Tag Archives: fitting a new tenon

Restoring a Preben Holm Hand Cut Sandblast Freehand in Pune, India

Blog by Steve Laug, Jeff Laug, Dal Stanton, Paresh, Abha and Pavni Deshpande

The restoration on this beautiful Preben Holm freehand may appear to be just another pipe restoration but it was not. Let me assure you that it was definitely far more than that. It was really an East and West adventure in pipe restoration. My brother Jeff and I traveled to Pune, India where we met Dal Stanton of Pipe Steward and had an incredible visit with Paresh Deshpande, his wife Abha and his daughters Mudra and Pavni. With that cast of players – from the US, Canada, Bulgaria and India it was going to be a unique and memorable week of fellowship and pipe restoration. Each of us played a role in this restoration. I will try to include the contribution of each in the story as it unfolds. Paresh and I had spoken of the pipes that he wanted us to work on together while staying with him. This pipe was one of them. We had talked about the Preben Holm via Whatsapp in the past months and he wanted me to replace the broken tenon on the pipe so that he could learn the process.

Lest you might think that all we did was work on pipes, I can assure you that while staying in Pune we enjoyed the sights of the city, fellowship and great food along with working on pipes together. Paresh and his family did a magnificent job of hosting the event and making us all feel like we were part of his family. The hospitality, the amazing food provided by Abha and the joy and laughter of Mudra and Pavni were all part of making this an unforgettable visit. In the next weeks there will be several blogs written about the pipes that we worked on. Dal is working on a blog about the restoration of a BBB bent billiard that had belonged to Paresh’s grandfather that was a real group effort. Both Paresh and I will also be posting blogs on some of the other pipes that we worked on together including meerschaums and briars. We thoroughly enjoyed the time together while smoking our pipes and sharing beer and scotch to celebrate each restoration and to close each day. We exchanged tips and processes that we used. It was a time of sharing and learning for all of us.

