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Aspida

Dear co-smokers,

More then ten years now, I prefer to smoke in my own way: using Aspida.
The name originates from Greek language and means: Shield.
It's a new  fabrication of mine that I would like to speak about, today
.

This is one of the first original designs, some years ago: (You can read about it here)



 

 

 




But lets see the latest and more interesting version: Aspida in one piece
.


Aspida consists of a small aluminum insert fitted between the pipe bowl and mouthpiece, able to accept a normal filter at the back.
Aspida’s idea started from my effort to eliminate tongue bite and several liquids that were reaching my mouth when smoking. During practice, I came across a great surprise: It was also reacting as an unrivalled-natural filter!
 

The following draft drawings show more details:


(These are draft drawings, not showing the exact geometry of the final products)


It is made, piece by piece, on a metal lathe:

On the nose tip there is a wall, a vertical flat surface, where the hot smoke steam hits against. By the side there are 6 small holes of 1.7mm each. (6 x 1.7mm = 10.2mm equal diameter - thus there is no obstruction when sucking). On the opposite side there is a deep hole of 8.8mm diameter (for any kind of 9mm filter), which guides to a 10.3 or 10.5mm diameter to accept the corresponded tendon of the mouthpiece.

It can be dressed up with wood, horn, ivory, tortoise shell, silver etc.


The outer-visible length of aspida can be 30mm or 17mm or 8mm or even sightless...

 


Cooling the smoke

In a theoretical view we suppose that when the hot smoke comes in contact with the colder metal will get cooler. T
he hot air will hit against the wall, resulting to the first liquefaction.
Then comes in contact with the side surface (more metal) and finally will be forced to pass through the small holes. Entering these small holes it gets compressed and thereafter it expands getting into the wider internal room of aspida...
Too much theory? All these things happen? A little more to the end:
Additionally the smoke is spinning. Expanding and spinning causes more liquids to generate and even more cooling...

Practice:
Let's follow this hot steam with a special thermometer and some photos.

This thermometer pictured, is a special one (although cheap enough if someone wants to test) and can measure temperatures up to 70º Celsius. It incorporates a tiny heat sensor to get into small openings and a digital display.
And the trials started...


Not to bather you any more, the straight result is that we have a temperature drop at least 4º Celsius in the worst measurement. It happened to be 7º when smoking at low level of the bowl!

That is why I don't experience tongue bite or any liquids in my mouth...
This means that we can smoke some "difficult" tobaccos too. Or be somehow nervous in our smoking, because we are used to rapid smoking, or just happened for a moment.

On the other hand in every pipe there are more materials except wood. Glues, acrylic, ebonite, paints, plastics in filters. All these are sensitive in heat and can produce unwanted fumes. By cooling the smoke we keep the whole pipe cooler. Thus all the materials are stable and functioning properly.



Humidity regulator

Firstly, aspida operates as an excellent moisture trap. Thus we'll never taste any liquids in our mouth while smoking.



Furthermore, for those of us that cannot bare much moisture to their puffing, aspida can operate as an ideal moisture regulator. It grabs the excess liquids and this way we can smoke a tobacco right from a just opened tin without much notice.



Filtering

Aspida detains some water-drops on its tip. These drops act as a perfect-natural filter for the smoke.



Small tobacco particles, even ashes (when approaching the end of the bowl) will be trapped and stay at the tip of aspida, preventing entering to our mouth and lungs.



The filter itself, has not so many jobs to carry out. (Here we see a "balsa" one, to be able to figure out how many liquids reach to it after passing through aspida)



Without the use of aspida, filter cannot operate as it has to. There are so many tasks for the filter to carry out at the same time, so in practice none of them is done in a correct way. Especially at the end of our bowl (when we mostly need it) as it is full of liquids that prevent correct fume-filtering.
Many of us use a new filter for every bowl as it becomes full of dirt. Using aspida before filter, there is no need to change it but only after 5 or 6 bowls! 

Here we see balsa filters after 1-2-3-4 and 5 uses:



There are many smokers that don't use filter after aspida! Maybe there is no need as we see.
 

From time to time we can just unscrew the aspida and have an inspection, to take out the liquids that gather inside, irrespectively that they cannot reach the mouth.

We saw that Aspida itself acts as an excellent filter. It just takes advantage of the natural liquids (from the tobacco and atmosphere) to filter the smoke, preserving all tobacco flavor and taste.



Cleaning Aspida







As we saw, most of the smoke-remains are trapped into the moist nose of Aspida. Many more are located inside Aspida, as the internal parts acts as filter too.
 



Cleaning the internal part of Aspida is as simple as the outside and can be done with just a handkerchief. Indeed a simple handkerchief is enough to carry all cleaning process for all: bowl, Aspida and mouthpiece.



I can open my pipe when I want

Just to inspect the inside.
To take out any small tobacco particle that may close the smoke-hole
To take out any liquids
...without the fear to destroy the mouthpiece tendon geometry.

On the other hand, being able to open the pipe when it is still warm, can help in deeper and better cleaning. Liquids had no time to be absorbed by the wood pores. As these pores are opened, all oils and smelly-moist are removed before they can get inside them. That otherwise could be a difficult and time-consuming process -if ever done as deep as now- specially for the smoke-hole.
Doing so, we have our pipe with very little moisture and just ready to smoke again - at least once more for today.

 


Carrying – Cost

I usually do 6-8 bowls per day, so I need quite enough number of pipes in order to have the highest pleasure and enjoyment.
In case of Aspida, I can have just one set of [Aspida and 3 kinds of mouthpieces] with many individual bowls that this set fits to. The 3 kinds of mouthpieces are straight, bent and full bent to match the shape of bowls I own.




Having just one and only Aspida and 3 mouthpieces instead of many different -one for every bowl- means that the space required to store them has gone to minimum, as I don't need to carry them assembled.

Don't forget safety too. An assembled pipe is sensitive to pressure. Here we don't face this problem. Also my bowls breath free unassembled!

This "smoking approach" gives endless opportunities for conversions... All the bowls are individually available. One can just replace Aspida with anything he could think and change the way he smokes at once. Even to remove it...Or order his dreamed patent for the cost of just one middle piece in-between the bowls and the mouthpieces he already possesses.  Or increase his rotation, just ordering some more bowls instead of whole pipes.

Three bowls that use the same aspida/mouthpiece (above and following picture):


 

Aspida used to 9mm filter pipes

Many friends asked for a patent, to use aspida on their ordinal 9mm filter pipes.

Well, here it is, a special aspida, preserving the use of the 9mm filter as well.


AspidaTenonTenon1.jpgAspidaTenonTenon2.jpg

AspidaTenonTenon4.jpgAspidaTenonTenon5.jpg
 
AspidaTenonTenon3.jpgAspidaTenonTenon6.jpg
 

 

Independent aspida
for pipes with filter

or without
 


In every kind of pipe, you could adapt one
of the following types of aspida.
Just place it in the filter hole - instead of the conventional filter.

 

First one pictured, replaces 9mm filters and
(if we prefer) can accept a 6mm normal filter,

charcoal type or balsa.
 


The second one replaces 6mm filters and (if we like) can accept 3mm paper filter.
(We cut it to length we prefer).

 

The third one is used for non-filter pipes.

 

All of the three can be used "forever".


Their cost is: 25, 25 and 8 Euros accordingly and  for the SET of three: 45 euro.
(all prices are without VAT 24%)


I was told that smoking is "bad for my health". Shouldn't I try to reduce damage?
Thank you for accompanying me to my pipe world...