Daily Archives: March 13, 2016

A Rare Find – A Pair of Fieldcraft Dulwich Quaints


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother found this pair of Dulwich Quaints – one a sitter, kind of bent poker and the other a kind of pickaxe shape. The shape and the look of them were unique and there was something about them that immediately drew me to them. They are not big pipes but they have full sized bowls. The stems were made out of very good vulcanite. The briar was quite nice even though both pipe sported a few fills. The bent poker is stamped DULWICH over Quaint on the left side of the shank and Made in England on the right side. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Fieldcraft and the shape number 102. The pickaxe is stamp DULWICH over Quaint on the left side and Made in England on the right and on the underside it has the shape number 126. I have hunted high and low for information on the brand using the Dulwich moniker as well as the Fieldcraft one. Both take me nowhere. One of the earlier pipes I repaired was stamped with the Fieldcraft name and the shape number was clearly a Orlik Pipe Shape. In this case I have no idea who the maker was. Both are interesting old pipes.Dulwich1 Dulwich2The poker shaped sitter had hardly been smoked with over half of the bowl undarkened briar. The stem had some tooth chatter on the underside near the button but other than being oxidized it was a clean pipe. The finish on it was also pretty decent with a few small fills toward the bottom of the bowl on the left side and the front. There was some scratching in the briar as well particularly on the bottom of the bowl. The pickaxe was in rougher shape all the way around. It had a thick cake in the bowl with lava on the rim. The front right rim edge and top had been badly beaten against something that left the briar very rough. The stem was oxidized and had a line of calcification. There was tooth chatter on both the top and bottom sides near the button.Dulwich3 Dulwich4 Dulwich5I took a close up picture of both rims to show what they looked like when I started the refurb. The poker had a slightly crowned rim that is undamaged and has no lava or tars. The pickaxe is another story.Dulwich6 Dulwich7I reamed the bowl of the pickaxe with a PipNet reamer using the smallest cutting head. I took the cake back to bare briar so that I could repair the rim damage.Dulwich8 Dulwich8aI wiped both bowls down with acetone on cotton pads to remove the finish and the grime that was particularly prevalent on the pickaxe.Dulwich9 Dulwich10I sanded the rim of the pickaxe with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage to the surface of the front edge and top. I sanded it with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge and then with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-24000 grit. I wiped the rim down with acetone.Dulwich11 Dulwich12I buffed both bowls with White Diamond on the wheel to get a natural shine.Dulwich13 Dulwich14 Dulwich15 Dulwich16I cleaned out the mortise and the airway on both pipes with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol.Dulwich17 Dulwich18I cleaned out the airways on both stems with alcohol and pipe cleaners.Dulwich19 Dulwich20I sanded the stems with 220 grit sandpaper to clear the surface of the oxidation and the calcification on the pickaxe stem. I scrubbed the bite marks on the underside of the stem and used black super glue to repair them.Dulwich21 Dulwich22I sanded the poker stem with 220 grit sandpaper and removed the tooth marks on the underside of the stem near the button.Dulwich23 Dulwich24I rubbed the stems down with some Obsidian Oil and put them back on the bowls to get a quick look at how the work was coming along.Dulwich25I scrubbed the stems with Meguiar’s Scratch X2.0 Fine scratch and blemish remover. It worked really well on the pencil stem on the pickaxe and not as effectively on the thicker stem of poker.Dulwich26I wet sanded the stem of the pickaxe and the stem on the poker with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and then rubbed the stem down again with the Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded the stems of both with 3200-4000 grit micromesh and then gave them another coat of the oil. I finished sanding them with the 6000-12000 grit micromesh pads and gave them a final coat of oil and set them aside to dry.Dulwich27 Dulwich28 Dulwich29 Dulwich30The briar was naturally finished so I did not stain either bowl. I gave them a light coat of olive oil and then buffed the stems and bowls of both pipe with Blue Diamond on the wheel. I gave them both several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed them with a clean flannel buffing pad and then by hand with a microfiber cloth. The finished pipes are shown in the photos below. Do any of you who are reading this have any information on either Fieldcraft or Dulwich pipes? I have seen and repaired several over the years and so far have been unable to identify them beyond the initial one that was an Orlik made pipe. Thanks ahead of time for any help that you may have.Dulwich31 Dulwich32 Dulwich33 Dulwich34 Dulwich35 Dulwich36 Dulwich37 Dulwich38 Dulwich39 Dulwich40 Dulwich41 Dulwich42 Dulwich43 Dulwich44

Mint in Box Briarcraft Sterling Hall Standard


Been awhile since I reblogged one of Troy’s pieces but this one was one I had to do! The information and the beauty of this old pipe makes it an interesting addition to pipe information.

