Work on the pipe has slowed a bit. Worked on the stem intermittently for a few days. But, working on repairs, refurbishing and my own ebay has slowed progress. Plus getting shop time with Pipin Teipen can be tricky. Oh yeah, and there was a pipe show in Columbus on about the only day I could get shop time. Oh well, the show was worth it! Got to ride over with Wayne, which was a cool road-trip! Got a couple pipes for ebay at the show and he got a great Peterson and we both got some pipemaking supplies. Then in searching for a local pipe shop we stumbled upon a WoodCraft store. For us, this was dangerous. Let's just say we both got a few more pipe making supplies there. Yeah, let's just say that...
Work on the stem proved to be quite taxing. I did, however, learn what not to do. First, do not fully shape the stem and then think you can easily install an insert. Not going to happen! Second, the slot and airway forming on a stem is far more difficult than it would seem. I started with the standard, comes in every Dremel kit, round slot cutter. Cut like a dream. So far, a good looking slot. Next up, the diamond burrs. Started working with those, taking bit by bit to shape and before you know it, I had one huge slot, or so I thought. The way it looked, I figured I had overdone it and ruined my nice stem. I finished it off with a set of needle files, getting the corners as crisp as I could. After this, I was done for the evening. I would tackle it later.
It had turned into 'later' and I was feeling good about finishing the stem! Fiddled with the slot a little more and left it until Wayne could check it out. Moving on to the insert I mentioned before. The one that should have been done about three steps ago. Yeah. Oh well, headlong I went. Marked out the boundary lines for the piece to insert and took it over to the Dremel. I tried to scribe the lines I needed, but that proved disastrous. One slip and you have a large gash on your stem. So I put a thin diamond burr on the MotoTool and began the cuts. Unfortunately this did almost nothing except heat the stem. So I changed out the burr for a thin cutting wheel. Now that worked quite well! A little too well. The cuts were pretty wide, but I was committed. With the pattern rough cut, I defined it with an X-Acto knife and no. 11 blade. Again, any slip and a nice slice through the stem.
All trimming done, I secured the insert with CA glue. After it cured I filed the excess down. Having over-sized cuts, I filled them with CA as well and filed just above flush. The shape was close and all it needed was fine tuning, so I turned to 400 grit paper. Using it I got the shape I desired and switched to wet 1200 grit followed by wet 3000. All scratches removed by the 3000, I polished the stem to a nice shine, then waxed. The finished stem looks pretty nice and I am pleased. Although I will not make one the same way again!!
Until next time, happy piping!!