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 Breaking in techniques

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WarlockBob

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Age : 26
Location : Beaverton, OR
Registration date : 2012-09-30

PostSubject: Breaking in techniques   Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:14 pm

So, I'm not sure if there's another post in this section about this(I didn't see any over my initial glances), but I had an interesting thought strike me in regards to breaking in a pipe correctly.

I've been smoking now for about 4 years, and I've jumped in to my neck into this hobby, picking up all kinds of stuff on the way, but 95% of my pipes are(were now) new; I picked up that the best way to break in a pipe was to do the 1/4 or 1/3 bowl loading technique, but I always wondered: if we're concerned about the smoke and tar and other particulates gathering on the walls of the bowl to give us a good amount of cake, why not just smoke full bowls slowly? It seems to me that you'd get the same amount of cake out of a pipe that way as you would the more traditional method...

I will also say that I'm currently breaking in a few pipes in this manner, along with a few in the more traditional way, so I can get a good running comparison.

Any thoughts though?
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d4klutz

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Age : 40
Location : Gilmer, TX
Registration date : 2014-01-23

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:36 pm

I have just always packed a full bowl, even in new pipes. However, I have noticed that the bottom of the bowls just don't collect cake when I do so. The main issue is that I often times can't smoke a bowl down to the bottom. It gets too harsh, or just starts to taste nasty. I shall have some new pipes soon, so I will try the 1/4, 1/3 method.
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Brewdude
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Age : 65
Location : Arid-zona
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:37 pm

I've always used full bowls when breaking in new pipes. Never had any issues with this.

YMMV, as always.


Cheers,

RR

_________________
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


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DrumsAndBeer

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Age : 46
Location : Northern, CA
Registration date : 2012-04-04

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:55 pm

I too have always just filled full bowls. Also I never worry about bottom cake formation. It will happen eventually with enough use. Also, I am in JP's camp, as I rarely smoke a bowl of tobacco to the bottom. If it happens, great. But I almost always dump a small amount of dottle once it starts tasting bad.
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RDPipes

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Age : 64
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:03 pm

I just smoke the dad burn thing but, to the bottom of the bowl when possible. Wink
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MichaelM

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Age : 52
Location : Souderton, PA
Registration date : 2014-02-13

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:42 pm

I'm in the just smoke it camp, but I do tend to make the first few bowls tobacco I know I can smoke to ashes. Other than that I've never thought much about it and never had a problem (where is the knock wood emoticon when I need it).
Mike.
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WarlockBob

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Age : 26
Location : Beaverton, OR
Registration date : 2012-09-30

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:15 pm

Alright, thanks for all the replies! I'm definitely leaning toward the 'just smoke it' camp, from everything I've seen so far in breaking in some pipes; I just didn't know what anyone else really did. Smile
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Fr_Tom

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Location : Diocese of Northern Indiana
Registration date : 2013-05-29

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:10 pm

I am late to the party here, but I always just fill them and smoke them. I usually use tobacco that is easy to smoke and burns cool for me like Carter Hall or Natural Dutch Cavendish. I try to be be aware of bowl temp just being paranoid. I do tend to smoke them multiple times a day until the new wears off - a couple of weeks, but that is not an important part of the routine. For that matter I am not sure any of this is important. It's just what I do...
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fsu92john

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Age : 48
Location : Orlando, FL
Registration date : 2014-01-24

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:19 pm

Like the others, I just fill and smoke slowly, watching the bowl temperature. Never had any problems.
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monbla256

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

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:18 pm

Back when I did some hot rodding/custom car work. we used to say "... break it in hard-n-fast and it'll run hard -n-fast" concerning our engines and I've done my pipes about the same. Always full bowls in the manner that I smoke the blend in a "broken-in" pipe. I prefer a nice Red Va, either flake or ribbon cut as these type of blends/mixtures develop a nice cake easily and don't really ghost a pipe for whatever one might want to smoke in it later. This has worked for me for several decades and will for several more ! Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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Ocelot55

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Location : Columbus, OH
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:00 pm

Just fill it up a light!

So, who actually does bother with the extended break in period?
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MisterE
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:12 pm

Just smoke the new out of it! Wink

I try to keep it from getting too hot for the first few smokes, but that's a good habit to get into anyway IMHO.

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Many of the greatest pleasures in life are illegal, immoral, or smelly.

