Monthly Archives: February 2019

Restoring another Malaga – A Billiard with a Twist from Bowl to Button


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is another interesting pipe from the Michigan lot – a Twisted Billiard with a twist going from the rim to the button. It is a totally unique pipe and different from any of the other Malaga pipes that I have worked on. It is not a large pipe – probably a Group 4 sized bowl. The twist is carved in around what appears to have been originally a panel bowl but I am not even sure of that as it has a round rim top. The finish is smooth and well finished in the oil cured style of other pipes from the brand. On the underside is a small flat panel running parallel to the shank that is stamped “MALAGA” with the quotation marks. The stem is vulcanite and carries on the twist of the shank and bowl. This is another nice looking piece much like the rest of those in this 21 pipe Michigan pipe lot. This Malaga joins the rusticated billiard that I worked on earlier and a freehand that also has a very interesting Malaga shape. The Malaga I am working on now is on the mat in front of the rack. It is the third pipe on the left and I have circled it in red to make it easy to identify. Jeff took some photos of the pipe when he received them to show the general condition of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Like the rest of the pipes from the Michigan collection this pipe was dirty and well used. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing onto the rim top. The inner edge of the bowl was damaged with nicks and cuts from a previous reaming job with a knife. The twisted carving in the bowl sides and shanks fit comfortably in the hand as it was wrapped around the bowl sides. The carving on the bowl, shank and stem make the pipe very interesting. It is another pipe that is unlike any of the Malaga pipes that I have worked on. It is grooves/twists are quite deep and are parallel on the right and left side and the front and the back. The vulcanite stem is carved in the same manner as the bowl and carries on the twist. There are deep tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button edge and some wear on the button edge itself. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the carved twisted billiard. Jeff took a close up photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. The rim top had a thick lava overflow and some darkening. There were some nicks and cuts around the rim. There also appeared to be a burn mark on the right inner edge of the rim at mid bowl and possibly on the left inner edge toward the read of the bowl . There is also a general accumulation of dust and grime in the carving of the bowl and shank.He also took photo of the right side and the bottom of the bowl and shank to show the interesting twisted carving that covers the pipe. The carving is unique and gives the pipe a rugged and tactile look and feel in the hand. It should be interesting as the pipe warms up when smoked. The finish is very dirty but this is another beautiful pipe. Jeff took a photo to capture the stamping on the underside of the shank. The photo shows stamping “MALAGA”. The stamping has the quotation marks that I have seen on some of the pipes. I have yet to figure out what the quotation marks mean as they are not on all of the pipes. Perhaps some of you might know. How about a note about this?The next three photos show the stem surface. The first shows the twist in the stem flowing out of the shank. There is some light oxidation on the stem surface. The next two show the tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. There are also some marks on the sharp edge of the button. The surface of the blade in front of the button also has some scratches from whoever attempted to clean it up. Once again I am including the link to a blog that I wrote that gives some of the history of the Malaga brand and the Malaga Pipe Shop in Royal Oak, Michigan in the USA. Here is the link – https://rebornpipes.com/tag/malaga-pipes/. That blog also includes links to a catalogue and the history of the pipemaker George Khoubesser. Follow the link to get a feel for the brand and the pipemaker.

Jeff reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. 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, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove the lava build up on the rim top and you could see the damage to the flat surface of the rim and the inner edge on the right side and toward the front of the bowl. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the darkening on the surface of the rim toward the back of the bowl. There were also some burn marks on the right side toward the middle and the ledge side toward the rear of the rim top. The inner edge of the bowl had some damage from burns and reaming but the outside edge looks really good. The stem photos show the tooth marks and the wear on the button surface on both sides. The final close up photos shows the “MALAGA” stamping on the underside of the shank.To remove the damage to the top of the rim I topped it on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I worked on it to remove the burned areas and the damage to the inner edge of the rim as much as possible. I am happy with how it turned out.I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inner edge of the round rim top. I was able to remove the majority of the damage, leaving behind a dark spot on the right side of the rim top at the inner edge. I wiped the rim top down with a damp cotton pad to remove the dust. I polished the bowl and the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down after each pad with a damp cloth. I touched up the stain on the rim with a Maple stain pen and blended it into the grain. Once it dried I buffed it with Blue Diamond to spread it out. With the rim top and bowl polished, I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. The bowl and the rim top look really good and the darkening and lava are gone. The finish looks very good with the swirling carving on the sides of the bowl and shank. The Maple stain on the rim matched the rest of the bowl perfectly. I am very happy with the results. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I cleaned out the tooth marks on both sides of the stem with a cotton swab and alcohol. Once the repairs had cured I used a needle file to flatten out the repaired areas. I filed it until the patches were smooth with the surface of the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I polished stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I 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. The contrasting grain came alive with the buffing. The rich browns work well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a beauty and feels great in the hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 1/4 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/2 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/16 of an inch. This pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this twisted Malaga billiard.

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Fashioning a Churchwarden from a Dimpled Bent Billiard Bowl


Blog by Dal Stanton

The great thing about the Churchwarden shape is that it is the only pipe that is identified not strictly by the shape of the bowl but by the length of the stem.  Bill Burney’s Pipedia Pipe Chart explanation describes this unique characteristic of the Churchwarden shape.  When I received an email from Coleman, he was looking to add a Churchwarden to his collection.  He wrote:

Hey Dal, I was browsing your website love the pipes, wanted to see if you had any more churchwardens available for commission or sale. I’ve always wanted one, and I can’t think of a better place to buy one than from Daughters of Bulgaria. The longer the stem the better. I really liked the billiard churchwarden, and the French imperial one in the shop that’s already sold. Do you think you’ll get anymore?