The blog I am writing now was on the restoration of a really well made Preben Holm freehand. Paresh had picked this pipe up off eBay for a good price because of the condition. I am sure that if the pipe had been complete it would have sold for a much higher price than it did. The sandblast finish was dirty but very well done – showing bother the underlying grain and the cross grain in the blast. The stain colour was a contrast of browns and blacks. The rim top and the shank end were both plateau. They were dirty but still quite stunning. The inner and outer edge of the bowl was in great condition. The exterior of the bowl was also in good condition under the grime of the years. The tenon had been broken off cleanly at the stem and whoever had pulled it had drilled through the broken tenon in the process of pulling it out of the shank. The stem had some tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside and some wear on the button edge but otherwise it was in very good condition. There was some oxidation on the surface and in the grooves of the fancy stem that would need to be addressed. We took photos of the pipe at this point in the process to show the parts and the condition. I took a picture of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It was clear but showed some wear. It read Preben Holm over Hand Cut over Made in Denmark. There is also a circle with a number in it; sadly I failed to write down the number. I believe it is either a 1 or a 7. Perhaps Paresh can confirm this.Now it was time to start on the stem repair on this pipe. I want to document the process on this restoration so that both Dal and Paresh have the information for their future tenon replacements. The first step is preparing the end of the stem for drilling out the airway. The remnants of the broken tenon need to be removed in order to have a smooth surface for drilling out the airway to receive the end of the new tenon. I did this be using a piece of 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I worked on the stem until the surface of the end was smooth.Once the end of the stem was smooth I used a sharp knife to give the airway a slight inward bevel to guide the drill bit when I started the drilling. I find that doing this helps facilitate a straight drill in the airway. The key for me in tenon replacement is to let the airway be the guide for the drilling. Doing this keeps things aligned and the airway straight. I started the drilling with a bit that was slightly larger than the existing airway. I proceed through a series of bits until I have drilled the airway with the final bit the same size as the end of the replacement tenon that I will use. I generally use a cordless drill to do this work but in this case I used a Hand Drill that Paresh had available. I tightened the bit in the chuck and carefully turned the stem onto the bit. I proceed with caution as I want to make sure that I keep the airway straight for a good fit of the new tenon. I use the length of the end of the tenon to determine the depth of the drilling. I generally mark the bit with a line of a piece of tape to ensure that I do not drill too deep.I worked my way up through a successive series of drill bits, to slowly open the airway to receive the tenon. I find that this process keeps the stem from chipping as I drill and creating more problems for me to repair in the process. As I finshed using the first three bits I decided to use the power drill. Paresh gladly became the human vise to hold the drill. I aligned the bit and stem and pressed the trigger to drill the airway further. It was great to have extra hands in this process. Dal took photos as we worked on the stem.I used the 4.8 and 5 mm drill bits to finish drilling out the airway.The airway was open to the right dimension to receive the new tenon. At home I have a tap set and would have threaded the airway to receive the tenon. In this case I did not have a tap so I used a file to knock off the threads on the tenon end enough to pressure fit it in place in the stem. Once they were knocked off enough I put some super glue on the tenon end and pressed it into the airway. I carefully checked the alignment to make sure the tenon was straight on the stem before setting it aside to cure. Once the glue had cured on the tenon repair we put the stem in Mark Hoover’s Before & After Deoxidizer to let it do its work on the oxidation. I also wanted to experiment with how the deoxidizer affected the glue in the tenon repair. We set it aside for several hours while we worked on the bowl.I turned the bowl over to Jeff to do the cleanup work and show us his process. Abha, Paresh’s wife joined in the cleanup process on this pipe as well as the others on the work table the week that we were all together. In watching him do the work we all learned some new tools and techniques to add to our arsenals of restoration. He reamed it with the Castleford Reamer that I brought as a gift for Abha. He took the cake back to bare briar so that we could check out the condition of the chamber walls. It looked very good. He cleaned the rim top and shank end with a brass bristle wire brush to clean the grime out of the plateau. He scrubbed out the interior of the pipe with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. (Forgot to take pictures of this point of the process.) Jeff scrubbed the surface of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and debris from the plateau and the sandblast finish. Somehow we forgot a picture of this point of the process. He took it to the sink and rinsed it off and scrubbed the interior and exterior of the briar with dish soap. He scrubbed it further with the dish soap and tooth brush. He rinsed the pipe off with warm water in the sink.He dried the bowl off with a soft cloth and buffed it with a microfiber cloth to give some shine to the briar. We rubbed the surface down with some Before & After Restoration Balm to enliven, enrich and protect the briar. We buffed it once more with the microfiber cloth. The photos show the look of the cleaned briar. With the bowl done we set it aside and turned our attentions to the stem. Jeff took it out of the bath and squeezed the excess deoxidizer off the stem into the bath. He rinsed it under warm water and ran water through the airway. He blew on the stem to clear out any deoxidizer in the airway. He ran a pipe cleaner with alcohol through the stem to remove any remaining dexodizer. He buffed it rigorously with a microfiber cloth to remove the remaining oxidation and polish the vulcanite. The tenon glue held up well in the bath and the tenon was tight in the stem. I “painted” the stem surface with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth chatter and dents in the surface. Paresh sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and minimize the tooth dents on the button and the surface of the stem. He wiped it down with alcohol and filled in the dents with clear super glue. When the glue had cured we smoothed out the repairs with a needle file and sanded them with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth and blend them into the surface of the stem. We polished the stem surface with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with all grits – 1500-12000 grit and rubbing the stem down with a microfiber cloth to give it a shine. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the bowl with a shoe brush that Paresh had in his kit. I rubbed the bowl and stem down with another coat of Balm and buffed it further with the brush. Dal, helped me install a new photo app on my phone to take the photos. (I have lots to learn about how to use the enhancements of the app but I took the photos and the lack of precision reflects my aptitude not Dal’s instruction.) The pictures below show the finished pipe. It is a beautiful Preben Holm Hand Cut Danish freehand that has a full life ahead of it in Paresh’s rotation. The process I use in putting a new tenon on the stem and revitalizing the finished pipe has been recorded. Jeff’s process on cleaning up the stem and briar has also been documented in the process. Paresh’s daughter Pavni polished the inside of the bowl with sandpaper bringing it to a shine that is unparalleled. This is a feature of all of Paresh’s restorations that none of us knew before. Thanks Pavni for your patient labour in bringing beauty to the inside of the bowl. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I look forward to hearing from Paresh how the pipe smokes as we did not get around to this one while we were in Pune. Thanks for looking and reading the blog. We all hope the documentation has been helpful.

