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Good beginner pipe?

This is a discussion on Good beginner pipe? within the General Pipe Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; Peterson System Standard Rusticated (307) P-Lip Pipes at Smoking Pipes .com Byron offered me this along with some other goodies ...

  
  1. #1

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish DirtyBlackSocks's Avatar


     

    Good beginner pipe?

    Peterson System Standard Rusticated (307) P-Lip Pipes at Smoking Pipes .com

    Byron offered me this along with some other goodies are a great price shipped - what I have right now are the pipes you see sitting in the wicker baskets at smoke shops for $25.

    Does this guy have a good sized bowl on it? I don't need anything massive like 4 grams, but I'd like to be able to know I can make a bowl last a solid hour or so if I pack it to the brim.

    Is this a good pipe to get serious with? I currently smoke Snow Flake and Relax - which I'm not sure are blends of, but they're high quality tobacco's imported from Europe.

    Are there any tins I should be looking into or just go with this stuff?

    Also - I've been told to keep RH at around 40% - is there anything out there that actually DOES that, or should I just keep my stuff in an air tight acrylic jar with no type of humidification (I live in Southern California, humidity out here is normally around 40% anyway) for freshness?

    Also - are pipe screens absolutely necessary for smoking outdoors? (The metal caps you see for sale that say they're designed for outdoor smoking) or is it just a gimmick? Do they really work?

    Currently I can't get a bowl to last me more than 45 minutes tops and that's burning real easy. I've been taught how to pack a bowl and break them in, I just attribute it to having a cheaper pipe and wet tobacco.

    Unknown to me I was keeping my tobacco at 70% RH, so there was a lot of relighting after each tamp.

  2. #2

    Huge Puffer Fish packed with spikes cp478's Avatar


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?

    I dont worry about the humidity as pipe tobacco can be rehydrated if it dries out.
    Corporal Punishment!

  3. #3

    No longer a community member.


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?

    Im in your area and I keep my tobacco in glass mason jars, and they hold up fine. It's really hard to dry out the tobacco here like you said, so I really don't seal the jars with hot water or anything. If you age the tobacco in the jars, the ageing process with actually create a small seal itself.

    When I first receive my tobacco, I always leave it out overnight, sometimes for two nights. Right before I smoke my tobacco, I dry it out on top of my direct tv box, right over the air vents.

    I use mason jars because of those times when the weather fluctuation real badly, kinda like recently where it was 80 a couple of days ago and now its raining.

    I've also kept some pipe tobacco in ziploc bags that have maintained freshness for about 2 months now.

    I can't get a bowl to last me longer than 30 mins, but thats because I pack loosely to make sure I have a good starting draw and pack as I go with the tamper.

    I just go by how my tobacco feels, I don't worry myself with numbers. Rh isn't as big of an issue with pipe tobacco as it is with cigars. Thats just me though.

  4. #4

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader indigosmoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?

    1. That's about an average size bowl now a days.

    2. It's a great pipe, but system pipes require a bit more cleaning than a standard pipe. They have a reputation for smoking cool and dry, however. Check with Andrew (Jack Straw) he knows system pipes very well.

    3. Check out the newbie trade. Best way to get a selection of tobaccos to try for the price of a tin or two.

    4. If you put the tobacco in a mason jar it will stay at whatever moisture it is at for pretty much forever. In the pipe tobacco world we pretty much play moisture by feel. If you squeeze a bit of tobacco between your fingers and it sticks together for a second and then springs apart, that's a good place to start. If the tobacco is too moist, leave a bowls worth out to dry before you smoke it until it is where you want it to be. Different tobaccos dry at significantly different rates. If it is too dry, try blowing on it a bit and the moisture from your breath can rehydrate it if it is not too far gone. If you need to rehydrate a large amount, you can place the tobacco in a bowl and lay a moist towel over it (not touching the tobacco.) This process can take anywhere from overnight to several days depending on the tobaco and how far gone it is. Different people enjoy different blends at various levels of moisture from fairly moist to nearly crispy. Play around a bit and you'll find out what works for you.

    5. Don't use pipe screens them myself, so I can't help on that one. Smoking outside in windy conditions can be a dicey proposition, however.