Last time I was with Coleman was he was an intern serving with us here in Bulgaria about 5 or so years ago.  He was single then, but as life happens, he is now happily married to Rebecca for 4 years!  He had spoken to Rebecca about adding a Churchwarden to his collection from The Pipe Steward and was agreeable to Coleman’s acquisition because the sales benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thank you, Rebecca!

Coleman described wanting a Billiard stummel with a bent shank.  I rummaged through potential stummels that could be repurposed to fashion an acceptable Churchwarden for Coleman.  I found three good candidates and sent pictures to him.  In the end, he settled on the Dimpled Bent Billiard in the center which has great promise for a beautiful display of natural briar grain with interesting rusticated accents.  We discussed the terms and came to an accord and I placed Coleman’s Churchwarden project in the queue.

Taking the stummel out and placing it on the work table, when I first acquired the Dimpled Bent Billiard, it came in the Lot of 66 I got off the eBay auction block.  When I initially looked at it, I did not see anything that looked like markings.  With a closer look now, I can just make out on the lower side of the shank the COM being France – I can barely make out ‘ANCE’.  The markings are now so thin that they have nearly passed out of remembrance and undoubtedly will with this fabrication.  I take a closeup of the ghosted marking on the lower shank.What I was not looking for but what is obviously revealed in the closer look at the lower shank is a small stress fracture in the briar.  I take a few more pictures with different angles of light highlighting it.  The good news is that the crack is isolated – not going through to the shank end. I’m assured of this after inspecting closely looking at the shank end and mortise.  My guess is that the small, barely visible crack was formed from a fall where the stem was the first to hit and it pressed up and in opposite reaction, the tenon pressured downwardly on the lower mortise wall and the stress crack resulted on the lower shank. A guess.  I’ll think about what needs to be done about the crack and address it later.The accenting rusticated dimple effect is interesting giving the smooth briar contoured, rustic relief – I like it, and so did Coleman.  The grain shows nice potential in the pictures below. The chamber has some carbon cake build up – I’ll be removing it to give the briar a fresh start.Finally, I take a picture showing the stummel and the Warden stem together – what we’re aiming for!  The bend of the shank sets the stage for a nice, long sweeping Warden stem.I start the Warden fabrication by cleaning the stummel.  Starting with reaming the chamber, I use only the smallest blade head from the Pipnet Reaming kit and follow by scraping the chamber wall with the Savinelli Fitsall tool.  Finally, after wrapping 240 grit paper around a Sharpie Pen, I sand the chamber removing more of the carbon and getting down to the briar.  To remove the carbon dust, I wipe the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol.  After an inspection of the chamber, it shows no signs of heat damage with cracks or fissures.To clean the external briar, I use undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a cotton pad to scrub.  I also get into the dimples to clean them.  On the rim, the internal lip of the rim is darkened from scorching.  I use a brass wire brush to clean the rim, but even after scrubbing the darkened briar is still evident. The internals of this stummel was no picnic!  Using pipe cleaners and cotton buds dipped in isopropyl 95%, I clean the mortise and airway.  I also do a lot of excavating of tars and oils by scraping the mortise walls with a dental spatula which you can see wiped in plenty on the cotton pad in the picture below.  Using a long shank brush, I’m able to scrub the airway.  It took a good bit of time, but the buds started lightening until enough progress had been made.  Later, I will continue the cleaning by giving the bowl a kosher salt and alcohol soak.I decide to move forward with the stummel repair before beginning the shaping of the Churchwarden stem.  I have two issues to address before moving on.  The rim is scorched and even after cleaning a dark ring persists around the inner lip of the rim.  With the rim already rounded, I will simply go with that flow and bevel out the internal rim damage.  The other challenge is to address the small stress crack on the lower shank.

