Monthly Archives: June 2017

Giving the Sultan a much need facial


Blog by Steve Laug

Several months ago, I received a box of pipes to be refurbished from a friend in northern British Columbia named Steve. The box contained some nice Danish briars, some meerschaum pipes and a ceramic as well that needed attention. I went through them and made suggestions for him. Together we did a bit of prioritizing. I have cleaned, restored and sent quite a few back to him already. In the box there were several that I took out of the equation because I was not sure of the point in cleaning them up – one was a black pyrolytic “The Pipe” billiard with a very rough stem and another was this little meerschaum sultan.

My original plan had been to send this pipe and The Pipe back to him untouched but the other evening I had been working on an old C.P.F. with some major issues and I wanted to work on something that was a bit more mindless. Sometimes a change of view is as good as a rest. I just was not ready to shut down the shop for the night so I thought through what I had in the repair and renovation queue and opened the box that Steve’s remaining pipes were in. I looked through them and decided to work on the Sultan.

The Sultan looked rough to me as it had definitely seen better days. The meerschaum was a dirty grey colour with darkening in all of the grooves and around the cheeks and eye sockets. There was a heavy cake in the bowl and the rim had a heavy lava overflow that was thick on the surface. The stem had tooth marks and what looked to me like marks left behind by a pair of pliers when someone was adjusting the fit against the shank. Somewhere along the way someone had put a paper washer on the metal threaded tenon and wrapped thread around the tenon so that the stem lined up with the shank a bit better. One thing that could be said in the pipe’s favour was that the shank was beginning to show some colour. I took some photos of the pipe when it arrived and have included them below. The close up photo below shows the rim top and the thick cake in the bowl. The inner edge of the rim looked pretty rough but I would be better able to tell its condition once I had reamed the bowl.I put it on the work table and took a few more photos in better light to see if I could show the condition of the pipe before I started my work. These pictures more adequately show the dirt on the meerschaum in all of the grooves of the turban and the face.The next photo looking down the bowl from the top shows the crumbling cake in the bowl and the thick tar on the rim top. The second photo shows the dirt in the grooves in the carved beard.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer to take the cake out of the bowl completely. A pipe man should never let a cake build up in the bowl like this one had. I cleaned up the reaming in the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and took every remaining bit of cake out of the bowl. I unscrewed the metal tenon from the stem and used a pair of pliers to unscrew it from the mortise of the pipe. The metal tenon had been turned through a cork and the cork screwed into the mortise of the meer. It provided a tight connection but when the stem was in place the metal tenon turned in the cork. I had a new replacement tenon in my box of tenons. I used the Dremel to reduce the threads on the portion of the tenon that screwed into the stem. The other part of the tenon had the proper threads for the mortise. I aligned the tenon in the mortise and twisted and pressed the stem onto the other end.  I did a bit of fine tuning to adjust the alignment but it worked very well. I filled in the tooth marks and the marks on the saddle portion with some amber super glue. I lightly sanded it to blend it into the rest of the stem material.With the stem finished, the new tenon in place I turned my attention to the meerschaum bowl and giving the sultan a facial. I scrubbed it with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. I scrubbed it under gently running water and rinsed off all of the grime and darkening from the grooves, around the eyes and in the beard and turban.I dried off the bowl and put the stem in place in the shank. I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to give the stem a shine and polish the minute scratches that were in the meerschaum. I took photos of the pipe when I finished buffing it. You can see from the above photos that I was able to remove the grime from the meer and leave behind the patina. It had potential to be a beautiful pipe once it had darkened even more. I waxed it with a product that is made of White Beeswax called Clapham’s Beeswax Polish. It is soft so it is easily applied to the meerschaum. I warmed the meerschaum so that it would absorb the wax. I buffed the pipe and stem with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It turned out to be a nice looking pipe. I think Steve is going to enjoy this one. Looking forward to hearing back from him. Thanks for looking.