    6. 45 minutes in actually not a bad length for an average size bowl. With a slow burning flake folded and stuffed you can get longer burn times if that is important to you. However, maintaining a bowl with a folded and stuffed flake is not the easiest thing for a beginner. Or just let the pipe cool, run a few cleaners through it, and fire up a fresh bowl.
    Last edited by indigosmoke; 02-17-2011 at 02:38 AM.
    “The value of tobacco is best understood when it is the last you possess and there is no chance of getting more.” - Bismarck

  5. #5

    Puffer Fish with many spikes WWhermit's Avatar


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?

    I live in Southern California too. I keep my tobacco in mason jars. They've been fool proof. I'm not a fan of keeping tobacco in any plastic containers, acrylic or otherwise. Eventually the tobacco will taste plastic-ish. Others will probably say otherwise, but for me, mason jars just take all the risk out.

    Petersons are good pipes for your level of pipe smoking. I'm not a big fan of P-lips, but others love them. They are quality pipes though. I just think it's difficult to feed a pipe cleaner down the stem during mid-smoke if you need to soak up a bit of condensation. I also didn't like the way it directs the smoke to the roof of my mouth, but others see that as a real advantage. There is less risk of tongue bite that way, but I feel if you learn to smoke a pipe correctly (taken me several years) that isn't a factor anyways.

    I think it's a decent sized bowl, and I say go for it. Looks like a decent one.

    I live up in the mountains, and it gets pretty windy up here. I've never used a wind cap on my pipes, and never had a burnout as a result of the wind.

    Hope this info helps a bit.

    WWhermit
    A person starts to live when he can live outside himself. -Albert Einstein
    My humble cellar.

  6. #6

    Ask me why I dinged Black Mister Moo's Avatar


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?

    Consider that Peterson plusses - a classic, well made, rock solid, bulletproof pipe in the average/compact size range and average/heavy weight for size. It will last 500 years if well treated.

    And the minuses - it is dipped in stain which means the stain-soaked bowl will taste like crap for many smokes (to me) unless/until you sand, soak or smoke it all out. The stem is also of the P-Lip variety; the P-Lip is usually a love it or hate it thing - fine if you love it, suckkie of you hate it. And it has a sump drilled out inside the shank to catch moisture; it will smoke dry until the sump is full of ooze and, most likely, will not pass a pipecleaner into the bowl. You need to clean out the sump thoroughly when it's soggy (which is no big deal - just slightly more disgusting and time consuming than swabbing out a conventional pipe).

    Both the Pete system pipe and the P-Lip stems are things that people are not usually so-so about. I think you are heading into something with less than a 50% likelihood you'll enjoy it a year from now. Pathological Peterson P-lip/system smokers may disagree in good faith. I've tried Pete P-Lip and system pipes and do not like them; I have a few conventional Petes and (except for the stain in the bowl thing) I think they're great.

    This is a very personal thing. I'd rather smoke a $5.00 cob than a system/P-lip pipe. And there are plenty who'd smoke that pipe for 40-years and say it is the finest pipe they ever owned.
    Last edited by Mister Moo; 02-17-2011 at 08:04 AM.
    "But with a little bit of luck You'll run amok!"

  7. #7

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?

    Personally, I don't like the Peterson System. I have a Flame Grain that is basically a lousy smoker at least in part because of the "system". I have also encountered several others who have draft hole height problems in their Peterson pipes like mine, which leads me to believe they'll send a less-than-satisfactory pipe out the door as a first line pipe. My Flame Grain has the draft hole drilled entirely too high off the bottom of the bowl. I attempted to correct the problem with pipe mud, but it required a wad the size of a small pillow to get it up to the draft hole -- solved the problem for a while, but it fell out the other day when I dumped my ash out and that'll be the end of that pipe in my rotation until I figure out some way to deal with it. You could get a similar crappy pipe, although it might be a good one, who knows?

