I picked up an Aldo Velani back around 2000 at a J&R for about $20. It was a second, but seemed to be in reasonable shape. When I got it home I discovered a small sandpit in the tobacco chamber, and foolishly thought I could fix that by building cake. Well, after a few months the briar burned through making a hole about 1/16 inch dia through the chamber. A few weeks ago I decided to try and patch the hole with pipe mud. Probably a bad idea, but the pipe has just been wasting away in a shoebox so nothing to lose.
I reamed, cleaned, and patched the bowl, and swabbed the shank and stem with alcohol. I set the two pieces aside leaving them seperated and allowed the mud to set for 2 weeks. I just this evening remembered to check on the pipe, and it seems good, but to my surprise and confusion the stem is now ridiculously loose. So loose that it just falls out of the shank. I did nothing to the shank or stem except run them through with pipe cleaners saturated with alcohol. The best I can figure, the alcohol dried the briar causing the wood to shrink. I dabbed a bit of water in the shank to see if that helps before taking more drastic measures. Anyone ever run into such a thing?