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Meerschaum Lined Briar.. Anything I should know?

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by TheMadMan, May 26, 2012.

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  1. TheMadMan

    TheMadMan Active Member

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    I getting possession of a meerschaum lined briar pipe. Anything I should know about these pipes as far as general smoking & maintenance on them.
     
  2. Mike Pomery

    Mike Pomery Active Member

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    Don't ream them while the bowl is warm, wait at least a day. Don't feed them to a gorilla's ass... That's about it.
     
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  3. johnhwatson

    johnhwatson Member

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    Wipe the bowl after each smoke with a pipe cleaner or paper towel to prevent cake from building as you don't need it with a meerschaum bowl
     
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  4. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    Briar ~lined~ Meerschaums are even more delicate that those carved from block. Be careful when you run a pipe cleaner into the stem/shaft not to ram it into the bowl sides. Lined Briars are pressed Meerschaum and will easily chip if you gouge it with cleaner wires.

    Some tips I recently found in regard to Meer care:

    A sample 'Coloring' regimen:
    There are many different ways to go about coloring your meerschaum pipe, but one of the simplest is as follows:
    Smoke your meerschaum several times a day for about two weeks. Unlike a briar pipe, meerschaums do not need long periods of rest between smokes, and can safely be smoked multiple times in a day. Do, however, allow the pipe to cool between bowls. After the first two weeks, your pipe should be noticeably heavier than when you began, owing to the amount of tars and oils now absorbed within the meerschaum. Now put your pipe aside for a period of about one month. During this rest, the beeswax will wick the tars and oils towards the surface of the meerschaum, bringing about the beginnings of a warm, smoky color with them. Repeat and enjoy!
    Before Smoking:
    The care and cleaning of your pipe begins with your very first smoke, and should continue forward from there. Before each smoke, run a pipe cleaner, either bristle or regular, through the stem to dislodge any leftover ash and dottle, and gently tap your pipe on a cork knocker or the palm of your hand to remove these obstructions from the bowl. Be especially careful when tapping a meerschaum pipe to hold it by the shank, never by the stem! It should also be noted that you should take care not to let the end of the pipe cleaner jab into the bottom of the bowl when clearing the shank and stem - this can gradually wear into the meerschaum. A gentle, controlled motion is best.
    While Smoking:
    It is always good to care for your pipe as you smoke it as well. You can begin by paying careful attention when lighting it. Keep your flame source over the tobacco, so that it does not char the rim. Unlike a briar pipe, it is near impossible to remove this rim charring from a meerschaum, so it pays to be extra careful in this department. It is also during smoking that you will most notice if a more thorough cleaning is in order. If a smoke begins to taste sour, salty, or otherwise just plain bad, it is probably time for a good cleaning. See "Periodic Cleaning" below.
    After Smoking:
    First, a warning: Always remove a stem from a meerschaum pipe by twisting it gently clockwise while supporting the shank with your fingers. At the end of each smoke, your pipe should be given a good cleaning. Dump out the ash and dottle, and run a bristle pipe cleaner around the inside of the bowl to remove any possible cake build-up. Unlike a briar pipe, understand, a meerschaum requires no cake, and in some instances a cake can in fact be detrimental to a meerschaum, either slowing the coloring process, or, with too much build-up, causing the pipe to crack. Clean out the stem by pushing a bristle pipe cleaner down through it once, then back out, and either turn the pipe cleaner around or use another, repeating this process until the pipe cleaners come out clean. Moisten a another pipe cleaner with saliva and rub the mouthpiece with it to remove any buildup there. Blow gently through the stem of the pipe to dislodge any loose, leftover ash, and wipe your pipe down with a soft, dry cloth. Place the pipe back on its rack or stand and allow it to cool.
    Periodically:
    You will want to, on occasion, give your pipes a more thorough cleaning. Most smokers do this fairly regularly, some going so far as to do so after all of their pipes have been smoked once, thus providing a regular fresh, clean rotation of pipes. You will have to experiment a bit with how often you do this cleaning to find what works best for you. To start this more thorough cleaning, carefully remove the stem of the pipe from the bowl and lay them both on a paper towel. Dip a regular pipe cleaner in alcohol and run it through the stem, starting from the tenon, towards the mouthpiece, pulling it all the way through. It will most likely come out with a bit of black or brown gunk on it. Follow this pipe cleaner with a second, dry one, and repeat until the moist pipe cleaner comes out the same color it was when it went in. Push one final dry pipe cleaner through to remove any remaining moisture, and set the stem aside. This extra care shown to the stem will both reduce the likelihood of a blockage forming, as well as ensure a cleaner, purer flavor from your smoke.
     
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  5. TheMadMan

    TheMadMan Active Member

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    Thanks guys for the tips on meerschaum. Any choice of tobacco better smoked then say another in a meer?
     
  6. IrishRover

    IrishRover Active Member

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    I smoke all blends in my meer lined. They seem to smoke great.
    Some say that a meer block smokes much better. I can't comment on that because I don't own any meer blocks.
     
  7. t-bear

    t-bear Well-Known Member

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    Not bad advice for the most part, but I take strong exception with this part>
    NEVER "tap" a meerschaum pipe on anything. Even a cork knocker will dent a warm, damp meerschaum. Use a paper towel to dry ream the bowl, then blow back through the stem to clear the draft. This goes for both before and after your smoke.
    I'm no "expert", but I've been smoking meerschaum for 0ver 40 years...done every wrong thing that you can do during those years, and hopefully, learned from those mistakes.
     
  8. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    I do use my palm, but never on a warm pipe. And never a cork knocker or anything hard.
     
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