By Al Jones
It has been a while since I’ve been so excited to work on a pipe. This Parker Super Briar Bark was snagged by my friend Dave. He always has a good eye for a great pipe and asked me to restore this for him. The blast on the pipe is hard to believe and I was thrilled to open his package and handle the pipe. The pipe had a thick cake,but the briar looked magnificent. The stem was heavily oxidized and had a hole in the stem and some teeth intentions. Overall, it didn’t look like a difficult restoration. George Dibos reminded me that removing all of the oxidation would decrease the stem dimensions.
The pipe is stamped with the Patent number and a two-digit “22” (not underlined). I’ve learned that the dating for this pipe starts with the number 20 in 1945, making this pipe a 1947 manufacture.
Below is the pipe as received.
I reamed the bowl and found what appeared to be a heavy cake was only loose tobacco that was never removed from the last time it was smoked. The bowl interior was in outstanding condition. The tars on the bowl top were removed by rubbing with a cloth dipped in Oxy-clean solution.
The biggest issue and a huge concern was that the stem was stuck fast to the bowl. The pipe is so small, and stem so slim, I had to be careful to not break the tenon. Typically, a pipe can be placed in the freezer, which allows the briar to expand and release the stem. This also makes the tenon incredibly brittle. I decided to first try filling the bowl with alcohol and plugging the button end. After an hour of soaking, I was able to remove the stem without damage.
I put a dab of grease on the stamped “P” stem log and soaked it in a mild Oxy-clean solution for several hours. After the soak, I started removing the oxidation with 800 grit wet paper. Once the heavy layer was removed, I started to work on the hole near the button. I put packing tape on an index card, then cut that into a shape that would slip into the stem. I put a light coat of grease on the taped piece of index card to keep glue from sticking to it. I used the Black Super glue product to slowly fill the hole. Here is the stem with several layers of super glue, then sanded smooth.
The oxidation on the stem was removed starting with 800 grit paper, moving thru 1500 and 2000 grade. 8000 and 12000 micromesh was used and the the stem was buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. I covered the P stem logo with a small piece of masking tape.
Below is the finished pipe.