Monthly Archives: December 2015

Opening the rebornpipes store.

I decided to create a store/sale page on the blog. I have so many pipes around here that are not getting the attention that they deserve so it is time to pass them on to some of you. The costs are listed and I think are quite reasonable. I have included an assortment of photos. Postage will be added to the price once I have the purchasers mailing address. Each week I hope to add a few more pipes so I can clear out some of my little used pipes. This first batch was given to me by a friend to clean and restore and sell. The proceeds will all go to a pipe forum that he supports for upkeep and maintenance costs. I am donating my restoration work so that all but postage will go to that forum.

Check it out. You can access it from the front page by clicking on the Welcome to the rebornpipes store or you can click on this link:

Thanks for your support.



Happy Birthday to Me – Restoring a Brigham 565

Love this unusual Brigham shape and the pins on the stem. Well done Charles.

My affection for vintage Brigham pipes is evident to anyone browsing this blog. Many of my restored Brighams have been showcased on the site, and I own more Brigham pipes than any other brand (currently 15 of the 55 or so pipes in my man-cave), ranging from run-of-the-mill 1-Dot Standards through to top-of-the-line Presidential Freehands. There is, however, a gap in my collection at the top end, specifically the 5 through 7-Dot range of what Brigham Pipes now calls the Classic pipes. My aim with this blog post is to narrow the gap slightly with the restoration of this Brigham 565, my first 5-Dot (500 Series) pipe.

I spotted this example of Brigham’s Special Grain line on eBay a few weeks ago, and was lucky enough to snag it just two days before my birthday, and three days before I took off with the family for a bit of vacation…

View original post 1,063 more words

My Second C.A. Sander of Swansea Bent Bulldog Restemmed and Restored

Blog by Steve Laug

When I was working on the previous C.A. Sander of Swansea straight bulldog that I restored ( I was looking for information on the brand. In my search on the internet I came upon this small bulldog bowl on eBay. I had found that there were at least two different names stamped on these pipes – both the ones I found were sandblast finishes. The earlier one was stamped Sandhurst and this one is stamped Oxford. Other than that the stamping on both is the same – the name then CA Sander over Swansea. I wrote the seller to see if he had any information on the brand and he replied that he did not. I put a bid on the pipe and ended up winning it. It arrived here on Tuesday this week. I have included the photos that the seller had posted on eBay below. It appeared to be in very good shape even though it did not have a stem.CA1




CA5 When the pipe arrived it was in excellent shape. The seller’s photos were absolutely correct. The bowl had a light cake in it and the rim was dirty with lava overflow and carbon. The shank was dirty and the finish had dust in the crevices of the blast. The stamping was exactly the same as the Sandhurst I restored other than the Oxford name that was present. I took the next series of photos to show the pipe on arrival before I started working on it.CA6




CA10 I went through my can of stems to find one that would work on this bowl. Diamond shanks are notoriously hard to match a stem to as each side and angle is very individual and hardly ever align with used or estate stems. I would have to find one that had a close fit and modify it to match the angles. With that in mind I found several stems that could have worked. In looking at the tapered stems I pulled all seemed too long to go with the petite size of this bowl. None quite aligned at the shank and modifying them was not an option as one or more of the sides did not have enough material to modify. I had several saddle stems that had the same issues. Then in the bottom of my can I remembered that I had a Lucite saddle stem that might very well work. I took it out and measured the sides of the diamond. I have to tell you I was very surprised – this stem was almost a perfect fit. I would need to shorten the tenon slightly and take a little material off to get a snug fit. Only the bottom right side was a little larger than the shank. Everything else matched. The stem is a pearlised cream coloured Lucite that actually would go well with the colour of the bowl once I had it cleaned up.CA11 I used the PIMO tenon turning tool to reduce the diameter of the tenon to get a close match and finished the fit by hand sanding. I shortened the length of the tenon with a Dremel and sanding drum to the same length as the mortise. In doing so I removed the damaged end of the tenon and the rounded right side. Once I had the work done I put the stem in place in the shank and took the photos below. You can see the great fit that the stem had in terms of the width of the sides of the diamond. I was fortunate in terms of the amount of work that would need to be done to fine tune this one. It would take very little work to make a good fit.CA12



