How I Removed A Horribly Jammed 9mm Filter Plastic Cap From Deep Inside A Pipe Stem

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shermnatman

Preferred Member
Jan 25, 2019
643
2,094
Philadelphia Suburbs, Pennsylvania
Okay, so here's the story...

For Christmas this year, a dear friend gifted me a wonderful little Rattray's The Good Deal #206 pipe. This is a fantastic, and fantastically small, excellent smoking little bent stem pipe; with a slightly larger than golf ball sized apple-shaped bowl - think about it in terms of a golf ball sized cannon ball type pipe.

I don't use filters on my pipes, and was not even aware that these pipes ship from the factory with a 9mm filter already loaded inside. And, in this case, whomever it was that put this pipe together at the factory must have really jammed the filter cartridge inside the pipe stem barrel with their thumb - or something - because that baby was really stuffed in there.

Totally oblivious to it's existence inside the pipe, I smoked the heck out of that little pipe; really enjoying the performance and novelty of this dwarf-sized version of it's big-boy sized counterpart.

And, so it came to pass that I was eventually forced to clean the little pipe for the first time - they don't call me Sherm "Dirty Pipes" Natman, for nothing!

Upon opening the pipe to clean it, to my amazement, there was this funky-looking, nasty, brown/black, soaking wet cartridge filter inside!

This explained to me just how I was able to get so many great smokes out of the little pipe before getting juice climbing up the stem and into my mouth - my "usual sign" that it's high-time to clean.

However, when I went to pull the fat, wet, dirty, filter out of the stem, the whole thing basically fell apart between my fingers, and the little charcoal bits - or whatever BLITZ uses - went all over the place. I was left holding 1/2 of the nasty wet filter between my finger and thumb, and rest was inside the pipe stem.

I went to extract the rest with a dental pick, and discovered the little plastic end-cap was securely lodged deep inside the pipe stem.

The air-hole of the mouth peice on this wonderful little pipe is just barely wide enough to pass a pipe cleaner; BUT, trying to push out the stuck plastic cap only resulted in a bent pipe cleaner.

So, I got a 0.09 electric guitar string, and fished it into the open barrel of the stem, and felt around until it entered one of the little air-passage holes in the stuck filter cap, and emerged out of the mouth piece end of the pipe.

I then feed the guitar string back down through the mouth piece, and again, fished around until it found it's way through one of the other little holes in the stuck cap, and emerged back out of the open barrel of the pipe stem.

I now was holding both ends of the guitar string in one hand, which was lassoed through the holes in the plastic cap itself.

I wound the two guitar string ends around and around a pencil, and holding the stem firmly in my left hand, began slowly pulling with increasing tension on the dual strings - aided by the pencil.

Lo and behold, at last the offending little plastic bugger was liberated. Men cheered, women wept, and throngs of children sang praises in my name.

I've never owned a pipe which used one of these 9mm cartridge filters, so this was all new to me. If you might have the same problem, I hope this little treatise on how to best a stuck plastic filter cap is of use to you. - Sherm Natman
 

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CoffeeAndBourbon

Preferred Member
Jun 18, 2020
644
1,705
Wilmington, NC
Okay, so here's the story...

For Christmas this year, a dear friend gifted me a wonderful little Rattray's The Good Deal #206 pipe. This is a fantastic, and fantastically small, excellent smoking little bent stem pipe; with a slightly larger than golf ball sized apple-shaped bowl - think about it in terms of a golf ball sized cannon ball type pipe.

I don't use filters on my pipes, and was not even aware that these pipes ship from the factory with a 9mm filter already loaded inside. And, in this case, whomever it was that put this pipe together at the factory must have really jammed the filter cartridge inside the pipe stem barrel with their thumb - or something - because that baby was really stuffed in there.

Totally oblivious to it's existence inside the pipe, I smoked the heck out of that little pipe; really enjoying the performance and novelty of this dwarf-sized version of it's big-boy sized counterpart.

And, so it came to pass that I was eventually forced to clean the little pipe for the first time - they don't call me Sherm "Dirty Pipes" Natman, for nothing!

Upon opening the pipe to clean it, to my amazement, there was this funky-looking, nasty, brown/black, soaking wet cartridge filter inside!

This explained to me just how I was able to get so many great smokes out of the little pipe before getting juice climbing up the stem and into my mouth - my "usual sign" that it's high-time to clean.

However, when I went to pull the fat, wet, dirty, filter out of the stem, the whole thing basically fell apart between my fingers, and the little charcoal bits - or whatever BLITZ uses - went all over the place. I was left holding 1/2 of the nasty wet filter between my finger and thumb, and rest was inside the pipe stem.

