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oldbear58

oldbear58

Age : 124
Location : Misplaced in southern California
Registration date : 2013-11-12

New guy with questions Empty
PostSubject: New guy with questions   New guy with questions EmptyTue Nov 12, 2013 8:44 pm

I was cleaning a couple of estate pipes and trying to find the best solvent for very thick old accumulations of tar in the stem (someone hadn't heard of pipe cleaners?). I had good luck just soaking the stems in a small bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol, but one of the stems seemed to react with the alcohol and became soft. It hardened after drying and doesn't seem to be damaged.

Which stems react poorly with which solvents?

Obviously lucite and acrylics shouldn't go into a vat of acetone or metheline chloride, but what can I safely use for vulcanite?

Where can I find information about each of the typical stem materials?

Oldbear
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RDPipes

RDPipes

Age : 66
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

New guy with questions Empty
PostSubject: Re: New guy with questions   New guy with questions EmptyTue Nov 12, 2013 9:09 pm

Well sir, you should just dip the cleaners into ISO alcohol and insert them into the stem and clean as usual. Try not to get the alcohol on the finsih of the pipe or stem. And you can do the same thing with the shank of the pipe just remember not to get any on the exterior and let them dry WELL over night before smoking them. I use tapered cleaners and Q-Tips for the shank, makes it easier to get all the crud out. You can also retort your pipes but, that's a different story and involves boiling alcohol and can be a bit dangerous if you don't know what your doing.
Oh, and this works well with Vulcanite and acrylic/Lucite stems
One other note, the higher the percent of the ISO the better cleaning abilities it has, I use 90%. Although you can use Everclear or any high proof alcohol.
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BigCasino

BigCasino

Age : 51
Location : North of Pittsburgh pa
Registration date : 2012-11-27

New guy with questions Empty
PostSubject: Re: New guy with questions   New guy with questions EmptyWed Nov 13, 2013 7:18 am

I think someone said stems that get soft and swell up after soaking in alcohol are nylon, I wouldn soak vulcanite in alcohol it will oxidize them pretty bad oxy clean works good but you need to buff them after look it up on you tube I don't have time to leave a link right now
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