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 Pipe cleaning retort experiences

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awoodby



Age : 48
Location : Livonia, MI, usa
Registration date : 2012-09-13

Pipe cleaning retort experiences Empty
PostSubject: Pipe cleaning retort experiences   Pipe cleaning retort experiences EmptyFri Nov 02, 2012 2:57 pm

Well, I've had it for a few weeks and cleaned a dozen or so pipes, and wanted to post my review of the pipe cleaning retort I bought off of Ebay.

The system is basically a test tube with a stopper that's hooked up to a rubber hose. You fill the test tube with alcohol, attach the hose to the mousepiece of your pipe, and hold the tube over a candle to vaporize the alcohol. The vapor runs through the stem and most of the alcohol collects in the bowl, then you pour it back and repeat. Then run a couple of pipe cleaners through, and maybe repeat with cleaner alcohol. Very simple in practice.

I must say, this seems to do way more than just running pipe cleaners, or cleaners dipped in something. The hot alcohol vapor REALLY pulls gunk out. You can easily test it, as I did, running it on already thoroughly cleaned pipes and STILL pulling out a bunch of gunk.

Necessary? Probably not. If you're like me though, and really want to clean all your used pipes thoroughly, this thing's super handy, you no longer feel like someone else's spit is mixed with yours when you inevitably get a wet draw lol. Seems to do a pretty good job at eliminating ghosting as well, maybe not as well as the salt-alcohol soak, I will have to test that sometime.

And, it's kind of fun!

All in all, I highly recommend and say totally worth the $20. Do be careful, you don't need to shove the stopper in super far to the test tube and break it like I did (bummers), just enough to hold a couple pounds of pressure.

--Alex
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dbreazeale

dbreazeale

Age : 53
Location : Upstate NY
Registration date : 2009-02-16

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PostSubject: Re: Pipe cleaning retort experiences   Pipe cleaning retort experiences EmptyFri Nov 02, 2012 3:45 pm

Did you not put cotton balls in the bowl? If you put them in the bowl they will suck up the alcohol and when you remove the heat from the bulb it'll draw the alcohol back into the bulb and then you heat it again blah blah blah rinse and repeat. I'll run the same alcohol through the bowl a few times before emptying and putting in fresh booze. At least that's the way I've always done it. It's always worked great for me.
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awoodby



Age : 48
Location : Livonia, MI, usa
Registration date : 2012-09-13

Pipe cleaning retort experiences Empty
PostSubject: Re: Pipe cleaning retort experiences   Pipe cleaning retort experiences EmptyFri Nov 02, 2012 3:52 pm

I use the cotton sometimes, sometimes not. Doesn't seem to be necessary, if I use them, they keep some of the alcohol, if not, I lose some to vapor. Seems about the same.
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BVBriar

BVBriar

Location : New Market, MD
Registration date : 2012-11-14

Pipe cleaning retort experiences Empty
PostSubject: Re: Pipe cleaning retort experiences   Pipe cleaning retort experiences EmptyMon Nov 19, 2012 1:27 pm

The cotton balls will also keep the alcohol from boiling over the rim of the bowl if you get a little overzealous with the amount of alcohol and not removing the bulb from the heat quickly enough once it starts to flow into the pipe. Depending on the pipe of course, if that boiling alcohol spills over, it will strip the finish and stain. Timing it right takes a little practice. Essentially, when the alcohol reaches its boiling point, you'll feel and hear a little pop. Once the pop happens, pull it away from the heat source. The alcohol will flow into the pipe and as it cools, will flow back into the retort. Repeat.

I'd advise not using a retort on a freezing cold pipe with an acrylic stem, either. Trust me... Shocked
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tso-giannis

tso-giannis

Age : 30
Location : Athens
Registration date : 2012-06-15

Pipe cleaning retort experiences Empty
PostSubject: Re: Pipe cleaning retort experiences   Pipe cleaning retort experiences EmptySun Mar 10, 2013 8:31 pm

The use of cotton balls is highly recomended if you want to clean not only the shnak, but also the bowl.
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flytyer

flytyer

Age : 53
Location : N E Pa.
Registration date : 2009-03-22

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PostSubject: Re: Pipe cleaning retort experiences   Pipe cleaning retort experiences EmptySun Mar 10, 2013 9:40 pm

The cotton balls are definatly a must for protecting the finnish on the bowl, just dont pack them in too tight.
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BigCasino

BigCasino

Age : 51
Location : North of Pittsburgh pa
Registration date : 2012-11-27

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PostSubject: Re: Pipe cleaning retort experiences   Pipe cleaning retort experiences EmptyMon Mar 11, 2013 1:15 am

plus you don't want the alcohol running over and catching on fire
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tso-giannis

tso-giannis

Age : 30
Location : Athens
Registration date : 2012-06-15

Pipe cleaning retort experiences Empty
PostSubject: Re: Pipe cleaning retort experiences   Pipe cleaning retort experiences EmptyMon Mar 11, 2013 2:13 pm

It will be better to stuff the cotton high, in order to clean the boul too.
And you have to pack it tight so that no alcohol gets spilt on the outside of the pipe
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riff raff

riff raff

Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

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PostSubject: Re: Pipe cleaning retort experiences   Pipe cleaning retort experiences EmptyMon Mar 11, 2013 3:32 pm

I haven't quite figured out how to keep from boiling over the alcohol. I'm using a candle, but probably need a better heat source.
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tso-giannis

tso-giannis

Age : 30
Location : Athens
Registration date : 2012-06-15

Pipe cleaning retort experiences Empty
PostSubject: Re: Pipe cleaning retort experiences   Pipe cleaning retort experiences EmptyMon Mar 11, 2013 4:13 pm

riff raff wrote:
I haven't quite figured out how to keep from boiling over the alcohol. I'm using a candle, but probably need a better heat source.

You souldn't keep the retort on fire all the time.
when you see the alcohol boil, you remove the retort from fire, wail for some seconds, and start over.
And allways stuff the cotton tight
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riff raff

riff raff

Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

Pipe cleaning retort experiences Empty
PostSubject: Re: Pipe cleaning retort experiences   Pipe cleaning retort experiences EmptyMon Mar 11, 2013 6:41 pm

tso-giannis wrote:
riff raff wrote:
I haven't quite figured out how to keep from boiling over the alcohol. I'm using a candle, but probably need a better heat source.

You souldn't keep the retort on fire all the time.
when you see the alcohol boil, you remove the retort from fire, wail for some seconds, and start over.
And allways stuff the cotton tight

I guess I just need some practice....with a beater pipe! I was using a small candle to heat the alcohol, it took a long time to get the fluid boiling, that it boiled over quickly. Perhaps I had too much alcohol. I have two retorts, a test tube style and a smaller, round base tube that holds a lot less fluid. I haven't tried out the new bulb-style one yet.
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tso-giannis

tso-giannis

Age : 30
Location : Athens
Registration date : 2012-06-15

Pipe cleaning retort experiences Empty
PostSubject: Re: Pipe cleaning retort experiences   Pipe cleaning retort experiences EmptyTue Mar 12, 2013 11:15 am

When I use my retort (of which I know to be safe cause i have tested it many times) I use a jet type lighter in the base of the test tube so that the alcohol start boiling in little time. When i see the first bubbles i remove the jet lighter and continue with the candle.
Always be carefoul when you use alcohol near flame. Use a clothes peg to hold the test tube and have a fire extinguisher near you.
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