The non method of pipe smoking ( for newbies )

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Ruffinogold
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Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:19 pm

I've been out of the loop here for a time given my newish job . It takes me out of town and is long hours . I don't know the amount of newbies we have here and I apologise for that . My " new life " has new challenges and I'm getting a better grip on my time management but it's been a bit tricky

So , thaet said , for any new pipe smokers .. i'd like to mention somne things that may be a little contrary to info spewed out at pipe forums in general . Not that the info isn't good , it is , but too much info about how to do something can make doing something new a bit of a chore ... and God forbid thst happens

Anything I say is just imho and isn't gospel . I'm just gonna toss out some basic tips and " tricks " that aren't methods but just , i don't know , non BS things I guess

I was blessed with owning a pipe/cigar joint outside Tampa Florida some years ago and was able to watch people smoke . By watching , I kinda figured what the problem was when someone was having an issue at first . 95 % of the timed it was sonething basic and silly . The other 5% was hopelessness ... lol . Anyway , I never had a customer not " get " pipe smoking in pretty short order of time

Filling a pipe ..... It's the main screw up for non pipe smoking enjoyment in the beginning, it really is . Here's the thing .... for some reason , guys get obsessed with tamping... I swear , I watched guys cram the hell out of the blend and complain about the pipe not smoking well .. lol . I'd tell them ... Man , You're so punishing that thing . If it were a living thing , you'd have killed it . Or maybe they just " packed " the pipe too tightly to begin with , which was the case pretty often too . The other end was too loose , which can go hot and fast
Obviously the place where it works is in the middle somewhere , and depending on the blend/cut , that can fluctuate a little bit

So , if you're having a time at it , you can start on the loose end ... at least it will burn , right . Sticking with a couple few blends at first will make things a bit eassier because you can get used to a blend . At first it's tempting to jump around between many a blend because you want to taste all the stuff but try to avoid that .
Also , some cuts/blends are just easier in general and I'll make a short list of easier ones that folks can add on too

Here's a " trick " .. dry hitting . I mean , if you dry hit the pipe when filled before lighting and it feels tight or way airy ... there's probably a reason for that . Too tight , too loose

Over thinking can be an enemy also . Realize , that if I'm able to smoke a pipe , most any one can. It's just wood with two holes , tobacco ( which burns ) and you ( a human ) . Humans will always win against wood , holes and tobacco , I promise . So , relights etc .... forget about it

Another " trick " . If your pipe is getting weak, meaning you draw on it and it's not producing much smoke , you can put your thumb/finger lightly over the bowl while drawing in and it will produce a combustion of sorts and get things fired up again . Someone pointed out to me on the old forum that it wasnt combustion but some other term id never heard of ... for the sake of not giving a rats ass about terms , lets just go with combustion.

I favor straights , mainly because my collection is more straights than bents , but I couldn't tell you why . I also like bent volcanos alot . Though it shouldn't be an issue , there's a touch more chance for a pipe to have an airway issue if bent . I don't know a number to back this up but it's one of those things that exist . I'm not saying to only get a straight , I'm not , just that they are less likely to have an issue . Really , there are ways to drill a bent spot on and it shouldfnt be an issue . A pipe cleaner passing through is a good indicator , though it isn't 100 percent nessisary

A Pot shaped pipe

I have a real affection for them . They are the trickier of the shapes to get down
Pots vary a bit , like all traditional shapes , but I'm talking the ones with wide shallow bowls . When char lighting or firs t light ... go for the sides with the flame more than the center ( like a cigar ) . A dry hit is a good idea with a pot for sure , especially with a new to you blend

The fill job . Dear God , there's many a method and they all work because there's degrees of too tight or too loose in any method . Just fill it or pick a " method " that makes sense if you have to . In time , you'll fill by feel and the feel will be a little different with different types of blends

Spazzing .... spaz if you want but if you spaz too much it may get hot or crap tasting . I smoke alot while working . My work is physical and I can spazz a bit sometimes. There's this magic " sipping " that gets talked about and it's valid but find your cadence for a blend at first

Some easy to smoke blends

In general , a ribbon cut is pretty damn easy to light andf keep lit . The " cavendish cuts " are pretty easy too because they are " ribbonish " with some shorter and or thicker things in there too sometimes

Easy aromatic

Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic is a super easy to light and keep lit blend .. its near brainless . Like any aronatic , if you dont like the flavoring, it won't work for you. But if you dig the flavoring of SWRA.. then you're golden for a good start. It has n8coyine too , which is kinda rare in the aromatic world

Easy English

Balkan Sasieni , Germains King Charles ( like we'll ever see Germain blends again .. lol )

Easy Vaper

McConnels Scottish Cake and Sutliff Crumble Cake Vaper ( a new blend that is quite good )

Easy Burley

Most of the non black cavendish " regular otc , like PA , Grainger and SWR . Velvet is damp and takes three lights to get going or maybe 4 .

