Daily Archives: January 15, 2022

A Sweet Addition to my Older US Made WDC Pipe Collection

Blog by Steve Laug

In November, I received an email from a fellow in Missoula, Montana, USA regarding several pipes that he wanted to sell and wanted to know if I was interested or knew of others who might be. He wrote that one of them was a cased, unsmoked WMC meerschaum with gold trim. I was hooked with the CASED MEERSCHAUM and we emailed back and forth a bit about the pipe. I wrote and asked if the meerschaum could be a WDC rather than a WMC and he checked and said yes it was. He said it was unsmoked and the case and pipe were in excellent condition. He was selling it for a friend of his. I asked him for photos of the pipe so I could have a sense of what he was talking about. He sent me the following photos and included a measuring tape in the photos to give me a sense of the size of the pipe. The outside of the case was a light tan suede that was very clean without much wear and tear on the leather. There was a smooth leather band around the outer edge of the top and the bottom half of the case. The brass hinges and catch on the front were in excellent condition. When he took a photo of the pipe inside I was surprised how large the pipe was. Most of the WDC meerschaums I have worked on were significantly smaller. The dimensions were length: 6 ½ inches, height: 2 ½ inches, outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The lining of the case was red soft fabric (velvet??) and the lid had a gold stamped logo. It read WDC in a triangle over a banner that read Genuine Meerschaum. There was a Crown with flourishes above the WDC triangle. It is a stunning looking case and pipe.He removed the Amberoid stem from the shank and took photos of the parts of the pipe. There was a rolled gold band around the shank end and a rolled gold rim cap that fit down into the inner edge of the bowl. The bone tenon was unused and very clean. The stem is a red coloured material that I assume from the age of the pipe is Amberoid. The second photo shows the pipe from the top looking down into the bowl. It is unsmoked and well drilled. We talked back and forth about the pipe as well as the others and came to an agreement about a price. Jeff and I sent the payment and the pipes were on their way to Jeff. When they arrived Jeff called me on FaceTime and we went through the pipes together. The whole lot are beautiful and I could not wait until they arrived in Vancouver.

They arrived in Vancouver this week and I went through each of them with new appreciation for what we had purchased. I took photos of the WDC Meer because I knew I would be adding it to my own collection. I took a photo of the outside of the case. The leather is quite clean with some light dirt marks in the suede on both sides. The leather around the edges is in excellent condition and the brass latch and hinges are clean and working well. I opened the case and the pipe inside was even more beautiful that the pictures had shown. The meerschaum was free of debris and scratches. The rolled gold rim cap and shank end are beautiful and really set off the meerschaum. The red stem indeed was Amberoid and it is perfect with no tooth marks, chips or scratches. Overall it is a flawless looking pipe that is well over 100 years old. I took the pipe out of the case and took some photos of the pipe from various angles. It is a very beautiful looking pipe with smooth and polished meerschaum, rolled gold rim cap and shank band and a red Amberoid stem. Quite stunning and yes indeed, it is unsmoked after all these years. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the parts of the pipe. It is a real beauty and the parts work well together.This was one of those that was a dream pipe for me to deal with. It was really spotless and very clean. I polished the meerschaum with a soft cloth and the metal on the shank and rim cap with a jewelers cloth. The pipe looked amazing with the light hand buffing. The gold rim cap and shank end look very good. The Amberoid stem also has a rich glow to it. I am glad to have bought this one and added it to my collection. Now the only remaining decision for me to make is whether to let it sit unsmoked or to fire up a bowl and enjoy it. What would you do?

