An Old La Meridienne (Deposee) Pocket Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

FoldOver the years I have restored many folding pocket pipes where the stem folded over the top of the bowl. These have typically been Italian made and stamped with various names such as Imported Briar or even Rolex. They all looked the same and all were relatively flat, oval bowled pipes and bowls. They were thinned walled and most of the time they were unsmoked. I have given away quite a few of them over time though I think I may have one or two unused ones in my cabinet today. This one is very different. It is oddly shaped – almost perfectly round with an almost ninety degree bent shank. The sides of the bowl are actually thicker than any of the others that I have seen. The bowl oval and it appears to be unsmoked. The briar is quite nice with a combination of birdseye and cross grain around the sides and the shank. There is a brass band with a scalloped edge around the top of the rim. It is more or less a cap on the end of the shank. The shank is stamped La Merdienne (Deposee) on the left side of the shank. It is a French made pipe. The name means The Meridian (Registered). The Meridian is defined as (1): a great circle on the surface of the earth passing through the poles (2): the half of such a circle included between the poles. It is also defined as a representation of such a circle or half circle numbered for longitude on a map or globe. In this case the poles are represented by the bowl running north and south on the circle of the bowl. The next two photos are ones that my brother took when it arrived in Idaho Falls.Fold1The next photo my brother sent me shows the pipe from the top. You can see that it is very clean. The bowl is clean and in person looks unsmoked. With the stem removed it is also clean. There is no staining from smoke or tobacco in the pipe. The stem is clean as well with no tooth marks or tooth chatter.Fold2The grain on the bowl is really quite stunning on the round sides and the edges of the bowl. The curved shank is perfectly set off by the gold band and the scalloped edge that sits against the stem at the shank stem junction. The first set of four photos show what the pipe looked like when it arrived in Vancouver.Fold3 Fold4I folded the stem over the bowl and took some photos of the pipe ready for the pocket.Fold5I took a close up photo of the bowl top and interior to show what the pipe looked like when I got it. The rim and bowl were in excellent shape.Fold6I took a close up photo of the stamping on the shank. It is filled with gold leaf. There is a stock of a flower with the flower and two leaves that weaves between the curves of La Meridienne and separates it from (Deposee).Fold7I sanded the bowl with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads to polish out some of the scratches and marks on the sides of the bowl.Fold8 Fold9 Fold10 Fold11 Fold12With the bowl polish and smooth I worked on the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads. After sanding the 12000 grit pad I set the stem aside to dry.Fold14 Fold15 Fold16I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I buffed it by hand with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is ready for many more years of service.Fold17 Fold18 Fold19 Fold20 Fold21 Fold22 Fold23 Fold24

 

