Daily Archives: July 16, 2016

A Liverpool stamped Tobacconist Inc.


Blog by Steve Laug

I was looking through the box of pipes that I have to refurbish to see what struck my fancy this time around. It may sound like an easy process but my brother has been filling the box faster than I can clear it out… no complaint there however as he has great tasted in pipes and he has found some amazing pipes. The one that stood out to me this time was a Liverpool that has a rustication that was so tight that it looked like a sandblast. On closer inspection it was clear that it was a rusticated pipe. The bowl and long shank were at dark brown with a flat smooth strip on the bottom of the shank and the bowl where it was stamped Tobacconist Inc. That was a brand I had not heard of but I figured that it must have been a shop pipe for a tobacco shop somewhere. The bowl had a light cake and the beveled inner edge of the rim was flawless. The rim was pretty clean with just a little buildup in the rustication. The stem was oxidized but there were no bite marks or tooth chatter.Tob3 Tob4I took a close-up photo of the rim and bowl to show the cake and the condition of the rim surface. It was a pretty clean old pipe. I also took some photos of the stem top and bottom to show the oxidation and lack of damage. I was fortunate with that.Tob5I googled the Tobacconist Inc. stamp to see if I could find any information on the brand. There was no information in Who Made that Pipe and I could find nothing on Pipedia. The name Tobacconist Inc. came up shop a tobacco shop in Chicago. It is called Tobacconist Inc. and is located at 3524 W. Irving Park Rd. Chicago, Illinois. The phone number is 773-463-8468. I have included two photos of the sign and the shop. The sign says the shop has “Everything for the Smoker” and has been in existence since 1946. Sounds like a place I need to visit one day. I may have to call them and see if they have any information about the pipe.Tob2Tob1I started working on the pipe by reaming the bowl with the Savinelli Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar.Tob6I used a brass bristle brush to clean up the rustication on the top of the rim. It did not take too much work to clean off the tars and dirt.Tob7I scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a soft bristle tooth brush to remove all of the dust and debris from the rustication.Tob8I rinsed the bowl off with running water and dried it off with a soft towel. The clean pipe is shown in the photos below.Tob9 Tob10I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation on the surface. In the cleanup I found a small tooth mark on the top left side of the stem. I was able to remove the tooth mark with sanding.Tob11I cleaned the mortise and airway in the shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I was surprised on how clean the pipe was. It did not take too much to clean out the airways.Tob12I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and followed my usual routine. You can probably recite it by now if you have been a long time reader of the blog. Sand and Obsidian Oil repeated until finished. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads, gave it another coat of oil and sanded it with 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set the stem aside to dry.Tob13 Tob14 Tob15I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the wheel and then gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I used a light touch on the bowl so as not to get waxy buildup in the rustication. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. The final touch I use is a microfibre cloth and a rubdown on the entire pipe to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. Thanks for looking.Tob16 Tob17 Tob18 Tob19 Tob20 Tob21 Tob22

 

Beautiful High Grade B Bjarne Nielsen Handmade Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

I picked this pipe up from Pocatello, Idaho when my brother and I visited an older pipeman there who was selling some of his collection. It was a beautiful freehand pipe cut to maximize the amazing grain. The flame grain flows up the sides of the bowl and shank with great birdseye on the top and the bottom of the bowl and shank. It has a Cumberland stem with a briar insert centered in the saddle portion of the stem. There is also what appears to be an ivory or faux ivory ring that is integrated at the end of the saddle that sits against the shank when the pipe is inserted. The Cumberland tenon is part of the pipe and is funneled to direct the airflow from the shank to the stem.