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GBD New Era Bent Billiard (510F)


By Al Jones

I thought that I had seen all of the GBD shapes, particularly those in the Bent Billiard, Bulldog and Rhodesian family. But this is the first 510 shape that I have encountered. I was surprised to find the shape number listed on Jerry Hannah’s old shape list, but Google yielded no other examples. The shape is very similar to the Dunhill 120 and a bit more elegant than the shape 508, a more common GBD bent billiard. This one has the brass rondell and straight line “London, England” stamping of a pre-Cadogan pipe. However the rondell is smaller than typical and similar to the rondells on my hallmarked 1930’s era GBD’s. The button is also shaped differently than later model GBD’s. Like many New Era grade pipes, this one has the bullet style tenon. Mike Hagley tells me that this tenon was introduced in the late 1940’s, but I was never able to determine when it was discontinued.

The pipe was in fairly decent shape as received. The bowl had some dings, particularly on the bowl top. The stem was mildly oxidzied and the bowl had a mild cake.

I reamed the bowl and soaked it with alcohol and sea salt. While the bowl was soaking, I used 400, 800, 1500 and 2000 grit paper to remove the oxidation on the stem, then followed with 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh. The stem was then buffed with white diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.

I used an iron and a wet cloth to stem out the dents, most of which came up nicely. I was able to minimize the others with some 2,000 grit wet paper, followed by a white diamond buff. Some handling marks were near the nomenclature, but those couldn’t be fixed. The nomenclature is worn and I didn’t want to risk damaging it further.

Below is the finished pipe. I’m curious if anyone else has encountered this GBD shape.

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I use Conservator’s Wax for polishing briar, metal and rubber


Blog by Steve Laug

For the past few years I have been using a Canadian made product called Conservator’s Wax on pipes with either rusticated or sandblast finishes. I have mentioned often in my blogs on those pipes and I am surprised that more of you have not asked me about the product and what it is.

For years I had read about Renaissance Wax on different forums and how well it worked on briar pipes but I could not find it here in Canada (though I am told that it is now available). I always planned on getting a can from Amazon to try out but somehow never got around to ordering it. I wondered if there was not something like that here in Canada that I could purchase and experiment with.

One day I was visiting one of my favourite tool shops – Lee Valley Tools. To me it is the kind of place I can spend an afternoon or more wandering and looking at the assorted tools and supplies that carry. I was in the wood polishing area looking at sandpapers, micromesh and other wise and came across this little silver can that said it was for polishing woods and other things. I asked about it and one of the gents there said that he had used it for years on wooden bowls and other pieces that he had turned on his lathe. I said it was a very light weight wax that really polished well and lasted to protect the pieces he had made.

After reading the details of the product while I was in the shop I thought that it might be something like Renaissance Wax. It seemed like it would be worth a try to see what it worked like on pipes. Here is a summary of what I read:

CONSERVATOR’S WAX is a blend of highly refined microcrystalline waxes of fossil origin (petrochemical based) based on a formula which has become the standard material used in museums and art galleries and by professional conservators and restorers the world over. This high performance, crystal clear wax may be used on wood, metal, ceramics, ivory, marble, polished stones, leather, plastics, gilding, cast resins, photographs, and like materials offering excellent moisture resistance and protection against heat and finger marks. Its application on exterior surfaces enhances weather resistance. Apply it with a soft cloth to gently remove built-up dirt and grime and old wax, then buff when dry to polish to a soft sheen.

I brought it home and have been using the same can for 4 or 5 years now. It does not take much of the wax to do the job. I apply it by hand to the surface of rusticated and sandblast pipes as well as plateau on the rim of some freehands and let it dry. I buff it with a shoe brush and I have been very pleased with the results. It does not clog up the crevices, valleys or depths of these finishes and provides a lasting shine. I find that it is equal to Halcyon II wax in terms of its polish and workability on rough finishes. I have also used it on smooth finishes as part of the experiment and found that it works well. For me it does not replace carnauba for smooth surfaces but it is certainly workable.

