I don't have pictures, really, but I'm a good at storytelling.
Needing a distraction, I had to fix my SMS meer (on a few occasions, actually).
Essentially what happened was when I bought it, the threaded plastic part that screws into the shank (for purposes here, the "mortise") broke. First time I took it apart, at the shop. No, I didn't do anything wrong, I twisted it clockwise, and apparently the cast-molding wasn't very good, and the part at the top of the mortise (the collar?) came apart like a head of a screw shearing off while in use.
It didn't truly affect the smoke of the pipe much, the plastic ring that broke off simply stayed on the tenon (the other
part that actually screws into the stem). I could do everything the pipe was designed to do, take it apart fully, smoke it, clean it, etc.
Well, I was having a small problem with gurgling. Somewhere, somehow, I think the parts just didn't line up ideally. Not surprising.
Fortunately, my Tinder Box gave me a new replacement set of the two screw-in (mortise/tenon) parts, one for the stem and one for the shank. I re-worked both input and output "nozzles" in the setup like I would some of my traditional setups, by chamfering the draft holes, smoothing any sharp edges and getting rid of any conflicting surface area. We'll see how it does in the long run. It is a bit wider of a setup than the old one, which is a plus. Constricted draw irritates me.
On another "learning experience," I put two HUGE gashes/scratches on the sides of this meerschaum, by thinking it was a good idea to close the pipe in the case to hold onto it. Whoops. Hooray for being a stupid human. I wondered if it was possible to remove these scratches, which were a chocolate milkshake brown as opposed to the white surface of the meerschaum. There they were, staring me in the face, reminding me of my simian idiocy, after being so careful to not so much as touch the bowl for any reason.
Sandpaper. A lot of it. From 500 grit to 2000 grit. Buffing. Voila. I sacrificed some of the coloration and patina developing, but no longer was I being taunted. So far, so good--the coloring ought to work itself out.
Finally, I am armed with a chapstick tube full of raw, natural beeswax. I went to the local hippie herbalist store and lo, found little "bee balls" of wax in a bag. After leaving the bag on the dash of my car in 100°F+ heat, it easily formed into a manageable bar. Recalling a gent on YouTube using empty chapstick tubes and refilling them with beeswax, I followed in kind, melted some down, dribbled some into the tube, and have a portable wax applicator.
What an adventure it's been so far. Smoking some Ten Russians in it as I type this, it's smoking cooler, smoother, and drier. Interesting. I hope my efforts all work out.