Baking a Cake: Cake Building for Idiots

Peacock

There is no spoon.
#1
Well since @snake bit the bait and made a VaPer review thread I guess I have to be a man of my word and make a cake-building thread. I’ve read through many posts on this forum, specifically @Spillproof ’s advice and Mr. Moo’s. But I haven’t seen anything semi-quantifiable other than people’s opinions and experiences, which really, isn’t that what we rely on for evidence in this ancient tradition anyways? So, consider me the idiot: I’ve never had a brand new pipe long enough nor invested the effort into building cakes in any of the unsmoked pipes I’ve acquired. Journey with me. *insert picture of first-person POV hand-holding Instagram photo with picturesque backdrop*

Nevertheless, being the beneficiary of legendary PSD generosity (thank you @Cramptholomew, @Notow1, @Merk3030, @WalkinStick, @TrubkaJoe & @Thelonious monkfish) and having picked up my first two commissions from @Adam Bybee and @BSTpipes this thread is going to serve the dual purpose of tracking my cake-building with several variables in different, new, pipes and maybe learning a thing or two along the way. As always, stay tightly on topic, opinions will be immediately dismissed and if you even so much as mention an off handed shortcut or technique so help me god I will sic @gnossos on you.

Let’s start the show.

Pipe: Bybee Gaiwan pipe
Characteristics: V-shaped chamber, light bowl coating
Cake Builder: Virginia’s like WCC Simply Red, LBF and various McClellands
86635BF9-4AD0-4512-BAEF-49FF2C090114.jpeg

Pipe: Briar, Sweat and Tears bent billiard
Characteristics: Big chamber, uncoated
Cake Builder: fancy carp for a fancypants pipe - aged VA’s mostly
3BB2CE76-6029-47CB-AA57-1866804DB1CD.jpeg

Pipe: J Everett straight billiard with military mount
Characteristics: Smallish chamber, uncoated
Cake Builder: strictly Lakelands
326718F1-E34F-4D04-BB83-D83695068630.jpeg

Pipe: J Everett straight billiard
Characteristics: Medium chamber, uncoated
Cake Builder: Carter Hall
BAB64294-6963-4816-8BC2-AF3A949197C1.jpeg
 

Peacock

There is no spoon.
#2
Pipe: Norm nekkid billiard
Characteristics: Medium chamber, uncoated
Cake Builder: mainly VA’s but not strict, kinda anything I feel like besides aro’s and latakia
B079769F-7AD2-45BA-8CC1-3C78484FE8AA.jpeg

Pipe: JM Boswell nosewarmer
Characteristics: bowl coating
Cake Builder: no holds barred - already smoked an aro in it so I mean what am I supposed to do, lie?
ED2CDE19-E085-45CD-9A1A-FC18F3D0EEEA.jpeg
 

Peacock

There is no spoon.
#5
Fricka-fresh J Everett Lakeland 9F820633-D898-4718-AC21-12C5D3363B6F.jpeg
Ghosted by Lakelands round 6ish?
44125AF3-0EF9-42C2-9EE4-D09918A7DFC5.jpeg

Should also mention I’ve been doing the shake it up shake it up shake it up shake it, blue suede shoes stay crispy like bacon approach advocated in Spill’s thread on how to break in a pipe. Not just at the end but throughout the smoke whenever I feel like it - sometimes I dump the ash so that seems like a good time to swirl it up.
 

a8Tomic

Active member
#7
Seein's how I'm new here, and to pipe smoking as well, feel free to "dumb it down" so I and other noobs can keep up. Because, after all, the interweb exists mainly for my entertainment. I have read a ton of helpful stuff here, but if there's a "beginners' guide to caking" feel free to point me towards it.
My first two MMs are out for delivery along with enough fruity aros to make y'all roll your eyes, I'm sure - and by the USPS no less (!) - today. On a SUNDAY; thus reinforcing my solipsistic viewpoint.

-Tom
 

Yakster

Well-known member
Patron
#8
Should also mention I’ve been doing the shake it up shake it up shake it up shake it, blue suede shoes stay crispy like bacon approach advocated in Spill’s thread on how to break in a pipe. Not just at the end but throughout the smoke whenever I feel like it - sometimes I dump the ash so that seems like a good time to swirl it up.
I'd like to hear more about this, but I'm having a hard time finding this other thread. Any way you can post a link or more info?
 

SmokeRings

Well-known member
Patron
#9
Seein's how I'm new here, and to pipe smoking as well, feel free to "dumb it down" so I and other noobs can keep up. Because, after all, the interweb exists mainly for my entertainment. I have read a ton of helpful stuff here, but if there's a "beginners' guide to caking" feel free to point me towards it.
My first two MMs are out for delivery along with enough fruity aros to make y'all roll your eyes, I'm sure - and by the USPS no less (!) - today. On a SUNDAY; thus reinforcing my solipsistic viewpoint.

