GBD Stem Oxidation

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RDPipes

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fishfly":vg7pveca said:
riff raff":vg7pveca said:
The brass GBD stem rondell is pretty durable - but don't sand directly on it.  
How do you deal with the "non-brass"  (i. e. painted) GBD Logo on a vulcanite stem?

Dare you use an Oxi-clean soak with those?
Anytime dealing with a painted logo and soaking it in any solution you should cover it with a dab of Vaseline, although I have seen where this doesn't always protect it enough. I to be on the safe side won't soak one like this and just carefully and meticulously sand around it. And do the same when buffing. Sometimes we just have to deal with the little left of oxidation to save a in-replacable logo on a rare or valuable pipe. I have in the past when the logo's are stamped deep enough save them by masking it off and repainting it. Then block sand it with 2000 to bring it up again and buff lightly by hand over the logo. ;)
 

Kyle Weiss

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Cartaphilus":s6oi8da9 said:
They must have something REAL special in it to keep you from rounding off the button too, right? :fpalm: :lol!:
Yeah, it would seem so.  87 years they've been in business, and they're who taught me the process.   It's a similar process most professional pipe shops use.  

It shocks most people when they discover church bell foundries use cow, donkey and horse dung to make their bells, and they discuss and argue the traditional methods frequently--it's a productive way of talking sh*t, in other words.   ;)

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Kyle Weiss

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Here's another tip for the acid-mouthed fellers: scotch tape just behind the button. You might have to replace it now and again, but a single layer of the stuff cuts back on teeth marks and oxidation. If that doesn't work, electrical shrink wrap (black probably would look nicest) can cover anything from tooth holes/divots to creating a similar barrier.

I think the meat of the matter is, use what works best with what is available.

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RDPipes

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Kyle Weiss":7id2qx6n said:
Cartaphilus":7id2qx6n said:
They must have something REAL special in it to keep you from rounding off the button too, right? :fpalm: :lol!:
Yeah, it would seem so.  87 years they've been in business, and they're who taught me the process.   It's a similar process most professional pipe shops use.  

It shocks most people when they discover church bell foundries use cow, donkey and horse dung to make their bells, and they discuss and argue the traditional methods frequently--it's a productive way of talking sh*t, in other words.   ;)

8)
You use the dung also I see, If only you really knew what your talking about. :scratch:
And to add, I don't know how many pipes have come across my bench that were polished by the so called professional that the numerical's and logos were polished half away and the stem buttons were rounded over. Anyone that has done repair and restorations of pipes of any magnitude can tell you the same thing. Ya can't get oxidation out from behind the button properly with a buffer, the buffer is used to polish it.
 

Kyle Weiss

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If you cut back on the hyperbole and assumptions, we're at the same conclusion, champ.   I'll try walk you through this again with a little more detail--

No one with a knowledge of tools would use (or assume to use) a buffing wheel for an entire whole process of anything.   I find that it's helpful to make no guesses as to someones knowledge or ability until proven otherwise.   Some guys, though, they can't read between the lines, so they need it spelled out for them.   I get that.  

Case in point, I too use files, blocks, sandpaper, steel wool, etc. etc. etc., as they should be a part of anyone's arsenal if they're going to restore pipes properly...but of course, you already know that, right?  I want to make sure you're still with me.  I don't use only a buffing wheel.

A buffing wheel is capable of taking out 80% of the hard work on highly-oxidized vulcanite stems with the right compound.  That compound is known as "pipe rouge" as I know it, otherwise it's a mixture of essentially a 400 - 500 grit, resins and waxes.  Its sole purpose in this instance is carefully removing a very thin layer of oxidation on vulcanite material at around 1500 - 2000 rounds-per-minute used in conjunction with an 8-inch cotton buffing pad.   It does this job efficiently and quickly.  An adept hand and mindfulness is helpful.  It also works wonders if you haven't the time to spend an hour and a half on one pipe stem or have arthritic hands.  Afterward, you break out the sandpaper (if needed), files, and further polishing wheels and compounds.  Avoiding or covering logos and being aware sharp edges is part of the process.   Professionals, the kind that know what they are doing, taught me this, too.   For me, it's the old guys who've been doing this longer than you've been alive, Cart, as they instruct me--my apologies if I somehow alluded they were clueless, and me in their wake of idiocy.

