Blog by Steve Laug
Earlier this summer I was relaxing and surfing EBay on my iPad and I came across three listings for Heritage Pipes. All were square shank pipes and all were in decent condition. Two of them had original stems while the third had a well done replacement stem. Since I had found out about the brand through Andrew Selking who writes for rebornpipes I have kept an eye out for them. There do not seem to be too many showing up on EBay but every so often there is one. This time there were three. I contacted my brother with the links and he bid and won the threesome. Andrew wrote up a blog giving background, history, line information and a classic brochure from the company. The information is helpful and it is worth a read if the brand intrigues you at all. Here is the link: https://rebornpipes.com/2014/12/23/refurbishing-a-heritage-heirloom/. I am including a brief summary of what he found in the next two short paragraphs to set the stage for the pipe on my work table.
Heritage pipes were Kaywoodie’s answer to Dunhill. According to one of their brochures, Heritage pipes were made from “briar burls seasoned and cured for up to 8 months,” with only “one briar bowl in over 300 selected to bear the Heritage name.” “Heritage stems are custom fitted with the finest hand finished Para Rubber stems. Mouthpieces are wafer thin and concave.”
The Heritage line began in the early 1960’s, with the trademark issued in 1964. The line was started at the request of Stephen Ogdon, (who worked for Kaywoodie in 1962). Mr. Ogdon had previous experience working for Dunhill, either running the New York store or working for Dunhill North America. Mr. Ogden was made President of Heritage Pipes, Inc., Kaywoodie Tobacco Co.,Inc. and Kaywoodie Products Inc. as well as a Vice President of S.M. Frank & Co. Heritage Pipes were produced from 1964 until 1970 (Source Kaywoodie.myfreeforum.org).
The pipe I chose to work on first from the threesome I had on the table was the number 45S Large Dublin, Square Shank, Saddle Bit. I have circled it in the page below. Interestingly, the one thing the Heritage line shared with Kaywoodie was the size and shape numbers. Unlike Kaywoodies, the Heritage pipes are normal push tenons.I am also including another page from Andrew’s blog post that highlights the line of Heritage pipes that the 45S Large Dublin comes from. It is a Heritage Antique which is described in the page below. Its “Rustic grain stands out in rugged relief”. The brochure goes on to describe it in these terms, “…A special sandblasting process exposes a greater surface area on the bowl, giving a cooler, more satisfying smoke. Centuries-old Heritage Antique is strikingly masculine in appearance.”When the pipes arrived in Idaho, Jeff took photos of them before he did his cleanup work. The 45S Large Dublin was in good condition. There was a light cake in the bowl and no lava on the rim. The rugged sandblast finish was in excellent condition with only the dust of the years in the grooves. The underside of the square shank and bottom of the bowl were smooth. It was stamped 45S on the bottom of the bowl followed by Heritage over Antique mid shank. The stem was flawless other than a lack of lustre. The quality vulcanite had held up well through the years. The rim top was very clean and there was a thin cake in the bowl. The next two photos show the condition of the finish with photos of the rim and left side of the bowl.Jeff took a series of three photos of the stamping showing the entirety and each of the individual stampings.The left side of the saddle stem bore the twin diamonds that are the Heritage Pipe logo. You can see some scratches and scuffs in the hard rubber but there is no oxidation. The photos of the top and underside of the stem in front of the button are in excellent condition and show no tooth chatter or marks. Jeff worked his usual magic in cleaning up the light issues on this pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the dust of the years. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the dust was removed it was clear that the finish underneath was in stellar condition. The sandblast on the briar was a mix of grain shown in the grooves and crevices of the blast around the bowl and shank. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. The rim and bowl look really good. They are both very clean. I will need to rejuvenated the briar but little else regarding the finish.The stem looked really good. I only needed to polish it with micromesh sanding pads and give it a buff and it would be perfect. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads to remove the scratches and raise a shine. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and wiped it down after each pad with oil. When I finished with the 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. Once it dried and I had finished with the bowl I would buff it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and give it several coats of wax. I am continuing to experiment with a new product from Mark Hoover – the creator of the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and Polishes. He calls it Before & After Restoration Balm and it can be used on briar or stems – whether vulcanite, acrylic or horn. He said it was designed to pull the dirt off of the briar as well as polish it. He added some anti-oxidants to keep the briar from getting damaged from both UV rays and water. This is the second pipe I have used it on that has a sandblast finish on the briar. I will continue using it for a while and see how it works in a variety of settings before I give an opinion of the product.I scrubbed the surface with the product and a soft cotton pad to rub it into the nooks and crannies of the finish. I buffed it with a shoe brush to further spread the balm over the surface of the bowl. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth and took the following photos of the bowl at this point. The finish is looking good. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish the briar. I used a soft touch on the sandblasted areas as I did not want to flatten them or fill in the grooves with polishing compound. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and I gave the sandblasted areas several coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The rough sandblast finish with its black and dark brown contrast stain and the square shank work well with the square saddle stem to present a beautiful pipe. The pipe looks fresh and new. The dimensions of this pipe are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 2 inches, Bowl diameter 1 1/2 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ inches. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a pipe that I really want to hang on to but I cannot have them all. It will soon be added it to the rebornpipes store if you are interested in adding to your collection. It is a beauty and will serve someone very well. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.