Cleaning up a New Old Stock Meerschaum Sheik


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I chose to work on is an unsmoked New Old Stock Meerschaum Sheik that Jeff and I picked up in a lot somewhere. Neither of us have any memory of where or when we picked it up. It had a lot of dust and debris in the grooves and on the smooth surface of the shank and bowl sides as well as the heel. It was dirty but unused. The bowl was clean on the top and inside. The stem was also clean and unused but still had stickiness on the top near the shank from the price tag that must have “graced” its surface somewhere in its life. There were no tooth marks or chatter on the stem and the pipe smell clean. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on to try and capture the condition it was in when I brought it to the table. I include those below. I took a photo of the rim top and the stem to show the condition of them both. The bowl and rim are clean and with a bit of polishing should clean up. The stem was dirty – it had sticky substances on the top and underside of the stem just ahead of the button.I took photos of the carving on the bowl from the front and from both sides. It is a nicely done carving of a sheik with a tall turban and feather. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe as a whole to show the overall look of the bowl and the proportions of the pipe.I polished the meerschaum with micromesh sanding pads  – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wet sanded the grime that was on the sides of the bowl and shank. It was marked and a little dirty on the surface of the bowl. I worked several coats of Clapham’s Beeswax/Carnauba Mixture wax into the meerschaum and let it sit for 20 minutes. I buffed it with a soft cloth and repeated the process several times until the finish looked and felt right. I polished the tortoise shell acrylic stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Fine and Extra Fine stem polish and buffed it out with a soft cloth. I don’t know if I would say that I am excited to be on the homestretch. But I do look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I hand buffed the bowl and stem with a soft cloth to polish the waxed bowl and stem. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The meerschaum looks much better with the wax and polish. The shiny tortoise shell acrylic stem is a beautiful contrast to the white of the bowl and thick shank. This Carved Sheik Figural Meerschaum was an interesting pipe to work on. The pipe is actually quite 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: 3 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.15 ounces/61 grams. I will be putting this pipe on the rebornpipes store in the Ceramic & Meerschaum Pipes section. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

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