First, I address the rim.  After taking a close-up of the rim to mark the starting point.  In succession, I pinch rolled pieces of sanding papers between my thumb and the inner rim from coarser to less coarse grades: first 120, then, 240, 470 and 600 grade papers.  This removes the damaged briar and freshens the rim and it looks much better.  The rounded rim will look good as a Churchwarden.  Before and after pictures follow: Now, I decide to address the pressure crack on the lower shank.  I will drill two counter-holes at the ends of the crack to guard against the crack growing.  This stops the possibility of the crack creeping in the future.  Drilling these holes is not easy using a hand held Dremel extension with a 1mm drill bit.  Not only do I have the ‘shakes’ as an obstacle of accomplishing a good, true hole drilling, but the depth of the drilling is also of concern.  The shank is not a thick piece of briar!  I do not want to see sunlight coming into the mortise! The first picture is simply of the crack – difficult to see with a magnifying glass.  In order to help guide the drilling, I use a sharp dental probe, again with the aid of a magnifying glass, to mark the ends of the crack with an imprint where the counter-holes will be drilled.Next, I change out the Dremel clamping and mount a 1mm drill bit into the handheld extender.  This is where the jitters really start jittering.  Perhaps, one day I’ll secure a more stable drilling platform but today is not that day!  Thankfully, and I do mean thankfully, the drilling goes well.  Not too much shaking nor too deep. Next, I use thin CA glue because the crack is very subtle, and I want the CA glue to fill and penetrate what it can.  I apply CA glue to the two holes and crack and apply briar dust to the patch.  Hopefully, this aids the holes to later blend.  I put the stummel aside to allow the patch to cure.Several hours later I make it back to the work table and the shank patch has cured and I begin filing the mound with a flat needle file until the patch mound is almost flush with the briar surface.  I then switch to sanding with 240 grade paper to bring the patch flush with the surface and finish at this point with 600 grade paper to smooth it out and blend it.  The patch looks good and I believe the repair was necessary.  It should blend well with the surrounding bird’s eye grain. Time to focus on fashioning the Warden stem with the use of the Pimo Tenon Turning tool which has been a very useful addition to my instruments in my restoration toolbox.  I keep the directions on the wall in front of me!  The visuals give an idea of how this tool works to quickly and accurately resize a tenon.The precast stem is 8 5/8 inches long.  I begin by measuring the inside diameter of the mortise using an electronic caliper.  The measurement is 8.50 mm.  This represents the critical target width of the tenon to fit the mortise.  The precast tenon is obviously fat and I use the Pimo Tool to take off a layer of the fat tenon simply to serve as a starting point.I first pre-drill the airway with the drill bit provided by the Pimo kit to allow the guide pin of the Turning Tool to fit into the airway.After the first ‘fat’ cut of the tenon, the tenon is 9.60mm.  My goal is not to cut the tenon exactly at 8.50mm for a ‘perfect’ fit, but to give myself about .40mm of extra width to then conservatively sand my way to a good tenon/mortise fit. Every mortise is different, and I have found it better to go at it slowly.  So, adding .40 to 8.50 gives me a tenon target width of about 8.90 to aim for using the Pimo tool. With the hex wrench provided I turn the set screw to the left to reduce or tighten the Carbide Cutter Arm of the Pimo tool.  Again for an initial measurement, I only cut small portion of the tenon and measure (picture below).  There’s always the chance of taking too much off!  The test measurement is 8.79mm.  This cut results in the tenon being underneath the 8.90 conservative target but still above the 8.50mm critical measurement.  I take the tenon down to that measurement and begin sanding. To smooth off and form the end of the rough tenon, I make quick work of it with a sanding drum mounted on the Dremel.Gradually sanding with 240 grit paper as well as using a flat needle file, eventually I achieve a good fit.  The tenon is snug but not too snug.You can see in the next picture the overhang of the shank which needs to be sanded down flush with the stem butting against the shank face.  What I also notice is that the face of the stem is shouldered – or down-turned.  This is from not taking off enough vulcanite to have a flat face surface for the stem face to seat against the shank face.  Not shown is remounting the Pimo tool onto the drill and shaving off a bit more of the stem face to improve the junction.  With the flattening of the stem face the tenon seats well.  I go to work sanding the shank to bring it flush with the stem.  I also taper the sanding up the shank to achieve more flow – not having the stuffed pants look.  After sanding the shank/stem junction looks great. Even though the Warden stem is a new precast stem, it must be shaped, filed and sanded to remove vulcanite ripples and manufacturing seams.  I work on the button area with the flat needle file and then 240 grade paper.  I also fully sand the entire stem with 240 grade paper.  You can see manufacturing ripples in the new stem which the sanding smooths out. After completing the sanding with the 240 grade paper, I wet sand the entire stem with 600 grade paper followed by applying 0000 steel wool.  The Warden stem is looking great.  It’s difficult to take good pictures of the Warden stem because the view is always from orbit to get the full length!  So, I provide a few close-ups as well.To hydrate the vulcanite, I then wipe it down with paraffin oil, a mineral oil.I refit the stem with the Dimpled Billiard stem to get a look at the progress.  I’m liking what I’m seeing.Now I need to bend the stem.  I use a hot air gun to heat the vulcanite to make it supple and bendable.  I first put a pipe cleaner in the airway just to make sure the airway does not collapse during the bending.  The general aim is to give the Warden stem a gentle and flowing bend so that the end of the stem is generally in a parallel orientation with plane of the rim.In the end, I re-heat, re-bend, re-heat and re-bend a few times until I was satisfied. I think it looks good.  I go for the flowing look which is more ‘Gandalf-like’ – the subjective bar for all Churchwardens!  I think this will be agreeable to Coleman.With the Warden stem bent, I start the micromesh process by wet sanding the stem with pads 1500 to 2400, then dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  After each set of 3 pads I apply Obsidian Oil to continue to hydrate the vulcanite.  There is a pop to the freshly sanding/polished vulcanite!Turning now to the stummel, I use sanding sponges to clean the surface of the Dimpled Billiard removing minor cuts and nicks.  I first take some starting pictures then sand the stummel with a coarse sponge followed by medium and then, finish with a light grade sponge.  The sanding goes over the top of the rusticated dimples.  To get into and clean, sand and polish the dimples, later I will use the compounds and the Dremel to do this. I then go directly to sanding with micromesh pads starting with wet sanding pads 1500 to 2400, then dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  I enjoy watching the grain emerge during the micromesh process. Before going any further with the stummel polishing, I continue the internal cleaning using kosher salt and isopropyl 95% as I indicated earlier. I begin by forming a wick by stretching and twisting a cotton ball to insert into the mortise.  I then fill the bowl with kosher salt, which unlike iodized salt, does not leave an after taste.  I then place the stummel in an egg crate for stability and add isopropyl 95% to the bowl until it surfaces over the salt.  I wait a few minutes while the alcohol is absorbed and top it off once again.  I then set the stummel aside to soak for several hours. The soak did the job.  The discoloration of the salt and wick show the absorbing action of the salt and alcohol.  I toss the expended salt in the trash can, wipe the bowl out with a paper towel and blow through the mortise as well to dislodge remnant salt crystals.  I finish off by expending a few more alcohol wetted pipe cleaners and cotton buds to make sure all is clean, and it is.  Moving on. With Coleman’s agreement, I’m staying with the natural grain color and because of this I utilize Before & After Restoration Balm to condition the briar surface.  The Balm deepens and enriches what is already present in the grain and I like the subtle improved results of using it.  I put some Balm on my finger and rub it into the surface.  The Balm’s texture begins as a thinner oil-like thickness and then gradually thickens into a wax-like texture.  I work the Balm into the rusticated dimples as well. After fully covering the surface, I wait about 30 minutes and then wipe/buff the excess Balm. I use a toothpick also to make sure the dimples are not holding collected Balm.  A few ‘After’ pictures to compare.  It looks great! With the Balm applied, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel at 40% speed.  I then apply Blue Diamond compound to the stummel surface taking special care to work the compound into the rusticated dimples. The sanding processes do not get into the crevasses but pass over.  Using the smaller buffing wheel, I’m able to direct the compound into the crevasses.  I also apply Blue Diamond to the Churchwarden stem.  Its easier to keep the stem and stummel separate because of the size of stem and the rotating motion I use with the Dremel.  After completing application of the Blue Diamond, I apply carnauba wax to the stem and stummel using another cotton cloth buffing wheel and leaving the speed the same.  After completing application of the wax, I unite stem and stummel and give the newly born Churchwarden a rigorous hand buffing to raise the shine.

