Daily Archives: March 23, 2019

Breathing Life into a Chacom Paris Dress Black 43 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I finished the restoration of one of the pipes that Jeff and I picked up from a fellow in Pennsylvania, a Chacom Paris straight Brandy. I wrote about that restoration on the blog at this link: (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/03/22/breathing-life-into-a-chacom-paris-861-quarter-bent-brandy/). I had a second Chacom Paris in my restoration bin that needed some work. It had come to us from a fellow in New York who periodically picks up pipes for Jeff and me. It was a dress bent billiard with a shiny black painted coat around the bowl and shank. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank Chacom over Paris and there is Chacom CC logo stamped in the left side of the tapered, vulcanite stem. On the underside of the shank next to the ferrule on the shank was the shape number 43. It was very dirty with a thin cake in the bowl and a light layer of lava overflowing on to the rim top. From the photos it appeared that the inner and outer edges were in good condition. Other than a few small nicks in the black paint and a dirty finish it appeared to be in good condition. The stem and the shank end had a decorative metal ferrule that was supposed to meet once the stem was in place. On this pipe the stem sat well in the shank and there was no gap between the stem and shank. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took a photo of the rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the light overflow of lava. The cake was thin and the lava overflow is a thicker toward the back of the beveled rim. The bowl and the rim actually looked very good. The next photo shows the right side of the bowl and shank to give a clear picture of the condition of the dress finish on the pipe. It was in very good condition. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the left side of the shank and the shape number 43 on the underside of the shank near the ferrule to capture the clarity of it even under the grime. He also included some photos of the CC logo on the left side of the stem and the FRANCE stamp on the underside. The vulcanite stem was in okay condition other than some tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button.Just a reminder from the previous blog on the Chacom Paris pipes:

The brand Chacom turned up (1934) after fusion of Chapuis-Comoy with La Bruyère. Yves Grenard (†2012), second cousin of Pierre Comoy headed the company from 1971. He was responsible for Chapuis Comoy’s recovering its independence from Comoy. His son Antoine Grenard took over the direction of the company in 2007. Chacom is a brand of Cuty-Fort Entreprises (Jeantet, Vuillard, Jean Lacroix, Ropp …) (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-chacom.html).

Pipedia gives a great historical overview of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Chacom). I have not included that here but if you are interested click on the link and you can read about the company from its inception to its current status.

I turned to address the pipe itself. Jeff had already cleaned up the pipe before sending it to me. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean the finish and the lava on the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the pipe. When it arrived here in Vancouver it was a clean pipe and I knew what I had to work with. I took photos of it before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. Jeff was able to clean up the cake and the lava overflow that was shown in the rim and bowl in the earlier photos. There was some damage to the rim top at the back of the bowl. The stem had some tooth chatter and tooth marks on the surface of both sides.I removed the stem and set it aside to address the issues with the rim top. I polished it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down with a damp cloth after each pad. I was able to polish out much of the damage. The finish on the rest of the bowl was in good condition. The rim top was worn and there was some paint missing along the inner and outer edges. I decided to rub the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. After it sat for a little while I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth. The pipe had a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl. I used a black Sharpie pen to touch up the damaged areas around the rim top. I touched up both the inner and outer edges of the bowl.I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem at this point in the  process. The stem had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside. I sanded the surfaces with 220 grit sandpaper and was able to remove the majority of the damage. I filled in the one remaining tooth mark on the top side with clear super glue and set the stem aside to allow the repairs to cure.After the repair had cured I blended it into the surface of the vulcanite with a folded piece of 220 and when finished started polishing the stem with 400 grit sandpaper. The repaired area looked good at this point in the process. There was a faint light spot in the repair that I could not sand out but it blended in very well.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I polished Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final hand buff with a microfiber cloth. I put the stem back on the pipe and the pipe to the buffer. I carefully worked the stem over with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches. I was careful not to buff the bowl and damage the painted surface. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up really well and the rim top looked good. I was happy with the look of the finished pipe. The photos below show what the pipe looks like after the restoration. The Black Dress Chacom Paris with the metal fitments another very elegant looking pipe. The polished black vulcanite stem looks really good with the browns of the briar. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This is another pipe that I will be putting it on the rebornpipes online store shortly, if you are interested in adding it to your collection. The shape of the pipe and the bent stem give this pipe a great feel in the hand and the mouth. This one should be another great smoker. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another beauty!