In terms of its polishing and cleaning capabilities I have used it on briar that I have restained and it seems to buff out the tiny scratches that have been left behind from all of my polishing and buffing. I have used it on stubborn oxidation on vulcanite stem and found that it did not have the polishing ability to remove that from the hard rubber. It did however; work very well in hand cleaning the oxidation around stem logos and stamping without damaging those areas. On large oxidized areas there are other products that do a better job. I have also used it to polish and clean metal bands and ferrules and it cleans off oxidation and tarnish in the stamping and hallmarks quite well. It not only cleans but leaves behind a nice shine on nickel, silver and brass.

I can recommend it to those of you who cannot find Renaissance Wax or do not want to order the small jars of Halcyon II wax. It is a suitable replacement and one that I use regularly. As I mentioned, the small 125ml container that I have has lasted for 4-5 years and I work on a lot of pipes. I will definitely pick up another can when I visit Lee Valley Tools in the near future. It is a product that I keep on hand. Give it a try and see what you think.

New Life for an unusual CPF COLON Calabash Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

Not too long ago, I wrote a blog about a virtual pipe hunt that my brother and I went on. He was visiting an antique mall in Montana and I was at home in Vancouver, Canada. We met at the mall via Apple Facetime and he was the hands and feet of the exercise. He happened upon a large consignment of CPF pipes as well as others from around the same vintage – late 1880s through early 1900s. Here is the link to that blog, https://rebornpipes.com/2017/04/26/a-virtual-pipe-hunt-a-new-way-to-experience-the-joy-of-a-pipe-hunt/.

I worked on the older alternative wood pipe with a spiral shank and horn stem. It was the first pipe I worked on from the lot we found that day. I wrote about the restoration of the pipe in an earlier blog; https://rebornpipes.com/2017/06/24/bringing-an-older-1890s-era-spiral-shank-horn-stem-billiard-back-to-life/. The next pipe on the worktable was a CPF that was different from any others that I had ever seen or worked on before. It was a briar calabash with a black Bakelite screw bowl/cup. The shank was darkened and appeared to have originally had a band that had been lost somewhere along the way. That is pretty common on these old CPF pipes. The stem was amber and needed some work to bring it back to usefulness. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank with the words COLON in an arch over the CPF logo in an oval. Underneath that, is stamped French Briar in a reverse arch thus encircling the CPF logo. There was no other stamping on the right side or underside of the shank. There were two sandpits/flaws in the briar that I would need to address but it was a beautiful little pipe.I did a bit of research on Google to see if I could find any information on this particular CPF pipe. There was not much information on that brand and some of the info was almost comical in that the key word in every listing was “COLON”. You don’t need me to spell out what kind of listings were found. The one thing I did find was a photo that someone pinned on Pinterest. Here is the link; https://www.pinterest.com/pin/495255290248000765/ . I have included the photo below that was posted there. The label on the pinned photo read: TOBACCO PIPE, CIRCA 1915, “COLON” BOWL, French Briar, C.P.F. It is the same pipe as the one on my table but mine has better grain in the briar bowl. Mine also came with a stem.My brother took photos of the pipe (including the first one above) before he started to work on it and clean it up. When he sent me these photos, I was really interested in getting my hands on it and cleaning it up. I could not wait to see it up close.Jeff’s photos showed the condition of the pipe really well and gave the reader some idea of what it looked like from a variety of angles. The top view of the bowl showed the thick cake that had formed in the Bakelite bowl and the lava that overflowed on to the rim top.  The next three photos show the Bakelite bowl and rim top, the bowl unscrewed from the briar bowl and the underside of the Bakelite bowl. The cake is very thick and looks hard. Once the bowl is out of the base it is amazingly clean considering the condition of the Bakelite bowl. The underside of the Bakelite bowl is also clean. It has three holes that carry the smoke from the bowl into the base, shank and stem to the mouth of the smoker. The threads in both are intact. He also included some close up photos of the shank and the stamping. He has a much better camera than I do so the stamping photos clearly show the condition of the stamps – they are worn but readable with a lens and a light. The marks on the shank appear to be from the time that the band was pried off the shank. Looking at it under a lens there are no cracks in the shank. He sent along a photo of the underside of the bowl as well. It is a pretty piece of briar.The photos of the condition of the stem were telling in many ways. There was a lot of tooth chatter and tooth marks on both the top and underside of the stem near the button. There were also fracturing and splintering along the edges that helped me conclude that the stem was amber. The next photos show the stem from a variety of angles including a photo of the orific airway in the button. The stem had a buildup of tars and oils on the inside of the airway that would need to be removed. I reread what I had written regarding the history of the CPF or Colossus Pipe Factory brand before I started the restoration work on this pipe. I am glad I collected the data in one place because I would otherwise have had to redo the work each time I work on a CPF pipe. Here is the link to the history of the brand. https://rebornpipes.com/2013/04/14/some-reflection-on-the-historical-background-on-cpf-pipes/ I have included a few choice paragraphs that help with the identification and the dating of the brand. You can read the entirety at the above link but here is a summary to connect this pipe to the history of the brand.

