Sanding an Old Friend

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Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
37,293
78,788

woodrow

Might Stick Around
Oct 28, 2018
62
70
Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
For the OP. 99% alcohol, soaking for 12 hours will take the grime, old wax, and a little color off the pipe.
On the stem you can use the flame method, or a little oxy and water, the n magic eraser, then a little sanding with 10,000 to 12,000 micro mesh pads.
Back to the bowl. After drying the bowl for a day, use a little mineral oil to bring the grain back. Use some Carnuba wax and enjoy your pip. By ALL means, do not use any petroleum products on the bowl of your pipe.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
22,469
21,803
Carmel Valley, CA
For the OP. 99% alcohol, soaking for 12 hours will take the grime, old wax, and a little color off the pipe.
Where did you hear of this? Have you done it?

I wouldn't consider doing that unless there were a number of people who could confirm its efficacy,.
 

UB 40

Can't Leave
Jul 7, 2022
329
3,162
60
Cologne/ Germany
nahbesprechung.net
This is my first pipe. It's stamped "Italy" on the bottom of the shank with no other markings. I picked it out of a basket at a Tinder Box 24 years ago. It has immense sentimental value and smokes as good as any pipe I've had. It is starting to show the wear and tear of time and use however. some of the varnish is flaking off on the rim, and the filler that was used to hide the flaws has been furloughed indefinitely.

I think I'll sand it down and see where I can go from there. Not sure where I'm going with this one but I have a pack of sandpaper 120 to 5000 grit coming in today. Can I sand that oxidization off the stem? I think it's vulcanite. These are the before pics.
View attachment 160877View attachment 160878

So, what have you done to the pipe in the end?
 
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peteguy

Lifer
Jan 19, 2012
1,290
417
There have been endless discussions on removing oxidation from stems. Those I trust the most have always always mentioned you cannot remove oxidation without sanding. The flame method seems easy and fine but how long until the oxidation comes back or do you continue to put obsidian oil on them to prevent this? Soaking the stem in oxi just makes it easier to sand and clean imo.

The briaville restortation liquid (expensive if you do a lot of pipes but great for ones and twos) is the best I have found but I have my ways and I would suggest you do what works for you. Lots of ways to make a pipe look pretty again. Soaking a bowl in anything seems wrong to me but that doesn't mean it hurts it in any way.
 
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Papamique

Part of the Furniture Now
Mar 11, 2020
512
2,465
My experience with using a flame is that it works but you have to be very careful and take your time. I have flashed a kaywoodie clover leaf which I assume was some sort of celluloid. Gone forever with a nice hole where it used to be. I have also “lifted” the logo stamp with heat. Gone forever. If you use too little heat you don’t get the oxidation to burn off. If you use too much or get the flame too close or linger then you can damage the stem. Again, it works but you have to be careful and take your time.

This applies to every method though. If you’re not careful sanding you can round over edges. If you don’t take your time buffing you can also damage the stem. I haven’t found a magic way of cleaning them up but have found “my” way that I have enough experience to be good at. It also takes time and care.
 
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