Preventing Ebonite Oxidation

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gervais

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Sep 4, 2019
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So I know there are alot of threads on how to restore an old or oxidized stem, but let's say the stem is brand new and untarnished. Is there a way to prevent it altogether, and never have to worry about sanding or any of that stuff?

Has anyone ever tried a coat of beeswax to seal it, or something similar?
 

lightmybriar

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Mar 11, 2014
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Carnauba from a buffing wheel attached to a handrill (and applied very carefully, haha!) has kept my stems oxidation-free for six years now. Beeswax (in my experience) is too soft and smells bad. That might be just the kind I got, so others chiming in will be helpful.
 
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sumusfumus

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Jul 20, 2017
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I just went through the difficult process of removing the foggy oxidation from a Charatan stem. What a pain in the ass!

On a sheer whim... while watching TV....I decided that the straight, very boring, stem needed a little more pizzazz, an ever-so-slight bend. So, I removed my fat butt out of the chair, boiled some water, stuck the stem into the hot water, waited for the Vulcanite to soften and then gave the stem some character. I was pleased when I looked at my handy work, but then noticed that the once, jet-black stem, now sported a foggy looking green-brown haze. Yech! So I rubbed the stem with toothpaste, buffed it with wax, soap, oil, and nothing happened.

Now, I was pissed! Fit to be tied!! I had no plans to sand away that greenish ghost, but I couldn't stand the look of the newly bent stem. I did it. I needed to correct it.

No mild abrasives, no buffing with waxes, worked. My last resort was to sand the stem with those micro-grit polishing pads. Now the stem is once again, jet-black....but I had to work too damn hard to reverse the damage.

Question: Once a stem is ghosted or lightly oxidized, is there any chemical solution, that can be applied that will reverse, and un-oxidize the oxidation, e.g. like a tarnish remover does for silver? I don't want to rub the discoloration away. I want to reverse the chemical action that caused it. Oils and waxes just coat the stem.

Just asking.
 
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cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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It's pretty simple... I just wipe my pipe stems down with a polishing cloth after rinsing with water... then I rack them in an airtight cabinet rack that has argon gas that fills the chamber when closed. The argon is a gas that shields oxidation from occurring. Fairly simple. puffy
 
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sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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Question: Once a stem is ghosted or lightly oxidized, is there any chemical solution, that can be applied that will reverse, and un-oxidize the oxidation, e.g. like a tarnish remover does for silver?
No. And don't be too sure about those tarnish removers not removing some material.
Oxidized material needs to be physically removed or it will continue to spread into the resr of the vulcanite.
LIke others have said above, keep vulcanite away from light and air when not smoking. Applying a protective coating also helps a lot. Clean after use and don't let your mouth crud build up on the stem.
 

chasingembers

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Nov 12, 2014
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So, I removed my fat butt out of the chair, boiled some water, stuck the stem into the hot water, waited for the Vulcanite to soften and then gave the stem some character. I was pleased when I looked at my handy work, but then noticed that the once, jet-black stem, now sported a foggy looking green-brown haze.
Yep, nothing will flash oxidize a stem quicker than very hot water or steam.
 
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