Monthly Archives: February 2022

Restoring a Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard Bent 307 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is another smooth finished Peterson’s System – this time a System Standard shape 307. It was the fourth of four pipes that came to me from a friend for work. This one also had very loose stem that did not seem to hold on in the shank that he wanted me to have a look at as well as cleaning and freshening it up. The stem had also straightened out a bit over time and needed to be rebent. The finish was smooth with some nice grain around the sides and shank. There was one noticeable fill on the left side near the rim top. The pipe was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [arched over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it was stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland in three lines over the shape number 307. It was in good condition when I brought it to the table. There was a heavy cake in the bowl and some light lava and darkening on the rim top. The nickel ferrule was in good shape but had some scratches that would need to be polished. It is stamped as well and reads K & P [over] Peterson on the left. The vulcanite stem was unstamped and in good condition. There was some oxidation, calcification and light chatter near the button that would polish out. It also was in need of being bent again. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work.   I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and the rim top and edges have a thick lava overflow. The stem looks good but it has tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the left shank side. It reads as noted above. I also tried to capture the stamping on the ferrule and it is clear and readable.    I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look.I am including the link to the 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 turned to work on the pipe itself. I started my clean up by reaming the bowl with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. I cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished the cleaning of the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper. I smoothed out the bowl walls and checked for cracks and flaws. All looked very good.   I scrubbed the interior of the bowl, shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. It was full of tars and oils that with a bit of work came clean. I cleaned up the rim top and the beveled inner edge with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I removed the burn damage and darkening on both and it looked better.  I stained the pink putty fill with a Brown and Black Sharpie Pen. It blended in much better than the pink had before.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad. I used it to clean off the rim top at the same time. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips 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. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process.    I polished the nickel ferrule with a jewelers cloth give it a shine and to remove the oxidation.    I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I decided to bend it to the correct angle so I heated it with a heat gun to soften it and then bent it so that it sit correctly in the shank. It looked much better.   I sanded out the tooth marks on the button and ahead of the button with 220 grit sandpaper and adjusted the fit of the tenon end to the taper of the shank. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and let it dry before buffing.   I am excited to finish this Peterson’s System Standard 302 Bent Apple. I put the pipe back together and buffed it lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to deepen the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to further raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with deep sandblast all around it. Added to that the polished black acrylic stem was beautiful. This System Standard 302 Bent Apple is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 63 grams/2.26 oz. It is a beautiful pipe and the fourth of the four I am working on for my friend. Now that they are all finished they will be sent back to him. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Restoring a Peterson’s System Standard Bent 302 Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is another smooth finished Peterson’s System – this time a System Standard shape 302. It was the third of four pipes that came to me from a friend for work. This one had very loose stem that did not seem to hold on in the shank that he wanted me to have a look at as well as cleaning and freshening it up. The stem had also straightened out a bit over time and needed to be rebent. The finish was smooth with some nice grain around the sides and shank. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [arched over] System [over] Standard followed by the shape number 302. It was in great condition when I brought it to the table. There was a heavy cake in the bottom half of the bowl and some light lava on the rim top. The nickel ferrule was in good shape but had some scratches that would need to be polished. It is stamped as well and reads K & P [over] Peterson on the left. The vulcanite stem was unstamped and in good condition. There was some oxidation, calcification and light chatter near the button that would polish out. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work.   I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and the rim top and edges have a thick lava overflow. The stem looks good but it has tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the left shank side. It reads as noted above. I also tried to capture the stamping on the ferrule and it is clear and readable. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look.I am including the link to the 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 turned to work on the pipe itself. I started my clean up by reaming the bowl with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. I cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished the cleaning of the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper. I smoothed out the bowl walls and checked for cracks and flaws. All looked very good. I scrubbed the interior of the bowl, shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. It was full of tars and oils that with a bit of work came clean. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad. I used it to clean off the rim top at the same time.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips 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. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process.   I polished the nickel ferrule with a jewelers cloth give it a shine and to remove the oxidation.    I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I decided to bend it to the correct angle so I heated it with a heat gun to soften it and then bent it so that it sit correctly in the shank. It looked much better.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and let it dry before buffing.   I am excited to finish this Peterson’s System Standard 302 Bent Apple. I put the pipe back together and buffed it lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to deepen the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to further raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with deep sandblast all around it. Added to that the polished black acrylic stem was beautiful. This System Standard 302 Bent Apple is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 63 grams/2.26 oz. It is a beautiful pipe and the second of the four I am working on for my friend. Once the other two are finished it will be sent back to him. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Restoring a Peterson’s System Bent Dress Black B42


