New Life for a Peterson’s Republic Era System Standard 306 Bent Sitter

Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is a smooth Peterson’s System Standard Sitter that was incredibly dirty. The grime on the finish pretty much obscured the grain around the bowl sides. The contrast of the dark stain made the grain stand out clearly. Jeff and I picked it up as part of group of pipes we traded for from Hermann, Missouri, USA. It was stamped on the left side of the shank. The stamping was readable. It read Peterson’s [arched over] System [arched over] Standard. On the right side of the shank it was stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland [over] the shape number, 306. It was in rough condition when he brought it to the table. The finish was dirty with grime ground into the briar sides and rim. There was a thick cake in the bowl and an overflow of lava on the rim top and the beveled inner edge of the bowl. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had light tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. They tell the story and give a glimpse of the promise that we see in this pipe.  Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the interior the bowl and the beveled inner edge. It is heavily caked with a thick lava overflow. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks on the top and underside near the button.   Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show grain that was around this bowl. It is a nice looking pipe.  He took a photo of the sides of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above – it reads Peterson’s [arched over] System [over] Standard. The nickel ferrule is also stamped K&P Peterson’s on the left side. On the right side it is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland [over] shape number 306. I am including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand ( I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era  – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson Company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

I knew that I was dealing with a Republic Era pipe made between 1950-1989. The K&P mark on the nickel band ties to Kapp & Peterson brings the date to the time between 1950-1964. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. The stamping on the side of the stem was very light and the white that had remained was gone. 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 and edges show a darkening but are not damaged. It should clean up really well. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the surface and on the button.  I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is clear and readable. I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has some great grain around the bowl and shank.I decided to start my restoration work on this one by dealing with the rim top and the damaged beveled inner edge of the bowl. I sanded the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the darkening and damage.  I started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I wiped the bowl down with acetone on a pad to remove the remnants of the finish on the briar before I did the repairs to the chips and nicks on the bowl sides. With the bowl cleaned off I filled in the deep nicks and cuts in the briar with clear super glue.   Once the glue repairs cured I sanded them smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surface of the surrounding briar. 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 filled in the tooth damage with clear CA glue and set the stem aside to cure. 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 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 excited to finish this Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 306 Sitter. 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 nickel ferrule was beautiful. This mixed grain on the smooth finish Peterson’s Sitter 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. The dimensions are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ 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.

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