Blog by Steve Laug
It’s funny how some brands escape my attention. I cannot explain it or give some rationale for not being interested in Jobey pipes. But I know that until my brother, Jeff started picking them up because he liked the looks of them they did not appear much on my radar. I know that a few years back I picked up a Stromboli ¼ bent author because I liked the look of the rustication but that was the long and short of my interest. Now since my brother has been buying pipes more of them are crossing my work table and I am gaining a new appreciation for them.
In the case of this pipe, I know that the blue stem on this Stromboli is what caught my brother’s eye. It is a gorgeous shade of blue that stands in stark contrast to the dark deep rustication of the bowl and shank of the pipe. He sent me the link to the eBay sale and I too took an interest in the stem and the shape. From the photos I could see that the finish on this pipe was in decent shape overall. There was some wear on the rim. It appeared that some of the finish had chipped off and there were some worn spots on the front and the back outer edges of the bowl. The cake was uneven (varying thicknesses from the photos) in the bowl and an overflow of lava on the rim top and edges. The stem had some stains or dark substance on the grooves of the turned portions. The pipe is stamped on the smooth bottom of the sitter bowl with the words Jobey over Stromboli and the number 500. The stem also has some wear and tooth marks on and in front of the button on the top and bottom sides. All in all, I was looking forward to receiving this pipe and seeing what I could make of it. I have included the seller’s pictures below to show some of the issues that I mentioned above. When the pipe arrived it looked precisely as the pictures had shown it. The dirty finish was a little worse than the photos showed. There was more grime in the grooves of the rustication. The stamping on the bottom of the bowl had a wax buildup in it that made it appeared blurred and double stamped. The stem was also a bit more of a mess than I had originally thought. The brown areas around the grooves and lines on the stem were actually thick and hard and did not come off by scraping. I am not sure what the substance was but it seemed to be stubbornly permanent. There were also tooth marks on stem on both the top and the underside of the stem near the button. The top of the button was also worn down on the inner sharp edge. The slot was almost closed off with grime and debris. The stem was loose and easily fell of the Jobey Link in the mortise. I took some photos of the pipe before I started working on it. I took a close-up photo of the rim and also the bottom of the bowl to show the stamping. The rim was dirty with tars and oil and some lava in the grooves. The bowl had a light cake remaining even after I had field reamed it when I was visiting in Idaho. The stamping on the bottom of the bowl is visible in the second photo. It had wax and grime in the grooves so it looked almost blurred and out of focus. I removed the stem from the Jobey Link and then used a flat blade screw driver to turn the link out of the shank of the pipe. I took a photo of the parts of the pipe to show the size and shape of the link. (You can also see the brown buildup on the grooves and ridges of the stem).I scrubbed the rustication with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the deep grooves. I also used a brass bristle brush to scrub the rim and the grooves there. The bristles of the brass brush easily removed the tars and lava from the rim surfaces. Once the bowl was scrubbed I rinsed it under warm running water to remove the soap and grime and then dried it on a soft towel. I used a dark brown stain pen to touch up the worn areas on the outside edge of the rim and the top surface as well. The dark brown perfectly matched the stain on the rest of the bowl. With the link removed from the shank I was able to clean out the mortise with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. I worked on the threads as well to remove the buildup on them. I clean out the airway on the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol and picked the slot clean with a dental pick. I used a pipe cleaner to also clean out the airway in the link. With the inside of the stem clean the link fit snugly in place and the stem was no longer loose. With the inside of the stem clean it was time to work on the rock hard substance on the grooves of the turned stem. The substance was impermeable to alcohol and was also on the flat diamond sides of the saddle portion of the stem. I wrapped a metal tube that was approximately the same diameter as the grooves with 220 grit sandpaper and worked on cleaning out the grooves and an emery board to sand the flat surfaces. I used a needle file to redefine the edges of the button on both sides of the stem and to also smooth out the tooth chatter and marks. I sanded the stem at the button and grooves with 150, 280, 320, 400 and 600 grit wet dry sandpaper to smooth out the scratches left behind by the 220 grit sandpaper. I took photos of all sides of the stem to show how well the sanding removed the hard substance on the stem in the affected areas. I cleaned out the stamping with a dental pick and then used a black Sharpie Pen to colour in the text of the stamping. I buffed the bowl bottom lightly on the buffer to blend the black pen into the rest of the bowl bottom. I turned the link back into the shank and gave the bowl a light coat of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed it with a shoe brush to raise the shine. I did a final scrape of the interior of the bowl with a Savinelli Pipe Knife to remove the remaining cake on the bowl walls.I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and then wiped down the stem with a clean cloth to remove the dust. I dry sanded the stem with 3200-12000 grit pads to continue to polish and shine the stem.
I lightly buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. It is important with Lucite to keep a light touch as you move the stem against the wheel as you can easily melt the stem and make more work for yourself. I hand gave the stem several coats of carnauba and buffed it with a clean buff. I brought the pipe back to the work table and buffed the bowl with the shoe brush and also with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beauty. I love the contrast between the dark brown/black of the craggy rustication and the smooth deep, royal blue of the stem. Thanks for looking.