Daily Archives: July 17, 2017

Jen’s Trove No. 7 – A Trident Blasted Bent Billiard with a Question of History

Blog by Dal Stanton

This pipe represents the 7th of 8 pipes that Jen rescued from my ‘Help Me!’ baskets.  She’s leaving Bulgaria very soon returning to the US after working with us for a few years.  She is not returning without gifts!  She has chosen a trove of pipes that have garnered her attention to give as gifts to the men in her family.  Each of these gifts has the added benefit of helping the Daughters of Bulgaria, our work here in Bulgaria with women and girls who have been sexually exploited and trafficked in Europe.  My love of restoring pipes as The Pipe Steward is a way of shining a light on the tragedy of those caught in this modern-day slavery.

The ¾ Bent Billiard got Jen’s attention I believe, because of the blasted finish.  The only stamping is under the shank and it is marked, “TRIDENT”.  However, when I saw this pipe from an eBay seller in the UK, my attention was drawn also to the old-style P-Lip military stem and the old vintage feel of the pipe overall.  Here’s what I saw on eBay UK:This seller had other offerings which I also placed bids to take advantage of combined shipping from UK to Bulgaria.  With the Trident, I added a Hardcastle ‘Deluxe’ No. 12, and a Bewlay ‘The General’ to my basket for restoration.  Now, on my work table on the 10th floor apartment of a formerly Communist apartment block, I look at the Trident with the question, ‘Is this pipe actually vintage old or does it just look old?’  I take more pictures to fill in the gap. My first action was to look in my autographed copy of my eBay acquired copy of, ‘Who Made That Pipe?’ by Herb Wilczak & Tom Colwell.  It’s not autographed to me, but still cool!In ‘WMTP?’ the name ‘TRIDENT’ was associated with two names, ‘E Deguingand & Son/ H. Comoy’.  Country of origin, ENGL.  First looking at Pipedia’s article on Comoy’s, I discover that ‘Trident’ is a second made by Comoy’s – one among many!  Looking at PipePhil.eu, I found an example of this Comoy second which still displayed the ‘Comoy’s’ stamping and nomenclature.  The Trident before me carries no other markings and for this reason, I’m dubious of it being from the Comoy’s line of seconds.Then I turn to ‘E Deguingand & Son’ to see what I can find.  Pipedia has a helpful article that collates information about the name.

Deguingand & Son

Emile Deguingand & Son, Ltd. was a briar pipe maker in London at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Originally they manufactured pipes in London, on Hamsell Street in Cripplegate, but that entire area was destroyed in the fire of 1897. Deguingand began selling at 5 Colonial Avenue, Minories, East London beginning in 1897. That same year Emile Deguingand purchased a pipe factory built by Charles Cayron in 1885 and 1886 at a place called Sur les Etapes in St. Claude, France. The factory in St. Claude was raised and enlarged in 1900 and 1902.

In 1906 Deguingand was granted a patent in France for a pipe consisting of a removable combustion chamber over a lower chamber filled with asbestos into which the airway ran.

In 1910, E. Deguingand & Son, known in France as E. Deguingand et Fils, became S.A. des anciens Etablissements Deguingand et Fils with Francis and Paul Deguingand’s entry into the business. While the plant doubled in size in approximately 1926, it was closed around 1930 and later converted to a commercial warehouse.

One pipe line known to have been sold by Deguingand was the Trident.

The last line is interesting in terms of the exclusivity it seems to imply.  The article is helpful but leaves out much and creates more questions.  When Deguingand opened operation in St. Claude, France, 1897, the same year opening another location in London after the fire of 1897, the assumption I believe, that is true, is that operations continued in both London and St. Claude under the Deguingand name.  The indication is that the operation in France closed in 1930, but there is no indication that operation in London ceased as well.  The challenge I am left with is that I can find precious little about production of Deguingand pipes or ‘Trident’ through the 1900s other than this early century reference by Pipedia.  If theories can be developed from silence, the E. Deguingand & Son Company is NOT listed in the 1949 Tobacco Retailers’ Almanac found at Chris’ Pipe Pages.  Can one deduce from this that pipes were no longer produced under the name?