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is another smooth finished Peterson’s System – this time a B42 (Brandy) in Dress Black. It was the second of four pipes that came to me from a friend for work. This one had very loose stem that did not seem to hold on in the shank that he wanted me to have a look at as well as cleaning and freshening it up. The finish was smooth and painted with a dress black. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [arched over] System. On the right side of the shank it is stamped with the shape number B42. It was in great condition when I brought it to the table. There was a heavy cake in the bowl and some lava on the rim top. The nickel ferrule was in good shape but had some scratches that would need to be polished. It is stamped as well and reads K & P [over] Peterson on the left. The stem appears to be acrylic (perhaps a replacement) and was unstamped and in good condition. There was some light chatter on and near the button that would polish out. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and the rim top and edges have a thick lava overflow. The stem looks good but it has tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. It reads as noted above. I also tried to capture the stamping on the ferrule and it is readable but the photo just could not capture it well.    I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look.I am including the link to the 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 turned to work on the pipe itself. I started my clean up by reaming the bowl with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. I cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished the cleaning of the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper. I smoothed out the bowl walls and checked for cracks and flaws. All looked very good. I cleaned off the build up on the rim top with damp cotton pads and was able to remove all of the lava on the rim. It actually looked very good.I scrubbed the interior of the bowl, shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. It was full of tars and oils that with a bit of work came clean.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips 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. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process.      I polished the nickel ferrule with a jewelers cloth give it a shine and to remove the oxidation.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the acrylic stem. I sanded out the tooth marks in the surface of the stem on both the top and underside with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing process with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I also sanded the area on the shank end for the first inch to clean it up and make the taper match the shank taper. I polished it as well with the 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I am excited to finish this Peterson’s System B42 Dress Black Bent Brandy. I put the pipe back together and buffed it lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to deepen the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to further raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with deep sandblast all around it. Added to that the polished black acrylic stem was beautiful. This Dress Black System B42 is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 83 grams/2.93 oz. It is a beautiful pipe and the second of the four I am working on for my friend. Once the other two are finished it will be sent back to him. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Restoring a Peterson’s of Dublin System Standard 2 XL315 Bent Calabash


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is a Peterson’s System Standard 2 XL315 sandblast bent Calabash. It was one of four pipes that came to me from a friend for work. This one had very loose stem that did not seem to hold on in the shank that he wanted me to have a look at as well as cleaning and freshening it up. The finish is deeply sandblasted and tactile with some grim in the finish and some lava on the rim top. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Peterson’s [arched over] of Dublin [over] System Standard followed by a 2 [over] the shape number XL315. It was in great condition when I brought it to the table. There was a heavy cake in the bowl and some lava in the sandblast on the rim top. The nickel ferrule was in good shape but scratches that would need to be polished. It is stamped as well and reads K & P [over] Peterson on the left. The stem was unstamped and was in good condition. There was some light chatter near the button that would polish out. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and the rim top and edges have a thick lava overflow. The stem is lightly oxidized and has tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. I tried to take photos of the underside of the shank to show the stamping but the stamping is quite faint though readable with a lens. It reads as noted above. I also tried to capture the stamping on the ferrule and it is readable but the photo just could not capture it well.    I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look.I am including the link to the 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 turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Of Dublin pipes. On page 298 it had the following information.