A Straightforward Restemming & Restoration of a Jobey Shellmoor 250 Apple

Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I chose to work on was another bowl from my box to restem. This one is a nice sandblast apple. It has a deep and rugged blast around the bowl and shank. When I examined the shank it was threaded which was interesting. Once I saw the stamping that became clear. It is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Jobey [over] Shellmoor. To the left of that stamp is a shape number 250. Underneath the Shellmoor stamp is another series of numbers – PAT. 3537462. The stamping was clear and readable with a lens. I want to see what I can find out about the Patent number. I don’t recall working on one of those before. The bowl had been cleaned and reamed somewhere along the way by either Jeff or me. I honestly don’t remember when or where we got this bowl. It looked very good and I was looking forward to seeing the finished Apple. The stem was long gone so this would be a restemming job. It would be a different stemming job because of the Jobey Link System so it would be kind of fun. I took some photos of the bowl to give a since of the condition of this nice little Apple. I took some photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. The stamping is clear and readable as noted above. There was a smooth panel on the underside of the shank. It is stamped as noted above and is clear and readable with a lens.The next photo shows the rounded rim top and edges. It also shows the condition of the bowl and rim top/edges. It is clean looks quite good. I will give it a quick go over with a brass brush but otherwise it looks good.Before I started to work on the pipe I wanted to understand the patent information so I turned to the US Patent search site and entered the numbers. I was able to find both a description of the invention and a diagram that was submitted with the Patent application. Here is the link to the site and a screen capture of the information found there. https://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?docid=03537462&SectionNum=1&IDKey=6F776849C285&HomeUrl=http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1%2526Sect2=HITOFF%2526d=PALL%2526p=1%2526u=%25252Fnetahtml%25252FPTO%25252Fsrchnum.htm%2526r=1%2526f=G%2526l=50%2526s1=3537462.PN.%2526OS=PN/3537462%2526RS=PN/3537462Now it was time to begin my restemming work on this pipe. I went through my can of tenons and found a Jobey Link that screwed into the shank perfectly. I chose a stem from the can of stems I have here that would the shank well. I would need to remove the standard tenon and drill the stem to receive the end of the tenon. I used a hacksaw to cut off the normal tenon on the stem. That part was very simple but then things went quickly sour. I put a piece of tape on the drill bit to start drilling out the saddle to receive the Link. I started with a small bit and started drilling. The tape move and the bit suddenly came out of the top part of the blade of the stem. Yikes what a mess.Sooo…needless to say the ruined stem went into the waste bin and I had to start over. I chose a new blank from the bag Jeff sent me as the fit was the closest one I had in terms of matching the sides of the shank. I cut off the tenon with the hacksaw. This time I measured the depth of the saddle and the length of the tenon and drilled to match it – very carefully in multiple stages. I checked and rechecked as I did not want to do the work a third time. I used a series of drill bits from one that was slightly larger than the airway and ended with a ¼ inch bit that was the size of the Link.I smoothed out the face of the stem on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I wanted the surface smooth so it would sit well against the shank when the Link was inserted.With the face smoothed out I pushed the snug fitting Jobey Link into the hole in the face of the stem. It fit well against the shank end so that was a plus. Everything lined up so I took some photos of the restem at this point. The casting remnants on the sides of the stem needed to be removed and they were quite rough and messy. I used a flat file (rasp) to flatten out the castings on the saddle and blade sides of the stem as well as the area around the slot in the button. I used my Dremel and a sanding drum to do the rough work on the stem. I worked on it carefully to remove more of the casting marks and to reduce the bottom side of the saddle to match the size of the shank.The only way I know how to do this is with the new stem in place in the shank and then carefully move the sanding drum up and around the stem surface to get a close/rough fit. It was getting much closer but there was a lot more work to do hand shaping it with sandpaper and files.With the majority of the heavy work done it was time to work over the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and get everything aligned. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper and the stem was looking very good at this point.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it with a cotton cloth. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. With the stem finished (other than to buff the pipe at the end) I turned my attention to the bowl. I used a brass bristle wire brush to clean up the debris still in the sandblast rim top of the bowl. It looked better when I finished.   I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the sandblast bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush 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. The Balm did its magic and the sandblast grain really took on dimension and colour. I am excited to be on the homestretch with beautiful sandblast PAT. 3537462  Jobey Shellmoor 250 Apple. This is the part I look forward to when it all comes back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and the new stem together and polished the stem and bowl with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the vulcanite and give a light shine to the bowl. 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. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The rugged sandblast finish looks really good with the new polished black square saddle vulcanite stem. This Sandblast Jobey Shellmoor Apple was another fun pipe to work on and came out looking great. It is a comfortable sized pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe 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 38 grams/1.38 ounces. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your rack it will be on the rebornpipes store in the American Pipemakers Section soon. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.