-Tom
There are as many opinions on how to break in pipes as there are pipe smokers, the basic idea for pipes that you want cake in, is to smoke them gently if you can, not in heavy wind, no freight training, that sort of thing, some folks like to start with a half bowl or two, then go 3/4, then full, whichever seems most sensible to you, once you've completed a smoke and have let the pipe cool, swab your airway if you like to do so, then put your thumb over the bowl and give it a shake or three, this ought to get the fine ash nicely distributed on the bowl, then dump it out and let it be, next smoke just load it up and repeat until you have a dime thick cake formed.
 

Peacock

There is no spoon.
#10
Seein's how I'm new here, and to pipe smoking as well, feel free to "dumb it down" so I and other noobs can keep up. Because, after all, the interweb exists mainly for my entertainment. I have read a ton of helpful stuff here, but if there's a "beginners' guide to caking" feel free to point me towards it.
My first two MMs are out for delivery along with enough fruity aros to make y'all roll your eyes, I'm sure - and by the USPS no less (!) - today. On a SUNDAY; thus reinforcing my solipsistic viewpoint.

-Tom
First off, welcome! I’ve mentioned @Spillproof thread a couple times but have been too lazy to link it. Here it is: http://pipesmokersdens.com/threads/breaking-in-a-pipe-by-spillproof.432/ - @Yakster

Everything in the Old Codger section is worth a read: http://pipesmokersdens.com/forums/need-pipe-smoking-advice-ask-an-old-codger.16/
 

Peacock

There is no spoon.
#13
@Peacock great thread, I’ll be following along with interest. One question though- what are you doing at the end of the smoke? Thumb and shake method? Any swabbing of the bowl with a bent over pipe cleaner? Nothing but dump it?
Good question. I figure I’d get specific if anyone asks so here we go...
End of smoke and throughout honestly I’ve been covering the bowl with my thumb and shaking it to coat while smoking. No swabbing the bowl with a pipe cleaner - that’s what I’ve done in the past and haven’t had much success building a cake. I also smoke only 1-2 a day at the very most but more accurately 5 times a week. So I’m sure I’m still building a cake on other pipes but just not enough to make a visual difference over my last year or so of consistent pipe smoking.
ETA: since I just finished a bowl in the Boswell, I should note I’m also bending a pipe cleaner and clearing out any dottle and moisture from the heel
 
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Cramptholomew

It's, like, Phyllis Diller funny.
Sales
#14
Good question. I figure I’d get specific if anyone asks so here we go...
End of smoke and throughout honestly I’ve been covering the bowl with my thumb and shaking it to coat while smoking. No swabbing the bowl with a pipe cleaner - that’s what I’ve done in the past and haven’t had much success building a cake. I also smoke only 1-2 a day at the very most but more accurately 5 times a week. So I’m sure I’m still building a cake on other pipes but just not enough to make a visual difference over my last year or so of consistent pipe smoking.
ETA: since I just finished a bowl in the Boswell, I should note I’m also bending a pipe cleaner and clearing out any dottle and moisture from the heel
You should try the "rinse the bowl and airway out with warm water after every smoke, and no cake" method.
 

SmokeRings

Well-known member
Patron
#17
Good question. I figure I’d get specific if anyone asks so here we go...
End of smoke and throughout honestly I’ve been covering the bowl with my thumb and shaking it to coat while smoking. No swabbing the bowl with a pipe cleaner - that’s what I’ve done in the past and haven’t had much success building a cake. I also smoke only 1-2 a day at the very most but more accurately 5 times a week. So I’m sure I’m still building a cake on other pipes but just not enough to make a visual difference over my last year or so of consistent pipe smoking.
ETA: since I just finished a bowl in the Boswell, I should note I’m also bending a pipe cleaner and clearing out any dottle and moisture from the heel
I generally dispense with the thumb over bowl and shake routine, and swab out the bowl after a smoke, this absolutely increases the length of time it takes to break in a bowl, but the cake when it does form is very hard, and it isn't at all prone to chipping/flaking off like some folks have said they experienced, I would say that after the first 15 smokes or so with my method I am roughly where yours are showing after 3-5 bowls
 

Peacock

There is no spoon.
#18
I generally dispense with the thumb over bowl and shake routine, and swab out the bowl after a smoke, this absolutely increases the length of time it takes to break in a bowl, but the cake when it does form is very hard, and it isn't at all prone to chipping/flaking off like some folks have said they experienced, I would say that after the first 15 smokes or so with my method I am roughly where yours are showing after 3-5 bowls
May have to add in a new variable with this method.