Daily Archives: July 20, 2012

Renewed Brigham One Dot

Blog by Steve Laug

This old Brigham One Dot was on the shelf at a Movie Studio Clearance Store – they sell old set items and materials from movies and television shows. Over the years I have found quite a few nice old pipes there for sale at a low price. I paid $12 for this one. From the photos below you can see its condition clearly. The stem was very oxidized and worse at the button end. I think that it probably had a rubber bit protector on it and it was cut off or fell of when they put it up for sale. The rustication was still crisp and sharp. The stain had faded from the top to about mid bowl and would need to be restained. The rim was tarred but not dented or damaged. The inside of the bowl was caked with an uneven cake that smelled of sweet aromatics.


I reamed the bowl and cleaned the shank and inside of the stem with pipe cleaners and cotton swabs and alcohol. I scrubbed down the exterior of the bowl and rim with Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime and the tars on the rim. I have used oil soap for a long time now on the surface of pipes and found that it works best undiluted. I rub it on and rub it off. On the rim I use a soft bristle tooth brush to scrub the tars off. On this pipe since I was restaining it anyway I did not care about losing a bit of the stain or finish in the process. I finished cleaning the rim with an 1800 grit micromesh pad. I then restained it to match the colour of the smooth patch on the underside. I gave it a quick light buff with White Diamond to polish the stain.

I had put the stem in a bath of Oxyclean and hot water and let it soak while I was working on the bowl. I removed it and wiped it down and resoaked it. After the second soak I sanded it with 400 and 600 grit wet dry sandpaper and then 1500-6000 grit micromesh pads to polish it. The Brighams have an aluminum shank that holds the hard rock maple filter tube. The filter tube was shot so I used a new one. The aluminum was tarry so it needed cleaning and a polish with 0000 steel wool. (The Brigham system is pictured in the graphic below.)


When the aluminum was clean and polished I put the pipe back together took it to the buffer and gave the stem a buff with Tripoli to take off the remnant of oxidization. Then I used some White Diamond on it to give it a clean polish. I finished buffing the whole pipe lightly with carnauba wax. The finished pipe is pictured below.


Another Gift from my Binner Friend

I was going through older files tonight cleaning out some old materials and came across this note regarding another gift of tobacco from my friend Don, the homeless binner that I wrote of earlier in A Surprise Gift Awaited Me at the Door (https://rebornpipes.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/a-surprise-gift-awaited-me-at-the-door/).  In Vancouver, where I live, there is a subculture of folks that makes a living out of the refuse of others who discard things, instead of repairing them. You can see them working their routes across the city diving into dumpsters/waste cans or picking through them with sticks to reclaim “valuable” throwaways. They are called dumpster divers or binners and work daily from sunrise till after dark. Over the years I have known Don, he has come by to visit often after a successful day, having found recyclables of glass, metal, wire, etc. He has shown me art work, stereo systems and televisions that still work with a bit of fiddling, which he repairs and sells in shops around the city. In the last piece I wrote about Don I told the story of a box of tobacco he brought me from his finds. He swore he got these from a pipe smoking friend but I don’t know whether to believe him or not. Actually it does not matter. The last time he left me a gift of many of GL Pease’s tobacco and others that I had not smoked before. This note describes the next gift tobacco he brought me.

Here is the piece I wrote on May 16, 2008… Man I miss Don and his mystery gifts.

I had not seen my homeless friend Don for about a month and today he came by for a visit. He walked up pushing a shopping card piled high with treasure he had found on his binning route. I could see clothes, shoes, electrical items, flashlights, coats, and other cast off items that looked to be almost new. Around and on top of these were his bags of recyclables. Tied to the push bar of the cart was his little terrier Spaz. Spaz was his partner and everyday companion. I don’t think in the years that I have known Don I ever saw him without Spaz. When Don came to eat Spaz came with him. When he came to Christmas and other holidays Spaz came with him. When I was pastoring a church here in Vancouver, he and Spaz came to church. Spaz would guard the shopping cart of treasures while Don relaxed and visited. He would always ask for some water for Spaz and would give him some treats from his pocket before taking care of himself.

