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 My first pipe repair

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d4klutz

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Age : 41
Location : Gilmer, TX
Registration date : 2014-01-23

PostSubject: My first pipe repair   Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:32 pm

So, I was cleaning a GBD Perspex stem today and realized that if I put one end of the bristle pipe cleaner in a drill, that I could get the bristles cleaning the gunk out alot easier.  So, I did that and it worked really really well after soaking the stem in some alcohol.

Well, I figured if it worked on that stem, it would work on some others.  I was merrily cleaning along, when I grabbed the stem from my beloved BSP pocket pipe, and proceeded to clean when the cleaner got stuck and twisted off.  I tried to get it out, but it was really stuck in the bend of the vulcanite stem.  I tried everything I could imagine, but when I thought I had it, it would break off even worse.  Now, the stem is unuseable.  If I had thought about it (braindead me) I would have heated the bit out and straightened it and tried shoving it out again.  Instead i tried using a tiny drill bit to reach in there, and ended up cracking the bit.  I was really pissed by this time because I did something stupid and now one of my favorite pipes was without a vulcanite stem.  But, I was down and not defeated.  I started going through my pipes looking for a similar stem, when I found one that had a slightly larger diameter tenon.  It was ebay , no-name, basket pipe that was a horrible smoker, and one that was just taking up space.  So, I decided to try using this stem to replace the one I stupidly broke.  They were about the same length.  
So, I grabbed some sandpaper (400 grit) and started sanding down the tenon until it fit snugly in the pocket pipe.  
Step 1: success!  
I then (using a drill bit and drill) opened up the airway in the tenon and as far as I could in the stem.  Step 2:  success!  
I then smoked a bowl to see how the new stem got along with the pocket pipe BEFORE I did any shaping on the stem. They worked very well together with no gurgle, and a comfortable bit. Step 3: Success!    

Now, onto the shaping.  The stem looked like this: Number #385, but where the cylinder next to the tenon was much bigger than the shank of the pipe.


I should have taken a picture, but daylight was a wastin'.

So, I pulled out my harbor freight bench top belt sander, and went to town on the bit.  I got it as close as I could to the shank shape, and then used a 3000 grit belt to work out all the deep scratches and smooth out the curves.  It was ok, but didn't quite look as good as I thought it should.
Step 4:  Partial success

I then pulled out a pack of sandpaper and started with 400 grit and worked my way up to 1200 grit.  Unfortunately, during this time, I accidentally sanded away some of the finish on the shank of the pipe.  And I dont have any matching stain.  I went ahead and sanded stem and shank so that they matched up and were smooth across the joint as they should be.  When I was done, the stem and pipe looked like they were meant to be.
Step 5: Success!

However, I now had a problem of the shank missing some finish, so, I sanded the whole pipe with 600 to 1200 grit sandpaper so that I left the stained grain, but brought the lighter portions out to where I could darken them up with a homemade stain.  So, I got to thinking about what I could use as a nice brown stain, when I was brewing a cup of coffee.  I literally held my answer in my hands.  So, I soaked a rag with coffee and used it to add a light brown stain just to darken up the pipe a tiny bit.  A few minutes later, and I had the darkness I wanted.
Step 6: Success.  

After my coffee stain dried, I then used some of my Paragon wax and waxed the heck out of the pipe.  I did 3 coats of wax, letting it dry and then buffing before adding the next coat of wax.  
Step 7: success

I am please with the results, I know it could be better.  I wish I had a before picture, maybe Kirk has one.  But now, I shall show you the after pictures.  I have one of my favorite pipes back, and it smokes just as good as before.  I am happy :smoking2:





I do not have a buffing wheel, so the shiny is not as good as I wanted, but I feel that hand buffing after 1200 grit sandpaper works almost as well Smile  I would like the stain a tad bit darker, but I think after some smoking, this will color some.  I may revisit it someday with a slightly darker stain.  But for now, I have my pipe back, and I am very happy.
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Fumus

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Location : Deep in the brush and trees of the PNW where the h
Registration date : 2014-11-24

PostSubject: Re: My first pipe repair   Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:56 pm

