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Wooden tampers

This is a discussion on Wooden tampers within the General Pipe Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; A lot of people probably have more trouble smoking flake than need be because they don't use a wooden tamper, ...

  
  1. #1

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Wooden tampers

    A lot of people probably have more trouble smoking flake than need be because they don't use a wooden tamper, one like this:



    Not that a wooden tamper is restricted to flake. Certainly not! I use mine with practicallyevery pipe I smoke, and there's even a small one in the ashtray in the car. Sometimes I use a golf tee, especially when smoking a cob, but that's just a small wooden tamper after all.

    We're not talking about fru-fru carved jobs, with metal tips. The flat, wooden bottom, offers some drag as you twist it against the ash, and a metal tip simply defeats one of the essential actions of the wooden tamper, to mix the top of the burn pile a bit. With flake, a wooden tamper neatly knocks the flake off the walls and into the ember and creates a nice flat surface without pushing down on the fill too much. A Czech tool, Brebbia or pipe nail doesn't have this sort of purchase against the tobacco and ash and twisting one doesn't have much effect.

    I do use a Brebbia quite a lot, because the spoony part is very useful for cleaning out the stuff that is stuck on the bowl sides, and I do use it for tamping when I'm throwing darts or on the golf course. In general, though, I use a wooden tamper.

    Go to Ace or Lowe's, someplace like that, and buy a 5/8" and a 1/2" wooden dowel rod. They're usually about 3 feet long. The 5/8" one makes big tampers, like the one in the photo, and the 1/2" makes smaller ones that fit nicely in your pocket. Cut the 5/8" one up into 4 1/2" pieces and the smaller one into 2" or 3" pieces. (I prefer the 2" small ones...) The small ones work just fine, in general, but larger pipes profit from using the larger tamper. The big one's a bit big for carrying around, too.

    Give wooden tampers a shot. You don't see many people using them on the videos and I don't know why that is, really. They certainly do pass them out at slow smoke competitions and there is a very good reason for it. They really work!
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  2. #2

    Deviant Gentleman The Mad Professor's Avatar


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    Thanks for the advice Jim! Never knew there was a difference with tampers, but then again when I started I used my finger...guitar player's callouses are pretty fireproof

    I'll certainly try out wood tampers now as I have noticed the shortcomings of my Czech tool as you described.
    The Mad Professor's Pipes Page.................. .................My modest TobaccoCellar....................................Product Design Portfolio(shameless plug)

  3. #3

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mad Professor View Post
    ...when I started I used my finger...guitar player's callouses are pretty fireproof
    That Ol' Timy Smoker action right there! Just like if the pipe starts to gurgle, shake the gunk out of the mouthpiece like shaking down a thermometer and carry on. Don't really need ANY of this fancy smancy crap, right?
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  4. #4

    Huge Puffer Fish packed with spikes Hannibal's Avatar


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    I really didn't think there was a difference between the tools of the trade. But I guess it makes sense. I can see how a semi rough wood vs. metallic smooth surface could assist in the process of tamping/twisting around.
    My Cellar: http://www.tobaccocellar.com/hannibal
    Proud to have served 1988-2000 U.S. Army!!

  5. #5

    Deviant Gentleman The Mad Professor's Avatar


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    That Ol' Timy Smoker action right there! Just like if the pipe starts to gurgle, shake the gunk out of the mouthpiece like shaking down a thermometer and carry on. Don't really need ANY of this fancy smancy crap, right?
    Darn tootin'! Pappy ain't raised no sissy-boy. Hell, I drink the gurgle as a dental rinse. Ennerdale juice tastes purdy!
    The Mad Professor's Pipes Page.................. .................My modest TobaccoCellar....................................Product Design Portfolio(shameless plug)

  6. #6

    Leading Puffer Fish


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    I also have used a golf tee on occasion... though not all that often as I am not a golfer, but when I have used them they seemed to work fine. Thanks for the tip Freestoke!
    Join us for the Puff Monthly Tobacco Review: May's blend is Dunhill's Nightcap. Post reviews and join the discussion here.

