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 Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco

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DireWolf

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Age : 44
Location : NW Oregon
Registration date : 2015-01-13

PostSubject: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:37 pm

I have been *obsessively* looking at pipes. Big brands, shapes, small artisans, etc., etc.

In trying to get a feel for sizes of things that aesthetically are attractive, I am looking at sometimes "odd" shapes and sizes, and some of them have a wide variety of bowl proportions, or ratios of bowl heights to widths.

Some are narrow and deep, some are wider than deep, some are about equal.

I have been fiddling with some smaller pipes I recently picked up (Peterson Calabash and Belgique) and been thinking over flake pipes, and the like. Being that it seems to me that the rule of thumb that a rolled flake can do better in a smaller (relatively) bowl for several reasons.

Is there a inherent rhyme or reason to other bowl sizes, in that they are better or traditional with the burning qualities of different tobaccos?

For example, I have read that deep bowls can affect (in a good way) the flavors of some Va (VaPer?) blends as the lower ribbon is slightly stoved in the pipe? In that vein - is there a preferred/typical tobacco that might be smoked in, say, a prince tadpole (just saw one) that has a broader bowl than it is deep.

Or - is it all in the eye of the beholder in terms of what a person prefers? I hear (youtube) comments about a person smoking the same blend in 8 pipes, and that one or two really "work" well for one blend over others. Just wondering if this is some universal truth I have yet to discover.

I have no clue if that drivel makes sense or not.
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Stick

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

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:57 pm

Hey Wolf.
Many of the more 'serious' and seasoned pipers on the BoB report that certain blend / pipe combinations really sing and therefore dedicate their pipes accordingly. You'll have no doubt discovered through your reading that some blends will 'ghost' a pipe, leaving the discernable taste of the blend whilst smoking a different genre of 'baccy in the same pipe; another reason why pipes are allocated to a blend. My palate is not yet developed enough for it to be a problem for me. My choices tend to start with what pipe I'd like to smoke and then what taste I'm after. I guess that's the beauty of this hobby. It's more of an art than a science. Follow your instincts and enjoy the journey. You'll soon discover what is right for you...
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DireWolf

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Age : 44
Location : NW Oregon
Registration date : 2015-01-13

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:06 pm

I get the ghosting thing - have aros and English pipes segregated, etc.

This was more of a thought that crossed my mind, and I was curious as to whether there was anything to it.

The other way to think about it was whether traditional bowl dimensions were developed to smoke different types and cuts based on burning characteristics.

Just wondering out loud - struck me today looking at this (a Michael Parks at Smoking Pipes):

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ftrplt

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Age : 70
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:07 pm

Generally speaking, I prefer flake 'baccy in a narrower bowled pipe. I find trying to fire up a flake in a pot, for instance, can take a bit of effort. But then again, I always use wooden matches. Maybe a torch lighter would do the trick Question FTRPLT
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SpeedyPete



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

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:07 pm

DireWolf wrote:
I get the ghosting thing - have aros and English pipes segregated, etc.

This was more of a thought that crossed my mind, and I was curious as to whether there was anything to it.

The other way to think about it was whether traditional bowl dimensions were developed to smoke different types and cuts based on burning characteristics.

Just wondering out loud - struck me today looking at this (a Michael Parks at Smoking Pipes):


The reason for this odd shaped pipe was a shortage of wood/briar and the form of the particular block. The carver could not make anything else but this miss-shaped thingamajick out of it.

For me, there is only one way to find out what tobacco will shine in which pipe and that is sort of trial and error. I smoke all the tobacco which I keep in my rotation in a new pipe (of course after the pipe was broken in.) Eventually I will know what tobacco tastes the best in any particular pipe.

I've also read about wide bowls for narrow tobaccos and all that kind of shyte. Not true! You smoke your pipe and find out what it likes. There is NO other way.

I have 70+ pipes and smoke about 20 different blends of tobacco. What I'm now busy doing is to note down which "tobaccos like which pipes". For instance: Prairie Wind likes pipe nos 1, 7, 9 and 11. So when I feel like smoking a stop of PW I will pick a pipe which fits that particular blend. So I'm doing it the other way round; instead of dedicating a pipe to a certain blend, I will dedicate the blend to a couple of pipes.

Hope this makes sense to you.
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DireWolf

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Age : 44
Location : NW Oregon
Registration date : 2015-01-13

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:19 pm

Interesting point about the prince.

Figures it would be so random.   Laughing

I guess it makes sense, for as new at this as I am.  The grade of wood, the holes/bend/draw, peoples puffing habits, bowl size, temp, casing (or not), all probably introduce an unknowable number of variables.  That leaves you with T & E.

Makes sense - I was just curious if things were more systematic over time.

As I said, it crossed my mind as I am looking at buying a few more pipes.

