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 The Center Punch Technique

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Dutch

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Age : 53
Location : On the road.......
Registration date : 2010-11-06

PostSubject: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:03 am

I've never read about this technique, but I first discovered it when I had packed a bowl too tightly, and was too lazy to dump the bowl and repack.

Do any of you guys ever use your pick to punch a hole down the center of your tobacco, to create a funneled airway? Once the airway is developed, the fire can't help but go where the majority of the oxygen is present.

Once I discovered this method, I started using it frequently, because it creates an even center burn, and keeps the heat off the rim of my pipes. Some pipes I could care less if they get slightly charred, but others I am a fanatic about. Specifically the expensive ones! Lol

I have found that using this method creates an even burn from the center, yet still builds a cake evenly on the walls of the bowl. Best of all, it allows me to barely light my tobacco, allowing me to taste maximum flavor, while maintaining minimum tongue bite.
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Rusty Mouse

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Age : 27
Location : Ontario, Canada
Registration date : 2012-01-10

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:21 am

So, are you doing this from the get go, just stabbing a hole in the middle of your tobacco, tightly packed or not?

I'll have to try this, I'm still having issues with keeping mine lit for long periods.
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Dutch

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Age : 53
Location : On the road.......
Registration date : 2010-11-06

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:25 am

Yeah, I have started doing it with every bowl I smoke. Another bonus is it allows you to pack maximum tobacco into the bowl for a longer smoke.

I have found the technique particularly useful in bulldogs, pots, and chimney design bowls where airflow is less than optimal.
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 45
Location : Park Hills, MO
Registration date : 2011-01-19

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:48 am

I usually resort to dumping and repacking the bowl. Later today I'll try this method and report back, sounds interesting.
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shootist51



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

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:11 am

I've used this technique, when the tobacco is too tight in the bowl, and have been pleased with the results. I smoke flakes, almost exclusively, and this cuts down on re-lights and makes for a more enjoyable smoke session.
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Guest
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PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:38 pm

Interesting. You use the probe of the Czech Pipe Tool ?

All packing strategies boil down to either a tight perimeter and a loose center or
a loose perimeter and a tight center.

Either one should work fine.

Gonna try your trick next time there's a call for it.

What a Face
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:49 pm

I do indeed have to "punch the center" once in a while with the Czech tool probe. It does work. There's a few really flat-leafed tobaccos that all seem to manage to sandwich horizontally onto one another. Jackknife Plug cut a little too thick and rubbed out a tad too much, for example. A lot of GL Pease tobaccos seem to be laid out almost too perfectly when they're pressed...

...there's also times when the "center punch" requires a little different tamping technique, where I angle the tamp and only lightly tamp down the edges, so not to defeat the air flow I've created.

Glad you brought that up, and that there's now a name for it. Laughing

Cool
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DrT999

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Age : 60
Location : Piedmont of North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-08-31

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:22 pm

It hasn't always worked for me, but seems to more often than not! Now I have an name for it!
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J Soshae

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Age : 45
Location : Birmingham, AL
Registration date : 2011-08-19

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:30 pm

This sounds like something worth trying. I found myself prying at the side of the bowl this past week on a bowl that was a tad tight. It is ok to teach this old dog new tricks. elephant
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MisterE
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Cool idea. I'm going to have to give this one a shot and I'll report back. A toothpick might work too for the Czechtool-less.
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:54 pm

MisterE wrote:
Cool idea. I'm going to have to give this one a shot and I'll report back. A toothpick might work too for the Czechtool-less.

In lazier moments I've been known to use a pipe cleaner... I'm kind of a "pipe nail" kind of guy, I don't drag out the Czech tools too often. Cool
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PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:17 pm

The probe is the one redeeming feature of the CPT.

Otherwise, pipe nails rule. They're ideal for dressing the walls after each smoke, keeping the cake even and dense.

What a Face
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Fishfuzz

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Age : 43
Location : Oregon
Registration date : 2012-05-24

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:19 pm

When I use this technique, it's usually because my air flow test isn't right. So I usually punch one in the center, once near the front, and once near the back, finally retesting the airflow. I agree that it seems to work quite well. I generally only unpack if I have decided a different pipe would be better.
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:41 pm

Yak wrote:
The probe is the one redeeming feature of the CPT.

Otherwise, pipe nails rule. They're ideal for dressing the walls after each smoke, keeping the cake even and dense.

What a Face

See, and I thought I was just being weird. I like the "edge" on the pipe nail because I can manage the cake day-by-day, knock down stubborn dottle, etc. The spoon on the Czech tool just didn't do it for me.

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

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:04 pm

I just tried this with a Charatan Canadian and some Bullseye flake. Both known quantities so I could get a feeling for it.

I packed it up and then poked a hole through the center with a toothpick (count me among the Czechtool-less). It lit quite readily, and the combustion area remained in the center, as predicted. Interestingly enough, it smoked rather hot. The pipe itself was quite cool, but the smoke was significantly hotter than usual. I think the venturi effect concentrated the airstream and the added velocity caused the hotter burn. I'll give it another go later and see how it works. Perhaps I'll have more success purposefully packing it too tight.

All in the name of science.
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shootist51



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

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:20 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
MisterE wrote:
Cool idea. I'm going to have to give this one a shot and I'll report back. A toothpick might work too for the Czechtool-less.

In lazier moments I've been known to use a pipe cleaner... I'm kind of a "pipe nail" kind of guy, I don't drag out the Czech tools too often. Cool


LOL! I've used a pipe nail to do this as well! Excellent results lol!
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shootist51



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

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:22 pm

MisterE wrote:
I just tried this with a Charatan Canadian and some Bullseye flake. Both known quantities so I could get a feeling for it.

