How many in-rotation pipes needed?

Discussion in 'Need Pipe Smoking Advice? Ask an Old Fart!' started by derangedhermit, Dec 30, 2013.

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  1. derangedhermit

    derangedhermit Reclusive member

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    Ammunition.
    "But honey, if a pipe doesn't rest (dry out) after smoking, it goes sour."
    "But honey, if I use the same pipe for the foul-smelling stuff, then the stuff you like will smell bad too."

    Actually, my wife is completely gracious and supportive about my indulgences. Even the motorcycle.
     


  2. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    I used "But honey, get off my a**!"

    That's probably why I'm single! :D
     
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  3. derangedhermit

    derangedhermit Reclusive member

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    I'll be darned, such a thing does exist. If the man is thoughtful enough to do that, I have to support his work. I'm in!
     
  4. bubbagump

    bubbagump Well-Known Member

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    That's my take on it, as well. That's part of why I'm unloading a bunch of my pipes. I smoke roughly 2-5 bowls a day. I generally have about 2-4 pipes in a daily rotation. As a result of that, I can reasonably expect to rotate through at most 20 pipes.

    I was up to north of 40 pipes at one point. I had more than a dozen pipes that I hadn't smoked in months. If you want to collect pipes for the sake of collecting...have at it. I completely understand why people do it (I was doing it). However, if your concern is building up a rotation to regularly smoke each pipe...I wouldn't go higher than 20. Why?

    Go ahead and break that number. I would imagine that you'll find what I did...as well as many others. Despite the vast collection, you'll fall back on primarily a handful of pipes...10 at most. The rest will get smoked maybe once a month. At the moment, I've got 30+ pipes (many are nice briars) and my last 50+ bowls have been through two $4 MM cobs. That's another thing to keep in mind...just because you spent a ton of money on a pipe, doesn't mean that you're going to enjoy it long-term anymore than you would a cheaper pipe.

    That's another thing...MM cobs can take a LOT of abuse. I put 20+ bowls through two of them over a period of two days and they didn't bat an eye. When one got REALLY hot, I just put it down and went to the other one. My recommendation for filling out a rotation (if cost is a concern) would be to look at those. They're great little pipes. Anyways...just my $.02...
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
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  5. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    You're challenging my meager math abilities before I've had much coffee, but I agree.
     
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  6. umfunix

    umfunix Active Member

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    I tend to forget which one was the longest not smoked. I saw someone marking his pipe stand with the days of the week!
     
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  7. derangedhermit

    derangedhermit Reclusive member

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    Thanks, bubbagump, that's exactly what I want to avoid - buying a bunch of nice pipes and then just looking at them while having only a few regular smokers.

    umfunix, I think that "day of the week" thing is a good way for me to implement that, at least for now - 7 briar pipes. Nominally one for each day of the week, but whatever works the best in practice. Corncobs don't count.

    That will let me keep flavors separate and give pipes time to rest. Gonna order me a 7-pipe stand and put this into action!
     
  8. Fr Tom

    Fr Tom PSF Chaplain Old Ted Award 2017

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    My wife laughs that the perfect number of X (X being guns, mototrcycles, pocket knives, pipes) is one more than you have. She commented that I seemed to be smoking bulldogs more than usual, and I told her I had decided I really liked the shape and the bowl size was good for the commute. She gave me two for my birthday - one an unsmoked Yello-Bole (60's vintage maybe) and the other a 1930's Yello-Bole that had been heavily smoked with a "softy." You could tell where it had been removed, and there were no tooth marks. She found both of these on Ebay and made starting bids. I think she only intended to get one, but she won both. I think total birthday investment was about $25 counting shipping. These pipes have been really great smokers, and when I smoke one of them at the house, she mentions how much I seem to be enjoying the present. This is a win-win.

    When I travel, I will take two or three pipes I can afford to lose and don't worry about the "rest" thing.

    If I have one that is not a gift that I just never seem to reach for, I have a box where it stays until I miss it in the rotation or decide it needs to go to a new home. I have never sold one, but maybe I will at some point.
     
  9. derangedhermit

    derangedhermit Reclusive member

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    Please, please, take the time to read and help me out.

    The time has come, since the tobacco shipments started arriving today in earnest. I want to do two things: match pipes so that I don't get "leftover" taste, I think it is called "ghosting" around here, and be able to let a pipe rest a bit.

