Blog by Steve Laug
Once again my brother found a unique pipe for me to work on. It only has one marking on the left side of the shank – Old Mokum. From research it was made by Zenith Pipe Company in the Netherlands, one of the oldest pipe companies in the world. It is a double walled ceramic pipe with a cooling chamber under the bowl. I have had several Zeniths and their copiers over the years and they smoke cool. This one was in pretty decent shape. The exterior was dirty by a little scrubbing would take care of that. The inside of the bowl was lightly smoked with some portions still undarkened from smoking. The rim had a little tar on the top at the back of the bowl. There was a hard rubber cork that was around the stem. It had a slight split in it but was still usable. The stem was in good shape – lightly oxidized and no tooth chatter or marks. I took the stem out of the bowl and worked the rubber stopper off the stem. In the other Zenith pipes I have this stopper resides in the shank so I am thinking that this one somehow was stuck on the stem. It did not take too much effort to work it off the stem.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with saliva and a cotton pad and was able to not only remove the grim but also the tar on the rim top.I worked on the chamber under the bowl with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners and was able to clean out all of the debris from that part of the pipe. I also scrubbed the mortise clean with alcohol and cotton swabs.The stem internals were surprisingly clean and it only took two pipe cleaners to remove what remained in the airway.I sanded the oxidized stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation. It was light on the blade of the stem and heavier above where the stem had been inserted in the rubber stopper.I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads, gave it another coat of oil and finished sanding with 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. I set the stem aside to dry. I cleaned the stopper and gave it a light coat of Vaseline where it would insert into the mortise and pressed in place. It was a snug fit and seated well. I inserted the stem in place and removed and inserted it several times to make sure the stopper stayed in the shank. I buffed the bowl lightly with Blue Diamond and with a little more force on the stem. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax to slow down the oxidation. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a great example of the double walled ceramic pipes put out by Zenith. This one will be available on the store soon if anyone is interested in adding it to their rack. As always thanks for reading and looking at the blog.