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 Oil Soaked Briar

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Mikhailovich

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Location : On the shores of the Cumberland
Registration date : 2012-01-02

PostSubject: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:58 am

I've read about briars that are "oil soaked." Somewhere I read an article...JustForHim perhaps...that said briar is often boiled in alcohol or oil in order to drive the sap from the wood so that the pipe may breathe better.

My question is, what kind of oil? Some oils used in woodfinishing are quite volatile and toxic.

Any ideas gents?
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dshpipes

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Age : 33
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:39 am

There are some pipe makers that still oil cure their pipes but that number has dwindled pretty drastically. Dunhill used to. I know that Randy Wiley still does and his smoke wonderfully, IMO. I sincerely doubt that you would find any pipe maker worth his salt who would cure in anything toxic.

As far as boiling in anything else, briar cutters boil their blocks in order to get a lot of the sap out, thus preparing the wood to be carved into a usable and tasty pipe. I'm pretty sure they boil in water, but it could be alcohol. Many pipe makers will age their wood for years and sometimes decades afterwards to allow for complete drying of the block. This is called "air curing."

Unfortunately, that's the extent of my knowledge on the subject.

This is pretty informative though: http://www.rdfield.com/Articles/curing.htm
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:01 am

That RD Field article was pretty interesting, thanks.

As mentioned, Dunhill oil-cured their pipes at one time (pretty controversial subject). Bill Tayler Ashton pipes were oil cured, but I'm not sure about the new Jimmy Craig line. Ferndown also oil cures their briar. I have one each, Dunhill, Ashton and Ferndown pipes in my collection. The oil cured briar to me, definitely imparts a flavor and different smoke than my other pipes. I certainly enjoy my non oil-cured briars, but it is interesting to get a slightly different smoke from those that are oil cured.
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Airborne



Registration date : 2011-07-06

PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:29 am

I know Radice pipes in Italy used to cure their pipes in oil (perhaps they still do). I don't know what kind of oil they used but if I had to venture a guess, it would be olive oil.

Actually, every so often on my smooth pipes, I wipe them down with a little olive oil (just a very little) to enhance the look of the briar. The wood absorbs the oil quickly and the next time you smoke it, it bleeds out again. It really brings out the grain and helps darken out the briar. Iíve been doing this since 1968 (minus the 14 yrs when I didnít smoke). It doesnít add to or take away from how the pipe smokes. I do it just to keep the briar looking great.
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dshpipes

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Age : 33
Location : Durham, NC
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PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:20 pm

Airborne wrote:
Actually, every so often on my smooth pipes, I wipe them down with a little olive oil (just a very little) to enhance the look of the briar. The wood absorbs the oil quickly and the next time you smoke it, it bleeds out again. It really brings out the grain and helps darken out the briar. Iíve been doing this since 1968 (minus the 14 yrs when I didnít smoke). It doesnít add to or take away from how the pipe smokes. I do it just to keep the briar looking great.

Great tip! I may have to give this a try on my briars.
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Mikhailovich

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Location : On the shores of the Cumberland
Registration date : 2012-01-02

PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:22 pm

Airborne wrote:
I know Radice pipes in Italy used to cure their pipes in oil (perhaps they still do). I don't know what kind of oil they used but if I had to venture a guess, it would be olive oil.

Actually, every so often on my smooth pipes, I wipe them down with a little olive oil (just a very little) to enhance the look of the briar. The wood absorbs the oil quickly and the next time you smoke it, it bleeds out again. It really brings out the grain and helps darken out the briar. Iíve been doing this since 1968 (minus the 14 yrs when I didnít smoke). It doesnít add to or take away from how the pipe smokes. I do it just to keep the briar looking great.

Olive oil would present some interesting problems. Wiping the waxed side wouldn't cause a flavour intrusion, but I can't imagine the flavour and the scent not being foremost if the briar were boiled in it.

Also, olive oil when boiled can cause a very thick gum to form in the pot. I would have to test it out on a piece of wood, but I can't imagine it would do anything other than fill the pores of the briar as well.


Riff Raff: you mentioned a difference between the pipes and how they smoke. What is that difference? Heat? Taste? ?

