Cracked Shank on Antique Pipe - to repair or leave alone?

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brisco66

New member
Dec 31, 2013
4
0
Austin, Texas
I inherited my great-grandfather's pipe - it's a briar churchwarden, and looks and works great. It's not a name brand and has more sentimental value than antique value. It's got a story as interesting as the Arizona pioneer who first owned it. see image link below. I use this pipe very carefully!
This week, while carefully removing the stem to clean the pipe, I heard a tiny crack, and noticed a hairline fracture in the shank. It's the first time I've noticed any cracking. It's hardly noticeable, and not visible in the photo linked.
I would like to ask for experienced opinions about the prognosis on this pipe. I'm trying to decide if I should retire the old pipe and display it looking nicely, or repair it. Does Briar become brittle with age? If I repair it and continue using it, is it likely to get worse?
If I get it repaired what's the best way to do that with a pipe of this design (trying to set aside personal taste)?
Finally, any ideas about what a pipe like this is worth?
Thanks for any ideas.


Photo link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/j2smbus85s7in5e/Briar%20churchwarden.jpg

 

oldredbeard

Preferred Member
Jul 20, 2012
629
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I would put just a drop of super glue on it, and continue using it. If the tenon is really tight I'd sand it down slightly to keep it from putting undue stress on the shank.

 

bigvan

Preferred Member
Mar 22, 2011
2,193
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If you'd like to smoke it regularly, I'd get it banded by a professional.
As for its value, without any identifying marks I'm afraid it would be minimal (outside of its sentimental value, of course).

 

piperl12

Preferred Member
Apr 7, 2012
971
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Yep I'm with the others, band it or sleeve it. Gotta relieve the pressure on that tenon.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,965
1,651
No experience with this, but bigvan's plan sounds right. Have it banded by a professional and keep

smoking it, since part of its value is its use through generations of the same family. I have a pipe

rack humidor that was my grandfather's and my father's, in turn, so now I am using it.

 

teufelhund

Preferred Member
Mar 5, 2013
1,499
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St. Louis, MO
+1 for banding. It's always sad to have to retire a pipe; I feel they are meant to be smoked. There are a couple of skilled repairers on the internet; Walker Briar Works seems to be popular with most of the members here. Also welcome to the forums.

 

johnnyiii

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2013
315
0
hertford nc
In the pipe repair thread a few post down from yours is a serous member bragging on a fella named Tim West. He might be your man. For the sentimental value alone!!. Good Luck !!!

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,990
1,194
+1 with having a pro glue and band the pipe. You will be able to have years of enjoyment from it if you repair this before it gets any worse.

 

brisco66

New member
Dec 31, 2013
4
0
Austin, Texas
Have it banded by a professional and keep

smoking it, since part of its value is its use through generations of the same family.
thanks all, for your input. It's just what I was looking for. Especially the comments about the value of the pipe -- it's sentimental value, not monetary.
I'll look into the links for getting it banded. Now I just need to decided on the composition of the band and other details. Alternatively, I've also read up about sleeves, but couldn't find if there is any advantage one way or another (other than aesthetics) between an external band or an internal sleeve. Is one stronger or more durable than the other?
And thanks for the welcome to this forum.

 
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