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 Buffing a stem to a high gloss

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PipePuffer

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Location : Alabama
Registration date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:34 am

Hi all,

I just bought a Dunhill pipe that had been sitting in the back of the pipe cabinet at my B&M for years. The stem was pretty oxidized (greenish and matte). I cleaned the stem with some Bar keeper's Friend. Now the stem is black again, but it is still matte and it needs some finer polishing. What should I use to make it glossy again? I tried some wax, it helped, but compared to my other Dunhill stems, it is still not glossy enough.
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Greenleaf

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Age : 36
Location : Dallas, Texas
Registration date : 2010-04-05

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:24 pm

I'd like to know of a solution, myself. Just can't do anything like take them to a professional.
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PipePuffer

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Location : Alabama
Registration date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:40 pm

I just ordered some Brebbia Stem Polish from SmokingPipes.

http://www.smokingpipes.com/accessories/cleaning/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=24766

Brings back luster to vulcanite stems apparently. We'll see.

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hobie1dog

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Age : 62
Location : Cornelius, NC
Registration date : 2010-06-21

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:23 pm

I've buffed them back to looking like new, only to have the turn back to a tan color after a few smokes....I haven't figured out how to keep them looking black yet.
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MisterE
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:04 pm

Without going into bleaching, try this on Vulcanite stems...

If you dont have a buffing wheel, you can start with sandpaper. About 300 grit to get the gross stuff off, and move down to 600 plus. It might take a litttle elbow grease but, unfortunately, a little vulcanite needs to come off to get down to the black. Fold it in half and use the edge to get the stuff around the button. Go carefully here because you donīt want to round out the nice edges. Go slowly so that you only take off as much is necessary- avoiding any nomenclature printed or carved on the stem. Remember,once itīs gone, itīs gone...canīt put it back on there. Also, donīt sand the tenon- leave it alone!

Then get a nail polishing board (the ones with very fine gradations at the nail care supply store- the finest grit is almost smooth but very effective) and work your way down that until it begins to shine.

For the final stage, toothpaste. Yes, toothpaste. Use a soft cloth or strong paper napkin and shine away with a little water. Rinse as you go and youīll really start to see a difference. Be sure to run a pipecleaner through the stem while rinsing afterwards because the toothpaste will get inside the bore.

After that, what I do is use a silver posish cloth to get it really glowing. When youre done, rub the stem on your forehead and get a little oil on it. That will protect it from the air and other oxidizing elements while you store it.

I know it sounds scary to sand away at a stem and rub toothpaste on it but itīs not as bad as you think. Try it on a beater to start with so you get a feel for it.

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blade

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Age : 53
Location : Staten Ilsand
Registration date : 2011-02-23

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:47 pm

^^^^^^^^^^^

That's the way I've heard to do it years ago. I haven't done it in a long time. Used to work when I did it.
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Harlock999

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Location : Los Angeles
Registration date : 2010-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:02 am

PipePuffer wrote:
I just ordered some Brebbia Stem Polish from SmokingPipes.

http://www.smokingpipes.com/accessories/cleaning/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=24766

Brings back luster to vulcanite stems apparently. We'll see.


Let me know how you like that stuff. I bought some, and wasn't too impressed.
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Harlock999

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Location : Los Angeles
Registration date : 2010-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:03 am

MisterE wrote:
Without going into bleaching, try this on Vulcanite stems...

If you dont have a buffing wheel, you can start with sandpaper. About 300 grit to get the gross stuff off, and move down to 600 plus. It might take a litttle elbow grease but, unfortunately, a little vulcanite needs to come off to get down to the black. Fold it in half and use the edge to get the stuff around the button. Go carefully here because you donīt want to round out the nice edges. Go slowly so that you only take off as much is necessary- avoiding any nomenclature printed or carved on the stem. Remember,once itīs gone, itīs gone...canīt put it back on there. Also, donīt sand the tenon- leave it alone!

Then get a nail polishing board (the ones with very fine gradations at the nail care supply store- the finest grit is almost smooth but very effective) and work your way down that until it begins to shine.

For the final stage, toothpaste. Yes, toothpaste. Use a soft cloth or strong paper napkin and shine away with a little water. Rinse as you go and youīll really start to see a difference. Be sure to run a pipecleaner through the stem while rinsing afterwards because the toothpaste will get inside the bore.

After that, what I do is use a silver posish cloth to get it really glowing. When youre done, rub the stem on your forehead and get a little oil on it. That will protect it from the air and other oxidizing elements while you store it.

I know it sounds scary to sand away at a stem and rub toothpaste on it but itīs not as bad as you think. Try it on a beater to start with so you get a feel for it.


