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Ropp stem repair

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I recently acquired a lightly used ROPP ALPINE cherry wood pipe from an antique shop and I really like it. It has a very unique look and smokes great!

The only issue that it seems to have is that on the tennon where the bit fits into the stem at the top there is some sort of foam type looking stuff that has come apart. It still smokes good and seems to seal just fine but it worries me every time i take it apart for cleaning.

Can anyone tell me what that foam-like stuff is and where I can get some to replace it with? Looks like it would be simple enough to repair...

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I can't imagine what the foam type stuff would be. Is it hard or soft? Also pictures would be helpful.

yes, it is solid but also soft. Definitely not plastic. I think it could most certainly be CORK as that would match the color and consistency perfectly. Is that feasible? Is cork sometimes used in such applications? I am fairly new to pipes and pipe smoking so i apologize for my extensive ignorance on the subject, I was hoping you vetran pipers would read my description and know exactly what I was trying to describe and how to fix it...*lol* I will try to see if I can figure out how to post pictures (I'm a newbie to this forum site as well). Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply.

ok...so how do I repair it? Do they make little cork strips or something that I could wrap around the tennon to seal up the joint after I scrape off the old stuff? Is it even supposed to be there???


I found a Ropp churchwarden some time back and it had a similar issue. That appears to be cork just like in mine. My cork was in sad condition as well and I used an Exacto knife to remove it. Mine was inside the mortise rather than coming out with the stem. I had a couple of the amber plastic MM cob stems in my parts box having replaced them with Forever Stems. I sliced the tenon off one of them and worked a drill bit through it until it was snug on my churchwarden tenon. The O.D. of the original plastic MM tenon was very close and fit snug to my cherrywood stem...might be the same for yours? Tightened mine right up and still able to break it down when I need to.

Obviously, this ain't Norwood's or Walker-type repairing but I'm a cobbler and like to work with what I got to work with.

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