light. If there's a lot of ash in the bowl, empty it out without knocking the pipe, then tamp and re-light. You may only get several good puffs from each light, which is OK. Unlike a cigar, re-lighting does not create a bad taste.

    [SIZE=6]Tamping[/SIZE]

    Many pipe smokers will pack and light their pipes correctly and still have problems keeping the pipe lit or smoking the entire pipeful. The reason is that they are tamping to hard! When you tamp your pipe you should only be crushing the ashes flat and even; not pushing down tobacco! You may tamp as much as you like, but just push down the burning ashes onto the unburning tobacco. Keep it even and keep the draw consistent. You want to have it slightly springy, neither to loose or tight. It should be easy to draw through. Use the reamer to loosen if you tamp too tight.

    [SIZE=6]Puffing[/SIZE]

    Try to puff rhythmically. If the pipe gets too hot, or if your tongue gets "bitten", slow down, or lay the pipe down and let it cool. If the pipe goes out a lot, speed up your pace. Before too long you'll find a good rhythm. You may find the pipe getting a little juicy as you smoke. To avoid this, try to keep your mouth as dry as possible. If the pipe does get juicy, run a cleaner down it to clear it out. Let the pipe cleaner sit for a moment and withdraw. However, don't take the stem off the pipe while it's still hot, as this will eventually cause the stem to get loose or even break. Try to smoke your pipe all the way down, as long as the taste is pleasant. This helps build up an even layer of "cake" (carbon) inside the bowl. When you're done, clean all the dottle (ashes and unburned tobacco) out of the bowl with the reamer. Avoid banging your pipe on the ashtray, as this can damage the pipe.

    [SIZE=6]Cleaning[/SIZE]

    If your pipe smokes sour or gurgles, if there's a lot of goo inside the stem, or if the cake is very thick, if your pipe smells bad or tastes spoiled, it may be because you havent been cleaning it regularly. As a rule, you should run a pipe cleaner through the stem and shank every time you smoke the pipe. A thourough cleaning will have to be done every 5-10 smokes. First, use the knife blade of the pipe tool to scrape the cake to the proper thickness. Make sure all the bits of tobacco are out of the bowl as this can lead to hot spots that will cause a burn out. Then use the reamer to get any heavy goo out of the wood part of the air hole of the stummel (the wood part of the pipe). Remember that because a pipe is a filter, it should be smoked only once a day. If you smoke three times a day you need three pipes. If you smoke it more than this, the moisture can build and spoil resulting bad aroma and flavor. If the pipe still smells bad, take some whiskey (around only for medicinal purposes of course) that is at least 80 proof and pour it into the bowl. Let it set for 10 minutes or so, dump out the liquid, and swab out with a paper towel. Then let it sit for 24 hours and it should taste better!

  4. #4

    Full grown Puffer Fish Eichen's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    I'm an advocate of clay pipes, especially for beginners. Here's why: Clay won't burn out no matter how hot you smoke. Tobacco burns with a neutral flavor (no flavor contributions from the pipe itself) so all you taste is the tobacco. You can abuse a clay pipe like you could never get away with briar -- meaning you can chain smoke a clay pipe without ruining it. Cleaning is simple: just chuck it in the dying embers of a wood fire. The fire burns out all the built-up residues inside the pipe. Afterward it will smoke as good as new. Clays are also forgiving in that they tend to smoke very dry and cool. The clay absorbs excess moisture that would cause a very hot, gurgle-filled smoke in a briar. Just don't drop them, whack them against trees or hold them by the bowl! I understand clays and strong Virginias, VA flakes and shag cuts make a good pairing, probably because of the absorbtive quality of clay (cutting down on the dreaded Virginia tongue bite) and because of the relatively small bowls. My experience with VAs and clays is limited to G&H Black Irish X. I prefer not to extend that experience to most strong VAs.

    Go smoke a clay. They're usually cheap to boot.

    BTW, nice thread!

    Regarding clays: this page says it far better than I ever could.........
    http://www.aspipes.org/faq/faq/clay.html
    Last edited by Eichen; 09-13-2005 at 09:02 PM. Reason: added statement
    "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." -- Theodore Roosevelt.

  5. #5

    Great White Shark piperman's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Good info not much to add except after doing all that tapping on your tobacco you will notice it is getting harder to draw on. Simple solution take the poker on your tool and push it through your tobacco and relight it and if you did it right it will stay lit untill you are done. Just puff in a Rhythm.

    Oh and one more hint if you cant put the side of your bowl to your check without burning yourself it's to hot slow down.
    Last edited by piperman; 09-14-2005 at 12:29 AM.

