Daily Archives: June 17, 2020

A New Beginning For An Inherited Wally Frank “Blackthorne” #75 Sandblast Billiard


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

I love my classic shaped pipes and one such pipe from my inheritance is now on my work table. It’s a classic saddle stem Billiard with a deep scraggy sandblasted stummel. The moment I picked it up, I thought this could be a Barling’s “Fossil” or some English brand. However, when I saw the stampings, it was not English but a US brand. The sandblast, quality of the stem and the briar all oozed quality.

The pipe is a classic Billiard shaped sitter with deep craggy sandblast that feels tactile in the hand. It’s medium sized with a very light weight. This pipe is stamped on the bottom smooth surface of the shank with shape code # 75 at the foot followed by “WALLY FRANK LTD” over “BLACKTHORNE” in block capital letters. The stampings appear faint due to accumulation of dirt and grime over the surface. The high quality vulcanite saddle stem is sans any stampings.    I had read about Wally Frank while researching a Wally Frank era Custombilt sitter pipe about 2 years back and had a faint recollection of Wally Frank being an old Tobacconist from around New York City in US who also sold English made pipes under his name. To chronicle specific and detailed information about the brand, I first turned to Reborn pipes, which happens to be my first go to site whenever I need information on any pipe maker or brand. Sure enough, there was detailed information on the brand and a shape chart to boot!! Here is the link to the write up…. https://rebornpipes.com/2019/07/27/i-just-had-to-work-on-this-one-next-a-wally-frank-ltd-liverpool/

I visited pipedia.org to get the shape chart, pictures and other relevant information pertaining to the pipe on my work table.

Wally Frank, Ltd. was one of America’s oldest and most respected names in pipes and tobaccos, beginning in the early 1930’s. Wally Frank operated a chain of tobacco stores in New York City (the flagship store was in Lexington Avenue) and had a vast catalog business for pipes and pipe tobaccos. Their numerous private-label pipes were made by many makers, including Charatan, Sasieni, Weber, and many others. Wally Frank, Ltd. also owned the Pioneer brand of meerschaum pipes, made from both Turkish and African meerschaum. In addition to importing pipes, he had many pipes made in his own name and also employed pipemakers like Peter Stokkebye, Svend Bang, and Ed Burak (who later became the owner of Connoisseur). As a result, each Wally Frank pipe must be individually evaluated on its own merit.

Here are two sample pictures of BLACKTHORNE pipes from Wally Frank that I got from pipedia.org which were uploaded by Doug Valitchka.   Also shown below is the shape chart that Steve had referred to in his above write up. I have marked the pipe on my work table in red on this chart. The shape chart is from the 1943 catalogue! The shape code # 75 as described in the chart is MILITARY “SADDLE BIT” which corresponds to my pipe. With the provenance of the pipe now established and I move ahead with my initial visual inspection.

