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Blackhorse
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Blackhorse

Age : 72
Location : Portland, Oregon Area
Registration date : 2010-10-23

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PostSubject: Latest Stem Project - New Life   Latest Stem Project - New Life EmptyThu Apr 19, 2012 12:10 pm

Doing a little side job for a buddy who doesn't have time to restore some of the stems on his estates. I have a very specific process for doing this odious job...I use WHATEVER I think will work. I always start with the worst first and work my way toward the easiest...just smart planning. Then on each stem I start with the deepest and hardest indent or pit or whatever, knowing I'll have to go at least that deep and work back from there. Teeth marks, chew marks and scars are easy to fix...starting with a couple of Swiss pattern needle files and moving to 400 grit paper, then 600, then (my latest trick) DeniCare applied to a strip of the Polyester 0000 'Steel Wool' substitute and used like a shoe shine cloth, then black emery on a denim wheel and finally rouge on a soft buff.

The ones I've finished are on the left...the ones that are still to do (and remember...these are the ones less 'crudded up') are hopefully obvious. I think the project is coming along nicely. BTW: The stems on the left have taken between 1 and 1 1/2 hours to complete...each! All I can say is...it's the pits! Their removal and blending the edges and all takes time.


Latest Stem Project - New Life PeteStandandStemCleaning019

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Hater

Hater

Age : 46
Location : Ojai, Ca.
Registration date : 2012-03-20

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PostSubject: Re: Latest Stem Project - New Life   Latest Stem Project - New Life EmptyThu Apr 19, 2012 12:29 pm

thanks for this thread BH. I am on the cusp of picking up some really great quality but as of yet unrefurbished estates and the stems look a lot like the ones on the right (very yellow). I was concerened about that but wanted to take the time to refurbish all of them. a learning experience for sure. I've already ordered the canoba (sp?) wax and picked up a couple buffing wheels. Been reading up a bit on restoration processes (pro-sess-ees) and just want to make sure I don't make any mistakes.

AS a side question; as far as a cracked stummel goes, am I right to assume that they are irrepairable and theres no reason to pick those up as well. There are like 20 pipes and I think I noted 3 with cracked stummels.
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ejames

ejames

Age : 69
Location : Poplar Bluff,Mo.
Registration date : 2012-02-01

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PostSubject: Re: Latest Stem Project - New Life   Latest Stem Project - New Life EmptyThu Apr 19, 2012 2:41 pm

Nice work! Anymore,I hate doing stems. It tends to be boring, repetitious work. I'd much rather refinish a bowl. But no matter how nice you get the bowl,if that stem doesn't shine,the pipe looks like crap IMO. So, I sand and buff,sand and buff, sand....... Sad
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Growley

Growley

Age : 44
Location : Fairhope, Al
Registration date : 2012-04-10

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PostSubject: Re: Latest Stem Project - New Life   Latest Stem Project - New Life EmptyThu Apr 19, 2012 3:43 pm

Very nicely done! Seeing how I hand make all of my stems, I understand how much of a process it is getting a raw material to look like glass. It takes a lot of work and you've done a great job!

I'm just going to throw this out there... If you're using buffing wheels, have you tried Red Tripoli and White Diamond (in that order) buffing compounds? If you get the right buffs (one for each compound), spin them at about 1750 RPMs or slower, you can get a really nice shine. You still have to work your way up through the sand paper grits, but those compounds can make a world of difference.

Don't know if that will help but I thought I'd try.

Great work on those stems. Your buddy will be very excited when he sees the outcome.
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CygnusXII

CygnusXII

Age : 53
Location : South Carolina
Registration date : 2012-03-22

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PostSubject: Re: Latest Stem Project - New Life   Latest Stem Project - New Life EmptyThu Apr 19, 2012 3:57 pm

Quote :
AS a side question; as far as a cracked stummel goes, am I right to assume that they are irrepairable and theres no reason to pick those up as well. There are like 20 pipes and I think I noted 3 with cracked stummels.

Where is the crack? If it is on the shank, and the shank is a regular shape (basically a non freehand style) it can usually be repaired by using a metal band. A lot of times you may see a older model pipe made in a shape that didn't come with a silver band, and wonder of it's origin. Usually if a shank cracks, from twisting on a bit to hard, or when it was stuck, a silver smith or pipe repair shop would glue the crack and then place a decorative band over the glue join, and also allow the band to reinforce the weak spot.

I think this is where the origins of metal banded pipes came from. The British Gentry could afford nice briar pipes, while the common laborer was forced to use clay or inferior briar. The Gentry could afford to have a high priced Dunhill, or what not repaired, and the silver band was seen by the commoners as more of a decoration rather than the actual repair. I think that bled over into the mass produced pipe market, for the common man, as the silver banded cap, on later pipe shanks, or maybe it could be a carry over from Army Mounted pipes, and adaptation from them as used by Officers, and bled over to mass production.

anyways, that's all idle speculation on my part... I seem to be navel gazing on that one, so I'll leave you to consider banding as a repair method, as an alternative to disposal, if the pipe warrants it.
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