Stem Polish

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alfredo_buscatti

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I got a pipe with a Cumberland stem whose bit was oxidized. I used Savinelli Stem Polish with bad results. It got the oxidation off but left the stem dull. I started to smoke the pipe but wiping the polish didn't remove all of it; it left a taste in my mouth which rendered that smoke as well as a different pipe's smoke, whose stem had not been polished, bitter. I cleaned the cumberland stem with soap and water which got most of the polish off but still didn't correct the stain problem.

I would like:

1. effective stem cleaning
2. the ability to remove all the polish off the stem
3. no aftertaste

Can you recommend a product?
 

Kyle Weiss

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Obsidian oil? Never tried it, but the Brothers here have said it works ace.

8)
 

Ocelot55

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Kyle Weiss":q019rf1f said:
Obsidian oil? Never tried it, but the Brothers here have said it works ace.

8)
Obsidian oil slows down and prevents the oxidation process. It does not remove oxidation once it is present. Despite all the gimmicks I've found a good buff after a wet sand at 600 grit works the best.
 

bosun1

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Simplest product is cheap (abrasive) tooth paste. Cheap stuff - - not one of the gels. That and some elbow grease (g)..
 

sisyphus

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magic eraser then olive oil afterward, then invest in a bench buffer
 

MisterE

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Toothpaste works pretty well if all you have are household items. It takes a bit of polishing but it'll do the trick. Also rinses of nicely with water with no aftertaste. Just be sure to run a cleaner through it when rinsing to get any that found it's way in there.
 

KevinM

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I bumble around with the green stem problem and do not have a bench polisher, which maybe I should, but I don't. So currently my best "cure" for vulcanite stem oxidation is this --

I have a few small sanding pads from a paint store. One side is light abrasive, the other is spongy. They're flexible, can be wrapped around a dowel, and they can be used wet or dry. After wet sanding, I dry the mouthpiece and it will look scratched and dull. Remain calm. Then I take just the slightest dab of mineral oil on my fingertip and rub it into the mouthpiece. Next I run a pipe cleaner through the mouthpiece, bend a little hook into each end and hang it on something handy to dry. After a few hours, the bit will look glossy and black. Nonetheless, I wipe off the excess mineral oil, which dulls it a bit, and polish with Brebbia or whatever is handy, including pipe bowl polish or sunscreen Chapstick. Repeat the polishing and, over time, your stems will look pretty spiffy, though not quite Mercedes Benz Black.

I'm wondering if Obsidian Oil is the same thing as mineral oil, which, in addition to its well-know uses, is also an anti-oxidant for high-carbon knives.

I have used the above technique, gotten to the post-sanding stage, rinsed the stem off, dried it and gotten a result of a not-entirely unattractive, uniform, smooth greenish hue. (I have no idea . . .) However, after a second sanding and app of a teeny dab of mineral oil, the stem turned back to black, or at least a very dark grey.

The whole process, drying time excepted, takes no more than a leisurely ten minutes.

CAUTION: Mineral oil, even a little bit of it, runs, and I try to avoid getting any of it on the tenon or into the pipe's tenon hole. The "hooked pipe cleaner" allows me to reverse which way the mineral oil flows if it threatens to get on the tenon.

 

Dutch

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I've had good results soaking my oxidized stems in Oxy Clean. Sometimes for the really old brownish green ones, I will soak them several times, since the detergent action only works for a few hours before it ceases to get further results. Then I use some Brebbia stem polish to shine them up, followed by a coating of Obsidian pipe stem oil.
 

Kyle Weiss

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*shrug* I just use polishing compound on my buffing bit on the drill, then blue diamond paste, then carnauba wax, then unscented spf 15 lip balm.

I swear I heard someone say the Obsidian oil did an okay job getting rid of oxidation and protecting, but I could be wrong.

8)
 

alfredo_buscatti

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Just did the toothpaste/Chapstick treatment on that Cumberland stem and it worked great! Thanks!
 

alfredo_buscatti

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Some chemical interaction occurs with vulcanite on contact with the chemical qualities inside the mouth. That's all I know about this process. But is it also true to say that it is important to clear the stem of this oxidation after each use; that left on the stem, such oxidation will continue to accrete even while the pipe rests, and thus cleaning the oxidation after each smoke is best?

Step 2 is polishing the stem, as the clearing of oxidation leaves dullness. Obsidian polish does this and this only? It doesn't clear the oxidation?

Cleaning the Rim: Saliva and a soft cloth removes some of whatever is left on the rim; but is doesn't clean it deeply. I have some Savinelli wood polish, but as it removes some of the stain as well, discontinued using it long ago. Is there some other product that will clean/polish the wood without removing the stain?
 

monbla256

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alfredo_buscatti":e21r3jvs said:
Some chemical interaction occurs with vulcanite on contact with the chemical qualities inside the mouth. That's all I know about this process. But is it also true to say that it is important to clear the stem of this oxidation after each use; that left on the stem, such oxidation will continue to accrete even while the pipe rests, and thus cleaning the oxidation after each smoke is best?

Step 2 is polishing the stem, as the clearing of oxidation leaves dullness. Obsidian polish does this and this only? It doesn't clear the oxidation?

