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227. Professor Schantz’s DIY on an SPD 2020

“Professor” John H. Schantz Jr., CPG, wrote me recently with a great DIY he performed on a St. Patrick’s Day 2020. As I’ve always wanted a System Pete with a green & black vulcanite cumberland stem, I had to share this story with you. Yes, technically John’s stem is swirled green & black, but it’s still an over-the-top fantastic modification. I keep asking John to go pro and begin taking custom stem and artisan pipe orders, but he keeps insisting that a day job is preferable to living in a homeless shelter. Go figure.

I had to buy another Peterson St. Patrick’s Day 2020, because I needed to get free shipping at when I ordered some tobaccos.  And . . . the pipes were on sale.

I had plans when I bought it to make it into a “nose warmer”—you know how much I like short pipes (okay, all pipes, but I digress).

It was a beautiful day today, perfect for a little lathe fun in the garage.  The pipe is a 106, and my “Sports” 2 was loaded with some aged Peterson’s Signature Flake for the duration.

I used some green with black swirl ebonite to make the new stem.

The airway is tapered and the tenon has a deep chamfer.  I have not smoked it with the new stem yet, but I have high hopes.

It smoked well with the original stem so it should be a good smoker with the new stem.  The stem is not finished to perfection, but it’s finished well enough for the girls I date.

Have a great evening, everyone!
John H. Schantz Jr., CPG
Rocky Mountain Briars


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3 years ago

Nice work on the stem, did you turn it down by hand or with a cross slide?
Because i have a woodturnig machine but no real chuck yet. It hase to do with the spindel
M18 and all good chucks have M33 or a proper backplate. But yor blog inspired me to do the next step. My dream is a yellow marbled stem on a virgin summertime pipe i have in stock.
Thanks for your craft.

John Schantz
John Schantz
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin

Thank you Martin. Yes sir, I used the cross-slide on my little 6×18 Craftsman metal lathe. The Craftsman has kind of an odd headstock too, 1”x10 tpi. Not exactly as common as the 1”x 8 tpi. I like your idea of the yellow marble stem on the summertime too??

Douglas Owen
Douglas Owen
3 years ago

Wonderful job on the stem. I am down to my last tin of Signature Flake, what a great classic flake that is. I believe it is no longer available. Closest flake to it that I have found is Haymaker or possibly Fribourg and Treyer Special Brown Flake, both very natural alternatives. Also C and D Opening Night.

Joel Penazzo
Joel Penazzo
3 years ago

I discovered Peterson and I ve got 4 systems pipes
I do love them
I ve already more than 60 pipes
I want to talk about stems
Acrylic stems.. I have always cleaned them with alcohol
But in many blogs some people say that it’s bad for acrylic
I put here a link
I d really like to have your thoughts about it

Joel Penazzo
Joel Penazzo
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Irwin

Thank you for your answer
I m a French Smoker
And I often read forums like pipe magazine, pipe smokers Den…
And many people warn against acrylic POLISHED stems and alcohol
It may create cracks over the time (even the inside)

Well thank you for your answer
It s a great blog!!

Ps.. excuse my language mistakes

1 year ago

I have no idea how I missed this!
I love it!! Great work John!!!

Last edited 1 year ago by Nevaditude