Very cool post d4. Never would have thought about coffee as wood stain. Looks good though. Sadly, breaking things I'm in process of fixing at times seems like SOP for me. I especially like the fact that you persevered and had success at the end of the day. Thanks for posting.
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RDPipes

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Age : 64
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: My first pipe repair   Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:15 am

Looks pretty good JP, get yourself some Fiebing's alcohol base leather dye, it comes in many colors and is what's used by a lot of pipe makers to stain pipes. Don't get the oil based or water base, make sure it alcohol base. It's inexpensive, about $4 - $5 for a small bottle. Wink
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DrumsAndBeer

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Age : 46
Location : Northern, CA
Registration date : 2012-04-04

PostSubject: Re: My first pipe repair   Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:50 am

Nice repair JP. I think the results are quite nice. Kudos.
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Stick

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Age : 48
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: My first pipe repair   Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:27 am

Shame about the breakage JP, especially on one of our BSPs. You must have felt awful. Great repair though! She looks good to go! Nicely done!
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d4klutz

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Age : 41
Location : Gilmer, TX
Registration date : 2014-01-23

PostSubject: Re: My first pipe repair   Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:33 am

Thankfully, it was just a stem and I had a replacement. The breakage was my fault 100% as a I was trying something new, and hadn't thought it all the way through. LOL. But, it turned out well! I smoked a bowl in it last night and was very happy that it smoked just as good. I need to sand the tenon down just a tad more, as it is just a tad bit tight even when the pipe is cold.
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RobJ

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Location : Mukilteo, Washington USA
Registration date : 2014-07-07

PostSubject: Re: My first pipe repair   Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:55 pm

Very nice repair work D4. I aspire to be that handy but alas I'd screw it up even worse I'm sure so I leave serious stuff like that to the pros.

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Brewdude
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Age : 65
Location : Arid-zona
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: My first pipe repair   Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Nicely done JP. Looks like you were real thorough too. Good to see it's back in service again.


Cheers,

RR

_________________
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 54
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: My first pipe repair   Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:48 pm

Repairs are always harder to accomplish than full builds. Credit yourself for a job well done!
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kaitlyn3837

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Registration date : 2013-05-14

PostSubject: Re: My first pipe repair   Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:39 am

Cartaphilus wrote:
Looks pretty good JP, get yourself some Fiebing's alcohol base leather dye, it comes in many colors and is what's used by a lot of pipe makers to stain pipes. Don't get the oil based or water base, make sure it alcohol base. It's inexpensive, about $4 - $5 for a small bottle. Wink

Yes! This works well! Also, another way to stain pipes or fix patches on a pipe is with sharpie. If it's just a spot on the outside, just dab a brown sharpie to it real quick (not a lot) and then buff. If it is a difficult color to achieve, then you can also use red and orange to achieve the right tone. If there is a lot of pipe to cover with stain, like yours, you can actually pull off the top of the sharpie, pull out the tube, drip a couple of drops into a small amount of isopropyl alcohol and it becomes a stain! Then you can mix brown, red, and orange to make whatever tone you want.

I wouldn't suggest any of this for that beautiful pipe though! I really like the color it is now. I have a bit of a "thing" for more natural tones ever since I took of the stain of a pipe last summer. I was like "Wow! This is incredibly beautiful and they just cover it up with gunk!" Haha, it was eye-opening for me.

Great job on that stem repair! I'm sorry you got frustrated and angry, but that is an interesting idea for the cleaners and the drill. Will you be doing that again to clean your pipes? Or has this experience turned you away from it?
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d4klutz

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Age : 41
Location : Gilmer, TX
Registration date : 2014-01-23

PostSubject: Re: My first pipe repair   Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:58 am

I will be leaving the pipe the color it is now. It will color with time and smoking.

As far as cleaner and drill, I will use that, but only if I can get a cleaner through first by hand and spin it freely. The one thing that you have to be careful about though is making it spin too fast. If the cleaner catches, it can twist the cleaner so that it gets caught in the stem. Most stems should be ok, there are a few stems that only take very thin cleaners, like the falcons. I would never try it on a falcon stem.
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