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Natural cobs

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by soundlzrd, Apr 21, 2011.

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  1. soundlzrd

    soundlzrd Active Member

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    I was curious as to the difference between a natural and a finished cob. I have a natural red freehand that I picked up last year. I was curious if the finished freehand smokes any different. I ask because I came across a video where the presenter said it is common to burnt through the natural cob. Only thing I have notices is I get more moisture build up in the stem than I do with other, finished cobs, but I thought that maybe because they are smaller. Any insite?

    Thanks

    Sean
     
  2. WyoBob

    WyoBob Member

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    I have no idea how a finished Freehand smokes but my natural Freehand is a great smoker (though not a clincher). :groucho:

    I have four natural Diplomats and 3 or 4 of the finished Diplomats and smoke the naturals most of the time. The naturals are dedicated to va/vapers which I smoke 90% of the time. The finished MM's are dedicated to aros and Balkan/English.

    My natural Freehand stem did accumulate moisture. This is a Vulcanite stem and is quite different from the plastic MM stems. (Btw, I use MM's Danish stems on all my cobs but the F.H.) The Freehand stem did condense moisture for me to where there was a slight gurgle (moisture hanging down in front of the hole in the tenon. (I've never had a wet heel gurgle problem in any cob).

    I think the reason for condensation accumulation is because the stem is a mass of cold vulcanite on which moisture laden smoke can easily condense. I solved the problem by opening the tenon with a series of drill bits thus decreasing mass and increasing surface area so any condensation accumulation is less likely and what condenses is more widely spread, i.e. unlikely to flow together and form a "drip".

    After having smoked 100's of bowls through my cobs, I have yet to have a burn through in any of them. I've read about folks poking holes through the bottom of cobs and haven't quite figured out how that happens. I have a couple of Prides (non hardwood bottom, one "pipe mudded" and one, not) that smoke to the bottom and have never been damp in the heel. (I do dry most of my pipe tobacco before loading a bowl.)

    WyoBob
     
  3. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

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    "I ask because I came across a video where the presenter said it is common to burnt through the natural cob."

    Funny, I've heard the opposite, that naturals smoke cooler. Do you think the presenter meant like an actual homemade raw unfinished cob? That seems like it might be true. Between two MMs, though, my own belief is that finish wouldn't make much difference.
     
  4. whitebriar

    whitebriar Member

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    some say the naturals smoke cooler--i have both and i personally can't tell any difference--

    i actually prefer the finished pipes--it's just a personal thing i suppose--just feels better in the hand--
     
  5. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    The new "Naturals" from MM as well as the "Missouri Pride" and the "CCSS Freehand" pipes all tend to smoke cooler to the touch. The naked cob dissipates heat very well through it's ability to breathe and tremendous outer bowl surface area. Whereas the plastered cobs will/can get hot to the touch when smoked since the plaster tends to hold the heat and doesn't dissipate it as well. The Naturals dissipate the heat much better than the plastered MMs.

    That said, the Naturals can fool you allowing you to enjoy a cooler smoking cob since they generally "feel" cooler than the plastereds. Many pipers (myself incl) tend to smoke with greater enthusiasm especially when the bowl is cool and the smoke is "right". You're stokin' along puffin' & enjoyin' and really diggin' the moment and the next thing you know, you've burned out (on the side) or burned thru (on the bottom). This can happen with any pipe that will burn. Won't ever happen with a real meerschaum or clay. I have never burned out or thru on any cob. But I do realize the potential of it happening. This scenario happens most often with the thinner walled cobs or the "non-MM" cobs (PRC cobs).

    In comparison, the Plastered Freehand and the General will both indeed be a fistful of fire if you let the enthusiasm of the smoke get away from you. It will/can get very hot. What I've noticed is that as the walls and bottom carbons up it tends to smoke cooler than a brand new one. So, it'll cool down within the first few smokes.

