Monthly Archives: December 2012

Refurbishing a Pipe by Lee Bull Moose Scoop


Blog by Steve Laug

This weekend I took my wife down for a visit to Bellingham, Washington – just about 40 minutes or so from Vancouver, BC. One of our past times when we are visiting another city is to check out the antique shops and antique malls. We have a circuit of them that we visit whenever we go to Bellingham. She looks for things for the house and I look for pipe and tobacciana. This weekend was great in that I found 6 pipes and three old pouches of tobacco. The first pipe on the work table is one that intrigued me and grabbed my attention. It has a nice rustication (??) that looks almost like a sand blast. The carver left a smooth rim and a small ring around the top edge of the pipe. There is also a smooth band at the end of the shank and also two patches that are smooth that bear the stamping on the pipe. The shape is a Bull Moose, I believer. It is also very similar to a Weber Scoop that I have except for the prominent prow on the front of the bowl. It is stamped on the left side of the shank PIPE BY Lee (Lee is in Script) over LIMITED EDITION. On the other side of the shank it is stamped AN AUTHENTIC over IMPORTED BRIAR. The stem bears the brass stars that grace the stems of Lee pipes. This one has three stars.

When I found it in the shop the stem had some oxidation and some minor tooth marks on the underside of the stem near the button. The stem had a metal stinger that was black with tars and oils and was also overturned slightly. The bowl was dirty with dirt and grime wedged into the finish of the rustication. The rim had a thick coat of tars and buildup and the bowl was heavily caked and wreaked of aromatics. When I found it there was also a threesome of tobaccos in their original packages tied in a sealed plastic bag – Skandinavic Mildly Aromatic, Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic and a leather pouch of something that smells aromatic as well. The pipe smelled just like these tobaccos. The first series of four photos show the pipe as I found it.

ImageImageImageImage

I unscrewed the stem from the shank and dropped the bowl into my alcohol bath. It is a jar of isopropyl alcohol that I have reused and filtered repeatedly to remove the grit from the bath. The remaining alcohol has a dark brown colour and actually does a great job in not only removing the grime and old finish but gives the old bowls a light patina as well.

ImageImage

While the bowl soaked I worked on the stem. I cleaned it with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol to get the tars and oils out of the stem. The style of stinger restricts the airway enough that I could not get the pipe cleaner all the way through. It took quite a few cleaners until they came out clean. The stinger I cleaned with alcohol and then 0000 steel wool until it was clean. I began sanding it with the medium grit sandpaper on the sponge back to remove the oxidation and the roughness of the stem. It was very rough and almost pitted. It is hard to capture that with the photos. The first three photos below show the sanding pad and the stem after that initial sanding.

ImageImageImage

From there I filled a glass with warm water and used a micromesh1500 grit sanding pad to wet sand the stem. This took the majority of the scratch marks out of the surface and took care of the roughness of the stem. It would take a lot of sanding to bring the surface to a glossy smooth finish.

ImageImage

At this point I took the bowl out of the bath. It had been sitting in the bath for about an hour and I figured it was time to pull it. I scrubbed it with a soft bristle tooth brush to remove the softened grit and grime in the rustication. The next two photos show the bowl after I removed it from the bath and dried it off with the cloth that it is resting on. The grit is pretty well gone and the rim tar is softened but still present. The third photo below shows the rim after I had used some fine grit sandpaper to begin removing the tars on the rim. I continued to sand it until they were all gone. Since I planned on restaining the pipe anyway it was not an issue.

ImageImageImage

I still was not happy with the grime in the crevices of the rustication. I had removed much of it but there was still quite a bit present and I decided to scrub it with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush until the surface was clean. Again I was not worrying about removing any finish as I planned on redoing that anyway so I gave it a heavy scrub and then rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I repeated the scrub until the bowl was clean and the rustication free of grime.

ImageImage

The next four photos show the pipe bowl after I had scrubbed it with the oil soap and rinsed it the final time. I dried it off with some microfiber rags that I have here for that purpose. It removed the water from the briar and left a good clean surface that was ready for a coat of stain. In the photos you can also see the stem after it has been sanded with micromesh sanding pads up to 2400 grit. All of the sanding on the stem to this point was done with water and wet sanded. The rim is clean and ready for the stain. The bowl is clean and you can actually see the rustication really well.

