The Ultimate "My Pipe Won't Stay Lit!" Thread

Discussion in 'Need Pipe Smoking Advice? Ask an Old Fart!' started by Mister Moo, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. SouthBound

    SouthBound Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,818
    I don't feel like reading back to see who claims to puff every few minutes, but I'm dubious. I've been smoking a pipe almost daily for two and a half years, and I'm still improving. I consider myself a sipper, now. Every 15 or 20 seconds I take a tiny puff or two. If I we're to puff every 3 minutes, it would take me all day to smoke one bowl instead of the 1 to 1&1/2 hours it takes now. A puff every 3 to 5 minutes isn't even a goal for me. If I we're you, I'd shoot for a cool tasty smoke and leave the stopwatch in the desk drawer.

    If you want to be a long smoke competitor, ignore everything I just said.
     
    RazorBlast, Tompf, Jonesy and 2 others like this.


  2. Writer

    Writer Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    My take on this is, coming from an idealist's perspective, would be not to worry about this at all. who really wants and why to finish a pipe in a singular light. It ruins the fun, it even ruins the taste. OK I admit that I got worried about this bit a bit when I took up pipe smoking and for the first couple of years maybe I got irritated that the pipe would go off and I would have to relight and relight. But over the years and with experience and by blending myself with the blends that I smoke, I have realized that the whole ecstasy of pipe smoking lies in relighting.

    If one tries to finish a bowl in one go one would most surely smoke it hot and get tongue bites and also ruin the taste for when the smoke gets hotter the taste gets itchier. In order to enjoy the actual taste and aroma of a good pipe one really needs to smoke it preferably cool or else hardly warm. Over the years I have stopped caring as to how many times do I really relight. I would smoke and then talk and let it die or reach near extinguished and then smoke it again when its almost dead. This process of reigniting it yourself without another light is pretty taste indulging within itself. And if it goes off, which it would, as it does, I tamp and relight. I hardly finish my bowl in one go really... Sometimes my bowl would finish in 20 minutes to half an hour and at most of the times I can play with it for about 2 or even 3 hours.

    In conclusion, if you really want to enjoy the taste and the natural tobacco aroma; get used to lighting and relighting and relighting again :)
     
  3. roberted5

    roberted5 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    I agree 100%,too much emphasis on pipe must stay lit for whole bowl,just enjoy your smoke and if it's your style relight 20 times,I've watched my old timers relight 20 times with a huge billiard.
    I use this to see if I'm smoking too fast.I drink a soda or soda water after a bowl,if my mouth starts burning worse,I might may be smoking to fast and hot.You can do damage to teeth and gums.Pipes are not toys.
    Practice,practice and sit around some seasoned smokers.Ask one or several to pack your pipe and watch closely,most old timers will be happy to help.
    When I look back my hard head was 99% of my problems,I was too busy talking to listen.I took the cotton out of ears and put it in my mouth.
     
    pleth, Tompf, just5042 and 1 other person like this.
  4. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    12,017
    Back to basics and the opening post of a year ago. We have wandered.

    This thread isn't about competitive smoking or the occasional pipe that can sit seemingly forever and rekindle with a tamp and a few puffs. It's about chronic, irritating newguy problems with pipes going out. There are correctable reasons why novices have problems with constant relighting and it's an obvious area for small improvements in technique with cheerfully big results.

    New guys - forget the one match claims per pipe. Forget the five or 10-minute layoffs and a matchless rekindle. While these things happen, they more are an inconsequential byproduct of technique and experience, not the goal of pipesmoking.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
    Jonesy, pleth, Tompf and 3 others like this.
  5. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    12,017
    We may be playing "telephone" here. While I can't find find anyone who claimed puffs of every few minutes, one totally unreliable codger did claim sipping at two-to-three puffs per minutes with big puff excursions into the one-to-three minute arena. He wrote:

    "Little sips maybe two or three/minute; big puffs once a minute or two or three. I routinely have pipes die out, unpuffed, in less than five minutes and, less routinely, can revive them in five-10 minutes."

    I think he's full of bull 90% of the time but I know for a fact he has had witnesses on five-to-10 minute revivals. See Post #3. In fairness to the old guy, he has made many public disclosures about his preference for small bowls and virginia and virginia-perique flakes. I concede it is possible a small pipe neatly crammed with a compacted flake-and-a-half of, say, Escudo (crying out to be smoked cool, not hot) MIGHT MAYBE last 30-40 minutes (and taste divine) if puffed in a slow, measured fashion. I'd further concede a small bowl with a well-rubbed flake-and-a-half of Escudo could go top to bottom, in the right pipe, on the right day, with careful tamps and one light. It's possible, is all I'm saying. I doubt it, but it's possible.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
    just5042 likes this.
  6. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    12,017
    [​IMG]

    I mean...

    ...in this crazy real-time world we live in, anything's possible. It could be happining right now. :D
     
  7. Hofnar

    Hofnar Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    579
    There´s nothing wrong with slowly smoking a bowl through without relights and getting nothing but ash in the bottom when it´s done, is there?
     
  8. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    12,017
    No, but that's not what this thread is about and, regardless, my remarks above were unfair to Southbound (Post #121 - ). They did give me pause to rethink about problem relights (which is what this thread is about) and slow smoking relights which is what this thread is not about.

