Blog by Steve Laug
Even with the COVID-19 warning rolling in incessantly I am still working on pipes! It keeps my mind busy and focused. There is no reason to not enjoy the time alone at the work table bringing these old-timers back to life. The next pipe I have chosen is an interesting looking mixed finish Dublin that was stained with a rich brown colour on both the smooth upper portion and rusticated lower portion of the bowl and shank. It was stamped on the smooth underside of the shank. The stamping was readable. The shape number 306 is on the heel of the pipe and identifies the shape. The stamping Made in Canada and then the Brigham stamp in script followed on the rest of the flattened shank. The age on this one is Post-Patent era, nominally 1960s. The pipe comes to me I think from a trade I did with Alex but I am uncertain. It was in decent condition when I brought it to the table. The finish was a little dirty and the rim top had some damage but otherwise looked decent the inner edge of the bowl was slightly out of round due to some burn damage. The internals were quite clean. The stem was in good condition other than a few tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. The Maple Distillator was dirty and would need to be replaced. I took photos of the pipe when I brought it to the table. 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, but there was a slight burn mark on the front inner edge. You can also see that the bowl was out of round. I also took close up photos of the stem to show how well surface looked on both sides. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is faint but it is readable.I took the pipe apart and removed the Distillator from the aluminum tenon. It was stained but otherwise clean. I would need to replace it when I was finished. Before I get into the restoration part of this pipe I decided to include a poster I picked up that shows the filtration system of the patented Brigham Distillator. Give the poster a read. It also helps to understand the internals of these older Canadian Made pipes.I decided to start my restoration work on this one by dealing with the damaged rim top. I sanded the inner edge of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper to reshape the out of round bowl and deal with the burned spot on the front edge. I gave it a slight bevel and I am pleased with the results.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 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 painted the stem surface with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks from the surface.After the heat had done its work on the tooth marks on the top side I was left with some damage on the button edges and on the underside of the stem. I filled in the remaining tooth damage with clear CA glue and set the stem aside to dry overnight. I sanded out the repaired tooth marks and chatter 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. Before I finished the polishing stem I decided to fit it with a new Rock Maple Distillator.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. I am excited to finish this Brigham. 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 is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping through on the bowls sides and rim top. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem with the shining brass pins was beautiful. This mixed grain on the smooth finish Brigham 306 Dublin is nice looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. When I was going through the box of pipes in my box of pipes to be done I came across this beautiful 3 Dot Brigham. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 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. 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.