Something a little different a post on salvaging a very scarce Missouri Meerschaum Monogram grade corn cob pipe.
I use different techniques depending on what needs to be done. MM uses Elmers Glue to mount the shank to the bowl and as often is the case it can fail. They also use plaster of Paris for filling voids on the outside of the cob bowl and as is this case it can fall out.
For the bowl in repairing missing plaster I use a natural wood glue which is light in color and takes to coloring letting me know it breathed well, been usuing it for years with great success having one cob get to 15 y/o until I dropped it and a truck ran it over
the next oldest is now 8 years old and smokes great.
The MM Monogram was an undertaking I wasn't sure I could pull off but I gave it my best shot.
You will see the severity of what I'm saying in some of the photos with the worst being where the shank is glued to the bowl there was a huge separation right at the bowl with heavy cracking in several directions so I tackled this first.
I first checked with a flashlight and needle to see if it was a complete opening and thankful it was not complete but portions of it were totally open. I mixed some of the cob dust with Elmers and laid a foundation inside then allowed this to dry before going to step two.
Step two entails attacking all of the cracks at a time and again the photos will bear the extent of cracks there were to repair. The worst cracks were attended to first using needles to hold the crack open I laid a foundation bead of Gorilla brand Super Glue Gel, this dries very strong and have passed this information on to a couple of pipe makers who have had the bamboo shank separate from the bowl they did not use tubing so I sent some Dunhill Innertubes and a bottle of the Gorilla Glue I use.
I normally use some sort of clamp, a wooden spring action clothes pin works then I C-clamp the outside of the clothes pin. As I said the cracks were so extensive any thoughts on using a clamp were out of the question so I simply set it aside to dry for twelve hours.
Now I had a step three which I have never used so here we go. Once again the Gorilla Glue was used and a thin bamboo skewer was used to guide the glue into any voids, once this was done a wooden flat coffee stirrer was used to spread a thin outside topping layer of the gel, sort of like a gel coat.
Allowed to dry overnight it is workable but complete cure takes 72 hours. I took care of two drips and an overrun using the bamboo skewer since it was not completely hardened it was easily done. I then gave it the leak test by completely covering the bowl and blowing through the stem allowing my free hand to feel for leaking but with the pressure on my hand I could tell there weren't any. I next drew in through the stem and could feel the skin being sucked into the bowl, SUCCESS!!!
I decided to fill it up and give it a test smoke, the inside of the bowl needs to be reamed but with the condition of everything I did not want to add stress to an already compromised unit so once it is totally cured I'll add thre more days for good measure then ream the bowl. All in all a lot of time spent and the gel isn't cheap but it will last a long time. The outside of the shank is shiny and looks like varnish, this gel is sandable allowing for a dull or matte finish and it is paintable just for information purposes I won't be painting it but will consider sanding it.
Hope this was informative and even though it is a lot of work for a corn cob there were never a lot of Monogram grade MM made so salvaging this one makes me happy since that first smoke was memorable, keep it smokey.