Blog by Steve Laug
This is the final pipe of the lot of pipes I received from the pipe man in Eastern Canada who picked up an amazing lot an auction. The kind of price he paid makes me envious! This one is an older Loewe and Company graceful and diminutive pipe. It is stamped on the left side of the shank with L&Co. in an oval. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Loewe over England W.
When I received the pipe I took the following photos of it to give you the big picture of this tiny pipe. The stem was in good shape but had the most oxidation of the lot that was sent to me. There were small tooth marks and chatter on the stem near the button on both sides. The finish was dirty but in decent shape. The rim was worn and there were some dents and dings on the top surface. The inner edge of the bowl was slightly out of round. Someone had reamed the pipe back to bare wood but the internals were very dirty. I took a close up photo of the rim to show its condition. The finish was worn on the rim as well as darkened and dented. You can see the damage to the inner edge of the bowl as well.The next two photos show the oxidation on the stem. It is hard to see the tooth chatter and marks but they are present and will need to be dealt with.I also took some photos of the stamping. While not perfect you can read the stamps quite well and see the details that I mentioned above.I reamed the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to clean up the inside of the bowl. The bowl had already been reamed and there were only slight remnants of a cake in the bowl.With the bowl clean I used a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad to smooth out the rim and take off the carbon buildup on top. It also worked to take off the scratches in the briar.I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the out of round rim and bevel that were present. It did not take too much sanding and it looked as good as new.I used a dark brown stain pen to touch up the rim. The colour of the stain was a perfect match to the colour of the stain on the bowl. I stained the bevel and the top of the rim.I cleaned out the inside of the mortise and the airways in the shank and the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. The pipe was quite dirty in these areas and took a bit of scrubbing to get the grit out of the airways.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter. Several of them were quite deep so I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of the lighter to lift them to the surface of the stem. They all raised to the surface and a bit of sanding smoothed out the damage.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads. I set the stem aside to dry. I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish the minute scratches that still remained in the vulcanite and the finish of the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and then hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This evening I packed the pipes and sent them Express Post back to the pipe man in Eastern Canada. I am hoping he enjoys his “new” pipes and adds them to his rotation. Cheers. Thanks for looking.