Daily Archives: February 26, 2020

Refurbishing An Inherited Pete Donegal Rocky # 999 Rhodesian Pipe.


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

Having just completed the refurbishing of S & R Rhodesian pipe with a chubby shank, I decided to work on another classic iconic shaped pipe from Peterson’s; a Donegal Rocky # 999. This pipe came to me from a huge lot of inherited pipes that were once loved by my beloved Grandfather. I selected to line up this pipe for restoration as this time around I wanted to add Rhodesian shaped pipes to my rotation and preferably with a small chamber as I am slightly low on my stock of tobacco what with the government banning import of all forms of tobacco!!

The stummel of this pipe has beautiful scraggy rustications and it sure does feel good to run your fingers over the surface of the stummel. There is a patch of smooth briar surface starting at the foot of the bowl and ending half way off the shank end and bears the stampings on this pipe. It is stamped towards the foot end as “DONEGAL” over “ROCKY” over “A PETERSON’S PRODUCT” over “MADE IN THE REPUBLIC” over “OF IRELAND” and finally in the right hand top corner towards the shank end is the shape code “999”. The shank end is adorned with a sterling silver band. The silver band bears a group of three hallmarks marks, each in an escutcheon; the first is a seated Hibernia denoting Dublin Ireland, the second is a harp denoting the silver fineness, and the third is a fancy letter “S” denoting the year. The hallmarks are slightly worn out but discernible under high magnification under bright white light. Further to the left of these hallmarks are three cartouche each bearing, from left to right, letters “K” “&” and “P” over “STERLING” over “SILVER”Having had the good fortune of researching and working on a few early Peterson’s pipes, I had read that the Donegal Rocky is Peterson’s classic range, primarily the basic entry level pipes from the brand. However, what interested me was the letter denoting the year of production. I forwarded a picture of the hallmarks to my friend and mentor, Steve Laug who promptly confirmed that the letter denotes the year 1960!!

Knowing the fact that the K & P factory sends hundreds of such sterling silver bands to the Dublin essay office for hallmarking that are to be used over a period, still dates this pipe to early 1960s.

