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 This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.

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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:33 pm

I know a while back some people around here, mostly new guys, were concerned about burnouts in their beloved pipes.   Some of the old codgers had never seen such a thing, probably due to experience, or they were full of beans sparing their reputations.

I'm here to present this:



This is a Tsuge Kaga pipe, one given to me by a Brother here a few years back, and it has always been a favorite of mine.  Very recently, an inevitable problem I knew would surface eventually finally happened.   The hot spot I tried tenderly to be aware of, since I've had this pipe, finally turned dark.

At this point in my piping career, I've put in some time.   Not decades, but enough years to know better.   I smoke once or twice a day, have 50+ pipes in the rotation, from years-old darkened cobs to fine straight grains, and this is the second burnout I've had.   In some circles, this is a warning sign to technique, but I have another tale to tell.

Failure to most of us means finding a blend of tobacco that makes your tongue feel like licking hot asphalt, or even tastes similar to it, that horrid smell of a sour, unrested briar, sitting foolishly on a pipe ignorantly stashed in a back pocket and snapping the stem, dropping a meerschaum and shattering it into little bits, but the burnout, especially those of us who have tried dearly to avoid even the most noobish & careless of mistakes, has to be a particularly upsetting event.

The first pipe this happened to me happened after the third bowl.   It was a Nording, one of the 2011 "Hunter" series, the Bear.   For all intents and purposes, a semi-rusticated squashed tomato.   A shape for which I have a fondness.    This Tsuge Kaga saucer and the Bear share something in common: a unique, mass-produced, non-classic shape.    Long story longer, these shapes really need to be in the hands of masters, not machines, and certainly not guys churning them out by the truckload.   Bottom line:   the bottom was too thin.

They burned out in exactly the same location, with scant millimeters of briar material at the bottom, where I assume it is tough to gauge adequate depth.  The uniformness of a billiard or bulldog, even the stoutness of a freehand, none of these designs greatly push parameters in which briar's heat resistance will eventually succumb, and so, they are easy to mass-produce without much of a problem.  Good pipe craftsmen know how to prevent this in non-classic designs.

In closing, if you see a dark spot like this, leading to a true burnout, there's a slim chance it might not be your fault.  Especially if it's on the bottom.   Many of us have pipes that are older than our grandfathers that will probably outlive us all.   Part of that could be quality of briar, design, and care of craftsmanship, the other part is being an aware smoker, keen on his habits and skills--slow and cool: it's not just a motto, but a complete habit of civility.   On the other hand, I now often check by feel, the thickness of the bottom of a bowl between index finger and thumb as I'm looking for a new pipe...

...because if you like a pipe, and it has a terminal flaw, it sucks to discover it when it's too late.

As for this one, I'm going to pipe-mud the bottom and hope for the best.   I think we both, the pipe and I, knew this day would come--that hot bottom always concerned me.   I never expected this one to go to the grave with me, it was a joy and good friend while it lasted.  It never performed poorly, smoked cool, smoked dry, tasted wonderful.    Sometimes that's what counts.  

Cool
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scotties22

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Age : 36
Location : Missouri
Registration date : 2012-06-10

PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:21 pm

I was horrified it was going to be my pipe! Shocked Laughing Sooooooo glad it isn't.

I have never seen burnout before. Thanks for the pic.

I miss you and it's good to see you around again...even though you aren't back I love you
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:04 pm

scotties22 wrote:
I was horrified it was going to be my pipe! Shocked Laughing   Sooooooo glad it isn't.

I have never seen burnout before.  Thanks for the pic.

I miss you and it's good to see you around again...even though you aren't back I love you


Heh, if course it isn't going to be your pipe! You know what you're doing. Smile Speaking of which, it's probably time I got my Scottie-pipe back in the seasonal rotation.

Thought if anything it'd show what to look for, and to beware of cheap, 21st century pipes.
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Simple Man

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Age : 56
Location : Atlanta-ish
Registration date : 2011-10-24

PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:08 pm

Just drill through and put a hard wood plug in. Works for Missouri Meerschaum! Wink

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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:13 pm

If it were a poker, maybe. Pipe mud will have to make do.

Duct tape? Probably might give McClelland tobaccos some flavor...

Laughing

Cool
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daveinlax

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Location : Wisconsin
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:22 pm

Plugs and stem splicing were a common fixes back in the day. I don't know if anyone still does them. If a plug is done well it can be almost invisible. Shocked
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MisterE
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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:24 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:

Duct tape?   Probably might give McClelland tobaccos some flavor...


10-4 on dat! lol!

As for the burnout, I have a pipe that has a similar spot like that in exactly the same place. It has held up beautifully for years with no problems. I'm just careful as I get to the bottom of the bowl is all. I'm afraid to try pipe mud because that would require poking around to clean it up before putting it in there. That might be the proverbial straw...

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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:30 pm

Dave: No-can-do in this case. There's so little material between the base of the tobacco chamber and outer curve of the bottom of the bowl, nothing to grip/wedge a fix. It's partly design, partly manufacturing flaw. I'm sure some kind of fix could be attempted, but to be honest, I'd bet money it wouldn't hold.

E-man: I've never done any extensive cleaning before a mud-patch. Have one in a soft spot on a morta pipe that you can't even tell is there, and all of my non-plug cobs get one layer, and withstand all the torture and abuse that goes along with it. Ain't no thang, just good cigar ash and mixing the stuff just right. Any failed pipe muddings have been due to too little/too much water. It's kind of a learn-as-you-go thing.

