Welcome to Briar Blues, where service is not a luxury.
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ON THE BENCH COMING SOON

Our rating / grade "system"
On The Road

Please note the following travel schedule. 

Japan - April 8 - 21

Atlanta GA - April 30 - May 4

NOTE

 I will not be available via phone through the above dates.

E-Mail will be hit and miss

THE BLUES & NOTHING BUT THE BLUES

Keep dem slots clean!  

Some of you are wondering if Iíve lost my mind with the above opening line.   So please bear with me through this. 

Keeping your pipes clean is a ďfull meal dealĒ.   Itís not sufficient to ream the tobacco chamber and run pipe cleaners through the stem and shank.   There are other parts of the pipe that do require maintenance as well.   The mortise needs to be swabbed out on occasion.  Sometimes the end if the tenon needs to be wiped off as well.   Thatís still not enough.   Do not forget the slot in the stem.  

Tiny pieces of tobacco, tar and food particles ( I know yuck ), will build up over time and need to be attended to.  Unless you are in the business of cleaning hundreds of pipes per year you probably donít have all the equipment, nor should you spend the money to acquire all the tools ďof the tradeĒ.   The good news is you donít need to go out and purchase dental tools.   A simple wooden tooth pick does a wonderful job.  

 For those tough cases in which the build up is hard and a stiffer metal tool I required, forgetaboutit.  There is a little trick I will pass along.  

 Remove the stem from the bowl.  In a glass or mug put in about a half inch of warm water.  Not hot, just warm.   Put the stem in, button first and allow 5 Ė 10 minutes of soaking time.   Remove and wipe off any excess moisture right away.    Do not leave the stems in too long.  Vulcanite, Ebonite, and Brindle are not fans of water and we do not want them to tarnish and require extra buffing.    Once the water has been wiped off, use the wooden tooth pick to gently remove any build up from the button.   Then bend a pipe cleaner in half and scrub / buff the inside of the slot.   

 Itís easy, and takes very little time and will make those stems far better. 

Your other option is to buy an ultra sonic jewelry cleaner and give each stem a sonic bathe.  However for non acrylic stems you will then need to buff and re polish.   Trust me, unless youíre doing hundreds of pipes per year, itís not necessary. 

A clean pipe is a happy pipe.  Happy pipe = happy life.  

Mike