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Castello Factory Repair Service

(50 posts)
  1. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Just a quick notice that other day I was getting in touch with Castello Manufacturers in Italy Just asking for them stem replacements,should need arises(hopefully not), so the answer were'You can send Your pipe to us,Pipa Castello Via Fossano 44 /22063 Cantu Italy and we'll get a brand new stem done for only 80 euros/$100''

    Quite a sum,Huh?

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 4 months ago #
  2. aro222

    aro222

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    That seems a bit expensive to me for a stem ? Than again it is Castello so ...

    Keep calm...smoke a pipe.
    Posted 4 months ago #
  3. dmcmtk

    dmcmtk

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    How much do you guys think an inlaid, probably hand cut, and hand fitted stem should cost?!?

    Dave
    Duke Street Irregular
    Posted 4 months ago #
  4. rdavid

    Panhandler

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    Guessing 2 to 4 hours labor plus materials? I could see spending $100 if the pipe itself was worth it.

    "May my last breath be drawn through a pipe, and exhaled in a jest." Charles Lamb
    Posted 4 months ago #
  5. sasquatch

    sasquatch

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    Stems take some time to make, and retro-fitting something is not at all like making it in the first place - all the sanding and polishing processes that occur with the stem fitted to the pipe at the time of production cannot occur, you have to painstakingly match the shapes and not even touch the original piece.... OR you refinish the pipe. Either way, time and effort.

    Posted 4 months ago #
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    paulfg

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    And this is why George D said that repair men are few and far between.It doesnt pay well,80 euros minus cost of material/running the shop/paying yourself a decent wage etc

    Posted 4 months ago #
  7. georged

    georged

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    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/why-are-there-so-few-pipe-repairmen

    Dogs live such short lives... and spend most it waiting for us to come home
    Posted 4 months ago #
  8. mso489

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    i guess it's like buying a Mercedes. It's unlikely to need a lot of work, but when it needs attention, it will cost a lot. If I bought a Castello, it would be worth it, since owners seem devoted to those pipes.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  9. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    @Mso489, You said it well again,Yes Sir
    @Georged, Thanks for finding time to bring this link to our knowledge,and sharing Your knowledge with us, needless to say,I really do appreciate Your fine craftsmanship.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  10. daniel7

    daniel7

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    I don't know about the salaries in Italy, but it seems quite fair for me.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  11. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    I'm noticing when factories are taking commissions to make brand new stems, it is almost guaranteed the cost for this service turns to be somewhat more expensive in comparison if it was done by independent repair services,but as a rule when one is having his pipe re-stemmed right at manufacturers then the results are usually very good, speaking from my own experience with Peterson & Savinelli factories.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  12. briarblues

    briarblues

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    Paul,

    Yesterday I was at Castello in Cantu. I was able to watch many of the 120 steps taken to create a Castello Pipe. From sheet, then cut into rod ( various sizes ), drilling, to turning the tenon, to shaping the basic stem shape, to rough finishing the stem shape, to shaping the button, to inserting the logo, and final polishing take way more time than you think. That is stem for a new pipe, NOT starting with a bowl and now having to take into account the exact mortise length, tenon diameter, shape the stem so the shank and stem junction match ( without re shaping the shank ) and finishing etc. You are now speaking of a full days labour for the stem you require. !00 Euro is not out of line. I wouldn't do it for 100 Eur0

    Regards
    Michael J. Glukler

    Posted 4 months ago #
  13. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    @BriarBlues. Thanks for the added information, Yes,sure enough when we are performing this stem work' on the higher level it takes time and nerves for sure.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  14. bluesmk

    bluesmk

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    Georged, thanks for posting that thread.
    Dan
    Gabrieli Pipes

