How to Bend Pipe Stems

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Bending your pipe stem can add a unique and interesting spin to your pipe. The two most common stem materials, vulcanite and acrylic, can be heated and bent by hand. Both materials become easily bendable at temperatures that can be achieved by a heat gun, lighter or in a standard kitchen oven. Heating the stem in an oven will make the stem uniformly easier to bend.

Things You'll Need

  • Pipe
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Oven
  • Oven-safe dish
  • Table salt
  • Kitchen towel
  • Remove the stem from the pipe. Remove any tar and moisture from the stem with pipe cleaners.

  • Center a clean pipe cleaner in the stem and turn up the exposed ends so that the stem cannot slide off the cleaner. The pipe cleaner ensures that the hole in the stem does not pinch or collapse when the stem is heated.

  • Preheat the oven to 270 degrees. Place the stem in an oven-safe dish and cover it with a layer of table salt. Put the dish in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. This will soften up the stem enough to be bent by hand.

  • Remove the dish from the oven and pull the stem out of the salt by grasping the pipe cleaner. Hold the stem in a dry kitchen towel and bend it into the desired shape. Hold it in that shape for two to three minutes or until the stem is cool and no longer pliable.

  • Remove the pipe cleaner and reattach the stem to the bowl. If the angle of the stem is not to your liking, replace the pipe cleaner and repeat the process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Tar, ash, and moisture in the stem may not damage the stem when it is heated, but it may cause a disgusting odor.
  • Heating the stem with a heat gun or lighter will work but the stem must be constantly moved over the heat source to prevent scorching and to keep the entire stem pliable.

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References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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