Restoring a Paneled Hexagonal Meerschaum Square Shank Dublin Sitter

Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is an interesting meerschaum Paneled Hexagonal Meerschaum Square Shank Dublin Sitter with geometric designs and sun bursts around the bowl sides and shank. The rim top was smooth. There was no marking on the pipe to help identify the maker. It is a nicely made pipe by an anonymous carver. There was a nylon insert in the shank and the tenon was nylon or Delrin and was a push tenon inset in the acrylic stem. The stem is a saddle style acrylic in variegated brown/tan/gold. The finish on the bowl was very dirty and grey looking. The top of the rim had a thick coat of lava on it. There was a thick cake in the bowl that would take some care to remove. The square acrylic saddle stem was dirty and the airway was blackened with tars. There was light chatter and marks on both sides near the button. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work. He took close up photos of the bowl to show the thick cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top. The stem photos show the tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the pattern that had been carved around the bowl and shank. The bowl was also filthy and had a grey hue of dirt and grim on the finish. Jeff had cleaned the pipe thoroughly. He had reamed it carefully with a PipNet reamer and cleaned that up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He worked slowly so as not to damage the inner edge of the bowl. He had scrubbed the exterior of the meerschaum with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a soft tooth brush. He was able to remove the grey tinge of the filth on the sides of the bowl and shank. He cleaned out the interior of the shank and airway with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He cleaned out the acrylic stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to remove the debris and oils in the airway. The bowl has the look of a tall Panel Hexagonal Dublin. The exterior of the bowl looked very good as did the stem. There was still some dark spots on the rim top on the front left side. I took photos of the pipe when it arrived here. I took some close up photos of the rim top and stem. You can see the marks on the back side of the rim top. The tooth chatter on both sides of the stem were quite light.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the parts of the pipe. It is well proportioned and looked really good.I decided to start my work on the pipe by polishing the bowl with micromesh sanding pads. I worked over the rim top with the pads at the same time. I used micromesh pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. I was able to remove the dark spots and give the bowl a shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth marks on both sides of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the newly shaped acrylic stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I know Obsidian Oil does nothing for acrylic but I have found that it removes the small particles left behind by the polishing. I finished polishing the surface with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave it a final coat of obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. It is a beautiful looking variegated brown/tan/gold acrylic stem. This Carved Meerschaum Hexagonal Panel Dublin Sitter turned out to be yet another fun pipe to work on and I was excited to see it come back together. The pipe had a light patina on the rim top and around the bowl and shank. I chose not to rewax it because of the shine that on the bowl. I put the stem back on the bowl and lightly buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The rich polished hexagonal meerschaum on the bowl looks really good with the polished variegated brown/yellow/golden acrylic stem. The bowl and stem came together looking quite spectacular. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is another pipe that is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 53 grams/1.87 ounces. This is truly a great looking Meerschaum. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store in the Ceramic and Meerschaum Pipe Section. If you are interested in the pipe send me an email or a message. Thanks for your time.

2 thoughts on “Restoring a Paneled Hexagonal Meerschaum Square Shank Dublin Sitter

  1. Robert M. Boughton

    Identifying estate meerschaums made in Turkey, a mostly Islamic country, can be impossible without the original case or box. The word Muslim, I read, means “to submit oneself in ultimate humbleness to Allah,” and so humility is perhaps the most basic ideal in the Islamic world. BTW, when did you decide to replace the push tenon with the bone tenon that screws into the stem that I got? I’m glad you did!


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