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georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
4,078
7,034
The seller may or may not believe it, but there's no way to verify it. And even if the stem is obviously from the factory, that doesn't mean it's original. All of the top end British pipe brand offered extensive refurbishment services, including making replacements stems. So, that '20's Dunhill may have a '30's or '40's Dunhill made replacement stem.

Actually, there is.

Major brand makers all had in-house shops, but the problems inherent in retro-fitting a new stem to an existing stummel---without altering the stummel---were the same for everyone, both private shop and "corporate HQ" shop.

And it is much too time consuming for a shop to chase 100% when 80% requires one third the labor, no one complains, and it's what the public expects.

Net result? Unless painstakingly done by someone whose overriding mission is to "make the repair/replacement invisible", it can always be spotted.

And such a passion didn't exist regarding pipes until relatively recently. Indeed, pipe collecting was just pipe accumulation. Today's concerns regarding authenticity never crossed anyone's mind.
 
Aug 27, 2016
3,708
16,864
39
Louisville
Actually, there is.

Major brand makers all had in-house shops, but the problems inherent in retro-fitting a new stem to an existing stummel---without altering the stummel---were the same for everyone, both private shop and "corporate HQ" shop.

And it is much too time consuming for a shop to chase 100% when 80% requires one third the labor, no one complains, and it's what the public expects.

Net result? Unless painstakingly done by someone whose overriding mission is to "make the repair/replacement invisible", it can always be spotted.

And such a passion didn't exist regarding pipes until relatively recently. Indeed, pipe collecting was just pipe accumulation. Today's concerns regarding authenticity never crossed anyone's mind.
That, gents, is the sound of a man tooting his own horn.
Fantastic little tune there!
 
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sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
17,191
34,250
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
Actually, there is.

Major brand makers all had in-house shops, but the problems inherent in retro-fitting a new stem to an existing stummel---without altering the stummel---were the same for everyone, both private shop and "corporate HQ" shop.

And it is much too time consuming for a shop to chase 100% when 80% requires one third the labor, no one complains, and it's what the public expects.

Net result? Unless painstakingly done by someone whose overriding mission is to "make the repair/replacement invisible", it can always be spotted.

And such a passion didn't exist regarding pipes until relatively recently. Indeed, pipe collecting was just pipe accumulation. Today's concerns regarding authenticity never crossed anyone's mind.
Even military mounts?
 
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peteguy

Lifer
Jan 19, 2012
1,322
496
To any naysayers, try doing a stem. Please, I beg you, just try it. Then come here and show your work with closeup clear photos.
 

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
4,078
7,034
Even military mounts?

One of the major flags is a bit more subtle---the original stem's insertion depth leaves traces, and cutting low-angle cones to seat at exactly the same depth is a bitch---but the main giveaways of button and funnel shape are still there.

Meaning it takes more looking, and knowing where to look and what to look for, so replacement military stems would likely get a green light more often than a conventional stem in more cases, but that's it.
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
17,191
34,250
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
One of the major flags is a bit more subtle---the original stem's insertion depth leaves traces, and cutting low-angle cones to seat at exactly the same depth is a bitch---but the main giveaways of button and funnel shape are still there.

Meaning it takes more looking, and knowing where to look and what to look for, so replacement military stems would likely get a green light more often than a conventional stem in more cases, but that's it.
Before the War, a lot of Britwood made by the top makers featured bands. It was really common before The Great War. Bling everywhere. Would stem replacements be as obvious as with pipes lacking the decorative bands?

I'm not doubting your basic premise, that the trained eye can spot "good enough" over perfect, although years of wear can do something to hide that was well, like soft edges from over buffing where the stem meets with the shank.

YOU can work miracles, like you did with replacing that spiral cut stem on one of my Von Erck pipes. Your stem work is in a class of its own. But can't years and decades of use can also wear into perfection?
 

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
4,078
7,034
Before the War, a lot of Britwood made by the top makers featured bands. It was really common before The Great War. Bling everywhere. Would stem replacements be as obvious as with pipes lacking the decorative bands?

When a pipe is originally made, its band is placed after the stem and shank has been leveled.

Meaning the surface that a new stem must be "lowered to" is below the band's outer surface.

Doing that convincingly is fussiness personified. It must be done by hand with the stem entirely separate from the stummel, and once it has been, polishing the area .5mm or so nearest the band is another problem: The "ledge" of the band prevents a buffing wheel from reaching it. And since buffing the edge with the stem removed will round the edge, it must also be done by hand.

So, yes, replacement stems on banded pipes are as obvious as non-banded ones when/if they were made by a shop---including original manufacturer's shops---unless the shop was OK with spending an extra 60-90 minutes to emininate by hand something that only today's collectors care about.
 

orvet

Might Stick Around
Jan 1, 2023
63
114
Willamette Valley of Oregon
Great thread, I'm learning a lot that I didn't know about repairs..
I am looking for a good pipe repairman. I was cleaning some of my pipes this evening and my last one was a Comoy Everyman sandblast billiard. The stem originally had a metal fitment with leather washers on it, but I detest metal in a pipe so that has been removed. While putting the stem back in I broke the shank and need to have it banded.
If it's not a violation of any forum rules, can someone recommend a good repairman?
 

