Guest Blog by Robert M. Boughton
Member, International Society of Codgers
Member, North American Society of Pipe Collectors
Photos © the Author
I thought I found the maker of this Citation on Pipephil, but should have taken a closer look at the nomenclature. As it turns out, the cursive style used by the U.S. manufacturer was a clear mismatch for the block letters on my squat bulldog. For now, I’m stumped. Here is the pipe as I received it. The unusual cleanliness of the pipe tends to hide the need for serious work on the entire surface of the stummel, in particular a bad ding in the rim.RESTORATION
First, I tossed the bit in an OxiClean bath.While it started soaking, I used 150-grit paper evenly around the curved rim until the ding was gone and it was even all around. I also smoothed a rough spot on the right side of the top curve of the shank.Continuing just below the rim with 320-grit paper, I almost immediately realized the scratches were so pervasive and the grain so clear and fill-free that an Everclear strip was warranted. After the bit had soaked about 30 minutes, I dumped the OxiClean, rinsed the bit and ran a cleaner through it. Then I poured a jar of used Everclear in the Tupperware tub and dunked the stummel in.
The bit was in good shape, and wet micro-mesh from 1500-12000 made it black and smooth again.I removed the stummel from the Everclear when it had soaked for an hour and wiped the chamber with a cotton cloth square before sanding the dried alcohol from the wood with 200-grit paper. Although I can’t explain how it works, my experiences stripping pipes with Everclear and then sanding and micro-meshing them had prepared me for the radical change in color I would notice after the full scale of micro-mesh.
Still, this is the first time I can remember where the grain was good enough that I didn’t need to use any stain. All I needed to do was sand the chamber and retort the pipe, the latter of which proved almost unnecessary.This is the finished pipe, after buffing with white Tripoli, White Diamond and Carnauba. I used red and white Tripoli, White Diamond and Carnauba on the bit.
Bulldogs always sell fast, even no-names or relatively unknown brands. But I still don’t know why I put off restoring this pipe for so long. Working on it was a real pleasure, and I did it overnight.