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 New and basically clueless

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Captain_D

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Age : 45
Location : Kabul, Afghanistan
Registration date : 2012-03-17

PostSubject: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:56 pm

I have always loved the smell of a pipe. I have never been a smoker and likely never will but on several occasions in my like I have picked up the pipe and I have always loved it. The issue I have always had is that it's not... well easy to do. Let me be a little more clear. I always had problems keeping my bowl lit, always had a singed (burnt) tongue when I was done and it's difficult to take a pipe and all the accessories with you and smoke (especially when you have to light the thing every other pull). So here I am... again... I keep getting drawn back to the pipe.

Right now I'm serving in Afghanistan and almost every evening most of the guys I work with sit outside and smoke cigars, talk, and generally forget about the day (it's a great way to just decompress). The issue is I absolutely hate the taste of cigars!!! So with that said I'm here and I need some help. Point me in the right direction, give me guidance, take me under your preverbal wing, and make me your grasshopper I'm ready to make this work (this time I know it will as long as I ask the stupid questions and trust me I will).

One thing in all my times of smoking a pipe I have always wanted a Meerschaum pipe but was always to scared to get one; I had heard over and over that you couldn't touch the bowl and they were hard to care for and so on and so on. Frankly I don't care!!! I know it's probably not the best first pipe in the world (lets just consider it the first) but it's what I want so my wife is buying me one. I have one of the local venders here trying to find me a pipe a well, which is really funny because the first pipe they brought me was for hashish... The second pipe (all be it closer) was made of plastic and had a metal insert... The third pipe the brought me looked the part but I'm not sure it was wood, if it was wood it was painted wood and I didn't think that was going to cut it. I'm going to give them one more chance (I'm curious to see what they come up with)... In the mean time I think I'm going to order a pipe offline (something decent). I know I said that my Meerschaum will be my "first" pipe but let's call that a technicality... I want to learn how to properly pack a cheaper (less delicate) pipe first, I want to lear to clean the cheaper pipe first, I want to learn how to keep the bowl lit in the cheaper pipe first... Basically I want a training wheels pipe first. What do you recommend and where should I get it?

Lastly, please recommend a good starting tobacco or a sampler to try at first... I don't remember what I used to like but I do know that I liked the stuff from the head shop way better then the crap in the bag from Wal-Mart... Also please let me know what additional "items" I will need (i.e. lighter, pipe cleaners, etc...). I think I'm going to order an IM Corona Old Boy, from what I have read they seem like the cat's meow and the one to go with. If this is overkill please tell me.

I look forward to becoming an active member of this forum and I look forward to and welcome all of your insight, knowledge, and experience.

Thank you,

Shane
Captain United States Army
Kabul Afghanistan
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mike_68

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Age : 48
Location : central Florida
Registration date : 2011-07-19

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:36 pm

First off, thank you deeply for your service to America Shane. A prayer for your safety and those you are serving with..

And welcome to BoB! As for a pipe selection, at first you can really choose what looks good to you and, in your case, something you might have read good reviews about. I don't know the specific one you addressed so I wouldn't try to talk you out if it..

As for tobacco, I personnaly started with Lane 1Q.and Sir Walter Raleigh. The 1Q is a vanilla aromatic which was tasty and easy for a newb. Additionally, I think McClelland's Frog Morton On The Town is a good new-guy smoke. It's very tasty and interesting, but mild so you don't get blown away.

Hope I've offered something to help...take care and glad to have you aboard!
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Captain_D

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Age : 45
Location : Kabul, Afghanistan
Registration date : 2012-03-17

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:54 pm

Thanks for the reply and thank you for the kind words. I'm not 100% sure who makes the pipe I'm getting but I know it's coming from meerschaumstore.com (Item AN045 Eagle with Claw). The pipe size will be XL with a standard shank and original white wax.

As for the tobacco, can you recommend a good online store? (I need to have whatever I get shipped...obviously)

Thanks,

Shane
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 44
Location : Park Hills, MO
Registration date : 2011-01-19

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:06 pm

Welcome Shane. You've come to the right place.

