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 Question re: a big over-reamed freehand with a funk about it

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GrampaGrossbart

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Age : 105
Location : The Mountains
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Question re: a big over-reamed freehand with a funk about it   Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:58 pm

This be my first post on here, so many apologies if I've placed this in the wrong location, or if there was already a thread going I missed using the search option. I'm a novice, so this all might be obvious...

I recently acquired a couple of estate pipes and set to restoring them, with varying degrees of success. The Dunhill was in good shape and so didn't require much beyond a clean and a polish, but the second pipe, a Karl Erik freehand, was in rougher shape. I cleaned the devil out of it, and used the salt and alcohol treatment on the bowl. Along the way, I noticed that the lower interior of the bowl, specifically the heel and just above the draw hole, were irregular to the point that over-reaming seems to be the only possibility--the heel is a bit ridgy, and the wall of the bowl has a shallow but obvious indentation/recess above the draw hole.

Obviously the peril with picking up estate pipes is that one never knows the condition you'll find them in, especially at the base of the bowl's interior. I know an over-reamed bowl will burn through eventually, but as its a rather thick freehand pipe I don't anticipate that happening anytime soon, and so I've set to breaking it back in. I've smoked it over half a dozen times, however, and each time the bowl turns funky on me about half way down.

I'm assuming this funkening of the bowl takes places as the burning tobacco meets the over reamed briar, but if that's the case won't the over reamed area eventually fill in with cake the same as the smoother portions of the bowl, albeit unevenly? I must say, the taste seems sour, rather than that of new briar being broken in.

And am I correct that the likely culprit for this unevenness is over reaming? Freehand pipes, while possessing a great deal of character on the outside, have standard, smooth-walled interiors, yes?

Or is it possible that I'm just not used to smoking a bowl this large, and the bitter, funky taste that occurs halfway down is user error? It's a couple of inches deep and over a thumb's width all the way down, and with that volume of tobacco being packed is it maybe akin to the way a cigar will get tarry and acrid toward the end, with the last inch or four being discarded rather than smoked? I can't imagine this is the case, given the amount of much larger pipes I see on the market, but as I said, I'm an utter novice, especially where big bowls are concerned...

Right, I'd post pictures, but the uneven portion of the bowl is at the bottom, and even with the flash my camera failed to really give a good impression. Sorry for the vagueness of the query, and would very much appreciate the counsel of my betters--does the culprit sound like the over reaming, as I suspect, or simply user error where large freehands are concerned? And if I soldier on and build a cake will the taste diminish, or is it a doomed briar? Cheers!
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Rob_In_MO

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

PostSubject: Re: Question re: a big over-reamed freehand with a funk about it   Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:09 pm

While not a Karl Erik freehand, a have a basket Bulldog that did the same thing. I was about to give up on it and find it a new home when, after about a dozen smokes, it finally quit giving that sour flavor near the bottom of the bowl. It didn't quit all of the sudden, but definitely got better as cake started to build. I even coated the bowl with Honey to add thickness to the build-up - hoping to isolate whatever was causing the problem.
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GrampaGrossbart

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Age : 105
Location : The Mountains
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Question re: a big over-reamed freehand with a funk about it   Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:43 pm

Thanks, Rob! I know I haven't logged very many miles on it yet and wondered if it was as simple as that--the dilemma is how will I ever build up a cake on the bottom of the bowl when the last half of it is so tough to get through! May try the honey trick, hadn't thought of that--thanks again!
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itsKot

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Age : 28
Location : Malmö, Sweden
Registration date : 2010-09-19

PostSubject: Re: Question re: a big over-reamed freehand with a funk about it   Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:12 pm

I had a pipe that was like that as well, sometime I can just grin and bear it, other times I cannot. A few salt treatments didn't exercise it, nor did smoking it. I was about to shop it off to walker to have it ozone'd but I gave it some more salt treatments and I think she's turning a leaf. Even with the taste it was a GREAT smoker, so I hope this is for abetter and brighter future
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Cigar2you

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Location : Havre de Grace, Maryland
Registration date : 2010-04-08

PostSubject: Re: Question re: a big over-reamed freehand with a funk about it   Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:17 pm

Second walkers ozone treatment worth the money if you like the pipe
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GrampaGrossbart

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Age : 105
Location : The Mountains
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Question re: a big over-reamed freehand with a funk about it   Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:15 pm

Thanks, all--I'll probably give her another salt soak and another run of bowls before throwing in the towel--cheers!
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huffelpuff

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Age : 47
Location : Laramie, WY
Registration date : 2011-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Question re: a big over-reamed freehand with a funk about it   Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:06 pm

I had similar issues with two of my smaller pipes. A closer look revealed that the briar itself was burning just above the draw hole. I took plain white sugar and burned it in a large spoon. It expands alot so be careful. Once the sugar is completely burnt powder it and mix it with either a drop of honey or just some water. Use this mixture to putty in the burnt or thin area. The carbon from the burnt sugar should act as an insulator. Smoke a few half bowls very slowly. It should do wonders for the problem you described.

Jim
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GrampaGrossbart

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Age : 105
Location : The Mountains
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Question re: a big over-reamed freehand with a funk about it   Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:15 pm

Thanks for the tip; that sounds similar to the honey remedy, but a good bit less messy. Cheers!

huffelpuff wrote:
I had similar issues with two of my smaller pipes. A closer look revealed that the briar itself was burning just above the draw hole. I took plain white sugar and burned it in a large spoon. It expands alot so be careful. Once the sugar is completely burnt powder it and mix it with either a drop of honey or just some water. Use this mixture to putty in the burnt or thin area. The carbon from the burnt sugar should act as an insulator. Smoke a few half bowls very slowly. It should do wonders for the problem you described.

Jim
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MisterE
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Question re: a big over-reamed freehand with a funk about it   Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:10 am

Assuming your technique is solid (not over puffing, over packing etc) it could be a case of just bad briar. I've had one pipe that simply wouldn't deliver with anything. Just a searing, almost chemically ghosted flavor. I gave up. In some cases I've had questionable pipes that came around after trying various tobaccos. Those are just fincky pipes. The legendary "bad briar" pipe I think is actually rarer than a 5 star great smoker but they're out there. Suspect

I don't think the over reaming would account for the wierdness either. If the chamber is basically round and U-shaped it has potential.
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Harlock999

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Location : Los Angeles
Registration date : 2010-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Question re: a big over-reamed freehand with a funk about it   Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:18 am

MisterE wrote:
The legendary "bad briar" pipe I think is actually rarer than a 5 star great smoker but they're out there.

I agree. The white whale of the pipe world seems to be a rare beast.
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GrampaGrossbart

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Age : 105
Location : The Mountains
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Question re: a big over-reamed freehand with a funk about it   Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:36 am

Thanks, MisterE and Harlock--I've smoked a few more bowls out of it, and think it may be improving. I've yet to try either the honey or burnt sugar suggestions above, hoping to just persevere and get some cake on there--clearly, whoever had the pipe before me got a lot of use out of it, so I doubt it's the briar's fault. Still, unless they smoked nothing but wet dog hair out of it and I'm getting some kind of ghost of canines past, I can't account for how the bowl turns on me halfway down...

If it's still smoking rank on me down the road, I'll probably just give it away to any interested party with a more experience hand than I at restoring pipes. I'm an infrequent enough smoker that building up an adequate cake may take more time than I'd like to invest!
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Question re: a big over-reamed freehand with a funk about it
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