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Corncob Pipe Care


Supreme Curmudgeon
Staff member
First thing is to correct erroneous myths. Corncob pipes are not cheap and disposable. They are not spendy and with a very little bit of care can last quite a while. I have several around 10 years old. Below is one cob codger's thoughts. YMMV.

Only buy Missouri Meerschaum pipes

One of the best pipe smoking experiences you can have is your favorite tobacco in a well loved beat up cob.

If you click on the link @JRobert provided for my advice, that link no longer works as I have shut down that website.
Breaking in:
  • You will see the end of the shank protruding into the bowl. It is supposed to be there. Do not remove it.
  • There does not seem to be much difference in results between smoking 1/2 bowls as opposed to full bowls.
  • I like a couple of 1/2 bowls to start so I don't have to smoke through the original off taste.
  • Smoke it down until you smell and/or taste wood burning. Then set it down and let it smolder until it goes out.
  • Using the blunt scraper blade of your pipe tool clear out the ash and dottle down to the level of the shank. You want the ash and dottle to settle into the nooks and crannies under the shank. This will build into a solid rounded bottom to the chamber.
General smoking and care.
  • I doubt if many cobbers have never pulled the shank out of the bowl by trying to remove the stem while warm. Just jam it back in. Once the glue sets you should be good to go. If it stays loose, get some Elmer's white glue and re glue it. Anything more is overkill.
  • Smoke it like you smoke a rack of ribs. Low and slow. Of course this applies to all pipes.
  • Some are fastidious about not allowing cake to build up. They are right.
  • Some don't give a rip about cake build up, but like to have some the thickness of a dime. They too are right.
  • If they do start to taste funky, fresh air and sunlight works wonders.
  • Most cobs come with cheap plastic bits which get chewed into oblivion years before the cob itself gives up the ghost. Almost all online retailers have replacement bits for about $0.50. Get a bunch. Or look into Walker Briar Works Forever stems. There are discussions about them in this forum.
There are many members who smoke almost only cobs. These guys are known as pipe smokers. Just like briar and meer smokers.

Happy smokes.