Tag Archives: removing oxidation on a stem

Custom Made Billiard Back into Service


The next pipe in the lot that I refurbished was the top pipe in the centre column in the photo below. It was a Custom Bilt like billiard. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Custom Made and on the right side of the shank Imported Briar. That stamping tells me that it is an American Made Pipe. I cannot find any information on the stamping on the internet but will continue to look and see what I can find.

bowls1

Custombilt The pipe was dirty. The bowl was badly caked – meaning that the cake was very crumbly and uneven. The bowl was out of round as can be seen in the photo below. I would need to ream it out completely to reshape the bowl. The finish was dirty in all of the worm trail carving that is found in these old rustic pipes. It looks a lot like a Mincer Custombilt but I am not sure. The rim surface is tarry with build up and the front inner edge of the bowl is burned. The shank looks good in these photos but there is a divot out of the briar on the left side where it will meet the stem. It did not have a stem when I picked it up on Ebay. I will need to make some decisions about what to do with the new stem and the match at the shank.

I went through my box of stems to find one that would fit the shank with little adjustment. I had just the stem there. The fit would be great as it was the same diameter as the shank. The stem was oxidized and dirty inside but there were no tooth marks. There was also a calcification on the stem near the button that would have to be dealt with when I got the stem fit to the shank. The next five photos show the “new” stem. I had to hand sand the tenon to get it to fit snugly in the mortise. The third photo below shows the sanded tenon. I used emery paper to sand the tenon back until it fit in the shank. The fourth and fifth pictures show the fit of the stem to the shank. The divot is visible in the fourth photo. It is mid shank on the left side of the pipe. No amount of fitting the stem would make that disappear. I could sand down the shank at that point to make a cleaner fit but I was not sure that is what I wanted to do. To do the sanding would change the chunky appearance of the pipe. So I decided not to sand the shank. I went on and cleaned the inside of the pipe before I made the final decision on the shank.

IMG_1330

IMG_1331

IMG_1332

IMG_1333

IMG_1334

While I was prepping to ream the bowl I took out a nickel band to see what it would look like on the shank. I liked the overall look. I left it on the shank while I reamed the bowl. I used a PipNet reamer – a T handle with various cutting heads to ream the bowl. I started with the one that fit the easiest and then worked up to the third head which was the same diameter as the bowl. I reamed it back to bare wood (Photos 1 and 2). I then heated the band with the heat gun and pressed on the shank to give me a smooth transition between the stem and the shank (Photos 3 and 4).

IMG_1337

IMG_1338

IMG_1339

IMG_1340

I worked on the inner rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded the top of the bowl with the same sandpaper and the fine grit sanding sponge to remove the build up on the rim (Photos 1 and 2). The third photo below shows the inner edge of the rim after the sanding with the 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to get the bowl close to round. I also used the sanding drum on the Dremel to even things out so the third photo shows the finished repair to the inner rim edge.

IMG_1341

IMG_1342

IMG_1343

I wiped the exterior of the bowl down with acetone on cotton pads. I wanted to clean out the buildup in the crevices of the trails on the bowl. The dirt and finish that came off is visible in the two photos below. Two obvious fills also showed up in the bowl. These would need to be taken care of to hide them under the new stain once I was finished.

IMG_1344

IMG_1345

With the finish removed it was time to clean out the shank and airway of the pipe. I used pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and also the drill bit from the KleenReem Pipe reamer to remove the tars and oils that had built up in the shank. I probably could have used a retort but the shank did not smell sour or rank. It smelled like Virginia tobaccos had been smoked in this so I just used a lot of pipe cleaners and cotton swabs dipped in Everclear until they came out spotless. I wiped down the tenon on the “new” stem as well with the Everclear.

IMG_1346

IMG_1347

Once the insides were clean I inserted the stem in the shank to see if I still had a snug fit. Sometimes when the grime is removed the fit is not as good as it was before cleaning. I have learned the hard way to leave the stem tight and when it is cleaned the fit will be perfect. I sanded the stem with fine grit emery paper to remove the calcified buildup and the oxidation on the stem. The next three photos show the stem after the sanding with the emery paper.

IMG_1348

IMG_1349

IMG_1350

I then sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove more of the oxidation and also the scratches left behind by the emery paper. The next series of three photos show the stem after sanding with the sandpaper.