The only other finding in my research that sheds some light on the E. Deguingand & Son name, comes from ‘Company Search Made Simple’ website. Here I find that E. Deguingand & Sons was incorporated, at least as an English entity, 3/12/1912, and was dissolved 7/30/1996.  The address was listed as 20 VANGUARD WAY, SHOEBURYNESS, SOUTHEND ON SEA, ESSEX, SS3 9RA.  The Director of the corporation was listed a John James Adler, from 8/1/1991 to 7/30/1996 – the same date as the dissolution of the corporation.  Of interest to me, but probably not a surprise for others more informed (!), was when I was trolling around the corporate bones of the corporate umbrellas created to manage sales and acquisitions of pipe names in much of pipedom in England and France – I discovered, Cadogan.  On this site, I compiled this list of well-known names in the pipe world that were started at different times, but all were, 1) dissolved on the same date (7/30/1996, with the exception of Kaywoodie, a few weeks later), 2) who shared the same address (Southend On The Sea) and, 3) had the same Director.  Here’s the list I compiled.What this tells me is that E. Deguingand & Son, Limited, existed at least as a corporate entity in the Cadogan consortium until 1996, but I have no indication that pipes were produced under the corporate name from the 1930s to 1996.  I’m growing in my understanding of the name, but is the Trident before me of a vintage that dates to the early 1900s?  I’m not sure, but one thing about the Trident that creates question – Does the P-Lip Military style stem help place this pipe?  It looks older to me, but my question lingers.

When the well runs dry in my research, I send questions to Steve to help prime the pump.  I share with him some of the research related above and some pictures of the Trident, but my specific question is, “Can a P-Lip stem indicate the age of a pipe – or contribute to its age placement?”  Steve’s first response was helpful in clueing me into the probability that the Trident before me could very well be of an early 1900s vintage.  His response was: “It looks a lot like the Wellington that WDC made in the early 1910-1920s.”  It was not difficult to find these artifacts in Pipedia’s article about the William Demuth Co. and the WDC Wellington – a WDC mainstay over the years. With the uncannily similar Wellington pictured above, courtesy of Doug Valitchka from Pipedia, the Trident lookalike before me could very well be of an early century vintage and a product of E. Deguingand & Son, Limited.

My second inquiry to Steve was how it all worked.  Did WDC make pipes (Wellington styled) for E. Deguingand and E. Deguingand marked them with ‘Trident’ though made by WDC?  Steve’s next response was even more to point questioning the accuracy of attributing the Trident to E. Deguingand.  He said,

I wonder if the E. Deguingand is correct. I wonder if WDC in NYC did not make a Trident pipe. I would do some digging in old WDC catalogues and see if you can’t find it. It has the same style band, same style faux p-lip with the air hole in the end of the button rather than on top. WDC did that I think to avoid issues with Peterson.

I did as Steve recommended and looked at several old WDC catalogs I could find online.  One forum was helpful in providing a WDC Master List.  Unfortunately, no ‘Trident’ listing was evident there or anywhere else I looked indicating a William Demuth Company source. I come up empty finding a direct connection between WDC and the Trident.  If anyone can help solve this mystery, I would be grateful!

