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Trouble with the pack

This is a discussion on Trouble with the pack within the The Pipe Hobby How-To Discussion Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; I can't seem to get it right. Either I feel no restriction, or I am drawing like drinking a thick ...

  
  1. #1

    Young Puffer Fish GoodwillTKE's Avatar


     

    Trouble with the pack

    I can't seem to get it right. Either I feel no restriction, or I am drawing like drinking a thick milkshake. I assume from my reading that it should feel somewhere in between. I also have trouble getting an even burn, when I clean a bit of ash of the top I have spots that do not seem to have charred. I have watched a few videos, and have been using the gravity fill-tamp to half, gravity-3/4, overflow and level steps, but maybe I am not doing it properly. Can anyone offer some tips?

    Trying to get my technique down so that once the weather warms up a bit more I can start sampling some more tobaccos!

  2. #2

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    This is going to be no help at all, but all the advice I ever heard for loading a pipe didn't help me at all. There are various techniques, and they all work, but the key to success is just plain old experience. Once you develop a feel for the tobacco, it'll be something you can do mindlessly. Until you reach that point, it'll be a pain. The only advice I can use with your technique is to test the draw at each step, realizing that the early steps should be rather light on the draw, with a more solid draw progressively with each level.

    And quit 'cleaning the ash off the top'; it's unnecessary and usually detrimental to the smoking experience. Unless you're trying to relight a bowl and just can't get the flame to the tobacco through the ash, it's unnecessary.
    ********.com

  3. #3

    F.O.G. with nice smokes OnePyroTec's Avatar


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    Agreed with Mark.

    I use the same loading technique as you describe. It just takes practice...and different pipes act different. What pipe are you using? How wet is your tobacco?

  4. #4

    Young Puffer Fish GoodwillTKE's Avatar


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    I smoke a MM cob right now, once a day, maybe twice on the weekends, but that is bound to pick up when the weather warms, so I am ordering a MM grab bag. I usually set some tobacco out for 15-20 minutes or so prior to packing, except the SWR I have, as it feels really dry.

    As for the cleaning the ash off the top, it is not a constant thing. Maybe once a bowl. When the draw starts to get tight about 2/3 in or so from all the relights/tamping, I will scrape a bit of the ash cap off before a relight. I assume I am tamping a bit too much, so try to pay attention to that, but if I get things too tight I have to break it up a bit to get a draw and relight.

    A few times I actually sucked ash/charred tobacco into my mouth, that's what cued me in that maybe I am packing to tight/drawing too hard, as I hadn't heard of anyone doing that before. The bowl gets warm to the touch, but never anything that I can't hold comfortably wrapped in my palm.

  5. #5

    F.O.G. with nice smokes OnePyroTec's Avatar


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    try using the filters with each bowl. It will tighten up the draw and stop the ash & charred stuff.

  6. #6

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    If your draw is getting too tight from tamping, you're tamping too hard. You just want to crush the ash down and compress the burning area slightly, not compress the bowl. Just kind of drop the tamper in the bowl rather than pushing down with it.
    ********.com

  7. #7

    Young Puffer Fish GoodwillTKE's Avatar


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    I was definitely tamping too hard then. I'll try a lighter touch the next few bowls and see how that works out.

  8. #8

    Young Puffer Fish WallyBSez's Avatar


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    As a newbie I'm still working through it too. Used all methods. The past week has been better than the last. I want to be an expert right away but it's taking practice. Ill eventually find the right method and tamping technique Good thing I got a few ozs of tobacco here and there to practice with.

  9. #9

    It's a cliff not a slope! jheiliger's Avatar


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    3 step pack definitely works once you get the hang of it. Test the draw at each step... you would rather be TOO LOOSE than too tight because you are going to be tamping/packing as you go through the bowl. If its tight to begin with, it's gonna be hell by the time you get to the bottom of the bowl!

    When you tamp, remember, you're just trying to light the next layer of tobacco below the one that's on fire. That doesn't take a lot of effort... be gentle.

    Keep at it! Don't give up... Once you get it down, you never have to learn it again! You may have to change a bit from pipe to pipe, but the mechanics remain the same.
    I live such a great life... A beautiful family, a job I love, and a few good smokes to keep my head on straight.

  10. #10

    Young Fish Phred's Avatar


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    Just keep practicing. I've purposely done a few tight packs so that I can tell if I'm overdoing it - then loosened them up with a pick, then re-packed to see if I can tell the difference. I still botch a few, but I'm getting better at it.

  11. #11

    THE MAN WHO LOVES TWANG! TonyBrooklyn's Avatar


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodwillTKE View Post
    I can't seem to get it right. Either I feel no restriction, or I am drawing like drinking a thick milkshake. I assume from my reading that it should feel somewhere in between. I also have trouble getting an even burn, when I clean a bit of ash of the top I have spots that do not seem to have charred. I have watched a few videos, and have been using the gravity fill-tamp to half, gravity-3/4, overflow and level steps, but maybe I am not doing it properly. Can anyone offer some tips?

    Trying to get my technique down so that once the weather warms up a bit more I can start sampling some more tobaccos!

    “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
    Jimi Hendrix



  12. #12

    Young Puffer Fish GoodwillTKE's Avatar


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    Oh, I don't plan on giving up! I get frustrated and take a day off once in a while, but come spring, I will have a nice porch to sit and practice on instead of the cold garage.


    Thanks for the video link Tony. I'll have to work that into my practice rotation.

  13. #13

    Young Puffer Fish Tulpa's Avatar


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    I just tried the technique in that video and it worked quite well and is more predictable than how I was doing it.

  14. #14

    No longer a community member.


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    After several years of being able to artfully pack just about any kind of weed in my bowl I bought a Missouri Meerschaum Hardwood to try out and could not get the darn thing packed right to save my life. I pack, dumped, and packed for about twenty minutes the other day until... I realized I forgot to take the filter out without anyone around to chastise me I just shook my head and went on about my business.

  15. #15

    THE MAN WHO LOVES TWANG! TonyBrooklyn's Avatar


     

    Re: Trouble with the pack

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodwillTKE View Post
    Oh, I don't plan on giving up! I get frustrated and take a day off once in a while, but come spring, I will have a nice porch to sit and practice on instead of the cold garage.


    Thanks for the video link Tony. I'll have to work that into my practice rotation.
    Your welcome Adam good luck!
    “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
    Jimi Hendrix



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