On Packing A Pipe

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by Otoolefan, Sep 25, 2012.

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  1. Otoolefan

    Otoolefan Member

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    Since I've only been a regular pipe smoker for about 3 months, I'm still learning my craft...

    I must have watched or read about almost every way of packing a pipe now. It seems to me that there are numerous ways to pack a pipe that will result in a good or decent smoke. Last night I seem to have hit upon an important rule of thumb for me and want to see if it resonates with anyone else on here.

    Last night, as I filled my MM Legend with Carter Hall, I decided to pack it looser than I usually do. I kind of stuck to the "thirds" method of packing a pipe and used less tobacco than I have been using to fill the same pipe.

    The resulting smoke was the best smoke of CH in a cob I've had in a while--it was also cooler, the draw was easier & the smoke itself seemed to be much richer & creamier, which made the tobacco taste better.

    It seems to me that one should be much more mindful about packing the pipe too tight instead of worrying about packing it too loose. If you pack your pipe too loosely, you can always pack it tighter after it's lit with your tamper, whereas it's much harder to loosen up a pipe that's packed too tight.

    Anyway, that's my thought for the day. I'm going to continue to pack my pipe a bit looser than I think I should and see if I keep getting the great result I got last night.

    Just wondering what your experiences have been with this when you first started smoking a pipe...


    Don
     
  2. cakeanddottle

    cakeanddottle Member

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    Burleys don't need much packing at all. Lat blends a bit more, and I like a little firmer pack for Va's.
     
  3. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    I think you're on track. As you say, you can always pack it down a bit. I remember when I was first smoking, I would pack way too tight and then try to run the poker on the Czech tool down the bowl on the shank side to create a draught. Don't try this at home -- or anywhere else. It doesn't work. Other times I would just dump it all out and start over. Tough learning curve. Of course, that was before the help available from PSF. It was before the Internet. Ha. Sometimes I think it was before electricity. But, again, you're on the right track. Start looser -- and always check your draught before lighting up. :bing:
     
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  4. Otoolefan

    Otoolefan Member

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    On my last relight, I took my Czech tool poker (in my case a nail) and stirred up the remaining tobacco, so that some of the unsmoked tobacco on the very bottom came to the top. This technique also made the tobacco loose again. When I relit, the smoke was still rich and creamy and I basically smoked all of the remaining tobacco. When I was done, I knocked the ashes out of my pipe and saw that there was very little, if any, dottle left!

    Don
     
  5. Skiballa

    Skiballa Member

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    I prefer starting pretty loose, and tamping as I go. That doesn't fly in my Kirstens, but generally contributes to an awesome smoke in a meer or cob. My briars, on the other hand, are all a bit more temperamental about the pack, and if they get too difficult they get overlooked in preference of an easier smoker.
     
  6. Coda

    Coda Well-Known Member

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    I do something similar. Once it gets to about half way, or a little less, I use the poker part of the Czech Tool, stir the ash on top, dump it, and kind of "fluff" whats left of the tobacco. Then I re-tamp, and light...
     
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  7. Otoolefan

    Otoolefan Member

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    Cool! Yes, on my last relight, I dumped the ash on top off as well as "fluffing" what was left. This seemed to improve the relight tremendously. This will be standard practice from now on.
     
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  8. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    I use the poker mid-smoke, of course, that is one of its functions. Like with a fireplace poker tool, one can "poke" the "embers" and then re-tamp instead of a relight. Sometimes. Personally, I would never dump the ash until the end of the smoke, but that is just me.
     
  9. Otoolefan

    Otoolefan Member

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    Good analogy
     
  10. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    Soon you will be packing a pipe without having to give it any thought. You will even compensate for moisture level, type of tobacco, etc.
     
  11. Otoolefan

    Otoolefan Member

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    Hope so! Really feel like I crossed a threshold last night in enjoying my pipe.
     
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  12. Preacher1611

    Preacher1611 Active Member

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    When I first started smoking a pipe I would just cram the baccy in and light it up. It worked for me but the bacca was always a bit hot and tightly packed. It took a long time to to break that bad habit but getting different pipes and trying new baccy's taught me a lot about packing, lighting and smoking. Then I found PSF... and the rest as they say is history!
     
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