Dublin 1906-2003 Although Dublin appears under Peterson’s on many pipes over the decades, it has served mostly as part of the brand name. The word first appeared on pipes hallmarked 1906-11 Stamped Peterson’s over Patent over Dublin. The simpler Peterson’s over Dublin first appeared on pipes hallmarked 1912 after the expiration of the patent. Illustrations of pipes in the ’37 catalogue show a random dispersion of the stamp Peterson’s over Of Dublin together with the ordinary Peterson’s over Dublin on every model offered. Specimens of the former will either bear an Irish COM or London Made over England COM and almost certainly date from 1945-62. It was first mentioned in print as part of a model name in ’68 price list, as K&P Dublin, in ’92 for a Danish market line and in 2017.

The stamping of Peterson’s Of Dublin is very broad and cannot really help pin down the date on the pipe. However, XL315 shape came out in 1998 so the pipe is definitely post 1998.

I started my clean up of the pipe by reaming it with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. I cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished the cleaning of the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper. I smoothed out the bowl walls and checked for cracks and flaws. All looked very good. I cleaned off the build up in the sandblast on the rim top with a brass bristle brush. I was able to leave it absolutely clean.I scrubbed the interior of the bowl, shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. It was full of tars and oils that with a bit of work came clean.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush 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. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process.      I polished the nickel ferrule with micromesh sanding pads – using 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a jewelers cloth to polish it and remove the oxidation. I sanded the area on the shank end of the stem for the first inch to clean it up and make the taper match the shank taper.

I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil.  I am excited to finish this Peterson’s Of Dublin System Standard 2 XL315 Bent Calabash. I put the pipe back together and buffed it lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. 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 deepen the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to further raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with deep sandblast all around it. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This sandblast System Standard 2 XL315 is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 54 grams/1.90 oz. It is a beautiful pipe and the first of the four I am working on for my friend. Once the other three are finished it will be sent back to him. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Restoring a Republic Era Peterson’s “Sports” 2 Lovat


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is smooth finished Peterson’s Small Lovat shaped pipe that had a bit of a bland looking finish but had some good looking grain around the bowl sides and shank. It also came to us from eBay on January 1, 2018 from Bellingham, Washington, USA. This Lovat did not have a nickel ferrule on the shank end. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] “Sports”. It was stamped on the right side and reads Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines). Next to the bowl it is stamped 2. The pipe was in filthy condition when he brought it to the table. The finish was dirty with grime ground into the briar sides and rim. There was a thick cake in the bowl and there was some burn damage to the rim top and the inner edge of the rim. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. They tell the story and give a glimpse of the promise that we see in this pipe. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is caked and the rim top and edges show quite a bit of damage around the bowl, inner and outer shank. There were no photos of the stem but I have it in hand and it had tooth marks on both sides ahead of the button. You can also see from above photos that the stem was oxidized.Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the amazing grain that was around this bowl. There were also some nicks in the outer edge of the rim and scratches on the briar. It is a nice looking pipe.     He took photos of the sides of the shank and stem side to show the stamping. The stamping is worn but is still readable in the photos below and is as noted above.     I am including the link to the 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 turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Sports. On page 313-314 it had the following information.

“SPORTS” (1947-) A “Sport” is traditionally a compact pipe made for smokers engaged in athletic pursuits, most notably equestrian riders who do not want the bowl to bounce up and down. Six shapes described in 1947 shape chart. Occasional later catalogs show as many as 11 shapes. Last  appeared in shape chart in ’98, but still made in small numbers. Recorded specimens are stamped MADE IN IRELAND (forming a circle) or MADE IN THE over REPUBLIC over OF IRELAND. See Outdoor and Outdoor Sportsman.

