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Do it yourself clenching bits

Mr Dude

Well-known member
#1
I read somewhere in the ether that you can make your own bits from vinyl tubing bought at your local hardware store for pennies a piece. I tried it and am very happy with the results thus far. I bought a 10ft roll of 3/8 outside diameter tubing in the plumbing section of the hardware store for less than $5. It is marked non toxic, bpa free, etc.. I cut it into 1/2-3/4 inch pieces. Slip a small pair of needle nosed pliers inside of it the dipped it into boiling water for 30 second. Force open the pilers and put it over the stem, then remove the plyers. It was a little loose, so back into the boiling water for another 20-30 seconds and it formed quite nicely to the stem. Not even my snaggletooth will puncture it. I call it a win!
 

LostMason

Well-known member
#3
I can't clench,just doesn't feel comfortable. Not even cigars,so when
I smoke it has to an occasion that I can sit back and just smoke.
But,Thanks for the tip.I'll pass it along to a couple pipe newbs
that I'm trying to help.
 
#4
I have used the vinyl tubing in the past. I liked it ok, but I've come to prefer the rubber bits (when I use bits at all, not a big clencher).
 

Russ H.

Patron-Fight The Good Fight
Patron
#5
For those of us that are clenchers there are those who you hear say--Dear God--get those ugly things off your pipe.
Then there are folks like me who have teeth with unique issues. I have a tooth with a VERY sharp edge--I want to prevent issues with my Artisan stems. There is no right or wrong by using them. After all--they are your pipes. Some may take a more utilitarian approach not caring about the issue. Again there is no right or wrong by using or not using them.
 

Mr Dude

Well-known member
#6
For those of us that are clenchers there are those who you hear say--Dear God--get those ugly things off your pipe.
Then there are folks like me who have teeth with unique issues. I have a tooth with a VERY sharp edge--I want to prevent issues with my Artisan stems. There is no right or wrong by using them. After all--they are your pipes. Some may take a more utilitarian approach not caring about the issue. Again there is no right or wrong by using or not using them.
Russ, I also have a very sharp tooth. I haven’t figured out if I’m a true clencher, but there are times that it is convenient or even necessary. I tried the softie bits, but the sharp tooth quickly pierces through them, so I decided to try, whatI thought would be a more durable solution. It is. Thus far my only complaint is that the vinyl is thicker (duh!-Lol), and seems to make me salivate more.
 

SteveNH

Well-known member
Patron
#8
Is the vinyl harder than the softie bits? I have grown to like the softy bits and anything harder would hurt.

How about a picture of the vinyl tube on the pipe stem?

I use some silicone tubing at work and it is as soft as the softie bits they sell at the B&M. It is about $6.50 per foot and they only sell it in 5 foot sections. The OD and ID are important. I have narrowed it down to 1/2 inch OC being the best with a 1/16 inch wall thickness, for a 3/8 inch ID.
 

PappyJoe

Senior Chief
Patron
#12
I thought it was the information I'm seeking was in this discussion but its not.
I've read somewhere about a tape used on stems instead of softy bits or electrical shrink wrap. Can one of you point me in the right direction?
 
#15
I buy lengths of tubing from McMaster Carr. Various materials available. 3/8" ID fits many of my bits. 5/16" & 1/2" sometimes needed. I get the softest durometer available.