ImageImageImageImage

At this point in the refurbishing process I decided to correct the over turned stem. I set up my heat gun and then took the pipe apart. The second and third photos show the process of heating the stinger. The heat softens the glue in the stem and once it is soft I turn it back on the shank until I can turn it all the way around and align the stem properly. Once it was aligned I dipped it in cold water to set the glue again. The fourth and fifth pictures in the sequence below show the newly aligned stem.

ImageImageImageImageImage

The next series of photos show the staining process of the bowl. I decided to thin the Dark Brown aniline stain to a light brown wash. I use an old tobacco tin and fill it with 2/3 alcohol and 1/3 stain. I mix it well and then use a dauber to stain the pipe. I repeated the staining until it was the brown colour I was looking for. I flamed the stain between coats. The colour I was aiming for was a wash coat that allowed the grain to show through on the smooth portions of the pipe and also made a good contrast between those parts and the rustication.

ImageImageImageImage

Once I had the stain the colour I wanted I took it to the buffer and buffed it with White Diamond. The next two photos show the pipe bowl after the buffing. The contrast came out nicely and the grain is very visible on the smooth portions.

ImageImage

After buffing I took it back to the work table and gave the bowl a coat of Halcyon II wax. I rubbed it on by hand and then buffed it with a soft bristle shoe shine brush. For some reason the photos came out with some strange looking browns to the finish. The final colour is the reddish brown tone that is visible in the first photo below.

ImageImageImageImageImage

Once the bowl was stained, waxed and buffed I put it aside and went back to work on the stem. I finished wet sanding the stem with the micromesh sanding pads 1500, 1800 and 2400 and then gave the stem a coating of Maguiar’s Scratch X 2.0. I applied it with my finger and then rubbed it with a cotton pad. The first photo below shows the coating of the polish. The second and third photos show the stem after the polishing with Maguiar’s.

ImageImageImage

At that point I shifted to 3200, 3600 and 4000 grit micromesh sanding pads. The next two photos show the change in the stem polish after this next set of three sanding pads.

ImageImage

I then coated the stem with Obsidian Oil as pictured in the next two photos. When it was dry I wiped the stem down and finished sanding with the last three micromesh sanding pads – 6000, 8000 and 12,000 grit. The difference in the finish after the last three pads is quite remarkable.

ImageImage

Once the stem was polished I gave it a coat of carnauba wax and then buffed it with a soft flannel buffing pad. Here is the finished pipe. The pipe in person has a glossy stem. I got a new camera so I am still learning all the tricks of it. The thing really picks up the dust particles on the pics. Ah well. I will get it down eventually!

ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Advertisements

2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 39,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 9 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Had Some Time on My Hands Today So I Reworked One of My Own


Probably a year or more ago, I picked up this pipe on EBay. It is stamped CAVEMAN over Singleton on the bottom of the bowl and shank. To me these old timers are ugly and never really look done. But they are smoked the way they are and often come with a good cake and a tooth marked stem. The stem bears an S in a circle as a logo. I keep an eye open for these pipes and try to snag them as they come up. I have found that they are easily finished and make a nice small group 2 sized smokers. The stems are usually a good fit and the briar is not too bad. I have reworked three of these Cavemen and all have become favourite smokers. When they arrive they are generally well smoked and thus already broken in so that part of my job is finished. All I have to do is to decide what shape I want the finished pipe to have and then reshape it meet my desires.

The first set of pictures below show the state of the pipe when it arrived in the post. I reamed the bowl and cleaned the shank and stem inside to make it a bit cleaner for me to work with. I generally sand the sides of the bowl and the top before I begin to get a feel for the grain on the pipe. Once it is sanded then I wet the briar with water to get a good look. From there I sketch a shape on the block and get my Dremel out with the sanding drum.