Cool
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DrumsAndBeer

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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:13 pm

I am sure this is disappointing but at least no one can say that you didn't enjoy that hell out of that pipe. I know a lot of guys with some really nice pipes that will probably never even see the formation of a first bit of cake let alone be optimally enjoyed.

Why buy a pipe if you're not going to smoke the Bejeezuz out of it? That's always been my opinion..
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:17 pm

Wait til it burns completely through, then sell it on eBay as mint condition highly collectible antique.

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DrumsAndBeer

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Age : 45
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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:33 pm

Puff Daddy wrote:
Wait til it burns completely through, then sell it on eBay as mint condition highly collectible antique.

Well that goes without saying.. Razz
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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:44 am

Double-opening calabash--light both openings, for that extra punchy taste!

Sounds like a few parties I didn't attend way-back-when.

Cool
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SpeedyPete



Age : 73
Location : Cape Town
Registration date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:31 am

Kyle, you can put an inner liner of tin in there. I will up the "Burl & Bone" post for you so you can see how to do it Twisted Evil
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Briar Spirit

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Age : 49
Location : England UK
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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:41 am

Definitely leave any existing cake in place Buddy, just ease out the loose carbon as you say then the pipe-mud will bond to it right nice, you'll still be smoking that baby in 20 years time mate, no worries there. sunny
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Richard Burley

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

PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:03 am

That's what you get for smoking the last 1/4" of  nasty ol' dottle.  tongue
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SpeedyPete



Age : 73
Location : Cape Town
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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:10 am

Richard Burley wrote:
That's what you get for smoking the last 1/4" of  nasty ol' dottle.  tongue

Whenever I start smoking a new pipe, I always fill only the bottom, about 25% of the bowl, to make sure that I build a proper cake down there. That is to make sure that, when I smoke "the last 1/4 of nasty ol' dottle", I do not spoil the pipe Twisted Evil

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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:18 pm

Richard Burley wrote:
That's what you get for smoking the last 1/4" of  nasty ol' dottle.  tongue

F*****************cking incredibly true.    But with Marvin Gaye on the radio, doin' it slow.   Dirty is delicious.

Mudded up the bottom already, the mix came out perfectly.   Smoked a half bowl through it, kind of a self-satisfying kiln heating of sorts.   It always tastes horrid the first half dozen smokes, but it mellows out.   I mudded a couple of Yak's pipes and he was skeptical, but tenacious (that's our Yak) and now he's good with an old pipe that had heat cracks and deep carbonization all through it.    I think I can get a few more years out of this pipe.

Hindsight being 1080p (kids these days), I probably could have mudded it sooner, but I also learn't something about not fixing what ain't broke.   Even if the manufacturer screwed up the pipe more than my taking a chance.   🤷

Cool
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mark
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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:29 am

Mudding a pipe generally implies you're applying for old codger status.

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SpeedyPete



Age : 73
Location : Cape Town
Registration date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:38 am

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Richard Burley wrote:
That's what you get for smoking the last 1/4" of  nasty ol' dottle.  tongue

F*****************cking incredibly true.    But with Marvin Gaye on the radio, doin' it slow.   Dirty is delicious.

Mudded up the bottom already, the mix came out perfectly.   Smoked a half bowl through it, kind of a self-satisfying kiln heating of sorts.   It always tastes horrid the first half dozen smokes, but it mellows out.   I mudded a couple of Yak's pipes and he was skeptical, but tenacious (that's our Yak) and now he's good with an old pipe that had heat cracks and deep carbonization all through it.    I think I can get a few more years out of this pipe.

Hindsight being 1080p (kids these days), I probably could have mudded it sooner, but I also learn't something about not fixing what ain't broke.   Even if the manufacturer screwed up the pipe more than my taking a chance.   🤷

Cool

lol!

Kyle Weiss, if you ever go awol again, I'll send Sherlock Holmes to come and find you!!!
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:45 pm

mark wrote:
Mudding a pipe generally implies you're applying for old codger status.

When peers and teachers alike used to kick my ass for snidely quoting Mark Twain at age 10, my fate was sealed.

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jvillaveces

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Location : Bogota, Colombia
Registration date : 2010-05-09

PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:36 pm

A while back I spotted a beautiful estate Cornelius Mänz I just had to get my hands on.  I bought it, cleaned it, and smoked it.  It got really hot at the bottom.  Next time, I was careful to smoke it very slowly, but the bottom still got too hot to handle.  When I put it down to clean it, I was horrified to find a dark spot at the bottom of the bowl.  I am sure the problem was too little briar there, perhaps augmented by careless reaming at some point. The shape is similar to the one in Kyle's photo, and so is the damage.

I contacted the seller, Andreas Harm at Esterval´s Pipe House, and described the problem.  He asked for a picture, which I sent, and he immediately refunded my money.  This was my furst purchase from him, but I have been his customer ever since.

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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:01 pm

Good to hear the problem was resolved fairly. Looks like exactly the same issue.

PS, the Tsuge pipe mudded up is showing promises of an extended life. Just a battle scar on the outside. Bottom is cool now. Should have done that a year ago... C'est la vie.

Cool
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jvillaveces

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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:25 pm

I will try mudding it too. It's too gorgeous a pipe to just sit there abandoned...
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:17 am

Pipes are meant to be smoked until they cannot any longer. Go for it, and good luck.
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SpeedyPete



Age : 73
Location : Cape Town
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PostSubject: Re: This is what the beginnings of briar burnout looks like.   Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:48 am

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Pipes are meant to be smoked until they cannot any longer.  Go for it, and good luck.

And then, when the pipe cannot be smoked no more, what happens to it?
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