I approach the restoration of this Trident as an early vintage 1900s vintage and will seek to maintain that.   Not knowing at this point if this is an early E. Deguingand Trident or a WDC made Trident, I appreciate the fact that I do have an ‘Ole Timer’ and will handle him with care!  The ‘faux’ P-Lip Military style stem is heavily oxidized and this will be addressed.  The chamber has moderate cake and this will be removed to reveal fresh briar.  The rim has some lava but is in good shape overall.  The stummel needs cleaning of the grime and band polished.  With an appreciation for the Trident before me, I begin the clean-up by putting the P-Lip stem into the OxiClean bath to start dealing with the heavy oxidation. With the stummel in hand, the fire chamber has light carbon cake build up.  I use the Savinelli Pipe Knife to ream the chamber.  It does the job very quickly.  I then wrap 240 grit sanding paper around a Sharpie Pen and sand the chamber wall to remove more residue carbon.  I conclude the chamber clean up by wiping with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to remove residue carbon dust.  The pictures show the progress. With the chamber reamed and cleaned I turn to the internals.  Using cotton swabs, pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol and needle files to scrape the edge of the mortise, I work on cleaning the internals of the stummel.  The internal architecture of the mortise has two internal holes drilled.  The upper hole is the airway leading to the draft hole.  Underneath this, a hole is drilled to create a reservoir for moisture to collect.  I take a picture of this and include a cut-away of a WDC Wellington from The Briar Files discussion of WDC Wellingtons After some effort working on the gunk removal, and with the growing need to attend to other obligations not having to do with pipes or their restorations, I decide to continue the cleaning job using the kosher salt/alcohol soak.  I fill the chamber with kosher salt that leaves no aftertaste, and twist and stretch a cotton ball to insert into the mortise, acting as a wick to draw out the oil and tar.  I use a large eye dropper and fill the bowl with alcohol until is surfaces over the salt.  I set it aside and let it do it work.Later, I remove the very oxidized P-Lip Military stem from the OxiClean bath and the bath did the job of raising the oxidation to the surface.  The stem is now a light grey color not the usual dark olive green.  I go to work removing the oxidation using a barrage of tools.  I wet sand the stem in warm to hot water for about 30 minutes using 600 grit paper!  Oxidation is very stubborn in the edges of the P-Lip orific button lips.  I utilize hard edges to wedge the sand paper in the corners.  I then use 0000 grade steel wool to work over the entire stem including the hard to reach corners and curves.  Finally, I use Mr. Clean MagicEraser to put the oxidation to rest.  This phase looks good – it didn’t come easily!I go directly to cleaning the internals of the stem with pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl 95%.  It did the job quickly.After some time, I return to the stummel that is having a salt/alcohol soak. The salt has darkened showing that it has done its part.  I remove the expended salt and cotton wick and clean the stummel with paper towel to remove residue salt.  I return to cotton swabs and pipe cleaners, also using long bristled brushes to finish the job. With internals clean, I take another look at the stummel surface.  I use undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime in the crevices of the blast and on the rim top.  I utilize cotton pads and a bristled tooth brush.  The rim has mild cake and I use a mild kitchen scrub pad to gently clean it.  I also clean and polish the band while I was at it. Because there was normal wear around the rim, the cleaning leaves lightened areas devoid of finish, though the blasted architecture of the rim is intact.  Using the lightest stain stick I have in the basket (Furniture Repair Marker – Oak), I color in the rim.  I like the way it darkened and complimented the texture of the hues.  I decide to use the stick on the stummel as well to highlight and deepen the peaks of the blasted surface.  I like how it turns out overall – nice.  I set the stummel aside to dry thoroughly. I take the stem to begin the micromesh pad cycles and to my chagrin, I see that the oxidation is peeking through – mainly around the curves leading to the crest of the military stem (I’m not sure if there is a technical name for that part of the stem!).  Ugh!  It’s already late so I elect again to put the stem in the OxiClean bath to see if it will do the job.  I heat the OxiClean solution in the microwave until it’s warm and plop the stem back in and turn out the lights!The next morning, I go straightaway to the stem in the bath, fish it out, wet sand the problem, oxidized areas with 600 grit paper then with 0000 steel wool.  I’m hoping that the oxidation is now removed as much as it can be removed.  I move on to wet sanding using micromesh pad 1500 to 2400, then dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 then 6000 to 12000.  I follow each cycle with an application of Obsidian Oil to revitalize the once oxidized Military, Faux P-Lip style stem.  I’m pleased with the pop of the vulcanite – it looks good. I put the stem aside to fully absorb the Obsidian Oil and to dry. Next, I apply Museum Wax to the bowl with a small cotton cloth – working the wax in the blasted surface landscape.  Then, I buff the bowl with a shoe brush to assimilate the Museum Wax into the surface and begin the shining process.  Turning to the Dremel, I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and set at speed 2 (40% full power) and more fully buff the stummel.  The buffing wheel does a good job working the wax in more thoroughly and bringing out a deep, resonate shine.  The pictures show the progress. With the Dremel already in use, I load the cotton cloth wheel dedicated to applying Blue Diamond compound. Using the wheel, I apply the compound to the nickel-plated band to bring out the shine.  As hoped, the buffing does the job well.  The Trident is dressing up well! Taking the stem, I mount the cotton cloth buffing wheel dedicated to applying carnauba wax.  I apply the wax to the stem to bring out the shine and protect it.  After applying a few coats of carnauba wax, I then reunite the stummel with the Military style stem and give the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine of the Trident even more.

Only two things leave me a bit wanting with the restoration and recommissioning of this Trident Blasted 3/4 Bent Billiard – the distinguished Military stem still holds some small traces of oxidation around the concave curves of the stem’s crown or horn.  Yet, my, my, it looks good mounted on the blasted stummel with its newly polished band!  The other item was not being able to identify clearly the maker of this Trident – whether E. Deguingand according to Wilczak and Colwell or the Wm. Demuth Co. as Steve suspects because of the preponderance of similarities between the Trident and WDC’s mainstay of the same style pipe, the Wellington.  In whatever way this question is ultimately settled, the Trident’s vintage status seems to place him in the 1910 to 1930 age range.  Truly, an ole timer who is now ready for another lifetime serving a new steward – gifted to one of Jen’s family members as she soon returns to the US from Bulgaria.  Her gifting helps to benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria, our work here in Bulgaria with those women and girls who have been sexually exploited and trafficked in Europe.  For more information about this, and why I do what I do, check out my blog at The Pipe Steward.  Thanks for joining me!