Initial Visual Inspection
The deeply sandblasted saddle stem sitter is covered in dirt, dust and grime. There is a decent layer of cake in the chamber and the flow of air through the mortise is not very smooth and full. The saddle stem is heavily oxidized and the bite zone is peppered with deep bite marks and minor tooth chatter on both the surfaces. Here is how the pipe appears as it sits on my work table. Detailed Inspection Of The Pipe And Observations
The bowl is nicely rounded and wide at the rim with a depth of about 2 inches. The chamber has an even layer of medium cake. The sandblasted rim top surface is covered in lava overflow and dirt and grime from previous usage and subsequent storage. The inner and outer rim is in pristine condition. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber can be commented upon after the cake has been taken down to the bare briar. The chamber has very strong smells from the old tobaccos. The draught hole is dead center and at the bottom of the chamber and that makes me believe that it should smoke smooth. The stummel all around appears solid to the touch and hence I do not foresee any serious damage to the walls in the form of burnout/ deep heat fissures/ lines or pits. I may have to resort to the salt and alcohol treatment of the chamber if the ghost smells are not reduced after the cake has been removed and the shank internals are thoroughly cleaned. As is commonly seen on rusticated or sandblasted pipes with some serious age on them, the crevices in such sandblasted surfaces are always filled with dust, dirt, oils, tars and grime from all the years of smoking and storage. This one is no exception to this observation. The grooves of the deep craggy sandblast are filled with dust while the smooth bottom shank which bears the stamping is covered in dust and grime. The fact that the grooved patterns are dusty and filled with dirt is accentuated more due to the brown and black hues on the stummel and the shank. The briar is looking lifeless and bone dry and has taken on dirty grey hues. I need to be careful while cleaning the shank bottom surface to preserve the stampings on this pipe. Thorough cleaning and rising under warm water of the stummel surface should highlight the grain patterns, depth and cragginess of the sandblast. The mortise shows accumulation of oils, tars and gunk and the air flow is not full and smooth.    The high quality straight vulcanite saddle stem is so heavily oxidized that it appears brownish green in color! Some minor tooth chatter and deep bite marks are seen on both surfaces of the stem. This issue should not be a major headache to address. The lip edge on both sides has bite marks and would need to be reconstructed and reshaped. The tenon has accumulated ash and oils/ tars that have dried out on the inside as well as on the outside. The horizontal slot has calcium deposits which will have to be cleaned. The tooth chatter and the bite marks will be raised to the surface by heating and the deeper tooth indentations will be filled using charcoal and CA superglue mix.      THE PROCESS
I started the restoration of this pipe by first cleaning the internals of the stem with bristled pipe cleaners and 99.9% pure isopropyl alcohol. I scraped out the dried oils and tars from the tenon end with my fabricated knife and also removed the calcified deposits from the slot end. I followed it up by sanding the entire stem with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper to remove the surface oxidation. It has been our (Abha, my wife and self) experience that sanding a stem before dunking it in to the deoxidizer solution helps in bringing the deep seated oxidation to the surface which in turn make further cleaning a breeze with fantastic result.I dropped the stem in to “Before and After Deoxidizer” solution developed by my friend Mark Hoover. The solution helps to draw out heavy oxidation to the surface, making its further removal a breeze, while the minor oxidation is eliminated to a very great extent. The initial sanding helps to draw out the complete oxidation as the sanding opens up the stem surface that has been initially covered with oxidation. I usually dunk stems of 4-5 pipes that are in-line for restoration and this pipe is marked in green arrow. I generally allow the stems to soak in this solution overnight to do its work. While the stem was soaking in the deoxidizer solution, I worked on the stummel by first reaming the chamber with size 1, 2 and 3 Castleford reamer heads. I further scraped the chamber walls with my fabricated knife to remove the remaining carbon deposits. Once the cake was reamed back to the bare briar, I used a 150 grit sand paper followed by 220 grit sand paper to remove all the traces of remaining cake and also to smoothen out the inner walls of the chamber surface. Finally, to remove the residual carbon dust, I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with 99.9% pure isopropyl alcohol. The chamber walls are sans any damage, though a single minor superficial vertical heat line to the front and back of the stummel is seen. I may resort to coating the bowl with a mix of charcoal and yogurt to further protect the walls. The smells from the chamber are still very strong. I will have to resort to salt and alcohol treatment to get rid of the ghost smells.   This was followed by cleaning the mortise with cue tips, pipe cleaners and shank brush dipped in isopropyl alcohol. I scraped the walls of the mortise with my fabricated knife to remove the dried oils and tars. The heap of gunk scraped out and the number of pipe cleaners and q-tips tell the sordid saga of the condition of the shank internals. Though this further eliminated trace of old smells from previous usage, however, I must admit that I was still not very happy with the internal cleaning of the stummel and shank. The old smell was still very prevalent and called for more invasive methods to completely eliminate it.     