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Why do Peterson stems go green..?

(22 posts)
  1. samon

    samon

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    Yeah, why do they go green?

    And can it be reversed or is it deemed lovable, like an old knife with patina?

    cheers

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. chasingembers

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    Sounds like oxidation. Obsidian Oil is a preventative, but removing it requires a few different methods. Most requiring some sort of mild abrasive with, or without a buffer.

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

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  4. samon

    samon

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    Ah ok, I have plenty of buffing supplies. I quite like it though tbh. What exactly are the stems made of?

    I have this Peterson Donegal x105 with a silver collar and I think the greenish stem kind of compliments the deep dark reds briar bowl.


    How long does this usually take to happen?

    cheers

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. jmatt

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    To answer the question: Because they are made out of vulcanite rubber, which oxidizes. Acrylic stems don't.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. chasingembers

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    The ones that go green are vulcanite. The green is sulfer coming to the surface, and can make the stem quite foul tasting. Exposure to daylight and steam can accelerate the oxidation of vulcanite.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. xrundog

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    It depends on the rubber formula. Some vulcanite stems turn green faster that others. If you clean it and don't get every last bit of oxidation it will come right back. When cleaning, check your work in sunlight. If it looks green in the sun you didn't get it all.

    Life is good. But it's better with a pipe.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. georged

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    Damn. I just watched that video and the installment (part 5) that followed it, and literally squirmed and cringed the entire time. I am not cut out for wholesale "80/20 style" work at ALL.

    I understand that the approach is financially necessary when re-selling mass quantities of pipes below a certain price point, but whoever made the video(s) didn't make that clear. And the long-term result---the Internet is forever, right?---is many collectables and high grades get their buttons smeared, edges blurred, and flat areas scalloped by people who assume those things are an unavoidable byproduct of oxidation removal.

    Dogs live such short lives... and spend most it waiting for us to come home
    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. chasingembers

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    Just picked that video as an example. Have gotten several vulcanite stemmed estates from SPC, and the stems were in excellent condition. They can be a pain to maintain, but goodness do I love a vulcanite/ebonite/cumberland stem.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. seacaptain

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    Irish will do that.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. georged

    georged

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    Have gotten several vulcanite stemmed estates from SPC, and the stems were in excellent condition.

    I'm sure they were. "Buffer only" oxidation removal results in stem shape degradation directly in proportion to the depth of the oxidation. When a trade-in or estate arrives with only a kiss-O-green (or none at all), no problem. When one arrives that's Old School Army/Marine Corps olive drab (or even worse, that weird whitish-yellow color), not so much. For those, keeping things crisp and straight is impossible using only a buffer. Depending on the skill of the operator, the result falls somewhere between an unnatural "smeared/streamlined" look, and a black Play-Doh sculpture.

    Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that SP.com doesn't accept everything they are sent, thus using selectivity to help keep the standard high for what they sell. Too far gone = too much time required to set right, so back it goes.

    The source of my distress is because SP.com is a respected name with high standards and staffed with a number of true experts, DIY people and many semi-pro restorers assume the techniques shown in those videos are how all pipes should be handled.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. edwinbaz

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    [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feOwpakJip8][/url]
    I found this video series to be helpful when cleaning estate pipes, particularly the point on trying to minimise the amount of vulcanite that may be lost when removing the oxidation. Hope it helps.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. pipebuddy

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    A lot of the Peterson stems are made from low quality, machine made vulcanite. So the oxydation will develop very rapidly.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. samon

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    I'll check out those restoration videos later. My pipe tatses good, no rankness, is it still worth going ahead with the resto'?

    And can anyone assist me in getting an aproximte age on my pipe?

    cheers guys

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. gloucesterman

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    The band should have some hallmarks on it. The third one is the date mark. Peterson's web site has a chart that will tell you what date that mark is for.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. samon

    samon

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    Ok, so with a jewelers eye piece and my crap phone I managed to take a picture of the date letter. It is F.. but is it the 1973 or the 1991.. In my opinion, it looks more like the 1973.


    Any of you guys have a different opinion?

    The older age may be why the stem is so green. Or can this happen in months?

    Thanks for the help so far!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. ssjones

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    That is 1973. Camera phones actually take pretty good close-up pictures these days, I use mine for all nomenclature shots. Oxidation is part of vulcanite stems. I do a top coat of auto plastic polish when cleaning stems (by machine). That keeps my vulcanite stems from oxidizing so quickly.

    Al

    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. pipebuddy

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    A good buffing wheel, I've heard, will also take care of the oxydation, combined with a wee bit of carnuba wax afterward, to slow it down.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. samon

    samon

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    Ah thanks for the clarification. And That's the first time I have a 42 year old in my mouth.. lol.

    I have wet n dry paper from 1000-2500 that I will use. I'd also like some cleaning fluid for the inner of the stem, it smokes nice but I've not had it long and years of old man spit is likely in there even after I warm water and cotton pipe cleanered it good.

    Bloody huge bowl on it, wide like! Lol No wonder my Dunhill 965 if left to a few pinches of scruff now..

    Been a pleasure gents!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. aristokles

    aristokles

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    I think pipebuddy might be on to something. My Peterson seems to oxidize in front of my eyes as I smoke it. No other of my 60 pipes, mostly vulcanites, do this.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. huntertrw

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    It is said that William Ashton Taylor boiled the Vulcanite which he used in the manufacture of stems for his Ashton pipes, and that this helped reduce the oxidation. It is also reported that the process created a horrible stench!

    Love Me, Love My Pipe
    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. dude

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    Wow, I have had the same experience. A long time ago, before the internet and before I could read about oxidation and how to fix it, I had a peterson go to hell Over a week or so.
    It tasted awful, It may have even smelled awful. I had no idea what had happened.

    In hindsight, I think it was in direct sunlight.

    Years later, oxyclean and polishing have given it new life.

    Life is like Tobacco. You can talk about it all day in the end you just need to smoke it. (not that you can smoke life, well... You know what I mean))
    Posted 3 years ago #

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