Confessions of a clincher

Brothers of Briar

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Well-known member
Feb 24, 2009
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Kansas prairie
I posted a couple of pics a while back and a member replied, "Quite the clincher, eh?" I felt a little - I don't know - offended? Embarrassed? Chastised? But I took a look at my rack recently; my pipes are in deplorable condition, and yeah - I guess I am quite the clincher. I'm not an armchair smoker; my pipes are tools, and they get used while hunting, fishing, walking, driving, etc. etc. etc. all activities where one might tend to clamp a jaw from time to time. Thant's no excuse - just a fact. So out came the micromesh, Obsidian Oil, and even the exact-o knife in a few instances, and I spent the afternoon doing what I just have done religiously and a little at a time: cleaning up some pipes. I started with my Petersons - my favorites - and if you think getting a few years worth of oxidation off of a bunch of p-lips is easy or fun, you're wrong:). Most of them still have a divot or two; that's just how it is. But they're clean and as un-oxidized as I can get them. Then, each got fitted with a softie cut down to allow for the p-lips. That's going to be interesting and will take some getting used to as I've never used them previously. But maybe - just maybe - I won't get any more clincher comments;). Twenty-two down; on to the rest!

No shame in being a clincher. I clinch pretty bad sometimes and have actually bitten through the stem on one of my cobs. Most of my stems show signs of bite marks.
I’m an armchair only pipe smoker who was pretty much a clencher until I broke my tooth. It took about a month to get a permanent crown and I sort of got out of the clenching habit. The new crown has a different feel than my old tooth but it holds the pipe pretty well but it still isn’t a natural feel and I have to think about placement. Now my pipe feels like a foreign object. I’ve noticed when I’m on zoom pipe clubs I’m always fidgeting with my pipe. It sucks! 🤓
I had a friend who was a severe clencher who would routinely bite through the stem/bit. I suggested he use the rubber softies but he would have nothing to do with it. His problem was he was kind of a pipe snob and would only buy high end pipes. I bought quite a few from him and then replaced the bit. I aquired a couple of very nice smoking pipes that way. Don't get me wrong he was a hell of a nice guy but did have his quirks when it came to pipes.
Guess I must be the exception. I am mostly an arm chair smoker as I only smoke when I have time to sit down and enjoy it. Not while working or moving around. I do clench sometimes, but I must not do it with much pressure as none of my pipes have any divots or bite marks unless they were their when I acquired them. I do use softies on a couple of pipes just because the bit is too small or isn't comfortable, but only maybe 3 at present. Did take some getting used to.
I'm a "clincher!" Always have been. Hell, most all the ol' pipe smokers I grew up around way back when were clinchers. Reality is I never heard the word "clinch" used for holding a pipe until a few years ago on this board!! Was the natural thing to do back in the day when you could "smoke on the job!" I hate "softees!!" I do have them on maybe three pipes that have shallow bits making them hard to hold "teeth only!!"
R-107, thanks for reminding me that I also have a bit of pipe cleaning to do!!!!! FTRPLT
Well, this experiment was rather a failure. After spending all that time trimming the softies down to make what I thought would be the perfect solution for the p-lips, I found that my teeth still marked up the p-lip button pretty badly. So off they came, and new softies have been applied and pulled down to list clear the p-lip draft hole. We'll see how that works. I've yet to have a smoke in one but they don't feel too weird in "dry runs" so far. Now, if anybody has a use for softies that have become essentially just pieces of rubber tubing, I have 25 of them laying around :mad:
If you want a little more resistance than a softie, vinyl tubing from the hardware store works nicely. Around a $1/ft, so around 10 pipes for a $1. Can get a nice, tight fit with a hairdryer warming up the tubing. Just a hack to consider. I use a nail file on the edges, because cut tubing can be a little sharpish to the lips.
I agree. I didn't do it for other people; I just don't like the way my stems were looking ;) !
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