A Messy Cleanup on a Brial System Pipe

Blog by Steve Laug

Over the years, I have always wanted to pick up a Brial system pipe but always have been outbid on them on Ebay. I put in what I think is a fair bid and at the last minute the pipe was always sniped and I lost out. I mentioned it to Jeff one time in a conversation and he snagged one for me to work on. I was excited to get a hold of it when he sent it to me. He took some photos of the pipe to show its condition and to whet my appetite. I have included those in the first part of this blog.The pipe was in surprisingly good shape. The briar was not too bad with a few sandpits on the sides that gave it character. The finish was dirty and worn. The bowl had a thick cake and lava had flowed onto the rim top. There was also damage to the inner edge of the rim leaving the bowl slightly out of round. The damage appeared to be from reaming with a knife to cut back the cake. The alloy body was oxidized and scratched but looked quite sound. The stem was worn and dirty but very restorable.Fortunately the pipe came apart fairly easy. Sometimes these metal pipes get “welded” together with the dried tobacco juices and tobacco making them virtually impossible to take apart. The first photo below shows the shank end of the alloy tube with the mouthpiece coming out at the top. The cap is stamped Brial over Patent Pending.With a little work, my brother was able to remove this end of the tube. Inside the tube was a bent wire and wrapped around that was a lot of tissue paper that acted as a filter. It was dirty by at least it was dry. The next series of photos tell the story of the unraveling of the packing in the tube. It held a lot of tissue paper or as I later found out “toilet” paper. The next photos show bent wire that the toilet paper is wrapped around as well as the end of the tenon sitting in the end cap. It appears to be a nut that is threaded onto the tenon of the stem. The buildup of tars, oil sand dried tobacco “lacquer” is thick in the tube, on the end cap and the tenon nut. Jeff took the bowl off the alloy tube at this point and took the following photos. I appears to have a hollow screw in the bottom of the bowl that turns onto the top of the alloy tube. There is a bump on either side of the base tube to stabilize the bowl when it is in place.The next two photos show the condition of the bowl and the rim top. You can see the cake in the bowl, the lava on the rim top and the damage to the inner edge of the bowl.I remember when I first started looking at getting a Brial pipe I Googled and found a write up on the brand on the Smoking Metal Website. It was that brief description, the photos and printed advertisement that hooked me and set me on the hunt to acquire one of them. I have included that write up for you. If you wish to read it on the website here is the link – http://www.smokingmetal.co.uk/pipe.php?page=70.

The BRIAL pipe is basically an alloy cylinder to which the briar bowl is screwed through the base of the bowl. The front end is permanently sealed with an alloy endpiece. The cylinder is filled with a tissue to act as an absorption media. This can be tamped in or extracted by means of the probe attached to the mouthpiece plate.

To enable the pipe to stay upright on a table, two dimples have been made in the underside of the cylinder to act as ‘feet’ as shown in the photos above (my edit).

Brials were available in natural aluminium, brass anodized finish or black as shown in photo below.

The pipe was patented and manufactured by Salimar Oden in Jefferson Historic District, Muskegon, Michigan. It is believed he continued to market them until his move to Florida in 2000.

Smoking Metal also had a copy of this advertisement sheet on their site. Personally, I love the wording and descriptions on these older advertising flyers. The way they speak of the pipes and what they deliver always gives me cause to laugh. This one is no exception. I include it below. Make sure to give it a read.I posted a note on the Facebook Metal Pipe Smokers Group asking about information on the pipe and potential patent information. One of the members, Cody Easom posted some pictures of a new old stock, unsmoked Brial with the various inserts that came with the pipe. The first photo shows the new pipe with the box and the insert. The second photo shows the insert itself. The third and fourth photos show the inside of the new pipe. Now, the goal is in front of me – to get the old pipe on my table to look like this one. My brother did an amazing job cleaning out the inside of the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer and took the cake back to bare briar. He cleaned out the inside of the tube/cooling chamber and the airway in the screw in the bottom of the bowl and the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. He scoured out the inside of the chamber with steel wool, cotton swabs and alcohol until the inside shone. When I brought it to my work table I was so intrigued by the pipe that I forgot to take photos and just jumped into the refurbishing of the pipe.

