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 Post subject: Crap...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:13 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:28 pm
Posts: 889
Location: Mississippi
This is only my fifth hand cut stem. For most of you I'm sure it would be a piece of cake, but it was my toughest one yet. Saddle, tapered, and oval. I was pretty pleased with how it was coming out until I realized I had been filing the top and bottom unevenly. The bottom looked too thin so I did a small "bite test" and it snapped. Crap. So now I get to make a new one. Just airing frustration.

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 Post subject: Re: Crap...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:35 am
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Location: Chongqing, China
Hate when that happens

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 Post subject: Re: Crap...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:49 pm
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Location: Zimmerman, MN
Done that before. More often than I'd like to admit! Try George's method of thin tape around the slot down the sides of the stem and then file a few strokes and look at where the slot is in relation to your sides.

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 Post subject: Re: Crap...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:47 am 
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I stop frequently and look at the stem from the side, aligning my eye with the slot, to determine my top/bottom thicknesses. If my slot is 1.5mm tall, I should be able to file to 4mm in perfect safety every time, and sand from there, shooting for.... 3.85 or whatever. I never sand into the slot. But I check probably a dozen times as I'm shaping and filing. Tapering the edge of the stem (or using a tape line reference) in line with the slot helps too, you can really see that things are flat and straight and doing what you want.

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 Post subject: Re: Crap...
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:39 am
Posts: 801
Location: Lafayette Indiana
I've said this before a few times, but i scribe a line with an exact-o knife while the rod is in the chuck. I have a square tool stock in a quick change holder that is set to the centerline of the lathe minus the thickness of the knife blade. it takes about 3 seconds to drop the tool in the quick change, scribe left, right, and across the slot. The slot is always dead center in the rod that way. Then you have a semi permanent line to reference top and bottom while filing. when you're done its very easy to sand or scrape the remaining line away.

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 Post subject: Re: Crap...
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:29 am
Posts: 2245
Location: Kansas City, USA
Not doing that will save time, money, and aggravation.

Hope this helps.

-- Rad's spirit

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"Not once has a customer looked at one of my pipes and said, 'I like this pipe, but wish you had made the stem an hour faster'... I want every stem to be perfect" --- Adam Davidson


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 Post subject: Re: Crap...
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:28 pm
Posts: 889
Location: Mississippi
Attempt #2. Not perfect, but it's a stem...

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"No reserves, no retreats, no regrets"

"When you're dumb...you've got to be tough." - my dad


Last edited by JMG on Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Crap...
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:55 pm
Posts: 312
LatakiaLover wrote:
Not doing that will save time, money, and aggravation.

Hope this helps.

-- Rad's spirit


I wonder if Rad's related to the famous psychotherapist Bob Newhart...

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R2 Pipes/Ryan's Luxury Goods
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"You can't convince a stupid person that what he's doing is stupid, because the stupidness inside him is telling him that it's smart"


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 Post subject: Re: Crap...
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:03 pm
Posts: 1837
Location: South Africa
I do like Sas. A bit of sanding, filing or whatever, check with the eye. Bit more, check and so on, until you get where you want it to be.

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