White Briar with odd threaded stem connection

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RalphiesDad

New member
Jan 14, 2022
15
40
Hey gang,

I picked up this white briar pipe at an antique store with the intent to test my retort setup on it. I found it interesting in how the stem attaches to the shank. The insert is made of wood (the big threads are 5/16-18 so I'm guessing this is an American made pipe). There are no markings anywhere on the pipe and the big threads are hogged out near the end of shank. Does anyone recognize this style of connector? Trying to nail down who made it. Also, any advice on fixing this so a more common stem can be used (perhaps a push in, etc.)?

Thanks in advance.


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OzPiper

Preferred Member
Nov 30, 2020
1,766
7,507
69
Sydney, Australia
That is a meerschaum, and not a briar, pipe.

Screw tenons are commonplace on older meerschaum pipes.
Do not dismantle too often as you will strip the threads.

Often the screw tenons will result in a somewhat restricted draw.
Use thin pipe cleaners eg for Falcon pipes or coloured ones from craft stores.

If the stem over clocks, use some silicon plumber's tape to rectify.

Enjoy your find.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
32,553
56,875
Also, any advice on fixing this so a more common stem can be used (perhaps a push in, etc.)?
 

RalphiesDad

New member
Jan 14, 2022
15
40
That is a meerschaum, and not a briar, pipe.

Screw tenons are commonplace on older meerschaum pipes.

Often the screw tenons will result in a somewhat restricted draw.

How old is "old"? I've always avoided meers because they seem too fragile. Would love to get an estimated decade of when this meer was in style/sold/etc.
Use thin pipe cleaners eg for Falcon pipes or coloured ones from craft stores.
The cheap chineseum pipe cleaners? Even with my tinfoil hat off, I'm leery of using those with the purported chemicals they contain. Talk me off this ledge?
 

OzPiper

Preferred Member
Nov 30, 2020
1,766
7,507
69
Sydney, Australia
How old is "old"? I've always avoided meers because they seem too fragile. Would love to get an estimated decade of when this meer was in style/sold/etc.

The cheap chineseum pipe cleaners? Even with my tinfoil hat off, I'm leery of using those with the purported chemicals they contain. Talk me off this ledge?
Only way of dating meers accurately is if they have hallmarked silver bands.

Occasionally you may find a cased pipe with date inscribed if they are a gift to someone for an occasion.

If the pipe is marked with a well-known maker or tobacconist's name, you may find records of when they were in business.

Depending on the "style" of the bowl/pipe, you may be lucky to narrow it down to a period - give or take a few decades.

An unmarked, generic pipe such as yours is very difficult to date. The colouration depends on so many factors - how much it has been smoked/ how long it has sat unsmoked (colouration will often fade, if sitting unsmoked) and the quality of the meerschaum (some meers colour more readily than others)

@condorlover1 or @weezell have heaps more experience with meers than I, and may chip in with their knowledge.
 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
14,647
22,018
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
How old is "old"? I've always avoided meers because they seem too fragile. Would love to get an estimated decade of when this meer was in style/sold/etc.
Pre 1960's at a guess. Push tenons became more widely used with Meers about that time, and earlier. The tenon isn't made of wood. It's either bone, which was common for screw-in tenons, or some form of plastic.

Don't get alcohol, certainly not boiling alcohol, anywhere near that puppy.
 

OzPiper

Preferred Member
Nov 30, 2020
1,766
7,507
69
Sydney, Australia
If you are wary of using the cheap, coloured pipe cleaners, get the Falcon ones.

I have tiny, old pipes with bone tenons that will not pass even the usual tapered cleaners. I use the coloured ones all the time, with no misgivings. Having said that, I have just received this week an order of Falcon cleaners, but I'm yet to use them.
 
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Simmerdown☕️

Preferred Member
May 2, 2018
2,576
21,610
Hey gang,

I picked up this white briar pipe at an antique store with the intent to test my retort setup on it. I found it interesting in how the stem attaches to the shank. The insert is made of wood (the big threads are 5/16-18 so I'm guessing this is an American made pipe). There are no markings anywhere on the pipe and the big threads are hogged out near the end of shank. Does anyone recognize this style of connector? Trying to nail down who made it. Also, any advice on fixing this so a more common stem can be used (perhaps a push in, etc.)?

Thanks in advance.


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This is sweet find. Clean out the stem, mortise, shank & bowl with warm water and as many pipe cleaners as it takes to get the black out. Then polish the stem and 🚂 on Sir. The patina and scratches on the bowl are beautiful character. I’d not try to remove any of it. No abrasives! And, as said above be careful with the screw tenon…they tend to strip over time. Enjoy it. 👍☕️