Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe that is on my desk came to me from a friend on Smokers Forums who wants me to clean and sell them for the support of the forums. It is a nice Peterson’s Premier System Pipe in the 307 shape. It is stamped on the underside of the shank Peterson’s System Premier 307. The silver ferrule is stamped as normal with Petersons of Dublin on one side. Underneath it is stamped Sterling Silver and there are hallmarks that give the date of the pipe. The stamping of the hallmarks was as follows: Hibernia, Lion (denoting that the silver is .925) and the letter “b” which denotes that the pipe was made in 1969. I have included the Peterson’s Hallmark chart below as it is a very helpful tool that I have used repeatedly to date my Peterson pipes. The pipe was dirty and the silver was oxidized enough that the stamping was hard to see. The rim was darkened by in pretty decent shape. The sandblast finish had a lot of grime in the grooves and there was some white paint of dried wax in the grooves. There was a light cake in the bowl that was thicker toward the middle of the bowl than it was at the top or the bottom. The stem had a rough finish from the oxidation and there were some small tooth marks on the top and the bottom edge of the stem near the P lip. The airway on the button was in excellent shape and the crease was still well defined.
I took a close up of the bowl to show the cake that was in the bowl. There was a small nick on one side of the inner edge of the bowl on the right side but it looked like it would clean up very nicely. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer and took the cake back to the bare wood. I wanted a good even base so that the new owner could build a solid hard cake evenly in the bowl. I used a folded piece of sandpaper to smooth out the nick on the right side.
I took the stem out of the shank and removed the Bakelite/wood extension that screws into the tenon on Peterson Premier pipes. The photo below shows the pipe taken apart. I took the next series of photos to show the grime and white wax in the grooves of the sandblast.
I scrubbed the bowl with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean out the grooves of the blast. I worked on it until I was able to remove the grit. I followed up with a light scrub of the rim and the grooves with a brass bristle tire brush to finish the cleaning. I rinsed the bowl under running water to remove the soap and the loosened dirt. I dried it off with a soft cloth and then took the next set of photos.
I rubbed some microcrystalline Conservator’s Wax on to the bowl surface with my fingers and then buffed it with a shoe brush. The result was a warm shine on the bowl. I don’t like to use a buffer on deep blasts as it tends to flatten the blast and wear it down. Hand buffing it with a shoe brush preserves the blast.
I cleaned the interior of the stem and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I was surprised at how clean the shank and the stem were. It took very few cleaners to clean up the interior of the pipe. I soaked the stem in Oxyclean for about 30 minutes and then dried it off and sanded the oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and also a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge to remove the loosened oxidation. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and then rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit micromesh and gave it another coat of oil. In each of these steps I did not let the oil absorb but rather used it to give traction to the micromesh pads. I buffed the stem with Red Tripoli and with White Diamond on the wheel to remove the stubborn oxidation that remained. I finished by sanding the stem with 6000-12000 grit sanding pads. I gave the stem a final coat of Obsidian Oil and let it absorb into the vulcanite.
I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax to protect and give it a shine. I then buffed it with a soft flannel buff and then by hand with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful sandblast system pipe that will make someone a great addition to their rack. If you are interested in this pipe contact me via Facebook of comment on the blog. All proceeds will go toward supporting Smokers Forums.