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. There were eight total pipes in the lot that he sent me. The first one I restored was a large Irish Second 05 Calabash that is heading off to Michigan. The second pipe was a Peterson’s Kapet pipe in a shape 124 (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/08/16/restoring-a-republic-era-petersons-kapet-124/). The third pipe was a very Danish looking Made in London, England Sandblast Acorn. (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/08/17/restoring-a-very-danish-looking-made-in-london-england-acorn/). The fourth pipe was a Bromma Bent Billiard with a screw on bowl (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/08/18/restoring-what-looks-like-a-swedish-bromma-pipe/). All of the pipes were in clean condition and had been lightly reamed. The next pipe, the fifth one is a Canadian Made Paradis Pipe. The pipe had a thin cake in the bowl and a light overflow of lava on the rim top. There was darkening around the inner edge of the rim. The finish was coated with a shiny coat of urethane (seems to be something I am dealing with lately!). It was peeling on the top of the rim and inner edge. It would all need to go. The pipe was stamped on the left side and read Paradis in script [over] Rustic. The right side of the shank was stamped with the shape number 246.The pipe rusticated patterns on the right and left side of the bowl and shank. The bent saddle stem had a lot of tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button. There was stylized P on the left side of the stem.
I took some photos of the pipe before I started my clean up work on it. It is another interesting pipe that has a great back story to the Canadian Province of Quebec. But… more of that after I introduce you to the pipe. 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 some darkening and lava on the inner edge of the bowl The urethane coat was peeling back from the inner edge onto the rim top. The stem had a lot of tooth chatter and some deep tooth marks on both the top and bottom. I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. It was clear and readable as noted above. The P stamp on the left side of the saddle stem is clear.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe. Underneath the thick urethane coat there was some great grain and the pipe was a good shape and design. I have worked on quite a few Paradis pipes over the years and have done a lot of work on the background of the brand and have written about that I previous blogs. I have included the link for ease of reference (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/10/21/breathing-life-into-a-canadian-made-paradis-porte-st-louis-bent-billiard/). I quote from that blog below.
I turned first to Pipephil’s site for a quick summary (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-p1.html). I have included a screen capture of the information on the site.The Paradis brand was made by the Paradis brothers in Quebec but I did not remember much more than that so I turned to Pipedia for more info (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Paradis_Pipes) and learned the following:
Paradis Pipes is the Canadian brand of the brothers Gilles and Fernand Paradis. In 1922 the Paradis family moved to the USA, when Lucien Paradis (1906-1979) was 16 years old. It was at this age that he started as an apprentice at his uncle’s pipe factory, Joseph B. Desjardins, maker of (JD) pipes, in Fall River, MA. Joseph Desjardins was issued two patents during this period, one for a new machine for making pipe stems and another for a new design of pipe reamer. The company employed 60 workers at one stage.
In 1930, due to the Great Depressions, Lucien lost his job and returned to Quebec to work in the agricultural machine industry. In his spare time, he made pipes, selling them door to door. Three years later the rest of the family joined him and Lucien founded a pipe factory with two of his brothers. The company eventually employed 18 workers and in the 60s produced over 50 thousand pipes a year, under brands like JBL, Dr. Thomas, Fernand Gignac, S.C. Pipes, New London Golfer, and Jo Thomassin.
Paradis was founded in 1978, at the Salon of Quebec Artisans’ and is available in tobacconists all over the country today. The brand produces 8000 pipes a year (400 “handmade”), with Greek briar.
Now it was time to work on the pipe. I started my work on the pipe by addressing the lava coat and darkening on the rim top. I cleaned the inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I wanted to remove the darkening and minor damage to the top and edge of the bowl.I stripped off the urethane coat with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad and some acetone on a cotton pad. I broke the shine coat and then rub it down with acetone on a cotton pad. I repeated the process until I had removed the shiny coat. I cleaned up the reaming of the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I took out the remnant of cake that had been left so I could examine the walls. I was glad to see there were no fissures in the briar walls.I scraped out the shank with a pen knife to remove the tar build up that was on the walls. I followed that up by cleaning the mortise and the airway in both the shank and the stem with 99% isopropyl alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the interior of the pipe was very clean. I polished the briar bowl with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. 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 set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks and chatter on the stem surface with the flame of a lighter to try and raise the dents. It worked very well and the majority of them came up. The few that remained I filled them in with clear CA glue and set it aside to cure. Once it cured I used 220 grit sandpaper to sand out the tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem. I used a small file to flatten out the repairs and reshape the button edge. I started to polish it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. The stem is looking much better. 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. I gave it a final rubdown with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to cure. This Canadian Made Paradis Rustic 246 Bent Dublin is a great looking pipe with great grain once the urethane coat was removed and the briar polished. The rich, brown stained smooth bowl with carved patches around the bowl and shank that were stained with a darker brown is quite beautiful. The finish works well with the polished vulcanite saddle 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 Paradis Rustic 264 Bent Dublin is 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: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 34 grams/1.20 ounces. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly in the Canadian Pipemakers 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!