Advertisements

A Gift for a US Coast Guard Man – A Carved Bearded Sailor, ‘Ole Crusty’


Blog by Dal Stanton

Tina commissioned the restoration of 3 pipes and one Churchwarden project by repurposing a bowl.  Her purpose was to benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria while at the same time purchasing great vintage pipes that would be gifted to special men in her life.  The first of these pipes, the Lindbergh Select Poker, which came out beautifully, is for Tina’s brother who served as a naval aviator and flew on P3 airplanes flying over different bodies of water to do reconnaissance missions and who has many stories of his adventures.  I’m now looking at the Carved Bearded Sailor – my first try at restoring a sculpted face.  There are no identifying marks on the pipe, and I’ve searched closely with a magnifying glass.  I acquired the Carved Bearded Sailor from a Lot I snagged on French eBay, so my assumption is that this pipe has a French origin – it’s a good guess!  When Tina saw this pipe, she immediately took it in hand and said she knew who would receive this pipe – her older brother who started in the Army but later spent 25 years in the US Coast Guard as a helicopter pilot involved in such activities as law enforcement (boarding and inspecting ships) and search and rescue – aiding vessels in trouble on the high seas regardless of the flags they flew.  Here are the pictures I took of the Carved Bearded Sailor commissioned for the ‘Coastie’ on my work table: I love the old crusty look of the sailor’s face encased in this carving.  What I like most of all is that it is a nice carving, but the thick varnish makes it look like a tourist trinket pipe to me.  It is apparent that the steward who had this pipe smoked him well!  The moderate cake buildup in the chamber and the signs of lava and grime on the ‘cap’ – we don’t have a rim with this guy, we have a cap! – point to a pipe that was used and not put on a shelf to collect dust.  He’s got some history, but I can’t say how much and I’m guessing that his COM is France.  The only thing I’m not excited about with this crusty sailor pipe is the varnished finish – I’m not a fan of a heavy varnish, candy apple gloss finishes.  The challenge would be, if I were to remove the varnish as part of the restoration, and dive into polishing and buffing the nooks and crannies of the carving, it might prove to be a daunting task.  Another factor would be to maintain the roughness that gives it a rustic uniqueness.  The carving is not a porcelain doll smoothness – its crusty like the sailor depicted!  I want to clean up the carving but not lose the rustic, roughness that is to me, what makes it special.  The stem has some oxidation and tooth chatter but not much of an issue.