To completely eliminate the smell, I decided to resort to salt and alcohol bath. I packed the chamber, just below the rim, with cotton balls. I stretched a cotton ball into a thick wick, tapering at one end and wound it around a folded pipe cleaner. I inserted it in to the shank and pushed it as far inside as I could so that the tip of the pipe cleaner came out through the draught hole and in to the chamber. I topped the bowl with isopropyl alcohol using an ink dropper. I know that it is generally a practice to use Kosher salt for this procedure, but since Kosher salt is not easily available here, and when available, it’s very expensive, I use cotton balls. I find that cotton balls work just fine in drawing out all the tars and smells from the mortise and the bowl. I topped the bowl with alcohol again after 20 minutes when the alcohol level had gone down and set it aside overnight for the soak to do its intended job. The next day, the cotton and alcohol had turned a dirty brown. I removed the cotton balls and ran pipe cleaners through the mortise to clean out all the loosened tars and gunk. I set the stummel aside to dry out all the alcohol from the walls of the chamber. The internals of the stummel is now clean and fresh. While the chamber was soaking overnight in the salt and alcohol bath, the next morning, Abha removed the stems that had been soaking in the deoxidizer solution overnight. She cleaned the stem and the stem airway under running warm water and scrubbed the raised oxidation from the stem surface using a Scotch Brite pad and the airway with a thin shank brush. She further removed the oxidation by scrubbing the stem with 0000 grade steel wool and applied a little EVO to rehydrate the stem. This now gives a clearer picture of the extent of depth of the bite marks as can be seen in the pictures below. These will definitely require a fill. The oxidation is deep and stubborn and can be seen over the stem surface as dirty green coloration. I need to further sand the stem to completely remove the oxidation.I used a 220 grit sand paper to sand the stem and remove all the oxidation that was raised to the surface. This step further reduced the tooth chatter and bite marks present on the stem. I wiped the stem with Murphy’s Oil soap on a cotton swab. This helps in cleaning the stem surface while removing the loosened oxidation. Using a lighter, I flamed the surface of the stem. This helped in raising some of the tooth chatter and bite marks to the surface as vulcanite has a property to regain its original shape on heating. The remaining tooth chatter and bite marks would be addressed subsequently.I addressed the deeper tooth chatter and bite marks by filling them up with a mix of activated charcoal and CA superglue. I applied a slightly thick layer over the lip which I will later sand down to create a defined edge. Once I had applied the mix, I set it aside to cure overnight. Once the fill has hardened, I shall file and sand the fills to match the surface of the stem and sharpen the button edges on either surface.   With the bowl internals clean, I move to clean the exterior of the stummel. I generously applied “Briar Cleaner”, a product that has been developed by my friend Mark Hoover, to the external surface of the bowl and the sandblasted rim top surface. It works similar to Murphy’s oil soap and needs to be applied to the stummel surface and set aside for 5- 10 minutes. The product pulls out all the dirt and grime to the surface making further cleaning easy. I am quite happy with this product. I used a hard bristled tooth brush to scrub the stummel and rim top with the solution. After the scrub with Briar cleaner solution, I washed the stummel under running warm water with anti oil dish washing detergent till the stummel surface was clean and dried it using paper towels and soft cotton cloth. I deliberately cleaned the sandblasted rim top with hard bristled toothbrush and set the stummel aside to dry out naturally. I simultaneously cleaned the shank internals with the detergent and hard bristled shank brush. The stummel surface has cleaned up nicely with the intricate sandblast patterns on full display. The brown hues of the raised portions of the sandblast contrast beautifully with the black of the rest of the stummel. These brown hues will darken considerably once the stummel briar is rehydrated and rejuvenated using the balm and subsequent wax polishing.  Next, I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to the briar with my finger tips, working it deep in to the sandblasts and let it rest for a few minutes. I generously rubbed the balm in to the sandblasted rim top surface. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the beautiful sandblast patterns displayed in their complete splendor. The contrast of the dark browns of the raised sandblast with the dark black of the rest of the stummel adds an interesting dimension to the appearance of the stummel which may be insufficiently described in words and be rather seen in person. I further buffed it with a horse hair brush.  With the stummel rejuvenation almost complete, save for the final wax polish, I worked the stem. The fill had cured and with a flat head needle file, I worked on the filling till I had achieved a rough match with the surrounding surface and had sufficiently sharpened the button edges. For a better blending, I further sand the entire stem with 220 followed by 400, 600 and 800 grit sand paper. This helps to reduce the scratch marks left behind by the more abrasive 220 grit paper. To bring a deep shine to the vulcanite stem, I went through the complete set of micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2000 grit sandpapers and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem with moist cloth after each pad and rubbed it down with Extra Virgin Olive oil to rejuvenate the vulcanite. The finished stem is shown below. To complete the restoration, I mounted a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and applied several coats of carnauba wax. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further and remove any residual wax from in between the sandblasts. The finished pipe looks amazingly beautiful and is now ready for its long second innings with me. I only wish it could share with me its life story of the past years while I enjoy smoking my favorite Virginia blend in it or maybe an English blend or maybe just keep admiring it!! The finished pipe is as shown below.

