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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:57 am 
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Location: Kansas City, USA
I haven't posted any shop work in a while because it's usually a case of "same thing, different day". Seen one, you've seen 'em all.

This one was rather the opposite. At first glance it looks simple enough, but it was anything but. One of the five or so toughest projects I've come across.

Here's the technical story:

There are several stummel shape details that make creating a replacement stem for it (in this case a second, switchable stem) especially difficult.

One is when the shank is square or square-ish; another is when there are small radii involved; another is a mortise that is not centered; and still another is when the shank is neither parallel-sided nor tapered, but flared.

On the stem side of the equation the categorical killers are length---the longer a stem is, the harder it is to keep things straight---and if it is faceted. (Every variation of round, oval, and bladed are a walk in the park compared to cutting gemstone-like facets with straight edges. The reason is because "there is only one straight line" in geometry, and the slightest deviation from it can be seen by a 16 year old pug dog from thirty feet away.)

So, imagine my joy when someone wanted a replacement stem that required dealing with ALL those things. :lol: An extra-long faceted stem for a stummel that WASN'T STRAIGHT ANYWHERE. Compensating for the offset and dimensional inequalities to make everything LOOK straight in the end was the name of the game

Anyway, that's the background, here are the pics. The first shows the shape of the shank, the second shows how far off center things were---the stem was inserted upside down to illustrate, and the third shows the slight trumpeting of the shank (the side view isn't shown but it also flared). The next set of three show the sausage being made, and the last three show the final result.

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EDIT:

Since this is a teaching board, here are a couple instructional-type shots showing an easy way to keep everything straight when cutting faceted stems.

The first is a centered strip of 1/8" masking tape, and the second is after the edge gets too narrow for tape. Scuff the edge enough that it holds vulcanite dust, then use the resulting light-colored stripe as a guide:

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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


Last edited by LatakiaLover on Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:00 pm 
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George, Beautiful work as usual. I have attempted to produce duplicate stems for simpler shapes and I know how difficult it is.
I think the mismatch in the second photo is inherent in that kind of shaping. I attempt to minimize it by rotating the stems 180 degrees while shaping, but have to stop at some point and actually finish the shape. They are never perfect.
I hope that your customer appreciates the technical difficulty of this work.
You are the master!!!!.
DocAitch

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:01 am 
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Nice one, George. The more I do stem replacements, the more I hate it. Respect.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:55 pm 
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Charl wrote:
Nice one, George. The more I do stem replacements, the more I hate it. Respect.


Then don't do stem replacements! :lol:

I learnt years ago that it was a thankless task, how George puts up with it I don't know respect to him, he is a greater man than I.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:35 am 
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I saw that it was being referred to as a "bingdog" haha! Another name that could be considered is Bing's Best Friend. Great job as usual! When I was first looking at it I thought it was a bit strange being so long, but the Bing name helps.it make sense. I was also thinking that with the original stem it seemed a bit too short, but I struggle severely with stem lengths and how to make them proportionally comfortable. Do you have any pics of the original stem on the pipe? I am having a hard time visualizing what it looked like before the new stem was made.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:21 pm 
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kamkiel wrote:
Do you have any pics of the original stem on the pipe?


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Image

Image

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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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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:44 pm 
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Crazy.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:40 am 
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Thanks!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:15 am 
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A friend of mine saw this, George, and wrote to me "... that old buzzard's got skills, huh?"

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Sasquatch wrote:
A friend of mine saw this, George, and wrote to me "... that old buzzard's got skills, huh?"


You have friends?! Did Hell freeze over???

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:55 pm 
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Scottie --

"Friends" is Sasquatch-speak for the rows of souvenir skulls and bone-piles accumulating at the back of his cave. He has conversations with them. Really.

(The Canadisian government is OK with him snacking on campers and hikers because it qualifies as some sort of hands-off Endangered Cultural Thing.)

Image

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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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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:44 pm 
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Somehow that makes all the sense in the world :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:53 am 
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Sasquatch,
When I smoke my Christmas pipe, I've naively and happily been assuming you used a moose incisor or walrus tusk for a cutting tool, now I have a nauseating vision of you plucking a human tooth out of one of those skulls.
:( Please tell me it ain't so.
DocAitch
:lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:54 am 
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Hey, you choose the right tool for the right job. :thumbsup: Don't be a pussy.

Pretty nice slot though, yeah???

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:11 pm 
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Nice slot, but I shudder to think how you did it. meeeoowww!
DAN

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-Charles Hollyday, pipe maker, reluctant mentor, and curmudgeon
" Never show an idiot an unfinished pipe!"- same guy


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