Daily Archives: March 10, 2019

Restoring a Unique “House of Lords” Sitter


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

I am pretty angry and frustrated at myself!!!!! That’s a very strong and confusing sentiment against oneself, I admit. But that’s the truth. Let me explain.

I spent nearly two weeks working on three pipes; a Dunhill Bruyere, a Tim West Freehand and a Stefano Exclusive. These three had their lip end of the stem either chewed off for about an inch and a half or a through and through hole!!! It could be considered as a major stem repair project. I successfully rebuild the stem end, including the button, lip edges and the slot. Though, I was unable to shape the slot as perfectly as I would have liked on the Dunhill, the repair was perfect on the Tim West and the Stefano. I felt elated and supremely confident about my capabilities. The blending of the repairs appeared spot on and I blazed through the remaining restoration, clicking pictures of the progress without giving them a second look. When, at the end, I went through the pictures while doing the write up, to my horror, the repaired stem and stummel stared back at me with all their imperfections on display in form of scratches, brownish spots of oxidation and fillings showing through the stain!! This was embarrassing for me and I shared these images with Mr. Steve. In his characteristic method of pointing out my short comings, I shall quote his reply to me, “Takes lots of work… I am having a little trouble with that lately…. Trying to rush it. Pipe looks good”, unquote!! Readers of rebornpipes and those who know him would be smiling while reading this part. Well, to cut the banter short, I shall rework all these short comings later as I want to start on a fresh pipe!!

The pipe on my work table, from my inherited collection, is one large barrel shaped full bent (this aspect needs to be confirmed and will be cleared as we progress further) sitter with beautiful and very tightly packed birds’ eye grain on either side of the bowl and shank, extending over to more than half of the front of the stummel. Equally tightly packed cross grain are seen on the front left and back of the bowl and also on the upper and bottom surface of the shank. It is stamped on the left side of the shank as “HOUSE OF LORDS” over “MADE IN ENGLAND” in block capital letters. The right side of the shank bears the numeral “275”, probably the shape code, towards the bowl shank junction. The vulcanite saddle stem bears the Crown logo stamped on the left of the round stem. The stem logo and the shape code are slightly worn off. I have included a picture of the stem logo from pipephil.eu to show how it appears on this stem.To know more about the brand, the lines offered by the maker and attempt to date this pipe, I visited pipedia.org, which has wealth of information on almost all pipes. The only information available here was that this brand was by Samuel Gordon in the early 20th century and thereafter became a Sasieni second. My next go to site is pipephil.eu where the stampings and stem logos on a pipe are used for brand information and to date a pipe. Here is the link for information on the pipe currently on my work table:-

www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-h3.html#houseoflords

This site also pointed to the same information gleaned from pipedia.org. Here is what was found on pipephil.eu.

Brand from Samuel Gordon. Maybe a Sasieni second (J.M. Lopes, op. cit.)

I further followed the link to “Gordon” and learned that Samuel Gordon had founded the brand “GORDON” in 1910-20 eras. This is the link for Gordon brand of pipes; www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-g4.html#gordon

From the above information, it is assumed that this piece is from the early 20th century period. Wow!!!! This is really an old pipe. The pipe brands and its vintage, those that are in my grandfather’s collection, never cease to amaze me and there are some really collectible pipes that I have inherited.

