Daily Archives: December 24, 2014

The Little Champion 057 Horn Reborn

Blog by Steve Laug

When I saw this old timer it reminded me of a Dunhill shape that I had seen though that one had had a taper stem. The seller was from Germany and the only photo included is the one below. The stem was badly oxidized in the photos and the finish on the bowl that showed was worn. I had no idea what the rim or the rest of the pipe looked like. The seller did not include any information on the stamping on the pipe so it was a bit of a blind bid. I decided to go for it and put in a low bid and won the pipe.Horn The pipe arrived this week and I was nervous when I saw the package that the postie delivered. It was totally smashed with the corners blown out on two sides. Someone had reconstructed the box with strapping tape but the crushed box was not repaired. I cut the tape and opened the box with fear and trembling. I was wondering if the pipe inside would be in pieces of if it would be unscathed. Inside the box were many crumpled newspaper pages. I dug through the pages and in the very middle was a bubble wrapped object. The stem was still in the shank of the pipe and looking through the bubble wrap it appeared unbroken. I cut the tape on the wrapping and took out the pipe. What I found is shown in the next four photos below.Champ1



Champ4 The finish was much worn with much of the black overstain worn off. Someone had put a coat of varnish over the worn finish so it was very shiny. There was very little of the sandblast that was not worn. The odd thing was that the blast was still quite rugged and not flattened in the worn portions. The stem was oxidized and dirty. There was a faint logo on the stem of the pipe – a rising sun over a wavy line like a sun over water. On the bottom of the shank it was stamped “The Little Champion”. The bowl had some remnants of broken cake in the V shaped bowl. The rim had a build up tars and oils that had filled in the blast. The rim was slightly slanted inward and gave a dapper look to the old pipe.Champ5 I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer. For the upper portion of the bowl I used the second cutting head in the set and the smallest cutting head for the lower portion of the bowl. I evened out the section where the two cutting heads over lapped with a small pen knife.Champ6 Once the bowl was reamed I put the stem in jar of oxyclean to soak and the bowl in an alcohol bath to soak. I wanted to loosen the oils on the rim top and also see if the alcohol would begin to remove the varnish coat.Champ7

Champ8 Later in the day, after the bowl had soaked in the bath for several hours I took it out of the bath and dried it off with a cotton cloth. I used a soft bristled brass tire brush to scrub the rim and loosen the buildup.Champ9

Champ10 I wiped down the bowl with acetone on cotton pads to further remove the varnish. Using the acetone I was able to take of the varnish coat and prep the bowl for restaining.Champ11


Champ13 I took the stem out of the oxyclean and dried it off. I put it back on the bowl and then set up a pipe retort to boil out the shank and stem. I put a cotton ball in the bowl and the surgical tube over the mouth piece. I heated the alcohol with a tea light candle.Champ14 The first boil through came out brown. The photo below shows the colour of the alcohol after the first tube boiled through. I dumped the alcohol out of the test tube and refilled it and repeated the process.Champ15

Champ16 I removed the stem and cleaned out the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. It took very little time to clean out what remained. I put a plastic washer in place between the shank and the stem and then sanded it lightly with 220 grit sandpaper to loosen the oxidation. I followed that by sanding with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge.Champ17 I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil when finished. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads and again rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil. I buffed the stem with red Tripoli and then finished sanding with 600-12,000 grit micromesh pads. I rubbed the stem down a final time with Obsidian Oil and then when dry buffed it lightly with White Diamond.Champ18


Champ20 I stained the bowl with a mix of 50/50 alcohol and dark brown aniline stain. I applied it with a cotton swab, flamed it and then wiped it down with a cotton pad. The dark brown stain settled deeply into the blast. Some of the higher spots remained a lighter brown. The contrast came out looking quite nice.Champ21



Champ24 Once the stain had dried I buffed the bowl and stem lightly with White Diamond. I then gave both the stem and the bowl several coats of Halcyon II wax and buffed it with a shoe brush to raise the shine. The finished pipe is shown below. The pipe is ready to load and enjoy. I am planning on loading it up on Christmas morning with a bowl of Pilgrim’s Muse from the Country Squire shop in Jackson.Champ25



