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 The Center Punch Technique

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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 1:40 pm

I guess if the alternative was irregular or uncontrolled burn then a burn down the Venter would be better Smile
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idbowman

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Age : 36
Location : Painesville, OH
Registration date : 2011-12-19

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:10 pm

Tried this last night...I must have come in at one heck of an angle, diving in towards the draft hole, because I sucked a lungful and half worth of ash.

I'll try again the next time the situation warrants - hopefully with a little better aim.
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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

idbowman wrote:
Tried this last night...I must have come in at one heck of an angle, diving in towards the draft hole, because I sucked a lungful and half worth of ash.

I'll try again the next time the situation warrants - hopefully with a little better aim.

We
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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   Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:41 pm

I have to admit, I have not tried this technique with anything other than ribbon cut blends and MacBaren Navy Flake. Once I have my MNF prepped, it resembles a ribbon cut, whereas most of my other flakes dry much harder and have different burning characteristics.

Most of my Virginia smoking is done at home, due to the added drying and preparation time with flakes. I can see where using this technique with the majority of flake tobaccos, to be a waste of time.

Another similar technique I use with my pick, is to slide it straight down the back side of the bowl, when I get a minor blockage with wet tobacco over the draft hole. Once I slide the pick down to the draft hole, I will use a prising motion as I draw through the pipe. Once the obstruction is moved, I then give a light tamp to the area, and usually this puts my tobacco right where I want it.

Also for cheapskates like me, it saves me a pipe cleaner that in the past I had used to remedy the situation.
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:02 pm

I guess it's worth mentioning again, this is more of a "rescue technique" than a "hey-this-will-yeild-an-awesome-smoke technique." Yes, it works, but only if you just aren't paying attention during filling/packing, trying a new tobacco with an unfamiliar cut that starts burning/drawing funky, or maybe for extra tall bowls that become impacted with overzealous ash. At least that's how I use it. Just keep the idea around like duct tape in the toolbox of your truck. Laughing

*shrug*

Cool

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KevinM



Age : 76
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:01 pm

I've not enjoyed much success trying to rejigger a loaded bowl. Problem 1 -- It's still packed tight, so it tends to smoke hot which I don't like, and 2 -- Somehow, near the halfway point, the rejiggering loosens tobacco near the airhole and it starts to clog the airway. Soon, gurgling starts. Then I have to play fixit with a pipe cleaner. By the time I'm done I'm thinking I shoulda done a repack. There are many ways in which pipe smoking demonstrates why patience is listed prominently among the virtues,
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:06 pm

KevinM wrote:
There are many ways in which pipe smoking demonstrates why patience is listed prominently among the virtues

That's a line worth framing. Cool
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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   Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:29 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
KevinM wrote:
There are many ways in which pipe smoking demonstrates why patience is listed prominently among the virtues

That's a line worth framing. Cool

Yeah, I'd second that
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KevinM



Age : 76
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:51 pm

Thank you, gents. Right kind of you.
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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   Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:06 pm

KevinM wrote:
I've not enjoyed much success trying to rejigger a loaded bowl. Problem 1 -- It's still packed tight, so it tends to smoke hot which I don't like, and 2 -- Somehow, near the halfway point, the rejiggering loosens tobacco near the airhole and it starts to clog the airway. Soon, gurgling starts. Then I have to play fixit with a pipe cleaner. By the time I'm done I'm thinking I shoulda done a repack. There are many ways in which pipe smoking demonstrates why patience is listed prominently among the virtues,

Kevin, I do admit that I first discovered this technique while smoking a chimney/stack style pipe, which can be quite a challenge to load correctly when a full bowl is loaded.

However, once I realized I could center the initial burn of the bowl, I began to use it every day with my standard ribbon cut Rattray's 7 Medium go to mixture.

I still strive to pack loosely at the bottom of the bowl, using the Frank method. While I continue to use it on a daily basis, it is not because I have done a bad job of packing the bowl correctly in the manner I did when I initially discovered the technique.

I suppose one reason I rarely have moisture issues, is because I almost always dry my tobacco properly. In addition, I never smoke aromatics or house blends, instead focusing on high quality English and Virginia blends.

What I have found, is that when I use the Frank method properly, the center punch technique only affects the tightly packed tobacco in the top 1/3rd of the bowl, and the lower 2/3rd's burn characteristics remain the same, at least in my experience, but YMMV.
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KevinM



Age : 76
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: The Center Punch Technique   Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:56 pm

Dutch -- Ah! That last paragraph and your comment about preferred tobacco is worth the price of admission, I'd say. I usually use the pinch by pinch, gravity feed approach, so if I have an obstruction, it's usually near the bottom ot the bowl. When needed, a repack serves me pretty well. And I usually smoke aged bulks and have lately tried an aro sampler, so our packing styles likely vary a bit. I remember back when I was a neophyte and struggling with packing I used to aerate the top with a toothpick. I later learned to dry the pipeload and load 'er with the gravity method. It's interesting how different pipers make adjustments -- might not even be noticeable if you watched tthem -- that best suit their own tobacco, pipe and personal styles. To me, it's a big part of piping's appeal and, I think, is the reason that this hobby resists being hemmed about by rigid how-tos. Yet, it looks so damn easy Wink
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