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Clay pipes: Does size matter?

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Mington, Mar 22, 2012.

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  1. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2010

    Well, Old Ted got me re-interested in clay pipes.
    Does it matter what length you get?
    I assume if it is too short, it would burn hot.
    I am really not looking to get Churchwarden type length.
    I was guessing about 7 inches may be be a good size.
    What is your take on this?

    (Serious replies only or I sick Woody on you!) :ohyh:
    Kiowapipe likes this.

  2. Darkly

    Darkly Active Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Well, when I smoke the homemade pipe I made, only the head and stummel of it are clay, and I can comfortably hold the stummel while smoking, and the clay bowl on it is less then four inches long, so I would say you would have fine results from anything over 4 inches. A six to seven inch clay should smoke nice and cool for you I would imagine.
  3. yinyang

    yinyang Some rim charring is to be expected.

    Feb 11, 2010
    I have one with a three inch stem. I can hold it almost against the bowl without frying my fingers. (This while puffing fast on Five Bros.) So I guess i'm saying my experience says only the bowl really heats up.

    To answer your question, then, no...size does not matter. (You're in luck, Don!) ;)
    Mington likes this.
  4. Elwin

    Elwin Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    Well, my experience is limited to the three clay combo I picked up from Pipeshoppe.
    (They have 2 names for each of these same pipes, which I find kind of odd. I guess it's just a weird little marketing ploy.)

    The 4" Elizabethan (Shakespeare) was about a 5 minute smoke before it got too hot for me to handle.
    The 7" Dutch Gouda (Caribbean Pirate) wasn't a bad smoke at all. The stem is pretty delicate though, and was kind of hard for me to hold comfortably. Just a bit too thin for my taste.
    The 8" English Tavern (Sherlock) is my favorite. It doesn't look it, but holds a good amount of tobacco. It has a heavier build on the stem so was easier to get a grip on. I think I'm going to buy a couple more of these.

    None of these have glazed or waxed tips, so you can get the 'sticky lip'. I wrote and asked them what they do about that, and I was told that I could just keep smoking them until the natural saliva residue built up on the end (sounded nasty to me), or I could rub in some chap-stick or oil. I chose the chap-stick, though I may try shrink tubing on my next ones.

    I probably shouldn't have to warn you on this, but if try to smoke these down to the dottle, you could end up sucking ash. I found it to be a great learning experience (ptui!).
    And yes, the bowls gets very hot - too hot to hold. Also a great learning experience.

    Anyway, good luck!
    Darkly and Mington like this.
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