Resurrection for a Hand Made Pipa Croci Bent that was dropped

Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe up for repairs and restoration (from nine from the fellow who brought them for repair) is a Hand Made Pipa Croci. It is stamped on the left side and continuing to the underside of the shank with the words Pipa Croci (long-tailed P) over fatta a mano over Mantova, Italia and dal 1983. On the right side is stamped PC in a circle with a tail over A3 (shape number for a bent billiard). Next to that is stamped *True*. Fatta a mano means Hand Made. It would have been a great looking pipe when purchased. I am pretty sure that it is the nicest one that he left for me to work on and the one with the most issues. Somewhere along the way he dropped the pipe on concrete and the tenon snapped. If that had been all then that was a simple fix. It was not all! The bowl cracked two places on the bottom, not deep cracks but cracks nonetheless. There was a crack on the left side mid bowl that ran from close to the bottom up to a ½ inch below the rim and a small one on the top of the rim on the left toward the front of the bowl. I took a close up photo of the rim and bowl to show the condition. The cake is thick and the rim has a lava overflow from the bowl and some damage on the outer edge near the front.The next two photos, though a little out of focus show the crack in the bowl bottom circled in red. I will continue to show them in the photos as I clean up the bowl.The Lucite/acrylic stem was rough. There were tooth marks on both the top and underside of the stem in front of the button and a deep bit mark on the top of the button. The broken tenon would need to be replaced and there were some nicks in the sides of the stem close to the button end.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and took the cake back to bare briar. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. There would still need to be more work done to smooth things out but the bowl was clean and I could see that the cracks did not go all the way through to the inside walls.I topped the bowl to remove the rim damage, particularly that on the outer edge. I also wanted to expose the crack on the rim top and see how bad it was. This pipe really took a beating when it was dropped – fissures all over the place in the briar. I have circled the crack on the bottom to show the largest one. There is a small one next to it that is hard to see in this picture though it will show in later pictures.I scrubbed the bowl down with acetone to remove the finish and reveal more clearly the cracks on the bowl. I have circled them in the next set of photos and drawn arrows to the points of origin that will need to be drilled. The number of cracks is amazing to me – all from a drop on concrete. This briar is quite stunning with some birdseye and cross grain. I drilled with a microdrill bit in the Dremel at each terminus of the cracks. Some of them had spidered a bit so they took multiple holes. I clean out the cracks with a dental pick and wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad. I filled in the holes with briar dust and clear super glue. I sanded the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper to blend the repairs into the rest of the bowl. I sanded them with a medium and fine grit sanding sponge to polish the scratches away. I set the bowl aside for a while and worked on the stem. I flattened out the broken tenon on the face of the stem with a Dremel and sanding drum. Once it was smooth I used a drill bit about the same size as the airway in the stem to start the process of opening the airway to take the new tenon. I put the drill bit in a stationary drill and turned the stem on to the bit by hand. I increased the size of the bit incrementally so as not to split the stem and to keep things aligned. I put a tape on the bit that marked the depth of the threaded tenon. Once the airway was opened to the diameter of the tenon I used a tap to thread the inside walls of the newly drilled opening. I turned the stem onto the tap carefully to keep it straight and aligned.The next two photos show the newly tapped stem and the new tenon that was going to be turned into the stem. The tenon was slightly larger than the mortise so I used the Dremel and sanding drum to take it down to the right size. I dabbed some slow drying glue on the threads of the new tenon and turned it into the stem until it sat tight against the face of the stem. With that done the stem repair was complete. There were some nicks and scratches in the stem around the junction area with the shank that needed to be sanded and cleaned up. I used some 220 grit sandpaper to do that. The stem was ready for the fit and all that remained was to push it into the mortise and check it out once the glue set.I put the stem in place in the mortise to check the alignment and was happy with the overall results. As normal there were some slight adjustments that needed to make to the stem and shank but nothing radical so I was happy with the fit. Now all I had to do was finish the fit and repair the stem. I noticed in the photos below that there was some roughness to the inside of the bowl so I would also need to sand that smooth. I wrapped a piece of 220 sandpaper around my finger and sanded the inside walls of the bowl until I had smoothed them out.I cleaned out the airway in the stem and the bowl as well as the mortise with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they were all clean. I also scrubbed the darkened end of the shank to remove the stain that was there.I stained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain thinned 50/50 with alcohol and flamed it to set it in the grain. I repeated the process until the coverage was even around the bowl.  I wanted it to be dark enough to blend the repairs into the sides and bottom of the bowl and hide the drill holes and cracks. I set the bowl aside to let the stain dry overnight and called it a day.In the morning I started the polishing process on the bowl. I sanded it with 1500-2400 grit micromesh and a small amount of olive oil to help the grit cut into the briar. I wiped it down afterwards and inserted the stem to see what was happening. The alignment of the stem was slightly off to the left in the photos so it appears not to fit. However, the fit is actually quite good. I still need to polish and clean up the stem. I continued polishing the bowl with the micromesh pads using 3200-12000 grit pads to really add to the shine of the briar. Each successive grit of micromesh raised the shine more on the briar. The grain really pops on this one… I turned back to the stem. I adjusted the fit with 220 grit sandpaper until the transition was smooth. When the fit was correct I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each grit of pad to clean off the sanding debris and gave it a final wiped down after the 12000 grit pad. I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to remove any remaining scratches or marks and raise a shine. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The cracks are all sealed and since they do not go all the way through into the interior of the bowl I think that they will hold up well. The pipe has a lot of life in it still and I know that the owner will be glad to get it back in far better nick than it was when he left it here. Thanks for journeying with me on this resurrection.