CA15 I took a photo of the end of the shank and the end of the stem and put them side by side for comparison sake to show how close the two diamonds came to matching each other. This is a very rare occurrence in my experience.CA16 I sanded the bottom right side with 220 grit sandpaper to adjust the fit on that side. I needed to remove enough material to align the bottom of the diamond with the bottom of the diamond on the shank. All others point on the diamond aligned perfectly but this one. It did not take too much sanding before I had the alignment and the fit against the side of the shank perfect.CA17 I reamed the cake in the bowl with a PipNet reamer and took it back to bare briar.CA18 I scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush on the sides and bottom of the bowl and shank and with a brass tire brush on the rim.CA19





CA24 I put the stem on the bowl, put a cotton ball in the bowl and then set up the retort to clean out the internals of the pipe. I boiled alcohol through the pipe and after two tubes of alcohol the airways were clean. The retort also removed some of the staining in the stem airway. I removed the retort and scrubbed the internals of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners and cotton swabs to remove the remaining alcohol and grime in the shank. In the end the shank and airway were clean and the pipe smelled fresh.CA24A I cleaned the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol and also pipe cleaners dipped in Bar Keepers Friend powder to scrub out the tar stains in the airway. It took a lot of scrubbing but I got the majority of the stains out. I did not want to darken the stain on the bowl but wanted to highlight the contrasts in the finish. The combination of dark brown and medium brown on the high spots worked well for me. To keep that and add life to the bowl I wiped it down with a light coat of olive oil and rubbed it into the blast pattern. I took the following photos with the stem in place on the bowl. The pipe is taking shape.CA25



CA28 The stains at the button were stubborn and hard to remove. I found that there was a small lip where the slot in the button met the airway in the stem and it collected tars and oils. The pipe cleaners and scrubbing did not touch that as it did not reach into the small crevice there. I used a needle file to flatten out the lip at the junction. With that gone I was able to remove more of the stain from the stem. All that remain was a small spot on the top and the bottom that I could not get out no matter how hard I worked it.CA29 I sanded the stem with micromesh sanding pads to polish and remove the scratching. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads. As I sanded the stem with each successive micromesh pad it left a richer luster in the pearlised stem.CA30


CA32 I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the wheel (lightly on the sandblast bowl as I did not want to flatten the blast) and gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I hand waxed the bowl with Halcyon II wax and then buffed the bowl and stem with a shoe brush and a microfibre cloth to raise the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a petite bulldog – only 5 inches long from bowl to button and 1 3/8 inches tall from rim to point on the bowl bottom. The drilling on the bowl is 5/8 inches. I like the contrast that the Lucite stem gives with the blast on the bowl. The colours work well for me. The stem length works on this bowl and the overall effect is a balanced small sandblast pipe that looks great. At least it does to me! Thanks for looking.CA33




Addendum: 06/06/18 I received an email from Andrew  in answer to a question I asked in my two blogs on CA Sander pipes. I quote in full his email because of the information that it includes.

Comment: You asked about C A Sander

C A Sander were tobacconists based in Wind Street Swansea. I don’t know exactly when the business started but it it passed to my Grandfather from his father (both were C A Sander) and by the 1920 was a successful and well established retail business with shops all over south wales. They were importers and blenders (if that is the term) of tobacco and the shops sold smoking paraphernalia. At my grandfathers retirement late 60’s to business went to my uncle again C A Sander but known generally as Jim. He developed a business supplying cigarette machines around South Wales and moved out of retail he eventually sold the business to Rothermans and went into other business ventures, I expect that was when the limited company you found was formed. Uncle Jim has now retired but still lives in the area.

Hope this helps with your research.

