Charatan Supreme "Auxiliary Stem" Project

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georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,608
31
Another project similar to that Coronation I posted several months ago: a second stem that is interchangeable with the original. This pipe's even bigger, though --- 8" long and 131 grams.
The reason for the Dunhill is a size comparison. That's a Group 4 Lovat, usually considered a "full size" pipe.
The rest of the pics are self explanatory.
Interesting info bit: the only way to get a good result on stuff this big is to bend the stem when it's 80% shaped, then finish shaping while it is attached to the stummel.
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Reactions: mawp

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,711
356
That pipe is a Supreme's Supreme! And the stem that you made for it makes it a Supreme's Supreme's Supreme!

 

piffyr

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2015
778
37
Auxiliary? Toss the original in a drawer and forget that it exists.
Rarely do a replacement stems fall into the "value added" category, but Big G's creations definitely do. That stem is more than an improvement.

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,172
166
Maryland
You turned that ugly duckling into a swan! What were they thinking with that factory bend??

 

jguss

Preferred Member
Jul 7, 2013
674
13
Amazing work, George, and a huge improvement over the original. Absolutely lovely.

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,608
31
Literally no one in my experience (yet, anyway) who has seen the stems that came on this era of Charatan's jumbo pipes likes them.
I once thought it was a practicality thing. A way to minimize leverage since the stummels weighed so much.
Then it dawned on me that few people are going to clench such a pipe no matter how short it is, plus I discovered how disproportionately difficult they are to shape decently after making a few. They are a time-consuming beast. Making my new theory one of production throughput. What you see is simply the best the stem department could do in their allotted time, which was determined by cost accountants.
The English view that stems in general weren't really "part of the pipe" but only access TO it was then responsible for the QA inspectors being OK with what they saw.
Maybe KBJr knows?

 

lightmybriar

Preferred Member
Mar 11, 2014
679
71
That’s a very Dunhill-looking stem and it’s absolutely beautiful! A vast improvement on the original!

 

snagstangl

Preferred Member
Jul 1, 2013
1,140
4
I thought I remember KB said that Ruben Charatan preferred to make saddle stems like that, I can't remember a why, but it looks like you may have the why.
But when you want to have a go at that pipes sister, let me know.


 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,608
31
But when you want to have a go at that pipes sister, let me know.
That looks to have been (badly) re-stemmed already.
Look closely around the end of the shank. Was it sanded/leveled when worked on? (If so, know that the finish can't be recovered. Charatan used an exotic chemical reaction staining process that can't be "spot fixed".)
Come to think of it, more pics of the entire pipe from several angles would be a good thing...

 

mingc

New member
Jun 20, 2019
30
19
George and others in the know: do you know the history and origin of the stepped tenon? What are its advantages/disadvantages? It doesn't seem to be popular among modern artisans or seen in current factory pipes even.

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,608
31
Ken Barnes Jr. said this about the tenon shape when the subject came up several months ago in another thread:
Another thing I notice, whilst looking at the old tenon in the bottom picture, is that it was turned by hand using a cage chuck, which you can see on the old Pathe News video on Charatan’s manufacture, as the chimney is slightly tapered. I will also ask Barry the year they first used a Floccing machine to carry out this operation.
https://www.britishpathe.com/video/pipe-dream
 

snagstangl

Preferred Member
Jul 1, 2013
1,140
4
I thought it was poorly re-stemmed. I thought the shank had been sanded and re stained but it depended on the light.


 

snagstangl

Preferred Member
Jul 1, 2013
1,140
4




But I lucked into a Charatan Supreme with a badly done re-stem for $25 on ebay. I'm not complaining.