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Playing Around With stems ... Again

(14 posts)
  1. madox07

    madox07

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    I am giving it another try on restoring shine to my stems (god I heard on the radio show that a shine and ream costs around $25 in the States, it's getting so frustrating right now that I would be willing to make an effort and pay for my best pipes if that were an option).

    What's different this time? Firstly I managed to get my hands on oxyclean like people in the US use - previously I used sodium bicarbonate. Also I bought an adaptor for my electric screw driver, so it can fit a round felt and cotton wheel, so I can polish.

    Method: I bathed the stems in oxyclean for a couple of hours. Some recommend over night but I was inpatient. Then I cleaned the stems with water, and removed the white stuff on one of the stems (the other did not present this issue) with the abrasive part of a dish sponge. I worked my way with micro mesh starting from 1500 grit up to 12000 grit - 2-3 minutes on each pad. After that I have applied with a rag this german "briar polish" that says "removes soiling and gives shine". (here I am not sure that this is meant for stems as well, or just for the bowl). Finally I have polished using the electric screwdriver for about 10-15 minutes.

    The result is fine, better that what I have managed in the past with my previous method and available tools, but it still doesn't look like "on TV". I am missing that high thick lair of shine.

    Some people suggested in the past that carnauba wax is the way to go with stems. I have found out that some niche local hardware store has carnauba wax sticks in my town, but I would imagine that in order to load the felt and cotton disks I need a higher power tool than your house handy screwdriver. Higher power means heat ... so I am afraid I may burn my stems.

    Any advice is appreciated !

    Sea Wolf Pipers

    "Like the mariners of old, a loner is acceptable but a pipe is best enjoyed in a pack"
    Posted 3 months ago #
  2. chasingembers

    Embers

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    I am missing that high thick lair of shine.

    All I used on this stem was Magic Erasers, Barkeeper's Friend, and toothpaste. No buffer was applied.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 3 months ago #
  3. verporchting

    verporchting

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    +1 on the Magic Eraser.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  4. warren

    warren

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    Embers' technique is what I us when cleaning a seriously oxidized bit. And, such can be done while reading, watching the Dumont or talking with the dog.

    Hard to beat toothpaste when a fine grit is required.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 3 months ago #
  5. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    Dumont

    Showoff }:)

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 3 months ago #
  6. madox07

    madox07

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    I am not sure what Magic Erasers are, but I am pretty sure I can't get them around here.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  7. shanez

    shanez

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    Posted 3 months ago #
  8. verporchting

    verporchting

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    Magic Eraser is a household cleaning sponge marketed under the name of Mr. Clean. There may be other variations of the same product where you live, I'm not sure.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  9. verporchting

    verporchting

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    Doh! Shanez beat me to it, but a picture is worth a 1000 words anyway.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  10. folanator

    folanator

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    For our EU friends..

    Posted 3 months ago #
  11. madox07

    madox07

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    Embers Ok, I just tried the tooth paste on the felt and wipe with cotton rag. It does give a shine, but I am assuming that the gloss comes from "beekeeper's friend" which I asume is bee's wax? How do you apply that?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  12. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Try rubbing it down with literally a drop of mineral oil. Not as "buff" as carnauba or other waxes, but is nice. A good matte black is the usual result.

    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 3 months ago #
  13. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Embers Ok, I just tried the tooth paste on the felt and wipe with cotton rag. It does give a shine, but I am assuming that the gloss comes from "beekeeper's friend" which I asume is bee's wax? How do you apply that?

    Barkeeper's Friend is a fine abrasive. Only use your thumb to buff the toothpaste, and buff it until it's gone. Leaves a higher shine than applying mineral oil.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  14. dmcmtk

    dmcmtk

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    In addition to the other suggestions, wet sand up to 2000 paper, and buff rubbing the stem against a micro fiber cloth, you'll get a good shine, no power tools needed.

    Dave
    Duke Street Irregular
    Posted 3 months ago #

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