Blog by Steve Laug
When I got this pipe from my brother, Jeff it was in a case and I did not take time to look at it. Last evening, I was on FaceTime with my brother and he said to have a look at it. So I went to the box, took it out and opened the case. What was inside was a well-cared for basket weave meerschaum with a mixed amber coloured Lucite stem. The tenon was a nylon/Delrin tenon connecting the stem to the shank. The stem was very clean with no tooth chatter or marks. It was dull but would not take much to polish. The connector was also very clean. The exterior of the bowl was beginning to colour but most of the colour was on the shank. The rim had some tar on the topside of the rim at the back. The inner and outer edge of the bowl was in great shape. There was a light cake in the bowl that would need to be removed. The case was in excellent shape. The covering on the outside was a black leatherette with gold hinges and clasp. The lining was gold faux fur with a Servi Block Meerschaum sticker inside the top of the case. I took some photos of the pipe when I took it out of the case to show what I was going to work on in terms of refreshing the pipe. I took a close-up photo of the rim and the bowl. You can see the slight buildup of tars on the top back side of the rim and the light cake in the bowl.The stem was in great shape so I took some photos of it. It is a rare thing these days to find any stems without tooth marks of chatter of some kind. This one had no marks.I used a 2400 grit micromesh sanding pad to work over the tars on the top of the rim. It did not take too much effort to remove the dark spot and bring the bowl back to fresh look. I used the Savinelli Pipe Knife to scrape out the thin cake in the bowl until it was no longer an issue. I scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol.I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh pads and wiped it down with a damp cotton pad. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and wiped it down between each grit of micromesh and again when I was finished. I hand buffed the bowl with a shoe brush and gave the stem a buff with Blue Diamond. I gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I buffed the bowl with a clean buff as well. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful example of a well carved meerschaum and it is in excellent shape. The colouration of the bowl has begun and the shank is showing a rich golden colour. It is ready for the next pipeman to carry on the process of smoking this beauty to enrich the colour on the bowl and shank. If you are interested in adding this one to your rack let me know. It is available.