Tag Archives: black super glue

Reparing a Cumberland Stem on a Kaywoodie Regent Bulldog 98B

Blog by Greg Wolford

I’ve been hoping to add a Kaywoodie Regent to my collection for some time now. A month or so ago we were out-of-town on vacation when I happened upon one in an antique store. There were actually several pipes in this vendor’s case, most of which I wasn’t interested in. Other than the Regent, there were also two other Kaywoodies I was interested in: a Relief Grain and an extra long Canadian. They all looked to have pretty good bones in the dark little store so I made them mine.

When  I got them back to where we were staying I eagerly opened them up to see what I had. I found that they were a lot dirtier and caked up than I thought. I also now got a really good look at the damage to the Regent’s stem; this was going to take some trail and error I knew.

photo1_zps671dd981 photo2_zps4257f072

When I got home I took some better photos, showing the damage to the stem. There were deep teeth marks on the top and bottom of the stem and the edge of the side where the clover logo is was almost gone completely. This was going to take a lot of time and some research to get it even close to decent again I now realized.

IMG_9492 IMG_9491

My first step was to try some experiments on a Medico VFQ. Although I ended up with a good looking and smoking pipe, the experiments were somewhat in vain: the stems on the VFQ turned out to be nylon. So I now turned to some fellow restorers on the PSU Forum for hints. tips and ideas – and they really came through with many ideas and several new articles posted by Joyal. Some of the best advice for this project come from JoeMan: the idea of using activated charcoal powder with Gorilla brand super glue.

This project took days to complete do to all the patching a rebuilding of the stem. So, I didn’t do a great job documenting it all with photos and because of the extended time frame of the project I may miss a step or two in this article; I apologize in advance for these things.

The fist thing I did (after thoroughly cleaning the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol) was try to  raise the dents as much as I could with heat from a candle; there was little success here.

IMG_9673 IMG_9672

Now I began the filling and shaping process. This took many forms and layers: I used clear super glue, both “regular” and gel, mixing in some of the StewMac black glue at times, and also Gorilla brand super glue both with and without charcoal powder mixed into it. one of the challenges was to add strength and black-color in some places while not covering up too much of the red in the Cumberland stem. Another challenge was to build up that chewed up side so the end of the stem would have the proper shape again.

IMG_9683 IMG_9682

The StewMac glue was too thin and took so long to dry that it wasn’t much help to me on this project. The Gorilla glue, both “plain” and with the charcoal powder mixed in, was a big help; it is thicker and dries quite fast, especially when the powder is mixed in.

Another thing that added time was the way I went about this repair. There were multiple layers needed, as well as different thicknesses, so I would apply a patch, let it cure, and then shape it as I needed, and then start the whole process over again. I did this many times to get an acceptable result. This photo is after almost all of the layering and shaping was done:

IMG_9730I used needle files and a vulcrylic file for most of the shaping. I also used 220 grit sandpaper. After I had the final shape I was happy with I wet sanded with 320/400/600 and then micro mesh through 12000 grit; after 600 and every few grits thereafter I also polished the stem with Meguiar’s Scratch X2.0,which helps me see if I’ve missed anything along the way. The next four images are before micro mesh and after:



As you can see, this stem came out pretty nicely and is more than useable now. Then lines came out well, to my eye, and the rebuilding and patching blended rather nicely.

I didn’t do a lot to the stummel; the nomenclature is readable but very weak. There are some small “pocket” marks but I think they give the pipe an air of character so I basically left the stummel as I found it, sans, the thick cake, mess of tars and oils in the shank, and the buildup on the rim. The rim did require a very light topping and a round or two with the medium touch up marker to give it a head start on matching the patina on this rest of the wood. I only very lightly buffed the pipe with white diamond and carnauba wax and ending with a soft clean buff and hand polish with a micro fabric cloth.

IMG_9737 IMG_9738 IMG_9739 IMG_9740 IMG_9741 IMG_9742

I just noticed there is a bit of wax residue that I missed in the photos. Oh well, that’s easy enough to take care of after while ….

