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thedeep



Age : 73
Location : Indiana
Registration date : 2008-09-10

"Stem work?" Empty
PostSubject: "Stem work?"   "Stem work?" EmptySat Sep 17, 2016 7:50 pm

I just got two nice Ruthenbergs in. They were both dirty as heck (filthy) and one has a broken tenon, the other a bite through. The broken tenon will head out to Mark Tinsky's the first of the week. The bite through I will try to patch...as a temporary fix. It will probably end up going to Precision for a new stem. Anyhow, while looking over the pipes...and my other Brian's, I got to thinking about my other pipes and "stem work," My little collection represents about 35 American pipe makers. None of them represent the same level of stem work as Brian's pipes. Apparently, for many pipe makers, you ran a hole through the stem and cut a slot at the end....your "stem work" is done. Some of my pipes are by top name carvers....and the stem work is non-existent (to me). I understand, good stem work takes time...and adds to costs, but most makers just barely make an attempt at doing a quality job on the stem. It's sad. Out of 35 makers, I found three or four that took the time to clean up the airway at the button. The rest did the "minimum requirement." Making an attractive pipe is an art, but...a lot of guys are making nice looking pipes. Instead of a "pipe makers" workshop at Chicago they should do a "stem makers" workshop.
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RDPipes

RDPipes

Age : 66
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

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PostSubject: Re: "Stem work?"   "Stem work?" EmptySat Sep 17, 2016 9:01 pm

A lot of pipe makers even me, take great care in cutting the slot in the bit but, sadly most pipe manufactures even some higher end just cut a slot with a dremel tool and call it G.E. (Good Enough). That's where Craftsman made pipes come into the picture, they focus on detail and maximum smoking pleasure when it comes to making a pipe, not just how pretty they can make it.
There are many out there, ya just gotta look. Wink
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http://rdpipes.briar.club/
Sasquatch

Sasquatch

Location : The Garage
Registration date : 2008-12-14

"Stem work?" Empty
PostSubject: Re: "Stem work?"   "Stem work?" EmptySat Sep 17, 2016 10:32 pm

"Well known" is not the same as "top name". Top name American carvers make top-class, and I mean top class stems. Not gonna name names here on the "a hole with a kinda slot thingy is good enough" but if you look at stems by Herbaugh, Alden, Piersel, Cryder, Gracik, Pohlman, Weaver etc you'll find ridiculously good slotting and smoothness.

There's a few guys, a very few guys, who do things way different - JT Cooke being one. But he just gets to because the truth is, he's super meticulous and totally OCD about how the pipes smoke, so whatever he's doing is "right" for his pipes.

"Stem work?" OcHcClJ
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taharris

taharris

Age : 51
Location : Central Ohio
Registration date : 2011-11-10

"Stem work?" Empty
PostSubject: Re: "Stem work?"   "Stem work?" EmptySun Sep 18, 2016 7:47 am

And the funny thing is that it doesn't really take that much longer once you have a good system down.

And it really improves the mechanics of the pipe.

Todd
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http://www.wix.com/taharris/turningsbytodd
riff raff

riff raff

Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

"Stem work?" Empty
PostSubject: Re: "Stem work?"   "Stem work?" EmptySun Sep 18, 2016 9:19 am

I'm just as particular with my tenon shaping as the button.

I don't have many artisan pipes but I'm quite pleased with my
Ryan Alden
Jack Howell ( don't see many from him these days, any?)
Chris Asteriou
Mickail Kyriazanos
Chris Askwith
Trevor Talbert

This is what I like to see at both ends of the stem, Chris Asteriou's work

"Stem work?" Chris_Asteriou_Author_2015%2010_zps25phhebz
"Stem work?" Chris_Asteriou_Author_2015%2013_zpsdv94ourf
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Sasquatch

Sasquatch

Location : The Garage
Registration date : 2008-12-14

"Stem work?" Empty
PostSubject: Re: "Stem work?"   "Stem work?" EmptySun Sep 18, 2016 9:21 am

Exactly. I would guess I spend 10 minutes after the basic funnel is cut. Get the draw right, smooth everything out, sand and polish.

I din't put you in my list Todd cuz I haven't seen the ass-end of your pipes in person. Very Happy
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riff raff

riff raff

Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

"Stem work?" Empty
PostSubject: Re: "Stem work?"   "Stem work?" EmptySun Sep 18, 2016 9:23 am

Royal Oaks Briars (Kelly Adylott, worked in Micheal Lindners shop). He learned his lessons well.

"Stem work?" Royal_Oak_Briars_Huntsman_20147_zpsa1af53fd
"Stem work?" Royal_Oak_Briars_Huntsman_20148_zps254cb93e
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Richard Burley

Richard Burley

Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

"Stem work?" Empty
PostSubject: Re: "Stem work?"   "Stem work?" EmptySun Sep 18, 2016 10:19 am

Concave buttons, like the one above, are a requirement on any artisan pipe that I'll ever order. Love 'em. Think I have about three pipes with this feature, one a Jesse Jones, courtesy of Sir Kyle Weiss. A really great stem feels completely different from the mass-produced, and will spoil you--the only downside other than cost.

For those who don't already know, the latest issue of Pipes & Tobaccos magazine has what looks like a great featured article on stemmery. I haven't read it yet.
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LL

LL

Location : KCMO
Registration date : 2007-12-29

"Stem work?" Empty
PostSubject: Re: "Stem work?"   "Stem work?" EmptySun Sep 18, 2016 7:09 pm

thedeep wrote:
Instead of a "pipe makers" workshop at Chicago they should do a "stem makers" workshop.

Laughing Laughing Laughing

Stems are always the first casualty when trying to hit pipe "price points." Even the fastest pipe makers go slower when shaping the rubber half. They have to. Pipe stummels are rendered in hundredths of an inch (up to a full millimeter when destined for sandblasting), while stems must be rendered in thousandths.

That said, there absolutely ARE some fantastically good American stem makers. Quite a few, in fact. Without seeing your collection, I'd guess that (by bad luck) the pipe shapes and finishes you like simply aren't made by those guys.

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