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 Vulcanite stems

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SpeedyPete



Age : 73
Location : Cape Town
Registration date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Vulcanite stems   Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:51 pm

I wonder who thought about using old car tires for making pipestems first? He/she should have been shot and then hanged.

I hate the bloody stuff, tastes bad, turns green or brown or white without fail and I really can't see any benefit in it.

Wish I can replace all of my vulcanite stems with ordinary PLASTIC 'cause even that would be better than sucking on a piece of old rubber  Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad 
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d4klutz

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Age : 40
Location : Gilmer, TX
Registration date : 2014-01-23

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:55 pm

Have you tried soaking your stems in oxyclean and water? I find that usually gets the nasties out of the vulcanite stems. Or you might just be a supertaster and there is nothing to do about that. Sorry you have such a bad run with vulcanite stems. I honestly cant taste any difference.
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monbla256

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Age : 71
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:02 pm

SpeedyPete wrote:
I wonder who thought about using old car tires for making pipestems first?  He/she should have been shot and then hanged.

I hate the bloody stuff, tastes bad, turns green or brown or white without fail and I really can't see any benefit in it.

Wish I can replace all of my vulcanite stems with ordinary PLASTIC 'cause even that would be better than sucking on a piece of old rubber  Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad 

I've never had a bad tasting one in all my 40+ years of smoking but everybody's different. 'Cause they DON'T work for you is no reason to condemn them, just don't buy pipes with stems made from it or start replacing all your old stems with acrylic stems.  Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil


Last edited by monbla256 on Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SpeedyPete



Age : 73
Location : Cape Town
Registration date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:20 pm

lol! lol! lol! 
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i.keenum

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Age : 27
Location : coast of mississippi
Registration date : 2011-06-12

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:38 pm

Some people like the softer feel of vulcanite compared to the glass like feel of acrylic. I personally prefer acrylic because it's mostly maintenance and taste free. The sulfur smell can be strong on new vulcanite stems but after a few smokes it disappears in my experience.
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:25 pm

To date I've not found a vulcanite stem to have any off-flavors like sulphur or such. They do oxidize, but that can be cleaned off with a magic eraser and elbow grease. Then a bit of Obsidian oil and we're golden again until next time.


Cheers,

RR
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Bullwinkle

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Registration date : 2010-04-03

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:44 pm

I agree.. vulcanite stems are a pita.
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Rad Davis

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Age : 67
Location : Foley, Alabama, USA
Registration date : 2007-12-16

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:00 pm

SpeedyPete wrote:


Wish I can replace all of my vulcanite stems with ordinary PLASTIC 'cause even that would be better than sucking on a piece of old rubber  Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad 

I'm pretty sure you are allowed to do this.  Twisted Evil 

I would recommend George Dibos at Precision Pipe Repair or Ronnie B at Night Owl Pipe Works.

Rad
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PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:06 pm

Pete, the benefit to vulcanite is that it is harder wearing than plastic, and can be reformed. Small teeth marks can be buffed or popped out.

As Brewdude has already said, badly oxidised stems can be fixed with elbow grease and a magic eraser (I would use toothpaste first) and then protected with an oil or wax of some type.  If you do the latter regularly, and that only takes a second, you should never need to do a big clean again. You don't have to pay money for an oil to coat your stems. I use petroleum jelly. I have heard of people using their own skin oils. All that needs to happen is for an airtight protective barrier to form on the surface.

Fwiw I don't think tyres have been made from rubber in a lot of years.
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SpeedyPete



Age : 73
Location : Cape Town
Registration date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:43 am

JCB wrote:
Pete, the benefit to vulcanite is that it can be reformed.

Fwiw I don't think tyres have been made from rubber in a lot of years.

I know!!! That's why they use OLD tyres from way back when  Twisted Evil 
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Domer



Registration date : 2013-12-21

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:21 am

Any owners of Ashtonite?
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SpeedyPete



Age : 73
Location : Cape Town
Registration date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:35 am

Domer wrote:
Any owners of Ashtonite?

Never heard of this?

Is that the opposite of "wood last nite" ?  Twisted Evil


Last edited by SpeedyPete on Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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i.keenum

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Age : 27
Location : coast of mississippi
Registration date : 2011-06-12

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:40 am

If I remember right I read on an article about Ashton it's ebonite that he would boil for hours to get the sulfur out of so it wouldn't oxidize easily or give off a sulfur smell.
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Fr_Tom

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Location : Diocese of Northern Indiana
Registration date : 2013-05-29

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:20 am

I prefer the mouth feel of vulcanite, and I have never had a taste associated with it. Go figure.
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:42 am

Fr_Tom wrote:
I prefer the mouth feel of vulcanite, and I have never had a taste associated with it. Go figure.