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
The pipe, as it sits on my work table, is dirty with a thick layer of cake in the chamber while the stummel is covered in dust and grime with a heavily oxidized stem. Here are a few pictures of the pipe before I proceed with a detailed visual inspection of each part of the pipe. The rusticated stummel on this pipe is covered in a thick layer of dust and grime of nearly 58 years of use and uncared storage. The stummel appears dull and lackluster. The rusticated rim top surface is also covered in dust, lava overflow and will need to be cleaned and polished. The rich brown hues of the raised portions of the rustications contrast beautifully with the darker hues of the stummel. The stummel has a very subtle, yet discernible outward flaring rim cap which lends it its classical shape. There is a very strong smell to the cake which, perhaps, may reduce appreciably after the chamber has been cleaned. The chamber has a thick cake, which I have come to expect from all my inherited pipes, with lava overflow on the rusticated rim top surface. The cake is thick enough to prevent my little finger from going in to the chamber. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber will be ascertained once the existing cake has been taken down to the bare briar. The rusticated rim top surface has thick, dried and crumbling overflow of lava. The inner and outer rim edges appear to be in good condition, however, the same will be ascertained once the cake and lava overflow from the chamber and rim top is removed. The mortise is filled with oils and tars and specks of dried ash and tobacco is seen on the walls of the mortise. The sump is filled with dried oils, tars and gunk. Though the draught hole is open, the draw is restricted and should improve further once the shank internals and the mortise is thoroughly cleaned out. The shank face shows some nicks and chips. I shall subsequently take a call on its repairs since this damage does not, in anyway, affect the aesthetics and functionality of the pipe.The sterling silver band at the shank end is, characteristically blackened due to heavy oxidation. The saving grace is that it is intact and undamaged.The fishtailed smooth vulcanite stem is heavily oxidized with hardened calcification in the bite zone. Surprisingly, there are only a few tooth indentations on the button edge and chatter on either surfaces of the stem. The horizontal slot end of the stem is heavily oxidized to a dark brown coloration while the tenon end is covered in dried oils and tars. The tenon end also shows a number of mysterious nicks which do not affect the seating of the tenon in to the mortise and as such will be left as it is. This should be a relatively simple cleaning up job of the stem. THE PROCESS
I began the process of refurbishing this pipe by reaming the chamber with a Castleford reamer tool, using the first, second and third head. Using my fabricated knife; I further took the cake down to the bare briar. With a 150 grit sand paper, the walls of the chamber were rid of all the remnants of the cake, revealing smooth chamber walls. I further wiped the chamber with a cotton swab wetted with isopropyl alcohol to completely remove the residual carbon dust. The inner rim edge is in good condition. I scraped the shank internals with a fabricated tool to remove all the crud that had accumulated along the shank walls and further cleaned it with bristled and regular pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol. The sump was cleaned using q-tips wetted with isopropyl alcohol. I also cleaned the sump with rolled paper napkins. A few hours later and after a lot of patience, elbow grease and q-tips, the sump is finally cleaned to a great extent. I shall further draw out all the residual oils, tars and gunk by subjecting the chamber and the shank to a salt and alcohol bath.I continued the cleaning of the chamber and shank internals with a salt and alcohol bath. I use cotton balls which is an at par substitute as I have realized over the years. I draw out a wick from the cotton and along with a folded regular pipe cleaner; insert it in to the mortise and through the draught hole in to the chamber. Thereafter, I packed the chamber with cotton balls to about quarter of an inch below the rim inner edge and soaked the cotton balls with isopropyl alcohol up to the brim. About half an hour later, the level of alcohol had gone down, having being absorbed by the cotton. I topped it up once again and set it aside overnight. By next afternoon, the cotton and alcohol had drawn out all the remaining oils and tars from the chamber and mortise, fulfilling its intended task. I removed the cotton balls and ran pipe cleaners through the mortise to clean out all the loosened tars and gunk. Using my fabricated tool, I scraped out the entire loosed gunk from the sump and further cleaned it with alcohol and q-tips. The chamber now smells clean and fresh. I set the stummel to dry out naturally. While the chamber was soaking in the salt and alcohol bath, I worked the stem, starting with cleaning the internals of the stem using pipe cleaners with isopropyl alcohol (99.9% pure) and dunking the stem in to “Before and After Deoxidizer” solution developed by my friend Mark Hoover. The solution helps to draw out heavy oxidation to the surface making its subsequent removal a breeze, while minor oxidation is eliminated to a very great extent. I usually dunk stems of 5-7 pipes that are in-line for restoration and this Donegal Rocky #999 is marked in red arrow. I generally allow the stems to soak in this solution overnight for the solution to do its work.Now that the internals of the stummel were cleaned, I scrubbed the external surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush. I deliberately cleaned the rim top surface with a soft bristled brass wire brush to remove the entire lava overflow and dried it using paper towels and soft cotton cloth. The light brown hues of the raised rustications contrast beautifully with the rest of the dark stummel. I set the stummel aside to dry out naturally. I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to briar. I rubbed this balm deep in to the sandblasts with my fingers and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the light brown hues of the raised rustications contrasting with the dark stummel surface. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. As mentioned in the write up on refurbishing S & R, I had worked on the stems that had been soaking in the deoxidizer solution overnight. I fished out all the stems and cleaned them under running warm water and scrubbed the raised oxidation from the stem surface using Scotch Brite pad. I further removed the oxidation by scrubbing the stems with 0000 grade steel wool and applied a little olive oil to rehydrate the stems and set them aside for the oil to be absorbed. Unfortunately, I did not click any pictures of these stems at this stage.

This is how the stem of this pipe came out after the stem cleaning described above. Some traces of oxidation are still visible at the base of the button edges on both surfaces which needs to be removed using more invasive methods. A few minor tooth indentations are visible on the top button edge and at the base of the button edge on the lower surface. I painted both surfaces of the stem with the flame of a lighter to raise the tooth chatter and bite marks to the surface. This also helps in loosening minor oxidation from the stem surface. I sand the entire stem surface with a folded piece of a 220 grit sand paper to remove the loosened oxidation. I wiped the stem with a cotton swab and Murphy’s oil soap to further remove the oxidation. Even though the most of the tooth indentations have been eliminated by heating the damaged stem portion with the flame of a lighter, one deep indention is seen on upper and lower surface in the bite zone. However, I am happy with the way this stem appears at this stage and also with the deoxidizer solution. I filled the tooth indentation in the button edge on lower and upper stem surface with a mix of activated charcoal and CA superglue and set it aside for the fill to cure. Once the fill had cured sufficiently, with a tightly folded piece of 220 grit sand paper, I sanded down the fill to match with rest of the stem surface. With the same piece of sand paper, I sharpened the button edge on the upper surface.I further sand the stem with 600 and 800 grit sand paper. I wiped the stem with cotton pad dipped in alcohol to remove the resultant dust. I rubbed some extra virgin olive oil in to the stem and set it aside to be absorbed in to stem. I polished the stem with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. I rubbed a little extra virgin olive oil in to the stem at the end of all the micromesh pads. I finish the polishing of the stem by rubbing a small quantity of Paragon wax and giving it a final polish with a soft cotton cloth. The stem is now nice, smooth and shiny. I cleaned the Sterling Silver shank band with a local compound that Abha, my wife, uses to polish her silver and gold jewelry and cutlery. This compound is a very fine powder and is least abrasive with fantastic results. The results were appreciated by Steve during his visit to India. The band is now a nice shining piece of silver and provides a nice contrast to the shining black stem and the dark brown stummel. Unfortunately, I missed out on taking pictures as I was keen to finish this pipe and enjoy a bowl!

