Blog by Steve Laug
The Rhodesian is one of my favourite shapes and recently I stumbled on the BC 1025 that really captures the Rhodesian shape well. It is right up there with the GBD 9438 and the Peterson 999. So when my brother and I saw this one on Ebay we of course were smitten with PAD. I wanted that pipe. The Cumberland stem is definitely a plus because I like that as well and to have the two combined in one pipe was bonus. This one is stamped on the left side of the shank Butz-Choquin over Chombord. On the right side it is stamped St Claude in an arch over France over the shape number 1025. The silver band is stamped Sterling Silver. It was dirty – the rim had a tarry top coat and there was a cake in the bowl. The silver was tarnished and the Cumberland stem was oxidized. It also bore some calcification on the stem where it looked as if the stem had borne a softee bit. The good thing about the softee bit is it often prevents tooth marks or in some cases hides them. The stem bore the BC logo encased in clear resin and set in the left side. This pipe came with the box, the original pipe sock and a BC brochure. When the pipe arrived in Vancouver it came in its original box and sock. I couldn’t wait to open it up and check it out.Inside the lid was the brochure that gave the variety of BC pipe shapes along with a simple guide on pipe care called “The Minor Art of Pipe-Smoking”.I took the pipe sock out of the box and took the pipe out to see it. Once again my brother did an incredible job cleaning and reaming this one. It came to me in really great shape. The finish was actually pristine on the bowl after the clean up. The stem was clean and lightly oxidized. The silver was tarnished. All of these were minor clean up issues. The rim had a very light coat of tar that had not come off in the scrubbing. The next two photos are close up pics. The first is of the bowl and stem separated and shows the tarnish on the silver. The second photo shows what is left on the rim top. Neither issue would actually take a lot of work.I used 1500 grit micromesh sanding pads and also a cotton pad and alcohol to remove the remaining tars.I cleaned off the tarnish with some silver tarnish remover and a cotton pad. I scrubbed it until the silver shone.I wet sanded the Cumberland stem 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 the stem with 6000-12000 grit sanding pads, gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad and by hand with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. Thanks for looking.