I begin the restoration of the Carved Bearded Sailor by wetting a pipe cleaner with isopropyl 95% and cleaning the airway of the stem.  I then place the stem in a soak of Before & After Deoxidizer with other pipes in The Pipe Steward queue.After several hours, I take the Sailor’s stem out and let the Before & After Deoxidizer drain off the stem.  I then run another pipe cleaner wetted with alcohol through the stem’s airway to clean it of the Deoxidizer.  I also wipe off the raised oxidation with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95%.  The Deoxidizer does a good job.I then apply paraffin oil to the stem to begin revitalizing the vulcanite.I haven’t yet decided how exactly I will approach the restoration of the stummel, but I decide to simply clean it the normal way first and see how things look.  The chamber is small, only 5/8 inches wide, and this is too small for the Pipnet Reaming heads.  So, I employ the Savinelli Fitsall tool to scrape the chamber walls in close quarters. As I scrape the chamber walls I find that there’s a good bit of cake build-up in the chamber.  After a while, I notice that there appears to be no draft hole at the bottom of the chamber.  Hmmm, not sure about this!  I try to push a pipe cleaner through the airway via the mortise and it is a no go.  I take a sharp dental probe and dig a bit at the floor of the chamber and a bit of cake crumbles revealing a hole, not where I was looking for it, but more toward the bottom.  I keep digging and another hole appears – forward of the other.  With the help of a stiff wire, I’m able to punch through the blockage allowing me to insert a pipe cleaner.  I take a picture to show what I’m seeing.  At first, I thought that what I was seeing was a cavity underneath what appears now to be a bridge of carbon cake between the two holes.  I continue to dig with the dental probe, and it appears that what I’m looking at is metal.  It appears to be a metal insert with two holes allowing air to pass through.  Interesting – I’ve never seen this before.  I’m not able to see anything through the mortise that looks like metal.I continue the cleanup of the chamber by sanding the chamber with 240 grade paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen.  I then wipe the chamber with a cotton cloth wetted with alcohol to clean the carbon dust. It seems that it is a 2-holed metal insert – like an internal stinger, which pushes my thinking more toward a French invention, but still only guessing.  Other than the interesting two-holed insert, the chamber appears to be in good shape with no heating problems.Next, to clean the external surface of the carving, I use undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and scrub with a cotton pad and bristled tooth brush to get into the curves, nooks and crannies of the carving, I use as well a bristled brass wire brush to work on the lava and discoloration on the cap. I then rinse the stummel with cool tap water.  The surface of the carving cleans up nicely as well as the rim/cap. Next, the internal cleaning.  Using pipe cleaners and cotton buds wetted with isopropyl 95%, I go to work. The design of the internal metal insert is interesting.  The airflow is pulled downwardly to the two holes that are on the floor of the chamber, not where the draft hole is normally located. I scrape the sides of the mortise with a dental spatula to excavate tars and oils.  I also employ a drill bit to reach into the chamber created by the metal insert below the chamber floor.  I hand turn the drill bit which pulls the crud out.  The internals are pretty nasty overall.  Eventually, buds begin to surface cleaner until I’m satisfied that the internals are clean.  I arrive at a decision point.  The question is, do I keep the thick varnish finish and work with it or do I remove it and figure out a different approach to the external surface – natural briar or dye?  In principle, I don’t like the shiny finish that varnish produces.  Why? You’re not looking at the shine of the briar, but the shine produced by the varnish.  I can understand, with a carving like this, it’s an easier and quicker way to produce a ‘finished’ shine, but to me it’s mediocre. The other problem is that when the finish is thicker, it can chip and leave portals to the raw wood which will obviously be a different hue and texture – mess.  I see evidence of this as I scan the carved surface.  In the end, my dislike of mediocrity when restoring pipes took over and I decide to renew finish on the Sailor so that hopefully, it doesn’t lose its quaint roughness but cleans and sharpens it so that the carving is enhanced not stifled!  So my plan is ratified taking some last pictures of the candy apple finish! To start over, I put the stummel in an acetone soak to remove all the old finish from the craggy and carved surface.  I leave it in the soak overnight.  