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Gap Between Stem And Shank

(17 posts)
  1. shanez

    shanez

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    Looking at this:

    I'm wondering if the gap is something to be concerned with. It doesn't look even all the way around as if the stem hadn't been pushed in all the way. Is it something that could be repaired?

    Posted 9 months ago #
  2. anthony416

    anthony416

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    It may not be too bad really, I have seen expensive pipes ($200+) with a gap like that. I don't think it will have any influence on it's smoking properties.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  3. jazz

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    I have a Stanwell that does this (I don't see it unless really looking for it) and apart from it being a minor irritation and even though it could be caused by any number of things I don't really consider it anything to worry about. I reckon it could be remedied easy enough if it really troubles you.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  4. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    I don't know that it's a concern. Have you thoroughly cleaned out the mortise? You can shorten the tenon, if you're sure it's hitting the back of the mortise. Unless it really bothers you it might be best just to leave it alone. Or you can send it to a restorer to have the fit trued up.

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

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    Posted 9 months ago #
  5. jpmcwjr

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    Not a worry in terms of smoking or durability. Could be an issue for a collector- affecting value, but for smoking you're good to go for decades.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 9 months ago #
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    panamacharlie

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    If it bothers you, put some pumice in the joint and rotate the stem until it matches.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  7. crashthegrey

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    That much of a gap is more frequent than you would think. No problems.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  8. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    I'm willing to bet I could look through all my pipes and find a few like that. I know at least a couple for sure, but I would never have known it had I not been holding it up in the light and noticed. I don't believe it's anything to worry about.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 9 months ago #
  9. shanez

    shanez

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    There was another Comoy's similar in shape to this one that didn't seem to have a gap but I liked the wood grain and stem on this one better.

    Thanks for all of your input.

    Posted 9 months ago #
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    bigpond

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    Not a concern, even remotely. In fact, that’s de rigueur for Italian pipes

    Posted 9 months ago #
  11. mso489

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    That annoys me when I see it at online retailers. It's a subtle little matter of fit with (in my opinion) no bearing on the smoking characteristics of the pipe. If the pipe smokes well, you will soon ignore it and appreciate all of the good traits of this nifty briar. Like any other companion, you soon ignore a quirk or two and just enjoy the company.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  12. slowroll

    slowroll

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    Uneven fit like that happens when the briar block shifts a bit in the chuck between the mortise drilling and squaring the shank end, leaving the mortice and the shank end not quite perpendicular. Happens a lot, no effect on smoking qualities. A repair is fiddly, and runs the risk of making it worse.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  13. saltedplug

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    Rick Newcombe takes/took major issue with that gap and would bring it into the discussion with his bespoke pipes. Some makers would/did accommodate him and do whatever it is they knew to do to eliminate it. It's not my favorite issue either. But despite these objections it's a fact of pipe life best ignored and dropped from one's must haves and has no bearing on how the pipe smokes.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  14. georged

    georged

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    Uneven fit like that happens when the briar block shifts a bit in the chuck between the mortise drilling and squaring the shank end, leaving the mortice and the shank end not quite perpendicular. Happens a lot.

    Sorry, but no. High volume production pipes' mortises are drilled with a type of bit that cuts the end of the shank simultaneously.

    Briar changes shape with use from temp cycling, moisture cycling, and pressure. If it changes enough, permanent (meaning when at room temp and dry/not recently smoked) misalignments appear.

    Minimizing the problem and reversing misalignments after they've appeared are best discussed separately.

    As to the OP question of whether to be concerned, not structurally, no. It can be set right if it bugs you, though.

    Dogs live such short lives... and spend most it waiting for us to come home
    Posted 8 months ago #
  15. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    +1 for PanamaCharlie's comment.

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 8 months ago #
  16. blendtobac

    blendtobac

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    Sometimes that can develop after the fact. If a pipe is disassembled while still warm, the tenon might slightly bend. It can be fixed by someone who really knows what they're doing, but I wouldn't try it myself.

    Russ

    Posted 8 months ago #
  17. shanez

    shanez

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    The pipe arrived today and was shipped with the stem removed. I didn't have time to examine it with a magnifier of any sort but I couldn't see a gap after I inserted the stem. I'm wondering if the stem just wasn't pushed in as well as it could have been or if the gap is small enough that it only really becomes visible when magnification is applied such as a camera zoom lens. Whatever caused the gap to show in the above picture doesn't matter as I'm happy with the pipe. I'm really happy with the look and feel of it.

    Being new to pipes I was only concerned that there might have been a structural issue which everyone agrees there would not be. It's nice to have a board where one can get answers so quickly. Thanks everyone.

    The pipe doesn't appear to need to be cleaned but I'm going to sterilize it and give the coffee grounds treatment and take it for a test run this weekend. It's going to be a tough decision between Black Frigate and Molto Dolce for an inaugural bowl!

    Posted 8 months ago #

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