Blog by Al Jones (aka upshallfan)
This Yello Bole belongs to a pipe forum friend, Walt, who lives in Florida. It is the first of that make to land on my work bench.
On examination of the pipe, it had some issues that took some thought and a little experimentation on how to resolve them. Somehow in the pipe’s journey, the bottom and side of the pipe had been scuffed and scratched. It was if someone had used some rough grade sandpaper or steel wool on the finish. The top of the bowl top had some scorching and the stem had only a slight layer of oxidation. Otherwise it was in excellent shape
At first, I thought the bowl would need to be stripped and restained. I was preparing to soak the bowl in alcohol but wondered what effect buffing the pipe with Tripoli compound would do to the light surface scratching. Tripoli is not a rouge that I use very often on pipes as it is too aggressive and sometimes can cause more damage than good. (it is an important step when buffing metal). At that point, I thought the Tripoli couldn’t make the issue any worse, as long as I stayed away from the nomenclature which was in great shape. To my surprise, the Tripoli completely removed the scratching, without damaging the rest of the finish.
I used some worn 8000 grit paper on the bowl top to remove the scorching. This method is also the least damaging to the finish. There were a few dents and dings on the briar. I used an iron and a wet cloth to minimize those marks but they would not raise completely.
There was a slight discoloration in the briar where it was buffed with the Tripoli and micromesh. I put on a coat of diluted “Medium Brown” Fieblings stain and let it dry. That was then buffed to a shine with White Diamond and then several coats of Carnuba wax. This gave the briar a nice luster without completely removing the patina (or exposing any fills as a restain might have done).
I removed the oxidation of the stem with some 800 grit paper, moving to 1500 and 2000 grades and finally 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars plastic polish. As I had not worked with a Yello Bole previously, I was pleased to find the inset stem logo to be quite durable, perhaps even more so than the Kaywoodie logo.
Here is the finished pipe. Walt has received it in Florida and was also pleased with the results.