Replacing a Broken Tenon and Repairing a Cracked Shank on an Old KBB Yello Bole Billiard

Blog by Steve Laug

Troy Wilburn and I have been corresponding for a few months now about pipe restoring and the fun of the hobby. He has posted some of his work here so he is no stranger to pipe restoration. I had not heard from him for a while so I sent him and email to check on him. I know he loves the older Yello Bole pipes and I wondered if he had worked on any recently. I am including a portion of the email he sent me in response to mine. He wrote:

“Funny thing you have contacted me as I do have a couple of Yello Boles I need tenon repairs on. One is an old favorite of mine that snapped off. I have tried to repair it and it failed. The other is an odd shaped NOS (I can’t find the shape on any KW chart. It’s a large bowl billiard with a short oval shank and short straight stem) pipe that I purchased with a broken tenon already but I can’t get the broken piece out (it’s really stuck!) So it might need to be drilled out and a new tenon made, I don’t know.”

“Tenon repair is something I’m not that experienced on and they are both very nice old KBB YBs and would like nice repairs done on them, so I was thinking about sending them to someone more experienced in those types of repairs. I was gonna ask Ed but I know he is always swamped with projects, so I was thinking about asking you if you would be interested in repairing them for me…”

I replied that I would gladly have a look and them and give them a go if they were something that I could fix. When they arrived last week I unpacked the box that Troy sent. I have to tell you he did a masterful job of packing these old pipes. They were individually wrapped in bubble wrap and then placed in small plastic containers. Then the plastic containers were put in bubble wrap and put in a box. There was no movement or rattle in that package.

When I took the pipes out I could see what Troy was talking about. The little odd shaped NOS Canadian was strange. It had a metal tenon. Upon observation I could see that someone had left the broken tenon in the shank and then made a metal tenon that slipped inside the broken tenon. Deep in the shank was the stinger rattling around free in the airway between the broken tenon and the bowl. The billiard that I chose to work on first was another matter. I think Troy tried to epoxy the stem on the tenon but it did not hold. The face of the stem was spotty with glue. The shank on the pipe was clean but I did not spend too much time checking it out to see if there were cracks or problems. Even though the tenon snapped I just by passed my normal observation and went to work. That was a decision I would regret shortly… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet.

I faced the surface of the stem and smoothed out the broken area on a topping board. I started with a drill bit slightly larger than the airway and worked my way up to a large enough drill bit that I could turn a tap into it to thread it for the new threaded tenon. This has to be done very slowly and carefully to not drill to deeply into the stem or to angle things so that the tenon does not sit straight in the shank once it is in place. The stem had some spots of glue on the surface and some marks around the end where the tenon had snapped off that would need to be addressed once I got to that point.tenon1 I generally have a few threaded tenons to work with around here. Wouldn’t you know it all of my ¼ inch tenons were gone and all I had left were these large ½ inch ones. It would have to work for this repair. I used a tap to thread the newly drilled stem. I fit the tenon in place and twisted it down until it sat flat against the stem. I then twisted it free and put some glue on the threads and twisted the new tenon into the stem. I cleaned up the excess glue around the junction so that the fit of the tenon was smooth and tight.Tenon2 Once the glue set in place I set up my PIMO Tenon Turning tool on my cordless drill and took down the tenon slowly until I had removed enough of the excess Delrin to get it close to a fit. Because there are no micro adjustments on the tenon turning tool I always get as close as possible with the tool and then use the Dremel and sanding drum and to strip it more and then finish it by hand with sandpaper.Tenon3 I love the way the Delrin spins off the cutter on the tool. Here is the new tenon sitting among the Delrin scraps ready to take to the Dremel and then hand sand.Tenon4 I used the Dremel to take the tenon down some more. I then sanded it by hand until the size was the same as the shank. When I slid it in place the fit was perfect. I was happy to have finished what seemed to be an easy repair. I slipped the stem out of the shank to clean and polish the tenon. When I slid it back in place the sound that makes me cringe was heard. It was just a slight low pop. I removed the stem and could see a small crack had either appeared on the shank with the new tenon in place or the new tenon had made the crack appear. I will never know for sure as I did not check it before. I cleaned off that area of the shank and examined the crack. It was just under ½ long and curved up through the stamping on the shank. I was sick.