 

A Difficult To Identify But Simple Restoration Of “Ornsby” Pipe


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

I had recently completed a challenging restoration of an ORLIK MEERSCHAUM LINED pipe that had broken meerschaum lining. I considered it to be a challenging project because I had never undertaken repairs of a meerschaum as a material and trespassing in to uncharted territories is always challenging. However, thanks to all the detailed and informative write ups on the subject that is available on rebornpipes.com, I was successful in restoring the pipe and making it smoke worthy!!

For my next project, I wanted something simple to work on and after rummaging through the huge pile of pipes awaiting restoration; I selected this interesting but different looking pipe that was in my grandfather’s collection. I say it is different since this pipe does not have a shank but the stem directly fits in to the bowl beneath the vertically placed draught hole on the heel. In addition to the vintage classic pipes, there are quite a few such different looking and unique pipes that I have been fortunate to inherit.

Beneath all the dust and grime, beautiful Bird’s eye grains to the sides and bold cross grains to front and back that extends to nearly half the width of the bowl on the left side can be seen over the stummel. Once the stummel has been cleaned and polished these grains will pop out and look more beautiful. The stummel is sans any stampings while the vulcanite stem with a conical aluminum tenon end has a symbol that is hard to describe. It’s an interlocked OP with a straight line from the base of the letter P. The lack of any Maker’s stamp and COM stamp makes the identification of this pipe very difficult.Lack of Maker’s stampings and COM stamp made research of this pipe very difficult. There was no point visiting rebornpipes.com as I did not have any name to search for. Similarly, visiting pipedia.org would not help as I did not have COM stamp to follow. Finally I turned to pipephil.eu and searched the Logos with a geometrical pattern and Logos with miscellaneous symbols sections. Again I came up with nothing matching the stem logo on the pipe in front of me. As a last resort, I just typed “pictures of unusual tobacco pipes” in to the Google search bar and there before me were a plethora of pictures. As I was scrolling through these images, after a couple of hours, I finally found a picture that was an exact replica of the pipe on my work table. A click on to this image took me to the site smokingmetals.co.uk. Here is the link to the web page; http://www.smokingmetal.co.uk/pipe.php?page=106

From the read I understood that this design was a part of the piper’s eternal quest for a cool and dry smoke. I reproduce a part of the information that should provide the readers with an insight in to the designer of the pipe and the Company that manufactured these pipes.

Invented by Chief Marine Officer, William Edward Ornsby in an attempt to create a cooler smoke and a dry bowl. Marketed by the Ornsby Pipe Company Ltd, Pennywell, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, England, predominately in the North of England, this pipe is virtually a stem direct to bowl.
The push fit stem/bit can be rotated to clear any shreds of tobacco that may be blocking the airway. A half turn of the stem will cut any trapped leaf in the airway and a quick blow will eject the offending particle. As the centre photo shows, the metal part of the stem goes right through the bowl. The packaging was also unusual in that it was a tube.
The pipe came with two choices of stem, straight or curved and there was a choice of six bowls: Natural, Brown Sandblast, Black Sandblast, Smooth Mahogany Finish, Deep Cut Horizontal Carved or the Deep Cut Vertical Carved.
Overall length 5 3/4 inches (146 m/m)

My thanks to Richard Adamek for the following:
“ORNSBY PIPE COMPANY LIMITED At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Members of the above-named Company, duly convened, and held at 7 Benton Terrace, Sandyford Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on 27th October 1980, the following Extraordinary Resolution was duly passed:
“That it has been proved to the satisfaction of this Meeting that the Company cannot, by reason of its liabilities, continue its business, and that it is advisable to wind up the same, and accordingly that the Company be wound up voluntarily and that Brian Leslie Wilson, of Wilson Johnson, 7 Benton Terrace, Sandyford Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, be and he is hereby nominated Liquidator for the purposes of the winding-up.”
(803) Brian Dobinson, Director”
Richard also found the patent number… US patent 242261 of 1976

Thus from the above, it is now established that the pipe that I am dealing with is an ORNSBY with a Natural smooth finish and a straight vulcanite stem. The pipe was awarded a US Patent in 1976 and the company was liquidated in 1980. This places the pipe in between the period from 1970s to 1980 making it 40 plus years old!!

