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 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.