I love the shape of this Comoy’s Regent’s Park London Made Canted Volcano


Blog by Steve Laug

This pipe takes advantage of the grain to the maximum. The shape has flame, mixed and stunning birdseye on the sides, top and bottom of both the bowl and the shank. This is another of the pipes that my brother Jeff found. The stamping is faint but readable with a lens. It is stamped on top of the shank with the words Regent’s Park over London Made. On the underside of the shank stamped diagonally from front to back it reads Made in England. From the photos that Jeff set me the pipe was in decent shape. The finish was spotty and dirty. The rim was clean and undamaged with a light and spotty lava coat. Comoy1The stem was lightly oxidized and there was a deep and large tooth mark on the top side near the button. I have learned that there is usually a match to that on the underside of the stem. The canted volcano shape is very nice. In the photo below it appears that there were some small pin prick fills on the back side of the bowl just above the shank.Comoy2From what I can find online the pipe is made by Comoy’s. They made the Hyde Park brand and it appears they also made the Regent’s Park brand – both which are Comoy’s seconds and are named after London Parks. I found this Comoy’s Shape Chart on-line which shows the pipe as a Modern 625. I have circled it in red – it is shown on the bottom of the right column, last pipe.Comoy3As usual now, my brother did a stellar job cleaning up the pipe before he sent it to me. He reamed it and scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap so the finish was very clean. He cleaned out the internals as well. The pipe was ready for me to work on the finish and stem repairs when I received it. The next four photos show what the pipe looked like when it arrived to my work table.Comoy4 Comoy5I took a close up photo of the rim to show the slight damage – almost cut marks on the top of the rim surface. The inner and outer edge of the rim is fairly undamaged though so it will not take much to clean up this rim. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the large bite/tooth marks on the top and bottom sides near the button.Comoy6 Comoy7I cleaned up the tooth marks with sandpaper, a dental pick and alcohol. I filled in the deep dents with black super glue and let it cure. I forgot to take photos of the repairs before I sanded them out. Once the glue had cured I sanded both sides of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repair to match the surface of the rest of the stem.Comoy8I also filled the pin holes in the back side of the bowl with clear super glue and briar dust. Again I forgot to take a photo of the glue and dust mixture. Once it dried I sanded the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper and blended the repairs into the surface of the briar. The surface was smooth to touch .Comoy9I sanded the slash marks on the rim with 220 grit sandpaper to minimize them. It did not take too much sanding to remove them. I also sanded the inner beveled edge of the rim to clean it up and remove the darkening.Comoy10I sanded the bowl and rim with a medium and a fine grit sanding block. I worked to remove the scratching left behind by the 220 grit sandpaper. I carefully avoided the areas on the shank that held the already faint stamping.Comoy11 Comoy12I sanded the stem with the sanding block as well.Comoy13I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I finished sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads, gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.Comoy14There were some scratches on the top of the stem. I would need to work on them some more at this point.Comoy14a Comoy14bOnce I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond the scratches would be blended into the stem surface. I gave the bowl a coat of Danish Oil and Cherry Stain to highlight the red of the briar. I set it aside to dry for about twenty minutes.Comoy15I wiped the bowl off with a soft cloth and hand buffed it lightly to get a clear picture of the finish and the grain on the bowl.Comoy16 Comoy17I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I buffed out the scratches in the stem and the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax to protect it. I buffed it with a clean buffing wheel to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below.Comoy19 Comoy20 Comoy21 Comoy22 Comoy23 Comoy24 Comoy25

A Cased Bakelite Manhattan with a Lockrite Stem


Blog by Steve Laug

I am always on the lookout for older CPF or WDC cased pipes. I bid on them when I get the chance and I used to win many more of them than I do now. They seem to have not only become more popular than they used to be but are also commanding higher prices. I was showing my brother some of them and asked him to keep an eye for them as well. He came across this little cased pipe. It looks like both the CPF and the WDC pipes and probably comes from the same era. The case has a label that reads Bakelite on it and it sits in the lid of the case over the stem. The pipe itself is stamped BAKELITE over MANHATTAN on the left side of the shank and is filled with a gold foil or paint. The right side of the stem also has a gold foil stamp that reads LOCKRITE. The band on the shank is stamped GERMAN SILVER.Bake1The pipe appeared to be barely used. There was some darkening on the rim and some light cake on the top part of the bowl. The bottom of the bowl was like new. The finish was dirty and the varnish coat had some wear and tear. The gold leaf stamping on the shank was worn on the second line on the left side. The German Silver band was lightly tarnished and had some scratches. The Bakelite stem had deep tooth marks on the top and underside of the stem at the button. The Lockrite stamping on the right side of the shank referred to the newly designed tenon system that took care of the perpetual over clocking that occurred with a bone tenon.Bake2My brother Jeff scrubbed the surface of bowl being careful around the gold stamping on the shank. He cleaned out the bowl and the mortise areas and the airway in the stem. When he sent it to me it was very clean. I took photos of the pipe when it arrived to my work table. The first two photos show the case and the first view of the pipe when I opened it.Bake3I lifted it from the case and took a photo of the pipe looking down at it from the top. The rim looks excellent from this view.Bake4The next four photos show the pipe apart from the case. The finish is clean but the twin rings around the bowl cap are dirty. The silver is lightly tarnished and the gold stamping is light on the left and the right sides. You can see the tooth mark on the stem in the last photo of the underside of the pipe and stem.Bake5 Bake6I took a close up photos of the rim and the stem to show the state of both. The rim looked very good though there was some scratching. The stem had deep tooth marks on both sides though it was hard to capture them with the deep red of the Bakelite stem.Bake7 Bake8I took a photo of the newly designed Lockrite tenon on this pipe. It is extremely well designed and worked well to keep the stem aligned with the shank.Bake9The next two photos show the stamping on the shank. The left side reads BAKELITE over MANHATTAN as mentioned above and the right side reads LOCKRITE.Bake10I wiped down the bowl and shank with acetone and cotton pads to remove the remnants of varnish. I was careful to not damage the gold stamping.Bake11 Bake12I used the dental pick to clean out the tooth marks and wiped the stem down with an alcohol dampened cotton pad. I filled the tooth marks with clear super glue.Bake13Once the glue dried I sanded the surface of the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repairs to match the surface of the Bakelite stem.Bake14With the tooth marks repaired and smoothed out it was time to polish the stem with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I finished sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. I set the stem aside to dry.Bake15 Bake16 Bake17I stained the bowl with a Danish Oil and Cherry stain. I let it dry for about 20 minutes before rubbing the bowl down with a soft cloth.Bake18After rubbing it down with a soft cloth I took the following photos of the bowl. The grain on this one is also very pretty. Some of these older pipes were made of really nice briar.Bake19 Bake20I waxed the bowl twice with Conservator’s Wax and hand buffed it once it had dried. I polished the German Silver band with 6000-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads and also with a jeweler’s silver polishing cloth.Bake21I lightly buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the wheel. You have to be careful buffing the Bakelite as the heat of the buffer will melt the stem and make more work for you. I gave the bowl and stem several coats of carnauba wax and lightly buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is really a beauty. Thanks for looking.Bake22 Bake23 Bake24 Bake25 Bake26 Bake27 Bake28