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Jar

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PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:42 pm

Maybe the text of the Dunhill Oil Curing Patent will be of any help:
http://www.folloder.com/pdf/1341418.pdf
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Airborne



Registration date : 2011-07-06

PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:10 pm

Mikhailovich wrote:
Airborne wrote:
I know Radice pipes in Italy used to cure their pipes in oil (perhaps they still do). I don't know what kind of oil they used but if I had to venture a guess, it would be olive oil.

Actually, every so often on my smooth pipes, I wipe them down with a little olive oil (just a very little) to enhance the look of the briar. The wood absorbs the oil quickly and the next time you smoke it, it bleeds out again. It really brings out the grain and helps darken out the briar. Iíve been doing this since 1968 (minus the 14 yrs when I didnít smoke). It doesnít add to or take away from how the pipe smokes. I do it just to keep the briar looking great.

Olive oil would present some interesting problems. Wiping the waxed side wouldn't cause a flavour intrusion, but I can't imagine the flavour and the scent not being foremost if the briar were boiled in it.

Also, olive oil when boiled can cause a very thick gum to form in the pot. I would have to test it out on a piece of wood, but I can't imagine it would do anything other than fill the pores of the briar as well.



When you talk about boiling do you mean when the pipe maker does it during the curing process?

If not then, the amount of olive oil I rub onto the outside of my briars is very little so the wood doesnít absorb much of it (the carnauba wax is long since gone). Olive oil starts to smoke at 191c (375f) before it boils so my pipe would have to be so hot that I couldnít smoke it, that is if my tongue could even withstand it. It would be one helluva mess! Iíve been using olive oil on my pipes for 30 years without any taste, flavor, or scent issues and thereís never been even a hint of gum forming in the chamber (where I don't use it) or anywhere else.

It seems to me I read the Radice soaks his briar in oil rather than boils it and then allows them to dry out over a period of many years.


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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:15 pm

Jar wrote:
Maybe the text of the Dunhill Oil Curing Patent will be of any help:
http://www.folloder.com/pdf/1341418.pdf

Bull's-eye, Jar. Thank you for this. I have always been curious.
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Airborne



Registration date : 2011-07-06

PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:19 pm

Jar wrote:
Maybe the text of the Dunhill Oil Curing Patent will be of any help:
http://www.folloder.com/pdf/1341418.pdf


Where did you dig that one up? A very interesting article! Thanks for posting it!


UberHuberMan: good article, too! We're getting an education today! Thanks.

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Mikhailovich

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Location : On the shores of the Cumberland
Registration date : 2012-01-02

PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:25 pm

Airborne wrote:
Mikhailovich wrote:
Airborne wrote:
I know Radice pipes in Italy used to cure their pipes in oil (perhaps they still do). I don't know what kind of oil they used but if I had to venture a guess, it would be olive oil.

Actually, every so often on my smooth pipes, I wipe them down with a little olive oil (just a very little) to enhance the look of the briar. The wood absorbs the oil quickly and the next time you smoke it, it bleeds out again. It really brings out the grain and helps darken out the briar. Iíve been doing this since 1968 (minus the 14 yrs when I didnít smoke). It doesnít add to or take away from how the pipe smokes. I do it just to keep the briar looking great.

Olive oil would present some interesting problems. Wiping the waxed side wouldn't cause a flavour intrusion, but I can't imagine the flavour and the scent not being foremost if the briar were boiled in it.

Also, olive oil when boiled can cause a very thick gum to form in the pot. I would have to test it out on a piece of wood, but I can't imagine it would do anything other than fill the pores of the briar as well.



When you talk about boiling do you mean when the pipe maker does it during the curing process?

If not then, the amount of olive oil I rub onto the outside of my briars is very little so the wood doesnít absorb much of it (the carnauba wax is long since gone). Olive oil starts to smoke at 191c (375f) before it boils so my pipe would have to be so hot that I couldnít smoke it, that is if my tongue could even withstand it. It would be one helluva mess! Iíve been using olive oil on my pipes for 30 years without any taste, flavor, or scent issues and thereís never been even a hint of gum forming in the chamber (where I don't use it) or anywhere else.

It seems to me I read the Radice soaks his briar in oil rather than boils it and then allows them to dry out over a period of many years.



I am talking about the curing process. Pre-finish. The document supplied by Jar shows that Dunhill's process involved soaking the stummels in olive oil or mineral oil and then after they had "steeped" in the oil for a certain amount of time, they were then heated in an oven designed specifically to suspend the stummels and direct the heat into the bowl thus forcing the oil to boil from the inside out. Dunhill then describes a process whereby the resultant varnish is removed and the surface polished. He also allows for a repeat of this process.

