Anyone Ever Carved Meerschaum?

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BROBS

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I also believe they get the polished finish by rubbing it with a rough piece of leather.. could be an old technique tho
 
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Country Bladesmith

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@BROBS, the leather trick worked pretty well. I soaked it again and rubbed it with a square of soft leather. I had tried something similar with 3,000 grit paper, and even that high of a grit left small scratches. I was gonna sand it again with something high grit after it dried, but it seems like the leather got rid of all the fine scratches. I’m letting it dry now.

I can’t find any info on how to do the initial wax. Just obscure references. Some involving bone ash 😳. Does it matter what the ratio of wax to stearin is? Any difference between dunking it (with the chamber sealed) vs painting the wax on?
 
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TheFall

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Great work so far!

This is something that I would also be really interested in doing myself. Where did you get your kit? And how is the quality of the kit? Just curious on the quality as sometimes kits in some of my other hobbies have been just garbage quality.
 

Country Bladesmith

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Great work so far!

This is something that I would also be really interested in doing myself. Where did you get your kit? And how is the quality of the kit? Just curious on the quality as sometimes kits in some of my other hobbies have been just garbage quality.
I sent you a PM.
 

Country Bladesmith

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The 9mm is probably overkill for meerschaum. You can likely do all the reshaping you need with the .22 rounds.

You're welcome! 😁

Nice work.


View attachment 32327
Lol! My reloading bench was the only place where I could sit and work on it without fear of it getting dirty. My workshop is way too dusty, and I didn’t want my wife fussing about meerschaum chips in the rest of the house.
 

cshubhra

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Unfortunately not a lot of info I have seen on beeswax/ stearin ratio. Meerschaum pipe creation is a closely protected secret. My knowledge is based on discussions in the forum. However Stearin makes sense as it gives a harder coating compared to beeswax alone.

what I have read earlier is this - the chamber and the mortise is protected with plugs (cork ???) and dipped in wax bath and dried.



I can’t find any info on how to do the initial wax. Just obscure references. Some involving bone ash 😳. Does it matter what the ratio of wax to stearin is? Any difference between dunking it (with the chamber sealed) vs painting the wax on?
 

Country Bladesmith

Preferred Member
May 2, 2020
3,310
14,092
Louisiana
Unfortunately not a lot of info I have seen on beeswax/ stearin ratio. Meerschaum pipe creation is a closely protected secret. My knowledge is based on discussions in the forum. However Stearin makes sense as it gives a harder coating compared to beeswax alone.

what I have read earlier is this - the chamber and the mortise is protected with plugs (cork ???) and dipped in wax bath and dried.
Yes, that sums up what I’ve been able to figure out as well. I guess I’ll just have to wing it. I did find some videos of Turkish artists carving the pipes and then bathing them in a pot of molten wax. In most videos, the chamber is occluded with cork, but I did see one video where there was nothing blocking the chamber 😳
 
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BROBS

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Maybe the leather would work the same on the wax? Or maybe it would shed shit into it? I dunno man.

one thing that gives me a good finish when I apply beeswax to mine is using a heat gun to melt off any extra and wiping it with a paper towel as you heat it. I tried a microfiber once and it left colored fuzz in the wax and I had to heat it and rub it with a paper towel to remove. So on second thought a dry wheel might leave fuzz in the wax? So a lint free option to wipe as you heat it after it’s dipped?

just brainstorming here
 
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Country Bladesmith

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Maybe the leather would work the same on the wax? Or maybe it would shed shit into it? I dunno man.

one thing that gives me a good finish when I apply beeswax to mine is using a heat gun to melt off any extra and wiping it with a paper towel as you heat it. I tried a microfiber once and it left colored fuzz in the wax and I had to heat it and rub it with a paper towel to remove. So on second thought a dry wheel might leave fuzz in the wax? So a lint free option to wipe as you heat it after it’s dipped?

just brainstorming here
Yeah, lint-free sounds wise. I think I’ll probably warm up the stummel, then block off the chamber with cork or something and dunk it, then use a hair dryer and paper towel to melt and wipe off the excess. The screw-in mortise is plastic, so I’m afraid to let a heat gun linger on it.
 

BROBS

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I haven’t had a problem I do it with the stem in place just wave the heat gun around so it doesn’t get too hot. Doesn’t take a ton of heat to get the wax to run off.
I’d probably dunk with the stem on otherwise I’d be worried you might get a buildup of wax and have poor stem fit?
 
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