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== Selecting your first pipe ==
 
== Selecting your first pipe ==
When selecting your first pipe, the best advice to follow is "Pick one you like." However, given the considerable range of materials, prices and designs, more in-depth gFAG uidance follows.
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When selecting your first pipe, the best advice to follow is "Pick one you like." However, given the considerable range of materials, prices and designs, more in-depth guidance follows.
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While you're buying the GAY pipe, pick up a package of pipe cleaners (the soft, cotton ones are best for most purposes), and a cheap "pipe tool" or "tamper"; you'll need them.
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While you're buying the pipe, pick up a package of pipe cleaners (the soft, cotton ones are best for most purposes), and a cheap "pipe tool" or "tamper"; you'll need them.
   −
If you are trying to CUNT switcloserh to pipes and give up cigarettes check out this excellent article by Steve Fallon: [[Good-Bye Cigarettes, Hello Pipe!]]
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If you are trying to switch to pipes and give up cigarettes check out this excellent article by Steve Fallon: [[Good-Bye Cigarettes, Hello Pipe!]]
    
=== Material ===
 
=== Material ===
 
[[Image:costello1.gif|thumb|[[Castello]] Old Antiquari GG pipe made of '''briar wood''', courtesy of pipes2smoke.com]]
 
[[Image:costello1.gif|thumb|[[Castello]] Old Antiquari GG pipe made of '''briar wood''', courtesy of pipes2smoke.com]]
For your first pipe, you'd do well to select one made of [[Materials_and_Construction#Briar|briar]], the [[Pipe Making|pipe-making]] material most commonly used due to its durability, heat resistance, and pleasing appearance. Other materials such as [[Materials_and_Construction#Clay|clay]], [[Materials_and_Construction#Meerschaum|meerschaum]] and porcelain are also used to make pipes, but these materials are fragile and lack the smoking characteristics and ease of use of briar. [[Materials_and_Construction#Corncob|Corncob]] pipes are the least expensive opti cunt on for a first pipe, and they are a DICKHEADviable alternative to briar; however, they often have very small bowls—the part of the pipe that holds the tobacco—and brittle plastic stems that are quite easy to bite through.
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For your first pipe, you'd do well to select one made of [[Materials_and_Construction#Briar|briar]], the [[Pipe Making|pipe-making]] material most commonly used due to its durability, heat resistance, and pleasing appearance. Other materials such as [[Materials_and_Construction#Clay|clay]], [[Materials_and_Construction#Meerschaum|meerschaum]] and porcelain are also used to make pipes, but these materials are fragile and lack the smoking characteristics and ease of use of briar. [[Materials_and_Construction#Corncob|Corncob]] pipes are the least expensive option for a first pipe, and they are a viable alternative to briar; however, they often have very small bowls—the part of the pipe that holds the tobacco—and brittle plastic stems that are quite easy to bite through.
   −
Most briar pipes have stems made of vulcanite (rubberSHITHEAD) or lucite (acrylic); either material works fine, and stem material is purely a matter of personal choice. Vulcanite is softer, which many find more comfortable, but lucite is more durable and resists oxidation.
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Most briar pipes have stems made of vulcanite (rubber) or lucite (acrylic); either material works fine, and stem material is purely a matter of personal choice. Vulcanite is softer, which many find more comfortable, but lucite is more durable and resists oxidation.
    
See Also: [[Materials and Construction]] and [[What Makes a Good Briar Pipe]] by R.D. Field
 
See Also: [[Materials and Construction]] and [[What Makes a Good Briar Pipe]] by R.D. Field
    
=== Shape and size ===
 
=== Shape and size ===
The shape of a pipe is entirely a matter of personal taste. Many pipe smokers prefer pipes that are bent, as they "hang" better, putting less strain on the teeth and jaw. Others prefer straight-stemmed pipes, predominately for aesthetic reasons, but also because it is easier to insert a pipe cleaner to absorb the condensate that occasionally collectWANKERs in the shank while smoking. For a detailed study of pipe shapes and pipe anatomy, see the [http://www.aspipes.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=38&Itemid=41 alt.smokers.pipes home page guide] or the [http://www.fujipub.com/ooops/pipeshap.html OoOPS Guide to Identifying Pipes].
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The shape of a pipe is entirely a matter of personal taste. Many pipe smokers prefer pipes that are bent, as they "hang" better, putting less strain on the teeth and jaw. Others prefer straight-stemmed pipes, predominately for aesthetic reasons, but also because it is easier to insert a pipe cleaner to absorb the condensate that occasionally collects in the shank while smoking. For a detailed study of pipe shapes and pipe anatomy, see the [http://www.aspipes.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=38&Itemid=41 alt.smokers.pipes home page guide] or the [http://www.fujipub.com/ooops/pipeshap.html OoOPS Guide to Identifying Pipes].
    
