Alpha Puffer Fish
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Los Angeles Area
There's a joke that pipers overthink everything, and I've certainly overthought most things. I'm gonna show off here with my knowledge, but I'm merely a grasshopper among larger grasshoppers, or whatever that which is larger than a grasshopper.
Pipe packing, I think it's taken me years of practice, listening to other people's methods, and watching videos. I like a 3 pinch method, Frank method, which is like a gravity feed with a small pinch on top. I'm starting to fold flakes instead of rubbing them out. And I've tried the ol' codger scoop, which I think is just what it sounds like: scoop the pipe into the tobacco or pick up a scoop and drop it in. The 3 pinch method is something I've been really focusing on, trying to figure which tobaccos smoke better with it. With cube cuts and crumbles I think you want to just gravity feed them, basically pour them in. Any search you do on pipe packing, you'll find a rabbit hole of helpful pipe info that I wouldn't want to deprive you of.
Drying pipe tobacco, and here's the problem, this should be simple. You can leave it out for 20 minutes under a light, you can zap it in a microwave for, maybe 10 seconds. I like to pack pipes and whatever wetness and leave them, sometimes for a day. My rule of thumb is, if it crumbles, it's too dry, otherwise, see what happens. I've recently read about packing a pipe, smoking a few puffs, then leaving it for a day.....
Parts of a pipe, I'd probably just look it up. There's great visuals out there. What pipe were you looking at where it had some mysterious parts?
You're questions are great and can lead to many a discussion. Search around here, we've gone back and forth on proper cleaning and technique which are ever growing databases of knowledge.