Initial Visual Inspection
The pipe has beautiful Bird’s eye and cross grain across the stummel that can be seen through all the dirt and grime from years of use and uncared for storage. The chamber has a thick layer of cake with lava overflow over the rim top surface. The vulcanite stem is heavily oxidized and the aluminum tenon contraption appears to be dull and lackluster. The bite zone is peppered with minor tooth chatter. I think this should be an easy refurbishing project. Here is how the pipe appears as it sits on my work table. The smooth stummel has some beautiful Bird’s eye grain on the sides with cross grains on the front and back of the stummel. At the bottom on either side of the stummel, is a sharply contoured cut that merges and forms a gap between the either sides of the stummel that houses the aluminum tenon end of the stem. The stummel surface is covered in dirt and grime giving the stummel a dull and lackluster appearance. There is not a single fill in the briar and the stummel just oozes out high quality. There are a few dents and dings on either side of the stummel. The gap at the foot of the stummel that houses the aluminum tenon is covered in oils, tars and grime from years of usage and storage. The housing for the tenon needs to be cleaned. The minor dents and dings will be addressed once the stummel is sanded down with a sand paper. A nice cleaning and polishing should highlight the beautiful grain on the briar. A thick layer of cake is seen in the chamber. The rim top surface has a few dings and is covered in thick overflow of lava, dirt, dust and grime. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber and rim top surface will be known once the cake has been taken down to the bare briar. The inner rim condition appears to be good with no burn/ charred surfaces. However, the outer rim edge is damaged most probably due to striking against a hard surface. In spite of the thick cake, the chamber odor is surprisingly not strong and should be addressed once the cake has been taken down to the bare briar and the shank internals have been thoroughly cleaned. The draught hole is in the dead center of the heel of the chamber and is constricted due to accumulation of the thick cake. Only once the stummel has been thoroughly cleaned that I can be sure of my initial appreciation. The dings over the rim surface will be addressed by topping while the damage to the outer rim edge will be taken care of by sanding or, if need be, by creating a bevel. The draught hole needs to be thoroughly cleaned for a full and smooth draw. The tapered vulcanite stem is unique and nothing like I had seen before. The tenon end is a conical aluminum extension and has a horizontal slot that is closed at the bottom, cut across the mid section which opens in to the stem airway. This slot is aligned with the draught hole. For a better understanding of the construction and functioning, shown below are a few pictures which shows the complete set up. The stem is heavily oxidized with minor tooth chatter in the bite zone. The aluminum tenon is stained with dried oils and tars and has a lackluster appearance. Deposits/ accumulation of gunk is seen in the horizontal slot in the conical tenon, clogging the air way. Apart from slight calcium deposition at the edge of the both the buttons, there is no damage to the button per se on either surface and no deep bite marks in the bite zone. I shall clean the stem internals and get rid of the surface oxidation. This internal cleaning will improve the air flow and external cleaning will help in aesthetics of the stem. The minor tooth chatter in the bite zone will be addressed by sanding the area. The Process
I decided to address the stem first for this restoration. There is no fixed routine that I follow during any restoration and I prefer to address first that part which requires maximum repairs or that what requires maximum time. I cleaned the internals of the stem with thin shank brush dipped in liquid dish washing soap and further cleaned it with regular and bristled pipe cleaners and 99.9% isopropyl alcohol. It has been my experience that initial cleaning with shank brush greatly reduces the subsequent requirement of pipe cleaners.Next, I reamed the chamber with size 2 followed by size 3 head of the Castleford reamer. I further sand the walls with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper and took the cake down to the bare briar. I wiped the chamber with a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol. It was a great relief to find a solid chamber with no heat fissures/ lines/ pits. The lava overflow from the rim top surface was gently scrapped off with my fabricated knife. I cleared the draught hole of all the obstructing cake and gunk with hard bristled pipe cleaners and alcohol. The gap at the foot of the stummel that houses the tenon was cleaned using shank brush, pipe cleaners and alcohol. The rim top surface needs to be scrubbed clean. This cleaning has revealed an uneven inner rim with chips to the edge, especially one in 12 o’clock direction. The damaged areas of the inner rim edge are marked in yellow circles. Further external cleaning of the stummel will present a clearer picture of the extent of damage. The chamber now smells fresh and clean.    