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 one I picked up in a lot of over 100 Bertrams that Jeff and I purchase a few years ago. It was used solely for Virginia tobaccos so there is no real ghost in the pipe. The airway in the shank and the mortise were quite clean. The smooth finish and rim top were in good condition. There was some darkening/burning on the front right and rear of the inner edge of the bowl. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Bertram in script [over] Washington, D.C. [over] the grade number 30. The finish is a natural brown with just time and some light polishing adding colour. There are a few small flaws and fills in the shank and heel of the bowl. There was a light cake in the bowl but the top and inner edge of the bowl clean of lava. The rich brown finish goes well with the vulcanite saddle stem is in good condition with some light tooth chatter ahead of the button on both sides. 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 underside of the shank. 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 grain of the briar and it is a beauty.Now it was time to work on the pipe. I worked on the inner edge of the bowl 220 grit sandpaper and a wooden ball to give the inner edge a slight bevel and clean up the damage that was present there. The rim came out looking quite good.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. I polished the rim top and the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the dust and debris. The rim top polished out and matched the oil cured look of the bowl and shank. 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 Bertram Washington, DC Grade 30 Bent Dublin I put the pipe back together and buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl 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 beautiful grain and the polished vulcanite saddle stem. This smooth Grade 30 Bertram Bent Dublin 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 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 48 grams/1.69 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.