Chomping at the bit.

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Old Ted

Gone but not forgotten
Member
#1
Just a few morning thoughts:) - I can't abide pipes with thick and/or 'rounded' stems and/or buttons. These days, with ageing molars I tend to favour a lighter pipe, and it stays in my mouth much of the bowls smoke duration. I don't clench hard, and like to be able to shift it from left, center to right - without touching it with the hand, and this way the pipe 'breaths' with me, and sipping with a slow cadense is second nature. My favourite stems in this respect are the ulta thin saddle stems - as fitted to old Barlings, I find the pipe tends to tilt down a little, and the tip of my tongue rests just under the button.....I can't remember when I last had a burnt tongue - even with the 'notorius' MacBaren blends.
To this end - many are the times I've attacked a new stem with files and abrasives to get that elusive shape and comfort, the last one being a Peterson straight 'Donegal Rocky' bulldog that had far too much steep taper, and slipped from my jaws a few times. I just wondered how many of you are as 'finnicky' as me when it comes to the grip? - or do you bite on most any stem without problem.:)
OT
 

jdto

Active Member
Member
#2
While I am probably still in the "discovery" phase, I tend to agree with you. So far, I've found I prefer a slim, flat bit that requires minimal effort to hold there. Due to years of nocturnal teeth grinding, I have a bad TMJ on the right side (apparently, the disk is out of place which would require surgery), so I have to take good care of my jaw and keep the muscles from too much work. I filed down my Altinok LVC and it went from very uncomfortable to very comfortable. I have a few Tinsky pipes that, while of a "beefier" persuasion in terms of the bit, are shaped just so and fit very nicely. The one I have from you is probably amongst my most comfortable (and a great smoker!). The '65 Dunhill bent billiard has a bit that just sort of rests between my teeth. And of course the BST pipes I have are comfortable, though the bigger one isn't so much of a clencher. Also, I have found that the shaping of the bit is more important to me than the material of the stem.
 

psquared

DGErwin, my horse would like a word with you...
Member
#3
I've noticed that with your stemwork on the pipes you've posted here OT. I'm in your camp. I have a Jost Regent with just such a bit, very comfortable to clench.
 

bosun

Active Member
Member
#4
I also prefer a thin saddle bit even though I'm a holder. If I get a thick stemmed pipe that doesn't feel comfortable and it is a good smoker it is time for the files and sandpaper. If it doesn't smoke good it goes up on the rack (or in a box) as is..
 
#5
the last one being a Peterson straight 'Donegal Rocky' bulldog that had far too much steep taper, and slipped from my jaws a few times. :)
OT
I have one of these, the XL02. I have yet to take a file to it though. I didn't really get what the 'p-lip' was when I purchased it. I've kind of come to terms with it but it's not really clenchable in any way that's comfortable. And there's been slippage. It's annoying. Won't be getting another one.
 

Old Ted

Gone but not forgotten
Member
#6
I have one of these, the XL02. I have yet to take a file to it though. I didn't really get what the 'p-lip' was when I purchased it. I've kind of come to terms with it but it's not really clenchable in any way that's comfortable. And there's been slippage. It's annoying. Won't be getting anorther one.
my Pete was not a 'P'lip, but just tapered too sharply to an inadequate (for me) shoulder at the button, with the approach flattened considerably I can hold it all day!:)
OT
 

Snake

permanent ankle biter
Patron
#7
I've had a lot of dental work
over the years. I find a very
thin button, and a light pipe
helps when I clench (which I
do most of the time). This
is one of the reasons I like
Falcons a lot. Older Falcons
have thin buttons, and the
nylon is easier on my teeth.
 
#8
I find myself more sensitive to the width of a pipe for comfort, especially if it's a bit heavier. That said I do find for optimal clenching a pipe with a wide flat thin stem with a smooth button (flat not edged) works best. I have Italian pipes that weigh a couple ounces I can clench comfortably and a beautiful old Loewe Canadian that drives me bonkers since it's round bit tends to wobble around in my teeth despite weighing barely an ounce.
 

Old Ted

Gone but not forgotten
Member
#9
I've had a lot of dental work
over the years. I find a very
thin button, and a light pipe
helps when I clench (which I
do most of the time). This
is one of the reasons I like
Falcons a lot. Older Falcons
have thin buttons, and the
nylon is easier on my teeth.
Indeed! - the m/piece (like the bowl quality) of a new Falcon is not as good as a vintage one IMO.
 

fordy

Member
Member
#11
Hmmm... interesting. I have a number of Petersons, both p-lip & f/tail. I very rarely smoke them these days because of the knackered choppers - find the stems too oval, too thick on the taper & too chunky. It has never crossed my mind to file 'em flat.
Where is my file? Going to try it on a Pete 314 p-lip.

file, rasp, file, rasp.......
 

ruffinogold

Well-Known Member
Mayor
#12
I used to own many Italian pipes . One day I noticed that many of the stems were wide and think .. sold them all . I get like that sometimes . I also woke up one day and realized I didn't like the look and balance of Freehands ..they're all gone too . My OT pipe is killer .. I can clench it all day . As we speak , I'm filling it with G&H top black cherry ........ be jealous ;)
 

Old Ted

Gone but not forgotten
Member
#13
Hmmm... interesting. I have a number of Petersons, both p-lip & f/tail. I very rarely smoke them these days because of the knackered choppers - find the stems too oval, too thick on the taper & too chunky. It has never crossed my mind to file 'em flat.
Where is my file? Going to try it on a Pete 314 p-lip.

file, rasp, file, rasp.......
just don't go too close to the central draw hole! :eek:
 

fordy

Member
Member
#16
Nah - sussed that. Just flattened out a bit top & underside. Smoking it now.
My first impression is how the pressure on the teeth is much reduced making it more comfortable in the mouth.
 

jdto

Active Member
Member
#17
I used to own many Italian pipes . One day I noticed that many of the stems were wide and think .. sold them all . I get like that sometimes . I also woke up one day and realized I didn't like the look and balance of Freehands ..they're all gone too . My OT pipe is killer .. I can clench it all day . As we speak , I'm filling it with G&H top black cherry ........ be jealous ;)
I figure I may end up there, eventually. As time goes by and I get to know what I really like, the ones that don't measure up will likely go, regardless of brand, price or appearance.
 

Old Ted

Gone but not forgotten
Member
#18
Nah - sussed that. Just flattened out a bit top & underside. Smoking it now.
My first impression is how the pressure on the teeth is much reduced making it more comfortable in the mouth.
that was quick! - I do hope you've re-polished it properly!;)
 

Skrymr

Member
Member
#19
I find it really like saddle bit stems for clenching. My best pipe for clenching is my Estate Kaywoodie. Between the thin saddle bit and the extreme lightness of the pipe it is very comfortable. No jaw pain clenching that one for me.
 

Tsal

Bruyere Royale
Patron
#20
I slap a softy bit on all my pipes. I clench(mostly) and hold. I've never had a problem with the bit. I can see where an off balanced (heavy bowl) would be an issue with clenching.
 
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