Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe I have chosen is smooth finished Peterson’s Billiard pipe. This one is a smooth Billiard that has a rich coloured finish around the bowl sides and shank. It came to us early in 2020 from the estate of a pipeman in Australia. The contrast of the brown stains makes the grain really pop. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] “Kildare”. It was stamped to the right of the shank and reads Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines) with the shape number 6 next to the bowl. It was filthy when Jeff brought it to the table. The finish was dirty with grime ground into the finish around the sides and rim. There was a cake in the bowl and lava on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The rim top was covered but the inner edge appeared to have some damage. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had 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 heavily caked and the rim top and edges have some lava overflow. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. Jeff took 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 sides of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above. I am including the link to the 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 Peterson’s System Line. On page 314 it had the following information.
Kildare (1965-) First issue of line with matte-finish in Classic Range shapes, P-Lip and fishtail mouthpiece. Second issue C.1979 as Kildare Patch, with rusticated patches on pipe surface. Third issue 2010, matte-brown, P-Lip or fishtail mouthpiece, no band. Fourth issue 2011-, burgundy sandblast finish, nickel army mount, fishtail mouthpiece, exclusive to Smokingpipes.com.
Judging from the description above I believe that I am working on a First Issue of the line in the time period of 1965-1979. It is a late Republic Era Classic Shaped pipe with a matte-finish and a P-Lip stem. 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 looked to be in good condition with some darkening on the inner edges around the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the surface near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is faint but reads as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look.I decided to address the damage to the back edge of the bowl and the rim top first. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge of the bowl a slight bevel to accommodate the burned areas and blend them into the surrounding briar. I also worked over the darkening on the rim top with the sandpaper. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips 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 I was able to lift them completely or significantly. I sanded what remained 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 stamped “P” on the top of the stem with white Liquid Paper. I pressed it into the stamping with a tooth pick and buffed it off with a soft cloth. It looks much better that when I started. 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 “Kildare” 6 Straight Billiard. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful flame grain all around it. Added to that the polished Sterling Silver band and the black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This smooth Classic Peterson’s “Kildare” 6 Billiard is great 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: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 36grams/1.23oz. It is a beautiful pipe and one that is already sold, or as Dal calls it “commissioned”. The gentleman who asked for it has the first right of refusal. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.