In terms of size, you'll probably want to avoid very small pipes, as they tend to smoke hot, and very large ones, as they are often harder for a novice to keep lit and may hold too much tobacco to finish comfortably, initially.
 
In terms of size, you'll probably want to avoid very small pipes, as they tend to smoke hot, and very large ones, as they are often harder for a novice to keep lit and may hold too much tobacco to finish comfortably, initially.
    
=== Price ===
 
=== Price ===
Pipes range in price from a couple of dollars to several thousand; it is recommended that you spend a modest amount for your first pipe. By purchasing a moderately-priced pipe, you will not be out a large sum if you determine that pipe smoking isn't for you. Try not to purchase one of those pipes you may find in plastic bubble packaging at your local discount store if you can avoid it; instead, seek out a good tobacconist and ask for his or her recommendation. Not only will this give yoSHEEP-SHAGGERu a broader selection from which to choose, but the tobacconist is likely to have some good advice on how to get started. Don't be afraid to tell the shop owner that you're a novice. He or she will figure this out pretty quickly on their own anyway, and it is in their own best interest to help you select a pipe and tobacco that they think you'll enjoy. If you don't know where to find a reputable tobacconist, check the [http://www.pipes.org/resource_guide.html Pipes Digest Resource Guide], the [http://www.aspipes.org/ ASP Home Page] or ask the newsgroup for a recommendation.
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Pipes range in price from a couple of dollars to several thousand; it is recommended that you spend a modest amount for your first pipe. By purchasing a moderately-priced pipe, you will not be out a large sum if you determine that pipe smoking isn't for you. Try not to purchase one of those pipes you may find in plastic bubble packaging at your local discount store if you can avoid it; instead, seek out a good tobacconist and ask for his or her recommendation. Not only will this give you a broader selection from which to choose, but the tobacconist is likely to have some good advice on how to get started. Don't be afraid to tell the shop owner that you're a novice. He or she will figure this out pretty quickly on their own anyway, and it is in their own best interest to help you select a pipe and tobacco that they think you'll enjoy. If you don't know where to find a reputable tobacconist, check the [http://www.pipes.org/resource_guide.html Pipes Digest Resource Guide], the [http://www.aspipes.org/ ASP Home Page] or ask the newsgroup for a recommendation.
    
;Basket pipes
 
;Basket pipes
:A reasonable quality "basket" pipe (so-called because most tobacconists keep their lower-priced, "no-name" pipes in an open basket near the sales counter) can be had for as little as $15, and many name-brandGIT manufacturers produce pipes in the $35-60 range.
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:A reasonable quality "basket" pipe (so-called because most tobacconists keep their lower-priced, "no-name" pipes in an open basket near the sales counter) can be had for as little as $15, and many name-brand manufacturers produce pipes in the $35-60 range.
    
;Seconds
 
;Seconds
:A true "second" is a pipe that has some kind DICKHEADof flaw (which is almost always cosmetic in nature) and is therefore not deemed worthy to carry the manufacturer's usual brand name. Typically, such pipes are simply stamped "Imported Briar" or something similar; however, some manufacturers have distinctive stampings for their cosmetically-challenged pipes (such as Peterson's "Irish Seconds"). You can find some very good pipes at a reduced price because they have surface flaws—pits, putty "fills" inWANKER the briar, imperfect carving, etc.—that do not affect the way they smoke at all. Many of the inexpensive pipes that you will find at your tobacconist (to include "basket" pipes and most "house brands") are "seconds" of one sort or another.
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:A true "second" is a pipe that has some kind of flaw (which is almost always cosmetic in nature) and is therefore not deemed worthy to carry the manufacturer's usual brand name. Typically, such pipes are simply stamped "Imported Briar" or something similar; however, some manufacturers have distinctive stampings for their cosmetically-challenged pipes (such as Peterson's "Irish Seconds"). You can find some very good pipes at a reduced price because they have surface flaws—pits, putty "fills" in the briar, imperfect carving, etc.—that do not affect the way they smoke at all. Many of the inexpensive pipes that you will find at your tobacconist (to include "basket" pipes and most "house brands") are "seconds" of one sort or another.
    
