Meerschaum Stem Replacement

I have a Meerschaum I really like to smoke. Not a collectable, not some delicately handled pipe, not fancifully carved; just a pipe I enjoy smoking. It’s been dropped who knows how many times, scratched up, and been the subject of strange experiments involving heat guns and beeswax. Basically, it’s a beloved beater.

That being said, for the second time, I managed to drop it directly on the lip of stem, breaking the lip. Nasty sharp edge. It’s not like a tough vulcanite stem.

Stem ReplacmentSince I’ve been through this before, I ordered a stem replacement from Cup O’ Joes, but after ordering it, I wish I had seen the one from Tobacco Barn as it’s much less expensive.

On getting my replacement stem, I had to carefully unscrew the existing stem tenon “receiver” from the shank portion of the pipe. See that “carefully?” Well, I managed to break the shank. Duh!

Okay, there’s no easy way to repair a broken meerschaum. Most say to give it up. On the more laborious side, there’s a recipe using powdered chalk and the white of an egg. Now mind you, I told you at the start that this is a pipe I enjoy solely for smoking, and it’s already worn and torn, so I used the fastest, least attractive fix I could think of: superglue gel. The gel is ideal for porous surfaces. Mind you, it leaves a glorious scar across the repair if you’re less than careful…uh, like me. It’s not worth the investment of replacing the pipe (although I do plan on eventually replacing one of my briars with another simple meer) and the damn thing still smokes beautifully. I touched up the scar with a special paint marker I bought for a Halloween project a few years ago, so it blends with the shank.

So I finally carefully screwed the “receiver” into the repaired shank. Voila, good as…well, it works. And the shank? Just another scar that says, “I love you.”

Okay, that just sounded wrong on so many levels.

2 Comments

  1. Ralph Burns says:

    I have a Karl Erik compact pipe and I’m looking to see if you replace thier stems with different acrylic colors+stamped logo,do you have some photos ?Please let me know. Thanks- R. Burns

    • Jack says:

      You’ll have to do a search online. That’s how I found the replacement stems that I ended up using. I did eventually come across a different stem when I bought an estate pipe. The pipe itself was rubbish, but the stem was in good shape, which is usually the other way around.

      If you’re looking for the same Karl Erik logo, the best way to get that replacement stem is to contact the manufacturer (I had to do that with a Big Ben), or to dig around for an estate sale for a similar pipe with a broke bowl but intact stem. Usually the acrylic is pretty tough but the bowl is fragile, so you’ll have better luck. You can also post a “wanted” request in some of the pipe websites and newsgroups.

      I hope that helps some.

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