IMG_1351

IMG_1352

IMG_1353

I went back and cleaned the stem with pipe cleaners and Everclear. I should have done that when I was cleaning the shank but honestly I forgot to do so. Never too late however so I did it next. The next four photos show the pile of pipe cleaners that it took to clean the stem. I also wiped the bowl and shank down with Everclear on a cotton pad to prepare it for staining.

IMG_1354

IMG_1355

IMG_1356

IMG_1357

I restained the pipe with a dark brown aniline stain. I thinned the stain with 1 part alcohol to 2 parts stain to get the brown I wanted for a colour. I wanted it dark enough that the fills would blend into the finish but also transparent enough to show the grain through the stain. I used a black permanent marker, called a Sharpie here in Canada to give the fills a dark top coat before applying the stain. I have learned that this method makes the fills blend into the bowl better on these rusticated bowls. I applied the stain with a cotton swab, flamed it with my lighter and reapplied it and flamed it again. It took three applications of the stain to give good coverage to the bowl. The next three photos show the unstained pipe (Photo 1) and the newly stained pipe (Photos 2 and 3).

IMG_1358

IMG_1359

IMG_1360

Once the stain was dry I hand buffed it with a shoe brush to see if I needed to add any more stain to some of the spots on the bowl and rim (Photo 1). The next three photos show the buffed bowl and the finished colour. The coverage was good so I buffed it by hand and then went back to work on the stem.

IMG_1361

IMG_1362

IMG_1363

IMG_1364

The next series of six photos show the progressive polishing of the stem with micromesh sanding pads from 1500-12,000 grit.

IMG_1365

IMG_1366

IMG_1367

IMG_1368

IMG_1369

IMG_1370

I took the pipe to the buffer and buffed the stem with White Diamond and then rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil to preserve it. I gave the bowl a coat of Halcyon II wax and the stem several coats of carnauba wax to prevent oxidation. I buffed the entire pipe lightly with a soft flannel buff. The finished pipe is pictured in the last four photos.

IMG_1371

IMG_1372

IMG_1373

IMG_1374

Savinelli deluxe Milano Stack Restemmed & Renewed


Blog by Steve Laug

The second pipe in the lot pictured below that I chose to work on was the one on the top of the right column. It is stamped on top of the shank Savinelli de luxe Milano and on the underside the Savinelli shield and next to that is it stamped 130KS Italy. The finish was dull and mostly gone. The rim was not charred at all but had a heavy build up of tars. The bowl was caked – interestingly for a pipe this deep it was caked all the way to the bottom of the bowl. The dimensions of this bowl are: height 2 1/4 inches, outer diameter of the bowl 1 ½ inches, diameter of the chamber ¾ inches. It smelled of sweet aromatics so it would need to be reamed and cleaned well. There was no stem with it but there was a broken tenon stuck in the shank. I would have to pull the tenon and fit a new stem on the bowl. It was made of a good piece of briar – no fills or sand pits. The grain is cross grain on the front and back of the bowl and the top and the bottom of the shank. It had some very nice birdseye grain on each side of the bowl and the shank. The shape of the shank was a modified oval shape.

bowls1

Savinelli top

Before I cleaned the bowl and shank I removed the broken tenon that was stuck in the mortise. I have a screw that works perfectly for this process. I turn it into the tenon by hand or a screw driver and then work it out by hand or with a pair of pliers. If the tenon is stuck and will not move I put it in the freezer for 30 minutes or more and generally it will pop out quite easily. In this case it came out quite simply and I was able to move on in the process of cleaning.

IMG_1323

IMG_1324

I sorted through my collection of old stems to find an oval one that I could modify to fit the style of the shank. I had looked on line and found that this particular model of Savinelli had a taper stem (see the first photo below). I did not have any oval tapered stems that would fit, nor did I have large enough round stems that could be modified. I chose an older oval saddle stem that I believed would look good. I think that originally it was on a Dr. Plumb pipe but the logo was worn off and my modifications would remove the red dot on the stem (second photo below).

