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System pipes

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Davey

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What's the deal with these suckers?

Pros vs cons? I like a couple of Petes i have my eye on...any reason NOT to get one? Don't want to start a dispute topic...but real curious. Assume I know nothing of them, which is pretty much true.
(Hope I am not killing you guys with all these questions :x )




Davey the Curious
 

jhuggett

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I have one system pipe and I like it quite a bit. It smokes great but there are some issues with any kind of system pipe. Like not passing a cleaner all the way to the bowl and they take a little more maintenance than a standard pipe.

Here's a cut away picture of how they are designed.

The idea is that excess moisture will collect in the resevoir below the stem. Which it does but you can see why a pipe cleaner won't pass and that resevoir is another place that will need to be cleaned.

The one I have smokes just great though. Although it's kind of my beater pipe that I don't worry about to much.
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi Davey

System pipes aren't better than, or worse than, regular pipes. They are different from them though.

The longer path the smoke travels from the bowl to you, coupled with the condensation built-into them by design combine to make the flavor of the tobacco (as I experience it) thinner, lighter and (if this is possible) "more pure" than it would be otherwise. It's like you're getting the essence of the flavor minus much of the moisture (plus whatever else is in that) which contributes to the "body" of the same tobacco in a shorter, regular pipe. People have said that this can be an especially valuable characteristic when smoking the ultra-strong Lakelands weedages.

As is the fact that, despite not "passing a cleaner," with a tapered tenon, you can pull the stem, run a cleaner into the bowl to clear the draft hole when a flake of tobacco gets lodged in it, and be back on the road again with no danger of damage to the pipe from the mortise having swollen to a smaller size. (Several bad things can happen when you do this with a regular pipe. Like the briar accomodating the compression = an eventual loose fit, or not accomodating it = a cracked shank).

At the same time, like any full bent pipe, the bowl is closer to being almost directly under your nose than with a straight(er) pipe. As small a difference in distance as this is, it has a surprising way of bringing the aroma of the smoldering tobak "home" to you, combining this nicely with the flavor of it through the stem.

One thing you've got to learn to remember with a system pipe is that you've got a little swimming pool of moisture in sump. Which you can inadvertently pour into your lap if you don't keep this in mind during smoking and cleaning (Q-tips are handy for these). (Absentmindedly fluffing the ash on top and pouring it out in mid-smoke the way you're used to doing is a real poor move unless you pull the stem and do the sump first). This being the case, you've got a much bigger area to clean and dry back out again.

Apples and oranges.

:face:
 

slartie

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The one and only reason why I have passed up on the system pipes, is simply the fact that I don't like the way they look. I wish I had something more substantial for you, but other than looks I got nuthin'
 

Davey

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Thanks again.

question: regarding pulling the stem while your smoking in aNON system pipe:

Why is there a risk of cracking/loose fit?

I don't get it. If you are putting the stem right back in teh mortise, what is the problem; you're right where you were 15 seconds ago??

I must be missing somehting here.
 

jhuggett

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The problem comes in with heat. When the pipe is hot the wood is expanded so the shank and stem fit will be much tighter that when it's cool. Start wiggling it around to much when it's tight and you can either break it or wear down the fit so when it cools it becomes too loose.
 

slartie

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Of course you can repair a loose fit by heating up the tenon with a lighter and knocking the end on a table, but why even go there ...
 
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