Could we assert one of the structural components in a pipe is the mouthpiece? For sure.
The mouthpiece is the connection to get in touch with the pipe, a bridge between the tobacco’s tastes and our self, maybe the deepest relationship with our pipe.
First of all we have to talk about the structural form. In the first picture, we can see in detail the “bit” and the “lip” of the mouthpiece. The most important piece for a pipe smoker, and the first functional valuation we make about the pipe we’re holding in the hands.
At first touch at our mouth, we should feel comfort, safety, stability, so we shouldn’t feel hardship while we’re holding the pipe between the teeth and we are walking. A “bit” too high or too large, could push the smoker through an awkward feeling, and also an increasing salivation.
Obviously, for the “lip” is the same. Not only in excess, but also in the smallest way. A “bit” or a “lip” too low or too tight, could make us feel thinness, weakness and instability. So let us give some specifics about the details. After many consultations between the artisan and pipe factory, a high performance “bit” should be around 4 mm. A couple of millimetreslarger will help to preserve a pipe for a longer time, assuming futures repairs, that would work on that material.
Watching the front view image, we should be see a “back donkey” shape, the side “lip” thickness around 1 mm, to reduce, as much as possible, the size of the pipe between the teeth.
The “lip”, to ensure a good hooking and stability, especially for the curve, we need at least a total height of 7 mm, it means 1-1.5 mm material up and under, with an angle of 90° perpendicular at the bottom, if possible sharp.
It’s always good to remember that the “lip” and “bit” are exposed to wear over time, so due to this, they “build” them with sizes that allows smoking and use of the pipes without having to work on the structure for a couple of years. In regards to the large size of both components, it all depends on the design of the pipe. For a mouthpiece that’s comfortable and safe, we should consider 15 to 17 mm (large size), for a heavy pipe, but at the same time also for a light pipe. A very good artisan will put together all these details, to achieve a great balanced product.
Let’s take a peep to the inside part of the pipe, with the holes, that makes a crucial part for the usability of our pipe. To have an unobstructed fluidity of air from the combustion chamber to our mouth, the hole should have the same diameter between the torch and the mouthpiece; this means that starting from the pin hole we should have a even channel without variation in diameter, along almost the entire mouthpiece.
By now, we all know that the intake channel is around 3.5 / 4mm in diameter for the torch of our pipe, as we have said, we should have the same size up to about 10 / 15mm from the exit of the smoke from the mouthpiece; because obviously the Tooth going down to 4mm the hole must continue and exit with a diameter of about 1.5 / 1.8mm. This allows for a much smoother flow without major changes in diameter, which could create condensation accumulation during smoking.
Another relevant aspect in our smokes is the smoke coming out of the mouthpiece; to ensure a wider smoke dilution, we should find a “Funnel” or “Fan” enlargement in the last 10 / 15mm of length (looking at the section from above), which has nothing to do with the classic mouthpiece drilling standard pre-supplied, where we can see a 2mm circular hole coming out. These are standard references for a high quality product with attention to the smallest details in regards of the smoker buyer, who, armed with knowledge, can choose and select his own pipe on the basis of these purely technical and ergonomic notions.
I do not deny that this attention and meticulousness fit with a large-scale production of a hypothetical manufacturing, it requires much longer times, higher costs and the use of different raw materials that would affect the final pipes’ price. This article aims to clarify the possibilities of realization on the details we highlighted, to put the buyer in a position to understand the type of product that is being viewed, and finally, to buy with the awareness of the quality / price ratio (the quality and details always have an added value in all sectors, even in the final price).
Life is made up of possibilities but above all of choices … everyone should make their own!
Enjoy your slow smoking time.