good 1st half, bad 2nd half

Discussion in 'Need Pipe Smoking Advice? Ask an Old Fart!' started by bioniccruiser, May 4, 2011.

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  1. bioniccruiser

    bioniccruiser Member

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    for a while now, I've noticed that I get a great 1st half of the bowl smoke. regardless of baccy or pipe. sweet flavor, smooth and enjoyable. the second half, it usually goes out to signify what is about to happen, relight (quick on the lighter so it doesn't get too hot), the rest of the smoke is smokey, dry and harsh. much like trying to relight when you didn't realize almost nothing is left in the bowl.

    I figure it is hotter than it should be,but it goes out easily if I don't puff it often enough(same rate as 1st half which is confusing). I started dumping it out when it did this, but am noticing that I have good cake on the top half of the bowl and none on the bottom half of all my most used pipes.

    I have been at this about 1 year, and smoke about twice per week. most often smoke a black burley from a local shop and a virginia from same shop. some oriental blend and some english from a different local shop. all give the same story.
    what I am doing wrong?
     
  2. Marc

    Marc Active Member

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    Sounds like you haven't caked in the bottom half of your bowl, you might try smoking half bowls to the bottom of the bowl until the bottom half of your pipe catches up to the top half, I would recommend you smoke a burley blend like PA or CH to build a fast cake.
     
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  3. whitebriar

    whitebriar Member

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    what he said:th1:
     
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  4. beaupipe

    beaupipe Active Member

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    Sorry...from the post title, I thought this was about marriage. Mine, specifically.
     
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  5. Marc

    Marc Active Member

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    I would also recommend you do not pack or tamp your bowl to tight and smoke slowly, sip your pipe or breathe smoke when clenching your pipe.
     
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  6. ruffinogold

    ruffinogold Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large. Mayor

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    Agreed .... Sounds like your packing to tight . Middletons Cherry Blend and SWR Aro if not packed to tight will almost smoke themselves to the bottom . Try gentle tamps with your blends ... if it dosent work , honestly try the Middletons or SWR aro .
     
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  7. bioniccruiser

    bioniccruiser Member

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    Sweet. thanks! I did have a half bowl once or twice already to try and cake the pipe lower down. one is a virginia dedicated pipe. should I go ahead and use the PA (it's what I have on hand) in it to get a cake?
     
  8. Marc

    Marc Active Member

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    PA will work fine and will not cause any crossover problems with your virginia's.
     
  9. Ol Brokedik

    Ol Brokedik Active Member

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    Use the "pick" part of your pipe tool to fluff up the bottom half. After you've done this, a gentle tamp should help. I've found continual tamping just keeps packing the bottom half to a point where it chokes the smoke and gets very strong.

    Be well.
    Ol Brokedik.
     
  10. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

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    This reminds me of the guy who went into a bar, ordered 12 shots of vodka and lined them up, all in a row. He slugged down the 10-shots in the middle but left the first and last shots untouched. He asked for his bill and pulled out his wallet, paid and turned for the door.

    "Hey." said the barkeep. "You forgot the first one and the last one."

    "I never drink 'em." the guy says. "First one always makes me shiver and the last one always makes me sick."

    I was gonna suggest you only smoke the middle half.

    What kind of tobacco are you smoking that does this, by the way? A flake, by any chance?
     
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  11. Deckard

    Deckard Active Member

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    I feel like cake is the white whale of pipe smoking. Everybody talks about it and wants it and near mythic tales are circulated about it, but I have no interest in it. If a pipe smokes bad from the outset no amount of cake is going to help it IMO. For the OP's problem my money is on packing too tight and pulling too hard.
     
  12. IrishRover

    IrishRover Active Member

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    This is a great thread! Thanks for the tips...
     
  13. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

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    I'll second this. Pack (fill) a little looser.
    Easy on the tamps. You should get on
    with it after you've become adept at
    this technique. Happy puffing!

    dp
     
  14. bioniccruiser

    bioniccruiser Member

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    I'm working at it. I have suspected the bottom was packed too tight. interestingly, a similar thread popped up here after I started this one that was nearly the exact same problem stated differently and IIRC, that was the consensus.
    I do tamp the ash down fairly regularly, and pretty lightly(I thought), but I suspect that's where most of my problem lies. after more reading here, I am experimenting more with different tobies in different pipes than I had originally dedicated with my lack of knowledge. it's helping. basically, 1 year of smoking once a week or so leaves me still very inexperienced, but I'm getting it.:D
     
  15. bioniccruiser

    bioniccruiser Member

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    I think I figured this one out. let me preface it with a short story-
    I tend to research everything to death and try not to make newbie mistakes. in the fire academy (I'm a firefighter), an old capt told us that as new guys, we'd get to our 1st fire and use up our entire airpack's air supply before getting to the door of the house that's on fire. I was determined not to be "that guy". from day 1, I have been able to outlast almost anyone with my air supply.
    I researched this pipe thing before even trying it. most every bit of info I found said, newbies will pack the pipe too tight. I made the opposite mistake in an attempt to not look like a newbie.:whis:
    I packed one tighter to see what happens and it was better. sooo,
    I don't really know anyone who smokes a pipe besides a coworker who started with me. I went down to my closest tobacconist that is actually very good and knowledgable about pipes. a bit of a drive, but I needed answers. I had the lady there help me pack one so I could see it done properly and then feel it myself. then sat and had a great smoke. incidently, while there I found a tin of Penzance and a tin of Squadron Leader...:th1:
    thanks you guys for helping me work this out. all your comments here and on other threads on the forum did lead me to the right answer.

    "Still a newbie" Shawn
     
  16. WillH

    WillH Active Member

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    Shawn,
    ".....................I had the lady there help me ......... so I could see it done properly and then feel it myself. ........."

    Geeze! Fireman get all the perks!:eek:

    Will

    PS. Nix the Avatar....lest you be know as the nanny guy!:p
     
  17. bioniccruiser

    bioniccruiser Member

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    :xd: my wife says, "you've never been flashed while riding in the firetruck?...that's unfortunate." I guess she never suspected the tobacco shop.

    I thought about that. I think of him more as from the bodybuilding days. I need one of me up there, but don't have any with a pipe. I'll work on it.:D
     
  18. WillH

    WillH Active Member

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    Okay! You took my joking well! Be safe! :)


    Will
     
  19. upinsmoke

    upinsmoke Member

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    You might try a milder tobacco in the bottom half to third of the bowl. I use MacBarens Virginia #1 for this purpose. Most of the Balkan mixtures do not taste well towards the bottom.
     
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