Zeno Marx

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 10, 2022
129
850
The ebay system leans so very hard in the direction of the buyer that I don't worry about it. And if you use a credit card, there's that additional layer of protection for dissatisfaction. With shipping prices as high as they are, that alone discourages me from being too foolhardy, but if I don't like it, I return it. If it is my fault, I gladly eat the shipping. If it is a clear example of the seller misleading, or not knowing, then I have no problem with them being responsible for the entire debacle. If you want to sell on ebay, you better know your stuff, and if you don't, then get ready to pay for the education. I appreciate people having to hustle, but as they say, "you're in the game now, son." Ebay is work. It's a business. Customers have a right to satisfaction. "no returns" Yeah, right. We'll see about that.
 

orvet

Might Stick Around
Jan 1, 2023
63
114
Willamette Valley of Oregon
The ebay system leans so very hard in the direction of the buyer that I don't worry about it. And if you use a credit card, there's that additional layer of protection for dissatisfaction. With shipping prices as high as they are, that alone discourages me from being too foolhardy, but if I don't like it, I return it. If it is my fault, I gladly eat the shipping. If it is a clear example of the seller misleading, or not knowing, then I have no problem with them being responsible for the entire debacle. If you want to sell on ebay, you better know your stuff, and if you don't, then get ready to pay for the education. I appreciate people having to hustle, but as they say, "you're in the game now, son." Ebay is work. It's a business. Customers have a right to satisfaction. "no returns" Yeah, right. We'll see about that.
Well said!
I have bought one pipe on eBay, and that just recently. Haven't finished cleaning it yet to where I'm satisfied with it, but I don't expect any problems, it wasn't expensive to begin with.
I have never sold anything on eBay, but I have bought probably 1500-2000 pocket knives and hunting knives on eBay, in the last 18 years. Some of them I collect but most of them I buy to repair, or to get a replacement part such as a back spring.

I most definitely do not resell on eBay! I think eBay policies are definitely slanted a little bit in the favor of the buyer. Know the products you are buying helps prevent ripoffs. Counterfeit knives are quite common on eBay. Just because the knife is stamped "Case" doesn't mean it was actually made by Case Cutlery

I was wondering if there are counterfeit pipes also showing up on eBay?
My knowledge on pipes is dated as I have not smoked or collected pipes for 20 years, until this year. Having been a tobacconist and buyer for three stores and gave me a little bit of inside knowledge into the industry as it was in the 1980s and early 90s, but I see that I have a lot to learn. It seems the entire industry has changed hands and many companies, (alas McClellans), have simply disappeared. I am encouraged by new companies like Cornell and Dietz who are producing decent quality tobacco the smokable today without aging.
I'm grateful to find such a unique and friendly group of pipe smokers who are willing to share knowledge and information so freely. It makes me feel as at home here as I do on my pocket knife forum.
Thank you for being such a awesome, friendly forum!
 

anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
13,019
24,409
44
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
I was wondering if there are counterfeit pipes also showing up on eBay?
Nope not really. Basically if you could make a counterfeit you'd make more money just selling it new.
My knowledge on pipes is dated as I have not smoked or collected pipes for 20 years, until this year. Having been a tobacconist and buyer for three stores and gave me a little bit of inside knowledge into the industry as it was in the 1980s and early 90s, but I see that I have a lot to learn. It seems the entire industry has changed hands and many companies, (alas McClellans), have simply disappeared. I am encouraged by new companies like Cornell and Dietz who are producing decent quality tobacco the smokable today without aging.
I'm grateful to find such a unique and friendly group of pipe smokers who are willing to share knowledge and information so freely. It makes me feel as at home here as I do on my pocket knife forum.
Thank you for being such a awesome, friendly forum!
 
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orvet

Might Stick Around
Jan 1, 2023
63
114
Willamette Valley of Oregon
Nope not really. Basically if you could make a counterfeit you'd make more money just selling it new.
The way it usually happens with pocket knives is that the markings are changed so that the knife appears to be a far more expensive knife that it actually is.
I'm not sure if this could be done with a pipe, but if the stampings on the shank could be duplicated on a unbranded pipe that might be one way in which a pipe could be counterfeited. I don't know that this happens, or if it's even possible but it's amazing how much work some people will go to to make a dishonest dollar! In the All About Pocket Knives forum there is an entire sub forum dedicated to the discussion of counterfeited knives, or knives that are possibly counterfeit. Many of those come from eBay.

Looking at the price of older pipes now, it was a logical question to me, given the number of counterfeit knives I have seen discussed over the years.
 

anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
13,019
24,409
44
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
The way it usually happens with pocket knives is that the markings are changed so that the knife appears to be a far more expensive knife that it actually is.
I'm not sure if this could be done with a pipe, but if the stampings on the shank could be duplicated on a unbranded pipe that might be one way in which a pipe could be counterfeited. I don't know that this happens, or if it's even possible but it's amazing how much work some people will go to to make a dishonest dollar! In the All About Pocket Knives forum there is an entire sub forum dedicated to the discussion of counterfeited knives, or knives that are possibly counterfeit. Many of those come from eBay.

Looking at the price of older pipes now, it was a logical question to me, given the number of counterfeit knives I have seen discussed over the years.
most shady pipe listings are in the mislabeled (and obviously so) and plausibly just ignorant. Like getting the age wrong or not accurately describing the condition including not stating repairs or non original parts. Not there isn't ever out right fraud but it is rare. And the one case I know about someone claimed to have things they didn't and collected money for things they didn't actually sell. I'd imagine tobacco would be easier to do that with. But even then there are easier more profitable things to commit fraud with.
 
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