Buttons on old pipes most often get rounded by people's teeth--which can and should be re-squared quite easily, i.e., not with a buffing wheel (being thorough, here). Though even then, the wear of teeth can be too close to the airway, especially just behind the button, so some guys (like myself) opt to have a rounded button over having a hole in the stem, or nearly so.   Pragmatism and observation. 

Please, continue to argue and call me out on this, meanwhile, I'm merely conveying if it works for you, keep doing it  (that, and one final time, a buffer is not the only tool for keeping pipes looking nice).  I haven't one complaint or disappointed person whose pipe I've restored or one I've sold yet.  Pipes don't take a genius to spiff-up correctly, Cart, but please, pat your own back and waste words if that's part of your bench technique.  


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RDPipes

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You implied that sanding to take the oxidation off was not the way to do it properly, now you try and turn the table and say you agree. I'm sure others can see this as well as I have.
I'm sure there are dozens out there wouldn't care about rounded over buttons and faded numerical's. But, I and many prefer our pipes to be restored and not damaged and devalued.
End of conversation. ;)
 

Kyle Weiss

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Catching implications ain't your strong suit, cowboy.

Lock the thread if this conversation is ended, Mr. Moderator. :heart:

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riff raff

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Kyle Weiss":8n8occgh said:
I've restored around 100 pipes and I can go from green to mirror-black on the worst  case pipes with a buffng wheel.   It's all about a special compound I get from my Tinder Box.   It most certainly can be done.
It sounds like we have gotten you riled up a bit. No one is calling you out or saying you don't do good work, etc. From the initial statement, above, it sounded like to me and apparently Cart, that you only used a buffing wheel. That sounded improbable, and prompted my comment. From your further explanation, it appears that you basically use the same techniques as we do. With the exception of starting with the wheel vs. papers.

I will investigate getting a heavier rouge, and hope perhaps you can come up with a name? I typically don't use anything heavier than Tripoli, which is approximately 900 grit. (unfortunately there is no standardization of polishing rouges). While my 53 year old hands can hold and use a small piece of paper, I worry what happens in 10 years or longer. I know my hands/fingers won't be up to that kind of punishment. Perhaps with the heavier grade rouge, you are avoiding the waves I've seen with finer rouges used for removing oxidation.

It's good to have this kind of dialogue and I want to be open to new techniques.
 

Timbo

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Wow. Didn't expect to come back to such a heated debate. As I'm starting off with pipe repair, I've still a few tools and sand paper to get and am going to try on a few lesser pipes before attempting to fix my GBD stem as I'd hate to ruin it's line.

Thanks for all the suggestions fellow BoB.

Also thinking being slightly less OCD about my stems might be good for both me and my pipes. So far the oxidation hasn't affected the taste yet.

Cheers all

Tim
 

riff raff

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Life's too short to argue about pipe repair methods. Results are what counts anyway, there a hundred ways to skin a cat. If I stop and make myself listen, sometimes I'll learn a thing or two! Being a stubborn, knucklehead, "if" is the key...

Timbo":m20q3sxc said:
Wow. Didn't expect to come back to such a heated debate. As I'm starting off with pipe repair, I've still a few tools and sand paper to get and am going to try on a few lesser pipes before attempting to fix my GBD stem as I'd hate to ruin it's line.

Thanks for all the suggestions fellow BoB.

Also thinking being slightly less OCD about my stems might be good for both me and my pipes. So far the oxidation hasn't affected the taste yet.

Cheers all

Tim
 

Kyle Weiss

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riff raff":2g01smxo said:
It sounds like we have gotten you riled up a bit.  No one is calling you out or saying you don't do good work, etc.  From the initial statement, above, it sounded like to me and apparently Cart, that you only used a buffing wheel.  That sounded improbable, and prompted my comment.  From your further explanation, it appears that you basically use the same techniques as we do.   With the exception of starting with the wheel vs. papers.
 

