Blog by Steve Laug
This one came to me through my brother. It seems like he is on a roll finding some nice old pipes. This one is in really good shape. I will need to clean it up and remove some tars on the rim but the finish is in great shape. The inner rim edge has some damage at the front. There are some small scratches and wear on the bowl but nothing significant. The bowl is dirty and lightly caked but otherwise in good shape. The stem is lightly oxidized but should clean up pretty easily. The stamping on the shank is clear. On the left side it reads De Luxe over BB&M in a triangle. On the right side it reads 736 which is the shape number. I can find nothing on any of my usual web sources or Who Made That Pipe or Lopes that gives me any information on the brand. So it is another unknown brand to me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. The photos below were included in the eBay ad and were taken by the seller. They show the state of the pipe very well and when it arrived there were no surprises. When I got it to the work table I took my usual pre-work photos. They were probably not necessary but I am working on keeping the habit so that I do not forget to document the work I am doing on pipe restoration. I worked on the rim of the pipe with saliva and cotton pads and a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad. I was able to remove the build up on the rim. The damage on the inner edge at the front is very visible.I lightly topped the bowl with micromesh pads. I then used my new Savinelli Pipe Knife to ream the bowl and clean out the buildup.I worked on the inside of the rim edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and beveled edge inward.Even though the stain on the bowl was a dark oxblood colour it also had some dark brown overtones. I used a dark brown stain pen to touch up the rim top and edges. I buffed the rim with Blue Diamond to blend the stain into the rest of the briar.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and also the slight pitting on the surface of the vulcanite. I cleaned out the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners to remove the tars and oils. I also cleaned out the shank and mortise with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. I was surprised to see that what came out was the red stain. It appears that the pipe may well have been dipped in stain. It took quite a few cotton swabs to remove the stain. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 micromesh sanding pads to smooth out the pitting on the surface and to remove the oxidation. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil and then dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I continued to sand it with 6000-12000 grit pads and gave it a final coat of oil. I let it dry. I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and then gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and then by hand with a microfibre cloth to raise the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beauty with a long stem – almost a Bing Crosby style pipe. The grain is beautiful and it was great to have an easy pipe to work on for once. Thanks for looking.