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION

The chamber shows a nice even build up of a cake which makes it difficult to comment on the condition of the inner walls of the chamber. However, the general appearance of the stummel makes me believe that there will not be any major issues with the chamber walls. The rim top is clean with no overflow of lava and this is a big surprise coming from my inherited collection!! The chamber is out of round with the inner rim edges showing charring at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock direction. It appears that this charred area of the inner edge was tried to get rid off in an amateurish way. The outer rim is also damaged and has a few chips and dents to the front, probably caused due to hitting the bowl against a hard surface to remove the dottle!! All in all, I would say that this was one of the few well cared for pipes from his collection!!The surface of the stummel is covered in dirt and grime accumulated over a period of time. The stummel surface is peppered with numerous dents and dings, more so towards the front of the bowl, probably caused due to careless and uncared for storage for the last 40-45 years and equal number of years of previous usage!!!! It will be a big decision whether to address these dents and dings by abrasive sanding method and loose the patina which has developed on the surface, or let them be. Well, I shall cross the bridge when I reach it. The mortise appears to be either clogged or has some obstruction as air flow through it is hard and laborious. The vulcanite stem is heavily oxidized. Some light tooth chatter is seen on both surfaces of the stem towards the lip. This issue should not be a major headache to address. The lip edge on both sides is crisp but lightly damaged. The quality of vulcanite is good.The thing that struck me odd was the bend on the stem. It was bent way too much than the normal. When I shared the pictures of this pipe with Mr. Steve, he too found the angle of the bend too rakish and very odd, to the extent that he felt it might not even be correct for the pipe. However, the stem logo confirmed otherwise. So, I am confronted with the controversial prospect between “PRESERVATION” and “RESTORATION”!! While I do not have as clear a mandate as Mr. Steve had, managing this conflict, for me, is more challenging. To me, this inheritance is a family heirloom and in this particular instance, I would rather maintain this profile instead of straightening it. Mr. Steve gave me a second perspective that the stem was bent during storage due to intense heat which is prevalent in India and may not be original as my grandfather had smoked!! Well, this could be true. The inner conflict continued while I proceed to clean and spruce up the pipe to its pristine condition (or at least make a sincere attempt at it)