  6. #6

    Full grown Puffer Fish FunkyPorcini's Avatar


     

    Tobacco descriptions

    This helped me quite a bit so I figured I would share.
    ===============================================
    [SIZE=3]Tobaccos[/SIZE]

    Virginia: Virginia is by far the most popular tobacco type used in pipe tobacco today. About 60% of the nations tobacco crop is Virginia. Virginia is mildest of all blending tobaccos and has the highest level of natural dextrose (sugar), which basically gives it a light sweet taste. Virginia is used in virtually all blends, is a good burner and aids in lighting.

    Pure Virginia tobacco is best known from flake types. Dunhill's Light Flake is a very example. Medium in strength and rather sweet in taste. Several blends by Rattray comes into mind also. Marlin Flake being a rather heavy member of the family, but still very sweet. The Danish manufacturer A&C Petersen has the Blue Caledonian. Mild to medium in strength, and a nice pure taste of Virginia tobacco.

    Burley: Burley tobacco is the next most popular tobacco for pipe tobacco blending. It contains almost no sugar, which gives a much dryer and full aroma than Virginia. Burley is used in many aromatic blends because it absorbs the flavorings. Burley tobacco burns slowly and is a cool smoke, which makes it a nice addition to blends that tend to burn fast and strong.

    The technical term for Burley is "air cured". This air curing is done in large open barns, by the natural air flow, for one or two months. The color is ranging from light brown to mahogany.

    Pure Burley blends are mainly produced by U.S. and Danish companies. Blends like Blue Edgeworth, Old English and Half-and-Half are classic examples. The latter being slightly flavoured. Burley is also the main ingredient in most of the Danish McBaren blends.

    Spice tobacco: Spice tobacco is actually not one type of tobacco, but rather a broad variety of more special types, used in small amounts to create an interesting blend. These would include Oriental, Latakia, Perique and Kentucky among others. Most of them are frequently used in English blends.

    Oriental: A variety of tobaccos, grown in Turkey, the Balkans, and Russia. The best known types are Izmir, Samsun, Yedidje, Cavella and Bursa. A common characteristic is a dusty, dry and sometimes slightly sourish aroma. Some of them are also used in "exotic" cigarettes from Egypt and other Arab countrys.

    Latakia: Latakia is the result of a curing process involving fire curing the leaves over controlled fires of aromatic woods and fragrant herbs. Probably the most well known spice tobacco. Mainly grown in Cyprus and northern Syria. After the leaves are harvested and dried, they are hung in tightly closed barns and smoke-cured. Small smouldering fires of oak and pine fill the barn with smoke, and covering the leaves with smoke particles.

    Latakia produces a very rich, heavy taste, with an aroma that has a "smoky" characteristic . Latakia is an indispensable ingredient of traditional English mixtures. The content can vary from a few percent to about 40-50%, or even more. A few smokers like it at 100%. This would tend to be harsh, not because Latakia is a strong tobacco, but because it burns and tends to dry out your mouth and throat.

    Both Dunhill and Rattray have a number of blends that contain Latakia. Dunhill 965, Early Morning and London Mixture are from Dunhill, and Red Rapperee and Black Mallory from Rattray. Seven Reserve from Rattray has a moderate content of Latakia, and might be a good introduction to these kind of blends. Bengal Slices is unique - a flake tobacco with a moderate to high content of Latakia. A very lovely blend if you like Latakia.

    Perique: Perique is a Red Burley type of tobacco, grown and processed in St. James, Louisiana near New Orleans. Perique is a rare, slow burning, strong-tasting tobacco. Production is small, so its value is quite high.

    Perique is cured like Burley, but for a shorter time. There after the leaves are put in large oak barrels or in Cypress logs under heavy pressure, which will squeeze some juice out and make the whole thing ferment. Once in a while the leaves are taken out for a period and then repacked and re-fermented. This process takes at least one full year. Some times even longer.

    The aroma of a tobacco treated by this method is full bodied. The nicotine content is overwhelming, thus Perique can not be smoked by itself. Due to its full-bodied nature, Perique is used on a limited basis in blends. About 5 % in a blend is the maximum. It is usually blended with Virginia to give it more body. Escudo is a good representative of a Virginia blend with Perique. Dunhill's Elizabethan Mixture is a very nice example of Virginia mixed with a touch of Perique.

    Kentucky: This is actually a specially treated Burley tobacco, produced in Kentucky. Unlike Burley, Kentucky is fire-cured. Its aroma is not as heavy as with Latakia, but very aromatic and unique. The nicotine content tends to be rather high, and therefor is used in limited amounts.

    Havana: Cuban and other cigar tobaccos are used in a limited range of Virginia blends and mixtures.

