Tag Archives: pulling a broken tenon

Replacing a Broken Tenon in a Dunhill 196F/T Shell Briar


Blog by Steve Laug

This is one of the Dunhill Shell Briar pipes that I sold earlier this year. It is a 196F/T Shell Billiard. Not too long ago I received an email from Bill the buyer of the pipe saying that there had been an accident and that the stem had broken off the pipe leaving the tenon in the shank. He was a bit forlorn in asking if it was repairable or not. I assured him that it could be fixed and told him to send it up to me in Vancouver. I had to laugh in that when it arrived it was in the original box that I had used to ship it to him – all the packing etc. was the same. Great use of the boxes. It will soon make its second trip to Bill. This is a well-traveled box and pipe – twice to the East Coast of the US from Canada and once back to me for repair. I put the pipe in queue as I have a large backlog of pipes to work on from several estates that the families are waiting on. I figured I would be able to slip into the work somewhere along the way.

Today was the day. I finished a lot of pipes lately so I felt ok about working on this one. I figured it would be pretty straight forward to pull the broken tenon and replace it. Boy was I wrong. The broken tenon was stuck in the shank. My usual tricks for pulling a broken tenon – a screw in the airway and wiggling it free – did not work. Even a trip to the freezer did not work. I had to resort to more serious tools.I got out my cordless drill and chucked up a series of drill bits to see if I could pull it that way. I have often found that in the process of drilling out the tenon it will stick to the bit and come out as I back out the drill. That did not happen on this pipe! I ended up working through the bits until I finally was finished and the mortise was smooth and clear of the old tenon.With the airway cleared in the mortise I measured it for a new tenon. Yet again another setback. I did not have any tenons that were the right diameter for the mortise! I chucked the PIMO tenon turning tool in my cordless drill and reduced the diameter of a threaded tenon replacement that I had in stock until it was the right diameter to fit the mortise. I tried to hold the tenon by hand and turn it but soon realized that did not work this time. I used a pair of needle nose pliers to hold it until the tenon was finished.When I finished there was a small hip between the threaded portion and the smooth portion of the new tenon. I worked the tool back and forth to remove that. I also held a needle file against the hip while the tenon was spinning on the drill. It did not take too long to remedy that issue. The new tenon was almost ready to use. I would still need to reduce the diameter of the threaded portion before I could use it but it was good for the moment.I drilled out the airway in the stem to receive the new tenon. This is always a little tricky as you need to keep the stem absolutely straight so that you do not angle the airway. I always start with a bit slightly larger than the airway and work my way up to the size of the tenon insert. In this case I also needed to be careful not to drill the stem too deeply as the tape is quite long and it would be easy to ruin the stem. With the airway opened in the stem to take the threaded tenon end I used a tap to thread the airway inside the bowl. I had to open the airway a little more so I used a penknife to widen the diameter to take the tap. I used a Dremel with a sanding drum to reduce the diameter of the threaded portion of the new tenon until it could be screwed into the stem.I coated the threaded end of the tenon with super glue and turned it into the end of the stem. I pressed it completely in place against the table top so there was not a gap. I filled in the slight gap with some clear super glue and laid the stem aside to let the repair cure.When the glue cured I addressed some oxidation at the shank end of the stem. I sanded it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper until the oxidation was removed from the stem surface. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil and let it dry.I polished the stem surface with micromesh sanding pads to bring back the shine to the vulcanite. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil after each pad and a final coat after the 12000 grit pad. I polished the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave it several coats of carnauba wax. I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the finished pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below and I think it came out looking pretty good. I just got back from the Post Office and sent it back to Bill. I look forward to seeing what he thinks once it is in hand once again. Thanks for reading this.

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Replacing a Tenon and Doing a Restoration on a Sorrentino Manager 0704


Blog by Steve Laug

I received this one from a fellow who wanted the tenon replaced but being the way I am I could not just replace the tenon and leave the pipe looking tired and worn so I wrote and offered to clean it up for him. It took more work than I had originally thought it would but the added effort made for a beautiful looking pipe. It is stamped on the left side of the shank MANAGER over SORRENTINO. On the right side it says 0704 which is the shape number and Italy. The briar was really in need of some work. The left side was stained with a dark patch that ran from the top to the bottom of the bowl. The finish was also rough to the touch over that section. On the bottom, front and right side of the bowl there was a lot of dents and dings like the pipe had been dropped. The rim had a coat of lava and the bowl had a very uneven cake with more on the left side of the bowl than the right. The finish was basically shot. The stem came with lots of tooth chatter and a broken tenon. The tenon snapped right at the shank and was stuck in the shank. The brass band on the shank was loose. The pipe was tired and needed some TLC. Here is what it looked like when I started.Briar1 Briar2 Briar3In the photos above I had already turned the wood screw into the broken tenon. I use that to pull a broken tenon and it never disappoints in effectiveness. Note the state of the bowl in the photos.Briar4I used a Dremel and sanding drum to flatten out the remnant of the broken tenon on the stem. Once it was flat it was time to drill the stem to take the new tenon. I started with a bit slightly larger than the airway to center the drilling and turned the stem onto the bit by hand. I find that though it is harder to do it by hand, turning it by hand and not drilling it gives me more control of the stem. I worked my way up to a ¼ inch bit and then cleaned it out with a needle file. I had a Delrin tenon I purchased from Tim at JH Lowe and I roughed up the surface of the portion that would go into the stem and gave it a coat of two part slow drying epoxy to hold it in place.Briar5 Briar6 Briar7I lined up the stem in the shank and then set it aside to let the epoxy cure over night. While it dried I worked on the bowl. I stripped off the remaining finish with acetone and cotton pads. I sanded the dark stain mark on the left side of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damaged briar and smooth things out. I scrubbed that side with acetone to finish.Briar8 Briar9I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer to even out the cake that had been there. I decided to strip it back to bare wood. I wanted to check out the inside of the bowl walls. The interior was sound and there was no damage on the bowl walls. Briar10 Briar11I sanded the bowl with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to clean up the scratches left behind on the briar by the sand paper and by the wear and tear of age. The stripped and sanded bowl was looking pretty good.Briar12 Briar13 Briar14I sanded the inner bevel of the rim to clean it up and prepare the bowl for staining. I wiped it down a final time with isopropyl alcohol. I stained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain. I flamed it and restained it with a second coat of the stain. I flamed it again.Briar15 Briar16Before setting the bowl aside to dry I wiped it down with alcohol on a cotton pad to smooth out the stain and lighten it slightly. I wanted the grain to show through.Briar17I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave it several coats of carnauba wax to seal and preserve the finish. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. (Forgive the poor focus on the first photo below. It is blurry but still gives you an idea of how the dark area had been reduced.)Briar18 Briar19 Briar20 Briar21With the bowl finished I set it aside and worked on the stem. I sanded the tooth marks and chatter on the stem with 220 grit sandpaper until they were smoothed out. I was able to easily remove most of the tooth damage to the stem. There was one small tooth dent on the top of the stem that I left as it is minimal and I did not want to thin the stem.Briar22 Briar23I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I finished with 6000-12000 grit pads. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the wheel.Briar24 Briar25 Briar26 Briar27I put the pipe together and lightly buffed it with some more carnauba wax to finish it. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth for the final buffing. The photos below show the finished pipe. Hopefully when it is returned to the pipeman who owns it he will be pleased with the finished pipe. Thanks for looking.Briar28 Briar29 Briar30 Briar31 Briar32 Briar33 Briar34