Draught holes and airflow by maker?

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stoshdwalsh
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Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by stoshdwalsh » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:43 am

Hi All—as I’ve smoked a couple of different pipes at this stage, I’m noticing a significant difference between them which I think is mostly the result of different air flow. I find myself preferring a more restricted flow versus a really open draught, and have experimented with packing differently to vary the flow, but now I have a curious newbie question: Are some pipe makers known for having a more narrow or more open draught hole in general? (Kind of like some shoe makers tend to run narrow while others run wide...?)

My experience so far is that my Nording pipe seems the most open... wondering how consistent that might be across the brand or versus other brands...

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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by UncleBob » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:48 am

Open draw is the rage right now. In fact, many pipe collectors "open the draw" as part of the reconditioning process. If you want a more traditional draw, your best bet is looking for older pipes that are not so popular to collect (like Blakemar or BBB). Also, look for Kaywoodie pipes that have not been neutered.
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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by Cleon » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:12 am

UncleBob wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:48 am
Open draw is the rage right now. In fact, many pipe collectors "open the draw" as part of the reconditioning process. If you want a more traditional draw, your best bet is looking for older pipes that are not so popular to collect (like Blakemar or BBB). Also, look for Kaywoodie pipes that have not been neutered.
+1.

IMO, the new fascination with huge, chunky pipes leads naturally to larger airways. Larger pipe, larger airway. Smaller pipe, smaller airway. You want to burn up a little, delicate pipe? Drill out the airway.
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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by stoshdwalsh » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:38 am

Hmmm... interesting. Thanks for the responses. Seems to me that open draw and take your time/smoke slowly don’t necessarily go hand in hand—or at least require a more seasoned/skilled smoker than I am at this stage...

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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by kaydens » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:45 am

The most suitable airway dimensions depend on how you smoke. I prefer to not change anything in a pipe because having pipes from different maker smoke differently is fun for me.
All things considered, there is more room for play when the airway is on the open side rather than the restricted, IMO.
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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by hugodrax » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:04 am

Stosh, that question made my day. Like you, I prefer tighter airways--I didn't know I wasn't alone. As Bob said, take a look at older French and British pipes.

The newer pipes are wide open and I don't care for the heat and or bits of detritus I get in my mouth as a result. That said, you do get the hang of changing your style to fit the pipe, but I rarely smoke because I want to think about smoking, if that makes sense.

Good luck with your search. I'd be interested to learn if your tastes change.
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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by FredS » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:11 pm

kaydens wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:45 am
All things considered, there is more room for play when the airway is on the open side rather than the restricted, IMO.
This makes all sorts of sense to me. You can vary your draw 'pressure' on your own and it's nice to have options from sips to full-on puffs. Now, you need to understand I'm a machine designer by day and I design in as much 'adjustability' as possible in at the front end of the process so the person at the other end has options.

I like open airways. I want smoke in my mouth when I simply think about puffing.

[EDIT] I'm also an aromatic smoker who's a slacker when it comes to pipe maintenance and I rarely run a pipe cleaner through my pipes. Small or restricted airways (stingers) gunk up faster.
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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by Cleon » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:13 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:04 am
Stosh, that question made my day. Like you, I prefer tighter airways--I didn't know I wasn't alone. As Bob said, take a look at older French and British pipes.

The newer pipes are wide open and I don't care for the heat and or bits of detritus I get in my mouth as a result. That said, you do get the hang of changing your style to fit the pipe, but I rarely smoke because I want to think about smoking, if that makes sense.

Good luck with your search. I'd be interested to learn if your tastes change.
Well, I'm with you.
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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by stoshdwalsh » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:16 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:04 am
Stosh, that question made my day. Like you, I prefer tighter airways--I didn't know I wasn't alone. As Bob said, take a look at older French and British pipes.

The newer pipes are wide open and I don't care for the heat and or bits of detritus I get in my mouth as a result. That said, you do get the hang of changing your style to fit the pipe, but I rarely smoke because I want to think about smoking, if that makes sense.

Good luck with your search. I'd be interested to learn if your tastes change.
Agreed. As I came to pipe smoking as a whisk(e)y drinker and (so far) prefer the heavier English blends, I tend to want to “sip” and savor my pipe (I’ve also been experimenting with trying to learn the “breath method” for this reason), which is harder for me to do with a more open airway. I’m sure I’ll get better at it, but your comment about not having to think about smoking/how I smoke is exactly how I feel about it. I really like the look and feel of the Nording pipe I have, and it smokes nice and cool and even, but compared to the more narrow Jonas, I’d pick up the latter almost every time.

I suppose the potential solution is to smoke the wider pipes with gentler blends/aromatics, and reserve the more restricted flows for the more complex offerings... more experimentation required, but I suppose that’s part of the fun and education of it. I’m advantaged by being close to a good tobacconist (Iwan Ries), so I’ll probably take it up with them and see what they say also. Cheers.

