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Cake on a meerschaum

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Jayson H Bucy, Nov 6, 2011.

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  1. Jayson H Bucy

    Jayson H Bucy Member

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    Do meerschaums cake like briar? Just curious because I hear about how tobacco neutral they are and was wondering how that was possible with cake.
     
  2. user1975

    user1975 Active Member

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    I don't allow a cake to build in mine, I keep the bowl wiped out after a smoke or two.
     
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  3. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    Same here! Although I smoke them very rarely... I do prefer my Briars or cobs!:bing:
     
  4. qwik

    qwik Member

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    Wondering, how soon after smoke to wipe clean bowl, still warm or let it cool wipe then rack it
     
  5. user1975

    user1975 Active Member

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    Let it cool first.
     
  6. af0h

    af0h Member

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    If a thick cake forms in a Meer, it can crack the bowl due to expansion when the cake layer heats up. I wipe mine out with a paper towel twisted up as soon as the pipe cools. The bowl is black inside, of course, but no real layer of cake.

    The cake layer is also responsible for most of the 'ghosting' we experience. I treat my cobs the same way, no cake layer.
     
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  7. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    I'm in the midst of an experiment regarding the common wisdom that a heavy cake cracks a meer due to the different levels of expansion and contraction (between cake and meer). After three years, my heavily caked meer has not cracked. Nor has it broken due to extreme heat or cold... but that's another story. Anyway, cake causing a crack is a plausible theory but I've found it doesn't hold up under empirical testing. *

    The reasons you don't want a cake is that A) meerschaum doesn't require it, as meers don't burn out as briars do; B) it impedes the coloring process; and C) it "holds the ghost" of tobaccos past.

    * But hey, better safe than sorry - and you won't catch me experimenting with one of my GOOD meers! My test pipe is a crappy, ugly SMS that looks like it barely survived a war. :D
     
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  8. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

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    I've wondered in the past about the moisture absorption properties of uncaked meer vs. cake.
     
  9. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    I keep the cake away from my meers with the twisted tissue, or bent-double pipe cleaner, but have started to leave plenty of cake in cobs - that stuff burns through far too easily IMO!
     
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  10. kreinhard

    kreinhard Member

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    I run a pipe cleaner through the stems, then double it and clean out the bowl, followed by a twisted paper towel or napkin to dry ream the bowl. No cake in my meers, although the inner wall of the bowl is uniformly dark brown (not black), except at the very bottom where the dottle usually winds up. That's just dark beige in color.
     
  11. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    With respect to coloration, cake acts as a barrier to the tobacco byproducts migration to the outer bowl. That migration, along with the wax, essentially causes the pipe to color... or so we think!
     
  12. Jussto

    Jussto Active Member

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    Even with dry reaming after each smoke, my heaviest smoked meers develop some cake. As soon as it is noticeable I use fine sandpaper wrapped around my little finger to clean it out, being careful not to remove any meerschaum.
     
  13. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Yep - same here.
     
  14. t-bear

    t-bear Well-Known Member

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    I have a pocket knife that I rounded the tip on. I use it when I feel there is a cake build-up starting. Other than that, I dry ream with a paper towel after every smoke. I prefer to do so while the bowl is still warm, but that's just me.............
     
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