I wrote Troy a quick email and told him the situation as it stood – great fitting stem, repaired tenon and now a cracked shank. I asked if it was cracked before or if I had cracked it. He was not sure either. Ah well no matter. I was hoping he would confirm that it was previously cracked but he didn’t know. I asked about banding the shank and he said he would rather not as he did not like bands. But if I had to a thin one would do. The problem was twofold – I did not have a thin band and a thin one would not fix the crack. I suggested that maybe I could do an internal repair and thin down the new tenon to fit inside of the tube that would be used to repair the shank. He said to go for it and see what I could do.

So I did a bit of looking through my parts bin to see if I could find either a piece of Delrin tube that I could drill and fit or a piece of metal that would work for the repair. I found I had a metal tube that would work. I cut off a piece the length of the mortise. I used the Dremel and sanding drum to roughen the surface of the tube and to reduce the diameter slightly. I wanted a good snug fit in the shank but did not want to open the crack or crack it further. I spread the crack slightly and put super glue in it and clamped it until it set.

While it was drying I used the Dremel to reduce the diameter of the tenon until it would fit inside of the metal tube. I figured it would be easier to do that fitting with the tube out of the shank than when it was inserted in the cracked shank. Again I sanded with the Dremel and then finished by hand sanding until the fit was a nice snug fit with the tenon all the way into the tube.tenon5

Tenon6 I sanded and smoothed the ends of the tube and made sure that the surface was rough enough to bond to the inside of the mortise. I roughened the walls of the mortise with a dental pick so that it was scored. I wanted to make both surfaces rough enough for the glue to bond to and make the tube secure in the shank. It would have to be a tight fit as I did not want the tube to come out with the stem when Troy took it off the pipe to clean it. I coated the outside of the metal tube with glue and let it get tacky. When it was tacky I pressed into the shank with the sharp end of a pair of needle nose pliers. I pushed it in until it sat against the end of the mortise in the shank.Tenon7 With the tube in place in the shank I still needed to flare the end so that it would fit against the bevel of the mortise end. I probably could have shortened the tube slightly but beveling the end would take care of that.Tenon8 I pressed the end of rounded tip of the needle nose pliers into the end of the tube and worked on the flare. It took some work to mould it to shape. I then use a small round needle nose file to smooth out the flare and match the angle of the bevel.Tenon9 I stained the end of the shank with a stain pencil and also touched up the cracked area on the shank. I will need to polish that to get it to match the shine on the bowl but you can see the fit of the stem against the shank and look of the shank.Tenon10 With the shank repair completed I needed to work on the stem. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the scratches and glue build up that was on the surface of the stem. I sanded it with medium and fine grit sanding sponges. Then it was time to sand it with micromesh sanding pads. Instead of wet sanding I used a little olive oil on the stem and sanded with the micromesh with oil. I did that with 1500-2400 grit pads. I continued with 3600-12,000 grit pads without adding any further oil to the surface of the stem. With these older Yello Bole stem I find that wet sanding does not work well but to sand with oil is perfect and will raise a nice shine. I also am careful about buffing them as they have a pretty low melting point and are easily damaged. This particular stem does not appear to be vulcanite so I was careful.Tenon11


Tenon13 The next two photos show the shank end. The stain got on the flare of the metal tube and I will need to wipe it out with a bit of alcohol. However you can see the flare of the metal and the briar to take the new tenon and hold the stem tight against the shank. The airway has what appears to be a loose piece of metal on the second photo at the bottom of the shank. I blew out the shank with air and the dust and fibres that were present disappeared.tenon14

tenon15 The next four photos show the finished pipe and stem. The newly fit stem sits nicely against the shank. The repair to the shank is solid and the crack is closed. With the metal insert it should be free from further cracking and the tenon slides in snugly to the mortise.tenon16



tenon19 The next two photos give a close look at the shank/stem junction. It is good and tight. The final photo shows that the new tenon sits tight against the stem and looks like it was when it left the factory – just narrower in diameter to fit in the metal tube.tenon20


tenon22 The first pipe is finished Troy. Hopefully the second one will be much simpler. This one is ready for you to load up and enjoy once again.