Let me first say 'Thank You for Your Service'. It's an honor to have you here.

Nothing wrong with a meerschaum pipe. They're fantastic smokers, you just have to be a little more careful with them. No law against touching/holding a meerschaum. They can and will show your fingerprints after a while and during colorization, but did you buy it to smoke or as a museum piece? Touching them really doesn't hurt anything...

Don't overlook Cobs (Missouri Meerschaum). They're inexpensive, tough as nails, and very forgiving in regard to smoking practices. Of course this look isn't for everyone, but a lot of members here do have Cobs and use them in regular rotation.

As far as tobaccos, you're likely to get as many different suggestions on this as there are members here. I started with Aromatics (Lane Bulks and Captain Black), switched to English blends, and went back to Aromatics. It's all personal preference, smoke what you like and like what you smoke.

If ordering online, Mars Cigars is my usual outlet. Nice people to deal with, fast shipping, and good prices make them hard to be (for me anyway).

There are also several good articles here on packing, techniques, etc. and there are always Brothers here online to help with any questions like these, so don't worry about that. Spend some time reading a few past articles and please speak up if you can't find the answers/questions you're looking for.

Hope this helps...

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DrT999

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Age : 59
Location : Piedmont of North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-08-31

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:17 pm

Welcome, Shane! And yes indeed, thank you for your service!

I've had good luck with several on-line stores, including Mars. You might also want to look into http://www.smokingpipes.com/tobacco/bulk/ as they will sell bulk tobaccos by the ounce (you don't want to get stuck with tobacco you don't really like, until there is someone you can trade with). You should also know http://tobaccoreviews.com/ a great place to see what others say about different blends.

I also agree you might want to get a few cobs and a pipe tool or two. If you order from Mars, get a Country Gentleman and one or two other cobs. Keep the tobacco loose and dry, and have fun entering the past time!

"T"
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J Soshae

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Age : 44
Location : Birmingham, AL
Registration date : 2011-08-19

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:06 pm

My 2 cents.

Tongue bite was cured when I found out the smoke was very alkaline and it was a scientific issue.

Not all tobaccos bite. When smoking one that is prone to bite, smoke easy (sip) and have a sip of an acidic beverage occasionally.

With the worst offending aromatic, an occasional swish of grape juice or orange juice prevents all tongue bite.
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Captain_D

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Age : 45
Location : Kabul, Afghanistan
Registration date : 2012-03-17

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:11 pm

Well I ordered some aromatics (the ones suggested) then decided on the blend based on what I think I'll like. I ordered Lane 1-Q, Lane HS-3, and McClelland Town Topic. I also bought a Cob- Spool shaped Great Dane with a bent stem, some pipe cleaners, and some filters. I did forget to get a pipe tool though... Mad Next time I guess...

So hopefully this stuff will get here about the same time as my Meerschaum... We will see...

Thanks for all the help,


Shane
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 44
Location : Park Hills, MO
Registration date : 2011-01-19

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:18 pm

Congrats, Shane. You might really like the Aromatics. Later, you can experiment more with other types (English, Balkan, etc.) but we all had to start somewhere. Good choice on the Cob. While I prefer the Diplomat, I do have a couple of Great Danes and they are Fantastic smokers.

Hope all arrives soon and you can make your cigar smokin buddies envious. Sure beats a Swisher Sweet!

Oh, and it's hard to beat the room note of Lane 1-Q. For an aromatic, it smells great!
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Dutch

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Age : 52
Location : On the road.......
Registration date : 2010-11-06

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:30 pm

Shane, again thanks to you for your selfless sacrifice.

For the time being, a roofing nail or similar object will work fine as a pipe tamper. Some guys even use golf tees.

I can't really add much, as a cob and a meer would be my advice for a newbie to the hobby. The meer may be a bit fragile, but it requires very little drying time, and no danger of burning out a side wall or bottom of a bowl as is common with newbies smoking briars and cob's.

As has been mentioned above, tongue bite can and is usually a chemical issue, so you won't know what bite's you till you give it a go. Personally I prefer to stay away from aromatics, and go with English, Virginia, Burley, and Oriental blends.

