By Al Jones
This pipe belongs to a friend of mine who is a member of the Lehigh Valley Pipe Club (Allentown PA area). The pipe is a 1952 Dunhill Tanshell, which is his birth-year pipe. I’ve done several pipes for John but this one was special and I was honored to be entrusted with its care.
The pipe was in terrific condition, with the typical bowl-top build-up and an oxidized stem. The nomenclature panel was in fantastic condition. The panel serves to make the pipe a sitter, which extends to the profile on the bottom of the stem. The original owner must have never set the pipe down on that panel. There was a gap between the stem and shank, I assumed due to build-up inside the shank.
The pipe has Patent No9417574/34 with an underlined 2, which according to the dating guide at the Pipephil site, dates it to 1952. The LBS apparently stands for “Large Billiard Slim” and the pipe is a Group 4 size.
The pipe had a mild cake, which was removed with my Pipenet reamer. The interior of the bowl was in very good shape and protected by the cake. The draft hole was completely plugged. I soaked the pipe with alcohol and sea salt for several hours. While the pipe was soaking, the stem was soaked in a mild Oxy-clean solution.
Cleaning the bowl top was going to take some care, I didn’t want to damage the sandblast or the stain. I used a piece of worn Scotch-Brite and water to remove the heaviest build-up and then a water-soaked cloth. This left only some darkening on the rim top. The briar only need to be hand waxed with Halycon wax and a soft cloth.
The draft hole was cleaned with a soft shank brush dipped in alcohol. I cleaned the interior of the shank with a paper towel dipped in alcohol. Once the shank was clean, the stem fit perfectly.
The stem had several mild teeth indentions. I used the flame from a lighter to raise all but two. I used 800 grit paper to remove the oxidation on the stem, followed with 1,500 and 2,000 grades. I finished with 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was finished on the buffer with White Diamond and then Meguiars Plastic Polish. The two remaining tooth indentions are hardly noticeable. The button work is outstanding, truly a hand cut stem.
Below is the finished pipe, ready to be enjoyed.