Good stuff! I bet your trumpet shines like a diamond! (absolutely no joke intended)


Last edited by Harlock999 on Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:05 am; edited 3 times in total
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PipePuffer

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Location : Alabama
Registration date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:13 am

The toothpaste really helped bring back some shine! Excellent tip. I will be hunting for a silver polish cloth for the final touch. Thanks! We'll see how the Brebbia Stem Polish compares.
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Greenleaf

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Age : 36
Location : Dallas, Texas
Registration date : 2010-04-05

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:11 am

MisterE, that does sound a bit scary, but it's about time I tried something like this. My large quarter bent in particular has some very stubborn oxidization. Thanks.
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flytyer

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Age : 51
Location : N E Pa.
Registration date : 2009-03-22

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:44 am

Just a suggestion....use the brebbia polish on an older less expensive pipe to see how you like the results first.
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talrmn35

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Age : 43
Location : DeKalb, IL
Registration date : 2010-12-09

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:44 pm

I have heard that plain chapstick works to keep the shine after you get it back...instead of forehead grease maybe.
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PipePuffer

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Location : Alabama
Registration date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:21 pm

I just tested the Brebbia Stem Polish. When applied by hand the results were pretty underwhelming. Even after applying some elbow grease, I still couldn't see much improvement. But the polish worked wonders when applied with a buffing wheel.


Last edited by PipePuffer on Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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forsooth

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Registration date : 2011-01-12

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:25 pm

Check out the "Pipe Stem Deoxidizer/Cleaner" from

walkerbriarworks.com.

I'm having some success with that (I bought the kit which included carnuba wax). There are suggestions on cleaning and polishing stems on the website. Requires elbow grease in the cleaning process.
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Tak

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Location : Arizona
Registration date : 2011-02-06

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:58 pm

Buffing wheels are great.
Some ZAM or White Diamond, with a very light pressure should buff it up.

Thx,
Tak
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MisterE
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:35 am

Harlock999 wrote:
MisterE wrote:
Without going into bleaching, try this on Vulcanite stems...

If you dont have a buffing wheel, you can start with sandpaper. About 300 grit to get the gross stuff off, and move down to 600 plus. It might take a litttle elbow grease but, unfortunately, a little vulcanite needs to come off to get down to the black. Fold it in half and use the edge to get the stuff around the button. Go carefully here because you donīt want to round out the nice edges. Go slowly so that you only take off as much is necessary- avoiding any nomenclature printed or carved on the stem. Remember,once itīs gone, itīs gone...canīt put it back on there. Also, donīt sand the tenon- leave it alone!

Then get a nail polishing board (the ones with very fine gradations at the nail care supply store- the finest grit is almost smooth but very effective) and work your way down that until it begins to shine.

For the final stage, toothpaste. Yes, toothpaste. Use a soft cloth or strong paper napkin and shine away with a little water. Rinse as you go and youīll really start to see a difference. Be sure to run a pipecleaner through the stem while rinsing afterwards because the toothpaste will get inside the bore.

After that, what I do is use a silver posish cloth to get it really glowing. When youre done, rub the stem on your forehead and get a little oil on it. That will protect it from the air and other oxidizing elements while you store it.

I know it sounds scary to sand away at a stem and rub toothpaste on it but itīs not as bad as you think. Try it on a beater to start with so you get a feel for it.


Good stuff! I bet your trumpet shines like a diamond! (absolutely no joke intended)

Dude, if I spent a FIFTH of the time I spend on my pipes polishing my horns theyīd blind me! I am awful about caring for my instruments- I really should be more consciencious about it... lol! lol!
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Harlock999

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Location : Los Angeles
Registration date : 2010-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:19 pm

MisterE wrote:
Harlock999 wrote:
MisterE wrote:
Without going into bleaching, try this on Vulcanite stems...

If you dont have a buffing wheel, you can start with sandpaper. About 300 grit to get the gross stuff off, and move down to 600 plus. It might take a litttle elbow grease but, unfortunately, a little vulcanite needs to come off to get down to the black. Fold it in half and use the edge to get the stuff around the button. Go carefully here because you donīt want to round out the nice edges. Go slowly so that you only take off as much is necessary- avoiding any nomenclature printed or carved on the stem. Remember,once itīs gone, itīs gone...canīt put it back on there. Also, donīt sand the tenon- leave it alone!

Then get a nail polishing board (the ones with very fine gradations at the nail care supply store- the finest grit is almost smooth but very effective) and work your way down that until it begins to shine.

For the final stage, toothpaste. Yes, toothpaste. Use a soft cloth or strong paper napkin and shine away with a little water. Rinse as you go and youīll really start to see a difference. Be sure to run a pipecleaner through the stem while rinsing afterwards because the toothpaste will get inside the bore.