The fabrication of this Dimpled Billiard Churchwarden came out great.  I’m pleased.  The rusticated Dimpled Billiard has beautiful grain with a splay of grain spreading to the rim and much bird’s eye populating the heel of the stummel.  Often, rustication is used to hide blemishes in a lesser quality bowl, but this is not the case with this stummel.  The rusticated dimples are interesting shapes on a beautiful canvas of briar grain.  I believe Coleman will be pleased.  He commissioned this Dimpled Billiard Churchwarden and has the first opportunity to acquire it from The Pipe Steward Store.  This pipe benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!

Restemming and Restoring a Malaga Scoop


Blog by Steve Laug

Since I am already working on restemming pipes I figure I might as well fit a stem to a MALAGA bowl that Alex dropped by a while ago. It is an interestingly shaped piece and I really like the looks of it. MALAGA called this shape a scoop. The grain swirls around the bowl sides and shows some great cross grain on the rim top. It is a pretty clean bowl with a bit of darkening on the rim top and cake build up at the bottom of the bowl. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank horizontally with the stem shank junction and reads MALAGA. The finish on the pipe is very in great condition with a few dings and pits in the briar on the right front near the rim. It has the classic Malaga oil cured look and is a rich, natural brown colour. The stem was missing so I would need to fit and shape a new one for it. I went through my can of stems to find an oval stem that would work with this shape pipe. I picked a new stem blank that I thought showed some promise. I took photos of the pipe and the potential stem before working on it. The photos give a pretty clear picture of the shape of the pipe and its general condition when I received it.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, I am also including the link to a blog that I wrote that gives some of the history of the Malaga brand and the Malaga Pipe Shop in Royal Oak, Michigan in the USA. Here is the link – https://rebornpipes.com/tag/malaga-pipes/. That blog also includes links to a catalogue and the history of the pipemaker George Khoubesser. If you are interested to learn more, then I invite you to follow the link to get a feel for the brand and the pipemaker. I changed my habitual pattern of working on pipes with this one as the bowl was pretty clean. I would do the reaming later. I set up my cordless drill and drilled the airway in the tenon so that the guide on the tenon turner would fit. I put the PIMO tenon turner in the chuck and turned the tenon until it was the right diameter for the shank. I know many use a micrometer to set the tenon turner correctly but the way the tool is configured that has never worked for me. I always eyeball it and turn it in degrees. After each turning I check it in the shank. When I get close I stop and finish with sandpaper and files. Probably a bit of a troglodyte but hey, it works for me.Once I had the diameter so that the tenon was snug I put the stem in the shank and took photos of the pipe at this point. It is way for me to see if I like the proportion of the length of the shank and bowl with the length of the stem. I have gotten to this point on other pipes and pitched the stem in the can and turned a different stem. In this case I thought it would work very well. I would need to reduce the diameter of the saddle, remove the casting marks on the stem and give it a slight bend when I was finished. What do you think? I took some close up photos of the rim top and the fit of the stem to the shank to give you a clearer picture of where things stood at this point in the process. Incidentally, in the last photo below you can see the MALAGA stamping on the underside of the shank.I used the Dremel and sanding drum to take off the casting marks on the sides and button end of the stem. I also used the sanding drum to remove the majority of the excess stem material on the saddle. I hand sanded it with a file and 220 grit sandpaper to get the fit close to a smooth transition. I little a tea light candle and heated the stem to bend it to the angle I wanted to work with the bowl. I took photos of the stem after the bending to show what the pipe looked like at this point in the process. There was still a lot of fine tuning and shaping to do but the pipe was beginning to look complete. I liked the look of the new stem. Some of you may wonder why I sand the shank the bit that I do. My experience is that I can smooth out the transition this way. I know that others do it differently but this is my process. I continued to sand and shape the stem and fit it to the shank end. I beveled the mortise end a bit more than it was originally using a small half circle needle file. Once that was done I sanded the stem to smooth out the transition with the shank. The photos below show that it is getting closer to a fit. I took some close up photos of the fit of the stem to the shank at this point. It is getting better and better. I still need to do a few adjustments to the tenon to get a snug fit to the shank.I sanded the stem with 400 grit wet dry sand paper to polish out the scratches left behind by the files and 220 grit sandpaper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each of the pads using Obsidian Oil. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine grits. I gave it another coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside. With the stem fit and finished I set it aside to work on the bowl. The bowl was in decent condition other than some darkening on the top and two small pits on the right front of the bowl. There was also a little bit of cake in the bottom one third of the bowl. Whoever had reamed it did not take the conical bowl into their thoughts. The rest of the bowl was well reamed but the bottom portion was not. I reamed the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to clean up the bottom part of the bowl. I filled in the two small pits with clear super glue and when the patches cured sanded them smooth with 400 grit sandpaper. Unfortunately I did not take a photo of that part. Ah well. It is easy to get caught up in the process and forget the photos… I apologize for that.I polished the briar with 2400-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. I found that with each successive grit of micromesh the grain stood out more and gave a shine to the pipe. I liked what I saw when I looked at it. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. The bowl and the rim top look really good and the darkening is gone. The finish looks very good with the rich oil finish on the bowl and rim. I am very happy with the results. Now with both parts of the pipe finished, I polished stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I 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. The contrasting grain came alive with the buffing. The rich oil finish on the briar works well with the new, polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a beauty and feels great in the hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 9/16 of an inch. This one will be going back to Alex with the rest of his pipes that I am working on. Thanks for walking through the restoration and restemming with me on this nicely shaped MALAGA Scoop.