Now it was time to work on the pipe. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better when it arrived.    I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top had some looked quite good and the inner and outer edges had some darkening and damage. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the surface near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is clear and readable.     I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look. I decided to address the damage to the edge of the bowl and the rim top first. I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage to the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge of the bowl a slight bevel to accommodate the burned areas and blend them into the surrounding briar. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips 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. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process.    I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the stem surface with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks and chatter on both sides. I was able to lift most of them. I sanded the remaining tooth marks smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I used some white acrylic fingernail polish to touch up the “P” stamp on the left side of the saddle stem. I worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick. Once the acrylic had dried I scraped off the excess leaving the “P” stamp white. It looked quite good.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final rub down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.       I am excited to finish this Republic of Ireland Made Peterson’s “Sports” 2 Lovat. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful mixed grain all around it. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem combined with the bowl and made a stunning pipe. This smooth Classic Older Peterson’s “Sports” 2 Lovat is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 4 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 28 grams/.95 oz. It is a beautiful pipe that I will soon be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers section. If you are interested in adding it to your collection send me an email or a message. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

A Collection of older Pipes that we will be working on soon


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I picked up this collection of older pipes that came from an older professor who taught in Eastern Europe and still does when he can get there. There are a broad assortment of meerschaums, clays and some briars.

The first of these is an Ulm pipe I believe. The bowl is meerschaum and quite large and heavy. It has a metal wind cap over a rim cap as well as a shank cap and ferrule to hold the carved Cherry wood stem with a horn end, flexible hose portion and horn stem. It is an old timer that comes from that area of Europe. It is dirty and scratched but every kilometer of its journey can be seen in the bowl and shank of the pipe. I am looking forward to working on it. Here are some photos that were included by the seller. The second pipe is also a meerschaum. It has a wind and rim cap that is quite fancy. There is a shank end cape as well. The stem has a horn end and horn mouth piece with a flexible hose portion in the middle that is in quite good condition. The photos below show the pipe from a variety of angles and close up views. It will be another fun one to work on. The third one is a clay cutty or tavern pipe. It has some rich patina developing along the shank and bowl. It is quite delicate so I am quite amazed that it is still undamaged. Next is an older Peterson and one of the briar pipes in the collection. It is hard to read the silver hallmarks on the ferrule but the shape speaks of it being older. Here is the second briar pipe – a Sasieni Four Dot with a gold (coloured?) band that is like a pile of nuggets. Not my favourite pipe but look at the sandblast on the bowl and the condition of the stem. It is a pretty looking billiard with an ugly band. Back to another meerschaum. This one is a bent billiard with a rectangular shank, band and saddle stem. The stem is probably Bakelite but I am not sure. I will know more once I have it in hand to clean and restore. The third briar is a Savinelli Dry System pipe. The bowl has a great sandblast. The nickel ferrule is made for the filter style stem that holds a Savinelli Balsa Filter. Another of the older briars was made sometime between the late 1890s and early 1900s. It is a WDC (William DeMuth and Co. Bakelite French Briar straight Bulldog. The band around the shank is rolled gold with a floral pattern around the sides. The stem is ruby Bakelite and it is an attractive looking pipe. The last briar pipes was a bent apple bowl with a rolled gold rim cap and band on the shank. The pattern on both seems to be leaves or floral. I will know more for sure when it arrives here. The shank is stamped WDC in a triangle same as the pipe above. It was a well smoked with a thick cake in the bowl. The next pipe is a porcelain pipe that has come to be known as a wine pipe. The bowl and the base are porcelain and are fired with a beautiful figure on the bowl and accoutrements on the base. The shank is cherrywood and the top is horn that has a horn stem screwed into it. It is a fascinating pipe that I want to know more about once I start working on it. These are all with Jeff at the moment for him to work his magic. It will be a fun haul to work on as all have a fair bit of age on them and all have differing issues that will need to be dealt with. Keep an eye out on the blog for these pipes once I start working on them. There are really some fascinating pieces here that I can’t wait to ferret out the history about. Thanks for sharing in my excitement. Cheers.

A Pipe Review: BriarWorks Classic Bent Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

I have been following BriarWorks pipe makers for a while now and each time they send out an email I go to the site and look at the pipes that they are offering. One of my favourite shapes is a bent apple and I have quite a few from various makers in my collection. These are the pipes that usually travel with me around the globe for my work. One of my favourites is on crafted by Mark Tinsky that I have had restemmed once already. So it was a simple decision when I got a notice from BriarWorks that their new offering was a bent apple.