$T2eC16JHJHUFFfhDpWd3BR)N9Jwnpw~~60_57

IMG_1325

I sanded the tenon with 220 grit sandpaper until I had a good snug fit on the shank. The next four photos show the stem before I began to shape it to fit. The fit against the shank was good and tight. The look of the pipe and stem worked for me so I was good to go.

IMG_1326

IMG_1327

IMG_1328

IMG_1329

I do the initial shaping of a stem with a Dremel and sanding drum. I set the speed about mid mark on the speed control of the Dremel and slowly work at the surface of the stem. I do this initial shaping with the stem on the shank. I want to shape it as closely as possible to the shank shape before doing the finish shaping by hand. The next three photos show the stem after this initial shaping. There was still much work to do in bring the stem and shank to a proper fit and the width of the stem to a match with the taper of the shank. This work had to be done by hand using sandpaper and files.

IMG_1330

IMG_1331

IMG_1332

The depth of the bowl on this stack made it impossible for me to get to the bottom of the bowl with my reamers. The PipNet reamer went about 2/3 of the way down the bowl and the KleenReem or Senior reamer did the same. I have used a plumbing tool that is used to clean up pipe after cutting it to ream deep bowl. It is a ¾ inch cone shaped wire brush with a handle that I can turn into the bowl and go to the bottom to remove the cake evenly. It works exceptionally well for this purpose.

IMG_1337

IMG_1338

IMG_1339

IMG_1333

I cleaned up the rim of the pipe with 220 grit sandpaper and also worked on the shank stem fit with the same sandpaper. As I was planning to refinish the pipe bowl and shank I did not care if I removed a bit of the finish while sanding the stem and shank. The next three photos show the stem/shank fit after I had sanded it with the sandpaper. I really liked the look of the pipe at this point and only needed to do the stem polishing and the finish sanding and cleaning of the bowl.

IMG_1334

IMG_1335

IMG_1336

I used acetone on cotton pads to remove the finish on the pipe. I wiped it down until it was the same colour as the sanded portion of the shank. This would make blending the stain much easier to do. The first two photos below show the bowl after the initial wipe down with acetone. Photos 3-5 show the pipe after the finish has been removed from the pipe and it is ready to be stained.

IMG_1340

IMG_1341

IMG_1342

IMG_1343

IMG_1344

When I sanded the stem I found that there was one small tooth mark on the top of the stem near the button that no amount of heat would lift up. I sanded the spot with the 220 grit sandpaper until it was clean and then buffed it with Tripoli until it was very clear the breadth of the spot. I filled the indentation with clear super glue and sanded it once it was dry. The two photos below show the stem repair after the initial sanding and then after it was ready to be polished. Once the polishing was done the repair would be virtually invisible.

IMG_1345

IMG_1346

I cleaned the internals of the stem and the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and Everclear until the shank and the internals of the stem were clean. I used a dental pick to clean out the areas inside the button and the flare of the airway in the button.

IMG_1347

IMG_1349

Once the insides were clean I wiped the bowl down with Everclear and removed any possible grime that I added to the surface in the cleaning process. The next three photos show the pipe after all of the cleaning. It is beginning to look like the stem and pipe were made together.

IMG_1350

IMG_1351

IMG_1352

Because of the amount of grime that I cleaned out of the shank and the stem I decided to use a retort on it to give it a more thorough cleaning. The next series of three photos show the set up of the retort system. I use isopropyl alcohol in the test tube and heat the tube with a small tea light candle. I use a block of ebony that I have here to support the pipe and retort during the process. The alcohol is boiled through the pipe until it comes out clean. Generally this takes 2-3 fresh test tubes of alcohol.

IMG_1353

IMG_1354

IMG_1355

After removing the retort I cleaned out the bowl, shank and stem with pipe cleaners and cotton swabs a final time to remove any of the alcohol and oils that remained. I then sanded the stem with 1500 and 1800 grit micromesh sanding pads to begin polishing the surface and to remove any of the debris left from the surgical tubing on the stem.I continued to sand the stem with the micromesh sanding pads from 2400-12,000 grit in preparation for staining.