THE PROCESS
I reamed the chamber with my fabricated knife and scraped out all the cake. With a folded piece of 180 grit sandpaper, I further sand out the last traces of remaining cake and expose the walls of the chamber. There are some very minor and insignificant webs of line on the chamber walls that can be seen to the front and above the drought hole. I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad dipped in isopropyl alcohol to remove the carbon dust left behind by all the reaming and sanding process. I gently scraped the rim top surface with a sharp knife to remove the lava overflow. Using the same knife, I gently scrapped out the charred briar from the inner rim edge till I reached solid wood. The following pictures show the inner rim edge after the removal of the charred wood from the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock direction. Also seen is the earlier amateurish attempt at addressing the issue of out of round bowl. I shall address this issue by creating a bevel to inner edge. This was followed by cleaning the mortise with cue tips, pipe cleaners and shank brush dipped in isopropyl alcohol. With my fabricated spatula shaped knife, I scrapped out the dried oils and tars from the mortise. My, there were chunks of gunk in there and can be seen in the following pictures!! Finally after some diligent cleaning, the mortise is clean and this further completely eliminated traces of old smells from previous usage.The internals of the stummel is now clean and fresh. Now, it was the turn of the stummel to get cleaned up. Using a hard bristled tooth brush dipped in undiluted Murphy’s oil soap, I very deliberately scrubbed the surface of the stummel. I cleaned the rim too. The stummel and rim top was dried using paper napkins and soft cotton cloth. I am not very happy the way the rim top appears at this stage with all the charring and uneven inner and outer rim edges. This needs to be addressed. I set the stummel aside to dry out naturally. After cleaning the rim top with Murphy’s oil soap, the inner edge damage was even more evident, and begged to be addressed before I proceed any further. I topped the rim on a 220 followed by 320 and 600 grit sand paper, checking frequently till I was satisfied that the charred surface was greatly reduced. The inner edge is still uneven, though much better than before topping. With a folded piece of 180 grit sand paper pinched between my thumb and fore finger, I created a bevel on the inner edge. This addressed the issue of uneven and out of round inner edge. A couple of dents and chips are also seen to the outer rim edge and one (circled in red) in the newly created inner edge bevel. There were a few slightly deeper chips on the stummel surface. I gouged out the old and dried wood from these dents from the front of the stummel, inner rim edge and the heel and spot filled it with a mix of CA superglue and briar dust (believe you me gentlemen, making and thereafter applying this mix to fill the pits is not as easy as it appears!!!!!! The moment superglue comes into contact with the briar dust; it hardens even before you can blink. Maybe there is an issue with the glue that is available to me here, coupled with the prevailing climatic conditions or maybe one Mr. Dal Stanton could help!!). I always over fill the holes so that when I sand them down they are smooth and I can feather in the fills with the rest of the briar. I set the stummel aside to cure overnight. I had applied this mix of superglue and briar dust to the inner rim edge as it would not be coming in direct contact with heat from the burning tobacco leading to health issues. While the stummel was drying, I worked the stem. I covered the stampings on the stem with whitener using a whitener pen. I flamed the stem surface of the stem with a Bic lighter to raise the tooth indentations and scratches on the stem. The heat from the flame of Bic lighter causes the vulcanite to expand and regain its natural shape, reducing the marks. Using a needle file, I sharpened the lip edges. For a better blending, I further sanded the entire stem with 220 followed by 600, 400 and 800 grit sand paper. This helps to reduce the sanding marks left behind by the more abrasive 220 grit paper. To bring a deep shine to the vulcanite stem, I went through the complete set of micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem with alcohol after each pad and rubbed it down with Extra Virgin Olive oil. The internals of the stem was cleaned out using alcohol and pipe cleaners. The finished stem is shown below. By the time I had worked on the stem, the fills on the stummel surface had completely cured. I sanded the fills using a flat head needle file and checked to see if I had missed any spots. I wanted the entire surface smooth to the touch. I sanded the spots down and blended them into the bowl surface using a folded 220 grit sand paper. I followed this step by sanding the entire stummel with a 220 grit sand paper followed by 600 and 800 grit sand papers. Once that was done I wiped the bowl down with a cotton cloth dampened with Isopropyl alcohol to remove any remaining dust. I wet sand the stummel with 1500 to 2400 grit pads and follow it up by dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. Once I was through with the micromesh pad sanding, the fills showed in complete contrast with the rest of the stummel, as can be seen in the pictures below. I hope they will blend in better once I apply the balm and buff the stummel. I rub a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to briar and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. The stummel, at this point in restoration, looks beautiful save for the fills which can still be seen in all their awfulness. To address this, I have the option to stain the stummel with a dark brown stain or I let it be as a being part of its journey thus far!! Thus, another conflict has been added to the existing one regarding the stem. I shall think about it once I reach that point in restoration. Before I proceed to final stage of polishing and applying carnauba wax coats, I want to address the superficial and insignificantly thin lines in the chamber as a precautionary measure. I mix activated charcoal and yogurt to the consistency of a thick porridge, not runny while being pliable. Inserting a folded pipe cleaner into the mortise till it peeps out of the draught hole, I apply an even coat of this mixture to the inner walls of the chamber with a modified bamboo frond and set it aside to dry out overnight. The next evening, the coat has completely dried out and is hard. Using a piece of folded 220 grit sand paper, I lightly run it over the coating to a smooth finish. I had a long look at the dark fills against the rest of the stummel and did not like it. I made a decision to stain the stummel in dark walnut stain. I use the powder variety of stain and mix it with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I heated the stummel surface with a heat gun and applied the stain with a folded pipe cleaner. As I paint the stummel with stain over sections at a time, I burn the dye using a Bic lighter that combusts the alcohol in the aniline dye and sets the dye pigmentation in the wood.  After fully saturating the stummel and covering the whole surface, I set the stummel aside to rest for several hours. Once the stain had set, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on the Dremel and set the speed at about 40% full strength and apply red compound to the stummel. This does help in revealing the grains gradually while masking the darker fills. To finish, I re-attach the stem with the stummel. I mounted a cotton cloth buffing wheel to a locally manufactured machine which is similar Dremel.  I set the speed at about half of the full power and applied White Diamond compound to the entire pipe. I wiped/ buffed the pipe with a soft cotton cloth to clear it of any leftover compound dust. I then mounted another cotton cloth wheel on to the polishing machine and applied several coats of carnauba wax. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further.

