Reworking one of my Early Tenon Replacements – A Peterson’s Aran 268 Zulu


Blog by Steve Laug

This next pipe was one that picked up very cheap on Ebay many years ago – before I started rebornpipes. I never did a write up on the pipe as I did not do such things at that time. It is probably one of the first, if not the first tenon replacement I ever did. I had no idea what I was doing other than the information I gather from a pipe maker friend here in Vancouver. I only had a few white tenons in my box of parts so I was very limited. The tenon was actually too small but I evidently figured I could make it work. All I was looking for was a pipe to smoke. I had no intention of selling it or moving it one. In those days I only had a few pipes so I was excited about the addition of a Peterson with nice grain in a shape I liked! I flattened the face of the stem and drilled out the stem to make room for the new tenon. I pulled the old broken tenon from the shank with a wood screw and I was ready to go.

When I came across the pipe the other day when I was sorting some of my pipes to move out I was at first amazed that this one would have ended up in the “to go” box. I picked it up and looked it over to see what was wrong with it. I had little memory if any of issues that came with this pipe. The pipe obviously smoked well as the bowl had a cake in it from my Virginias. The grain around the bowl was very nice. The silver band was lightly tarnished but looked very good. The externals of the stem actually looked very good. There were not tooth marks on either side of the P-lip and no tooth chatter. The pipe looked very good. Why had I moved it to the box? I took the stem off and had my answer. The tenon was tightly wrapped with masking tape which made for a snug fit. I laughed when I saw my caveman solution! I unwrapped the tape and the stem was floppy in the shank. No matter what I did with this pipe I would need to replace that poor fitting tenon! I took photos of the pipe to show what I saw. Sadly I had already unwrapped the tape so you don’t get to see that faux pas. I took a couple of photos of the stem off the shank to show the tenon. There are remnants of masking tape at the base of the tenon. I am actually surprised that the tenon was straight and everything lined up well. If it had been a better fit I would have left it alone.    I took photos of the stamping on the pipe. The stamping on the shank top read Peterson’s of Dublin ARAN. The silver band was stamped Peterson’s of Dublin arched around the “P” stamp in the middle. The right side of the shank was stamped with the shape number 268.Now it was time to remove the old tenon and replace it with a better fitting black one. I began the process by using a hacksaw to cut the tenon of the stem. I faced the stem end on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to flatten the edges of the cut off tenon.I moved on to drill out the remnants of the tenon in the stem so that I could turn in a new threaded tenon. I started with a drill bit slightly larger than the airway in the stem and drilled it to the depth of the white tenon end.  In the second photo I worked my way up to a drill bit that was the same size as the new threaded end of the tenon that is visible at the bottom left of the photo.The lip on the new tenon mid length needed to go and I needed to carefully reduce the diameter of the rest of the tenon for a snug fit in the shank. Those of you who have worked with Jobey Links will recognize the slot in the end of the tenon in the photo below. I used a Dremel and sanding drum to bring the lip down and turn the tenon to the right diameter.    A benefit of using this threaded tenon was that I had previously tapped the stem for the threaded white tenon. In drilling it out I had accidentally left the threaded area in place. I checked the fit in the shank and then carefully clamped it in a vise grip pliers and put some black super glue on the threads of the tenon. I turned the stem onto the new tenon until it was snug against the stem face. The fit in the stem was perfect. I removed the vise grips and set the stem aside to cure.   Once the glue had cured I put the stem in the shank and the fit was perfect. The tenon was still dull looking but it worked and my plan was to load a bowl and fire it up later today. If the cake is any sign of what it smoked like I think I am going to enjoy it once again. I took some photos of the completed pipe.

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