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 Passing a pipe cleaner

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denholrl

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Age : 72
Location : Carpinteria, California
Registration date : 2012-10-19

PostSubject: Passing a pipe cleaner   Mon May 23, 2016 7:40 pm

Fred Hanna has suggested that most of the moisture that produces the gurgle collects at the tenon-mortise juncture, not at the bottom of the bowl. He suggests that we may be over-emphasizing the importance of being able to pass a pipe cleaner all the way from button to bowl. After paying attention to many smokes in some gurgley pipes, I agree with him. HOWEVER, what I also believe is that a "bump" in the smoke way that prohibits free passage of a cleaner may also contribute to more moisture build-up by disrupting the air stream. So, the pipe cleaner test may be important for a reason other than that of mopping up moisture.

What do you think?

RobD
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Passing a pipe cleaner   Mon May 23, 2016 8:39 pm

I think if I have to wait till a pipe cools down to remove the stem to clean out the shank of the pipe, it's a pipe I won't be smoking. Except for pipes that have a cockamamie well system there's no good reason why a pipe should be engineered not being able to pass a cleaner to the chamber, period.
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Puff Daddy
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Age : 53
Location : South of heaven
Registration date : 2007-12-09

PostSubject: Re: Passing a pipe cleaner   Mon May 23, 2016 8:41 pm

I think you nailed it. Not being able to pass a cleaner, and even the gurgling itself, is a symptom, not the problem. The problem is a poorly executed airway. Some pipes are inclined to poor airways because of severe bends, but still some makers are able to execute a very good airway in these challenging shapes so I'm inclined to believe that the ones that do show symptoms suffer from a lack of concern to get it right.

I find just as much trouble with constricted bends in the stem and a narrowing airway in the stem as I do an issue in the tenon area.

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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Passing a pipe cleaner   Tue May 24, 2016 8:45 pm

Hmmm. I've noticed when I'm nearing the end of a bowl and do a light tamp and cleaner, the cleaner comes out of the stem damp for maybe the leading inch or so, and wet and discolored only at the very tip. Also, FWIW, the condensation seems to appear at the end of the smoke, not evenly distributed throughout. My remedy for pipes that have been wet is to avoid disassembly. Instead, I give a vigorous blow through the stem and sop up the wet at the bottom of the bowl with a bent cleaner or bit of tissue.

P.S. Sometimes the obstacle is the cleaner. Why is it that one cleaner will pass from bit to bottom with no problem, but another stops short? Frustrating, it is.
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denholrl

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Age : 72
Location : Carpinteria, California
Registration date : 2012-10-19

PostSubject: passing pipe cleaner   Tue May 24, 2016 9:58 pm

I think that a full-bent pipe or an Oom Paul can be "beautifully engineered" and still not pass a pipe cleaner due to the mechanics of the smoke hole. Sometimes an obstacle to passage can be overcome by pending the end (1/2") of the cleaner just so.

RobD
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PostSubject: Re: Passing a pipe cleaner   Wed May 25, 2016 9:39 am

Tenon engineering is haphazard on a lot of factory pipes but a little tinkering helps. Enlarging the chamfer on some has solved my gurgle problem, and on a cheap pipe I don't mind spending the time. Turning back the shoulder to eliminate gap also, but pipes are fickle and you never know.

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