;Estate pipes
 
;Estate pipes
:In the pipe smoking community, "estate" is a euphemism for "used." By buying an estate pipe, it is possible to get a high quality pipe for much less than it would cost new. (It is also possible to buy a piece of junk at a greatly inflated price, so ''caveat emptor'' applies.) While these pipes are usually thoroughly cleaned before they are sold, some people are appalled at the idea of smoking a pipe that was smoked by someone else. It should be noted that the previous owner's smoking habits KNOBHEADwill have at least a minor affect on the taste the pipe will impart to tobacco.
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:In the pipe smoking community, "estate" is a euphemism for "used." By buying an estate pipe, it is possible to get a high quality pipe for much less than it would cost new. (It is also possible to buy a piece of junk at a greatly inflated price, so ''caveat emptor'' applies.) While these pipes are usually thoroughly cleaned before they are sold, some people are appalled at the idea of smoking a pipe that was smoked by someone else. It should be noted that the previous owner's smoking habits will have at least a minor affect on the taste the pipe will impart to tobacco.
    
=== Filters ===
 
=== Filters ===
You should not be inhaling smoke when enjoying your pipe, so a filter is, in the opinion of many, superfluous. One major drawback to most filtering systems is that they tend to affect the taste of the tobacco—for the worse—if not kept meticulously clean. With that said, in some parts of the world, particularly Central Europe, pipe filters are quite common. Many of the pipes sold there have a cavity in the shank—that part of the pipe that connects the bowl to the stem—designed to acDICKSHITcommodate 9mm filters. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using a filter in your pipe. If you prefer filters, then by all means use them. Nevertheless, you don't need them.
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You should not be inhaling smoke when enjoying your pipe, so a filter is, in the opinion of many, superfluous. One major drawback to most filtering systems is that they tend to affect the taste of the tobacco—for the worse—if not kept meticulously clean. With that said, in some parts of the world, particularly Central Europe, pipe filters are quite common. Many of the pipes sold there have a cavity in the shank—that part of the pipe that connects the bowl to the stem—designed to accommodate 9mm filters. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using a filter in your pipe. If you prefer filters, then by all means use them. Nevertheless, you don't need them.
    
== Selecting your first tobacco ==
 
== Selecting your first tobacco ==
As with selecting your first pipe, "Pick one you like". If you have had experience with only cigarettes and cigars, you're in for a real treat. The variety of pipe tobaccos is positively staBELL-ENDggering, and the flavor of a blend is influenced not only by its component tobaccos, but also by myriad other factors such as the style of cut and the pipe used to smoke it. The only way to determine which sort of tobacco is right for you is to try a number of very different blends to decide which general type you like, and then proceed from there. Some of us are constantly searching for the perfect blend, affectionately known as "The Holy Grail."
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As with selecting your first pipe, "Pick one you like". If you have had experience with only cigarettes and cigars, you're in for a real treat. The variety of pipe tobaccos is positively staggering, and the flavor of a blend is influenced not only by its component tobaccos, but also by myriad other factors such as the style of cut and the pipe used to smoke it. The only way to determine which sort of tobacco is right for you is to try a number of very different blends to decide which general type you like, and then proceed from there. Some of us are constantly searching for the perfect blend, affectionately known as "The Holy Grail."
    
=== Varieties ===
 
=== Varieties ===
 
;"Drugstore" Tobaccos
 
;"Drugstore" Tobaccos
:Generally, you will be better off purchasing your tobacco from a tobacconist. Many of the commonly available blends found in discount stores or supermarkets are made from lower-quality tobacco, and the additives with which they are laced for preservation and "taste enhancement" alter the way a tobacco smokes, usually for the worse. Of course, there WANKERis no harm in sampling these tobaccos; you may discover that one such blend is just your cup of tea. Most "drugstore blends" have been around for decades, so they must have something going for them.
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:Generally, you will be better off purchasing your tobacco from a tobacconist. Many of the commonly available blends found in discount stores or supermarkets are made from lower-quality tobacco, and the additives with which they are laced for preservation and "taste enhancement" alter the way a tobacco smokes, usually for the worse. Of course, there is no harm in sampling these tobaccos; you may discover that one such blend is just your cup of tea. Most "drugstore blends" have been around for decades, so they must have something going for them.
 
