Stem not Flush . . .
I just read the thread on the cracked Radice and saw that it was mentioned that the stem didn't sit flush up against the briar. This is the case of my Brigham, its been like that since out of the box. I'm a bit OCD so it actually really bothers me but I'm not sure what I can do. Its not a huge gap but its there. Is it possible to heat the stem? Or is that a bad idea since this is a filter system Brigham pipe?
Without photos, it is hard to ascertain much.
IMO, it basically depends on how severe the problem is with your Brigham.
For example, if the issue is slight (looks only) and the pipe doesn't whistle and/or smoke badly, and the stem fits into the mortise well, then to me it wouldn't be much of a problem at all.
On the other hand, if it is more problematic, I'd likely contact a professional and look into getting it repaired.
I have a Karl Erik that is the same way but it smokes fine.I will say that it bugs me though.
DO not heat the stem. We need a better description of what's going on - is the tenon bottoming out and not allowing the stem to go on all the way? Is it a gap all the way around or only in a part of the joint?
My (cracked) Radice is one of a few pipes that I have with stems that are a few microns off-flush. It bothers me a bit, but no more or less than other small flaws that I see on my pipes. I have been assuming that any fix would likely do more harm that good, so I haven't pursued the issue.
The best way to get a flush stem is to buy one from someone who makes pipes by hand and takes pride in their work, ones from factories typically do not come perfectly flush most of the time, it is a very hard thing to accomplish. Not all pipes come with perfectly flush stems, it is really up to the pipemaker to decide how flush they want to make their stems, I reciently recieved a Savinelli which wasn't quite flush and I would have happily kept it had the shank not been broken, I won't name where I got it from since they are attempting to make it right. At the $50 range, I wasn't expecting perfection. How much is your pipe that your having this issue?
"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."
I have a Brigham with the same issue. I think they are trickier to fix because of the long mortise of their maple rock filter system. I actually really like the filter system, it is the only filter pipe I would actually use the filter in. Have you tried taking the filter out and seeing if the stem seats better? Then you could try filing down the little metal piece that the filter attaches to perhaps...
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a photo would allow for better advice...
that being said, various pipes I've restored such as some of my Disney World Pipes and my Birth year 1975 Dunhill had a slight gap in one side as if the stem was crooked. The stem was not loose and slid in straight as it should but when it met with the shank there was about a hair gap on one side.
I took fine sandpaper 1000grit and a flat piece of wood to create a firm and flat sanding surface, then sanded around the touching edge and slightly up the sides so as to turn the angle just slightly; almost imperceptibly. really just watching the surface to indicate progress of sanding. Finally finished with a flat sand across the whole surface to ensure a flat plane. My pipes are now flush 360 degrees around the shank.
Of course it all depends on the pipe and the nature of the misalignment.
"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G. K. Chesterton
Loseth, Josh is a pipe maker and a talented one at that. What's easy for him is impossible for me and maybe quite difficult for you. Too much sanding, or a slip-up and it could look a lot worse.
If it bothers you, take it in to a professional. I'm thinking that for very little money, depending on the issue of course, it's highly likely they can fix it while you wait and you will walk out of there with a properly fitting stem and the better part of your $10 bill.
I actually fixed my first crooked pipe well before I ever carved my first pipe. I only meant to say, its not as difficult to fix as it seems and someone should be able to fix that without too much difficulty.
If you are comfortable with some fine sanding, you may be able to do it.
If you arent comfortable then definitely dont risk making it worse.
Just wanted to give some hope.
and obviously never try your first attempt on something worth anything....
Always use something you wont care so much about...
It should be fixable. Whether by you or someone else, hope is out there!
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