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Opening up an airway

Discussion in 'Repair, Maintenance & Restoration' started by dwaugh, Nov 6, 2011.

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  1. dwaugh

    dwaugh Moderator Moderator

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    I was very interested in the article that Sasquatch mentions on his webpage regarding the importance of an open draw and the mechanics of the airflow. I realized that many of my pipes do have various restrictions and obstacles impeding airflow and creating turbulence. I've begun trying to open the airway somewhat on one of my Guildhall pipes. I wanted to open the draft hole to 11/64th, of course that was the one drill bit I was missing in my regular set... (Luckily had a 11/64 bit for my Yankee Drill that I could use in a pine vice). I started using some small files to open the airway in the stem although I didn't have all the shapes I need to finish. I'll have to look for some tapered drill bit to smooth the step within the stem. As you can see, there is a large gap between the air hole in the bowl and the beginning of tenon, not much I can do about that. Am I doing a bad thing here? Any suggestions? -David

    I happened to have some dental casting compound on hand so I made a mold of the much of the airway..... (yea I know, strange thing to have around the house...)
    [​IMG]

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    You can't see it in this photo, but the on the right part of the mold the airway is flattened where it approaches the button, but it does not get wider, I think I'll need to get in there with some files and make it wider.
     
    el guero likes this.


  2. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    Hi David!
    Opening the airway is a fantastic idea!
    I've done it on all my Briars with a 3/16" bit, and every single pipe has improved!!!!! So far I haven't bothered with the stems because things have become better just by drilling the shank.
    One other thing: When you compare the airway of a cob with a Briar, the cob always has the larger airway! I'm sure that's one of the reasons why cobs smoke so well!:)
     
    dwaugh likes this.
  3. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    David, short of having a tapered bit (available at Lee Valley or McMaster Carr), you've gone about as far as you want to (we don't want the bit to see daylight!!!). Your best bet now is to go in from the slot end with a needle file - I use one that is sort of oval on the edges, about 2mm high and maybe 5 wide. If you can get that slot wide, flat, and about an inch deep into the stem, it will work really well.
     
    dBear likes this.
  4. dwaugh

    dwaugh Moderator Moderator

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    Thanks, I will get some more files and try that, maybe even a taped drill bit. In my small selection of small files, my needle file was too big and and the flat ones didn't have teeth on the sides; I'll try and pick up some new ones (can't ever have too many). -David
     
  5. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    It's astonishing how hard it is to find useful tiny files.
     
  6. user1975

    user1975 Active Member

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    dwaugh likes this.
  7. SidStavros

    SidStavros Member

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    I have done in the past similar work on a Stanwell 185, the airway had a "J" shape from the factory.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    http://pipe-smoke.blogspot.gr/2010/02/3.html
    Code: M3-5

    They work indeed. :banana:
     
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  8. Christrom

    Christrom Member

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    I have a little 3/4 Orlik thimble - it whistled when I breathed in and smoked badly. I drilled it out to about 4mm and now it has become one of my favourites. You can get needle files from model shops quite easily if that helps? They do a good job of widening the letterbox shape in the mouthpiece.
     
    SidStavros likes this.
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