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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 4:46 am 
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Location: Kansas City, USA
Another tough one.

A serious oldie that was originally fitted with an amber stem that had gone the way of most amber stems after a century-plus.

The shank was threaded for a bone connector, so the first order of business was converting it to a modern-style push fit mortise before the new stem was started. This was done by request. (no pics showing it though, it's boring).

Next, the tenon was cut, the shank faced to square, and rod marked for roughing in (yes, the tape has a small twist in it... the shank was both tilted to the side and twisted slightly. Something that had to be compensated for during the shaping of the stem):

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Then, a "stem handle" was made to make some shaping steps easier (especially handy with full bents):

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Roughing in with the aid of guide lines (faceted stems are real punishers given half a chance... having lines helps a lot):

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The handle in use:

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Gettin' there:

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Further shaping after bending is almost always necessary when trying to fit a case, especially when the original stem is missing (no pattern to take measurements from).

Getting a "geometric" stem with facets to appear straight WHILE correcting the misalignments as much as possible is not for the faint-hearted. Some of that was also done at this time, after bending.

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Voila! :D

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Make and grade:

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Some gold apparently didn't always use proof marks. (It's 18, not 8... the "1" is mostly lost in the gleam)

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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: Wed May 03, 2017 5:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 am
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They didn't use a proof or hallmark because rolled gold isn't solid gold, it's basically like thick gold plating.

Great work on the stem though, looks fantastic.

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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 8:18 am 
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Location: Columbus, OH
Excellent work, George! That is one classy pipe!

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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 9:31 pm 
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Location: Portland, OR
Amazing work, George, thank you for sharing! What do you think the year on that puppy is?

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 10:01 pm 
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Location: Kansas City, USA
seamonster wrote:
What do you think the year on that puppy is?


No idea. Usually pipes like that are dated by their hallmarks, but as Chris said (thanks for the info!) being plate instead of solid means no such telltales.

The batch of pipes it was part of were all rarities from around 1900, though.

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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 Thu May 04, 2017 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 12:14 am 
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Location: Mississippi
Dang.

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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 2:59 am 
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Rolled Gold and other "heavy plate" methods are not as common these days, very popular in the early 20th century though.

As rough guide, rolled gold means less than 5%, probably more like 2% gold, so much thicker than standard plating methods, but still very little overall, fairly durable though. Filled gold means at least 5% gold or more, it forms a very durable layer as long as you only polish gently and don't scratch or sand it, should last for decades of wearing on most items.

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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 9:51 am 
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Nice Sir!!!


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 7:49 am 
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Location: South Africa
Very nice! Thanks for showing, George.
(And Chris for the gold plate info)

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