Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to us from an antique dealer back in 2018 in Sherwood, Arizona, USA. It is a Volcano Sitter shaped pipe with the mixed smooth finish. The pipe has a saddle vulcanite stem. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads The Bentley [arched over] Pipe. On the underside next to the shank/stem junction it is stamped Israel. The finish had a lot of grime on the surface and ground into both the briar and it was very dirty. The bowl was heavily caked and there was a thick lava coat on the flat rim top and the inner edge of the rim. It was hard to tell what condition of the inner edge was because of the lava coat. Only cleaning would make that clear. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. The pipe showed promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took 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 the condition of the rim top and edges. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, calcification and 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. He took photos of the stamping on the left side and on the underside of the shank. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. I knew that Bentley pipes were the production line of Former but this one was very different. It was stamped “The Bentley Pipe” and Israel. I looked Pipephil and Pipedia to see if I could find any information. Unfortunately there was nothing to be found. I also looked under the Shalom Pipe Factory information to see if I could find anything and there was nothing there either. I am pretty certain that it was made by Shalom as they made most if not all of the Israeli made pipe. I was left with a bit of a mystery pipe but it was truly a good looking pipe.
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 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 and inner edge of the rim looked good with a bit of damage on the inner edge on the middle right. The damage on the right side inner edge made the bowl slightly out of round. The stem surface looked very good with some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. It also had some residual oxidation. I took photos 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. I started my work on the pipe by working over the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl to clean up the damage. Once finished the rim top and edge looked much better. I polished the smooth briar on the rim top and cap of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I used a Maple Stain pen to touch up the rim top and inner edge of the rim. The colour blended in very well with the surrounding briar.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub All Purpose cleaner to remove the residual oxidation. It works very well to remove deep oxidation. 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. The Bentley Pipe Volcano Sitter Made in Israel with a vulcanite saddle stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished smooth finish is stunning. 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 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 grain just popped with the wax and the buffing. It is a beauty! The finished The Bentley Pipe Volcano fits nicely in the hand and feels great. It is also a sitter that can stand on its own. 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 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 54gr/1.90oz. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store in the METAL AND OTHER TYPES OF PIPES FROM VARIOUS PIPE MAKERS section. 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!