Tobacco Pipes – The Parts and the Materials
This article will provide you with some of the most basic information on tobacco pipes, from the parts that make them up to the materials they are made out of.
Tobacco pipes are made up of three major parts:
· The bowl – this is the small chamber in which the tobacco is placed.
· The shank – this is the thin stem that leads to the bit. The smoke travels up the stem.
· The bit – the bit is the mouthpiece of the pipe.
There is not just one material that tobacco pipes are made out of. They are made from many different materials. Some of the most popular materials include:
· Briar – this is the most common material for tobacco pipes. Why is it so common? Because, although it is a type of wood (more specifically, it comes from the root burl of the tree heath), it is naturally resistant to fire. Also, it does not absorb moisture
· Corncob – this is a very cheap material to make tobacco pipes from. In fact, because corncob makes such cheap pipes, it is no wonder that the people who built “Frosty the Snowman” did not mind sticking one into the snowy mouth! Yes, they are cheap, but they are still effective.
· Meerschaum – before briar tobacco pipes became so popular, meerschaum and clay were the materials of choice for pipes. Meerschaum is a mineral that can be carved into beautiful shapes – you will find many interesting and intricate meerschaum pipes.
· Clay – if you are wanting to buy a clay tobacco pipe, it is worth spending the few extra dollars to get one made from an expensive clay rather than a cheap clay. Cheap clay pipes can add bad flavors to a smoke. They are also porous and low quality. Good clays, on the other hand, can make some great pipes. Many say that these good clays (made into good pipes) give a tobacco smoker a pure smoke, meaning that there is not flavor besides that which the tobacco itself imparts.
· Wood – if you have a wood tobacco pipe and you want to be sure that it will not burn, you can spread a mixture of honey and water into the bowl. After you use the pipe a few times, the mixture will create a burn resistant barrier.
· Glass – hand-blown glass pipes can be very beautiful and interesting. You will find that there is a large variety of colors and styles of glass tobacco pipes. A benefit of glass pipes is that they cannot affect the flavor of the smoke.
· Metal – there are such things as metal tobacco pipes, but you will likely see them more commonly used with other drugs like cannabis. Aluminum, brass, and steel are the metals generally used to make metal tobacco pipes. The problem associated with metal pipes for tobacco smokers is that the metal bowls need to have a break-in period of resination. Before this happens, the smoke will have an aftertaste.
Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for websites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background includes teaching and gardening. For more of her articles on tobacco pipes, please visit USA Smoke Shop.
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Author: Anne Clarke