Blog by Steve Laug
This is the second pipe that my friend dropped by for a restoration and cleaning. The first was the Tom Howard that I wrote about recently https://rebornpipes.com/2016/07/09/restoring-a-tom-howard-rhodesian-scoop/. This one is a Fieldstub imported briar. The most I can find out about it is that is American made in the 30-40s by and unknown factory. It shares a lot of features with pipes made by Tracy Mincer and the Custom-Bilt line but I can find no link. This one was dirty and tired looking. The rim had a lot of darkening and the bowl had a cake. The grooves on the rim were dirty and darkened. The stem was oxidized and had tooth marks at the button on both the top and underside of the stem. The pipe is stamped FIELDSTUB over Imported Briar on the left side of the shank. I took a few close-up photos of the rim and the stem. The first shows the buildup on the rim top and the cake in the bowl. The second and third show the stem with the tooth marks right next to the button edge. I scrubbed the bowl with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap, used a brass bristle brush on the rim top and rinsed it under running water. I dried it off and took these photos. I scrubbed the top of the rim to remove the darkening using acetone and cotton pads. I was able to remove most of the darkening. I wiped down the rest of the bowl with acetone as well to remove the wax and any debris that remained. I cleaned up the inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the nicks and dings on the edge.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and cleaned the airway with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol.I used alcohol and wiped off the damaged areas next to the underside of the button where the worst of the tooth marks remained after sanding. I filled in the tooth marks with black super glue and sprayed it with an accelerator to speed the drying time. I cleaned up the edge of the button and smoothed out the repair with a needle file. I wanted a clean, sharp edge on the button.I sanded the patch with 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surface of the stem and remove the file marks.I stuffed a cotton ball into the bowl and filled it with alcohol to pull the tars and oils out of the bowl and shank. I let it sit for several hours while I worked on the stem.I took the cotton ball out of the bowl and cleaned out the shank and bowl with pipe cleaners and cotton swabs to clean up the last of the alcohol. I let the bowl dry and turned to the stem. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I finished sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads, gave it a final rubdown of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I hand waxed the bowl with Conservator’s Wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfibre cloth. This one joins the Tom Howard as they wait for Theo to stop by and pick them both up. They are cleaned, polished and smelling great! If you read this blog, they are both ready for you Theo. Thanks for looking.