An Old Timer Horn Stem, Cherrywood Shank and Briar Bowl BBK Bosshardt Luzern


Blog by Steve Laug

This old pipe came to me from my brother. He picks up some interesting pipes in his hunts and eBay purchases and this is a unique one. The bowl is a really nice piece of briar with some amazing grain – a mix of flame and birdseye on the bowl. The rim cap and bowl cap are brass coloured. The hinge on the back of the rim connects the rim cap and the bowl cap. There is a curved spring piece of brass on the front that fits over a ridge on the front of the rim. The end of the briar shank has a brass shank cap/ferrule. It was tarnished to almost copper coloured brass. The shank extension is cherry wood and is pressure fit into the mortise. The top of the cherry wood extension has a brass ring that is pressure fit on the end of the extension. The stem is horn. The end of the cherry wood has a threaded end that the horn stem screws onto. The stem had some tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside of the stem next to the button. The shank of the pipe is stamped on the left side with the words Bruyere over Garantee. On the right side of the shank it is stamped BBK in an oval over Bosshardt over Luzern.BBK1Through the years I have cleaned up several BBK pipes. The last one was a rusticated hunter pipe with a windcap. Prior to that, I restored a square shanked panel billiard. I have written about both them on rebornpipes at the following links: https://rebornpipes.com/2012/09/21/refurb-on-a-bbk-panel-billiard-swiss-made/, https://rebornpipes.com/2014/08/31/restoring-an-old-bbk-hunter-pipe/.

When I worked on the BBK Hunter I researched the brand. The BBK was a Swiss made brand as the shanks of all the pipes I had cleaned up and restored were stamped that way. Pipedia was my primary reference in that blog. Here is the link: http://pipedia.org/index.php?title=Bru-Bu. I have included the material from the previous blog below.

“Josef Brunner, oldest son of the farmer Konstantin Brunner from the hamlet Nieder-Huggerwald, belonging to the community of Kleinlützel (Canton Solothurn), was sent in 1871 to a pipe turner in Winkel/Alsace for his apprenticeship. As was usual at that time, Brunner wandered as a journeyman after ending the apprenticeship. Eventually, he went to Saint-Claude, France which was then the world’s stronghold of briar pipe manufacturing. There, Brunner was able to increase and deepen his knowledge in the field of industrial pipe making. When he returned home in 1878, he installed a small turner’s workshop in the house of his father. With the energetic support of his two younger brothers, he began to produce tobacco pipes of his own calculation, taking them to the markets in the surrounding area. In 1893, Bernhard Brunner’s wife inherited the mill in Kleinlützel. At this point, the pipe fabrication was transferred to an annex belonging to the mill. Now it was possible to drive the machines by water power – an important relief to the workers and a considerable innovation compared to the previous pedal-driven system.”

