Pipe Bit Protection - Puff Cigar Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-25-2019, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Pipe Bit Protection

A year ago, I started using softee bits on most of my pipes. It took a little getting used to but eventually I found them to be pretty good at softening the feel of acrylic stems and preventing toothmarks. Unfortunately, they also marred some of my vulcanite stems—something pointed out by Dino @UBC03.

On another forum, I read a thread by an esteemed pipe collector about stem protection. He went through a number of films/membranes but ended up with TapeCase TC790 Dry Vinyl Tape. The advantage of this tape is that there is no glue to gum up your bit. It wraps around your stem like plumber's teflon tape. You wrap it around three times and dispose of it after you smoke the pipe.

The first pipe I used it on was this Baldi bent apple. It's a very heavy pipe with a wide, but flat bit. The tape unravelled a bit but otherwise stayed put well enough to allow me to clench comfortably. It also protected the acrylic from chatter. I wrapped it poorly—I can feel the ridges of the tape but there is no taste and the pipe doesn't bounce in my jaw as it does with softees. Next time I use this tape, I'm going to fully overlap it, instead of partly overlapping it like a baseball bat.
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-25-2019, 11:07 PM
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Interesting, I'll pick some of that tape up and try it out. I rarely clench while smoking but I do try to keep chatter off my stems.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-25-2019, 11:12 PM
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Nice! Is that the bondage tape? 👍

If I see a stick that made a noob nic sick,I put it on my list as a must try. (UBC03)
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-25-2019, 11:47 PM
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I still donít mind electrical tape or even a softee as long as I remove every few weeks. With a softee I can see how these can dry one to the vulcanite. Just add a bit of warm water and break the seal and then slide back and forth and remove it. I have some paste from Decatur that can be used but I havenít had to open it. The only stem with a good amount of oxidation is the Charatan I use twice every day. I donít use anything on its stem. Same for my Rinaldo that is used daily.

Of course piping more a d more from acrylic stem from Meerschaum, Iíve learned to hold the pipe by the bowl and I donít clench nearly as much. When I walk the dog, which hasnít been as often this Winter as it should I donít mind using a Peterson which Iíve burnt up pretty good and the stem has some marks. Nobody else will be salvaging that pipe.

But itís always good to have options. Pipes can be just as hard on your teeth as your teeth are on them. Teeth are way more expensive to fix a d it replace. Just try to keep that in mind while puffing.


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post #5 of 15 Old 03-26-2019, 02:28 AM
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About two hours ago I nicked off a tiny chip on my tooth from clenching. I have two pipes with softees but I haven't checked if they've damaged the stems. If that vinyl tape works, I might give it a shot. Thanks for the heads up.
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-25-2019, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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I've been using the TapeCase TC790 Dry Vinyl Tape for a month now on a lot of my pipes, especially the ones with vulcanite stems, stems that are hard to get softees off and on, and new pipes. I have to say, the vinyl tape works really well. I cut off about five inches and wrap it around the stem before filling the bowl. I try to overlap the button and keep the tape as smooth as possible. I don't try to stretch the tape, just wind it around the bit snuggly. With the vinyl tape in place, I can clench the pipe comfortably. It gives just the right amount of padding for my teeth and protects the stem without that bouncy, rubbery, bulky feeling of a softee. After smoking the pipe, I remove the tape easily and wipe off any moisture that has gotten underneath. The tape has no taste, feels very similar to the material of the stem itself, leaves no residue and prevents toothmarks. This stuff is dirt cheap and, IMHO, is definitely worth trying.
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-25-2019, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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These pictures are the best I could do with my iPhone. They're not that good but they illustrate the fact that the tape lies comfortably flat yet still has enough cushioning to show tooth marks (that don't go through to the stem).
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-25-2019, 06:49 PM
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Maybe it was discussed and I missed it, but have you tried heat-shrink tubing?
(the stuff used in wiring harness applications, among others)
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-25-2019, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curmudgeonista View Post
Maybe it was discussed and I missed it, but have you tried heat-shrink tubing?
(the stuff used in wiring harness applications, among others)
@Champagne InHand has recommended this and finds it very effective. I haven't tried it but the dry vinyl tape is so easy and low-tech I think I'll stick with it.
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-25-2019, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curmudgeonista View Post
Maybe it was discussed and I missed it, but have you tried heat-shrink tubing?
(the stuff used in wiring harness applications, among others)
I've bought estates with that crap on em.. PITA to get off and still accumulated the same crud underneath as the soft bits.. looks like a science experiment gone awry
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