Do You Dislike a Certain Stem Material?

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telescopes

Preferred Member
I don't bite down at all. It is merely touching them to my teeth that creates a nerve ending sensation, like when your teeth accidentally brushes against a fork or spoon. It's an old person thing. YMMV
Hmmmm. At one time, it bothered me as well. But after I moved to Palm Springs, that problem went away. I am
positive there is no causation between the two.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
26,061
30,023
Helena, Alabama
Not to try to talk someone into buying vulcanite, because there are definitely some nice acrylic stems out there. But, if one should happen to be concerned about vulcanite oxidizing, check into buying a jeweler's cloth.

They are all a little different, but the in side white sheet in impregnated with polishing compound and the outer cloth has a microcrystalline wax in it. Start with a clean and nice vulcanite stem, and then each time you clean your pipe at night, just buff up the stem with the inside part and then when polished, use the outside part of buff it out, as it adds a micro film of wax to help prevent5 oxidation. I use one every night, and I never have oxides on my stems. YMMV
 

SmokeClouds

Junior Member
Sep 7, 2019
61
129
New York
Not to try to talk someone into buying vulcanite, because there are definitely some nice acrylic stems out there. But, if one should happen to be concerned about vulcanite oxidizing, check into buying a jeweler's cloth.

They are all a little different, but the in side white sheet in impregnated with polishing compound and the outer cloth has a microcrystalline wax in it. Start with a clean and nice vulcanite stem, and then each time you clean your pipe at night, just buff up the stem with the inside part and then when polished, use the outside part of buff it out, as it adds a micro film of wax to help prevent5 oxidation. I use one every night, and I never have oxides on my stems. YMMV
Thanks for the tip!
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
19,276
14,018
Carmel Valley, CA
Cheap plastic. And poorly carved bits. And ones that break easily, as on some meerschaums. (yellow but I don't know the composition. Certainly not amber.)
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
30,216
47,471
38.0565° N, 83.9433° W
I can't imagine if the new idea for a stem material were vulcanite that many people on this forum would be singing its praises.
I've never known vulcanite to be high maintenance, wipe oil on it and done. None of my newly purchased pipes have oxidized nor have estate pieces I've cleaned up though the closest modern material that doesn't oxidize is juma.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
26,061
30,023
Helena, Alabama
Haha. Those days are largely behind me. But I did window shopped a headshop recently and was shocked at the price of artisanal glass bongs. They were in the $400 to $600 range. This is what happens when baby boomers grow old and accumulate money.
Bong is such a strange word. Does it originate from Australia? sounds Australian. I'm not even sure what one is.
 
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mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
35,592
35,144
The bigger the pipe, the more I'd prefer Vulcanite, for its softer feel. For lighter weight pipes, acrylic/lucite is fine. The basic soft plastic stems on MM cobs get chewed up by me, so I get the special editions pipes with acrylic stems. Reed stems on Old Dominion pipes, now sold by MM. are fine to me, comfortable and sturdy. I do like acrylic stems for their lack of oxidation and ease of cleaning.
 

kcghost

Preferred Member
May 6, 2011
5,618
7,171
74
Olathe, Kansas
I like Vulcanite and Acrylic. I have no problem with either. The other choices would be a waste of time as I wouldn't smoke them.