Monthly Archives: April 2016

Refurbish of a Weber Virgin Deluxe 375 Poker

Like Troy I love older Weber pipes and find that they are a good value and often overlooked. The grain on this one is a beauty Troy. Very nice work on it. I also like the mix for the patch – vulcanite/charcoal/super glue… going to have to give that a try on a couple I have here. Thanks

Baccy Pipes

I acquired this Weber recently off  Ebay. From the pictures i saw it looked like a fine, excellent condition example. The Virgin Deluxe is i believe one of Weber’s top line models. Most likely the pipe is from the 1960’s-1970’s.s-l1600 (640x391).jpg

I have a few pokers made by Weber now but none are a straight stem like this one. All are either a cherrywood shape or a  straight saddle bit. Like the one in this old Weber ad.1947-weber-pipes-c2-369.jpg

These 375’s don’t pop up often so i bid and hoped for the best. Luckily there was not much interest in it and i won. I gladly now include it in my American made poker collection.

The pipe arrived and indeed it was in  very good condition with no major problems. The stem was very tight, so it spent a couple of hours in the freezer. 100_9823 (640x480).jpg100_9824 (640x480).jpg

In fact i had to apply some bees wax…

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Restoring an Old Sea Slug or an Old River Chubby Bent Apple

Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff picked up a pipe that is in one of my favourite shapes – the chubby apple. I love the feel of this pipe shape in the hand. It just fits perfectly and sits right in my opinion. This one was stamped on the underside of the shank with the words OLD RIVER. There is no shape number or country of origin stamped on the pipe. The rusticated finish is very tactile and feels great in the hand. To me it has the look and shape of a sea slug. Living in Vancouver, near on the ocean I have seen a lot of sea slugs and always found something endearing in their sheer ugliness. The finish on this one reminds me of those ugly sea slugs and yet the look captures me. The stem is a solid rubber of high quality as it was only minimally oxidized and it was very hard. I took the following photos when the pipe arrived to show you its condition. The finish is unique to my mind. It is almost a combination of sandblast and rustication. The deep grooves on the pipe were dirty with dust and debris lodged in them. The high spots were quite shiny and clean. The stem had mild oxidation on the surface but nothing deep. The shape of the stem was old style with a slot in the button but highly tapered as it made its way to the button.old1 Old2The rim was clean with nothing more than the same dust as the sides of the bowl. There was no build up on the flat surface of the rim and the inner and outer edges were in good shape. Someone had reamed it out and it looked to have been sanded clean. They did well in terms of keeping the inner edge of the bowl round and the distance between the inner and outer wall of the rim equidistant all the way around the bowl.old3 old4I searched on the internet to see if I could find any information on the brand or the maker of the pipe. I found many pictures of virtually the same pipe I had but little or no information. Finally looking at one photo of a pipe that is the obvious brother of the one I have on I found some information. I was dubious about the information as the pipe I have is certainly an older pipe and one that has an older style stem but the connection was worth checking out. Here is the link: In the description of the pipe on the site it says that the Old River brand was made by Oliver Camphausen. Because of the uncertainty I wrote to Mr. Camphausen in Germany and asked him directly if he made that brand. His response is below.

Dear Mr. Laug,
No you’ re gone wrong. I’ m sorry but I never carved this pipe. Also never used this brand stamping my pipes.
Best regards
Oliver Camphausen

With that answer my sole clue as to the identity of the pipe was gone. Not only do I not know any information on the maker but I am not even certain if there were other shapes made under this name. Every picture of the brand that I have seen on the web was virtually identical in shape to the one I have. There is variation of course in the bend and shape of the stem (some had a replacement stem). There is also variation in the rustication pattern as all were done individually by hand but the overall bumpy chubby look of the pipe is the same. So the mystery remains and I will just enjoy the pipe.

I took two close-up photos of the pipe. The first is a photo of the underside of the shank with the stamping. The second is of the bowl and the rim.old5 old6The pipe was filthy inside the shank and airway in both the bowl and the stem. I cleaned out both with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until they were spotless and the pipe smelled sweet once again.old7 old8I scrubbed down the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap, rinsed and dried it to give it a good cleaning and remove the dust and debris from the crevices. I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax and then buffed it by hand with a shoe brush.old9I sanded the stem with some 600 grit sandpaper to remove the surface oxidation and marks on the surface. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and rubbed 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 and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and let it sit until it was absorbed then hand buffed it.old10 old11 old12I buffed the pipe lightly with Blue Diamond and gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I gave the bowl several more coats of Conservator’s Wax and then buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad on the wheel. I gave it a final hand buff with a microfibre cloth to raise a deeper shine. The finished Sea Slug is shown in the photos below. There is just something endearing about the sheer ugliness of the slug. I like it! Thanks for looking.old13 old14 old15 old16 old17 old18 old19