Andrew I received this followup email from someone who would like to get in touch with you. Here is her email

Hi there – I stumbled upon your website when looking for anything to do with C.A. Sander tobacco shop and I saw the pipe you restored – which is amazing! and then saw the comment below left by Andrew. Since that shop was owned by my grandfather, and Andrew’s grandfather – it would seem that we are cousins – but we have never met. I would love to get into contact with Andrew. Would you be able to assist in that? If possible, could you ask him to contact me at my email address
Many thanks for your help! Georgina


2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 260,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 11 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Dr. Grabow Color Duke Billiard Renewed

Blog by Steve Laug

Most of the Dr. Grabow Color Duke pipes that have come across my worktable have been in rough shape. The paint has been chipped and the finish ruined. This is the second one lately that I have worked on. The first was the Cherry Apple Red Dr. Grabow Viscount that my brother found for me. This second one is a White Billiard with a saddle stem. It is one that was made for a paper filter rather than a stinger/spoon apparatus. The pipe is stamped Color Duke over Dr. Grabow on the left side of the shank and Imported Briar over Adjustomatic over Pat. 2461905. The Patent Number is for the Adjustomatic tenon.

The pipe came to me from a friend quite awhile ago and I just got around to working on it. It was in pretty decent shape other than being dirty. The finish has some dents in the bottom of the bowl on the right side. There was some staining on the right side of the shank at the stem/shank junction. The rim was dirty and had some darkening and a few spots where the finish was worn off. The bowl had a cake that would need to be removed. The screw in tenon was dirty but the stem aligned with the shank perfectly. The stem itself was dirty inside and out. There was tooth chatter on the top and underside of the stem near the button. On the underside was a deep tooth mark in the center about ½ inches from the button. The next photos show the pipe when I brought it to the work table.Duke1



Duke4 I took some close-up pictures of the rim and the dents on the bottom of the bowl to give a clear picture of the issues with this pipe.Duke5

Duke6 I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer and took the cake back to the bare briar. I used a pen knife to clean up remaining cake that the reamer left behind.Duke7

Duke8 I scrubbed the finish with cotton pads and Murphy’s Oil Soap as I did not want to use anything that potentially would damage the painted finish on the bowl. My intent was to get the grime off the finish and to remove as much of the rim darkening as possible without compromising the paint on the rim or edges.Duke9

Duke10 I rinsed the bowl with warm water and dried it off with a towel. Here are some photos of the cleaned bowl.Duke11



Duke14 I cleaned the inside of the shank and the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they came out clean.Duke15 With the bowl cleaned inside and out it was time to address the stem. I sanded the surface of the stem to clean off the dirt and tooth chatter. I wiped it down with a cotton swab and alcohol to remove the dust and to examine the dent on the underside.Duke16 After the deep dent was cleaned I filled it with a few drops of clear super glue.Duke17 Once the glue dried I sanded the repair to make it flush with the stem surface using 220 grit sandpaper.Duke18 I sanded the entire stem with medium and fine grit sanding sponges. The repair spot is beginning to blend in very well.Duke19

Duke20 I sanded the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and then rubbing it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I finished by dry sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and let it dry.Duke21


Duke23 In the past buffing the painted bowls and the Grabow stems has caused me a lot of grief. I have found that these stems can take very little heat that the buffing pads generate so I hand buff them with Paragon Wax and a shoe buffer. I buff the bowls the same way using the shoe buffing brush and a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. If you are interested in this pipe email or message me and make an offer. It could easily join your rack. Thanks for looking.Duke24






The Love of “Old Briar”

Dutch Holland

I wrote and asked Dutch for an introductory Bio to give us a feel for who he is as a pipe smoker and also as a refurbisher. I posted an earlier piece he sent me on a stem repair on a Dunhill Rhodesian and thought it would be great to know more about him. He wrote back with this marvelous piece that shows that he not only does a great job in pipe refurbishing but writes well also. I have posted it on the contributors page but also wanted to put it here as it summarizes pretty much my life as a pipe man as well. Thanks Dutch and welcome to rebornpipes. – Steve@rebornpipes

I’ve smoked pipes since I was a teen, more years ago now than I care to admit to. For most of that time my collection consisted of a set of six Peretti house brand pipes and a basket Lovat, full of fills, I just loved. I had the good fortune to know Mr. Peretti and his brand of pipes were not fancy but they were always great smokers and after all, I had a pipe for each day of the week and thought myself to be “living large”. As the father of five the budget didn’t always have a surplus of disposable income and what there was of it wasn’t seen by the bride as resources to be squandered on fancy pipes. I can’t complain, she always made the money go a lot further than I ever could have. About ten years ago we became empty nesters but old ways die-hard and even now that I could, spending big money on pipes was something I couldn’t entertain. I did want to finally be able to expand my collection but just couldn’t justify spending a lot of money to accomplish it. That’s when I stumbled onto Ebay. Right in front of my eyes was the most wonderful selection of old classic shapes in need of some TLC. That would allow me to expand the collection at a modest cost if I could develop the skills to restore them. The quest was on.

