Daily Archives: August 12, 2014

The Old English Collection (1996).

peterson pipe notes

OEC BoxA few weeks ago, George Fachner of “Tinashobby” on Ebay began running the complete 1996 Peterson Old English Collection in unsmoked, individually-boxed condition. Once in awhile one of these twelve shapes will appear in estate condition on Ebay, but to see all twelve of them simultaneously and in unsmoked condition was a marvelous opportunity for Peterson collectors. I contacted George as the auctions were nearing their ends to see if he’d mind letting us use his photos and he said he’d be glad to oblige. If you follow Peterson sales on Ebay, Tinashobby is well worth bookmarking, because George almost always has some great Petes on offer (http://www.ebay.com/usr/tinashobby).

The Old English Collection is important in several regards. First, it marks the innovative and somewhat experimental early period of the Tom Palmer era, when art direction and design was headed up by Bernadette O’Neill, K&P’s Marketing Manager at the…

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Yet Another Frankenpipe – A pipe made from assorted pieces

Frankenpipes are born out of having no more pipes in the refurb box to work on. I have many in transit at the moment but none with which to sit and unwind. That always is a recipe for me to dig in the boxes of parts and see what I can come up with to keep the hands busy. The pipe that follows was born of fiddling with parts in my parts box. The part I started with was an old bowl that I received in a gift box recently that did not have a pipe to go with it. It was a pressure fit bowl that obviously sat on a base of some kind of system pipe. I searched the Metal Pipes website to see if I could find out any information but did not find any likely candidates for this mystery bowl. It had some nice grain on it so it seemed like a shame to just let it sit in the box and wait for a potential pipe for it. I also I had a cut off shank piece that I had made for another purpose, a stem that fit the shank nicely and a block of briar that was too tiny for a pipe. The small block is one that I have been scavenging pieces off of to make plugs for burnout repairs. As I looked at the pieces I had an idea for putting them together into an interesting pipe that had kind of art deco feel to it. Now it was time to bring the pipe together and actualize my vision. IMG_8072 I measured out the drilling areas for the block. I needed to drill the airway large enough to insert the briar shank. I would use the Missouri Meerschaum concept of inserting the shank into the briar block. I started by drilling the first hole in the end of the block. I drilled the mortise area first. I did this in stages as it needed to be big enough for the shank piece to be pressure fit into place. Afterward I drilled the rest of the airway in the block. I decided to drill it all the way through to the other side of the block so that I could put in a funky plug on the front end. I looked around for what I would use and had several ideas. Time would tell which I would choose in the end. IMG_8069 I moved through several drill bits until the bit that was the size of the shank piece. I drilled it deep enough to inset the shank quite deep in the hole. IMG_8070 I marked the airway exit on the top of the block with a permanent marker and drew a line to show the track of the airway. I marked my drill bit to the depth of the top of the airway and drilled the hole in the top of the block. I wanted the hole to be the size of the nipple on the bottom of the bowl so that it would pressure fit into the hole. I wanted the hole to go through to the top of the airway so that the nipple on the bowl would sit on top and create good airflow from bowl to stem. IMG_8071 I pressure fit the bowl in the top of the block and the shank in the end of the block for the next two photos. I wanted to see if the parts all fit together well. I gave the shank a slight angle upward and would later bend the stem if the look was correct. Everything worked well at this point. For the plug on the end of the block I decided to do something simple. I wanted a plug that would be like a coloured dot on the end of the base. I cut off a piece of knitting needle and inserted it in the airway at the end of the block that is not showing at this point. I glued it in place and used the Dremel to take the overage back flush with the block. IMG_8073 IMG_8074 The height of the block was too much so I wanted to cut it in half. I do not have power tools to do that kind of thing so a bit of sweat equity and a small hack saw did the job. I sliced off the bottom half of the block to be used in making bowl plugs at a later date and now the height