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 Melting a Stem During a Refurb!!

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ontariopiper

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Age : 46
Location : Kitchener, Ontario CANADA
Registration date : 2015-03-10

PostSubject: Melting a Stem During a Refurb!!   Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:28 pm

Hi folks,

Just in case you're not getting tired of my refurb posts yet, here's another one! This one was kind of stressful, as when I started cleaning the stem on this Willard Imported Briar, the alcohol on the pipe cleaner started melting the stem!

Full write-up on my blog at DadsPipes for those that want the full story.

The short version is: Nylon/Rubber stems don't like alcohol! Vinegar is a good alternative for cleaning the airways on these tricky beggars.

The pipe came out looking fine in the end, but I'm sure I have more grey hair than I did before starting this one. Shocked Laughing 5)

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

PostSubject: Re: Melting a Stem During a Refurb!!   Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:05 pm

That's another fine job by golly, and no mistake. Well done sir!

Cool 


Cheers,

RR

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


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RobJ

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

PostSubject: Re: Melting a Stem During a Refurb!!   Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:37 pm

Another very well done refurb. Congrats!

Thanks for the info on alcohol and certain stem materials. I have a couple of Kaywoodies from the '70s that have strange rubbery feeling stems and I'm thinking this might apply to them.

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ontariopiper

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Age : 46
Location : Kitchener, Ontario CANADA
Registration date : 2015-03-10

PostSubject: Re: Melting a Stem During a Refurb!!   Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:46 pm

RobJ wrote:
Another very well done refurb. Congrats!

Thanks for the info on alcohol and certain stem materials. I have a couple of Kaywoodies from the '70s that have strange rubbery feeling stems and I'm thinking this might apply to them.


Happy to share, RJ. Very Happy

My default cleaner for pipes is alcohol, as it is for many of us, whether we choose Everclear, whiskey, vodka or isopropyl alcohol. It certainly was a shock to the system to see a stem react like this one did. I hope posting the info may help avoid one or two of these encounters.

Your Kaywoodie stems certainly sound a bit suspect. The stem on my Willard is very flexible compared to vulcanite - easily flexed between the hands if you try. It also sands and polishes differently than vulcanite. Not necessarily badly, but just differently.

Since posting the Willard writeup on my blog, I've found an old Kaywoodie 500 in my refurb box that definitely has me wondering. I didn't push my luck when cleaning it - I reached straight for the white vinegar instead of the alcohol, just in case. Wink

Other than the stem, the Willard cleaned right up rather easily. Same applies so far to the Kaywoodie, too, although the already worn stampings are pretty much gone after taking the old lacquer coat off that one. Oh well. It's gonna be a shop/yard/fishing pipe anyway. Very Happy
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kaitlyn3837

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Registration date : 2013-05-14

PostSubject: Re: Melting a Stem During a Refurb!!   Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:23 am

I usually roll with Vodka on cleaning all my stems and bowls. Never had a problem with any of the stem material but I will definitely keep a closer eye on it now!

Side note: Isopropyl Alcohol will remove the stain from a bowl FAST. I used to use it as an alternative to vodka but some dribbled over the side of one of my bowls and I haven't used it since!

Also, did you know that Willards have the same Adjustomatic feature that Dr. Grabows have?! I didn't know until one of my pipe refurbishing buddies showed me. I love when I don't have to use a heat gun to adjust a tenon LOL.
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kaitlyn3837

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Registration date : 2013-05-14

PostSubject: Re: Melting a Stem During a Refurb!!   Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:26 am

I checked out your blog post and it's very good! I don't know if you have access to one, but if you can get your hands on a heat gun, it would straighten that stem right out. I see from the bottom/top pictures that it has a little wiggle to the left and the right.

Just a suggestion if you get the chance to try it out!
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ontariopiper

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Age : 46
Location : Kitchener, Ontario CANADA
Registration date : 2015-03-10

PostSubject: Re: Melting a Stem During a Refurb!!   Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:13 am

kaitlyn3837 wrote:
I checked out your blog post and it's very good! I don't know if you have access to one, but if you can get your hands on a heat gun, it would straighten that stem right out. I see from the bottom/top pictures that it has a little wiggle to the left and the right.

Just a suggestion if you get the chance to try it out!

Thanks Kaitlyn. Glad you liked the blog. I haven't been refurbing very long, so I'm always glad to hear I'm on the right track!

I didn't know about the Willard Adjustomatic stem, though it explains a few things Very Happy

Interesting also to hear that you have been able to use vodka on a nylon stem without mishap. Perhaps it's the strength that matters? Vodka is usually around 40% alcohol per volume, while I've been using 99% isopropyl. May be worth a test to clarify the issue.

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alsmith52

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Age : 66
Location : Deming, NM
Registration date : 2015-05-31

PostSubject: Re: Melting a Stem During a Refurb!!   Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:11 pm

Willard bits are notorious for being soft. They will melt if you try to buff them too hard also.
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AJ

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Age : 69
Location : East of the Rocky Mountains
Registration date : 2012-03-18

PostSubject: Re: Melting a Stem During a Refurb!!   Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:40 am

Charles that's a great refurb job. I bet that pipe didn't look that good when it was new. Smile

AJ
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ontariopiper

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Age : 46
Location : Kitchener, Ontario CANADA
Registration date : 2015-03-10

PostSubject: Re: Melting a Stem During a Refurb!!   Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:54 am

ajn27511 wrote:
Charles that's a great refurb job. I bet that pipe didn't look that good when it was new. Smile

AJ

Thanks AJ! I'm impressed with the quality of briar hiding under rhick lacquer on these "cheap" pipes. Seems crazy to have covered up grain like this one. All I did really was clean the pipe up and let the grain show. :-)
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Sid.Stavros

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Location : Athens-Greece
Registration date : 2015-08-05

PostSubject: Re: Melting a Stem During a Refurb!!   Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:35 am

ontariopiper wrote:
.

The pipe came out looking fine in the end,

Congratulations! Now is far more attractive. Wink
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juanmedusa

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Age : 37
Location : Falls Church, Virginia
Registration date : 2013-07-06

PostSubject: Re: Melting a Stem During a Refurb!!   Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:39 pm

Another job well done. I'm disappointed I was missing these posts.
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