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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by kaydens » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:40 pm

The airway is only half the equation, IMO.
Chamber diameter has a major effect on how tobacco burns.
Observing how tobaccos smoke in chambers of different widths while puffing at different combinations of volume speed is, to me, one of the fun things about pipe smoking. The range for play is smaller the smaller the airway is.
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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by SlowToke » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:24 pm

Yes, some makers are known to drill larger airways than others but the majority fall within the range of 3 to 4 mm (9/64" to 5/32"). A few drill as big as 11/64" but not many. This actually applies to more restricted airflows. The restriction often occurs as a result of an improperly cut slot at the last 1" of the stem at the bit end. It doesn't matter how open or large the airway is drilled if the slot is restricted.

A more restricted airway takes much more patience and focus to maintain a slower draw. If you're disciplined enough of a pipe smoker who truly sips on the pipe, you're likely to notice nuanced flavors that you may not get with a more open airway. Open airways are most often preferred because they are more forgiving of faster cadences and more aggressive puffing. I, for one, prefer an open airway because I rarely have the time to actually sit and focus on the pipe. Instead, I'm typically smoking a pipe while doing other things that capture my attention. This seems to be mostly true of most pipe smokers. Connoisseurs of pipe tobacco tend to sip and prefer narrower airways while more utilitarian pipe smokers (like me) like a more open draw. Of course, many take offense to that classification because many of us in the pipe community like to think of ourselves as refined connoisseurs. For me, I just like to smoke pipes and I'm satisfied with the flavors I get from my tobaccos even if I don't taste the subtle cinnamon pumpkin spice latte and earthy notes that more refined palates do.
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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by SlowToke » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:26 pm

Oh, and for me, I drill most of the pipes I make with a 5/32" tapered airway with an open slot and on more severely bent pipes I use a 9/64" tapered airway.
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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by stoshdwalsh » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:49 pm

SlowToke wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:24 pm
Yes, some makers are known to drill larger airways than others but the majority fall within the range of 3 to 4 mm (9/64" to 5/32"). A few drill as big as 11/64" but not many. This actually applies to more restricted airflows. The restriction often occurs as a result of an improperly cut slot at the last 1" of the stem at the bit end. It doesn't matter how open or large the airway is drilled if the slot is restricted.

A more restricted airway takes much more patience and focus to maintain a slower draw. If you're disciplined enough of a pipe smoker who truly sips on the pipe, you're likely to notice nuanced flavors that you may not get with a more open airway. Open airways are most often preferred because they are more forgiving of faster cadences and more aggressive puffing. I, for one, prefer an open airway because I rarely have the time to actually sit and focus on the pipe. Instead, I'm typically smoking a pipe while doing other things that capture my attention. This seems to be mostly true of most pipe smokers. Connoisseurs of pipe tobacco tend to sip and prefer narrower airways while more utilitarian pipe smokers (like me) like a more open draw. Of course, many take offense to that classification because many of us in the pipe community like to think of ourselves as refined connoisseurs. For me, I just like to smoke pipes and I'm satisfied with the flavors I get from my tobaccos even if I don't taste the subtle cinnamon pumpkin spice latte and earthy notes that more refined palates do.
Fascinating—interesting to hear the perspectives of those who make pipes... Such a variance in terms of “why” someone comes to smoking a pipe and what they want from it as a result. For me, the whole experience is slowing down, since nothing else in my life is that way. Smoking a pipe allows me to be deliberate, selective, singular. I tend to drink whiskey the same way, but food tends to be utilitarian for me—I enjoy a good meal but don’t bother taking me to the latest trendy restaurant—it’s wasted on me. I don’t pretend to have the sophisticated and nuanced palate that others do, but I have noticed in comparing that the 2 draws provide a very different experience (at least for me), and the comments on offer in this thread have refined both my expectations and understanding. Cheers.

Now maybe I should be talking to you about a custom pipe... :)

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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by hugodrax » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:41 am

stoshdwalsh wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:49 pm
SlowToke wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:24 pm
Yes, some makers are known to drill larger airways than others but the majority fall within the range of 3 to 4 mm (9/64" to 5/32"). A few drill as big as 11/64" but not many. This actually applies to more restricted airflows. The restriction often occurs as a result of an improperly cut slot at the last 1" of the stem at the bit end. It doesn't matter how open or large the airway is drilled if the slot is restricted.

