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Cracked Shank on Antique Pipe - to repair or leave alone?

(12 posts)
  1. brisco66

    brisco66

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    I inherited my great-grandfather's pipe - it's a briar churchwarden, and looks and works great. It's not a name brand and has more sentimental value than antique value. It's got a story as interesting as the Arizona pioneer who first owned it. see image link below. I use this pipe very carefully!

    This week, while carefully removing the stem to clean the pipe, I heard a tiny crack, and noticed a hairline fracture in the shank. It's the first time I've noticed any cracking. It's hardly noticeable, and not visible in the photo linked.

    I would like to ask for experienced opinions about the prognosis on this pipe. I'm trying to decide if I should retire the old pipe and display it looking nicely, or repair it. Does Briar become brittle with age? If I repair it and continue using it, is it likely to get worse?

    If I get it repaired what's the best way to do that with a pipe of this design (trying to set aside personal taste)?

    Finally, any ideas about what a pipe like this is worth?

    Thanks for any ideas.


    Photo link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/j2smbus85s7in5e/Briar%20churchwarden.jpg

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. oldredbeard

    oldredbeard

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    I would put just a drop of super glue on it, and continue using it. If the tenon is really tight I'd sand it down slightly to keep it from putting undue stress on the shank.

    I'm not complaining.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. nsfisher

    nsfisher

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    Crack in the shank, always calls for a banding. Super glue or not, it is just going to become worse over time. Just my opinion.

    If at first you don't succeed, have another bowl.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. bigvan

    bigvan

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    If you'd like to smoke it regularly, I'd get it banded by a professional.

    As for its value, without any identifying marks I'm afraid it would be minimal (outside of its sentimental value, of course).

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. piperl12

    piperl12

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    Yep I'm with the others, band it or sleeve it. Gotta relieve the pressure on that tenon.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. mso489

    mso489

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    No experience with this, but bigvan's plan sounds right. Have it banded by a professional and keep
    smoking it, since part of its value is its use through generations of the same family. I have a pipe
    rack humidor that was my grandfather's and my father's, in turn, so now I am using it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. teufelhund

    teufelhund

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    +1 for banding. It's always sad to have to retire a pipe; I feel they are meant to be smoked. There are a couple of skilled repairers on the internet; Walker Briar Works seems to be popular with most of the members here. Also welcome to the forums.

    Smoke your pipe and be silent; there's only wind and smoke in the world. - Irish Proverb
    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. johnnyiii

    johnnyiii

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    In the pipe repair thread a few post down from yours is a serous member bragging on a fella named Tim West. He might be your man. For the sentimental value alone!!. Good Luck !!!

    I humbly reserve the right to post an intuitive thought here ... When ONE comes to mind.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. johnnyiii

    johnnyiii

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    The above post bumped me to Junior Member.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    +1 with having a pro glue and band the pipe. You will be able to have years of enjoyment from it if you repair this before it gets any worse.

    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 5 years ago #
  11. brisco66

    brisco66

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    Have it banded by a professional and keep
    smoking it, since part of its value is its use through generations of the same family.

    thanks all, for your input. It's just what I was looking for. Especially the comments about the value of the pipe -- it's sentimental value, not monetary.

    I'll look into the links for getting it banded. Now I just need to decided on the composition of the band and other details. Alternatively, I've also read up about sleeves, but couldn't find if there is any advantage one way or another (other than aesthetics) between an external band or an internal sleeve. Is one stronger or more durable than the other?

    And thanks for the welcome to this forum.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Anonymous

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    If you live near the greater Phoenix area, swing by and have Howard look at it, I hear that he is pretty good and comes recommended by people in the area, I will be going to him soon for similar work.

    http://www.starfirepipeworks.com/

    Posted 5 years ago #

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