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 Taking care of one's briar...

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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Taking care of one's briar...   Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:16 am

As you'll appreciate, I'm keen to look after my briars, especially as one is a Growley. At the moment after every smoke I'm running a pipe cleaner through and then using the same cleaner to 'de-dust' the inside of the bowl. When the cake builds up I'm removing the excess carefully with a pipe tool. But what about the exterior? The grain on the Growley is simply stunning and I want it to remain so. Would the pipe benefit from an occasional light polish with beeswax (or similar) or should I leave well alone? Grateful of your thoughts...
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Richard Burley

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

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:43 am

In my experience, the first thing to do is not drop the pipe on concrete or gravel.  Choose a soft carpet or something if you must drop the pipe.  Secondly, the grain will probably improve with smoking, if it does anything, without your help.  Bird's-eye, for example, will "pop."  Buffing the pipe with a soft rag and condensate from your breath will improve its looks by removing the grubbiness from fingerprints.  Not much else is needed, really.  Adding wax will certainly add a hard shine, but not necessary unless the pipe has been smoked hot quite a bit.  Some guys here like a pristine rim, and remove the crud with water or saliva.  I couldn't care less about the rim, and expect the pipe to look smoked.  Within reason.  Other than dealing with pain-in-the-fundament vulcanite bits, which really need a wheel, that's about it from this ol' boy.


Last edited by Richard Burley on Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:44 am

I do the same as you but, I wipe my bowl out with a paper towel and then wipe the entire pipe down with a rag made from an old cotton T-shirt.
As far as wax, don't waste your time with beeswax, it'll only last for about one smoke.
You can get some Paragon wax online that is made for pipes and can be applied by hand or if you have a buffer as I do just use straight Caranuba wax on it. And yes, before appling wax I always clean the rim gunk off with spit and a Q-Tip.  Wink
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KevinM



Age : 75
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:00 pm

I like a pipe that, like Achille's sword, looks burnished in use. I use the Paragon wax, apply just a wee bit with my fingertips, then let it sit for X amount of time and then polish it with a salvaged piece of soft cotton cloth, which is now saturated with the wax. I maintain the rims of my pipes also, since it's not a big deal while I'm at it. The same wax used on the bowl will work on the stem. Beeswax is fine, if that's whatcha got. On vulcanite stems, I use my thumb nail to remove debris and stain from the bit area. Then, as needed, I might apply a dab of mineral oil, rub it in, and leave it sit for a day. Usually I don't wipe off the excess, but keep rubbing it into the bit. All you need for a bit is one drop of mineral oil. As you may know, mineral oil is widely used as an antioxidant.
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Danish Guy

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Registration date : 2014-04-09

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:24 pm

I treat my pipes as the artworks that they are.  never get them wet or marked by rain spots, never ding or scratch or drop them.  I do use the hell out of them and you can see that they do get smoked and not some museum pieces.  i clean them and am anal about using cleaners more than most.  I clean them after every 3 bowls or so. The outside i may wipe off a bit but not really.  I never polish or wax because I love the natural patina that graces the briar with use and age. Meers do get 100% beeswax applied pretty often to protect and to aid in coloring. Oh I do smoke outside most of the time due to wife and daughter and heavy Latakia. before I smoked anywhere but mostly inside.
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Hawker

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Age : 52
Location : Alberta
Registration date : 2012-05-15

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:05 pm

I find that just using a piece of soft flannel from an old shirt with one side charged up with Carnuba wax and give it a quick wipe once in a while then buff with the other side is all they need.
I do take my pipes apart for a quick cleaning with one pioe cleaner dipped in a half inch of clean & cure after every smoke (when cooled) but but I only smoke one bowl a day most of the time.


I do have a variable speed buffing wheel that I have used on some estate pipes but find it's not necessary if a pipe is kept maintaned. That way your don't get carried away & buff of the makers marks which is easy to do.
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:29 pm

Hawker wrote:



I do have a variable speed buffing wheel that I have used on some estate pipes but find it's not necessary if a pipe is kept maintaned. That way your don't get carried away & buff of the makers marks which is easy to do.


Wax after awhile comes off your pipe from heat and handling of smoking. I like a lot of wax on my pipes because I like them glossy but, you'll NEVER find one of mine with the nomenclature worn or buffed off any of my pipes. Overzealous persons that apply way too much pressure when buffing are the fault of that most the time, others are just poor stamping at manufacturing.  Wink 
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monbla256

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Age : 71
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:56 pm

I've been a big believer in the K.I.S.S. principle and keep my cake to a dime's thickness at most, using my 30 yo Reem-n-Kleen reamer. As for the exterior, since I don't have access to a buffer as I did at the B&M I frequented back in the '70s/'80s I just used what's left of a 100% cotton flannel shirt back to "buff" my smooth finished pipes these days. I've had it for over 30 years now and it's impregnated with wax so it does my "waxing" for me as I rub and buff the pipe with it. I also use "nose oil" to rub on my pipes as I smoke 'em rubbing the bowl to the side of my nose and cheeks as I smoke, then "buffing" with the old shirt cloth. As the pipe is smoked the grain begins to "pop" from the oils passing from the bowl interior to the outside of the bowl and my pipes all have a nice patina'd sheen as opposed to a bright shiny 'shine" which I prefer anyway. No fancy expensive machinery, waxes, polishing compounds, everything needed fits in a desk drawer and takes less than five minutes each time I finish smoking. K.I.S.S. it   Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:44 am

Thank you gentleman. I'll let you know how they look in 10 years time...
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gravel

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Age : 43
Location : Oregon
Registration date : 2011-12-07

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:33 am

I have nothing to add to what has already been stated. I only offer a response.