Good luck, stay safe, and welcome to the BoB forums brother! Cool
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Captain_D

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Age : 45
Location : Kabul, Afghanistan
Registration date : 2012-03-17

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:51 pm

Since most of the tobaccos I have seen are relatively inexpensive (i.e. between $3-$8 per 2oz) I will likely try several different types and blends. Question, should I use a different pipe for each type of tobacco (i.e. aromatic, English, Virginia, Burley, and Oriental)? This probably won't be an issue with Cob pipes but after checking some of the prices on the wood pipes, it could become an issue... affraid

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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:02 pm

There can never be enough heartfelt thanks for Americans In Action-- thanks for your dedication and service. Cool

Swell decision on Town Topic--I'm not much into aros these days, but that one is as smooth as silk, zero bite and tastes and smells great. It's listed having flavors as maple, yet I got more citrus (orange) and brown sugar from it. Hell, it's a good'un no matter what you find in the smoke.

As stated, meerschaum you just gotta be careful with. Missouri Meershaum (cobs) are an American legend, but do require a little care themselves, as they can get pretty saturated with moisture if you smoke the same pipe every day. In Afghanistan, it's pretty dry there usually, so you could get away with perhaps a handful of cobs and a day or two of rest for each of 'em. Regular meerschaum, with the exception of being fragile, can be smoked whenever you like, just be sure to swab it out and dust out the bowl of ash when its cool (keeps the cake from building).

Jumpin' in feet first into this hobby is no problem, but we'd love to help you along so you aren't having those times when you wish you could have your pipe, but it seemed to give you grief.

See ya 'round the forum; great place you've stumbled onto, here. Cool
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 44
Location : Park Hills, MO
Registration date : 2011-01-19

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:06 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Swell decision on Town Topic--I'm not much into aros these days, but that one is as smooth as silk, zero bite and tastes and smells great.

Kyle - And here I thought you were gonna give me crap for steering him toward Aromatics. Twisted Evil

Wonders never cease..
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DrT999

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Age : 59
Location : Piedmont of North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-08-31

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:54 pm

Captain_D wrote:
Since most of the tobaccos I have seen are relatively inexpensive (i.e. between $3-$8 per 2oz) I will likely try several different types and blends. Question, should I use a different pipe for each type of tobacco (i.e. aromatic, English, Virginia, Burley, and Oriental)?
Some of the stronger aromatics or latakia blends might ghost, but at least for me it rarely hangs around for more than a bowl or two afterwards at worst, and usually not at all. It all depends on how you rotate your pipes and your blends; you'll likely get a rhythm pretty quickly
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shootist51



Location : Indianapolis, Indiana
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:20 pm

Shane,
Thanks for your service and stay safe.
The most valuable thing I can tell you about pipe smoking...learn to "sip" the smoke, rather than puffing.
Dry your tobacco to the point that when you pinch a wad between thumb and forefinger, it easily falls apart without crumbling.
Pipe smoking is a relaxing activity and best enjoyed when the bowl is just barely lit, so don't worry about relights.


AND LEARN TO SIP THE SMOKE! lol!
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SPUD 15

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Age : 70
Location : Winter Springs Florida
Registration date : 2011-09-07

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:32 pm

SHOOTIST HAS IT RIGHT YOU HAVE TO SIP NOT PUFF. YOU WILL HAVE FUN FINDING TOBACCOS THAT YOU WILL ENJOY. FROM ONE BROTHER TO ANOTHER FOR A TAMPER YOU HAVE PLENTY OF THEM LAYING AROUND. EXPENDED M60 7.62 YOU CAN EVEN USE EXPENDED 5.56 THEY ALL WORK WELL AND WHEN YOU TAMP DO NOT PRESS THE BACKY DOWN JUST USE THE WEIGHT OF THE BRASS WITH VERY LITTLE PRESSURE. WELCOME TO THE BOARD MIKE
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Captain_D

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Age : 45
Location : Kabul, Afghanistan
Registration date : 2012-03-17

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:31 pm

So, I've been looking at pipes and I found a couple I like (1 I'll probably buy) but I have a question... What makes one pipe worth say $70 and the next worth $700?

