Daily Archives: April 2, 2015

Weber Streamliner Restoration

Blog entry by Al Jones

This Weber Streamliner was sent to me by a pipe friend from the Brothers Of Briar forums.  Chris always picks up some interesting pieces and I enjoy working on his unique finds.

I didn’t find out much about this pipe, but Steve restored one in a blog entry from 2013.  This pipe was in very good shape with the original stem.  The nomenclature and stem logo are very crisp.  Here is a George Yale Catalog ad from 1945.

Weber_Ad_1945_George Yale Catalog

This 1941 George Yale catalog page (NYC vendor) describes the “bone” filter.

1941 Streamliner ad

The bowl had a slight cake and the prow had some missing pieces of the strakes.  The stem was a bit dull.  Steven mentions in his restoration that the stem was reputed to be made by something other than vulcanite.  I suspect it is some kind of plastic as it wasn’t oxidized.   More on that later.

Weber_Streamliner_Before Weber_Streamliner_Before (1) Weber_Streamliner_Before (3) Weber_Streamliner_Before (4) Weber_Streamliner_Before (5)

The strakes looked so fragile, I thought the briar would best be polished by hand with some Halycon wax.  This turned out to be good move as during that process, a small piece of one strake broke off.  I usually examine a fragile pipe like this with a jewelers loupe and look for damaged areas.  In this case, I didn’t go downstairs to my pipe bag and get the loupe.  So, I can’t say if it was damaged or my cloth pulled the piece loose.  Fortunately, it was a clean brake and the piece fit back in nicely and I used some wood glue to make the repair.  It is almost invisible.  You can just make out the crack line on the top strake, near the right hand side.

Weber_Streamliner_After (10)

I reamed the slight cake and gave the pipe a soak with alcohol and sea salt.  The pipe and bowl was very clean.

As mentioned earlier, I don’t think the stem material is vulcanite.  It didn’t respond to the usual application of 800>1500>2000 grades of wet paper like vulcanite stems.    I used the 8000 and 12000 grades micromesh and then buffed it with White Diamond.  Only when I used the buffing wheel with some Meguiars Plastic Polish did the stem shine return.

The stem has an oddly shaped stinger, that is easily removable.  It appeared to have some type of coating and which was not affected by metal polish.  I gave the shank a good cleaning with bristle brushes and alcohol.  The stem fit better after this work, but won’t completely fit flush. I was afraid to force it.

Here is the finished pipe.

Weber_Streamliner_After Weber_Streamliner_After (4) Weber_Streamliner_After (3) Weber_Streamliner_After (7) Weber_Streamliner_After (5) Weber_Streamliner_After (1) Weber_Streamliner_After (2) Weber_Streamliner_After (9) Weber_Streamliner_After (11)


I walked through the door of the shop…and what to my wondering eye should appear?

Blog by Steve Laug

We live in a time of political correctness and a burgeoning anti-smoking lobby. More and more of the childhood characters that I grew up recognizing them by the pipe in their mouth have had the pipe eradicated. Frosty the Snowman is sans pipe, so is Old King Cole, Popeye and even Santa Claus. The ongoing removal of all things pipe and tobacco from the stories of some of my early childhood favourites continues with new victims being added each day to the blade of this hunt. It is irritating to see figurines of characters that the pipe was a part of their persona all mercilessly without the signature pipe. I have come to expect that when I see wood carvings of figurines the pipe will be noticeably missing. It is with that background that the events described in this blog took place.

