Daily Archives: April 23, 2016

Restoring a WDC Milano Hesson Guard

Blog by Bill Hein

I received an email from Al Jones saying that Bill had contacted him about contributing to rebornpipes. I contacted Bill and received a great email and this write up on a WDC pipe he recently restored. It is a great write up and a great restoration.  It is a pleasure to have Bill write for us and share his work with us. I for one never tire of reading about the work each of the contributors do and always find  I learn something from you. Thanks Bill for your work. Welcome to rebornpipes.

Today I’m working on a WDC Milano Hesson Guard. This pipe is stamped with the words Grainy Briar and stamped patented Dec.22 1925. Through a quick google search I found a patent date of 1932 for the Hesson Guard models so this pipe must have been made between 1925-1932.

When this pipe came to me it had some deep tooth indents in the stem and a rounded over rim. I started out by reaming the bowl and giving it the salt and alcohol treatment. While the bowl was soaking I put the stem in an oxiclean bath. After about a 4 hour soak I knocked the salt out of the bowl and gave it a good rinse. I removed the stem from the oxiclean bath and rinsed it as well. I let both dry overnight.

With the stem and the bowl dry I started sanding down the tooth marks on the stem. I applied heat with a soft flame lighter and used 500 grit wet sandpaper to remove the marks. These pipes have a pretty thick stem so I wasn’t worried about sanding away at them. I then sanded the stem with 1500 grit sandpaper. With the outside of the stem in much better condition, I proceeded to run alcohol soaked pipe cleaners through the stem until they came out clean. This pipe has a long metal stinger which I cleaned by sanding with 500 grit paper.

With the stem finished I took the bowl over to my belt sander and topped it off. I was able to sand it back to be flat without removing too much briar. I used a walnut stain pen to restain the rim .

With the rim topped and re-stained I reassembled the pipe and took it over to my buffer. For the bowl I buffed on 3 coats of carnauba wax, buffing with a soft wheel and microfiber cloth between each coat. For the stem I first buffed it with brown tripoli, followed by carnauba wax.

Here is the finished pipe.