Sasieni Ashford S Ruff Root Restoration

By Al Jones

I have several models of the Sasieni Ashford in various finishes, but this is my first S model, which designates the saddle stem. The Ashford shape is number 88 on the Sasieni shape chart. The “Four Dot” stamping indicates that the pipe was made between 1946 and 1979. Sasieni called their sandblast finish the “Ruff Root”. My other Ruff Root Ashford has a tan stain and of course the tapered stem.

The pipe was in decent condition, with a heavily oxidized stem and a few teeth indentions. There was a mild cake in the bowl, but the briar appeared to be in very good shape with strong nomenclature.

The pipe as received is below. The stem dots were a beautiful shade of Robins-egg blue.

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I reamed the bowl and soaked it with sea salt and alcohol. At the same time, I put a dab of grease on the four blue stem dots and soaked it in a mild Oxy-clean solution.

I’ve found Sasieni stems to be very resilient in removing teeth indentions and this one responded nicely to some heat. All of the indentions save one underneath were able to be removed. I removed the oxidation from the stem starting with 800 grit paper, than 1500 and 2000 grades. 8000 and 12000 grades of Micromesh were used next. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

The briar only needed to be buffed by hand with Halycon wax.

The finished pipe is below and I’ve included a picture comparing it to the standard Ashford Ruff Root.

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Restoring a Lovely Rhodesian by John Calich

Blog by Steve Laug

I have had a thing for Calich pipes since John made a new stem for a bowl I bought on Ebay for one of his pipes. It was a labour of love and one which led to several phone conversations and correspondence with John. He was a great guy and a definite loss to the Canadian pipe smoking community. Whenever I come across one of his pipes in need of work I try to purchase it and restore it. The pipe I am writing about at this time is a Calich Hand Made Rhodesian that is stamped that way on the underside of the shank. It also has a 04 stamping. The photos below were shown by the eBay seller. The bowl appears to be in great shape. The stem is slightly oxidized and the seller noted that there was a hole in the top side of the stem at the button. I knew what I was getting into when I purchased this pipe – or so I thought.Calich1I have written several blogs about Calich pipes that help give an idea of the age of the pipe. While I waited for the pipe to arrive I reread those pieces to refresh my memory on the stamping. I have included the links to the blogs below.

I summarize the dating information from those blogs now: From my research and conversations I learned that John’s pipes were graded 3E – 8E. The retail prices for them ranged from $145.00 to $500.00. Each pipe was stamped “CALICH” and given an E grade. His earlier pipes were graded from 3-14 and had a single, tiny silver dot applied to the top of the stem. More information can be found at the Pipedia website by clicking on this link. This information told me as expected that the pipe I had was an earlier one.

I vaguely remembered that I had found further information but could not remember it so I read the next blog I wrote. There the information honed in on the date more closely. I quote from that blog now: I did find out some further information on the dating of Calich pipes as the information on Pipedia was not complete. What I found was very helpful. His early pipes were graded with numbers from 3 – 14. By the late 1980’s Calich introduced 15, 16, and even one 17. In the mid-90’s the grade system changed employing a number of E’s. The more EE’s the higher the grade. From that information I knew that the pipe I had was not only an earlier one but came from early in the 1980s.