IMG_1356

IMG_1357

IMG_1358

IMG_1359

IMG_1360

IMG_1361

IMG_1362

I stained the pipe bowl and shank with dark brown aniline stain mixed 2 parts stain to one part alcohol to get the brown colour that was previously on the pipe. I wanted it thin enough that the grain would really stand out and give the pipe a uniform look after the sanding. The pipe has some beautiful cross grain on the front and back of the bowl and the top and bottom of the shank with birdseye grain on the sides. I wanted the stain to highlight that. I stained the pipe, flamed it and restained and reflamed it to set the stain in the grain.

IMG_1363

IMG_1364

IMG_1365

Once the stain was dry I took the pipe to the buffer and buffed the bowl and the stem with White Diamond to polish the stem and the stained bowl. Afterwards I gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean flannel buff. For a final touch I hand buffed it with one last coat of wax and shoe shine brush. The final photos below show the finished pipe. It is cleaned, renewed and ready to go out to a good friend who loves this shape!

IMG_1368

IMG_1369

IMG_1370

IMG_1371

Beautifying a Sasieni Mayfair


Blog by Steve Laug

Yesterday I picked up this beautiful little Sasieni Mayfair. It is stamped Mayfair on the left side of the shank and London Made on the right side. The bowl was tarry with a sticky aromatic and the top had been burned on the front side and then poorly topped to get rid of the burn. This left the bowl slanted toward the front side where the burn had been. The rim was also covered with the aromatic goo. The stem was tight but I was able to remove it from the bowl at the shop and found the typical stinger apparatus intact. It was a flat metal blade that ended in a round tube that inserted into the tenon. The tube was slotted to allow the smoke to pass into the airway of the stem. The stem was slightly oxidized and had a tooth mark on the top and the bottom of the stem. Other than those things it was a nice piece of briar and the finish was actually in excellent shape. There were several small sandpits on the bottom of the bowl but they did not detract from the beauty. The shape is kind of a cross between a Prince and a Rhodesian. The shank is a pencil shank. Dimensions for this little pipe are: length 5 ½ inches, height 1 ¼ inches, bowl diameter ¾ inches, bowl depth ¾ inches, shank diameter 3/8 inches. The two photos below show the pipe as it was when I found it. We went for supper at a Mexican Restaurant and I took these photos on the table top.

IMG_0373

IMG_0374

This morning I went to work on it. I took the following photos on my work table. The first three show the externals of the pipe. The damage on the rim is visible as is the state of the bowl. In the third photo note the angle of the bowl top in comparison to the one above it in the second photo. The angles are different and the bowl top is slanted toward the left and the front of the bowl.
IMG_1101

IMG_1102

IMG_1103

I took the pipe apart to check on the internals and remove the stinger apparatus. The next two photos show the top and bottom of the stinger. It is also clear in these two photos the damage to the right inside edge of the rim as well. It is slightly out of round.

IMG_1104

IMG_1105

I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer using two different cutting heads. I start with one size smaller than the diameter of the bowl to start the reaming. I then follow-up using the correct size cutting head in the bowl. I find that it is easier to cut the cake carefully and not do any further damage to the roundness of the bowl.

IMG_1106

Topping the bowl on this one was a bit tricky. I needed to take down the back left side of the rim and even out the back side of the rim without removing any from the front edge. I used the flat hard surface that I always use for topping. I held the bowl with the back side pressed into the sandpaper and the front edge off the paper. I move the bowl right to left across the sandpaper checking to see the effect (photo 1 below). I did not want to make the top worse than it already was. Once I had the back left and right sides even and the front and the back even I was ready to do a slight topping on the bowl to even it up neatly (photo 2 below).

IMG_1107

IMG_1108

At this point I sanded the top a little more to clean off the burn damage on the front of the bowl. Once I had that minimized I sanded the top with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge until the scratch marks were gone. I also used the Dremel to even out the diameter of the bowl and bring it back into round.
I then removed the stinger apparatus and cleaned it with alcohol and cotton pads. I picked the slot clean with the dental pick. I did not intend to use it on the pipe once it was clean so I put it away in case I sold the pipe and the new owner wanted the stinger.

IMG_1109

IMG_1110

I set up the retort and filled the test tube with isopropyl alcohol and boiled out the inside of the bowl and stem. The next four photos show the set up and the process. I heat the alcohol with a tea candle and once the alcohol has cooled from the boil it returns back to the test tube and carries the oils and tars of the bowl and shank with it. I repeated this process twice.

