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 Alcohol vs. Acrylic

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Richard Burley

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

PostSubject: Alcohol vs. Acrylic   Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:22 pm

I'm an inexperienced pipe smoker, having only been smoking a pipe since 1962, so I'll ask: Anyone know if "alcohol causes mini-fissures" on acrylic bits, as I just read on another site? Might be good to know, as I'm just starting to use full-strength Everclear to clean my pipes--and it works great. I suppose I could conduct my own tests before proceeding, but maybe someone here knows for sure. I've never noticed a problem using bourbon or isopropyl, but I have had two acrylic bit tenons snap when accidentally dropped. Wonder if alcohol was contributory to their breaking? Youth wants to know.
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monbla256

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Age : 72
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Alcohol vs. Acrylic   Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:33 pm

I'd only use it on the inside of the bit to clean up the accumulated tars inside it.I tried it once on an acrylic bit on a Canadian I had and it dulled the finish and when dry left the surface feeling sort of grainy. Had to take it over to a friends to use his buffing equipment to get it shinny again! Inside OK, NOT on the outside !! Twisted Evil
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Richard Burley

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

PostSubject: Re: Alcohol vs. Acrylic   Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:42 pm

Maybe. Not liking this a bit, pun unintentional. This is flame-polished, but according to the comments it also applies to buffing to a shine. Seems like that might be applicable to pipe stems.

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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: Alcohol vs. Acrylic   Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:22 pm

I've used 90% plenty on my acrylic stems. Mostly on cleaning the airway, but I haven't been super careful about it not getting on the outside. I also run soap and water through them right afterwards. I've never noticed it harming them, but that doesn't mean it doesn't.

I was going to start a similar thread the other day. Does isopropyl turn vulcanite green? I have a stem I'd like to disinfect.
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 54
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Alcohol vs. Acrylic   Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:26 pm

Well, seeing as how plastics are oil based and alcohol is a thinner that is rather 'hot', I could see the polymer chains breaking down from that. Excessive or repetitive use could mean you're going to do some damage...

And yes, isopropyl alcohol will turn vulcanite green, for the same reason. The oil is stripped away and oxygen can get to the molecules. Oxidation.....
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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: Alcohol vs. Acrylic   Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:52 pm

that's a someb1tch
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RDPipes

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Age : 64
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Alcohol vs. Acrylic   Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:37 pm

I have a hard time believing that Ethel Alcohol (this is the one many consume) will have any major affects to acrylic stems.
But, from personal experience I would certainly say that methyl alcohol such as Denatured and higher percentage ISO such as 90-99% will have but, you would certainly have to bath the stem in it. Wink

And just to add, the video shows what it'll do while the acrylic is still soft and hot so it will natural affect it more because the alcohol can get into it while it's soft still.
I never dunk my stems in alcohol right after I bend them for some strange reason.
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Richard Burley

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

PostSubject: Re: Alcohol vs. Acrylic   Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:50 pm

I'm thinkin' I'll continue to use Everclear sparingly on bits. It's grain alcohol. I believe the lad who made the above video said what he used was the denatured stuff to get that disturbing effect. Plus he drenched it. Guess I'll find out, but I'm not anticipating any problem. If I do have any, I can always drink the Everclear to soften the blow.
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