I followed the link to their site and in the section that they called Classic Pipes I found one that grabbed my attention. Here is the description of the pipe and the description that caught my eye. I have also included the photo that was included in the email I received. I quote:

The BriarWorks Classic Line is inspired by the shapes of the venerated pipe factories of the early to mid 20th century. Simpler shapes, a lower price point, and the same high level of detail and hand finishing that go into all BriarWorks pipes make these a popular choice with novice and experienced pipe smokers, alike. BriarWorks Classic pipes are available with a variety of finish and stem options and start at $100.

The C91 Bent Apple is one of the larger pipes in the BriarWorks Classic line. It’s comfortably chubby and has a fairly large chamber for those that like a longer smoke.    

Length: 5.79 in. / 14.7 cm

Width: 1.75 in. / 4.45 cm

Height: 2.0 in. / 5.08 cm

Weight: 2.0 oz / 56.7 g

Chamber Diameter: .8 / 2.03 cm

Chamber Depth: 1.5 in. / 3.81 cm

The pipe pictured above was a sandblast finish with a Tortoise Shell Acrylic stem. The size was right in my ballpark and the shape was perfect. I turned to the site and found one I liked. I have learned over time that if I see something that I like I had better pounce on it as if I pause it will be gone. So I quickly ordered one of them. Mine was a dark finished sandblast with a Tortoise Shell Acrylic stem like the one above. I waited patiently for the pipe to arrive and when it did I was excited. I opened the package and inside was a specially made BriarWorks box with  their logo on the top that read Briar Works over Columbia, TN, US.I opened the box and inside was printed with the various BriarWorks lines and pipe shapes that served to decorate the box. Inside was a grey felt pipe sock with a draw string. On the outside of the bag it was stamped with the BriarWorks logo USA. I carefully removed it from the pipe sock and turned it over in my hands. I looked at the dark stained sandblast finish and enjoyed the depth and finish of the blast. It was well done. The stain on the bowl was either a very dark brown or a black. It was hard to tell honestly but the coverage was well done. The rim top stain went right to the inner edge and the shank end was also stained on the flat end and on the inner bevel of the mortise. The mortise itself was clean of stain! The inside of the bowl had a grey charcoal coloured bowl coating that was made to protect the bowl and facilitate the formation of a cake. The shank ended with a thin smooth band that the stem sat against. The pipe was stamped on the underside of the shank and read BriarWorks [over] Classic [over] USA [over] the shape number C91. The stem was a saddle acrylic Tortoise Shell that had great colour. The tenon was Delrin and the thin well shaped button ended the stem with a classic look.I took apart the pipe and carefully examined the drilling in the shank. It was well centered and entered the pipe at the bottom of the bowl in the centre. The tenon was well set in the stem and was also centered. The airway in the stem lined up well with the air hole in the shank. The tenon sat snugly against the end of the shank with no gap to collect debris. The draught through the stem and shank was open and effortless. The button slot was also well shaped and smooth with a Y shaped airway from the slot to the stem. The drilling in the airway in the stem was straight and centered though it was still slightly rough from the drill bit. (Not surprising when you remember this was a $100 pipe.) Overall I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the pipe in my hands. The fit and finish of the pipe was skillfully done and was proportionally well carved. I am enjoying a bowl of Friedman & Pease Fool’s Cap in it now and it is a great smoker. I would heartily recommend Briarworks if you are looking for a new pipe. They were great to do business with and the shipping and packaging was very well done. Have a look at their website and see if there is anything there that interests you. Here is the link to their website (https://briarworksusa.com/). Click on the link and check out the various lines that are available.

A Hardcastle Filter Pipe Well-Smoked


Blog by Robert M. Boughton
https://www.facebook.com/roadrunnerpipes

After some time he felt for his pipe.  It was not broken, and that was something.  Then he felt for his pouch, and there was some tobacco in it, and that was something more.  Then he felt for matches and he could not find any at all, and that shattered his hopes completely..

— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

I had no idea where this pipe came from.  It seemed to appear out of thin air on the little stand that serves as a sort of waiting room for my next six appointments needing various degrees of rejuvenation.  The diminutive bent billiard – once a black dress pipe, I could tell – bore such wear and accumulated gunk that it looked more like something washed up on shore after a catastrophic oil spill.  The thought occurred to me that perhaps I should wear latex gloves for the initial inspection, which suggested the pipe was not broken, and that was something, and there were no apparent cracks or burnouts, and that was something more.  The rim of the bowl was wrecked, and that would not have been encouraging were it not for the apparition of the last five letters of an old friend’s name on the left shank.  The classy H on the stem confirmed a Hardcastle shrouded by the grime.  For a chronology of Hardcastle’s transition from its beginning in 1903 to the final stage of its evolution as a Dunhill second, follow the Pipephil link in Sources.

Only after the first two steps of the restoration did I discern that the billiard was a Filter Pipe model.  I was creating a new sub-folder in my restored Hardcastles when a warning appeared on the monitor asking if I wanted to replace the existing Filter Pipe folder with the new one.  This very pipe came to me a few years back with clear nomenclature but a rim that was more abused than most.  At the time, it was the perfect candidate for my experiments in giving pipes a dress finish.  My roommate, a Hardcastle devotee, bought it.  That explained the poor thing’s further decline.

First, the before pics of the dress version.  I never blogged it because I was not happy with the rim work.  I’ve blogged one or two of my failures as cautionary tales, but not this one.Now for the carnage my roommate dumped on me.  This may be the most tortured pipe I have ever encountered.  CAUTION: The following images may be unsuitable for children or squeamish pipe smokers.In most cases, I soak the stummel in Isopropyl alcohol, but this time I chose Everclear to strip the homemade shellac I made for the dress process and the black leather dye beneath it – although not much of either appeared to remain.  I gave the stem a bath in generic stain remover. The stem came out in great shape, but the stummel less so. I used super fine 0000 steel wool to take off the residue from the Everclear soak.  This is when I could discern Filter Pipe.A full micro meshing sharpened the nomenclature and revealed the wood’s rich brown, if erratic, grain. I would like to know just how someone would go about inflicting such damage on a rim, but I couldn’t very well ask my roommate.  In the past, I have been somewhat successful with reversing mangled rims.  In one of the prior cases, for example, I resorted to a rasp.  Here are the before, during and after shots of that pipe, a P&K Everyman.I learned the importance of sanding, filing or grinding in the right direction. To narrow a rim, I move whatever tool I use with, or in the same general direction as the rim’s wall; to widen the rim, I move the tool against the rim, from the chamber outward. Try as I did to avoid resorting to extreme measures to make the Hardcastle rim right again, the time came to use my electric grinder. My main concern with making the misshapen rim at least more even and round again by putting it to an electric sanding wheel was the potential for irreversible damage in a heartbeat. Not being one to avoid a challenge, I went for it. I dare anyone reading this not to laugh at the last photo below. Believe it or not, the wheel sander did what I needed: it made the rim almost level.  I knew I could fix that problem a little later.

The pre-retort cleaning of the stummel and stem required more regular cleaners and a brass-handled brush with wire bristles, similar to the one below, both dipped in Everclear.  At least my roommate enjoyed the pipe while beating it.  The retort needed three test tubes of alcohol to come out clear.Notwithstanding the relative roundness of the rim, I knew I had to fill the preexisting indentation in the upper corner of the inner wall as shown in the post-electric sander pic.  I did something similar once, but again, I found the solution in one of Steve’s blogs on correcting an off-round rim. I filed off briar shavings from a hopeless pipe and mixed them with Super Glue, then applied the goop to the problem area inside the chamber.  It isn’t pretty, but it worked. Several hours later, I sanded down the remaining hard mess with 60-grit paper followed by a 120/180 pad. Several more hours later, I had reached the point where I knew I could not do better and sanded and micro meshed the stummel in preparation for staining.  I used British tan on the rim and moccasin brown on the rest, then micro meshed off the char with 1500, 8000 and 12000 pads.  That’s a good combination for a subtle contrast.I buffed the stummel with Red Tripoli and carnauba and was finished. SOURCES
https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/hardcastle-filter-pipe-164105369
http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-hardcastle.html
https://rebornpipes.com/2017/07/20/another-piece-pipe-history-a-lovely-cpf-french-briar-bent-billiard/

