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 (

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.

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