Champ28 The final photo shows the bottom of the shank and the stamping is very readable. Anyone with information on the brand please let us know in the comment section below and I will add it to the blog. Thanks ahead of time.Champ29

Yohanan sent me a note that he had found the same logo on PipePhil’s Logo site http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-e3.html and once I checked it out it matches the stem logo exactly. Here is a photo.Noname

Peterson : 150 Years of Irish Craftsmanship (The New Video)

An interesting video on Peterson Pipes

peterson pipe notes

Christmas Greetings All,

As promised — the world internet premiere of the new Peterson film! Really, really fun. Having been to the factory twice, I must say that the video gives me a better sense of the sequence of operations in the process of crafting a Peterson pipe than did my actual visits to the Sallynoggin factory.

Bold Move, the Dublin-based video company who made the film for K&P, obviously  worked closely with Conor and Tom Palmer, Tony Whelan Jr., David Blake, Joe Kenny and several others on the factory floor in creating Peterson’s 150th anniversary video. To view it full-screen, click on the gray box with the white arrow marked “pop out” at the upper right-hand corner of the video frame.

In book news, we’ve got a final title:  The Peterson Pipe : A History of Kapp & Peterson. Our first draft is within a few weeks of completion…

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We Three Ashfords (Sasieni Four Dot)

Blog by Al Jones

At the beginning of 2014, I had an empty slot on my “Holy Grail” shape list for the Sasieni Ashford.  During the year, I was thrilled to find both a Ruff Root and Rustic finish Ashfords.  As the year closes out, I was able to find yet another, my first smooth Ashford, in the Walnut finish.    Like my others, this one is a pre-Transition pipe which was made between 1946 and 1979.   So, in the spirit of the Christmas season, I present “We Three Ashford”.

The pipe didn’t need to be restored as the Ebay seller (passionforpipes) had already done an excellent job.  There was a small crease on the side of the bowl on the dot side.  A few minutes with an iron and a wet cloth almost completely removed that mark.  After steaming out the mark, the color was brought back with some White Diamond rouge and then several coats of Carnuba wax.  The nomenclature was in very good condition, so I was careful to stay away from those areas which was waxed by hand with Halycon wax and a cloth.

Sasieni_Ashford_Walnut_eBay_bowl_dent Sasieni_Ashford_Walnut (8)

There was just a hint of oxidation around stem junction and near the button.  I removed that with some 1000>1500 and 2000 grit wet paper followed by 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh.  Then a light buff with white diamond.  Sasieni and Comoys stems respond well to the super-fine Red Jewelers rouge, so that is the final buff used.  You do need to stay away from the stem logos as the red color will transfer

I’m very pleased to add the final Ashford to my collection. My wife had now secreted the pipe away to be wrapped, so I won’t see it until Christmas Day and hopefully enjoyed later on.

Sasieni_Ashford_Walnut_Gallery Sasieni_Ashford_Walnut (6) Sasieni_Ashford_Walnut (2) Sasieni_Ashford_Walnut (9) Sasieni_Ashford_Walnut (1) Sasieni_Ashford_Walnut (3) Sasieni_Ashford_Walnut (7)

Below are all three of my Ashford Shapes.  Walnut, Ruff Root and Rustic.

Sasieni_Ashford_Trio (3)





A Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year from rebornpipes

Blog by Steve Laug

It has been a great year for rebornpipes. The readership has grown with over 181,000 visits this year and the contributor list has also grown. The vision that I had when I began rebornpipes is becoming a reality. Many of you are not only reading the blogs but are working on pipes and then contributing to the blog what you are learning in the process. I just want to take this opportunity to thank each of you who have contributed to rebornpipes for your willingness to record your work on the pipes you have refurbished, new methods you have used and just for your love of returning old pipes back to a clean and usable condition. I also want to thank each of the readers of rebornpipes for you faithful following of the posts and blogs that are contributed. It would be great to hear from more of you in the year ahead. Why not take some photos of the pipes you are refurbishing and do a write up of your work. Send it to me at slaug@uniserve.com and I will make sure to get it online for you.

I also want to wish each of you in both groups a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year. Hope you take some time in the midst of the busyness of the season to remember why we do it and to slow down enough to enjoy a few bowlfuls of your favourite tobacco in a pipe of your choice.Santa