Daily Archives: August 16, 2021

Restoring a Republic Era Peterson’s Kapet 124


Blog by Steve Laug

A while back I received a small box of pipes from a fellow pipeman who wanted to donate them to support  the non-profit organization I work for – the SA Foundation (www.safoundation.com). The organization has been providing long term recovery, housing and job training for women who have escaped sexual exploitation and trafficking. For over thirty years the work has gone on and thousands of young women and their children have been empowered to start over with skills and options. The work is currently in 7 countries and 12 cities around the world. If you are interested give the website a look.

Now back to the pipes. The first one I restored was a large Irish Second 05 Calabash that will be going to the fellow I repaired the cracked one for. This will give him another option to smoke should that one give him further issues. Today I took on a second pipe from the lot. It is a very unique looking Peterson’s Kapet pipe in a shape 124 – a shape I have not seen or worked on before and one that I want to learn about as I worked on it. All of the pipes were in clean condition and had been reamed. This long canted looking pipe that is kind of a cutty had some burn marks on the front and back outer edge of the rim. The bowl was quite clean but I could smell the tobacco. The pipe was stamped on the left side and read Peterson’s [over] Kapet and on the right side it read Made in the Republic of Ireland. There was a silver band on the shank that was oxidized but otherwise in good condition and bears a Sterling Silver stamp on the top side. I think it is an after market band but I do not see any cracks in the shank that would say it was a repair. The stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth chatter on both sides ahead of the P-lip. The gold P stamp on the left side of the stem was faded.

I took some photos of the pipe before I started my clean up work on it. It is a very unique and interesting looking pipe. The bowl is forward canted and has a pencil shank. It is similar in terms of shank and style to the line of Specialty Briars that Peterson put out – the Tankard, the Barrel, the Calabash and the Belgique. It could easily fit in that line of pipes but I would need to do a bit of research to see where it fit. I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show the condition of the pipe. The rim top had burn damage on the top and also damage on the inner and outer edge of the bowl. The stem itself were in good condition other than a few light tooth marks and some chatter.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It was clear and readable as noted above. The photo of the silver band shows the Sterling Silver Stamp on the top of the band.I removed the stem from the shank and took photos of the look of the pipe. The long pencil stem and shank are really well done and quite stunning. The grain around the bowl is very nice.I turned to an article that Mark Irwin had written on his Petersonpipenotes.org blog on the shape number 124 (https://petersonpipenotes.org/tag/peterson-shape-124/). I have included the first few paragraphs from Mark’s site and encourage you to read it further. Mark also included a shape chart that I have also included below.

This is the short story of a small, pencil-shanked shape that’s peculiarly Irish yet rarely seen, even in the Peterson catalog. The shape’s name seems to depend on what type of stem is attached to the end of the bowl—zulu, churchwarden or dublin.

After World War II, or “The Emergency” as it was known in Ireland, Peterson re-established their trade ties and, like other pipe-makers, found the demand for their pipes even greater than it had been seven years before. At some level of consciousness in the Irish spirit there was a nostalgia for something older and more secure, something that spoke of home, stillness, and rest.

Charles Peterson’s favorite Oversize house pipes, with their 7 and 12-inch mouthpieces, were a thing of distant memory. The smaller-bowled straight “reading pipes” of the Patent Era, which also symbolized a leisurely evening’s smoke at home, were also forgotten.  But the ache for what they represented must have returned, eventuating in Peterson’s first batch of Specialty Briars “church wardens,” illustrated in the 1945 catalog and 1947 shape chart with the iconic 124, which Peterson dubbed a “dublin.”From Mark’s article it seemed that the shape came and went over the years. There were long periods where it was not made. Then periodically it came out in the mid 1960s, 1983, 1993-2018. I really think that this pipe is either the mid 1960s era or the 1983 period pipe. Both would fit in the Republic Era. Even the 1993-2018 would also fit that time frame. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

I started my work on the pipe with the interior of the pipe. I cleaned the bowl, the shank and the airway in both the stem and shank with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the interior of the pipe was very clean.I polished the tarnished silver band with a tarnish preventive silver polish until the tarnish was gone and the band shone! It is a pretty addition to this charming pipe.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. The briar really began to take on a deep shine by the end of the cycle of pads. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for ten minutes then buffed the bowl with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I used some Rub’n Buff Antique Gold to touch up the P stamp on the left side of the taper stem. The stamping is faint but still very readable and the gold made it stand out better. I rubbed it into the stamp with a piece of paper clip and then buffed it off with a cotton pad.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Republic Era Peterson’s Kapet 124 is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored, whatever you call the shape. The rich, brown stained finish around the bowl is quite beautiful and highlights grain very well. The finish works well with the Sterling Silver shank band and the  polished vulcanite taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s Kapet 124 is very light and sits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ inch. The weight of the pipe is 24 grams/.85 ounces. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Restaining and Restoring a Green 2015 St. Patrick’s Day 05 Calabash


