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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:27 pm 
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I was in the finishing stages of hand cutting a BLACK Ebonite stem and had polished it to see any flaws I might have missed.
As I'm looking closely at it I see green (at least it looks green to me) along both sides of the stem before it tappers. I though
that's odd see'en it was never in direct sunlight. So I sanded it again and buffed only to find it hadn't even changed and it was
ONLY along the sides, not even a trace top or bottom. So I left to assume that that's how I got the rod because It's been in it's
mailing tube since I got it awhile back.
Has anyone else ran into this and what did you do about it, contact supplier, etc?
With the pipe being almost finished and not wanting to cut another stem I'm soaking it in bleach in hopes it'll fix my problem.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:39 pm 
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How much smaller in diameter was your stem than the rod?

If the answer is "just barely" or "only a little", that's probably the problem. Most experienced pipe makers buy rod that's one size up from what they could get away with, then cut it down. Sometimes that unpredictable outer layer is called "bark".

If the green you see runs THROUGH the rod, that's a different thing entirely.

What brand is it, and what's the diameter?

(Also, bleach won't solve your problem. It will just create pitting.)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:46 pm 
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LatakiaLover wrote:
How much smaller in diameter was your stem than the rod?

If the answer is "just barely" or "only a little", that's probably the problem. Most experienced pipe makers buy rod that's one size up from what they could get away with, then cut it down. Sometimes that unpredictable outer layer is called "bark".

If the green you see runs THROUGH the rod, that's a different thing entirely.

What brand is it, and what's the diameter?

(Also, bleach won't solve your problem. It will just create pitting.)


7/8" rod 3/4" stem, Japanese.
I always try and purchase the largest diameter rod I can because I never know what size stem I'll need to make from one pipe to the other.
I know bleach will pit the Ebonite but, it also usually gets rid of the oxidation. The way I look at it I'll have to sand the stem either way.
I put a lot of work into this stem with shaping and inlays and I sure as hell don't want to cut another. I think whom ever supplied me with this garbage should have to pay for the stem. Yeah, I'm a bit pissed but, I think anyone would be.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:05 am 
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Considering you're using inlays, I'm assuming there's epoxy being used as well. Bleach is corrosive and you're taking a big risk in a possible joint failure with your inlays. I've only used the bleach treatment on restorations which I keep for myself, and even then, there's ways to keep the bleach from touching any inlays or logos on the stem.
Considering the size of the stem vs. the OD of the rod, I would put my money on what George said about the bark. Difference in diameter is 1/8", which means that the MOST you've taken off the surface is 1/16". Considering the brand of ebonite, that may not be enough. If it is indeed oxidation from the bark, there's nothing your supplier can do about that. Ebonite is what it is. Believe me, I can sympathize with your frustration, but take this as a learning experience to mitigate the problem in the future. As a pipe maker, you will never stop running into problems. The important thing is to take some knowledge away from every crappy situation. In this case, going forward, maybe use larger diameter rod, change brands of ebonite, or use acrylic. Hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:23 am 
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mightysmurf8201 wrote:
Considering you're using inlays, I'm assuming there's epoxy being used as well. Bleach is corrosive and you're taking a big risk in a possible joint failure with your inlays. I've only used the bleach treatment on restorations which I keep for myself, and even then, there's ways to keep the bleach from touching any inlays or logos on the stem.
Considering the size of the stem vs. the OD of the rod, I would put my money on what George said about the bark. Difference in diameter is 1/8", which means that the MOST you've taken off the surface is 1/16". Considering the brand of ebonite, that may not be enough. If it is indeed oxidation from the bark, there's nothing your supplier can do about that. Ebonite is what it is. Believe me, I can sympathize with your frustration, but take this as a learning experience to mitigate the problem in the future. As a pipe maker, you will never stop running into problems. The important thing is to take some knowledge away from every crappy situation. In this case, going forward, maybe use larger diameter rod, change brands of ebonite, or use acrylic. Hope this helps.


Well, if the joints in the inlays fail, it's really not too big of a deal to me as that can be repaired easily.
I've work with Ebonite a lot and this is the first time I came in contact with this sort of thing and I understand some people can swim with the sharks and never get bitten. It's just that it pops it's ugly head up when you've got more work into something then normal. And Lord I hate Acrylic but, it seems I have more of it then ebonite around here so.......
Still aint cutting a new stem though, I'm fix'en this one even if it kills him.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:23 pm 
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RDPowell wrote:
Still aint cutting a new stem though, I'm fix'en this one even if it kills him.

That's phrase which is regretted almost as often as it's uttered... :wink: Good luck though, hope you can save it.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:45 pm 
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Japanese--that's your problem.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:00 pm 
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W.Pastuch wrote:
RDPowell wrote:
Still aint cutting a new stem though, I'm fix'en this one even if it kills him.

That's phrase which is regretted almost as often as it's uttered... :wink: Good luck though, hope you can save it.


That's why I said "HIM" and not me. :wink:
Thank you sir

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Last edited by RDPowell on Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:07 pm 
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Tyler wrote:
Japanese--that's your problem.


Yeah, I know but, when it's all you can afford at the time.........
And when I bought it I really didn't think I was going to use much of it but, the Black Acrylic has really been getting on my nerves as of late and Ebonite machines and sands so much nicer. It's times like this that bring up the old adage "Ya get what ya pay for!" :banghead:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:02 am 
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No problem with Japanese rod, you just need to remove more of the "bark", as George calls it.
For me, in general with ebonite, you get what you pay for regarding quality.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:21 am 
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I agree with Charl!!!


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