Baccy Pipes

I picked up this Braircraft Sterling Hall off EBAY .

For some odd reason it  was listed under religious medals category  instead of pipes ,so it flew under the radar of the pipe bidders. I was lucky enough to see it and win it on opening low bid. I had been looking for  nice Braircraft pipe as its one of the few early-mid  20th century pipe brands i did not have.

From my  quick research on the pipe i can not find any ads for the Sterling Hall model prior to early 40’s , so i think its a 1940’s pipe . Briarcraft made pipes for only 20 years . They lasted from 1920-1950. Some pipe smokers consider them one of the best smoking American made pipes of their time. Especially the Briarcraft  Smokemaster models.

Here is a 1946 Sterling Hall ad.

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I have a online  friend who owns several hundred…

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More than met the eye: Would I be able to bring this Jobey Fawn Cauldron back to life?


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother sent me the Ebay link to this Jobey Cauldron and I was hooked. It was in pretty worn shape in terms of the finish and the rim. There was a thick cake in the bowl and some serious lava had overflowed the rim. There were nicks around the outer edge of the rim and the bevel on the inner edge was pretty well covered with lava. There were scratches in the sides of the bowl and it was truly filthy. The stem was oxidized and spotty on the stop side and the saddle. Underneath it was missing a large triangular chunk from the button forward. It was a Jobey so it had the Jobey link tenon that screwed into the shank and the stem fit over the tenon. It was made for a quick and easy replacement. The photos below are from the Ebay seller and clearly show the state of the pipe he was selling. We bid on it and won. Little did I know that what I saw in terms of issues with this pipe were only part of the problems that I would need to deal with in restoring it. Cauldron1 Cauldron2 Cauldron3The seller included a few close up photos to show some of the damage to the pipe. The oxidized and spotty stem is shown in the first photo and the second shows the state of the rim and bowl.Cauldron4 Cauldron5The next two photos show the stamping on the pipe. The top of the shank is stamped Jobey in script over FAWN. The underside is stamped E52 over EXTRA.Cauldron6 Cauldron7The seller also included the following photos to give a clear picture of the profile of the pipe and the damage to the underside of the stem. He gets full props for full disclosure of the issues with this pipe (at least those that were visible through the grime and build up on the briar and stem).Cauldron8 Cauldron9 Cauldron10I went online and searched for a photo of what the pipe had originally looked like and found this one on Smokingpipes.com. Looking at it gave me hope for the repairs and restoration of the one we purchased.Cauldron11When the pipe arrived I put it in my box of pipes to be refurbed and it sat for several months. When I took it out and looked it over I found that the stem was not aligned. I tried to unscrew it from the shank and it would not turn. I tried to wiggle the stem free from the shank and in the process heard that awful cracking sound which refurbishers the world over have come to dread. The tenon snapped off. Great! Now I added one more issue to the refurbishing process on this old pipe. Fortunately, I was able to clear the broken end out of the stem with very little problem but the one in the shank took a bit more ingenuity. I finally was able to remove it by hand turning a drill bit into the broken end and then turning it free of the shank. I cleaned out the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol, and then put the parts aside. Since I had no Jobey Link tenons in my kit I would need to wait until I could get some. I called Tim West at JH Lowe and put in an order for tenons. Even that turned out to be far more of an issue than I expected – they came in five sizes and the one I had was so shattered that I was unable to get the measurements. I could estimate the measurements but not get an accurate diameter on either the threaded end or the insert. So I had to order one of each of the three sizes that Tim had in stock. I was hoping that when they arrived that one of them would fit the stem and the shank. Now I would have to wait for their arrival.

