This is a great refurb. The process Charles used in cleaning and restoring it are great examples of how to move through a clean up.
I spotted this Alpha pipe on eBay and managed to submit the winning bid at a price reflective of the pipe’s condition. It’s always nice when that works out. I think most other bidders were put off by the euphemistically described “hairline” crack running about 3/8” up the shank from the mortise, but as I had recently stocked up on repair bands, I figured I likely had one that might get the job done.
In due time the pipe arrived and I got my first good look at it (the pics online were, typically, not the best). To say that the pipe needed a cleaning would have been a gross understatement. It was filthy, inside and out. The ridges in the sandblast finish were visibly plugged up with dirt and grime, the rim was covered in lava that dripped back down the rear of the tobacco chamber, the chamber itself…
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