My father did wood working and at an early age I was introduced to those skills but pipe restoration has its own special requirements so I set about mastering them. The internet is a wonderful thing; on it you can find like-minded people who are willing to exchange ideas and techniques. A few practice pipes and the right tools of the trade and I was hooked. Now time on Ebay can be something akin to being a kid in a candy store, I’ll have one of everything. My collection needed a focus and just about then I encountered the GBD 9438 Bent Rhodesian. It was love at first sight. I carefully restored that old Sauvage and when I finally put a match to the bowl I understood why I wanted to restore pipes. Rhodies and Dogs became my passion and with each restoration the skill set improves and the satisfaction increases. Now retired, my days are never without a project. When I have caught up with the seemingly endless “Honey Do” list, I retire to the bench, pick an interesting prospect and idle away a few hours or sometimes days bring it back to life. There are always a few pipes in the “Awaiting Action” box just so I never run out. I do on occasion treat myself to a new pipe. There are so many great artists making them today and every once in a while a pipe will just speak to me but something special happens when you light up a pipe that most thought had seen better days but you saw through the dirt and abuse and took the time and effort to return its beauty. It becomes a passion. All it requires is commitment, a few inexpensive special tools and the relentless desire to continuously improve your technique. A truly modest investment for such big rewards.

The collection now blossoms with Rhodies and Dogs of all types and makers. Most pipes others had passed on because they bore the scars of misuse. I acquired them at a cost far below their true value and with modest effort returned them to what they had once been. On occasion, when another package arrives on the doorstep, the wife will ask “do you really need another pipe”? No, I answer, but I do need the challenge. She smiles; glad I think that my passion isn’t golf.

An Easy Restoration – an Unsmoked Meerschaum Billiard

Blog by Steve Laug

Easy1I picked up two meerschaum pipes – neither bearing any stamping or markings that give a hint to the carver. The one I am working on now is the second one in the two photos to the left. It has a flumed bowl (darkening on the top and the top third of the bowl fading as it goes down the sides. The second third is a bit lighter and the bottom third is natural). It had a metal reverse tenon – the tenon was set in the shank of the pipe and the stem is pushed over that. In this case the stem is similar cheap nylon/plastic as the ones I replaced in the two previous blog articles noted below.

The similarity in tenon and stem setup leads me to believe that I was dealing with the same carver that I noted in the second article above. There I quote a fellow on the Dr. Grabow Collectors Forum who said “They were excellent pieces of meerschaum with bad stems. The bowls were carved by Robert Strambach in Vienna.” Looking at the stems that I kept from the pipes they are identical in look, feel and composition. All three have the casting marks on the sides of the stem and are thin at the button. The difference in this one is that the pipe was unsmoked so the stem had not tooth chatter or damage. It was merely dull and dirty from sitting in someone’s collection for years.

When I received this pipe it was unsmoked. The bowl had darkened from grime and dirt. The fumed rim had a few nicks on the top and inner edge of the rim where the pipe had been knocked about. The meerschaum itself was dirty and had ground in soil on the sides of the bowl and the top and bottom of the shank. There were also a few light spots on the side of the bowl where something had been dripped on the fumed portion and lightened it.Easy2Easy3Easy4Easy5 I took a close-up photo of the rim and the bowl to give an idea of the state of both. The bowl is darkened from sitting but has not been smoked. The rim has some of the nicks I spoke about on the inner edge and the top.Easy6I scrubbed the meerschaum with cotton pads and Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean off the grime. I rinsed the bowl with warm water to remove the soap. I dried it with a cotton cloth.Easy7I sanded the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads to remove some of the scratching on the top of the shank and some of the ground in dirt on the sides of the bowl. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads. I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the wheel and then gave it several coats of soft white beeswax and buff it with a soft flannel buff. The photos below show the cleaned and polished bowl. I was careful in how much of the patina I removed in the process of cleaning the bowl. I wanted it clean but it still needed to look its age.Easy8 Easy9 Easy10 Easy11 Easy12 Easy13To polish the dullness of the plastic stem I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit micromesh and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I gave it several coats of Paragon Wax and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth.Easy14 Easy15 Easy16I put the stem on the bowl and buffed the bowl and stem by hand with the microfibre cloth to give it a shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This was a simple clean up which is greatly appreciated after the last few hard jobs. Thanks for looking.Easy17 Easy18 Easy19 Easy20 Easy21 Easy22

