Rare Vernon Dunhill (1935) re-stem

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georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,598
2
This one required some Big League stuff. Small pipe (group 2), and the rarest variant of the infamous Vernon spring fitment, where the mechanism stays inside the shank and the stem snaps over it, instead of the other way around. Meaning all the drilling and cutting inside the stem had to be figured out blind and then executed blind. And a few thousandths made all the difference: the stem had to slide on with increasing resistance until the spring fingers snapped outward at exactly the right instant with an audible click, stay firmly there for smoking, then release their grip with an equal strength pull in the opposite direction.
Even the dot was a bitch, because being a small pipe w/small stem, the vulcanite in the place where it had to be was only about 2mm thick. (Gluing dot material into a drilled-though hole leads to Bad Things later and should be avoided.)
Happy to see the pipe coming---I've only ever seen two others, and this one was in stellar shape for its age---but even happier to see it going. :lol:





 

beefeater33

Preferred Member
Apr 14, 2014
2,535
0
Central Ohio
I can see how that one would be a real challenge!! Working blind like that and making it all come together is very impressive. Amazing work, as always!........ :worship:

 

gloucesterman

Preferred Member
Jan 4, 2015
1,861
0
Massachusetts
As I've said before your work is amazing. Beautiful work. Ever think of writing a book on stem work? If you ever do put me on the list for a purchase.

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,092
71
Maryland
Best stem guy out there, period. I've only seen a Vernon fitment on the web. Outstanding work.

 

johnnyreb

Preferred Member
Aug 21, 2014
1,786
0
George, when I remove my stem from the shank I turn it 90* counter-clockwise first & it just seems to pop out easier. Is the tenon cut that way or is that not necessary?

Here's mine attached to the stem:



 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,598
2
...when I remove my stem from the shank I turn it 90* counter-clockwise first & it just seems to pop out easier. Is the tenon cut that way or is that not necessary?
I'd guess that whoever owned it before just habitually did a quarter turn before pulling, and a groove of sorts developed. A polished "track" that the spring fingers followed after a while.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,413
3
Wow. Nice job. In my line of work, inattention to detail can make the difference between a nice trip to Disneyland and a smoking hole in the ground. It is nice to see a lot of craftsmen and artisans on this site who do it just for the satisfaction of doing a job you can be damned proud of. I would not hesitate to send any of my well-loved pipes to you for repair or resto!

 

johnnyreb

Preferred Member
Aug 21, 2014
1,786
0
I'd guess that whoever owned it before just habitually did a quarter turn before pulling, and a groove of sorts developed. A polished "track" that the spring fingers followed after a while.
True, but I think it's also a situation where you are gradually pulling back as you twist 90* instead of having to pull straight back & out. My stem just sort of pops out with a click. I more or less put it back in the same way.

 

kcghost

Preferred Member
May 6, 2011
2,343
14
George functions at the pinnacle of his craft. Surprised you sent this pipe back George, this shape is right in your wheel house.

 

codecreatively

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2014
349
0
Found this thread from doing a search for this type of Vernon fitment. Beautiful work, George!
This 1935 Shell showed up and I had no idea of the treasure hidden inside. The Vernon tenon screws into the shank.




 

dmcmtk

Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
2,891
11
I have a question, shouldn't the fixed part of the Vernon fitment be in the stem, with the sprung prongs fitting into the shank, as seen on johnnyreb's stem? It also appears that way in the example at pipedia,
https://pipedia.org/wiki/File:32_Dunhill.jpg
As well as the Patent drawings,
http://www.folloder.com/pdf/1861910.pdf