Cart riled me up on his own, you didn't do anything, Al, and he does that kind of thing because he thinks he's someone around here, rather that just another BoB Brother (like you or I).  It happens in forums, guys like playing King of the Mountain...and assume I like playing too, because I'm good with words.   It's also why I (and a lot of guys on here) take periodical breaks, because certain repetitive barking gets a little mind-numbing.   Believe it or not, I'm just here to chill out and talk pipes and leaf, have a little fun, learn something, but not engage in pissing contests, real or perceived.   I won't take any guff, either.  

You acknowledged possibility where the snotty armchair redneck called me out saying I don't know what I'm talking about and rambling on about luck with rounded buttons.   That's calling me out.  

Meanwhile, buffing wheels are a great tool to do basic polishing and general maintenance, again, in the hands of someone who knows tools--yet, they are not so complicated that someone with bit of common sense couldn't make good use of them on a regular basis to keep their pipes in good aesthetic condition.  

I know I do good work.

riff raff":2g01smxo said:
I will investigate getting a heavier rouge, and hope perhaps you can come up with a name?  I typically don't use anything heavier than Tripoli, which is approximately 900 grit.  (unfortunately there is no standardization of polishing rouges).  While my 53 year old hands can hold and use a small piece of paper, I worry what happens in 10 years or longer.  I know my hands/fingers won't be up to that kind of punishment.  Perhaps with the heavier grade rouge, you are avoiding the waves I've seen with finer rouges used for removing oxidation.

It's good to have this kind of dialogue and I want to be open to new techniques.  
Agreed.  Dialogue is fine.   I don't think much of Cart, and him me, that's all good.   I will come out and say it, not weave it in pipe restoration techniques and passive-aggressive nonsense.  

Meanwhile, good luck finding the right compound.   The Tinder Box around here orders it from a guy, I can dig up the source if you like.  I'm not sure what its equivalent is called as a commercially-available product, but it's a lot grittier than Tripoli by a ways.  Hand-sanding is time-consuming and hand-cramping, but a little is necessary now and again.   The bulk of my de-oxidizing won't be dealt with by hand any longer, thank goodness.  

My apologies to the onlooking readers for the messy dialogue.   Hopefully the "discussion" wasn't a total waste.   :lol:

8)
 

riff raff

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I got my start polishing metal and then moved to pipes, many of the same techniques and materials apply to pipes (less aggressive compounds and wheels). I do have a tube of Eastwoods Stainless steel compound. It's for heavy cutting and considerably more aggressive than Tripoli. I may give that a try on some beater stems.
 

KevinM

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The original Q had to do with polishing up an Ebay poker with a peculiar knack for oxidizing before the owner's eyes.

I've got some old pipes that do the same thing, and probably all of us have had the irritating experience of little green dots appearing on stems after a light rain. Where the hell do they come from?

My standard treatment is a bit of sanding followed by application of a wee dab of mineral oil which is thoroughly rubbed into the stem with a fingertip, let dry and then wax. This minimalist treatment will not produce Mercedes Benz black, which would likely require me to acquire hardware. Personally, I don't want the hardware, mostly because I don't want more stuff demanding its own space, collateral what not, and my regular attention. If it were my vocation (or even avocation) to spiff up pipes to the max, I'd have to get more ambitious. But I'm not and get less ambitious every day.

Also, if you have lip balm with sunscreen, apply some to the pipe's bit area before smoking. This will absorb whatever the crud is that accumulates in that area, and you can remove it after smoking with the brisk scraping of your thumbnail. Then polish it a bit. Easy Peezy.

So I guess the answer to the original question is that there are several remedies to this not unusual vulcanite stem problem, and the smoker must choose the one that best aligns with his / her expectations of his / her pipes. Otherwise, we must tend our own gardens.
 

Timbo

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Thanks for the tip about Paragon wax gents, my pipes have never looked so good.

Cheers

Tim
 

Kyle Weiss

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Timbo":wb1ribv6 said:
Thanks for the tip about Paragon wax gents, my pipes have never looked so good.

Cheers

Tim
Glad you're faring out okay, even amongst our antics. :lol:

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Feazelle-n-it

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I've had the best luck going old school. Bleach and a series of micro mesh pads ranging from 1,500 to 12,000 grit. Keeps em black for a long while but it is some work.
 
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