Blog by Steve Laug
Henry Ramirez and I emailed back and forth over the past year about pipe repair. He had repaired a cracked shank on a Dunhill CK Patent Era Author that I found quite compelling. It was a pipe that I wanted to add to my collection. The deep sandblast and the unique repair that Henry had done on the shank lent something special to it. He had drilled and pinned it using some of the tricks he had used in his dental practice. He has written up the repair to the pipe on the following blog: https://rebornpipes.com/2017/06/01/cracked-shank-repair-on-a-dunhill-ck12-author/. He wrote in the blog that the underside of the shank was faintly stamped with Dunhill Shell over an incomplete patent number starting with 116(989/17) which would place this pipe from 1925-1934. The pipe had been fitted with a gold-plated or at least gold coloured band to hold the cracked shank together. Henry kept the band but decided to leave it off the pipe. Henry took the photos below to show the finished pipe. It is a beauty. Henry and I corresponded and I made him an offer for the pipe. We dickered back and forth and he surprised me recently by giving it to me. He sent it to me with the old split band included. I am pretty certain that the band was not original to the pipe and was added in an earlier repair. I spoke with several jewelers to see if I could find someone to solder the band and repair it. None of them were willing to take a risk with the thin metal. I ordered several gold bands from Vermont Freehand to see if I could find a replacement band but none of them were large enough to fit. I was looking for a thinner band to fit the shank and still leave the briar exposed as much as possible. I found a thinner band in my box of bands that looked like it might work. It was hammered silver and had a brass cross (gold coloured) on the top of the band. I slipped it on the shank to see what it would look like and took the following photo.I liked the look of the new band so I heated it and pressed it onto the end of the shank. I pressed it down on a hard board until it was even with the end of the shank. I scrubbed the surface of the briar with Before & After Restoration Balm to clean off the surface of the briar to preserve and deep cleanse the crevices and high spots of the rugged patent era sandblast. I applied it to the briar with my finger and rubbed it into the briar. I scrubbed it with a tooth brush to get it deep in the grooves. I buffed the bowl with a soft cloth and then buffed it with a shoe brush to raise a shine. The next two photos show the end of the shank with the band pressed on the shank until the edge was flat against the shank end.I put the stem back on the shank and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I used a light touch on the sandblast bowl. The finish came alive with the Balm and I gave the pipe several coats of Conservator’s Wax and buffed it with the shoe brush. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and then hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth. I buffed the band on the shank with a silver polishing cloth to raise the shine and polish it. The hammered finish on the band and the brass cross on the top of the band works really well with the old sandblast. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The new band looks good on the pipe and gives it a classic look with a personal touch of class. Thanks for looking.