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The Briar Files

A blog about pipes and pipe smoking.

About Me

About this blog

This blog is about my hobby of collecting and smoking pipes. I do not collect the very finest and most expensive pipes. I do not have a large income and I collect the pipes that I can afford. Such is one of the beauties of pipe smoking: there’s room for everyone, if you can find your niche.

I have three other blogs: Blogonomicon, wherein I focus on my other interests of books and music and blog on various other topics that interest, amuse, and outrage me; The Last Ancient House, which is a collection of fiction and poetry inspired by H.P. Lovecraft; and The Hunter Chronicles: The Diary of a Vampire Hunter, another fiction project which is still largely a work in progress.

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      • Yet another Bertram
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Friday, February 22, 2008

How does the Kaywoodie drinkless system work

I got a search hit on my other blog for the phrase, “how does kaywoodie drinkless system work.” I think a better question would be, ” Does a Kaywoodie drinkless system work?”

I’ll re-visit the Kaywoodie lovat that I posted about several days ago. Okay, although it isn’t visible in this photo, there is a small hole in the metal stinger just above the threads, which the air is drawn through. The ball on the end of the stinger fits into the air passage through the shank. When air is drawn, it travels around and through the holes on the ball. A lot of moisture collects on the ball from the air moving through and around it. Some moisture also collects on the arm of the stinger.

So does it work? I guess it depends on your definition of “work.” The stinger certainly does trap some moisture. Anyone who has ever cleaned a Kaywoodie can tell you that. But does it somehow magically (or technologically) deliver a superior cool, dry smoke? My opinion is no. The cool, dry smoke that everyone is looking for still relies on several variable factors meshing together just right, and a metal gadget up the shank is not going automatically render them all irrelevant.

And what are these factors? Since many of the things I write here are geared toward new pipe smokers and non-pipe smokers, I’ll offer my opinion on them, in no particular order.

The pipe: the quality of the briar, the shape of the pipe, the size of the pipe, the thickness of the bowl walls, the design of the air passage. All of these factors matter.

The tobacco: is it fresh and moist (maybe too moist), or older and a little dry? Is there a particular leaf in it that for some reason makes you salivate more or makes your mouth drier? Is it heavily treated with propylene glycol?

And here’s one for you to wrap your head around: some pipes don’t like some tobaccos. In some cases, no matter how hard you try to get your favorite pipe to smoke your favorite blend, there’s always just something not right with the smoke. Sometimes you have to experiment with a pipe to find it’s preferred blend. (Feel free to tell me I’m nuts on this, but it’s an opinion I’ve formed from my own experiences).

The weather: Yes, the weather. Are you smoking outdoors? Is it windy? Is it humid or not? Is it cold or hot? Are you smoking indoors with conditioned central air?

And finally: you. Have you just eaten, or are you feeling a little hungry? Have you had enough water to drink? What are you drinking with your pipe? Are you puffing a little faster than usual due to a stressful day?

Like I said, several factors, some of them beyond your control. But the perfect smoke is only the goal to toil after, and the toil itself is still quite pleasant, indeed.

The Briar Files A blog about pipes and pipe smoking. About Me About this blog This blog is about my hobby of collecting and smoking pipes. I do not collect the very finest and most