Clay Pipe

Clay pipes these days are somewhat of a rarity, with glass being the material of choice for many. However, once upon a time clay was one of the more popular materials for pipes, so I thought in the spirit of tradition I’d make a couple, besides, I had some leftover clay and used my glassmaking kiln.

Before firing.

The above is the formed pipe before firing. I used a combination of white and black clays, although the colors are much sharper after firing. I used a bamboo skewer in a plastic straw to build the pipe around to make the hole through the stem. The skewer adds stability as an armature, but in and the straw can be slid out before firing (although if the straw gets stuck, there won’t be much trace of it after firing).

After forming, the clay must be allowed to completely dry or escaping steam may fracture the piece. It must be dried slowly or the difference in the outer and inner shrinkage can also create cracking.

After firing the colors are more obvious. This was fired at slightly over 2,000 F.

TightVac storage containers

Gentle Readers may already be aware, but I have a fondness for canning jars as storage containers for herbs, including TPTSNBN (That plant that shall not be named). They are reasonably priced, airtight, and easy to clean. They can be dressed up with a little acid etching cream (see my article about that in Soft Secrets Magazine here). About my only complaint about them is that they are not opaque (they let light in), and they usually really aren’t all that attractive for use with company.

I was given one of these containers to try out, they are a TightVac container, distributed by Nickel City Wholesale Garden Supply. I have to say, I’ll reserve my final judgment until I’ve had more experience with it, but my initial impression is pretty favorable.

Buttons 022

The idea seems sound to me. The lid is very deep, so a large quantity of air is trapped when it is first set onto the container. There is a little button near the top that opens a small valve, so by pressing the button, the volume of air trapped in the lid is allowed to escape, reducing the pressure inside the container to atmospheric normal, and letting the lid slide down over the container. What is nice about this container, is that since the pressure inside the closed container is the same as the local atmosphere, trying to remove the lid without pressing the button to open the valve causes a vacuum which holds the lid in place.

The plastic used is an opaque white, so light isn’t a problem, and it is an attractive container. Very appropriate for use with the herbs you plan on using soon handy, or bringing out for guests. If nothing else, the unusual closure method is worth a mention and a moment of “show and tell”.

I plan on using it enough to get a feel for it, and will let you know if I wind up liking it or not caring for it.  So far I’ve been very pleased with it.



eGo C E-cig – First looks

I just received an eGo C electronic vaporizer. So far so good, but time will tell.

eGo C

Since this is a tank type unit that is refilled with the vaporizing liquid. The flavors I’m starting with to try are lemon, cola, Pepsi, Marlboro, tutti fruity, and whiskey.

Okay, so this is another attempt at quitting (or at least cutting way back on) tobacco smoking. I’ve tried pills, gum, patches, hypnosis and a couple things I’m sure I’ve forgotten about. On a previous attempt I tried a pen style vaporizer from Vapor4Life. That style used cartridges called “cartomizers”, which worked well with the prepackaged units, but refilling them was on par with refilling a cigarette lighter by soaking the cotton, an activity I’ve never been all that fond of. I seem to either underfill and am disappointed in how quickly it runs out, or overfill and make a mess.

eGo C

With the eGo C, the heating element is replaceable, and liquid it used to refill the “tanks”.

eGo C

The eGo C kit I received contained 2 complete vape pens, a USB charger with wall socket adapter, 3 extra tanks, and 3 extra heating elements. It also came with a manual and cloth case, neither of which seem particularly useful. I found much more useful information online.

eGo C

The assembled unit is small enough to be carried, although it is much larger than the original more cigarette form factor I’d tried before.

eGo C

I also picked up an extended tank, which holds more than the standard tank.

The eGo C is comprised of a battery, heating element, barrel, and tank. They have their own jargon for the different pieces, but that’s the gist of it.

To use, once charged and assembled, press the button for a second or so, then take a 3-5 second drag on the mouthpiece. It isn’t bad, not like a real cigarette, but at least it incorporates a lot of similar activities. I’m using fluids with nicotine in them, so I’m still intaking nicotine, what I’m trying to do is shift how I’m getting it.

I’ve tried the lemon, cola, and tutti fruity so far. Out of the three, I like the tutti fruity the best, the lemon isn’t bad, and the cola has an odd perfume like quality to it.

It is too early to tell how well I like the eGo C, although so far it seems to be working as intended. The real question is going to be if I use it enough to get my money’s worth out of it, and if it helps me curb my desire for tobacco cigarette use.

Wish me luck!