Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on my worktable is a really different one! I am not sure where Jeff picked this one up but it is different. It is shaped like a little flying saucer. I have never seen one like this in all of my restorations. I have seen squashed Tomato shaped pipes that are almost disk shaped but nothing like this one. It has a pretty normal sized bowl on it and it was well smoked. The pipe had thick peeling varnish coat on the bowl that looked rough and there were a few fills around the bowl. It was another dirty pipe with a briar bowl, and aluminum stationary shank and screw in vulcanite stem. There was something uniquely charming about this strange little pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and the beveled rim has lava overflow and may have some damage. Hard to tell with the cake. There appears to be damage internally around the entrance of the airway into the bowl as it is a large cavern. The stamping on the heel of the bowl was interesting as it was all over the bowl. It read Flying Disc in an oval in one spot, Imported briar in another and next to a large fill it was stamped Italy. The vulcanite stem was oxidized and there was light tooth chatter on both sides near the button. It was also under turned and would not align properly in the shank. Jeff took the following photos before he started his cleanup work on the pipe. He took close-up photos of the bowl and rim top from various angles to capture the condition of the bowl and rim top edges. You can see the lava overflow and debris the edges of the bowl an on the rim top. You can see the thick cake in the bowl. This was a dirty pipe for sure but it must have been someone’s favorite judging from the condition of the bowl! Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the grain around the bowl and the condition of the finish. You can see the peeling varnish as well as the fills in the photos. Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the heel of the bowl. You can see the various stamping clearly and they read as noted above. Note the large fill next to Italy is a pink putty.The next two photos show the top and underside of the stem. The oxidation, calcification and the light tooth chatter on both sides near the button are visible in the photos. I did a search on Pipephil and came up with nothing on the brand. I searched the brand online and came up with a link to a discussion on the pipe on Pipesmagazine forum. I am including that link and the original and concluding post (https://pipesmagazine.com/forums/threads/who-made-that-pipe.46221/). I am also including a photo of the pipe the questioner on the forum spoke of.…There are more than one of these flying disc shaped UFO pipes around. Some are stamped “Jet Set” on the left side of the vulcanized bit (see pic), & some have the Mastercraft logo there instead (pic from Pipephil). Jet Set is listed as one of the seconds for Mastercraft; Mastercraft being owned by Lane Ltd. On the bottom of the bowl stamped inside an oval is “Flying Disc”. Other stampings are “Italy” & “Imported Briar”…
…Lorenzo didn’t go into business as a brand until 1946. Using Google Translator (since I don’t speak French) the translation can sometimes be rough, but here is the confirmation that these Jet Pipe pipes were made by Lorenzo for Mastercraft:
“Both Jet Pipe pipes were manufactured by Lorenzo for the brand Mastercraft in the 60’s as well as pipes sparkless in this chapter pipes cigarette.”
It is pure speculation on my part then that Lorenzo either acquired Jet Pipe after making pipes for them or registered the name Jet Set and designed the Flying Disc pipe on their own for Mastercraft. Either way, Lorenzo is the maker of the Flying Disc pipe.
It became clear that the pipe had been made for Mastercraft in the US by Lorenzo. It probably was made in the 1960s. It reminded me of something from my childhood limited television cartoon watching – the Jetsons!