Agreed. But I really don't allow one or the other to determine whether I buy a pipe or not. One's a PITA and the other snaps easily, feels a bit hard, but doesn't oxidize. Everything's a trade-off. My one "artisan" pipe was ordered with a vulcanite bit.
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gravel

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Age : 43
Location : Oregon
Registration date : 2011-12-07

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:45 pm

I really don't have a strong opinion either way. If I want to clench, I'll use a softee bit. I ordinarily don't clench.
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Trifecta13

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Age : 37
Location : Peoria, IL
Registration date : 2013-02-25

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:47 am

I personally vastly prefer vulcanite stems. I am not a clencher, but I prefer the feel even while it is just between my lips. The maintenance is certainly more than it would be with acrylic, but I've never found it cumbersome. Stem oiling is just another step during my full scale monthly cleaning.
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fsu92john

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Age : 47
Location : Orlando, FL
Registration date : 2014-01-24

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:16 am

Stem material is not a deal-breaker for me either way. I probably have about half of each, vulcanite and acrylic, among my pipes. All other things being equal, though, my preference is for a well-made acrylic stem for the maintenance-free factor. Poor acrylic stems can be very uncomfortable to clench, but in my experience quality ones like those on my Ser Jacopo and Mastro de Paja pipes are quite pleasant.
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:46 pm

My .02 on the vulcanite / plastic issue-- If my taste buds could pick up a difference between vulcanite and plastic, I'd go with whatever tasted better:-) But they can't so my problem with vulcanite has been limited to maintenance. After much trial and error (a lot of error), this is my process --After smoking a pipe with a vulcanite bit, I do a little bit of a rub with a patch of cotton cloth. If more maintenance is needed, I take a miniscule dab of plain mineral oil and spread it evenly over the bit. (I mean super miniscule -- I simply tip the bottle upside down, remove the cap and lightly touch the wet inside cap with a finger tip.) After spreading this wee drop evenly over the bit, I rub it in for about a minute. Then I put the pipe on the rack. I revisit it the next day and, if there's any mineral oil left, I do some more rubbing with my finger tip. I repeat as needed until all the mineral oil has been rubbed into the bit. (One may argue that it has entered my fingertip, not the bit. Whatever.) This approach has worked fine for me. Another tip: Do N O T put your pipe racks in sunlight. That's one of the things that oxidizes them PDQ. And one more while I'm at it: Vulcanite mouthpieces seem prone to collecting some nasty detritus around the bit. You can manage this by putting lip balm with sunscreen on the tips of your forefinger and thumb and rubbing the protective coating around the last half inch or so of your mouthpiece. When you're done with your smoke, just remove the remaining wax with your thumbnail and you should be detritus free.
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SpeedyPete



Age : 73
Location : Cape Town
Registration date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:25 am

I believe there must be different kinds of vulcanite?

I have one particular Sav Punt Oro which I bought new from Wesley's beginning of this year. This pipe's stem will stay clean after treated with Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil as long as I don't touch it. But the moment I stick it between my teeth, the part that was in my mouth, turns yellow within minutes.

Then I have other vulcanite stems which give me little or no problems. Others turn yellow/brown after a couple of smokes but when treated with OPSO, they are back to normal again.

Do any of the brothers have an explanation for this problem?
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:49 am

SpeedyPete wrote:
I believe there must be different kinds of vulcanite?

Definitely. I have a 1980 Gefapip bulldog that has a very troublesome bit. It not only discolors easily, but seems made of a "grainy" vulcanite that is very difficult to clean and shine. Looks cheap. Dunhills will discolor, but are relatively easy to slick up. Then there are a lot of in-betweens.
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Simple Man

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Age : 56
Location : Atlanta-ish
Registration date : 2011-10-24

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:55 am

Mine discolor, but I don't care. I love vulcanite stems.
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:56 am

SpeedyPete wrote:
I believe there must be different kinds of vulcanite?

I have one particular Sav Punt Oro which I bought new from Wesley's beginning of this year.  This pipe's stem will stay clean after treated with Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil as long as I don't touch it.  But the moment I stick it between my teeth, the part that was in my mouth, turns yellow within minutes.

Then I have other vulcanite stems which give me little or no problems.  Others turn yellow/brown after a couple of smokes but when treated with OPSO, they are back to normal again.

Do any of the brothers have an explanation for this problem?

There are different qualities of Vulcanite and some have more sulfur in the recipe which will cause it to oxidize quicker.
Some carvers prefer German Vulcanite while others are leaning toward Japanese made I've seen. Yet it's hard to tell just by looking at a stem who manufactured it and what percentage of sulfur is in it, if you want to know I would ask the carver or manufacturer of the pipe before purchasing. I've never had a problem with any of my vulcanite stems but, I wipe them down after each smoke and wax them once a month with Paragon wax. Your chemistry is probably different and the acids in your mouth may contribute to the oxiding of your stems.
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desertpiper

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Age : 55
Location : tucson, az
Registration date : 2012-03-20

PostSubject: Re: Vulcanite stems   Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:35 pm

I can smell the difference between vulcanite and acrylic. And can taste the difference if the vulcanite is oxidized. I prefer acrylic for the low maintenance and neutral flavor.
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