Author Challenge – Bruyere “Extra” Restoration


By Al Jones

This Author was posted on Ebay at a reasonable price and I found the shape very alluring. The pipe was definitely going to require a good deal more work than projects that I typically undertake, but it looked solid enough to take the risk.

I found plenty of Bruyere labeled pipes, but most were of the Tyrolean or Hunter style sold in Europe. “Who Made That Pipe” only shows “many” as to those using that name. Curiously, I found this pipe, which sold recently on Ebay that has the Bruyere Extra stamp but a stem with the BC stamp.(Butz-Choquin)

As can see, the strummel was well abused, and apparently the previous owner had wanted to make sure that he knocked out all of the tobacco remains. The bowl top would require either a rebuild using briar dust and CA glue or topped. Gratefully, the stem was only oxidized with minimal teeth marks. The band, which appears to be nickel was tarnished and loose. The stem did not fit all the way into the shank. There were numerous gouges in the briar and several spots where fills had fallen out.

The first step was to ream the bowl which revealed it to be in very good condition, with no hidden issues. I removed the loose band and soaked the strummel in a alcohol bath for several hours. Following the soak, the strummel was scrubbed with a mild Oxy-Clean solution and a worn piece of Scotch-Brite. During this time, the stem was also soaked in the Oxy-Clean solution.

I decided to use briar dust and CA glue to rebuild the bowl edge and fill the gouges and fills. I smooth the repairs first with 320 grit paper and then 1500 and 2000 grade paper. The bowl still needed to be topped slightly to sharpen the edge. Below, those repairs are nearly complete, with final sanding to come, using 800 and 1500 grit papers.

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I restained the bowl with Fieblings Medium Brown stain. That color blended in the repairs nicely, without making the pipe too dark. The bowl was then buffed with White Diamond and several coats of carnuba wax. I re-glued the band with some wood glue. I lightly buffed the band with White Diamond rouge. Cleaning the shank with a series of bristle brushes allowed the stem to be fully inserted into the shank.

With the stem mounted, I removed the heavy layer of oxidation with 400 grit paper, than moving through 800, 1500 and 2000 grades. This was followed by 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.

I bought this pipe for the challenge and to ultimately resell it. However at this time, I’m too enamored with the shape and for now, it will remain on my rack. Below is the finished pipe.

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