    And back to that "system". I'm not alone in thinking it's a loser. It fills with liquid, making it a "dangerous" operation to smoke the pipe since any little flick of the wrist or tilt dumps a bunch of liquid back into the bowl -- disgusting. You also have to empty it before you can dump the ash, otherwise, as before, it dumps the collected liquid back into the bowl -- disgusting. You also have an extra operation to clean out the little chamber after smoking the pipe, which wouldn't be that big a deal if it did anything worth while. I think it's merely another gimmick.

    I know Peterson makes good pipes, but apparently their mistakes also hit the market as first line pipes. I know Peterson makes pipes without the built-in cesspool, but I'd still never buy another one. One bitten, twice shy, as they say.

    There are any number of really nice pipes in that price range. I'd say scout around some more.

  8. #8

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish DirtyBlackSocks's Avatar


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?

    Thanks.

    I plan on eventually having a large collection of pipes - I'm just trying to find a solid one in the mid range to begin with (i.e. not something that was just put together inside the cigar shop from spare parts).

    I've also looked at this model Peterson Donegal Rocky (999) Fishtail Pipes at Smoking Pipes .com

    To be honest cleaning spit and gunk out doesn't bother me in the least, I would compare it to a spit valve on an instrument myself - and having the smoke circulate at the roof is something I would be open to trying.

    Can some one suggest a website witha large selection to browse through? I've tried Googling around but seem to only come up with sites that are limited to one or two brands, or very biased in their actual variety.

  9. #9

    Ask me why I dinged Black Mister Moo's Avatar


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?

    "But with a little bit of luck You'll run amok!"

  10. #10

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyBlackSocks View Post
    Thanks.

    To be honest cleaning spit and gunk out doesn't bother me in the least, I would compare it to a spit valve on an instrument myself - and having the smoke circulate at the roof is something I would be open to trying.
    This pipe looks better and is cheaper to boot! (And doesn't seem to employ the cesspool system. Does it? Anybody know?)

    I lucked out and got latrine duty for 6 weeks at basic training in the Air Force. My Peterson gives me flashbacks.

  11. #11

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader indigosmoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?

    If you get a new production Pete you don't have to worry about the dip stained bowl as they no longer do that. You could ask the vendor before you order your pipe as there's no way to tell how long they've had it in stock.

    As for all the Peterson haters, there are plenty out there. They do sell 2,000 pipes a week worldwide though, and have legions of loyal fans, so they must be doing something right

    If you'd like a Pete give it a try. I'd probably say stay away from the System pipes at first and go with a fishtail simply because it will be a more typical smoking experience and you are new to the pipe. The Donegal Rocky you linked to would be a good start. The only way to know if you'll like a p-Lip is to try it however.

    One last point. I'd buy an estate from a reputable dealer like one of the following. If for some reason you don't like the pipe you'll be able to resell it for most if not all of what you paid for it. For example, Marty Pulver has an estate Donegal for $45 right now. Can't beat that.

    english
    Irish Estate Pipes at Smoking Pipes .com
    SECOND HAND SMOKES Estate Pipes items - Get great deals on items on eBay Stores!

    All that being said (and I love Petes) if you want to spend $50 to $75 for a new pipe you'll have a much greater selection of Savinellis to choose from in that range and they are great pipes as well.
    Last edited by indigosmoke; 02-17-2011 at 12:16 PM.
    “The value of tobacco is best understood when it is the last you possess and there is no chance of getting more.” - Bismarck

  12. #12

    Old Man Nachman's Avatar


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?

    As long as you are looking at cupojoes.com (the link Moo posted) I would look at the Nordings. they are in the same price range as Petes and Savs, and are excellent pipes. I like the Nording Nordings (most about $70), but they have a large variety of shapes and grades in Erik Nording pipes. The cheapest are the Eriksens at about $50 going up to as high as you want.
    Last edited by Nachman; 02-17-2011 at 02:17 PM. Reason: spelling

  13. #13

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish DirtyBlackSocks's Avatar


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?


  14. #14

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?

    Jason, I have that shape, but in a Golden Danish not the Gilt Edged. If it's not my favorite briar, it's close!

  15. #15

    THE MAN WHO LOVES TWANG! TonyBrooklyn's Avatar


     

    Re: Good beginner pipe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Moo View Post
    Wow that's a great site thanks Moo Dan!
    “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
    Jimi Hendrix



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