“The business developed so well after the turn of the century even when a lack of workers in Kleinlützel occurred. The problem was solved by founding a subsidiary company in the small nearby town Laufen an der Birs in the Canton of Bern. This plant didn’t exist too long. The disastrous economic crisis in the 1920’s and early 1930’s forced the Brunner family to restrict the fabrication of pipes dramatically. In addition the big French pipe factories in Saint-Claude – although suffering from the same circumstances – flooded the Swiss market with pipes at prices that couldn’t be matched by Swiss producers. By 1931 approximately 150 of 180 Brunner employees had been sacked – the rest remained in Kleinlützel, where the cheap electric energy ensured a meager survival.”

“In 1932, Mr. Buhofer joined the Brunner family. The company was named Brunner-Buhofer-Kompagnie, and, shortly thereafter, Bru-Bu. Buhofer had made his fortune in the United States but, homesick, returned to Switzerland to search for a new challenge. Bru-Bu’s fabrication program was expanded with many handcrafted wooden art articles: carved family coats of arms, bread plates, fruit scarves, and – more and more – souvenir articles for the expanding Swiss tourism industry. Pipes remained in the program continuously, but the offerings changed from traditional Swiss pipes to the more standard European shaped pipes. Bru Bu is widely known as BBK.”

The last paragraph of the Pipedia article linked BBK pipes to Former Nielsen. I have two of Former’s pipes so this stood out to me. “At some point in the late 1970’s, Bru-Bu went out of business. Some of the Brunners, as far as known, continued as timber traders. But in 1986 new life filled the old Bru-Bu pipe workshop, when Dr. Horst Wiethüchter and “Former” Nielsen started to produce the high-grade Bentley pipes there.”

My brother cleaned up the pipe and reamed the bowl. He scrubbed out the wind cap and the brass rim cap. He cleaned out the shank and the airways in the stem, shank extension and the mortise. It turned out that the cherry wood extension was loose fitting in the shank. The wood had worn enough that it was no longer snug. The horn stem was clean but had tooth chatter and a deep tooth mark on the underside of the stem near the button. The brass rim cap was dented and worn but the wind cap still fit tightly against it. The next set of four pictures show the condition of the pipe after he had cleaned it up. BBK2 BBK3I took the pipe apart to show the various components of the pipe. The cherry wood extension in the centre of the photo has a tapered end that fits into the shank and a threaded end that the stem screws onto.BBK4I took a close up photo of the rim cap and the inside of the wind cap. You can see from the photo that the rim is badly dented and quite dirty. The inside of the wind cap is pitted and has some rust. The edge of the rim on the front had lifted slightly from the inner edge of the bowl and was dented on the front. The ridge on the edge was still there and held the front spring on the wind cap in place.BBK5I took some photos of the stem to show the tooth chatter and worn surface of the stem near the button on both the top and the bottom near the button. There was also some deeper tooth marks on the underside of the stem.BBK6I used a small ballpein hammer to flatten the rim cap to the briar rim underneath. I worked on it to minimize some to the dents and dings in the brass rim.BBK7I cleaned out the remaining debris in the bowl with a Savinelli Pipe Knife. My tapping the hammer on the rim knocked some pieces of cake free so the knife cleaned up what remained. I used a brass bristle wire brush to clean out the inside of the wind cap. I was able to remove some of the rust on the inside with the brush.BBK8I scrubbed the shank with alcohol and cotton swabs to remove any of the dust from my quick ream clean up. It was amazingly clean. I also ran pipe cleaners and alcohol through the shank extension and the stem.BBK9I sanded the tooth chatter and the tooth marks on the horn stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove them and blend them into the material. I also wanted to smooth out the roughness of the stem at those points.BBK10The cherry wood shank extension was dirty so I wiped off the exterior with an alcohol dampened cotton pad. I noticed that the end of the pressure fit tenon had a horn end cap to seal the end of the wooden tenon. I believe that addition preserved the tenon from shrinkage and splintering. The threaded tenon on the other end of the extension fit snug into the end of the horn stem.BBK11I polished the wind cap, rim cap and the shank cap with 1500-4000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I took some photos the pipe after the polishing was completed. It is a beautiful piece of briar.BBK12 BBK14 BBK13I polished the horn stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads. I gave it a final rubdown of oil after sanding it with the 12000 grit pad and set it aside to dry.BBK15 BBK16 BBK17I stained the bowl with a Danish Oil and Cherry stain mixture.BBK18 BBK19After it sat for about 20 minutes I rubbed it down with a soft cloth to polish it. After the hand rubbing the grain stood out more clearly. The red stain and the brass caps really looked great together.BBK20 BBK21I gave the wooden friction fit tenon several coats of clear fingernail polish, being careful to keep it off of the horn cap on the end. That did the trick and the extension sat snug in the mortise.BBK23 BBK24I gave the bowl, shank and stem a thick coat of Conservator’s Wax and let it dry. I hand buffed it and gave it a second coat of the wax.BBK25I buffed the pipe by hand with a microfibre cloth and polished the metal with a jeweler’s cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I love the way the grain just pops on this old pipe. The cherry wood shank extension adds not only length but also a touch of rustic to the pipe, though this particular piece of cherry wood has bark that is quite smooth. The dark striations of the horn stem also go well with the wood. The brass bands at the stem and the shank as well as the rim cap and wind cap give this old timer a real look of class. The finished pipe is shown in the photos that follow. It is a beautiful pipe to my eyes. Thanks for looking.BBK26 BBK27 BBK28 BBK29 BBK30 BBK31 BBK32 BBK33 BBK34