I’m very happy with how this project came out. It will soon find its way, I think, onto my rack where I can hopefully enjoy it for many years – unless my wife learns of its collectors appeal and potential value, then I might be in trouble!

Restemming a Bruyere Krone Billiard

I am just about finished restemming the lot of pipe bowls I picked up on EBay. This is one of the last two pipes that I have left in the lot below. It is the fourth pipe down in the left column. It has an interesting rustication pattern that reminds of one that is done on Saseini pipes. It is striated around the bowl and then tapers up from the bottom to a striated pattern around the shank. It has a flat bottom on the shank that is smooth and stamped Bruyere in a crown with a large R in the centre of the band on the crown. Underneath the crown is an unfurled banner that is stamped K R O N E. I have no idea of who the maker is or when and where it was made. The stamping is faint so I may be missing a few letters but I think this is an accurate rendering of what is stamped. The finish was pretty dirty with grime in the grooves on the bowl and shank. The rim was caked with a tarry buildup and the grooving on the rim was not visible. There were also place on the finish where the stain was missing and the briar underneath exposed. The inside of the bowl had dust and cob webs and a pretty large cake buildup that would need to be removed. The bowl came without a stem and fitting one would take flattening of the stem on the underside to match the shank.



I went through my box of estate stems and found one that was a good fit to the shank. Once the cleanup of the stem was done and a flattening of the underside of the stem the pipe would look like it came with that stem. The stem had a calcified buildup around the button and some tooth marks as well. The oxidation was not too bad but was present.






The clean angles of the button against the stem were gone so I recut them with needle files to clean up the edge. I reamed the bowl back to bare briar with a PipNet reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and progressing to the one that was the diameter of the bowl without the cake. Once it was cleaned out I scrubbed down the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a soft bristle tooth brush to remove the grime. I scrubbed the buildup on the rim with a soft bristle brass tire brush to remove the tars. Once I had scrubbed it I rinsed it with warm water to remove the soap and dried it off with a cotton towel. I wiped down the bowl with acetone on a cotton pad and prepared it to be stained. After heating it with a heat gun I stained it with a dark brown aniline stain. I used a permanent black marker to touch up the raw briar areas where it was scratched or damaged. I reapplied the stain and flamed it. The newly stained pipe is shown in photos 2 and 3 below.




I sanded the stem with medium grit emery paper to remove the calcification around the button and also heated the tooth marks with a Bic lighter to lift them as much as possible. I “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame to burn off the sulfur of the oxidation that I had loosened by sanding. I repaired the tooth marks on both sides of the stem with black superglue and set it aside to dry overnight.


The next morning I cleaned out the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and Everclear. I sanded the stem and the superglue patch with 220 grit sandpaper and then with a medium grit sanding sponge to clean up the scratches in the finish. I put it back on the bowl to get an idea of the overall look of the pipe and see if the diameters of the stem fit the shank. I needed to flatten the bottom of the stem some more to match the bottom of the shank and also removed some more of the material on the diameter of both sides to bring it into line with the shank. Once the stem was well fitted I moved on to sanding with micromesh sanding pads from 1500-12,000 grit.








I buffed the stem with White Diamond and a Blue polish. I gave the bowl a light buff with White Diamond to bring up the shine. I gave the bowl a coat of Halcyon II wax and buffed it by hand with a shoe brush. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba and buffed it on the buffer with a clean flannel buff. I think the pipe came out well. Does anyone know anything about the brand?





Comoys 498 Extraordinaire Restoration

Many pipe smokers or collectors (I consider myself both) have a “Holy Grail” list of pipes they would like to own. My list totals five and this year I was fortunate to have acquired two from that list within six months. My five are highly sought after and fully restored examples are most likely beyond my meager pipe fund budget. My best bet to acquire any of these models is to find a pipe in need of restoration. Even then, I’m competing with collectors all over the world.

Two pipes on my list are Comoys Extraordinaire models. The Extraordinaire line is described in Pipedia as:

Extraordinaire. This designation was given to any pipe that was out of the ordinary in size or grain. The E/O was introduced in the 1930s, and “Extraordinaires” can be found with no other designation or also stamped, for instance, “Blue Riband” or “London Pride.”