Restoring an Aged Real Meerschaum Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe came to me as a referral by a local pipe and cigar shop. I have not met the owner as he left it in my mailbox for me to work on. The well made leather case has no markings or stampings on it. It is just a nicely made, fitted leather case for a meerschaum. Inside the case the lid had a red and gold seal in the lid and read Real Meerschaum arched over an oval with the words Pure Amber Stem arched beneath it. When I open the case the stink was old and musty like the pipe had been sitting in the back of some old timers drawer. It was not moldy smelling but it had that odd smell that I have come to associate with things stored in a damp basement or attic or maybe an old box of stuff. It definitely was musty! The case is fitted to lightweight meerschaum billiard. I took photos of the case before I opened it and of the pipe inside after it was opened. The case has a red oval logo on the lid that read Real Meerschaum arched over Pure Amber Stem. I was looking forward to working on this one and seeing what was underneath the debris and mustiness of time. I took the pipe out of the case. The pipe inside was filthy with a thick overflowing cake in the bowl that reeked of mustiness. There was a thick overflow of tars/lava on the top and inner edge of the bowl The finish was dirty with sticky grime and dust on the surface and no shine at all. There were some spots of hardened tar on the bowl sides as well. Underneath the filth there was some developing patina around the bowl and shank. The stem was really dirty as well. There was dust and debris o the surface and some light dusting that looked like mildew. The surface was hard and in good condition with no bite marks or chatter on either side. The slot had a thick build up of tars like the rim top. It was hard to know what it looked like under the grime but it had the feel of either amber or an Amberoid. The stem had swirls in the amber like the Amberoid I had found on Andreas Bauer Meerschaum pipes. The stem had a threaded bone tenon that was filthy and would need some work but it was in good condition otherwise. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition. You can see the issues on the rim top and stem as I noted above. There are also some light scratches on the rim top itself. It should clean up quite well.I carefully reamed the pipe with a Pipnet Reamer, followed by a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. There was still some thick cake on the bottom of the bowl that I could not reach or penetrate with the two reamers.I scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. I worked on the rim top with a Scotch Brite pad to break up the lava coat. I rinsed it under warm water to remove the soap and grime. I then turned back to do some more reaming of the bowl. There was a hard thick coat of cake on the bottom of the bowl. I used a Kleen Reem Pipe reamer to remove the cake on the bottom of the bowl. I sanded out the inside of the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper. I took the cake back to bare meerschaum. I cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I kept at it until I was able to remove the tars and oils and to minimize the mustiness of the smell of both.I polished the smooth meerschaum with micomesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked on the darkening of the rim top at the same time. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished out the chatter and faint tooth marks with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded it with 1500-12000 pads and wiped the bowl down after each pad with a cloth and Obsidian Oil. I finished polished it with Before & After Fine and Extra Fine stem polish. I wiped it down with the cloth and Obsidian Oil one final time and set aside to dry. This No Name Real Meerschaum Billiard with an Amber Taper stem is a beautiful pipe. With the addition of the beeswax the meerschaum took on a slightly darker patina. The polished light weight meerschaum that shines through the polished finish is stunning. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Meerschaum Billiard 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 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 24 grams/ .81oz. One I finish posting this blog I will contact the owner and let him know it is finished. Perhaps I will get to meet him when he picks it up but we shall see. In a time of COVID and E-Transfers it is possible to do business without contact. Ah well! Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Replacing a tenon and restoring a House of Robertson Rusticated Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is a House of Robertson Rusticated Dublin with a tapered, vulcanite Bite Through stem. The rustication on the briar is very tactile and deep. There are grooves around the bowl and shank and those have been deeply rusticated. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the diamond shank and reads House of [over] Robertson. It really is a beautiful pipe and the rustic finish works very well with the diamond twin bore saddle stem. The fellow who sent it to me is a previous customer and in his box were two pipes with a snapped tenon – the Radice (which I have repaired already) and this House of Robertson. This one was quite dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and overflowing onto the rim top. There was some burn damage on the inner edge of the rim around the bowl and the pipe was dull and dusty. The tenon had snapped off cleanly at the shank end with no damage to the briar. The stem had tooth marks on both the top and underside ahead of the button and was also dirty. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the condition of the bowl and inner edge. You can see the damage on the inner edge of the rim. It will become more evident once the bowl has been reamed and cleaned. The photos of the stem show the tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.I took photos of the stamping on the left side of the diamond shank to capture how the classic House of Robertson signature looked.House of Robertson pipes were made by Thayne Robertson in Boise, Idaho. He did some beautiful work and all had the etched stamp on them. I have worked on many of these pipes over the years and done the research on the brand previously. Here is a link to one of the pipes where I have included background information (https://rebornpipes.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=60954&action=edit&classic-editor).

