By Al Jones
Wow, things have changed at WordPress! It’s been several months since my last submission and the new format is going to take some getting used to.
I wasn’t necessarily looking for another Sasieni Ashford, but this Four Dot Walnut appeared in my Ebay search engine and it looked like a great candidate to join my three other Ashfords. I previously had a Walnut Ashford, but sold it several years ago, to fund the purchase of my Ashford Natural, which was unsmoked and by my standard, pricey. Selling that Walnut was always one that I regretted.
This example, shown below looked well loved, but solid. There were some dings around the bowl, and build-up on the bowl-top. The most problematic would be the deep tooth indention on the bottom of the button. Stem fitment was excellent as was the nomenclature.
I used a worn piece of Scotch-Brite and a Micromesh sheet to remove the build-up on the bowl top. The briar had some small handing dings. I used an electric iron an a wet cloth to raise them, which worked well. The bowl was then soaked with alcohol and sea salt. Following the soak, the shank and draft hole were scrubbed with a bristle brush dripped in alcohol.
The tooth indention on the bottom of the stem was deep, and the rubber protruded into the draft hole. I used a heat gun to soften the vulcanite and using a small needle file, I was able to push the material back into it’s original shape. There was only a scratch underneath. I used some black superglue to fill that in and give the button some extra stability. It seemed solid, and under magnification, there was no break, so that was precautionary.
The oxidation was removed with 400, 800, 1200 and 2000 grade wet paper, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.
The briar was buffed lightly with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba Wax. Below is the finished pipe.
Below is the Fab Four of Ashfords, as I’ve taken to calling them. I liken the Natural to Paul, the Walnut to John, the Ruff Root to George and the Rustic to Ringo (so far, my favorite to smoke)