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 Travis McGee Pipe Project: Need Advice on Modifying a Pipe

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GrampaGrossbart

GrampaGrossbart

Age : 106
Location : The Mountains
Registration date : 2012-03-28

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PostSubject: Travis McGee Pipe Project: Need Advice on Modifying a Pipe   Travis McGee Pipe Project: Need Advice on Modifying a Pipe EmptyFri Nov 14, 2014 2:00 pm

Hi Brothers and Sisters,

I need the advice of the BoB Hive Mind. Here's my story: my buddy and fellow pipe smoker is a huge fan of the Travis McGee books, by John D. MacDonald. His wife reads them, too, and for Christmas she's trying to give him a pipe based on one McGee puffs in the novel Darker Than Amber. The description of the pipe is as follows:

"...took out the Charatan given to me by a lovely and grateful client with superb taste. The shape is Bell Dublin. It is a straight grain of Coronation quality. Before sending it to me from London she had some small silver numbers inlaid in the heavy part of the bit. 724. The twenty fourth night of a memorable July, a little code which, if her husband Sir Thomas could interpret him, would bring him in search of McGee complete with horsewhip and incipient apoplexy."

She found right style pipe (albeit not a straight grain Coronation!), and now comes the hard part--adding silver numbers to it. She wants their wedding anniversary on there, but I told her I had no freakin' idea if you could actually inlay silver into the vulcanite stem, or if she might be better off adding a silver band with the dare engraved on it.

So that's the question: does anyone know if someone--and especially, who that someone is!--could inlay silver numbers into a stem?

Or is it a much better idea to just have a silver pipe band engraved by a jeweler and then fit it onto the shank?

If we go this route I know I can order a silver band from Pipe Maker's Emporium and figure I can have it engraved locally, but after that would it be a bad idea to try and fit it myself vs sending it off somewhere? Found a tutorial on fixing cracked shanks that made it look fairly easy, but I've not worked much with metal before and this shank ain't cracked, so maybe that changes the process?

Thanks for any help, folks!
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Briar Spirit

Briar Spirit

Age : 50
Location : England UK
Registration date : 2012-08-30

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PostSubject: Re: Travis McGee Pipe Project: Need Advice on Modifying a Pipe   Travis McGee Pipe Project: Need Advice on Modifying a Pipe EmptySat Nov 15, 2014 4:21 am

I couldn't help with sourcing a pipe maker to inlay the stem I'm sorry to say but as time is an issue I would suggest going with the band and getting it engraved at a jewellers. It'll be worth paying a little extra by going to a reputable jewellers who are able to engrave well, too many engravers do shallow and rather shoddy work, tending to look more like scratching as opposed to engraving. You can get a band tool specifically designed for pushing bands onto the shank, you can source one here: http://www.pipemakers.org/tools02.html
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Thomas Tkach

Thomas Tkach

Age : 32
Location : North Dakota
Registration date : 2010-11-24

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PostSubject: Re: Travis McGee Pipe Project: Need Advice on Modifying a Pipe   Travis McGee Pipe Project: Need Advice on Modifying a Pipe EmptySat Nov 15, 2014 3:24 pm

I think I heard that Chris Askwith was a silversmith or something before making pipes. If that's true, he'd probably be the one to ask. I imagine that making some numbers just like the GBD sort of brass stem inlays wouldn't be that hard. Maybe ask a knowledgeable repairman who copies stems, logos and all how this might be done. It doesn't seem like it'd be that hard if you got the right person to do it. Perhaps ask or search over at www.pipemakersforum.com . Good luck!
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GrampaGrossbart

GrampaGrossbart

Age : 106
Location : The Mountains
Registration date : 2012-03-28

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PostSubject: Re: Travis McGee Pipe Project: Need Advice on Modifying a Pipe   Travis McGee Pipe Project: Need Advice on Modifying a Pipe EmptySat Nov 15, 2014 7:20 pm

Thanks a lot, fellahs, I really appreciate the advice! Will report back--with pics!--once we've got it figured out and completed, but for now I'll be making some emails...
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