Blog by Steve Laug
The Dunmore line from Peterson really is a stripped down pipe. The one that I worked on this weekend was in essence a system pipe. The lack of a ferrule is made up for by a stylized carving around the shank end. The stem sits snugly against the end of the shank but is not flush with the diameter of the shank. The saddle on the stem has a different flair than a regular Peterson pipe. The one we found had a Plip stem. This particular Dunmore was found by my friend John when we went pipe hunting this weekend. We had a blast as can be seen from the haul of pipes that he picked up below. The Dunmore is picture at the top left of the first column in the photo below. below. While John worked on restoring the oak pipe rack that he had found I worked on his Peterson Dunmore. This old pipe had some beautiful grain – birdseye on both sides and cross grain front and back. The bowl almost perfectly aligned with the grain on this one. I forgot to take pictures of the pipe before I began cleaning it up so the only one that is left of the pre-clean is shown in the group photo above. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer and then cleaned out the sump and the internals of the bowl and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol until all came out clean. The finish on the bowl was virtually non-existent as it had worn away. I wiped it down with acetone to clean the briar and remove the oils and marks that had settled on top of the wood. The acetone pads came away dirty with the grime more than with any previous colour or stain. Cleaning the surface revealed even more clearly the marvelous grain that was on this pipe. The top of the bowl and rim had some damage from tapping out the pipe. The outer edge of the rim particularly had taken a beating. The bowl was still in round so the inner edge was fine. To minimize the damage to the top and the outer edge I set up a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper and worked on the bowl top. (The whole time I was working on this pipe I gave a running commentary to John as he wanted to know the process so that he could clean up some of the other pipes once he had finished the rack). After topping the bowl I sanded the outer edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove some of the darkening around the bowl top. I resanded it with medium and fine grit sandpaper to remove scratches and did the same to the rim top. I sanded the entirety of the rim and edges with 2400 grit micromesh to smooth it out. After wiping down the briar with alcohol to remove the dust from the surface of the bowl John and I decided not to stain the pipe but to keep it natural. I rubbed it down with a bit of olive oil to give some life to the wood and then buffed it with White Diamond. I was careful to not buff the areas around the stamping so as not to damage them. I chose rather to buff these areas by hand with a shoe brush. I gave the bowl several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a soft flannel buff to shine it. There were two small crevices that showed up on the inside of the bowl on the right side about ¼ inch below the rim. I mixed a batch of pipe mud and filled the small crevices and smoothed the mud over the surrounding area of the bowl. I set it aside to dry while I worked on the stem.
The stem had a lot of tooth chatter and a few shallow tooth marks on the top and the bottom next to the button. It also had a deep oxidation that required a lot of elbow grease to remove. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the surface oxidation and the calcification near the button. I “painted” the stem with my Bic lighter to raise more of the oxidation to the surface and also to raise the small tooth marks on the stem. I sanded it some more with the 220 grit sandpaper followed by a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge. That work brought it to the condition shown in the next two photos below. I sanded it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12,000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down between each set of three pads with Obsidian Oil. After finishing with the 12,000 grit pad I buffed it lightly with White Diamond on the wheel and then rubbed it down one more time with the oil. When it had dried I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it to a shine. I hand buffed the completed pipe with a bit more wax and a shoe brush to finish the polish. The finished pipe is shown below in all of its beauty. I am really glad we decided to leave the wood natural and only give it a light oil finish before waxing. The grain stands out well and the feel of the pipe in hand is very nice. John loved the finished pipe. I am looking forward to hearing from him once he has smoked it a few times.