Blog by Steve Laug
I continue to accept and receive pipes that come to me as donations for the SA Foundation (safoundation.com). The SA Foundation is an organization that has been serving sexually exploited women and their children for over 30 years by providing housing, recovery and skill development. The currently have a 70% success rate with the women they serve. Each pipe that comes in is sold and the entirety of the price and shipping cost goes to the Foundation.
The next pipe I have chosen is a rusticated Peterson’s System Standard Calabash. Thanks to the pipeman who donated this beauty. The Calabash came with a nice nickel ferrule on the shank end. The finish on the bowl sides was very clean. The contrast of the red and brown stains gave the finish a sense of depth. It was stamped on the underside of the heel and the shank and read Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. Next to that it read Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) with the shape number 305 underneath. The nickel ferrule was stamped K&P [over] Peterson’s. The bowl had been reamed and cleaned before it came to me so it would only need a quick touch up. The stem was very clean and shiny with a light tooth mark on the underside near the button. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition when it arrived. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the beautiful condition of the pipe. The bowl is very clean and the rim top and edges look very good. The photos of the stem show that it was also in excellent condition with only one small tooth mark on the underside near the button end. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the heel/shank and the band. It is clear and readable as noted above. The photo of the band shows how it was stamped on the nickel – centered and clean. The ferrule was lightly oxidized and needed to be polished. I took the stem off the shank and took a photo of the look of the pipe to show the relation of the size of the parts. It is a nice looking pipe.This pipe was in such great condition that I would only need to work it over to remove any remnants of the previous owner and any debris that had accumulated since it arrived here in Canada. Peterson’s System pipes are notorious for residual gunk in the sump and the airway in the shank. This one was no different. I cleaned the inside of the shank with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I cleaned the airway in the stem at the same time. 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 a jeweler’s cloth to remove the tarnish and oxidation as well as add some protection to the ferrule. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame of a lighter to lift the remaining tooth marks on the stem. I sanded the tooth marks that remained with 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil. 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 rubbed it down with some Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. It is always exciting to finish a pipe. This was very true of this Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 305 Calabash. I put the pipe back together and lightly buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Was and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the polished nickel ferrule and the black vulcanite stem. This Classic looking Peterson’s System Standard Calabash is another one of my favourite shapes and it feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 50 grams/1.76 oz. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the Irish Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection and also making a donation to the SA Foundation at the same time let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.