Cleaning up an Interesting Hardwood All Wood Cutty


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff sent me this interesting looking hardwood all wood Cutty in one of the last boxes he shipped to me here in Canada. It was a dark tightly grained hardwood. My first thought was ebony but it was too light weight for that wood. The more Jeff talked about it the more I thought it was more likely to be black walnut that had been stained. You can look at the pictures below and see what you think. Keep in mind it is very lightweight wood. The pipe was unsmoked but dirty from sitting. There was dust in the bowl and shank. The wood was unblemished – no tooth marks on the stem portion of the pipe and no darkening from smoked tobacco in the chamber. The rim top was clean. The pipe was unstamped so there was no information on the maker but it was well made and very smoothly finished. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he did his clean up on it. The bowl was well drilled and smooth. The grain on the inside of the bowl also makes me think Black Walnut. The grain around the rim top is tight and beautiful. The airway enters the bowl slightly to the right side rather than dead centre at the bottom of the bowl.The grain around the bowl is a mix of cross grains. There is a bit of a sparkle to the exterior of the bowl that shows up in the pictures but was not visible once I had it in hand. The nub on the bottom of the bowl/shank junction is also well done.The long shank of the pipe was straight and carries on the grain pattern of the bowl. It is straight and well done unlike many homemade pipes that I have worked on. The mouthpiece portion of the shank was a round button with an orific opening in the end of the mouthpiece. The draught on the pipe is  wide open and smooth.Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the dust and debris. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the dirt and dust from the finish. Because the pipe looked so good I decided to move on to rubbing the wood down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the wood with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the wood. I let it sit for 10 minutes and after the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The wood really comes alive with the balm. This interesting hardwood Cutty that is a unified bowl, shank and stem is a quite unique and nice looking pipe. The dark stain on the wood highlights the grain patterns around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well. I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished small Cutty is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inch, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be added to the METAL PIPES FROM VARIOUS PIPE MAKERS & OTHER PIPES section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

14 thoughts on “Cleaning up an Interesting Hardwood All Wood Cutty

    1. plasticmask

      Okay, I give up. Mr. Steve, I severely ripped you off on the purchase of this little pipe and I probably shouldn’t be using it weekly, since it’s roughly 116 years old. LOL

      Reply
    1. plasticmask

      I can see a passing resemblance, but only a passing one, honestly. I hesitate very strongly to think that this is one of those pipes. Thank you though for the idea

      Reply
  1. plasticmask

    It being so small and portable, it’s one of the pipes I carry about in my travel pouch (yep I’m the bloke who ended up buying it) so I use it fairly often, and it is holding up *extremely* well.
    If rosewood is easily burned up, then this beauty isn’t rosewood.
    Hope that this helps in some way. Shalom.

    Reply
  2. plasticmask

    How “safe” is Rosewood for actual daily use? Is it as easy to burn up as, say, Pear root?

    Reply
  3. Dvae

    Steve, that’s a nice looking Cutty. I’m not an expert on “wood” but black walnut seems to be a good guess. Looking a the sixth picture from the top….the color and grain look a lot like the rosewood on a couple of my guitars. I look forward to some wood expert’s answer to the type of wood in this well executed Cutty.

    Reply

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