I ran a cotton swab and pipe cleaner through the bowl and the stem and it came out perfectly clean. I wiped out the inside of the bowl with a cotton pad and alcohol and it also was clean. I twisted a cloth into the tube/chamber and it too was very clean.

The bowl was out of round when all of the grime and tars had been removed from the rim top and bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage on the inner rim edge. It took some careful sanding with the paper to even out the edges and bring the bowl back into round.Once I had the rim edge cleaned up I worked over the entire bowl with micromesh sanding pads to polish it. I started sanding it with the 1500-2400 grit pads and worked on the rim top and edge as well as the sides and bottom of the bowl. I continued to polish it with 3200-4000 grit pads and finished it with 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave the bowl a coat of Conservator’s Wax and buffed it with a soft cloth. I polished the exterior of the aluminum tube/chamber with micromesh sanding pads. I used worn pads that I have an excess of at present to polish the scratches in the aluminum. I polished it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with a jeweler’s polishing cloth after each set of three pads. The photos show the progress. While there are still scratches there is a deep shine to the aluminum that really glows. The stem had some tooth marks and chatter on the top and bottom sides near the button. They were not deep so I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the marks. 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. After the 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I buffed the bowl and tube with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and carefully buffed the stem. The stem appears to be nylon so I wanted to be very careful to not buff it to hard and make work for myself. I gave the entire pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is truly a unique piece of pipe history and certainly a pipe that I am going to have to try – I want to see if it delivers what it promises. Thanks for walking with me through this refurb.

Jen’s Trove No. 5: Recommissioning a Mehaffey Cutty 6

Blog by Dal Stanton

When I first saw this pipe on eBay, what drew my attention was the canted bowl.  I wasn’t sure then what shape it was, and when Jen recently pulled it out of the “Help Me!” basket to add to her trove of pipes she was collecting for restoration to give as gifts to men in her family, I still didn’t know.  After pulling it out on my work table, I took another look and started looking at my ‘go to’ sites for shapes charts.  My thinking was, “Chimney” because of the taller than usual bowl that can be canted, but “Cutty” was also in the running mainly because of the forward canted bowl.  When I sent my thoughts about the shapes and a picture to Steve for his input, his verdict was a ‘Cutty’ shape.  The forward canted bowl was the clincher and that my pipe’s bowl was tall, but not reaching ‘Chimney’ proportions.  Here is what I saw on eBay and what I sent to Steve:I enjoyed TobaccoPipes description of this very old pipe shape having its genesis in the clay world:As far as we can tell, the Cutty is the oldest pipe shape that is still available today.  

 As early as the 16th century, pipe smokers would settle in at their favorite tavern and–if they had a high enough social status–would pull out a long clay pipe, almost always a Cutty shape.  This shape was common because it was easy to craft in the molds used for clay pipes (William Goldring, The Pipe Book: A History and How to: 1973).  

Clay Cutty pipes, up until about a century ago, always included a “spur” or “boot” of extra material at the bottom of the bowl.  When smoking the same clay pipe all day long, the bowl tends to get pretty hot.  The spur allowed the smoker to grasp the base of the pipe without burning his hand.  Today, some Cutty’s keep the spur attachment, but not many.

A modern example of a Cutty pipe is the Savinelli Petite 402 model.

 Like the Dublin family this pipe falls in, the Cutty has a conical shaped chamber, which means the diameter of the chamber tapers down the closer you move to the bowl.  The largest difference between a Dublin and a Cutty is that while a Dublin has evenly thick chamber walls that move down the bowl, the Cutty has more of a rounded shape, in some ways resembling an Egg.  As pointed out by G.L. Pease, the Cutty has an exaggerated forward cant, originally purposed to keep the heat and smoke away from the smoker’s face.  

Typically, Cutty pipes have a very slight bent stem, but this is not a strict qualification. In many instances, we see modern Cutty with straight stems and deep bent stems.

On my work table, I took these additional pictures to fill in the gaps and show some of the needs. The stamping on the left side of the shank reads ‘Mehaffey’ [over] ‘6’.  The right side of the shank also has the number ‘6’ stamped – I assume this is the shape number.  While one can find Mehaffey pipes on the internet, unfortunately, the one factoid that is repeated in many places can be found in Pipedia’s single reference to this pipe maker:

E.A. Mehaffey operated a pipe & tobacco shop in Wheaton, Maryland. He used to make pipes for many years but as legend has it, his house tobacco mixtures were much more prestigious than his pipes. Mehaffey was in business up to the 1980’s.

