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Mastery of flame?

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#1
The good news is that I have slowed down, unless I get caught in deep thought and I tend to puff like I'm stoking a forge but I catch myself usually and it is becoming less commonplace. My problem is that I cant keep it lit and I think I may have some packing/lighting issues. I have to be pretty agressive to get enough fire to stay lit for any ammount of time and it ruins the case thus making the baccy taste like dookie. On relights I have the same problem even though I tamp firmly and try for a good circular motion with my fire. I use the 3 step method ( I think) to pack my bowl and if the draw is too hard I will repack. I dont have a problem with having to relight, I mean it doesnt hurt my pride or anything....not like its a grill or anything, its just the requirement of having to abuse my tobacco and the awful flavor (due to the abuse)....maybe Im just a weenie... either way, I feel that having to relight every 2 or 3 minutes is too often. I should probably mention that the first 25 - 50% burns decent....


Perhaps someone could break down proper packing and lighting for me?:confused:
 

Mister Moo

Gone but not forgotten
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#4
Cut that out! :D

1. fill a pipe and compress uniformly leaving only a slight restriction to the draw - like water through a straw.
2. light the top completely, puffing gently until it's all charred and, probably, fluffing up.
3. tamp LIGHTLY, aiming to collapse the tobacco expansion and maintain a lightly restriction. Don't mash it down hard.
4. relight the top completely.
5. keeping the draw light, tamp gently as necessary to keep lit embers in contact but not to grossly compress the fill

If you pack a bowl too tight and it won' stay lit, dump it and refill - don't fiddle with it. Once the airway is blocked it's kinda uphill from there; forget the pick-thingie to open the airway cause it won't help you learn to fill a pipe that smokes right.
 

Squatch347

Member
Member
#5
I second both comments above. I had this problem for a long time as well.

First, only use the weight of the tamper for tamping, it doesn't need to be tight.

Second, use the air pocket method for awhile, you shouldn't need to tamp it almost at all and it will give you a cooler smoke that has tons of flavor.

I learned early on (and from this forum) that if you are going to err I would say err on the side of too loose rather than too tight.
 
#6
I was always afraid of packing to tight and kept fighting with relights. It turns out I was packing to loose all along now things work pretty good. Well for the most part some days i am still packicaped
 

Kiowapipe

Active Member
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#7
I dont have a problem with having to relight, I mean it doesnt hurt my pride or anything....not like its a grill or anything...
:xd:
I hear ya. Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it. Maybe let your tobacco dry a little longer before loading it. One of my rules of thumb (finger?) is to never stick a finger in the bowl when loading- load from the top. Sprinkle some tobacco in the bottom then squish your weed in at the top, pushing down only once it's mostly full and just enough to flatten things out. Keep trying different techniques and you'll stumble on something that works for you. I prefer a very easy draw- basically as easy as the pipe draws without anything in it.
 

Rewster66

Active Member
Member
#9
What happens if you just wad up a ball of tobacco and push it in the pipe like loading a cannon? I find this method far superior to 3 tier. Sounds to me like you might be packing a bit tight.
Cut that out! :D

1. fill a pipe and compress uniformly leaving only a slight restriction to the draw - like water through a straw.
2. light the top completely, puffing gently until it's all charred and, probably, fluffing up.
3. tamp LIGHTLY, aiming to collapse the tobacco expansion and maintain a lightly restriction. Don't mash it down hard.
4. relight the top completely.
5. keeping the draw light, tamp gently as necessary to keep lit embers in contact but not to grossly compress the fill

If you pack a bowl too tight and it won' stay lit, dump it and refill - don't fiddle with it. Once the airway is blocked it's kinda uphill from there; forget the pick-thingie to open the airway cause it won't help you learn to fill a pipe that smokes right.
+1 what Sas said. Pack a little looser,
and tamp gently.
Take it from these animals, they all know what they are talking about.:th1:
 

MacNutz

Active Member
Member
#10
Too loose is easier to fix than too tight. There be wisdom in Mister Moo's post. "Packing" is a concept that makes for trouble in the land of pipes. Load, don't pack. You want the surface tension to be kind of spongy not solid. If you get tons of smoke but it goes out quickly, that is an indication it is loaded too loosely. Personally I never put a lot of pressure on the tamper and I don't seem to have problems with this aspect of the pipe. I have other problems. :)

In deed, you will get the hang of it as you go. It is less complex than it may appear at first.
 

Mister Moo

Gone but not forgotten
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#11
..."Packing" is a concept that makes for trouble in the land of pipes...
Pack a bag
Pack a lunch
Pack a mule
Pack a punch

Fill a pipe; it is, initially, a thoughtful process. Every film I see of Albert Einstein smoking a pipe shows he was a master at filling. He sipped and puffed large thick clouds. You KNOW he thought it out once or twice. Consider filling a pipe without a pipe or tobacco - fill a pipe the Einstein way as a thought-experiment. Do it in such a way that it draws easily, is fully glowing across the top when lit, has slight compression and burning embers barely maintain a constant contact with the unlit tobacco below. Tools: you get a tamper (no pick) and two matches in your thought-experiment. Variables: you can set moisture level and expansion rate. Wetter tobacco compresses more substantially and expands less than dry tobacco.


It should burn to ash.
 
#12
Great thread, and great advice. :sh:

When I started consciously loading more lightly, I noticed an improvement in the flavor and coolness of most smokes. It takes concentration at the moment of loading to break the old habit of over-"packing" though, so try to stay attentive.

It should also be stressed that a tobacco can exhibit different characteristics depending on how it's loaded. I switched from folding/stuffing to rubbing-out with PS Luxury Navy Flake and found that the change resulted in the pouch smell bursting thru as a flavor of the smoke--a dramatic improvement.

I'm going to go through all of my favorites and try the cannonball method to see if anything similar happens.
 

Dondi

Active Member
Member
#13
There's also the BB method for flakes - cut up flakes into BB sized pellets, gravity fill into pipe, then light up!
 
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