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Oxidation Removal On Stems

(28 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by columbialion
  • Latest reply from crk69
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    columbialion

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    I've recently found my old collection (1970's) which had been MIA in storage for quite some time. Can anybody advise me on the best method to remove oxidation from the stems. I've read that everything from alcohol to auto rubbing compound can be used. Some guidance would be much appreciated.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. matchstickman

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    *ahem* It appears that a rather witty and worldly fellow has written a very extensive article on how to do this very thing, and more importantly. how to do it without the use of a buffing wheel.

    Pipe Stem Restoration

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. jonahtke

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    Spectacular article!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. matchstickman

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    Why thank you. As I have stated before, my method is 100% chemically safe, relatively easy, relatively quick, and does not require the use of a buffer.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. ohin3

    ohin3

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    Wow that was awesome...going to do this over the weekend if I can find some oxyclean. I am in pipe cleaning mode lately and have a few right now getting the cotton ball/alcohol treatment. Now I can clean up their stems as well. Great article. Thanks for sharing bro.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. matchstickman

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    My pleasure. Of course, if you have a buffing wheel, you should by all means use it. I do not have the money nor the space for such a setup though, so I found this is what works best for me.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. barkar

    barkar

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    Is is going to be a huge help as I have quite a few estates I have bought recently.
    Can micro mesh be bought at Home Depot or Rona?

    Keep your stick on the ice!....Barry....
    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. barkar

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    If we were to use the demo stem as a worse case example, how much time total did you spend on it?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. wanza639

    wanza639

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    Thanks for the article. Awesome!!!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. ohin3

    ohin3

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    Your best bet for Micro Mesh is a wood working or hobby shop. From what I remember, you are Canadian, so you should have a Lee Valley store near by. They have quite the assortment of Micro Mesh pads, discs, belts and what not.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. kennerth

    kennerth

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    I have been experimenting with WESTLEY'S' BLECHE-WITE, a whitewall tire cleaner (2.99 at ACE). The chem. notes don't seem any worse than OxyClean. It works quickly and I have had less roughing up of the stem than I have through OxyClean. The results have been great. I just used it on a totally yucked and oxidized stem and it did the trick. I'll try to keep y'all posted.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. ichbinmuede

    ichbinmuede

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    I believe the closest Lee Valley to Mr. Barkar is in Scarborough. Definitely worth a trip if you're looking for specialty woodworking supplies and even just for fun for all the cool things. I know that when I went there were things I didn't even know I needed but I sure do want them now! Hah but a bit of a trip.
    Try the automobile department at Canadian Tire or any specialty auto place they typically have the super fine grits and should have what you're looking for.

    "Enjoy every sandwich." -Warren Zevon
    Best advice that I've ever heard.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. topd

    TopD

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    Great Article... have used your advice on several pipes.... Thanks!

    TopD

    Steve 'Top' Downey
    Master Sergeant
    USMC - Retired
    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. barkar

    barkar

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    Thanks ichbinmuede...that will save me a lot of running around..

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. matchstickman

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    If we were to use the demo stem as a worse case example, how much time total did you spend on it?

    I said in the article that I let the stem soak for an hour, and the grim truth behind that is that I put it in to soak and forgot about it. Most soaks will do their job in 15 minutes. After that, you are going to spend about 10 minutes with the magic eraser. Each grade of Micromesh should take about 5 minutes of elbow grease to get them where they need to be. That makes 40-45 minutes of work. If you take into account the Obsidian treatment, that will take another half hour, but that is a passive process. Just smear on and do something to kill the time, i.e., smoke your pipe, make a ham sandwich, take a shower, etc.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. barkar

    barkar

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    @Pipe Novelist,,,,thanks, that really is a simplified system you have shared with us and the time required isn't demanding at all. I have everything I need except the micro mesh and I hope to get that tomorrow and after that I will report back on how my first restore worked out.

    Thanks again for providing us with your tutorial.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. photoman13

    photoman13

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    ebay has cheap micro mesh.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. admin

    Kevin

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    Good post and article bump. I'm going to have to follow those instructions in the near future and clean some worn stems.

    Check Out Our - Pipes Podcast
    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. ssjones

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    Here's a thread on micromesh vendor:
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/micro-mesh-sanding-pads#post-117523

    After posting this, I also found Rockler Woodworking carries the sheets and has reasonable pricing.
    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=6461&site=ROCKLER

    Al

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. gnatjulio

    gnatjulio

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    Thanks, I cant wait to try this on my estate pipes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. scottso

    scottso

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    Never thought to try the Magic Erasure - thanks for the tip!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. nbpiper

    nbpiper

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    Just tried this method (well minus the micro mesh) and it came out really good. I have another stem that I need to do that I might put off until I can pick up some of the micro mesh.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. matchstickman

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    The micro mesh will help to strip off the rest of that oxidation that is really hard to get out, and the higher grades give it that nice luster and mirror shine. Just takes a little elbow grease is all. Investing in micro mesh was $16 of the best dollars I ever spent.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. crk69

    crk69

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    Thanks for the article Novelist, just used it to clean up three estates and the stems look basically brand new...

    Proud Member of the BlackBlood Society
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    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. damnyak

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    I just did a bunch of stems. 25 to be exact, and I scraped with a exacto knife, then 400 grit wet/dry, 600 gritwet/dry, then buff with tripoli and carnuba, Turned out amazing! Check craigslist for a bench grinder, got mine for $10, and old black and decker. works fine!

    -damnyak AKA Double-Goofy.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. thatbeetleguy

    thatbeetleguy

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    I have tried this method and so far it works like a charm.
    I am curious though, would this method work for the yellow meerschaum pipe stems as well? I have a stem that could use some TLC at this point.

    “The fact is, Squire, the moment a man takes to a pipe, he becomes a philosopher. It’s the poor man’s friend; it calms the mind, soothes the temper, and makes a man patient under difficulties. It has made more good men, good husbands, kind masters, indulgent fathers, than any other blessed thing on this universal earth.”
    -Sam Slick, The Clockmaker
    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. galeon

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    I should be getting some Micro Mesh in the mail in the next week. I have 5 or 6 stems with some 20-something year old oxidation on them. I'll let you know how goes the restoration.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. crk69

    crk69

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    One of the stems I restored had been oxidized since the early 80's, It turned out looking brand new. Should have good luck with yours galeon....

    Posted 2 years ago #

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