    Posted 4 months ago #
  15. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    there we go then,You boys can't believe Real Bummer happened just a day ago, due to my idiotic carelessness and misuse while I was emptying almost a brand new Castello giving it quick knock on my palm I was hearing so familiar cracking sound and found the stem was on the floor, Acrylic tenon was like somebody had cut it by saw and it was stuck in the shank, managed to pull it out,then went on and packed all the pipe with broken stem and send them right away via express mail to Castello factories in Italy, now I'm to see on my very own experience if their repair shop folks can accomplish the task,this carelessness set me back for another $ 100Live and learn,

    Posted 3 months ago #
  16. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    OWWWWWW! Yeah, I know that sound, Paul. I've heard it more times than I'd prefer to admit. For me the cash outlay was only a *little* more annoying than the knowing my own doofusness was responsible, but much as I hated eitrher of them I figured it served me right. Still hurts, though. G'luck to ya!

    Bill

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 3 months ago #
  17. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    @Bill N, Yes Sir and thanks for the condolences, In this price range there is no room for a gamble but to go in the most dependable way,hope they can tackle the task,yet I would think that this original stem tenon is reparable as well as our forum member Georged showed in his recent post,so soon I may have two instead of one which is the best bet when pipe handled by a'pipe terminator such as undersigned,perhaps Its about time to change my screenname again,lol,, Best Greets, P

    Posted 3 months ago #
  18. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    $100 is cheap, considering all of the work involved. Now, if all you want is a molded stem whose tenon fits reasonably snugly, and you don't care about whether it's centered or flush or has a well finished slot, or is comfortable, or has an inlay, or works well with the pipe, you can probably get one done for less.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 3 months ago #
  19. ssjones

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    $100 Euro for a new Castello stem sounds like an incredible bargain to me. I'm sorry Paul has to test out their repair process, but I look forward to seeing the results. Please post some close-up pix of the new stem.

    Al

    Posted 3 months ago #
  20. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    @SableBrush,money should not be an object should one is asking for impeccable quality and workmanship
    @ssjones,the only one to blame is undersigned, definitively I'm to reporting back with some photos,

    Posted 3 months ago #
  21. georged

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    It will be interesting to see how they do this.

    Fastest and easiest would be handing the pipe off to be processed by the line as if it was partially complete. That would avoid messy leveling and finish matching issues, but would subtly change the shape. And a complete re-finish would probably require re-stamping.

    Making and fitting a new stem without touching the stummel wouldn't trigger those alterations, but would be torturously slow in a volume production environment. Doing that would also require tools and techniques used for no other purpose.

    What I can't imagine is a "low rent" fix where the end of the shank gets ground smaller to level and that's it. A splash of stain and you're good to go.

    Definitely post pics when you get it back, Paul.

    Posted 3 months ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    From reading Paul’s first post, wouldn’t a Delrin tenon do the trick? Maybe I am just lucky, but I have had three or four tenon repairs done, no visible issues as far as stem fit goes, perfectly smokeable.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  23. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    @OldGeezersmoker,Yes I was thinking of this as an option,if they are sending me that original stem back I may consider to turn it to Delrin, who knows how they are gonna proceeding further on,
    @Georged, I was thinking of contacting You but knowing Your time is limited, (btw, could Delrin tenon to be made without a pipe being sent under the condition that the original broken tenon part is present with the stem itself?)

    Posted 3 months ago #
  24. briarblues

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    Paul, Castello will replace the stem, not create a Delrin tenon for the repair.

    Posted 3 months ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    Paul, Castello will replace the stem, not create a Delrin tenon for the repair.