New Life for a Sad, Old Kriswill Bent Egg


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is from a group of pipes that Paresh purchased from a rag picker in Mumbai, India. The fellow had found a large number of pipes as he was going through rubbish bins and contacted Paresh. This is a tired and worn looking Kriswill. I knew looking at it even before the stamping was checked that this was a Kriswill because there is something distinctive about the shapes. The pipe is stamped (though it is faint now from wear) Kriswill Hand Made in Denmark. The pipe was filthy and unusable. I think it was from the generation who smoked a pipe to death and then pitched it. The finish on the pipe is very dirty and the sandblast is almost worn smooth. There is a thick cake in the bowl and a lava overflow on the rim top. I can see some damage to the inner edge of the rim but because of the cake and tars it is hard to know what the inner edge looks like. The stem was broken at the tenon and there was a very strange set up keeping the pieces together. I took photos of the pipe before cleaning it. The photos give a pretty clear picture of the shape of the pipe and its general condition when I received it. At first glance I thought that the tenon was broken off in the shank but as I examined it I came to believe it was even worse. It looked like someone had glued something in the shank and Gerry-rigged a connection to the stem. The photo below shows what I saw. What is not clear in the photo was a piece of metal in the centre of the mortise area. It looked like a tube but when I tried to push air through the shank it was absolutely plugged.I was going to have to try to drill out the shank but before I did that I examined the shank and stem more closely. The stem had been hacked pretty seriously so that the diameter was not even close to the diameter of the shank. In the centre of the mortise the metal tube turned out to be a 2 inch long finishing nail. It appears that the nail was used to keep the stem in place in the shank. For what? I don’t have an answer for that as it was utterly unsmokable. Once I removed the nail with a pair of needle nose pliers I was able to blow air through the shank. It was at least clear. I used a drill bit slightly larger than the mess in the shank and carefully drilled the shank. It did not work to clear out the shank! However, it was clear what was there – it was a tube made of masking or painters tape! I took a pen knife and twisted it into the mortise and was able to pull the tube free of the shank. The last photo shows everything that had been in the shank to hold the stem in place on the shank. I could surmise from the length of the stem what I would need for a replacement stem. I went through my can of stems and found one that had the right sized tenon and was the same length and width as the broken stem. It was a saddle stem instead of a taper but I liked the look of it on the pipe. I pushed it in place and took the following photos. I would need to reduce the diameter of the saddle, bend the stem and do a general cleanup, but it was a keeper. I took a photo of the stamping on the shank to show that it reads Kriswill. Underneath it says Hand Made in Denmark but that stamping is faint and only readable in a bright light or with a lens.With the stem chosen I set it aside to work on the bowl. I really hate working on dirty pipes! I can’t say enough how much I appreciate my brother Jeff doing the lion’s share of the reaming and cleaning before I even work on pipes… It is these few that I have to clean up that make me thankful and realize how much work he does before I get them here to restore. Thanks Jeff. The bowl had a thick cake and a heavy overflow of lava. It was obviously someone’s favourite pipe.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the smallest cutting head. The bowl on these old Kriswill pipes is conical so the PipNet only goes so far down the inside. I reamed out the bowl as far as the reamer would reach and then used Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to finish the project. I scraped the rim top with the pipe knife to remove the majority of the lava and could see that the rim edges and top were damaged with burn marks.To remove the damage to the top of the rim I topped it on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I worked on it to remove the burned areas and the damage to the inner edge of the rim as much as possible. I am happy with how it turned out.I lightly beveled the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give it a cleaner look. The look of the bowl at this point is far better than when I started the rim clean up. I will still need to polish the rim and match the stain to the shank end smooth portion. Fortunately for me this old Kriswill originally had a smooth rim top so it will look like new.I polished the topped bowl rim with 3200-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. With each successive grit of micromesh the grain stood out more and gave a good finished look to the pipe. I liked what I saw when I looked at it. There was a little variation in stain colour between the rim top and the shank end so I decided to stain both to get a good blend. I used an Oak stain pen to match the colour of the shank and smooth spot where the stamping was. Once the stain had cured for that time I moved on to the next step in the process.It dawned on me at this point that I had been so intent on getting the plug out of the shank and topping the bowl that I forgot to clean out the shank! I normally do that right after reaming the bowl but forgot. It goes to show you that if you vary an habitual pattern even a bit you will leave steps out. I stopped the process and went back and cleaned out the shank and airway to the bowl with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol until the pipe was clean and smelled fresh.With the rim top and bowl polished and the shank and airway CLEAN, I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. The bowl and the rim top look really good and the darkening and lava are gone. The finish looks very good with the contrast between the rich, dark brown and the Oak stain on the rim and shank end. I am very happy with the results. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I used a file and a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to shape the diameter of the saddle portion of the stem to fit the diameter of the shank. It took a lot of filing and sanding to get it to this point but there is a lot of fine tuning work to do. The shank is not round but it is more of a vertical oval in shape so the stem will need to match it to have a seamless fit. It is a lot of hand shaping work to get the two to match. I sanded the scratches and the tooth marks on the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to bring the shank and saddle portion into line. I further sanded and shape it with 400 grit sandpaper to remove the scratches. This is the beginning of the polishing process on the stem. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil and put it back in the shank to take progress photos. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This pipe has had quite a journey to this point in time and space. It somehow traveled from Denmark where it was made to Mumbai, India. There is was found abandoned, binned and found by a rag picker who then sold it to Paresh in another region of India. From Paresh it traveled to me in Vancouver, Canada. In April it will travel to Nepal with me and back Paresh in India. I only wish that it could tell its story. All I know is that I have extended its life of usefulness and given its purpose back as it was intended.

