Love the Pipe, Hate the Stem?

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pianopuffer

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2017
459
35
NYC
So I bought a new Viprati from Cup o' Joes recently, fantastic little smoker. Cool and dry as they come. I'm really enjoying this one. Problem is, the acrylic stem is less than comfortable. It's a tapered stem, but still a bit too thick towards the end, and as I often lunt, it's becoming cumbersome to easily hold. I don't want to sell the pipe for this reason, but what are my options?

I should say that my last resort would be to refit a completely new stem via someone like Briarville. Cost is a consideration in this case. Thanks.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,455
1,108
Stem is too thick, re-stemming is not an option... How good are you with using tools? Not, like a screw driver, but using files to make alterations to angles and blending in areas back into the original polish?

I have filed down a few stems, made alterations to buttons and such... even made a few stems... but if working with files, sanding, and polishing by hand isn't something that you feel comfortable with, then you may want to consider having it done for you.

It's not exactly rocket science, but one slip, too much pressure, or just hacking through it can lead to bigger problems.

I find acrylic to be very easy to work with, but again you would need a delicate touch. YMMV
 
Last edited:

acidpox

Senior Member
Nov 18, 2018
357
65
Maybe try to trade in on here for another pipe? Or reshape it yourself as Cosmic suggests
 
Reactions: jpmcwjr

lawdawg

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
834
359
Stem is too thick, re-stemming is not an option... How good are you with using tools? Not, like a screw driver, but using files to make alterations to angles and blending in areas back into the original polish?

I have filed down a few stems, made alterations to buttons and such... even made a few stems... but if working with files, sanding, and polishing by hand isn't something that you feel comfortable with, then you may want to consider having it done for you.

It's not exactly rocket science, but one slip, too much pressure, or just hacking through it can lead to bigger problems.

I find acrylic to be very easy to work with, but again you would need a delicate touch. YMMV
I'm curious why re-stemming is not an option? I ask because I have a pipe that I really like the shape and the finish, but the draw is far more restricted than I would like. The draw restriction is in the stem, rather than the stummel - the draught hole in the stummel is pretty wide. It's a bent acrylic stem, so I figured it would likely not be possible to open it up much, and I was thinking of having a new one made.
 
Reactions: jpmcwjr

pianopuffer

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2017
459
35
NYC
Correct Cosmic. Re-stemming is the easiest option but is the most expensive. I don’t have access to many tools here, but maybe finding someone to modify the original acrylic stem might be cheaper?
 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,843
417
I have many Italian pipes (Castello) and almost all of them have horrible thick stems. They are great couch pipes, but definitely not good for clenching or lunting. I had to give up the fight and just live with it.
 

mortonbriar

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2013
949
70
My 2 cents: As it is a 'fantastic little smoker' keep it as it is for a sitting smoke and just use the excuse of still needing a lunting pipe to go looking for another one!

Isaac
 

snagstangl

Preferred Member
Jul 1, 2013
1,176
28
You can always use sandpaper to thin it down, or nail file/ emery board is probably available instead of files. You wont take as much off with those. Or for a $200 pipe you might want to have a professional do it for you.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,695
1,068
The first few posts have the answer. Plan B is to have a good pipe repairman fix you up with a new stem to your specifications which shouldn't be a huge expense, maybe $30 plus shipping. Plan A is to get yourself some appropriate sandpaper and/or files and trim down the stem and perhaps the bit to your satisfaction. You could get it just right, on your own, which would be most pleasing. But if you file into the airway or just misshape the whole stem, proceed to Plan B.
 

paulie66scandinavian

Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2016
3,576
463
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
I have many Italian pipes (Castello) and almost all of them have horrible thick stems. They are great couch pipes, but definitely not good for clenching or lunting. I had to give up the fight and just live with it.
Same here ,not all of them what I own but some, and then I decided I'm better off leaving them alone, but none of my Castello stem buttons were comparable to horrible Craig Era Ashtons stem button to which I had to make some alteration, with surprisingly great results,
 
Reactions: npod

pianopuffer

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2017
459
35
NYC
Think I'll leave it to the professionals and have it trimmed down. In the meantime, it'll become a sittin' pipe.
 

hauntedmyst

Preferred Member
Feb 1, 2010
1,324
753
I'm curious why re-stemming is not an option? I ask because I have a pipe that I really like the shape and the finish, but the draw is far more restricted than I would like. The draw restriction is in the stem, rather than the stummel - the draught hole in the stummel is pretty wide. It's a bent acrylic stem, so I figured it would likely not be possible to open it up much, and I was thinking of having a new one made.

It's possible to open it up. An acrylic stem can be bent just as a vulcanite one can. If you send it to Briarville or another pipe repair place, they should be able to straighten it, open it up and rebend it.

You could even do it yourself.
 
Reactions: lawdawg

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
16,785
2,284
With me it's all or nothing. Stummel and stem have to be what I like or it's a deal breaker.
 

lawdawg

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
834
359
It's possible to open it up. An acrylic stem can be bent just as a vulcanite one can. If you send it to Briarville or another pipe repair place, they should be able to straighten it, open it up and rebend it.

You could even do it yourself.
Nice. Thank you for the information.