Blog by Paresh Deshpande
I had started work on a Somerset Paneled Billiard when, after reaming the chamber, a few cracks had revealed themselves. This is one issue that I always wish is not seen on any pipe in my hand. But there it was, and here I am, addressing it. The process is quite time consuming and requires a lot of curing time. Thus, while the billiard was curing, I started work on its far more beautiful (and my favorite!!!) sibling, the Somerset Rhodesian. And lo and behold!!!!!!!! Cracks were seen on the bottom and above the draught hole in more or less the same place as the billiard. Thus, I am now dealing with two pipes with cracked chamber. I was so put off with this that for next two days I did not touch any other project. The next few days, I was very busy with some important assignment and was away from my pipes.
Well, returned back and went through my pipes for restoration. I picked up this Jobey for its unique shape and the size of the bowl. I was thinking this to be an Oom Paul when Mr. Steve, very gently reminded me that the bowl is more of a Dublin and that he would rather call it as a “Bent Dublin Sitter”. He does have a unique way of mentoring, I must say. And so, working on this Jobey Original bent Dublin sitter!!!!!!!!!
This sandblasted Jobey has a nice deep bowl with a steeply raking shank and a flat bottom, making it a perfect sitter. For its size, it is pretty light weighing at less than 50 grams and easy to dangle, making it a nice clincher. It is stamped on the left side of the shank, on a plain surface as “Jobey” over “ORIGINAL” followed by “T 1”. The saddle stem has the brass roundel with “JOBEY” in block capital letters on the top surface of the saddle while the right side is stamped on the stem saddle with “ENGLISH” over “PARA”. This stamping is something which I have not seen before on any Jobey pipes!!!! Does it have any significance, I could not find out. So all the learned readers, may I request you to fill in the details on this stamping and benefit us all. All the stampings are clear, robust and easily readable.From the information gleaned from the rebornpipes, Pipedia and pipephil and various other sites, the only relevant facts that emerged were:-
(a) This shape is not mentioned anywhere or seen in any catalogue.
(b) “ORIGINAL T 1” stamp has not been mentioned anywhere.
(c) This does not have the famed “Jobey Link” – the tenon system that is popular for its ease of cleaning and replacing.
(d) The stem is stamped, in addition to its TM Jobey in a brass roundel, as “ENGLISH PARA” which does not find any mention.
Thus, either this pipe is ultra rare or it’s a GHOST!!!!!! CAN ANYONE HELP?
INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
The Jobey Original, now on the worktable is in good shape. The stummel is covered in a thick layer of dust and grime. I wouldn’t call the sandblast seen on this pipe as beautiful, but rather different in that no definite grain pattern discernible and this is what makes it worthy of admiration. The dark reddish/ maroon stained finish is dull and lackluster. I only hope that there isn’t an acrylic finish which is a bear to remove (Dr. Grabow Omega being fresh in my mind!!). This restoration may be more of a refresher if the finish isn’t a problem. The bowl is heavily caked with a thick overflow of lava on the rim top. The round inner and outer edges of the rim appear to be intact with no signs of damage. The deep and tapering down chamber will pose difficulties during the reaming process. The pipe chamber has a strong and spicy smell to it which will have to be addressed. Removing the dust, oils, tars and grime from the rim top will be time consuming. I only hope and pray that the inner walls of the chamber are without any surprises. It will be too much of a coincidence to have three pipes in a row to have beginnings of a burn out or a through crack.The stem is heavily oxidized but with minimal of tooth chatter and no bite marks on either surfaces. The brass roundel is dull looking and will need to be polished. It appears that this stem had a stinger attached to it, which either had accidentally broken or could be that while attempting to remove, it was broken. The jagged remnants of the aluminum can be distinctly seen. The mortise is clogged and blowing air through it is very laborious. THE PROCESS