The pipe is stamB1ped on the underside of the shank Bjarne Nielsen over Handmade over In Denmark. There is a grade stamp B under the other stamping. The bowl was in very good shape though there was dust and grime over the surface of the bowl that was mixed in with the wax and gave the bowl a waxy almost sticky feel in the hand. The birdseye on the rim was hidden in the grime. There was a light cake in the bowl that I reamed out when I was visiting my brother so when I started working on it today there was nothing in the bowl. The stem was oxidized and also covered with the same waxy stickiness as the bowl. The briar insert was faded and light under the grime. The stem was obviously handmade and very well cut with a thin button. The pipe is amazingly light weight for a pipe this size. B2 B3I have had many Bjarne pipes cross my work table over the years but all had been stamped only Bjarne or Bjarne Handmade. None of them had his full name stamped on it and none had a letter stamp which I assumed indicated the grade of the pipe. I did some research on Pipedia.com and found some helpful information on both the stamping of my pipe and the history of Bjarne Nielsen himself. I am including the link to the full article on Pipedia and also some pertinent sections of the article that I have edited for quick reference. https://pipedia.org/wiki/Bjarne

From the early 1990s Bjarne had seven pipemakers employed and the pipes were sold in no fewer than 32 countries. For more than six months each year, Bjarne traveled around the world to promote his pipes by meeting with dealers and customers. But sadly, it all ended in February 2008 when Bjarne, then 66 years old suffered a fatal heart attack. An unexpected blow fist of all to his family, but also to the pipemakers who had been working for him, and to all lovers of his pipes from around the world. And as no one was willing to take over, the Bjarne pipe died together with its creator.
Among the pipemakers that worked for Bjarne were Johs (for the lower priced high volume pieces), and makers like Ph. Vigen, Ole Bandholm and Tonni Nielsen for high grade pieces. The cheaper line was stamped “Bjarne” while the highest grades were stamped “Bjarne Nielsen” (never with the pipemakers’ name) and graded, from highest to lowest, by the letters: AX, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and J.
Now I knew that the pipe I had was made before 2008 and could well have been made by Tonni Nielsen. The B stamping told me it was a fairly high grade pipe – third grade from the top AX grade. That makes sense when I look at the grain and also the way the pipe maker cut the pipe to maximize the lay of the grain on the bowl. I took a few photos of the pipe taken apart to show how the stem was made and to give a good look at the Cumberland under the oxidation. There were no tooth marks or chatter on the stem top or bottom.B4I scrubbed the sticky wax and grime off the bowl surface with Murphy’s Oil Soap on a cotton pad. I was surprised how much grit and grime came off the bowl. Some of what appeared to be nicks or scratches were in the thick wax coat on the bowl and once it was removed so were the marks in the surface. The grain really showed clearly once I rinsed off the soap on the bowl.B5 B6 B7 I cleaned out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol.B8 The stem was in such good shape under the wax, grime and oxidation that I wiped it down lightly with alcohol on a cotton pad and then went directly to the micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit pads and gave the stem a coat of Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I finished by sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. I set the stem aside to dry.B9B10B11 I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel being careful to not buff the stamping on the underside of the shank. I gave the bowl and stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It too will be available soon on the rebornpipes store. Send me a message or a response if you are interested. Thanks for looking.B12B13B14B15B16B17B18B19

