Cleaning up a Ropp Cherrywood and a Carved Cherrywood Pipe

Blog by Steve Laug

I decided this afternoon to work on a couple of easy pipes – the first is a French Made Ropp Cherrywood and the second is also a Cherrywood but sports that carving of an alligator around the bowl front and sides. The Ropp is stamped on the bottom of the bowl with the typical Ropp circle stamp reading Ropp Cherry arched over Made in France. The “Gator” pipe bears no stamping at all. The Ropp is unsmoked but the stem seems to have marks that make me wonder if it was not a prop in a play or something. I am pretty sure that the stem is not original but a replacement. The “Gator” pipe appears to have been smoked at least once because there is a very faint darkening in the bowl but otherwise it too looks unsmoked. The stem is tiny but it too had some tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. That meant that for both of these I would only need to do the stem work. I took a close up photo of both of the bowls to show the condition. You can see that Ropp is unsmoked (NOS) and that the “Gator” also looks virtually unsmoked.The only thing that looked used on either pipe was the stem. The acrylic yellow stem on the “Gator” pipe had some tooth marks on both sides near the stem. The same was true of the vulcanite stem on the Ropp.I sanded the tooth marks on both stems smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. It did not take too much work to smooth out the tooth marks and chatter. I polished each of the stems 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 sanding pad and after the last pad I rubbed it down and set it aside to dry. I buffed the stems down with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave them both multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed them with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I wiped down the bowls with a light coat of olive oil and gave them a coat of Conservator’s Wax. I hand buffed them both with a shoe brush to raise the shine. The finished pipes are shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipes are: ROPP – Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 5/8 inches, Bowl diameter: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ inches. GATOR – Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Bowl diameter: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ inches. I will be adding both of them to the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested they can both be yours for one price. Check out the shop if interested or email me at or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking. I took some photos of the Gator carving on the one Cherrywood to give you a sense of what it looks like. The first photo shows the head and shoulders on the left side of the bowl. The second photo shows the front of the bowl with the rear legs and body. The last photo shows the tail of the Gator.


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