Blog by Steve Laug
Heibe is a German brand of pipe made by pipe maker Erich Heikaus; Bergneustadt, Germany in the 1970’s. The stamping is on the smooth bottom of the shank and it reads HEIBE over Gold Point and to the right of that stamping is stamped 88. I am guessing that is the shape number. It has an ebonite stem with a gold point in the top of it. The point swirls and gives an attractive look to the stem. The stem was oxidized and had some tooth chatter and a tooth mark on the top and underside of the stem. The stem was also loose fitting. The bowl was caked but not evenly and the cake seemed to be very soft. The rim was a bit darkened but no burn marks and the inner rim was still round. The bowl finish is rusticated with a tree bark like rustication and the stain was black. The rim and the smooth spot on the underside of the shank were stained oxblood. The finish was dirty and in spots the stain was missing and the briar was showing through – particularly on the edges of the rim and on the shank near the stem. Some of the high points on the bark rustication were also showing briar through the stain. The original stain was black. The next series of four photos shows the state of the pipe when I started working on it this morning.
I decided to begin by scrubbing the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a soft bristle tooth brush that I have used for a long time to scrub deeply into the rustication patterns. Once I scrubbed it thoroughly I rinsed it off under warm water in the sink. I do not leave it under the water long, just enough to scrub off the soap and get it cleaned. I then dry it off with a soft cotton cloth and wipe out any water than got in the bowl with a cotton swab. The first picture below shows the pipe scrubbed and covered with the oil soap. The tooth brush in the photos is the one I use to scrub the bowl. The next four photos show the bowl after I have rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. You can see where removing the grime and dirt from the bowl left the spots very visible that needed to be restained. The rim also cleaned up nicely.
After I thoroughly dried it off it was time to stain the bowl. I did a bit of research and found some estate Heibe pipes on a German estate pipe selling site. The finish on this one was normal for Heibe’s rustications and it states that it was stained black. With that information I decided to restain it with some black aniline stain. I used the dauber that came with the stain and applied it heavily to the rim and the bowl making sure that it went deeply into the crevices of the bowl and the shank. I would clean off the rim and the shank later and worry about staining them afterwards. I stained the bowl and flamed it with a Bic lighter, then restained and reflamed the bowl. The next series of three photos show the newly stained pipe.
Once it was dry I rubbed the stain off the rim and also off the shank smooth portion with a soft cloth and then with some alcohol on a cotton pad. I also buffed the bowl with White Diamond on the buffing wheel. The smooth portion on the shank cleaned up nicely and the finish of the oxblood stained came through well. The rim (fourth photo below) did not fare as well. I wiped it down with acetone and also more isopropyl but in the end I would need to use a soft sanding sponge to remove the black from the edges of the rim.
I set the bowl aside to let it dry thoroughly while I worked on the stem. I began by sanding out the tooth marks and the tooth chatter with 320 grit sandpaper until they no longer showed. I then used my medium grit sanding sponge to sand the entire stem and work on removing the oxidation. The first two photos below show the sanding sponge and the work that it did in removing the oxidation. The next two photos below show the stem after I wiped it down from the sanding with the sanding sponge.
I then used some Maguiar’s Scratch X2.0 and scrubbed the stem with my finger as I applied it and then rubbed it off with a cotton pad. The point was that I wanted to remove more of the scratches and also polish off some of the oxidation. The next two photos show the stem after polishing (forgive the first photo – somehow it blackened on the right edge but you can still see the polish that is happening around the logo).
After polishing with the Maguiar’s you can see the oxidation on the stem particularly on the tenon end. It extends about an inch back toward the button and was also in the crease of the button. It was time to sand the stem with the micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded the stem with 1500 and 1800 grit micromesh pads. The next three photos show the stem in process and after the sanding. I finished wet sanding and then wiped the stem down. I then dry sanded the stem with the remaining micromesh pads from 2400-12,000 grit. I used the Maguiar’s a third time to polish the stem and then buffed it with White Diamond on the buffer. Once I had finished buffing I wipe the stem down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.
The next series of four photos show the finished stem. I reinserted it in the bowl. The tenon fit was loose so I dripped superglue on the tenon and then sanded it back until the fit was snug. I gave the bowl and stem another buff with White Diamond. I coated the stem with carnauba wax and buffed it with a flannel buff. In the first photo below you can see that the rim needed some work. The stain just did not come back after the cleaning. I sanded it with the micromesh 3200 grit pad and then it was ready to be stained. The fifth picture below shows the restaining of the rim with a cotton swab and oxblood stain. I applied the stain with a cotton swab and then flamed it. I hand buffed it with a terry cloth towel I use for hand buffing and applied carnauba wax to the rim.
The final series of four photos show the finished pipe. The stain contrast came out very well. The black and the oxblood highlights look great. The stem shined up exceptionally well. It is a group four sized pipe and should smoke very well. It has a nice open draw. I know that some of the Heibe pipes were made for filters but this one is not fit for filters. It is just a normal push tenon. All in all it is a beautiful pipe.