Restoring a Pair of Preben Holm Deluxe Walnut Pipes


Blog by Steve Laug

I picked up this pair in a trade for a pipe I was selling plus some restoration work credit. They are really an interesting pair of Preben Holm pipes. I have no idea of the age or where they fall in the line of Preben’s pipes but I liked the look of the two of them. Both of them are stamped Preben Holm over Deluxe Walnut over Hand Made in Denmark on the underside of the shank. Both had a matte finish dark reddish-brown stain with identical stems. Both pipes were sitters.

The first of them was a square long shanked Dublin freehand with rounded outer edges to the bowl. The grain looked quite good on the briar but it was dirty. The rim had some heavy cake buildup on it and the bowl was thickly caked. The stamping on the underside of the shank was very sharp and clear. The stem was lightly oxidized and there was lots of tooth chatter and tooth marks on the top and bottom sides near the button. The crown logo with the PH below it on the stem was faint but legible. Here are some pictures of the first pipe when it arrived.Deluxe1 Deluxe2I took a close up photo of the bowl rim to give you a clear picture of what the rim and the cake looked like. It would take some careful scrubbing to remove the build up without damaging the finish.Deluxe3The second of the pair had a more rounded edge semi-square shank and was also a more squat Dublin freehand with rounded outer edges to the bowl. The grain on the briar looked just as good as that on the first and was just as dirty. The rim on this one also had some heavy cake buildup on it and the bowl was thickly caked. The stamping on the underside of the shank was very sharp and clear. The stem was lightly oxidized and there was lots of tooth chatter and tooth marks on the top and bottom sides near the button. The crown logo on the stem was faint but legible. Here are some pictures of the second pipe when it arrived.Deluxe4 Deluxe5I took a close up photo of the bowl rim to give you a clear picture of what the rim and the cake looked like. It would take some careful scrubbing to remove the build up without damaging the finish.Deluxe6I reamed both pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working up to the third head. I cleaned up the transitions with a Savinelli Pipe Knife.Deluxe7I scraped the tarry build up on the rims of the pipes with a pen knife I used for that. It is sharp and thin so with it I can carefully scrape the cake off the rim. I wiped the rims down with alcohol on cotton pads.Deluxe8I sanded the inside of the bowls with a rolled piece of sandpaper around my index finger. I was able to smooth out the inside of both of the bowls.Deluxe9I scrubbed out the mortises and airways in the bowls and stems with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners.Deluxe10 Deluxe11I sanded the tooth chatter and tooth marks on both sides of both stems. All the marks were identical on both pipe stems so I am guessing that they belonged to the same smoker. The first two photos are of the first pipe’s stem and the next two are from the second pipe.Deluxe12 Deluxe13I used a small brush and some white acrylic paint to touch up the crowns on the top of each stem.Deluxe14I waxed both bowls and buffed them on the buffing wheel. The photos below show the bowls after the cleanup and buffing.Deluxe15 Deluxe16 Deluxe17I polished the stem on the first pipe with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed down the stem with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads. When I got through with the 12000 grit pads I gave it another coat of oil and set it aside to dry.Deluxe18 Deluxe19 Deluxe20I repeated the polishing practice spelled out above on the second stem. The photos below show the progress of the work.Deluxe21 Deluxe22 Deluxe23I buffed the pipes with Blue Diamond on the wheel and gave them both multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipes are shown in the photos below. These two came out looking really nice. The shape and the finish of both are eye catching. Thanks for looking.Deluxe24 Deluxe25 Deluxe26 Deluxe27 Deluxe28 Deluxe29 Deluxe30 Deluxe31 Deluxe32 Deluxe33 Deluxe34 Deluxe35 Deluxe36 Deluxe37 Deluxe38 Deluxe39

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