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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Okay, I have searched the site and seen numerous posts on various materials which can be/are used for stems.

Has anyone made stems from Delrin, other plastics? I have seen ebonite, rubber, bakelite, lucite, and other materials and Delrin for tenons, but not other plastics (nylons, etc) which are really cheap.

Is this a dumb question? Is it just because of ability to shine?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Do a forum search, this has been covered a zillion times.
This forum has a wealth of information and all you have to do is use the search feature :banghead:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:59 pm 
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baweaverpipes wrote:
Do a forum search, this has been covered a zillion times.
This forum has a wealth of information and all you have to do is use the search feature :banghead:


I did, seriously, for about an hour. I am sure it has been addressed (is there anything that hasn't been?), but I just couldn't find it.

Sorry.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:24 pm 
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I think its mostly because they don't finish well. Other than that, a lot of them don't bend well, or machine easily. Also, a lot of them are too soft to handle the abuse.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:46 am 
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AaronC wrote:
I think its mostly because they don't finish well. Other than that, a lot of them don't bend well, or machine easily. Also, a lot of them are too soft to handle the abuse.


Thanks for the response. I did another hour of searching, found lots on tenons, etc., but really not much on full stems from Delrin, other materials.

Figured that was, most likely. Maybe will give some of them a try. I don't think (at least I hope not!) it's a toxicity issue and the finish, I can see that but on some form of pipes maybe a dull/lusterless finish might be appropriate.

Ah well, the prices just seemed so inviting!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:04 pm 
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horn: smells like shit; not easy to drill or shape; can be brittle; can also be very susceptible to moisture and heat; needs tenon made from other material
wood: easy to shape and sand; longer lengths a pain to drill with tapered bit due to 'grain wander'; pain to bend; prone to cracking due to moisture cycle from smoking; button end can get icky if clenched
Delrin: too soft; feels odd; won't polish well; won't hold a bend
ABS: pain the ass to machine and shape; polishes well; somewhere between acrylic and ebonite in feel
Ultem: cast iron b****h to machine and shape; doesn't bend well but holds it if you manage it; polishes well
polyester: shapes and polishes well; drills like a dream; may overheat during sanding, most varieties won't hold a bend for very long (though some will); brittle and can crack during filing or if bitten
acrylic/acrylester/'pen blanks': pain in the ass to shape; sands and polishes well; prone to overheating during sanding and polishing; pain in the ass to drill; customers may complain it feels all wrong on their teeth
Garolite G10/G11: horrifyingly unhealthy dust; does not polish well; destroys sandpaper, uncomfortable in teeth
carbon fiber: horrifyingly unhealthy dust; polishes well; destroys sandpaper; uncomfortable in teeth
vulcanite: softer version of ebonite used in premold stems; higher sulfur content means faster oxidation; sands, drills, and polishes welll
ebonite: drills, machines, sands, and polishes like a dream; apparently stinky

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:05 pm 
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I've also made this a sticky, to aid in forum searches.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:50 pm 
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KurtHuhn wrote:
horn: smells like shit; not easy to drill or shape; can be brittle; can also be very susceptible to moisture and heat; needs tenon made from other material
wood: easy to shape and sand; longer lengths a pain to drill with tapered bit due to 'grain wander'; pain to bend; prone to cracking due to moisture cycle from smoking; button end can get icky if clenched
Delrin: too soft; feels odd; won't polish well; won't hold a bend
ABS: pain the ass to machine and shape; polishes well; somewhere between acrylic and ebonite in feel
Ultem: cast iron b****h to machine and shape; doesn't bend well but holds it if you manage it; polishes well
polyester: shapes and polishes well; drills like a dream; may overheat during sanding, most varieties won't hold a bend for very long (though some will); brittle and can crack during filing or if bitten
acrylic/acrylester/'pen blanks': pain in the ass to shape; sands and polishes well; prone to overheating during sanding and polishing; pain in the ass to drill; customers may complain it feels all wrong on their teeth
Garolite G10/G11: horrifyingly unhealthy dust; does not polish well; destroys sandpaper, uncomfortable in teeth
carbon fiber: horrifyingly unhealthy dust; polishes well; destroys sandpaper; uncomfortable in teeth
vulcanite: softer version of ebonite used in premold stems; higher sulfur content means faster oxidation; sands, drills, and polishes welll
ebonite: drills, machines, sands, and polishes like a dream; apparently stinky