    Cavendish: Cavendish is more a method to treat tobacco than a type. English Cavendish uses a dark flue or fire cured Virginia which is steamed and then stored under pressure to permit it to cure and ferment for several days to several weeks. When done well, this tobacco is really fine stuff. Cavendish can be produced out of any tobacco type (mainly Virginia's and Burley's are used). The original English Cavendish is produced out of Virginia tobacco, which is slightly flavoured and heated by high pressure. This will give you a very dark, black tobacco. A few English Cavendish blends exist on the market - Rattray's Dark Fragrant and Black Virginia plus McConnel's Maduro.

    The modern version of Cavendish is generally much more flavoured. The natural taste of tobacco is almost gone. The flavouring is also called "Casting". This is the term used when you add a considerable amount of additives to the tobacco. This is usually done by producing a fluid mixture of sugar, liquorice or any kind of aromas in which the tobacco is soaked. The goal is to produce a sweet and smooth aroma. Modern Cavendish tobacco comes in numerous flavours, cherry, vanilla, rum, chocolate, strawberry, coconut .......and many other flavors.

    [SIZE=3]Tobacco Classifications[/SIZE]

    Air-Cured: These tobaccos are dried naturally, sheltered from sunlight in large barns. The drying is carried out on the whole plant or as individual leaves. Sugar is the by-product of this three month drying process.

    Dark Tobaccos: These tobacco plants are very mature and developed at the time of picking. The leaf is subjected to a second fermentation process. These leaves are used to make cigars.

    Fire-Cured: Akin to Dark, its natural drying is completed by a wood-fired fumigation (oak is used by the traditionalists).

    Sun-Cured: Almost all of Oriental Tobaccos are cured by this method. Oriental Tobaccos are grown in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and adjoining countries.
    ===============================================
    Source
    When was the last time you rode a bicycle?

  7. #7

    Funky Monkey WillyGT's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    1 Quick question, the pipe tobacco also need to be maintained inside a humidor or it can be left just in a ZipLock bag.?
    Carlos Sanchez
    WillyGT

  8. #8

    SophisticationPersonified Nooner's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by WillyGT
    1 Quick question, the pipe tobacco also need to be maintained inside a humidor or it can be left just in a ZipLock bag.?
    I mostly leave my Pipe Tobak in the tins or pouches or zip-lock baggies I purchase them in, but...

    I am getting ready to put together a storage cabinet right now with Ball(Mason) Storage Jars. I will scan the tins and print Labels to put on the jars. I am starting to purchase some nicer Bulk Tobacco(from Pease and Esoterica and the like) and want a better way to store that stuff. I will keep the tins for display.

    I think Madurofan has a really cool collection that he stores in a similar manner.
    Found It!

  9. #9

    Full grown Puffer Fish FunkyPorcini's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by WillyGT
    1 Quick question, the pipe tobacco also need to be maintained inside a humidor or it can be left just in a ZipLock bag.?
    There are several ways to store it but one thing you must never ever EVER do it put the pipe tobacco inside the humidor with your cigars. No matter what type of packaging you have it in the cigars will soak up the aroma of the pipe tobacco and you will be pissed.

    I think dark large jars are the best but some people don't buy enough to warrant that amount of storage.
    When was the last time you rode a bicycle?

  10. #10

    IHT
    IHT is offline
    - IHT's Avatar


     

    Restoring Article + Pipe Cleaning Retort

    now that a lot of you have started, and bought many a used estate pipe off ebay....

    here's an article on RESTORING YOUR PIPE.

    you can also search for the "retort" system on Ebay. there's a seller who has these.
    PIPE CLEANING RETORT ON EBAY.
    "To be second guessed, you have to be the first guesser."

  11. #11

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    The Pipe Tobacco Aging, Storage and Cellaring FAQ

    [SIZE="6"]The Pipe Tobacco Aging, Storage and Cellaring FAQ[/SIZE] <--yes, it is a link.

    Good info about...well.. you can figure it out.




    [SIZE="1"]Feel free to place this in one of the stickys, Greg. Though it outta get some out-front time first.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE="1"]IHT - will merge this with the other FAQ that's stuck.[/SIZE]
    Last edited by IHT; 01-19-2006 at 09:46 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."

  12. #12

    SophisticationPersonified Nooner's Avatar


     

    Re: The Pipe Tobacco Aging, Storage and Cellaring FAQ

    I like this quote:

    "As with wine, the best thing to do is to buy plenty, cellar it carefully, and taste it often - at six months, at a year, at two years, again at five. It is better to enjoy it sooner, and dream of what it may become, that to find it over the hill later, and lament what it might have been."

    GL Pease, 2000-05-03

    I think that applies as well to cigars as it does wine and pipe tabak
    Found It!