After that, what I do is use a silver posish cloth to get it really glowing. When youre done, rub the stem on your forehead and get a little oil on it. That will protect it from the air and other oxidizing elements while you store it.

I know it sounds scary to sand away at a stem and rub toothpaste on it but itīs not as bad as you think. Try it on a beater to start with so you get a feel for it.


Good stuff! I bet your trumpet shines like a diamond! (absolutely no joke intended)

Dude, if I spent a FIFTH of the time I spend on my pipes polishing my horns theyīd blind me! I am awful about caring for my instruments- I really should be more consciencious about it... lol! lol!

cheers Hey, you probably don't see this in the trumpet world, but for the the last 15 years, more and more guitar companies have been introducing "relic" guitars. Brand new instruments that look old and beat up, on purpose. Scratched, dinged, rusted, burnt...And since it takes a master craftsman to make all that damage look "authentic", these guitars are very expensive. I'd rather let a guitar age naturally, acquiring that aged patina through my own use and neglect!
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Schmitzbitz



Age : 37
Location : Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
Registration date : 2011-03-23

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:58 pm

Harlock999 wrote:
MisterE wrote:
Harlock999 wrote:
MisterE wrote:
Without going into bleaching, try this on Vulcanite stems...

If you dont have a buffing wheel, you can start with sandpaper. About 300 grit to get the gross stuff off, and move down to 600 plus. It might take a litttle elbow grease but, unfortunately, a little vulcanite needs to come off to get down to the black. Fold it in half and use the edge to get the stuff around the button. Go carefully here because you donīt want to round out the nice edges. Go slowly so that you only take off as much is necessary- avoiding any nomenclature printed or carved on the stem. Remember,once itīs gone, itīs gone...canīt put it back on there. Also, donīt sand the tenon- leave it alone!

Then get a nail polishing board (the ones with very fine gradations at the nail care supply store- the finest grit is almost smooth but very effective) and work your way down that until it begins to shine.

For the final stage, toothpaste. Yes, toothpaste. Use a soft cloth or strong paper napkin and shine away with a little water. Rinse as you go and youīll really start to see a difference. Be sure to run a pipecleaner through the stem while rinsing afterwards because the toothpaste will get inside the bore.

After that, what I do is use a silver posish cloth to get it really glowing. When youre done, rub the stem on your forehead and get a little oil on it. That will protect it from the air and other oxidizing elements while you store it.

I know it sounds scary to sand away at a stem and rub toothpaste on it but itīs not as bad as you think. Try it on a beater to start with so you get a feel for it.


Good stuff! I bet your trumpet shines like a diamond! (absolutely no joke intended)

Dude, if I spent a FIFTH of the time I spend on my pipes polishing my horns theyīd blind me! I am awful about caring for my instruments- I really should be more consciencious about it... lol! lol!

cheers Hey, you probably don't see this in the trumpet world, but for the the last 15 years, more and more guitar companies have been introducing "relic" guitars. Brand new instruments that look old and beat up, on purpose. Scratched, dinged, rusted, burnt...And since it takes a master craftsman to make all that damage look "authentic", these guitars are very expensive. I'd rather let a guitar age naturally, acquiring that aged patina through my own use and neglect!

Question is, how do the "relic" guitars actually age...I don't pick like James Hetfield, therefore I will destroy finish in different spots - if they overlap, how does the patina blend...

You can find some great polishes at the music store too - I use fretboard polish on my briar, and hardware polish to keep my vulcanite shiny and happy.
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Harlock999

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Location : Los Angeles
Registration date : 2010-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Buffing a stem to a high gloss   Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:22 pm

Schmitzbitz wrote:


cheers Hey, you probably don't see this in the trumpet world, but for the the last 15 years, more and more guitar companies have been introducing "relic" guitars. Brand new instruments that look old and beat up, on purpose. Scratched, dinged, rusted, burnt...And since it takes a master craftsman to make all that damage look "authentic", these guitars are very expensive. I'd rather let a guitar age naturally, acquiring that aged patina through my own use and neglect!

Question is, how do the "relic" guitars actually age...I don't pick like James Hetfield, therefore I will destroy finish in different spots - if they overlap, how does the patina blend...

You can find some great polishes at the music store too - I use fretboard polish on my briar, and hardware polish to keep my vulcanite shiny and happy.[/quote]

Good question, and I've wondered about that myself. Fender and Gibson guitars from the 1950's aged very quickly due to the thin nitro cellulose lacquer finishes that were applied. You didn't necessarily have to play like SRV to work down through to the wood. How will these "relic" instruments look when subjected to natural playing wear? Guess we'll find out in a few years...
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