 

A 9438 Rhodesian Stamped Tobacco Town


Blog by Steve Laug

This is one of my favourite pipe shapes – the classic GBD 9438. There is just something about the way the lines flow and the way the pipe sits in the hand that make this an all-time favourite from me. This one is somewhat unique in that though it bears the London England over 9438 stamp on the right side of the shank on the left side it is stamped Tobacco Town. The stem bears no GBD roundel but it is definitely the original stem. The finish is dark and the briar has some amazing grain. Tobacco Town is a chain of tobacco shops in the Northwestern United States and it also is the name of a few shops across the Southwest and the Midwest. Here is a link to the shops in Portland, Oregon:  http://tobaccotown.com/. I think that because of the wide use of the name that identifying the shop that had this line of pipes made for them by GBD will not be possible. The two photos below show the pipe as it was when my brother received it.GBD1The rim had a heavy tar buildup with the cake overflowing the bowl onto the rim top. The twin rings around the cap on the bowl also were filled with dust and debris. The stem was oxidized and there were some deep tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. The topside of the button was worn thinner than the underside and there were some tooth marks on it as well.GBD2My brother Jeff has developed his own cleaning regimen that really delivers a clean pipe to me. By the time I receive it the bowl has been reamed and the finish scrubbed clean with no dirt or debris in the rings. The stem was clean and the damaged areas very visible. The rim top was free of the lava overflow but still was slightly darkened. The next set of four photos show what the pipe looked like when I started working on it.GBD3 GBD4Before I began my work I took a close up photo of the rim top and the bite marks on the top and bottom of the stem near the button. The rim had the majority of the tars removed but under the bright light I could see some residual stubborn bits. The inner edge of the rim also had some damage from what looked like someone’s reaming the bowl with a knife. I have circled the bite marks in the photos of the stem surfaces with a red circle to clearly identify the issues there.GBD5 GBD6I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and the rim with acetone on cotton pads to try to remove more of the residue on the rim and to remove some of the darker spots of stain on the bowl. I wanted the grain to really stand out.GBD7 GBD8I worked on minimizing the damage to the inner edge of the rim by sanding it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper.GBD9I decided to lightly top the bowl to remove the stubborn residue that remained and to lighten the smoke darkened rim at the back of the bowl.GBD10I noticed that the inside of the shank had been stained with the same brown stain as the exterior of the bowl so I scrubbed it out with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol. I was able to remove the stain. As I scrubbed it I notice that against the end of the mortise there were still some tars that kept coming out with the cotton swabs. I used a dental spatula to scrape the end of the mortise to remove these hardened tars. They are visible on the paper towel in the second photo below. I followed that up by swabbing out the mortise with cotton swabs and alcohol. I also scrubbed the airway in the stem. There was some debris trapped in the slot in the button that I worked out with a dental pick.GBD11 GBD12I wiped the exterior of the stem down with alcohol on a cotton pad and worked on the tooth dents to make sure the surface was clean. I used a dental pick to apply the black super glue to the dents on both sides of the stem and sprayed the glue with accelerator. I followed up with applying a second layer of the glue to fill in the air bubbles on the surface that seem to always follow using the accelerator and set the stem aside to dry.GBD13When the glue had cured I used a flat blade needle file to smooth out the patch to the surface of the stem and to recut and reshape the button. I sanded the repair with 220 grit sandpaper and then refiled it with the needle file.GBD14 GBD16I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads using my normal routine – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down between each set of three pads with Obsidian Oil. I gave the stem a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry.GBD17 GBD18 GBD19I rubbed the bowl down with Watco Danish Oil with Cherry stain and let it dry for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes I rubbed the bowl down with a soft flannel cloth.GBD20I buffed the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and then gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. This is one of my favourite shaped both in terms of the shape and the hand feel of the bowl. The red colours that are highlighted by the cherry stain show the grain beautifully. Thanks for looking.GBD22 GBD23 GBD24 GBD25 GBD26 GBD27 GBD28

