Polishing and Buffing

Brothers of Briar

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I don't think I'm going to go nuts with this, but for the future, what is your Oxyclean recipe?
When I do use oxyclean I'll use 1/3 of the measuring spoon that comes with the container to a 1/2 to 3/4 quart of hot tap water in a big plastic cup. Stir for about 1 minute. I also put vaseline on the tenon to help keep the stem from becoming loose. When I do a light clean the stem is in there for 30 minutes. Heavy clean about 4 hours or till following day.
Thanks again, Niblick.

I had a little mishap today with a pipe in my regular rotation, one of the few others with a vulcanite stem. I had to wash it with soap and water, which raised a very slight bit of oxidation. Rather than fart around, I used the toothpaste I have sitting near my pipe rack. I tell you, it worked nicely enough. Turned the rag brown as it adequately removed the oxidation. Reapplied Halcyon II Wax for a shine and layer of protection, and done, it was. I'm still going to try magic eraser with the double comfort, though.

I found this tidbit at pipesmagazine, user Wilson:
"With a magic eraser you can remove oxidation (it is, if I remember correctly, roughly the equivalent of 1500 grit sandpaper or 4000 grit micromesh)..."
I've used the Magic Eraser and it works well enough. But be prepared to do a lot of rubbing depending on how deep the oxidation is. And make sure to let the stem dry completely before you call it good, as when it's still wet from the Magic Eraser it can mask any oxidation remaining.


This could very well be in a Charatan thread. I don't know why I didn't think about this before now, but eh, the obvious sometimes eludes us (or at least, it does me). My second or third pipe (I'd have to check my manifest) was a Charatan X-out with double comfort stem. I handled quite a few brand new Charatans around that time. While the stems were black and new with a glare, they did not have a glassy, glossy shine. Matter of fact, they had a perpendicular quasi-brushed finish across the vulcanite; almost like a matte look. You weren't going to check your teeth for lunch residuals with them. Dunhills were a lot shinier. If you're in search of that like-new look, it's something to keep in mind with Charatans.
RE: estate pipes with lucite stems. Do you folks sand down and fully refurbish your estate lucite stems? Unless a notable scratch or tooth mark, I don't understand why someone would run a lucite stem through a sanding, buffing, etc. I'm more of an Italian pipe type, so I've had maybe 100-150 pipes with lucite stems. I always wash, scrub, and then sanitize with alcohol. Working a bristled pipe cleaner or three through the stem as I go through the process as many times as necessary to feel comfortable with the cleaning. It's the idea of automatically running the stem through a micromesh set, for instance, that has me scratching my head. Why? The first thing that comes to mind is: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
It depends more on the repair to the lucite stem for me. For deeper tooth chatter that get filled with clear glue I sand down the overfilled area with 400 grit 1000 grit. Next step is 1500 wet micromesh to the repair area and I'll just do the rest of the stem to blend it all back together followed by all the higher grits next.
Charatan stem's are more rubbery feeling to me compared to the Dunhill's which feels and sands like more of a graphite. Just different grades of material I guess.
I have a related question, so I'll just post here. And by the way, thanks for the good advice above!

Q: Is there anything about stem oxidation that is harmful to the smoker, or is it just unsightly?
So...brothers in arms (of pipes)... Do any of you use a buffing wheel to polish your pipes, remove oxidation from vulcanite stems etc.? If so, what do you use?

Many thanks
Yes. A two wheel with each wheel 2 inche thick cotton my lathe. First wheel on left has pumice. Right side red or Rottenston. Next wheel left white polish. Right side carnubu wax. On the lathe keep it around 1750 or less RPM. Buffed for 50 years on this set-up.
I have a related question, so I'll just post here. And by the way, thanks for the good advice above!

Q: Is there anything about stem oxidation that is harmful to the smoker, or is it just unsightly?
IMHO unsightly and depending on how bad the oxidation (at least in my experience) it can affect the taste while smoking. Not so much the flavor of the blend but more the taste of the stem against your lips.