Mostly lazy day dreaming.   Very Happy


Last edited by DireWolf on Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Fr_Tom

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Location : Diocese of Northern Indiana
Registration date : 2013-05-29

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:45 pm

I have seen a couple of trends in my own pipe smoking. I have had great luck with rubbed out flakes in pots for example. Burleys seem to work best for me in a narrower bowl. These are not rules or anything, but they are pretty consistent for me. Sometimes you just hit a combo that rocks. ODF in my GBD prince is one of those.
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Cartaphilus

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

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:47 pm

Although I mostly smoke Vapers I've found that small bowls 3/4" in diameter
are better for most Esoterica and Germain blends. Some how I'm able to taste more
of the nuances of the tobacco in them. Other then that a bowl is a bowl and if it
don't smoke what I put in it I don't smoke it. But, that's just my opinion. Wink
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monbla256

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

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:04 pm

ftrplt wrote:
Generally speaking, I prefer flake 'baccy in a narrower bowled pipe. I find trying to fire up a flake in a pot, for instance, can take a bit of effort. But then again, I always use wooden matches. Maybe a torch lighter would do the trick Question FTRPLT

Here's an example of the OPPOSITES being the case. Myself, I find that wide bowled POTS tend to open up all the flavors in Flake forms of 'baccy, especially the Red Va variety. And it usually takes only 3 matches at most for my Red Va Flakes to take fire and get going. I will say that I usually dry  and rub-out ALL my flakes and FOR ME this brings out ALL the subtleties inherint in these blend/mixtures. Because of the differences in each persons smoking cadence, IE one mans "sipping" could be anothers "puffing and vice versa, you really will need to try ALL the varieties you want to smoke in as many styles of pipes as you may have. And I'm speaking here of doing it for a substantial length of time and quantity of 'baccy. It's taken me 40 + years of smoking to be able to make the above statement. It's a lifelong thing !! Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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mark
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Registration date : 2008-07-02

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:39 am

It's like getting married. Once the honeymoon is over you start to find out the peculiarities of each pipe/tobacco combination and it takes time.

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Sometimes I wake up grumpy. Other times I let her sleep.
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puros_bran
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:47 am

mark wrote:
It's like getting married. Once the honeymoon is over you start to find out the peculiarities of each pipe/tobacco combination and it takes time.  

And sometimes.. No, never mind, I'm not going to do it.

_________________
"Pacem en Puffing!"
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SpeedyPete



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

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:55 am

mark wrote:
It's like getting married. Once the honeymoon is over you start to find out the peculiarities of each pipe/tobacco combination and it takes time.  

Well said, sir!! cheers
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DrumsAndBeer

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Age : 45
Location : Northern, CA
Registration date : 2012-04-04

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:40 pm

I found this article to be well written and intriguing, and while I have found plenty of exceptions within my collection of pipes and tobacco rotation, I do tend to agree that I get more out of Latakia mixtures from a more square shaped bowl. Prior to even reading this, I always preferred Odyssey, Maltese Falcon, Margate and a few others in this rather wide bowled Savinelli prince.

http://www.apassionforpipes.com/neills-blog/2010/10/28/finding-that-magic-fit-between-pipe-and-tobacco.html

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Kyle Weiss

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

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:50 pm

puros_bran wrote:
And sometimes..  No, never mind, I'm not going to do it.  

Heh. Very Happy

Cool
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:23 pm

Dire, your Q is neither odd nor silly. Remember Intro to Chemistry where you might have heard about the Combustion Triangle? To get fire you need: 1. Fuel, 2. Heat and 3. Air. Same trio is needed to keep a bowl of pipe tobacco smoldering. If you have a small bowl (say no bigger than the tip of your index finger), and if you try to cram it full of broad ribbon cut or coarse cut tobacco, you are likely going to have a problem with keeping the ember supplied with enourgh of 3. air. For that matter, you will have the same frustrations if you try to pack it too full of a thin ribbon. But the smaller bowl will always be picky about the cut of the tobacco and require a deft hand in packing. In a properly packed bowl of whatever size, the tobacco is loosest at the bottom, slightly springy up through the rest and a bit firm at the top. Also important is bowl shape, tapered or conical. There are various packing methods, each with its adherents, but the fire triangle is unarguable, or at least that's what it says here. Happy experimenting.
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DireWolf

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Age : 44
Location : NW Oregon
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PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:25 pm

Good stuff.

And that article was great.
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:46 pm

Frankly I've yet to come up with any correlation between bowl dimensions and best smoking 'baccy. Tried the conventional wisdom here about wide bowl pots and flakes and found no appreciable difference to the same 'baccy in a narrow bowl.

In fact one of my best performers right now is an estate Ser Jacopo Poker/Cherrywood which has a modest bore and more depth than a pot and it seems to love either st ginny's or VaPers in flake form. I've a feeling I could throw anything at it and it would be up for the task.

Equally, I've been loving my Growley Pot which is pretty much dedicated to st ginny's. Yet there is no noticeable difference in taste between that and the Ser Jac with the same toby. The Growley pot does take some more time to get burning properly, such as the dimensions are. But once stoked it smokes itself. Great pipes, both of them.

And then there's my trusty Wiley Rhody (or perhaps Rhody/Dublin hybrid. Can't make up my mind on the exact style) which has a tapered bowl (V-shaped) that also smokes pretty much anything superbly.

So, no hard and fast rules for yours truly. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!


 What a Face



Cheers,

RR
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Dutch

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PostSubject: Re: Maybe an odd/silly question - bowl shapes and tobacco   Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:53 am

Brewdude wrote:
Frankly I've yet to come up with any correlation between bowl dimensions and best smoking 'baccy. Tried the conventional wisdom here about wide bowl pots and flakes and found no appreciable difference to the same 'baccy in a narrow bowl.

I'll agree with Rande on this topic. While I prefer large bowled pipes for ribbon cuts, and small bowled pipes for flakes, it has more to do with the way the tobacco burns, than the way it tastes. My guess is that a particular piece of briar that a pipe is made from has more to do with the taste, than the internal shape of the bowl.

Plus, flakes in a large bowled pipe just get soppy wet 3/4 of the way into the smoke, and you're just asking for a good tongue scorching if you match em' up this way.
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