I went to extract the rest with a dental pick, and discovered the little plastic end-cap was securely lodged deep inside the pipe stem.

The air-hole of the mouth peice on this wonderful little pipe is just barely wide enough to pass a pipe cleaner; BUT, trying to push out the stuck plastic cap only resulted in a bent pipe cleaner.

So, I got a 0.09 electric guitar string, and fished it into the open barrel of the stem, and felt around until it entered one of the little air-passage holes in the stuck filter cap, and emerged out of the mouth piece end of the pipe.

I then feed the guitar string back down through the mouth piece, and again, fished around until it found it's way through one of the other little holes in the stuck cap, and emerged back out of the open barrel of the pipe stem.

I now was holding both ends of the guitar string in one hand, which was lassoed through the holes in the plastic cap itself.

I wound the two guitar string ends around and around a pencil, and holding the stem firmly in my left hand, began slowly pulling with increasing tension on the dual strings - aided by the pencil.

Lo and behold, at last the offending little plastic bugger was liberated. Men cheered, women wept, and throngs of children sang praises in my name.

I've never owned a pipe which used one of these 9mm cartridge filters, so this was all new to me. If you might have the same problem, I hope this little treatise on how to best a stuck plastic filter cap is of use to you. - Sherm Natman
Great ingenuity and tip!
 

shermnatman

Preferred Member
Jan 25, 2019
643
2,094
Philadelphia Suburbs, Pennsylvania
Great ingenuity and tip!
Well, thanks Brother! I thought it only proper that I finally contribute something of legitimate value to our collective bank of knowledge; other than: jokes, puzzles, crazy cartoons, entertaining hypotheticals, tall-tales of pulse-pounding adventure, and, blending experiments of dubious merit and outcome. :LOL: - Sherm Natman
 

Jacob74

Senior Member
Dec 22, 2019
352
1,353
Spokane, WA
Alas, the puniest strings I have around are .45's. However, I use Roto's on my fretless, and they are stainless steel...so I could probably use those to bore out a draft hole that is too small. Intriguing!
 
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hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
5,084
13,090
I only read the first part of the title which was "How I removed a horribly jammed ....". I was sure the rest of the title was going to include hamster and rectum. Whew! Thankful I my initial impression was incorrect. As you are I suspect, or at least, hope.
 

TonyManx

New member
Jan 24, 2021
23
20
Connecticut
I have faced this dilemma often. I foolishly bought the least expensive 9mm filters I could find on Amazon. They were Chinese Futeng brand. Two smokes and they would rip in half. I dislodge the remains with a piece of stainless steel welding wire about .035" diameter. I rolled a loop in one end with a needle nose pliers, so that I could push on it. Then pre bent the wire into the arc of the stem.
 

Worknman

Senior Member
Sep 23, 2019
470
1,012
Its not the same shape, but I have one of those Rattray The Good Deal 9mm pipes. The problem with mine, which might explain why your filter was jammed in there, is that the pipe isn't properly made to accept a filter. Its fits the stem, but the mortise is too short causing the filter to butt all the way up to the draught hole. I remedy this problem by pulling the stem out a little bit and its fine. It actually smokes quite well with the filter.
 
Last edited:

TonyManx

New member
Jan 24, 2021
23
20
Connecticut
Its not the same shape, but I have one of those Rattray The Good Deal 9mm pipes. The problem with mine, which might explain why your filter was jammed in there, is that the pipe isn't properly made to accept a filter. Its fits the stem, but the mortise is too short causing the filter to butt all the way up to the draught hole. I remedy this problem by pulling the stem out a little bit and its fine. It actually smokes quite well with the filter.
I had the same problem with a 9mm basket pipe. I have a lathe, so I made a spacer out of a US nickel. I bored the hole for the tenon first, then put a bolt thru the hole to act as an arbor to hold in the chuck.
 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
2,370
822
I really think that instead of 9mm filters they should thread the stems to take a permanent filter cage so you could load it with carbon pellets yourself (you can get cheap activated carbon from aquarium supply shops).
 
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TonyManx

New member
Jan 24, 2021
23
20
Connecticut
I have faced this dilemma often. I foolishly bought the least expensive 9mm filters I could find on Amazon. They were Chinese Futeng brand. Two smokes and they would rip in half. I dislodge the remains with a piece of stainless steel welding wire about .035" diameter. I rolled a loop in one end with a needle nose pliers, so that I could push on it. Then pre bent the wire into the arc of the stem.
I measured that wire, it is 1/16" or .062" It is filler wire for TIG welding.
'
 

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