Problem With Swollen Briar After Cleaning

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mngslvs

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jan 24, 2019
194
370
Yarmouth, Maine
So I have this military mount Castello that I cleaned with the normal salt/Everclear treatment, after which I briefly ran warm water through, and quickly dried. Left it for a few days. Tenon didn't fit so well. Now, after two weeks, the tenon goes into the mortise about 1/4 inch. The tenon is about 9/16 inch long. Before cleaning, I had never measured, but I know the tenon went in further than 1/4, probably more like 7/16, i.e. most of its length. I mean I could smoke it as it is now, but it is disconcerting not to be able to insert the tenon further. It bugs me. This may be germaine, not sure : When I clean a pipe I always insert a pipe cleaner dipped in Everclear and dusted with salt. Several times.
Anyway the briar is apparently slightly swollen. I'm interested to hear if any of you have had a similar experience, have a comment/suggestion, etc. I was once advised, by a pipe repair guy, not to run water through as a last step, but I find it difficult to get all the salt out otherwise, and also I notice that many on these forums do so.
 

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paulfg

Lifer
Feb 21, 2016
1,297
2,346
Corfu Greece
why are you using salt when cleaning the pipe,only needed for ghosted pipes.
Alcohol pipe cleaner ever so often is all thats needed.
Other times a wipe with a cleaner until it comes out clean is all it takes.

That doesnt look like a military mount by the way,is it tapered?
Leaving the stem out on a normal tenon pipe runs the risk of the mortice swelling slightly,especially if you have run water and not dried it well.
As above pencil graphite or beeswax may help ease the tightness,try this before going with any sandpaper at the tenon
 

AJL67

Lifer
May 26, 2022
1,846
9,993
Florida - Space Coast
So I have this military mount Castello that I cleaned with the normal salt/Everclear treatment, after which I briefly ran warm water through, and quickly dried. Left it for a few days. Tenon didn't fit so well. Now, after two weeks, the tenon goes into the mortise about 1/4 inch. The tenon is about 9/16 inch long. Before cleaning, I had never measured, but I know the tenon went in further than 1/4, probably more like 7/16, i.e. most of its length. I mean I could smoke it as it is now, but it is disconcerting not to be able to insert the tenon further. It bugs me. This may be germaine, not sure : When I clean a pipe I always insert a pipe cleaner dipped in Everclear and dusted with salt. Several times.
Anyway the briar is apparently slightly swollen. I'm interested to hear if any of you have had a similar experience, have a comment/suggestion, etc. I was once advised, by a pipe repair guy, not to run water through as a last step, but I find it difficult to get all the salt out otherwise, and also I notice that many on these forums do so.
I’ve found the everclear and cotton ball method just as good and so much easier, might be worth looking into in your future. Good luck with the swelling. (That’s what she said)
 
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mngslvs

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jan 24, 2019
194
370
Yarmouth, Maine
Yes I used a bit of soap.
Not a military mount ? That’s just what I’ve heard it called.
Why use salt ? Because it works. Many use this. I didn’t invent it. Salt and Everclear, and let it sit a few hours. Repeat as necessary.
YMMV
 

OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
3,076
14,333
69
Sydney, Australia
Looks to be a push-pull stem rather than a military stem.

Swelling happens all the time when I clean out the shank and mortise. Leave to dry for a few days then reassemble. If it is still a tight fit, soap or pencil graphite works.

I do an alcohol soak with all estate pipes when they arrive.
Or when I do an infrequent thorough clean of one of my pipes.
I use cotton balls rather than salt as it is far easier and less messy to remove.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
22,286
21,411
Carmel Valley, CA
My solution to this sort of thing is to never leave the stem out of the shank longer than necessary. Sorry that's not a fix for you at this point.

The mortise will hopefully expand a bit more, and lubrication of the tenon will eventually move you in the right direction.
 

Honkytonk Man

Part of the Furniture Now
May 9, 2021
654
804
54
Geoje Island South Korea
Try leaving the pipe, without the shank in a sealed zip-lock bag, with a couple packets of silica gel, for a few days/weeks.
Try the lubricated stem fitting after a few days to see if you've made any progress.
hope this helps.
Not an army mount, BTW.
 
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mngslvs

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jan 24, 2019
194
370
Yarmouth, Maine
Not a military mount. Duly noted.
I can use the pipe as it is with minimal insertion. Maybe with time it will loosen some.
I'll try the silicon gel trick if/when I get some.
to Captpat : I only use salt after 20 or 30 smokes....never really counted.
About the cotton ball technique : I read once the most concentration of tars etc occurs in the shank. I don't see how cotton ball could get at that.
Thanks to all for advice/comments.
 
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nolan613

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 21, 2019
128
123
76
Augusta, GA
Not a military mount. Duly noted.
I can use the pipe as it is with minimal insertion. Maybe with time it will loosen some.
I'll try the silicon gel trick if/when I get some.
to Captpat : I only use salt after 20 or 30 smokes....never really counted.
About the cotton ball technique : I read once the most concentration of tars etc occurs in the shank. I don't see how cotton ball could get at that.
Thanks to all for advice/comments.
I have used a pipe cleaner folded double and stuck into the stem when doing an alcohol cleaning. That being said my understanding of a salt or cotton ball treatment would be for estate piped that are in really bad need of extreme cleaning. Have done this to remove the "ghosts" of strong tobaccos.