Fixing Another Common Stem Fit Issue – Stem to Shank

I wanted to bring this post to the attention of the rebornpipes readers as it addresses a common issue that most of us have or will face in our restoration/refurbishing work. thanks Charles.


A little while back, I wrote up a blog entry on fixing two stem fit problems that crop up regularly – a too-loose stem, and a too-tight stem. Today I’d like to spotlight another common, and completely avoidable, stem problem that I deal with regularly when restoring estate pipes, namely the issue of a stem that won’t seat flush against the end of the pipe’s shank.

This picture illustrates the problem. No matter how much twisting, pushing, pleading or threatening, the stem simply will not insert any further into the mortise.


Presumably, the stem fit just fine on this pipe when it was new, so what has changed? The simple answer is that the pipe has been used and although a pipe cleaner may pass easily through the airway, tars and oils from the smoke have condensed inside the shank and built up a nice little plug in front of…

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