ImageImageImageImage

The next series of photos show the pipe after I have removed a large portion of the briar. I decided to play around with a wedge shape on this one initially. I had seen one on one of the pipe sites I frequent and wanted to give it a go. I knew that if I did not like it I could easily change the shape and try something new. But you can see the basic shape in the photos. The stem I flattened on the top and the bottom to fit the flatness of the wedge. I left the edges of the stem rounded and planned to do the same with the bowl.

ImageImageImageImage

The next series of photos show the pipe after I have sanded it and readied it to be stained. The wood is smooth and the stem is polished smooth. I sanded it with medium grit Emery cloth and then 280 and 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the sanding marks from the Dremel. Once it was smooth with those papers I moved on to sand it with 400 and 600 grit wet dry sandpaper and water. There was definitely a bit of grain present but it was fairly light so I would need to do a bit of contrast staining to get the grain to lift and be visible.

ImageImageImageImageImage

I decided to use some black aniline stain to make the grain patterns more visible. I stained it with the black, flamed it and restained it and flamed it again. I then took it to the buffer and buffed it with Tripoli to remove the excess stain and make the contrast visible. I had to sand the pipe a second time as well to remove more of the stain. I used the 600 grit wet dry sandpaper to do this. Once it was sanded I buffed it a second time with White Diamond to give it a shine. I gave it a top coat of medium brown stain diluted by 75% with Isopropyl alcohol. I wanted the brown to be basically a wash coat. I applied it with a dauber, flamed it, reapplied it and flamed it again. Then I buffed it with White Diamond. The series of photos below show the finished look of the newly carved and stained Caveman. It was a marked improvement in my opinion.

ImageImageImageImageImage

However, over the months though I smoked it quite a bit somehow the shape just did not do anything for me. I found that unless I intentionally took it out of the cupboard to smoke that I would never reach for it naturally. So today it was quiet around the house, I still have some time off until after New Years. The wife and daughters were doing banking and errands. I was home listening to the radio and cleaning my study. I finished that and decided I wanted to work on a pipe – either to refurbish one from my box or something else. I went to my cupboard and my eye fell on the little wedge shaped pipe. The time had come for me work it over and see what I could do with it. I got out my Dremel with the sanding drum and went to work on the pipe. I removed the sides of the wedge and squared the shank and the stem. I decided to make a tapered stem that continued the taper right up the shank to the bowl. It did not take too much time with the Dremel to get the shape close to what I was aiming for in my mind. The picture below shows the basic shape after the work with the Dremel. It still needed a lot of sanding to bring it to the final shape but you can see where I was heading with it.

Image

The next series of pictures shows the pipe after I have sanded it with some medium grit Emery cloth. I sanded it until the shape was clean and smooth and the flow of the taper was at the angle I wanted to have when I was done. As I sanded the bowl I came upon the small flaw in the briar that is visible on the bottom edge of the bowl in the first photo below. Once I had the bowl sanded to the shape and curve I wanted I scraped out the flaw and opened it with a dental pick and then filled with briar dust and super glue. I figured that since I had a lot of sanding and smoothing to do that the time for the fill was this point.

ImageImageImageImage

The next four photos show the pipe after I have sanded both the stem and the bowl with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and water. I then used the Maguiar’s Scratch X 2.0 and rubbed it on and polished the stem. I wiped it off and then buffed the pipe and stem with White Diamond. I took it back to the work table and sanded it with the remaining 3200-12,000 grit micromesh sanding pads. The photos below show the pipe after the sanding.

ImageImageImageImage

I decided to stain the pipe with a medium brown aniline stain. I daubed the stain on, flamed it and then restained the bowl and shank a second time. I flamed it a second time and then took it to the buffer to remove any of the excess stain and give it a polish. I used Tripoli with a light touch and removed the stain. It was still pretty dark so I wiped the bowl down with an Isopropyl alcohol dampened cloth to lighten the finish and make the grain more visible. The next four photos show the pipe after the alcohol wipe.

