Banding and Restemming a Weber Blackthorne 485

I just finished refurbishing the last of the EBay lot, the second pipe down in the centre column of the photo below. It is stamped Blackthorne over Weber in an oval and Imported Briar 485 on the underside of the shank. The Weber was probably the easiest pipe of the lot to restem and clean up. The bowl was lightly caked and the rim had a light buildup of tars on it. The blast is quite nice on the bowl and when I first saw it thought it might be a GBD Prehistoric. The rim is crowned upward from the bowl and also sandblasted. The bowl is stained with a dark brown and black contrast stain which leaves much of the black stain in the crevices of the bowl and the brown on the higher portions. The shank had some darkening from the end toward the bowl for about a ½ inch – like it had had a band on it at one point. There were no cracks in the shank so the band must have been cosmetic in function. The shank was thick and gave the pipe a chubby look. I am not sure whether to call the shape a chubby billiard or a pot. The inside of the shank was not terribly dirty would take little to clean up the pipe and ready it for a smoke.



I searched through my box of stem and found one of a suitable diameter to fit the pipe. I had the perfect match but it was a bent so I heated it with the heat gun and straightened it out. I used the PIMO tenon turning tool to clean up the tenon and make it straight. In the picture below the tenon appears to have a slight conical shape to it. After turning it the tenon was a cylinder that fit well in the shank.


I took out a nickel band that would fit the shank and then used the Dremel to smooth out the portion of the shank that would have the band. I find that a band seats much better when the surface that it is pressed onto is smooth rather than blasted or rusticated. I slipped the band lightly on the end of the shank and heated it with the heat gun to expand the metal and make the band simpler to fit on the shank. I pressed it into place on a metal plate that I use for a flat surface to press bands.






With the band in place on the shank the tenon needed a slight adjustment with sandpaper to fit well against the shank.



I reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and took the cake down to the briar. I scrubbed the top of the bowl with a cotton pad and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the buildup of tars. I gently wiped down the exterior of the bowl with the Oil Soap as well to remove the grime in the grooves and crevices of the finish.





I polished the bowl with Halcyon II wax and buffed it with a shoe brush. I cleaned out the shank and the bowl with pipe cleaners and Everclear and put the stem in place for the photo below. Once finished this will be a handsome pipe. I sanded the stem with micromesh sanding pads from 1500-12,000 grit to polish and remove any scratches left by the heating and straightening. I took the pipe to the buffer afterwards and buffed the stem with White Diamond and Blue polish to give it a shine.





I polished the nickel band with a silver tarnish polishing cloth and then waxed the stem with several coats of carnauba wax. I touched up the areas of the rim and the rim outer edge with a black permanent marker to cover some of the scratches in the finish of the bowl in those places. I buffed the pipe lightly on the buffer with White Diamond and gave the stem another coat of wax. The finished pipe is pictured below.





5 thoughts on “Banding and Restemming a Weber Blackthorne 485

  1. Greg

    Wow, Steve, that turned into a really nice pipe (as usual). I love the band and the finish made me think of a Prehistoric as well.

  2. LarryG

    Master’s class in restoration!! Steve, love your “teaching” style…you make it look so easy…and if one follows the steps you outline with each pipe, the most common “mishaps” (destruction?) can be avoided. Appreciate the amount of time you are willing to spend doing this to help others learn what took you more time to learn. (I KNOW you enjoy it, but still…)

  3. Dave Cooley

    Again, you worked magic with this Weber. Between your “bag of tricks” and your seemingly never ending box of stems and bands you have transformed this rather plain looking pipe into a gleaming pipe that anyone would be proud. Thanks for sharing your project with us. I learn from each installment.


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