Custom-Bilt (Mincer Era)


. Mincer Era Custom-Bilt .


I love when auctions go this way , I only wish I was the one who won it. My wife took a chance on this one and gave it to me for Christmas. Sure enough its a Custom-Bilt, the nomenclature is worn or lightly stamped but its there. I have so many in my collection and I talk about them constantly she knows exactly what to look for.

As Received


She was in rough shape when received, thick crumbling cake, stem oxidation and the tennon was glued into the mortise. Once the the glue was removed from the tennon and mortise, I realized the glue was the previous owners attempt to fix a loose fitting stem. In my excitement Christmas morning I had already removed the glue. Using EverClear I filled the chamber and left it to soak, eventually I was able to free the stem from the stummel.


I set the stem aside to come back to and started with the stummel. I started with my Pipnet Reamer and the smallest attachment and worked up to the third attachment, finishing up with 400 grit sandpaper wrapped around a finger. The chamber was well preserved from the thick cake, no cracking or pitting.


Next the rim tar and char, I applied a generous amount of Method Good For Wood Polish with a Q-tip and allowed it to penetrate the residue. I had to repeat the process a few times to remove all the build up, using Q-tips.


After freeing the tennon from the mortise Christmas morning there was still glue leftover one the stem, mortise and tennon. I used EverClear Q-tips and makeup pads to remove the rest of the glue.


I did a quick internal cleaning to remove the loose debris using EverClear, Q-tips and stiff/ soft pipe cleaners. I then did an alcohol and cotton ball soak on the chamber allowing it to absorb the oils and tars, leaving it overnight.


The following morning I decided to run a retort using EverClear and cotton balls. I then cleaned the internals of the stummel and stem with EverClear,Q-tips,cotton balls and stiff /soft pipe cleaners, cleaning until the pipe cleaners came out as they went in.


The stummel was pretty caked with dirt and oils. I wiped down the stummel with EverClear and makeup pads making sure I got into the crags.


Next the rim dings, using a household iron on medium /high heat and damp rag. I  covered the rim with the damp rag and applied the rim to the hot iron working in intervals until the imperfections were almost gone.


Happy with the rim, I now applied Howard’s butcher block conditioner to the stummel using rag and Q-tip to get into the deeper crags and left it aside for a few minutes to penetrat. Hand buffing off the excess.


The stem was heavily oxidized, I applied non-bleach Soft Scrub to the stem with a children’s toothbrush and left it aside to penetrat the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color its time to scrub vigorously with a rag until the oxidation is removed. I would repeat this process a few times and finish with a damp Magic Eraser to remove the leftover oxidation.


The loose fitting tennon, I heated the tennon with a Bic Lighter (moving the flame at all times never leaving it in one spot too long) and inserted the tip of round tipped jewelry pliers into the tennon and slowly expanded the tennon from the inside out until a snug fit between mortise and tennon was achieved.


I now ran the stem through the various grits of sandpaper and micro-mesh. I tapped off the shank with blue painters tape so my sanding would remain on the stem. I removed what little chatter there was with 1000 grit sandpaper wet and then moved on to the miro-mesh pads 1500-2400 wet and 3200-12000 dry. She was now ready for the wheel.



Finished her up on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats of carnauba and a microfiber hand buffing. Buffing the stem with blue compound.

Thanks For Taking A Look.


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