The completed pipe looks lovely, fresh and vibrant; the photographs in this case, do not do justice to the appearance of this beautiful large barrel-shaped pipe. Thank you for having the patience to reach this far while reading the write up. And as usual, I request all those readers to please leave a comment as it will help me to improve further and hone my skills. PS: After the pipe restoration was completed, nearly 15 days later my guide and mentor, Mr. Steve casually asked me if I had decided to straighten the stem. This set me thinking that here is a gentleman who is still thinking about the bent stem and that he is still doing so as he is convinced that a straight stem would look nicer on the pipe and would be original to the pipe. This convinced me to re-straighten the stem to its original. I place a fluffy pipe cleaner through the airway to prevent it from collapsing due to heating and with a heat gun; I heat the stem till it is pliable and straighten out the stem just by eyeballing the shape till satisfied. Here are a few pictures after the stem was straightened. Yes, there are a few minor issues which is a direct result of the process like the alignment of the shank end with the tenon end and slight dullness in the shiny stem etc, but they will be addressed subsequently. The overall appearance of the pipe is much better and the shank flow into the stem is more fluid and even. Thanks Mr. Steve!!

 

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Restoring a “Naturel” Bent Sitter


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

The next pipe on my work table is a beautifully grained sitter with a nice feel in hand and light weight to boot, with a fantastic balance when clenched (though I do not like to clench). This pipe has been with me for a very long time, awaiting its turn for restoration, in fact for so long that now I do not even remember how it ended up with me!! It’s definitely not from my inherited collection.

If anyone loves a briar pipe with tightly packed, distinct and beautiful bird’s eye grain at all, then this sitter will definitely attract such a smoker. It has lovely bird’s eye grains on either side of the bowl, extending towards the front from either sides but not quite joining. On the front part of the bowl and towards the rear, densely packed cross grain adds to the visual appeal of the stummel. The cross grain on the back of the bowl continues on to the top half and left bottom portion of the shank while the cross grain in the front extends to the bottom of the heel. I believe the following pictures will do far greater justice to the stummel visually than my limited descriptive powers!! This is one beautifully carved pipe where it appears that the grains dictated the end shape of the pipe and that the carver has done great justice to this beautiful art of nature!!!! It is stamped on the left of the shank as “NATUREL” while the right is stamped as “MADE IN LONDON” over “ENGLAND”. At the bottom surface of the shank, near the shank end, is stamped the numeral “300”, which could be the shape code. All my sincere and untiring efforts to search for information on this pipe have come to a naught. Any help to unravel the mysteries surrounding this pipe and pipe maker is welcome and would be highly appreciated.

