Blog by Steve Laug
This one came to me in the box of pipes from my brother, Jeff. It is stamped Bruyere Shop on the left side of the shank and Imported Briar on the right side. It has a sterling silver band that is stamped STERLING and bears three hallmarks – an Anchor, a Lion and a T. The band thus reads Birmingham (the Anchor), .925 Sterling Silver (the Lion) and the letter T which dates the pipe to 1943. The band appears original as there are no cracks that it is banding or repairing. There is no damage to the pipe under the band. The silver band was oxidized and tarnished. It is pressure fit on the shank. The bowl was in decent shape when I got it – dirty and worn. There were paint specks on the briar. The beveled/rounded rim had darkening and heavy coating of tars and oils. The bowl had a cake that cover the sides and bottom. The thick shank was extremely dirty and oily. The stem had tooth marks on the top side and the underside next to the button. It was oxidized and very dirty as well. I took a close-up photo of the rim to show the buildup and the cake in the bowl. The second one shows the stamping on the band that I spelled out above.The next two photos show the condition of the stem and show the oxidation and the tooth marks next to the button.I scrubbed the bowl and rim with acetone on cotton pads to remove the old wax and grime on the finish. I worked on the rim to remove the buildup that had collected there. I used the Savinelli Pipe Knife to cut back the cake to bare briar.I sanded the inner edge and top of the rim to clean off the tarry buildup and also smooth out the dents and nicks in the rim.I scraped out the shank with a dental spatula and scrubbed the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until it was clean.I polished the silver band with silver polish to remove the tarnish and oxidation. The bright shine of the sterling silver came through the polish and I could see that it was going to be a beauty once the tarnish was gone.I used a light brown stain pen to restain the rim and polished it.I buffed the bowl lightly with Blue Diamond to polish the briar. I buffed it until the bowl and rim matched each other. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth marks on the top side of the stem. I repaired the one on the underside with black super glue. I built up the top of the button on both sides of the stem with black super glue. I sprayed it with an accelerator to dry it quickly.I used a needle file to rehape the sharp edge of the button and smooth out the surface of the stem.I cleaned out the airway with pipe cleaners and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the stem.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove all of the oxidation. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I gave the stem a coat of Obsidian Oil and dry 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 set it aside to dry. I buffed the stem and bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish it. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. If anyone knows anything about the Bruyere Shop please let me know in the response below. Thanks for looking.
I was doing some reading on the web and found a reference to a pipe shop in Buffalo, N.Y. called the Bruyere Pipe Shop in a May 1953 Popular Mechanics Magazine. I wonder if there is a tie…