Estate Pipe Cleaning

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machellman

Lurker
Jun 7, 2022
7
11
Forgive me if this is the wrong section - I just received a bent apple shape estate pipe from France, and I’ve cleaned it with pipe cleaners(bj long) and alcohol, however i can’t get my pipe cleaner all the way through the stem, or through the draft hole in the pipe due to curve.

As a result, I basically filled each with pipe and let them sit for a few minutes, and cleaned best I could (after thoroughly cleaning everything I could reach)

Now I am letting it sit and the alcohol evaporate.

Think I should be okay? Any tips or tricks?
 

machellman

Lurker
Jun 7, 2022
7
11
I did remove the stem, that’s how I filled both pieces with alcohol, I’ll try bending the tip again, I think the stem just has too small a whole and too sharp a bend - but I am a rookie so ?‍♂️
 
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OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
3,331
15,736
70
Sydney, Australia
Is the pipe new/unsmoked ?
Shine a strong light down the shaft to examine.
Probably just the way it was drilled.

If it is a much smoked estate, the mortise may be stuffed full of crud.
In which case using small drill bits or tiny jewellers screwdrivers and shank brushes will save on pipe cleaners.
 

machellman

Lurker
Jun 7, 2022
7
11
Pipe was not new or unsmoked, the mortise/tenon had some signs of use but it wasn’t super grody over all.

I’ve redoubled my errors with the pipe cleaner, still can’t get it all the way through the stem or the shank, but I believe the pipe cleaner probably hits or passes the same area when fed through opposite ends - if that makes sense.

overall I’m just wondering if the alcohol I’ve used thus far would have killed any worrisome virus/bacteria that I could smoke it, or if I should hold off until further cleaning with smaller pipe cleaners.

thanks all for the input thus far!
 
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sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
16,714
31,740
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
With any estate pipe that's been smoked, I always remove the stem so that I can perform a thorough cleaning out of the mortise and shank airway.

Before I tackle cleaning out the shank airway and the mortise I'll sand down any old cake built up in the chamber. I may follow with a cloth dipped in alcohol to pick up any dust from the old cake. For the shank and mortise I'll use shank brushes, tapered bristle pipe cleaners, fluffies, etc, all dipped in alcohol. When the cleaners come out white, or pretty damned near white, the shank airway and mortise are clean. For stubborn ghosts I'll insert a barely moistened fluffy into the airway and hang the pipe shank down, for a day, then repeat, then repeat again. that usually pulls out the more embedded rancid oils.

Stem gets cleaned with alcohol if Vulcanite and warm water with unscented dish washing gel if Acrylic.

A real deep cleaning can take me several days to process through. Just depends on the state of the pipe.
 

OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
3,331
15,736
70
Sydney, Australia
Pipe was not new or unsmoked, the mortise/tenon had some signs of use but it wasn’t super grody over all.

I’ve redoubled my errors with the pipe cleaner, still can’t get it all the way through the stem or the shank, but I believe the pipe cleaner probably hits or passes the same area when fed through opposite ends - if that makes sense.

overall I’m just wondering if the alcohol I’ve used thus far would have killed any worrisome virus/bacteria that I could smoke it, or if I should hold off until further cleaning with smaller pipe cleaners.

thanks all for the input thus far!
I would say it is the way the pipe is drilled.

I have a few that will not pass a cleaner. It's not a big deal. Just remove the stem when the pipe has cooled down after a smoke and clean.

With the amount of alcohol you have already used, any bacteria left will be well and truly pickled ?
 

AJL67

Lifer
May 26, 2022
2,035
11,147
Florida - Space Coast
Well this is as good a place as any to throw this in. I think this Duskey Dulcet stem hasn’t been cleaned in oh… forever? Just got the pipe in today, has a little work to go on it but that bottom cleaner was the last one through so making so real progress. F9353955-7FA1-4D3E-A353-0B6C9BB19080.jpeg
 
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reloader

Lifer
Dec 5, 2021
1,345
17,563
Southern, NM
Pipe was not new or unsmoked, the mortise/tenon had some signs of use but it wasn’t super grody over all.

I’ve redoubled my errors with the pipe cleaner, still can’t get it all the way through the stem or the shank, but I believe the pipe cleaner probably hits or passes the same area when fed through opposite ends - if that makes sense.

overall I’m just wondering if the alcohol I’ve used thus far would have killed any worrisome virus/bacteria that I could smoke it, or if I should hold off until further cleaning with smaller pipe cleaners.

thanks all for the input thus far!
If you've taken the stem off and the pipe cleaner stops at the same point no matter which end you go from then its probably that the tenon is an insert and the drilling on the insert is not aligned with the drilling on the rest of the stem. I have a meerschaum that has that problem. The airway in the shank that leads into the chamber shouldn't have a problem getting a pipe cleaner through though. If the pipe cleaners are coming out clean you should be fine.
 
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OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
3,331
15,736
70
Sydney, Australia
View attachment 153057
This is gonna take some time ?
Using Cleaners and alcohol on jobs like that take more patience that I have.

This is where a set of small drill bits or jewellers screwdrivers and shank brushes come in handy to clear out the shank and mortise. Much more efficient reaming out all that inspissated crud.
Follow up with shank brushes, liquid soap and hot water flushes sure saves on cleaners and time.
 
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