Daily Archives: March 13, 2020

A Fun Restore from Bob Kerr’s Estate – A Royal Crown Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

After brief foray into restoring pipes referred to me by my local pipe shop I am back to Bob Kerr’s estate (his photo is to the left). If you have not “met” the man and would like to read a bit of the history of the pipeman, his daughter has written a great tribute that is worth a read. Because I have included it in over 60 restorations to date I thought that I would leave it out this time. Be sure to check out some of the recent Dunhill restoration blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/01/01/restoring-the-last-of-bob-kerrs-dunhills-a-1962-dunhill-bruyere-656-f-t-bent-billiard/).

The next pipe I have chosen from his estate is an interesting looking Bulldog. It is stamped Royal Crown on the left top side of the shank. There is no other stamping on the shank sides or marks on the stem. The Saddle stem is oxidized and has tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The finish is worn and dirty. There is a cake and lava overflow on the rim top. There is some damage on top & edges and the bowl is slightly out of round. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show its general condition before he did his cleanup work. The finish on the pipe was very dirty – grime and grit from years of use and sitting fill the crevices in the rustication. The rim top was covered with a coat of thick lava that overflowed the bowl. There was also some darkening on the rim top. The bowl itself had a thick cake with flecks of tobacco stuck in the cake on the sides.Jeff took photos of the sides of the bowl to give a better feel for the grain around the sides and heel of the bowl.He took a photo of the stamping on the top left side of the diamond shank. You can see that the stamping is very clear.The stem was dirty and very oxidized. The stem appeared to be a replacement and did not fit perfectly to the shank. It was diamond shaped and worked well on two sides of the shank but the other two were off. It did not have the characteristic bite marks that were on Bob’s pipes.Before I started my work on the pipe I decided to do a bit of research. I had no recollection of working on this brand before but I could be wrong as I have worked on a lot of pipes now. I turned first to Pipephil’s site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-r6.html) and found out to my surprise that there was a connection to the Hardcastle brand. I have included a screen capture to show the link on the site to Hardcastle.From there I turned to Pipedia and was directed to the Hardcastle page. I turned to that page to see what I could learn about the pipe (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Hardcastle). I read through the page and found some more information. The Timeline for the Family Period (which is what I was interested in) is shown below. It seems to begin in 1903  when Edmund Hardcastle establishes the brand and ends 1946 when Dunhill buys out the shares and leaves the family to manage the company.

1903: Edmund Hardcastle establishes the brand

1936: Family sells 49% of the Hardcastle Pipes Limited shares to Dunhill

1946: Dunhill buys the remaining shares, but the family continues to manage the company

I did a screen capture of the Models and Grades of pipes in the Family Period. It shows the Royal Crown brand listed.Now I knew about the brand. Up until I had read this I thought it was a Danish made pipe. Now I knew that it was British made and came out of the Hardcastle factory. Armed with that information it was time to work on the pipe. Jeff cleaned this filthy pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I was looking forward to seeing what he had done with this one when I took it out of his box. It looked amazing and CLEAN and other than the stem work needing a little effort on my part. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks good with great looking grain around the bowl and shank. The rim top and front of the bowl was severely damaged with burns. The condition of the inner and outer edges was rough. The stem looked a lot better but damage was evident on the button. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. The pipe was ready for me to carry on the next part of the process.  I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top was clean and the damage was very evident. There were marks across the top of the rim and damage to the inner beveled edge.  I also took close up photos of the stem to show how well surface looked on both sides. I also noted that the stem also is a replacement stem rather than the original as the fit against the shank is not perfect.I took a photo of the stamping on the left topside of the diamond shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above.I decided to start my restoration work on this one by dealing with the damaged rim top. I topped it lightly on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I remove the damaged surface of the rim top and then a folded piece of 220 to work on the bevel on the inner edge. The pipe looks much better than when I started. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. After each pad I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth. I touched up the rim top colour with an Oak Stain Pen to match the colour of the rest of the bowl. I let it dry and buffed it by hand.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. With that done the bowl was finished other than the final buffing. I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the repaired with 220 grit sand paper to blend them into the rest of the stem surface. I started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it had begun to shine.I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish from a tin of it I have in the drawer here. It is a gritty red paste that I rub on with my finger tips and work into the surface of the stem and button and buff off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I am continuing to experiment with Briarville Pipe Repairs new product, No Oxy Oil so I rubbed the stem down with the oil on the cloth that was provided with it. This Royal Crown was another interesting pipe to work on. It is a classic shaped Bulldog. It has a saddle vulcanite stem that I am pretty certain is a replacement stem. The grain on the pipe is very nice and the shape has a great look and feel in the hand. The smooth finish is beautiful and highlights the grain. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The deeply grained briar took on life with the buffing. The rich dark brown and black colour of the briar works well with the polished vulcanite stem. The finished pipe has a rich look that is quite catching. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the Bulldog are very well done even with the replacement stem. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. 