“One of the secondary hobbies to pipe refurbishing that I enjoy doing is to research the history of a particular brand or make. In a recent EBay lot I bought there were 3 pipes that were stamped with the CPF logo – CPF in an oval with the word FRENCH stamped in an arch above the oval and the word BRIAR stamped in an arch below the oval. I had heard that the CPF stood for a variety of names from Consolidated Pipe Factory to Colossus Pipe Factory and even Chesterfield Pipe Company. There was a wide range of conflicting information available on the websites and forums that I read while looking into the brand…”

“…CPF in the logo stands for Colossus Pipe Factory. The brand was purchased by KB&B sometime between 1884 and 1898 and it continued until 1915. That time frame gives help in dating some of the older CPF pipes you or I might find. It can be said that prior to the dual stamping it is fairly certain that the pipe is pre-1884 to 1898. After the dual stamping it can be placed post 1898 until the closure of the brand line in 1915. CPF made beautiful pipes. I believe Sam Goldberger was correct in his assertion that the carvers who made the pipes were of European training and used the classic shapes and well-aged briar.”

Armed with that information I was able to narrow down the period that this was made. Since the pipe bears only the CPF logo, I think that it is safe to say it was made before the time of the buyout by KB&B in 1898. That would mean that it is dated somewhere between 1884 and 1898. From 1898-1915 all of the pipes that came out of the factory bore a dual CPF/KB&B stamp. The fact that this one does not have the dual stamp further solidifies the date of manufacture as being from the 1880s to the late 1890s. This information goes against the information I included with the Pinterest photo above which identified the pipe as being made in 1915. Like I thought when I took when I first saw it – this is an old pipe.