My first Extraordinaire is a 499 that has been dated to the 1930’s, from the “football” stamp and drilled “C” logo. I bought this one from a pipe friend and it was in the condition you see pictured below. (originally purchased at Fine Pipes) I found this 498 Extraordinaire listed on Ebay and was able to make a deal with the seller to acquire it before the auction continued. It was listed as a “283/Blue Riband”, both of which I knew it was not. The nomenclature isn’t as sharp as on my 499 but it is legible. The stamping style and C logo are identical to my 499, so I assume this one is also from the 1930’s. There were plenty of dings on the bowl, including some on the top. The stem was in pretty good shape, but heavily oxidized with one tooth indention on the bottom. Here is the condition of the pipe as delivered.


Comoys_498_Before (1)

Comoys_498_Before (2)

Comoys_498_Before (3)

Comoys_498_Before (4)

Comoys_498_Before (5)

There was a moderate cake in the bowl, which I reamed and then filled the bowl and shank with Sea Salt and Everclear for an overnight soak. The alcohol and salt didn’t leach much tar from the bowl, so hopefully it will be ghost free. The bowl was previously reamed slightly out of round and the Comoys beveled bowl top has been dimished over the past seven or so decades.

The next step was to steam the dents and marks from the bowl. I heated an old kitchen knife tip with a propane torch. A wet cloth, doubled over was applied to the area with a dent, then the hot knife tip was pressed over the dent. The steam eventually causes the dent to rise and I was able to remove or diminish most of the dents. You have to be careful on this step not to scorch the wood, so keep your cloth wet. I was able to reduce the dents on the bowl top to much smaller marks. Fortunately, the bowl top was not scorched by previous smokers

Removing the oxidation from the stem took several hours. I first soaked the stem in mild Oxy-clean solution to loosen the oxidation. I put a dab of grease on the “C” logo to protect it. I then used 1500 wet paper and then 2000 wet paper to remove the brown oxidation. I buffed the stem lightly with white diamond rouge (with the stem mounted to avoid rounding the edge). Next I sanded the stem with 8000 and then 12000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed again with white diamond rounge and finally with Blue Magic automotive plastic polish.

I tried to raise the tooth indention on the bottom of the stem, but it could not be raised much. I ordered a tube of black superglue that luthiers use for repair on stringed instruments. I’ve previously used regular superglue mixed with a little black vulcanite dust but this pipe seemed worthy of the investment ($15 delivered…). I’ll update the photos after the black superglue is used.

Below is the finished pipe along with my other Extraordinaire 499. I’m thrilled and fortunate to have acquired this one before it went thru the auction process. It makes a terrific stablemate to my 499.


Comoys_498_Finish (3)

Comoys_498_Finish (2)

Comoys_498_Finish (1)

Comoys_498_Finish (4)

Update – Stem Tooth Indention Repair:

My order of Black Superglue was delivered this week from Stew-Mac. I forgot to order the accelerant, but Steve Laug told me to let the glue set overnight to dry.

I cleaned out the tooth mark using a small pick, to allow the glue to have a good clean suface.

Comoys_Stem_Stem_Repair (2)

Comoys_Stem_Stem_Repair (1)

The glue is a little thicker than regular Superglue, but it can still run, so the pipe stem must be kept level. Cut the tube open with the smallest opening possible. The bottle does have a tight fitting cap, so hopefully it does not dry out between uses.

Comoys_Stem_Stem_Repair (3)

After the glue dried overnight, I sanded it smooth with some 400 and then 800 grit wet sandpapers. I followed this with 1500 and then 2000 grit wet papers.

Comoys_Stem_Stem_Repair (4)

I then moved to the final two grades of micromesh, 8000 and 12000 grade papers, followed by a buff on the machine with White diamond rouge. I always do a final buff with automotive plastic polish. I’m pleased with how the repair came out and the black superglue does blend in better than the clear. I’m not a clencher, but I suspect the repair section would last longer then the original stem material.


