A Schulte deLuxe Reborn – by Joey Bruce

Blog by Joey Bruce

Joey has been a reader of the blog for a while now. Then about a month ago now I received and email from him with some questions on an old pipe he had picked up. It turned out to be a WDC bulldog that was in rough shape. We exchanged a few emails and over the course of reworking that old-timer I could see that Joey was hooked on this hobby! I invited him to do a write-up on some of his work and post it here for others to be encouraged and challenged. Last evening he sent me this article on an old Schulte deLuxe that through his efforts had been reborn. What follows is his article and photos. Thank you Joey for taking the time to write this up and send a copy to me. It is great to have you posting on the blog as a writer. Enjoy his work readers.

Hello all. Just dipping my toes into the pipe refurbishing world. I’ve been reading the posts here obsessively for a while now and couldn’t resist trying it for myself. I’ve always loved restoring things whether it’s, old bikes, cars or motorcycles. All the way to obscure things like pens and sewing machines. So it was a natural move into this. Hopefully I won’t bore you. At the very least you’ll be able to see the difference between and amateur like me and the real deal like Steve and Greg.

I recently bought a few estate pipes off eBay. Most were in such great shape they didn’t need anything more than a spit shine. A few I used as practice. Trying out different techniques I’ve read here and see what I like the best. This weekend I went to a flea market and grabbed a bunch of old cheapos that were laying in a box for a few bucks. Figured I’d get more practice and this time actually take pictures.



I grabbed the Schulte deLuxe first as that one seemed like it would be the easiest. First I soaked the stem in an Oxy Clean and water solution (no real ratio. Just about half a tbs to 3/4 water. But really just guessed) to bring out the oxidation. Then I wet sanded it with 1500 grit sandpaper (all I had. Would have been easier to work my way up to that but I just went with what was here) until all the oxidation was removed. After a little elbow grease I took it over to the polishing wheel (Ryobi bench grinder with two 6″ polishing wheels) and hit it up with some red rouge. Working it back and forth until it had a nice smooth shine. Then moved to the other wheel with Eastwood Supply’s version of White Diamond. Working it with a much gentler touch. Wiped off the residue and voila. Better than new.




I moved onto the bowl. This time I decided to try wet sanding the bowl just to see what would happen. I hypothesized that a quick wet sand might just remove the grit and grime. Turns out it quickly moved right past that and into the stain. I probably won’t do that again unless the bowl needs serious work but it was worth a shot. Wet sanding did work well on the top of the bowl to remove the tar. Much quicker than the spit shine method.



You can see how one turn on the bowl with the red rouge turns the wet sand into a nice shine. Probably my favorite part of this whole thing is when you break it all down to its base and start to rebuild it.





I did the same to the bowl as I did to the stem. Took about an hour on the wheel for both. And I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I have yet to polish them with any wax to keep the shine up. I just haven’t picked any carnauba wax up and I’ve noticed the super bright shine dulls after a few days so I’ll be sure to grab some wax ASAP.

If you’re reading still thanks and I hope this helps anyone who is just getting started.


11 thoughts on “A Schulte deLuxe Reborn – by Joey Bruce

  1. phillycyclocross

    Chip, I’ve used Steve’s technique for sanding the tops on most of the ones I’ve done now. The only way I’d hit one up with a belt sander would be to correct a really badly misshapen or burnt bowl. Hopefully I can do that with one soon as it would be nice to see a perfectly level bowl on one of these old pipes. I just need to find one that’s in extremely poor condition.

  2. Chiz Szymanski (@redchiz)

    Thanks for sharing that process with us, great job.

    I hear what you say about the rim, blackening/charring is a pain and sometimes as you start sanding you don’t realise how deeply it has penetrated. You have to stop at some point, otherwise you start to lose the shape of the bowl.

    I am a big fan of Steve’s favoured method, hand sanding upside down with the paper on a firm, flat surface, I wouldn’t risk taking a powered sander to it.

  3. phillycyclocross

    Thanks all. I’m enjoying brining some of these old works of art back to life.

    The 1500grit sandpaper is from Eastwood Supply Co. They are a local auto body/detail/hot rod shop near me. Paper is a bit pricey but I use it sparingly. You’ll get the most life out of it if you remember to always wet sand with it and never use it dry.

  4. upshallfan

    Nice job on your first restoration! Woodcraft stores sell bars of carnuba wax, if you are looking for a vendor.
    What is your source for the 1500 grit Norton paper in the background?

  5. phillycyclocross

    Thanks. I need to work on my photography skills more than my refurb skills. The pipe looks so much better in person. It has a nice high gloss finish. Especially the stem.
    The only part I wish I could’ve done better was the top of the bowl. The burn marks were so deep the only way to remove them completely would have been to take it to a belt sander.

  6. rebornpipes Post author

    Great job on that one Joey. Thanks for the write up. Schulte is a brand that I had not heard of before. That is a nice looking pipe now. Lightening the stain worked very well. The results are excellent.

    1. Steve

      My dad was a regular customer at Schulte’s Pipe Shop in the 1950’s and 60’s when it was located in Newark, New Jersey. I became a Schulte customer in 1971 when I first started smoking a pipe my Senior year at Seton Hall Prep, in South Orange, NJ. By then Schulte has moved to 1628 Springfield Ave. Maplewood, NJ which was only two miles from Seton Hall. I spent a fair amount of time there with Max and Howard Shulte, who taught me the ropes of pipe smoking; how not to incinerate your tongue and learning to appreciate a good tobacco over the drugstore blends. I still have all seven of the original Schulte pipes I purchased – even the first two “serious” pipes. They all till smoke great. Before that I was smoking a Dr. Grabow, a YellowBowl and one of my dad’s abandoned Brigham apple (which I still have, the other two have long vanished). Max suggested I get two pipes, one to smoke while the other rested. They were natural, unstained briar and Max polished them up on the buffing wheel. We sat and talked pipes, tobacco and the Vietnam War. At the time I was smoking Borkum Riff Bourbon Whiskey, but make suggested something more sophisticated. He blended a small sample for me – later I learned it was Burley and Virginia, with a touch of Black Cavendish, Scotch Whiskey aromatic and a pinch of Latakia for interest and to smooth thing out. Delicious, We tweaked the recipe over time and it was my personal blend for years. By the time Schulte’s closed I had served in the USAF, worked for Ma Bell and eventually moved to in Virginia, I still have my recipe card and purchase the component tobaccos online to blend it myself. Fond memories. I was sorry to see it go, like it’s counterparts Jelling’s, in Newark and H&H Tobacco Shop in Montclair.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.