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. I 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.I 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.I started working on the pipe by reaming the bowl with the Savinelli Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar.I 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.I 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.I rinsed the bowl off with running water and dried it off with a soft towel. The clean pipe is shown in the photos below. I 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.I 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.I 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. I 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.