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Replacing Stems Based on Material

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Mount Mandolin, Jan 11, 2012.

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  1. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    OK, so I know I've posted several new threads and I'm a young member, so I'm sorry for clogging us up with multiple new threads here, but this is one I couldn't find a real answer to in the search engine, so I figured I'd start up a new one and see what folks thought.

    So, I am a huge fan of Danish pipes, especially Neerup, Søren, Nørding, and Winsløw, among others, but these makers tend to exclusively use acrylic stems, over which I prefer vulcanite. I clench a lot, and obviously vulcanite is far more comfortable, and the advantages that come with acrylic stems aren't all that important to me. Basically, I would much prefer vulcanite stems.

    That being said, there is a fellow in California who operates a repair business under the name of Bear Briar, and he can put vulcanite stems on pipes if you send them to him. What I'm wondering, though, is whether there are any inherent disadvantages to me sending my pipes to him and having him fit them with vulcanite stems, other than the fact that having said stem installed will alter the pipe, thus, presumably, damaging its value. Most of my Danish pipes were not very expensive, but that's what is so great about Danish pipes: they smoke as well or better than the English pipes I've smoked, and at a fraction of the price 90% of the time. My $100 Neerup has completely stunning, vertical grain and is a champion smoker, and I have smoked Dunhills that had lesser grain and didn't smoke as well that were $700 pipes. So I want to keep these great pipes but put better (to my thinking) stems on them.

    Just would like to have the opinion of the community on this matter. The guy charges $20 to fit a vulcanite stem to your pipe, which is damned fair, in my opinion, and he does hand-cut ones for something like $40. Great prices. So, what say you all? Anyone else have this problem with preferring a particular stem material but finding that your preferred pipe makers use a different material? I know vulcanite oxidizes, but that's the only negative I can think of unless you really care about the shiny look of acrylic. Oh, and the guy will even transfer the logo if your stem has one, for a small additional fee, although I've been thinking of having him put a white dot on each of them. That way I can appear far classier than my wallet would reveal to be the truth. :byg: No, I wouldn't do that... well, yeah I would. :puffy:

    Anyway, sorry about yet another ramble, but I would love to hear what you gents have to say.
     
  2. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    Have him make the vulcanite stems, make sure you get at least one or all as handcut. Keep your acrylic stems and the logo intact, vut have the white dot or red dot or whatever, on the bottom of the stem, that'll throw em all! :)

    Ed
    Puff
     
  3. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

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    There should be no need to alter the pipe to make a replacement vulcanite stem. You could always swap the acrylic original back in. I also prefer vulcanite stems. I'd say go for it if you're confident in the guy's abilities. If you're not I'm sure the folks here can recommend someone else to do the job.
     
  4. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    Yes, if anyone would care to recommend someone who is good with this sort of thing, or speak to the quality of Bear Briar's work, please do.

    I'm leaning towards doing it eventually, over time, one pipe at a time. I'm not in any huge hurry, but vulcanite is sooo much nicer, IMO. I'm also confused as to which of the inexpensive Nørding lines (Signature, Classic, etc.) listed on Cupojoes have vulcanite and which have acrylic. I've gotta say, Smokingpipes.com runs a much tighter ship than Cupojoes; each and every pipe gets a specific description by their staff. I really really appreciate that about that particular website. Don't know why that's so uncommon.
     
  5. cobbsmoker

    cobbsmoker Active Member

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    Just have new vulcanite stems fitted to the pipe for your smoking enjoyment and keep the original stems to put back on the pipes if you decide to sell or trade them down the road. There are several pipe repairmen in the business that can do this for you.
     
    Mount Mandolin likes this.
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