Replacing a tenon in a stem with a minimum of tools

Last evening I was looking at the lone pipe bowl in my refurbishing box and decided I wanted to do something with it. I wasn’t sure if I would refinish it or rusticate it with the new tool Chris sent me. Either way though, it needed a new stem. I went through my can of stems and found that I did not have any that would fit the shank without a lot of work. I did have one with a broken tenon that was the right diameter for this pipe. I looked at it for a while and then found a Delrin tenon that I had on the work table. The tenon was the right size for the shank! The stem was the right diameter for the shank. Now all I had to do was wed the two of them and I would have my new stem.

I have drilled out broken stems in the past and inserted a new tenon. I have used a tap and then screwed in a threaded tenon that I purchased from Pipe Makers Emporium. Either way it was work that I did by hand. By hand means that I do not have a drill press, I do not have a vise to hold the stem. I have my two hands and a cordless drill. This takes steady and slow work to keep all the angles straight and get things properly aligned. It is one of those processes that will either work really well or not at all. There is no in between. You cannot redrill a crooked hole to straighten it out without making it too large to fit the piece. So really the fact of the matter is that it all comes down to whether I can drill the stem out straight!

To begin the process I needed to square up the end of the stem and remove the broken pieces of the tenon that still remained. The end needed to be flat and even for the drilling. I sanded down the end of the stem flush using a sanding board (like the one used when topping a bowl). In the photo below you can see that the end of the stem has a divot out of it due to the breakage. I did not worry too much about that as the drilling would take most of that area out of the equation. I only worked on flattening out the rest of the stem. When finished I pressed it against the end of the shank to see if it was a flush fit or if there were any high spots. The fit was perfect. Now it was ready for drilling.
I took out my cordless drill and found that the battery was dead. I put the battery on the charger and sat thinking for a bit about how to best drill out the stem. I measured the diameter of the new tenon and found that it was 15/16 inches. To make sure I did not crack the stem or break it in the process I would drill it out in stages. I would mark the depth on each drill bit I used with a piece of tape so that I would not over drill or under drill the depth of the hole. I used the tenon as the measure for this. The tenon I had came with a slight lip on it so I would need to countersink the end of the stem once the hole was drilled in order to accommodate the lip.

I decided to try something different this time and not wait for the battery to charge. I stood the drill on my desk, inserted the drill bit and hand turned the stem onto the drill bit. I started with the 11/64 inch bit which was slightly larger than the airway in the stem. I turned the stem onto the stationary bit to the depth that I had marked on the drill bit. I lined up the stem and the angles making sure the line was straight and the hole stayed centered throughout the process. I worked my way through 7 bit sizes up to the 17/64 inch bit. Each time I turned the stem onto the bit in increments and cleaned out the hole with a dental pick. I continued to turn it on and off the bit until the drilling was smooth before moving onto the next sized bit.




I found that when I got to the larger sized bits from 19/64, 5/16, 21/64 inches it was hard to turn them on by hand. I could get them started but they quickly bound up on the bit and I could not turn them further. I turned them back and forth but it was not working well. I put the battery back on the drill and drilled the stem using a very slow speed. It worked well. When I had finished drilling it with the 5/16 inch bit the tenon pressure fit very nicely in the hole. There was not enough room for epoxy to be applied and still fit in the hole, so I drilled it with the 21/64 bit to give it the amount of room for the epoxy. To countersink the end of the stem I used a slightly larger drill bit and then a sharp knife to bevel the inner edge to accept the ridge on the tenon.


In the morning the tenon was firmly in place and dry. I cleaned the face with a dental pick and removed the excess epoxy from the stem. I pushed the stem into the shank of the pipe to see the fit. This was the final test. Did things align properly? Did I get the angle square and straight? Would there be a gap in the stem and shank joint? In case you are wondering I have had all of those issues in the past and had to do a lot of adjustments to get a clean fit. But this time things worked well. The fit was perfect and the alignment was absolutely correct. The pipe now had a new stem and it was time to make a decision on what to do with the finish of the bowl. That will be another story however. The photo below shows the fit of the stem and the shank. I am very pleased with the fit.
I sanded the stem and the shank to get a smooth transition between the stem and shank. I wanted the fit to be seamless so it took some sanding with 220 grit sandpaper followed by a sanding sponge to fine tune the fit. Here is the pipe as it stands now. Later today I will rework the bowl and finish the entire stem. But for the purpose of this post the tenon replacement and fit of the stem to the shank is complete.