1. This forum is for DIY Repair, Maintenance & Restoration. It is for people seeking advice on maintaining their own pipes. It is not for showing off commercial work done by yourself or anyone else.

    Dismiss Notice

How much bend is possible?

Discussion in 'Stems & Stummels' started by DODiF, Nov 25, 2013.

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

    DODiF Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    529
    Hello everyone...question on bending stems. I know there's different techniques to bending a stem, but how much bend can you do before messing it up? For example on a churchwarden stem? I'm wanting to do a crazy custom stem for my cob (hopefully enter into cobfoolery next yr) but don't know how much is too much? Any advice?
     


  2. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    4,971
    I have seen stems that bent a full 90 degrees but the bend had a long gradual sweep rather than a sharp turn.
     
  3. DODiF

    DODiF Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    529
    Yea that's kind of what I'm looking for. Just wondering if it's possible to DIY, or if I'd have to buy it the way I'm wanting it?
     
  4. andrew

    andrew Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    283
    Just evenly heat it. Wear some leather gloves. You can make a template for the bend out of wood. The stem will rebound a bit after bending, so be prepared to slightly over bend.
     
    Spillproof likes this.
  5. andrew

    andrew Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    283
    Use a candle, or let it sit in boiling water. Better yet, use a heat gun. Don't heat it too much in one spot or you can collapse the airway.
     
    Spillproof likes this.
  6. Smokey Tom

    Smokey Tom Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,313
    I've heard its a good idea to leave a pipe cleaner in the stem to keep the airway intact whilst bending.
     
  7. Fr Tom

    Fr Tom PSF Chaplain Old Ted Award 2017

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,726
    +1
     
  8. t-bear

    t-bear Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
    4,515
    I have seen pipes with a full 360 degree bend. As long as you heat it evenly and don't force the bend, you should be OK
     
  9. CoreyR

    CoreyR Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,167
    Boiling water works good, for even heat, and having a pipe cleaner in there does keep the airway open for radical bends. In refurbing some older pipes, and fitting new stems, I have done some pretty big bends before and come out ok with boiling water. Just be slow and patient. Do not get into a rush. I would rather get it right, than right now. You might want some thick gloves though I did not find it too bad, just used tongs to take the stem out of the water. Then again, I play around at blacksmithing in my spare time so my definition of "hot" may be different than most folks.
     
    Raffxr7 likes this.
  10. DODiF

    DODiF Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    529
    Thanks everybody. Yea can't wait to try.
     
  11. SidStavros

    SidStavros Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Messages:
    657
    I will vote for the pipe cleaner inside. Some acrylic stems [as Vauen] are tough and bend more difficult than others.Be patience.
     
    DODiF likes this.
  12. Biggles

    Biggles Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    804
  13. DODiF

    DODiF Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    529
    Yes! Thats what Im looking for. Now, that something I could maybe do myself?
     
  14. Biggles

    Biggles Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    804
    I would say so. I've had good luck using both alcohol lamps and heat guns, but for something this size I'de recommend the heat gun as probably being more likely to heat the larger mass more evenly. Also, if it's an acrylic stem then I'de say use a long pipe cleaner for extra internal support as well. The acrylic has an extremely narrow "intermediate" phase as it you heat it - it tends to just sort of go from rigid to noodle soft; whereas with the ebonite there's a nice gradual transition from hard to soft. Other than that just be patient and heat the stem thoroughly. I suppose you could also make a simple but effective jig easliy enough, which might be a good idea if you're hands aren't particularly steady.
     
  15. DODiF

    DODiF Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    529
    Thank you so much for the pointers. I'm looking forward to playing around with it.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.