To apply the finishing touches, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and apply a coat of Blue Diamond to the stem to polish out the minor scratches. With a cotton buffing wheel that I use for carnauba wax, I apply a coat of carnauba wax to the stummel and stem and continued to work on it till the complete coat of wax had been polished out. I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and gave the entire pipe a once over buff. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The finished pipe is shown below. P.S. – Since the completion of this restoration, I have smoked this pipe and included it in my rotation. Believe you me; this pipe smokes perfect with a nice, smooth draw right to the end. No wonder then that this pipe would have been one of my grandfather’s favorite given the thick cake and calcified stem!! I am really privileged to have had an opportunity to carry forward the trust that my grandfather had posed in his pipes. Thanks for your patience and looking forward to inputs about the write up. Cheers…

Refurbishing a “S & R” Chunky Rhodesian Pipe


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

One of my favorite shapes is the Rhodesian and a Rhodesian with a thick chubby shank, if at all I come across one, has to find its way in to my personal collection!!!! A while ago when surfing eBay, I came across one such pipe which the seller had simply advertised as “USED BRIAR PIPE IN EXCELLENT CONDITION”. There were a few pictures with no particular emphasis on the stampings and no description whatsoever. The only stamping that I could make out was some complicated design with the highlight being a pipe shape distinctly seen within the design. There were only a few minutes for the auction to end with just three bidders and the pipe seemed to be in great condition. Another aspect that I confirm when buying on eBay is the cost of shipping. In this case it was very reasonable. With all these positives, I could not refrain from placing my bid. A month later and the pipe had reached Abha.

She clicked a couple of pictures and sent them to me as requested, one with clear image of the stamping. She, to my complete relief, confirmed the pipe to be in excellent condition. Here are the pictures that she had sent me. There was no COM stamp to help me identify this beautiful pipe.I could not contain my curiosity to find out more about this pipe and turned to pipephil.eu to identify this pipe. I searched the site for this pipe in their index for stampings with a pipe, but came out cropper. Next I tried to search by country with no success. Thereafter, I turned to pipedia.com. Hours later, I could find a perfect match for the stamping under the COM “USA”. Here is the link. https://pipedia.org/wiki/S%26R_Pipes

I reproduce the information gleaned from the site.

Stephen and Roswitha Anderson of S&R Pipes, also known as S&R Woodcrafters, have become pipe makers renowned throughout the world as talented carvers of high-grade briar pipes. They have been featured in several trade publications and magazines such as Pipes and Tobaccos and PipeSmoker, and have several pieces on  display in museums in Europe and the United States.

They are the first American pipe carvers honored with induction into the Conferee of Pipe Makers of St. Claude, France; the very place where the carving of briar pipes became a world-wide industry. Sadly, Steve passed away in March of 2009. Roswitha is still carving S&R pipes and carrying on with the shop with help from her “guys” David, Marty, and Tony.

Steve and Roswitha began carving pipes in the 1960’s. They travelled to pipe shows and arts and crafts shows throughout the country and Europe selling their pipes and built up quite an extensive loyal customer base. Eventually, it became time to offer their pipes to the retail fraternity of pipe smokers.

Pipes & Pleasures had its grand opening in a distinct red brick house on Main Street in Columbus, Ohio in 1977. The front section of the house was converted into a traditional tobacco shop selling pipe tobacco, cigars, and pipes manufactured by well known companies such as Dunhill, Charatan, and Savinelli as well as the high-grade S&R pipes that Steve and Roswitha carved. A workshop was set up in the back section of the house.

When the cigar boom hit in the ’90’s, the shop was expanded by building a large computer controlled walk-in humidor. It’s no secret throughout the country that Pipes & Pleasures has the best maintained cigars in the Columbus area as well as the best selection of premium cigars available in the area including the much sought-after Davidoff line.

