Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe I have chosen is another Peterson’s System Standard pipe. This one is a nice smaller size It has a saddle style Peterson’s stem on the shank end. It came to us from the estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. I was in the airport in Hong Kong when his daughter contacted me to tell me of his death and asked if I wanted to take on his pipes. I told her that I was sad to hear of his death but would gladly take on his pipes to restore and sell. This pipe was obviously a favourite of his. It had been well smoked and there was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing onto the rim top. The briar was dirty with grime and dirt ground into the finish and some of the lava flowing down the bowl sides. The nickel ferrule was oxidized but undamaged. There were oils oozing out under the ferrule and also out of the top of the ferrule onto the stem. The pipe was stamped on the left side and read Peterson’s System Standard. On the right side it had the three line Republic of Ireland stamp [over] the shape number 314. The ferrule was stamped K& P over Peterson’s on the left side. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks on both sides ahead of the button. The P logo stamp on the left side was also filled with grime. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. Jeff captured the thick cake in the bowl and the heavy lava overflow onto the rim top in his photos. There really was no way of knowing what the edges looked like under the thick cake. You can also see the lava flowing down the sides of the bowl in the photos. The stem surface had a lot of tooth chatter and marks and was heavily oxidized and calcified. He took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to show the interesting grain patterns in the briar. It was quite beautiful.He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and on the ferrule and stem. It is readable but faint in places.I remembered that Paresh had restored a Peterson’s System Standard 314 earlier this year and as usual had done good work on the research. I turned to his blog and read through his work on the pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/24/helping-a-fellow-piper-with-his-dream-pipea-petersons-system-pipe/). I quote below from the section on his blog regarding the dating of the pipe.
While dating a Peterson’s pipe, I always fall back to my under mentioned favorite site; http://thepetersonpipeproject.blogspot.com/2007/07/dating-peterons-pipes.html
I quote from the above site.
Stamping of Bowl:
During the years of Kapp and Peterson’s business operations, the country of Ireland has undergone several name changes and K&P’s stamping on their pipes reflects these changes. Knowing these changes, a Peterson pipe can be roughly dated and placed in “eras.”
- The Republic Era is from 1949 until the present. The Republic of Ireland was formed on 17 April 1949. From 1949 to present the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.
With that information at hand I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrubb to remove as much of the oxidation as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top looked had some scratching on the top and some damage to the inner edge but over all it was in much better condition than I thought. The stem cleaned up well and the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button are visible in the photos.I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. The are clear and readable as noted above. There is some faintness on parts of the stamping but it is still readable.I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the damage on the inside edge of the bowl and the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the edge. I topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I wiped it down with a damp cloth and the rim top damage and burn marks on the outer edges were gone. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I restained the rim top and inner edges with a Walnut Stain Pen to blend it into the rest of the surrounding briar. The match was good.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed 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 on the surface with the flame of a lighter to lift them as much as possible. I was able to lift many of them but a few still remained. I filled in the remaining tooth marks with clear CA glue and set it aside to cure. I sanded the repairs smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to begin blending them into the stem surface. I started the polishing with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I touched up the “P” logo on the stem with white acrylic fingernail polish. I worked it into the tails on the “P” with a tooth pick and scraped off the excess with my fingernail and then buffed it with a soft cloth.I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. 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 System Standard 314 Bent Billiard with a vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. 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 System Standard 314 fits 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 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 45grams/1.59oz. This one has been reserved for first refusal. If you are interested in being in the queue for this pipe 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!