While this statement does not engender enthusiasm for E. A. Mehaffey’s pipe production, the Cutty before me boasts a very attractive, large piece of briar.  With the taller than usual bowl, both sides of the bowl showcase tight bird’s eye grain patterns, which offer a perpendicular disposition toward the grain.  On both the front and the back of the bowl, as one might expect, horizontal grain is evident – the parallel perspective of the grain.  If one thinks of a rope as grain, the horizontal grain is looking at the side-length of the rope.  Whereas, the bird’s eye grain is looking at the ends of the rope ends after they are cut.  This is a beautifully styled and positioned Cutty shape with this fine piece of briar.  Complementing the forward canted bowl, the long shank and tapered stem adds to the perception of styled length.  I’m liking it! Looking at the pipe, the needs start with a moderate build-up of carbon cake in the chamber which needs to be removed down to the fresh briar.  The rim has lava flow and black crusting which needs removal.  I see no fills on the stummel. One area of problem is at the upper junction of shank and bowl.  There are what appear to be two punctures and what appears to be a crack running perpendicularly off the left puncture.  It is difficult to guess what caused these.  I will probe the holes to make sure they are only superficial and make sure the crack is not growing.The tapered stem has mild oxidation and a good bit of tooth chatter on the upper and lower bit. I begin the recommissioning of this Mehaffey Cutty by plopping the stem into the Oxi-Clean bath to soak and to raise the oxidation from the vulcanite. Using the Pipnet Reaming Kit, I address the cake in the bowl.  After spreading paper towel to catch the exhumed carbon, I use the smallest blade first.  I realize very quickly that the smallest will be the only reaming blade I use and switch to using the Savinelli Pipe Knife.  The conical chamber narrows toward the base so the Savinelli Pipe Knife does the job.  After removing the carbon cake, I wrap a piece of 240 grit sanding paper around a Sharpie Pen and sand the chamber.  Following this, I clean the chamber using a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to remove the carbon dust.   While I want to start on the external briar, I like to take care of the dirty stuff first!  Using cotton swabs and pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95% and go to work on the internals.  I like working on a clean pipe.  I discover that a metal tube is providing the airway through the long shank.  With the use of a long, bristled brush I’m able to clean the internals of the mortise very quickly.  Not bad!Now to the external briar surface.  I use undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with cotton pads and a bristle tooth brush to clean the bowl of the grime.  I also work on the rim using a brass bristled brush.  With a cleaned up stummel, I take another close look at the rim.  I love the tight canted look of the bowl and I hate the thought of removing any briar real estate from the profile of this Cutty.  Yet, I’ll need to remove some, just enough to remove the damaged briar and to restore fresh lines.  I look again at the problems at the upper junction of the shank and bowl.  I first use a sharp dental probe to clean out the holes of collected debris.  I’m careful with the hole on the left, looking at it very closely it appears to be prone to crumble.  As I look at the crack running to the left of this more fragile problem area, the question in my mind is whether to do a full crack repair, drilling ‘back-holes’ on either side of the crack to block any possibility of the crack enlarging.  Or, avoiding the added trauma to the briar by drilling, would simply laying a line of thin CA glue seep into the crack and sufficiently close it down?  I sent these questions and the second and third picture below to Steve for his input. While I wait for Steve’s response, I’ll focus now on the rim repair.  I begin by using 240 grit sanding paper on a chopping board to create my topping board.  Before putting paper on the board, I invert the stummel on the board and eyeball it free standing.  I want to make sure that I top it keeping the angle of the rim parallel to the board.  Damaged, scorched wood tends to be softer.  I have learned by unfortunate experience that it’s easy to start angling into the softer wood and be left with an angled rim plane.  Not pretty!  As I free stand the inverted stummel, I discover there is a rock – the rim is already dipping.  I determine by looking at which part of the rim is healthy, which part of the rim needs to guide the topping while not dipping into the worn area – softer part of the rim. The pictures that follow show the progression of the topping.  Notice the first picture is only after a few rotations on the topping board staying on the healthy part of the rim.  The dark areas are lower and so don’t engage the paper.  As the topping progresses in the subsequent pictures, the dark areas gradually are engaged by the sanding paper as the rim moves toward the paper at the different points.  The final picture shows switching to 600 grit paper to smooth the topping.  