Restoring and restemming a second Television Pipe – a Prince

The second Television Pipe I received was a prince shape bowl without a stem. From the previous post I found out that it was an English Brand with a long stem. The brand was sold by A. Grunfield Co. and was produced by Gasparini. That bit of information came from Jose Manuel Lopes – Pipes Artisans and Trademarks. The bowl had a thick coat of varnish and a large fill on the front of the bowl. It appeared to be a deep fill and went from the top edge of the rim down about a third of the bowl. It did not go all the way through the briar to the bowl itself. There was also a smaller fill on the bottom of the bowl near the shank bowl junction. The grain was very mixed. On the back side and on the left and right sides there was some nice straight grain. The front of the bowl looked bald with the fill in the middle. The rim had a tarry buildup and was rough. The bowl had an uneven cake on the inside. Since there was no stem with the pipe and I did not have any church warden stems on hand I had some choices to make on the stem. I had a vulcanite stem and a clear Lucite stem that had potential. They were both longer than a typical prince stem but still not a church warden style. IMG_7880 IMG_7881 IMG_7883 I wiped the bowl down with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the varnish and the grit that was in the finish. IMG_7885 IMG_7887 I set up my topping board and 220 grit sandpaper to top the bowl and smooth out the surface. With the fill going from the rim down the side I wanted to clean off the surface to see what repairs would need to be done. IMG_7888 Once the top was cleaned off the fill looked like it was a crack that ran from the inside to the outside of the bowl. Upon examination with a loupe I could see that it was not a crack but the edges of the putty fill. I decided not to remove the fill at this point as I did not want to destabilize the bowl so I left it. IMG_7889 I reamed the cake back with a PipNet reamer. IMG_7890 I decided to use the clear Lucite stem that I had so I turned the tenon down with the PIMO Tenon Turning Tool on a cordless drill. IMG_7891 I fine tuned the fit in the shank with 220 grit sandpaper. The diameter of the stem was wider than that of the shank so I sanded it with 150 grit sandpaper to bring it down in size. IMG_7892 When I got it close to the proper diameter I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and a medium and fine grit sanding sponge to smooth out the scratches in the Lucite. I sanded the shank to match so I had a smooth transition. I intended to restain the pipe any way so this was not a real problem. I liked the overall look of the new stem and with a slight bend it would look like a long stemmed prince. IMG_7893 IMG_7894 IMG_7896 The Lucite stem did not have a slot carved in the end – merely a drilled airway so that I would need to use needle files to open and shape it into a funnel. The next four photos show the progress of the shaping of the slot. I apologize for the blurriness of the last two photos but they do give a rough idea of the shape of the slot at this point. IMG_7898 IMG_7899 IMG_7902 IMG_7903 To bend the stem I set up my heat gun and heated the Lucite until it was pliable and then bent it over my rolling pin. It took a few tries to get the bend that I wanted but eventually I set it with cool water. IMG_7904 IMG_7905 IMG_7906 The next series of five photos show the bend in the stem. I still needed to do some sanding on the underside of the bend to thin it and shape it more cleanly. The angle appears a little abrupt but some sanding and shaping would take care of that. I also rubbed down the bowl with a cloth and olive oil to darken the briar to get a better idea of the grain patterns. I often use this method to show the grain but I am careful to not put too much oil on it. IMG_7907 IMG_7908 IMG_7909 IMG_7910 IMG_7911 To polish the inside of the stem/airway I used a pipe cleaner dipped in Bar Keepers Friend (a cleanser). I have found that the grit of the cleanser polishes the inside of the airway. IMG_7912 IMG_7913 I sanded the stem to thin it on the top and on the underside of the bend with 220 grit sandpaper and when it was an even taper I sanded it with medium and fine grit sanding sponges. I sanded with my usual array of micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12,000 grit pads. IMG_7915 IMG_7916 IMG_7917 I buffed the pipe and stem with White Diamond to raise the shine. I put cotton balls in the bowls of the prince and the other Television pipe and used an ear syringe to put isopropyl alcohol in them to draw out the tars and oils of the tobacco. I set them in an old ice cube tray overnight. In the morning the alcohol had drawn out a lot of oils and the cotton was dark. I removed the cotton and cleaned the bowl and shank with cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. IMG_7918 IMG_7919 IMG_7952 I rubbed down the bowl with some walnut stain in a Danish Oil and put it on a cork to dry. I know that many may question the use of linseed oil on pipe bowls but I use it sparingly on a few specific pipes that I want to give protection. In the case of this particular pipe, the large fill in the front seemed like it needed the extra protection. IMG_7959 IMG_7961 IMG_7962 I buffed the finished pipe with White Diamond and gave the bowl and stem several coats of carnauba wax to protect it. I buffed it with a soft flannel buff to give it a shine. The finished pipe is shown below. It is drying on a pipe stand to let any residual alcohol from the cotton ball and alcohol soak to evaporate. After than it will be given an inaugural smoke to make sure the draw is correct and the stem is comfortable. Who knows I may even reheat the stem and experiment some more with the bend. IMG_7967 IMG_7968 IMG_7969 IMG_7970

5 thoughts on “Restoring and restemming a second Television Pipe – a Prince

  1. Pingback: Oh the grain beneath the Cherry Red Paint – A Television Churchwarden | rebornpipes

  2. Greg

    I believe seeing the clear stem polished and come to life was one of the most interesting things I’ve seen lately; it’s amazing to see the transformation! The Bar Keeper’s Friend to polish the channel is another grat tip; thanks for sharing it.


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