Blog by Steve Laug
I got a call from a customer of a local pipe shop about a possible pipe repair. He had dropped his L’Anatra dalle Uova d’Oro pipe and the stem had snapped at the tenon. He wanted to know if I could repair it for him. He stopped by yesterday afternoon for me to have a look at it and today I had the time to work on it. This kind of break is actually a nice one if you are going to have them. It snapped off pretty close to the stem end and he was able to pull it out of the shank. This is actually the first L’Anatra pipe that I have worked on and one I could easily have added to my collection. It is my kind of shape. I have looked at them in various pipe shops and always like the look and the feel but this is the first one that has crossed the work table. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank with the name of the brand L’Anatra, under that it read dalle Uova d’Oro. Underneath it reads Made in Italy. L’Anatra dalle Uova d’Oro in English means “The Duck that Lays Golden Eggs”. On the underside of the shank it is stamped with three eggs which refers to the grade of the pipe.
When he dropped the pipe off, I took some photos of the broken tenon. The first three photos show the pipe before I started the repair. I used the Dremel and sanding drum to flatten out the end of the stem and finished it on the topping board to make a flat surface for the new tenon to sit against. I started drilling out the airway with a drill bit slightly larger than the airway and worked my way up to the same size as the threaded end on the new tenon. I do not use the power on the drill but rather carefully turn the stem onto the drill bit slowly making sure to hold the stem straight against the bit.Once the airway is opened to the length of the threaded portion of the new tenon I used a tapping tool to thread the sides of the newly drilled airway so that I could screw in the new tenon.Once the airway was tapped I used a knife to cut a small bevel in the end of the stem so that the new tenon would sit tight against the face of the stem. I used the knife to also bevel the end of the tenon to match the original tenon that had broken off. With all the preparations done I screwed the tenon in place to check the fit. Once I knew that the fit was correct I unscrewed it from the stem, brushed the threads with some slow drying epoxy and turned the new tenon into the stem. This was a case of a perfect fit. The photo below shows the newly replaced tenon.I noticed there was some light tooth chatter on the stem so I polished it out with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I polished the tenon with micromesh sanding pads to remove the sanding marks and scratches in the Delrin. I put the stem in place in the shank and buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and then gave the stem and bowl several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to give it a deep shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The owner will soon pick up his pipe and fire it up again with his favourite tobacco. Thanks for looking.