Daily Archives: October 18, 2016

My Latest Refurb, an Edwards Algerian Briar 771 is not a shape I’ve seen before

Blog by Steve Laug.

Over the years I have had many Edwards pipes cross my work table. I have kept a few and sold many. I have also repaired many of them. The available shapes that the pipes came out it spoke of a very fluid design philosophy. Pipedia says that “Edward’s Design Philosophy is hard to pin down, think of their style as the “American Charatan” with unique & clever twists all their own.” Across the board they were all Algerian Briar and all were unstained waxed or oiled briar. I remember reading that actually oil curing was a feature of their pipes. I did a quick look on Pipedia  https://pipedia.org/wiki/Edward’s and found that I was correct. I quote: “All of Edward’s pipes are Algerian Briar – a fact very few pipe companies can claim, and all are oil-cured utilizing natural finishes – no strange concoctions are used to interfere in your tastebud’s dance with the briar. Algerian, Calabrian, Sardinian, Corsican – take your pick, but Algerian Briar is generally considered the finest smoking briar ever used. When combined with oil-curing, Algerian takes on a magical quality that even Alfred Dunhill recognized as far back as 1918 as the choice for both his Bruyere and Shell.”

The pipe is stamped Edwards on the left side of the shank and Algerian Briar over shape number 771 on the right side of the shank. The pipe is a large group 5 sized bowl. The stem was lightly oxidized but does not have any tooth or chatter marks. Push in tenon fits tight. The dimensions are: length 6 inches, height 2 1/4 inches, chamber width 13/16, chamber depth 2 inches. The following photos were taken by my brother before he cleaned the pipe. It is obvious it is in pretty decent shape. The rim has a little tar and darkening on the rounded back edge but the rest is pretty clean. The finish is quite nice and has some rubbed in grime that will come off with scrubbing. The photos tell the story on this pipe.ed1My brother took some close up photos of the rim, the bottom of the bowl and the stampng on the sides of the shank. You can see from the photos that the pipe is in great shape except for the slight buildup on the back edge of the rim. There is a light cake in the bowl and the bottom third of the bowl appears to be raw briar that has not been darkened by smoking. I would call the pipe lightly smoked.ed2 ed3My brother scrubbed the pipe with his usual mix of a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. He rinsed it with water. The scrubbing removed all of the grime and oils on the bowl and removed the build up on the rim as well. The stem was lightly oxidized and there were some scratches around the circumference of the saddle portion of the stem. My brother also cleaned the interior of the airways in the stem and shank and the mortise area. I took some photos of the pipe when it arrived here. ed4 ed5I took a close up photo of the rim to show how well it cleaned up after Jeff had scrubbed it. There is a shine to the rim that is unblemished by scratches or dents. I also took some photos of the stem to show the light oxidation and the absence of tooth marks or chatter. The stem is stamped on the underside horizontally across the saddle with the word France.ed6 ed7I worked over the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads. After the final micromesh pad I gave it a last coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.ed8 ed9 ed10I rubbed the bowl down with a light coat of olive oil to bring the grain to the surface. It also brought life to the briar. I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the wheel and then gave it several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful piece of briar, lightweight and well grained.ed11 ed12 ed13 ed14 ed15 ed16 ed17

Getting Lazy – A Simple Restore on a Loewe Cutlass 10

Blog by Steve Laug

The last three or four pipes I have taken out of the refurbishing box have been very simple restorations. My brother sent me this Loewe’s pipe that is stamped Loewe over Cutlass on the underside of the shank with the shape number 10 at the shank stem union. In the photos he sent me it appeared to be in pretty decent shape. The finish looked dirty and murky but otherwise good. The rim had some tars and overflow from the cake in the bowl but not too bad. There were some nicks and dings in the rim but none too deep. The stem was virtually flawless with no tooth chatter or tooth marks. The boxed L logo on the stem was worn and almost illegible but with a lens it is clear.loewe1While I have heard of and enjoyed quite a few older Loewe’s pipes the shape of this one and the name were not familiar to me. Even the shape number was not recognizable. I looked on the pipephil site to see if I could find any information on this particular iteration of the brand and found what I was looking for. There on his site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-l5.html) I found a pipe with the same stamping but a different number. The one in my hands does not have a COM stamploewe2 so I do not know where it was made. I have included the photo of the stamping and the stem logo to the left from that site as it is parallel to the one I have. I have also included some information from the listing there.

The brand was founded 1856 by Emil Loewe and was first bought out by Civic. Eventually the brand became part of Cadogan Group along with BBB, Civic, Comoy, GBD, Loewe and Orlik in about 1979. Judging from the age and the stamping on this pipe I would surmise that it was made after that merger and is a Cadogan pipe.

I also did some reading on the history of the brand on Pipedia and include a short excerpt here that is pertinent to the age and stamping on this pipe: https://pipedia.org/wiki/Loewe_%26_Co.#Bottom_of_shank: “By studying the website of one UK dealer I was able to deduce that the present shape numbers (early 2003) mostly (probably all) differ from those used from 1967. For example, a Billiard is now a 28, a Lovat an 834, a Canadian a 296. Some shape numbers now have 4 digits. But even today, Cadogan will occasionally still stamp a pipe with a shape name instead of a number, though only on request.”

It looks to me that I am dealing with a pipe made around 2003 jusding from the change in shape numbers to a two digit numbering system at some level. Though there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the dating of Loewe pipes after the Cadogan buy out.

My brother took the first and the following photos of the pipe before he did the cleanup. What follows are a series of close up photos of the stamping, the rim and bowl and the sandblast look on the bottom of the bowl. In the bowl bottom photo you can see the dust and debris in the grooves of the blast.loewe3 loewe4 loewe5My brother cleaned out the internals – the mortise and the airways in the shank and stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol. He scrubbed the externals with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap and was able to not only remove the grime from the finish but most of the finish also. When it arrived in Vancouver the pipe looked like virgin briar. The stem is acrylic so there was no oxidation on it. The next photos show the pipe when I brought it to my work table. The blast on the briar is quite shallow and shows mixed grain.loewe6 loewe7I took some close up photos of the rim and the stem to show their condition. My brother was able to remove the tars on the rim. There was some slight rim darkening on the inner edge but other than that it was clean. The scratches and dings were also raised. The photos of the stem show how clean it was as well when it arrived.loewe8 loewe9I sanded the inner edge of the rim with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out and remove the darkening and light burn marks. I also sanded it with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to remove the scratch marks left behind from my sanding.loewe10I wiped the bowl down with acetone on a cotton pad to remove any remnants of the previous finish and the dust from sanding. I stained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain cut 50/50 with isopropyl alcohol. I flamed it and repeated the process until the coverage on the bowl was even.loewe11I hand buffed the bowl and took the photos below to show what it looked like at this point in the process.loewe12 loewe13I gave the bowl and stem several coats of Conservator’s Wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This one will also soon be on the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in adding it to your rack let me know through email at slaug@uniserve.com or by message on Facebook or a comment here. Thanks for looking.loewe14 loewe15 loewe16 loewe17 loewe18 loewe19