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 Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?

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jamist



Number of posts: 11
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Registration date: 2013-04-21

PostSubject: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:52 am

Hi,

I picked up a nice 3 x 12 Decatur Industries rack a while back - great price, didn't need it but just in case, etc.

Now that I've decided to use it, I've run into a problem - all the holes that stems should fit into are closed at the front.  So longer-than-average stems, or bents won't fit on the rack.  (If you've never used a Decatur Rack this may be hard to visualize, but suffice it to say that space is limited and pipe stems don't bend.)

I'm thinking about cutting out The front of the holes so the pipes can go in - I've got smaller racks where that  is how they were made.  Kinda making them c-shaped instead of o-shaped.

Have any of you tried to do this?  Is it possible to do without ruining the rack?  Will it look like a 6th grade woodshop project?  Any tips and/ or advice are welcome.

If by chance you possess the arcane wisdom to slip pipes into those holes easily, that would be great, too.  I've always thought there was a trick to it , but I've never been able to figure it out.

Thanks,

Jim D.
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PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:55 am

If you have a router with a straight bit and a round-over bit and are comfortable making a fixture, you could do it. Based on what you say, I don't think that is the case.

I put the longer stemmed ones in the c-shape and the other in the Decatur.
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jamist



Number of posts: 11
Age: 54
Location: Auburn Hills, MI USA
Tobacco: Paul's Pipe Shop - Arrowhead
Erinmore Flake
GH American Delight
Butternut burley
captain black dark
Pipe: Most pipes by Malaga (Royal Oak, MI)
Nording
Big, smooth, Bent pipes with good briar
Registration date: 2013-04-21

PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:01 am

JKenP wrote:
If you have a router with a straight bit and a round-over bit and are comfortable making a fixture, you could do it.  Based on what you say, I don't think that is the case.

I put the longer stemmed ones in the c-shape and the other in the Decatur.

The only routers I'm comfortable working with have lots of cables stuck in them, and lots of flashing lights. Shocked 

So yes, you're correct I'm not a woodworking expert. But I do mess around with a Dremel, and I've been getting more adventurous with restoring pipes lately.

Jim D.
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monbla256



Number of posts: 6763
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Registration date: 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:13 am

jamist wrote:
JKenP wrote:
If you have a router with a straight bit and a round-over bit and are comfortable making a fixture, you could do it.  Based on what you say, I don't think that is the case.

I put the longer stemmed ones in the c-shape and the other in the Decatur.

The only routers I'm comfortable working with have lots of cables stuck in them,  and lots of flashing lights.  Shocked 

So yes, you're correct I'm not a woodworking expert.  But I do mess around with a Dremel, and I've been getting more adventurous with restoring pipes lately.  

Jim D.

A dremel tool is to lightweight for the amount and thickness of the wood that you would have to remove on the rack. Setting up a wood router with a jig would be complex given that it's a 3 tiered ASSEMBLED rack. Try finding a "back saw' fine toothed as is used in a small miter box and take your time and mark out your slots, take your time and you'll probably do allright. I did this to several of my Decator racks I have years ago and it's worked well.
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Wayne_Teipen



Number of posts: 215
Location: Indiana
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PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:16 am

I have done this modification to my Decatur racks for the exact reason you state. I drew straight lines from the outer edge of the circles with a builders square or triangular ruler (set square) then cut along those lines with a coping saw. I then cleaned it up with a flat file then sandpaper then restained it. It wasn't too difficult. If you're just looking to make the rack more functional it's easy and doesn't take much skill. If you want the end result to look nice, it takes a bit more skill.
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PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:28 am

Don't recommend you trying a backsaw as your first project in learning it.

That's really too nice an item to have it not turn out as you hope.

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monbla256



Number of posts: 6763
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Location: DFW Metroplex, Texas
Tobacco: ALL McClelland's Virginias , and several Balkans.
Pipe: Savanelli's, Pre and Lane era Charatans as well as various GBD's,BBB's, and Edward's and S&R pipes.
Registration date: 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:33 am

JKenP wrote:
Don't recommend you trying a backsaw as your first project in learning it.

That's really too nice an item to have it not turn out as you hope.


I was referring to the small British "Back saws' used for smaller trim work. NOT the large type as most folks use in mitre boxes. They are fine toothed and very easy to control and give a nice smooth cut Razz 
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PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:34 am

I have a Japanese style one but I still wouldn't recommend that nice rack as his learning project.
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Buckshot



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Registration date: 2011-07-17

PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:22 am

I have the same rack with the same issues. I was thinking about using a coping saw on the holes on the bottom 2 tiers...the top tier already has C shaped holes. I figured the coping saw would have fine enough teeth and would be controllable enough that the wood will cut without splintering. Then fine sand and stain. The only problem I see is that the wood thickness on the bottom 2 tiers is considerably less than the thickness of the top tier. Time will tell, I guess. Good luck if you decide to tackle it. And keep us posted.
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Kyle Weiss



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PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:53 am

Wayne_Teipen wrote:
I have done this modification to my Decatur racks for the exact reason you state.  I drew straight lines from the outer edge of the circles with a builders square or triangular ruler (set square) then cut along those lines with a coping saw.  I then cleaned it up with a flat file then sandpaper then restained it.  It wasn't too difficult.  If you're just looking to make the rack more functional it's easy and doesn't take much skill.  If you want the end result to look nice, it takes a bit more skill.

Thread-winning post; covers it all.

Cool
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hagley



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PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:03 pm

I have done this several times. I used a coping saw, as well as a hacksaw blade in one of those handles designed to accommodate broken blades. I finished off the edges with sandpaper and applied some Kiwi brown shoe polish. Quite happy with the results.
Mike
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HCraven



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PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:28 am

Of course, you could always just get 36 straight billiards. Razz 

Seriously, though, thanks for asking the question. I love old Decatur pipe furniture, and there are some of their racks out there with slots instead of holes, but I've got several with the same problem, and I'm reading these answers with great interest.
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PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:32 am

Gave it some more thought.  Not sure if you'd want to invest 40 or more dollars but it would have more uses than remodeling pipe racks.

There are a number of low to high end oscillating tools.  You probably saw ads and infomercials for them a while back.  It has a cutting wedge on an offset flat surface.  It cuts fairly clean.

It'd be easy to make a simple fixture with a square or offset face.  Get a piece of wood the dimension of the rack.  Attach Masonite to both sides with screws. A miter box or saw can give square or cut opposite edges at an angle.  You could clamp the fixture with a cheap clamp or such.  You now have a true angle reference and the flat edge of the cutter can follow that to make a consistent and clean opening.
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Wayne_Teipen



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PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:21 am

I just remembered that on one rack that I modified, the board with the holes in it was loose so I removed it and made the cuts on my bandsaw. I did all the work to the board to open up the holes then glued the rack back together. I remember that one was way easier than ones I couldn't get apart. It's been several years ago and my memory isn't all that great. Hope this helps.
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PostSubject: Re: Advice-modifying a Decatur Industries Pipe Rack?   Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:51 am

IF the problem pipes are semi-bent ones, try turning them 180 and putting them in backwards. This often works. Wink 

What a Face 
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