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Meer - New Project

Grrrrr609

Well-known member
Sales
#1
Not that I need another pipe to restore, but this is for a friend if i can pull it off. The bowl shank is threaded in the meer, no insert. The threads have worn out. So my thought is to drill and tap the meer and drill and tap the stem. Then add a puch pull tenon. Any advice on drilling and tapping Meer?


20181029_101700.jpg
 

DGErwin11

Supreme Curmudgeon
Staff member
Patron
#2
Not really sure if I can help, but here goes. NO power drills if you can avoid it. Go to the hardware store and buy a small chuck that you would use as a handle to hold the bit and the tap. Maybe some one can chime in on how well CA glue adheres to meerschaum. If it does work you could skip the threading process. But I'd be pretty careful as the picture rather makes it look like the shank and stem is thin. Maybe @GeorgeD has some experience with meers. The other alternative is to check with several repair places to see if they can help.
https://pipesmokersdens.com/threads/pipe-and-stem-repair.750/#post-15444
 
Last edited:

Grrrrr609

Well-known member
Sales
#3
Not really sure if I can help, but here goes. NO power drills if you can avoid it. Go to the hardware store and buy a small chuck that you would use as a handle to hold the bit and the tap. Maybe some one can chime in on how well CA glue adheres to meerschaum. If it does work you could skip the threading process. But I'd be pretty careful as the picture rather makes it look like the shank and stem is thin. Maybe @GeorgeD has some experience with meers. The other alternative is to check with several repair places to see if they can help.
https://pipesmokersdens.com/threads/pipe-and-stem-repair.750/#post-15444

Yes I already have a jacobs chuck that i use for things like this. Ive actually thought about wetting it to drill. Hoping that makes the drilling easier. I agree with you about the thickness and im leary about it for the threading. I dont know if wetting it will help or hurt the threading process. Funny you brought up the CA glue. I had thought about using CA to reinforce the original threads and threading the CA. I know its somewhat done in wood. Thread, coat with thin CA then rethread. But like you im not sure CA with stick to meer. Thanks for the advice.
 

Sir Saartan

The Tan Saarlander
Patron
#4
Ive actually thought about wetting it to drill.
I would be carefull about too much water on the meer. about a year ago I read a lot about meerschaum and how
it's carved. The main aspect of the carving was that to make it softer, they would soak it in water. now I understand
you're only going to use very little moisture, but if you're using a hand operated drill, I see no reason why you'd
feel the need to wet the bit. So while I don't really expect any negative effects, I just wouldn't take any unneccessary
chances.
 

Sir Saartan

The Tan Saarlander
Patron
#7
@Grrrrr609 I recall reading one the old PSF about someone having success gluing a broken meer back together.
yes, I read the same... I was hoping someone who restores pipes had the thread saved?

That said, the pores of meerschaum are large, so I see no reason why you would have problems glueing. you certainly need something that
is heat proof. I would suggest you're looking at the stuff they're using to glue the seal into the electric ovens... that should be heat proof and
food safe, as well as readily available. maybe ask your local electrics salesman?

Acrylic glue I assume gets soft while smoking.
 

DGErwin11

Supreme Curmudgeon
Staff member
Patron
#8
yes, I read the same... I was hoping someone who restores pipes had the thread saved?

That said, the pores of meerschaum are large, so I see no reason why you would have problems glueing. you certainly need something that
is heat proof. I would suggest you're looking at the stuff they're using to glue the seal into the electric ovens... that should be heat proof and
food safe, as well as readily available. maybe ask your local electrics salesman?

Acrylic glue I assume gets soft while smoking.
This thread is not the place for it, but I imagine we could get a lively debate going as to whether CA or epoxy is most suited to pipe work. This does not mean your post is inappropriate. It certainly is relevant to this discussion.
 

xrundog

Old Pipe Dude
Sales
#9
Yeah, the threads in older meerschaums always degrade. That's why in the really old ones you usually see the bone tenon glued into the shank and then the stem screws on. One aspect to consider when doing this is the airway through the tenon. Some of the bone ones are pretty tight. They can be carefully drilled or reamed out and it makes a huge difference.