    I don't smoke a ribbon- or shag cut tobacco from one month to the next. The upcoming "Murray's vs. Orlik Elizabethan Mixture Showdown" smokeout between Marker and me is one of my rare excursions into ribbon world. The fact is, I tend to smaller pipes with virginia flakes rubbed out just so and I aim to smoke them slowly. I do follow the principle of keeping the bowl on the edge of going out. This does make for a very rewarding smoke but it also requires attention if one wishes to avoid frequent relights. I like the process when I can allow undivided attention. This is not the same as cramming a big briar with a slightly wet aro, having a gob of soggy dottle in the pipe's heel and wondering why the pipe goes out 15 times per bowl.
     
    Spuddaddy and Hofnar like this.
  9. SouthBound

    SouthBound Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,818
    I read the first three pages looking for the 3 minute puffer and totally missed the connection to the old fart who wrote post #3. My point was to encourage the newbie to take his time and not worry about relights and length of time between smokes. I was more dubious that he read it correctly than I was that someone made the claim.
     
    Mister Moo likes this.
  10. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    12,017
    Old Farts.... hrumph. :snork:
     
    just5042 likes this.
  11. roberted5

    roberted5 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Not at all,if your getting good taste,a cool smoke,you may have found a pace that works for you.

    I'm not saying relight 20 times/bowl,but that everyone has their own style,pace,size pipe,shape of chamber.blends do smoke different and some taste rather nasty towards bottom.
    Watch some old timers,ask them to pack your bowl and watch,watch their pace,what blend they are using,etc...
    One seasoned smoker like the largest Dunhill billiard made.He might smoke it for 1-2 hours,but when he relit he really filled room up,but then he might take 15-30 sips and repeat.He might relight 20 times but with an OD sized chamber??
    Another seasoned smoker,smoked huge full bends and he smoked down to ash but he smoked same blend every day,the other 4-6 different blends,but he liked aromatics,the other a burley.
    Two examples,two extremes is one right the other wrong?
    I could bring up 5-10 more styles.I'm just saying it's okay to relight,but too avoid burning mouth don't over puff,you can keep a pipe lit that way but a burnt mouth or burning up a nice briar can happen by trying to keep pipe lit.I'd rather have a good smoke than get bit.
    I relight 4-6 times or 10,I may light up to 25 times on a huge bowl.Depends on blend,pipe,etc..One or two lights and smoke until ash I've done but not every time.
     
    just5042 and Writer like this.
  12. thedismaltrade

    thedismaltrade Sales Account

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Messages:
    598
    I've been struggling with only the center burning on bowls. Doesn't matter if I smoke flake, ribbon, everything is burning down the center. So much so that I have to ash and tamp the sides in and relight. Anybody have any thoughts?
     
    just5042 likes this.
  13. Themadking

    Themadking Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    89
    I've got a Kaywoodie relief grain that I bought off ebay restored, and I cannot keep the darn thing lit. I've got no problem with any of my other pipes, so I don't think its just me or the tobacco. I examined the bowl and it looks to me like the hole is more on the side of the bowl than on any of my other pipes, could this cause poor draw and thus make the pipe not stay lit? and if so is there any way to fix it?
     
    just5042 likes this.
  14. Themadking

    Themadking Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    89
    I've had this issue too, and I think it's fairly normal if you gently tamp just the grey ash in the center down mid-smoke and relight, the edges should light first and then burn down to the center, then you can leap-frog the center and sides. I don't know if this is right, but it seems to work for me. I get this issue especially with flake tobacco though, so it may have to do with the density of your pack. Have you tried a looser pack?
     
    ajvan and just5042 like this.
  15. Lukasaurus

    Lukasaurus Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    949
    I dont remember the last time I had to relight a pipe post true light. I find my tamper to be all I need. In fairness, I noticed my lighter kept running out (the pitfalls of cheap lighter fluid) so it was out on neccesity that I picked this ability up! :P
     
    Mister Moo and just5042 like this.
  16. Lukasaurus

    Lukasaurus Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    949
    I remember asking my dad "how do you keep your pipe lit?". His answerl; "Stop yappin' and start puffin!"
     
    Tompf and Jburr01369 like this.
  17. just5042

    just5042 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Messages:
    369
    I figure that the center is the part that should hold the cherry and tamping once in a while gets any unburned to even out... is that bout right? there is another thread on here about making pipe putty to fix things like what you seem to experiencing. put some pipe mud at the bottom and get that hole where it should be.
     
  18. Themadking

    Themadking Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    89
    Question for some of you veteran flake smokers: Is it possible or even desirable to keep a flake tobacco burning evenly across the bowl? I have tried several variations on the fold and stuff method and that usually gives me a pack resembling a bunch of matchsticks that have been stood on their end in the bowl which leads to air holes which leads to uneven burn. I have tried fully rubbing out my flake to various consistencies and there always seems to be density issues, so I'll get a cherry that tends to just move around the bowl with every relight depending on what is burned/unburned near the top. I'm smoking Solani ABF as my first flake, perhaps this is just a difficult beginner flake and I should start with something easier? Despite my difficulties I love the flake tobacco and I really want to get good at smoking it, so any and all pointers are helpful!
     
  19. Marshal

    Marshal New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    I have found especially with ABF that 20 mins rest on a plate to dry a bit before you rub it out makes for an easier and more even smoke. You may have already seen this but it may help. It's a video from Mac Baren about preparation and packing flake tobacco. Hope it helps.

    Remember...if you think you packed it loose enough you didn't and if you think your smoking slow enough your not. LOL!
     
  20. Themadking

    Themadking Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    89
    Just smoked a flake of ABF to the bottom with no moisture but i had to relight 9 or 10 times. The last comment of loose and slow was helpful though! Thank you good sir!