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe has been sitting here for almost three years. I have picked it up and looked at quite a few times and always set it back down for another day. Today is finally the day. It is a nice 05 Calabash from Peterson of Dublin. It is a Limited Edition 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Pipe. It came with the box, slip cover and green pipe bag. We bought it in 2018 knowing that it had some issues. The biggest was that the right side of the bowl and shank had faded to almost a green wash while the rest of the pipe was fully green. A second issue always stopped me was that the pipe had been dipped in a thick coat of urethane or at least varnish. I would have to remove it if I was to restain the pipe. The stem had a decaying rubber softee bit on it and we all know those can hide anything from tooth marks to bite-throughs and we would not be sure until it was in our hands and we removed it. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. Jeff took a photo of the rim top and bowl to show its condition. It is faded and washed out looking as much as the rest of the pipe. However it is also well smoked. The previous owner had smoked it but was careful with the rim edges and top – no burn damage or poor reaming. Those are redeeming features. He also took photos of the stem with the Softee bit in place and removed. Another redeeming feature was that underneath it was quite clean and undamaged. I let out a big WHEW once I saw that as it is a major amount of work avoided in stem repair.  He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the stain and the briar underneath. It is an interesting looking pipe. He took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank and you can see the thick urethane coat almost filling in the stamping. It is readable but it is also awful with the plastic coating on it.To be honest with all of you I am not a big fan of coloured pipes to begin with so this really is a hard one for me. I also really have no idea what the pipe must have looked like before the sun fading and thick urethane coat. Maybe it would be better? I was not sure so I decided to pause my work for a little longer and see what I could find out about the original 2015 St. Patrick’s Day pipe.

I Googled and found a site that had a decent description of the pipe. I could almost picture it from the words. It was a shop called Mission Pipe. You have to answer the age questions to get in but here is the link (https://www.missionpipe.com/peterson-2015-st-patrick-s-day-pipe). They had a photo but it was not that clear. I quote their description below.

Peterson 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Pipe – Peterson of Dublin just released their annual St. Patrick’s Day Pipe, and being their 150th Anniversary year, they went all out. The Peterson’s 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Pipe features an amazing emerald stain, carving reminiscent of Celtic knots on the bowl and rings of silver-colors that match the emerald perfectly…

Google next took me to Mark Irwin’s Peterson Pipe Notes site. His description was spot on and the photos showed me what I needed to know (https://petersonpipenotes.wordpress.com/tag/dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde/). I quote below. I have also included a photo of the shape 05 that I have.

St. Patricks Day Pipe 2015 – A combination of smooth (green) and rustic (black) finishes with a smooth flat top at the top of the bow. The rustication is a Celtic knot. Twelve shapes (as shown): 01, 05, 68, 69, XL90. X220, 408, 338, 306, 304, 105, 106.I now knew what I was aiming for with the pipe in question. First the removal of the urethane then a restain with this objective in front of me. A carved Celtic Knot black band around the top edge of the bowl and then a very green stain that matched the green between the polished silver in the band on the shank end.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe as he normally does. He reamed it with a Pipnet Reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipeknife. He scrubbed out the inside of the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap to see if he could break down the plastic coat. Unfortunately it did absolutely nothing to that finish. He removed the Softee Bit and scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrubb. He soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He rinsed it off and recleaned it. I took the following pictures when it arrived. That shiny coat kills me! I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition of them both. The rim top is blotchy green in colour and the finish is not smooth. The heavy urethane coat is not smooth on the top. The stem looks very good and other than very light chatter it is in excellent condition. I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. It is clear and readable but you can also see the high gloss shine of the urethane on the bowl in these photos. It is really quite thick.I took a photo of the bowl and stem separated to give a sense of the pipe but also to highlight the urethane coat the predominates the finish on this once beautiful pipe.Now it was time to try and strip the urethane coat off the bowl so I could restain it. It was going to be a lot of work. I sanded the bowl with 1500 grit micromesh sanding pads and also a medium and a fine sanding block to try and break up the urethane seal. I sanded for a while then wiped the bowl down with acetone. Eventually I was able to break through the urethane coat on the bowl sides and rim top. It sounds simple but I spent probably 3-4 hours sanding and wiping the bowl down with acetone to finally break through the plastic… a foul and loathsome thing!! With the finish finally removed I stained the Celtic Knot carving around the top of the bowl with a Black stain pen as it was in the original. The black looks very good at this point in the process.With that finished it was time to stain the bowl with the green stain. I chose a green stain that matched the green ring in the shank band. It is a Fiebing’s Kelly Green. I applied it with the wool dauber that came with the stain and flamed it to set it in the briar. The flame burns off the excess alcohol and opens the pores in the briar to let the colour into the grain. I repeated the process until I was happy with the coverage around the bowl. I set the bowl aside to cure and took a break on the front porch for a couple of hours. Before I called it a night I took the cork from the bowl and took photos of the newly stained bowl. I set aside the bowl to let the stain cure before going further with it. I turned my attention to the stem. I repainted the P stamp on the left side with some white acrylic nail polish. I brush it on and scrape of the excess with a fingernail. I lightly sanded it with a 1500 micromesh sanding pad and wiped it down with Obsidian Oil.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Fine and Extra Fine polish. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.This Peterson of Dublin St. Patrick’s Day 2015 shape 05 Calabash is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The Kelly Green stained finish around the bowl is quite beautiful and highlights grain very well. It also matches the green in the shank band. The finish works well with the polished vulcanite taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. (In taking the photos I can see that I need to do a heavier buff on the bowl and will do so after the finish cures a day or two.) The finished St. Patrick’s Day 2015 Bent Calabash sits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ inch. The weight of the pipe is 48 grams/1.69 ounces. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!