Time to turn out the lights.The next day, I fish ‘Old Crusty’ out of the acetone soak.  The finish is partially removed but most is loosened.  I use 000 steel wool in combination with the brass wire brush to remove the residual varnish from the stummel surface. Parts of the old finish I scrape off with my thumb nail and it’s like congealed meat fat.  I use a dental probe as well to dig into the crevices to remove dirt and gummed up varnish.  Finally, most of the removal is completed – all that I can see of the old varnish is removed.  I take a picture to show the progress to this point.Next, I continue cleaning and clearing the surface by focusing the steel wool on areas of smooth briar to sand and buff up.  I aim for the flat surfaces to tease out the grain – which I find are many!  The obvious smooth surface is the cap and bill, but there are also the eyebrows, the nose and nose bridge, the cheek tops, the mustache, the top of the beard, the cheeks…  As I buff with the 000 steel wool on these surfaces, the carved face begins to emerge as a more distinct image.  I reach into all the major crevasses as well.  I’m please with the results of this stage.  I take pictures at the conclusion of the steel wool buffing sanding and shaping. After using the steel wool, I sand with the micromesh pads.  I start by wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400 then dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.   With each phase, I take a picture offering a different perspective of the face that emerges through the micromesh process.  I watch amazed! Before switching to the stem, I come to another decision point.  I had been thinking that I would apply a dye – probably a light Fiebing’s Saddle Tan hue to bring out more pop. After completing the micromesh pad process, the briar of this stummel needs no help with ‘pop’!  I decide to stay with the natural grain that has emerged and to deepen it, I apply Before & After Restoration Balm to the carved stummel.  I’m anxious to see how the Balm acts on the carved surface – how it will enhance the carved face.  I put some Balm on my fingers and work it into the briar.  It takes some effort and the help of a cotton bud and a toothpick to push the Balm into the crevasses of the sculpting.  After applying the Balm throughout and working it in thoroughly, after about 20 minutes, I use a cotton pad to start wiping off the excess Balm and again, reaching into the crevasses to remove Balm.  The Balm eventually dissolves and is absorbed.  I finish by buffing the stummel with a microfiber cloth.  Wow!  The Balm did a great job deepening the tone of the briar.  I’m already loving the profound difference between the buffed sheen and texture of natural briar and the candy apple varnish finish that I started with.Letting Ole Crusty rest awhile, I now turn to the stem.  The stem is generally in good shape – negligible tooth impact is found on the bit.  The button has one compression that will be easily addressed with sanding.  The only thing I notice that is not what I like is that the entire stem has a very rough texture to it.  The Before & After Deoxidizer did a great job removing the oxidation, but the resulting texture needs addressing.I use 240 grade paper to sand out the minor bit and button issues.  I also sand the entire stem to remove the roughness.  To avoid shouldering the stem shank facing, I use a plastic disk on the end to butt up against as I sand.I follow the 240 grade by wet sanding the entire stem with 600 grade paper and then using 0000 steel wool.I move straight away to sanding with micromesh pads by wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400, followed by dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  After each set of three pads I apply Obsidian Oil to rejuvenate the vulcanite. Now, on the homestretch.  I reunite stem and stummel and mount the Dremel with a cotton cloth buffing wheel and I apply Blue Diamond compound to stem and stummel.  In order not to load the crevasses with compound which would be a pure nightmare to clean out, I keep the buffing wheel on the high briar points where there is smoother briar.  What I discover though, after starting the Blue Diamond application, is that the troughs of the carving are wide enough that I leave behind no compound as I work the wheel in these areas.  I think that using a Dremel with it’s miniature buffing wheels, gives me an edge in situations like these.  After finishing application of the compound, I transition to applying carnauba wax in the same way.  I mount another cotton cloth wheel to the Dremel, maintain a speed of about 40% full power and apply the wax over stem and carved stummel. After application of the wax, I give the pipe a rigorous hand-buffing with a microfiber cloth to raise the intricate shine and to make sure there’s no wax caked up in the crevasses.