My brother did a great job cleaning up the pipe – bowl, base and stem. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and a Savinelli Fitsall Reaming Knife and removed all of the cake. He cleaned the Bakelite with soap and water and scrubbed it with a tooth brush. He scrubbed the briar exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime and grit. He cleaned the interior of the briar bowl and the mortise and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. The stem was harder. He cleaned out the majority of the oils and tar build up with pipe cleaners and a little alcohol. He sent it to me to finish up but it was pretty decent. I took the next four photos of the pipe to show what it looked like when it arrived in Vancouver. I took a close up photo of the bowl and the rim top to show the difference between what it looked when he brought it home and what it looked like when I got it. I also took the bowl apart and took two photos of the parts. I took photos of the stem to show the condition from all angles. He got a lot of the grime out of the airway but there was still a lot there that needed to be cleaned out. I would need to remove the threaded tenon to do justice to the airway cleaning. I ran some alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs through the shank and the bowl to double check on the cleaning and it was really well done. The inner beveled edge of the bowl looked really good. I removed the tenon and scrubbed the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and Soft Scrub Cleanser. I rinsed it with warm water to remove the soap. I was able to get much more of the tars and oils out with the Soft Scrub. I used a needle file to define the edge of the button and make the angle sharp once again. I used the file on both sides.I lightly screwed the bone tenon in place in the stem. I would adjust it once I was ready to put the pipe back together again.I went through my bands and found a nickel band that would fit the shank. I sanded the shank to remove the darkening, nicks and dents and prepped the surface for pressure fitting the band. I used a Dremel and sanding drum to grind back the band width to make it fit the depth of the shank that I wanted to cover. I did not want the band to extend over any of the stamping.I heated the band and pressed in place on the shank. I used the Dremel to grind the band down further and sanded the edge with 1200-2400 grit micromesh to smooth out the sharp edge. I filled in the sand pits on the bowl with clear super glue and briar dust and sanded it in to blend with the rest of the briar. I filled in the nicks on the top of the Bakelite with clear super glue and sanded it smooth once it dried. I needed to buff both bowl and cup but it definitely looked better. I screwed the bowl in place on the base and took the following photos. I polished 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 after each grit to remove the sanding dust and give me some more bite when I sanded it with the next grit of pads. I polished the briar bowl and the Bakelite insert cup with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and wiping it down with a dab of olive oil after each pad. I touched upt the gold leaf in the stamping with some European Gold Rub’n Buff. Once I finished I buffed the bowl and insert with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish it and buffing the stem separately. I waxed them separately as well with Carnauba wax. I buffed them with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed them with a microfiber cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I really like the finished look of the pipe.

66. The Newgrange Line


Mark posted these new pipes out of Peterson on his recent Peterson Pipe Notes Blog. They are some really beauties. Thanks Mark

peterson pipe notes

The Newgrange Spigots will be arriving on our shores in the next few months, and like so much of the great work out of Sallynoggin, you’ve really got to hold one in your hands to appreciate what the Peterson artisans have done.

This was forcefully driven home to me on my first Peterson pilgrimage in 2009, when John Dromgoole at the old Grafton Street store asked if I would be interested in one of the new LEs, just then in the shop. I’d seen photos of it on the internet, but only from the side, so to me it just looked like another quarter-bent billiard. But when I held it in my hands and turned it over, the magic revealed itself. It had a wonderfully pinched stem that couldn’t be seen from its sideview.

The LE 2009: Case in Point

So it is that I wanted to present the Newgrange…

View original post 362 more words

Bringing an older 1890s Era Spiral Shank Horn Stem Billiard back to Life.