Soon after the boom began, Steve and Roswitha moved their pipe making workshop to their farm and converted that space into a large smoking lounge for their many customers. The lounge features comfortable easy chairs, a television set, a stereo, a library of books and magazines about every aspect of tobacciana, a chess table, and a couple of card tables. The lounge is populated daily with long-time loyal customers and newcomers to the enjoyment and relaxation of cigar and pipe smoking. It’s also the room where several cigar tastings and samplings are held every year by representatives from cigar companies such as Davidoff and La Flor Dominicana.

I was fortunate to own this Stephen and Roswitha Anderson carved pipe. That this pipe moved up the pile of pipes to be restored is not surprising, it is such a beautiful pipe.

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
The sandblasted stummel on this pipe is covered in dust and grime and appears dull and lackluster. The smooth rim top surface and the band at the shank end are also covered in dust and grime and will need to be cleaned and polished. The rich brown hues of the raised portions of the rustications contrast beautifully with the darker hues of the stummel and the sandblast patterns on the stummel are eye catching, to say the least. The stummel has a very subtle, yet discernible outward flaring cap ring which lends it its classical shape. There is a very strong sweet smell to the cake, which perhaps may vanish after the chamber has been cleaned. The chamber has a nice even cake with specks of lava overflow on the smooth rim top surface. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber will be ascertained once the existing cake has been taken down to the bare briar. The smooth rim top surface has numerous minor dents and dings that are an eye sore. I suspect that the inner rim edge is charred at the back side of the rim top (marked in yellow circle). The extent of the char will be ascertained once the rim top surface has been cleaned off the lava overflow. The transition of the outer edge of the rim in to the stummel is sans any damage. Accumulation of oils and tars and specks of dried ash and tobacco is seen on the walls of the mortise. Though the draught hole is open, the draw should improve further once the shank internals and the mortise is thoroughly cleaned out.The stem surface, though not heavily oxidized, is rough and uneven and the edge of the lip on the lower surface has minor tooth indentations. The button edge on the upper stem surface is intact and just needs to be sharpened a bit. The tenon end is covered in dried oils and tars which will need to be cleaned. The slot and stem air way is clean. THE PROCESS
I began the process of refurbishing this pipe by cleaning the internals of the stem using pipe cleaners with isopropyl alcohol (99.9% pure) and dunking the stem in to “Before and After Deoxidizer” solution developed by my friend Mark Hoover. The solution helps to draw out heavy oxidation to the surface making its further removal a breeze, while the minor oxidation is eliminated to a very great extent. I usually dunk stems of 5-7 pipes that are in-line for restoration and this S & R pipe is marked in yellow arrow. I generally allow the stems to soak in this solution overnight for the solution to do its work.While the stem was in the soak, I reamed the chamber with a Castleford reamer tool, using the second and third head. Using my fabricated knife; I further took the cake down to the bare briar. I have realized that the knife is best suited to remove the cake from the bottom of the chamber.  With a 150 grit sand paper, the walls of the chamber were rid of all the remnants of the cake, revealing smooth chamber walls sans any damage. I further wiped the chamber with a cotton swab wetted with isopropyl alcohol to completely remove the sanding dust. The inner rim edges are, save for the minor charring, in good condition. I scraped the shank internals with a fabricated tool to remove all the crud that had accumulated along the shank walls and further cleaned it with bristled and regular pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol. I continued the cleaning of the chamber and shank internals with a salt and alcohol bath. I use cotton balls which is an at par substitute as I have realized over the last year or so. I draw out a wick from the cotton and along with a folded regular pipe cleaner; insert it in to the mortise and through the draught hole in to the chamber. Thereafter, I pack the chamber with cotton balls to about quarter of an inch below the rim inner edge. I soak the cotton balls with isopropyl alcohol up to the brim. About half an hour later, the level of alcohol had gone down, having being absorbed by the cotton. I top it up once again and set it aside overnight. By next afternoon, the cotton and alcohol has drawn out all the remaining oils and tars from the chamber and mortise, fulfilling its intended task. I removed the cotton balls and ran pipe cleaners through the mortise to clean out all the loosened tars and gunk. The chamber now smells clean and fresh. I set the stummel to dry out naturally. While the stummel was set aside for the salt and alcohol to draw out all the deep residual oils and tars, I worked on the stems that had been soaking in the deoxidizer solution overnight. I fished out all the stems and cleaned them under running warm water and scrubbed the raised oxidation from the stem surface using Scotch Brite pad. I further removed the oxidation by scrubbing the stems with 0000 grade steel wool and applied a little olive oil to rehydrate the stems and set them aside for the oil to be absorbed. Unfortunately, I did not click any pictures of these stems at this stage.