When I began this project, I had no idea what I would be able to do to improve the presentation of the carved sailor’s face.  I wanted to retain the rustic, rough feel but bring out more of the grain and contours of the face carving.  This is my first restoration of a carved figure and I’m very pleased with the huge difference in the quality of the carved presentation by uncovering it or freeing it from the thick candy apple glaze that entrapped it.  The minute appearances of briar grain have been teased out and now highlight the various facial components of the carving in a satisfying and attractive way.  In my view, the restoration took the Carved Bearded Sailor from a trinket-like feel to an expression of artistic beauty and creativity.  I started calling the bearded sailor, ‘Ole Crusty’, during the process of getting to know him better and helping him come out!  I think the name fits the image of the old bearded sailor who was weathered by life, that the carver was seeking to capture and bring to life in this pipe.  Tina commissioned this pipe for her brother, a Coast Guard man, and I trust that she and he will like ‘Ole Crusty’ as well I do!  Tina commissioned this pipe from the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection and will have the first opportunity to acquire ‘Ole Crusty’ 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!  I begin with a Before & After of Ole Crusty:

An Antique Store Find – A Peterson’s “Sports” 5 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I am back at it after a slow start this morning – long week, late nights combined for a sleep in this morning. The first pipe on the table is from a pipe hunt that Jeff did in Montana. It came from an antique shop where we have often found some good pipes. It is a small Peterson’s bent billiard with a normal Peterson’s P-lip stem. This has some stunning birdseye and flame grain around the bowl and shank. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank Peterson’s over “SPORTS” and on the right side Made in the Republic of Ireland and the shape number 5. It was another really dirty pipe like most of the ones we are finding. The finish was very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and a layer of lava overflowing on to the rim top. It was hard to know what the condition of the rim top or what the inner edge of the rim looked like because of the lava and cake. The outer edge of the rim had some nicks and dents in it that are visible in the photos of the rim top. Other than being dirty the finish also appeared to look very good. The stem was lightly oxidized with light tooth chatter and marks. The P stamp on the left side of the stem was faded. The P-lip was in ok condition. Jeff took some photos of the pipe to show the condition it was in before he started working on it. He took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava. The cake is thick and hard and the lava overflow is heavy on the rim. There is old tobacco debris stuck in the cake. The bowl and the rim are a real mess. I used to think it was carelessness that let a pipe get this way but the longer I work on pipes the more I realize that this must have been someone’s favourite pipe. I wish it could speak and tell us its story.He took a photo of the right side and heel of the bowl to show some of the grain and the condition of the pipe. The patina on the pipe is really quite beautiful and I hope to preserve that in the clean up and restoration.Jeff took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank to capture the clarity of it even under the grime. It is clear and legible. You can also see the P stamp on the left side of the stem.The vulcanite stem was heavily oxidized (as is often the case with Peterson’s) and there was tooth wear on the top edge of the p-lip button. The stem also had a lot of chatter both sides and some calcification around the p-lip and the first inch of the stem.I remembered reading a blog on the “Sports” line on Mark Irwin’s Blog so I turned there and did a quick search (http://www.petersonpipenotes.org/tag/peterson-sports-pipe). I found it and read through it again. It refers to a new line called the Sportsman, but there is a section on the blog that refers to the line that I have in hand. I quote from that portion of the article below.

K&P has shown an interest in pocket pipes almost since their founding. The 1905 catalog features a number of them, including outdoor pipes like the R.I.C. (which stands for Royal Irish Constabulary, the name of the official Irish police force back in the day), and indoor “opera” pipes like the Oval and the Pat. The oval-bowled pipes were meant to fit neatly inside one’s tail coat for smoking entr’act.

Since then there’s been the SPORTS line, introduced in 1947 but not well known in the States until the early 1970s. These pipes used full-size Classic Lines bowls but cut down the shanks to accommodate small P-Lips (except on the original 5 Bulldog, which just used a stubby full-sized stem. There was a renewed interest in the Sports line in the first decade of this century, emanating from Italy, where they’ve been a constant seller over the years, and some of them have made their way onto the U.S. market.

The pipe I have in hand comes from those early days as is noted by the stamping and the shape of the P on the stem. I now know that it was made post 1947. The Made in the Republic of Ireland stamping on the right side of the shank gave me a clue for more potential help in narrowing the date. I turned to Pipedia’s Peterson’s Dating Guide  to see if I could narrow the date further (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_Peterson_Dating_Guide;_A_Rule_of_Thumb). Sadly it widened the field rather than narrowing it down. I quote the pertinent part of the article below.

The Republic Era is from 1949 until the present. The Republic of Ireland was formed on 17 April 1949. From 1949 to present the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

That is as close as I can get on the date. It thus was made somewhere between 1949 and the 1970s. My brother found it in a Montana antique shop so it had made it to the American Market.