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
The chamber shows a nice even build up of a thick cake which makes it difficult to comment on the condition of the inner walls of the chamber. There is a light overflow of lava over the rim top. The inner rim edge of the rim has a number of minor dents which could easily be addressed by creating a slight bevel. The outer rim too has numerous dents and dings all around its circumference. The rim top also had an uneven surface, probably caused by negligent handling of the pipe by the previous owner.The surface of the stummel is covered in dust and grime giving it a dull and lackluster appearance. The stummel surface is peppered with numerous dents, dings and a couple of marks akin to a road rash, probably caused by rubbing against a hard surface during storage. There is one fill in the stummel on the left side. There are a number of small mysterious spots on the left and front side on the stummel. These spots are definitely not fills and neither are they water marks!!!! I shall try to learn more about these mysterious spots as I progress during the restoration. The mortise is surprisingly clean and air flow through it is open and full. The vulcanite saddle bent stem has an aluminum ridged stinger. Heavy tooth chatter is seen on both surfaces of the stem towards the lip with comparatively lighter bite marks on the upper surface. This issue should not be a major headache to address. The lip edge on both sides is crisp but lightly damage. The saddle portion of the stem has gouges on the left side and how did it get there? It’s a mystery!!!!! The finned torpedo shell shaped stinger is dirty and would need a thorough cleaning. The quality of vulcanite is good and should turn out beautifully.THE PROCESS
I reamed the chamber with size 1 PipNet reamer head. To reach the areas where the PipNet reamer could not reach to remove the carbon cake, I used my smaller fabricated knife and scraped out all the remaining cake. I further used a folded piece of 180 grit sand paper to sand out the last traces of remaining cake and expose the walls of the chamber to ascertain that there are no cracks/ heat fissures, and there were none. I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad dipped in isopropyl alcohol to remove the carbon dust left behind by all the reaming and sanding process. The walls of the chamber were solid with no damage. I gently scraped the rim top surface with a sharp knife to remove the lava overflow. This was followed by cleaning the mortise with cue tips and pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol. I scraped out the now moistened gunk in the mortise with my fabricated spatula and followed it up with a second round of cleaning with pipe cleaners. This further eliminated traces of old smells from previous usage. However, the dents and dings to the rim top surface and edges are now clearly exposed. The internals of the stummel are now clean and fresh. Now, it was the turn of the external surface of the stummel to get cleaned up. Using a hard bristled tooth brush dipped in undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap, I very deliberately scrubbed the surface of the stummel. I cleaned the rim too. The stummel and rim top was dried using paper napkins and soft cotton cloth. I am not very happy the way the rim top appears at this stage with all the dents, dings and uneven inner and outer rim edges. This will need to be addressed. But now that the stummel surface is nice and clean, the beautiful bird’s eye and cross grains on the stummel present themselves in all their glory. Can’t wait to see the grains in their resplendent beauty once I am done with final polishing and buffing!! After cleaning the rim top with Murphy’s oil soap, I had observed that the rim top surface, outer and the inner rim edge was uneven, presenting a very sorry appearance. I topped the rim on a 220 grit sand paper, checking frequently till I was satisfied that the uneven surface is completely addressed. The inner and outer rim edge is still uneven, though much better than before topping. Using a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper pinched between my thumb and fore finger, I shaped a light bevel on the inner edge and a slightly prominent bevel on the outer rim edge. I was careful while shaping the outer bevel as I did not want to greatly alter the overall shape of the pipe. The rim surface and both edges now look pristine. Subjecting the rim top and edges to a regime of micromesh pad polish will further enhance the finish and help in blending the bevel with overall shape of the stummel. Next, I decided to address the dents, dings, road rash marks, mystery spots and one fill on the stummel surface. As I have remarked earlier, the mystery spots were indeed baffling. I tried to erase them by spot cleaning these blemishes using acetone followed by alcohol and finally by sanding the stummel with sand paper, but to no avail. These buggers appear to keep winking at me mischievously!!!!! I turned to my mentor, Mr. Steve and shared pictures of these spots and tricks employed (though unsuccessfully at that) to address them. These spots baffled him too. He thought over it, researched and suggested that these could be “Root nodules”. This seemed a plausible explanation. My research on root nodules says that these are found on the roots of plants, primarily legumes that form a symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, rhizobia. It is known that this process has evolved multiple times within the legumes, as well as in other species found within the Rosid clade (flowering plant species) and Erica arboria (briar wood) is a flowering plant which falls within the Rosid clade. Thus, these spots are most likely root nodules which have developed in this piece of briar and there is nothing that can be done to eliminate these spots. You cannot fight nature’s mysteries!!