ImageImageImageImage

After the wiped down I took it back to the buffer and used White Diamond. The White Diamond polished the pipe and gave it the rich brownish red appearance that is visible in the next series of photos. The feel in the hand and the mouth are much better with this newly revised shape. The richness of the colour is appealing to my eye. It seems that when I carve a pipe I keep going back to it to revise the shape and stain. This one has come a long ways from the original Caveman pipe that was pictured in the first photos above. Whether it is done or not I am never sure… in fact as I look at the enlarged photos I still see a few areas that may need some more work as some of the scratches that are not visible in the light of the shop show up really well in the flash. Ah well. That is the joy of having the tools and a bit of time on my hands this holiday season.

ImageImageImageImage

Restemming a Custombilt Look Alike


This morning I decided to restem an old Custombilt look alike pot that I had in my box of pipes for repair. I am getting down to only twenty or so pipes left so it is the pipes I have left until the end. Some of these I left because they had no charm to me and others because I just was not ready to work on them. This old no name pot was one of the ones that held no charm for me. The rim was pretty covered with grit and grime. The finish was not in too bad a shape. There was a small crack in the shank which would need to be banded and then the matter of matching a stem to the pipe hung in the air. This morning I went through my can of pipe stems and found an old cast off taper stem that was the right diameter to match the shank. The tenon would need to be sanded to fit the mortise. I set it aside and reamed the pipe and cleaned the shank before fitting the stem. I opened the crack in the shank a bit with some pressure from a dental pick and dripped some super glue into the crack and held it tight until it set. I then heated a nickel band and pressure fit it to the shank. I sanded the tenon by hand with 240 grit sandpaper until the fit was snug.

IMG_9311 IMG_9312 IMG_9313IMG_9314

Once the stem was a good snug fit I went to work on the bowl. I cleaned the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a soft bristle tooth brush. I wanted to remove as much of the grim from the rim as possible and clean up the rustication on the rim surface without damaging the finish. I repeated the process by applying the soap, scrubbing and wiping it off with a cloth.

IMG_9315

When the rim was clean I wiped down the outside of the bowl with the Oil soap as well and removed the grime that remained on the surface. I then wiped the entire bowl down with some acetone on a cotton pad to even out the stain colouring. Once it was dry I took the pipe to the buffer and buffed the pipe and stem with Tripoli and White Diamond.

IMG_9316IMG_9317 IMG_9318

I sanded the stem with a sponge backed medium grit sandpaper. I find that this allows me to get into the crevices on the button and to follow the shape and taper of the stem well. At this point the two photos below show the stem after the buffing and sanding. I spent a bit of time working on some tooth marks along the edge of the button on both the top and the bottom of the stem. You can see the work that has been done near the button in the photos below.

IMG_9319 IMG_9320

I worked on the stem with the micromesh sanding pads using the 1500, 1800 and the 2400 grit with water to sand out the scratches and the remaining oxidation. At the conclusion of this process the stem was a nice matte black and the oxidation was basically history as can be seen in the photos below.

IMG_9321 IMG_9322 IMG_9323 IMG_9324

At this point in my stem rejuvenating process I rub the stem down with Maguiar’s Scratch X 2.0 a fine scratch and blemish remover intended for cleaning and polishing plastic headlight lenses. I rub it on by hand and then scrub it off with a cotton pad until the stem is clean. When I finish with the polish I move on to the next grits of micromesh 3200-12,000 grit and sand until the finish is a polished black with a depth to it. I dry sand with these grits of micromesh. Between the 4000 and 6000 grit pads I took it to the buffer and gave it a buff with White Diamond. I found that the oxidation at the shank end of the stem was still present after the buffing and would require some more work with the earlier grits of micromesh. I buffed that end with some Tripoli and then decided to try the Bic Lighter method to address the remaining oxidation. Once that was finished I sanded the stem with the higher grits of micromesh 4000-12,000 and then coated the stem with Obsidian Oil. I buffed the stem with White Diamond and then reinserted it in the pipe and gave the entire pipe a final buffing with multiple coats of carnauba wax. Here is the finished pipe.

IMG_9325 IMG_9326 IMG_9327 IMG_9328

Charatan After Hours


Blog by Al Jones

I found this large, Charatan After Hours Bent Billiard at Wingenroths shop in Lebanon, PA.  The owner, Mel, is a fine gentleman and if you are in the area, his shop shouldn’t be missed. I always find something interesting in his estate dresser or downstairs on his work bench.

