Very Loose Stem

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Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2010
North Carolina
I have an unusual situtation here.I have a pipe that was made by a carver who I understand is no longer making pipes and as far as I know can't be contacted.The pipe smokes great,but there's a problem.It seems that the shank has expanded and the stem is extremely loose.I think it's beyond nail polish,or wax as a fix.The pipe cost almost $200 I really like it and would like to save it.Any suggestions?



Preferred Member
Oct 29, 2010
Several of our fellow members here have given suggestions in the past, two in particular have helped me solve the "Loose Stem" problem.
The first is to warm the tenon up using a gentle source of heat such as boiling water. (I have used the cook-top burner very succesfully but wouldn't recommend it)

As soon as it's warm you can expand the diameter a tad by one of two ways:
1. Insert the dumb end of a drill bit that is just a few thousandths of an inch larger than the hole.
2. Holding the stem firmly, gently push the tenon against a hard surface just enough to compress it.
I've used the drill bit method....but with a slightly different technique. I used a bit that was a bit smaller than the bore diameter and worked it like a pry bar opening up the diameter of the bore.



Preferred Member
Mar 9, 2010
A couple points . Be sure you don't try to do too much at a time. Be sure the tenon is hot enough. Failure to do either can result in the tenon splitting and then you are SOL.



Preferred Member
Oct 6, 2009
If you're not comfortable sanding the tenon rub a little bees wax on it, or use a lead pencil,just mark it up good with the pencil.the graphite or wax acts as a lubricant