With the mystery of the spots resolved, I proceed to refreshing the fill and addressing the road rash. I reduced the road rash by sanding and removed the old fill. I trowel a mix of briar dust and superglue in to this gouge and over the road rash marks and set it aside to cure. I overfill the gouges as it helps in subsequent blending of these fills with the rest of the stummel during the sanding process.While the fills were curing, I worked the stem. Using a Bic lighter, I flamed both the surfaces of the stem. The heat from the flame helps the vulcanite to rise to the surface and in the process addresses to a great extent all the issues of tooth chatter. I followed it by reshaping the lip edges with a flat needle file. I further sand the entire stem with 220 followed by 400, 600 and 800 grit sand paper. This helps to reduce the sanding marks left behind by the more abrasive 220 grit paper. To bring a deep shine to the vulcanite stem, I went through the complete set of micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem with alcohol after each wet pad and rubbed it down with Extra Virgin Olive oil. The internals of the stem was cleaned out using alcohol and pipe cleaners. The fills had hardened by the next day and with a flat head needle file I proceeded to sand the fills to a rough match with the rest of the stummel. Further blending of the fills was achieved by sanding the entire stummel with 220, 320, 600 and 800 grit sand papers. I am pretty satisfied with the appearance of the fill and stummel at this stage.At this stage my aim was to bring a deep shine to the briar and highlight the lovely grain which is what had attracted me to this pipe in the first place. I wet sand the stummel with 1500 to 2400 grit pads and follow it up by dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I had wiped the stummel with a moist cloth after every wet sanding pad as it gives me an idea of progress being made. Save for the dark spot of the fill, the stummel now looks amazing with all the bird’s eye grain and cross grain peeking out of every inch of the stummel!! And this brings me to a difficult decision; should I stain it or let it be? I decide not to stain the stummel as it would take away the natural look of the briar while suppressing the appearance of the grain. Here is how the stummel looks at this point in restoration. I rub a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to briar and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance. The balm works to rehydrate and revitalize the briar. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush to bring a deeper shine to the stummel. To finish, I re-attach the stem with the stummel. I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel (actually it is not the brand machine, but a local machine which is similar).  I set the speed at about half of the full power and applied White Diamond compound to the entire pipe. I wiped/ buffed the pipe with a soft cotton cloth to clear it of any leftover compound dust. I then mounted another cotton cloth wheel on to the polishing machine and applied several coats of carnauba wax. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The completed pipe looks lovely, fresh and vibrant; the photographs in this case, do not do justice to the appearance of this beautiful pipe. Thank you for having the patience to reach this far while reading the write up.

