Restoring a Peterson’s Republic Era Galway 502 Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my work table is a nicely grained Apple shaped one. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [over] Galway. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Made in the [over] Republic [over] of Ireland followed by the shape number 502 next to the bowl shank joint. The stamping is clear and readable. Jeff and I have no recollection of where we picked this one up but I know it has been here for a long time. The bowl had been reamed and cleaned and the shank and airways were very clean. The rim top showed darkening on the back side edges and rim top. There was also some darkening around the inner edge most of the way around the bowl. The outer edges were clean. There were a few small nicks in the briar but otherwise it was in good condition. The stem had some light oxidation and tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. There is a P logo stamp on the left side of the saddle stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started the next portion of the work on the pipe. It really is a great looking pipe. I took a close up photo of the rim top, edges and the top and underside of the stem. The inner edges and the back top of the bowl showed wear and darkening. It would take a bit of work to bring it back and clean it up. The stem surfaces showed light tooth marks on both sides ahead of the button.I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank. They are clear and readable as noted above.I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the parts to show the proportions of the pipe. It is a beauty.Before I moved on to work on the pipe I did a bit of reading to see if I could gather some details on the Galway Line. I looked at both Pipephil and Pipedia to see if I could find any photos of information on the line on them. There was nothing of note on either site. There was a lot of historical information that I always enjoy reading. I turned then to the book, The Peterson Pipe by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg. There on page 300 there was a description of the line that I quote in full below.

Galway (1950-87, 2006-10) First issued as a high grade line just below Dublin & London, walnut-stained smooth finish, white P stamped on P-lip or fishtail mouthpiece. Second issue in ’69, with a sterling band added. Third issue in’86, when band replace with briar band insert into vulcanite p-lip  mouth piece. Discontinued in ’87. Fourth issue for the Italian market (c 2006-10) with lower bowl rusticated up to the beading around the top of the bowl, in standard and B shapes. Same desin and finishing made for the US market for Cupojoes.com with addition of sterling band and hot foil P on the stem.

I believe I am working on the First Issue of the Galway Line – a high grade just below the Dublin and London line. It is described as a walnut stained smooth finish with a P-lip or fishtail mouthpiece. The pipe I have definitely fits that description perfectly. It has a smooth walnut finish and also a P-lip stem. The stem was supposed to have a white P stamped on the left side of the stem.

I worked on the rim top and inner edges of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I gave the rim a slight bevel to remove the darkening on the edges and blend them into the briar. I also smoothed the top of the rim to remove the rest of the darkening. It looked much better than when I started.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – polishing it with 1500-12000 grit pads. By the time I was finished the briar had a great shine. The grain on the pipe is quite beautiful. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the finish with my fingers. After it sat for 15 minutes I wiped it off with a soft cloth. The briar really came alive with a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl.   I “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks. I was able to lift most of them and sanded out the light remaining tooth marks and chatter in the surface with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I touched up the “P” stamp on the left side of the saddle stem with white acrylic fingernail polish I scraped off the excess and left the stamp looking very good.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the vulcanite. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.  As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl 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 grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl and thick shank. This Republic Era Peterson’s Galway 502 Apple was another fun pipe to work on. It really is a quite stunning piece of briar whose shape follows the flow of the grain on the briar. The pipe is comfortable 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 1.34 ounces/38 grams. I will be putting this pipe in the Irish Pipemakers section of the rebornpipes store if you wish to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

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