Monthly Archives: February 2015

Plumbing: how to repair a cracked pipe the easy way…

Late 2003 at the  Rhine-Rhone-Channel in France - this pipe has been through a lot with me...

Late 2003 at the Rhine-Rhone-Channel in France – this pipe has been through a lot with me…

Repairing a smoking pipe that has taken a serious hit can be a daunting task – and freaking expensive.

Ever happened to you that a beloved piece of briar of yours broke or cracked – but you were not ready to part with it?

Happened to me a while back. A wonderful Stanwell cornucopia pipe that I really like and that has been with me a loooong time cracked. Booohooo.

It had survived my hobo-travel years, but some day in a suitcase or whatever the pressure must have been too high: the wood cracked where the stem is inserted. And no matter how careful I would twist the stem in – it was loose and still the crack would slowly widen…

I live in Paraguay at the moment – not exactly a pipe smoker nation. You don’t even get pipe tobacco anywhere. Let alone find some skillful pipe maker who would repair this poor thingy.

So she sat there in the reindeer leather pouch that reminds me of long lonely travels in northern Scandinavia and waited for better days…

A week ago or so I did some plumbing at the hut of my girlfriend – installed an outdoor shower (we south-hemispherians have summer now), so I had to fix some plastic pipes and a garden hose – and suddenly I had a revelation: HOSE CLAMPS!!! YUS!!!!

The small ones looked exactly right (the ones that go for less than five bucks for a pack of 10 pieces on Amazon…).

And indeed: perfect fit.

Fit it around the cracked wooden part, inserted the stem, then carefully tightened the clamp until the crack was closed and the stem was not loose any more. Done.

Bandaged the cracked stem with a simple hose clamp... :)

Bandaged the cracked stem with a simple hose clamp… :)

Looks a bit funny, but hey – it works. :)

Good as new :)

Good as new :)

Of course you can have your favorite pipe maker professionally mend such a crack or fix it with a custom-made ring of platinum – if you have a craftsman nearby and the necessary change in your pocket.

But as you see: a bit of improvisation and very cheap material can go a long way and save your beloved old pipe just as well.

If you have done similar stuff with one of your pipes – please share in the comments, would love to hear of your exploits ;-)

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