Life for a Beat up Bari Senior Old Briar Pick Axe


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue came from a pipe that Jeff purchased from an antique shop in Brookings, Oregon. He stopped by there on a trip last fall and picked up a few pipes. He picked up quite a few of his pipes and they included this interesting, Kriswill like Bari Senior. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and read Bari over Senior over Old Briar. On the right side it said Made in Denmark over the shape number 503. It is a pick axe shaped pipe with a deep pointed bowl and a narrow shank. The entire pipe had some beautiful mixed grain around the bowl but it was covered with deep cut marks on both sides and the front of the bowl. The rim top was covered with lava and darkening. The pipe was filthy but the grain underneath was rich and the finish looked like it would clean up well. The stem is vulcanite and has a pinched side on both left and right just past the saddle. The stem is oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides at the button edge. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before clean up. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim from various angles to capture the condition of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. There was a thick coat of lava on the rim and the cake in the bowl. It appeared that the beveled inner edges were in good condition. The outer edges actually appeared to be in excellent condition.He also took a series of photos of the sides of the bowl and shank to show the beautiful grain on the pipe but also the serious damage to the bowl – large gouges in the briar all around the bowl sides and front. The number of the gouges was a nightmare. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the left side of the shank. It reads as noted above. The first stamp BARI is legible. The second line that reads Senior and the third that reads Old Briar are both less legible.The next two photos show the stem surface. They show the tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The stem is oxidized and has a thick build up around the button end. The pinched stem is a beautiful and sleek addition to the pipe.Once again, Jeff did his usual thorough clean up job on the pipe so that  when it arrived here in Vancouver it looked really good. 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 all of the lava build up on the beveled rim top of the pipe. The rim top looked pretty good though there were scratches in the flat top and a little darkening on the inner bevel toward the front of the bowl. The grain was beautiful but there were a lot of deep gouges in the briar around the sides of the bowl. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and was able to remove the oxidation. The pipe looked very good.I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work. I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before I started my restoration of the pipe. The rim top was clean but had some nicks on the flat surface and some darkening on the inside edge of the rim at the back of the bowl. The stem was quite clean with some light tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside near the button.I took some close up photos of the sides and front of the bowl to show the deep gouges in the briar. They were cuts rather than dents so steaming would not repair them. This would take some sanding and then strategic filling and staining to blend them into the briar. Time would tell if I could achieve what I wanted to do with this one. I started my restoration of the pipe by dealing with this damage. I sanded the damage areas on the bowl sides and front with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I worked on the areas until the lighter damaged areas were removed and the deeper ones were less visible.I filled in the deeper gouges with clear super glue. You can see the repairs are almost like pock marks around the bowl. They also highlight the extent of the damage on the sides of the bowl were when I started.When the repairs had cured I sanded them smooth with folded 220 grit sandpaper until they blended in to the surrounding briar. As I sanded I also found more damage on the front of the bowl and filled it in and sanded it smooth. I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad to remove the sanding dust. I wanted to remove it in preparation for restaining the bowl.I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage on the rim top and edges of the bowl. It did not take too much sanding to remove the damaged areas and leave the top ready for the next step.I sanded the bowl and rim with a medium and a fine grade sanding sponge to remove the sanding marks from the briar on the bowl and rim top. It was the first step in polishing the briar to ready it for staining. I continued to polish the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I  wiped the briar down after each pad with an alcohol dampened cotton pad. I decided to stain the pipe with contrasting stains – a dark brown undercoat and a cherry top coat. My thinking was that this would minimize the visual overload of repairs. I stained the bowl with the dark brown aniline stain and flamed it to set the stain in the grain of the briar. I repeated the process until the coverage was even and then set it aside for the afternoon. My thinking was that the dark stain would highlight the grain and also hide some of the repairs to the briar bowl.I wiped down the excess stain on the bowl with a cotton pad and isopropyl alcohol. I wanted to make the stain a bit more transparent and prepare it for buffing. I buffed the pipe with Red Tripoli on the buffing wheel to remove the excess dark stain. After buffing the bowl the Tripoli the grain was darker and the contrast between the light and the dark on the grain was quite stunning. I wiped the bowl down with alcohol and then rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm into briar to enliven and preserve it. I buffed it with a soft cloth to raise the shine at this point. Once I had buffed off the balm I gave it a top coat of Danish Oil Cherry stain. I applied it with a soft cotton pad and let it sit for about 30 minutes before buffing it off with a cloth. Here is what it looked like as it dried. With the second coat of stain finished, 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 lessened. The finish looks very good with the combined rich brown and cherry stain on the bowl and rim. The stem was in good enough condition that I was able to polish out the tooth chatter and marks by wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I then dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. There was a spot of metal embedded in the vulcanite of the stem on the top left side ahead of the button. I have marked it with a red circle to highlight it for you as you look at the photo. It does not disappear as the stem is polish but seems to go quite deep in the rubber of the stem. Since I had finished both the bowl and stem I put them together and polished them both with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple 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 grain around the sides of the bowl really began to stand out with contrast as I buff the bowl. The rich dark brown undercoat and cherry top coat finish on the briar works well with polished black vulcanite stem. Bari made some beautiful pipes and this is certainly one of them. The darker stain does the job hiding the repairs to the gouges and makes the grain really show through. This pipe is a great feeling pipe in the hand and I am sure that it will be an amazing smoker. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 2 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/2 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. I will be putting this beauty on the rebornpipes store shortly and it can be added to your collection. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this Bari Senior Old Briar 503 Pick Axe.