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"Fables" in pipe smoking

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Wet Dottle

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The theme for this post was triggered by one of the latest issues of Pipes & Tobaccos, where someone was reporting that removing the stem while the pipe was still warm, for cleaning, was ok. It seems that some people do it without ill effects, which goes against the traditionally accepted rules of engagement of pipe smoking. I put the quotation marks around the word "fables" because different people will have different experiences, and what is true for some may not be for others. In that spirit, here are two things that I found out:

1- Two matches for lighting the pipe--not! I only need one and seldom use a second (sometimes the tobacco is too moist and the match goes out before I get it going). The only important thing is to get the tobacco burning more or less evenly. The number of matches used to reach that point has no impact on the later smoking qualities of the tobacco.

2- Tamping is overrated. One day, getting engrossed in my work, I completely forgot that I was smoking a pipe until it wet out. I started the tamping and prepared to relight, but there was nothing but dry ash. I would never!... Well, I still use a tamper on a regular basis, because keeping the ashes pressed down helps avoiding accidental spills, but many times I don't. The exception is when lighting a pipe, as I always tamp after the match. But the rest of it is optional. And no, I do not use any special technique to load the pipe.

How about you? Is there anything that you do, in your daily practices in pipe smoking, that is heretic and may send you to the stake?

Happy days and happier puffs.
 

Carlos

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If I can, I use one match. Usually it's one of those overlength smokers matches. Juggling a lit match and doing a light tamp after the initial light can be interesting. But then I have the same match to put a nice coal on, and away I go.
 

Python

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I also read the article about removing the stems before the pipe had cooled down. It was written by Tad Gage, so I decided to give it a try. Well, in less than a month I had cracked a shank on one of my pipes by doing that. Needless to say, I won't be using that method anymore. I will wait for them to cool down fully. I figure that I would rather spend a little extra time cleaning than getting my pipes repaired and ruining them from original condition. What works for some, does not work for others. This technique did not work for me.

Just my $0.02
 

Oldguy

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Hmmm... let's see...
* I do remove stems occasionally from a working pipe to remove a blockage, but only for a few seconds at a time. Never had a problem there in 44 years.
* I use a cheapass Bic-type lighter because they work just fine and I've probably saved enough money to buy a good pipe. (so why don't I?)
* I sometimes mix good tobaccos together to see if it tastes better. Sometimes it does.
* I hold my meerschaum with my BARE FINGERS!!! imagine that.
* Sometimes I puff too fast and make a big cloud because it tastes so darn good.
Can't think of any more personal transgressions at the moment, but I'm sure they occur on a regular basis. Please try to find forgiveness in your hearts.
 

Wet Dottle

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Oldguy, I am with you: I always used bare hands with meers. The color started developing at the shank, an area that was never touched. Eventually stopped smoking them because of the ugly contrast between dark shank and light bowl. Never had the patience to go all the way with the coloring process. I like white better than brown, anyway. :D

Happy days and happier puffs.
 

Justpipes

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I have never really attempted to take a pipe apart while it was hot. I guess I never had a reason but why experiment and take a chance on ruining a pipe.

I don't use matches as I find them to be a pain in the a** most of the time. I have a cheap Imco pipe lighter that I have been using for many years and it is still going strong. I think I paid $8 for it.

A lot of times I usually relight a bowl 3-4 times during the course of a smoke and I tamp a lot. Just seems to smoke better for me that way. It really depends on what I am doing. If I am just sitting and focusing completely on the smoke then a relight might not be necessary.

Like Oldguy, sometimes the smoke is just so good that I get over zealous puffing just to create a big cloud of aroma around me.

I try never to let a pipe sit over night with the dottle left in it. I like a clean pipe!
 

ftrplt

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In 45 years of pipe smoking, I'm sure I have committed every pipe-related transgression in existence..and then some!!! But life went on..I tried not to do it again....still occasionally smoke too fast and heat up the bowl. I do nothing "special." Have no unique technique for packing the tobacco...may vary a bit for flakes! One match usually works.....usually tamp after the light; but not always. I just let the pipe and tobacco "talk" to me; if all is well, I leave it alone! Don't make this wonderful experience harder or more complicated than it really is!! FTRPLT
 

The German Shepherd

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One of my favorite "fables" or even "old wive's tales" is that tongue bite comes from "steam." IMO, tongue bite is largely a body chemistry issue and has little to do with "steam." If you want to try an experiment, then try this on for size:

- Take a pipe and load it with tobacco that you know bites your tongue. Fire it up until you get it going well and them let it go out completely. After it is out, draw deeply through the offending tobacco, and watch what happens - your tongue will tingle and/or burn!

Jay
 

Mr_Houston

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I'm a big fan of straight virginias and english blends and will often smoke them back-to-back. For my taste, the virginia component of english blends is very important. If I smoke a virginia first, then it lessens my enjoyment of the english blend, because I can't taste the virginia in the blend.

So I smoke english blends first, and then virginias. It is counter to the idea of starting mild and then progressing to fuller, like you would at a wine tasting.

But it works for me.
 

JMuraco

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I like this topic...

I smoke flakes in any size pipe as opposed to the idea of using very small shallow pipes for flakes.

I smoke strong tobaccos like Gawith ropes with my breakfast coffee. I have also smoked them on an empty stomach and have lived to talk about it.

I have smoked cheap tobacco in expensive pipes...and vice versa.

I prefer the fifty-cent pipe nail over the $100+ "custom handcrafted artisan tamper".

I break in new pipes by filling them to the top with tobacco and smoking them like I would any of my other pipes. I have never had a pipe explode because of this.

I have no set "rotation" of pipes. I smoke what I want when I want. (Of course I always make sure the pipe has had a minimum of 2 days of rest).
 

Mr_Houston

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JMuraco":177famfu said:
I prefer the fifty-cent pipe nail over the $100+ "custom handcrafted artisan tamper".
:affraid:

JMuraco, I have to agree with you there. Except that my Czech tool cost $2.00, so is likely four times better than yours. Last time I wanted to buy one, I had to look around a little to find one that was from Czechoslovakia instead of China.
 
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