Comoy’s Tradition Shape 17 (Kruger S) Clean-Up

By Al Jones

I picked up this Tradition Shape 17 over the holiday weekend and finished the restoration this evening. I’m not an Oom-Paul fan but this one looked in too good shape to pass up.

I found very little references to this shape,save on the Comoys Shape chart. I did find that Steve had restored a Shape 17 second line detailed on this blog.

Royal Falcon Shape 17

The three piece, drilled “C” logo looked to be in terrific condition and the round Made in London/England stamping showed it was made between the early 1950’s to the merger year of 1981. Despite the bowl size, the pipe only weighs a svelte 34 grams.

Comoys_Tradition_17_Before (1)

Comoys_Tradition_17_Before (4)

The pipe had some tooth indentions and a few dents that I hoped would stem out. The button is really nice and fitment was very good. The bowl interior was also in great shape.

The bowl had a slight cake, which was reamed. My wife recently gave me a new Pipenet reamer set for Christmas, to replace my aging Castleford set. The bits on this shape are definitely of a better quality, something that I had been skeptical about in the past, having never held a Pipenet set.


The small dents on the bowl top did steam out nicely. The faded finish rejuvenated nicely with some White Diamond rouge on the buffing wheel. The nomenclature is in excellent condition, so I was sure to stay away from that area. “Tradition” grade pipes always have a nice gleam to the briar. I polished the inner section of the bowl with some White Diamond on a small felt wheel mounted to my Dremel tool on the low speed setting. The bowl was then soaked with sea salt and alcohol. The Comoys beveled edge feature was in very good shape.

The teeth indentions near the button popped out nicely with heat from a lighter flame, leaving only the slightest ripple. As mentioned,the button is slim and finished very nicely. There was a little oxidation around the stem at the shank end that was removed with 1500 and 2000 grade wet paper, then micromesh (8000 and 12000) on the entire stem. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The stem was completely clogged with residue, which took several bristle cleaners dipped in alcohol to remove.

As I was finishing the pipe, a pipe friend in India messaged me thru Facebook. I attached a picture of the pipe to our conversation and he ended up buying it, from across the world! The pipe community is a tight knit group!

Here’s the finished pipe, which will eventually be sent to my friend in India to enjoy.

Comoys_Tradition_17_Finish (1)

Comoys_Tradition_17_Finish (5)

Comoys_Tradition_17_Finish (2)

Comoys_Tradition_17_Finish (6)

Comoys_Tradition_17_Finish (7)

Comoys_Tradition_17_Finish (4)

Comoys_Tradition_17_Finish (3)

Comoys_Tradition_17_Finish (8)

Comoys_Tradition_17_Finish (9)

Comoys_Tradition_17_Finish (10)

Comoys_Tradition_17_Finish (11)

Comoys_Tradition_17_Finish (1)

A Passion for Rhodies and Dogs – Stem Repair on a Dunhill 52081 Rhodesian

Blog by Dutch Holland

With this blog it is my pleasure to introduce you to the work of Dutch Holland. His work comes highly recommended to us by Dave Gossett who has been a contributor to rebornpipes for a while now. Welcome to the blog Dutch. It is great to have you here.

