1. This forum section is for discussing pipes, it is not for advertising in any fashion.

Loose stem

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by KingsTarantula, Apr 15, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. KingsTarantula

    KingsTarantula Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Messages:
    4,354
    I have a good pipe that smokes well but the tenon of the stem fits very loosely in the shank. Is there something I can do to make this a more snug/tighter fit? I don't know what to do. Some advice please.
     
  2. Tate

    Tate Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    906
    Put some beeswax on the tenon and then insert. It will make it easier to push in and pull out but will make it fit more snug as well.
     
    KingsTarantula likes this.
  3. Texhealer

    Texhealer Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    2,524
    +1 on the bees wax. Amazing stuff, if the stem is loose put bees wax on it, if the stem is too tight? Put bees wax on it...works either way. :)
     
    KingsTarantula and MikeInMaine like this.
  4. noodle

    noodle Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    Messages:
    839
    In order of very loose to just a bit loose
    Heat the stem by wafting a butane lighter under it, just do little and often and cool in between in water to make sure you dont over do it. Put a pipe cleaner in to help preseve the hole
    use clear nail varnish use a very thin coat sort of dab a bit on then wipe it round witha dry paint brush let it dry then check it repeat if needed.
    Beeswax as mentioned works if its only a tiny bit loose
     
    KingsTarantula likes this.
  5. Rodfather

    Rodfather Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,497
    In the past I have used clear finger nail polish on the stem that was too loose, works like a charm, no taste or smell. I have also used bee's wax, works good too.
     
    KingsTarantula and cobbsmoker like this.
  6. cobbsmoker

    cobbsmoker Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    3,700
    +1 using clear finger nail polish on tenon, old school, works well.
     
    KingsTarantula likes this.
  7. lifeon2

    lifeon2 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    815
    Seems like its all covered.
     
    KingsTarantula likes this.
  8. Basil Meadows

    Basil Meadows Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Messages:
    2,529
    There's several ways to go about fixing a loose stem. If it's just a little loose...bees wax or nail polish works great. If it's really loose (and you have the skills), there is the heat method. The first one is simple, just coat the tennon with a little. The heat is more complicated but will last.
    Heat:
    1. Take a set of drill bits and find one that fits snug into the end of the tennon. Use the smooth end of the bit, not the cutting end. After finding the correct size, put it back and get the next size up.
    2. Heat the tennon...candle preferrably because you will need both hands for this. Be careful NOT to heat the tennon too close to the base of the stem. If you do the heat will remove the sharp edge of the stem where it mates to the stummel. Keep turning the stem so the heat is even on all sides of the tennon. Go slow and easy and let the heat soak into the rubber.
    3. Insert the smooth end of the slightly oversized drill bit into the tennon as far up as it'll go. This will expand the hole size slightly and with it, the tennon. By pushing it past the tennon and into the stem slightly, should keep the tennon in line with the stem.
    4. Cool in cold water. Make sure it's cool all the way thru.
    5. Remove the drill bit. May need to grab it with a pair of vise grips up close to the tennon and work it out, just go slow and easy.
    6. Check your fit. If it's too snug going in, try bees wax. Or if you have a buffer, VERY litely buff with white diamond.
    7. Got your fit right, run a cleaner thru it to check for any gunk the heat may have loosened.
    8. Insert the stem, line it up, fill with your favorite tobacco and smoke it like you stole it!
    So... if at all possible, try the simple and easy fix first. Polish or Wax. But, if it's soooo bad that they don't work (and you can't find your favorite color of Duct Tape), that's the heat method I use.
    Good luck, Basil
     
  9. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    2,702
    Ok, here's a tip from a guy who's dealt with this numerous times and tried numerous, often complicated methods in trying to repair the problem...

    The easy, simple way to fix this is by doing a whisky or rum & salt treatment to the bowl. Yes, the bowl. First, twist a piece of paper towel into the mortise or stummel or whatever its called. When you twist out the bit or stem twist in the tapered piece of paper towel snug and tight. Then fill the bowl with kosher salt, use a syringe or eye dropper to put in the alcohol.

    Position the bowl at a 45 degree angle so the alcohol will leach out all the bad stuff. In doing this you not only clean out your pipe but the alcohol seeps into the stummel and expands the wood. When you clean it out and re-fit the bit, it will fit snug as a bug. This is the only method I use now and it works like a charm.
     
  10. User3940

    User3940 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,620
    +1 on the fingernail polish. Works great.
     
    KingsTarantula likes this.
  11. KingsTarantula

    KingsTarantula Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Messages:
    4,354
    Thanks everyone for your input. I will keep y'all posted on the developments.
     
  12. deyo67

    deyo67 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    111
    +1 on the Clear Nail Polish, works every time with no smell or taste from it
     
  13. Biggles

    Biggles Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,034
    Peg dope for fiddles works great too. :th1:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.