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Different Ways to De-Oxidize a Stem

This is a discussion on Different Ways to De-Oxidize a Stem within the The Pipe Hobby How-To Discussion Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; I thought it might be nice to have a focal point of what works on restoring oxidized stems. Please list ...

  
  1. #1

    Leading Puffer Fish Troutman22's Avatar


     

    Different Ways to De-Oxidize a Stem

    I thought it might be nice to have a focal point of what works on restoring oxidized stems. Please list the pros and cons, how difficult it is, etc. For me I have only used the soaking in bleach method.

    Pros of bleach soak:
    Its easy - just cover the important stuff with vaseline and soak.
    It does a good job.

    Cons:
    You have to cover the logo and important stuff or you will ruin them.
    You still have work to do after the soak, sanding and polishing to get the shine back.
    It takes time for the bleach to do its work.

    Please add your experiences and by all means add to the bleach pros and cons as well.
    Pipe Tobacco Lotto winner for July 2014!

  2. #2

    Briar Fish CaptainEnormous's Avatar


     

    Re: Different Ways to De-Oxidize a Stem

    Good topic.
    Instead of bleach, try OxiClean.
    You'll still want to cover stamps/dots/etc. But it won't eat into Vulcanite like bleach will, so it requires less sanding/buffing.
    After 4 hours or so, bleach will loosen oxidation. But after 12 (or 24, if you forget about it), it'll eat into the Vulcanite, making it rough and much harder to finish.
    With OxiClean, you can safely soak overnight without any worry of this.

  3. #3

    Briar Fish CaptainEnormous's Avatar


     

    Re: Different Ways to De-Oxidize a Stem

    Outstanding video discussing this here: Smokingpipes.com: Estate Restoration, Part III - YouTube

    By SmokingPipes.com, a premier restoration outfit.

  4. #4

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Re: Different Ways to De-Oxidize a Stem

    I've been using Mr Clean Magic Erasers (or cheap store brand equivalent, they're all the same). They are abrasive enough to remove oxidation, but not so much that you need to sand afterwards.

    Pros - no sanding needed. You only need to polish afterwards (as you would with any method).

    Cons - May not be sufficiently abrasive for really nasty stems. Requires some elbow grease.

    After the Magic Erasers, I use toothpaste to polish with. But I have used toothpaste alone to remove really really light oxidation. Just get some plain jane white toothpaste, rub it into the stem with your fingers, and go crazy rubbing with a soft rag.

    Pros - Minty fresh! Easy. Polishes to a nice shine. Mild and gentle - very little chance of screwing something up, even for a ham fisted oaf like myself

    Cons - Requires LOTS of elbow grease. Only sufficient for minimal superficial oxidation.

  5. #5

    Puffer Fish with many spikes


     

    Re: Different Ways to De-Oxidize a Stem

    I wipe mine with olive oil when I first get them and so far (about 4 years) I have'nt needed to polish a stem.
    The best cigar I ever smoked will be the next one I try.

  6. #6

    Alpha Puffer Fish FiveStar's Avatar


     

    Re: Different Ways to De-Oxidize a Stem

    +1 on the magic eraser! Haven't seen a stem so foul that it couldn't be rectified with Mr. Clean and some elbow grease.

  7. #7

    Full grown Puffer Fish juni's Avatar


     

    Re: Different Ways to De-Oxidize a Stem

    Toothpaste has worked well for me. I haven't had any pipe with really bad oxidation but I guess lightly sanding and re-applying wax would work wonders (as long as you remember to first cover up any logos and markings!).
    Pipe: a primary masculine symbol with authoritarian overtones but also indicative of reliability and contentment. by The Dictionary of Visual Language, 1980.

  8. #8

    Snuff-hound steinr1's Avatar


     

    Re: Different Ways to De-Oxidize a Stem

    T-Cut. Automotive paint cutting agent. It was designed to do this job on oxidised paint and works well in this application too. The only downside is that is hard work. I've tried the bleach method and this is MUCH better in my opinion. Bleach is just a starting point - this is the whole solution. I've used it on dozens of estate pipes with great results. Clean the inside by polishing with a T-Cut soaked pipe cleaner. I also use the same rag to put a shine on the briar; the dried residue is a very gentle abrasive.


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