Blog by Steve Laug
This is another pipe that I have taken out of my personal collection as I just do not use enough to warrant keeping it. This pipe was given to me in a group of pipes and I used it a bit when it came in. It is from a period of my journey where I smoked solely Virginia tobaccos so it is quite clean. The airway in the shank and the mortise were quite clean. The rusticated finish and rim top were in excellent condition. I don’t remember who made the pipe but I do remember it was a relatively new artisan American carver. It is stamped on the heel of the bowl with the letters B/B in a shield. There was a light cake in the bowl but the top and inner edge of the bowl clean and a bit faded. There is a polished steel band on the shank end. It is loose and the attachment is a bit odd. The shank end and stem end are both stepped down to receive the band. The blue and gold/tan acrylic stem is in good condition with some light tooth chatter ahead of the button on both sides. It has a inserted Delrin tenon that is a great fit in the shank. I took photos of the pipe before I did my clean up work on it. I took a photo of the bowl and rim top to verify the description above. I also took photos of the stem surface showing the light chatter on either side.I took a photo of the stamping on the heel of the bowl. It is clear and readable as noted above. I took the stem off the bowl and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of proportion of the pipe. You can also see the loose band and the step down area on the shank end and stem end. There was still some bits of glue on the shank end that I would clean off when I reglued the band. I used a toothpick to spread some Weld Bond all purpose glue around the shank end.I pressed the band on the shank end and wiped off the excess glue around the edge of the band.I cleaned up the rustication on the rim top with a brass bristle wire brush. It looked cleaner and more distinct.I touched up the stain on the rim top and worked it into the faded spots on the rim top, working it down into the valleys of the rustication.Now it was time to work on the pipe. I cleaned up the light cake in the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with a piece of dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper.I cleaned the mortise and airways in the shank and stem with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol to remove the debris and tars from my smoking. You can see that it was not too bad as I tend to keep my pipes clean.The bowl was in such good condition that decided to give the bowl and shank a coating of Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it 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. Since the stem was in quite good condition other than tooth chatter I polished out the chatter with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I rubbed it down between pads with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Fine and Extra Fine Pipe Stem Polish. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil and buffed it off. It is a beautiful stem. I am excited to put the final touches on this great looking American Made Artisan BB Rusticated Cherrywood. I put the pipe back together and buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the rugged rustication all around it. Added to that the polished blue and gold/tan acrylic stem combined with the bowl and make a stunning pipe. This rusticated BB Cherrywood 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: 5 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 59 grams/2.08 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe that I will soon be putting on the rebornpipes store in the American Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in adding it to your collection send me an email or a message. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.