Blog by Steve Laug
I was contacted by a fellow Canadian who had just picked a nice selection of 6 older pipes at an auction. He picked them up for a very good price. Five of the six pipes were in very good shape. There was an older Dunhill Duke St. SW Lovat, an L&Co small billiard, an older KBB Yello-Bole 2705 sandblast billiard, a Ben Wade Natural Grain Lovat, a Sashar billiard made by Sasieni for South Africa and this older Toogood’s Make A billiard. The little billiard is stamped on the left side of the shank 12F and next to that is Toogood’s over Make over A. On the top of the shank flowing down the right side it reads Made in over England over Sun Dried over in Surrey. I was unfamiliar with the brand and I could not find any information on it on the web. My usual sites did not give me any information. I checked in my copy of Who Made That Pipe and information that the brand was made by Mason & Toogood. It listed 12 different variations on the brand. I have included a screen capture of the section from the book that shows the brand.I searched the web for information about Mason & Toogood in Surrey, England but I could not find anything under that heading either. Perhaps some of you reading this may have some information on this brand.
I took some pictures of the pipe before I did any clean up or restoration on it. I chose to work on this one for the challenge more than anything else. I knew that even once it was restored it would not have any particular value but I like the challenge and enjoy seeing what I can do. You can see the deep gouges on the right side of the bowl from the rim down about ¼ inch. There were also some deep marks and scratches just below the gouges. I took photos of the side of the bowl and also from the top down showing the depth and extent of the damage to the right side. I took a photo of the stamping on the shank sides to record the information and to see if any of you recognize it once you see the photos.I took some close up photos of the damaged bowl side and the rim top. These show the depth of the gouge and the deep nicks on the rim and the bowl side. It was in rough shape and would take some patience to rebuild the side and the rim.I reamed the bowl back to bare briar with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife in preparation for the work on the side and rim top.I decided to top the bowl on the topping board to remove the damage on the rim top. The gouges on the top of the rim were not as deep as the side. The photo below shows the rim top after topping the bowl.The next series of photos show the rebuild of the rim edge, top and side of the bowl with a mixture of clear super glue and briar dust. I layered on the glue and the dust to bring the level of the side up to the same thickness and height as the rest of the bowl.I sanded the repaired area with 180 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repair and blend it into the surface of the bowl. Once I had it smoothed out I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the scratches. The next series of photos show the progress of the repair at this point. I sanded the bowl repair with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge and then with 1500-3200 grit micromesh sanding pads. I was able to remove the scratches in the briar with the sanding pads. I stained the bowl side with a dark brown stain pen to match the rest of the bowl colour. This was the first coat of stain. I would follow it with darker coats to try to blend it in better with the bowl side.I sanded the freshly stained rim and bowl side with 1500-3200 grit micromesh sanding pads to remove the scratches that showed up on the pipe after the first coat of stain. I restained the bowl side and top with a dark brown aniline stain and flamed it with a lighter. I gave it a second coat and repeated the flaming of the stain to set it in the grain.I buffed the bowl with White Diamond on the buffing wheel to raise the shine. The photo below shows the bowl at this point in the process. I still needed to blend the repair into the briar with a black Sharpie Pen. The photos below show the repair before the black Sharpie touch ups.The stem was in pretty decent shape with light oxidation. The stem had an aluminum inner tube that was set in the tenon and seemed extend quite a ways up the inside of the airway in the stem.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the scratches and the tooth chatter on the stem surfaces at the button on both sides. I smoothed out the surface of the stem and then polished it with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads. After the final sanding pad I gave it a last rub down with the oil and set it aside to dry. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deep the shine. The repair still shows on the right side; but the pipe is useable and it looks pretty good. The repair blends into the stain on the rest of the bowl. It is smooth to touch and the rim also is in good order. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I took some close up photos of the repaired side and rim to show how they look up close. While I still do not know who made the pipe, I like the look of the pipe. The maker laid out the pipe to flow with the grain. The straight and flame grain on the bowl sides, front and back sides looks great and the sandblast on the bottom of the bowl and shank looks good. Thanks for looking.