Quote Originally Posted by Hawky454 View Post
The only way that I know how to do this is by sanding the stem down with a high grit sand paper and finish it off by polishing it on a wheel. The problem with my method is that it’s hard to keep the original nomenclature in tact. I only use this method if it’s a no-name pipe. I really wish I could learn some of those secrets to the trade but being a new father, time is not on my side.
There aren't too many secrets to this part of it, I'm afraid. The surface of an oxidized stem has degraded. So, you have to remove a layer to get back to good vulcanite. Different guys might use different abrasive techniques, but that's it in a nutshell. The trick of it all is too make sure that you only remove as much as absolutely necessary while preserving all of the original lines and dimensions. That's something that you really just develop a "feel" for.

In this case, the nomenclature on the stem was relatively easy to preserve because it's made from inlaid material. You can sand and polish it as normal to some extent. The best way to preserve stamped nomenclature on a stem is to avoid it completely and work around it as tightly as possible. Otherwise, you'll either erode it or have to repaint.