Charatan_After_Hours Bent Billiard - BEFORE (5)     Charatan_After_Hours Bent Billiard - BEFORE

The After Hours line was a clever move by Charatan to use a strummel that had some sort of flaw.  The flawed area was cut off and an acrylic piece was screwed to the shortened shank.  Early pipes had horn extensions and later acrylic was used.  This pipe uses an acrylic piece.  The wood for After Hours is reported to be of a “Selected” quality grain.  At the time, I had another After Hours pipe, a straight billiard.  I enjoy bent pipes much more than straights and this one looked worthy of restoration.  The “After Hours” stamp was still legible as was the CP on the double-comfort stem while badly oxidized was free of any bite marks.  The stem on my first After Hours pipe was one of the most comfortable as the rubber is quite soft and pliable.  I bet is that it is difficult to find one free of tooth indention’s.    This large billiard looked similar to a Charatan shape 44, a favorite of mine.

The bowl was in decent shape and showed the florid “L” of a Lane era pipe.  Unfortunately the bowl has some strange striation like marks on the bowl and it has a very rough texture.  It’s as of someone made an attempt to rusticate the bowl.  The bowl was so large I thought it would have plenty of wood to sand smooth and restain.

Charatan_After_Hours Bent Billiard - BEFORE (3)

Charatan_After_Hours Bent Billiard - BEFORE (4)

I started sanding the bowl with 320 grit paper than moved up thru the grades to 1500.  The striation marks came off, but unfortunately so did the “L”.  But, the bowl looked great with a smooth finish.

This was my first attempt to restain a pipe and I was a little apprehensive in lighting the stain.  I decided to wrap masking tape around the acrylic extension to protect it.   I chose medium brown Fieblings stain which I thought was lightened significantly.  Later, I learned it was still too dark.  Unfortunately I had used too much stain and when it was lit to set the stain, I was horrified to find the masking tape also caught on fire!  I snuffed that out quickly and was relived to find no damage was done too the extension.  A valuable lesson was learned there.  The bowl was darker than I had desired, but I decided to let well enough alone.

While working on the bowl, I had soaked the stem in a mild solution of Oxyclean. I put a dab of grease on the CP stamp to protect it.  I used 1500 and then 2000 grit wet paper to remove the heavy layer of oxidation.  Getting the oxidation out of a stepped double-comfort bit is always an added challenge.  I then used the final three grades of micromesh (6000>8000>12000) to finish the stem. It was then buffed lightly by machine and pad with white diamond and a plastic polish.

Charatan_AF_Bent_Billiard_AFTER (1)

I had intended to resell this pipe, but after smoking it a few times, it earned a permanent spot on my rack.  The Double-Comfort stem didn’t disappoint.  A few months ago, after chatting reading about some of Steve’s stain jobs, I decided to lighten the stain with an alcohol wipe and then rebuff.  That worked well and I’m pleased with the present finish.   The pipe smokes very well with a nice, open draft and easily passes a cleaner.  My only issue with this pipe is that it is so large, it doesn’t easily fit into my racks.

Charatan_AF_Bent_Billiard_AFTER (2) Charatan_AF_Bent_Billiard_AFTER (3) Charatan_AF_Bent_Billiard_Gallery 2

Redeeming a Disaster – A Repair with a Happy Ending


On Christmas Eve I decided to start working on a little acorn shaped pipe bowl that I have had here for quite awhile. It sat in my repair box in wait for the right moment for me to take it to the work table. It needed a stem and the shank was set up for a metal screw in tenon. I did not have any metal threaded tenons that fit the shank well or I could have made a stem for the pipe and inserted the threaded tenon. The time was right and I wanted to try something a bit different on this one. It did not matter if it worked or not really as it was truly a disposable pipe. With that freedom in mind I decided to fit the bowl with a push tenon stem. To make that work involved removing the metal insert from the shank. I reamed the bowl and cleaned out the shank to get it ready for removing the insert. I tried to twist if out as I figured that it was screwed into the shank. No such luck. It was tight and I could not remove it after using heat or putting it into the freezer to cause it to contract and loosen. I made a decision at that moment that did not end well – at least in the short term.