Cleaning the Rim: Saliva and a soft cloth removes some of whatever is left on the rim; but is doesn't clean it deeply. I have some Savinelli wood polish, but as it removes some of the stain as well, discontinued using it long ago. Is there some other product that will clean/polish the wood without removing the stain?
Obsidian Oil with continued regular use will maintain the "blackness" of vulcanite/ebonite stems but it will not bring them back to OEM finish if they have already started "greening" from age and oxidation. It is NOT a polish but there are several paste products available from Brebbia and Dunhill which will put a "polish" on em but it's more of a nice smooth sheen than the high polish you can get from polishing compounds and a buffing wheel.
I have a friend who is is VERY OCD about his pipes and he has set up a "cleaning/polishing" station on his work bench and after as little as two smokes of a pipe he's got them on the wheel and they all look like brand new . He's starting to notice that all the nomenclature on his pipes is going away but they sure shine :p
My experience over the years is theirs only so much one can do "by hand" to keep 'em looking new and that's all I do with mine. They have black, charred rims and somewhat dull bits, and the bowls don't "shine" but have a well used "sheen" to 'em and the bowls and stems are clean and sweet and that's all I can do. Works for me but I'm not OCD :twisted:
 

KevinM

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+1 for burnished rather than like new. Aggressive polishing with power will over time "smooth out" stamping and can rather quickly make the stem logo illegible. Depends on which you want, I s'pose. In some pipes the stamping is light to begin with, so machine polishing may be undesirable.

The interaction with saliva can worsen oxydation at the bit, more for some pipers than others. Once you remove the oxydation, I've found that the ChapStick treatment from the bit - 1/2" down will help prevent reoccurence, though not completely. What's left can be removed by 15 secs of scraping witth my thumbnail and reapp ot ChapStick.

Finally, if you want a quick touch up, just polish the bit with a dry cloth, then apply a teeny dab of mineral oil. If you're after efficiency -- max benefit / min time and expense -- that's it, in my book.
 

Wet Dottle

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I use the Foredom bench lathe, as suggested years ago in the ASP polishing faq. Before that, however, I used the plastic polishing products from NOVUS.
 

Pipe Smoker

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Dutch":5lqmeddv said:
I've had good results soaking my oxidized stems in Oxy Clean. Sometimes for the really old brownish green ones, I will soak them several times, since the detergent action only works for a few hours before it ceases to get further results. Then I use some Brebbia stem polish to shine them up, followed by a coating of Obsidian pipe stem oil.
Dutch, I have both, Brebbia stem polish and Obsidian pipe stem oil (Obsidian arrived yesterday). Can you tell me, after coating stem of Obsidian oil, did I have to leave oil on stem to absorb, and then polish, or I can polish stems immediately after coating of Obsidian oil?
 

riff raff

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Wet Dottle":llwph4t9 said:
I use the Foredom bench lathe, as suggested years ago in the ASP polishing faq. Before that, however, I used the plastic polishing products from NOVUS.
Novus or Meguiars make excellent plastic polish products. I use Meguiars on my vulcanite or acrylic stems which seems to retard the oxidation effects and gives a great shine.
 

monbla256

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Pipe Smoker":6xm0tds0 said:
Dutch":6xm0tds0 said:
I've had good results soaking my oxidized stems in Oxy Clean. Sometimes for the really old brownish green ones, I will soak them several times, since the detergent action only works for a few hours before it ceases to get further results. Then I use some Brebbia stem polish to shine them up, followed by a coating of Obsidian pipe stem oil.
Dutch, I have both, Brebbia stem polish and Obsidian pipe stem oil (Obsidian arrived yesterday). Can you tell me, after coating stem of Obsidian oil, did I have to leave oil on stem to absorb, and then polish, or I can polish stems immediately after coating of Obsidian oil?
I have used both and my procedure is to apply the Obsidian Oil, let it sit for 30 minutes, wipe it off and "polish" with a dry clean flannel cloth, then I put the Brebbia polish on and work it around with my fingers then wipe off excess and buff with the clean flannel cloth again. Leaves my bits with a nice black "sheen" rather than the high shine they had when new and you can get with a buffing wheel.
 

Pipe Smoker

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monbla256, thank you for information! :cheers: Appreciate it. Today evening I go on - stems job polish.
 

Dutch

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Pipe Smoker":pqeul9xa said:
Dutch":pqeul9xa said:
I've had good results soaking my oxidized stems in Oxy Clean. Sometimes for the really old brownish green ones, I will soak them several times, since the detergent action only works for a few hours before it ceases to get further results. Then I use some Brebbia stem polish to shine them up, followed by a coating of Obsidian pipe stem oil.
Dutch, I have both, Brebbia stem polish and Obsidian pipe stem oil (Obsidian arrived yesterday). Can you tell me, after coating stem of Obsidian oil, did I have to leave oil on stem to absorb, and then polish, or I can polish stems immediately after coating of Obsidian oil?
Pipe Smoker, if I don't need to get rid of any green or brown oxidation, I go straight to the Brebbia stem polish. After I have polished the stem, I let it sit for a couple days, to let the Brebbia stem polish dry completely. After I have removed the dried stem polish, I then give the stem a light coating of Obsidian oil, and allow the stem to absorb the oil for several days. Afterwards, I will wipe off any excess Obsidian that has not been completely absorbed.

Once I have the stem in good condition and shiny, I rarely use anything except Obsidian whenever I feel it needs another coat. Hope this has helped you get your stems back to the condition you are looking for.
 
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