Why do Peterson stems go green..?

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Log in

Search on Site

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Recent Posts

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

samon

Member
Aug 23, 2015
158
0
Yeah, why do they go green?
And can it be reversed or is it deemed lovable, like an old knife with patina?
cheers

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
16,082
998
Sounds like oxidation. Obsidian Oil is a preventative, but removing it requires a few different methods. Most requiring some sort of mild abrasive with, or without a buffer.

 

samon

Member
Aug 23, 2015
158
0
Ah ok, I have plenty of buffing supplies. I quite like it though tbh. What exactly are the stems made of?
I have this Peterson Donegal x105 with a silver collar and I think the greenish stem kind of compliments the deep dark reds briar bowl.



How long does this usually take to happen?
cheers

 

jmatt

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2014
760
0
To answer the question: Because they are made out of vulcanite rubber, which oxidizes. Acrylic stems don't.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
16,082
998
The ones that go green are vulcanite. The green is sulfer coming to the surface, and can make the stem quite foul tasting. Exposure to daylight and steam can accelerate the oxidation of vulcanite.

 

xrundog

Preferred Member
Oct 23, 2014
737
0
Ames, IA
It depends on the rubber formula. Some vulcanite stems turn green faster that others. If you clean it and don't get every last bit of oxidation it will come right back. When cleaning, check your work in sunlight. If it looks green in the sun you didn't get it all.

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,608
31
Damn. I just watched that video and the installment (part 5) that followed it, and literally squirmed and cringed the entire time. I am not cut out for wholesale "80/20 style" work at ALL. :lol:
I understand that the approach is financially necessary when re-selling mass quantities of pipes below a certain price point, but whoever made the video(s) didn't make that clear. And the long-term result---the Internet is forever, right?---is many collectables and high grades get their buttons smeared, edges blurred, and flat areas scalloped by people who assume those things are an unavoidable byproduct of oxidation removal.
:cry:

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
16,082
998
Just picked that video as an example. Have gotten several vulcanite stemmed estates from SPC, and the stems were in excellent condition. They can be a pain to maintain, but goodness do I love a vulcanite/ebonite/cumberland stem.

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,608
31
Have gotten several vulcanite stemmed estates from SPC, and the stems were in excellent condition.
I'm sure they were. "Buffer only" oxidation removal results in stem shape degradation directly in proportion to the depth of the oxidation. When a trade-in or estate arrives with only a kiss-O-green (or none at all), no problem. When one arrives that's Old School Army/Marine Corps olive drab (or even worse, that weird whitish-yellow color), not so much. For those, keeping things crisp and straight is impossible using only a buffer. Depending on the skill of the operator, the result falls somewhere between an unnatural "smeared/streamlined" look, and a black Play-Doh sculpture.
Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that SP.com doesn't accept everything they are sent, thus using selectivity to help keep the standard high for what they sell. Too far gone = too much time required to set right, so back it goes.
The source of my distress is because SP.com is a respected name with high standards and staffed with a number of true experts, DIY people and many semi-pro restorers assume the techniques shown in those videos are how all pipes should be handled.

 

pipebuddy

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2015
522
29
A lot of the Peterson stems are made from low quality, machine made vulcanite. So the oxydation will develop very rapidly.

 

samon

Member
Aug 23, 2015
158
0
I'll check out those restoration videos later. My pipe tatses good, no rankness, is it still worth going ahead with the resto'?
And can anyone assist me in getting an aproximte age on my pipe?
cheers guys

 

gloucesterman

Preferred Member
Jan 4, 2015
1,860
1
Massachusetts
The band should have some hallmarks on it. The third one is the date mark. Peterson's web site has a chart that will tell you what date that mark is for.

 

samon

Member
Aug 23, 2015
158
0
Ok, so with a jewelers eye piece and my crap phone I managed to take a picture of the date letter. It is F.. but is it the 1973 or the 1991.. In my opinion, it looks more like the 1973.



Any of you guys have a different opinion?
The older age may be why the stem is so green. Or can this happen in months?
Thanks for the help so far!

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,200
187
Maryland
That is 1973. Camera phones actually take pretty good close-up pictures these days, I use mine for all nomenclature shots. Oxidation is part of vulcanite stems. I do a top coat of auto plastic polish when cleaning stems (by machine). That keeps my vulcanite stems from oxidizing so quickly.

 

pipebuddy

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2015
522
29
A good buffing wheel, I've heard, will also take care of the oxydation, combined with a wee bit of carnuba wax afterward, to slow it down.

 

samon

Member
Aug 23, 2015
158
0
Ah thanks for the clarification. And That's the first time I have a 42 year old in my mouth.. lol.
I have wet n dry paper from 1000-2500 that I will use. I'd also like some cleaning fluid for the inner of the stem, it smokes nice but I've not had it long and years of old man spit is likely in there even after I warm water and cotton pipe cleanered it good.
Bloody huge bowl on it, wide like! Lol No wonder my Dunhill 965 if left to a few pinches of scruff now..
Been a pleasure gents!

 

aristokles

Senior Member
Jan 18, 2011
402
0
I think pipebuddy might be on to something. My Peterson seems to oxidize in front of my eyes as I smoke it. No other of my 60 pipes, mostly vulcanites, do this.