    So I've tentatively decided to dedicate two pipes to each of several types of tobacco blends. That should be a reaonable compromise to start, except I may need more than two for strongly flavored aromatics.
    The tentative blend types are:
    1. Aromatics (all over the board) I don't want aromatics ghosting other blends.
    2. Burleys (Solani Aged Burley Flake, Wilke Nut Brown Burley, maybe an OTC-type burley - do I need Kentucky as a separate thing, like for Kendal Kentucky?)
    3. Virginias (Dunhill Flake, SG FVF and Best Brown, McClelland Blackwoods Flake and Red Cake)
    4. Virginia/Burley blends (Old Dark Fired, Solani Silver Flake, JackKnife, Irish Flake)
    5. VaPers (long list: 3 Rattray's, Solani 633, Dunhill Navy Rolls, McClelland Viginia Perique Flake,,,) - can I include all Perique blends here, like the ones that add Burley or Cavendish (Triple Play, Three Nuns, Old Joe Krantz, Night Train, Reiner Long Golden Flake..)? I don't want Perique ghosting other blends.

    Pipes available to be paired with tobacco types, and my tentative thinking on what is best for each:
    2 pipes: Two Peterson 317s (I was thinking to use these for tobacco very high in nicotine, but does that include a lot of blend types?)
    2 pipes: One Peterson 312 and one Peterson 314, black, for aromatics (black so I can tell what they are for)
    2 pipes: One Peterson 312 and one Peterson 314, smooth, for Virginias (smooth so I know they are the Virginia pipes)
    2 pipes: Two MM Country Gentlemen for burleys (so traditional Americana) - or are they too big?
    2 pipes: One Peterson Mycroft and one Deluxe Darwin for tobacco that does well in big bowls (and those are?)
    2 pipes: 2 MM 5th Avenue for ?

    You can see I have some sorting out to do. Please help me get this sorted out. This may all change over time, of course, but I'd like to get off to a good start with these new pipes and tobaccos.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  10. Fr Tom

    Fr Tom PSF Chaplain Old Ted Award 2017

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    Look - I want you to take this well because I am saying it in all charity. You are overthinking this.

    The smoking journey involves a lot of detours and holding patterns. I had dutifully smoked flakes folded in tall narrow bowls because someone told me that was the way you were supposed to do it. This worked for me and it was good. This seemed to work pretty well until someone convinced me to try rubbing them out and smoking them in a wide, more shallow pot. It was a different smoke and I liked it more.

    The bottom line is you have to try and see. You never know until you do it. Some people lose sleep over ghosts, and others seem to enjoy a little leftover whiff of perique when they are smoking the first couple of bowls of a straight Virginia. It also might drive you crazy.

    Tastes develop and you can decide you need a break from OJK. You might decide to put the tins away and go on a CH binge. It is all good.

    You never know what is going to smoke well in those pipes. I would recommend you not be smoking too many different things at once until you have acquired the palate of GL Pease or JimInks.

    Having said all this, do what makes you happy. I claim that deciding a pipe is going to be a burley pipe is going about it the wrong way. The pipe will tell you.
     
  11. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Nice collection of Petes. Peterson Pipes are my favorite.

    I've got two Pete Irish Army pipes that are work horse pipes. As long as I'm not smoking Lat bombs or Lakeland blends, I find that these two Petes will smoke anything I put in them just fine, and without any ghosting or other problems. If I was just a pipe smoker I could probably live happily ever after with those two pipes, but I'm not just a pipe smoker - I'm also a hobbiest. I like to collect pipes, although over the past few years I've become a lot more selective in what I collect.

    I've got two Pete Sherlock Holmes series pipes that I have dedicated to light "English" blends, an Original that I've had since 1989 and a new Mycroft. I've got a Pete XL02 and a BST bent Billiard/Rhodesian that I have dedicated to VaPers. I've got a Pete XL307 System pipe dedicated to GH Lakeland blends, and my first "good" pipe (a no-name Italian basket Canadian, circa 1979) that I have dedicated to SG Grousemoor. I keep these six out on my smoking stand for those special occasions when I want something other than a basic Burley, Virginia, or VaBur blend, which is usually at the end of the day. I've also got a Pete rusticated 106 and an Eric Nording signature pipe up on my wall rack/cabinet that are dedicated to Lat bombs for those rare occasions that I feel the need for a really Lat-heavy blend. Aside from these eight pipes, none of my other 30 or so pipes is dedicated to anything in particular.
     
  12. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Wisdom.

    Most of my pipes have chosen the blends that they work best with, and I have only ever bought three pipes with a specific blend in mind. My two work horse Irish Army pipes were purchased with the express purpose of being used as work horse pipes. They're entry-level Petes with no particular merit other than they're not butt ugly and they have a wonderful draw. My workhorse blend is SWR or a MacB burley, so they are dedicated to burley blends through default. They work very well for their intended purpose, but they smoke other blends quite nicely. (The #87 Irish Army is also killer VA flake pipe).

