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 The Bite Zone

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PostSubject: The Bite Zone   Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:39 pm

as pipemakers call it. The last half inch of the stem & the button.

How big a deal is this TO YOU, PERSONALLY ?

I suspect sometimes this is something pipemakers obsess about more than they need to. But then again, there are guys who make a very big deal out of how "comfortable" Rad Davis' are.

As long as the bit of a pipe is wide enough, I really don't care if it's on the thick side or the thin side, or whether it has a high or low button (provided most of it hasn't been buffed off by a basement commando).

You ? Do you even pay that much attention to it ?

What a Face
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alfredo_buscatti

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:51 pm

I've adapted to chunky bits but to my mind a pipe best resides in my mouth, and thus I would choose a comfortable bit any day, even if that detracts from aesthetics. A good example are the Pease/DiPiazza chunky nosewarmers. The chunky accompanying bit looks good but is all but unclenchable. But the pipe is all about design, and perhaps I miss the point.
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Dutch

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:41 pm

Yak, I only have one pipe where the bit feels especially thick between my teeth. The differences in the stems and buttons of my other pipes are not noticeable, because I use rubber softee bits on them. The only thing that frustrates me, is when a stem is not made properly to hold the rubber softee bit in place. On my smaller stems, I sometimes slide the rubber softee bit up over the button to keep it in place.
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HCraven

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:36 pm

Like Dutch, I use softie bits on all my pipes, so most of the time it doesn't make me any difference. I discovered them, however, because one pipe in particular, my Dr. Bob (Kiess) billiard, has a very low, smooth button on it's acrylic stem that often caused the pipe to shoot out of my mouth while clenching it. Fortunately for the pipe, but unfortunately for me, it always landed on my lap. Shocked I love the pipe, but it was becoming a real problem until I put a softie on it. I was so happy with the feel that I put them on all my pipes.

I have a Becker & Musico spigot that has the thinnest bit of any pipe I've ever owned. I'd bet it's a real joy to clench in it's natural state, but I've gotten so used to the softies that I don't care to find out.
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monbla256

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:23 pm

Having worn full dentures for over 30 years now, nice thin, wide fishtail style vulcanite bits are what my preference is. So much that I've had replacement bits made with this type of bit for almost ALL my P-lipped Petes and acrylic bitt'd pipes. It's just what has evolved to work best for me Twisted Evil Brian Growley makes a fishtail that is THE MOST comfortable bit I've EVER had on a pipe Razz
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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:08 am

I'm fairly sensitive to the angle of the bit. I clench a lot, so something that's a little off is like a stone in my shoe. The angle of the 60's and earlier Dunhills is as comfortable as they get for me. Curiously the most comfortable restems I've ever had are from George Dibos (Precision Pipe Repair). He copies the angle and bit to taper ratio of those very Dunhills.


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Smoker99

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:52 am

Over the years, stem thickness has become more important to me. I prefer a thin hand finished stem, just a lot more comfortable to me. Castellos, to me, are among the best smokers made. I have several, but would have a lot more if not for their klutzy stem work. Just always kind of surprising to me for the money they charge.
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Sasquatch

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:17 am

Agree about Castellos - I was really surprised at how inferior their stem work is compared to Ser Jac, for example.

I'm not super fussy - I think a light straight pipe needs can take a different bit than a big Oom Paul quite easily - they are held differently, present different angles/stresses to teeth etc.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:37 am

This is amazing me.

We've got what ? 100 guys who smoke pipes checking in here every day ?

And given how far-fetched some of the topics for discussion here are
(because people like to talk even when they don't have anything to talk about),
nobody can just say "Yes, this is a big deal to me" or "No" ?

What a Face
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Ocelot55

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:45 am

The stem is probably the most important part of the pipe. As a clencher and a pipe maker, I have a lot of mixed feelings about the thickness and contour of pipe stems.

I hate teeth marks on my pipes. It really bothers me. Because of this I use softies on the majority of my pipes, yet this makes most of them pretty thick. On the other hand, I know that the artisan's that I have purchased pipes from spend a lot of time and effort trying to make their bits as comfortable as possible. To put a softie on them is to miss out on one of their distinct pleasures. This is why on several of my artisan grades I don't use softies. Even though it hurts me not to do so, I feel that I get more of an experience without them.

Ah life! She is full of similar dilemmas!
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Briar Spirit

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:08 pm

No!
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bosun1

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:34 pm

Yak wrote:
This is amazing me.

We've got what ? 100 guys who smoke pipes checking in here every day ?

And given how far-fetched some of the topics for discussion here are
(because people like to talk even when they don't have anything to talk about),
nobody can just say "Yes, this is a big deal to me" or "No" ?

What a Face

Nothing to be amazed about. Opinions? Here? From us? Pshaw!