    I am sure of that. I was just speculating that a good Delrin tenon job might have sufficed before sending the pipe off. Having seen the wildly varying results of other “factory” stem replacements, I tend to believe that folks like Georged and Rich Lewis do a better job if you are understanding of their wait time and cost. I know Rich can do a replacement stem without hardly touching even the wax and I imagine George can, too. My one experience with Castello factory service was entirely satisfactory, but it involved a split stem on a Canadian 32 Collection that I had them band with a DuPont lighter style acrylic over gold band, not a replacement stem.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  26. ssjones

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    I tend to agree with George & Oldgeezer. I think a Delrin tenon in the OEM stem is a better option that letting Castello molest the briar. The issue will be, if they do alter the briar to match their new stem, fitting the old stem with a Delrin stem won't be a snap (it too would likely need altered, which I guess would be easier than the briar was)

    Posted 3 months ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    "[quote] I think a Delrin tenon in the OEM stem is a better option that letting Castello molest the briar."

    Most of what I know about pipe repair I have learned from reading George's posts here, except I have long understood just how difficult a job it is to fit a hand cut replacement stem. My only knowledge of Delrin tenons is that the three I can recall having done involved nothing more than my dropping them off at the Edwards shops in Atlanta when I lived there in the 1980's and in Lakeland when I lived in Orlando in the 1990's, to be sent out to the "repair guy." (I think they used the same person.) I have no idea of the skill set that was required, but the cost was modest and turn around prompt.

    It might be that the person doing the work was exceptional, I have no idea, but the wood wasn't touched and the fit of the stems was just like they came from the factory. So, I have always viewed a clean tenon snap as no big deal to an experienced pipe repair person. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps I shouldn't be writing about this since I haven't broken a tenon in over 20 years.:)

    Posted 3 months ago #
  28. ssjones

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    I think you are right, replacing a tenon has to require less skills (and tools!) than making a new stem.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  29. briarblues

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    Al, Al, Al, damn you ..... I just spewed coffee all over my keyboard! You made me laugh, too hard!

    Trust me ... the skill do do either repair is not for the faint of heart or unskilled hands. Both are tricky, most notably as Paul's pipe has an oval shank. Getting the Delrin insert lined up just perfectly is a very tricky task indeed, as I am sure George will verify. The same holds true for creating a new stem, in which the shank / stem junction are smooth and ledge free, without having to "shave" the shank.

    Personally ....... I'd try the Delrin tenon first. Least "intrusive" and costly, plus a Delrin tenon is less likely to break, ( as opposed to Lucite ) if the pipe happens to get dropped.

    Again, Al, Thank You for requiring me to buy a new keyboard!!! hahahahahahaha

    Regards
    Michael J. Glukler

    Posted 3 months ago #
  30. ssjones

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    Mike, go Bluetooth

    Posted 3 months ago #
  31. briarblues

    briarblues

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    hahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahaha

    Understood!!!

    hahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Posted 3 months ago #
  32. georged

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    After grinding the stem face flat to remove the jagged shards of the original tenon (a tricky business in itself), notice that the air hole isn't centered (common with factory pipes).

    The problem? That off-center hole acts like a PILOT hole when drilling for the new tenon, which must be aligned to the "exterior" ring-image of where the tenon was, NOT the old hole as is commonly assumed...

    Add to that the hideousness of clamping a delicate, irregularly shaped object firmly enough to drill it without damaging it, AND align it to within a couple thousandths of an inch in THREE dimensions...

    Then fabricate a new tenon from the chosen material, so that it exactly fills the drilled hole. The necessary dimensional accuracy here is also a couple thousandths.

    Then glue it in place using a method that guarantees perfect exterior alignment with the shank when the stem is fitted, without gluing the stem TO the shank, and 100% functional reliability for the life of the pipe (i.e. will never fail).

    Sorry, you guys who think this is a trivial exercise. You are welcome to come to my shop anytime if you'd like to give it a try.

    .




    Posted 3 months ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    I never said it was trivial, I said it had been done three times to my complete satisfaction, promptly and inexpensively. And I am picky. Ask Hagley. I have said I had no f’ing idea of the skill set involved and in my first post raising the issue said I might have been lucky! I hope Paul is happy with his replacement stem. I frankly have my doubts.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  34. georged

    georged

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    OGS -- My post was intended for anyone following the thread who might have concluded---or previously thought---that the procedure was trivial. It seemed like a "visual definition" of what's being discussed was called for.