Refurb on a Two Point Billiard – Gnawed Stem

This is the second Two Point pipe that I had in my box to be refurbished. It obviously was owned by the same pipe man as the little Lovat as evidenced by the matching bite marks. The pipe had an uneven cake in the bowl making the bowl conical even though it was U-shaped in reality under the cake. The rim was dirty and tarred but not damaged with dents or knock marks. The finish was spotty and uneven so the bowl would need to be stripped and restained for good coverage. The biggest problem can be seen in the first two pictures below: the stem was very badly chewed. In the first picture it can be seen that the top of the stem had several deep bite marks and the button was eliminated on the left side. It was more of an upward slope to the tip than the sharp angular edge that was originally there. The round cap of the top of the p-lip button was smoothed out and no longer crowned. In the second picture you can see that the bottom tooth marks and bite throughs had been repaired with what appeared to be epoxy that was fairly caked on the stem tip to the point that the lip line and the button were gone. What remained was a working stem that had no beauty to my eye.


The third and fourth photos show the profile of the button and it can be seen to have been virtually eliminated with the slope of the epoxy on the bottom edge and the chewed top edge. You can also see the state of the finish on the pipe. The spottiness and grime that covered the outside of the bowl are visible. Obviously this was a good smoking pipe that the previous owner cobbed a repair on so that he could continue to enjoy smoking it.


The next two photos are enlarged to show the state of the stems. The first one shows the top of the stem and you can see the two large dents (interestingly they are in the same place as those on the other Two Point pipe).You can also see the wearing away of the edge of the button to a slope. The crown is also flattened. The second shows the underside of the stem and the remaining two dents – one next to the button on the bottom half of the stem and the second inward from that dent. You can also clearly see the epoxy patch that fills the bite through and the button. The usual line that separates the button on the p-lip from the stem is gone. To repair these two surfaces the dents need to be raised and the holes filled to the point where it is possible to cut a new button on the top and the bottom. The crown will need to be built up a bit and the epoxy patch hidden or blended into the black of the stem.


I decided to work on the top side of the stem first and heated the surface of the vulcanite to lift the dents as much as possible. Once that was finished I filled what remained of the two dents with black super glue (see the first photo below). The dent next to the button I over filled so that I could have room to recut the edge of the button. When the glue had dried I sanded it back with 240 grit sandpaper to even the surface. I also recut the button edge to give it more of a sharp distinction. The sanded top surface can be seen in the second photo below.



On the underside of the stem I decided to recut the button and the line with needle files before I refilled the dents and the epoxy patch. I sanded off the extra epoxy to get the surface smooth and level with the surface of the stem. I used 240 grit sand paper to bring the surface down and the needle files to cut the edge on both sides of the line. You can now see that line in the picture below and there is a definite break between the bottom of the p-lip and the stem. It is a duplicate of the button on the Two Point Lovat.


Once I had that recut the button area I filled the surface of the stem with black super glue as seen in the picture below. I propped it with a pen to keep the surface level as I did not want the super glue to run and pool. I also built up the epoxy patch on the edge of the button as well. Once the glue was dry I sanded the surface and did a bit of work with the needle files to redefine the edges. The second picture below shows the sanded stem with a smooth surface.



I finished sanding the stem with 400 and 600 grit sandpaper and water and then moved through the micromesh pads from 1500-6000 grit. The trick was to build a black coating on the epoxy patch. This took repeated coats of the black super glue. Once that was complete then the stem could be polished by hand until I finished with the bowl refinishing.

While I had been working on the stem the bowl had been soaking in the alcohol bath. Before dropping it in the bath I had wiped it down with a soft cloth and acetone (fingernail polish remover works very well) to remove the finish and the grime. It was time for it to be removed from the bath so that I could work on it. The three pictures below show the bowl after it has dried off from the alcohol bath. It now needed to be sanded with micromesh to remove any surface scratches and the rim needed to be thoroughly wiped down in preparation for the staining. I sanded and then wiped it down with a soft alcohol soaked cloth and set up the staining area.