I generally do not clench, just sit here with the button against the canine on the left side of my jaw, pipe held in my left hand, with a very callused elbow on the left arm of my chair.
When I do clench I prefer a thinner, wider bit made of vulcanite. Only time I'll use a rubber stem protector is when I (rarely) smoke a clay.
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dshpipes

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:16 pm

How comfortable and well made the bite zone is determines whether or not a pipe becomes a "go-to" for me.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:51 pm

Wait...wait... so in the Rubber Room, my Yakster friend, we ask a simple question of you and you post sixteen paragraphs of either your or the ramblings of another and you're gonna give the Bros crap about getting wordy and specific with a pipe stem question? Laughing Just stop it. Laughing

Naturally, my answer is "sometimes." How's that? Predictable, probably I love you

AND--I'm gonna tell ya why.

One of the reasons why I enjoy saddle stems so much is the consistent nature of the stem from the point of diminishing to the final thickness that then stays much the same until the button. I prefer the look of a good taper, but comfort-wise it's a better bet with saddle. When I "try on" pipes in a store, I get offered a mirror. Mirror? "...this is for feel, not image..." Granted the little plastic "stem condoms" for new pipes distract a little, I can get the general idea.

My meerschaums all seem to have a problem with thickness in the stem at the button. I feel like I'm clenching down on a flattened pen. Cobs, on the other hand, the cheap OEM stems are wonderful for me because they are easy to chomp on and comfortable, which is probably why they're my "action pipe."

Width is something not often talked about, and I don't like excessively wide pipe stems at the button. Thickness is one thing, but I've tried on a few Italian pipes that have had stems wider than my thumb...plenty flat, but it was very uncomfortable.

The flatter the better, for comfort, that is, but if in time I wear holes in my stem from teeth I'll have to not take a bit of stem thickness for granted.

Cool

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huffelpuff

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:10 pm

Total nonissue, as I rarely clench.

Jim
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gravel

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:26 pm

Yes it does. I rarely clench.
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:11 am

Prefer an acrylic stem that flares a little, is flattened a little, has just enough of a softly rounded over button to be comfortable yet hold behind the teeth, has a nice "V" funnel cut into the inside.

Like this one (I own the sandblast version):

http://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/stanwell/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=33043

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HCraven

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:42 am

Yak wrote:
This is amazing me.

We've got what ? 100 guys who smoke pipes checking in here every day ?

And given how far-fetched some of the topics for discussion here are
(because people like to talk even when they don't have anything to talk about),
nobody can just say "Yes, this is a big deal to me" or "No" ?

What a Face

Yak wrote:
How big a deal is this TO YOU, PERSONALLY ?

Perhaps I misunderstood the rhetorical nature of that part of your OP. Sorry I took this to be a cue for conversation. silent
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:51 am

Yak wrote:
as pipemakers call it. The last half inch of the stem & the button.

How big a deal is this TO YOU, PERSONALLY ?

I suspect sometimes this is something pipemakers obsess about more than they need to. But then again, there are guys who make a very big deal out of how "comfortable" Rad Davis' are.

As long as the bit of a pipe is wide enough, I really don't care if it's on the thick side or the thin side, or whether it has a high or low button (provided most of it hasn't been buffed off by a basement commando).

You ? Do you even pay that much attention to it ?

What a Face



Frankly I've never given it much thought. Doesn't seem overly relevant to me.

<shrug>


Cheers,

RR
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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:12 am

I'm not crabbing, guys. Embarassed

On one hand, pipe makers seem to get really obsessive about this.

But except for the occasional reviewer, I don't see it being a deal-breaker for much of anybody. It certainly isn't for me. Nobody much ever mentions it.

Just trying to provoke a little common ground interaction where the two perspectives (makers & ordinary Joe smokers) can meet & compare notes.

What a Face
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Harlock999

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:01 am

Pretty much a non issue. I'm rather flexible in these matters.
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Wet Dottle

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:30 pm

A non issue for me, either. If you asked which of my pipes has the most comfortable bit I couldn't tell you.
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gravel

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:16 pm

I should restate, I have one pipe that when smoked I notice the size of the stem and its taper. All of my other pipes are not noticeable in that regard. I found it annoying.

And, I don't clench.
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Dave_In_Philly

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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:58 am

For me, its not as big of an issue as weight/length, but it is an issue. I have one that is too narrow and actually hurts my teeth, and one that's too wide, so wide that I can't draw properly unless I hold the pipe in my hand. As long as its within the appropriate tolerances, I'm not too picky.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bite Zone   Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:13 pm

It's about as I thought, then.

I wonder if our pipe-making contingent is taking notes or revising its beliefs about what factors into how we really evaluate their work (?)

What a Face
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