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Patching a large stem hole

Discussion in 'Stems & Stummels' started by holymolar, Sep 19, 2013.

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  1. holymolar

    holymolar Member

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    I got this pipe in a lot at the flea market. It had a large hole and I thought it would be an interesting challenge to repair.
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    I stuck a piece of thin cardboard (covered with scotch tape) into the stem, along with a pipe cleaner to hold it in place.
    [​IMG]

    I tried filling up the hole with Black Superglue (that has worked for me on small holes and deep tooth marks) but it crumbled away and didn't hold.
    Then I tried JB Weld but it didn't hold either.
    [​IMG]

    I didn't want to give up, so I tried Black Epoxy.
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    It seems to be working so far, but the color didn't match and the patch didn't polish smoothly.
    [​IMG]

    If I do this again, I think I'll try adding activated charcoal to the Epoxy
    (or to "thick" or "extra thick" Superglue - that seem to only come in clear).

    Has anyone had success filling large stem holes?
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
    Tsalagi44 and Basil Meadows like this.


  2. User3940

    User3940 Active Member

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    You are a genius my friend.
     
  3. holymolar

    holymolar Member

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    Thanks Coastie, but I'm no genius, just too much free time and trying to be creative.
     
  4. User3940

    User3940 Active Member

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    I wish I had that much free time. That is why I am looking forward to retirement, then I can putter around the shop.

    I just received a Peterson Shamrock that has a stem that has a small bite hole in the bottom of it. I may either try your technique, or send it to you so you can work your magic on it.
     
  5. holymolar

    holymolar Member

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    Send it, Coastie. Happy to give it a try.
     
  6. Basil Meadows

    Basil Meadows Active Member

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    Here's a thought, have no idea if it'll work. What if you sand the patch down a little and now that the hole is filled, just put a covering coat of super glue on it for the final cover. The super glue fills I've seen you do have been a perfect match for color.
     
  7. mecompco

    mecompco Active Member

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    That's what I was thinking, or save that for "next time". Do the big fill with epoxy (wouldn't even need to be black) then do the last of the fill with the black superglue.
     
    Basil Meadows likes this.
  8. holymolar

    holymolar Member

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    Thanks Basil Meadows and mecompco. I went with that idea.

    First, I removed about half of the Epoxy with a small round bit in my dremel on the slowest speed.
    [​IMG]

    Then I filled the space with Black Superglue in small layers. It worked beautifully.

    Here's the patch after filing, sanding, and micromesh pads 1500-4000 but before final polishing with 6000-12000 pads and buffing.
    [​IMG]

    And the final results after polishing/buffing.
    [​IMG]

    Now I'm happy with this repair
    and delighted to have made an improvement in my stem repair skills.
     
    just5042, Summit, conroygc and 6 others like this.
  9. RodneyWT1180B

    RodneyWT1180B Member

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    Great work on the repair. Makes some of the beater pipes on Ebay seem a little less undesirable if the stems can be repaired instead of replaced.
     
    mecompco likes this.
  10. xrundog

    xrundog Active Member

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    I've used this method with good results. Thanks again to the person who tipped us to that black and amber super glues. That stuff is magic!:wiz:
     
    mecompco likes this.
  11. physiognomy

    physiognomy Member

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    Thanks for sharing! I will have to give your method a try on this little Normandy (front)... It was a friend's grandfather's pipe & I have been meaning to do something about the damaged stem/bit for quite some time.

    [​IMG]
     
    mecompco likes this.
  12. conroygc

    conroygc Member

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    I've been hesitant to use superglue on pipes since I heard through the grapevine that burning superglue will release cyanide gas. But after googling it I wasn't able to find much info about that. Has anyone else looked into this? Paging dwaugh?

    But definitely don't get it on cotton, it can ignite!!
     
    Basil Meadows likes this.
  13. Basil Meadows

    Basil Meadows Active Member

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    Being that it's stem repair, don't think heat would be much of a factor. I've heard that about burning it. LoL, don't think I'll try it to find out!
     
    mecompco likes this.
  14. mecompco

    mecompco Active Member

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    I've done a few pipe with the black superglue. Once it's dry, and near the button, I'm not worried about any toxicity. How hot is it going to get at that point on the stem? If it doesn't get hot, it's not going to release any toxins once it's dry.
     
  15. Biggles

    Biggles Member

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    Stew-Mac comes through again! :punk:
     
    mecompco likes this.
  16. mecompco

    mecompco Active Member

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    Yup. Bought three containers of their black superglue when I ordered (shipping is the killer).
     
  17. SidStavros

    SidStavros Member

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    Oh, i didn't expect that.

    Oh, i expected that,congratulations! :bdance:
     
    Rockbass likes this.
  18. Riff Raff

    Riff Raff Active Member

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    Bravo - now that is a pipe repair! I'd go at it the same way you did. Using the epoxy as the base is smart, topped by the black superglue - it looks like a million bucks!
     
  19. DogTalker

    DogTalker Member

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    I posted this repair awhile ago. I used ebonite dust with the black glue. It failed. I might try the epoxy base first.[​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
  20. holymolar

    holymolar Member

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    Let us know how it turns out.

    I let the extra mixed epoxy sit out in the air so that I could test it from time to time to estimate when it was cured. It seemed to cure after an hour but remained somewhat flexible. It was still flexible after two days. I was expecting the epoxy to get hard, like superglue does, but it never did. I guess that's the properties of epoxy.
     
    just5042 likes this.
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