 

Final Pipe from the 19 Pipe Eastern Canada Lot – a Republic Era Peterson 1312 System


Blog by Steve Laug

I am finishing the last of the 19 pipes for the fellow in Kitchener, Ontario I decided to work on the last one of them. He had been referred to me by my local pipe and cigar shop. While I am not currently adding more pipes to my queue of repairs I have made a commitment to the shop to work on pipes for their customers. Generally they have one or two pipes that need a bit of work. This fellow sent me the following email:

I just came across my smoking pipes that I’ve had in storage for about 40 years. I’m wondering what you’d charge to have them refurbished. There are 17 in total (11 are Brighams and 6 are various).

It turns out he said he had 17 pipes. That was certainly more than I expected but I communicated that there was a large queue ahead of him and I would have to fit them in as I could. He was fine with whatever time it took. He sent me the following photos of his collection that he wanted restored. The first photo shows his eleven Brigham pipes – all very interesting shapes. The second photo shows the six various pipes in the collection – A Republic Era Peterson’s System 1312 (Canadian Import), A Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand, a Comoy’s Everyman London smooth billiard, a GBD Popular Dublin 12, an English made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B, a Kriswill Bernadotte 60 with a broken tenon. When the box arrived there were two additional pipes included for a total of 19 – a Ropp 803 Deluxe Cherrywood Poker and a Comoy’s Sandblast Everyman Canadian 296. It was a lot of pipes! I have been randomly choosing the next pipe to work on and chose the Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand that is shown in the second photo below. I have drawn a red box around the Peterson’s System Standard 1312 in the photo below. I have also put and X through all of the pipes that I have finished. I am making progress on the lot – I have finished all the pipes now.The 19th and last pipe that I took out of the box was a Peterson’s System Standard pipe. It had a smooth finish. It was stamped on both sides of the shank. On the left side it read Peterson’s System Standard. On the right side it was stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland and under that was the shape number 1312. The nickel ferrule was in great condition and was stamped K&P Peterson. There were faux hallmarks under that. The finish was probably the cleanest of the 19 pipes so I am glad it is the last one. The rim top had some lava on the flat surface and the inner rim is damaged and slightly out of round. The bowl appeared to have been recently reamed and not smoked since the reaming. The vulcanite stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. There was also some calcification around the button. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and the darkening and damage to the inner edge as well. You can also see the light lava on the rim and clean bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above.   I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank to show what I was speaking about above. It is very readable. On the left side it reads Peterson’s System Standard. On the right side it read Made in the Republic of Ireland over the shape number 1312.  The nickel ferrule stamping is very readable and undamaged.    I have included the information on the shape number on this pipe that I picked up on researching the other pipes. It is a Peterson’s System Standard pipe with a 1312 shape number. The 312 is identical in shape, size and marking. I started my hunt for information by turning to a Peterson Catalogue that I have on rebornpipes and looked up the System Standard pipes (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-hallmark-chart/). I have put a red box around the 312 shown in the catalogue page shown below. That should give a clear picture of the size and shape of the pipe. But there was nothing to give me any information on what the first number 1 meant in the shape number 1312 that I am working on.Since this is stamped with the same “1” as previous Peterson pipes that I have worked on I turned to the blog and had a look. I am including the information on the unique numbering. Mark pointed me in the direction that I needed. I quote the pertinent part of his email. The underlined portion was the clue I was looking for on this pipe. I have already cleaned up several of Bob’s pipes that were sold through GT&C (Genin, Trudeau and Company, Montreal, Quebec).

The index at the back of the book is pretty good, and points you to all the GT&C goodies, but 155 has a photo from the catalog with your 1307, while 318 and 323 explain the rationale for the “1” prefix. In a nutshell, just drop the “1” and you’ve got the shape. My theory is that GT&C added this to aid them in warranty work, so they’d know the pipe was bought on Canadian soil.

