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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 10:16 am 
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RDPowell wrote:
And I use a Popsicle stick for my sand paper, just because I have a box full of them.



I hope you ate the popsicles first :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 12:30 pm 
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Great videos, Lat. Thank you very much!
It would be great to see how Todd does it, also. I'd be interested to hear about the scraping knife, how to properly make it and how it's used. I imagine that's been covered here before tho - I'll search for any refs.


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 3:19 pm 
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scotties22 wrote:
RDPowell wrote:
And I use a Popsicle stick for my sand paper, just because I have a box full of them.



I hope you ate the popsicles first :lol:


Only most of it, I try to leave just enough so the sandpaper sticks good. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 6:17 pm 
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Thank you very much for the revealing videos :) . It is a nice method.


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 10:25 pm 
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Very nice videos, George. Your method is certainly a foolproof way to get it done right every time. I do agree with Todd that it doesn't seem as efficient as it could be. That being said, my button and stemwork definitely needs improvement and the quality is hit and miss. I'll be incorporating some of your methods into my own to step up my game for sure. Thanks for taking the time in making these videos. I certainly can't argue with your results.

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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 11:21 pm 
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wdteipen wrote:
Very nice videos, George. Your method is certainly a foolproof way to get it done right every time. I do agree with Todd that it doesn't seem as efficient as it could be. That being said, my button and stemwork definitely needs improvement and the quality is hit and miss. I'll be incorporating some of your methods into my own to step up my game for sure. Thanks for taking the time in making these videos. I certainly can't argue with your results.


It's weird... there are indeed a number of steps, but they really don't take long under normal conditions---about ten minutes from start to finish for typical stem. So, I don't know if lots of movement that doesn't take very long is efficient or not. I think part of the reason the video looked cumbersome is because I was deliberately moving in "demo-slow" motion, plus I had to sit square to the bench while keeping my hands offset far to the left of where they'd normally be because of the camera tripod. (Talk about a sensory nightmare. :lol: Shifted off balance, muscle tension everywhere, and so forth. I had no idea going in how difficult working like that was. It's like cerebral palsy in miniature. Blows your coordination right out of the water.)

So, anyway, under normal conditions it's just a matter of a minute's-worth of file strokes or sandpaper strokes at each stage, and you're done. The entire procedure is definitely a "grooved & practiced" thing for me, though, and it took a while before I could just zip down the file block without hardly looking up.

As for repeatability/reliability, that's what I wanted most from the start. A method that worked no matter the stem's shape, material, or condition (in the case of refurbs), and never required "backing up." One where you hardly had to check the result after the final buff because you knew what you'd see.

Anyhow, I'm delighted that you found some helpful tidbits in the thing. If I make more, I guarantee they'll be MUCH better, given what I learned about video staging & production from this one. For starters, it would be filmed as segments and edited together, and "scene do-overs" will be an option. (Here, I just winged it all in a single take. Time was an issue.)

PS -- Are you coming to the KC show?

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 1:59 am 
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RDPowell wrote:
.. I use a Popsicle stick for my sand paper...


I started out using wood, too, but discovered it doesn't hold a sharp edge for long when used as a tool. Especially if it gets wet. So getting the razor-sharp result I was looking for wasn't possible. The only solution was using metal.

Don't get me wrong... a perfectly acceptable stem can be made with more casual tools than I use, and most smokers wouldn't notice the difference or care if it was pointed out to them. I'm not calling that wrong or "inferior". I simply had to be able to match the extreme precision of the world's best stems because the guys who collect pipes that are fitted with them expect replacements and/or repair work to match.

(Finally being able to do that turned out to be a double-edged sword, by the way. It's psychologically painful to not do your best work when replicating stems for collectables (such as Dunhills) that weren't originally made to such a standard, because that's what you must do: Danish-class workmanship doesn't look authentic on them. :lol: )

Anyway, I don't want anyone thinking that I recommend or insist that every pipemaker put Danish-class stems on their pipes. Not at all. In most cases it is neither expected nor reasonable. I just decided to explain a method that will get that result to help those perfection-driven carvers who have decided it is what they want, but have been unable to achieve it for some reason.

