Restoring a Peterson’s of Dublin “Kildare” 05 Calabash

Blog by Steve Laug

This is another one of those pipes that has been here for a long time and I have no memory where it came from. I had not been cleaned so it is not one that ever went to Jeff for clean up. It was a filthy pipe but appeared to have some great grain under the grime. The bowl had been reamed somewhere in the journey and was quite clean inside. The smooth rim top had some light lava on the top and some darkening. The edges look very good. The smooth finish is dirty with grime and grit deep ground into the sides of the bowl and shank. The pipe stinks like heavily cased aromatics. The stamping on the shank is clear and readable. The left side is stamped Peterson’s [arched over] of Dublin [over] “Kildare”. On the right side, low on the shank toward the front of the bowl it is stamped 05. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. There was a thick build up of tar on the end of the tenon and inside of the shank was heavily coated with tar and oil. There was also a P logo stamped on the left side of the taper stem. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my work on it.  I took close up photos of the bowl and the stem. You can see the reamed bowl and the darkening and light lava on the rim top. The bowl reeked of aromatic tobaccos. The stem surface has the mark from a Softee Rubber Bit Guard that is clear and there is calcification and oxidation on the stem. There are also tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the bowl and shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. You can also see the P logo stamp on the left side of the taper stem.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the proportions of the pipe. It is really quite nice looking.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 “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Kildare Line. On page 306 it had the following information.

Kildare (1965-) First issue of line with matte-finish in Classic Range shapes, P-Lip and fishtail mouthpiece. Second issue C.1979 as Kildare Patch, with rusticated patches on pipe surface. Third issue 2010, matte-brown, P-Lip or fishtail mouthpiece, no band. Fourth issue 2011-, burgundy sandblast finish, nickel army mount, fishtail mouthpiece, exclusive to

I read further in “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.

Judging from the description above I believe that I am working on a First Issue of the line in the time period of 1965-1979. It is probably a late Republic Era Classic Shaped pipe with a matte-finish and a taper stem. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using all four cutting heads. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to remove all debris. I sanded the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel to smooth out the wall of the bowl. The bowl was in excellent condition with no fissures or checking.  I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with a tooth brush and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the debris and grime from the finish to remove the light lava overflow on the rim top. Once it was finished it looked much better. I cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway into the bowl and the stem. I scraped the shank out with a small pen knife to remove the thick tars. I then cleaned it with a isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until it was clean.  I polished the rim top and edges with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads to raise a shine. I wiped it down with a damp cotton pad to wipe off the debris after each sanding pad.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the rusticated briar with my fingertips. I worked it over with a shoe brush to get it deep into the grooves and crannies of finish. I let it sit for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth and raised the shine. The bowl looks great at this point.   To rid the bowl of the tars and oils that made the bowl still stink I stuffed it with cotton bolls and twisted a boll into a wick that I threaded into the shank. I used an ear syringe to fill the bowl with isopropyl alcohol and set it in an old ice tray over night  to let it wick out the tars and oils.This morning when I went back to the pipe to work on it I took a photo of the cotton to show how the tars and oils had wicked into the pipe. I removed it from the bowl and took photos of the cotton to show how dirty it was.  I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I “painted” the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks in the stem. I was able to raise them slightly. I filled in the remaining marks with Black CA glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded it smooth with 120 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I touched up the Peterson’s P on the left side of stem with white acrylic fingernail polish. I worked it into the stamping with a tooth pick. I scraped off the excess paint with my nail and then used a worn 1500 grit micromesh pad to buff off the excess. I rubbed it down with some Obsidian Oil and set it aside.  It looks better but you can see that the curve of the P is faint at the front.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and gave it a final coat and set it aside to dry.   I put the stem back on the Peterson’s of Dublin Bent Calabash and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I polished the briar and the vulcanite of the stem until there was a rich shine. This classic Peterson’s shape and finish really highlights a proportionally well carved pipe. Once I buffed the pipe the briar came alive and popped with polishing. The black vulcanite stem has a rich glow. This Peterson’s Calabash fits well in the hand and sits right in the mouth. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of and inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.87 ounces/53 grams. This beauty will be going on the rebornpipes online store in the Irish Pipemakers Section. If you are interested let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as it was a pleasure to work on.

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