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff visited an antique mall in Montana on one of his recent trips and found a lot of older pipes from the 1890s era. There were CPF, WDC and other older brand pipes with amber and horn stems. I wrote about how we used Apple Facetime so that I could be present on the hunt. It was an amazing time “in the shop” for me. The link to the blog on this hunt follows: https://rebornpipes.com/2017/04/26/a-virtual-pipe-hunt-a-new-way-to-experience-the-joy-of-a-pipe-hunt/. The first pipe that I chose to work on from the hunt was the one picture below. My brother took the following pictures of the pipe before he cleaned it up to send to me for finishing. It is a unique and interesting old pipe. The spiral shank continues through the horn stem. The finish on the bowl was worn and tired but the spiral shank and stem were undamaged. There was one deep “worm hole” in the left side of the stem in the bottom of a spiral that would need to be repaired but otherwise it was in pretty decent shape.The photos show the overall condition and look of the pipe. Whoever carved it remains a mystery as there is no stamping on the shank or bottom of the bowl. It is unmarked so it is one of those unknown pipes. The difference is that this is not a homemade pipe it has the marks of a good pipemaker and the drilling is perfect from the stem forward. The bowl was lightly caked and the rim had a tarry overflow on the top. The inside edge of the bowl was in great shape as far as I could see from the photos. The outer edge of the top had been knocked about enough that there was some damage and wear to it. The next two photos show the rim top and bowl. The finish on the outside of the bowl is worn and there are a lot of dents and dings in the surface of the wood. The photos lead me to wonder what kind of wood the pipe is made of because of the way the damaged rim looks. The next photos show the condition of the stem and the drilling in the button. The spiral continues from the shank through the stem seamlessly. The second photo shows the worm hole in the horn stem. It is deep but clean and the areas around it are undamaged. The junction of the stem and the shank is very tight and clean. The transition from wood to horn is smooth to the touch. The last photo shows the orific button on the end of the stem. It is clean, round and centered in the end of the crowned button. This older style button helps me date this pipe as early as I do above. My brother did his usual job reaming and cleaning the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer and cleaned it with a Savinell Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the internals with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to remove the grime in the mortise, shank and airway in the stem and shank. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and was able to remove all of the grime on the bowl sides and rim. The pipe came to me in great condition. I took a close up photo of the rim top and stem to show their condition more closely. The rim top was worn and there were some spots on the edges that had slivered. The rim would need to be topped to smooth things out and remove the damage.The stem photos show the tooth damage on the top and underside at the button and the “worm hole” in the left side near the shank.I wiped down the area around the hole in the left side of the stem with a cotton swab and alcohol and dried it off. I layered in several fills of clear super glue into the hole. As each layer dried I added more glue to the top of the hole repair. I continued until the file was slightly overfilled then sanded the areas smooth.Billiard16While waiting for each layer of glue to dry I worked on the rim top. I topped it lightly with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board to smooth out the damage to the rim. I took enough of the damage off to leave the rim top smooth to the touch.I wiped down the bowl with acetone on a cotton pad to remove all of the finish that remained on the bowl. I kept wiping it down until no more stain would come off and the bowl was clean. I could see once it was clean of the stain that the wood was not briar. I was dealing with what appeared to be walnut. It was extremely light weight and the grain was very different from what I expected once the stain was gone. I restained the pipe with dark brown aniline stain and flamed it to set the stain deep in the grain of the wood. I repeated the process until the coverage is acceptable.I put the stem back on the shank and hand buffed the stain with a soft cloth to show what the pipe looked like at this point in the process. The first photo and the last show the repair to the hole in the stem. It is smooth once again. I polished the bowl with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. Each successive grit made the walnut bowl shine more and made the stain more and more transparent. I polished the horn 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 pad and when I finished the last pad I gave it a final coat of oil and let it sit and dry. I turned the bone tenon on the stem into the threaded mortise on the shank. I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to raise a shine. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. In the first photo you can see the repair on the lower portion of the horn stem. It is a slightly darkened spot but it is smooth to the touch. Do any of you recognize the style or work on this old pipe? Can you tell me any information regarding the maker or the era? Do you think I am in the ball park with a late 1890s date? What do you think? Thanks for the help ahead of time and thanks for walking with me through this restoration.

A Brigham One Dot Dublin with a Back Story


Blog by Steve Laug

This old Brigham was the next pipe I brought to my work table. I got a message from Greg on Facebook saying he had been reading one of my posts about a box of estate pipes I had received and he was interested in adding this one to his rack. The pipe was a Brigham One Dot Dublin with a slight bend in the stem. It was an older one made before the manufacture of the pipes was moved to Italy. It has the standard aluminum tenon and filter mechanism of the Canadian made pipes. The finish is rusticated with the classic Brigham rustication on the bowl, rim top and shank. It has one smooth patch on the underside of the shank that is stamped Brigham in script over Canada. There is no shape number or other stamping on the shank.

