Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to us from a group of pipes that Jeff and I picked up from a fellow in Hermann, Missouri, USA. The pipe is sandblast Dublin shaped pipe with a mix of brown stains. It is a medium sandblast with shallow valleys and ridges around the bowl and shank. The pipe is stamped on smooth panel on the underside of the shank and reads Handmade [over] Denmark that is followed by a second stamp that reads Imported [over] Briar near the stem end. The pipe was tired and worn looking with a lot of grime and dust in the crevices and valleys of the sandblast finish. The bowl was heavily caked with a heavy lava coat flowing onto the beveled sandblast rim top. It was hard to know what the rim and top looked like under all of the thick lava cake. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and deep tooth marks on the top and underside near the button and on the button surface. It had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and tobacco debris as well as the thick lava on the rim top and inner edge. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation and the chatter and deep tooth marks. Jeff took a photo the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of the sandblast and the worn finish on the bowl. The stamping on the top and underside of the shank are clear and readable and read as noted above. This was a mystery pipe – the stamping read Handmade Denmark and Imported Briar and lead to no further information on the maker. I decided to leave the mystery and just work on the pipe itself. Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. The rim top cleaned up really well. The rim top and outer edge of the bowl appear to be in good condition. The stem surface looked good other than the deep tooth marks on the button surface and stem on both sides near the button. The stamping on the underside of the shank is faint and readable and reads as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The bowl looked very good and once I cleaned up the stem the pipe would look very good.Now it was time to do my work on the pipe. The bowl was in such good condition that I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush 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 tooth marks on the top and underside of the button and stem service were very deep and no amount of heating or sanding them would lessen them. I filled them in with black super glue and set the stem aside to let the repairs cure. Once they had hardened I used a needle file to flatten the repair to match the surrounding vulcanite. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the remaining chatter on the top of the stem and further blend in the repair on the underside. I started the polishing process with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Danish Handmade Imported Briar Sandblast Dublin is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The rugged sandblasted brown stained finish around the bowl is quite beautiful and highlights the nooks and crannies of the sandblast. The finish works well with the polished vulcanite oval taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem 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 Danish Handmade Sandblast sits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!