Dutch1A number of years back I had the good fortune to acquire a Dunhill 52081 Bent Rhodesian. I readily admit to a passion for Rhodies and Dogs that borders on obsession. Several years later I came across a second pipe of the same year and style but a different finish. The temptation was overwhelming and I succumbed. The problem was this second pipe not only had been poorly used but it had a nasty chip in the top center of the bit at the button. But the price was right and at worst, I could always invest in a replacement bit. These Rhodies were only offered for a few years and they don’t come on the market very often so I made the decision to buy. That pipe sat in the “Awaiting Action” box in my shop for a number of years. I really wasn’t sure just how to deal with the repair but last year I decided to give it a shot and to my pleasant surprise found it was neither difficult nor complicated. As you can see from the picture above it’s all but invisible. It requires very close inspection by a knowledgeable eye to detect.

I’ve broken the process down into steps outlined below. Being able to fix a broken bit can do for you what it’s done for me, allowed me to rescue a pipe I really wanted. So here’s one way to do it.

Repairing damage to a pipe stem is an easy five step process. This kind of repair can be done by the hobbyist and makes an old pipe serviceable again at a very modest cost. The outcome is very dependent on the skill of the repairman so a few tries on an old stem for practice is recommended. The better your skill set, the better the final result but it’s neither difficult nor complicated, just time consuming. Some question the durability of this kind of repair but my experience is that they hold up to normal use quite well. I don’t recommend the use of harsh chemicals for cleaning but with reasonable care the repair will last a very long time and for the hobbyist it’s more than adequate for your average project.

What you will need:

CA Glue, Activated Charcoal, a small drink bottle cap, light cardboard, Pipe cleaners, Scotch tape and some tooth picks

A small file set, Sandpaper (400, 600 & 1000 grit) and a set or Micro-Mesh pads (1500 to 12,000 grit)

The Process

Step 1, Rough Sanding.
Sand the area to be repaired with the 400 grit sandpaper, beveling the area of the break to provide the maximum bonding area for the repair mixture. I like the courser grade as it scores the area around the break and reduces the stark contrast between the repair area and the rest of the bits surface making the repair difficult to detect. Clean the area to be repaired well and make sure it is free of any contaminants which might inhibit the bond of the glue/charcoal mixture. I usually use a high proof alcohol (Wild Turkey 101)

Step 2, Support the repair.
Insert support into the airway to prevent the mixture from invading it. A piece of light cardboard will do the trick. First rap the cardboard in Scotch tape (mixture won’t stick to the tape) and slide it into the slot. Then slide a pipe cleaner into the slot under the cardboard to force a snug fit up against the repair area.

Step 3, Making and applying the repair mixture.
Place a portion of the activated charcoal in the drink cap. I use a spoon on a Czech pipe tool as about the right amount. To that I add the CA glue until I have about a 50% Glue mixture and then gently stir until the charcoal is completely mixed with the glue. I like to let the mixture set for 15 seconds to allow any air bubbles caused by the mixing to escape. Using the tooth pick apply the mixture to the repair area until the build-up is higher than the bit surface. There is some shrinkage when the mixture dries so extra depth is essential to getting a smooth, flat surface when finished. Work quickly as the CA glue thickens rapidly. If necessary repeat this step to get the surface level to where you want it. In the example shown below I added mixture twice. First to fill the gap and a second time to rebuild the button area.

Step 4, Rough sanding & Shaping
Once the repair mixture has cured, (I usually leave it for several hours, probably overkill but I find it shapes better if it’s well cured) start with the files and reduce the excess mixture and get a rough shape. Do not try to get a close finish to the shape you want as the files are quite course and will leave significant scratches on the surface. Allow for this by leaving some surplus material in place. Now with the sandpaper progressively contour the surface starting with the 400 and moving to 600 and then 1000 grits. Slow, careful sanding works best using the sandpaper to contour the fine details. Sometimes air bubbles get caught in the repair mixture and will leave a tiny void in the surface. Should this happen add a thin touch of the CA glue to the void and re-sand. The imperfection will become un-noticeable. Keep in mind that any irregularities in the surface will become traps for contaminants so don’t be too forgiving of them.