IMG_1111

IMG_1112

IMG_1113

IMG_1114

I cleaned up after the retort with pipe cleaners and Everclear. Both the stem and the shank were cleaned of all the internal grime. The pile of pipe cleaners in the picture below show the sheer volume of pipe cleaners used in cleaning up after the retort. Once this was finished the interior of the shank and stem were clean and pipe cleaners came out pristine.

IMG_1115

It was time to work on the stem. I ran the flame of a Bic lighter across the tooth marks on the topside and bottom side of the stem until they lifted. I then sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the remaining signs of the marks. And then I sanded the entire stem with a fine grit sanding sponge to remove the oxidation and to deal with the scratch marks from the sandpaper.

IMG_1116

IMG_1117

IMG_1118

I stained the top of the bowl with dark brown aniline stain that I thinned 2:1 with isopropyl to match the colour of the bowl and shank. I flamed it and then repeated the process until the colour was an exact match to the rest of the pipe.

IMG_1124

IMG_1125

I took the pipe to the buffer and buffed the bowl with White Diamond to shine up the bowl and the newly stained rim. I also buffed the stem with Tripoli and White Diamond at the same time to further shine the stem. The four photos below show the buffed and polished bowl and stem after the White Diamond buff.

IMG_1128

IMG_1129

IMG_1130

IMG_1131

I took the pipe back to my desk and sanded the stem with micromesh sanding pads. I worked through the various grits of micromesh from 1500-12,000 to polish the stem.

IMG_1132

IMG_1134

IMG_1135

IMG_1136

I gave the entire pipe another buff with White Diamond and then gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it to a shine with a clean flannel buff. The final four photos show the finished pipe.

IMG_1137

IMG_1138

IMG_1139

IMG_1140

LJ Perretti Straight Grain Rejuvenated


I picked up a seven pipe lot on EBay all because there were at least two of the pipes that were stamped LJ Perretti. One of them is the little pot/billiard pictured in this article. I say pot/billiard because the proportion of the bowl and shank more accurately fit a billiard but the height of the bowl is more like a pot. Ah well whatever it is it showed promise even in the seller’s photos on EBay. I bid and won. There is another Perretti that I will write about as I rework it but this one is stamped L.J. PERRETTI over IMPORTED BRIAR on the right side. It is stamped Straight Grain on the left side of the shank. The grain is quite nice and there are no fills in the briar that are visible. It was a dirty pipe – the finish was darkened and grit and oils were ground into the outside of the bowl. The rim had a serious cake of lava on it and the bowl was packed with a cake. The inside of the shank was so dirty and gritty that the stem would not sit all the way in the mortise. The stem was oxidized and had a rubber softy bit guard that was stuck on the stem. There was a cursive P on the left side of the stem. The Perretti pipes are shop pipes that may have been made by a variety of carvers or by Robert Perretti himself. These are old enough that they may well be done by Perretti. The stamping on the side of the shank that says Imported Briar seems to point to the pipe being American made. The first series of three photos shows the state of the pipe when I took it to my work table.
IMG_0895

IMG_0896

IMG_0897
I cut off the rubber softie bit guard with a knife and peeled it free of the stem. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer to remove the buildup of carbon. I cleaned out the stem and the shank with pipe cleaners and Everclear until the pipe cleaners came out as clean as they went in. It never ceases to amaze me how many pipe cleaners it takes to clean out the inside of the pipe and stem. Once the internals were clean the stem fit into the shank with no interference.
IMG_0901

IMG_0902
I wiped won the outside of the bowl with acetone on a cotton pad (Photo 1 below). I wiped down the rim with acetone as well and then decided to lightly top the bowl (Photos 2 – 5). I used a medium grit sanding sponge to top the bowl on this one. I just wanted to remove the carbon build up on the rim and leave as much of the stain intact as I could. Once finished I wiped it a second time with acetone. I also used the drill bit from the Kleen Reem reamer to clean out the airway from the mortise to the bowl. I recleaned the shank with pipe cleaners and Everclear afterwards (Photo 6 below).
IMG_0903

