Blog by Steve Laug
My brother has been picking up a lot of great looking pipes on his constant and intentionally pipe hunts. He has been feeding me many to work on and restore. We were talking on FaceTime and he showed me this pipe. It was a beauty. The bowl had a shiny shellac coat and the Lucite shank extension and brass end plate looked good. The finish had some light dents and scratches. The grain was obscured by the finish. Looking closely there was some nice grain under the top coat that would be good to release. The bowl had been lightly smoked, the bowl had no cake and the briar was only darkened from smoking. The DC stamp on the stem was visible but the gold was worn out of the indentations. The Lucite stem was lightly scratched but was still shiny. The scratches looked like the type that comes from a pipe sitting around and not getting used to much. There was no tooth chatter or tooth marks on the stem. When I removed it I found that it was made for a 9mm filter. I have some here so I will put a new one in the tenon. The underside of the stem was stamped horizontally on the underside of the shank with the script Danske Club. Underneath that it read Made in Denmark. Above the Dansk Club stamping was the shape number 157. My brother took a close up photo of the crowned rim. You can see from the picture that it was in very good shape. There were some scratches on the surface. There was some nice grain poking through the shiny cover coat.He also took a close up photo of the stem. The stamping is faded by still legible – interlocking letters D and C. In the photo the stem sits at an angle and is not tight against the shank. I wondered if it was an alignment issue or if it was truly an issue.My brother scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. Amazingly it removed the topcoat and the stain. It left a spotty bare briar behind with small specks of the stain and topcoat left all over the bowl. I took some photos of the pipe when I brought it to the work table. You can see what I saw in the next four photos. I took a close up photo of the stamping on the underside to show where the topcoat and stain was in the stamping and all around it.I scrubbed the bowl with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the remnants of the finish and the oils that were still in the bowl. There was a spot on the right side of the bowl where a fill had broken up and left a hole. I picked it out with a dental pick. I replaced the fill with briar dust and super glue. I sprayed it with an accelerator and took the following photo.I sanded the repair until it was flush with the surface of the briar. I sanded the entire bowl with a medium and fine grit sanding block to smooth out the finish. I rubbed the bowl down with a light coat of olive oil. Once oil dried a bit I sanded it with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads and wiped down the bowl when I finished. The pictures below show the pipe at this point. I sanded the bowl with another round of the micromesh sanding pads using 1500-12000 grit pads before I prepared it to stain.I stained the bowl with Danish Oil with cherry stain. I set it aside to dry for a bit. Once it had dried I would rub it down with a soft cloth. I applied some Rub N’ Buff to the logo on the stem and rubbed it down with a cotton pad to remove the excess. It filled in the stamping and gave it a renewed look.I polished the stem with 3200-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. Between each set of three pads I wiped it down with a damp cotton pad. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I was careful buffing around the stamping on the shank and the stem but the shine that began to come through was worth the effort. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I finished with my usual hand buff with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. Like many of the pipes I have been working on this one is available if you would like to add it to your rack. Send me an email or a message and we can talk about it. Thanks for looking.