Dunhill's claim in the document is that this process provides a very attractive display of the briar grain and also hardens the pipe such as to make it a superb smoking instrument.

How cool. That is at least one answer to the question. Now I am curious if this was the only large manufacturer that made oil soaked bowls or if others did indeed boil the stummels in oil before use.

Thanks gents!
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:14 pm

Jar wrote:
Maybe the text of the Dunhill Oil Curing Patent will be of any help:
http://www.folloder.com/pdf/1341418.pdf

Pretty involved process. Cool read. Cool
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:19 pm

Airborne wrote:
Jar wrote:
Maybe the text of the Dunhill Oil Curing Patent will be of any help:
http://www.folloder.com/pdf/1341418.pdf


Where did you dig that one up? A very interesting article! Thanks for posting it!


UberHuberMan: good article, too! We're getting an education today! Thanks.


That was a fascinating peek back in time, thanks! So Dunhill used mineral, vegetable and olive oils based on what type of briar was being prepared.

Bill Taylor more or less copied this process when he started Ashton pipes, after leaving Dunhill. I'm not sure as to the exact process Ferndown uses.
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Oldguy

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PostSubject: Oil-Soaked Briar   Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:04 pm

I recently tried using olive oil to seal a pipe that started to burn out. †I used extra-virgin oil (thick) which i spread with my finger inside the bowl. †I let it dry/sink in for a couple of days and put on another coat, and sprinkled a layer of fine ash onto the oil. †I let that sit for a month or so to sink in and dry out as much as it would. †Then I smoked it again, as cool and slow as I could. †The first couple of bowlfuls tasted strange, needless to say, but so far the tobacco seems to have caked on top of the oil and stopped the burnout. †Whether or not the fix will be permanent remains to be seen, however.

As for soaking a new pipe stummel in oil, I would think that a thinner, more refined oil would work better, sinking in farther and leaving less of a gummy residue. †If I tried it, I'd still use olive oil (the light version), as it has a higher tolerance for heat than most other vegetable oils. † I used olive oil to season my cast-iron skillet decades ago. †Since I use olive oil for cooking, the surface stays refreshed and perfect.

Just my two cents worth!
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SpeedyPete



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PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:06 am

Airborne wrote:


Actually, every so often on my smooth pipes, I wipe them down with a little olive oil (just a very little) to enhance the look of the briar. The wood absorbs the oil quickly and the next time you smoke it, it bleeds out again. It really brings out the grain and helps darken out the briar. Iíve been doing this since 1968 (minus the 14 yrs when I didnít smoke). It doesnít add to or take away from how the pipe smokes. I do it just to keep the briar looking great.
Sometime ago, I mentioned on this forum that I use olive oil to shine up my pipes. I was almost crucified for just mentioning it Evil or Very Mad† The reason? My smokes will taste like olive oil !! I stopped doing it then.

Now comes a man who has been doing it for many years without a problem (thanks Airborne) So, I will start doing it again right away Laughing

This is a GREAT forum cheersbouncecheers
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MisterE
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Location : Mexico City
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PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:36 pm

Oooooh. The olive oil topic. Neutral

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monbla256

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PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:59 pm

I'm not sure about the pipes they sell today, but back in the 70's/80's ALL of Edward's pipes were made from oil cured Algerian briar and they are some of the NICEST smoking pipes you'll find ! They are the EQUAL to ANY of the oil cured Dunhill's of the past. JMHO Twisted Evil
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AJ

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PostSubject: Re: Oil Soaked Briar   Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:15 pm

monbla256 wrote:
I'm not sure about the pipes they sell today, but back in the 70's/80's ALL of Edward's pipes were made from oil cured Algerian briar and they are some of the NICEST smoking pipes you'll find ! They are the EQUAL to ANY of the oil cured Dunhill's of the past. JMHO †Twisted Evil
This^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^is true! IMO. †My Edward's pipes smoke†as good and in some cases better than my Dunhills. One Dunhill was made in 1972 and the other two were made in the late 60's. I'm not sure if the Dunhills were oil cured but they smoke very well and I'm very fond of them. However if I were forced to decide which pipes, either Dunhill or Edward's, I could keep and which I had to give away I'd keep the Edward's. For me the Edward's pipes are a better value. Smile

AJ
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