A more restricted airway takes much more patience and focus to maintain a slower draw. If you're disciplined enough of a pipe smoker who truly sips on the pipe, you're likely to notice nuanced flavors that you may not get with a more open airway. Open airways are most often preferred because they are more forgiving of faster cadences and more aggressive puffing. I, for one, prefer an open airway because I rarely have the time to actually sit and focus on the pipe. Instead, I'm typically smoking a pipe while doing other things that capture my attention. This seems to be mostly true of most pipe smokers. Connoisseurs of pipe tobacco tend to sip and prefer narrower airways while more utilitarian pipe smokers (like me) like a more open draw. Of course, many take offense to that classification because many of us in the pipe community like to think of ourselves as refined connoisseurs. For me, I just like to smoke pipes and I'm satisfied with the flavors I get from my tobaccos even if I don't taste the subtle cinnamon pumpkin spice latte and earthy notes that more refined palates do.
Fascinating—interesting to hear the perspectives of those who make pipes... Such a variance in terms of “why” someone comes to smoking a pipe and what they want from it as a result. For me, the whole experience is slowing down, since nothing else in my life is that way. Smoking a pipe allows me to be deliberate, selective, singular. I tend to drink whiskey the same way, but food tends to be utilitarian for me—I enjoy a good meal but don’t bother taking me to the latest trendy restaurant—it’s wasted on me. I don’t pretend to have the sophisticated and nuanced palate that others do, but I have noticed in comparing that the 2 draws provide a very different experience (at least for me), and the comments on offer in this thread have refined both my expectations and understanding. Cheers.

Now maybe I should be talking to you about a custom pipe... :)
Yes, you should. :D I have one of his and it’s a marvel of craftsmanship and engineering. It’s one of the only open draught pipes that have stayed in my rotation. It will stay lit, unruffled on, for a considerable length of time, but I do have to be consciously careful in cadence not to overheat it.

For the record, not a connoisseur. I just learned to smoke unconsciously with a tight draught and have to consciously smoke with a big airway. The flaw is in me.
I am also of the opinion that the Jesuits should be suppressed.

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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by kaydens » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:09 am

SlowToke wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:24 pm
Yes, some makers are known to drill larger airways than others but the majority fall within the range of 3 to 4 mm (9/64" to 5/32"). A few drill as big as 11/64" but not many. This actually applies to more restricted airflows. The restriction often occurs as a result of an improperly cut slot at the last 1" of the stem at the bit end. It doesn't matter how open or large the airway is drilled if the slot is restricted.

A more restricted airway takes much more patience and focus to maintain a slower draw. If you're disciplined enough of a pipe smoker who truly sips on the pipe, you're likely to notice nuanced flavors that you may not get with a more open airway. Open airways are most often preferred because they are more forgiving of faster cadences and more aggressive puffing. I, for one, prefer an open airway because I rarely have the time to actually sit and focus on the pipe. Instead, I'm typically smoking a pipe while doing other things that capture my attention. This seems to be mostly true of most pipe smokers. Connoisseurs of pipe tobacco tend to sip and prefer narrower airways while more utilitarian pipe smokers (like me) like a more open draw. Of course, many take offense to that classification because many of us in the pipe community like to think of ourselves as refined connoisseurs. For me, I just like to smoke pipes and I'm satisfied with the flavors I get from my tobaccos even if I don't taste the subtle cinnamon pumpkin spice latte and earthy notes that more refined palates do.
Great stuff
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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by Bloodhound » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:18 am

I like an open airway and then control the draw with how tight I pack it and maintain with tamping. I am not a fastidious cleaner of my pipes, and those with a smaller airway tend to clog quickly and end up out of the rotation till I get around to cleaning and that can take months. Additionally a tighter draw makes me work for the smoke...I like to relax when smoking and do and think of other things so working at the smoke changes my focus back to the pipe and that is not what I want most of the time.
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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by coco » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:59 pm

Stosh wrote:...Now maybe I should be talking to you about a custom pipe... :)
hugodrax wrote:...Yes, you should. :D I have one of his and it’s a marvel of craftsmanship and engineering.
I have three of Wayne's pipes, and all of them are great.
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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by JimVH » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:25 pm

coco wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:59 pm
Stosh wrote:...Now maybe I should be talking to you about a custom pipe... :)
hugodrax wrote:...Yes, you should. :D I have one of his and it’s a marvel of craftsmanship and engineering.
I have three of Wayne's pipes, and all of them are great.
I have multiple pipes from Wayne, Nate, JMG, Isaac, FredS, Brian, Simeon, and I believe a couple of others.

No point to make, just bragging.

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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by hugodrax » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:26 pm

JimVH wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:25 pm
coco wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:59 pm
Stosh wrote:...Now maybe I should be talking to you about a custom pipe... :)
hugodrax wrote:...Yes, you should. :D I have one of his and it’s a marvel of craftsmanship and engineering.
I have three of Wayne's pipes, and all of them are great.
I have pipes from Wayne, Nate, JMG, Isaac, FredS, Brian, Simeon, and I believe a couple of others.

No point to make, just bragging.
I also own pipes.
I am also of the opinion that the Jesuits should be suppressed.

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Re: Draught holes and airflow by maker?

Post by Bloodhound » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:42 pm

JimVH wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:25 pm
coco wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:59 pm
Stosh wrote:...Now maybe I should be talking to you about a custom pipe... :)
hugodrax wrote:...Yes, you should. :D I have one of his and it’s a marvel of craftsmanship and engineering.
I have three of Wayne's pipes, and all of them are great.
I have multiple pipes from Wayne, Nate, JMG, Isaac, FredS, Brian, Simeon, and I believe a couple of others.

No point to make, just bragging.
:lol:
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