Blog by Steve Laug
Every so often I receive pipes from pipemen and women who want them to be sold and the proceeds go to the NGO I work for in my real job! It is an organization called the SA Foundation Canada (www.safoundation.com) and it provides long terms housing, recovery and skill development for women and their children escaping sexual exploitation and trafficking. The organization is based in Vancouver, Canada but has projects in 7 countries and 12 cities globally. It is an organization that is cutting edge in the recovery process for these women and their kids with a success rate of over 70% globally. That simply means that out of every 100 women who enter our program 70 do not go back to their previous lifestyle. It is an amazing organization to work for and it has big vision and a commitment to thinking globally and acting locally. The admin and fundraising costs are 10% meaning that of every dollar donated $.90 goes to the work of providing for the recovery, care and training of the women and their children.
I am posting four pipes that have been donated for this cause. I am donating the restoration work on them and the individuals are donating the income generated by the sale of the pipes. This is the first of those pipes. It is a Nording Made in Denmark Brandy 13. It is a beautiful pipe that has stunning grain. The stamping on the shank reads in a circle Nording Made in Denmark with the number 13 in the center of the circle. The pipe is in excellent condition. There were some light nicks and marks on the rim top and inner edge as well as some darkening on the rim edges. The stem is acrylic with a silver N on the top. It has some light tooth chatter and marks near the button. The bowl and shank were dirty from light use but there was no cake in the bowl. I took some photos of the pipe before I started working on it. It really is a stunning pipe and feels great in the hand. I took photos of the rim top to show the light damage that is present on the top and on the inner edge of the bowl. I took photos of the stem as well to try to capture the tooth chatter on both sides.I took a photo of the COM stamp on the underside of the shank and it reads as noted above. It is clear and readable with the stamp running around the circle.I cleaned out the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipes cleaners. The shank was quite dirty but the airway in the stem was pretty clean. I repeated the scrubbing until the cleaners came out clean.I carefully worked on the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 and 400 grit sandpaper. I worked slowly so as not to damage the rim top. It took a little work but I was able to remove the nicks and chips that marred the inner edge and keep the bowl in round.I polished the rim top with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded it with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads and wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad. The rim top came out looking very good. The darkening was lessened and the damage was smoothed out. The rim was looking very good at this point. I rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar. It is a product that I have really come to appreciate. Mark Hoover crafted a product that enlivens, cleans and protects briar. I use it on every pipe I work on and find that with a single application the briar comes alive with deep glow. I let it sit for about 10 minutes then buff it off with a soft cotton cloth. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth marks and chatter from the stem surface and polished the area I had sanded with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.Denicare Mouthpiece Polish is a gritty read paste that I have been using as a pre-polish for the mouthpieces. It removes a lot of very minor scratches and works well in removing the hard to get area in the crease of the button. I work it on with my fingers and then scrub the stem with a cotton pad and wipe it off when finished. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down with a damp cloth between each set of pads. The stem began to take on a deep shine.Once I finished I put the stem back on the shank and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond polish using a lightly loaded pad and a soft touch. I wanted to raise a shine and buff out some of the small scratches in the briar and the acrylic stem. I gave the stem a vigorous polish being careful around the silver inlaid N on the stem top. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a great looking Nording pipe whose sale price is going for a great cause. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outer Bowl Diameter: 1 inches, Chamber Diameter: ¾ of an inch. The pipe will soon be on the rebornpipes store and you can purchase it and support a very worthy cause. Thanks for walking with me through the restoration.