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-   -   What does a noob really need to know? (https://www.puff.com/forums/vb/general-pipe-forum/174656-what-does-noob-really-need-know.html)

StogieNinja 01-27-2012 07:34 PM

What does a noob really need to know?
OK, I'm new. I could spend time reading through all the threads, and likely will at some point. But I also know you were all new once too, and I'd like to pick your brain.

What does a noob need to know that is often learned only by trial and error, or often is unmentioned in the FAQ-type threads? In the words of Michael Scott: "Explain it to me like I'm 8. OK, now explain it to me again like I'm 5." :smoke:

One question in particular is, I've just be given a corncob MM pipe by Brian (Desertlifter) - what kind of maintenance does this pipe require?

Fuzzy 01-27-2012 07:45 PM

Re: What does a noob really need to know?
You must immediately stuff the bowl with baccie. Shrinkage can occur if you do not. Fire is another important item, too. With out fire the previously mentioned baccie will be destroyed by the elements.

Other useful items would be a wire covered with cotton to poke around the stem of your cob. A q-tip just will not work. Too, something to shove down the bowl would help. I use a spent Colt 45. What ever you do, do not use a loaded bullet unless you are hunting birds or tree climbing critters.

Fuzzy 01-27-2012 07:46 PM

Re: What does a noob really need to know?
deleted my stutter

StogieNinja 01-27-2012 07:50 PM

Re: What does a noob really need to know?
lol. Thanks a ton, Bruce. :D

InsidiousTact 01-27-2012 07:56 PM

Re: What does a noob really need to know?
Smoke slower. No, noob, you aren't smoking slow enough yet! Slower!!

Lol :P you should occasionally run a pipe cleaner down the stem while you're smoking, to pick up some of the moisture that collects there. Tamp lighter than you think you should, and more often. Relights are a good thing! It means you're smoking slowly, and it gives the baccy a chance to cool down. Sip, don't puff!

Most importantly, relax. Enjoy the new experience, and remember that there's a learning curve.

dgerwin11 01-27-2012 08:00 PM

Re: What does a noob really need to know?
Tobacco goes in the big hole, small hole goes in your mouth. Apply flame to tobacco and puff gently.

TommyTree 01-27-2012 08:17 PM

Re: What does a noob really need to know?
Smoking harder or faster gives you less flavor than sipping slowly, even if your brain keeps telling to do it.

Find something on which to wipe your tamper or your pants will forever show the evidence of your hobby.

Never, never EVER smoke your own tobacco when gathering with friends, especially not for the first few years. This is your best chance to try new tobaccos, and you can't afford to rob yourself of it.

Don't let your wife count your pipes. They refuse to believe you need more than one, since you only smoke one at a time.

You can't buy enough mason jars. Any tin that gets opened or bulk tobacco you bring home should immediately go in one. That way you don't have to smoke them all at the same time.

Don't clean new mason jars. They're cleaner from the factory than they are from your dishwasher.

There are good aromatics and there are bad aromatics. Don't let anyone tell you it's all one or the other.

Tastes change, so don't give up on a blend entirely, but also don't pass up on the chance to trade it for something you do or could enjoy now.

Don't be afraid to go out on a limb for something special. An ounce of tobacco is about 10 bowls. You can often find rare and well-aged tobacco for about $5 per bowl, which is what you might pay for a common cigar.

Desertlifter 01-27-2012 08:56 PM

Re: What does a noob really need to know?
Pipe tobacco is smoked at a lower RH than cigars.

See above - if your pipe tobacco dries out too much it can be reconstituted, unlike cigars.

Don't expect the flavor to be the same - and it's okay if not. If you hate the idea of Acid cigars, don't write off the same idea with pipe tobacco. Give it a shot.

Relighting is okay - even after a break. (tried this last night. worked great!)

See above - if you don't have time to finish a bowl of tobacco, let it go out. It will be fine. You can also only fill your bowl partially for a quick smoke.
Like Tom said - sip, don't puff.

There are videos all over the place about this or that method of packing/loading a pipe, but (for me so far) it really comes down to just tossing tobacco in the big end, tamping it down a skosh, and lighting it.

Your cob doesn't really need a break-in - just smoke it, IMO. Mine is doing just fine.

My pipe's stem didn't come off the pipe easily until after I had smoked my first bowl. It's fine now.

It's easier than it looks to get things started. The final learning curve is (so far for me) a bit more complicated, but just smoke the darn thing - it will work.

I do hope that you enjoy your pipe - I've quite enjoyed starting out with mine.

TommyTree 01-27-2012 09:25 PM

Re: What does a noob really need to know?
DON'T try to remove your stem while the pipe is hot! Vulcanite, lucite and acrylic expand faster than briar, so you can crack something if you try to pull it.

It doesn't matter how long the shank is. The stem I snapped had a lot of room between it and the fire in the bowl.

ChronoB 01-27-2012 10:02 PM

Re: What does a noob really need to know?
Here's my standard advice:

In addition to the corn cob you have, get an estate pipe from a reputable dealer like pulversbriar.com or smokingpipes.com. $30-$40 will yield a proven smoker that is already broken-in, has been cleaned/refurbished, was likely much more expensive when new, and has a lot of life left in it. Eliminate the variable of a bad pipe and your early attempts will go much better.

As someone that enjoys the unfooled-around-with taste of cigars I recommend you start with a mild to medium english/balkan blend. They are, in my opinion, the most forgiving when it comes to packing/lighting/smoking properly, and getting the most flavor out of it before you develop your palate to pick up the nuances of pipe tobacco versus cigars generally (that can take time).

Don't expect to get the most out of it right away or for your early attempts to go perfectly. Keep at it, and you'll be rewarded with enjoying tobacco in its highest form.

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