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From: ????????????????????????

To: pipes-dist
Subject: Pipes Digest #79 - August 8, 1992
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		  Pipes Digest #79 - August 8, 1992

Welcome to new members:

	Stefan Rolnick		(???????????????????????????????)
	Andrew Fabbro		(???????????????????????)

And join Stefan and I as we practice lighting up...

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From: ???????????????????????????????
Subject: Re:  information

Thanks for the information.
I know this is a bit much but can you tell me how to pack a pipe,
light it, smooke it, clean  it and break it in?  It seems like each
tobacconist gives me a differet story. 
ALso, is this an internet conference or just a mailing group?
P.S. Are you a student or faculty member at Rutgers?

[ This is just a mailgroup; Elias Mazur could probably tell you some
stories about the hair-raising flames he encountered when he tried to
start a newsgroup! I'm a grad student at Rutgers, hopefully getting my
Ph.D. sometime this year. I'll try to give you the Masticola Method of
Pipe Packing and Puffing. -S. ]

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From: Steve Masticola (???????????????????????)
Subject: Pipe initialization and maintenance

There's really no big deal to lighting a pipe; it just takes some
practice. First, get yourself a quality pipe and some good tobacco.  I
like Petersons and GBDs; they're usually a good buy. Avoid pipes with
lacquer finishes, or with a lot of "fills" (putty applied to smooth
over surface defects). Rough-surfaced pipes are fine, though, and
usually cost a little less (and smoke cooler).  You should plan on
spending $30-50 for a decent pipe; smoke shops are usually willing to
bargain on price, and often have sales.  Look them over and buy the
one you like best; it's largely a matter of personal preference.

Amphora Regular, or a similar mild non-aromatic or light aromatic
Burley/Virginia blend, would be a reasonable tobak for a beginner.
Keep the package tightly sealed to keep it fresh. Experiment with
tobaccos until you find what you like. It helps to get a tobacco that
your wife or girlfriend likes, so get her input. If she doesn't like
pipes at all, get a new one of those, too. :-)

Also get a package of cleaners, a bottle of pipe sweetner, a LOT of
wooden matches :-), and a pipe tool with tamper, reamer, and scraper.
I have a neat little one made by GBD; it looks like a silhouette of a
pipe, and has wooden sides. It cost me about $12.

Now, to the matter of lighting. Pack the tobacco a bit at a time,
perhaps 1/3 of the bowl. You want to have it slightly springy, neither
loose nor tight. It should be easy to draw through. Use the reamer to
loosen it if it's too tight.

Light a match and hold it horizontally until the match completely
catches fire. Then hold it horizontally over the bowl, puffing and
moving the match in a circular motion over the tobacco until it is
alight. Avoid burning the edge of the bowl when you light up. After a
little while, the tobacco may go out. If so, tamp it down a little and
re-light. If there's a lot of ash in the bowl, empty it out without
knocking the pipe, then tamp and re-light.

You may find the pipe getting a little juicy as you smoke. To avoid
this, try to keep your mouth dry as you smoke, and avoid swallowing.
If it does get juicy, run a cleaner down it to clear it out. However,
don't take the stem off the pipe while it's still hot, as this will
eventually cause the stem to get loose.  (You can, however, take a
military-type push stem off a hot pipe; many Petersons and Savinellis
have this feature.)

Try to puff rhythmically. If the pipe gets too hot, or if your tongue
gets "bitten", slow down, or lay the pipe down and let it cool awhile
if necessary.  If the pipe goes out a lot, speed up. Before too long
you'll find a good rhythm.

Try to smoke your pipe all the way down, as long as it's pleasant.
This helps build up an even layer of "cake" (carbon) inside the bowl.
When you're done, clean all the dottle (ashes and unburned tobacco)
out of the bowl with the reamer. Avoid banging your pipe on the
ashtray, as this can make dents in the pipe. Put a cleaner in the
(cool) pipe until the next time you smoke it, to absorb any leftover
juice and help keep it clean.

"Break-in" refers to the initial carbonization of the bowl.  Many
pipes now come with pre-carbonized bowls and require no break-in. I'd
recommend such a pipe for a beginner.  However, it's desirable to
maintain a 1-2 millimeter layer of cake for a cool, even smoke.

If your pipe smokes sour or gurgles, if there's a lot of goo inside
the stem, or if the cake is very thick, it's time for a cleaning. This
usually will have to be done every 5-10 smokes. First, use the knife
blade of the pipe tool to scrape the cake to the proper thickness.
Then use the reamer to get any heavy goo out of the wood part of the
air hole of the stummel (the wood part of the pipe). Dip a cleaner in
the pipe sweetner, and run it through the stem; repeat with fresh
cleaners until they come out clean. Repeat with the stummel air hole;
be careful not to get any cleaner on the outside of the pipe, as this
harms the finish. After cleaning, let the pipe rest a few hours before
smoking it again, to give the sweetner a chance to dry out.

If you like smoking a pipe, why not get another? Or several? Most pipe
smokers have some kind of a collection, since we like variety, and
because pipes smoke better if they're given time to rest between
smokes. I have about 25, but I've been building my collection for
about 15 years. Make sure you've gotten to know the last pipe before
you buy the next one, so you don't wind up with a lot of new, unsmoked
pipes. It's OK to make mistakes; hardly anyone likes every pipe they

Lastly, enjoy! Don't smoke if you don't feel like it. It should be a
pleasurable pastime.

Perhaps (undoubtedly!) our other members will have things to add to
this. There are a million ways to smoke a pipe, all of them right. :-)
Let us know how it's going.

Until next time, then,

				Smoke in peace,
				~\U Steve.

 U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ | ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U
 )				       *   *				  )
( Pipe smokers will rule the world!      *   ??????????????????????	 (
 ) (if they don't run out of matches...) *   Steve Masticola, moderator	  )
(				       *   *				 (
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Article Index

  1. Subject: Pipes Digest #79 - August 8, 1992
  2. Subject: Re: information
  3. Subject: Pipe initialization and maintenance
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