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 OK, so who here has broken a stem?

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Brewdude

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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:51 pm

I'll be the first to raise my hand.

My first broken stem was many years ago, probably around '01. It was on an inexpensive Sav 316 while trying to insert or remove the stem. Got a bit carried away and it went snap ! My local TB sent it to someone who crafted a fine replacement.

What that taught me (or so I thought) was to be more aware of the resistance when removing or inserting the stem.

Fast forward to yesterday. Received an eagerly awaited estate Ser Jacopo Per Aspera sitter. The stem was not inserted in the bowl, as I'd have expected and have come to know as SOP.

In my haste and (over) enthusiasm to insert the stem into the shank, I managed to snap it off during an attempt to align it! It went in a bit tight, and that was the first sign I should have backed off.

In retrospect I probably have done some combination of the following-

1. Let the pieces rest at least 24 hrs due to the difference in R/H between my area and the shipment point. (In this case it was significant).

2. Put the stem into the freezer for say 15 minutes.

3. Taken down the tenon with a bit of emory cloth.


So the decision is what to do now?

Trying to repair this myself is just not within my means.  And it looks like  there is no way to contact Ser Jacopo about a factory replacement. So........

Contacted Mike Myers at Walker Pipe Repair. He's always been a great resource, and he will make me a replacement stem. It won't have the logo "J" on the original, but it will be certain to be identical in every other aspects.

No disrespect to the other fine repair sites. And there are a good few. It's just that Walker has come through for me before, and that's why I chose them.

I'm only pissed that I didn't listen to my own experience, and chilled out on the fit until I could assess the practical solutions!



Anyone else have broken stem experiences like this?


Cheers?

RR
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Hermit

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Age : 64
Location : Ascension Parish
Registration date : 2008-04-22

PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:01 pm

At least four of em.  Embarassed 
One cleaning and the rest dropped.
I send em to Mark Tinsky for tenons.
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Fr_Tom

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Location : Diocese of Northern Indiana
Registration date : 2013-05-29

PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:03 pm

I have broken them but all mine have broken because they were in a pocket of some sort and I forgot. I have never broken one with a logo that I cared about, and I have just taken it to the local tobacconist to be sent off somewhere. I would not hesitate to send one to Mike at Walker.
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:37 pm

My first was a Savinelli in my rear pocket. I sat on it. The first two pipes with acrylic stems I ever bought met their fate by accidently dropping on hardwood floors. One was a no-name, the other a Ser Jacopo. I was told by the repair guy (I forget which one) that they must have dropped at just the right angle. I dunno--they snapped like glass, making me a bit leery of plastic, in spite of its advantages. No, I don't have palsy or something. I just am a bit too careless at times, no pun etc.
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monbla256

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Age : 71
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:41 pm

Fr_Tom wrote:
I have broken them but all mine have broken because they were in a pocket of some sort and I forgot. I have never broken one with a logo that I cared about, and I have just taken it to the local tobacconist to be sent off somewhere. I would not hesitate to send one to Mike at Walker.  

THIS and just take this one as one of the lessons you mentioned. No biggy, just bite the bullet, spend the bucks and be done with it! A no brainer  Twisted Evil Twisted Evil 
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Fazby

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Age : 60
Location : Chicago area
Registration date : 2010-04-22

PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:53 pm

Three pipes.  Two due to dropping them (stupid...).  Third twisting the stem to clean it (more stupid).

All three were relatively lucky - only the tenon broke, not the stem. Cheaper fix.
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:00 pm

As a preventive measure, should a piper take sandaper or emory cloth to the mortice of a pipe in which the tenon fits too snugly? I have a couple of pipes that have such a tight connection that I'm reluctant to give them a stem-off cleaning. Haven't broken any, yet, knockknock.
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
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PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:34 pm

KevinM wrote:
As a preventive measure, should a piper take sandaper or emory cloth to the mortice of a pipe in which the tenon fits too snugly? I have a couple of pipes that have such a tight connection that I'm reluctant to give them a stem-off cleaning. Haven't broken any, yet, knockknock.

You might try putting them in the freezer for 15 minutes before attempting the removal. After that, I would concentrate on the tenon, not the mortise. Perhaps a light scraping with a knife? The problem, it seems to me, is getting it uniform. Bear in mind that I don't really know what I'm talking about.
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
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PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:47 pm

Yes, Thanks for reminding me BD! I broken one in a rare pipe of mine but, was lucky enough to be able to replace the tenon myself.

Ya know, if just the tenon is broken off there's no reason why Walker can't just replace the tenon in the stem. I've done it several times myself. Drill it and set a Delrin tenon and cut to fit. If he won't do it, make sure you get the old stem back.........Always!
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huffelpuff

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Age : 47
Location : Laramie, WY
Registration date : 2011-12-10

PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:43 pm

Yup, just before sunrise here today. I took out my Grabow 2003 collectors bent pipe and....well I'll just let the picture say the rest.

