Do you remove the stem for each cleaning?

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Dec 1, 2022
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133
I have a Peterson system pipe that I know it's ok to remover the stem to clean the mortice when hot. Its generally accepted to let non system pipes cool before removing the stem. I've been waiting for my pipes to cool then remove the stem after every smoke to swab out the mortice, stem and draft hole in the bowl to clean out the moisture.

My question is I have several pipes that won't pass a pipe cleaner, am I wearing out my tenon faster by removing the stem while the pipe is cool after every smoke?
 

bullet08

Lifer
Nov 26, 2018
6,762
30,823
RTP, NC. USA
Point of removing the stem to clean is to clean out the mortise where all the crap collects. I take out stems from my pipe as soon as I'm finished smoking. I like to clean my pipe when everything is hot so the tar and other crap can be cleaned out. I'm not suggesting you or anybody else doing this. There is a chance you will crack the mortise if you twist the stem the wrong way. Also, pipe cleaner test doesn't mean much. That won't clean mortise. And that doesn't guarantee good smoke.
 

Warlee

Lurker
Apr 13, 2022
41
412
Michigan
Depends on the pipe. I have some that clean easily and don’t seem to build up gunk in the mortise very fast. Others are different and I remove the stem every time. I’d rather wear the pipe out (haven’t had any issues yet) than have bad/sour smokes.
 
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anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
13,104
24,559
44
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
I have a Peterson system pipe that I know it's ok to remover the stem to clean the mortice when hot. Its generally accepted to let non system pipes cool before removing the stem. I've been waiting for my pipes to cool then remove the stem after every smoke to swab out the mortice, stem and draft hole in the bowl to clean out the moisture.

My question is I have several pipes that won't pass a pipe cleaner, am I wearing out my tenon faster by removing the stem while the pipe is cool after every smoke?
In my opinion it's less don't remove the stem until totally cooled down as it is don't force it. I've never followed that advice and have had zero stem or shank issues. The people who I know that have use force to remove the stem they just yank the sucker out.
 
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mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
39,457
52,312
I scoop ash, polish the stem and briar, run a pipe cleaner through the airway, and wipe out the chamber with an abrasive paper towel so I never have to ream. I only pull the stem periodically, and since I have a big rotation, that means several times a year unless it seems needed more often.

I think there are reasons to do it either way, but this works for me. Some of my pipes bought new are about 45 years old and still smoking strong, so it suits me.
 

Sir Yak

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jan 15, 2022
133
373
Arkansas
I always clean out the bowl and run a pipe cleaner or 2 thru the stem/shank post smoke. I do this without removing the stem. Every once in a while I’ll do a thorough clean/polish on all my pipes and that’s when I remove the stems and clean where everything joins up. I think it’s reasonable to expect that if you let your pipe cool down you’re not hurting it taking it apart for every cleaning. Sounds like some do that even when the pipe is warm without issue, but traditional “wisdom” is to always let the pipe cool first.
 

luigi

Can't Leave
May 16, 2017
437
1,162
Europe
I remove it at any time, during or after smoke. However I don't leave it appart.
There's probably a risk of cracking or "loose stem" problem but if you're careful and don't force it when the stem won't go off you're good.
 
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I rinse with water after every smoke, remove the stem, and then insert the tapered pipe cleaner in skinny side first from the tenon side, and then insert the fat end of the pipecleaner into the shank.

I used to suggest that everyone remove the stem after every smoke at the smoking lounge in the Briary. But, I stopped when I started watching these big ham handed men yanking their stems out like gorillas breaking open bananas. Some of us are just more surgically precise than others. I think that not everyone should remove their stems, especially if it is something that already concerns you.
 
I rinse with water after every smoke, remove the stem, and then insert the tapered pipe cleaner in skinny side first from the tenon side, and then insert the fat end of the pipecleaner into the shank.

I used to suggest that everyone remove the stem after every smoke at the smoking lounge in the Briary. But, I stopped when I started watching these big ham handed men yanking their stems out like gorillas breaking open bananas. Some of us are just more surgically precise than others. I think that not everyone should remove their stems, especially if it is something that already concerns you.
+1.
 

rustiepyles

Part of the Furniture Now
Jun 9, 2015
544
2,465
Mission, Ks
For regular straight mortis pipes I do not, for system pipes I do. But I don't tend to smoke very wet or smoke overly moist tobacco so it's never been an issue.
 
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