I have two, Bill Taylor, XX size Ashton Rhodesians, both with saddle stems. The stem on my Old Church finish pipe always seemed a little ungainly and my preference is for a taper stem. Recently, pipe repairman, George Dibos of Precision Pipe Repair in Kansas has posted several re-stemmed classic pipes on the PipesMagazine.com forums. Last week, he posted the identical Old Church Rhodesian with a new, tapered profile stem. The change and improvement, to my eye was dramatic. So, I sent him my Old Church for the similar treatment. George can even replicate the briar in silver iconic Ashton stem logo.
In email exchanges regarding the work, George told me that getting the proper bend in a fat, taper stem take time and effort. Going with the saddle stem is typically the most efficient way of creating a the stem.
This morning, George posted pictures of the new stem on the forum, which was surprising as he had just received the pipe the day before. My pipe had the added challenge because the nomenclature panel was flat and that feature transferred up to the saddle part of the stem. George had to finesse the transition into a taper stem.
And the finished pipe below. I joked with George that he actually saved me money, as a tapered Stem, Old Church XX Rhodesian was still on my “Holy Grail” list.
I consider George Dibos to be one of the best stem guys in the business. If you wish to contact him, he can be reached thru his website:
I can’t wait to get this one back in my rotation