I turned then to a previous blog I had written on a Kapruf 54 that had an odd shape number stamp and referred to the Canadian numbering system used by GT&C. Here it the link to that blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/09/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-another-canadian-import-petersons-kapruf-a-54/). In the blog I included a link to a blog I did on the GT&C Catalogue that came to me in some paperwork the family gave me. I have included the cover of the catalogue and the page on the system pipes showing the 1312 shape. I have put a red box around the shape for ease of reference (https://rebornpipes.com/2016/09/13/petersons-pipes-brochure-from-genin-trudeau-co-montreal-quebec/). Be sure to check out the rest of the document on the link.

The GT&C Catalogue combined with the earlier Peterson Pipe Catalogue page make the link definitive. I am also including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era – From 1950 to the present time, 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.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

Pipedia also included a section of information on the System pipes including a diagram of the sytems look (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson#Republic_Era_Pipes). I quote a section of the article in part and include a link to another article on Pipedia on the System pipe.

The Peterson System pipes are the standard bearers of the Peterson pipe family, famous for the excellent smoking pleasure they provide. Often imitated but never equaled, the Peterson System smokes dry, cool and sweet, thanks to the scientific effectiveness of the original design. The heart of the System is the unique graduated bore in the mouthpiece. This makes the suction applied by the smoker 15 times weaker by the time it reaches the tobacco chamber. The result is that all the moisture flows into the reservoir and, thus cannot reach the smoker’s mouth. The Peterson Lip further enhances the effectiveness of the graduated bore by directing the flow of smoke upwards and away from the tongue. This achieves a uniquely even distribution of smoke and virtually eliminates any chance of tonguebite or bitterness. Furthermore, the shape is contoured so that the tongue rests comfortably in the depression under the opening. Each “PLip” mouthpiece is made from Vulcanite. For the Peterson System pipes to work properly, the stem/tenon has to have an extension, the tip of which will pass by the draft hole from the bowl and into the sump. Upon the smoker drawing in smoke, this extension then directs the smoke down and around the sump to dispense a lot of the moisture before the smoke enters the extension and stem. On the System Standards and other less expensive systems, this extension with be made of Vulcanite turned integrally with the stem. On the more expensive System pipes this extension will be made of metal which screws into the Vulcanite stem. This extension on the earlier pipes will be of brass and the newer pipes will be of aluminium. Most smokers not knowing this function of the metal extension, assumes that it is a condenser/stinger and will remove it as they do with the metal condensers of Kaywoodie, etc. Should you have a System pipe with this metal extension, do not remove it for it will make the System function properly and give you a dryer smoke (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_closer_look_at_the_famous_Peterson_Standard_System_Pipe).

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information that the pipe was made during the Republic Era between 1950 and 1989. Most of the pipes in this lot seemed to come from the 60s so my guess is that this is also a 60’s era pipe. I also knew that the pipe was brought into Canada by the Canadian Importer, Genin, Trudeau & Co. in Montreal, Quebec. Noting above that the catalogue postal code puts it in the late 60s early 70s which also fits the story. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

I cleaned up the thin cake in the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and sanded the bowl with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel.   I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the top of the rim and to lightly bevel the inner edge to clean up the out of round bowl. I was able to make it look better.    I cleaned the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. They were dirty but the pipe is clean now.    I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down after each sanding pad to remove the dust and debris from the sanding. The rim top was looking very good after the final polishing pad.  I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it 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.    I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I rubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub on with a cotton pad and it removed the oxidation. It was looking better.   I sanded out the remaining tooth marks, chatter and oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.     I rubbed down the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish, a red gritty paste and a cotton pad to remove the remnants of oxidation and to blend in the sanding. The stem is starting to show promise at this point in the process.     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 finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine.     It feels good to be finishing the restoration of this 19 pipe lot from Eastern Canada. With the completion of this one I have finished the entire of the pipes. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The grain is quite stunning and really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl and thick shank. This Peterson’s System Standard 1312 Bent Billiard was a great pipe to end the restoration work on. The polished nickel Ferrule works as a contrast between the stem and the briar and binds it all together. It really is a quite stunning piece of briar whose shape follows the flow of the briar. The pipe is comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This beautiful pipe will be going in the box with the others and be sent back to Eastern Canada. I look forward to hearing what the pipeman there thinks when he sees his collection now that it has been restored. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This was an interesting estate to bring back to life.

