Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table was a Peterson of Dublin 999 – one of my favourite shapes. This one is a dress edition (coated with a shiny black paint). In researching the pipe a bit I found that it was part of what was called the Killarney Ebony Series. Where the typical Killarney sported a rich red stain, this one had a shiny black finish. There were a few very small dings but none breaking through the finish. The top of the bowl was a little dirty but nothing significant. The end of the shank had a silver band with a black acrylic insert. The pipe was a classic 999 Peterson’s Rhodesian with a thicker shank. The left side of the shank was stamped Peterson over of Dublin in an arc over Killarney. The right side was stamped with the shape number 999. The outside of the pipe was clean. There was a thin cake in the bowl, a slight buildup of grime on the top of the rim. The tapered fishtail stem was oxidized but the Peterson P logo on the left side was perfect. There were not any tooth marks and only light tooth chatter on the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I cleaned it up. I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim to show the condition of the pipe before I started to work on it. The top was dirty with some tarry residue but no damage to the surface of the rim. The bowl had a thin cake but looked to be solid. There was a very sweet smelling aromatic tobacco scent to the entire pipe. The finish of the bowl was in good condition. The second and third photos show the condition of the stem.I cleaned off the buildup on the top of the rim with a cotton pad and saliva until the rim top was clean. It would need to be polished but it was clean and undamaged. I reamed the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and scraped the cake back to bare briar.Because of the overwhelming sweet aromatic smell I stuffed cotton balls into the bowl and filled it with 99% isopropyl alcohol to leach out the oils in the briar. I put a folded pipe cleaner in the shank to wick out the oils in the shank. I use an ear syringe (bulb) to put the alcohol in the bowl and keep it off of the finish. I did not want to damage the painted shiny black finish with the alcohol. The P logo on the stem was in perfect condition so I worked around that so as not to damage it. I lightly sanded the stem down with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem at the button. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil to preserve and protect the rubber. I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine polish. I polished it and afterward I gave it a final coat and set it aside to dry. After the bowl had been sitting with the alcohol and cotton balls overnight I took the following photo to show how much of the tars and oils leached out into the cotton. I removed them and threw them away. I scrubbed out the bowl with a cotton pad to remove the remaining debris from the cotton. I scrubbed out the shank – working on the mortise with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until it was clean. I cleaned the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners as well. I always use 99% isopropyl alcohol because of the low percentage of water in it and the quick evaporation rate.With the interior and exterior of the pipe clean I rubbed down the briar with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the plateau on the rim top and shank end as well as into the smooth briar on the rest of the bowl and shank. The Balm works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and the help of a horsehair shoe brush. I let the balm sit for a little wall and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The briar came alive with the balm. I took the following photos to give a picture of the pipe at this point in the process. I the polished the bowl and stem on the buffing wheel with Blue Diamond to remove the remaining small scratches and raise the shine. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. This turned out to be a beautiful pipe in terms of shape and finish. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over the Peterson’s Killarney Ebony. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store shortly so if you are interested in adding it to your collection send me an email or a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.