The next four photos show the restained bowl. I used a medium brown aniline based stain (Fiebings Leather Dye) to stain the pipe. Once it was stained I flamed it and buffed it to polish the briar and make the grain stand out. The patterns of birdseye and swirls is quite unique. This is a clean piece of briar – no fills and no problem areas.


I then put the stem on the pipe and buffed the entirety with White Diamond and carnauba wax to bring it back to a shine. The final four photos show the finished pipe. Pay attention to the stem and button areas as they are now very distinct in the profiles and the build-up on the top and bottom give it back its original shape.


Rebuilding a chewed and dented stem with super glue

I just finished reworking this old stem from an Imperial Two Point Made in London Lovat. The stem was very unique in that it is a p-lip design though slotted in the airway. I have a second one that I am working on that has the same stem so I believe this is one of the hallmarks of the Two Point. That being the case I decided to restore the stem rather than cut a new one. You can see the state of the vulcanite from the three pictures below. The first picture is of the top of the stem. There were three major tooth dents in the surface of the stem, two chunks out of the edge of the button and a piece missing out of the edge of the lip of the slot. The second picture is of the underside of the stem. There you can see one major dent from teeth and also several smaller dents. There is also a dent in the edge of the lip of the pipe that has moved the straight line with a dip in it. The third picture shows the slot in the end of the stem, it is a bit out of focus but you can see the missing piece at the left side of the top edge.


I used my heat gun set on low to lift the dents as much as possible before working on the stem with sandpaper and superglue patches. I cleaned the surfaces of both the top and bottom of the stem after heating and then sanded them with 240 grit sandpaper to remove oxidation and anything that would prohibit the glue from sticking. In the first photo below you can see the two patches on the dents that remained after heating on the underside of the stem and the work that has been done straightening the line. I decided to work on the underside first as it needed a bit less repair. Once the glue was dry I turned the stem over and patched the top side. In the second photo below you can see the super glue patches on the surface of the stem, the two dents on the edge of the button to build up the edge. Once it was dry I planned on using needle files on both top and bottom to sharpen the edge of the button to a crisp restored look.


The next two photos show the top and bottom surfaces of the stem after sanding with 240 grit sandpaper to bring the glue patches flush with the surface and using the needle files to sharpen the edges of the patched button.


The next picture (I apologize for the blurriness but I think it still is clear enough to see the point I am making) shows the work that was needed to rebuild the lip of the button on the topside where the chip was. I carefully layered in black superglue making sure not to close off the airway. I used a greased pipe cleaner folded in half in the airway of the slot to provide a base to build on. Once the base was buildt I stood the stem on end and gradually layered in super glue to build up the top edge of the slot. The goal was to return it to a smooth rounded crown with a clean straight slot for the airway.


The next two pictures show the build up area on the end of the button. It is a shiny black spot in the photo at the bottom right edge of the button. Each one shows a bit more of the build up to give an idea of the process. I would have to recut the edge of the button on the top side when the build up was complete.


When I had the surface filled to satisfaction I recut the edge of the button with the needle files and also sanded the surface with 240 grit sandpaper and 400 and 600 grit wet dry and water to smooth out the fill. I then proceeded to use my normal list of micromesh pads from 1500-6000 grit to finish the stem. I put the stem back on the pipe and buffed it with White Diamond. I took it back to the work desk and gave it a coat of Obsidian Oil, wiped it off when dry and gave the stem a final coat of carnauba wax. The pictures below show the finished stem. The first one shows the topside and the rebuilt crown of the button. The glare and shadows on the picture do not allow you to see clearly the recut edge but it is straight and clean. The second picture shows the underside of the stem and the crisp straight edge of the button. The final picture is an end shot to show the slot and the curve and flow of the crown of the button.


Overall I am pleased with the repair and now have a renewed pipe.


