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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

So some of you probably know me from my last year of (mostly question-based) posts on the cigar side of the forum. I got into cigars last summer, and it's been a great journey so far, with lots of great, knowledgeable guidance from my fellow Puffers. I mentioned in my intro over there last year that I'd smoked a pipe on and off years ago, but that was about it.

(If you want more general intro-type info, here's my original post: https://www.cigarforums.net/forums/...duction-forum/278254-hello-hoosier-state.html)

Well, today I got my most recent shipment of cigars, and as I was organizing them and trying to fit everything into my cabinet, I came across my old pipes and tobacco. Coincidentally, I'd just had a brief PM conversation with a Puffer yesterday about whether I was a pipe smoker, and I told him that I haven't done it for years, but I was thinking about trying to get into it again this fall. After finding all the stuff today, though, "this fall" has become "today." :)

So, here's some background before I ask some questions. (As usual, I have many.) When I was a kid, my Great Uncle Pete smoked a pipe in his cabin near our house, and I loved the smell. In my twenties, I got interested in pipe smoking myself and picked up a couple of pipes from the discount basket at Briar & Bean in Evansville, Indiana. (I think it's gone these days, but it was a great little store.) I also grabbed a couple of bags of loose tobacco that smelled good in the store, and for a year or so, I smoked when I had a chance, but I never really learned much at all about how to smoke a pipe, what the tobacco options were, or how to maintain a pipe.

I did, though, get interested in how pipes were made (especially after watching the Lord of the Rings movies, with their cool-looking long-stemmed pipes--see my profile pic), and I ordered some materials from Pimo Pipecrafting and, through much trial and error, made my own pipe. It had a lot of irregularities, but I was pretty excited that I'd made a pipe I could smoke. I made another one for my best friend as my best-man gift to him when he got married, and then I smoked my three pipes off and on until I moved to Oregon in 2005, when they got packed away and stayed that way until fairly recently.

So, while I'm not a total pipe noob, I'm pretty close. I've got three pipes, but I have no real idea of their relative quality, or whether they can be salvaged after never being cleaned or cared for and then packed away for years. They still look and smell good, but that's about all I can tell you. Here are some pics of each, in case they show you anything I'm missing:

Hand tool Tobacco pipe Wood Tool Wrench


Musical instrument Wood Metal Wood stain Hardwood


Wood Finger Thumb Nail Auto part


Wood Circle Metal Fashion accessory Paint


Finger Table Wood Nail Cosmetics


Tableware Wood Rectangle Kitchen utensil Cutlery


Wood Natural material Cutlery Serveware Eyewear


Wood Kitchen utensil Drink Gas Circle


So, long story short (I know, too late), I've finally got my cigar collection at a place where I can look around at other things to add to my current love of fine tobacco, and pipes seemed like a great choice, partially because I can tolerate pipe smoking in colder weather than I can cigar smoking, and winter is coming! :)

So that's my pipe background. Now some questions:

1. These pipes. Are they good enough to continue smoking, or should I get something new?

2. If they can be saved, how would I go about doing so? I've found a few threads on here that touch on specific aspects of pipe care, but nothing that fully explains how to resurrect an old, neglected pipe, so if anyone could point me toward a reliable resource, it'd be much appreciated.

3. If they can't be saved (or even if they can--I suspect Pipe Acquisition Syndrome is a lot like Cigar Acquisition Syndrome), what's a reasonably good pipe for someone getting back into the hobby? I know I like briar, though I've never had a meerschaum, so maybe that'd be cool, too. But for starters, what are some good brands/pipes to check out?

4. Tobacco. I've still got the stuff I bought years ago, stored in tins, but it hasn't been intentionally humidified in any way. I've also got five bags of who-knows-how-old tobacco I found in an old humidor I bought at a consignment shop last year. Someone recommended throwing it in a bag with a Boveda when I posted about it then, so these have been humidified since then. I've currently got all of these in a ziplock with a 69% pack, just to keep an even keel until I know what to do with it. So is any of this worth keeping/smoking, or would it be better to start from scratch? Here are a couple of pics of the stash, such as it is:

Food Ingredient Cuisine Tableware Soil


Food Ingredient Cuisine Vegetable Drink


5. Tobacco, part deux. So if I did decide to get some new pipe tobacco, what are some good places to start? I know almost nothing about it other than I tend to buy what smells good. I've only ever had loose tobacco, never flake, or any other sort. (I told ya, I know very little about this stuff.) :) With cigars, I like sweeter sticks and maduros. Nothing crazy strong. I don't know how (or if) that translates to pipe tobacco, but I figured I'd throw it out there.