 

Another addition to the oddities collection: an Unsmoked Sterilizator Pipe Deposee


Blog by Steve Laug

When my brother sent me the photo of this pipe it was one that I wanted to see close up. It was one of those oddities that seem to catch my attention. It is yet another attempt at finding the elusive perfect smoke. This one appeared to be unsmoked. He had the winning bid on eBay and soon it was on its way to Idaho. When it arrived it was indeed unsmoked and in very good shape. The shank was stamped Sterilizator Pipe in an arc over Deposee. The stamping was filled in with gold leaf. The name Sterilizator is catchy and the word Deposee in French is translated Registered. I looked online for any information on the pipe and came up empty. I will continue to dig but at this point it is not hopeful. From the photos that he took I can see a thin line around the shank end next to the stem. It obviously had a band originally but that was missing. I could also see from his photos that there were several large fills in the side of the bowl and the base. bowl1 Bowl2 Bowl3My brother scrubbed the bowl to remove the grime on the finish before he sent it to me. He is getting really good at the cleanup of the pipes that he sends me. Generally there is little for me to do. In this case he removed all of the grime from the finish which appears to have been a medium brown stain and lots of wax from the above photos. I took the next four photos to show the way the pipe looked when I brought it to my work table.bowl4 Bowl5I removed the stem and unscrewed the bowl from the base. The metal spacer ring was loose and came off the bowl once I removed it. The bowl had three holes in the bottom of the threaded neck that screwed into the base cup. The cup had an interesting clay tablet in the hollow bowl. It had a single hole in the top of the tablet and was like a spool. The inside of the ring in the middle of the spool had holes in it as well. The idea was that the smoke was drawn into the base and it goes through the top hole and out the holes in the ring. The base cup has twin holes that enter the airway in the shank. The fills in the bowl and base are visible in the photos below. The stem was in great shape with no tooth marks. The tenon was unique and I had not seen anything like it in any of the pipes I have restored.Bowl6The front of the bowl had a large pink putty fill in it that really bothered me. I know that the pipe was unsmoked before and was new old stock and really did not to be removed and repaired. But it bothered me. In the photo below it is the shiny spot on the bowl.Bowl7I used a dental pick to remove the fill. It was surprisingly soft and porous so it came out easily. The hole in the side of the bowl was quite large and deep. I also picked out a fill in the base on the left side near the bottom.Bowl8I used the dental spatula to press briar dust into the hole in both the bowl and the base. I dripped clear super glue into the briar dust and pressed more briar dust into the glue.Bowl9The next two photos show the repairs on the bowl and base. The glue had a slight bulge that I would sand down to match the surface of the briar. The second photo shows the stamping on the shank.Bowl10I sanded the bowl and the base with 220 grit sandpaper to blend the patch in with the rest of the surface area. Once I was finished it needed to be refilled to get all of the tiny air holes in the repair but I would do that a bit later.Bowl11I sanded the entire bowl and base with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I used a dental pick to smear all purpose glue on the inside of the brass spacer and then pressed it onto the bottom of the bowl.Bowl12I wiped out the bowl in the base of the pipe with a few cotton swabs and alcohol and then put the clay spool back into the base.Bowl13I put the base and bowl back together. I touched up the repairs and sanded them smooth. After that I sanded it with 3200-4000 grit micromesh sanding pads to polish it.Bowl14 Bowl15I sanded the bowl with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge to further polish it.Bowl16 Bowl17I stained the bowl and base with a dark brown stain thinned by 50% to reduce the darkness of the stain. (Earlier Mark asked why I did this and my reply was that I am out of a lighter colour stain so I improvised.)Bowl18I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down between each set of three pads with Obsidian Oil.Bowl19 Bowl20 Bowl21With the pipe restored and the stem polished I put it back together and carefully buffed it with Blue Diamond. I worked around the gold stamping so as not to damage it. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I finished by buffing it by hand with a microfibre cloth. This one will grace my collection of oddities that have been invented in the passionate search for the perfect smoke. It is a beauty. Thanks for looking.Bowl22 Bowl23 Bowl24 Bowl25 Bowl26 Bowl27 Bowl28 Bowl29 Bowl30 Bowl31 Bowl32

