Daily Archives: September 27, 2014

A Reborn Peterson Tankard

Blog by Steve Laug

I have looked for one of these little Peterson Tankards for a long time. I have always liked the delicate simplicity of the pipe. The bowl is a round tankard and the pencil shank with the silver Peterson collar looks elegant. The rim is rounded and crowned. The stem has a gentle bend that allows the pipe to sit plat on the base. It is stamped on its base Peterson Tankard, Made in the Republic of Ireland. The pipe is pictured in the photo below, the third pipe down. It was one of the five I found on my recent pipe hunt.IMG_2049The Tankard was in worn but decent shape. The finish was dirty and there was darkening around the bowl middle from the hands of the previous owner. The rim had a thick buildup of tars and oils that had hardened. There were burn marks around the inner edge of the rim at the back of the pipe and the right front. The burn on the front of the bowl was more extensive that then one on the back inner rim. The bowl had a thick cake in it and the shank was dirty. The stamping was readable but faint. The stem had tooth marks on the top and bottom sides of the stem near the crease on the P-lip. It was badly oxidized and there was a heavy calcification around the stem about an inch in from the button. The silver ferrule was clean and would shine up easily.IMG_2123 IMG_2124 IMG_2125 IMG_2126I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer to remove the cake back to bare wood. I scrubbed down the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap on a cotton cloth and wiped it off to clean the briar.IMG_2128 IMG_2260 IMG_2261 IMG_2262 IMG_2263The next photo shows the reamed bowl and the caked rim top. It was very thick so it would take some work with sandpapers and oil soap to remove the tars. I scrubbed it with the soap and then with alcohol to remove as much of the tars as possible. I then sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and a medium grit sanding sponge. I wiped it down with acetone once I had finished sanding it. The extent of the rim damage can be seen in the second photo.IMG_2264 IMG_2265I wiped down the finish with acetone on cotton pads to completely remove the wax and the finish from the outside of the bowl.IMG_2266 IMG_2267 IMG_2268I set the bowl aside to work on the stem. I used a Bic style lighter to “paint” the surface of the stem and lift the tooth marks. Doing this I was able to remove many of the tooth dents and lessen the depth of the remaining ones.IMG_2269 IMG_2270 IMG_2271I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the rest of the dents and the oxidation and calcification. I reshaped the button and the crease to sharpen them. There was one tooth mark that I could not minimize further without damaging the thickness of the stem at the crease. I used a clear super glue to fill that spot. Once the glue had dried I sanded it and then used a needle file to reshape the crease and smooth things out. I sanded the repair with 220 grit sandpaper and then with medium and fine grit sanding sponges until I had blended it into the surface of the vulcanite.IMG_2272 IMG_2273 IMG_2274 IMG_2275 IMG_2276I sanded the stem with my usual array of micromesh sanding pads to polish and finish it. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanded with 3200-12,000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three grits. Once I finished with the micromesh pads I buffed the stem with White Diamond and then gave it several coats of carnauba wax to protect it and give it a deep shine.IMG_2281 IMG_2282 IMG_2283I decided to leave the finish natural and not stain it. I rubbed it down with a light coat of olive oil to enhance the redness of the briar.IMG_2277 IMG_2278 IMG_2279 IMG_2280I took a close up photo of the rim to see if the scratches were still visible. At the back side of the rim there were still some scratches that I needed to work on more to remove. I also wanted to see if I could also remove some more of the rim damage from the burn marks.IMG_2288I sanded the rim with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge to work on the scratches and the burn marks. Working on the surface with the sanding sponge I was able to remove the scratches and some more of the burn marks from the surface.IMG_2289 IMG_2294I sanded the bowl with the same fine grit sanding sponge and then buffed it with White Diamond. I took special care around the stamping to make sure that I did not damage the light stamping. I gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax and lightly buffed it to a shine with a soft flannel buffing pad. The finished pipe is shown below. The birdseye grain on the sides and the cross grain on the ends both work really well. It is a beautiful pipe and I think it will be a great smoking pipe as well. It should provide many more years of service and certainly live beyond my lifetime to be passed on to a new generation of pipemen.IMG_2290 IMG_2291 IMG_2292 IMG_2293

