Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to us from an antique store in October, 2017 in Pocatello, Idaho, USA. It is a smooth Peterson’s System Standard pipe with a saddle vulcanite stem. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland and underneath that is the shape number 302. The shape number stamp is partially double stamped over the COM stamp. It is a shape that Peterson’s called a Bent Apple. The nickel ferrule is stamped K & P [over] Peterson. The finish had a lot of grime ground into it and it was very dirty. The bowl was moderately caked and there was a lava coat on the flat rim top and the inner edge of the rim. The inner edge had some nicks and damage and the rim top had a lot of scratches that looked like the rim top had been scraped with a knife. The stem was lightly oxidized and had light tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the P-lip style button. The dirty Bent Apple shaped pipe showed promise. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the condition of the rim top and edges. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, calcification and chatter and tooth marks. Jeff took a photo of the side and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like.He took photos of the stamping on the shank and the nickel ferrule. It reads as noted above and is clear and 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 302 Apple 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 up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. 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 soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe 3 years later when I finally got around to working on it. The rim top and inner edge of the rim looked very good with a bit of damage on the inner edge and on the rim surface leaving the bowl slightly out of round. The stem surface looked very good with some tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. I took a photo of the stamping on the shank. 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. Once finished the rim top and edge looked much better. I repaired one small deep nick in the heel of the bowl by filling it in with clear super glue. Once it cured I sanded it smooth to blend it into the surrounding briar. I touched up sanded area with a Maple stain pen to blend it into the surrounding briar. I polished the briar with micomesh sanding pads – wet 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 smoothed out the chatter and tooth marks with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth 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 302 Bent Apple with a vulcanite saddle stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. 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 302 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: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 50gr/1.76oz. I will be putting this pipe on the rebornpipes store shortly. You will find it in the Irish 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!