“House of Robertson” was in business for many years, but alas, closed their doors in 1999. They were located in Boise, Idaho. They are noted for making rather large and interesting pipes. Thayne Robertson was a Master Mason, AF & AM, and started the shop about 1947 and his son Jon started working there in 1970 when he finished college, along with Thayne’s daughter. Thayne and his son started making the big pipes at that time, and made them together until 1987 when Thayne passed away. Jon kept the store and his sister moved on to other things. The House of Robertson appears to have closed around 1999. https://pipedia.org/wiki/Robertson

I began my work on this pipe by pulling the broken tenon from the shank. I generally use a dry wall screw and twist it into the airway of the broken tenon and wiggle it free. This one was stuck. I put it in the freezer while I had lunch and afterward it came out quite easily. I went through my replacement tenons and found one that would work on this stem. I sanded the broken end of the tenon remaining on the stem with a sanding drum on my Dremel. I also sanded the diameter of the new tenon at the same time to get a good fit in the shank. I took photos of the tenon in the shank at this point to show the fit. I drilled out the airway on the stem with successively larger drill bits to accommodate the tenon. The last bit was ¼ inch which is perfect for the tenon. I slipped the stem over the tenon and took photos of the pipe at this point. It looks very good. With that done I turned my attention to the bowl. I reamed it with a PipNet reamer and took the cake back to briar. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. I sanded the bowl walls with a piece of dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper. I cleaned up the rim top with a brass bristle wire brush to remove the lava in the sandblast and a bit of the burn damage on the inner edge of the bowl.I cleaned out the internals on the stem and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they were clean.I rubbed down the bowl with Before & After Restoration Balm to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the blast with a horsehair shoe brush. I let it sit and do its magic for 10 minutes and then buffed it off with a soft cloth.I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the vulcanite stem. I glued the new tenon in the shank with black super glue. While it cured, I “painted” the surface of the vulcanite stem with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth chatter and marks. Many of them lifted significantly with the heat. Those that remained I filled in with black super glue and set the stem aside to cure. Once it had cured I flattened out the repairs with a small flat file. I sanded them with 220 grit sandpaper to further flatten them out and blend them into the surrounding area. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite bite through stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I finished the polishing with Before & After Stem Polishes – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped the stem down with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil to protect and give the deep shine to the stem. I was happy to be finished with this beautiful House of Robertson Rusticated Diamond Shank Dublin. The vulcanite stem fit well and looked good with the rich finish of the rusticated bowl and shank. I lightly buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave the bowl and shank multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing wheel to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The House of Robertson’s Dublin is a great looking pipe that has an amazing looking rustication. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outer Diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Diameter of the chamber: ¾ of and inch. The weight of the pipe is 42 grams/1.48 ounces. I will be packing it up to send back to my friend in Idaho along with the first pipe – the Radice Silk Cut Billiard. Thanks for reading the blog.