Breathing New Life into an Astleys 48 Cherrywood

Blog by Steve Laug

The third pipe from my recent pipe hunt that I chose to restore was the last one pictured below. It is a rusticated Astleys Cherrywood style pipe with a tight rustication pattern resembling a sandblast. I think the process may have been to rusticate and then to sand down the high spots until they were smooth. The texture is really well done and comfortable to hold. The pipe is a light weight with a classic look.IMG_2049The finish was in pretty good shape with a few worn spots where the stain was rubbed off on both the bowl and shank. The rim had a buildup of tars and oils that had hardened and formed a scale on the rim. The bowl had a thick cake that choked out the diameter of the bowl. The stem had been over bent to the point it hung oddly in the mouth rather than the way the original bend had made it hang. It was also oxidized and had a buildup of calcium around the button end of the stem that covered several deep tooth marks on both the top and bottom sides of the stem.IMG_2115 IMG_2116 IMG_2117 IMG_2118As shown in the photo above the bowl had been stamped on the smooth bottom of the bowl. It read Astleys over 109 Jermyn St.Under that was stamped London over 48. I looked up the shape in an old Astleys catalogue (page pictured below) and found the 48 was round Cherrywood Briar. The description stated that it was a copy of an old English cherrywood with a flat base. The correct bend can also be seen in the photo below from the catalogue.astleys-booklet_page_07I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer and took the cake back to bare wood. The oily, sweet, aromatic smell was more than I wanted to deal with in terms of ghosting.IMG_2231IMG_2232IMG_2233IMG_2234I cleaned out the internals with isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until they came out clean. I scrubbed the pipe with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a soft tooth brush for the sides and shank. I used a brass bristle tire brush to clean off the buildup on the rim. I then scrubbed the rim again with soap. When the scrubbing was finished I rinsed it with running water and dried it off with a cotton towel.IMG_2238IMG_2239IMG_2240IMG_2241IMG_2242I used the stain pens from Greg to touch up the worn spots on the finish of the bowl and shank. I buffed the bowl with a shoe brush once the stain was dry.IMG_2243IMG_2244IMG_2245IMG_2246Once the bowl was cleaned and buffed I turned to work on the stem. I used a needle file to give better definition to the crease on the button and clean up the bit marks on top of the button on both sides. I heated the tooth marks with a Bic lighter to raise them and then sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the small marks left behind. I also sanded to remove the calcium and oxidation on the stem.IMG_2247IMG_2248Up to this point I worked on the stem off the pipe. I avoided the area on the saddle where it sat against the shank so as not to round the shoulders. I cut a plastic washer and put it between the stem and the shank to allow me to work on the shoulders without damaging them when I sanded. I lightly reworked that area with the 220 grit sandpaper and then sanded the entire stem with medium and fine grit sanding sponges.IMG_2249IMG_2250There were still some small divots in the top of the stem so I removed it from the pipe and sanded them once more with the 220 grit sandpaper and the sanding sponges.IMG_2251I sanded the stem with the usual battery of micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12,000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads. As the stem absorbs the oil the oxidation comes to the surface and the oil makes sanding much simpler. When I finished with the 12,000 grit pad I gave it a light buff with White Diamond.IMG_2252IMG_2253IMG_2255I gave the light spot on the shank shown in the above photo a touch up of stain and then put the stem back on the pipe and buffed the whole pipe lightly. I gave the bowl several coats of Halcyon II wax and then buffed the stem with more carnauba. I gave the entire pipe a light buff with a soft flannel wheel. The finished pipe is shown below.IMG_2256IMG_2257IMG_2258IMG_2259