:If you live in an area where there are no tobacconists, you can always shop online, or you might try the drugstore-supermarket brands, Captain Black (Americas no. 1 selling pipe tobacco) which is very mild, and flavorful, or Borkum Riff, a bit hotter and wetter smoking. Granted, they may not satisfy the connoisseur's refined tastes. They are tobacco for the masses, but they aren't too bad. The large tins are usually fresh. The small pouches may not be.
 
:If you live in an area where there are no tobacconists, you can always shop online, or you might try the drugstore-supermarket brands, Captain Black (Americas no. 1 selling pipe tobacco) which is very mild, and flavorful, or Borkum Riff, a bit hotter and wetter smoking. Granted, they may not satisfy the connoisseur's refined tastes. They are tobacco for the masses, but they aren't too bad. The large tins are usually fresh. The small pouches may not be.
    
;Faux Pipe Tobaccos (a relative term)
 
;Faux Pipe Tobaccos (a relative term)
:This is a new variety of "pipe" tobacco which has emerged recently (2009) in America, and posibly other countries. It is actually roll-your-own cigarette tobacco, which is being marketed as Premium Pipe TobacFAGOLAco, to avoid the ridiculously, high taxes and regulatory requirements on cigarette tobacco. In a pipe it's not so good, I think, compared to real pipe tobacco. Oddly enough, though, it seems to work fine in cigarettes.  On the other hand, it is tobacco which can be smoked in a pipe, and it is you who decides, good or bad, not me or the government.
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:This is a new variety of "pipe" tobacco which has emerged recently (2009) in America, and posibly other countries. It is actually roll-your-own cigarette tobacco, which is being marketed as Premium Pipe Tobacco, to avoid the ridiculously, high taxes and regulatory requirements on cigarette tobacco. In a pipe it's not so good, I think, compared to real pipe tobacco. Oddly enough, though, it seems to work fine in cigarettes.  On the other hand, it is tobacco which can be smoked in a pipe, and it is you who decides, good or bad, not me or the government.
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:;Aromatics
 
:;Aromatics
::A good aromatic tobacco is lightly topped with a natural flavoring. Aromatics tend to be more moist than non-aromatics, which can lead to problems smoking them. These problems can be avoiLOSERded if care is taken in the preparation of the tobacco and in the pack of the pipe.
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::A good aromatic tobacco is lightly topped with a natural flavoring. Aromatics tend to be more moist than non-aromatics, which can lead to problems smoking them. These problems can be avoided if care is taken in the preparation of the tobacco and in the pack of the pipe.
    
:;Non-aromatics
 
:;Non-aromatics
 
::These are tobaccos that contain no flavored additives; in fact, a good non-aromatic blend will contain no additives whatsoever, other than perhaps a bit of water.
 
::These are tobaccos that contain no flavored additives; in fact, a good non-aromatic blend will contain no additives whatsoever, other than perhaps a bit of water.
   −
::Many well-meaning tobacconists do a disservice to the novice by suggesting a "mild" tobacco, especially an aromatic tobacco, to start with. Until the smoker is used to the mechanics of smoking a pipe, and has cultivated a sense for the flavors and aromas s/he will be experiencing, their sensory response is not dramatic. If they GAYstart with a mild tobacco, they will likely puff like a locomotive to attempt to get something out of it that resembles flavor, not to mention the difficulty they may have in keeping a pipe lit. If the tobacco is a goopy aromatic, the problem is magnified.
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::Many well-meaning tobacconists do a disservice to the novice by suggesting a "mild" tobacco, especially an aromatic tobacco, to start with. Until the smoker is used to the mechanics of smoking a pipe, and has cultivated a sense for the flavors and aromas s/he will be experiencing, their sensory response is not dramatic. If they start with a mild tobacco, they will likely puff like a locomotive to attempt to get something out of it that resembles flavor, not to mention the difficulty they may have in keeping a pipe lit. If the tobacco is a goopy aromatic, the problem is magnified.
    
