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Thread: Stem Repair - Tips, Ideas And Experiments

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    PSU Member holymolar's Avatar
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    Stem Repair - Tips, Ideas And Experiments

    Stems with large patches (and holes) could use some reinforcement. Plastex powder may be just the thing to strengthen those patches.

    For this experiment, I did a side-by-side comparison with Superglue only (no accelerator), Superglue w/ Plastex powder, and Superglue w/ Behlen's Furniture Powder.

    I used a round dremel bur to cut three divots in a vulcanite stem, to simulate deep tooth marks.


    I used these two powders with black superglue. I only used the powder from the Plastex kit, not the liquid.


    From left to right
    Patch 1 Black Superglue only
    Patch 2 Black Superglue w/ Black Plastex powder
    Patch 3 Black Superglue w/ Black Behlen Furniture powder


    Patch 1 - cured for 8 hrs, it shrunk
    Patch 2 cured for 8 hrs, no shrinkage but the surface was pitted and appeared grayish at this stage.
    Patch 3 cured very quickly, 5 minutes, no shrinkage but the surface was pitted. If too much of the Behlen powder is used, it will set in seconds. Not enough time to get it into the divot.


    Added two additional layers of glue to Patch 1 to fill it up, and let the final layer cure for 24 hrs.

    Sanded the patches with wet sandpaper (220 600 grit). Fortunately, I had overfilled Patches 2 & 3 and the sanding smoothed out the pitted surfaces. Extra layers were not necessary. Also, Patch 2 lost the grayness and was now black.


    Later, I used micromesh pads (1500 12000 ) and polished with white tripoli and carnauba wax. The patches polished and shined so well that I couldn't get a decent photo because of the camera flash.
    Last edited by St. Bernhardt; 07-06-2014 at 19:01. Reason: Thread title changed as per request...

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    PSU Member gmwolford's Avatar
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    Very interesting. I've never heard of the furniture powder. I think you answered this question but got some reason I can't "see" the post so I'll ask again: where did you order your Plastex, and the other powder, from?

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    PSU Owner dmcmtk's Avatar
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    Joyal, two very interesting posts. The time factor with just only superglue is something I can live with. This post, with the powders is of great interest, especially when one is trying to fill/repair actual holes in the stem. Great experiments. It would probably have been an excellent application here, which I know you have taken a look at,

    http://pipesmokerunlimited.com/showt...hlight=holtorp

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    PSU Member Steve Laug's Avatar
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    Here is a detailed write up on the blog if you are interested. Thanks Joyal
    http://rebornpipes.com/2014/07/03/bl...aka-holymolar/
    Why Worry! I am an old man, and have had many troubles, but most of 'em never happened.

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    PSU Member Steve Laug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmwolford View Post
    Very interesting. I've never heard of the furniture powder. I think you answered this question but got some reason I can't "see" the post so I'll ask again: where did you order your Plastex, and the other powder, from?
    http://www.plastex.net/

    http://www.shellac.net/furniture-powder.html or here http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/b...owders1oz.aspx
    Last edited by Steve Laug; 07-03-2014 at 20:30.
    Why Worry! I am an old man, and have had many troubles, but most of 'em never happened.

    Click on the graphic to read my refurbishing blog - rebornpipes

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    PSU Member Coastie3202's Avatar
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    Just want to brag that Holymolar is my friend. Eat your heart out, I know someone smart.
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    PSU Member gmwolford's Avatar
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    Thanks, Steve. I'll be looking that up this weekend!

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    PSU Member Steve Laug's Avatar
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    Side thought - I wonder if the Behlens would work on replacing fills. It is a colour pigment powder that can be mixed into the patch. It comes in a variety of wood grains and colours....

    Here is the ad on the site mentioned above http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/b...owders1oz.aspx

    Behlen Dry Pigment Furniture Powders - 1 oz.

    Behlen Furniture Powders are finely ground pigments formulated to achieve quick and permanent spot repairs on most types and shades of wood finishes. Because of their extreme fineness, they mix readily with Qualasole or shellac and may be applied by a cloth pad or a brush to achieve a professional repair. Powders can also be used to tint enamel, shellac, lacquer or other liquids and fillers. One ounce containers.

    We carry Behlen Furniture Powders in 11 colors.
    Why Worry! I am an old man, and have had many troubles, but most of 'em never happened.

    Click on the graphic to read my refurbishing blog - rebornpipes

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    Moderator morty58's Avatar
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    Interesting experiment Joyal.!

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    PSU Member holymolar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coastie3202 View Post
    Just want to brag that Holymolar is my friend. Eat your heart out, I know someone smart.

    LOL

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