A couple repair guys used to do a metal push tenon replacement. Lots better that the plastic. The mortise was some kind of spring clip glued in and the tenon a metal tube. Probably last forever and really secure. I couldn't find them anywhere and nobody was forthcoming with that particular secret.
 

Grrrrr609

Well-known member
Sales
#10
Yeah, the threads in older meerschaums always degrade. That's why in the really old ones you usually see the bone tenon glued into the shank and then the stem screws on. One aspect to consider when doing this is the airway through the tenon. Some of the bone ones are pretty tight. They can be carefully drilled or reamed out and it makes a huge difference.

A couple repair guys used to do a metal push tenon replacement. Lots better that the plastic. The mortise was some kind of spring clip glued in and the tenon a metal tube. Probably last forever and really secure. I couldn't find them anywhere and nobody was forthcoming with that particular secret.
Thank you. This is why i posted. It never occurred to me to open up the airway. Now is a great time to do it. I wonder if I could glue in delrin with a stainless tube in it.
 

xrundog

Old Pipe Dude
Sales
#11
Well, experimenting is fun! But keep in mind that if the shank is darkened it indicates that it has absorbed a lot of moisture over time. And that does weaken the material. If you put too much torque on it, it will break. I would soak the tenon end of the stem in hot water to loosen the glue and screw the tenon out. Then I would epoxy the tenon in the shank. But that's me. I'm curious to see what you do and how it comes out.:beerchug:
 

Grrrrr609

Well-known member
Sales
#12
Well, experimenting is fun! But keep in mind that if the shank is darkened it indicates that it has absorbed a lot of moisture over time. And that does weaken the material. If you put too much torque on it, it will break. I would soak the tenon end of the stem in hot water to loosen the glue and screw the tenon out. Then I would epoxy the tenon in the shank. But that's me. I'm curious to see what you do and how it comes out.:beerchug:
Thank you. This pipe currently has no screw mortise in the shank. The meer itself is threaded and those threads are worn. I was considering soaking the shank to drill though. I did not know that the moister over time weakened it. Thanks
 

DGErwin11

Supreme Curmudgeon
Staff member
Patron
#13
Thank you. This pipe currently has no screw mortise in the shank. The meer itself is threaded and those threads are worn. I was considering soaking the shank to drill though. I did not know that the moister over time weakened it. Thanks
I am not sure how much water weakens it. 40+ years ago I was gifted at Christmas with a carve your own kit. Soaking it in water was part of the process to soften it for carving. I also seem to recall (a dangerous exercise) putting it into a low temp oven. If someone here has the PIMO book there is a chapter on carving meerschaum. Steve Norse at Vermont Freehand sells meer blocks and might could help. @Sinan Altinok who is a member here might have some insight.
 

Grrrrr609

Well-known member
Sales
#14
I am not sure how much water weakens it. 40+ years ago I was gifted at Christmas with a carve your own kit. Soaking it in water was part of the process to soften it for carving. I also seem to recall (a dangerous exercise) putting it into a low temp oven. If someone here has the PIMO book there is a chapter on carving meerschaum. Steve Norse at Vermont Freehand sells meer blocks and might could help. @Sinan Altinok who is a member here might have some insight.
I have that book. I didnt even think of looking in it.
 

Grrrrr609

Well-known member
Sales
#15
Well I screwed up. I picked up the wrong drill bit after I carefully set out all my tools. And chucked it into the jacobs chuck. I had started with the correct bit, But the drilling felt rough. So I set the shank in a jar of water and when i picked it up to chuck it, I picked up the wrong bit. I can say that soaking it in water helped with the drilling. Unfortunately I hand drilled the hole to big to tap. I just had to walk away. So today I cleaned and moved my workbench. stupid stupid stupid