-Yak
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RobJ

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Location : Mukilteo, Washington USA
Registration date : 2014-07-07

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:22 pm

For me it's more about how I smoke the pipe and choice of blend than how far I fill the bowl.

On a new pipe I just fill it with a Virginia or English blend, light it and sip all the way down. After a few bowls, not wiping out the bowl between smokes, I may switch to another blend I think is more suited to that pipe. As already mentioned keeping the pipe from getting too warm is important especially during break in imo.

Of course what works for me may not work for you.
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KevinM



Age : 75
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:36 pm

Late to the party here -- I've used the incremental method and the fill it and light it method. Can't honestly say I've noticed a big diff. In the last year I bought two new Sebastien Beos. He doesn't coat the bowl, the walls are are bare. In the smaller one, I tried the old coat the bowl with honey method. Did the coating with a Q-tip, let it dry evenly then filled it and lit 'er up. I'd say the honey was an aid to the early development of a nice, even cake. The second pipe has a large bowl for a SB pipe and I just filled it and smoked it. Excellent! Was like smoking a perfectly broken in pipe from the first. Went to the bottom on the charring light! I like to use an easy-smoking tobak at first. My break in preference is good 'ol Prince Albert. Your results may vary and whatever works for you is right for you. Experimentation is good:-0
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Brewdude
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Age : 65
Location : Arid-zona
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:55 pm

KevinM wrote:
Late to the party here --  I've used the incremental method and the fill it and light it method. Can't honestly say I've noticed a big diff. In the last year I bought two new Sebastien Beos. He doesn't coat the bowl, the walls are are bare. In the smaller one, I tried the old coat the bowl with honey method. Did the coating with a Q-tip, let it dry evenly then filled it and lit 'er up. I'd say the honey was an aid to the early development of a nice, even cake. The second pipe has a large bowl for a SB pipe and I just filled it and smoked it. Excellent! Was like smoking a perfectly broken in pipe from the first. Went to the bottom on the charring light! I like to use an easy-smoking tobak at first. My break in preference is good 'ol Prince Albert.  Your results may vary and whatever works for you is right for you. Experimentation is good:-0

Interesting. I often rely on PA for the break-in myself, regardless of what 'baccy it might be destined for. Good thing I enjoy PA for a codger blend!

sunny



Cheers,

RR

_________________
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


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Thomas Tkach

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Age : 31
Location : North Dakota
Registration date : 2010-11-24

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:06 pm

I do try to make sure I smoke all the way down when I first start. Usually I'll go with some half bowls, but I get right into it after a few of those. I think the logic is that (depending on tobacco) the bottom may be too wet or bitter/acrid to finish, so the bottom won't cake properly. Smoking smaller bowls leads to less moisture accumulation.

One thing I do when breaking in a new pipe or one that has been retorted back to bare wood is something when the bowl is DONE. I think I learned this on the pipes.org forum. When finished I'll stir up all the ash and dottle and clamp my palm over the bowl and give it a good shake to coat the bowl evenly all around. I'll do this until i think enough cake has formed, then switch to wiping out the bowl to retard cake development so I don't have to ream as often.
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WarlockBob

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Age : 26
Location : Beaverton, OR
Registration date : 2012-09-30

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:02 am

Thomas, I've always done something similar, whether it's a pre-carb bowl or not: I smoke the hell out of it, get it all down to ash, and then before dumping it I take my tamper and powder it up, and I use the spoon(for those of us with a Czech tool) and use the back of it to evenly coat and press ash against the walls of the bowl. I do that for the first dozen or two dozen smokes, and then go to a regular cleaning regimen.

Good to know I'm not the only one that thought about using the ash like that!
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idbowman

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

PostSubject: Re: Breaking in techniques   Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:27 pm

I've never fussed too, too much with the break in process. I generally go with full bowls right from the jump - if the top 2/3 form a cake faster than the bottom 1/3, I just ream/cut it back from time to time...the bottom eventually catches up.

The only "break in" I'm particular about is with estate pipes (so not so much a break in as it is a "reset."). I ream (if necessary), S/A the bowl, sterilize/clean the stem and bit, and do whatever other little tidying is necessary (I don't buy estates that need to be refurbished, so we're not talking about hand tools or buffer wheels, here). Once it's clean and dry, I ALWAYS smoke 6-10 bowls of Carter Hall before moving on to VAs or Lats - clears away any last bit of a ghost and gives the fresh cake a good head start.
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