Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe I have chosen to work on is a nice looking rusticated reddish brown straight Bulldog with a silver band/adornment and a P-lip and a Standard vulcanite stem that I picked up in a lot of 10 pipes from a fellow on Vancouver Island who was selling his collection. The stamping on a smooth patch on the underside of the shank reads Peterson’s [arched over] of Dublin [over] Donegal [over] Rocky [over] the shape number 150. The silver band on the shank is stamped Peterson [arched over] P [over] of Dublin. The pair of vulcanite saddle stems have no stamping or marks. The pipe is a nice looking rusticated one. It is light weight and comfortable to hold. The pipe came in a pipe sock stamped Peterson of Dublin. I took the pipe out of the sock and turned it over in my hands. It was in good condition.This is what I saw when I took it out of the pipe sock.
- The finish was dusty in the grooves and valleys of the rustication. Otherwise it looked very good.
- The rusticated rim top looked very good other than the grime in the sandblast. There was no lava build on the top and the edges were clean and undamaged.
- There was a light cake in the bowl. It held the aroma of the tobaccos smoked in it – fortunately not aromatic. The walls looked to be undamaged but once I removed the light cake I could confirm that.
- The band is silver coloured and the stamping is very clear. I don’t think that it is silver more probably nickel. It is undamaged and clean.
- The two vulcanite saddle stem had no identifying logos or stamping. There was light tooth chatter and marks on both sides of both stems.
- The P-lip stem does not fit correctly in the shank. The tenon is too large to fit into the shank of the pipe clearly.
To summarize what I saw – this Peterson’s of Dublin Donegal Rocky 150 Bulldog is a well made pipe. It is dusty but otherwise in good condition. The two stems are lightly marked but otherwise undamaged. There does not appear to be any oxidation or calcification on the stem surface. The look and feel of the pipe in the hand is great. It is going to clean up very well. Here are photos of the pipe before I started my clean up. The first four photos show it with the standard fishtail stem. I took a photo of the pipe with the P-Lip style stem and the way it fit in the shank. The tenon was large at the back half of the tenon at the stem junction. I sanded the tenon with so a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to reduce it for a snug fit.I put the stem on the shank and took photos of the pipe with the P-Lip stem. I like the way it looks better with this stem! The bowl of the pipe looked very good. The rusticated rim top is clean does not seem to have any debris in the rustication. The edges of the bowl were undamaged and looked very good. I see no warning signs in the rim top or the edges of the bowl. I took photos of the stems to show the condition of each one. Though hard to see there are light tooth marks and chatter on both pipes on the surface of both sides ahead of the button but it should clean up easily with sandpaper. The next photo captures the stamping on the left underside of the diamond shank. They read as I have noted above. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of it to give a sense of proportion. Now it was time to work on the pipe itself. I started my work on the pipe by cleaning the internals. The cake was quite thin but it can hold residual oils from previous tobaccos and I wanted to check the bowl walls for burn damage or checking. I reamed it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe knife and took the cake back to bare briar. I sanded the walls with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. I worked on them until they were smooth. There was no checking or burn damage to the bowl walls. It was quite clean.I cleaned out the internals of the shank and the airway in the stem with 99% isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I worked them over until they were clean. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the rusticated finish on the bowl and shank and the rim top. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the wood. I used a horse hair shoe brush to work it into the crevices and rings around bowl cap. Once the bowl was covered with the balm I let it sit for about 15 minutes and buffed it off with a soft cotton cloth and the shoe brush. I polished it with a microfiber cloth. I took photos of the pipe at this point in the process to show what the bowl looked like at this point. The Donegal Rocky finish looks very good and has a real touch of beauty. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stems. I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing it with 600 grit wet dry sandpaper. The stems certainly looked much better. I dry sanded both sides of the stems with 1500-12000 grit pads to polish it further. I wiped them down with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. The shine grew deeper with each sanding pad. I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine polishes. I wiped the stem down with some Obsidian Oil afterwards and buffed it with a soft microfiber cloth. I put the Peterson’s Donegal Rocky 150 Straight Bulldog back together. I don’t buff the rusticated bowl on the wheel as it leaves a lot of grit in the deep grooves of the finis. I gave the bowl and shank multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and buffed it with a shoe brush to raise the shine. The wax is great protection and I love using it on sandblast finishes because it does not build up in the grooves and valleys like carnauba wax does. I buffed it by hand with a microfiber cloth to finish the shine.I polished the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish out the scratches in the acrylic. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The contrast of the browns and reds of the stain on the briar with the shine of the polished vulcanite stems is quite stunning. The rich rusticated finish around the bowl and shank is quite remarkable and gives the pipe an incredible tactile presence. I polished the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish out the scratches in the acrylic. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The contrast of the browns and reds of the stain on the briar with the shine of the polished vulcanite stems is quite stunning. The rich rusticated finish around the bowl and shank is quite remarkable and gives the pipe an incredible tactile presence. The Peterson’s Donegal Rocky 150 Bulldog is a beautiful pipe and one that will be a great smoking pipe. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below with each of the stems. The dimensions of the pipe with the P-Lip stem are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the large pipe is a light and comfortable 45 grams/1.62 ounces. The dimensions of the pipe with the fishtail stem are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the large pipe is a light and comfortable 47 grams/1.66 ounces. This is a great looking Peterson’s Donnegal Rocky pipe. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. If you want to add it to your rack let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me. Cheers.