So some of you probably know me from my last year of (mostly question-based) posts on the cigar side of the forum. I got into cigars last summer, and it's been a great journey so far, with lots of great, knowledgeable guidance from my fellow Puffers. I mentioned in my intro over there last year that I'd smoked a pipe on and off years ago, but that was about it.
(If you want more general intro-type info, here's my original post: https://www.puff.com/forums/vb/cigar...ier-state.html
Well, today I got my most recent shipment of cigars, and as I was organizing them and trying to fit everything into my cabinet, I came across my old pipes and tobacco. Coincidentally, I'd just had a brief PM conversation with a Puffer yesterday about whether I was a pipe smoker, and I told him that I haven't done it for years, but I was thinking about trying to get into it again this fall. After finding all the stuff today, though, "this fall" has become "today."
So, here's some background before I ask some questions. (As usual, I have many.) When I was a kid, my Great Uncle Pete smoked a pipe in his cabin near our house, and I loved
the smell. In my twenties, I got interested in pipe smoking myself and picked up a couple of pipes from the discount basket at Briar & Bean in Evansville, Indiana. (I think it's gone these days, but it was a great little store.) I also grabbed a couple of bags of loose tobacco that smelled good in the store, and for a year or so, I smoked when I had a chance, but I never really learned much at all about how
to smoke a pipe, what the tobacco options were, or how to maintain a pipe.
, though, get interested in how pipes were made (especially after watching the Lord of the Rings
movies, with their cool-looking long-stemmed pipes--see my profile pic), and I ordered some materials from Pimo Pipecrafting and, through much trial and error, made my own pipe. It had a lot of irregularities, but I was pretty excited that I'd made a pipe I could smoke. I made another one for my best friend as my best-man gift to him when he got married, and then I smoked my three pipes off and on until I moved to Oregon in 2005, when they got packed away and stayed that way until fairly recently.
So, while I'm not a total pipe noob, I'm pretty close. I've got three pipes, but I have no real idea of their relative quality, or whether they can be salvaged after never being cleaned or cared for and then packed away for years. They still look and smell good, but that's about all I can tell you. Here are some pics of each, in case they show you anything I'm missing:
So, long story short (I know, too late), I've finally got my cigar collection at a place where I can look around at other things to add to my current love of fine tobacco, and pipes seemed like a great choice, partially because I can tolerate pipe smoking in colder weather than I can cigar smoking, and winter is coming!
So that's my pipe background. Now some questions:
1. These pipes. Are they good enough to continue smoking, or should I get something new?
2. If they can be saved, how would I go about doing so? I've found a few threads on here that touch on specific aspects of pipe care, but nothing that fully explains how to resurrect an old, neglected pipe, so if anyone could point me toward a reliable resource, it'd be much appreciated.
3. If they can't be saved (or even if they can--I suspect Pipe Acquisition Syndrome is a lot like Cigar Acquisition Syndrome), what's a reasonably good pipe for someone getting back into the hobby? I know I like briar, though I've never had a meerschaum, so maybe that'd be cool, too. But for starters, what are some good brands/pipes to check out?
4. Tobacco. I've still got the stuff I bought years ago, stored in tins, but it hasn't been intentionally humidified in any way. I've also got five bags of who-knows-how-old tobacco I found in an old humidor I bought at a consignment shop last year. Someone recommended throwing it in a bag with a Boveda when I posted about it then, so these have been humidified since then. I've currently got all of these in a ziplock with a 69% pack, just to keep an even keel until I know what to do with it. So is any of this worth keeping/smoking, or would it be better to start from scratch? Here are a couple of pics of the stash, such as it is:
5. Tobacco, part deux. So if I did
decide to get some new pipe tobacco, what are some good places to start? I know almost nothing about it other than I tend to buy what smells good. I've only ever had loose tobacco, never flake, or any other sort. (I told ya, I know very little about this stuff.)
With cigars, I like sweeter sticks and maduros. Nothing crazy strong. I don't know how (or if) that translates to pipe tobacco, but I figured I'd throw it out there.
6. Accessories. I get the impression that pipes benefit from more care than I ever knew to give them, so I'm wondering what you'd all recommend to keep these (or some new) pipes in fighting shape. I know that I should be running pipe cleaners through them regularly, and I assume that I should clean the dirty bowls. I know there are tools for this, but I'm not sure what a particularly useful/versatile one might be.
7. Storage. What's the best way to store pipes when not using them? Can I just stick them in a Mason jar, or is it more complicated than that? What about the tobacco?
Okay, I know that's more than I can reasonably expect anyone to answer, but I figured I'd throw it all out in one place rather than clogging the pipe forum with individual question posts. Feel free to pick and choose which questions to answer, or point me toward an existing thread I should've found when I was searching. I'm just trying to establish some basic knowledge centered on my specific materials and situation.
Thanks, all. I feel like all I do on Puff these days is ask questions, but your answers really are helping me become a better BOTL. I still feel like a total noob around here, but when I talk to my friends, they seem to think I know more about cigars and tobacco than anyone they've ever met, so y'all are doing your job well around here, I guess.