Blog by Steve Laug
Today is New Year Day 2023 and it is a rainy, chilly day in Vancouver. I know in comparison to where many of you live it is not cold but to us it is. The next pipe I have chosen to work on is another Peterson’s Billiard. It is a sandblast pipe that is a bit of a mystery to Jeff and me as to its provenance. There was grime ground into the sandblast finish on the bowl sides. I love the way the contrast of the brown and black stains still manage to give the blast a sense of depth. The stain is almost tiger striped. It was stamped on the flat underside in the center of the shank and read Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines). To the right of that it is stamped Peterson’s [over] Kapruf. To the left of the Republic stamp, on the heel was the shape number 24S. This pipe must have been someone’s favourite as it had been well smoked. Somewhere on its journey the bowl had been reamed and the pipe cleaned. The inner edge of the bowl had some nicks and marks that made the bowl slightly out of round. The stem was lightly oxidized from sitting around here for a long time. It had tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. I took photos of the pipe before my cleanup work. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is clean and has been recently reamed. The rim top and edges had some darkening and there was some lava in the sandblast of the finish on the back side. The photos of the stem show that it was lightly oxidized and has tooth marks on the top and underside near the button.I took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the blast that was around this bowl. It is a great sandblast and the choice of stain adds depth to the appearance of the bowl. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable and reads as noted above. I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has an interesting shallow sandblast on the bowl.I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Kapruf line. On page 306 it had the following information.
Kapruf and “Kapruf” (c.1922-87) Sandblast (hence the name, Kapp-rough) P-lip or fishtail mouthpiece, in catalogs from 1940-87. Early documented specimens stamped IRISH over FREE STATE, no Eire specimens documented. Mid-century specimens may be stamped LONDON MADE [over] ENGLAND or MADE IN ENGLAND forming a circle or MADE IN [over] IRELAND, all dating no later than 1970. Those of recent vintage stamped MADE IN THE[over] REPUBLIC [over]OF IRELAND.
I knew that I was working on a KAPRUF that was made between 1970-1987 as it is stamped MADE IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND as noted above. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
I started my work on the pipe by working over the buildup that remained on the rim top with a brass bristle wire brush. It looked better once I was finished.I cleaned up the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove almost all of the darkening with the sandpaper. I scrubbed the externals of the pipe with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. I rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. The bowl and rim top cleaned up really well with the lava coat removed. The inner edge of the rim was in good condition. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm 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. I scraped out some thick tar on the mortise walls with a pen knife. Afterwards, I cleaned out the inside of the mortise, shank and airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners.I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the stem surface on both sides with the flame of the lighter to try and lift the deep tooth marks. I was able to lift them significantly but some deep spots remained. I filled those in with black CA glue and set the stem aside to let the repairs harden. I flattened the cured repairs with a small file and then sanded them with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the stem surface. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I touched up the P stamp on the left side of the saddle stem with some acrylic fingernail polish. I worked it into the stamp with a toothpick and then scraped off the excess once it had dried. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I always am excited to finish working on a pipe. This Made in the Republic of Ireland Peterson’s Kapruf 24S Billiard is no exception. I put the pipe back together and buffed it 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 buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished smooth rim top and the sandblast bowl looks like with the black vulcanite taper stem. This Classic looking Peterson’s Kapruf Sandblast Billiard 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: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 29 grams/.99 of an ounce. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly in the Irish Pipe Makers section if you are interested in it. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.