Today he came by to tell me that he is heading home to Ontario and spending the summer with his Dad. He was going to hitchhike across Canada to get there. He brought me another surprise gift of tobacco to use as fuel for negotiating a ride to the edge of town on Monday morning. He had a bit of twinkle in his eye as he spoke of the swap. You have to imagine what Don looked like. He was a midsized skinny man in his late 40’s. He had lived on the street and in the bush for the past ten years so he had a weathered face and features. He had crow’s feet at the corners of his eyes that crinkled when he grinned. He had a toothless smile as most of his teeth had been pulled and he hated wearing his dentures. He had his day pack on the ground as he talked to me. He took out his trade to hand to me and watched as I took it from him. I figure he wanted to see if my reaction would be the same as it was the last time he handed me a gift.

Imagine the surprise when I opened the bag he handed me and looked inside of it. I must have registered that surprise all over my face from big eyes to an opened mouth ooooohhh. I reached into the bag and pulled out six 50 gram tins of Erinmore Mixture – the old Murray and Sons tins from Ireland – five of them in a sealed carton and one extra tin for good measure. All of them but one was unopened. That one in the sealed carton had popped open and was spilled inside the box. The smell of the tobacco was amazing. I probably started salivating like Pavlov’s dogs about that time. Don started laughing as he watched me. He winked and said, “I guess that means you can take Spaz and me on Monday?”

I just shook my head, too amazed to speak. Don told me to dig deeper in the bag as there was some more there that he was sure I would like. I moved the Erinmore carton and under that to sealed plastic bags of tobacco – a pound and 1/2 of Dunhill 965 and a pound and ½ of Dunhill 3 Year Matured Virginia. These were double sealed in two freezer bags and labelled with the name and the year. These tobaccos were dated 1995. Needless to say I would have given Don and Spaz a ride to the edge of town anyway but this more than sealed the deal. I have no idea where Don came by this tobacco any more than I knew where he had found the last lot he brought me. He never would tell me, just laugh and say, “I have my sources!”


What a gift. I just shake my head at my friend’s thoughtfulness. I will miss his visits this Summer.”

The note ended there and today as I read it over again, I still shake my head at my friend’s thoughtfulness. I miss his visits.  It has been four years since I have seen Don and Spaz. I have looked for them in their favourite spots without result.  I don’t know what happened to him.  I know that about two years ago he called to tell me he had found an apartment and give me the address and phone number. I called and went there but he was not to be found. I don’t know if he is still around or even still alive. But I know that he has made an indelible mark on my life and memory.

Those who have so little seem so much more giving and generous than those of us who have much. I lift a pipe of MM965 to you my friend where ever you may be. I will always remember your kindness to me and my family. Thank you!

A Nice, Older Henley Billiard Restored

This old Henley Billiard was made by Masta Pipe Company of England and came to me in pretty clean condition. It is older and the Bakelite stem has an orifice button/airway. You can see from the picture below that the bowl was a little out of round and a small burn on the rim near the shank. It also had an overturned bone tenon. The stem had several gouges and deep scratches. Other than the finish was in great shape and in need of a polish and buff.

I heated the bone tenon as I have described in other blog articles by heating it in a bowl of boiling water. I heated it and screwed it back into the shank and tried to twist it. I repeated the process until it freely turned. I lined it up straight and then ran cold tap water over it to cool it and set the glue again. I cleaned up the dents and gouges with heat to raise them as far as I could and then sanded and filled them with a small amount of clear super glue. Then I sanded them with 400 and 600 grit wet dry sandpaper until they were smooth and polished the stem using micromesh pads up to 4000grit.

I cleaned and reamed the bowl and cleaned the shank with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol. I used a folded piece of sand paper to even out the inner edge of the bowl and bring it back into round. I did this carefully so as not to scratch the finish. When I had it back to round it was time to polish it. I put the stem back on the pipe and the entirety was taken to the buffer for a final buff with White Diamond. This one was in relatively good shape other than the stem.


Here is the finished pipe, ready to load and smoke.