Stem Materials

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Frazveragan

Lurker
Sep 28, 2022
2
0
Hello All!

I’m a longtime artist/fabricator who has recently gotten into pipe carving. I happen to do a lot of mold making and casting and regularly work with resins, and I have a few question about stem materials:

-when I see people referring to alumilite as a valid option for pipe stems, is this specifically referencing rtv epoxy resin?
-I’ve seen polyester resin mentioned, what about polyurethane?
-kind of back in the first question but are guys casting stems generally using RTV materials or thermoplastics?

Thanks for the input!
 

Saeid's Pipes

Lurker
Dec 25, 2022
1
0
Hello All!

I’m a longtime artist/fabricator who has recently gotten into pipe carving. I happen to do a lot of mold making and casting and regularly work with resins, and I have a few question about stem materials:

-when I see people referring to alumilite as a valid option for pipe stems, is this specifically referencing rtv epoxy resin?
-I’ve seen polyester resin mentioned, what about polyurethane?
-kind of back in the first question but are guys casting stems generally using RTV materials or thermoplastics?

Thanks for the input!
Hi, I believe mostly use Acetal Homopolymer / Delrin Rods. Check Delrin Sheet, Delrin Rod, Acetal Sheets, Rods, Bars, Plates - https://iplasticsupply.com/home/plastic-materials-list/acetal-delrin-celcon-basf-pom-pomalux-sheet-rod/ and also someone said that he used ABS material which is much cheaper . See ABS Sheets and ABS Rods In Stock - Large Range Of Sizes and Shapes - https://iplasticsupply.com/abs-cycolac-absylux-royalite-sheet-rod/

 
Sep 9, 2023
16
12
I'm curious as to what all woods make good stems. I carved the chamber section from Irish bog oak. I would like to keep the pipe all wood. I live in Texas, so I would like to use wood from around me like pecan, texas ash, post oak, live oak, maybe texas cedar (but it is very pitchy), persimmon, etc. I have tried numerous places to get help with this subject, and have gotten no where.
 

crowbait

Lurker
Dec 29, 2023
28
86
36
Alberta, Canada
I'm curious as to what all woods make good stems. I carved the chamber section from Irish bog oak. I would like to keep the pipe all wood. I live in Texas, so I would like to use wood from around me like pecan, texas ash, post oak, live oak, maybe texas cedar (but it is very pitchy), persimmon, etc. I have tried numerous places to get help with this subject, and have gotten no where.
You will want a stable connection (meaning expansion/contraction wise) so sticking with the bog oak will ensure that the pipe and stem move the same seasonally and under heat. All-wood pipes are not common and the few that i have seen were done as single pieces of two halves. If its decorative then all wood is interesting, but If you are wanting to smoke it, I would steer you towards an ebonite, arcylic or delrin stem.
 

crowbait

Lurker
Dec 29, 2023
28
86
36
Alberta, Canada
Hello All!

I’m a longtime artist/fabricator who has recently gotten into pipe carving. I happen to do a lot of mold making and casting and regularly work with resins, and I have a few question about stem materials:

-when I see people referring to alumilite as a valid option for pipe stems, is this specifically referencing rtv epoxy resin?
-I’ve seen polyester resin mentioned, what about polyurethane?
-kind of back in the first question but are guys casting stems generally using RTV materials or thermoplastics?

Thanks for the input!
Most pipe artisans use Ebonite, Vulcanite, Bakelite or Acrylic. Some use delrin as well though its mainly used for tenon inserts if you are'nt creating integral tenons.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
43,607
110,272
Most pipe artisans use Ebonite, Vulcanite, Bakelite or Acrylic. Some use delrin as well though its mainly used for tenon inserts if you are'nt creating integral tenons.
Newer carvers are making use of polyester, resin, and juma.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
43,607
110,272
Didn't know they were making a comeback. Juma and Polystester have been around for quite some time as a stem material, any idea why people are going that route? I haven't encoutered any myself and I'm interested.
Softer than acrylic and they don't oxidize.