I packed it up and then poked a hole through the center with a toothpick (count me among the Czechtool-less). It lit quite readily, and the combustion area remained in the center, as predicted. Interestingly enough, it smoked rather hot. The pipe itself was quite cool, but the smoke was significantly hotter than usual. I think the venturi effect concentrated the airstream and the added velocity caused the hotter burn. I'll give it another go later and see how it works. Perhaps I'll have more success purposefully packing it too tight.

All in the name of science.

Try smoking slower
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Dutch

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Age : 53
Location : On the road.......
Registration date : 2010-11-06

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:43 pm

Yak wrote:
Interesting. You use the probe of the Czech Pipe Tool ?
Yak, yes I'll admit to using the Czech pipe tool when I am in my truck, but I use this tamper most of the time when I am at home.



MisterE wrote:
I just tried this with a Charatan Canadian and some Bullseye flake. Both known quantities so I could get a feeling for it.

I packed it up and then poked a hole through the center with a toothpick (count me among the Czechtool-less). It lit quite readily, and the combustion area remained in the center, as predicted. Interestingly enough, it smoked rather hot. The pipe itself was quite cool, but the smoke was significantly hotter than usual. I think the venturi effect concentrated the airstream and the added velocity caused the hotter burn. I'll give it another go later and see how it works. Perhaps I'll have more success purposefully packing it too tight.

All in the name of science.

Mister E, if your bowl is packed fairly loose, burning hotter should occur. You can either tamp down tighter as you draw thru the pipe to adjust for this, or pack your bowl a little tighter than usual when you first load the pipe.

What I like most about this technique, is the controlled burn in the center, which better maintains the value of my higher grade pipes.
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PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:13 am

Tried this a couple nights ago, concluding that I must not be doing it properly.

A lot of times the problem with smoking flake-style tobacco (however prepared)
is that it wants to burn down the center anyway ; it isn't until about the halfway
point that the stuff around the periphery's toasted crunchy enough to fold over
and stay (re-)lit. That's when the good part comes.

This it-doesn't-want-to-stay-evenly-lit problem is why I suspect (disagreement
notwithstanding) that apples, princes, bent/straight bulldogs &c
are "flake pipes" is that their typical bore diameters (back before people started
getting "creative" with them) ran around 11/16" - 13/16," minimising this.

Whatever.

What a Face


Last edited by Yak on Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:59 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : relative coherence)
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ruraldean

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Age : 62
Location : South West of England
Registration date : 2009-03-24

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:24 pm

There's been a thread running on this for some time on the pipe forum I moderate. We've all tried it with the vast majority finding it successful and making a switch to this method, including me. Inevitably there will be a cut it won't work as well with, and flakes might well fit the bill. It certainly gives me a one light smoke most of the time and we've all agreed it seems to release tobacco flavours in a good way.

The previous comment about smoking hot I'd agree with. I think though that this has sometimes been a problem of mine, and a slower, measured cadence solves the problem as suggested.

In all, I like it.
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:14 pm

Yak wrote:
Tried this a couple nights ago, concluding that I must not be doing it properly.

A lot of times the problem with smoking flake-style tobacco (however prepared)
is that it wants to burn down the center anyway ; it isn't until about the halfway
point that the stuff around the periphery's toasted crunchy enough to fold over
and stay (re-)lit. That's when the good part comes.

Yakster: What I do, if I may, is not run the "probe" vertically from top to the bottom of the bowl, but more at an angle, headed toward the draft hole. I've done this to rescue a few Pease flake experiences that just lined up in a manner that wasn't conducive to open draw and happy puffing. It worked pretty darned good (and yeah, it likes to center burn for me, too). It's more a "hail mary" than a technique, for the rare moments the bowl doesn't get packed just so.



Cool
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monbla256

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Age : 72
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:28 pm

Yak wrote:
Tried this a couple nights ago, concluding that I must not be doing it properly.

A lot of times the problem with smoking flake-style tobacco (however prepared)
is that it wants to burn down the center anyway ; it isn't until about the halfway
point that the stuff around the periphery's toasted crunchy enough to fold over
and stay (re-)lit. That's when the good part comes.

This it-doesn't-want-to-stay-evenly-lit problem is why I suspect (disagreement
notwithstanding) that the reason why apples, princes, bent/straight bulldogs &c
are "flake pipes" is that their typical bore diameters (back before people started
getting "creative" with them) ran around 11/16" - 13/16," minimising this.

Whatever.

What a Face

I've found what Yak says about burning down the center to be true much of the time and when the bowl is half gone, the "folding" the crunchies around the edge works well for getting the burn to spread and burn well to the end. I've found the straight bowl shape to be true as well with my Pots being the best "flake" pipes for me. Razz
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:36 pm

Personally, I love the "bowl crunchies" from flakes that I have to knock down. They're like those crisp edges from a finely grilled steak, or those curled edges that burn on strips of pan-fried bacon. I love you

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

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:33 pm

Ok, I gave it another go in another pipe with different cut of tobacco. This time it was Balkan Sasieni in a different size 4 Charatan Canadian.

I deliberately packed it tighter and made the channel slightly smaller than before. It yielded better results this time. It is a little disconcerting at first to see ribbon cut tobacco burn down the center and behave like flake tobacco. One of the nice things about ribbon cut is it's even burning characteristics. About halfway through, however, the "bacon bits" fell back into the center and burned nicely. Flavor-wise it was pleasant, but not radically different than with normal packing. Not a bad experiment and I can see where this technique has merit, especially with ribbon cut blends.

cheers
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asmoke

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Location : I am in the basement, but I have a window
Registration date : 2011-11-04

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:34 pm

I've had this same experience with bowls 7/8 diam and larger. Not so much with 3/4 diam.

The burning down the center can be irritating.
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