IMG_0904

IMG_0905

IMG_0906

IMG_0907

IMG_0908
I set the bowl aside and then worked on the stem. I inserted it in the ebony block that I drilled as a mortise to work on the oxidation. I sanded it with 320 grit sandpaper to break up the oxidation and remove the calcium buildup that was under the softee bit. There were also some tooth chatter and marks that needed to be worked out. These were not deep so all I did was sand them with the 320 grit sandpaper. The next two photos show the work on the stem.
IMG_0909

IMG_0910
I reinserted the stem on the pipe and then continued to work on the stem and clean up the oxidation. I sanded around the edge of the stem/shank junction. I used 320 grit sandpaper and a medium grit sanding sponge.
IMG_0911
I wet sanded the stem with 1500 and 1800 grit micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded with 2400-12,000 grit micromesh sanding pads. The next three photos show the progress of the sanding with the pads. I selected three to show the progress but could easily have shown the lot. The main idea is to show the development of the shine on the stem. I finished sanding with 12,000 grit and then wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil and buffed it by hand with some carnauba wax.
IMG_0912

IMG_0913

IMG_0914
I restained the pipe with dark brown aniline stain thinned 2:1 with isopropyl alcohol. I flamed the stain and then restained it and reflamed it. I applied a third coat of the stain to the rim and flamed that again as well (Photos 1 & 2 below). I then sanded the bowl and the stem with the 6000, 8000 and 12,000 grit micromesh sanding pads (Photo 3 below) and then took it to the buffer and buffed it with White Diamond (Photos 4 – 6).
IMG_0915

IMG_0916

IMG_0917

IMG_0918

IMG_0919

IMG_0920
I finished by buffing the pipe with multiple coats of carnauba wax and then polished with a soft flannel buff on the buffer. The final series of four photos below show the finished pipe.
IMG_0922

IMG_0925

IMG_0921

IMG_0923

Renewed Malaga Bulldog


In an earlier post on Malaga pipes and their maker George Khoubesser, http://rebornpipes.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/george-khoubesser-and-malaga-pipes/, I mentioned that I wanted to hunt down a pipe. Not long after that post I was able to pick up this bulldog. It is a rusticated pipe with some smooth patches like those done by GBD on some of their pipes. This one is stamped Malaga in quote on the upper left side of the shank and Custom Carved on the lower left side of the shank. The pipe was in fair shape. The bowl needed to be reamed as the little cake that was present was in the top half of the bowl. The bottom of the bowl had cobwebs in it. The shank inside was very clean. The stem had some oxidation and a small amount of tooth chatter but was in good shape. The rim had a burned area on the front right and it had created a small dip in the rim. The shank was cracked in multiple places near the stem. It looked like it had been repaired and there was some darkening around the place where the shank met the stem that seemed to indicate that a band that no longer was present had once been in place. The first series of eight photos show the items that I mention above. Looking closely at the photos you can see the cracks in the shank and the burn on the rim. All of the other items come through in the photos as well.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

I began the process by reaming out the bowl and then shaping a nickel band into a diamond and pressure fitting it on to the shank. I also then used a small hammer to tap the band into shape around the shank and square off the edges. The next four pictures show the band after it has been shaped and pressure fit into place. The final picture of the four shows the end view of the shank with the band in place.

ImageImageImageImage

I decided to top the bowl to remove the damage of the burn and smooth out the rim edge. The burn was not very deep but it was a small trough in the rim that went from edge to edge. The inner edge of the bowl was also damaged by burning. I use a piece of medium grit emery cloth to begin with. I put it on a flat board on my work table and then sand the bowl rim in a clockwise circle until I have removed all of the damage. I follow up the emery cloth with 320 grit sandpaper used in the same manner. I finish the rim with a fine grit sanding sponge. The next four photos show the process and the progress of the topping procedure. In the second photo you can clearly see the damage from the burn. The third and fourth photos show the rim after it is smoothed out and the burn damage is minimized. I did not take pictures of the sanding process with the 3230 grit and sanding sponge as they followed the same format as that of the emery cloth.

ImageImageImageImage

After topping the bowl and finishing the rim sanding with micromesh sanding pads in 1500-3200 grit I stained the bowl with an oxblood stain. I restained the entire bowl in order to get a match between the bowl and the rim. The next photos show the stained bowl. At this point in the process I still needed to buff the bowl but I decided to set it aside to dry while I worked on the stem to remove the oxidation and tooth chatter. I began by wet sanding the stem with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad. I keep a bowl of water at hand so that I can dip the sanding pad in the water and also clean it between sandings. The next four photos show the stem after sanding it with the 1500 grit pads.

