Gap Issue

Brothers of Briar

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Feb 25, 2023
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North Dakota
Hey all, I have a couple pipes were there is a gap between the shank and stem.

How do you get a proper fit and eliminate the gap.

The stem is orginal to the pipe

Thanks for your help!

I've had this issue a couple times. One time it fixed a gurgling pipe. First, be sure there isn't a piece of tobacco or built-up gunk or cake in the mortise. If not, you can very little by very little bit, use a fine file or very fine sandpaper perpendicularly on the tenon tip. Give it a couple swipes and then fit it again. It'll take less than you think, thus faster than you think. You can't put back what you remove, so it's better to go slowly and checking and checking and checking.
For me, it would depend upon the value of the pipe in terms of either money or sentiment. I ruined some really fine pipes by trying to do things myself, even though it seemed easy at the time. That being said, I would most likely send it to a pipe repair person or outfit of some kind and have them do the work if it all possible. With the proper tools it’s a three minute job. Trying to do things by hand, you could destroy a really fine pipe.
Hard to say without seeing it. On the ones I’ve carved I put a slight countersink on the mortise with that concern in mind. Of course Zeno could be right, hard to imagine leaving tenon too long.
The few times I've messed with this problem, I've usually been able to fix it by aggressively cleaning the mortise at the point where the tenon seats.