Refreshing a Coral Finish Meerschaum Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I am on a meerschaum refurbishing binge. I have a few in my box of pipe to be refurbished. This one is a bit unique to me. I have had rusticated meerschaum pipe from Manx Pipes and Nording but I have never had one with what to me looks like this one. I have labeled it a coral finish because it not only looks like it with the carved grooves and pits in the finish but tactilely it also feels like a piece of worn coral. The bowl finish was dirty – more dirty than coloured. The photos below actually make it appear a bit darker than it was when I started. The grooves and pits were lined with dust and debris. The rim had a tarry buildup that was hard and black. The bowl had a light cake forming on the inner walls. The stem is probably made of acrylic or if earlier Bakelite. It has a swirled amber appearance becoming clear in the last third of the stem to the button. There is a single black dot on the top of the stem. The stem has a push tenon and the shank an insert for the tenon. These are either nylon or Delrin. They lead me to believe that the pipe is a bit newer. It does not look like a replacement tenon. The airway in the stem was darkened with tobacco stain. This would give me a chance to use my newly worked out method of cleaning clear stems.c1 C2I took a close-up photo of the rim to show the build up on the back of the top along with darkening to a lesser degree all the way around the top of the bowl. I also took a photo of the top and bottom of the stem. Though they are clear enough they do not show the rippling and tooth marks in the surface. It looked to me like someone had tried to buff out the tooth marks and ended up with a wavy surface on the stem. You can also see the staining of the airway in the clearer portion of the stem.C3I decided to use a gentle soft scrub product to clean the exterior of the meerschaum and the tarry buildup on the rim. I scrubbed it with a tooth brush and rinsed it under running water. I dried it off with a towel. I used a brass bristle brush to work on the rim top. I was able to remove much of the tarry buildup on the rim and rinsed it once again with running water.C4 C5I reamed out the light cake with a Savinelli Pipe Knife and took the cake completely out of the bowl.C6I worked on the inside of the airway with mini-needle files to smooth out the drilling and the slot. It took three different needle files to remove much of the roughness – a round, an oval and a flat oval file.C7I scrubbed the inside of the stem with bristle pipe cleaners and soft scrub cleanser. With repeated scrubbing alternating with the needle files I was able to remove the majority of the staining in the airway. I scrubbed the airway and mortise in the bowl with alcohol and pipe cleaners.C8To remove the waviness of the stem and the tooth marks I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and a medium grit block. I was able to remove the wavy lines and the tooth marks and restore the taper of the stem.C9I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 micromesh sanding pads and wiped the stem down with a damp cotton pad. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads and wiped it down again. I finished sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads and wiped it down a final time to remove the sanding dust.C10 C11 C12I buffed the bowl and stem lightly with Blue Diamond on the wheel. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the stem and bowl with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message on Facebook or respond in the space below the blog. Thanks for looking.C13 C14 C15 C16 C17 C18 C19

Cleaning up a no name Vineyard Meerschaum Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I received a second meerschaum pipe in a leatherette or vinyl covered case. This one was a straight billiard. The bowl was lightly carved with grape vines and clusters of grapes all around the bowl. There were two rings carved around the top of the bowl to set off the vines and grapes. The bowl has begun to colour – especially around the shank and on the lower portion of the bowl. The rim had some dark marks and a coat tar that was stuck on the top. The stem is made of a dark acrylic and has some tooth marks and chatter on the top and the bottom sides near the button. The nylon/Delrin threaded tenon has some darkening but is in excellent condition. The stem sits perfectly on the shank. The case is lined with white satin like material.G1 G2 G3 G4I took a close-up photo of the rim top to show the damage. There was darkening and tar but there were also some nicks in the surface that had retained the oil. I also took some photos of the top and bottom side of the stem to show the tooth chatter and tooth marks.G5 G6I wiped down the surface of the meerschaum with soft scrub to remove some of the marks and oils from handling that were on the bowl sides, front and back.G7I scrubbed the bowl top with the soft scrub and wet sanded the rim top with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I followed that up with 3200-4000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the top of the bowl down with the cotton pad. I was able to remove all of the damage and all of the buildup.G8I scraped out the light cake with the Savinelli Pipe Knife. I did not want any cake build up in the bowl. I wiped the bowl down on the inside with a damp cotton pad.G9I scrubbed out the shank and the airway in the tenon and the shank with pipe cleaners and cotton swabs and light alcohol. I was surprised that the internals were not too dirty. I scrubbed out airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe clean cleaners. I worked on the area that the tenon screwed into in the stem.G10I sanded the tooth marks and tooth chatter with 220 grit sandpaper until they were no longer visible. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit sanding pads and gave it another coat of oil. I finished sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.G11 G12 G13I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond and hand buffed bowl. I gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the entire pipe with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This one is also available for anyone who is interested in adding it to their rack. Just send me a message on Facebook or leave a message in the response box below the blog. Thanks for looking.G14 G15 G16 G17 G18 G19 G20 G21