Once the stummel internals were cleaned, I scrubbed the external surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush. I deliberately cleaned the rim top surface to remove the entire lava overflow and dried it using paper towels and soft cotton cloth.  The cleaned up rim top surface revealed very slight charring to the inner rim edges and minor dents and dings to the surface. I set the stummel aside to dry out naturally. Next, I decided to address the issue of damage to the rim top. I topped the rim surface on a 220 grit sand paper, frequently checking the progress being made. One of the things that I prefer to avoid is topping, as it compromises the shape to an extent while losing briar estate. But this process is a necessary evil while addressing the damage to the rim top surface and I prefer to remain minimalist with it. The rim top is now smooth and the charring on the inner edges is addressed to a great extent. I am at peace with the appearance of the rim top surface at this stage.I polished the rim top and the smooth band at the shank end with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1,500 to 12,000 grit pads. I wiped the surface with a moist cotton cloth to remove the resulting sanding dust. The rim top and the shank end band looks gorgeous and should provide a nice contrast to the dark brown hues of the stummel sandblasted surface once it is polished further. I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to briar. I rubbed this balm deep in to the sandblasts with my fingers 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. Now that the stummel refurbishing is nearly complete, save for the final wax polish, I turned my attention to the stem repairs. Though most of the oxidation was removed after I had scrubbed the stem with Scotch Brite and 0000 grade steel wool, slight traces of oxidation are still visible on the edges of the saddle at the tenon end. I sand the entire stem surface with a folded piece of a 220 grit sand paper, being especially careful around the saddle edge at the tenon end to avoid causing of the dreaded shouldering effect! I wiped the stem with a cotton swab and Murphy’s oil soap to further remove the visible oxidation. I am happy with the way this stem appears at this stage and also with the deoxidizer solution. I filled the tooth indentation in the button edge on lower stem surface with a mix of activated charcoal and CA superglue and set it aside for the fill to cure. Once the fill had cured sufficiently, with a tightly folded piece of 220 grit sand paper, I sanded down the fill to match with rest of the stem surface. With the same piece of sand paper, I sharpened the button edge on the upper surface. I further sand the stem with 400, 600 and 800 grit sand paper and wiped the stem with cotton pad dipped in alcohol to remove the resultant dust. I rubbed some extra virgin olive oil in to the stem and set it aside to be absorbed in to stem. To impart a nice deep glossy shine to the stem, I polished it with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. I rubbed a little extra virgin olive oil in to the stem after every three pads. I finished the polishing of the stem by rubbing a small quantity of Paragon wax and giving it a final polish with a soft cotton cloth. The stem is now nice, smooth and shiny.To apply the finishing touches, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and apply a coat of Blue Diamond to the stem to polish out the minor scratches. With a cotton buffing wheel that I use for carnauba wax, I apply a coat of carnauba wax to the stummel and stem and continued to work on it till the complete coat of wax had been polished out. I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and gave the entire pipe a once over buff. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The finished pipe is shown below. P.S. – Since the completion of this restoration, I have smoked this pipe and included it in my rotation. Believe you me; this pipe smokes perfect with a nice, smooth draw right to the end. This leads me to think, is it only necessary to have Dunhill, Barling’s, Comoy’s etc, as fantastic smokers? Thanks for your patience and looking forward to inputs about this brand and the write up. Cheers…

This Interesting Soren Hand Carved Freehand Turned Out to be More Work than Expected


