Blog by Steve Laug
Over the years I have cleaned up, traded or kept many Edwards smoking pipes. The natural finish briar has always made these pipes attractive to me. The briar is always light weight and beautiful. Many have had a few fills in them but that in no way detracted from the beauty of the pipe. This one from my brother Jeff is different than any of the others that I have had pass through my hands. It is a square shank hexagonal Straight Dublin that has a shape that I have never seen before. The grain on it is quite stunning even though there are some small fills on the shank and on the right side of the bowl. The finish was in decent shape under the light grime on the surface. The beveled inner edge of the rim had some lava build-up and it spilled over to the flat portion of the rim toward the back side. I had field reamed the cake while I was staying with my brother in Idaho. The bowl was pretty clean and the inner edge of the rim was round. There were no dings or dents in the rim or the curved cap on the bowl. The stem was oxidized and had some fairly deep tooth marks at the button.
The shank was stamped on top with the word Edward’s and on the underside Algerian Briar with the shape number 87 underneath. There was a large #7 near the flat bowl bottom.
I took a close-up photo of the bowl and the rim to highlight the cleanness of the bowl and the lava on the bevel.
I sanded the rim with a worn piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the lava on the rim surface and also to rework the inner bevel.
I scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and cotton pads to remove the grime. I scrubbed around the rim surface as well. I sanded the rim with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and then scrubbed it again. I was amazed at how well the rim came out.
With the externals clean I scrubbed the airway and the mortise and the stem with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol. I used a dental pick to clear out the slot in the button.
I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation. I worked on the area around the tooth marks next to the button on both sides. I scrubbed out the tooth marks with alcohol and once they were clean prepared them for the patch. I patched the tooth marks with black super glue and set the stem aside so the glue would cure.
While the glue dried I decided to work on masking the fills on the shank and the bowl of the pipe. I used a Black Sharpie and lightly drew lines across the fills on the right side of the bowl and the middle of the left side of the shank, working to blend them into the surrounding grain.
Once the patches on the stem had cured I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to blend the patch into the stem material. I sanded it with 280-600 grit sandpaper to smooth out the scratches and used a medium grit sanding stick to sand in the angles of the saddle. The oxidation on this stem was stubborn. I scrubbed it with Meguiar’s Scratch X2.0 and then spent a significant amount of time wet sanding it with 1500-1800 micromesh pads. Finally I got through the oxidation. It was not deep in the stem it was just stubbornly hard so breaking the surface took a lot of sanding.
With the oxidation finally conquered and the patches blended in I sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh some more – this time working to polish the stem. I gave the stem a coat of Obsidian Oil and sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I gave it another coat of oil and sanded it with 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave it a final coat of oil and let it dry.
I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the wheel and gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I was able to clean up the rim so it looks almost new – little darkening on the inside bevel toward the back. The fill on the side of the bowl disappeared and the one on the shank is less glaring. The stem repairs look good and I was finally able to remove the oxidation. All in all it is a beautiful pipe with lovely grain and it should provide many more years of service.