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.
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.
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.