    As for the MM Freehand stem gurgling, I do something very similar to what WyoBob does by opening up the draft hole in the tenon. I use a bladed awl (swiss army knife) and just ream her open until she's nice and wide. About twice the original diameter. Narrower smoke passageways tend to gurgle more and the smoke passage through the MM Freehand stem is kind of narrow. By opening up the tenon draft hole, I experience much less gurgling if any at all.

    So, Sean, is there a Plastered Freehand/Hackert in your future? ;)

    :velho:
    Ed Puff!
    cogito ergo puff
     
  6. soundlzrd

    soundlzrd Active Member

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    Wow, as usual I completely underestimate the quality and thoroughness of the answers to my questions.

    I am going to have to try and clean out the tenon and see what happens. The only Freehand I have is natural and I enjoy it more than the General, except the gurgle. I think it is because of the cooler smoke. The one nice thing about cobs is when they burn, like when new, you can taste it. If it gets to hot, put it down.

    Kiowapipe, it was MM the presenter was talking about, he actually sells both.


    Puff, I was hoping to have a Hackert headed my direction by now, but he is not taking new orders at this time. I originally wanted to send him this natural red and have it worked over so I would not have to worry about the stem, but he is not doing that anymore either. So, just going to watch his store and hope for the best. Until then I was thinking about ordering a Walker Freehand setup, but I see he just posted Oom Paul Generals. Not sure how they would smoke, but they look like older MM designed. So in short, yes I hope to have a plaster or Hackert in the near future.
     
  7. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    Sean, about the "split shank" prevention, save yourself some bucks and go to your local hardware store and get some "split ring key rings". They work and if you can find them in different colors/metals, then all the better! Of course, you have to break the pipe down but that's quite easy unless you've already reinforced the shank-bowl area already. Both of my "zip tied" CCSS' have been reinforced so well that I'd break the shank before breaking the glue or even worse, I'd take out a hunk o'bowl! So, the zip ties stay on those two. But, I've built up a couple of CCSS with the split key rings and that's an inexpensive mod for a permanent upgrade.

    If you sent your CCSS to Jake, you're out shipping (probably both ways) and the cost of either banding, or collar/bell placement and purchases of hardware. Probably ~$20 (cheap) $50 (extreme). With the split key ring, it was $0.35. And an overnight glue dry. The ring size I used to circlage the weak mortise end is 5/8 inch. Slipping the ring onto the bowl end of the shank (break the pipe apart separating the bowl from shank usually breaks easily with an upward pull on the shank towards the bowl) it starts to tighten up around midway up the tapered shank. Just keep working it up to about 1/8 inch from the end of the shank and then place a small liner of cyanoacrylate to the ring above and below it holding it in place further. Glue the shank back into the bowl (I use Elmer's Carpenter's Glue, the regular White would work well too). Let dry overnight. Wallah! Fixed and now she be one of them thar "bionik kobz"! :)

    :velho:
    Ed Puff!
    cogito ergo puff
     
  8. soundlzrd

    soundlzrd Active Member

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    Hum, not sure how I feel about pulling the shank out of the pipe. Wonder if I should wait until this one splits? :roflmao: Does MM sell spares?

    Thanks for the input, looks like I can make a pipe I already love even better!
     
  9. Marc

    Marc Active Member

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    2,126
    Natural cobs breathe with incredible ease, which produces a much cooler smoke to the palate and the hand.
     
  10. WyoBob

    WyoBob Member

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    If you know a fly tier (that you'd like to abuse), you could have him throw a few wraps on your Freehand. I used 6/0 thread and coated it with clear nail polish. It was a pain as I did it with the pipe assembled. You just need four hands (or a padded vise).:) It would be light years easier to do with the stem removed.

    WyoBob

    [​IMG]
     
  11. soundlzrd

    soundlzrd Active Member

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    That looks great. No fly tiers here that I know of, and being that you called it abuse, I feel that the split ring idea will get the green light instead. However I doubt it will look as classy.
     
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