The pipe came to me in a box of pipes that I inherited from a friend in Ontario. He was an old Anglican priest and we had shared a lot about pipes and mutual calling over the 15 years that I knew him. I repaired, restored and sold many pipes for him and have a few of his previous pipes in my current collection. He was a great guy and he is alive in my memory each time I smoke one of his pipes. When the box came I found that there were 70+ pipes in the box and his daughter included a note that said her dad wanted me to restore them pass some of them on to others. This is the first from that lot that I have restored.The finish was very worn and the outer edges of the rim showed wear and damage. The inner edge worn as well but the bowl was still in round. The rim had a thick buildup of tars and oils that filled in the grooves and ridges of the rim top. The rim had some darkening of the finish as well. The stem was oxidized and had a sticky residue left behind by a price sticker. There were no tooth marks on the stem surface on either side next to the button.The stamping on the underside of the shank was clear but slightly worn. It reads Brigham in script at an angle from left to right and block letters, CANADA underneath. Charles Lemon of Dadspipes has written a helpful blog about dating Brigham Pipes by the style of the stamping on the shank. I turned to that blog to look up information on this particular pipe and see if I could identify the time period. Here is the link; https://dadspipes.com/2016/10/03/brigham-pipes-a-closer-look-at-dots-dates-and-markings//. According to that info this pipe comes from the late Canadian Era 1980-2000. The second close up photo below shows the rim and the cake in the bowl. The end of the Brigham system can be seen poking out of the airway in the photo as well.The next photo shows the tenon and system tube. It was incredibly dirty with a lot of tar and oil on the inside. The pipe had been smoked a long time without the filter in place and there was a lot of buildup in the tube and stem. The shank was also very dirty.The next two photos show the condition of the stem. The oxidation pattern and the sticky label gum on the surface are very visible on the stem. The stem is also clear of tooth marks or chatter on the surface near the button.I reamed back the cake with a PipNet reamer and a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. I used a brass bristle brush to knock off the tarry buildup on the rim top and clean out the crevices and grooves in the rustication.I decided to clean out the interior of the mortise, shank and airway in the shank and stem before going any further with the exterior. I used alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs to scrub out those areas and scrubbed until the pipe was clean. I wiped down the surface of the stem to remove the sticky gum left behind by a label on the top side of the stem.I scrubbed the surface of the briar with Murphy’s Oil Soap, toothbrush and a brass bristle brush to clean out the grooves and cleaning off the dirt, oil and debris on the briar. The bowl and the rim looked significantly better once I had rinsed it off with running water. It was dry and the stain was lightened but it was clean. I decided to work on the stem first so while I did I stuffed the bowl with cotton balls and used an ear syringe to fill the bowl with alcohol. I folded a pipe cleaner and plugged the airway so that the alcohol could draw out the oils in the briar. The second photo shows the cotton after it had been sitting for four hours. When I took the cotton balls out at the 6 hour mark they were exactly as they looked at the 4 hour mark. I was a bit surprised that they were not darker. But then again my old friend smoked primarily Virginias – in fact I don’t think he ever smoked aromatics in the time I knew him.I took out a new maple wood Brigham filter for the system and took a photo of the pipe at this point in the process. I still need to stain the bowl but it was looking better and it smelled and looked clean.I stained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain and flamed it to set it in the grain. The characteristic blue flame that burns the alcohol out of the stain setting it deep in the grain is a beautiful site to my eyes. I repeated the process several times until the coverage was correct.I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on cotton pads to make a bit more transparent. I wanted the contrast that had originally been on these old Brighams to show through. There was enough dark stain in the deep grooves of the finish to contrast nicely with the new stain coats I gave the pipe. I rubbed the stem down with Brebbia Pipe and Mouthpiece Polish and some Before & After Pipe Stem Polish to remove the oxidation in the vulcanite. It lifted a lot of the oxidation and what was left behind was minor.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 pad and gave it a final coat of oil after the 12000 grit pad. I set the stem aside to dry. When I finished there still appeared to be a little oxidation at the tenon end of the stem. I was not sure if it was the light from the flash or reality so I took it to the buffer and buffed that area with red Tripoli and repeated the last three micromesh pad grits. I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond to further polish it. I buffed the stem with carnauba wax and gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and with a microfibre cloth to deepen it. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful pipe and even better in person. Thanks for looking.