  13. #13

    IHT
    IHT is offline
    - IHT's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    i was just having a bowl of Penzance in one of my Stanwells, when i noticed that A) i was getting a lot of "gurgle" and B) only the very center was burning in the bowl.
    i grabbed a fuzzy pipe cleaner, stuck it down the bit and it sucked up all the condensation along the way - problem solved.
    i then knocked out some of the loose/burnt ash and barely attempted to light it again, maybe getting more of the exposed tobacco to burn (closer to the wall of the bowl). then, for some odd reason, i thought, "i wonder if i gently blow out, like purging a cigar with the flame, if that'll help?"
    well, i did, and it did. not only did the flavor get smoother (like with a cigar) but there was a TON more smoke, and the burn started to expand closer to the walls.
    so, a few minutes, i tried it again for poops n grins.
    i mean, gently, blew outward... and, took the pipe away and looked down into the bowl... sure enough, i could see it expand even further. the rest of the bowl, i got boatloads of nice smooth smoke... about 5x the amount of smoke i had before i "purged" it the first time.

    i think i'll continue to try this about 15 minutes into a bowl and see if it does the same thing in different pipes/tobaccos.

    anyone else do/try this before?
    "To be second guessed, you have to be the first guesser."

  14. #14

    Huge Puffer Fish packed with spikes joed's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by IHT
    i was just having a bowl of Penzance in one of my Stanwells, when i noticed that A) i was getting a lot of "gurgle" and B) only the very center was burning in the bowl.
    i grabbed a fuzzy pipe cleaner, stuck it down the bit and it sucked up all the condensation along the way - problem solved.
    i then knocked out some of the loose/burnt ash and barely attempted to light it again, maybe getting more of the exposed tobacco to burn (closer to the wall of the bowl). then, for some odd reason, i thought, "i wonder if i gently blow out, like purging a cigar with the flame, if that'll help?"
    well, i did, and it did. not only did the flavor get smoother (like with a cigar) but there was a TON more smoke, and the burn started to expand closer to the walls.
    so, a few minutes, i tried it again for poops n grins.
    i mean, gently, blew outward... and, took the pipe away and looked down into the bowl... sure enough, i could see it expand even further. the rest of the bowl, i got boatloads of nice smooth smoke... about 5x the amount of smoke i had before i "purged" it the first time.

    i think i'll continue to try this about 15 minutes into a bowl and see if it does the same thing in different pipes/tobaccos.

    anyone else do/try this before?
    I'm still relatively new to the pipe, but I have noticed the same thing. The first time I lightly purged it was because of the gurgle and it cleared up that problem. With the Penzance, I was getting a center burn as well and I tried gently blowing, purging. This action definitely helped inprove the burn and smoke density while seemingly cooling down the smoke.
    [SIZE="2"]Did you hear that boy?
    Keep your pride tied!
    [/SIZE]
    [SIZE="1"]......Hidalgo[/SIZE]

  15. #15

    Leading Puffer Fish Scott M's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe FAQ/101/Getting Started

    Methods to Clean Estate Pipes.

    Part I

    I've been whoring around some pipe BBs, being the inquisitive mind that I am, and have finally got a chance to try some of the estate pipe cleaning methods I've seen posted. My latest acquisition is a 1987 Peterson Donegal Rocky blasted 999 with a P-Lip mouthpiece, and silver band.



    While not a train wreck, it needed a bit of TLC to make it smokeable...and pretty. Its last owner either didn't get to it much or he found it not to his liking, (some Peterson pipes appearently smoke pretty harsh for the first few because of the dyes in the bowl), because there is very little cake to contend with in the bowl. In fact, there's hardly any. Bonus.

    The bad news is that there was a significant aromatic "ghost in the machine", and enough stem oxidation to warrent attention. There's also the remnants of silver polish in the crevasses. So, off I go to clean this up.

    Part II: The Bowl.

    The first thing I needed was a good stiff drink. But not for me, since I don't drink that often if ever, (more's the pity), but for the pipe. Alcohol, (either EtOH or Isopropyl), cures a multitude of pipe sins, from overall goop to nasty aromatic evils. Taken from the popular Professor's Pipe-Sweetening Treatment", I placed a cotton ball in the bowl, dribbled some Bacardi onto it, and let it sit. Course salt has been suggested for use in the bowl, but there are reports of cracked bowls as a result. No reasons have been stated, but I'm not to risk it since I'm limiting my purchases and I'd hate to mess up a potential find.



    Higher alcohol contents are desired, (for the pipe!!!), but the Bacardi is what I wanted to start off with at the time. As the bowl was sitting, I got started on the stem. Using the Bacardi and the appropriate implements, I proceeded to remove the build up in the stem.





    While a large amount of gunk was removed with the Bacardi, I soon switched to Isopropyl alcohol as it was becoming clear that I needed a higher level of "anti-gunk-ness" than I originally thought.

    (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."

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