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The vulcanite dilemma

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Whalehead King, Mar 18, 2012.

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  1. Whalehead King

    Whalehead King Balaenius Rex!!

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    I know I'm stirring up ancient history, but I haven't read about it recently, and I have a dilemma I can't remember how to deal with.

    I've got two estates with vulcanite stems that are green around the bite marks. What is the preffered/recommended way to reverse the oxidation?

    Thanks,
    WK
     
  2. dwaugh

    dwaugh Moderator Moderator

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    I like micromesh sanding pads (Moo converted me), but wet/dry sandpaper from the autoparts store works almost as well. For final touch up and maintenance I really like Brebbia pipe stem polish, but I seem to be the only devotee of it around here. I don't think there is a way to reverse the oxidation, but rather it needs to be removed (it's like the mold that you cut off cheese:)).
     
  3. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

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    I favor the bleach solution (pun intended).
     
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  4. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoe Active Member

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    A very half-assed solution, actually 50/50 bleach to water, works really well, then micro-mesh pads, and Paragon wax...[​IMG]
     
  5. Lestrade

    Lestrade Active Member

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    Nice work Joe!
     
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  6. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood Member

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    I've always used abrasives/polish depending on the situation. I havn't tried the bleach thing yet but the technique seems to have its adherents and you can't argue with the results as depicted above. I'm going to explore the Chlorinate Maneuver.
     
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  7. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    I've only tried the oxyclean-sandpaper-buffer-polish approach. I've used the brebbia stuff, too. Works well for me.
     
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  8. FlatbushPaul

    FlatbushPaul Cellar is in an undisclosed Bunker

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    Aww, c 'mon. What wrong with a little oxidation? After awhile it looks like a patina. It even absorbs flavor from the smoke and becomes tasty! lol.
     
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  9. TedVig

    TedVig total pipeflake

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    Do you soak it in the bleach solution or simply clean it with it?
     
  10. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    I use fiberglass polish and a flannel rag.
     
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  11. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

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    Soak it. Maybe an hour or two, depending on how severe the oxidation is. In extreme cases I've had to double dip before. It'll eat the oxidized rubber away which will leave sort of a rough surface where the green spots were. Some wet-sanding and polishing though and the stem will quickly be back to good as new.
     
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  12. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    All good advice here, folks!:)
    Another tip is to use Barkeeper's Friend after sanding. It gets rid of all the scratches, leaving the stem ready for polishing... I use Autosol for this, followed by Carnauba Wax! :bing:
     
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  13. TedVig

    TedVig total pipeflake

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    Simichrome polish works wonders at the end followed by wax.
     
  14. Whalehead King

    Whalehead King Balaenius Rex!!

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    I was hoping manual labor wouldn't be involved.
     
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  15. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoe Active Member

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    I certainly hope not, Manual Labor is the name of my Guatemalan gardener
     
  16. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

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    If the oxidation isn't too bad (or if you don't mind your SWRA with added sulfury bicycle tire flavor) you can just rub a little olive oil on the stem. Probably better to clean it though.
     
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  17. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    Good thread WHK. I bought an unsmoked Digby bulldog that had no oxidation until I started smoking it a few months ago. Mine's not green though; more of a yellow. I have bleach, chrome polish, and wax... may give it a shot.
     
  18. bigbird48

    bigbird48 Member

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    I've just started cleaning my collection which was boxed away for years. I start by soaking in bleach for an hour or so. (even overnight won't hurt). Then I use Tripoli on a buffing wheel. The next wheel has just a bit of wax on it and the final buffing wheel is clean. Here's one I did this morning with one I'll do this afternoon. Sorry they're a bit out of focus. Not a great photographer.
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. WrightwoodJohn

    WrightwoodJohn Wrightwood expatriate

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    I second your Brebbia recommendation.. and btw some great tips here, thanks guys!
     
  20. ruffinogold

    ruffinogold Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large. Mayor

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    Take it to a pipe shop and get em buffed .. if possible
     
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