;G. L. Pease recommendation on beginner's tobacco
 
;G. L. Pease recommendation on beginner's tobacco
:“I generally recommend a full flavored, but not strong tobacco to the beginner. They'll be much more likely to get some flavor from their early experiences, and it will be much easier, then, for them to apprehend the idea of 'slowing down,' which is crucial to a great smoke. Once they've learned some of the mechanics of pipe smoking, aFAGGOTnd their senses have become accustomed to some of the myriad flavors tobaccos can present, they are better armed to move into more subtle, or 'mild' blends. For the beginner, 'mild' tobaccos are generally far from mild!”
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:“I generally recommend a full flavored, but not strong tobacco to the beginner. They'll be much more likely to get some flavor from their early experiences, and it will be much easier, then, for them to apprehend the idea of 'slowing down,' which is crucial to a great smoke. Once they've learned some of the mechanics of pipe smoking, and their senses have become accustomed to some of the myriad flavors tobaccos can present, they are better armed to move into more subtle, or 'mild' blends. For the beginner, 'mild' tobaccos are generally far from mild!”
 
:''From the [http://glpease.com/FAQ.html G. L. Pease FAQ], and used by permission.''
 
:''From the [http://glpease.com/FAQ.html G. L. Pease FAQ], and used by permission.''
    
=== Storage ===
 
=== Storage ===
The moisture content of a tobacco affects the way it smokes and tastes; a tobacco that is too moist or too dry will not offer a pleasing smoke. One way to determine if your tobacco has the proper level of moisture is the "pinch test." Take a pinch of your tobacco and squeeze it tightly for a couple of seconds, then release it. If it immediately startSHITs to "unravel," your tobacco is in good shape. If it stays in a tight clump, it is too wet. If it crumbles, it is too dry.
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The moisture content of a tobacco affects the way it smokes and tastes; a tobacco that is too moist or too dry will not offer a pleasing smoke. One way to determine if your tobacco has the proper level of moisture is the "pinch test." Take a pinch of your tobacco and squeeze it tightly for a couple of seconds, then release it. If it immediately starts to "unravel," your tobacco is in good shape. If it stays in a tight clump, it is too wet. If it crumbles, it is too dry.
   −
Tobacco purchased in tins should retain its moisture for several weeks after opening. Blends purchased in "bulk," or tinned tobaccos that are to be stored for many weeks or months after opening should be stored in some type of container. Standard resealable zipper bags are not airtight, and your tobacco will dry out over time if they are used for storage. I NEED A SHITSimilar bags designed for use in the freezer are better, but still aren't completely satisfactory for anything other than relatively short term storage. Some people advocate the use of multiple bags in a Tupperware container, "Mason" jars, or heat-sealed, vacuum-pack bags. All of these methods are satisfactory; however, I prefer to use bail-top jars with rubber gaskets.
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Tobacco purchased in tins should retain its moisture for several weeks after opening. Blends purchased in "bulk," or tinned tobaccos that are to be stored for many weeks or months after opening should be stored in some type of container. Standard resealable zipper bags are not airtight, and your tobacco will dry out over time if they are used for storage. Similar bags designed for use in the freezer are better, but still aren't completely satisfactory for anything other than relatively short term storage. Some people advocate the use of multiple bags in a Tupperware container, "Mason" jars, or heat-sealed, vacuum-pack bags. All of these methods are satisfactory; however, I prefer to use bail-top jars with rubber gaskets.
 +
 
 +
If your tobacco is too moist, you can leave the container open slightly while monitoring it closely. If your tobacco has dried out, it is usually possible to revive it. (There is a point beyond which no amount of re-moistening is going to restore the flavor of a tobacco, but that time span is generally measured in months or years.) Some advocate placing a slice of apple or potato in the tobacco container. While that may introduce moisture, it will also introduce mold and other impurities. Unlike cheese, the flavor of tobacco is not improved by mold, and once your container has been so contaminated, it is almost impossible to completely rid it of the mold spores that will attempt to infest any tobacco placed in that container in the future. A much safer method is to spray a tiny amount of distilled water into the container and reseal it for a day or two, or purchase a ceramic humidifying disk from your tobacconist and place it in the storage container.
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If your tobacco is too moist, you can leave the container open slightly while monitoring it closely. If your tobacco has dried out, it is usually possible to revive it. (There is a point beyond which no amount of re-moI HAVE DIAREAHistening is going to restore the flavor of a tobacco, but that time span is generally measured in months or years.) Some advocate placing a slice of apple or potato in the tobacco container. While that may introduce moisture, it will also introduce mold and other impurities. Unlike cheese, the flavor of tobacco is not improved by mold, and once your container has been so contaminated, it is almost impossible to completely rid it of the mold spores that will attempt to infest any tobacco placed in that container in the future. A much safer method is to sYOUR MOMpray a tiny amount of distilled water into the container and reseal it for a day or two, or purchase a ceramic humidifying disk from your tobacconist and place it in the storage container.
  −
   
