Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe I have chosen is another sandblasted Peterson’s Kapruf. This squat Bulldog shaped pipe has a medium brown finish around the bowl sides and shank and a nice looking shallow sandblast finish. It also came to us from the estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. The sandblast rim top and edges were in good condition. The finish on the bowl sides was dirty. It was stamped on the left underside of the shank and read Made in the Republic of Ireland on the heel of the bowl followed by Peterson’s [over] Kapruf [over] 495. There was a light cake in the bowl and debris and lava on the rim top. The inner edges of the bowl seemed to be okay and were raw briar from scraping. The stem 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 diamond saddle stem was quite faint. 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. The stem is oxidized, calcified has tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. 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 after 1970 (or as they say in the book above “recent vintage” as it is stamped MADE IN [over] THE REPUBLIC [over] OF 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 clean the rim top looked. The sandblast surface is perfect. 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 in spots 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. The bowl was in such good condition that 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 surface of the stem with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks. While it lifted many of them a few remained. I filled them in with clear super glue. Once the repair had cured I flattened it 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. The “P” stamp on the left topside of the saddle stem was quite faintly stamped. I touched it up with some Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I worked it into the remaining stamp with a tooth pick. I buffed off the excess with a cotton pad. It shows but it is very faint. 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” 495 Republic Era Sandblast Squat Bulldog. 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 Peterson’s “Kapruf” Squat Bulldog 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 ½ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 25grams/.88oz. 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.