    Posted 3 months ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    OK.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  36. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Very interesting read and discussion, I still have high hopes with Castello folks, It might be beneficial if they had seen this thread,lol

    Posted 3 months ago #
  37. georged

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    And I forgot something...

    The difficulties described earlier increase dramatically as a stem's size gets smaller, for both manipulation reasons and "tolerances as a percentage of size" reasons.

    This stem was about 1.3 inches long (not including the tenon):

    .


    Posted 3 months ago #
  38. ssjones

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    Pictures speak a 1000 words, thanks George!

    Posted 3 months ago #
  39. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Thank You for Your input George,Much obliged.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  40. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    What amazing customer service does this vendor Mr.Luca at Tabaccheria Corti Italy provide, imagine while visiting Castello manufacturers he saw this very pipe out there and got in touch with me asking if he could be of any help.If You ask me,Quite a rare approach to customers nowadays.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  41. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Just a Quick notice to Y'all attention,our site sponsor Tabaccheria Corti/Mr Luca contacted me today announcing He had gotten a fresh stock of some 60 new Castellos at his store.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  42. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Now, with the participation and great help of the vendor of this very pipe,Tabacceria Corti-Italian pipe shop(Mr Luca took over and did monitor the whole process, then collected the pipe at the Castello manufacturers and had it shipped to me in (sic!)one single day,a man could not ask for more that's for sure.As for the repair itself, I'm pretty satisfied with the results,the only one thing which I'd like to have seen a slight taper to the new stem which is now absent,the original one was slightly tapered as You can see at the pictures,otherwise I have no complaints, the transition is smooth, button well shaped,drilled perfetto,and all this for 70e, judge by Yourself,Thanks for the comments.And Yes,the shank remains untouched.




    Posted 2 months ago #
  43. georged

    georged

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    Well...

    On the one hand it demonstrates the difficulty of creating a stem for a pipe after the fact, even for the people who made it in the first place.

    On the other, I feel bad for Paul. Patience, equanimity, and optimism are supposed to pay off.

    .


    Posted 2 months ago #
  44. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    @ Georged,Yes Sir,This You did demonstrated above is what I liked to show,Yet I'm wondering if this very stem can to be reshaped a little bit, then I have this original stem still here,perhaps down the road we could figure out something non these

    Posted 2 months ago #
  45. georged

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    My guess is that the rep stem was made by several people---meaning passed down a line of workers who each did their thing---and the bar emblem was put on an earlier worker's INTENDED bottom instead of the top.

    Twist it over so the bar is on the bottom, and if the "elbow" disappears and the combined stem/shank assembly is straight, that's what happened for sure.

    As for improving the straightness going forward, how much that can be done depends entirely on the width of the slot. How much material there is to work with. (Anywhere from no fix to a 100% fix could be possible). An end-on photo of the stem (what you see when smoking it) will tell all.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  46. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    @Georged, Thanks for this valuable piece of information, I will take a photo of that and upload it here eventually.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  47. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Posted 2 months ago #
  48. georged

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    There's enough material remaining on each side of the slot to "adjust away" the angle, I think, should you ever want to do that. Most of it, anyway... it would be a close call because of the slot's height. You don't want the narrower bite zone's radius to cut into the slot.

    To satisfy my curiosity about how the "elbow" probably came to be, Paul, is the combined shank & stem assembly straight when the stem is twisted 180 degrees? (inserted upside down)

    Posted 2 months ago #
  49. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    @Georged, Thanks for taking the time to answer, well,the combined shank&stem assembly is not 100% straight but likewise as with the original stem,the the upper side of the stem tapers (angles)a bit downward, I will try to get a photo done of this

    Posted 2 months ago #
  50. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Stem profile pic:

    Posted 2 months ago #

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