I set up my cordless drill with a bit that would open up the shank. My thinking was that if I could not removed the insert I would drill it open and smooth so that it would take a regular push tenon with no problem. I started with a drill bit virtually the same size as the airway and then planned on moving up to larger drill bits as the work progressed. The initial drilling worked well and the threads were smoothed out. So far so good! I was pretty excited to watch the airway smoothing out and opening up. Then I changed the drill bit for the next size up and drilled it a second time. I progressed slowly holding the bowl in my hand as I drilled the shank. I have done this before and did expect any problems. You know the thinking right – it worked well in the past so I could expect it to work the same this time around. So with full confidence I worked away. Then disaster struck. A few moments after starting to drill with the slightly larger bit the shank literally shattered in my hand. I was left holding four pieces of broken briar in my hand. The bottom half of the shank remained intact but the upper half was in three pieces. The metal insert remained unmovable in the bottom portion of the shank.

I was a bit stunned and almost binned the broken briar. What had at first appeared to be a good idea was reduced to something that I was ready to throw away and write off as a learning experience. However, I stopped and looked at the pieces for awhile. I thought about cutting the shank off and adding a shank extension to do one of Piet’s Hot Rods. I weighed the pros and cons of that and still was not certain whether I wanted to go to that trouble for this pipe. I took the pieces and puzzled them together to see what the damage looked like when it was put back together. I examined it closely and could see that the break was at least very clean and the surface was not chipped or damaged. I used a dental pick to remove the metal insert from the shank. I decided to get out the super glue and put the pieces back together for a look. With all the pieces in place the pipe looked okay. I sanded off the excess glue from the shank and used some acetone to clean off the stain that was on the shank and bowl. It looked like there was some promise. I decided to strengthen the bond with a nickel band. I heated a nickel band with my heat gun and carefully pressure fit the band on the shank. The repaired pipe was going to be workable.

ImageImageImageImage

I sanded the bowl and the shank and wiped it down repeatedly with acetone. The idea was to remove all of the remaining lacquer finish and even out the stain. I wanted to get the bowl back to bare wood as much as possible before restaining. Once I had it clean I sanded it again with a fine grit sponge backed sanding pad. I continued to sand it with the micromesh sanding pads from 1500-12,000 grit to prepare it for staining.

I had an old saddle stem that would fit the shank dimensions in my box of scavenged stems. I turned the tenon to fit the newly cleaned shank and did the initial sanding to remove the oxidation on the stem. I used the same sponge back sanding pad I used on the bowl as it allows good access to the saddle areas of the stem. The photos below show the newly fit stem. I have quite a bit more work to do on the stem and bowl to bring the pipe to a finished condition but the promise is definitely there. In the second and third top view photo below you can see the repaired shank. I am pretty confident that it will be pretty well hidden by the staining.

ImageImageImage

Before restaining the bowl I decided to work on the stem and get it polished and smooth. I used the 1500 and 1800 micromesh pads to do the sanding and polishing before using the Maguiar’s polishing compound. I have started to use it after the first two or three micromesh sanding grits. I rub it on by hand and then scrub it with a soft cotton pads before wiping it off. I repeat this polishing process with the compound two times before proceeding to working through the remaining micromesh grits. I sanded the stem with 2400 and 3200 grit and took it to the buffer and used Tripoli to buff away the scratches and the oxidation that remained at this point in the process. I also buffed the bowl with the Tripoli. Once back to the work table I used 3600 and 4000 grit before giving the stem a rub down with Obsidian Oil. The four pictures below show the pipe as it looks at this point. The bowl is ready to stain and the stem is getting close to the finished look. There is still some oxidation around the saddle area that will need some more work.

ImageImageImageImage

I decided to use an oxblood coloured aniline stain on the pipe to try to minimize the visibility of the repair to the shank. I used a cotton swab to apply the stain, flamed it and then buffed it off with a soft cotton cloth before taking it to the buffer and buffing it with White Diamond. After buffing I waxed it with several coats of carnauba wax to give it a shine.