ImageImageImageImage

I polished the stem with Maguiar’s Scratch X2.0 after the 1500 grit sanding. I then wet sanded the stem with 1800 and 2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. The next three photos picture that process and the progress on the stem.

ImageImageImage

I continued sanding with the micromesh pads. I dry sanded with 3200, 3600 and 4000 grit pads. I worked on the inside of the saddle with a folded pad to get the angles correct and clean up that area. I also scrubbed around the button and the edges of the button, working to keep the edges sharp and defined. The next three photos show that progress.

ImageImageImage

I scrubbed the stem once again with the Maguiar’s and wiped it off repeatedly with a cotton pad. I continued to dry sand the stem with 6000, 8000, 12,000 grit micromesh. Once I had finished the sanding I buffed the stem and pipe with White Diamond on my buffer to shine both. I took the pipe back to my bench and gave the stem a coat of Obsidian Oil. I rubbed it into the stem and then gave the bowl a coat of Halcyon II wax and hand buffed it with a cotton cloth and then gave the rim and stem several coats of carnauba wax. Once I was finished I took it to the buffer once again and gave it a buff with a clean flannel buffing pad. The finished pipe can be seen in the photos below.

ImageImageImageImage

 

Rejuvenating a Heibe Goldpoint Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

Heibe is a German brand of pipe made by pipe maker Erich Heikaus; Bergneustadt, Germany in the 1970’s. The stamping is on the smooth bottom of the shank and it reads HEIBE over Gold Point and to the right of that stamping is stamped 88. I am guessing that is the shape number. It has an ebonite stem with a gold point in the top of it. The point swirls and gives an attractive look to the stem. The stem was oxidized and had some tooth chatter and a tooth mark on the top and underside of the stem. The stem was also loose fitting. The bowl was caked but not evenly and the cake seemed to be very soft. The rim was a bit darkened but no burn marks and the inner rim was still round. The bowl finish is rusticated with a tree bark like rustication and the stain was black. The rim and the smooth spot on the underside of the shank were stained oxblood. The finish was dirty and in spots the stain was missing and the briar was showing through – particularly on the edges of the rim and on the shank near the stem. Some of the high points on the bark rustication were also showing briar through the stain. The original stain was black. The next series of four photos shows the state of the pipe when I started working on it this morning.

ImageImageImageImage

I decided to begin by scrubbing the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a soft bristle tooth brush that I have used for a long time to scrub deeply into the rustication patterns. Once I scrubbed it thoroughly I rinsed it off under warm water in the sink. I do not leave it under the water long, just enough to scrub off the soap and get it cleaned. I then dry it off with a soft cotton cloth and wipe out any water than got in the bowl with a cotton swab. The first picture below shows the pipe scrubbed and covered with the oil soap. The tooth brush in the photos is the one I use to scrub the bowl. The next four photos show the bowl after I have rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. You can see where removing the grime and dirt from the bowl left the spots very visible that needed to be restained. The rim also cleaned up nicely.

ImageImageImageImageImage

After I thoroughly dried it off it was time to stain the bowl. I did a bit of research and found some estate Heibe pipes on a German estate pipe selling site. The finish on this one was normal for Heibe’s rustications and it states that it was stained black. With that information I decided to restain it with some black aniline stain. I used the dauber that came with the stain and applied it heavily to the rim and the bowl making sure that it went deeply into the crevices of the bowl and the shank. I would clean off the rim and the shank later and worry about staining them afterwards. I stained the bowl and flamed it with a Bic lighter, then restained and reflamed the bowl. The next series of three photos show the newly stained pipe.

ImageImageImage

Once it was dry I rubbed the stain off the rim and also off the shank smooth portion with a soft cloth and then with some alcohol on a cotton pad. I also buffed the bowl with White Diamond on the buffing wheel. The smooth portion on the shank cleaned up nicely and the finish of the oxblood stained came through well. The rim (fourth photo below) did not fare as well. I wiped it down with acetone and also more isopropyl but in the end I would need to use a soft sanding sponge to remove the black from the edges of the rim.

