Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe I have chosen is a sandblast Peteron’s Kapruf Canadian that was incredibly dirty. The grime on the finish pretty much obscured the sandblasted grain around the bowl sides. The contrast of the brown stain made the texture of the blast stand out clearly. This one came to me in a box of parts that were part of an estate I purchased here in Vancouver. It was stamped on the underside of the shank. The stamping was readable. It read shape #71 on the heel of the bowl followed by Made in the Republic of Ireland mid shank. That is followed by Peterson’s [over] Kapruf. It was in rough condition when I 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 that filled in the blasted rim top and edges. The stem had a broken tenon that was stuck in the shank. The rest of the stem was oxidized, calcified and had light tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. I took photos of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. They tell the story and give a glimpse of the promise that I see in this pipe. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of the bowl and stem. The interior the bowl had a heavy cake that overflowed like lava onto the rim top filling in the sandblast. The stem has a broken tenon and the taper is oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. It has a clear P stamp on the top of the stem.I took a photo of the underside of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above. 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 (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). 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. It was a Kapruf which sported a rugged sandblast finish with a combination of brown and black stains. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
I decided to start my restoration work on this one by dealing with the broken tenon in the shank. When it was removed I would be able to clean out the shank and bowl. I pulled the tenon with a wood screw. I turned it into the airway in the tenon in the shank. Once I had a good grip on the tenon I wiggled it free of the shank. With the tenon removed it was time to clean up the bowl and shank. I reamed the thick cake back with a PipNet pipe reamer using the smallest cutting head on this petite pipe. The cake was thick and crumbly and came out easily. I followed that by cleaning up the remnants of cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and finish with a piece of dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean up the crevices in the sandblast finish. I rinsed off the debris and the soap with running water and dried the pipe off with a soft towel. With the exterior clean it was time to deal with the interior. I scrubbed out the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. I also cleaned out the airway in the stem at the same time with pipe cleaners and alcohol. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar 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 photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. With that done the bowl was finished other than a final buffing. I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I decided to replace the broken tenon before cleaning up the oxidation on the stem surface. I used a series of drill bit to drill out the airway in the stem for the new tenon replacement. I moved carefully because of the angle of the stem surface. There was no room for error. Once I had it opened I cut a piece of rubber tenon material that I had to match the depth of the hole I had drilled and the depth of the mortise. I glued it in place with black super glue and aligned it so that it would be straight in the shank. Once it was aligned I set it aside for the glue to cure. Once the glue cured I dropped the stem in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover and called it a night. This morning I removed the stem from the bath and dried it off with a paper towel. I cleaned out the airway with alcohol and pipe cleaners and other than the P on the top side missing the stem looks very good. I used some Paper Mate Liquid Paper to touch up the “P” stamping on the top of the stem. Once it cured I scraped off the excess leaving the stamp filled in. I am happy with the way that it came out. 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 petite Republic Era Peterson’s Kapruf 71 Canadian. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and followed that with a quick hand buff with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the variations of colour in the sandblast on the bowl sides and rim top. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem is a great contrast of colour. This small Canadian is a great looking pipe and it feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. It is a beautiful pipe. 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.