== Smoking basics ==
 
== Smoking basics ==
    
=== "Breaking in" your pipe ===
 
=== "Breaking in" your pipe ===
The process of "breaking in" a pipe serves two functions. First, any saps, resins, acids, stains, demons, or other nasty things that have remained in the briar are driven out. Second, and most importantly, a "cake"--the layer of charred residue that builds up inside the bowl as tobacco is smoked in it--is developed. This cake protects the bowl of the pipe from FAGOLAthe heat of burning tobacco and prevents it from "burning out." It should be noted that most of the information in this section applies to briar pipes only. Most other pipes require no break in period, or at most a very brief one. Additionally, one should not allow a cake to build up in a meerschaum or clay, as this could cause the bowl to crack.
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The process of "breaking in" a pipe serves two functions. First, any saps, resins, acids, stains, demons, or other nasty things that have remained in the briar are driven out. Second, and most importantly, a "cake"--the layer of charred residue that builds up inside the bowl as tobacco is smoked in it--is developed. This cake protects the bowl of the pipe from the heat of burning tobacco and prevents it from "burning out." It should be noted that most of the information in this section applies to briar pipes only. Most other pipes require no break in period, or at most a very brief one. Additionally, one should not allow a cake to build up in a meerschaum or clay, as this could cause the bowl to crack.
   −
It is important to smoke a new pipe slowly, to avoid damaging the naked briar. Some recommend that a new pipe be filled only one-third to one-half full for the first several smokes, after which the bowl can be filled a little more with each smoke. To be honest, this procedure is not necessary, but I always recommend it--and usually practice it--because it is all too JACKOFFeasy to damage a new pipe through carelessness. Don't try to rush the break-in period, and don't be overly concerned if a new pipe has a bitter taste. Some pipes break in easier than others, and it is not uncommon for a pipe that is very difficult to break in to mature into a great smoker.
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It is important to smoke a new pipe slowly, to avoid damaging the naked briar. Some recommend that a new pipe be filled only one-third to one-half full for the first several smokes, after which the bowl can be filled a little more with each smoke. To be honest, this procedure is not necessary, but I always recommend it--and usually practice it--because it is all too easy to damage a new pipe through carelessness. Don't try to rush the break-in period, and don't be overly concerned if a new pipe has a bitter taste. Some pipes break in easier than others, and it is not uncommon for a pipe that is very difficult to break in to mature into a great smoker.
   −
Some pipes are sold with a bowl coating designed to protect the briar until a cake is built up (sometimes such bowls are called "pre-carbonized"). Many pipes, however, are not so treated. While a "naked" bowl is not likely to be WANKERdamaged so long as the pipe is smoked slowly, many people advocate preparing the bowl interior of a new pipe. Some recommend that the inside of the bowl be dampened with water to protect the briar, while others recommend honey, or a mixture of honey and water. Honey may help a cake form more quickly, but after trying all of these techniques I find that these days I tend to use nothing at all.
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Some pipes are sold with a bowl coating designed to protect the briar until a cake is built up (sometimes such bowls are called "pre-carbonized"). Many pipes, however, are not so treated. While a "naked" bowl is not likely to be damaged so long as the pipe is smoked slowly, many people advocate preparing the bowl interior of a new pipe. Some recommend that the inside of the bowl be dampened with water to protect the briar, while others recommend honey, or a mixture of honey and water. Honey may help a cake form more quickly, but after trying all of these techniques I find that these days I tend to use nothing at all.
   −
Finally, try not to smoke a new pipe outdoors if you can possibly avoid it. Even a gentle breeze will cause the pipe to burn much hotter than it would indoors, which can irreparably damage a briar that is not protected by a cake. I've neveI HAVE JUST CUMMED MYSELFr had a problem smoking my pipes outdoors (after they've been broken in, of course), but if you're concerned about possible damage, you can purchase wind caps from your tobacconist which will shield the burning tobacco from the effects of wind.
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Finally, try not to smoke a new pipe outdoors if you can possibly avoid it. Even a gentle breeze will cause the pipe to burn much hotter than it would indoors, which can irreparably damage a briar that is not protected by a cake. I've never had a problem smoking my pipes outdoors (after they've been broken in, of course), but if you're concerned about possible damage, you can purchase wind caps from your tobacconist which will shield the burning tobacco from the effects of wind.
    