Step 5, Finishing the bit
Now you’re ready to restore luster to the bit. Here Micro-Mesh is a great solution for the task. Progressively sand the bit starting with the 1500 grit and progressing up to the 12,000 grit. The human eye cannot detect scratches left by the 12,000 grit pad so the surface looks shiny. I don’t recommend buffing as an alternative. You can quickly undo all the painstaking work you have just completed. As a final step in the process a light buff with white diamond followed some carnauba wax will give you a great shine and inhibit future oxidation.
So there you have it. Give it a try. You can’t make a broken bit much worse than it already is so there’s little at risk. Who knows, you might like the results and there’s something very satisfying about being able to rescue a pipe others would consider a lost cause. This technique was shared with me by Dave G and it works well so I pass it on with my recommendation.

In subsequent tries I’ve found this solution works invisibly Vulcanite but is more detectable on acrylics.Dutch2

Wm Wales Billiard Restemmed and Restored

Blog by Steve Laug

Wm1This is yet another pipe that my brother Jeff picked up in Montana and sent my way. It is stamped Wm Wales on the left side of the shank and on the right side it is stamped Grecian in script. The stamping though a different script than that found on the Carey Magic Inch pipes is similar in the way it is stamped and the stamping of Grecian on the right side of the shank. I did some digging on the internet and found nothing about the brand other than several pipes with the same stamping for sale. There is nothing about the brand on the various pipe information websites. There is nothing about the brand on Who Made That Pipe or in Lopes book so I am left with a bit of a mystery.

The pipe has some pretty decent grain on it. The sides of the bowl have some interesting birdseye grain and the front and the back of the bowl have cross grain on them. The stem is a mix of grains. The finish was worn and dirty. The rim had a cake of tar and grit on the top of the bowl. The inside of the bowl had a hard, thick cake that almost filled the bowl. The rim itself was undamaged and showed no burn marks or damage to either the outside edge of the rim or the inside bevel of the rim. The stem was at first glance workable but upon examination it had a crack in the centre of the button on both the top and bottom sides. There were also tooth marks that were deep and one split the button. The surface of the stem was wavy and rippled from the way it had been buffed. The slot in the stem was clogged and no air would go through the airway.

In the photo above to the left the pipe is the second one down from the top. The next set of four photos show the pipe as was when it arrived at my work table.Wm2



Wm5 I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim to give a clear picture of what I started with in my clean up. The two photos following that give a good view of the stamping on the shank.Wm6


Wm8 The next two photos show the damage to the stem. The more I looked at the damage the more I realized that a replacement stem would be less work than fiddling around with repairing the damage on that one.Wm9

Wm10 I tried to ream the bowl with a PipNet reamer and found that the cake was so hard that reamer did not even cut into the surface of the cake. I tried a KLEENREEM reamer and made no headway either so I dropped the bowl in an alcohol bath to soak. It would soften the cake and clean up the grime on the finish of the rim and bowl as a bonus.Wm11 While it soaked I looked for a new stem in my can of stems and found one that would work quite well. It was a little larger in diameter but once I fit it to the stem some sanding and shaping would take care of that.Wm12 In the morning I took the bowl out of the alcohol bath and worked on it to ream it. I used the PipNet and the KLEENREEM reamer on the bowl. I also used a pen knife to work at cutting away the hard cake. In the process of reaming I found that the bowl was conical in shape rather than U shaped. I used the drill bit from the KLEENREEM tool to open the airway in the shank.Wm13


Wm15 Once I had cleaned out the shank and the bowl with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs I fit the new stem to the shank. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the tooth chatter and the oxidation. I sanded it with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge to further remove the scratching and oxidation. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil.Wm16




Wm20 I scrubbed the briar with acetone on cotton pads to remove the finish and the remaining grime on the rim and bowl.Wm21



Wm24 I sanded the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads on the briar and the stem and then rubbed down the stem with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I finished by dry sanding the stem with 6000-12000 grit pads and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil.Wm25


Wm27 I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond polish on the wheel and then gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean flannel buff to raise the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The grain really shines through in the photos. It is a beautiful piece of briar. I would love to know more about the history of the brand to give more depth to my understanding of the pipe.Wm28



Wm31 I took a few close-up photos of the stem and the bowl showing the grain of the briar and the shape and look of the stem. Thanks for looking.Wm32