ImageImageImageImage

I set the bowl aside to let it dry thoroughly while I worked on the stem. I began by sanding out the tooth marks and the tooth chatter with 320 grit sandpaper until they no longer showed. I then used my medium grit sanding sponge to sand the entire stem and work on removing the oxidation. The first two photos below show the sanding sponge and the work that it did in removing the oxidation. The next two photos below show the stem after I wiped it down from the sanding with the sanding sponge.

ImageImageImageImage

I then used some Maguiar’s Scratch X2.0 and scrubbed the stem with my finger as I applied it and then rubbed it off with a cotton pad. The point was that I wanted to remove more of the scratches and also polish off some of the oxidation. The next two photos show the stem after polishing (forgive the first photo – somehow it blackened on the right edge but you can still see the polish that is happening around the logo).

ImageImage

After polishing with the Maguiar’s you can see the oxidation on the stem particularly on the tenon end. It extends about an inch back toward the button and was also in the crease of the button. It was time to sand the stem with the micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded the stem with 1500 and 1800 grit micromesh pads. The next three photos show the stem in process and after the sanding. I finished wet sanding and then wiped the stem down. I then dry sanded the stem with the remaining micromesh pads from 2400-12,000 grit. I used the Maguiar’s a third time to polish the stem and then buffed it with White Diamond on the buffer. Once I had finished buffing I wipe the stem down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.

ImageImageImage

The next series of four photos show the finished stem. I reinserted it in the bowl. The tenon fit was loose so I dripped superglue on the tenon and then sanded it back until the fit was snug. I gave the bowl and stem another buff with White Diamond. I coated the stem with carnauba wax and buffed it with a flannel buff. In the first photo below you can see that the rim needed some work. The stain just did not come back after the cleaning. I sanded it with the micromesh 3200 grit pad and then it was ready to be stained. The fifth picture below shows the restaining of the rim with a cotton swab and oxblood stain. I applied the stain with a cotton swab and then flamed it. I hand buffed it with a terry cloth towel I use for hand buffing and applied carnauba wax to the rim.

ImageImageImageImageImage

The final series of four photos show the finished pipe. The stain contrast came out very well. The black and the oxblood highlights look great. The stem shined up exceptionally well. It is a group four sized pipe and should smoke very well. It has a nice open draw. I know that some of the Heibe pipes were made for filters but this one is not fit for filters. It is just a normal push tenon. All in all it is a beautiful pipe.

ImageImageImageImage

A Barlings Make Saddle Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I enjoy working on Barlings pipes. They are generally carved from great pieces of briar and clean up nicely. They are light weight pipes with one of the most comfortable bits ever made IMHO. I had picked up this little Barlings Make 1364 Billiard. I have no idea on this one’s age as I have not bothered to look it up yet. It is stamped Barlings in an arch over Make inside the arch and then 1364 below that. The other side is stamped with an L. It has the Barlings thin bit saddle stem bearing the Barlings cross on the top and nothing on the underside.
Barling1Barling2

This one came with an over reamed bowl leaving the bowl walls thin and the bowl out of round. The left side was considerably thicker than the other sides. We are not talking a huge difference but visually it was off. The thin sides are probably a 1/8 inch thick and the left side was about a 1/4 inch thick. I carefully rounded the bowl with a knife to bring the 1/4 inch side into sync with the remainder of the bowl. The result is a much more balanced look to the bowl. Then I sanded the bowl carefully so as not to affect the finish on the top of the bowl and then buffed and polished the whole pipe. I am happy with the results and with some careful smoking this one should be able to build a good cake and last a long time.

Image

In terms of the stem I wanted to preserve the Barling cross stamped on the top and the profile. It was not in too bad shape as can be seen from the photos though it was oxidized. The oxidation I worked on by soaking it in Oxyclean to soften it. I find that though it does not remove the oxidation it makes it easier to deal with. I then carefully sanded the stem with micromesh pads. I worked with the 1500 grit pad to sand around the cross and not lose it. I also worked over the surface of the entire stem with the 1500 grit. Then I worked through the rest of the pads from 1500 to 6000 to give the pipe stem a polish. The only thing left to do was to give the pipe a good buff with White Diamond and carnauba wax to finish it up.

ImageImage