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Problem with meerschaum lined briar

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dhintonca

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#1
Hi group: I've an inexpensive (and old) meer lined briar with the only marking "Italy" on the shank.



The stem has 2 very small holes in place of a slot, and the tenon opening isn't great. In fact, I can only get a very thin pipe cleaner through the lip end and even a tapered pc won't go right through.

It's not a bad smoker, but I'm wondering if it's possible/practical to open up the tip a bit?
Thoughts appreciated!
 

Old Ted

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#6
I've had one or two stems with the same couple of small holes - in lieu of a slot, and hardly able to pass a thin cleaner. It's not really possible to join or open them up with a 'needle' file, and my remedy is - a very small diameter dental burr, in the Dremel. This does of course require care, a steady hand and a little experience, ( I spent my working life as a precision engineer, tools, dies, molds, instruments etc.) and am used to doing such things, but as we often hear - a Dremel can soon cause damage in inexperienced hands.
Re. shank drillings, I open these a little by hand-turning a drill bit, I have a set of 'number drills' which increase in diameter by just a few thousandths of an inch, so it's relatively easy to increase in small amounts without damage.
Good luck OT
 

dhintonca

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Member
#7
Ah, so you're thinking just to enlarge all 3 holes a bit? That sounds quite manageable - I'm not in your league with tools, but I do have a small lathe, dremel, etc. Thanks!
 

dhintonca

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Member
#8
So today I did a bit of work on this thing -- I discovered the draught hole and the stem hole (pipe end) were under 1/8" -- so I carefully reamed them both out to 1/8" -- at this point it seemed to be drawing very freely so I stopped although I've always been told 3/8 was desirable! I left the button end alone, as 2 holes at 3/16" totals more than 1/8 and it draws fine (empty). Next task (!) is to actually smoke it and see if it's improved any! :)
 
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