I polished stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I 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. The contrasting grain came alive with the buffing. The rich contrasting browns and black colouring works well with the new, polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a beauty and feels great in the hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inches, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. I will be taking this pipe with me to India soon and giving it back to Paresh. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this battered and weary Kriswill.

New Life for a Charatan’s Make 30120DC Canadian


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is a Charatan’s Make Canadian with a Double Comfort saddle stem. It came to my brother and me in the lot that included the pipe cabinet and 21 pipes. It has a beautiful sandblast finish on the shank and bowl. There is a smooth, crowned rim top and a smooth band at the shank end. The bottom of the shank has a smooth panel that has the stamping on it. It is stamped Charatan’s Make (over) London, England (over) 30120DC which is the shape number and the DC which marks a Double Comfort bit from the Lane Era. Once again is a nice looking piece much like the rest of those in this lot. It is a brand that I have worked on over the years. It is on the far right side of the first shelf in the photo below. I have circled it in red to make it easier to identify.Jeff took some photos of the pipe when he received them to show the general condition of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. It was dirty and worn looking. There was a thick cake in the bowl and heavy lava overflow on the rim top. The smooth rim top was hidden under the grime and lava coat so it was hard to know what was underneath in terms of damage. The sandblast is well done and really shows the grain. It is quite deep and rugged and the oxblood stain over black stain makes it really stand out. The stem is vulcanite and oxidized. There are deep tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button edge and some scratching on the stem surface. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the saddle stemmed Canadian shape. Here are two close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show you the thick build up on the rim and the heavy cake in the bowl. It is hard to see if there is any damage on the inner or outer edge of the rim. There is a thick cake in the bowl that is hard and rough. There appears to be some interesting grain underneath all the lava. The close up photos of the stem shows the damage to the top and underside of the bit in front of the button and on the button surface itself. The next photo shows the stamping on underside of the shank of the pipe. It is clear and legible.I decided to take some time to review my knowledge of the brand. I turned to the Pipephil website for a quick overview of the brand (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-charatan.html). I quote a short overview of the history from that site.

The brand founded in 1863 by Frederik Charatan. When his father retired in 1910, Reuben Charatan took over the family business. All the pipes were handmade until 1973. The brandname was overtaken by Dunhill in 1978 and sold in 1988 to James B. Russell Inc. (NJ, USA). During the period 1988-2002 Charatans were crafted by Butz Choquin in St Claude (France). Dunhill re-purchased Charatan brand name in 2002 and Colin Fromm (Invicta Briars, Castleford) follows up on freehand production…

…The “DC” stamping after shape # was introduced when Dunhill took control of the company in 1979. DC means “Double Comfort” saddle bit.

I turned to Pipedia for a bit more history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Charatan). I quote pertinent parts of the article.

…Charatan records indicate the DC (Double Comfort) bit was introduced in the 50’s, but some report seeing them in earlier production. Still others indicate they were introduced by Lane in 1960. Regardless, the DC bit is not an accurate way to date a pipe because many Charatan’s were made with regular and saddle type bits throughout the “Lane Era”.

I also read the translated article on Pipedia that was referenced in the opening article. It is entitled Dating of Charatans has been translated for Pipedia by Mathias Acciai. This study by Fabio Ferrara of Monterubbiano – Italy is based on more than 2000 old Charatan pipes he studied from the “Basciano stock” purchased by Mario Lubinski – Fermo. (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dating_of_Charatans). I quote in part.

…Things started to change in 1965 after Lane’s acquisition of the Ben Wade brand and related machinery. (Actually Lane acquired only few of Wade’s machines and not its entire factory in Leeds, that was destroyed during WW II).

Essentially Charatan acquired a brand, rather than a real pipe manufacturing business. Furthermore Lane commissioned some pipes to Preben Holm and Wilmer, for the Ben Wade brand. Charatan took part in this operation too since some Danish freehands were displayed in its catalogue (while the so called ‘seconds’ were marked Ben Wade).

 

In mid 1976 Charatan was acquired from Lane by Dunhill. That obviously resulted in some major changes until 1982, when Dunhill decided to shut down the historical Charatan factory in Grosvenor Street.

From this moment on all Charatan’s pipes have been produced by Dunhill in the Parker/Hardcastle factory in Forest Road, Walthamstow.

It is worth noting that the factory was in Forest Road and not in 32 St. Andrew Road, Walthamstow, where the Dunhill factory was located since 1982.

In 1988 Dunhill sold Charatan to J.B. Russell and the production was moved to France. For many this is considered Charatan’s dark period.