 

An Interesting Brebbia Silver AS1 Square Shank Brandy


Blog by Steve Laug

Over the years the only Brebbia pipes I have worked on have been the Iceberg Pipes. They have a beautiful rustication that just speaks to me. The rugged roughness looks like the briar came that way and I have always like the feel in the hand. However, every one of the pipes, Iceberg or otherwise have either belonged to someone else or were too big for my liking. I have never seen a pipe like the one that my brother Jeff found and sent my way. First it is a smooth briar not rusticated and second it is a brandy shape with a square shank and square saddle stem. I have not seen one like it before and I have looked around a fair bit and have not found another. In the photos of the pipe that my brother took before he began the cleanup it looked to be in good condition. The finish was a little mottled but it still looked to be decent. The bowl appeared to have a light cake so it potentially would be an easy clean up.Brebbia1 Brebbia2My brother scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and removed most of the finish but the stubborn spots on the shank. The stem was lightly oxidized and had some light tooth chatter on the top and bottom near the button. The next set of four photos show the pipe when it arrived here in Canada. Once again my brother did a great job cleaning this one up. I can’t believe how much time it saves to be able to begin with finishing rather than cleaning. Thanks Jeff.Brebbia3 Brebbia4I took a close up photo of the rim to show how clean it was and how the bowl was in round and the edges were not damaged.Brebbia5The stem was a bit of an oddity to me. I have not seen a stem with the kind of built in tube that this Brebbia sported. There is an end cap on the tenon with the tube protruding out. When the stem is in the shank the tube sits in the airway between the mortise and the bowl.Brebbia6To remove the stubborn finish on the shank I scrubbed the bowl and shank with acetone on cotton pads. It took a bit of elbow grease but the shank finally let loose of the finish.Brebbia7 Brebbia8I took some close up photos of the stamping on the shank as they were very clear. The left side of the shank reads Brebbia over Silver over AS_. I am assuming that the AS_ was probably AS1. The right side of the shank has a gnome stamped on it. The gnome was the logo Brebbia used to put on its stems from 1953 to 1956. On the underside it is stamped Italy 798.Brebbia9The stem was very tight in the shank so I examined it with a light and saw that there was a thick hard coat of tars on the walls of the mortise. I scraped the mortise with a dental spatula and removed the heavy coat of tars and then scrubbed it with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol.Brebbia10I put the stem back in place and it fit snugly but the tightness was gone. I took some photos of the pipe at this point in the restoration.Brebbia11 Brebbia12I removed the stem again and worked on it with micrmesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. Between each set of three pads I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil and also gave it a final rubdown after the 12000 grit pad. I set the stem aside to dry while I worked on the bowl.Brebbia13 Brebbia14 Brebbia15I stained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain thinned by 50% with isopropyl alcohol. I applied it to the bowl with a folded pipe cleaner and flamed it with a lighter. I repeated the process until the coverage was even.Brebbia16I hand buffed the bowl with a microfibre cloth to polish the stain and even out the look of the finish.Brebbia17 Brebbia18I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the entire pipe several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I finished by hand buffing the pipe with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. Thanks for looking.Brebbia19 Brebbia20 Brebbia21 Brebbia22 Brebbia23 Brebbia24 Brebbia25