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Guarantee yourself a good smoker

Discussion in 'Pipe Making Forums' started by Sasquatch, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. Bradabelko4

    Bradabelko4 Member

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    With my meer, just a pipe cleaner mid smoke with ensure it stays clear of any particulate matter when I empty out the bowl.
     


  2. Svart

    Svart Member

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    Great post Sas, very helpful for the people just getting into pipe smoking.
    I have a question for you. A friend of mine (not really s pipe smoker) likes to make various objects out of wood.
    He recently made a pipe, but the bottom of the tobacco chamber is flat (not round or conical), because he did not have any round or conical shape drill bits (or whatever he used to drill it with). The draw hole seems to be right in the middle of the chamber, about half a millimeter from the bottom.
    Now he asked me if this pipe would smoke good, and I seriously did not know how to answer to him, since I never had or seen a flat chamber pipe.
    What can you tell me about this?
     
  3. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Well-Known Member

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    I would guess 2 things. It would be tough to smoke the tobacco at the bottom of the bowl, particularly the side away from the air hole. Alos, depending on the wood, the pipe may be liable to burning and/or cracking. The hot/wet cycling of pipe smoking is very hard on most woods.
     
  4. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    I think we need to move this thread to the "Old Farts" section.... it's pretty much beginning to smell like one :ohyh:
     
    Spillproof and andrew like this.
  5. BigB

    BigB Member

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    Can anyone direct me to some picture of correctly, and incorrectly drilled pipes so that I have a visual of what To look for when choosing a pipe?

    I tried to search for some but didn't have much luck.
     
  6. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Well-Known Member

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    I'll see what I can do.
     
  7. DGErwin11

    DGErwin11 Moderator Moderator

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    Usually, when Sas posts pictures of his work there is a clear shot of the chamber. Whatever the drilling looks like in his pipes, that is what right looks like.

    Not even in the same league, but if you get a chance to examine a Kaywoodie or Dr Grabow, the automated manufacturing process they use usually gives a consistantly decent drilling.
     
  8. BigB

    BigB Member

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    Thanks!
     
  9. user2725

    user2725 Active Member

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    Here is a photo of a Peterson system pipe, note how the airway enters the bowl right at the bottom of the bowl, this is ideal drilling, just the quickest picture I could find, maybe someone with post some better examples...
    [​IMG]
     
  10. BigB

    BigB Member

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    I've seen a few shots of Sas's work, so I think I have a basic idea of what "correct" is supposed to look like, but I've also seen a few examples of "correct" that looked different. Some bowls have a slot at the bottom, some the hole is dead center of the bottom, some it's at the bottom, but at the edge of the bottom, etc.

    I actually have a dr grabow that I think is drilled too high, but I'm not sure. The bowel extends maybe an 1/8th of an inch below the hole. Smokes ok though. Not great, but ok.

    I have a Stanwell that's drilled at the bottom, but still on the side of the bowl that leads to the shank. My new Boswell is drilled slightly lower, with almost a little bit of a slot leading the the very bottom off towards the shank. So I'm not entirely clear on what too low looks like. Or how how high is too high.

    Being of from side to side is obviously pretty easy to recognize.
     
  11. BigB

    BigB Member

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    That helps thanks. When people say "right at the bottom" I often think of the bottom center, but that's more like the very bottom of the wall.
     
  12. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Well-Known Member

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    I like to drill such that the bottom of the airway touches the bottom of the bowl - I'd say the Peterson shown is drilled right.

    So "bottom corner" of the bowl is good. Too deep, like a slot or trough, I find packs up with tobacco easily, but some guys like it.

    More important is probably the looking in the mortise and seeing what the airflow situation is - can smoke get from the bowl into the stem easily?
     
  13. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Well-Known Member

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    I think the pipe actually says "Shazam!" very quietly when you hit it this good.
     
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  15. Imrandy

    Imrandy Member

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    Wow you could not get it any more in the bottom Shazam may be an under statement.
     
  16. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Well-Known Member

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    That makes up for the pipe maker yelling SHIZNIT! when it doesn't come out that good. I totally misdrilled a really beautiful piece of wood the other day - my masking-tape depth gauge was slipping and I didn't know, so I put the airway about a cm past the bowl. Grrr.
     
  17. BigB

    BigB Member

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    Thanks SAS. Good info. I'm going to save some of this pics on my phone just in case I ever find myself choosing a pipe off the shelf again in the future.

    I'm going to pay more attention to the smoke's path as well. This little Stanwell I have has always been a somewhat crappy smoker despite being drilled pretty well (right at the bottom corner). It's a filter pipe, and it's always had a filter adapter in it. I never thought about taking it out and I've never used it with a filter. Looking at it, I can see how being a bent pipe with a filter adapter the smoke has to go through a bunch of turns, narrows, etc.

    I just yanked the filter adapter out and the draw on it feels better already. It passes a pipe cleaner with less effort as well. I suspect it might smoke better now. I'll give it a smoke tomorrow to find out.
     
  18. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Well-Known Member

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    Probably it will smoke better now. Ideally, the airway is one smooth tube all the way up, or an approximation of that. Less ideal is having some big dead-air space in there, but far, far worse is having things occluded, rough, or just plain old difficult anywhere along the smoke's pathway. Truly, some of my best smoking pipes have fairly large air spaces in the mortise - a Peterson and a Savinelli come to mind.
     
  19. dwpipes

    dwpipes Sales Account

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    I think Sas's original post is great advice for a buyer. On my new pipes I try to get the "SHAZAM" Sas showed in a later post, because that is what most buyers expect, but as a restorer/reseller of estate pipes, I have seen many non-shazams (even on well known brand name pipes) that seem to smoke well. At the West coast pipe show, one of the new pipe makers was creating pipes with 'HUGE' secondary air chambers (looked like Guppies) between the bowl and the stem, but according to him were great smokers. So, I am a bit skeptical of the whole 'perfectly engineered' pipe idea.

    I do agree that soft, spongy, extensively flawed/filled briar (near the inner bowl) pipes probably have a short life span and that the care taken with the fit and appearance of a pipe does indicate good intentions on the part of the maker. I also agree that pleasing cosmetics do not ensure a good smoker, but if it is quality briar, a good smoker and cosmetically pleasing, then it is a treasure to be cherished. Please note, that I am a novice pipe maker and have not yet found my groove, so you may take my comments with a grain of salt.
     
  20. andrew

    andrew Member

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    I think you might be referring to a type of system pipe, something like a tubo perhaps? I've never smoked one personally, but another thread on that type of pipe (large air gap) might be interesting.