The last change was in 2000, when Charatan was once again acquired by Dunhill and for a few months, the production was moved again to the Parker /Hardcastle site. This operation has to be viewed as Dunhill’s goal to give a new life to an old brand of the past, and the production of Charatans, Invictas, Simmons, and Hardcastles is taken over by Colin Fromm in Invicta’s site in Chatham. This information leaked during a recent interview with Marc Burrows, head of Dunhill’s shop in London’s Jermyn Street, who claimed that recent Charatans (from 2003) seem to be superior to those of the first Lane era!…

I quote a section of the article that helps me date the pipe I am working on.

…Pipes that belong to eras till the 1960 have the engraving ‘CHARATAN’S MAKE LONDON ENGLAND’ in two lines, the shape code is composed by numbers only. The X and the DC appear only on pipes after 1960…

This tells me that the pipe I have on the table came out after 1960. To try to date it further I moved on in the article. I found some help there from a section entitled, Identification of a fifth era pipe (First Dunhill era, 1977-1981).

Dunhill finally acquired Lane Ltd. in April 1976. To be honest this era should begin that year, however to clarify matters, knowing that during the first months everything changed in the production, I assume the beginning of this era to be 1977.

The characteristics of this era are close to the previous one, except for the absence of the LANE symbol (approx. ending of 1980).

In this very first period Dunhill didn’t change the production site and the original methods, making plans for the future, and the real revolution took place in 1982.

You may come across a pipe of the ‘old generation’, It is important to note that if the DC has been added later, it is often out of line with the shape code…

1) The mouthpiece is frequently double comfort, rarely saddle without the double comfort, never tapered. If the stem is not a double comfort but a saddle one, it is characterized by the letter X on the right of the shape code (e.g. 2502X), naturally in this case the letters DC are not displayed.

2) In the CP logo, the C enters the P (until approx. 1980)

3) Absence of £ on the shank (from the end of 1980 approx., this is because during the first period Dunhill kept the £, as Lane Ltd was property of Dunhill that could use its trademark)

4) Presence of the letter DC just after the shape number (e.g. 2502 DC) or of the letter X only if the stem is not a double comfort one

5) Presence of the writing “Made by Hand – In – City of London” (until 1979)

6) The pipes marked Chippendale are just a Belevedere series, On the mouthpiece, instead of the CP they display CD.

The Charatan’s Make on my work table has a double comfort saddle bit and has the DC code after the shape number. There is an absence of the L on the shank and “sings the praise of London production. The CP logo appears to match pipes from this period so I would date the pipe to the First Dunhill era, 1977-1981. That is getting the date a bit closer for me and is probably as close as I can get at this point.

Jeff reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. 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, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl of the pipe. He rinsed it off under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove most of the lava build up on the rim top of the pipe leaving a clean rim. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the darkening on the surface of the rim toward the back of the bowl. There were also some small nicks in the surface of the rim. The inner and outer edge of the bowl looks really good. The stem photos show the oxidation on the surface of the Double Comfort bit and the tooth marks and the wear on the button surface on both sides. The top of the saddle is stamped with the CP mark and the underside bears a Regd No. that will be clearer in the next photos of the stamping.The underside of the shank has clear stamping with the name and shape number of the pipe. The underside of the stem also bears a Reg’d No stamp with the number 203573. The photo below shows the stamping on the shank and the stem.I started my cleanup on the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the darkening and damage on the inner edge of the round rim top. I wiped the rim top down with a damp cotton pad to remove the dust. I polished the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down after each pad with a damp cloth. I touched up the stain on the rim with a Mahogany stain pen and blended it into the grain. Once it dried I buffed it with Blue Diamond to spread it out. With the rim top cleaned and restained, I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the sandblast and smooth surfaces of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. The bowl and the rim top look good. I am very happy with the results. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the scratches and the tooth marks on the stem with 220 grit sandpaper avoiding damaging the stamping on both sides of the saddle. I cleaned off the surface with a cotton swab and filled in the tooth marks on both sides with clear super glue. I set it aside to cure for a few hours and when it had cured I smoothed out the fills with 220 grit and 400 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface. I filled in the stamping on the saddle of the stem with white liquid paper. I worked it into the grooves with a tooth pick. Once it dried it I scraped off the excess with the tooth pick and sanded the stem some more with the 400 grit sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with some Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra to deepen the shine. I wiped it down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.

Mr. Pickwick “Ashford” Restoration


By Al Jones

This pipe showed up on a thread on a pipe forum that I frequent and the forum member said it came from the grandfathers estate of a friend. He asked if it was worth restoring. As a Sasieni fan, I immediately recognized it as the iconic “Ashford” shape, which is the shape 88 in the Four Dot family and on this seconds line as a shape 1088. It had the football shaped “Made In England” COM that was used in the family era from 1946 to 1979. I’ve had numerous Sasieni 2nd’s lines come across my work bench, but not a “Mr. Pickwick”. I couldn’t find anything specific about this line, but in the Stephen P. Smith article on Pipepedia, he writes:

“Through the post war years, Sasieni added shapes and lines. While the Four Dot remained their most famous product, the company also sold lines of “seconds” under various names, such as Mayfair, Fantail, Olde English, and Friar. These were pipes made of good wood, but possessed of some flaw, usually filled with putty.” Shortly after posting this blog entry, a member of the PipesMagazine.com forum sent me this 1939 catalog page for Mr Pickwick pipes.

I made a few comments about the pipe and volunteered to restore it for the owner (who was seeking a restoration). I don’t do many pipes besides my own these days, but some pipes are just a joy to work with and I knew that I’d like to have this one on my work bench.

