Rebirthing a Republic Era Peterson’s Kapruf  5S Saddle Stem Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

Today is rainy, chilly day in Vancouver. I know in comparison to where many of you live it is not cold but to us it is. It is also one of those kinds of day that my old friend Spencer would have been next to my work table begging for a treat and keeping company. I can’t believe that he died just over a year ago now. I miss him a lot on days like today. The next pipe I have chosen is another Peterson’s Billiard. It is a sandblast pipe that came to us from the estate of an old friend in Ontario, Canada. There was grime ground into the sandblast finish on the bowl sides. I love the way the contrast of the brown and black stains gave the blast a sense of depth. The stain is almost tiger striped. It was stamped on the flat underside in the center of the shank and read Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines). To the right of that it is stamped Peterson’s [over] Kapruf. To the left of the Republic stamp, on the heel was the shape number 5S. This pipe must have been another favourite of my old friend as it had been well smoked. There was a well maintained cake in the bowl and some darkening on the rim top. The inner edge of the bowl looked good. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had light tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is lightly caked and the rim top and edges look to be in good condition despite a little darkening. The photos of the stem show that it was oxidized, calcified and has light tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. Jeff took a photo of the bowl sides and heel to show the blast that was around this bowl. It is a great sandblast and the choice of stain adds depth to the appearance of the bowl. He took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable and reads as noted above. 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 working on a KAPRUF that was made between 1970-1987 as it is stamped MADE IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND as noted above. 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 looks very good. There is a little darkening on the top at the back of the bowl but is not too bad. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light chatter and marks on the surface near the 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 readable. I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has an interesting shallow sandblast on the bowl.The exterior of the bowl was in great shape. I used a brass bristle wire brush to knock of some of the darkening on the rim top.  I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair 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 touched up the P stamp on the left side of the saddle stem with some acrylic fingernail polish. I worked it into the stamp with a toothpick and then scraped off the excess once it had dried.    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 always am excited to finish working on a pipe. This Peterson’s Kapruf 5S Billiard, Made in the Republic of Ireland is no exception. 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 and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished smooth rim top and the sandblast bowl looks like with the black vulcanite taper stem. This Classic looking Peterson’s Kapruf Sandblast Billiard 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 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼  inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 34 grams/1.20 oz. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly in the Irish Pipe Makers section if you are interested in it. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

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