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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:58 pm 
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As I attempt to perfect my technique (Ha! Now there's a concept!) in stummel drilling and aligning all the holes, I recently put a 3/4-inch round nose router bit in my lathe tailstock to drill the tobacco chamber. The hole was beautiful and smooth, but it later occurred to me that maybe this was an improper shape, producing, as it did, a perfect 'U'. Most of my pipes have a tapered tobacco chamber, except for a huge, really ugly German-made Churchwarden which has a 'U' shaped chamber, and smokes beautifully (I'd smoke it more often if I didn't have to look at it).


Do any of you have thoughts or preferences about the shape of the tobacco chamber? Does one shape function better than the other?

Thanks, guys. . .

Michael


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:21 pm 
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This is one of those things you need to try and find out. A slight taper along the walls of the chamber is more common. Shaping a spade bit on a grinder isn't too difficult.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:24 pm 
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I don't think it matters a hell of a lot exactly what the shape is. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:00 pm 
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The tapered chamber allows a bit more freedom with the external shape of the pipe. A Dublin with a "U" shaped bowl will have thinner walls at the bottom of the "U", while it won't matter with a poker or billiard.
I also read some comment that "the tobacco flavor becomes concentrated " at the bottom of the tapered chamber. I've never noticed a difference.
Spade bits are cheap and as Jeremiah notes, you can grind your own shapes- keep several around.
DocAitch

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:08 am 
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The chamber bit I use on at least 90% of my pipes is a 20mm "U" shape.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:35 am 
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I agree with Sas in that I don't really think it matters a huge amount as far as smoking quality goes. A rounded 'U' shape is perfectly acceptable. I've come to really like the parabolic shape and use it most of the time these days but it's more a personal preference than anything.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:40 am 
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I freqently drill with more than one bit, I frequently modify the shape of the chamber by hand... I think as long as you can get tobacco in it and it comes to some kind of slightly roundish bottom, it'll be okay.

That said I just sold a pipe to a guy and it had a 3/4" tapered chamber and he's raving about it compared to the 13/16" u-bottom chamber on his other two pipes, so maybe 6" long rusticated pipes need a 3/4" taper after all....

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:23 pm 
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Thanks, guys. for your helpful responses. Apparently, the consensus is that I'm overthinking a problem that doesn't exist. Bloody story of my life. And I've reground a spade bit and it's ready for a trial run. Thanks again. . .

Michael


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:02 pm 
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Sasquatch wrote:
I freqently drill with more than one bit, I frequently modify the shape of the chamber by hand... I think as long as you can get tobacco in it and it comes to some kind of slightly roundish bottom, it'll be okay.

That said I just sold a pipe to a guy and it had a 3/4" tapered chamber and he's raving about it compared to the 13/16" u-bottom chamber on his other two pipes, so maybe 6" long rusticated pipes need a 3/4" taper after all....

i was just going to comment that I prefer a tapered bowl when smoking. It seems to burn to the bottom more consistantly, and i feel like when i do get to the bottom i actually enjoyed the last 1/4 bowl a little more. Maybe the smaller diameter at the bottom allows the burning tobacco to ignite the unburnt more easily, rather than having burning tobacco in a 3/8" circle surrounded by a ring of tobacco that isnt smoldering. Im sure there are an equal number of guys that hate conical chambers. thats how the whole pipe community works.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:56 pm 
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Tobacco chamber shapes are like opinions. Everybody has theirs, and they are either good, bad, or meh.

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