Daily Archives: September 9, 2012

Restemmed an Old Rogers Deluxe for the Second Time


I picked this old timer up on EBay. It is stamped on the left side of the bowl – Rogers De Luxe. The stamping on the silver cap is Sterling in an arc over the letters HC in an oval with the word London in an arc below the oval. The right side of the shank is stamped with London in an arc over a reverse arc of Los Angeles. In the centre of the oval formed by the two arcs are the words PIPE SHOP. There is also a shape number 25 stamped just ahead of that stamping. The stamping makes me wonder who the maker was. The HC on the cap leads me to think it may be a Comoy’s pipe but I am not sure of that. The stem that was in it was badly chewed and cut off. It was very short and not usable. The bowl was in rough shape and all the stain and finish was worn off.  The silver end cap was tarnished and when it arrived it was split on the underside. It had been repaired with some glue and that was a mess. There were some dents in the sides of the bowl but underneath the grime and dents of a beat-up old pipe was some nice grain. Evidently the previous owner had found that it was a good smoker and chomped his way through the stem and enough tobacco to let it build up to thick hard cake. ImageImage

I cleaned and reamed the pipe, cleaned the shank and worked a new stem for it. The stem I chose is an old stock orific button stem. I polished and cleaned the silver. I soaked the bowl in an alcohol bath to remove the grime and remnants of the finish. Once it was dry I restained the pipe with an oxblood aniline stain. I flamed the stain to set it in the grain. I then polished it with Tripoli and White Diamond to give more visibility to the grain. It has been polished and waxed. The stain really highlights the grain on this old beauty.

The stem I chose, while it fits, is still not quite right for the pipe. I am keeping an eye out for a new one that is more proportionally correct. This one is a bit short for the size of the bowl and kind of changes the beauty of the pipe. I know what I am looking for and when I find it I will restem it and it will be as good as new.
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Today (September 9, 2012), I found the stem I was looking for, though it was not an orifice button the slot and the shape tell me it is an old stock stem. I used my Dremel to rework the taper on the military bit end so that it would fit the shank correctly. I sanded the stem with Fine grit emery cloth to remove the oxidation on the stem. I also sanded out the scratch marks left by the Dremel. I proceeded to sand with 240 grit sandpaper, 400 and 600 grit wet dry sandpaper and water to further remove the scratches. I then used micromesh sanding pads from 1500-12,000 to finish the sanding. When I had finished with that I took it to the buffer and buffed it with White Diamond to deepen the shine. I then wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil and finally inserted it in the pipe and waxed the pipe and stem with several coats of carnauba wax. I really like this stem better. ImageImageImageImage

New Stem and New Life for a Bewlay Olde 49 Bent Billiard


I have a pair of older Bewlay Billiards, a 160 and a 169, in my work box. Both have chewed and ruined stems so both need restemming. Tonight I took on the smaller of the two pipes. It is stamped Bewlay over Olde 49 over London, England on the left side of the shank. The right side is stamped 169. In pictures 1 -4 below you can see the state of the pipe. Picture 1 shows that the underside of the stem has deep dents and a large chip that has been chewed out of the button and stem. Picture 2 and 3 show the grime and deep dirt ground into the finish of the pipe. Underneath it is some beautiful birdseye. On the front and back of the bowl are great cross grain patterns. Picture 4 shows the top of the bowl. It has a thick coat of tars and oils built up on the edges and the bowl was badly caked. This one took me about 3 hours to rework. ImageImageImageImage

The next photo below shows a possible stem that I had in my box. I fit the tenon to the mortise by hand sanding it to fit. Once it was on the pipe it was a bit too small on one side of the shank. One of the challenges in restemming these older pipes is that the shanks are never truly round. This one was off by quite a bit and left a ridge between the shank and the stem. I had to dig through my stems to find one that gave me room to work with an out of round shank. To do that the stem needs to be a bit bigger than the shank and then must be sanded to fit properly. It is never simple but once it is finished the reward is great in my opinion. With the stem in place the shank and stem look round. Image

I fit the tenon on the new stem and fit the stem to the shank. I needed to sand it to make it fit properly on the right side of the shank. I also lightly sanded the top of the bowl and rim to clean it up. I washed down the whole pipe with acetone (finger nail polish remover) on cotton pads several times to remove the finish and clean up the grit and grime that was embedded in the finish. I bent the stem a little less than the one on the original as the bend made the pipe hang down when it was in the mouth. The new bend on the stem is essentially vertical with the top of the bowl and when it is in the mouth it is level. ImageImageImage

Once it was clean I restained the bowl with dark brown aniline stain that I thinned down with isopropyl alcohol until it was the colour I wanted to use on this one. I flamed it and put on a second coat of the stain. The pictures below show the newly stained pipe. Once it was dry I took it to the buffer and buffed it with Tripoli to remove the surface coat of stain. I looked it over and brought it back to my work table. It was just too dark to show the birdseye and cross grain so I would need to wipe it down to get the effect I was looking for. ImageImageImage

The next four photos show the pipe after I wiped it down with acetone on the cotton pads. You can see the amount of the stain removed from the pipe by the stain on the pads. ImageImageImageImage

I sanded the stem with micromesh pads from 1500-12,000 grit before I took it to the buffer and buffed it with White Diamond to polish and shine the surface of the bowl and the stem. You can see that after the wash and the buff the stain is more translucent and the grain shows through the finish. It actually matches the brown on the other Bewlay pipe that I have to restem. I gave the entirety several coats of carnauba wax and buffed with a soft flannel buff to bring up the sheen. The photos below show the finished pipe – it is ready to load up and smoke. The new stem fits well and it looks good on the pipe. ImageImageImageImage