pipe packing issue

Discussion in 'Need Pipe Smoking Advice? Ask an Old Fart!' started by Robert925, Aug 22, 2012.

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  1. Robert925

    Robert925 New Member

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    I'm new to psf and am still learning how to pack my bowl properly. I think its too loose. I can hear a nice draw but have to relight my pipe after two minutes. Can someone please help so I can begin to enjoy my pipe properly?
     
  2. Luke

    Luke Member

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    Are you tamping the tobacco regularly?
     
  3. Robert925

    Robert925 New Member

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    I tamp it after I fill it three times. I tamp light, Med, and firm. What do u mean by regularly?
     
  4. Luke

    Luke Member

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    When tobacco burns it expands. Its common practise to lightly "tamp" or press down on the tobacco as it burning throughout the smoke to keep the ember in contact with the unburnt tobacco. I'm pretty sure that all pipe smokers have a tamping tool.

    http://pipesandcigars.com/3in1czpito.html

    this is the most common type I've seen. I would bet this is your problem, if you're not tamping throughout the smoke the pipe is going to go out.
     
  5. Luke

    Luke Member

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    All around pipe smoking guide :)

     
  6. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    There are going to be a lot of responses to your question. I'll start the confusion for you....

    There are many ways to "pack a pipe." None of them really more right than another. There is the "gravity fill" method and the "scoop and load" method, like dipping ice cream. There is the pinch and layer method, which I use often. There is the "pinch and twist" method, taught to me by a little old pipe maker in New Orleans in a shop I wandered into while walking around. With it one holds the pipe in the left hand, grabs a large "wad" of tobacco with the finger tips of the right hand, positions it on the bowl and while kind of forming a cylinder the pipe is twisted back and forth drawing the length of tobacco into the bowl. I still use it once in a while.

    After a while, you get a feel for how firm to pack your bowl and the method with which you feel most comfortable. The pack is kind of a variation on Goldilocks and her porridge, "not too loose and not too tight."

    A side thought comes to mind about relighting. I wouldn't be troubled by having to relight now and again. I get worried about my tobacco if I don't have to relight once in a while, to be honest. Think in terms of a good cigar or any cigarette. If one lights a cigar and lays it in the ash tray it will burn out and need to be relight. It is a sign of a good cigar. With a cigarette one can light it and use it for a fuse. It burns until the end. My ex-wife used to have a cigarette going in the morning while she was putting on her make-up. Her hands were occupied, so it just smoldered. I called it "cigarette incense." By the same token, good tobacco in a pipe -- even if packed "perfectly" might need a relight now and then. Of course, a little work with a tamp -- think about your campfire, sort of -- can keep a pipe going, too. A poke now and again, along with a gentle tamp just to keep the ash down can help keep the pipe going.
     
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  7. PatDreadful

    PatDreadful Member

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    You are going to get some great advice from this community ( and frankly, that advice will be better than anything I could add) but I just want to urge you to keep at it. After awhile you will have that magic moment where you just realize that you packed your bowl without actually thinking about it and it is smoking perfectly.

    Listen to what others say, internalize it and make it your own. No two pipers pack the same way.
     
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  8. Robert925

    Robert925 New Member

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    Thanks a lot that really helps. Tamping it while u smoke is a good idea, never thought of it.
     
  9. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    Tamping after lighting is... critical. And in fact it's the best way to control the burn throughout the smoke.
     
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  10. Goat

    Goat Active Member

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    Tamp, light, puff...... repeat.
     
  11. Calam

    Calam Member

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    How often should you tamp?
     
  12. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    If you think of the bowl as kind of a "vertical fireplace" with the "fire" burning downward and leaving a layer of ash above it may help. What I do is gently tamp down the ash as it builds up. I'm not sure if there is a way to tell you frequency. It is something you kind of learn by feel. You just want to keep the ash down and firm, but always do it gently. Also, you might want to "poke" it a little now and then too. Again, like the fireplace you're just keeping the "fire" going. Hope that helps.
     
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  13. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    I've been doing the "anti-gravity" packing method as of late. Seems pretty idiot-proof. And I tend to push the boundaries of what can be considered idiot-proof.
     
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  14. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    If you asked that question to a hundred pipe smokers you would get a hundred different answers. Very soon you will find what works for you and you'll be able to pack your pipe without having to even think about it. There are so many factors such as moisture level of the tobacco, the particular blend of tobacco, etc that you will find you have to slightly adjust your routine to the conditions but after a while you will make those compensations automatically. If I were to give you advice it would be to not be afraid to experiment. It's not unusual to have to tamp and relight once or twice during a smoke with some blends. Don't fret about it - just relax and enjoy.
     
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