I travel quite a bit for the work I do – both in Canada and globally. I am always on the hunt for pipes and tobacco shops for me but I also have an ongoing assignment to bring something notable home for my wife and four daughters. On a recent trip to Europe I was in Germany, visiting Stuttgart, Karlsruhe and then ending the trip with about 3 days in Berlin. Down the street from my hotel was a beautiful Christmas shop. My wife has trained me to pay attention to these shops and have a look. Over the years we pick up Christmas ornaments for our four daughters and ourselves at these shops to remember our trips. I could not pass up a visit to the Käthe Wohlfahrt in Berlin, which is open all year, located on the Kurfürstendamm at numbers 225 and 226 (opposite the famous Café Kranzler). I could not be that close to a Christmas shop of that renown and fail to visit it. If the wife and daughters got wind of the fact that I was that close to a shop they would have loved and did not take the time for a visit I would never live it down. Thus, with fear and trembling I knew that I needed to visit and make some purchases for the family Christmas collection. On the second morning I walked down the street and visited the shop.

The shop is huge. It fills two floors and as you wander through it you find baskets and trees and walls of wonderful ornaments, fine Christmas decorations and stylish gift ideas for every occasion. At the heart of the store is a winding, spiral rotunda, leading from the ground floor to the first floor, which allows you to walk up around a festively decorated tree. I have included the photo below and the link to their website for other Christmas lovers. https://wohlfahrt.com/102-1-berlinXmas1 As I wandered through the shop I found that it was filled with many surprises from finally carved Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks to Christmas carousels with windmill blades on top that turned from the heat generated by candles. There were ornaments and carved table settings that all were amazing. But for this North American who has visited many Christmas shops around the world and in both the US and Canada the greatest surprise was the fact that many of the ornaments and displays had Santa Claus and other characters that were smoking pipes. These pipes were a prominent feature of the characters. I have to say that discovering this was a breath of fresh air for me. I have almost given up on finding Santa figures with a pipe let alone wood cutters, dwarves and elves all with pipes. I was delighted and took pictures all around the shop to capture some of the figures and displays showing pipes. There were so many that I easily could have filled a memory card with photos. The few I took convey the feeling of the prevalence of the pipe among the characters of the shop. I am including those photos in this blog to give you a bit of a feel for what I saw.

Use your imagination to walk with me up the winding, spiral rotunda in the shop and see the figures through my eyes. I felt like a kid in a candy shop. Not only could I find the ornaments that my wife and daughters would love but I could also take in the stirred memories of childhood characters from books and movies that were present with pipe in hand or mouth. It was astounding. In the first photo I took every character had a pipe in his mouth regardless of the figure. There must have been over 30-40 figurines in that display and all had different pipes. Some were short pipes like the ones in the photo below and some were longer old German style folk pipes.Xmas2 The next display that caught my eye was a shelf filled with a variety of Santa Claus figures. Every one of them had a pipe in his mouth all different pipes of various shapes and styles.Xmas3 Even the wooden cut out tableaus had pipemen featured in them. The picture below shows one such tableau with a wood-cutter taking a pipe break after cutting firewood. The first photo below is a close up of the wood-cutter. The second photo is of the larger tableau – with a base of at least 1 meter. Throughout the scene there were figures smoking a variety of pipes.Xmas4 Next to the wood-cutter was another tableau of a quiet clearing in the woods with trees and ground covered with snow. In that scene there were several figures at work, again all had pipes in their mouths.Xmas5 When I finished taking in as much of the shop as my mind and eye could contain I carried the ornaments I had picked for the wife and daughters to the cash register to check out. As I laid them down on the counter I looked up. And what to my wondering eye should appear? There above the checkout desk was another Santa figurine with a German Folk pipe in his mouth.Xmas6 Thanks for giving this old man’s written memories a read. For me the shop was a breath of fresh air. It was a delight to walk into a shop that still paid service to my literary and film memories of characters who I grew up with who still looked like I remembered them. It was a pleasure to see that those who raise the placard of anti smoking had not made their way into this bit of paradise and sanitized yet another place of memories from my childhood. Yes indeed, the pipe is alive and well in the figurines of at least one Christmas Shop that I visited. I only wish the shop was closer to Vancouver so that I could visit again to take in more of the incredible ornaments and figurines. Ah well, I will be back in Berlin again in the year ahead and will certainly visit the shop once again.