Ivarsson Broken Shank Repair + New Stem (pic heavy)

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georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,608
36
Two kinds of pipe rescues are the most satisfying: 1) Getting a memory-laden family heirloom back up and running; and 2) Keeping a heavily smoked, long-loved "personal friend" pipe alive.
This project was one of the latter. A high-end collectable piece that instead of sitting in a case for much of its life as many four-figure pipes do, was a workhorse favorite and smoked regularly for many years.
When an accident occurred and the shank snapped off the bowl, the owner decided he might as well have the stem replaced also. Besides showing considerable tooth wear, the vulcanite was "blooming" orange specks. (Not all that strange or rare... there was a large batch of vulcanite rods made in the early and mid 2000's which were "infected" with some sort of inclusion/contamination, but it was not visible at the time. The spots appear several years after the rod is used.)





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Here are the gluing steps. Opaque-black pigmented T-88 epoxy was used to eliminate a translucent line. Both pieces were coated, the join was made, and a weight was placed on the end of the shank as an improvised "clamp":





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Stem time. As close a dimensional match as possible is usually the "done thing" with high end pipes, and this one was no different:













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And here is the end result. (The almost microscopic glue line was dressed and textured to invisibility and the entire stummel re-finished.)






 

bigpond

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2014
2,023
4
George, you've shown some hair raising work in the past, but this is surely some of your finest.

 

dmcmtk

Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
3,003
151
Very well done George, I'm sure the owner is a happy camper. I think I know the answer to this question, but I assume a tube to re-enforce the shank was not needed due to the surface area glued, and the fact that the epoxy is probably stronger than the wood, with very little chance of failing?

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,464
1,139
Excellent work. It's nice to see what is possible, what can be repaired. I have thrown away a few very nice pipes, because I just assumed that broken briar meant that if it was fixed it would have all sorts of issues. It's nice to learn that, that is not the case.

Thank you for sharing. I'm always learning something new from you.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
14,406
2,118
Monterey Peninsula
Now I fear less dropping my favorite and having the shank snap off..... My last three drops fortunately snapped off only the tenon.... But I will try to not count on my luck.
Gorgeous, George!

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,608
36
I think I know the answer to this question, but I assume a tube to re-enforce the shank was not needed due to the surface area glued, and the fact that the epoxy is probably stronger than the wood, with very little chance of failing?
You are right on both counts. As long as there is sufficient surface area---meaning not a true pencil shank like a Bing---no ss tube is needed. T-88 was formulated specifically to bond wood-framed experimental aircraft (!) and is ridiculously strong when properly applied and cured. Far stronger than any wood. (when a join is deliberately broken in testing the failure never happens along the glue line).
Why an ss tube for pencil shanks, then? It isn't needed for strength per se, but to shield the wood near the glue line from softening over time from smoking. The glue line causes moisture to migrate/wick slightly for a millimeter or so around it, which after many years weakens the wood fibers themselves. This wicking presents no problems whatsoever for normal-sized and up shanks, but presents one of those "better safe than sorry" situations with dealing with the really slender stuff. Sleeving such pipes can't hurt, in other words.

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,608
36
PS to my original post:
The "blooming speckle" ebonite was NOT made by anyone associated with the Ivarsson family, or anyone in the PipeWorld. There are a handful of ebonite (vulcanite) manufacturers in the RegularWorld, and their product is sold to anyone who wants to buy it. I've seen stems made from that bad batch many times, up to a $7K Tokutomi (meaning its ten-years-ago-price).
How everyone involved got burned was the defect wasn't visible at the time of manufacture. It took a very long time---years---to manifest itself.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,909
921
Gorgeous job, George! I was curious about the ss sleeve as well. Thanks for answering that.

 

cally454

Member
Dec 31, 2012
205
0
Seeing the first pic, after shedding a tear I was thinking this outta be interesting. Absolutely best repair I've seen. Congrats on a fantastic job :worship:

 
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