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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:37 am
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Location: Madison Heights, Virginia
Hello everyone. It has been a long time since I posted last, and I hope everyone is doing well!

A co-worker of mine asked me to make a replacement stem for his father in-laws meerschaum pipe for Christmas. The pipe does not have the original stem with it, and has a tapered mortise.

Is there any way to accurately get measurement from the inside of the mortise at specific points? I am going to have to turn the tenon by hand on a wood lathe, so I need to find a way to get some accurate measurements.

I thought about possibly filling the inside of the mortise with melted carnauba wax, waiting for it to dry, and pulling it out, then measuring the diameter of the wax at given points, and replicating it on the tenon. Not exactly sure this is a good idea for many reasons, so I figured I'd reach out and get some tips.

Thanks

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:13 pm 
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Location: Portland, OR
You could do the same with silly puddy, or sticky tac or the like, much easier than melting was inside and hoping it comes out whole....

my initial reaction though was to drill out the mortise with a straight bit....

Wouldn't that be easier?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:53 pm 
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A tapered tenon on a meerschaum seems like a particularly bad idea to me because of the fragile nature of the materials. I'm assuming it has a metal band of some sort. I don't think the taper on the replacement stem has to be a perfect match. It just has to be somewhat close. Either way, seamonster's suggestion is a good one. Modeling clay would also be a good alternative.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:56 am 
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Yeah assuming it does have a band or something to hold it together I would use modelling clay of some sort to get a rough idea then turn a false tenon on a bit of scrap, glue some fine sandpaper to it and use it as a reamer to tidy up the mortise, it is likely damaged anyway. After that you can turn a perfect match on the stem.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:21 pm 
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Location: Zimmerman, MN
I would probably try to fix it with a chucking reamer.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:39 pm 
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Location: Madison Heights, Virginia
Thanks for all of the advice so far. The pipe itself does not have any bands. I don't believe that it will be possible to re-drill it, and I would prefer not to do that, given that it is an older pipe and I really don't want to run the risk of breaking it. Ill try to upload a picture later this evening. As far as the size of the opening, the largest piece of delrin that I have to make tenons with is too small to fill the mortise, even at the shank face. It is a rather oversize tapered mortise. I think the idea of silly putty or modeling clay could give me a rough idea as to the shape and diameter of the mortise at certain depths, so that I could attempt to turn one close to it. I just know I have to be super careful as to not crack the pipe when I test fit the new stem.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:56 pm 
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I'll bet it's so-called "African meer." The white stuff is too soft for a military stem.

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