The 18th Pipe from the 19 Pipe Eastern Canada Lot – a GBD Popular 12 Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

With two pipes left to finish for the fellow in Kitchener, Ontario I decided to work on one more of them. He had been referred to me by my local pipe and cigar shop. While I am not currently adding more pipes to my queue of repairs I have made a commitment to the shop to work on pipes for their customers. Generally they have one or two pipes that need a bit of work. This fellow sent me the following email:

I just came across my smoking pipes that I’ve had in storage for about 40 years. I’m wondering what you’d charge to have them refurbished. There are 17 in total (11 are Brighams and 6 are various).

It turns out he said he had 17 pipes. That was certainly more than I expected but I communicated that there was a large queue ahead of him and I would have to fit them in as I could. He was fine with whatever time it took. He sent me the following photos of his collection that he wanted restored. The first photo shows his eleven Brigham pipes – all very interesting shapes. The second photo shows the six various pipes in the collection – A Republic Era Peterson’s System 1312 (Canadian Import), A Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand, a Comoy’s Everyman London smooth billiard, a GBD Popular Dublin 12, an English made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B, a Kriswill Bernadotte 60 with a broken tenon. When the box arrived there were two additional pipes included for a total of 19 – a Ropp 803 Deluxe Cherrywood Poker and a Comoy’s Sandblast Everyman Canadian 296. It was a lot of pipes! I have been randomly choosing the next pipe to work on and chose the Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand that is shown in the second photo below. I have drawn a purple box around the GBD Popular 12 Dublin in the photo below. I have also put and X through all of the pipes that I have finished. I am making progress on the lot – I have finished 17 pipes now and this is the 18th.The 18th pipe that I took out of the box was a GBD Popular. It had a smooth finish. It was stamped on both sides of the shank. On the left side it read GBD in an oval over Popular in script. On the right side it was stamped Made in England and under that was the shape number 12. The finish was really dirty and spotty looking. The rim top had a thick coat of lava on the flat surface and the beveled inner rim. The bowl had a thick cake in it that was hard and crumbling. The vulcanite stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. The GBD roundel on the left side of the stem looked good. It seemed to have tabs around the edges that held it on the stem surface.   I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and the darkening and damage to the inner edge as well. You can also see the cake in the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above. I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank to show what I was speaking about above. It is very readable. On the left side it reads GBD in an oval over Popular.  On the right side it read Made in England over the shape number 12.  The stem also had a GBD Roundel on the left side of the taper.   Before doing cleanup work on the pipe I decided to do some research on the pipe. I looked first on the Pipephil website and found nothing on the Popular line. I turned to Pipedia and also was disappointed to find nothing on the line. Hitting the dead end I decided to turn to working on the pipe. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer to remove the cake. I cleaned up the remaining cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel to smooth them out. I was happy that the walls looked very good.   I scraped off the lava on the rim top with the edge of the Fitsall Pipe Knife. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the top of the rim and the bevel on the inner edge. I was able to make it look significantly better. I cleaned the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. They were dirty but the pipe is clean now.   I scrubbed the surface of the bowl and rim top with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grimes, oils and tars and leave the surface clean. I rinsed it off with warm running water to remove the grime and the soap.   I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down after each sanding pad to remove the dust and debris from the sanding. The rim top was looking very good after the final polishing pad.     Once I had finished with the 2400 grit pad I touched up the colour of the rim top using an Oak Stain Pen. It blended very well with the colour of the bowl and shank. Once it cured I went on with the polishing with the remaining micromesh pads. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it 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.     I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I rubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub on with a cotton pad and it removed the oxidation. It was looking better.     I sanded out the remaining tooth marks, chatter and oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.     I rubbed down the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish, a red gritty paste and a cotton pad to remove the remnants of oxidation and to blend in the sanding. The stem is starting to show promise at this point in the process.  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 finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine.   It feels good to be one pipe away from finishing the restoration of this 19 pipe lot from Eastern Canada. With the completion of this one I have finished 18 of the pipes. I put the English Made GBD Popular 12 Billiard back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain showing through the rustication on both sides and the smooth rim top. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This nicely finished GBD Popular Billiard is nice looking and feels great in my hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Once again I am looking forward to what the pipeman who sent it thinks of this restoration. Only 1 more pipe to do in this lot! 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 the trust to the next pipeman or woman.