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MisterE
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:59 am

I've had a few. I remember a Peterson that hit the floor and the stem snapped. It sucked but it was good in the long run. I hated the P-lip so I had George Dibos make a killer fishtail replacement stem in acrylic. It's now one of my best pipes.

The biggest heartbreaker was plain stupidity on my part. I thought I'd try putting a different stem in a patent Dunhill. It almost fit, so I gave it one more twist....

You guessed it. Broken shank.  Neutral

That was long before I stole the napkins from Starbucks. Karma had absolutely nothing to do with that one, Cart.  Evil or Very Mad

_________________
Many of the greatest pleasures in life are illegal, immoral, or smelly.

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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
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PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:10 am

Sorry to hear that BrewDude Sir. I'd be a tad upset too. Hope your boy pulls through for you...
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
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PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:21 am

huffelpuff wrote:
Yup, just before sunrise here today. I took out my Grabow 2003 collectors bent pipe and....well I'll just let the picture say the rest.


Ouch! New stem time sir. 5)
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Brewdude

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Location : Near the Emerald city
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PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:26 pm

Cartaphilus wrote:
Yes, Thanks for reminding me BD! I broken one in a rare pipe of mine but, was lucky enough to be able to replace the tenon myself.

Ya know, if just the tenon is broken off there's no reason why Walker can't just replace the tenon in the stem. I've done it several times myself. Drill it and set a Delrin tenon and cut to fit. If he won't do it, make sure you get the old stem back.........Always!

No Ron, this was just above the "J" logo. So about 1" from where it joins the shank.

Walker's site says he can fix broken Lucite stems. So I asked him to fashion me a new one as well as repair the existing one, if that's possible.



Cheers,

RR
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
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PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:56 pm

Brewdude wrote:
Cartaphilus wrote:
Yes, Thanks for reminding me BD! I broken one in a rare pipe of mine but, was lucky enough to be able to replace the tenon myself.

Ya know, if just the tenon is broken off there's no reason why Walker can't just replace the tenon in the stem. I've done it several times myself. Drill it and set a Delrin tenon and cut to fit. If he won't do it, make sure you get the old stem back.........Always!

No Ron, this was just above the "J" logo. So about 1" from where it joins the shank.

Walker's site says he can fix broken Lucite stems. So I asked him to fashion me a new one as well as repair the existing one, if that's possible.



Cheers,

RR

Oh Gees! I just assumed it was at the tenon, hope he can fix it.
You guys need to be more careful, it takes a bit to snap one above the tenon.
I never put one of mine in a pants pocket, I'm too dadburn forgetful. 5) 
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MichaelM

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Age : 51
Location : Souderton, PA
Registration date : 2014-02-13

PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:05 pm

Up until a few days ago I was in the "never broke a pipe club.". Tragedy struck last Wednesday when I dropped one of my favorite smokers on a hardwood floor.  I wish the stem broke, but it landed on the stem and the shank broke cleanly in half.  It was a cheap no name calabash shaped briar, pitted and ugly as sin, but had been a friend for almost 25 years.  I may try a repair with a stainless steel insert.  
No matter how careful we are, accidents happen.  I'm glad your getting a repair Brewdude.
Mike.
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Brewdude

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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
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PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:29 pm

MichaelM wrote:
Up until a few days ago I was in the "never broke a pipe club.". Tragedy struck last Wednesday when I dropped one of my favorite smokers on a hardwood floor.  I wish the stem broke, but it landed on the stem and the shank broke cleanly in half.  It was a cheap no name calabash shaped briar, pitted and ugly as sin, but had been a friend for almost 25 years.  I may try a repair with a stainless steel insert.  
No matter how careful we are, accidents happen.  I'm glad your getting a repair Brewdude.
Mike.

Sorry to hear of you loss Mike. 25 yrs is a long time, no matter what the cosmetic condition. Hope you can repair it to your satisfaction.


Cheers,

RR
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BriarFox

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Location : Wyoming
Registration date : 2013-10-11

PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:20 pm

I read that the stem should always be twisted/rotated out or back in so that is what I do. There is a better chance of breaking the stem/tenon is you just pull it out or push it straight back in. Made sense to me so that's what I do.

