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I really hate it when the pipe stems get loose from use. I've got several now and have recently found that you can use bees wax to tighten up the slack in the stem. You can also use a thin coat of clear nail varnish. I had plenty of bees wax on hand (I melt lead pipe sheaths for ingots to be made into .50 caliber round ball). Tried this and it worked great on the 3 pipes I tried it on. I'll also be getting some nail varnish to try that with if the bees wax doesn't hold up for long.