Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table is another unique one that I chose out of my boxes of pipes to restore. I am not even sure what to call the shape. It has an acorn shaped bowl. The shank is domed shape with flat bottom. The graceful curves of the shank and bowl give it a very unique shape. The bowl had a thick cake and lava overflow on the rim. The rim top was crowned with small thin flat top. The bowl was smooth and a natural finish. The finish was dusty and tired but there seemed to be a shiny coat of something on the finish – perhaps shellac. The bowl had some nice grain under the grime and the finish appeared to be in good condition. There were a few fills on the right side of the bowl and some sandpits as well. A lot would be revealed once Jeff had worked his magic on it. The stem was dirty but came with tooth chatter and marks near the button on both sides. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Jeff captured the condition of the bowl and rim top with the next series of photos. You can see the work that is ahead of us in the photos. The cake is very thick and heavy. The rim looked like it might have some damage on the back inner edge of the bowl. Jeff took some great photos of the sides of the bowl and heel showing what is underneath the grime and debris of time and use. You can see the fills in briar on the right side. They really stand out in the first photo. It will be interesting to see what happens as the pipe is cleaned and restored. He captured the stamping on the sides of the shank and the underside of the saddle stem. They are clear and readable. The left side reads Edwards. On the right side it reads Algerian Briar 734. On the underside of the stem it is stamped France. The next two photos of the stem show the top and underside of the stem. You can see the tooth marks and chatter on the surface of both sides.I took it out of the box from Jeff and looked it over. He cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. When I took it out of the box I was amazed at how good it looked it really looked like a different pipe. He reamed it 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 bowl looked very good. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime and soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. When he took it out of the soak it came out looking far better. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top is clean but there is a lot of damage to the inner edge and top on the back right side. The bowl itself looks very clean. The rest of the inner edge is a little rough but not damaged. The close up photos of the stem shows that is it very clean and other than being dull it looks very good.I took photos of the stamping because they had cleaned up very well.I decided to take care of the damage on the rim top and inner edge first. I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I then cleaned up the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and gave it a slight bevel. I filled in the small pits on the right side of the bowl with clear super glue. Once the repair was cured I sanded smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out.I polished the briar and the shank with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I was able to blend in the repairs into the side of the bowl. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the smooth briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about twenty minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned to deal with the stem. I “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks. I was able to lift them a lot.I filled in the remaining tooth marks on the surface of the stem with clear super glue. I sprayed it with an accelerator to harden it. Once it had hardened I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to blend it into the surface of the vulcanite. I polished the stem with some Denicare Mouthpiece polish – a red gritty paste that feels a lot like the texture of red Tripoli. It works well to polish out some of the scratches. I find that it does a great job preparing the stem for polishing with micromesh sanding pads.I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it 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. This Edward’s Unique Algerian Briar was another fun pipe to work on and I really was looking forward to seeing it come back together again. With the grime and debris gone from the finish it was a beauty and the grain just pops at this point. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The rich natural finish on the bowl looks really good with the polished black vulcanite stem. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The Edward’s pipes I have worked on always have had a creative flair. This is truly another unique looking Edward’s. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.