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

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

  1. William

    Once again great work Steve but you could take a stone and make it look like a diamond as shown by your “Frankenstein” pipes. I think the Algerian briar has great grain as a rule. Roland mentions recorder oil any particular make?
    I have experimented using Renaissance wax which is highly rated for even “museum pieces”. To my great disappointment though I found the other day that a couple of metal display pieces I had used it for showed surface rusting after only a couple of months. I do live in a very humid area so I will experiment with more frequent applications.
    Thank you Steve,
    William.

    Reply
    1. R.Borchers

      Hi William and Steve,

      Renaissance wax aka conservators wax works like a charm on both smooth and blasted/rusticated pipes. Some of us feel repellant to us it, it contains a tiny amount of benzeen.

      I apllied it on silver bands and it kept the silver fresh and untarnished for weeks.
      As I am located in probably the most humid country on this planet apart from Ireland, being the Netherlands
      I apply a thin coat of heated linseed oil on almost any metal that will take it, for instance cast iron.
      Ballistol oil works great too, also on the briar.
      My absolute winner though is Recorder oil ; valuable twice refined linseed oil of premium quality.
      A little vitamin E was added to it and as we all know vitamin E keeps the skin fresh and young,so I suppose it does the same to our precious briar. It is fluid like water and two drops will do .
      It is taken by the briar instantly and polishes to a lovely shine. Odourless too and will not go rancid.
      It is obvious I have shares in a company that is one of the main producers of this amazing product 🙂

      Reply
  2. R.Borchers

    Hi Steve,
    Great pipe, I own one Edward’s that indeed shows an idiosyncratic Charatan like shape with an Edwards twist .
    A terrific sweet smoker
    Are there fills in this one ?
    Besides olive oil, also recorder -, or parrafin oil are very kind to the briar. .
    I for several reasons prefer recorder oil
    Cheers,
    Roland

    Reply

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