Richard Burley wrote:
the first thing to do is not drop the pipe on... gravel.

It's true. Although I'll catch the pipe, you likely won't see it again!
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daveinlax

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Location : Wisconsin
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:25 am

monbla256 wrote:
I also use "nose oil" to rub on my pipes as I smoke 'em rubbing the bowl to the side of my nose and cheeks as I smoke, then "buffing"
This is what I do but I use the older light red/red Dunhill pipe polishing/buffing cloth after every smoke. This gives the pipe and stem a nice natural gloss.  Shocked 
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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:33 pm

gravel wrote:
I have nothing to add to what has already been stated. I only offer a response.

Richard Burley wrote:
the first thing to do is not drop the pipe on... gravel.

It's true. Although I'll catch the pipe, you likely won't see it again!

 lol! 
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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:36 pm

daveinlax wrote:
monbla256 wrote:
I also use "nose oil" to rub on my pipes as I smoke 'em rubbing the bowl to the side of my nose and cheeks as I smoke, then "buffing"
This is what I do but I use the older light red/red Dunhill pipe polishing/buffing cloth after every smoke. This gives the pipe and stem a nice natural gloss.  Shocked 

Went to the BM yesterday and asked for some 'nose oil' for my briar pipes... I just got a strange look...  scratch 
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huffelpuff

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Age : 47
Location : Laramie, WY
Registration date : 2011-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:01 am

Stick wrote:

Went to the BM yesterday and asked for some 'nose oil' for my briar pipes... I just got a strange look...   scratch 

Dude you slay me!!!
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MisterE
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:53 am

Hah!! Nose oil at the B&M!!  Laughing 

Over time I've become more relaxed about doting on my pipes. I used to clean with alcohol and polish them after every few smokes. Now I just swab them out and give them a rest. If the rim gets a little tarry, I spit shine and they're good to go.

I used to do the nose oil treatment, but now I just let the oil from my hands take care of it. A good rubdown with a soft cloth once in a while and they shine like new.

Less is indeed more.

_________________
Many of the greatest pleasures in life are illegal, immoral, or smelly.

-Yak
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fsu92john

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Age : 47
Location : Orlando, FL
Registration date : 2014-01-24

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:30 pm

My maintenance routine is pretty simple. I run a cleaner through the stem and shank and wipe out the bowl after each smoke. If/when I notice any off flavors in a particular pipe, I'll disassemble and clean with alcohol. I generally don't have to do this very often.

For the exterior, I use Obsidian to keep vulcanite stems black. If one gets really bad, I'll buff it and apply carnauba. I spit wipe the tar off the rims when it starts to bother me (not often). Dull bowls will get a quick shine with either a Dunhill pipe cloth or Briar Pipe Wipe.
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oldbear58

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Age : 122
Location : Misplaced in southern California
Registration date : 2013-11-12

PostSubject: Wax?   Wed May 21, 2014 10:47 pm

I don't want to start a violent discourse here, but...

I tried carnuba and bees wax until I realized that the heat from my smoking was only melting the wax into the briar.

Since I have a lot of fresh shellac around I wiped on a very thin coat of seed lac and got a nice shine that doesn't melt in. Its easily removable with a wipe of alcohol and edible (its the coating on M & Ms). If its thin enough your pipe should still breath.

Oldbear
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Fazby

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Age : 60
Location : Chicago area
Registration date : 2010-04-22

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Thu May 22, 2014 2:01 pm

I have had good results with Briar Pipe Wipe. The 'handi wipe', one white and now gray, seems to gather slight abrasive properties which helps a bit with the stem.
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monbla256

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Age : 71
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Sat May 24, 2014 11:04 am

fsu92john wrote:


For the exterior, I use Obsidian to keep vulcanite stems black. .

Save yourself some money and go to the drugstore and buy a pint of Mineral Oil for $6.00, it's the same stuff as "Obsidian Oil"  Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil 
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KevinM



Age : 75
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Sat May 24, 2014 8:04 pm

monbla256 wrote:
fsu92john wrote:


For the exterior, I use Obsidian to keep vulcanite stems black. .

Save yourself some money and go to the drugstore and buy a pint of Mineral Oil for $6.00, it's the same stuff as "Obsidian Oil"   Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil 

+1
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PostSubject: Re: Taking care of one's briar...   Sun May 25, 2014 1:54 am

I use the tiniest amount of vaseline on the stems. It is very good at removing the crud that is left on the stems, mostly from tea and such that drips from my moustache. I rub it in with my thumb and polish off with a bandana that I bought for snuff taking. What is left on my thumb I shine onto the briar. I bought a generic 200g vaseline 2 decades ago and I still have about half left.

I run a pipe cleaner thru stem and briar at the end of the day. Generic Q Tip cleans the shank. Screwed up napkin twisted on the inside of the bowl keeps the cake down and level.

Once a week I dip the pipe cleaner and Q Tips in vodka before use but otherwise that is the only change from my daily routine.

Magic erasers work well removing oxidation from stems.
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