When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver I was amazed at how good it looked. Jeff had already done the usual cleanup of the pipe before sending it to me. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean off the grime off the finish and the heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the pipe. I took photos of it before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. Jeff was able to clean up the thick cake and lava overflow that was shown in the rim and bowl in the earlier photos. He was also able to get rid of the grime and grit in the surface of the briar. The rim top looked a lot better than when he started. The inner edge showed some damage and was a little out of round. There were some nicks on the outer edge but overall it should clean up very well. I decided to address the issue with the inner edge of the rim first. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage. It cleaned up pretty well.Once I finished with the work on the rim edge, I polished the surface with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down with a damp cloth after each pad. I was able to polish out the scratches without damaging the finish on the bowl or the rim. The finish looked very good once I was done polishing it. I decided to leave the small spots on the bowl sides as they were a testament of the pipe’s journey’s and I did not want to risk damaging the patina. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. After it sat for a little while I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem at this point in the  process. I sanded the tooth chatter and marks on the button and the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and 400 grit sandpaper.I polished the stem with 1500 grit micromesh and cleaned up the stamping on the side. I used a white out correction pen to put some white back in the stamped P. I buffed it out with a folded pipe cleaner and then cleaned it up with a 1500 grit micromesh pad.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil to remove the sanding dust. I polished Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final hand buff with some Obsidian Oil and laid it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the pipe and the pipe to the buffer. I worked it over with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. I love the way that the buffer brings a shine to the pipe. I was happy with the look of this old Pete “Sports” pocket pipe. The photos below show what the pipe looks like after the restoration. The polished black vulcanite stem looks really good with the contrasting browns of the briar. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 4 1/2 inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. Still considering what I want to do with this old timer. I have not seen one like it before so it may hang around for a bit. This one should be a great smoker. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on yet one more beauty!

Time for a Meerschaum – A Fancy Gold Push Stem on a Meer Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is from a guy in New York that hunts for pipes for Jeff and me. This is a no name meerschaum billiard with a push tenon and mortise. The stem is acrylic and is a swirled golden Lucite. The pipe was one of the cleaner ones that have come our way. There was very little cake in the bowl and just some slight darkening on the rim top and on the inner edge on the left side. The bowl is almost unsmoked it is so clean with a little darkening from one or two bowls being drawn through it. The inner and outer edges of the bowl are flawless without any damage areas as is the top of the rim. The acrylic stem was in excellent condition with light tooth chatter around the button. It is a fancy turned stem the kind that I have seen on freehand pipes before but it actually looks very good with the meer. It hearkens back to the days of amber stems. It is well made and has a very comfortable button and slot. The stem is thin enough that it is comfortable in the mouth as well. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started working on it. He took photos of the rim top to show how clean the bowl was. You can see the fresh meerschaum on the walls of the bowl near the top. There is no cake in the bowl and there is no lava on the rim top.He took a photo of the right side and heel of the bowl to show how clean the externals of the meerschaum are. It is really quite pristine.When Jeff took the stem off the bowl the mortise unscrewed from the shank. He took some photos of the stem with the threaded mortise in tow. The first photo shows the inside of the shank and how clean it is. The third photo shows the threaded mortise with the push tenon inside of it. It will need to be pulled off the push tenon and threaded back into the shank. The golden acrylic stem was in excellent condition other than light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The button was in excellent condition.Jeff had already cleaned up the pipe before sending it to me. He had wiped out the bowl to remove the debris and dust in it. There was no need to ream it as there was no cake. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean off the grime off the finish and to see if he could remove some of the darkening on the left side of the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove any remnants of the few smokes that had been run through the pipe. When it arrived here in Vancouver it was a very clean pipe and really left little to do but work on the stem. I took photos of it before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show how clean and almost pristine they were when they arrived. The bowl was spotless and ready to smoke. The stem had some tooth chatter and light marks on the top and underside near the button.I sanded the button and the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and 400 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and tooth marks.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth after each pad. I gave it a coat of Conservator’s Wax when I was finish and once it dried buffed it off with a soft cloth. I put the stem back on the pipe and the pipe to the buffer. I carefully worked it over with Blue Diamond to polish meerschaum and the acrylic stem. I gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. I love the way that the buffer brings a shine to the pipe. I was happy with the look of the finished pipe. The photos below show what the pipe looks like after the restoration. This is a beautiful meerschaum that has not really been broken in. It should colour nicely as it block meerschaum.  The shape of the white bowl and the golden fancy stem are very elegant. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This pipe will soon be added to the rebornpipes online store. If you are interested in adding a virtually new meerschaum pipe to your collection let me know. This one should be a great smoker. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another beauty!