Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to us from an online auction from Corning, New York, USA. It is classic shaped French Made Bulldog with great flame and straight grain around the bowl and shank. It was stamped on both sides of the shank. On the left side it is stamped Waldorf [over] Super. On the right side it is stamped Imported Briar [over] Made in France [over] the shape number 102MS. The Waldorf brand was not one I had heard of before. I knew it was American Made because of the Imported Briar stamp but not much else. The finish was dirty with dust and grime ground into the bowl sides. There were three visible fills – one on the topside of the shank near the bowl junction and two are on the right side of the bowl toward the front. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflow on the beveled rim top. The vulcanite stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter ahead of the button on both sides. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show its general condition before he did his cleanup. As I mentioned above the exterior of the pipe was very dirty – grime and grit ground in from years of use and sitting. The rim top was covered with a coat of thick lava that overflowed from the thick cake in the bowl. It was heavier toward the back side of the bowl. It was hard to know what the rim edges looked like because of the lava. The stem was dirty and lightly oxidized with tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside of the stem at the button. Jeff took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to give a better feel for the condition of the briar around the bowl. The next photos show the stamping on the sides of the shank and it is very readable. It reads as noted above. You can also see the Spade logo on the left side of the stem. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank, Waldorf [over] Super as pictured below. On the right side it is stamped Imported Briar [over] Made in France. Under that is stamped shape number 102MS. In checking on Pipephil’s site on the Waldorf brand it appears that there is a connection to WDC (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-w1.html). WDC is the American Company William Demuth Company. The stem has the same logo as Phil shows on his site though the pipe in hand has much fainter stamping.I turned to Pipedia’s article on WDC pipes and read through the great article on the history of WDC (https://pipedia.org/wiki/William_Demuth_Company). There was a noted that Waldorf was originally made by WDC in the American pipemakers list. Other than that there was no mention.
Jeff cleaned the pipes with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. The pipe was a real mess when he got it and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. I was surprised to see how well it turned out. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed it with Soft Scrub and soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked a lot better. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. I wanted to show what cleaned bowl and rim top looked like. The rim top shows some darkening on the beveled rim top. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth chatter and marks on the stem surface. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and it is clear and readable. It is stamped as noted above. I removed the stem for the shank and took a photo of the bowl and stem to give a picture of what it looked like. It is a classically shaped Bulldog.Now, on to my part of the restoration of this Waldorf Super Bulldog. I decided to clean up the damaged rim top and inner edge of the bowl. I cleaned up the inside of the bowl edges with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. Once I was finished the edge looked a lot better. I took photos of the fills on the right front of the bowl side and the left top of the shank. They were like pink circles. They were indented so I filled them in with super glue and briar dust. Once the repairs cured I sanded them smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I polished the top of the bowl, the repaired areas and the entirety of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping the briar down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I sanded the lighter spots around the fills with a Walnut stain pen to blend it into the surrounding briar. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. The Waldorf Spade logo on the left topside of the saddle stem was worn so I touched it up with Liquid Paper. Once it dried I scraped it off and took a photo. I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This French Made Waldorf Super 102MS Bulldog turned out to be a great looking pipe. The mixed stain brown finish on the pipe is in great condition and works well with the polished vulcanite saddle stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and 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 Waldorf Super Bulldog fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 35g/1.23oz. If you are interested in carrying on the pipe man’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.