Rebirthing a Republic Era Peterson’s Kapruf 86 Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

Today is an interesting day for me to work on pipes. It is Christmas Day and still fighting the sprained wrist. It is better than it was yesterday and the wrist brace really helps. I am slowed down a bit by it, but I have not stopped. The next pipe I have chosen is another Peterson’s Sandblast Apple. It is more delicate looking than the previous one but it was another very dirty pipe. It also came to us from the estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. The grime was ground into the grooves of the sandblast finish on the bowl sides. The contrast of the brown stains gave the blast a sense of depth. It was stamped on the flat underside of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Kapruf. To the left of that on the heel was the shape number 86. To the right of the Kapruf stamp it read Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines). This pipe must have been another favourite as it had been well smoked. There was a moderate cake in the bowl a light overflow of lava and darkening on the thin rim top. The edge of the bowl looked was rough and out of round. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had light tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. They tell the story and give a glimpse of the promise that we see in this pipe.   Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is moderately caked and the smooth rim top and edges have a lava overflow obscuring the apparent damage to the inner edge. The photos of the stem show that it was oxidized, calcified and has light tooth marks on the top and underside near the button.   Jeff took a photo of the bowl sides and heel to show the blast that was around this bowl. There were some nicks in the sides but overall it is a nice looking pipe.      He took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable and reads as noted above.     I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Aran line. On page 306 it had the following information.

Kapruf amd “Kapruf” (c.1922-87) Sandblast (hence the name, Kapp-rough) P-lip or fishtail mouthpiece, in catalogs from 1940-87. Early documented specimens stamped IRISH over FREE STATE, no Eire specimens documented. Mid-century specimens may be stamped LONDON MADE [over] ENGLAND or MADE IN ENGLAND forming a circle or MADE IN [over] IRELAND, all dating no later than 1970. Those of recent vintage stamped MADE IN THE[over] REPUBLIC [over]OF IRELAND.

I knew that I was dealing with a KAPRUF made before 1970 as it is stamped MADE IN IRELAND as noted above. That fit with the majority of his pipes so I was clear what I was working on. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better when it arrived.    I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top photo shows some damage on the back side of the rim top and inner edge. It should clean up really well. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks on the surface near the button. There was also some remaining oxidation.     I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is faint but readable.   I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has a great sandblast on the bowl. I started my work on the pipe by cleaning up the damage on the back of the inner edge and rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage. The rim top was smooth originally so that is what I worked with as I cleaned it up. I crowned the rim edge to eliminate the damage and blend it into the rest of the rim edge.  I polished the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped down the briar between each pad to remove the sanding debris. I stained the rim top  with a Maple stain pen to blend it into the surrounding briar and to match the smooth panel on the underside of the shank.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush 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. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process.   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 oxidation on the surface of the vulcanite. It took a bit of scrubbing and I was able to remove the remaining oxidation.     I filled in the few tooth marks on both sides of the stem with clear super glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the rest of the stem. Then started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. 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 Peterson’s Kapruf 86 Apple, Made in the Republic of Ireland. 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 the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished smooth rim top and the sandblast bowl looks like with the black vulcanite taper stem. This Classic looking Peterson’s Kapruf Sandblast Apple 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 ¼  inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 28grams/.99oz. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the Irish Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

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