    I wanted a second nice pipe for light "English" blends like Old Dublin, MM 965, or Presby Mix. My Pete rusticated Sherlock Holmes pipe does so well with those types of blends, that I figured another rusticated Sherlock Holmes pipe would do just as well so I bought the Mycroft with those blends in mind. My hunch was correct, but I suspect that it would smoke other blends just as well. However, I'm gonna try to tune it to light "English" blends just to see what happens.

    Having a collection of dedicated pipes can be fun, but don't take it too far.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  13. derangedhermit

    derangedhermit Reclusive member

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    I appreciate everything you say. I take it in the helpful way intended. But to ask me to not overthink something is like asking the Pope to not be Catholic. It is not something I can change. Frankly, this is me, exercising restraint. I want a simple matching of two pipes each to a few blend types, in as simple a way as possible.

    It gives me a fixed starting point to do just as you say - try and see. I have no doubt the arrangement will change based on personal experience.

    You should see the organization of my fishing tackle boxes. :)
     
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  14. TheKiltedOne

    TheKiltedOne Active Member

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    I'll just chip in here to say that I smoke everything and anything out of any pipe I own. I dedicated a pipe to a blend before but then got bored of it and found that I actually liked the ghost as a nice background note while smoking other tobaccos.
     
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  15. derangedhermit

    derangedhermit Reclusive member

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    I am going to start by dedicating pipes to blend types, as you did with a pipe. And I may end up where you are, that I don't do that any more.

    One big reason to me to dedicate pipes at my beginning is to help me in discriminating between blend flavors, by keeping them more separated. As time goes by, I'll know more about my preferred tastes and what really matters. This is just to help me learn.
     
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  16. jwh891

    jwh891 Member

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    I say do what ya love... if you're one of those people who loves breaking everything down into its components and getting it just right then have at it... and maybe expect a call from me when I need some advice on how something really works... ;)

    I'm personally not one who would be able to do something like that.. you might even say I "underthink" it. But if it makes your hobby more enjoyable to you, then I think you're neither under thinking, nor overthinking it, but thinking about it just right.

    And if you saw my tackle boxes, given their current state, I think you might have a fit :D
     
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  17. derangedhermit

    derangedhermit Reclusive member

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    No, but I would spend pleasant hours replacing dull hooks, cleaning and oiling tools, organizing by topwaters, shallow divers, deep divers, jigs, worms, spoons, etc. Then you wouldn't be able to find anything! :)
     
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  18. Russell Hartman

    Russell Hartman Stay Silver

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    My first comment will be to refer you to posts #24 and #30. Don't over think things. Myself--I own a ton of pipes--literally. As far as rotating them--well I may go for days and weeks with same couple of pipes. As far as resting them--well--I leave the pipe cool down-wipe out any moisture--run a pipe cleaner through it and smoke it again and again and again. I will do a deep cleaning every so often. NOW as far as dedictaing:
    I use pipes for aromatics--pipes will see mild to medium to strong--all kinds.
    I use pipes for VaPers, VaBurs, Burleys--all the same pipes
    I use pipes for Latakia blends--all kinds of Latakia blends
    I use pipes for Lakeland blends--all kinds--Sam Gawith and Gawath & Hogarth blends.
    I do not over think it----as was said its all a journey. If you want to do what you outlined--by all means do so. However you will not need literally a truck load of pipes to do it.
    On a note as far as worry over ghosting and such. Perhaps you should give clays and Meers some thought. They do well as far as not really taking on some blends unless its something super strong.
    AGAIN I refer you to two posts that stuck out in my mind reading through all of this.---#24 and #30.
     
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  19. jwh891

    jwh891 Member

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    That's how my father-in-laws tackle boxes are..when he sees mine he just shakes his head and grumbles...

    But seriously anytime you get the urge to organize something you're always welcome!
     
  20. derangedhermit

    derangedhermit Reclusive member

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    @Russell Hartman: I won't quote all your post. But I did go back and review #24 and #30, and I think I'm in the ballpark on both, in numbers and in approach. Down to 6-8 pipes in regular service, and a few "special" pipes for either special blends or whenever I want to smoke that pipe - to give myself some flexibility.

    I'm down tentatively to three groups that get two pipes each: Aromatics, Perique blends, and Virginia/Va+Burley/Burley.

    Thanks also for mentioning Lakeland - I have to learn about that.
     
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