Daily Archives: November 4, 2015

Peterson Irish Harp B.5

I really love the looks of this one. Well done on the refurbish. It is one beautiful pipe.



The pipes my wife picked up with the exception of the Savinelli, were in great shape. The Peterson’s- two were lightly smoked and one un-smoked. The Harp B.5 is the next to my desktop.

(The pipe as received)


2007 Peterson Irish Harp B.5

From what I could find via web/collector sites I believe this Pete is from 2007. ( please correct me if this info is wrong) With the addition of three more Peterson’s it has brought my collection to seven. The B.5 is one of many I’ve had my eye on, the smooth bulldog shape and fishtail stem made this comfortable not only in hand but also clenched in jaw.  Lightly smoked and in decent condition just a few problem areas. A couple of tooth impressions, a scratch on the bowl and a burn on the rim that was deeper then first thought. 


When I first received the pipe the silver band was…

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A Surprising Antique Mall Find – A Medico 14K Gold Band Meerschaum Bulldog

Blog by Steve Laug

On my recent Idaho trip my brother and I went on a pipe hunt through quite a few antique malls. One of them in particular yielded some great finds. The first of these I worked on was the bent diamond shank cob pipe that I wrote about earlier. The next one I worked on was a small Medico Meerschaum Straight Bulldog. I honestly had no idea that Medico made meerschaum pipes so it was a surprise to me. It was in pretty decent shape with a little buildup on the rim and a light cake in the bowl. The meer was clean except for a few small nicks in the sharp edges of the diamond shaped shank and some small scratches on the top surface of the rim. The single ring around the bowl below the cap is in perfect shape with no nicks or dings. It had dust and some grit in the bottom of the ring but otherwise the edges were sharp. The stem has a reverse tenon set up with the tenon permanently inserted in the shank and a permanently inset stinger/filter apparatus that sits in the bottom of the bowl like a grate in a fireplace. The 14K gold band had light scratches and is stamped MEDICO over 1/30 14K RGP. There are no other marking on the pipe or shank. The stem is in decent shape with light tooth chatter on the top and underside near the button and is stamped with an M in a shield. From my research the Medico Meerschaum pipes were carved in Austria by Strambach. This one is stellar.Bulldog1



Bulldog4 The next three photos show close up views of the rim and the top and bottom sides of the stem. The top of the rim was dirty and had a slight buildup of tars on the back side and some scratches on the rim top. The stinger apparatus in the bottom of the bowl was darkened and caked as well. The bowl had a light cake buildup that would need to be reamed. The stem had tooth chatter on the top and underside.Bulldog5


Bulldog7 The next photo shows the stem removed from the shank and the Medico paper filter that was in the shank. It also shows the reverse tenon that is inserted in the shank.Bulldog8 I scrubbed the rim with a cotton pad and saliva to clean off the tars on the surface. I also sanded it with a micromesh sanding pad. I also sanded the sharp edges of the diamond shank to smooth out the nicks and scratches.Bulldog9

Bulldog10 I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer to remove the cake from the bowl. I used a cotton swab to clean off the stinger extension in the bottom of the bowl.Bulldog11

Bulldog12 I cleaned out the airway in the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol.Bulldog13 I worked on the stem to remove the tooth chatter on the surface of the top and bottom near the button. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the chatter and then sanded it with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge. I moved on to use micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and then rubbing it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads and rubbed it down again. I finished sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. I let it dry before taking it to the buffer.Bulldog14




Bulldog18 I buffed the stem and bowl lightly with Blue Diamond Plastic polish on the wheel. A light touch is essential when buffing these nylon stems. It is very easy to melt them and make a mess. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful pipe.Bulldog19






Cleaning Up a Yello-Bole Hand Made, With a Bit of Learning Curve Thrown In

Good work on a cool looking old pipe. Those nylon stems are a pain. I am working on one now that is a bear!

Several recent posts on RebornPipes and PipesRevival about CustomBilt pipes reminded me that I had a very similar pipe in my refurb box waiting for my attention. I found the pipe, but when I looked at the stampings, I discovered that it was not a CustomBilt at all; rather, it was stamped “Yello-Bole” over ‘“hand made”’ over “Imported Briar”. The stem was also stamped with “HM”. If the stampings weren’t enough to establish the pipe’s provenance, patches of the original yellow bowl lining were clearly visible in the tobacco chamber.