The time that I was working on cleaning up of the stummel, Abha my wife worked on the stem. Since there was no requirement of any repairs to the stem, she volunteered to clean it up. With a folded piece of 180 grit sandpaper she rid the stem of the deep seated oxidation. She followed the 180 grit sandpaper with sanding the stem with progressively finer grit sandpapers of 220, 400, 600 and 1000 grit. The use of progressively finer grit sandpapers helps in removing complete oxidation from the stem surface while eliminating the sanding marks left behind by the coarser grit sandpapers. She cleaned up to the aluminum tenon end and the stem with 0000 grit steel wool and Murphy’s Oil soap and rubbed a little EVO deep in to the vulcanite. What fantastic results she has produced! The stem already looks polished and yet micromesh cycle is yet to be completed. Here is how the stem appears at this stage.With the internals of the stummel now clean, I cleaned the external surface of the stummel. I applied “Briar Cleaner”, a product that has been developed by my friend Mark Hoover, to the external surface of the bowl. It works similar to Murphy’s oil soap and needs to be applied to the stummel surface and set aside for 5- 10 minutes. The product pulls out all the dirt and grime to the surface making further cleaning easy. I am quite happy with this product. I used a hard bristled tooth brush to scrub the stummel with the gel like product, wiped it clean with a moist cloth and dried it using paper towels and soft cotton cloth. I deliberately cleaned the rim and the shank end by inverting the stummel and rotating it on a piece of Scotch Brite. I cleaned the gap that houses the conical aluminum tenon with a shank brush and dish washing soap to remove what little crud remained in the gap. I set the stummel aside to dry out naturally. The stummel is now nice and clean with the grains showing a lot of promise. The rim top surface has many dents and dings while the outer rim edge has many small divots carved, probably as a result of knocking against a hard surface to remove the dottle. The inner rim too has few dings and chipped edge. I shall resort to topping and creating a bevel over the edges to address these issues. Now that the stummel was clean, I could make out the exact extent of damage to the rim top surface and also to both inner and outer rim edges. I topped the bowl on a piece of 220 grit sand paper, checking ever so frequently the progress being made. One of the things that I prefer to avoid is topping a bowl as it compromises the shape of the bowl while also loosing briar estate. In case it is unavoidable, I prefer to keep it to the minimum. In this case, a few rotations later, I am at that point where the rim top surface damage has been addressed while the inner and outer rim edge damage has been addressed to a great extent. I need to create a slight bevel over both the edges to fully address the damage to the rim edges. To address the remaining dents and chips to the inner and outer rim edges, with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper pinched between my forefinger and thumb, I created a slight bevel over both these edges. I am quite pleased with the way the rim top and the edges appear at this stage in restoration.    I subjected the stummel to a complete cycle of micromesh polish, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads, the only variation being that since 1500 and 2400 grit micromesh pads have completely worn out and due to lockdown couldn’t order on line, I wet sand using 1500 and 2000 grit sand papers. I wiped the stummel with a moist cloth after every three grit pads to remove the sanding dust left behind by the pads. This also helps in monitoring the progress being made and ensures early corrective action. I am happy with the progress being made till now.    Next, I rub a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to the briar and the rim top surface with my finger tips and worked it deep in to the surface and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the beautiful grain patterns on full display. The contrast of the dark browns of the grain with the light hues of the rest of the stummel adds an interesting dimension to the appearance of the stummel. I further buffed it with a horse hair brush to further deepen the shine. Simultaneously as I was carrying out repairs and polishing of the stummel, Abha was busy silently polishing the stem. She wet sanded the stem with 1500 and 2000 grit sand papers and followed it up with wet sanding using remaining micromesh grit pads 2400 to 12000. She even polished the conical aluminum tenon to a pristine smooth shining finish. Readers who have been following my write ups for some time now are aware of Abha’s penchant for not taking any pictures……and she has stayed true to this habit of hers. Sincere apologies as there are no pictures for this stage!!

To complete the restoration, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and apply a coat of Blue Diamond to the stummel and the stem to polish out the minor scratches. With a cotton buffing wheel that I use for carnauba wax, I apply a coat of carnauba wax and continue to work on it till the complete coat of wax had been polished out. I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and give the entire pipe a once over buff. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The finished pipe looks amazingly beautiful and is now ready for its long second innings with me. I only wish it could share with me its life story of the past years while I enjoy smoking my favorite Virginia blend in it or maybe an English blend!! P.S. This pipe was an interesting project, the most difficult part being the research on the maker and brand of this pipe. This task was made difficult due to lack of any stampings on the stummel. However, once the provenance of this pipe was established, it was a simple straight forward restoration project.

This pipe too shall be joining the few pipes in my collection that are a milestone in pipe smoker’s eternal quest for a cool and dry smoke.

A big thank you to all the readers who have thus far walked with me on this journey…

Praying for safety and well being of all readers of rebornpipes.com. Stay home, stay safe.