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Stem stuck on Grabow Adjustomatic

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Jussto, Jul 16, 2012.

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  1. Jussto

    Jussto Active Member

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    I had cleaned up an estate Adjustomatic and everything was fine until a few weeks later when I went to unscrew the stem and it just slipped, as it would if you were lining up the stem, even when I turn it counterclockwise. I've tried popping it in the freezer, but no change. Any suggestions?
     


  2. CMAsailor

    CMAsailor Active Member

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    the freezer thing works on conventional pipes because of the dissimilar materials shrinking at different rates... the Adjustomatic stem operates with the same materials touching... so I'm guessing it didn't work because both the mortice and tenon pieces were the same...two pieces of metal.

    depending on how much I liked the pipe... or how determined I was at getting the stem out I might try hot olive oil dabbed on the crack...let it sit... and dab some more hot olive oil... and let it sit. then after the oil had a chance to weep I would give the stem a twist to see... but im no expert, and I would hate that you ruin a pipe on my account.

    hopefully more professional advice arrives.
     
  3. colorduke

    colorduke Active Member

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    Keep trying the freezer it will come apart ?also when you get it apart use a #2 pencil on the threads to keep it lubed.
     
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  4. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood Member

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    I have a small full bent Grabow with the same ailment. I havn't really tried to get it apart as I thought i'd break it. Are the threads similar to a Kaywoodie set up?
     
  5. Klauswermann

    Klauswermann Member

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    I actually just had the same issue last night with an estate Grabow, sadly I snapped mine. After closer inspection, the metal was almost completly corroded! :(
     
  6. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood Member

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    That's what I'm afraid of. If its an aluminium screw I suspect it's "rusted" together.
     
  7. Klauswermann

    Klauswermann Member

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    Sadly the chances are pretty high, and all the products I know of that can get it unstuck by "melting" the corrosion, would ruin the pipe big time.
     
  8. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

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    Any luck yet, Jussto? Did you try an extended freezer session?
     
  9. colorduke

    colorduke Active Member

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    Do a search on the grabow collectors forum,Ed and pipes by Witney have some other tricks posted over there on stuck stems.
     
  10. Jussto

    Jussto Active Member

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    The first freezer session was pretty long, and I think I may have left it in there a couple of days ago (oops!) I'll check again when I get home.

    The threads aren't too corroded, because I just had it apart a few weeks ago when I cleaned it up. I know that usually cooling contracts rubber and that's why the freezer works for stuck stems, since what I really have is a stuck aluminum threaded joint maybe a little heat would work? My understanding is that heating a metal joint to loosen it works by having hot expanded metal on the outside with cool contracted metal inside, so I may pull it from the freezer and heat the shank a little.

    If I don't have any luck this pipe looks like a prime candidate for one of Dwaugh's experiments :P
     
  11. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood Member

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  12. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Maybe coat a pipe cleaner in something sticky (but non-toxic) like maple syrup, then run it up the stem and try to turn it along with the stem. Then you could rinse it out when you were done. Actually, does that Adjustomatic have a stinger, or is it just a threaded connector? If it's got a stinger you could probably shove a pipe cleaner in there and twist the heck out of it until it binds up and turns the stem along with it.

    My ideas get progressively worse from there :)
     
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  13. Jussto

    Jussto Active Member

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    It's just a threaded connector, so it's back in the freezer, I tried a little gentle heat with no success this morning.
     
  14. Waino

    Waino Active Member

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    Metal against metal. Ok, keep it in freeze. Take a lighter. Heat quickly upper metal (stem inside has no time warm). Pull.
     
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  15. Kiowapipe

    Kiowapipe Active Member

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    Is the stem vulcanite or ABS plastic?
    You could try wrapping the stem in a towel and then squeezing the hell out of it with a vise-grips. You might be able to compress it down to where the adjust-o-tron won't slip. If the stem is plastic, though, you'd have the danger of cracking it.
     
  16. ted

    ted Member

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    Jussto. I second Kio's idea.
    When all else fails... wrap the stem in about 3 wraps of washcloth or towel.. Vice-grips.. PINCH the stem tight with the VG's. Turn and pull....
    I'm the last resort. Live 13 miles from the factory... Bet Gary Dixon (Foreman in the Bit & Tube Dept at Grabow) can get it open. If not he will replace the stem... $9.00 or 10.00..

    Tom Douglas
    150 Jode Ln.
    Piney Creek, NC 28663

    Send it whenever you need to.. It'll not be lost........ ted
     
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  17. Professor

    Professor Active Member

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    Wow - I didnt know that. The whole time I was wondering why you guys
    talk about 'pop it in the freezer' ...

    Well - now I know, makes perfect sense! Thanks! :)
     
  18. Waino

    Waino Active Member

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    :chug: Waiting Dr. Grabow to open...
     
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  19. Jussto

    Jussto Active Member

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    I think the stem is vulcanite.

    This is exactly my thought at this point, I was going to try that this morning, but I'm in the middle of a move and I thing all my pliers are at the new house. I will give that a try when I get home from working out of town today and tomorrow.

    Thanks for all the suggestions, I'll skin this cat one way or another!
     
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  20. Professor

    Professor Active Member

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    That's the spirit! :th1:
     
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