My first pipe was a cheapo straight apple Medico pipe. The first day I got it I dropped the pipe and dinged up the bowl. A few months later I noticed a very small crack in the shank. It snapped in half with just a little force.
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
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PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:07 pm

So, only the tenon is broke on the stem? If so, I'd have someone put in a Delrin tenon insert. It's fairly simple for a repair person. I've seen Ronnie B's Delrin tenon work (Nightowl Pipe Works) and it is impressive.
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:19 pm

Richard Burley wrote:
KevinM wrote:
As a preventive measure, should a piper take sandaper or emory cloth to the mortice of a pipe in which the tenon fits too snugly? I have a couple of pipes that have such a tight connection that I'm reluctant to give them a stem-off cleaning. Haven't broken any, yet, knockknock.

You might try putting them in the freezer for 15 minutes before attempting the removal.  After that, I would concentrate on the tenon, not the mortise.  Perhaps a light scraping with a knife?  The problem, it seems to me, is getting it uniform.  Bear in mind that I don't really know what I'm talking about.  

Richard B. -- Haha, appreciate the honesty, but what the heck. My reluctance to get after the tenon is, on many of my pipes, I've noticed that the tenon has very fine ridges where it contacts the mortise. They are too small and not positioned to act as screws. I think (guess?) (imagine??) that the intent is to decrease grip between tenon and mortise. (Kind of like "sharkskin" fly lines that "shoot" farther, because they aren't perfectly smooth, so there's less friction going through the guides.) I've thought that skinning off these fine ridges from the tenon might complicate the guesstimate of how much to take off. Thanks for the idea about the freezer; that might be just enough to loosen 'er up for stem-off cleaning.

P.S. Re: nomenclature -- The tenon is the "male" end of the mouthpiece that fits into the "female" end of the shank. Yes?
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:52 pm

riff raff wrote:
So, only the tenon is broke on the stem? If so, I'd have someone put in a Delrin tenon insert. It's fairly simple for a repair person. I've seen Ronnie B's Delrin tenon work (Nightowl Pipe Works) and it is impressive.

Al, FYI-

Brewdude wrote:
Cartaphilus wrote:
Yes, Thanks for reminding me BD! I broken one in a rare pipe of mine but, was lucky enough to be able to replace the tenon myself.

Ya know, if just the tenon is broken off there's no reason why Walker can't just replace the tenon in the stem. I've done it several times myself. Drill it and set a Delrin tenon and cut to fit. If he won't do it, make sure you get the old stem back.........Always!

No Ron, this was just above the "J" logo. So about 1" from where it joins the shank.

Walker's site says he can fix broken Lucite stems. So I asked him to fashion me a new one as well as repair the existing one, if that's possible.



Cheers,

RR
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
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PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:05 pm

KevinM wrote:
My reluctance to get after the tenon is, on many of my pipes, I've noticed that the  tenon has very fine ridges where it contacts the mortise. They are too small and not positioned to act as screws. I think (guess?) (imagine??) that the intent is to decrease grip between tenon and mortise. (Kind of like "sharkskin" fly lines that "shoot" farther, because they aren't perfectly smooth, so there's less friction going through the guides.) I've thought that skinning off these fine ridges from the tenon might complicate the guesstimate of how much to take off. Thanks for the idea about the freezer; that might be just enough to loosen 'er up for stem-off cleaning.

P.S. Re: nomenclature -- The tenon is the "male" end of the mouthpiece that fits into the "female" end of the shank. Yes?

Yep. I don't know what those lines are for, if anything. You may be right, but I always thought they were just from the tenon being turned. I personally wouldn't hesitate to remove them, if I had your problem. Remember, or take note, that if the bit becomes too loose you can always use bee's wax to tighten things up. Works great, and seems to make the fit more tractable on my pipes. Also, if you're interested, PIMO Pipecraft in Vermont sells a tenon cutter, or whatever it's called. Hard to believe there isn't an easy fix for this problem, in any event.
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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:17 pm

The lines have nothing to do with design, they were made by the cutting tool that cut the tenon. Either the tenon was cut too fast making the ridges or there was slop in the tool post or the piece that held the cutter. I have a very old tenon cutter and it does the same, the newer ones don't as much. And if they're cut on a lathe properly they'll be very smooth.
Just the nature of the beast as it was.

Mine is very similar to this new one but without the ring adjustment and my cutter is one piece, not to be confused with the cheapy PIMO's.



Last edited by Cartaphilus on Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:26 pm; edited 3 times in total
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riff raff

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PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:21 pm

Ah, missed that! Post a picture of the broken stem please. Regular Superglue just might work. At this point, what do you have to lose by trying?
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: OK, so who here has broken a stem?   Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:11 am

riff raff wrote:
Ah, missed that!  Post a picture of the broken stem please.  Regular Superglue just might work.  At this point, what do you have to lose by trying?  

Sorry, I don't have a digital camera so cannot post pics. Anyway it's been sent to Mike at Walker.


Cheers,

RR
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