Secondly, The pipe I will likely purchase is a Nording partially rusticated Freehand (4) Is this an appropriate pipe for a "newbie" like me?

[img][/img]

The second pipe that I found that I like is a Savinelli Autograph Smooth bent Brandy (5) (6mm). What makes this pipe over five times as expensive as the one above?

[img][/img]

Thanks for the education,

Shane
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Dutch

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Age : 52
Location : On the road.......
Registration date : 2010-11-06

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:45 pm

Shane, straighter grain makes for a prettier pipe in some owners minds. Some pipe makers use rustication in order to cover up imperfections in the grain of the wood.

Another aspect is, you never know the particular smoking qualities of a particular pipe until you actually smoke it.

Qualities one guy likes, another may not.

Buying a pipe and finding out you don't enjoy smoking it is one reason a lot of guys stick mostly to cobs, since the internal engineering never changes from one pipe to the next.

Have I purchased pipes in the past that are poor smokers that never leave the rack?

Sad to say, "YES!"

Does that keep me from buying another that catches my eye?

Sad to say, "NO!" Laughing

I have 2 $300.00 Nordings that are great smokers, but I would steer clear of any low priced Nording's.
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Captain_D

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Age : 45
Location : Kabul, Afghanistan
Registration date : 2012-03-17

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:59 pm

Good to know about the Nording's, I guess I'll pass on it... Anyway I just bought an Estate pipe lol! I bought the pipe below. The price was what I would consider acceptable, I thought it looked nice, and I need a few pipes to start with; what do you think?

[img][/img][img][/img]
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Captain_D

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Age : 45
Location : Kabul, Afghanistan
Registration date : 2012-03-17

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:01 pm

When I get it, how do I sanitize it?
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Dutch

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Age : 52
Location : On the road.......
Registration date : 2010-11-06

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:09 pm

Shane, looks like an excellent estate find! I like the thick walls and classic English look! Cool

I use Jim Beam to sanitize my pipes, but some people swear by Everclear pure grain alcohol. Also you may find a particular spirit leaves a ghost you either like or love. I use standard as well as bristle pipe cleaners in the shank, and I use q-tips dipped in Jim Beam to clean the inside of my bowls.

Also, invest in a British Buttner pipe reamer or one of similar design. They can speed up the process of cleaning your pipe and keeping the cake exactly the thickness you prefer.
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Captain_D

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Age : 45
Location : Kabul, Afghanistan
Registration date : 2012-03-17

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:16 pm

The availability of Jim Beam and Everclear might be a little scarce over here... LOL Is there any non-alchoholic means by which I can sanitize my new pipe? I think if I showed up on base with the before mentioned sprites and said I was here to clean my pipe my boss might loo at me a little bit funny...
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George Kaplan

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Age : 47
Location : Kalamazoo, MI
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:38 pm

Hey! I almost bid on that Jobey myself! The few Jobeys I've had over the years have been pretty good smokers, and I love the cross-grain and shape of that one. Glad it went to someone who can really use it. Some guys use isopropyl alcohol for disinfecting. Try to find non-denatured if you can. The only real problem is that typical rubbing alcohol will give some unwanted flavor to the pipe, but I imagine that should smoke out soon enough.
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George Kaplan

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Age : 47
Location : Kalamazoo, MI
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:40 pm

Oh, and welcome to the forum! Very Happy
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Crusader Pipes

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Location : upstate NY
Registration date : 2012-02-17

PostSubject: Welcome,   Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:00 pm

Shane,
Let me thank you for your service to us all ,it is an honor to have you on the forum ! We will be praying for you and your men. Never forget how highly you are valued by folks back here no matter what the media throws at us. I hope you find a pipe you can relax with and bring home soon !
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Boulder

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Age : 61
Location : Northern New Jersey
Registration date : 2011-08-29

PostSubject: Re: New and basically clueless   Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:02 am


Hello and Welcome to the BoB forum.
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