Some others

Carter Hall , IRC Old Colonial ( it's fasntastic beyond for me ) , most any IRC three star Blend , MB Scottish

Black Cavendish blends , for the most part are pretty easy , but there are some super damp ones thast aren't and unfortunately cavendish get lumped in often time but it's just not true . Smokers Pride black cavendish is damp to the touch and. Lights and burns pretty damn easy, as an example

Any way , I didn't plan this thread, just kinda stream of consciousness wrote it out so it isn't complete .

If you're a new pipe smoker , just relax and enjoy
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Ruffinogold
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Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:21 pm

Btw , i just use a tablet anymore and they are difficult to type on ... so pardon my bad writing ( not that it was ever much better)
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Peacock
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:35 am

This is useful, thanks for sharing an honest opinion - my biggest issue at first was packing way too damn hard and tamping too hard/often.

BTW - spazzing? What's that?

Edit: probably with saying something about the dryness is the tobacco, too. I airways thought too dry would equal no flavor, but it's the opposite for me. Too wet = too hot of a smoke = little flavor and lots of tongue bite
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“Nowhere in the world will such a brotherly feeling of confidence be experienced as amongst those who sit together smoking their pipes.”
- The Results and Merits of Tobacco, 1844, Doctor Barnstein
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Wooda
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:18 am

Peacock wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:35 am
BTW - spazzing? What's that?
Chugging like a steam engine.
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Ruffinogold
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Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:45 am

Peacock wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:35 am
This is useful, thanks for sharing an honest opinion - my biggest issue at first was packing way too damn hard and tamping too hard/often.

BTW - spazzing? What's that?

Edit: probably with saying something about the dryness is the tobacco, too. I airways thought too dry would equal no flavor, but it's the opposite for me. Too wet = too hot of a smoke = little flavor and lots of tongue bite
Yes , Sir .. There is a too wet or too dry A situation . But I'd try a new to me blend from a fresh popped tin or pouch as it comes out of a fresh tin / pouch just in case the manufacturer did a perfect job ... But some are obvious , like SG blends . Man , SG Firedance is unsmokable from a fresh tin . It has to have dry time to even think of smoking . Some thick cut flakes that are damp need it to , like the McClelland stuff
MacBaren seem to have a ready to go product but it's trial and error I guess depending on blend , though MB is the best at a ready to go product imo

Their non black cavendish type blends use a maple sugar water combo that is pretty light annd dissipates rather quickly . Those blends can get crunchy pretty quick if left out .. unless one lives in a rain forest
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Ruffinogold
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Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:43 am

By all means , any tricks and tips ... add them . Sometimes it's easier to read about a trick / tip as opposed to pages of discussion
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oldbill
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Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:31 am

The only thing I'll add is strategic tamping and tipping. I can sense when the smoke is beginning to wane a little and a very soft tamp on the top can get it going again. Also with some blends that burn to a really fine ash I've found it necessary to tip the bowl and let some of the top ash out as it will sometimes begin to snuff out the pipe. I tip the bowl and even use my pipe tool to gently rake the top to release the dense white ash, give the bowl a light tamp and relight. I've found that by doing this I'm usually able to smoke a bowl pretty much to the bottom with fewer relights and less waste of tobacco at the bottom of the bowl. :D
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... and you can put that in your pipe and smoke it!!!
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Mr Beardsley
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Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:33 pm

My biggest tip would be to avoid the YouTube "how to" videos like the plague. Early on I was super fixated on trying to get everything right and watched a bunch of videos before I came to the conclusion that most of those knuckleheads couldn't find their ass if you drew them a map. If people feel that they have a question that's too dumb to ask this is the place to do it because odds are some of us had the same dumb question in the beginning.

Tobacco goes in the big hole, after that just feel it out. Hell I still screw up a pack every now and then and have to dump a bowl
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Peacock
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Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:01 pm

Mr Beardsley wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:33 pm
My biggest tip would be to avoid the YouTube "how to" videos like the plague. Early on I was super fixated on trying to get everything right and watched a bunch of videos before I came to the conclusion that most of those knuckleheads couldn't find their ass if you drew them a map. If people feel that they have a question that's too dumb to ask this is the place to do it because odds are some of us had the same dumb question in the beginning.

Tobacco goes in the big hole, after that just feel it out. Hell I still screw up a pack every now and then and have to dump a bowl
Yes, yes and yes! That's part of the problem with the Information Age, people become frozen with decision fatigue and feeling like they need to do things properly, exactly right or else they won't do it at all. Try, fail, figure it out again - but reading/watching/listening to everyone's take on proper flake technique or how to load a bowl or get a proper cherry or keep out moisture etc etc etc - just enjoy smoking! Nobody's watching... failure is the most necessary ingredient in learning IMO
edit: /soapbox
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“Nowhere in the world will such a brotherly feeling of confidence be experienced as amongst those who sit together smoking their pipes.”
- The Results and Merits of Tobacco, 1844, Doctor Barnstein
Mrm1775
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Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:06 pm

Really cool post Ruff, it will definitely help the new guys.
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