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Corncob Pipe Care

Caring for your DGE corncob pipe (or any corncob pipe) is pretty simple and straight forward. Use whatever your normal break in procedure is. There is no one absolutely right way. Though many find that smoking half bowls for the first few smokes is beneficial.

Some people will use pipe mud to smooth out the bottom of the chamber. This is not necessary. Some also think that the end of the shank inside the bowl is a mistake and will try to remove it. DON'T.  That part of the shank will form part of the bottom of the chamber.

As you near the bottom of the bowl, you may notice the taste of charring wood.  Stop smoking at this point and set the pipe aside.  The tobacco will continue burning for just a little bit.  Once it is no longer burning, dump the ash and dottle. You may need to use a pipe tool loosen the last little bit.  This part is extremely important. NEVER, EVER dig down below the level of the shank. Ash, debris, dottle will settle into the nooks and crannies and form a nice rounded bottom.

Cake is a personal preference. Some advocate no cake. I find I like cake about the thickness of a dime. YMMV.

Run a pipe cleaner through the stem and shank after each smoke.  When the weather cooperates, set them out in the sun and fresh air.  Sweetens them up right nicely.

No matter how pure your intentions to let your pipe cool before removing the stem, a day will most likely come when you inadvertently separate the shank from the bowl. Do not despair, run down to the Dollar store and buy some Elmer's White Glue, or store brand equivalent. Apply the glue to the surface of the shank hole, insert shank and twist it to the proper orientation. Let dry for a few hours and enjoy.

Corncobs by their very nature have a tendency to develop external cracks. You have 2 courses of action.

  1. Ignore them.
  2. Get some white Elmer's Glue and fill the cracks with that.

I have done both with cobs about 6 years old. Both ways the cobs are holding up right fine.