Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to us from an antique store on the Oregon Coast, USA. This morning as I was going through my box of what I have to work on this is the second one that caught my eye. Not surprising it is another amber/butterscotch coloured Redmanol stem. It is a nicely grained small Chunky Pot. Once again the stem reminds me of butterscotch candies that I used to have as a kid. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and has the LHS Diamond followed by a large P that is the lead letter for Purex and for Preferred. On the right side it is stamped Imported arched over Briar. There is also a shape number 28 on the underside of the shank next to the aluminum fitment.The finish had a lot of grime ground into the bowl and some darkening around the sides. The bowl was lightly caked and there was a light lava coat on the rim top and inner edge. The edges looked okay but we would know more after the cleanup. The silver coloured band on the shank and matching one on the stem were both oxidized. They were the fitments for the screw in stinger/tenon. The stem was dirty and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. There were not markings or a logo on the saddle stem. The pipe showed promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took a photo of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the condition of the rim top and edges. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the chatter and tooth marks. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There is some great grain under the grime. He took photos of the stamping on the shank. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. I turned to Pipephil’s site to see if the Purex Preferred line was shown there. It was not listed though there were other Purex pipes listed. I have included a screen capture of the summary of the history of the brand from the site below (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-lhs.html).I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/LHS). There was no listing for the Purex Preferred that I was working on but the article is very well done. Thanks to Dave Gossett for the information and the pictures of his collection. Give the article a read.
Now it was time to work on this interesting old pipe with the Redmanol man made amber stem.
Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants 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 scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub liquid cleanser to remove the grime on the surface and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. The rim top looked very good and inner edge of the rim showed some light damage. The stem surface looked good with some remaining oxidation on the aluminum parts and tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. I took a photo of the stamping on the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The stem is a compact Redmanol saddle. I decided to start my work on the pipe by cleaning up the damaged inner edge of the bowl. I reworked the edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper. Once I finished the rim and edge looked much better. I moved next to polishing the aluminum fitments on the shank and on the stem. I polished both with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the scratches and marks on both. They took on a nice silver glow. I polished it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth. 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 to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I filled in the deep tooth marks on the surface of the Redmanol with clear super glue. I let the repairs cure. I polished the repairs on the Redmanol stem 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 LHS (LH Stern) Purex Preferred Chunky Pot with an amber coloured Redmanol stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. There is some great grain around the bowl and shank. 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 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 LHS Purex Pot is chunky and 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 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 61gr/2.19oz. 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!