I always start my pipe restorations by getting rid of all the cake in the stummel. This provides me with a map of any other issues which may have to be addressed subsequently. Usually these processes is undertaken by my wife and believe you me, she has achieved expertise in this process!!!!!! But now that I have joined my duty station and she having to stay behind for children’s education, this is being done by yours truly!!!! I start the reaming process with a Kleen Reem pipe reamer followed by scrapping with my trusted fabricated knife till I have managed to take the cake back to the bare briar. The crusted lava overflow was gently scrapped off from the rim top with the knife. I finish this stage by sanding the inner walls of the chamber with a folded 220 grit sand paper. This helps to remove any remnants of the cake and smooth the walls of the chamber. I wiped the chamber with cotton pads dipped in alcohol to remove any cake dust. I further cleaned the shank with hard bristled, regular pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. Oh my…. The grunge continues unabated! This is one of the nastiest pipes I’ve tackled!Usually, deep cleaning of the chamber also rids the pipe of any old smells, but in this instance, that was not the case. The strong spicy sweet smell was still prevalent. To get rid of this smell, and clean the mortise, I decided to give it a salt and alcohol treatment. I filled the bowl and shank with kosher salt keeping it slightly below the rim level. I filled it with isopropyl alcohol and left it overnight to do its magic. I usually seal the shank end with a plastic sheet tightly wrapped around a cue tip to avoid the alcohol from oozing out, but in this case since the shank is upturned, there was no need to do so. By next morning the salt is dark colored, more so the salt in the shank. I removed all the salt and with a pipe cleaner cleaned the bowl and shank of any residual salts. I blew through the draught hole to dislodge the trapped salts. I wiped the bowl clean and dried the shank and bowl with paper napkins and pipe cleaners and set it aside to dry for an entire day. By evening, the pipe chamber was nice and dry and all the smells were history. Now that the internals were addressed, it was time to clean the externals. I cleaned the exteriors of the stummel and the rim top with undiluted Murphy’s oil soap and a hard bristled tooth brush. With a 000 grade steel wool, I scrubbed the rim top to remove the stubborn overflow of lava. I dried the stummel with paper towels and a soft, absorbent cotton cloth and set it aside to dry naturally. I was elated when I realized that there is no acrylic finish applied to the stummel as can be seen from the following pictures!!!! While the stummel was drying, I decided to clean up the stem. I started by flaming the surface of the stem with a Bic lighter. This helps to raise the minor tooth chatter marks to the surface to a great extent. I followed it up with sanding it down with a 220 grit sand paper. I took special care and efforts to enhance the lip and lip edges on both surfaces with the folded sand paper. I had applied a smear of whitener to the stamping of ENGLISH PARA to enhance it and also to demarcate it during the sanding process. To finish the stem restoration, I sand it with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 pads and dry sanding it with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Extra Virgin Olive oil in between the pads. The stem is now nice, shining and glossy black. After cleaning the internals of the stem with pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol, I applied a final rub of Extra Virgin Olive oil to the stem and set it aside to be absorbed. Returning to the stummel refurbishing, I rubbed some “Before and After Restoration” balm in to the surface. The transformation is almost immediate. The bowl now has a nice lively sheen to it. I left it to rest for a few moments and then buffed it with a horse hair shoe brush to ensure that the balm cleans and protects within the sandblast. To finish, I polished it with a soft cotton cloth. To finish, I rubbed a small quantity of HALCYON II WAX in to the stummel and polished it by hand using a soft cotton cloth and reattached the stem. It was while reattaching the stem that I realized that I had not addressed the issue of broken stinger protruding from the tenon!!!!! Using a rounded needle file, I sanded the jagged edges inside the tenon and thereafter with a flat head needle file; I matched the broken edges of the stinger with that of the tenon surface. That was all I could do as I was not sure of the extent to which the stinger was embedded into the airway of the stem. The finished pipe is shown below. I hope this pipe appeals to you as much as it did to me. And, as I always mean and request, your comments are a great source of encouragement and learning for me. Thank you for being an important companion on my journey in to the beautiful, challenging and SATISFYING world of pipers.