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Teeth marks

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Stonewall

Active Member
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#1
I have a few really nice, keeper pipes, that have some really noticeable tooth indentations on the stems. These aren't one that can be taken out with a finger board sander without taking a lot of material off the stem.

I've heard that they can be lifted with heat. Is there any truth to this?
 

Stonewall

Active Member
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#2
Well I am overwhelmed by all this response. Many thanks. lol I actually did a little experimenting on my own. It is possible to lift some pretty deep teeth marks using heat. I have several pipes as I mentioned that are really good pipes, but are laden with heavy tooth indentations near the button. So I gave Google a shot to see if any others had tried to remedy the problem with solutions at home, rather than incur the expense and hassle of shipping it off to a repair shop.

The particular pipe I decided to conduct the experiment with is a sandblasted, London made, Ben Wade Skater. I had managed to hand polish the bowl which was at the time I received it, in very good condition, but in need of a proper reaming and polishing as the top of the thick walled bowl had a lot of build up and slight scorching.

The stem however, was really oxidized and had several deep tooth indentations. I found several methods tried by others for repairing the problem. One using black super glue and sanding in particular. The end product was quite impressive, actually. Reborn Pipes has provided me with solutions to a few cosmetic pipe issues thus far.

However, I didn't have any black superglue on hand, so impressive or not it wasn't going to be an option I could try out at present. I ran across another method, much simpler than the aforementioned, and even though I didn't have much confidence in the fellow swearing by, decided to try it.

Now according to this guy vulcanite has a memory (amazing, eh) and when said problem area is introduced to direct heat via flame, the indentations seem to just magically bleed back into original form.

Well as absolutely genius as this sounds, I was skeptical. To say the least. But still decided to try. I made several passes with the hottest (blue) portion of the lighter flame numerous times pausing to check the progress, if any. After a while I determined that this wasn't working because I couldn't concentrate the heat source directly in the area where it needed to be. So I turned on the burner of my kitchen stove to high and waited for the glass top to turn red.

I held the area of the stem as close to the heat as possible without allowing the stem to touch the surface. I only did this in very brief sessions stopping to check each time. Surprisingly, after a few sessions, I started to notice the indentations were becoming less and less noticeable. It was actually working. I used a finger board sander to lightly sand between sessions.

I ended up removing all but one indentation as it was fairly deep. But even that one reformed to only the size of a pin head. I may have been able to completely remove if had I continued.

I didn't take any photos of this particular experiment, but will for the next.
 

dwaugh

Moderator
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#5
Take some pictures next time. I have tried that method, but it did not work in my case. At the very least, the tooth marks I was trying to remove were abrasions, and not indentations. Because the material was removed, I'm not surprised the heat didn't work. For a real dent, it does seem more likely heat might cause it to bounce back.
 

Stonewall

Active Member
Member
#7
Take some pictures next time. I have tried that method, but it did not work in my case. At the very least, the tooth marks I was trying to remove were abrasions, and not indentations. Because the material was removed, I'm not surprised the heat didn't work. For a real dent, it does seem more likely heat might cause it to bounce back.
I will. I've found the best way to clean up scratches and roughed areas is without a doubt one of those finger nail sander boards. They're usually double sided with two grits. After I sand it lightly, I hand polish it with stem cleaner from Walker's Briar Works. It's a pinkish colour paste. I forget what its called. But it polishes out the stem to a brilliant shine. I can't tell the scratches were even there.

I'll take some photos of the next pipe. I may start one tomorrow.
 

xrundog

Active Member
Member
#16
There are different formulations of rubber stems. Heat works on some, not others. I personally don't like the lingering burning tire smell that can linger on some stems that are heated. I reduce tooth marks and then fill them with black super glue. Is super glue toxic? Maybe if you ingest it. I imagine rubber is too. Or plastic (which is basically what super glue is) for that matter. Once it hardens I don't think its a big deal.
 

Stonewall

Active Member
Member
#17
The boiling water technique didn't work for me. It may work for someone else though. You will need to polish the stem if you do use this method as it turns the stem very brown.
 
#18
I have raised small ones with just a lighter, never thought of the heat from a stove. Was thinking maybe a heat gun may work. Never even heard of black super glue.
 
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