Daily Archives: November 17, 2012

A Bruyere Dublin – Given New Life

This little Bruyere pipe came to me in a box from a friend in Germany. It had a lacquer coat on the bowl and the rim was blistered a bit and the outer edges damaged from tapping it out. The bowl had a light cake that was incomplete – leaving the bottom of the bowl uncaked. The stem was oxidized but did not have any tooth marks or dents on it. The overall condition was promising and needed a bit of time. I removed the stem and put it in the Oxyclean bath that I have made up. It takes a full scoop of Oxyclean and two cups of warm water. It has a lid so I shake the mixture until it is well mixed. The stem sat in the bath while I worked on the bowl.



I reamed the bowl with the smallest bit on my Pipnet reaming set. I wiped the top of the bowl and the outside of the bowl with cotton pads soaked in acetone to remove the lacquer finish. I find that while the acetone does not remove the lacquer it does soften it enough that it sands off easily. I set up the sandpaper on the board I use for topping a bowl and work the top of the bowl on the sandpaper until it was smooth and the roughened edges were not as noticeable. I then used sandpaper to bevel the outer edge of the rim to further hide the rim damage. I sanded the entire bowl using 380 grit sanding pads and removed the remaining lacquer finish. I wiped it down between sanding with acetone. The final sanding was done with micromesh sanding pads 1500-12,000 grit. I restained the bowl with a medium brown aniline stain, flamed it and then buffed it with White Diamond.

I took the stem out of the bath and wiped it dry with a rough cotton cloth that removed the moisture and also removed the top layer of oxidation. I then buffed the stem with Tripoli and White Diamond before returning to the work table to sand it with micromesh pads. I sanded it with 1500-3200 grit micromesh pads and water. I dried it and polished it with the Meguiar’s Scratch X 2.0 polish. I wiped it down and then finished the sanding with the 3600-12,000 grit micromesh. I dry sanded with these grits. Once the stem was smooth and shiny I put it back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with White Diamond and multiple coats of carnauba wax.




Really? Why wouldn’t you stop after doing this the first time?

I was browsing EBay this morning and came across a group of Dunhill pipes that were being sold individually by the same seller. There are four pipes all being sold at strangely high prices with several bidders. All of them obviously came from the same pipe smoker. The three below are the worst of the lot. The last of the foursome is probably redeemable with a light topping and reshaping of the rim. These three would take quite a lot of work. The incredible thing to my mind is the amount of damage caused to all of them. I look at them with sadness and wonder at the person who would do that to that many pipes. Personally I would think that if I had one pipe sustain that damage I would change my habits. Not so with the pipe smoker of this trio, all nice lovats. If you look at the pictures below you will see that all three have a burn in pretty much the same spot. The sacrifice of briar to the flame is absolutely unnecessary.

From my experience this kind of burn is caused by repeatedly using a torch lighter and carelessness in directing the flame into the bowl. Repeatedly lighting the pipe in the same way from the same angle produces the results visible in these photos. I know that they are Dunhill’s and odds are they were not cheap pipes. But they are still selling on EBay at a price that a similarly burnt no name or low name pipe would never see.

I have repaired a lot of burned rims and damaged rims but these seem so unnecessary to me. Ah well I won’t be bidding on them. All three would need a serious topping to bring them to even close to pristine condition and would also ruin their value to collectors. Why buy them at all? I suppose some folks would fall under the spell of the white dot or maybe they are just going for the well kept stems.