Blog by Steve Laug

On a recent trip that Irene and I took with Jeff and his wife to the Oregon Coast we managed to do some pipe hunting. We found a few interesting pipes. I was in the mood today to work on a couple of them as a break from the restorations I am doing for others. The second of these is a pipe marked Soren over Hand Carved over Copenhagen over Denmark on the underside of the shank. It is a Freehand with a mix of sand blast and smooth finish on the bowl and shank. There is also plateau on the rim top and shank end. The pipe has a pair of fins on the underside of the bowl that allows the pipe to stand on its own. The bowl was a mess with a thick cake and tar overflow filling in the plateau rim top. There was a lot of dust and grim in the sandblast and buildup on the smooth portions. There were some chips missing on the ends of the fins but they did not detract from the unique beauty of the pipe. At first glance the stem was okay though it has some tooth marks and chatter near the button. There was some calcification and heavy oxidation in all of the turnings and smooth parts of the stem. When I removed the stem there was an issue – the tenon was ragged looking and probably half of it was missing. I took this one home as I decided I wanted to work on it. I took photos of the pipe before starting my cleanup work. I took close up photos of the rim top and bowl to show how clean it was. There is some nice cross grain on the rim top. I also took photos of the stem to show their condition. You can see the oxidation and tooth chatter on it but otherwise it is a pretty straight forward cleanup.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see it below and it read as noted above. I looked up the brand on Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-s10.html) and found that the brand was carved by Søren Refbjerg Rasmussen. Pipes that he made for the European market were mostly stamped “Refbjerg” while those made for the US market were stamped “Soren”. Thus I knew that one I was working on was imported into the US market.

With that information I was clear on the maker of the pipe and I turned to work on the pipe itself. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamers using the first three cutting heads to take the cake back to bare briar. I like to have a clear idea of the condition of the inside walls of the bowl before I consider a pipe finished. This one looked very good. I cleaned up the remnants of cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and sanded the walls with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a dowel. I scrubbed the briar with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap, a tooth brush and a wire brush to clean out the grime and dust in the grain of the sand blast and in the plateau on the rim top and shank end. I rinsed soap off the bowl with warm running water and dried off the briar with a soft cloth. I cleaned the surface further with Mark Hoover’s Before & After Briar Cleaner – the Extra strength version. I rubbed it into the surface of the briar with a tooth brush and rinsed it off to remove the grime that it had trapped. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage on the fins. Both sides had small chips in the finish on the end of the fins.I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush. I let it sit for about 10 minutes. I buffed it off with a cotton cloth. You can see how well the product works to clean and enliven the briar and as a bonus it protects it as well. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. While I was with Jeff in Oregon I picked up some of the Soft Scrub that he has found very useful in removing oxidation and calcification. I rubbed down the stem with it on a cotton pad. You can see the results on the pads in the photo below.I cleaned out the airway in the shank and stem and the inside of the mortise with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. It was a dirty pipe. The photo of the bowl came out pretty good but the stem photo is out of focus. You get the idea though on how dirty both were.I cleaned off the surface of the stem, painted it with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks and filled in the remaining tooth marks with black super glue. I set the stem aside to let the repair cure overnight. While it cured I mulled over what I was going to do about the short, broken tenon on the stem. I had two options – I could cut off the remaining tenon and replace it or I could replace the stem. I like the fancy stem that was on the pipe so I was more prone to replace the tenon… I would let it sit and make a decision in the morning.When the glue cured and the repair hardened I recut the edge of the button on both sides with a needle file. I gave it more definition and flattened out the repaired areas on the top and underside. I smoothed out top and underside with 180 grit sandpaper.I smoothed out the sanding marks and worked on the oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper. I wiped the stem down afterwards with a damp cloth. Finally I feel like I am making some progress with the stem.I cleaned the stem with cotton swabs, cotton pads and Soft Scrub to remove more of the oxidation on the surface of the rubber. At this point the stem was looking pretty good.I paused at this point and thought about a third option for the tenon – not a replacement and not a new stem. There was another way that I thought might work. I used a needle file to reshape the broken tenon and take away some of the first disk of the turned stem. The photos below show the stem after I had removed some of the material and bought some more length on the tenon. I still need to smooth out the tenon and flatten the end but the fit is much better in the shank and actually looks better. I cleaned up the tenon and the fit is very good now. All that remains is to polish it.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cotton pad to remove the sanding debris.  I have to tell you I am not sorry to see this restoration come to an end. Generally it is fun to see the part all come together. This time I was glad that I could move on to work on another pipe! I had seen enough of the many issues that came with this pipe. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It was good to see what the polished bowl looked like with the smooth portions, sandblast portions and the plateau on the rim top and shank end. They contrasted well the polished black vulcanite stem. This Soren Hand Carved in Denmark Freehand is nice looking and feels great in my hand. The pipe has the advantage of being a sitter as well as a Freehand. The fins on the front of the bowl act like legs that hold it upright. It is a very light weight and well balanced pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 3 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This is a well-traveled pipe – Made in Denmark for an American Market, somehow ending up in Astoria, Oregon in the stall of a seller who bought it at an estate sale and now up to Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. While the pipe had a lot of challenges they were fun to work on for the most part! Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next pipeman or woman.