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The Gentleman’s Tobacco Pipe and Pipe Smoking

Remember your grandfather had always seemed to be smoking a pipe, or you happened to notice your neighbor was contemplating a deep thought while enjoying his tobacco pipe. I have two fond memories. The first was always seeing my uncle with his pipe. Whether he was working in the garage, his wood shop, or working outside, he was smoking his tobacco pipe. Then there was my father. As a young boy I can recall the times that my dad would sit on the porch in the evenings, smoking his pipe, reading the newspaper, and then drifting off into his own thoughts while relaxing. Pipe smoking is returning to a place of popularity among gentlemen. It’s no longer reserved for the older men who lived before us. The enjoyment of tobacco pipes and pipe smoking is classic.

We see that tobacco pipes and processing are considered to be a great partnership. Men spend that past time sitting, smoking, and processing. It causes us to slow down and “be present” within the moment. Smoking a pipe just isn’t about blowing smoke. It’s about waiting and watching the beauties of life unfold around us. The world of tobacco pipes has gained a synergy of more than just smoking and enjoying a pipe and its aroma. Some men have become avid pipe smokers, collectors of fine pipes, tobacco blending, and even creating pipes for others to appreciate.

J.R.R. TolkienImage2

J.R.R. Tolkienn with a Pipe

If you took the time, you will begin to see that tobacco pipes have a rich history attached to their creation. History tells us that the Native Americans brought about the use of the tobacco pipe, but the growing and mass production of tobacco came from an Englishman. Pipes have been unearthed with the discoveries of animal carvings and decorative markings. Most of these pipes were made from porphyritic and other hard stone materials.

Types of Pipes. Another type of earlier tobacco pipe was known as the “clay tavern pipe. This type of pipe was popular among the English and Europeans. The tavern pipe is a long stemmed tobacco pipe, but at the time was mostly crafted from clay. The clay pipes were fragile and broke often. This called for greater craftsmanship and creativity.

The majority of today’s pipes are fashioned from briar. The wood was called “bruyere” and through the years has become known as briar.” From our studies and understanding, briar is as close to the perfect material for the pipe bowl. Plus it is far more durable than clay or meerschaum. We also have to realize that tobacco pipes are work of art or masterpieces of great artisans. Each pipe that is crafted contains specific pieces that allow the pipe to properly function. Elements like the tobacco chamber, the draft hole, smoke channel, and slot are all part of the working pieces of a tobacco pipe. They are important because they determine the smoking qualities of the pipe.

Another form of tobacco pipe is Corncob pipes also known as “cobs.” These are way cheaper to purchase and have been quite popular with a long history of use in the U.S. “Cobs” are made from actual dried corncobs and then crafted into pipe bowls. Once that is done, they are inserted with a wood shank attached with either a plastic or acrylic stem. Most cobs are machine made. Watch this video to see how they are made.

How Corn Cob Pipes are Made

When you first begin to explore the world of tobacco pipes it’s easy for an individual to get lost, frustrated, and eventually give up. There are so many shapes and variations of pipes that they cannot even be listed. The simplest way to understand the world of pipes is to understand that pipes fall into two broad categories that are defined by the course of the smoke channel. They are straight and curved.

Over the years the creativity for the shapes of pipes have expanded extensively. Some have stayed and some have gone, but it all comes back to your personal taste to start with. Purchase something that feels good in your hand, catches your eye, and within your financial budget.

Buying a Pipe. Purchasing a pipe is like any other product out there. There are cheap ones and quality made ones. Before you go and buy a tobacco pipe please keep in mind

there are two main categories of pipes offered for sale: new and estate pipes. New pipes are just that…brand new, un-smoked and have never sold. Pipes like this will be found at a regular tobacco store for cigars and tobacco pipes. Estate pipes are pre-owned, smoked and usually offer you a great opportunity to get an amazing crafted tobacco pipe for half the price than what you would normally pay.

Cleaning Your Pipe. Follow these simple steps and you shouldn’t have any issues when it comes to cleaning your tobacco pipe. Begin by purchasing some pipe cleaners. You should have soft ones and hard ones. Be sure to lay an old rag or cloth down on the work surface before proceeding. Next, make sure you buy sanitizing grain alcohol, NOT isopropyl alcohol. Thirdly, separate the components of the pipe by sliding or unscrewing the stem from the bowl. Fourth, dunk a hard pipe cleaner into the alcohol and clean the pipe stem by running it back and forth. Once you perceive that it is clean, insert the dry pipe cleaner. If the pipe cleaner comes out clean, you are finished. If it isn’t then just repeat this step. Please be sure to never reuse pipe cleaners. That is unsanitary and they are inexpensive.

 Click Here and Learn How to Clean Your Tobacco Pipe

Fifth, remove the resin and tar that has built up on the inside of the bowl with a scraping tool. Then fold an alcohol soaked pipe cleaner (that has been drained) in half and clean the bowl and the tenon (the air hole inside the bowl of the pipe). Do this by gently rubbing the sides of the bowl and sticking the pipe cleaner into the tenon. When you do this all of the residue should be wiped off with a dry pipe cleaner. Finally, rub and wipe the outside of the bowl with alcohol on a cloth and let it dry completely.

We hope you have enjoyed our post on tobacco pipes. Do you smoke a pipe? If so tell us how long, and what type of tobacco pipe you have.

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