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Straightgrain vs. Crossgrain

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Anonymous

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This was the classic Ford-vs.Chevy debate in years gone by.

Two questions in one thread here.

a) Have you noticed any difference between these in the way they smoke or taste ?

b) Given a choice, which do you prefer ?

Yakanswers : a) I think so ; b) Crossgrain with pretty birdseye. Even though the sgs taste (or is this imagination ?) better. (Maybe its just the luck of the draw ?)

:face:
 

jhuggett

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I used to only like straight grains but after seeing some really nice cross grains I decided both are just fine with me. I really doubt I could ever tell the difference in smoking them though.
 

Puff Daddy

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I have an amazing Larsen pearl with straight grain that runs perfectly around the bowl. I mean PERFECTLY!! Yet, I stare at the birdseye on the bottom for long periods. A crossgrain guy here. I actually lean towards a gorgeous sandblast second, the straightgrain third.

Can't comment on variations on smoking them, never thought about it.


 
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Anonymous

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I've come full circle on this. Didn't understand/know/care in the beginning, then lusted for SG's, then for BE's. Today all I care about is that the grain be TIGHT and DENSE. The configuration doesn't matter. Nor does blast vs. smooth---I like the best examples of each equally. (Most flavors of carved rustication leave me cold.)

Smoking quality differences? None detected that are consistent across brands and 30+ years of smoking 300-400 pipes.
 

Midnight Blues

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I don't really have a preference but I do like the pipe to have symmetrical grain. I have both straight and cross grains in my modest collection and haven't noticed any difference in taste or performance that I would attribute to the grain direction of the pipe...
 

puros_bran

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I like straights n flames. Like Pdiddy the birdseye on the rim and the bottom is cool. For those that grade off straightness of grain, forget it. Its pretty but its not worth a premium to me. I like blasts and some rustication more than most smoothgrains anyway.

Do they smoke any different? Uhhh well ok. Lol. I've never noticed.
 

hazmat

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This is a bit off-topic and maybe(or not?) requires a thread of it's own:

LatakiaLover.. you mentioned that most carved rustication leaves you cold. How so? I'm curious for curiosity's sake. I go a couple of different ways on rustications. Some I flat out love, others I don't even want to hold in my hand.

As for SG vs CG... personally, give me whichever smokes tobacco well and I'm a happy camper.
 

thomas james

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I can't distinguish a "smoking" difference related to grain types at all. I can see where it would be possible to "build" a case for either and collect "facts" to support that case. With me it is a matter of bowl shape, size, amount of wood and chamber geometries. Thick walled straight billiards in a grp 5+ always perform for me. It is remarkable how much alike my eighteen sb's smoke. Not a looser among 'em, could not point to a "best" "average" or "worse." Maybe I just don't know; but, tell you what, I smoke what I like and like what I smoke,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,there's just a "pattern" to it.

tj
 

ZuluCollector

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I'm not sure about smoking quality re grain differences (straight vs cross) in smooths. Sometimes I have wondered whether or not cross grains conduct heat to the bowl perimeter faster than straight grains.

I do notice a difference, however, in blasted straight grains that have a well-defined ring structure and that show up as ring-grained. They seem to smoke better for me, especially when the pipe is lighter in weight.

This may be voodoo for all I know and completely in my head (there has to be something in there....).
 

Carlos

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I have not noticed any difference when dealing with briar. But there could be something. That I have simply not connected all the dots yet.

When smoking wild olivewood, it's do dense it transfers heat like it was metal. Or so it seems. Teaches you to slow down. It could be that slightly different densities of briar could smoke a bit differently. One a little hotter and perhaps better with certain tobaccos. Another a little cooler and it's better with other blends. We just simply think that one is a flake pipe. Or an English pipe. Or we put it down to the shape of the bowl. Maybe it affects taste too. Another variable!

When I first tried the back back in the 1970's, the few fellows around then always said that "old wood, is good wood". Greg said something about that the other day. There must be something to that. Guess we better make some notes and vow to study harder if possible.
 

Natch

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I seem to prefer the straight grain, as far as looks go. Interesting question as to a smoking difference between them. I've not noticed a difference. As others have mentioned, shape and size are probably much more important. Besides, after a viable cake is built up, other than heat retention/dissipation, I don't believe the differences between grains should be noticeable.

However, there must be a several hundred thousand dollar NSF grant here to research this important question. Heck, they got one to study wood density and growth rings for Stradivarius violins. Were they from trees growing during the Maunder minimum? (little ice age) and therefore having slower and denser growth cycles would produce a different acoustic quality to the wood? I'm sure I deserve a large grant and two years sabbatical to research this topic, hey? :mrgreen:

Natch
 

Justpipes

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No preference here. If the execution of the pipe is good each one is it's own work of art. I believe the smoking qualities of a pipe are more dependent on the execution of the drilling, alignment and sometimes the wall thickness or lack there of.
 

The German Shepherd

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In my experience, the direction of the grain makes no difference in the smoking qualities of a pipe. The thing that makes the most difference (other than the engineering of the pipe), IMHO, is the curing of the brair itself.

Jay
 
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