6. Accessories. I get the impression that pipes benefit from more care than I ever knew to give them, so I'm wondering what you'd all recommend to keep these (or some new) pipes in fighting shape. I know that I should be running pipe cleaners through them regularly, and I assume that I should clean the dirty bowls. I know there are tools for this, but I'm not sure what a particularly useful/versatile one might be.

7. Storage. What's the best way to store pipes when not using them? Can I just stick them in a Mason jar, or is it more complicated than that? What about the tobacco?

Okay, I know that's more than I can reasonably expect anyone to answer, but I figured I'd throw it all out in one place rather than clogging the pipe forum with individual question posts. Feel free to pick and choose which questions to answer, or point me toward an existing thread I should've found when I was searching. I'm just trying to establish some basic knowledge centered on my specific materials and situation.

Thanks, all. I feel like all I do on Puff these days is ask questions, but your answers really are helping me become a better BOTL. I still feel like a total noob around here, but when I talk to my friends, they seem to think I know more about cigars and tobacco than anyone they've ever met, so y'all are doing your job well around here, I guess. :)

Thanks!
 

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No burn outs. They'll be fine to clean up. If you want , ship em to me and I'll clean em and shine em up for ya. For the low low price of..... you guessed it, nothing..

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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H.R. Pufnstuf
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No burn outs. They'll be fine to clean up. If you want , ship em to me and I'll clean em and shine em up for ya. For the low low price of..... you guessed it, nothing..

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
Taake this DEAL! They will be better than new.....:surprise::surprise::smile2:
 

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That’s a pretty sweet offer there! @UBCO3 will make em as good as new!
As for your tobacco your gonna want to dry it out some before you try and smoke it, 69rh is way high for pipe tobacco. A well known blender ships his tobacco at about 15-18% moisture which I believe translates to around 28-33 Rh, some people like it that wet, myself I prefer about half that moisture.
#5 I would go to tobaccorevues.com and look up what you’ve got that you like, once you know what tobacco’s are in that blend you’ll have a better idea of what genre to start exploring.
#6 once you get these pipes cleaned up maintenance can be as simple as wiping out the bowl and running a pipe cleaner thru while the pipe is still warm.
#7 don’t jar your pipes they need to breathe and dry out, store in a drawer or cabinet out of sunlight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No burn outs. They'll be fine to clean up. If you want , ship em to me and I'll clean em and shine em up for ya. For the low low price of..... you guessed it, nothing..

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
Wow, that would be awesome. I'll shoot you a PM shortly. I was going to try to restore them myself, but I think this option sounds much less likely to leave me with a damaged pipe. :)

That's a pretty sweet offer there! @UBCO3 will make em as good as new!
As for your tobacco your gonna want to dry it out some before you try and smoke it, 69rh is way high for pipe tobacco. A well known blender ships his tobacco at about 15-18% moisture which I believe translates to around 28-33 Rh, some people like it that wet, myself I prefer about half that moisture.
Thanks for the advice! I looked into things a bit more myself, and the "good" news is that my Boveda was bone dry, so most of the older tobacco was also quite dry. I'm currently in the middle of Operation: Tobacco Rehydration in my kitchen:

Font Circle Metal Oval Fashion accessory


The tins seemed pretty well hydrated already, so I just set those in my cigar cabinet for now.

Since I'm gonna ship my two current pipes off to UBC03, does anyone have any recommendations on a reliable pipe (or type of pipe) I could pick up in the meantime?

I also think I've got plenty of loose tobacco for now, but I'd be interested in trying some flake tobacco, which is new to me. Any good mild-to-medium recommendations? I'm not opposed to flavored tobaccos, though it's certainly not a requirement.

Beyond that, I'm slowly but surely finding great advice buried in threads all over the pipe forum. Thanks to everyone who's offered their thoughts in this thread so far!
 

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@greypilgrim76, you might want to check out the Pipe Smoking Tips for Cigar Smokers thread if you haven't come across it yet. It has lots of answers to your questions. For example, it has recommendations on pipe tools, cleaning and YouTube how-to videos. You probably already know a lot of what's in that thread but it never hurts to review the fundamentals.:wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One of them might even have been smoked by your Uncle Pete!
I have no doubt that Uncle Pete's tobacco would've been of the codger variety. We lived in the boonies, so I'm sure he smoked whatever he could get at Rexall Drugs. :)

I swung into our local B&M this afternoon and picked up a tin of Erinmore Flake, just to add something different to my current collection. The other old tobaccos seem to moistening up a bit, which is good, since they were pretty dry.

