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Early smokes affecting smoking qualities

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Early smokes affecting smoking qualities

Postby AaronH » Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:23 pm

I've heard in a few places that the first few bowls of a pipe with no carbon coating, if not taken seriously, can leave "char" in the briar itself, negatively impacting the pipe's smoking qualities for years to come.

How much experience do you guys have with this? I own two pipes without coated bowls, one of which is still in its break-in process, and I'm wondering what exactly "carefulness" looks like in this case. I was extremely "careful" with my first bowls in each, and I don't notice any negative effects, so far, in either (obviously, neither is "burnt out").

This is more for future reference (and just to improve my knowledge). I hear many opinions from smokers about how uncoated bowls can be ruined from the first smoke if they are smoked too briskly, etc. But many others reassure me that there is really no fear to be had regarding a bowl actually being utterly ruined (aside from burnout) by how it is smoked on its first two or three bowls.

Thoughts? I'd like to see some more experienced smokers weigh in on this subject. I'm also interested to see what you all consider "careful" with regards to the first few bowls.
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Re: Early smokes affecting smoking qualities

Postby Piperman » Sat Oct 18, 2014 4:06 pm

Each new pipe requires a certain process of development.
Cake is the process of forming a "tips" or carbonised thin layer of ash on the inner walls and bottom of the pipe. "Cake" is needed because mostly kept his pipe and absorbs excess condensate.
It acts as a "protective fence" between the embers and the briar. The pipe which haven't cake, will not fully develop the flavor of tobacco, the more it will be heated, often put out and create uncomfortable condensation.
There are several different ways to build cake, but from the experience of many pipe smokers, best proved method 3 * 1/3. If you are a total beginner in the world of pipes, I would advise you method 5 * 1/3. Thus, the new pipe first three or five smoking charging only one-third, the next three or five smoking charging two thirds and only after that can fill the entire pipe. During Allocation pipe charging something fluffy, smoke crawl very slowly and make sure the temperature of the pipe. Do not overheat. If the pipe too hot, leave it for ten minutes and then light again. Preferably, the tobacco smoke to the bottom of the pipe, however ignition retries required. Ashes do not take it out, but it every few minutes to lightly press with tamper, but do not overdo it. If in the bottom of the pipe created by the so-called wet cake - "Sludge", cancel, removing sludge out and leave the pipe to dry at least 24 hours and try again. No, the tragedy did not happen, and the persistent attempts to smoke all, you can easily burn through the new pipe.
After when all tobacco smoked in pipe, close the bowl of his pipe with his thumb and shake gently so that the ashes "stick" to the walls and bottom of the pipe. Next hour, leave the pipe to rest and then feel free to shake the rest of the ashes, and pull the cleaner through the mouthpiece. Head pipes do not clean!
Your pipe, have cake or not, before the next smoking needed rest and time to absorb condensation and heath to dry excess moisture. The same pipe is not smoking after at least 24 hours of rest.
It is vital to smoking a pipe with the same kind of tobacco to avoid mixing flavors. When a cake completed, free to pipe filled with other types of tobacco per your taste and choice ...

Hope this help....
Igor Image - Pipe Dreamer
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Re: Early smokes affecting smoking qualities

Postby Bob » Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:59 am

AaronH wrote:I've heard in a few places that the first few bowls of a pipe with no carbon coating, if not taken seriously, can leave "char" in the briar itself, negatively impacting the pipe's smoking qualities for years to come.


I 'm not saying it's not possible but I have never seen this happen. Ever. So, it's very rare which says to me don't worry about it. If a new pipe is badly charred it's probably more due to the lighter used or way over lighting such as leaving the flame on the tobacco waaaay to long ... or a continual flame on the bottom of the bowl when one should have quit smoking it.
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Re: Early smokes affecting smoking qualities

Postby KevinM » Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:03 pm

I have heard of developing uneven cake, but not charring a pipe. An untreated bowl holds burning tobacco, regardless of how carefully treated. So, at some point in the life of said pipe will the uncoated bowl be subjected to burning material. I agree with Bob that damaging char would likely come from aggressive lighter usage, cake or not.
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Re: Early smokes affecting smoking qualities

Postby gnossos » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:50 pm

I prefer an uncoated bowl but they do char easier than coated bowls. I do find that charred bowls (spiderwebbing and such) can effect smoking qualities - for one the briar is damaged so the bowl can get hotter. But for some reason the estates I've smoked that came spiderwebbed typically smoked wetter, too.

Not a very scientific response, but really, just be careful - an undamaged pipe is just easier on the mind than a damaged one, regardless of smoking qualities!
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Re: Early smokes affecting smoking qualities

Postby 4nogginsmike » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:43 pm

For me cake is something to remove once more than a thickness of a US dime, which is thin. I don't if this is important, but it's what I've been told. Personally I just don't like the look of cake protruding into the bowl, so I keep it low.

I've read all sort of cautions about coated vs. uncoated bowls, and I'm firmly of the opinion that I want none of bowl coatings, the purpose of which is said to be protect the briar during breakin. But wait. I've never had a problem with uncoated briar in 14 years of smoking. Why do I want to protect that which needs no protecting? If I buy a pipe with coating I'm willing to spend 3 tedious hours removing it.

Similarly, I've read a number of accounts from those who I think are vastly overly-careful who post dire warnings that their method of break-in is the one and only way to do this, who say that not only can the briar be damaged but the pipe ruined. It will never smoke right.

I say that's a pile of rot. I used to use the 3 X 3 break-in method, as does the other member above, and although there's nothing wrong with it, I find the tedium of doing so objectionable. What I want to do is smoke a pipe, but instead I have to only smoke part of a pipe, and to boot keep track which number I'm on. More to the point, have you ever read someone saying that he wished he'd used the 3 X 3 because the pipe burned out shortly after purchase? I've read none, and I've been on pipe forums for a long time.

Simply fill the bowl entirely and smoke it all the way to the bottom; and be sure to smoke slowly. Many say that this works just fine, and I'm one of them.
Pipe smoking: the most cultivated taking of tobacco; a good friend and a sublime addiction; but give me a cigar, too. But so expensive: smoke up and smoke less.
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Re: Early smokes affecting smoking qualities

Postby PuFFaH » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:16 pm

Some tobaccos are better for break in also. They produce a cake quicker while not affecting later smoking quality.
For me, Rattrays Dark fragrant works a treat being a Va/perique Cavendish it suits my later smoking of Va plugs and flakes.
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Re: Early smokes affecting smoking qualities

Postby William » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:41 pm

I have 80-100 pipes with a combination of treated and untreated bowls. Many of these were estate pipes some with cake and some completely reamed down to the briar with webbing and I have found no difference in the long term smoking qualities of any. I, most recently, got a new pipe with an untreated bowl and purposely smoked a full bowl of dry course tobacco (rather than a more fine cut with a casing/topping to assist in starting a safe coat) to test this theory. I can see no difference in terms of how the heel looks compared to the 1/3 method. I, now, do not smoke a new pipe, treated or untreated any different than any other pipe I've smoked for years.
The meaning of life becomes irrelevant once I'm smoking my pipe.
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Re: Early smokes affecting smoking qualities

Postby hooboy » Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:43 am

I agree a 100 percent ! ALSO
I have done the 1/3 etc. etc. called for in breaking in a new pipe, Then I have just filled a new pipe up and smoked it in the first get go!
I did not notice any significant difference in the 2 methods! Now I don't bother with the breaking in ritual I just smoke and go.
I am not saying that other methods of breaking in are wrong , All I'm saying I don't believe it is necessary.
As usual your millage may vary.
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I feel strongly both ways!
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