Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the table was purchased on eBay on October 3, 2016 from Des Moines, Iowa, USA. It was a very dirty Peterson’s System Standard 312. The finish is quite nice with a classic Peterson’s shape and smooth finish. The pipe had a lot of grime ground into the smooth finish with oils and tars in the grain. The bowl had a thick cake with a lot of lava overflow on the rim top and edges. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland [three lines] with the shape number 312 under that. On the oxidized nickel shank cap (ferrule) it is stamped K&P [over] Peterson. The stamping is clear and readable on the pipe and band. The ferrule has a lot of tars and oils oozing out of the end where the stem fits. The stem was dirty, oxidized and calcified with tooth marks and chatter on the stem near the button on both sides and some on the surface of the button as well. There was no Peterson’s “P” on the left side of the P-lip stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he worked on it. He took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the thick overflow of lava on rim top and edge. It is very hard to know what the inner and outer edges look like under the lava. The stem looked rough – there was oxidation, calcification and some deep tooth marks on both sides. He took a photo of the side and heel of the bowl to show the amazing grain that was shining through the grime and oils there. It would definitely look really good once it was cleaned up.The stamping on the sides of the shank read as noted above. The photos show that they are very clear and readable. The stamping on the nickel ferrule is also readable. I am including the information from 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 have included a bit of the pertinent history here.
1950 – 1989 The Republic Era – From 1950 to the present time, 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.
I knew that I was dealing with a Republic Era pipe made between 1950-1989. It was a smooth Peterson’s System Standard 312 Billiard with nice grain. The finish was stained with a combination of brown stains. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
Jeff had cleaned it thoroughly. He had reamed it with a PipNet reamer and cleaned that up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He had scrubbed the exterior of the briar with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. He cleaned out the interior of the shank, sump and airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the oxidation and calcification on the surface. He soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. He removed it from the Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my part of the work. The rim top had some scratches and darkening on the surface. The outer and inner edges of the rim was okay but there was some burn damage on the front outer edge and on the back inner edge. The stem surface looked better with some tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. There was still some light oxidation that would need to be dealt with on the shank end and around the P-lip. I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. It is clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The stem is a typical Peterson’s System stem.I started my work on the pipe by working over the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl to clean up the damage. I topped the bowl lightly on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to rework the inner bevel on the bowl. It worked well and the finished rim top looked significantly better. I polished the briar with micomesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. 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 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. 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 Peterson’s System Standard 312 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 312 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: 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 61grams/2.15oz. 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!