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Breaking in a Brand New -- Never Smoked Pipe

This is a discussion on Breaking in a Brand New -- Never Smoked Pipe within the The Pipe Hobby How-To Discussion Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; Breaking the bowl in by thirds is an effective method. Smoke ten bowls for the first third, and then ten ...

  
  1. #16

    Young Puffer Fish ravkesef's Avatar


     

    Re: Breaking in a Brand New -- Never Smoked Pipe

    Breaking the bowl in by thirds is an effective method. Smoke ten bowls for the first third, and then ten for each successive third. After you have smoked 30 bowls, your pipe will be broken in and you will have a decent cake built up. The problem with this method is that you will be smoking wood for a good bit of that time. If you can tolerate it, that's fine. This is the method recommended by GLP, so you certainly won't go wrong with it. I've done it this way on quite a few pipes and have always been successful.
    However, don't discount the honey method. Dip your finger into some honey and rub it around the inside of the bowl, making sure that it is entirely coated. Not too thick, however. Just a light coating well rubbed in will do the trick. Now you can fill your pipe all the way to the top and begin smoking. When you have finished your first bowl, you will not have a complete cake built up, but you will have established the matrix upon which the cake will form. Now just continue smoking your pipe, filling it all the way up, and smoking it all the way down. In 10 bowls or so you will have a thin cake built up, and you can just keep on going, remembering to ream it back when it exceeds the thickness of a dime. (Or a nickel, if that's your preference.)
    Disadvantages of this method: there are none. It establishes a good cake right from the outset. There is an urban legend to the effect that the cake established by honey is too soft (and thick)' to be really effective, and will eventually have to be severely reamed back, thus commencing the break in process all over again. As I said, this is an urban legend. The only way you could build up a soft, thick cake is by really smearing on the honey using far more than I've indicated. Please recall that I said to coat the bowl lightly, and rub it in well. This will ensure that you don't overdo it with the honey. And also please note that this will not give you a complete cake, but rather a fairly good matrix.
    Why does this method work? It's simple science. The cake on your bowl is carbonized sugar. Your tobacco leaf contains sugar, and when you smoke a bowl, a certain amount of that burnt sugar adheres to the side of the bowl. That's what breaking in a pipe is. Ditto for the honey, and when you smoke your first pipe in a bowl which has been lightly coated in honey, the burnt sugar from the honey will coat your bowl just a wee bit faster than the tobacco alone would do. As long as you don't overdo it with the honey, you'll be in fine shape. It is, as I said, simple science. I have broken in numerous bowls this way, including some rather expensive pipes and have always developed a perfect (and hard) cake.
    Of course, you could always buy a Boswell. They coat their bowls with a proprietary coating that has them smoking perfectly from the very first bowl. (Sigh.)

  2. #17

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: Breaking in a Brand New -- Never Smoked Pipe

    Not to offend, but I think smearing honey on the inside of a pipe is about the silliest thing you can do. In addition, there is no possible reason for it. Cake is going to build whether you want it to or not. In fact, anyone who's smoked a pipe for any significant length of time spends more time getting rid of cake than they ever did building it. There's absolutely no need to complicate the process with additional steps. Load the pipe. Smoke it. That's it.
    ********.com

  3. #18

    Young Puffer Fish ravkesef's Avatar


     

    Re: Breaking in a Brand New -- Never Smoked Pipe

    Mark C wrote:
    Not to offend, but I think smearing honey on the inside of a pipe is about the silliest thing you can do. In addition, there is no possible reason for it. Cake is going to build whether you want it to or not. In fact, anyone who's smoked a pipe for any significant length of time spends more time getting rid of cake than they ever did building it. There's absolutely no need to complicate the process with additional steps. Load the pipe. Smoke it. That's it.
    Don't worry, Mark, you don't offend. You simply tell us your method. The fact that it is not employed by the majority of skilled pipe smokers is irrelevant. If you like it, that's perfectly fine. You're quite correct when you state that cake will build regardless. The sole issue is how that will occur. If you pack a new pipe full, you must smoke it all the way to the bottom, else you will develop an uneven cake. You will also be smoking a lot of wood for the first few bowls. That's why GLP and many others say to do it by thirds. You will still be smoking wood, but it will be in smaller doses.
    The honey method is the one recommended by Neal Archer Roan (as well as many others,) and is equally effective. The advantage: the matrix is established immediately, and the cake builds up sooner. To call that "silly" is judgmental and a tad on the rude side. Those of us who do that (and in 54 years of pipe smoking I've learned a thing or two by way of technique,) know what we're doing and why. The advice I shared was intended to inform new pipe smokers of one method of breaking in a new pipe. If Mark chooses not to employ that method, that's his business. To call it "silly" and to state that there is only one method – his own "load the pipe. Smoke it. That's it."– is totally inappropriate for this forum.

  4. #19

    No longer a community member.


     

    Re: Breaking in a Brand New -- Never Smoked Pipe

    While I doubt I would be included in the ranks of "skilled pipe smokers", I've been using the pack it, smoke it, and forget about it method of breaking in my pipes for a decade now without any negative results. I have heard of the other methods and know guys who employ them so I'll simply say that they can do whatever floats their boat, for myself though, I like simple.

    EDIT: I just realized I have already shared my method in this thread- so I'll let this serve as an update that no pipes have been damaged using it since July
    Last edited by Tobias Lutz; 12-08-2013 at 01:57 PM.

  5. #20

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: Breaking in a Brand New -- Never Smoked Pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by ravkesef View Post
    To call it "silly" and to state that there is only one method – his own "load the pipe. Smoke it. That's it."– is totally inappropriate for this forum.
    I stand by my 'silly' comment and have no idea why you think I was stating there is only one method; obviously there are more methods. And frankly, whether or not it's appropriate is not your call.
    ********.com

  6. #21

    Young Fish cigarpipeguy's Avatar


     

    Re: Breaking in a Brand New -- Never Smoked Pipe

    Reviving an old thread lol but I take it honey or not I'll be ok with a full bowl. However, would taste be effected by either the wood burn or honey?

  7. #22

    Young Puffer Fish WI F350's Avatar


     

    Re: Breaking in a Brand New -- Never Smoked Pipe

    I am new and I am using the pack it and smoke it...just don't let it get too hot...if you cant put the bowl against your check comfortably it is said to be to hot...

  8. #23

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish tmoran's Avatar


     

    Re: Breaking in a Brand New -- Never Smoked Pipe

    I've never used honey, but yes, you can get some weird flavors while the pipe is breaking in. I've never done it any other way than just smoking it. If it's a tall bowl, I'll do some half bowls and 3/4 bowls. I guess I'm a bit of a purist, though. I can't stand pre-carbonized bowls, either. Also, Mark's quote is spot on. If you stick with the hobby, you will spend far more time removing cake than trying to create it.

    If you try the honey method, be sure to let us know how it works.

  9. #24

    Young Fish cigarpipeguy's Avatar


     

    Re: Breaking in a Brand New -- Never Smoked Pipe

    Thanks for the replies, I wasn't sure as I never really thought about break in with my first pipe. When I gave this a shot bout 2 years ago I just bought a university pipe from cup o Joe's two tins and just puffed away. But now that I've researched more on the beginners aspects thought I'd give it another shot.

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