The pipe was in decent, if dirty, condition when it arrived. The stem had a fair amount of chatter in the bite area, but no oxidation. For those of you who have been following my blog for a bit now, you’ll recognize the lack of oxidation as a fair indicator of a nylon or nylon composite stem. Test an inconspicuous part…

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Removing a Broken Metal Tenon from a LHS Sterncrest 14K

Blog by Steve Laug

Not too long ago I received an email from Dave Gossett regarding another LHS Sterncrest that he had picked up. He asked if I had any hints on how to remove a broken metal mortise and broken off stinger from the shank of a pipe. He sent a picture of the issue and I wrote back regarding drilling the broken mortise insert out of the shank.broken1 He also posted on the Dr. Grabow Collectors Forum looking for help. “Does anyone have any ideas how to get this out of the shank without damaging the pipe (further)? I received this in an estate lot. Looks like somebody gave it hell already. I tried putting a screw in to remove it, but it has been gouged so badly that it won’t budge. I left it as is to keep from further damaging the shank. It has the stinger inside as well. I would have tried to file it or hot exacto knife the vulcanite but with the stinger, I don’t think this will work either. The mortise has been chewed up but I think if I can remove the debris, using a replacement stem with an extra-long tenon should make a good seal past the damaged area.”

I wrote my suggestions along with those of others on the forum and looked forward to hearing from Dave and seeing some more of his craftsmanship on this old timer. A month or so passed without any follow-up post or emails regarding the pipe. I found myself wondering what he had done with the pipe and if he had been able to use the method I wrote about on the forum and in the email. Being a bit impatient and I suppose nosey as well, I wrote Dave to see if he had had any luck clearing the shank of the pipe. He wrote back:

“On another note, I bought a Sterncrest 14k with the tenon and stinger broke off in the shank. Do you do repair work for hire? I tried putting a screw in the broken tenon to remove it, but it won’t budge. The eBay genius I bought it from gouged the hell out of the mortise trying to remove it. I’d like to have it removed and get a stem replacement fitted for it. I’ll order the replacement stem and send both together if you’re interested.”

I wrote him back and said I would gladly remove the broken tenon and ruined mortise apparatus for him. I offered to do it for nothing as I like the challenge. I also have more than enough stems here that would probably work with the pipe so I suggested he just mail it to me and let me have a shot at clearing things up.

I was away this past week and when I returned there was a box waiting for me. I opened it and removed several pipe bowls and stem that he sent as gifts. I unwrapped the bowl that needed attention and had a look at it. I was pretty sure that the method I suggested would work very well and remove the ruined mortise. I was hoping that once I had removed that I would be able to push the broken tenon out of the bowl and shank.Broken2


Broken4 I set up my cordless drill and put a drill bit the same size as the mortise in the shank of the pipe. I tightened it in place in the chuck and then hand twisted the bowl onto the drill bit. I never use a power tool to do this as it can create more problems that it cures. Because of the extensive damage to the shank and to the aluminum fitting I chose a bit the same size as the mortise rather than starting with a smaller one. My idea was to twist the bowl onto the bit until I had removed the mortise apparatus and opened up the shank so that the tenon piece could be removed.

It did not take too long to carefully twist the bowl onto the shank enough that the broken part was removed. A side benefit was that in doing this I also smoothed out the inside of the shank and removed many of the gouges in the side walls of the mortise. I would need to use a needle file to further smooth out the spots in the shank where the marks were deeper than the drill bit could remedy.Broken5 When I had finished removing the mortise insert I used a dental pick to push the broken tenon piece out of the shank. The tenon/stinger extended into the bottom of the bowl so I put the end of the pick in one of the holes in the top of the stinger and pushed the apparatus back into the shank. It was not stuck so it moved easily into the shank and with a light tap of the end of the shank fell out on the work table.Broken6 With the airway cleared of impediment I used a small round needle file and a sanding stick to clean up the inside of the shank and to prepare it for a new push stem that I would fit to the shank. I removed a lot of the damage to the shank with the files though some of it was too deep into the briar to completely remove.Broken7 I gave the inner edge of the shank end a slight bevel with a sharp knife. It was not perfect as the hack job on the shank end was very rough. I was able to smooth it up quite a bit. The first picture below shows the shank end before the bevel. The second one shows the slight bevel. I am sure that Dave will clean it up even more in his refurb.Broken8

Broken9 For fun I salvaged the broken tenon and cut off the broken part with a hack saw. It will need a small tube extension to extend it fully into the bowl but it is going back to Dave so he can decide if he wants to use it.Broken10

Broken11 The stinger was just over a half inch too short and I did not have a tube to extend it. I did have another stinger apparatus that was the right length. It fit perfectly in the tenon and extended the right distance into the shank. I am pretty sure it is another iteration of the LHS system but it is slightly different. I inserted it in the tenon and took the next photo. I put the stem in the shank and took a photo of the stinger end in the bowl.Broken12


Broken14 I will send both stingers to Dave when I return the pipe. I did not ream or clean the bowl as Dave wanted to do the restoration work himself. I had a hard time not falling prey to the temptation to ream the bowl or clean up the pipe but somehow I succeeded. I kept myself to the task at hand. I went through my stem can and found a stem that would work well with the shank diameter. It has some scratches and will need a bit of fine tuning make the fit perfect but it is a good starting place.Broken15