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Breaking in a cob

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by smcclown, Dec 29, 2010.

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  1. smcclown

    smcclown New Member

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    Hey everyone. So my MM Cobs and goodies showed up today. These are my first pipes and I'm looking forward to trying them out. I've read about the 'rule of thirds' or something along those lines. Is it necessary to break in a cob a third of a bowl at a time?

    Also, what about trying different tobaccos? I ordered two pipes and a sample pack of five different kinds of tobacco. Dare I smoke one then the other or should I go through a bag and then clean the pipe before I try the next blend?

    One more question. Any tips for cleaning?

    Sorry for all the questions. Just a noob tryin to get the basics down.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Deckard

    Deckard Active Member

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    One of the virtues of cobs is that they don't ghost and you break them in just by smoking them.
     
  3. raistlinsk

    raistlinsk Member

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    Just smoke em! You can get more and dedicate them if you want. Great thing about cobs you can have one for every type of tobacco you have and it won't break the bank! :)
     
  4. Glenn

    Glenn Active Member

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    Just smoke them. You are not trying to build up a cake like you do with a briar.

    The first smoke out of a cob will give you a little taste of burning corn cob but it'll go away on subsequent bowls. You may also taste the wood stem burning when you get to the bottom. It only is noticeable on the first couple bowls. Just load them and enjoy.
     
  5. powell0892

    powell0892 Member

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    I agree

    I got a cob for christmas which is the first cob I have owned and you may taste some a little but like glenn said just the first couple of bowls
     
  6. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    Smoke 'em! ~10-20 bowls later, you'll see a nice rounded bowl "bottom" form using the bottom part of the shank. Once you're there, she's broken in. Cobs won't ghost as readily as briars so have at it! Although some tobys will ghost a cob somewhat. If you smoke a heavy lat or some strongly cased toby (GH Ennerdale comes to mind) then you may want to dedicate that cob for that toby. What'll happen if you smoke something else in the cob that had the lat-bomb in it, your next bowl (unless it's another lat-bomb, or the Ennerdale) won't be quite as good and will taste sort of "off". Sometimes it'll make the toby taste totally different.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of cobz!

    :velho:
    Ed Puff!
    cogito ergo puff
     
  7. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

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    Hi And Welcome,

    Think the guys have just about nailed it already. It takes me a week to smoke in a new cob - for the first couple of smokes you do get a hint of burning corn and for the next few days the smell of burning pine fron the stem poking through into the bottom of the bowl - then the miracle happens and suddenly you've got a pipe as described by Puff.

    Dry ream the inside of the bowl with some scrunched up tissue after each smoke, run a pipecleaner through the stem ditto and allow the pipe to dry between smokes and you'll have a good friend for many years. Cobs aren't just for beginners - some people never wish to get beyond them they can be so good,

    Happy smoking

    Gerry
     
  8. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    I got a Country Gent for Christmas w/a Forever stem and have been breaking it in this week. I've been smoking C&D Pegasus for the last 4 days. The first bowl was very toasted corn tasting. The second only tasted corny near the bottom and yesterday's bowl had no corn taste.
     
  9. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    I read somewhere that Mark Twain would not smoke a fresh cob, and actually paid some guy to break them in for a week or so!LOL....I recently started smoking them - with a few from 'Aristocob'and although I have never bothered before - I gave the bowl bore a light coating of honey for the first smoke, and with some Orlik GS lightly packed, and sipped as slowly as possible, got a pleasant smoke from the off!. IMHO - a cob should be treated in similar fashion to a meerschaum, and bowl cake kept to a minimum.
    Cheers, Old Ted.
     
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  10. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

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    Hi All,

    Yes Ted you are right about Mark Twain - that's in "The Idler" Magazine about 1890 - if you have a look in this Forum for my snappily entitled "Corncob Companion and Miscellaneous" you'll find it in there along with some more of The Great Man's Thoughts on Tobacco and Smoking.

    There's two schools of thought about cake on cobs - I'm with you; if you want it to behave like a meerschaum don't let it cake up,

    Best to all

    Gerry
     
  11. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

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    I love my MM (Liberty) cob and many times try new tobaccos in it.
    I wish it had a bigger bowl though. I will just have to get another with a bigger bowl.
    I guess the smaller bowl kinda makes it a "sampler" type pipe for new baccys.
     
  12. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    That's the problem with the current MM product lineup. No large bowls. They stop at around Dunhill size 4-ish. No size 5 or ODA/ODB/Grand MF, then the next larger is the General/Freehand bowl which are HUGE! The older vintage MM cobs of the 60's & 70's were much larger bowl inner dimensions and equate to the Dunhill size 5 and larger........that's why I chase them down and snag 'em up! They're great smokes, all of 'em but for me, I do prefer the larger inner dimensioned bowls.

    As for cake in a cob, the only cake I let go undisturbed is the bottom cake that forms the bowl bottom (inner bowl area). The bowl walls are "stripped" of cake to the point I can visibly see the ribbing of the cob. So there may be a minimal or extremely thin lining of cake on the walls. This helps the cob with moisture absorption and allows the cob to breathe better. Another point of cobs and breathing (of the cob, not you, the smoker) is to take the finish off the outside with some fine sandpaper. Did this to one of my older MM Diplomats and don't regret it one bit.......it does make it look more "ratty" looking but smokes better IMO. I haven't done this to my other cobs that have finishes on the outside since it does detract from the appearance but the Diplomat that I did this to was an experiment that worked but it does have its drawbacks......the Dip is my gardening and outside chores pipe.....so I don't really care how she looks, she just performs!

    :velho:
    Ed Puff!
    cogito ergo puff
     
  13. Boomer-Z

    Boomer-Z Member

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    Hello,

    I have several cobs. Each for a different toby. I didn't break them in any special way, just smoked them. I did get the same somewhat corny taste at first, but it faded after a few bowls. I don't clean them out either. Just let the cake build up. There have been some discussions on that subject, but I figure for the price and knock around qualities of the cob pipe I don't care either way.

    Welcome and enjoy!

    Z
     
  14. Old Codger

    Old Codger Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that. Honey made the first bowl of a new cob a heck of a lot better than the bowl that I couldn't even finish in another fresh cob.
     
  15. SidStavros

    SidStavros Active Member

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    I have read that many englishman "Lords" did the same with their pipes. The gave them with other stem to the servants to smoke them a little bit to make the necessary cake.
     
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