I once told you I smoke too “hot.” This means I tend to draw hard, and puff often. Here are the horrible results. You can click on each picture to see a larger view:
This is the crack as it originally appeared on the outside of the pipe. It looks like a hairline fracture on one side, and a little more dramatic from the other.
The inside of the bowl looks normal. That’s because the cake’s still intact. I’ll explain a little further on.
I figured since it was already ruined, I just had to pry it open for a better look. You can see how thin the bowl is, and the layer of cake on the inside, if you look closely. The light layer is the bowl, the dark layer is the cake. I just included the middle photo so you could see the wind whistling through the bowl. Nope, not going to smoke this one again. Even duct tape can’t fix this. And if it can, I’m just not going to try.
Actually, this is the result of multiple things happening. First, it was an inexpensive estate pipe, so it already had considerable mileage on it. To clean it, the restorer reamed the hell out of the pipe so the bottom of the bowl would be clean. This made the bowl relatively thin.
The tobacco that I smoke is a moist aromatic, so the bowl began retaining condensation, as I didn’t have enough pipes at the time, so they weren’t being rotated as often as they should to allow the moisture to evaporate.
Finally, as I said, I smoke “hot.” The high heat, combined with the moisture in the cake on the bottom allowed the cake to swell and eventually crack the thin outside of the pipe. That’s why the cake is intact, but it’s the outside of the bowl that’s broken.
So, suck gently, and ream carefully. Er, that didn’t sound right. Let’s try; smoke gently, and keep the cake throughout the pipe no more than the thickness of a dime, reaming it carefully with the appropriate tool. You know, there’s just no way to say this paragraph without sounding lurid in some way, but you get the idea.
Anyway, considering that smoking gently seems to be against my general nature, it seems that the thicker layer bowl in my other pipes allowed them to survive. I managed to find completely different ways to destroy them.