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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 Sun May 19, 2013 7:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 8:32 am 
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I understand what your saying about the sharpness of the wood after a period of time and I just sharpen it a bit by block sanding it.
Doesn't last long but, I'm sure I don't do the volume of pipes you do. Don't get me wrong either, I learned a lot today. I plan getting some of those fancy files you showed or making them out of what I have (that's just the cheap bastard talking in me). I can see where they would decrease headaches and ease the process. The tape wrap on the stem is also a great idea to keep from creating a ridge that you have to come back and sand. It's happened more then once. :banghead:

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 6:17 pm 
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I like them biscuits with mustard, fried taters too. Liked your part 1 and 2. I just want you to know that all videos you post are appreciated, especially since we have such a plethora of pipe makers and skill levels. When I started we had no internet or the ability to share ideas, at least easily. When I saw something that worked, I stole it faster than a jack rabbit with a hard on. All pipe makers have their ways and methods and if it works it works. Some are so good and at a level, it may appear that you have extra work in your steps. Thats OK , their work says it all. Some however learned that to survive, not everybody gives a tinkers damn and is not going to pay 300 dollars for a pipe. I'm torn, so I make hand made for those that will pay and appreciate it and better than good for the others and hope it will inspire them. The point is I have stolen from you and now it's mine. Do not get upset if you get a question or two. Most of all thank you for sharing your techniques.


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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 6:50 pm 
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I really appreciate the time and effort to create these videos. Really helpful. On the flip, I also love the discussion between guys that know what the hell they are doing so that we learn even more.

Unless, of course, it becomes a thread like the MM thread!


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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 7:43 pm 
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Clarification ---

I use the phrase "Danish class stem" as a label quite a bit, but only because everyone understands what it means. At one time the vast majority of the world's "uber grade" pipes came from Denmark and the countries adjacent to it, and the association stuck. That's no longer the case, though. World-class work is now being done in many places, and a pipe's country of origin is meaningless as an indicator of quality.

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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 May 20, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Thanks George. It's always interesting to see how other guys do it.
Todd, I'm quite interested in this stem knife of yours. The one's I've seen is just a short very sharp blade.

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 10:57 pm 
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George, it makes sense that your process looks less efficient in a demo than it does otherwise. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make the KC show this year. I intend on entering a pipe into the contest but can't afford to go myself.

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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 12:26 am 
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wmolaw wrote:
I ... love the discussion between guys that know what the hell they are doing so that we learn even more.

Unless, of course, it becomes a thread like the MM thread!


Little chance of that in this case. The "Big Three" PipeWorld argument-starters are bowls coatings, airway enlargement, and fills... and in every case the disagreement is whether they are necessary at all, not how to do them.

Buttons and bite zones aren't optional, though. Ya gotta have 'em.

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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 9:24 pm 
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wdteipen wrote:
George, it makes sense that your process looks less efficient in a demo than it does otherwise. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make the KC show this year. I intend on entering a pipe into the contest but can't afford to go myself.


Same here Wayne- I feel your pain!

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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 1:05 pm 
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Thank you for taking the time to shoot these videos. It's not easy or fast to do any sort of documentation on how to do something. I'm brand new to pipe making and found myself taking notes on your tools and methods of work. I'm sure it will make the learning curve a lot less steep and painful than it would have been otherwise.
Thank you,
Rodney


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:50 pm 
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Thanks for the videos.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:34 am 
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LatakiaLover wrote:
The Smoking Yeti wrote:
Could you add a list of links to the files you're using so we can purchase them?


My go-to source for files is Otto Frei in Oakland. Here's their file page:

http://www.ottofrei.com/Files/

The dead edge models are called "pillar" files. I used several 6" demi-narrow ones for the bite zone radiusing shown in the video.

Good files are spendy, but would still be worth it at twice the price, btw. Cheap files just skid and "chew", and often have several high teeth that make them unsuitable for stem work. (Each stroke leaves several deep scratches).

The speciality 3/16" nut seating file came from Stewart-McDonald, the guitar guys:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Files ... _File.html

It is an absolute razor. An outstanding & essential piece of gear in my book.

I see several 6" pillar files on their website. Which ones do you suggest?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:41 am 
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I use a #2 and #4 pillar files before switching to sandpaper. #00 pillar file or the vulcrylic file to rough it in.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:22 pm 
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Are you using the Glardon-Vallorbe slim or the Grobet Narrow?





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