The rim plane looks good and is level! Now I remove the damaged briar on the internal rim’s edge and create an internal bevel to balance the look of the rim – blending the damaged area with the healthier area. In the first picture below, the damaged area is in the 2 to 3 o’clock area.  A bevel looks good too by creating lines that, to me, are classy.   Using a rolled-up piece of 120 grit sanding paper I fashion the internal bevel.  Then I follow with rolled pieces of 240 grit and 600 grit papers to smooth the bevel.After the internal bevel is completed, I take a look at the external edge of the rim.  It also has some heat damage and has a dark ring.  I use 240 grit paper rolled and create a gentle bevel around the outer edge.  I don’t need much – just enough to clean up the briar. I follow the 240 grit paper with 600 grit.  The rim looks good.I put the bowl aside for a time and take the stem out of the OxiClean bath.  The oxidation has risen to the surface.  I reconnect the stem and stummel placing a plastic disc between the two.  I do this to avoid shouldering the stem by rounding the shank edge of the stem.  I use 600 grit paper and wet sand the stem in warm water.  I follow this by using 0000 steel wool to buff out the sanding lines and shine the stem.Turning now to the tooth chatter and tooth dents, I start with the upper bit.  The tooth static is not serious and I sand it out using 240 grit paper.  I also sand out a slight dent on the button lip.  I then erase the 240 grit lines using 600 grit paper followed by 0000 grade steel wool.  The upper bit looks good. The lower bit is a bit more problematic with a significant tooth dent in the center of the bit.  It also has significant tooth chatter and a small dent on the button.  I use the heating method by lighting a candle and I pass the affected area over the flame – I keep the stem moving back and forth over the flame.  This heats the vulcanite and the expansion of the rubber seeks its original shape.  This method works well.  The damaged area did expand so that I am able to sand out the rough areas using 240 grit paper, then 600 to remove the scratch traces of the 240, then 0000 grade steel wool to buff our the remainder of the 600 residue marks and shine the stem.  I also sand out the dent on the button. I receive word back from Steve about the approach to the stummel problems.  His recommendation to do the full ‘surgery’ on the crack by drilling holes at the end points of the crack and filling these along with the holes together is the strategy.  As I was already aware, Steve urged caution around the left hole that appears up close to be crumbling.  The first picture below shows two arrows pointing to the end of the crack where I will drill holes.  The carrot in the middle is marking the obvious area of concern.  I want to keep this area intact so that I can fill it with a putty made from briar dust and CA glue.  First, I use the sharp dental probe to mark the points for the drill – creating a guide hole so that I don’t create unintended rustification!  I utilize a magnifying glass to do this!Historically, it hasn’t been easy to drill these holes with precision.  Using a handheld Dremel with a 1mm drill bit mounted in the hand extender (the cable extension) needs a steady hand!  I decide to try something different.  I attach the Dremel hand extender to a miniature vice.  If I stabilize half of the equation that improves my odds!  With the drill stationary, I can bring the stummel to the drill with more control.  With Dremel readied with a 1mm drill bit, I put my plan in motion.  The first hole I do, the lower one, I had a little wobble so the hole wasn’t as crisp as hoped.  The upper hole was much better.  Of course, the drilling does not go through to the internals!  The depth is only a few millimeters. Overall, this was a better setup. With holes drilled, I mix briar dust and Special ‘T’ thick, CA glue to form a putty to fill the drill holes as well as the holes.  I scoop a small mound of briar dust on a plastic lid and next to it I make a puddle of CA glue.  I gradually mix the dust into the CA glue until I arrive at the viscosity I desire – I want it to be a bit on the wet side so that the putty will better penetrate the holes, cracks and crevices.  I use a dental spade tool to tamp the putty down while I spread it over the damaged area.  I place more than needed so that when I sand the patch mounds down, they will blend well.  The day has turned to night, and it’s time to turn out the lights!Having cured overnight, I’m ready to file and sand the briar dust putty patch.  Using first flat and rounded needle files I slowly and gradually file the patch mounds down so that they are very close to being level with the briar surface. The aim is to keep the files on the patch material and not on briar.  For the fine tuning, I use 240 grit paper to bring the patch flush with the surface, aiming to remove putty from the unaffected surface area – blending the patch.  I take some pictures to show the file progressing. Next, I use 240 grit sanding paper to take the patches down to the briar surface and remove superfluous briar putty from the briar surface.  I roll the paper into more of a roll, and move it in a circular motion over the patch material.  The briar putty is easy to distinguish from briar in that it sands up into a white powder whereas briar doesn’t.  