When the pipe arrived I took some photos of it to give a clear picture of what I was going to have to deal with in the restoration of this pipe. The stem was more oxidized than the seller’s photos showed and the finish also showed more debris in the rustication and the double rings around the bowl cap than had appeared in the photos. The rim top looked about the same – there was a thin build up of lava on the flat surface but the inner and outer edges were undamaged.Calich2 Calich3The bowl had a light cake in it and would be easy to deal with. There was no damage to the inner bowl. As I looked over the surface of the bowl it was clear that under the grime the pipe was in pretty decent shape. The big issue was the hole in the top side of the stem at the button.Calich4 Calich5 Calich6I took a photo of the bite through to show the extent of the damage. The edges of the bite through were also pushed down into the airway on the stem constricting the airway so that a pipe cleaner would not pass through. The topside of the button was also thinned down considerably and would need to be built up. Calich7 Calich8I used needle files and a dental pick to open up the airway and clean up the crushed edges of the bite through. It enlarged the hole but the airway was wide open when I finished. I also roughed up the edges of the cleaned up hole with the needle files to give a rough surface for the repair to bond to.Calich9 Calich10 Calich11With the stem hole cleaned up I was ready to begin the repair. I cut a wedge of cardboard and covered it with clear tape to make a surface that the glue would not stick to. I inserted it into the airway under the hole and wedged it in place. I mixed a batch of activated charcoal powder and black super glue to make a patching mortar and using a dental spatula applied the material to the hole and the top of the button to build it up. I sprayed it with some accelerator to harden the surface so I could continue to work on the pipe and removed the cardboard wedge.Calich12 Calich13I reamed the bowl with the Savinelli Pipe Knife to clean out the thin cake. You can see from the photo that there was not much of a build up so it was quick job.Calich14I set the stem aside and used a dental pick to clean out the rings around the bowl cap. I scrubbed the rustication with some Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean up the dust in the grooves and crevices of the finish.Calich15I scrubbed the top of the rim with saliva and cotton pads and was able to remove the lava on the surface without harming the finish on the bowl top.Calich16 Calich17I cleaned out the inside of the mortise and shank with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol.Calich18By that time I was also able to clean out the inside of the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol. The pipe cleaners went through with little issue and the stem was clean.Calich19The next morning after the glue had cured overnight I worked on the stem. I needed to reshape the slot to facilitate easy cleaning so I used needle files to clean up the entrance of the airway.Calich20I sanded the stem repair and the surface of the button top with a sanding board to begin the process of reshaping the surfaces of both.Calich21I cleaned up the edge of the button and shaped the surface of the button with needle files until the edge was sharp the surface matched that of the underside of the button.Calich22With all of the hard shaping done it was time to begin the tedious process of sanding the repairs. I started with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface and the transition to the rest of the stem.Calich23There were still some small holes around some spots on the fill. I used a clear super glue to fill these in and smoothed out the patch with a spatula.Calich24 Calich25When the repair had dried I sanded it with some finer grit sand papers until the surface was smooth.Calich26 Calich27 Calich28I moved on to sand the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and then giving it a coat of Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I finished by sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads and giving it a final coat of oil. I let the oil dry before buffing the pipe.Calich29 Calich30 Calich31I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond on the wheel and then gave the stem several coats of Carnauba wax. I buffed the stem with a clean buffing pad. I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax and hand buffed it with a shoe brush. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The stem repair is solid and though visible to me as I have looked at it so long, it is not obvious. The pipe is useable and looks as close to what it must have looked like when John shipped it out from his shop in the 80s. Thanks for looking.Calich32 Calich33 Calich34 Calich35 Calich36 Calich37 Calilch36

Restoring a Unique Kaywoodie Flame Grain 23C

Blog by Bill Hein

Today I have an interesting Kaywoodie on the bench. This particular pipe is an early Flame grain. It has a shape number of 23C. This is interesting because 23C was used for two different pipes in the same era. 23C is a two panel apple shape. One is half bent, the other is a square shank. The one on my bench is a square shank. I imagine it is quite rare as this style was only made in 1947. This still has its 4 hole stinger. Below are the before pictures.KW1 KW2Starting off I disassembled the pipe and tossed the stem into a oxiclean bath. While the stem was soaking I reamed out the bowl and filled it with salt and alcohol. After a few hours I removed the stem from the oxiclean bath and rinsed it off. To my surprise there wasn’t much oxidation. I knocked the salt out of the bowl and gave it a good rinse before setting it aside to dry.

Kw3While the bowl was drying out I ran alcohol soaked pipe cleaners through the stem until they came out clean. This can be tricky with Kaywoodie pipes as quite a bit of sludge builds up inside the stinger. The ball on this pipe wasn’t too nasty but I found a very narrow pipe cleaner, a piece of wire, or even a toothpick can come in handy cleaning out the holes. I took some heat and 500 grit wet sandpaper to remove the oxidation and lift the few tooth marks near the bit.

I buffed the stem, stinger, and metal shank insert with white diamond. I then buffed the bowl and stem with carnauba wax. I finished the pipe up by buffing by hand with a microfibre cloth until I achieved a near mirror like shine. Below is the finished pipe.KW4 KW5 KW6



Some Interesting New Additions to my Reamer Collection

Blog by Steve Laug

When I was in Idaho my brother gave me a bag of reamers that he had picked up on Ebay and also one that I had purchased. They are shown in the photo below. From left to right they are as follows: an unused Yello-Bole Self-Adjusting Reamer; two Cook’s Pipe Reamers that are stamped with the name over Ansonia, Connecticut over Made in USA; a smaller Bryco #1169 Hong Kong Reamer; an adjustable Kaywoodie Reamatic Pat. Pending and two British Buttner reamers that are stamped Gt Britain over Tool Steel Hardened and Ground Edges. Both of the Buttner reamers have Patent Apd 29243/45 stamped on the handle near the cutting blades.Reamer1With the pipes my brother had purchased and those we found while in Idaho I was able to use all of these reamers but the Yello-Bole. I thought I would take a few words to document the various reamers and how they worked.

