- This topic has 13 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 5 months ago by Hava Yen.
April 25, 2020 at 6:18 pm #2620Hava Yen
First time poster here, and new to the opium antique world. Hope everyone is being safe during this quarantine.
My pipe-bowl does not solidly connect to its collar, like my other bowls do to theirs. What is a good fix for this? I’d like to have this solution be one that would have been used back in the 1800s. I’ve read sealing wax works, but what other options do you think are good?
Additionally, I am curious if any of you can guess what materials were used to make this pipe. I think that the pipe is bamboo, the saddle is brass or copper, and the pipebowl is of some clay, but which?
Thanks for reading, and possibly replying.May 2, 2020 at 7:20 pm #2628Joshua(Pipe healer)
Hello welcome, hard to tell from the pic but I’d say it is made of paktong over bamboo? But would need to see more photos .
as to tea attacheing a collerni use traditional redsin “glue” from that period. I also fox cracks and reseal pipe. But you can use a fast drying clay, or if it is not a prized damper you can us JB Weld, a 2 part epoxy available everywhere. Regards pipehealerMay 3, 2020 at 6:06 pm #2629Hava Yen
Any particular resin glue or fast drying clay that you recommend? I’d stay away from the JB Weld as it is too modern.
Come to think of it, I now remember that the collar was solidly connected to the pipe bowl because it had something like a ghee rag around the inside of the collar, which decreased the radius to fit properly. The ghee rag didn’t hang out like how I see modern day opium smokers have it. It was just a sliver around inside of the collar. I think that the substance that was used to adhere the ghee rag was opium resin. Stupidly, I think I removed this for some oddball reason.
So Josh, you’re guess is that the pipe stem is bamboo, and the saddle is paktong. Take a look at the attachment, and you will see that I have attached a wider shot of the whole pipe. Has your guess changed? What about the ends? I think they are jadeite.
Side question: I’d like to clean up the saddle. I know lots of antique buyers forbid such a change to their items, but I know that the pipe will be way more attractive if I shined it up. I can still keep some spots that indicate it was used for its intended purpose. So the question is: what is good to clean paktong with? Citric acid and water? And polish with steel wool?
Hava YenMay 5, 2020 at 4:13 pm #2631ravensnest
Hi, welcome to the forum and collecting. As Josh said, the stem is bamboo, the saddle is brass and paktong, the end pieces are made.
I understand the want for period correct, but in this case jb weld is the best option. There is a lot of forced used to pull the damper out of the saddle. Use a modern adhesive for this. You’ll want to prep the collar and damper by cleaning it with a nylon brush. Toothbrush, etc. To remove any small loose debris to make sure of a good bond.
A good metal polish will work with elbow grease. That type of saddle will take a lot of work to shine it up properly but it will look great after.
May 6, 2020 at 2:37 am #2634Hava Yen
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by ravensnest.
Thanks Ravensnest! Since I’m new to this field, I thought the crowd here would object to the use of a modern day adhesive, however if that is not the case, I’d gladly do what’s best for the most solid connection. Now, to be clear, if one (not saying me) would want to use this pipe for its intended purpose, would it be safe? Meaning would there be a chance of any toxicity from the heating of the stove? Hypothetically speaking, of course.
And thanks for the tip for how to clean the saddle. I spoke with another one of our community today, and he said that I should apply ammonia, while wearing a pair of gloves and outside my home (a windy day is best!). Rinse with soapy water, then tap water, dry and polish with cloth or a clean shoe brush. Looks like there is more than one way to skin a cat.
I’ll have to wait a bit to purchase any of these items so it’ll be a bit before I tackle the saddle, but afterwards I’ll post my results… unless I’m too embarrassed to, by the outcome. haha
Thanks again all.
Hava YenMay 8, 2020 at 1:06 pm #2635ravensnest
Well, I have not died yet 🙂
The chamber of the damper is designed to cool the “smoke.” If it gets used so much that the collar gets extremely hot and melts the JB weld, it is getting way too hot! The damper should be changed out to another before it gets that hot.
June 1, 2020 at 3:07 pm #2664Hava Yen
- This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by ravensnest.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by ravensnest.
Thanks again everyone for your responses. I decided to go with another solution, and if it fails overtime I will use one of yours. Main reason was that I wanted to use what I had on hand, here in my apartment.
If you see in the attached pic, the pipebowl is upside down, and not falling out of the collar, as it did before. I left some of what I used exposed, so you can see its material, but after this post I will trim it away, to conceal the fix.
What I did: I took some cotton that I found, and made a circle with it to fit in the collar, in order to decrease its radius. This way the collar would hold snugly to the pipe bowl. Then I scraped dross that was in the saddle, and melted it around the inside of the collar, so that the cotton circle would be “glued” to it. Finally, I shoved the tighter collar to hold firmly to the pipe bowl, and voila!
My next task will be to polish the saddle. Currently I don’t have the materials, but when I do, I will be sure to post results.
Off topic, but if you would be so kind, please check out my website that I just completed, recently. It has nothing to do with opium antiques, but if you like art, here it is: polaroidartist.net
Hava YenJune 16, 2020 at 6:18 pm #2669Hava Yen
As promised, here is the refurbished saddle. What do you guys think? I think it was a good move to buff off the degradation. The pipe still retains its smell of use, stains, and so forth, therefore preserving its history of intended purpose. I didn’t touch the pipe bowl, as the black stains are from opium, I think, when someone must of used it to make the dumplings.October 13, 2020 at 6:28 am #2683theOpiumPipe
Very cool! (And welcome to the forum, sorry I have been dealing with 2020 and not had any time the last few months for the site.)
Reading the JB Weld specifications, it sounds like it is completely stable up to 500 degrees F, 260 degrees C. I think that’s higher than the temperature of the pipe bowl even at the point where the pill is being smoked, according to some old French article I dug through years ago. You’d have to be doing something wrong to be approaching that temperature at the top of the bowl, let alone the collar.
Also, JB Weld should not give off gases after 24 hours of curing, but whether that’s true in application or not, I don’t know. I have no way of knowing whether JB, clay, pitch, or even something like Elmer’s glue would be safest.November 4, 2020 at 4:53 pm #2687Hava Yen
Thanks for having me. Understood why you’re not monitoring this site much, as this is one hell of a year. Still though it doesn’t compare to the year 536, thank goodness! If you don’t know what I mean, please google “the worst year to be alive”.November 28, 2020 at 6:40 am #2695ravensnest
For humor, I think the worst day to be alive would be in 4 billion years when the sun changes into its supernova phase and swallows the earth. 🤣🤣February 28, 2021 at 6:53 am #2708808state
if Joshua’s recipy is a bit hard to get hold of, try fish glue.
made after an 1885 recipe, no chemical substitutes, all bio, no fumes while heated, no poisonous additives- can be removed with hot water, glues metal to wood, etc., was used for pipes back in france fin de siecle
used it myself for same matter and others.
made by Herman Sachse & Co Berlin , see attachedFebruary 28, 2021 at 6:56 am #2710March 2, 2021 at 12:03 am #2716Hava Yen
Wow, interesting! I already used JB Weld on that pipe, but I will now look into this to fix my other pipe (a fist one). Thanks.
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