Black Super Glue Repair to a Damaged Stem

Blog by Steve Laug

Using the stem on the little Barling I repaired earlier as an example I thought I would post the process of repairing bite marks with Black Super Glue. The glue is available online at a variety of sources, though I purchased mine from http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Glues,_adhesives.html a company that is a supplier for stringed instrument repairmen. They offer super glue in several colours and viscosities. I order the black super glue from them that comes with whip tip nozzles as I find that it is easy to control the size of the drops used. I also have used the clear super glue and it works very well in several other applications including repairing and replacing fills on older pipes. They also carry a wide variety of micromesh sanding pads and papers. It is a great resource for hard to find items (at least in Canada) that I use regularly in my repairs.

I always seek to repair a stem in the least intrusive manner possible. In the case of the stem below I heated the tooth dents to try and lift them as much as possible before any other method was used. This can be done carefully with a heat gun – I stand the gun on its stand, turn it on its lowest setting and move the damaged part of the stem in the heat about 4-6 inches above the tip of the gun. If it gets too close the vulcanite is damaged through burning. The other method that I have used avoids this problem – it involves putting a cup of water in a microwave and boiling it. Once it is hot place the stem button end down in the boiling water and leave it. Repeat as often as necessary or until there is no more lift on the dents of marks in the stem. Note if the dents have sharp edges, or are cuts, the heat will not lift the dents at all. It also will not work on holes or bite throughs on the stem.

In Photos 1 and 2 the stem is pictured as I received it on the pipe. The first photo shows the top of the stem and shows the damage to the button and the surface – mostly dents. The second photo shows the underside of the stem. It was significantly worse that the top. The dents were very deep and the button was virtually destroyed. At this point it is probably pertinent to ask whether the stem should have been replaced or not. Several things went against doing that in my opinion. The first was that this is an original Transition Era Barling stem. It is hard to find replacements that have the slab look and slight taper on the saddle that are hallmarks of the Barling stem. The second was that the tenon on this one is very tiny. I did not have a tool that allowed me to turn that small of a tenon. Thus I decided to give it a repair. Then of course, if you have followed this blog for long you will understand, there was the challenge. Could I possible restore the stem to at least a semblance of its original “glory” and functionality?  


So with the decision made I turned to work on this stem. I used my heat gun to lift the marks as much as I could on the top and the bottom of the stem. The two pictures below show the effect of the heat on the stems. The first photo shows the top of the stem – the heat actually lifted those bit marks quite a bit. It took out the rounded edges of the dents. What is left was actually sharp edges or cuts from the teeth on the button and on the surface. You will also notice that some of the oxidation burned off in the process. I also sanded the surface with 240 grit sand paper to better see what I was dealing with on this stem. The second photo shows the underside of the stem – the heat lifted the dents significantly but not totally. The sharp edges on the dents still remain, as does the destroyed button and the hole is very visible. I repeated the heating process several times (to be honest I lost count) until there was no more visible improvement in the dents. It was time to prepare for the patching process.


Before I use super glue to patch a hole or fill dents in the stem I prepare the surface to be clean and debris free in order to get a good bond on the glue. I sand the surface with 240 grit to remove the oxidation as much as possible. I want the area under the patch to be black so that the glue matches. Oxidation on the edges of the patch makes that match impossible. Once I have the surface sanded I buff it with Tripoli to take a bit of the roughness out. I don’t want a glossy finish as a little roughness gives surface for the glue to bite into. But I do want it clean. I wash the stem with isopropyl alcohol to remove any debris that still remains, including any of the Tripoli. I use a dental pick to make sure that the edges of the hole are not cracked or broken. Doing this often opens the hole a bit larger but it also removes chips or cracking that will not provide a good base for the patch. I finish the cleanup with yet another wash with alcohol and a cotton swab. The surface should have solid edges to bind to and no extraneous sanding dust or debris that will be in the way of the patch.