It did not take too long of the package to come from Tim. I took out the various Jobey Links that he included and breathed a sigh of relief when the middle sized link was a perfect fit in the shank. The end of the tenon is slotted so that it can be screwed into the shank and unscrewed with a slotted screw driver. In this case it turned into the shank with no issues. The stem did not fit over the end of the tenon but the measurements were correct so I cleaned out the end of the stem and was astonished at the amount of grit that came out of it. I used cotton swabs and alcohol to scrub it clean. Once it was clean the stem fit snuggly over the end of the tenon and all parts aligned perfectly.Cauldron12 Cauldron13 Cauldron14 Cauldron15With the stem fit completed and the new tenon in place it was time to clean up the pipe and see what I was dealing with underneath the grime and dirt. I took some close up photos of the bowl and the stem issues and a complete set of photos of the pipe from multiple angles to show what it looked like when I started.Cauldron16 Cauldron17 Cauldron18 Cauldron19The bowl on this pipe is quite large. I reamed it with the two largest cutting heads on the PipNet pipe reamer and took the cake back to bare briar. I cleaned up the ridges and edges of the broken cake shown in the second photo below with a pen knife and the bowl inside was smooth and clean.Cauldron20I lightly sanded the rim with 220 grit sandpaper to cut through the thick lava on the rim and the inner edge of the bowl. I was able to remove most of it with the sandpaper and finished by scrubbing the bowl down with acetone on cotton pads. The next photo shows the beauty of the rim that lay beneath the lava flow.Cauldron21Once I had removed the grime and the finish I examined the bowl to look for issues that I would need to deal with. Sadly I found that there was a hairline crack where the shank connected to the bowl. It was on the underside of that junction and went up the left side. It was about an inch long. This Jobey Cauldron was turning out to be far more work than I originally imagined when my brother and I had looked at the Ebay photos.Cauldron22This crack, though not deep and pretty cosmetic at this point, would need to be dealt with so that it would not become a bigger issue. I used a micro drill bit on the Dremel and drilled both ends of the crack. I examined it with a lens and saw that it went a little further than I had expected originally and redrilled the end of the crack on the side of the bowl.Cauldron23I decided to also drill some small holes along the crack to make sure that I could seal it further.Cauldron24I pressed some briar dust into the drill holes with a dental pick and then put drops of super glue into the filled holes. I pressed some more briar dust into the surface of the holes to deal with expected shrinkage as the patches dried. At this point the repair always looks ugly and over done but I have found if I skip the last step I have to repeat the process to ensure that the holes are filled.Cauldron25I sanded the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper and then with a medium and fine grit sanding sponge.Cauldron26I stained the repair area and the top of the rim with a light brown stain pen to blend it into the colour of the bowl and shank. This would not be the final colour of the bowl but I wanted to minimize the difference between the sanded areas and the rest of the bowl and shank when I gave it a final stain coat.Cauldron27

I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond to even out the stain. While the repairs showed through the stain at this point I intended to darken the stain later and it would blend in the repairs a bit more.Cauldron28 Cauldron29With the bowl basically finished at this point I worked on the stem. The missing chunk in the stem end was the expected major repair that needed to be addressed. I mixed up a batch of black super glue and activated charcoal powder to make a paste. I put a wedge of cardboard wrapped in packing tape in what remained of the slot in the stem and applied the paste to the hole in the stem with a dental spatula. At this point I was more interested in getting a good thick coat of the paste in place than in making it look pretty. Shaping and smoothing would be done once it cured.Cauldron30 Cauldron31Once the patch had cured I used a file to define the edge of the button and to smooth out the surface of the stem. I used the topping board to smooth out the end of the stem.Cauldron32It took a lot of filing with needle files to clean up and define the button and then sanding with 220 grit sandpaper to blend the patch into the surface of the surround stem. I used a round, an oval and a flattened oval needle file to open up and shape the slot on the bottom side to match that of the top side.Cauldron33I continued to sand the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to shape the blade and the button. The stem was beginning to take shape. The new button and the repair to the bottom of the stem were complete.Cauldron34I wanted to make sure to stain the bowl before I called it a night so I set the stem aside for a bit and stained the bowl. I gave it several coats of dark brown aniline stain and flamed it between to set the colour in the briar. The darker colour would bring the pipe to a similar colour to the one that I found on Smoking pipes.com (shown above).Cauldron35In the morning I worked some more on the stem. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 micromesh sanding pads. I gave it a coat of Obsidian Oil and then dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I gave it another coat of oil and then finished sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. Cauldron36 Cauldron37 Cauldron38At this point in the process you can see the scratches on the underside of the stem. No matter how much I sanded them with the micromesh pads these still remained. I started over the process of sanding with the pads – beginning with 1500 grit I worked my way through them until I had finished with 12000 grit. Finally I was able to remove the scratches. I buffed the stem and bowl with Blue Diamond on the wheel and then gave both the bowl and stem several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean flannel buff and then with a microfiber cloth before taking the photos below. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The repairs to the hairline crack and the stem repair though still visible under scrutiny blend in well with the rest of the bowl and stem. The darker stain covers the repairs on the bowl and look quite natural. The bowl has been brought back to life and I like the rich colour of the buffed and polished dark brown stain. Thanks for looking.Cauldron39 Cauldron40 Cauldron41 Cauldron42 Cauldron43 Cauldron44 Cauldron45 Cauldron46