Blog by Samuel R. Vior
I have been reading Sam’s posts on the Gentlemen’s Pipe Smoking Society Group on Facebook since I joined the group some time ago. He always has some interesting posts on pipes and tobaccos and I enjoy reading them. Today he posted a piece with the title “Kirsten “Stinger” Ram Rod Intake Tube as designated, is it really necessary.” With that title I assumed his answer would be a categorical NO. I was right! He did a masterful job not only explaining how he removed the ram rod but his rationale for doing so. I wrote him a private message and asked if he would write it up for rebornpipes as I thought you all might enjoy it! He said he would be glad to do so. Thanks Sam and welcome to rebornpipes. It is a pleasure to have your writing here. Here is his story in his own words. — Steve
Here´s my little story as requested. My name is Samuel R Vior; got into pipes around 10 years ago, as to have a personal pastime, by trade I manage a small fleet of oil support vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, SE Mexico side.
Since I move a lot because of work, I needed to get something to allow me to leave my precious pieces at the house and still have the versatility of pipe smoking and after a thorough review of the options; I was convinced that a metal pipe was what I needed. I got a Falcon and a Jima but both seemed fragile, while Kristen’s are sturdier in construction.
I must say, that I never thought I would fall in love with them, and since my work world is metal, aluminum was just right. The very first one I purchased I had restored by Jason Bard of Bards Vintage Briar and the rest all by me.
I have bought and restored in between 60 to 70 pieces, mostly from EBay, Etsy, Pipestud and some Antique Stores and Flee Markets hunts, when possible. I got them in all sorts, sizes, shapes, as to learn the system and when needed, restore or repair them myself, having my pipes restored by others is troublesome (S&H costs and customs) and lengthy process.
As for the “stinger” article, I will start with the repair of a shattered one, since that is how I stumbled onto it.
After the stem mouth piece had shattered, I thought of gluing it together, but I knew it would not hold permanently. I took advantage of the material left in the stem and removed the breakage area. I recessed the tenon hole, made the groove around the end of the stem for the rubber O ring and narrowed the stem as to be able to fit into the shank radiator body upper hole. And that brings me to the post that Steve read on Facebook – The Kirsten “Stinger” Ram Rod Intake Tube as designated, is it really necessary? Not in my book!
A few of months ago, I had posted about the repair of a Stem/Mouth-bit which had shattered while cleaning the inside of a valve. This made me “discover” that removing the stinger was a far more enjoyable smoking experience.
I also suspected that the Ramrod Intake Tube, was not glued or permanent attached to the stem/mouth-bits. But until I recently obtained a 4th generation brand new pipe all of my previous experiences were to have the “stinger” stuck to the mouthpiece.
Anyway, since returning from Summer holidays I have removed all Stinger, Ramrod Intake tubes from my Kirstens and smoke them without a single issue and again much better smoking condition.
Disclaimer: Attempting to remove your “stinger” (ramrod intake tube) is dangerous and should only be done by trained professionals and under controlled environment conditions.
But if you want to give it a try anyway here’s how I removed mine. Spray a bit of dielectric fluid at the base of the acrylic and let it rest for 20 minutes. After that remove the o-rings and submerge stingers and mouth-bits in a soapy water mixture made of warm water and Bar Keepers Friend Soft. After that scrub the inside if the mouth-bits with Everclear pipe cleaners and let them dry.
Use plastic wrapped pliers if possible and twist left to right until the Stinger, Ramrod Intake Tube comes off. The photos below show six of my stems with the tube removed and the tubes themselves. They came out pretty easily. I am enjoying smoking my Kirstens without the contraption in the barrel. Thanks for looking.