How to smoke pipe?

Cleaning and maintenance guidelines

A well maintained pipe lasts for a very long time, this is why you should follow these guidelines in order to keep your pipes nice and clean for a pleasant smoke:

  • I heard alcohol is used for "breaking" a new pipe. What do you think?

  • Never pour alcohol in the bowl of your pipe! We strongly advise you not to pour alcohol in your pipe or on your tobacco. "Breaking your pipe" or building the cake in the bowl is a slow and pleasant procedure. There is no need of additional substance in the tobacco. Alcohol will produce strong heat and damage the wood if there is too much.

    Until the early 70's there was lacquer inside the bowl. Alcohol was useful to burn the layer of chemical and get rid of its disgusting taste. There is no need to do so today...

    Jean MERMET, La Pipe Rit

  • How to "break" my pipe and build the carbon cake?

  • We suggest you to fill one third of the bowl for the first ten pipes. And then gradually increase over a dozen or so bowls until you are filling the pipe completely. The goal is that you smoke all the way to the bottom, creating a protective layer (or cake) throughout the entire chamber.

    Pipe packing

    The carbon cake is a thin layer of carbon residing on the bowl inside surface. Its purpose is to protect the wood from the heat. In order to be efficient, the cake must be even from the bottom to the top. This is why you should not fill in the chamber entirely from the beginning.

    Jean MERMET, La Pipe Rit

  • Is this a specific way to light the tobacco in my pipe?

  • Be careful and keep the flame source over the tobacco at all time. If you use a lighter, try not to char the rim of the bowl. If the combustion stops, simply pack the tobacco and light it again. It happens to seasonned smokers too, don't worry too much about relights. With the passing time you will relight less and less frequently.

    Light the whole surface of tobacco, it will be easier to pack the tobacco.

    Lighting a pipe

    Buy a pipe lighter

  • What is the purpose of a pipe tamper?

  • The pipe-tamper is an essential tool that helps you to pack tobacco with the flat part. The other two parts are useful to clean the bowl and the shank. Smoke slowly in order to avoid condensation at the bottom of the bowl. Fill one third of the pipe in then gently pack the tobacco with your pipe tamper. Trickle a bit more tobacco into the pipe. Using your tamp again, pack this tobacco down until it is even with the top of the bowl. Put the pipe to your lips and take a test draw, if you have any troubles drawing on the pipe, dump out the tobacco and start over. During smoking, pack the tobacco regularly and evenly.

    Metal pipe tamper

    Using a pipe tamper is mandatory, if you do not pack the tobacco regularly, the pipe will eventualy stop burning.

    Jean MERMET, La Pipe Rit

    Buy a pipe tamper

  • What should I do if my pipe gets too hot?

  • If your pipe gets too hot while smoking, simply put it asside and stop smoking it. If you keep drawing on a hot pipe, the wood will eventually be dammaged from the heat. Do not re-use your pipe after you finished smoking. Let it rest for a while, at least 30 minutes to one hour. A cold and dry pipe is always more enjoyable.

    Too hot pipe

    Buy a pipe rack

  • Can I open my pipe at any moment?

  • The mouthpiece and the stem are not made of the same raw material, hence they both behave differently. The mouthpiece bit might expand a little bit, reassemble your pipe parts will be difficult. Always let your pipe cool down before maintenance.

    Do not open a hot pipe

    This is maybe the most important thing to remember. You might damage the shank while opening a hot pipe.

    Jean MERMET, La Pipe Rit

  • How to remove the stem of my pipe?

  • Let your pipe cooling down, then use a turning, not pulling!, motion. Do the same gesture when putting the stem back.

    open a pipe

    Avoid pulling motion under all circumstances. You will either crack the wood or break the tenon.Again, do it when your pipe is cold.

    Jean MERMET, La Pipe Rit

  • How to clean the chamber?

  • Gently tap your pipe on a cork knocker or on the palm of your hand to remove the ashes and the tobacco. Never tap your pipe on a hard item such as an ashtray or a wall. Doing so will only damage the wood or even crack the finish.

    empty the ashes

    Some ashtrays are equipped with a cork knocker, those are a must for pipe smoker.

    Jean MERMET, La Pipe Rit

    Buy a pipe ashtray

  • How to preserve my pipe?

  • Do not scrape the chamber too firmly , keep in mind you have to keep a minimum carbon layer inside the chamber. On the other hand, do not let it expand too much. One or two millimetres are enough.

    Scrape the pipe chamber

    Preserving the carbon cake is almost as important as cleaning your pipe. If the carbon layer gets too thick, remove the superfluous with a pipe reamer.

    Jean MERMET, La Pipe Rit

    Buy a pipe-reamer

  • Why and how to clean my pipe?

  • Run a pipe cleaner or several ones throught the stem and the shank. Avoid using any chemicals or a large quantity of alcohol. Clean the metal filter with soapy water, if you have a 9mm pipe, replace the filter for a new one. Then rest the pipe for a day or as many days as your pipe rotation will allow before smoking it again.

    Abrasive pipe cleaner

    A clean pipe is the best way to enjoy the aroma and the perfume of your tobacco!

    Jean MERMET, La Pipe Rit

    Buy pipe-cleaners

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