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Old_Woodsman

Might Stick Around
Nov 16, 2022
57
84
Hi,

so following some of the advice about how to fix a misshapen stem I managed to do this using hot water...so mission accomplished. But now the stem is massively discoloured. Yes it's a Falcon Coolway, yes it is cheap n cheerful, but I like it. How can I rectify the discolouration?

Thanks!
IMG_20230125_085458.jpg
 
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Piping Abe

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 27, 2021
117
316
Georgia, USA
Cheapest, buy some automotive sand paper from the store. Start at 400 grit and go up to 2500 grit. Wet sand after 600 grit.

Constantly wipe down with a rag to check progress.

Once finished, you can polish it up with your polish of choice. Many methods but I think sanding is what is always needed to get it off.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
38,525
85,325
Cheapest, buy some automotive sand paper
Even less expensive would be a manicure block.


Start at 400 grit and go up to 2500 grit.
I'd never start below 1100 grit especially if for the first time. Removes too much material. One of the reasons I gave up sanding to remove oxidation.
 

UB 40

Can't Leave
Jul 7, 2022
436
4,008
60
Cologne/ Germany
nahbesprechung.net
I wouldn’t do anything to it, sanding it you might get into rubbing that nice falcon logo off. I also gave up removing oxidation from my old Kiko, every time I remove some oxidation it will appear soon. The brownish stem makes it even smarter.

A66E03D0-D5CB-457C-8511-70E96EFE9D64.jpeg
 
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Reactions: Deano
Dec 3, 2021
2,790
21,920
Pennsylvania & New York
Hi,

so following some of the advice about how to fix a misshapen stem I managed to do this using hot water...so mission accomplished. But now the stem is massively discoloured. Yes it's a Falcon Coolway, yes it is cheap n cheerful, but I like it. How can I rectify the discolouration?

Thanks!
View attachment 197199

I often use La Belle Epoque's Before & After Deoxidizer. I wrote about it here. While most logos are safe, some could vanish, so bear that in mind. It's very messy stuff.

After the oxidation comes off, you'll likely still need to polish the stem. I haven't used their polish yet, but, I've heard great things about it. At present, I have Brebbia stem polish which works well enough for general use.
 
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Ha ha, it never fails to amaze me. Yes, you want to remove that oxidation. Otherwise you will notice a tractor grease flavor in all of your smokes. Oxides on vulcanite taste horrible. You will also have to get it out of the inside of the stem. You can add toothpaste to e long pipe cleaner and secure one end in a vice or a nail and put the stem on and work it back and forth through several pipe cleaners to get that out.

Micro mesh pads. If you don't want to invest in a bench lathe, you can at least buy a set of these pads and work them from most abrasive down to a tight slick polish.

Unless you are wanting to get into refurbishing pipes as a hobby, you can save a lot of stress by having someone do this sort of stuff. They usually don't cost a terrible amount.
 

rustiepyles

Can't Leave
Jun 9, 2015
467
2,254
Mission, Ks
Yes, hot water will accelerate/flash oxidize poor quality vulcanite, sometimes so deeply that its unsalvageable. Meaning you would have to sand so much material off to get back to black that the stem will be misshapen. Oxiclean does not remove oxidation. Oxiclean actually accelerates oxidation, oxiclean can be useful to force oncoming oxidation for removal and loosen it. But even a stem soaked in oxiclean will have to be sanded between soakings and then polished. The ONLY way to remove oxidation is to use abrasives.
 

Scottmi

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 15, 2022
556
6,596
Orcas, WA
I have cleaned up a number of highly oxidized old stems. the information discussed in a couple articles at rebornpipes.com was very helpful. the "Magic Eraser" pads are great (but watch any logos) FOLLOWED by micromesh pads (easy to get via amazon, reusable, and cheaper than good sandpapers from my hardware store). the flame and wet paper towel also works, but i favor the pads. important to keep from oxidizing again is to use obsidian stem oil (or anything else you think will work - i used a couple other things but all had some little taste and once i got a small bottle of obsidian oil, i now know why it is the go to).
 
logos schmogos... I spent years trying to polish around my Hilson logos on the stems. Phhht... really you just have to make a choice... do you want to smoke a logo or smoke a pipe with a nice stem? I opted for the nice polished stem, and to hell with the logos. polishing around logos, rubber stem covers... some people's pipes are like my granny's livingroom, couches and chairs all covered in plastic, so you have to live in hell so that one day someone will buy some more expensive stuff to actually use one day.

I don't understand it. People who won't smoke in cars, smoke in their house... trying to squeeze every last buck out of a thing. To hell with the logos. Just enjoy the pipe. puffy
 

Briar Tuck

Part of the Furniture Now
Nov 29, 2022
560
2,563
Oregon coast
Having tried most of the methods mentioned here, I prefer the Magic Eraser as well. If I want the stem really shiny I will follow that up with the finer Micro Mesh pads, oiling it after each pad and finishing with a final wipe of oil.
 
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mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
39,429
52,207
You can probably brighten this up a bit, but you'll have to keep doing that, or live with a deeply oxidized stem. The alternative is to have the stem replaced, perhaps by a pro, for $30 to $40 and shipping. You could either go for higher quality Vulcanite or acrylic. I had a Thompson Cigar house pipe refitted and it was a whole new pipe, with a tortoise shell fishtail stem in acrylic replacing a persistently oxidizing P-lip in "black" turned gray-green.
 

rustiepyles

Can't Leave
Jun 9, 2015
467
2,254
Mission, Ks
logos schmogos... I spent years trying to polish around my Hilson logos on the stems. Phhht... really you just have to make a choice... do you want to smoke a logo or smoke a pipe with a nice stem? I opted for the nice polished stem, and to hell with the logos. polishing around logos, rubber stem covers... some people's pipes are like my granny's livingroom, couches and chairs all covered in plastic, so you have to live in hell so that one day someone will buy some more expensive stuff to actually use one day.

I don't understand it. People who won't smoke in cars, smoke in their house... trying to squeeze every last buck out of a thing. To hell with the logos. Just enjoy the pipe. puffy
In my opinion if a pipe is truly worth preserving at such a level that your trying to maintian the logo on the stem it will have an inlaid logo that cannot be sanded away. Otherwise we're only talking about silkscreened, printed, and otherwise applied logs. These types are not generally associated with high grade/highly collectable pipes. So I've never really had much of an issue with removing a logo from a pipe in favor of making it presentable and smokable. The only stem logo I can think of that I've ever been worried about was a Charatan, and it turns out that Charatan stems are garbage. I wasted a lot time trying to preserve it only to put a new stem on it anyway.
 

MikeDub

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 26, 2022
119
218
SoCal
Out of curiosity - if you have a stem that is heavily oxidized and you remove it via OxyClean or something similar, what effect does that have on the integrity of the stem itself? Does it become more brittle? Or is the effect not meaningful enough to notice?