Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe I have chosen is sandblasted Peterson’s Kilarney. This Apple has a medium brown finish around the bowl sides and shank. It also came to us from the estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. The Apple has a great on the bowl and shank that was in great condition. The finish on the bowl sides was dirty. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read X86 on the heel of the bowl followed by Kilarney in a flowery script. That is followed by “Peterson” [over] “Product” [over] Made in Ireland. There was a moderate cake in the bowl and light spattering of lava on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The stem was once of the worst in this estate in terms of tooth marks. It lightly oxidized but there were heavy tooth marks on the top and underside and on the button. There was a faint “K” stamp on the left side of the taper stem. 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 caked and the rim top and edges have some lava overflow. The stem is lightly oxidized and the photos clearly show the deep tooth marks on the top and underside near and on the button. Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. It is a nice looking pipe. He took photos of the underside of the bowl and shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above. I am including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson).
I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Kilarney Pipe. On page 306 it had the following information on the pipe.
Kilarney (1949-) Entry line with smooth finish and P-Lip mouthpiece. May have either a K or P stamped on the mouthpiece; may have aluminum singer (not to be confused with the tenon extension tube found on straight System pipes). 1949-c.1957 examples made for the US market may have any of the following COM stamps: MADE IN IRELAND (forming a circle), “A PETERSON’S PRODUCT” over MADE IN IRELAND or LONDON MADE over ENGLAND. Some early specimens stamped KILLARNEY over NATURAL (a higher grade) have MADE IN IRELAND (forming a circle). Examples c. 1986-90 feature a nickel band, which was replaced in ’91 with a shank extension of nickel band with black acrylic inlay. Fishtail mouthpiece from ’86 although P-Lip is sometimes seen. For the current German market, the Killarney is stamped CONNEMARA
I knew that I was dealing with a pipe made between 1949-c.1957 due to the stamping on the underside of the shank. It has the “K” stamp on the stem side and a P-lip mouthpiece. 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. There was some darkening on the back of the rim top but the edges looked very good. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the surface of the stem and button. 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 clear and readable. I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has a great looking sandblast. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair 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 “painted” the stem and button surface with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks. It worked amazingly well and the majority of them lifted completely or significantly. I filled in the remaining marks with clear super glue. Once the repairs had cured I flattened them out with a file and then sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the vulcanite. I started polishing the stem by wet sanding it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I touched up the faint “K” stamp with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold to try to make it more clear. While it is still faint it is clearer as can be seen in the second photo below. 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 Product Made in Ireland Kilarney X86 Sandblast Apple. 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. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the colours popping through the sandblast. Added to that the polished black vulcanite taper stem was beautiful. This shapely Classic Peterson’s Sandblast Apple is nice looking and the pipe 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 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 31grams/1.06oz. It is a beautiful pipe and one that I soon put on the rebornpipes store I you are interested in carrying on the pipeman’s legacy. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.