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 Cleaning clogged airways

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Wet Dottle

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Location : Littleton, CO
Registration date : 2008-02-27

PostSubject: Cleaning clogged airways   Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:53 pm

I have a couple of pipes that, with time, have a build up of carbon in the airways. They are canadians and have a long shank. I would like to clear the airway myself, possibly with a drill bit and hand vise. Do you guys know what size drill should I get? And where can I find long drill bits, say 6" long?
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scotties22

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Age : 37
Location : Missouri
Registration date : 2012-06-10

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning clogged airways   Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:16 pm

I drill my airways 5/32. Pimo sells a drill that is 11/64 and is 5 3/4" long. That's what I use for longer shanks. I'm sure you could find one longer on Amazon.
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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning clogged airways   Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:44 pm

Ideally, you have a graduated set & work your way up to the manufactured diameter.

Remove frequently in progress to clean the removed gunk off the drill bits -- you don't want one snapped off in there.

What a Face
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning clogged airways   Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:11 pm

Ack! I snapped off a skinny micro-file in one of my airways recently, and it was pure luck I managed to get the tip of the thing out. The problem was an airway that was drilled improperly, and I was in there trying to work out the sharp edges in the bend (a wet smoker, as it were), and boom--metal bit in the shank. pale Not cool.

As port-and-polishing works for engines, clean airways do wonders for the smoke--rough stuff, dottle, carbon build-up, all can cause turbulence and poor performance (by my reckon, anyway) and so I use increasing-size drill bits to gently re-open the draft hole. Sometimes just the hand-drill feature of a Senior Reamer/Kleen Reem works okay, and if that's too much for the pipe, I take notes as to which are smaller by factory design, and do the best I can to "play it safe" and go with a smaller drill bit.

Cool
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J Soshae

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Age : 45
Location : Birmingham, AL
Registration date : 2011-08-19

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning clogged airways   Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:45 pm

Lol. We are on a short news cycle. The comparison to engines is back.

Where do I put the nitrous button on the pipe?
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Wet Dottle

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Location : Littleton, CO
Registration date : 2008-02-27

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning clogged airways   Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:46 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I got myself a set of aircraft extension drill bits in 1/8", 9/64", and 5/32" and a pin vise. It all works very well and seems to cover all my needs.

By the way, Kyle, the Senior Reamer is 9/64", but isn't long enough for some of my pipes. And yes, I've snapped a micro-file in one of my pipes, too, but wasn't as lucky as you: I had to send the pipe to Walker Briar Works to have it removed. Embarassed
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Steveaux

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Age : 57
Location : NW Pa.
Registration date : 2012-09-03

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning clogged airways   Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:52 pm

J Soshae wrote:
Where do I put the nitrous button on the pipe?

Mine is on the left side of the shank ... right under my thumb.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning clogged airways   Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:33 pm

The Kleen Reem I have isn't a collector's item being "vintage" and all, the case is shabby, but the tool is great and the parts are all there. Kleen Reem saw it good to have a pretty generous "drill bit" in the handle, and I haven't a pipe yet it won't reach from shank to bowl. I really like that tool. I don't use it often, but it's been great.

Cool
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monbla256

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Age : 72
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning clogged airways   Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:15 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
The Kleen Reem I have isn't a collector's item being "vintage" and all, the case is shabby, but the tool is great and the parts are all there. Kleen Reem saw it good to have a pretty generous "drill bit" in the handle, and I haven't a pipe yet it won't reach from shank to bowl. I really like that tool. I don't use it often, but it's been great.

Cool

I concurr 100% Razz

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Wet Dottle

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Location : Littleton, CO
Registration date : 2008-02-27

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning clogged airways   Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:33 pm

Is there a difference between the Senior Reamer and the Kleen Reem? I got the Senior in a b&m. The Kleen can be found cheaper on eBay, but I don't have one. Perhaps the Kleen has a longer drill bit. The Senior is not long enough for all but one of my canadians. Either way, the drill bits are longer, sharper, and work substantially better.

By the way, I went over all my pipes and found that most are drilled to 5/32", as Calamity Jane suggested (perhaps she is Annie Oakley today). A few are larger than that, some are 9/64" (not many), and one is 1/8" (a Don Carlos).
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning clogged airways   Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:46 pm

WD: I haven't done a side-by-side comparison, but I did inspect thoroughly the Senior Reamer at my Tinder Box. They are comparable in a number of ways, but I find the Kleen Reem to be of a bit better craftsmanship (not by much) and the drill bit in the handle is longer and stouter on the Kleen Reem.

My only complaint with the Kleen Reem is the drill bit itself: it's made of a particularly soft metal, and I've found it bent once or twice, needing to be re-straightened. What I think happens is as it is used, the offset of material inherent to the engineering of any drill bit, it can't stand side-to-side motion very well, and when using something that requires a static pivot point is used by hand, it will warp. The hand isn't accurate like machinery, and even using it at a slight angle could prove problematic. A warp in a drill bit in a shank could start hitting briar in the shank and airway before you know it.

Otherwise, I paid a staggering sum of $10 for my Kleen Reem, and it wasn't a museum piece, and does the job when I need it (which is rare--I prefer constant maintenance with a cheap pipe nail).

Harbor Freight, every man's cheap toy store, has these hand-held aluminum "hand chucks" for securing a drill bit that I'm thinking of getting so I can use my own real drill bits of correct sizes for the airways of my pipes.

Cool
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Wet Dottle

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Location : Littleton, CO
Registration date : 2008-02-27

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning clogged airways   Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:40 pm

Well, curiosity got the best of me and I got a Kleen Reem.



The Senior is shown to the right of the little pipe brush. They are very similar, but not identical (top: Kleen; bottom: Senior):



The drills are, however different. The Senior's is about 4 3/8" in length and 1/8" in diameter (my previous post is wrong); the Kleen's is perhaps 1/8" shorter and 9/64" in diameter:



The set-up I came up with is shown to the left of the pipe brush: 1/8" (in the pin vise), 9/64", and 5/32". The drills are 6" in length and cover even the longest of my canadians. In practice, however, I only use the 1/8" and 9/64" drill bits. Usually, the airway only gets closed-up in the last 1/8" near the bowl and the pin vise works well enough for that. My pipes are now well open and I'm a happy man.
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