  7. #7

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick S. View Post
    I also have used a golf tee on occasion... though not all that often as I am not a golfer, but when I have used them they seemed to work fine. Thanks for the tip Freestoke!
    The golf tee is okay, but the curved surface doesn't quite get it done. And it's a tad too small, too. Every bit as good as a pipe nail, though, and a lot cheaper! (Watch out, though...some of them are plastic! Should be illegal. )
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  8. #8

    Young Puffer Fish CJBianco's Avatar


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    I've been meaning to do this for some time. Thank you for the helpful reminder. It's on my TO DO list for the weekend. =)

    Christopher

  9. #9

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    Jim, somehow I happened into this thread a few days ago. As I was researching a brand of pipe tonight (Mr. Brog), I came across the following tamper for sale on Amazon by the same company (and immediately thought back to this thread). Granted, afterwards I tried to find other tampers which were similar, but all were much more pricey or they had a metal bottom.

    So, without further ado, a briar tamper by Mr. Brog in 3 different finishes: link

  10. #10

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish mmiller's Avatar


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    Quote Originally Posted by NarJar View Post
    Jim, somehow I happened into this thread a few days ago. As I was researching a brand of pipe tonight (Mr. Brog), I came across the following tamper for sale on Amazon by the same company. Granted, afterwards I tried to find other tampers which were similar, but all were much more pricey or they had a metal bottom.

    So, without further ado, a briar tamper by Mr. Brog in 3 different finishes: link
    Little pricey for a wooden tamper, you should just make your own out of a wooden dowels or you can find czech tools for about 2-3 bucks on ebay.
    Pipes, Cigars and Snuff

  11. #11

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader Max_Power's Avatar


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    I seem to lose pipe tools and pipe nails like its my job. So more often than not I have a new wooden pipe tool made from a cedar branch or next best stick from the yard. Not only do they work great but it gives me something to whittle on while I smoke. I make a nice flat tamping side and if I'm lucky there's a little knot in the stick to help me carve out a flattened spoon side that works great for cleaning out the bowl.

    That which is falling, should also be pushed

  12. #12

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    @Matt: That's very true, a dowel or czech is much cheaper (in fact I have a czech), but the one I posted is actual briar, and it has a pretty finish. While it is more expensive it isn't too awful bad either, about the same price as a fast-food meal out for me. Also, just found it interesting and thought I would share.

    edit: Is that your bike in your avatar? What kind is it? Too small for me to tell, but the tank emblem almost looks like a Victory to me?

    @Chris: Very nice! I could be somewhat biased to your picture as I also like to whittle and enjoyed the inclusion of the knife in the picture.

  13. #13

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish mmiller's Avatar


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    Quote Originally Posted by NarJar View Post
    Is that your bike in your avatar? What kind is it? Too small for me to tell, but the tank emblem almost looks like a Victory to me?
    Sadly that is not my bike it is just a picture of my dream bike which is a Harley Softail Deluxe (pictured) or a Fatbob. I actually own a Honda Shadow 750C2
    Pipes, Cigars and Snuff

  14. #14

    Puffer Fish with many spikes WWhermit's Avatar


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    Nice Monkey Fist!

    WWhermit


    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Power View Post
    I seem to lose pipe tools and pipe nails like its my job. So more often than not I have a new wooden pipe tool made from a cedar branch or next best stick from the yard. Not only do they work great but it gives me something to whittle on while I smoke. I make a nice flat tamping side and if I'm lucky there's a little knot in the stick to help me carve out a flattened spoon side that works great for cleaning out the bowl.

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

  15. #15

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Wooden tampers

    Quote Originally Posted by NarJar View Post
    Jim, somehow I happened into this thread a few days ago. As I was researching a brand of pipe tonight (Mr. Brog), I came across the following tamper for sale on Amazon by the same company (and immediately thought back to this thread). Granted, afterwards I tried to find other tampers which were similar, but all were much more pricey or they had a metal bottom.

    So, without further ado, a briar tamper by Mr. Brog in 3 different finishes: link
    A briar tamper! Very cool indeed! Probably the competition tampers for slow smoke contests involving bankers and hedge fund managers. I agree with you, though, it's certainly no worse than having a few beers out these days and a one time expense, too. I'm generally up for the occasional bit of extravagance!
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

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