ImageImageImageImageImage

I also finished the polish on the stem using White Diamond on the buffer before finishing with the remaining three grits of micromesh pads – 6000, 8000 and 12,000. I gave it a final buff with White Diamond and then rubbed it down with some Obsidian Oil. I finished the stem with several coats of carnauba wax. The four photos below show the finished pipe. The repair to the stem is visible if you look closely but the redemption of this broken pipe is complete and it is ready to smoke.

ImageImageImageImage

An Old Manhattan Billiard with a Bakelite Stem


I picked up this old timer a while ago now and did a quick clean on it and put it away. Today I decided to take it out and finish it. The first tree pictures below are photos that were with the EBay auction. I liked the look of the pipe in those photos and decided to bid on it. From the EBay photos it appeared to be in pretty good shape. It appeared to be dirty and in need of a good cleaning. The stem was red Bakelite and the shank extension appeared to be yellow Bakelite. The rim looked dirty and tarred but pretty sound.

ImageImageImage

When it arrived it was in worse shape than the pictures showed. The rim was rough around the outer edge. The inner edge was also rough and out of round. The bowl was caked with a broken and chipped cake. The stem was over turned and had some significant bite marks in it on the top surface near the button. On the underside of the stem there was what appeared to be a repair to a bit through. It looked like an epoxy patch. The fill on the patch was overdone and the edge of the button was virtually gone. The top side bite marks were deeper than I expected and would need some work to raise them.

ImageImageImageImage

I reamed the bowl and cleaned the shank and bowl with pipe cleaners and Isopropyl alcohol. Once the pipe cleaners came out clean I was happy with it. The stem also needed a thorough cleaning. The tenon was a screw tenon and appeared to be metal as it was corroded and a little rusty. The previous owner or maybe the seller had put a paper washer on the stem before turning the stem on tightly. I think this was the solution to the overturned stem. I scraped the washer off of the shank and the stem and cleaned up the tenon with steel wool and alcohol. Once it was clean I worked on the button area on the underside of the stem. The epoxy repair was thick so I sanded it down and then recut the button edge with my flat needle file. I recut the top edge as well to clean it up and give it a new sharpness. I sanded the patch and the tooth marks until they were smooth and then used micromesh sanding pads from 1500-12,000 grit to sand the surface smooth. I also used the Maguiar’s scratch polish to polish out the scratches. Once that was finished I took it to the buffer and buffed it with White Diamond. To readjust the overturned tenon I heated the tenon and then turned it until it aligned. I also turned and turned it back until I had a good solid fit on the shank. Once the stem was aligned I gave it a coating of Obsidian Oil and set it aside for a little while and worked on the bowl rim.

The rim took a bit of work as there were quite a few deep marks in the surface of the rim and also a rough edge on the outside of the bowl all the way around. I steamed the dents to the surface and then topped the bowl on a flat board until the edge was smooth once again. I worked the inner edge of the bowl with sandpaper to minimize the out of round shape of the bowl and make it at least appear to be more round again. I then sanded the bowl rim with progressively higher grit sandpaper end with 400 and 600 grit wet dry. I finished sanding with micromesh sanding pads using all grits from 1500-12,000. There is one small fill that is visible on the top right edge of the rim that is the only fill I find in the pipe. I restained the pipe with an oxblood aniline stain and carefully applied it with a cotton swab as I did not want the stain to mark the shank extension. I did not flame it this time around as I did not want to risk any melting of the extension with the fire. Once it was dry I put the stem on and took it to the buffer to buff with White Diamond. I finished by buffing the entire pipe with carnauba wax until it shone. The finished pipe is pictured below.

I am not familiar with the Manhattan brand but am pretty sure that it is a US made pipe. It is older as it has the Bakelite stem with an orific button. Manhattan Pipe Company made pipes in the US and I would assume made this one. It is stamped only on the left side of the shank with the words MANHATTAN over DeLuxe (in script) over the word BAKELITE. The case has a tag in it that also reads MANHATTAN over French Briar over Bakelite in a shield style logo.

ImageImageImageImage