On this stem the easiest part to patch was the top of the stem so I started with that part. I used the whip nozzle on the super glue and dripped it on the stem. I smoothed the drop out with the end of the whip. I want the dent and cut to be totally filled so I moved the glue back and forth until it was all covered and then set it aside to dry with the end of the stem propped up to keep the patch level. The first picture below shows the patch after the glue had dried. It formed a solid patch on the stem. I always layer the patch doing multiple layers until I have built up the hole and dent. In this case I also used the glue to build up the button. While the picture does not show it clearly, the glue is actually level with the top of the button and small spots of glue are moved into the dent marks in the button surface itself. In the second photo the stem shows the patch after sanding with 240 grit sandpaper. The object was to get a smooth surface on the stem. The dent marks in front of the button are gone. The brown spot on the stem is some oxidation that has not been sanded out yet. The button is also repaired and you can see a bit of the bulk that is now there. The button will need to be shaped and recut with needle files once the underside of the stem is also patched.


Once I had the top surface of the stem to the point it is pictured above I turned the stem over to work on the underside. This part of the stem was really the challenge on this one. It had deep tooth cuts and a bite through that needed to be repaired. The first step for me was to repair the bite through. I fold a pipe cleaned to fit the flared slot on the button. I greased it with olive oil and inserted it in the slot. I wanted it to be smooth and not pucker through the bite hole, so I tucked it down with my dental pick. Once it was set I put in the first drops of black super glue. Remember at this point I am not work on the surface detail of the holes only the bite through. Once it was patched I went on to fill the other deep dents and marks on the surface and build up the button. I set aside the stem on a level surface and raise the tenon end to keep the bubble of glue level so it would dry.

Once the glue dried I removed the pipe cleaner from the slot. This is always the moment of truth for me – did I grease it well enough that the pipe cleaner did not permanently bond to the slot. In this case it worked perfectly and it came out easily! Whew! Once it was removed I filled the rest of the dent marks with the super glue and also built up the non-existent button. I forgot to take pictures of that step. So the verbal description and the picture of the topside fill will have to suffice. I set the stem aside again and leveled the glue so that it would dry and not run up the stem. Super glue dries very hard and is a lot of work to sand off the surface. Once it was dry I sanded the surface with 240 grit sandpaper once again to level out the surface. The picture below shows the stem at that stage in the process. The fills appear to be white but that is the sanding dust on the surface. You can clearly see the three large patches on the underside of the stem in this picture as well as the rebuilt portion of the button. Again I over filled the patch to the level of the top of the button to provide a solid new surface for me to work with when I recut the button with the needle files.


The next two photos show the result of the sanding process with the 240 grit sandpaper on the top and the bottom of the stem. I wanted to make sure that the patches blended into the surface of the stem. You will note that in the first photo of the top of the stem, that the patch is virtually invisible. Though it is not very clear, I had also recut the button with the needle files to give it a good sharp edge against the surface of the stem. I use wedge shaped file and a rectangular file to cut that edge cleanly and the result is a button that looks original. In the second photo you can clearly see that the patches are fairly well hidden. The one against the button and the large one at the top of the photo were the deepest ones. After this sanding and recleaning the surface I refilled those two spots, let them dry and sanded them again. Once that was completed the underside of the stem looked exactly like the topside of the stem at this point.


I failed to take pictures of recutting the button on the underside of the stem but you can see the new button in the pictures below. I cut and shaped it with the same needle files that I used on the top of the stem. I like the clean angles of a new button so I was aiming for that with just a little wear or rounding to match the age of the pipe. I finished the sanding and polishing of the stem using 400 and 600 grit wet dry sandpaper and then used the normal list of micromesh sanding pads from 1500-6000 grit. I keep a bowl of water close by to dip both the paper and the pads in as I sand as I find it more effective in removing the scratches and remaining oxidation. Once the stem was finished I put it on the pipe bowl and gave it a buff with Tripoli and White Diamond to get a good sheen to the surface. I never buff a stem apart from a pipe as I do not want to damage the stem shank junction by rounding the clean edge of the stem. The top two photos below show the top and bottom of the stem respectively. You can see the repair is complete and the button is very clean and present. The second two photos below show the stem from the right and left profile so you can see the flow of the stem surface – uninterrupted from either side with the tooth dents as before and also the profile of the button. It is distinctive and present. The stem was finished with several coats of Obsidian Oil and then carnauba wax to protect the surface.