Thanks so much Kurt! That just about covers it all.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:56 pm 
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Where would you put cumberland on that list Kurt? With the ebonite/vulcanite maybe?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:59 pm 
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wmolaw wrote:
KurtHuhn wrote:
horn: smells like shit; not easy to drill or shape; can be brittle; can also be very susceptible to moisture and heat; needs tenon made from other material
wood: easy to shape and sand; longer lengths a pain to drill with tapered bit due to 'grain wander'; pain to bend; prone to cracking due to moisture cycle from smoking; button end can get icky if clenched
Delrin: too soft; feels odd; won't polish well; won't hold a bend
ABS: pain the ass to machine and shape; polishes well; somewhere between acrylic and ebonite in feel
Ultem: cast iron b****h to machine and shape; doesn't bend well but holds it if you manage it; polishes well
polyester: shapes and polishes well; drills like a dream; may overheat during sanding, most varieties won't hold a bend for very long (though some will); brittle and can crack during filing or if bitten
acrylic/acrylester/'pen blanks': pain in the ass to shape; sands and polishes well; prone to overheating during sanding and polishing; pain in the ass to drill; customers may complain it feels all wrong on their teeth
Garolite G10/G11: horrifyingly unhealthy dust; does not polish well; destroys sandpaper, uncomfortable in teeth
carbon fiber: horrifyingly unhealthy dust; polishes well; destroys sandpaper; uncomfortable in teeth
vulcanite: softer version of ebonite used in premold stems; higher sulfur content means faster oxidation; sands, drills, and polishes welll
ebonite: drills, machines, sands, and polishes like a dream; apparently stinky


Thanks so much Kurt! That just about covers it all.


By the way, great article!

http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/pipe-revi ... as-part-2/


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:53 pm 
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Good info.

(My only pet peeve is that the only place where I've read about the distinction between ebonite and vulcanite is this forum. According to standard literature they were different trade marks during their time; ebonite was patented by Thomas Hancock back in 1844 (vulcanized rubber cured using mercury??), and vulcanite by Charles Goodyear in 1843(vulcanized rubber cured with sulphur.)

I'm no chem history geek, but I've always heard that both vulcanite and ebonite are interchangeable terms and you use one depending on which side of the pond you are. And most dictionaries will use them as synonymous. )


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:51 pm 
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SchmidtN wrote:
Where would you put cumberland on that list Kurt? With the ebonite/vulcanite maybe?


Yes. Cumberland is 'brindle ebonite', and it turns, machines, and finishes exactly the same.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:54 pm 
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You are right Leus - we use the terms a little loosely, with ebonite referring to the rod form of vulcanite, and using "vulcanite" to indicate a pre-made stem. The pre-molded ones are sort of made by melting and injecting vulcanite dust into a mold, rather than extruding a rod under pressure, and they are just not quite the same because of it. In fact, in the French factories, the stem blanks are literally referred to as "vulcanites".

We just like to have a handy terminology for indicating rod stock vulcanite as opposed to the blanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:59 pm 
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Leus wrote:
(My only pet peeve is that the only place where I've read about the distinction between ebonite and vulcanite is this forum. According to standard literature they were different trade marks during their time; ebonite was patented by Thomas Hancock back in 1844 (vulcanized rubber cured using mercury??), and vulcanite by Charles Goodyear in 1843(vulcanized rubber cured with sulphur.)

I'm no chem history geek, but I've always heard that both vulcanite and ebonite are interchangeable terms and you use one depending on which side of the pond you are. And most dictionaries will use them as synonymous. )


I think that's absolutely a valid point. And a convincing argument could be made, no doubt. There is, however, a distinct difference between premold and rod stock, and I think there needs to be a distinction made. I am far from qualified to coin that nomenclature, I'm just repeating what was hashed over ages ago here on this forum. For me it's a quick and easy way of identifying between the two. Goodness knows, you've got to take pretty much anything I type with a grain of salt. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:18 pm 
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Yeah. As I said, it's only a pet peeve. Those things only bother compulsive knows-it-all like myself.


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