By Al Jones
This Ferndown Bark belongs to my friend, John Fruhmann. I first became acquainted with John through the PipesMagazine.com forums and later met him and his friends at the Lehigh Valley Pipe Club. If you are ever in the Allentown, PA area, and have an opportunity to participate in a club meeting, take it. They are a great bunch of guys with a terrific meeting place, The Wooden Match Cigar Bar/Restaurant located in beautiful Bethlehem PA. Their Facebook page is:
John recently took the position of Chief Executive Officer for The Standard Tobacco Company of Pennsylvania. Standard Tobacco re-introduced several fabled blends to the market in the past twelve months. You can check out their offerings at their website.
John acquired this Ferndown Bark at a recent club meeting. You may have heard that Les Woods and his wife have decided to retire, so there will be no more new Ferndown pipes. This is a 2 Star pipe and at 62 grams, seems just right. I thought that the top just had a layer of tar and I was hoping it would come off. Unfortunately, the bowl top had seen some serious heat abuse and was burned in several spots. Below is the pipe as received.
I reamed the pipe and found the bowl interior was in very good shape. I used a cloth and some mild Oxy-Clean to remove the tars on the bowl top. That was when the damage was revealed. I didn’t really want to top the bowl in the traditional way but rather to keep the original rustification edge. I decided to bevel the bowl top, like you might see on a GBD Prehistoric pipe. I used 800 grit paper to remove the scorched wood and reshape the bowl. 1500 and 2000 grades were used next, then the bowl top was polished with White Diamond and several coats of carnuba wax. The bowl top looked much better and close to factory. The pipe was soaked with alcohol and sea salt. After that step, I used bristle brushes to clean out the shank. I used “Halycon” wax to hand wax the rusticated section, which was only a little grimey. A toothbrush was used to work the wak into the finish, then polished with a cloth towel. The shot below shows the finished top and the bowl soaking.
I soaked the stem in a mild Oxy-clean solution, with a dab of grease over the fragile LJS stamp. I had to be careful to preserve this stamp. Sometimes the unpolished stamp stands out too much, but I was pleased with the end result on this one. There were a few dents that raised nicely with heat. 800 grit paper was used to remove the heavy oxidation. Next up was 1500 and 2000 grade wet paper, followed by 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh. The stem was mounted on the pipe and buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. I put a small piece of masking tape over the LJS logo. I used silver polish to clean the Sterling band.
Below is the finished pipe, fit for a CEO!