The owner sent me the pipe and it arrived in great condition. It had the typical oxidized stem and a heavy cake in the bowl. The stem fitment was excellent and it had no serious issues. But I could see it held promise. Here’s the pipe as it was delivered:

I used a worn piece of scotchbrite to remove the build-up on the bowl top and it was then reamed with my Castleford set. The bowl had been carved a bit with a knife, but very solid. The nomenclature was strong. I soaked the bowl with sea salt and alcohol. The stem was soaked in a mild Oxy-clean solution

Following the alcohol soak and Oxy-clean soak, I mounted the stem and removed the oxidation with 400, 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grade wet paper. The P stem logo was faint, but ultimately, I was able to remove the oxidation and retain a faint semblance of the P. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The briar had a few dings, most notably near the shape number. I used a wet cloth and an electric iron to steam out those dents and marks. There was some scorch marks on one edge of the bowl. I elected to diminish them with micromesh sheets and the bowl was buffed with White Diamond and Carnuba wax. I could have restained the bowl and possibly removed some of the dark spots, but I would have never been able to replicate the patina of age the bowl had earned. The owner agreed and we settled on that level of restoration.

Below is the finished pipe.

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The Largest Malaga Rusticated Billiard I have ever seen


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is a rusticated Malaga Billiard that is the largest Malaga I have worked on. It is like a war club in my hands which are not tiny! The rustication is rough and chipped glass like. There is a smooth band around the shank end and on the underside it is a little wider to accommodate the MALAGA stamp in the briar. The stem is a marbled brown Lucite saddle bit that is quite nice with the reddish brown stain on the bowl and shank. This is another nice looking piece much like the rest of those in this 21 pipe Michigan pipe lot. Along with this Malaga there were two others that are very interesting Malaga shapes. The Malaga I am working on now is on the mat in front of the rack. It is the first pipe on the right and I have circled it in red to make it easy to identify. Jeff took some photos of the pipe when he received them to show the general condition of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Like the rest of the pipes from the Michigan collection this pipe was dirty and well used. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing onto the outer edge of the rim filling in the rustication. The inner edge of the bowl was hidden under the grime and lava coat so it was hard to know what was underneath in terms of damage. The rustication was like broken glass and the tactile feel is really interesting. It is not like any of the Malaga pipes that I have worked on. It is quite deep and rugged and the medium brown and red stains give the rustication depth and dimension. The stem is pearlized Lucite with swirling browns and copper hues that is quite interesting. There are deep tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button edge and some wear on the button edge itself. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the large, saddle stemmed billiard. Jeff took a close up photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. The rim top had some lava overflow and some darkening. Some of the rustication is filled in with lava toward the back of the bowl. There is also a general accumulation of dust and grime in the rustication. He also took a photo of the right side and bottom of the bowl and shank to show the interesting rough rustication that covers the pipe. The rugged rustication gives the pipe a tactile sense when held in the hand and should be interesting as the pipe warms up when smoked. The finish is very dirty but this is another beautiful pipe.Jeff took a photo to capture the stamping on the underside of the shank. The photo shows stamping MALAGA. The stamping does not have the quotation marks that I have seen on some of the pipes. The next two photos show the stem surface. There are tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. There are also some marks on the sharp edge of the button.I am also including the link to a blog that I wrote that gives some of the history of the Malaga brand and the Malaga Pipe Shop in Royal Oak, Michigan in the USA. I have written an earlier blog to give a little history of the Malaga Brand and the pipemaker, George Khoubesser. Here is the link – https://rebornpipes.com/tag/malaga-pipes/. That blog also includes links to a catalogue and the history of the pipemaker George Khoubesser. Follow the link to get a feel for the brand and the pipemaker.

Jeff reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. 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, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove the lava build up on the rim top and you could see the damage to the flat surface of the rim and the inner edge on the right side and toward the front of the bowl. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem. You can see the condition of the rim top and bowl in the first photo. Jeff was able to remove all of the tar and oils leaving behind a little darkening on the back side of the rim top. The inner and outer edge of the bowl was in excellent condition with no damage. The Lucite stem had tooth chatter and some tooth marks on the top and underside of the stem near and on the button surface.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to show how good the condition is. The stamp is deep and legible. It clearly reads MALAGA without the quotation marks that are sometimes used around the stamp.I decided to address the darkening on the backside of the rim top first. I used a brass bristle wire brush to work over the rustication on the rim top. I was able to remove much of the darkening with the wire brush. The rim top looks significantly better after the brushing.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the rusticated surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. It took some time to really get it into the grooves and valleys of the rustication but I was able to work it in. I let the balm sit for a little wall and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. The reworked rim top looks really good and matches the colour of the rest of the pipe. I am very happy with the results. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. There were some tooth marks on the top and underside at the button that needed to be addressed. I also needed to do some work on the surface of the button on both sides. I filled the damaged areas in and build up the surface with clear super glue and set the stem aside until the repairs cured.When the repairs were cured, I sanded both sides smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and 400 grit sandpaper to blend the tooth chatter and the repair into the surface of the stem. As I sanded and reshaped the button and stem surface the repaired areas and the tooth chatter disappeared.I polished the acrylic stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish and buffed it with a microfiber cloth. This is the first fully rusticated or “carved” finishes as Malaga called them, that I have worked on. I have worked on partially rusticated but never one with this kind of very cut glass like finish. It is extremely well done and it is a large pipe. The combination of stained rustication with the swirled Lucite stem is stunning. I polished stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I 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. The oil cured briar is very light weight and the red and brown stain colour works well with the polished variegated copper and brown acrylic stem. The finished pipe has a rich look that is quite catching. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 7 inches, Height: 2 3/8 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 15/16 of an inch. I will be putting this newly finished Malaga pipe on the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection and trying out this brand. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me it was an interesting pipe to restore.