Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on my table is the third and final pipe from threesome sent to for work from a fellow in Eastern Canada. This one is a smooth Dublin/Billiard. I found that it is stamped on the left side and read Imperial in script [over] Yello-Bole. On the right side it has the shape number 642 and on the heel it is stamped Carburetor next to the small aluminum tube in the heel. On the shank end where the stem and shank meet it is stamped Made in France. The bowl was hardly used and has a tube extending from the bottom of the bowl upward about 1/8 of an inch. Though there was some darkening in the bottom of the bowl the walls were still lined with the famous Yello-Bole honey coating and looked untouched. The bowl edges and rim top looked very good. The smooth finish was still shiny and new looking. The stem is probably vulcanite with a yellow circle on the left side of the taper and a huge chunk of vulcanite missing from the underside extending from the button forward about ½ inch. There were tooth marks and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem ahead of the button and on the surface. There was a Yello-Bole scoop stinger in the tenon that was also clean and undamaged. In looking at it I figured it would need a new stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top to show what they looked like before I started my clean up. I also took some of the stem to show the condition of both sides and the large chunk of vulcanite missing on the underside. The stamping on the sides of the shank are shown in the photos below. They are clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of them to show the perspective on the pipe. You can see the burn marks on the bowl and shank and the scratches and fills in the briar.I turned my attention to the clean up of the pipe itself. The obvious place to start on this pipe was to find a stem that would fit in the shank and if possible be a Yello-Bole logoed stem. I found one in my collection of stems that had the length and tenon dimensions. It was a little larger in diameter than the original but with adjustments it would look good. The replace was not new and had tooth marks and dents on the button end but otherwise looked good.I fit it in the shank and worked on the diameter of the stem with a flat file to remove the excess material on the aluminum band and the vulcanite. It took some work and careful filing but it worked fairly well. I took the following photos of the stem after I had filed it down. It looked quite good at this point in the process. I would need to fine tune the fit with sandpaper but I liked the direction it was going. I filled in the marks that remained with clear CA glue. When the repairs cured I used a small file to reshape the button edge and flatten out the repairs. I sanded the repairs 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface. I started the polishing process with 600 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. I cleaned out the internals of the shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. Since the bowl exterior was so clean I polished it with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove the grit. The bowl began to take on a rich shine. The briar took on a newer, richer look. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my finger tips and into the rusticated portion with a shoe brush. I let it sit for 10 minutes and the Balm did its magic. It enlivens, cleans and preserves the briar. It certainly brought this bowl back to life. I buffed it off with a clean cloth and took the following photos. This Yello-Bole Imperial 642 Dublin is a great looking pipe with its replacement stem and restoration. The smooth, rich red finish highlights the grain of the pipe. I put the new stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Yello-Bole Dublin fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 50 grams/1.76 ounces. I have one more pipe for this Eastern Canada Pipeman to work on. Once I have finished all three I will be sending them back to him to enjoy. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.