I had never used the Cook’s Reamers or the Bryco Reamer before so to have three of them to use was a unique experience. The Cook’s Reamers and Bryco Reamers are the same reamer. They are one piece of metal that is shaped like a handle with two flattened blades. They act like a spring against the walls of the bowl when inserted. In the centre of each of them a screw is inserted with an adjustable nut. This nut can be turned to adjust the width of the spread of the two blades as it is used. The difference lies in the metal – the Cook’s are made of steel while the Bryco seems to be a softer material. The spring on the Cook’s is very tight and hard while that on the Bryco is very soft and easy to squeeze together. Both work the same way in a bowl. They are inserted either by squeezing and pushing into the bowl or screwed tight and adjusted out until the fit is snug. They are then turned and the blades cut away the cake in the bowl. They worked really well with lightly caked pipes and soft caked pipes and not so well with thick hard cakes.

Reame2Reamer3The Kaywoodie Reamatic Pat. Pending Reamer was in excellent shape – basically unused. Its limitation is pretty straight forward – it seems to be designed to fit one bowl size which I assume is standard in Kaywoodie pipes. I expected the tool to be adjustable from the name and unless it is stuck I am unable to adjust it. There is some movement to accommodate a straight U shaped bowl or a more conical bowl but the width is the same. The blades are sharp and the tool works well on the set bowl size. It makes a good clean cut on the bowl and easily removes the cake. The top nob on the remove turns and once removed reveals a long poker for cleaning out the shank of a pipe.

I did a bit of research with Google and found the photo on the left of the leaflet that was included in the boxed reamer. It is hard to read but I think the details are as follows. A. Removable Plunger Knob unscrews to reveal a 2 ½ long Shank Pick. B. Plunger Stem Depresses to activate cutting blades. C. Knurled Plunger Grip gives positive leverage. D. Self-Adjusting Cutter Blades made of stainless steel. Litho In USA. This leaflet gave me what I needed to use the tool well. I would never have known about how the various parts worked.

The British Buttner Reamers are not new to me. I have used these for years and they are a good work horse reamer to keep the caked tamed in the bowl. They work well in a moderately to lightly caked bowl but are pretty useless in a thick caked estate bowl. They are adjustable and can be used in either a conical or U shaped bowl with ease. If you don’t have one I suggest you pick one up for the regular maintenance of your bowl.

The unopened Yello-Bole Reamer has some interesting marketing phrases on the package. It reads New! For Pipe Smokers! on the top of the package. Directly under that is the usual Yello-Bole stamping. It follows with the title Self-Adjusting Reamer and $1.49 in a circle. On the sides of the reamer the package reads Fits All Pipe Bowls and Chrome Plated Steel Handle. Underneath the reamer it reads Tempered Steel Blades Never Need Sharpening. Then in small print is written – Distributed by Yello-Bole Sundries Co. Brookhaven, NY 11980 Made in Japan. I am very tempted to open the package and give the reamer a try but have not done so yet.

All in all these are some nice additions to my reamer collection. They are all new or barely used to they come to me in great shape.

Interesting 1920’s-early 1930’s Unmarked Star Logo Pipe

Troy found and cleaned up this beauty. He makes a connection with a Charles Lindbergh pipe that WDC made and to me the connection is right on. Beautiful work. I wanted to reblog it for the information that is included. Thanks Troy.

Baccy Pipes

I found this pipe on a random Ebay search.Here is one of the pictures as it was listed.s-l1600 (1) (640x480).jpg

I was instantly drawn to the pipe.The shape,rustication ,the star logo really appealed to me. Not to mention the excellent shape it was in. Looking at the additional pictures i could tell by the stem style it was a late 1920’s to early 30’s pipe. It seemed unmarked though, so i sent a message to the seller asking if there was any makers stamping on the pipe. They replied that there was not and if i wanted it he would knock off 35% of the buy it now price, which by the way was really reasonable. I gave it some thought and kept coming back looking at it.The more i looked the more i liked it,so i purchased it.

While i waited on the pipe to arrive i did some research  to…

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