GBD 9438 Stem Repair (Tapestry)

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ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,176
172
Maryland
Using my Android Ebay app, I fell prey to this GBD 9438 in Tapestry finish. The seller described the damage to the stem button and included a large picture. In my haste to make an offer, I missed this glaring issue.
I checked into having Dave Walker make a new vulcanite stem, but he said that vulcanite in that large a diameter is no longer available to him.
So, I decided to cut the broken button off and shape a new one. This was my first attempt at this task and it was a little tricky. I'm in awe of the tools and skill level used by the artisan makers to craft their distinctive shapes.
I wrote up a full essay with pictures on Steve's "Reborn Pipes" blog:

http://rebornpipes.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/gbd-9438-tapestry-stem-repair/
Here's what I started with and the finished product.





 

lonestar

Preferred Member
Mar 22, 2011
2,821
0
Edgewood Texas
Yeah ! Not too shabby work there ! If you happen to have a set of calipers, the stem just behind the button should be around .15 thick, any less than .13 and you run the risk of biting through. Those GBD stems are usually pretty thick to start with, so you may have gotten it just about right with the repair work.

If you do want a new stem, I have rod stock up to 2" thick so that GBD wouldnt be a problem.

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,176
172
Maryland
I only cut off about 1/8" from the stem, just removing the broken button. I'll have to take a shot showing all three of my 9438 Tapestry pipes.


 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,176
172
Maryland
Yeah ! Not too shabby work there ! If you happen to have a set of calipers, the stem just behind the button should be around .15 thick, any less than .13 and you run the risk of biting through. Those GBD stems are usually pretty thick to start with, so you may have gotten it just about right with the repair work.

If you do want a new stem, I have rod stock up to 2" thick so that GBD wouldnt be a problem.
I didn't measure Lonestar, but getting that crease too thin was a huge concern. It's not a real thick button and probably wouldn't work for a clincher. But the person getting this one is a holder, so he'll be OK. I'll have to go back and measure, thanks for those specs.
Is your stock vulcanite? If so, could you move the rondell over to the new stem? This pipe with a tapered stem would look smashing. (and I'm guessing a easier to execute than this chair-leg)

 

lonestar

Preferred Member
Mar 22, 2011
2,821
0
Edgewood Texas
could you move the rondell over to the new stem?
That is one thing I have never done. Not saying I couldnt, I think I know how its done, but I never have.

My rods are ebonite/vulcanite. They are both names for the same thing (hard rubber) but typically they are used to distinguish two different products. Usually Ebonite is the name given to stems made of solid rodstock and vulcanite is the name given for factory molded stems. They are both made with the same ingredients (Natural Rubber, Sulphur and an oil to bind them)but they are made with a little different proportions. Stems made from rodstock are higher quality because there is a bit of a compromise in the recipe to let the rubber be injection molded for factory stems.

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,176
172
Maryland
Thanks Lonestar, I learn a thing or two with some frequency here! Chris Askwith says 22 mm vulcanite (or ebonite) or larger is available, but progressively more expensive by size.

 

smdavis

New member
Sep 19, 2012
3
0
I have to say that your work gives me hope. Of course I would rather just replace the bit. Any suggestions as to suppliers of bits (or stems if some insist). Here is my tragic Savinelli Lollo - it is definitely beyond my skill level. file:///home/babalouie/Downloads/lollo%20bit.JPG