The first picture below shows this well.  I take pictures to show the 240 grit paper progress.  When I come to the place where only the filled patches remain, flush with the briar surface, I then switch to 600 grit sanding paper and smooth out the surface further.  The patches come out very well.  The pictures show the progress. During the repair, I was thinking about the next steps for finishing the stummel.  With the rim repairs, darker scorched areas around the rim, and the crack/holes repair on the stummel surface, I decide to darken the finish on the Mehaffey Cutty to blend these areas more effectively.  Again, with aniline dyes (alcohol based), the opportunity to lighten the hue is an option by wiping the surface with alcohol.  To prepare the surface, I decide to remove the old finish with acetone and cotton pads so that the staining process will have more uniform results.  The acetone removes the old worn finish very quickly and now I’m down to the raw briar.The briar surface is in good shape so I begin with using a light grade sanding sponge to smooth out the nicks.  After the sanding sponge, I wet sand using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400.  Following the wet sanding, I dry sand using micromesh pads 3200 to 4000 then 6000 to 12000.  Oh my.  What emerges through the micromesh cycles is an extraordinary piece of briar works.  Mehaffey may not have been known for his pipes, but I have little doubt that when this Cutty was on the Mehaffey shelf with a price tag on him, it was an upper shelf pipe being offered.  Other than the repair work done, there are no imperfections or fills of any sort that I can discern, and the grain…, oh my! I continue to work on the beautiful Cutty stummel now to apply the stain.  I decide to mix 1 to 1 ratio of Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye to alcohol.  During the micromesh process, I also decide to add a pinch – just a pinch, of Fiebing’s Oxblood Leather Dye to add a little rich attitude to this proud Cutty! I take a picture of the staining set-up, then wipe the stummel down with alcohol to clean the surface.  With a large eye dropper, I mix the dyes in a shot glass. I then warm the stummel using the hot air gun, expanding the grain and making it more receptive to the dye.  After warmed, I liberally apply the dye over the stummel, using a cork inserted into the mortise as a handle.  After I achieve full coverage, I fire the wet dye using a lit candle which immediately burns off the alcohol in the dye, setting the stain in the grain.  After cooling a few minutes, I repeat the process and set the stummel aside to rest for several hours.  The pictures show the staining process. With the newly stained bowl resting, I take up the stem to complete the sanding process.  Using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400, I wet sand the stem.  I follow this with dry sanding using pads 3200 to 4000 then 6000 to 12000, applying Obsidian Oil after each cycle of three to help the vulcanite regain luster and vitality.  I love that vulcanite pop! I set the stem aside to dry. Time to unwrap the stained Mehaffey Cutty and see the results.  I mount a felt buffing wheel on the Dremel and set the speed at the slowest.  After purging the wheel with the Dremel’s metal tightening wrench, using Tripoli compound, I apply the more abrasive compound by moving the wheel in a circular motion over the surface removing the fired crust.  After completing application of Tripoli, I wet a cotton pad with isopropyl 95% and wipe the surface down to blend the dye evenly over the briar.  I then mount the cotton cloth buffing wheel on the Dremel and add speed up to 2, with the fastest being 5.  I then apply a lesser abrasive compound, Blue Diamond, in the same fashion as the Tripoli compound.  When I complete applying Blue Diamond to the stummel, I reunite the stem and stummel and use Blue Diamond on the tapered stem.  I complete the application of compounds by hand buffing stem and stummel with a soft felt cloth to remove the compound dust from the surface in preparation for applying carnauba wax.  The pictures show the progress – looking very, very nice! With the finish line in sight, I mount a cotton cloth wheel on the Dremel for carnauba wax and I apply it to stem and stummel at the same speed.  After applying several coats of wax, I mount a clean cotton cloth wheel and further buff the surface to make sure the wax has deiminated into the briar and increase the shine.  I then rigorously hand buff the Cutty with a microfiber cloth.

I’m pleased with the results.  This Mehaffey Cutty with the canted bowl is complemented well with the shade of the finish – a rich deep brown and I can see the slight accent of the Oxblood I added to the mix.  The grain is a showcase of bird’s eye and horizontal flow.  The crack and hole repair is all but invisible.  I think Jenny will be pleased to give this Cutty to a special member of her family.  Her gift becomes a help to benefit our work here in Bulgaria with the Daughters of Bulgaria.  Thanks Jenny!  For more about this and why I do what I do, check out my blog, The Pipe Steward.  Thanks for joining me!

Addendum: In case anyone noticed, I forgot to clean the internal airway of the stem!  Rest assured it will be done before a new steward packs his first bowl!