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Login Name Post: Clay pipe leaks        (Topic#305592)
36 Cal.
Posts: 57
11-30-17 07:41 PM - Post#1654503    

I have one of the real small clay pipes, I think they are called the 16th century Elizabethans.
After a few bowls, tar starts leaking out of the pipe at the base of the bowl.
I clean the stem often, had one I broke did the same thing.
I never have this problem with my bigger clays, just this one small pipe. I find it strange that after a few smokes I would have to put in the coals for a cleaning. Strange...

Posts: 6514
11-30-17 10:49 PM - Post#1654523    

    In response to snubnose57

It might have a small crack, or just thin. Pipes can get wet, and should be let rest between smokes to dry out. unglazed clay is pretty pourous.

Loyalist Dave 
Posts: 6029
Loyalist Dave
12-01-17 08:43 AM - Post#1654564    

    In response to snubnose57

I have that problem with bigger Dutch style clays..., it just takes more smoking to get it to happen.


40 Cal.
Posts: 211
12-01-17 05:46 PM - Post#1654651    

    In response to snubnose57

Remove the stem, cover stem end with a finger and blow through the bowl. There should be no air leak. If there is an air leak then the pipe is cracked somewhere. Discard pipe.

If it's air tight, it may be wet from the moisture from the tobacco or draining back from the stem. Let it dry and use two or three pipes in rotation so they can "rest" between smokes. With time you should build up a carbon lining in the bowl and that should solve the problem.

Or, as Tenngun suggested, the clay may be too thin . Even so, a good rest and a layer of carbon should allow for a smoke or two before it leaks. Also, be sure to allow the pipe to dry completely before you scrape it out. When wet, the clay is very soft and you will remove the clay with the used tobacco. That can cause a "thin" pipe. This leaking problem is one of the reasons briar replaced clay.

36 Cal.
Posts: 57
12-01-17 07:39 PM - Post#1654665    

    In response to LongrifleDoc

I cover the bowl, blow through the stem (one piece pipe) No leaks.
I smoke it in the morning and evening, must not be getting its rest.

40 Cal.
Posts: 211
12-01-17 08:24 PM - Post#1654671    

    In response to snubnose57

Let it build up a little layer of carbon in the bowl.

36 Cal.
Posts: 64
12-05-17 01:33 PM - Post#1655237    

    In response to snubnose57

A good habit with clay pipes. After knocking out ashes after smoking give a good blow to help dry and/or clear stem of liquid tars and such.

40 Cal.
Posts: 200
12-06-17 10:03 PM - Post#1655533    

    In response to teakmtn

There's a guy up here in Ferrisburg Vermont (Erik Andres? Good Companion Bakery - also a baker) who makes clay pipes in a compression mold rather than slip casting them. It's an old method that makes a much thicker-walled, uniform wall pipe. They also have a larger inside diameter in the stem.

They are kind of pricey, but miles better than your standard white clay pipe.

40 Cal.
Posts: 153
12-15-17 11:31 AM - Post#1657073    

    In response to snubnose57

Just to add another variable, the type of tobacco and how fast you smoke can come into play also. One of my favorite parts of smoking clays (and especially corncobs) is their ability to provide a dry smoke without the wetness and tongue bite of unseasoned briar.

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