Now it was time to look at it up close and personal. Jeff had done an amazing job in removing all of the cake and the thick lava on the rim top. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He took the cake back to bare briar so we could check the walls for damage. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime on the bowl and rim and was able to remove the lava and dirt. He cleaned out the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they came out clean. The rim top looked amazing when you compare it with what it looked like before he started. He cleaned the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime on the exterior and cleaned out the airway with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I took some photos of the pipe as I saw it. To show how clean the rim top and stem really was I took a close-up photo of the rim and stem. The bowl was clean and cake free. The rim top is very clean with no residual lava in the sandblast finish. The inner edges of the rim show some darkening on the right and the left side. The black vulcanite stem looks cleaned up nicely. The surface had some light tooth marks but the button edge looked really good.I took photos of the stamping on the under side of the bowl. They are literally all around the bowl bottom. You can see that from the photos below. I removed the stem from the bowl and took photos of the parts. The “plumbing” on this pipe is quite unique. Look at the stinger apparatus that extends through the aluminum shank.Now it was time to start addressing issues with this pipe. I sanded the exterior of the bowl with 1500 grit micromesh sanding pads to remove the peeling varnish from the bowl. I worked on the rim edge a bit and paused as I examined the cavernous entry of airway into the bowl. It was badly burned and enlarged. I wonder if the metal stinger tip heated too much and burned the surrounding airway. I took two photos to try to capture the large cavernous opening.As I examined the area I had very few choices in terms of addressing the issue. I could carve and insert briar, glue it in place and hope that the burnout would not reoccur. The other option would be to build up the area with some JB Weld which dries inert and is basically burn proof and would preserve the airway area from further damage. I chose to use the JB Weld repair. I mixed a batch of the resin and hardener and inserted a Vaseline greased pipe cleaner in the airway so as not to close it off during the repair.I applied the mixture to the surface area around the pipe cleaner with a dental spatula. I pressed it into the cavernous pit. I knew that I would need to do this several times as it was a deep pit. I gave the first coat to the wall of the bowl and set the bowl aside overnight.This morning I filled in a few spots where the repair shrunk as it cured. The entrance to the bowl is now the size of a pipe cleaner. Once it has cured I will sand it smooth and even out the back of the bowl. I set the bowl aside and had some lunch!Once the repair had hardened to touch I worked on the underside of the bowl. There was a large pink fill next to the Italy stamp. It was damaged and hard so I picked it out with a dental pick and cleaned up the edges until all of it was gone. I wiped it out with a cotton swab and alcohol and then filled it in with a mix of clear super glue and briar dust. I know that Dal mixes the two into a putty and presses them in place. I have never succeeded in getting his putty mixture as it always hardens to quickly. Instead I layer the mix into the area to be filled. I start with glue, then briar dust pressed in with a dental spatula, then another layer of glue and some more dust. I finish it with a top layer of glue and let it dry.Once the repair has cured I used a needle file to flatten it as much as possible to the surface of the briar. I followed up by sanding it with a small corner of folded 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surrounding briar. Once it was smooth I buffed it lightly with 1500 grit micromesh and then stained it with an Oak Stain pen to blend it into the bowl. At this point in the process I set the bowl aside for awhile to let the bowl cure some more and turned my attention to the stem. The first issue with the stem was the fact that it was under-turned almost a quarter turn. I removed the stem and heated the metal stinger with the flame of a Bic lighter. The heat softens the glue holding the stinger in the stem. After a few minutes I screwed the stem back in the shank and corrected the under-turned stem. Once I had it aligned I set it aside and let it cool off while in place.I moved on to addressing the remaining oxidation on the stem and the tooth chatter and marks. I sanded out the tooth marks on both sides of the stem with a folded piece of 220 sandpaper and sanded out the remaining oxidation. I started polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish – a red gritty paste a lot like Tripoli to polish it after the 400 grit sandpaper. I rub it on with my fingertips and work it into the vulcanite and buff it off with a cloth. It does a great job before I polish it further with the micromesh pads.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave it a final rub down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the vulcanite stem. I set the stem aside and went back to work on the bowl. The bowl looked very good so I did not need to do any further work on it. 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. I worked it in with my fingers and with a horse hair shoe brush to get it into the deep nooks and crannies of the sandblast finish on the rim and bowl sides. I let it sit for 10 minutes to let it do its magic. I 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. I sanded out the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper and a sanding drum on my Dremel to smooth out the walls on the bowl. With that finished the pipe was complete. I put the bowl and stem back together again and buffed the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I carefully buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I finished buffing with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe looks very good. The disc shaped pipe has a different feel in the hand. It is comfortable and light weight. The finished Flying Disc pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This unique looking Flying Disc/UFO pipe turned out very well. It should be a great pipe if the way it arrived to us was any indication. This one will go on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested in it let me know. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.