I also discovered that this little pouch is completely unopened:

Plant Drink Rectangle Packaging and labeling Transparency


I don't have the slightest idea when this was bought, but it certainly seems old. It does feel fairly dense through the packaging, so I think it's held its moisture. Whether that's good or bad, I have no idea, but we'll see what it looks like when I open it up to move it to a jar!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Got all of the old tobacco hydrated a bit, and then put everything in jars with the labels cut from the original packaging so I don't forget what's what:

Food Ingredient Wood Mason jar Drink


Food Mason jar Ingredient Preserved food Plant


I also dug through the garage last night and found my old pipemaking stuff. Turns out, I have two blocks of briar ready to carve, so I went to Harbor Freight today and got a wood lathe. (I've been meaning to get one for a while now, and my memory of my first attempt at pipe carving is that it wasn't easy without a lathe.) On a related note: the 20% Harbor Freight coupon is pretty great!

That should give me plenty to mess around with while my current pipes are on their way to @UBC03!

I may still pick up a new pipe, too, but I've got cigars to smoke, so we'll see. I think it's fair to say I've officially down the rabbit hole on this fine tobacco hobby. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looks like some good older Tobacco there, only one i know is the Erinmore
Yeah, it may all be terrible, but I couldn't resist trying to bring it back to life. I think it might be from the '70s, so my expectations are not high. (Except for the Wall Street and the Mike's Blend, which I bought myself about 15 years ago and have kept properly stored.)

also interested to see your progress in pipe making
I suspect it'll be slow going. I dusted off my Pimo Pipecrafting book this afternoon to try to reacquaint myself with the basic steps, and there's also the learning curve for the lathe itself. The good news is that my toolbox had pretty much everything in it I need, other than some wood stains (which had dried out in the last 15 years--shocking, right?)

I figure if I've got a smokeable pipe by Halloween, I'll be happy. :)
 

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Here's my two cents as a pipe smoker (almost a year now) and very occasional cigar smoker (maybe once a month).

1. No reason those can't be restored to smokable condition.

2. Check out the estate pipes from SmokingPipes.com. Also, TobaccoPipes.com sells Molina pipes. I have two and are very happy with how they smoke. They are definitely a budget pipe but they smoke well. I just purchased a Morgan Bones pipe that seems to be quite nice, though I have yet to smoke it. The price is right, though.

3. Seems like most of the tobacco you have is aromatic. I probably wouldn't hold out hope that any of it will be good. I may be wrong, though. I'd look for non-aromatic blends. Being a cigar smoker you may appreciate a good Virginia/Perique like Escudo or Peter Stokkebye Luxury Bullseye Flake. The Perique brings a nice peppery quality that is similar to cigars (at least those I've smoked). A nice English blend may also suit your tastes -- try Arango Balkan Supreme. My current go to is Macbaren HH Old Dark Fired, a Kentucky dark fired (burley) based tobacco that has some serious barbecue qualities.

4. I run pipe cleaners down the stem after every smoke (and during smokes in unfiltered pipes). I wipe out the ash when I'm done. Every few weeks I'll break out some cheap bourbon and clean the bowl and stem/shank. I have not smoked enough to really build up a significant cake in any of my pipes to warrant the purchase of a reamer. You may benefit from one to help recondition your pipes. Unfortunately I can't suggest any specifics.

5. I'm looking into buying a pipe rack to store my pipes. Right now I throw them in a drawer with the nicer ones getting thrown in a pipe sock first. I don't have any pipes that are nice enough to absolutely necessitate a rack yet.

6. My go to online tobacco shops are SmokingPipes, TobaccoPipes, 4 Noggins, Pipes and Cigars, and most recently Watch City Cigar.

7. Here's my general advice regarding cigars vs pipe tobacco. My experience is that, in general, the cigars I've had have been far bolder and a bit more one dimensional than what is available with pipe tobacco. I don't mean to disparage cigars at all with that statement, but I don't think it is a secret that pipe tobacco in general is more subtle in taste and aroma than cigars are. Keep this in mind when trying pipe tobaccos, and try to take pipe tobacco for what it is -- a more subtle experience, where half of the experience is the ritual associated with using the pipe. It's a meditative process for many, and far more laborious than lighting a cigar and letting it burn on its own for 1+ hours. The pipe requires finesse and care in preparing, packing, and keeping it lit.
 
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