Polishing a Chair Leg/Fancy Stem


I have a GBD Tapestry that I am restoring, hopefully it will be done in the next day or so. I really like the Tapestry line; this makes my second one in different shapes. They have a fancy “chair leg” stem that while attractive are a pain to polish, especially if they are heavily oxidized, as this one was. 


You can see the “problem” areas in the photos. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos before beginning to remove the oxidation and calcification, which were quite thick. 

Remembering back to the first one I restored, I thought that sharing the method I use on this type of stem would be helpful to others. It’s not a fast process but it is pretty well foolproof because no machines are used, only “you power” and buffing compound on a piece of thin leather lace. 

I use 3/32″ lace but it also comes in 1/4″. I imagine other materials would work, too. I drag the lace across the bar of compound to load it after putting the stem in a hobby vise. (I use this table top vise with only my hand for holding the vise in place – it has rubbed coated jaws – so I don’t put too much stress on the stem and possibly break it.) I take one end of the lace in each hand and rub it using a “sawing” motion (pull the lace toward me with my right hand, then my left, repeat) in the crevices, reloading the compound as needed, until the oxidation is gone. 

It does require some time and effort but there’s almost no chance of getting the stem out of shape, ruining the graceful lines, or breaking it. 

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This entry was posted in Pipe Refurbishing Essays and tagged , , , , , on by .

About Greg

I am medically retired from my 'career', have been for about 5 years now. For quite some time I missed my old job a lot. I enjoyed it, I was good at it and didn't have any desire to do anything else. But the Lord had other plans for me. Now He has called me to work for Him. He has graciously given me some talent to work with words. He has also seen fit to guide me with the Holy Spirit to study and comprehend His Word. Don't misunderstand; I am no scholar nor a pastor. I'm just trying to be obedient to my Lord and Savior and do what He asks me, in a way that would please and bring glory to His holy Name.

8 thoughts on “Polishing a Chair Leg/Fancy Stem

  1. upshallfan

    I remember my first GBD chair-leg stem, which was on my first 9438, a real bear with that many creases. Good thinking on the shoe lace. I wrapped paper around a knife-edge microfile, your method might be less damaging

    Reply
    1. Greg Post author

      When I first looked at it after the Oxiclean bath I thought “why did you buy that nightmare?” LOL After it “came to me” how I’d done the first one it was less a arduous feeling task. Why do we we put ourselves through some of the aggravation we do? It’s a disease I’m convinced 🙂

      Reply
    1. Greg Post author

      Thanks! This is certainly “the” place to learn from, always has been for me. I’m really thankful for Steve and the others for sharing and hosting treasury of knowledge.

      Reply

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