was more suitable to this little sitter. IMG_8078 I glued the shank into place in the block with epoxy and angled it the way I wanted it to be when I finished the work on the base. IMG_8079 IMG_8080 IMG_8081 IMG_8082 I used the Dremel and a sanding drum to begin to shape the block into a base for the pipe. I wanted a slope upward to the bowl – the sides would also slope upward. My idea was to have the bowl sitting on top of a volcano like base. IMG_8088 IMG_8089 It took a lot of sanding to get the shape even close to what I had envisioned and in the process I ran into my first problem. The joint of the block and the shank could not be sanded smooth or the walls would be too thin and the shank would break too easily. I probably should have used a Delrin tenon to connect the two parts but as usual looking back is not overly helpful. So I had to improvise with this one. I had a small brass pressure fitting that would look kind of interesting on this little Frankenpipe so I worked the joint area to accommodate the brass fitting. The photos below show the pipe taking shape with the brass band high on the shank. (At the time of these photos I had not yet glued the band on the shank.) IMG_8090 IMG_8091 IMG_8092 IMG_8093 I filled in the openings around the edges of the fitting where the shank joined the block with briar dust and wood glue packed into place with a dental pick. I sanded the ridges on the fitting with 150 grit sandpaper to remove them. I would have to do more work on the look of the band as I worked out the details later. I took the following photos after I had done more shaping of the base and glued the band in place. While the band is not beautiful it certainly strengthens the joint on the shank of the pipe and makes up for my lack of planning! IMG_8094 IMG_8098 The photo below shows the base with the bowl removed. You can get a clear picture of the base without the bowl and how the bowl looks from the bottom. The hole in the base is the same size as the nipple on the bowl. IMG_8099 I sanded it for another hour before calling it a night and then wiped it down with some light olive oil to get an idea where the scratches were that I needed to do more work on and also to see the grain. The next four photos show the pipe at this point in the process. There is still more sanding to do on the base and shank as well as some minor shaping. The idea though is clear – and the pipe is smokeable. The draw is very good and there are no leaks around the joint where the bowl presses into the base. So far so good. IMG_8100 IMG_8103 IMG_8104 IMG_8106 I set up a heat gun and bent the stem over the rounded handle of the heat gun to get a slight bend in it. I set the bend with cool water. With the bend the pipe is a sitter. The bend pulls the weight backward and the pip sits nicely on the button and the flat bottom of the base. IMG_8108 IMG_8110 IMG_8111 I did quite a bit more sanding and shaping of the base with 150 and 220 grit sandpaper. Once I had the shape to where I wanted it I sanded it with medium and fine grit sanding sponges. I gave the bowl and shank a wipe down with a cloth that was dampened with olive oil. Other than that the bowl and shank are not stained. IMG_8118 IMG_8119 IMG_8120 IMG_8126 While the shaping was finished there was still a lot of sanding to do to remove the scratches that remain in the briar. I also want to do some sanding on the band to remove scratches and polish it as well. The vulcanite stem also needs sanding and polishing. I took the pipe apart and sanded all the pieces with micromesh sanding pads. I sanded all of them with 1500-2400 grit pads and then finished sanding them with a 6000 grit pad. I buffed the parts with red Tripoli and then White Diamond and gave each part of the bowl and base multiple coats of carnauba wax. IMG_8127 I sanded the stem with a fine grit sanding sponge and then with the various grits of micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12,000 grit pads. I buffed the stem with White Diamond, rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil and finished by giving it a buff with carnauba wax. IMG_8128 IMG_8129 IMG_8130 I sanded the brass band with the micromesh pads to polish it as well. When I had finished I gave the pipe a final buff with White Diamond and then applied carnauba wax to each part. I buffed them with a soft flannel buff to finish the shine. IMG_8132 IMG_8133 IMG_8134 IMG_8135 The final photo is of the front of the pipe. The knitting needle plug that I used is a bright reddish orange circle that sits at the base of the pipe on the front. The colour of the pipe is the red of the previous four finished photos. The last photo was taken with my cell phone and is a bit washed out. photo 2