Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe I have chosen is sandblasted Peterson’s Kapruf. This Apple has a medium brown finish around the bowl sides and shank and a very nice looking sandblast finish. It also came to us from the estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. The rim top and top of the apple were in very rough condition. The condition caused me to pause. I talked with Jeff about taking the part from this and scrapping the bowl but I find that hard to do! After spending time chatting about it and turning it over in my hands for a bit I decided to give it a go and see what I could do with it. The finish on the bowl sides was dirty. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read 132 on the heel of the bowl followed by Peterson’s [over] “Kapruf”. That is followed by London Made [over] England. There was a heavy cake in the bowl and lava filling in the sandblast on the rim top. The back inner edge of the bowl was badly damaged and appeared to be quite thin. I would know more once it was cleaned. The was oxidized, calcified and there were heavy tooth marks on the top and underside and on the button. The “P” stamp on the left side of the taper stem was worn off. 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 heavily caked and the rim top and edges have some lava overflow. There is some major damage on the back of the inner edge of the bowl. The bowl is really out of round and thin on the back side. The stem is oxidized, calcified has tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the look of the sandblast that was around this bowl. It is an interesting 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 Kapruf line. On page 306 it had the following information.
Kapruf and “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 (or as they say in the book above “Mid-Century” as it is stamped LONDON MADE [over] ENGLAND 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 thin the back of the inner edge of the bowl is. You can see the out of round bowl is on the sides and rear of the bowl. 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 faint but very 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 decided to start by addressing the issue of the thin rim top and edge at the back of the bowl. I took a photo of the bowl to show the damage that needed to be addressed. I measured the thickness of the walls at the back of the bowl and found that the damage was actually not too deep in the bowl. I figured I could top the bowl and gain some thickness back and then use a Dremel to put a sandblast like finish on the rim top.I topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board to remove the damaged areas. Once that was finished I had some solid rim top and edge to work with on the back of the bowl. The second photo below shows the starting point of the bowl after the topping. I used the Dremel and sanding drum running at a low speed to bring the bowl back into round. Of course I forgot to take photos of that part of the process. You can see the results in the photo below. I used a Dremel and dental burrs to rusticate the top of the bowl to give it a rusticated finish that approximates the style of the sandblast on the rest of the bowl. I stained the rim to with a dark Walnut stain pen to lay an undercoat of colour to the rusticated rim top. I used a Cherry stain pen to give a top coat on the rim top. I am pleased with the over all look and feel of the newly rusticated rim top. 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 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 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” 132 London Made Sandblast Apple. I am really happy with how the bowl turned out when I consider the damage that needed to be addressed. 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 English 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 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 32grams/1.13oz. 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.