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!