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COBS: To Cake, or Not To Cake?

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by scworrell, Nov 13, 2010.

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  1. scworrell

    scworrell Member

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    How do you all feel about cake in your cobs? I've always tried to keep a nice thick even cake to keep it from burning out the bowl. But today a second person commented that you should always keep cake out of your cob as much as possible.
     


  2. Pschoppy48

    Pschoppy48 Member

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    I may keep a very thin cake in the cob, but too think a cake may interfere with the smoking properties of the cob. The same would go for meers and clays also. Just a thought.

    Phil.
     
  3. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    No cake in a cob!
     
  4. scworrell

    scworrell Member

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    Good to know! Thanks for the feedback guys. Looks like I'll be bringing out the ol' swiss army knife tonight...
     
  5. cmw00

    cmw00 Member

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    Well the Cob ain't called Missouri MEERSCHAUM for nothing. I think they tend to have similar qualities and characteristics as Meer. I've never let a noticeable cake build up so I can't really comment on that. Cob's smoke pretty cool and dry, right off the shelf, so I think a cake may actually hinder that.
     
  6. scworrell

    scworrell Member

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    Well allow me to explain the reasoning for me building a cake in my cobs...

    As you can see, I'm a noob. I did, however, smoke a cob for a couple months in college. One night, while a couple buddies and I were out having a great time at a cigar bar, I decided to go with the cob instead of a cigar. About 20 minutes into the smoke, the pipe burned my hand; it had a burn-out about half way down the bowl. Granted, I had no "pipe etiquette" and was probably smoking way too fast and hot. But since I picked up the pipe again, I always figured a good cake would prevent that from happening again.

    Anyway, I'll be scraping the cobs clean tonight. After a day or two of letting them breathe, I'll light 'em up again with nothing but toby in the bowl, and hopefully my new-found knowledge will prevent me from burning out another pipe.
     
  7. cmw00

    cmw00 Member

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    Knocking on wood, I've never had a "burnout". I can't imagine how hard and fast you'd have to puff for it to happen. When I hear of burnouts, I wonder if it's more of a defect in the cob. Maybe a combination of the two?

    Biggest thing I think a cake would hurt is keeping the pipe warmer, causing hotter smoke, less flavor etc.
     
  8. Stoked

    Stoked Member

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    I agree, no cake in cobs.

    Since a cob does have similar properties like a "real" Meer, as already stated, it makes sense to keep the cake off like you would with a Meer. I've never had a burn through, and I've been smoking some of my no-cake cobs for years.

    Originally, I started scraping them for two reasons. 1) I believe they dry quicker with less/no cake; 2) The MM bowl is small enough, where I don't want cake taking up the space my tobacco would otherwise take.

    [​IMG]
    ~ Orlik Golden Sliced ~
    Smoked by all shrewd judges
    and "geniuses"
     
  9. scworrell

    scworrell Member

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    Great advice guys, thanks a million! Come to think of it Charlie, the cob was a cheep little Chinese basket cob... That was most likely the culprit, or at least an accomplice to my fast smoking as you stated earlier.
     
  10. WyoBob

    WyoBob Member

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    I read on one of the forums that cake build up could cause the bowl to crack in cobs so that's why I try to keep it in check. I don't have experience to know if it's a fact but it made sense to me. As another poster suggested, the bowls on cobs are small enough without reducing volume with cake.

    A possible fix for burn out would be to mix some "pipe mud". I used this on an ebay briar that had had a really rough life. Three cracks in the bowl (and assorted other problems). I mudded the cracks and smoked the pipe gently to build cake and that seem to have fixed the problem. It's a good smoker (for a briar) :groucho:

    I round and smooth all of my cob bottoms with mud and, so far, this has worked very well. It eliminates cracks and crannies that have sharp edges and crevices that might be prone to burn and makes the bowl easier clean.

    WyoBob
     
  11. Shootinok

    Shootinok Member

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    I always run a pipe cleaner in the stem of all my pipes before I put them up after a smoke. In the cobs I'll take it (after the stem - as they're not usually very dirty) and make a small loop or bulb then give the bowl a quick swipe around.
    Works great for me. :bing:
     
  12. Strongirish

    Strongirish Member

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    Well, here we go again on cake. I have a lot of cobs and I have some I have smoked over 30 years and they still smoke great. I have never one had a burn out or a crack and I keep a cake in mine. I think they smoke better and sweeter with a cake. So, it is up to each person what they like, but there is no rules on how to do it. if you are enjoying them with a cake, don't feel pressured to remove it, you might regret it.
     
  13. scworrell

    scworrell Member

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    I can remember loving the way the MM's tasted when they were brand new, so I know I didn't dislike it without the cake. Which do I like more? Hard to tell now that both of my cobs are caked. Maybe I'll just scrape one clean, leave the other caked, and decide from there. Thanks fellas.
     
  14. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    Now that would be an interesting test. ;)
     
  15. yinyang

    yinyang Some rim charring is to be expected.

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    The theory, as I understand it, is that a cob, due to it's porous nature, can help wick away tar, moisture, etc...(the icky factor). Cake actually inhibits this. Now, I have multiple cobs...one I call Ol' Stankbutt...a Legend I've abused for well over a year now(harsh aro's, Lakeland soap, Latakia...etc.), all with no real cleaning, and no, and I mean no, cake clean up. The others, including two Hackert's, I fastidiously swab with tissue when I am finished smoking them. So I already have examples of both. My personal results? Eh, inconclusive. The only interesting thing I can report is that Ol' Stanky tends to ghost a bit...odd for a cob, but maybe not with the swill I subject it to. The cobs I clean? Fresh as a daisy, bowl after bowl. The caveat is that these cobs tend to get the same weed, time and again. Hard to ghost a pipe, especially when you don't bounce it around with oddball blends. YMMV.
     
  16. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    To cake?

    Or not to cake.........that is the question

    Whether it is nobler to scrape and strip or let it build up blah blah blah.........

    The choice is the owner's of said cob. Even if it's an "expensive" Hackert cob or mid priced banded Walker bros.......if the built up cake crakz or disintegrates your bowl......well besidez losing a pipe-friend you're only out $15-30! Bottom line is smoke your cob the way YOU enjoy smoking her! If you feel/believe that you must strip the cake to enjoy your cob fully? Then strip & scrape away! it's not my place to tell you that you have to smoke your pipe the way I prefer to smoke mine.

    Let them have cake..................if they want it!

    :)


    :velho:
    Ed Puff!
    Cogito ergo puff
     
  17. tsgourley

    tsgourley Member

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    Cake is horrible with cobs. I mean, on occasion I'll mix corn with mashed potatoes, but with cake?! Never!


    This has been "Moments with Tim". Tune in next week to hear Tim say...
     
  18. scworrell

    scworrell Member

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    Oh, come on, I wouldn't say horrible. A little odd maybe, but certainly not horrible. I'll be sure to give y'all my opinion on the side-by side smoke tomorrow. Letting the reamed one breathe tonight.

    Rob
     
  19. user0003

    user0003 Well-Known Member

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    As with briars cake protects the bowl and as with briars I keep a minimal layer of cake in all three types of pipes for that reason.

    You should do as you do and not as I say, all will be fine.
     
  20. Pecci

    Pecci Active Member

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    I enjoy the taste of a new MM cob. The great thing about it, is they are so inexpensive.

    As far as the existing cob pipes ... I twist-up a clean, heavy & dry paper towel, and ream the bowl, by spinning the twisted paper towel. I do it a few times to get out the majority of carbon.
     
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