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Charred pipe rims...need advice

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Jazzman

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I've been smoking a while and probably smoke 3 or 4 bowls a day. I us an IM Corona lighter to light my pipes and the ones I use most have char on the tops of the bowl(rim). Honestly I don't mind it on what I call my "old beaters" that I smoke in my car and such.

However, I'm venturing into the land of more expensive pipes, Castellos, Becker, Ashton, etc. I do not want to burn the rim of these pipes because they are nice and aren't cheap.

Does anyone have a tried and true method of lighting a pipe or preparing a pipe so that it doesn't char the top?

Much appreciation- :cheers:

Jazzman
 

D.L.Ruth

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Wish i had a good technique but honestly ALL my pipes get a charred rim at some point. Ive noticed that using matches creates less charr for me than lighters. A good method for cleaning the charr is good old mouth juice and a paper towel or q-tip.
 

riff raff

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Only a wooden match for my pipes, I also don't want any scorch marks. A match gets the tobacco just smoldering, which I find better for flavor and it's a lot more gentle on the tongue.
 

BloodWood

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Unscented cheap lip balm (ChapStick):
Smear a little around the rim.
Any perceived charring will wipe right off.

*I use a carnauba/beeswax & Walnut oil mixture I make for wooden kitchen utensils and turning polish.
Could send you a jar if you'd like.
 
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Zeno Marx

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I used to use an IMCO pipe lighter when they were cheap. Since, I've used 3 for a $1 lighters. I've never scorched a rim. Not even on a cob that I smoke much more sloppily than the briars. And I smoke outside 100% of the time. However, all my pipes get blackened rims by smoke. Even when I smoked indoors it happened, but less drastically. It's unavoidable from my experience. A little toothbrush and distilled water does the trick with some elbow grease. Also finds it helpful to keep my pipes waxed. Provides a small barrier from the smoke rolling over the rim.
 

SteveMKentucky

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I've used Zippo pipe lighters for years. I don't believe I've ever charred a pipe with them.

 

taharris

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Some rim char is actually just carbon deposits.

Try a good, old fashioned, spit shine. Literally, spit.

Saliva has some digestive components that can dissolve the carbon residue.

Todd
 

Preacher

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Another vote for the zippo pipe lighter or matches. I also clean the rim with saliva every few smokes. I have pipes I have had for years and the rims still looks good.
 

huffelpuff

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Actual char is pardon my French a bitch to get rid of requiring topping the bowl. If you're talking just carbon deposited by the smoke and flame the best way to remove it is as mentioned spit. On really tough jobs I'll use Everclear and a brush. I've not noticed any real problems with this method other than it can strip the wax a bit.

Prevention wise I have a few pipes that I only use live coals from a fire to light. Generally I don't completely fill those bowls so that there is room for the ember to fit in. They seem to require much less rim cleaning. Product of not filling the bowl or of the lighting method I couldn't say. I also have a half inch cotton rope that is in a piece of copper pipe. You push the rope out and light the char it gets glowing hot but don't let it actually burn. Touch it to the tobacco puff a few times and your lit. Pull the rope back into the pipe and it puts out the smoldering end ready for next use. Granted neither method is great for quick easy smoking but are options.

Jim

 

SmokeyTweed

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I have gotten into the habit of actually putting a bit of spit on the rim prior to any lighting and my pipes have zero char. Also friendly reminder to sanitize any estate pipe!
 

WTHall

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I learned a long time ago not to overfill my pipes. That helped reduce the char 'cause ignition was below the rim. Also, I use a 'soft flame' butane lighter (Bic/Imco,etc) and keep the flame moving.
It's when you just hit one side of the bowl that you'll start to burn the briar.
 

smoker13

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I HATE this problem and it seems my most expensive pipes are the ones that are the ones whose rims are charred the most. But you know what REALLY gets my goat? Even when I pack my bowl short of the top, I'll find that the devil has somehow burned the rim "out of round". Again, Only my most expensive pipes...................grrrrrrrrr
 

WTHall

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"Rimcake," never heard that expression. Sort of sounds right, and yeah, suppose it would protect the top of the bowl.
I have always called it "Lava," and found it a bitch to remove 'til I started using a water soaked sponge to soften it.
 

RDPipes

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I've always filled mine just under full/not to the rim but, about a 1/4" short of it.
Light carefully (I use a Bic) and I tend to try and keep the bowl level. Yeah, I know we don't always
have time to take that much time to be careful. But, I think just being a bit careful with something
you may have paid $275 - $600 for is well worth it. Cobs? who cares, light'em up!
 

Timbo

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Yep gotta agree with Ron's style, except, I'm a match guy, and sixth person at least here on the use of spit to remove carbon build up on the rim.
 

RSteve

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I use wooden matches most of the time. On a scale of 1 to 10 of nice looking rims without blackening (1 looks like crap; 10 is pristine), I'd give the majority of my pipes about a 3, frankly, 'cause I really don't care much anymore. They're for smoking...burning stuff. I expect that they'll look a bit nasty because I smoke them. Now, on the other hand, if the rims on my cobs start to look too nasty, I'll try spit, then vodka, Goo Gone, and sandpaper.
 

AlphaWarrior

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There is a Jedi pipe repairman on youtube called High Grade Pipe Repair & Restoration. He made a tool specifically for removing rim tar and he has a video on how to make one if you like easy shop projects.
 
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