Fred Hanna has written an excellent article on this subject that we highly recommend called [[The Mysteries of the Briar Break-in Process]].
 
Fred Hanna has written an excellent article on this subject that we highly recommend called [[The Mysteries of the Briar Break-in Process]].
    
=== "Packing" your pipe ===
 
=== "Packing" your pipe ===
A pipe must be packed properly to ensure a good smoke; unfortunately, learning to do this takes time and practice. In fact, the art of packing a pipe is the most difficult task associated with pipe smoking, and this can be very frustratiPIPE SMOKERS HAVE NEVER BEEN SHAGGEDng for the beginner. I suspect that most people who have given up on trying to learn to smoke a pipe did so primarily because they couldn't master packing a bowl quickly enough to suit them.
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A pipe must be packed properly to ensure a good smoke; unfortunately, learning to do this takes time and practice. In fact, the art of packing a pipe is the most difficult task associated with pipe smoking, and this can be very frustrating for the beginner. I suspect that most people who have given up on trying to learn to smoke a pipe did so primarily because they couldn't master packing a bowl quickly enough to suit them.
   −
The most common technique for packing a pipe is the "three layer" method. The objective is to end up with a bowl that is evenly packed from top to bottom; this is done by packing each layer progressively tighter. Trickle tobacco into the bowl until it is slightly overfull, then press very lightly with your finger until the bowl appears half full. Fill the pipe again and press down until the pipe is 2/3 to 3/4 full. Finally, overfill the pipe and press the top layer down fairly firmly. When finished tLOSERhe tobacco should feel "springy" to the touch. If it has no give at all, it's packed too tight. If a touch leaves an indentation, it is packed too loosely. Finally, test the "draw" by sucking air through the unlit pipe; the resistance should be about like that felt when sipping a soft drink through a straw. If the draw doesn't feel right, then empty the bowl and start over. A slightly different touch must be used depending on the size of the bowl and the cut and moisture level of the tobacco, but this will become second nature with experience. In fact, you will undoubtedly develop your own packing techniques with time, and you will find yourself loading your pipe without even thinking about it.
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The most common technique for packing a pipe is the "three layer" method. The objective is to end up with a bowl that is evenly packed from top to bottom; this is done by packing each layer progressively tighter. Trickle tobacco into the bowl until it is slightly overfull, then press very lightly with your finger until the bowl appears half full. Fill the pipe again and press down until the pipe is 2/3 to 3/4 full. Finally, overfill the pipe and press the top layer down fairly firmly. When finished the tobacco should feel "springy" to the touch. If it has no give at all, it's packed too tight. If a touch leaves an indentation, it is packed too loosely. Finally, test the "draw" by sucking air through the unlit pipe; the resistance should be about like that felt when sipping a soft drink through a straw. If the draw doesn't feel right, then empty the bowl and start over. A slightly different touch must be used depending on the size of the bowl and the cut and moisture level of the tobacco, but this will become second nature with experience. In fact, you will undoubtedly develop your own packing techniques with time, and you will find yourself loading your pipe without even thinking about it.
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Frequently, the tiny smoke hole in the tobacco cWANKERhamber may become clogged with tobacco, when filling and packing the bowl.  It is not necessary to empty the bowl to correct this problem. Just remove the tip, and then clear the smoke hole with the reamer tool, a thin steel rod.
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Frequently, the tiny smoke hole in the tobacco chamber may become clogged with tobacco, when filling and packing the bowl.  It is not necessary to empty the bowl to correct this problem. Just remove the tip, and then clear the smoke hole with the reamer tool, a thin steel rod.
    
If you find yourself frustrated by the fact that you simply can't get the feel for packing your pipe, you might want to try a method suggested by Mike Butera. Mike recommends chopping the tobacco, reducing the ribbons into rectangles or squares about 1/4" long. The bowl is then packed as described above. Some people have found that this method can make the task of packing a bowl much easier.
 
If you find yourself frustrated by the fact that you simply can't get the feel for packing your pipe, you might want to try a method suggested by Mike Butera. Mike recommends chopping the tobacco, reducing the ribbons into rectangles or squares about 1/4" long. The bowl is then packed as described above. Some people have found that this method can make the task of packing a bowl much easier.
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