One of the least common, but often irreparable problems of the pipe is the dreaded Burnout. Nothing is more disheartening to a smoker than to finally find the shape and finish that caught your eye, spend the time to properly break the pipe in only to have a hole burn through on the bowl. What causes the demise of a carefully crafted smoking instrument and what can be done to prevent it?
As you may already be aware, briar pipes are made from a root burl of the White Heath Tree (erica arborea) of which the best is found in the rough terrain surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. This burl is one of the hardest woods known because it is subjected to one of the harshest terrains and must be very hardy to survive. Like any natural product, however, the briar can develop imperfections during its growth. Premiere pipe wood is over 75 years old and that is an awful long period of time to remain absolutely perfect. Most flaws such as sand pits (where sand becomes imbedded in the wood) or cracks that develop during curing are discovered during the manufacturing and finishing stages and those bowls are sold as seconds or discarded. Sometimes, a flaw is hidden so deep in the wood that it is not detected when the pipe is being made. This leaves a soft spot that may burn through rather than develop a cake. those bowls are sold as seconds or discarded. Sometimes, a flaw is hidden so deep in the wood that it is not detected when the pipe is being made. This leaves a soft spot that may burn through rather than develop a cake. Burnouts can be spotted early in a smoking pipe’s life by the development of an area darkening more quickly than the rest of the bowl. This dark patch indicates that the heat from the burning tobacco is coming through more intensely in that one spot. If this happens early enough, the pipe can be replaced. If it is not caught in time, the result will be a black hole that cannot be remedied by warranty or repair. All that is left is a somber burial in the backyard beside the leg lamp and the mighty oak.
Prossimo articolo: Some precautions against these horrid burnouts