The other day I lit up my thin-walled cob to keep me occupied during the slow moments while cleaning my firearms ... and I stumbled upon something that proves I am slow to pick up on some things. I had read a comment once about "stirring the bowl" and had no idea what the fellow was talking about. I had also recently read people saying that the thickness of the bowl wall was of little or no consequence to the flavor or enjoyment of a pipe, and I wondered how they kept the bowl from getting too hot to hold.
Well, while pushing a brush through the barrel, an experiment popped into my head. You see, until now, I have always put flame to my tobacco when the smoke stops coming out the stem. It occurred to me that the tobacco is tamped and doesn't allow much oxygen in there while it burns. What if I used the pipe tool to loosen things up a bit to let some air in ... would the tobacco spontaneously reignite?
Turns out, it works. Stir the 'baccy a bit, and like magic it starts burning again! Except for when it has really cooled and gone out. This may come as no surprise to most of you, but for me it was a hand-slap-on-the-forehead moment. At any rate, I can now enjoy a bowl without burning my hands, even in my Country Gentleman's cob. Thought there might be others out there that might benefit.
I discovered this works well too Armin. Following suggestions that a guy wants to burn the entire bowl for the benefit of creating a good cake, I resisted the temptation to dig it up and dump it when my noob packing skills made for a bad burn. Using the pick tool I went down the inside wall straight to the hole and opened up the pack a bit to loosen the flake then stirred it a bit. Made it come alive and a little tamp fixed the smoke. I also carefully stir the very top of the ash and dumped the dottle a time or two along the way to the bottom. I've been able to enjoy my pipe time a lot by experimenting like this.
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