Restoring & Restemming the last the 8 Peterson Bowls – Republic Era System Standard 314


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I often purchase pipe bowl/stummels of brands that we like and want to restore. These have included a lot of different bowls. If you have followed us for long you know that some of these have included Peterson’s, Dunhill’s, and a wide range of Danish and English pipes. Awhile ago Jeff and I were sorting through the bowls in our collection and pulled out eight Peterson’s bowls that were dirty and stemless. A friend referred us to a contact named Silas Walls, of Walls Pipe Repair in Wallace, Idaho, USA as he seems to have a good supply of original Peterson’s stems. Our friend has had him fit stems for some of his Petes and was very happy with the work. We made contact with him and sent him eight bowls for restemming.

In the photo above I show the 8 restemmed pipes. I have marked the 7 I have worked on already with a red X). This eighth one that we cleaned up before mailing them out was a bowl that we received on 06/05/21 from a friend in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [arched over] System [over] Standard. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) over the shape number 314. The ferrule is stamped K&P [over] Peterson’s. The before photos of this bowl were on a corrupted memory card and are gone. But needless to say the pipe was just as bad as the rest of this lot.

As with the others before this one I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson) and read through the article before starting on my work. I found an interesting note in the middle of the page. I quote the pertinent section below and have highlights some important information in red below.

From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

Since I found a new stem it was now it was time to work on this final bowl of the lot. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. It looked much better. I took pictures of the bowl without the new stem. It is a great looking piece of briar even with the gouges and marks on sides, top and heel of the bowl. The nickel ferrule has a few dents but otherwise looks very good. When the pipes came back to Jeff with their new stems they looked great. When the pipes arrived here I checked them out. Here is what I found. The first six pipes from the lot were flawless and quite beautiful. The last two – this 314 and a 313 I reworked previously, looked great at first glance but upon further examination it was clear that the stems were not Peterson’s style stems. The draught on the P-lip portion of the stem is on the top of the stem, but in the case of these two stems the airway came straight out the end of the stem like a Wellington pipe. I was not happy with them. I have already replaced the stem on the 313 and this 314 was the only one I still needed a stem for. Today I was gifted some Peterson’s P-lip stems and one was what I was looking for. It fit well but I would need to give it a bit more of a bend for a perfect look. With the new stem chosen, I turned to work on the damage on the top and the inner edge of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inner bevel of the rim and remove the damage on the rim top. Once I had finished I think that it looked much better. I filled in the deep gouges in the bowl on the right heel and the underside of the heel with CA glue and also briar dust. I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them in. They looked significantly better. I stained the sanded areas with a Cherry stain pen to match the surrounding area around the rest of the bowl sides, top and heel.I polished the briar 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. It is going to be a beauty.   I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my finger tips. 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.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. Since it was a new stem I did not need to polish it. The stem was looking very good. I heated the stem with a lighter to soften the vulcanite and bent it to the shape that it needed to be for the shape of the bowl. I held it in place to let it cool and set the shape. It looked very good.  This Republic Era Ireland Peterson’s System Standard Bent 314 with a Nickel Ferrule and a vulcanite P-lip stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the 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 Peterson’s System Standard 314 Bent Billiard 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 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 44 grams/1.55 ounces. I will be adding the pipe to the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in purchasing this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Restoring a Peterson of Dublin Aran 01 Bent Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is a smooth Peterson’s Bent Pot. I am not sure where it came from or when we might have picked it up. This Bent Pot came with a nice nickel band on the shank end that was factory fitted to the stamping on the shank. The grime was ground into the finish on the bowl sides. The contrast of the brown stains gave the grain a sense of depth. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson [over] of Dublin [over] Aran. The right side had the shape number 01 stamped toward the bowl. The nickel band was stamped Peterson [over] a stylized P [over] Of Dublin. There was a moderate cake in the bowl and a light overflow of lava on the rim top. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks, chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. I took photos of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. They tell the story and give a glimpse of the promise that we see in this pipe. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is moderately caked and the rim top and back edges have a thick lava overflow. The photos of the stem show that it was oxidized, calcified and has light tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank and the band. It is faint but readable and reads as noted above. The right side stamping is also faint but readable. The photo of the band shows how it was stamped on the nickel – centered and clean. There was some oxidation and sticky substance on the underside of the band next to the shank. I took the stem off the shank and took a photo of the look of the pipe to show the relation of the size of the parts. It is a nice looking pipe.I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Aran line. On page 294 it had the following information.

Aran (1965-) First issue of line described as “handhewn” (rusticated) with black semi-matte finish, in P-lip and fishtail mouthpiece. Second issue 1975, red sandblast, XL shapes. Third issue circa ’97, gold hot-foil P stamped on the mouthpiece, brown semi-matte smooth finish, no band. Fourth issue after 2010, with nickel band, no P stamped on the mouthpiece. Mounted and unmounted versions are available concurrently.

I knew that I was dealing with an Aran from the Fourth Issue of the Aran line that came out after 2010 because of the nickel band and unstamped stem. As such it was a newer pipe. Now it was time to work on the pipe. (Applicable information noted in red above.)

I started my work on the pipe by reaming it with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. I cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel.I scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. I worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. I used a shank brush to clean out the inside. I rinsed the pipe with warm water and dried it off. I scraped out the inside of the shank with a dental spatula to remove the thick build up of tars and oils. Once I had removed that I scrubbed the inside of  the shank with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I cleaned the airway in the stem at the same time. I cleaned up the darkening on the rim top and the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper until it was clean and undamaged. I polished the briar bowl and shank with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips 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 polished the nickel band with a jeweler’s cloth to remove the tarnish and oxidation as well as add some protection to the band. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I rebuilt the button with black super glue. I flattened and reshaped it with a small flat file. I finished reshaping the button surface and end and sanded out some tooth marks on the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil.  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 am excited to finish this Peterson of Dublin Aran 01 Bent Pot. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand 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 bowl looks like with the polished nickel band and the black vulcanite stem. This Classic looking Peterson’s Aran Bent Pot is one of my favourite shapes and it 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 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 52 grams/1.83 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

A Collection of W.O. Larsen Handmade Pipe Photos/Cards


The next addition to my document collection is a great looking Packet that holds a collection of W.O. Photos with description of each Handmade pipe. Have a look as these are some real beauties.

A Stanwell Catalogue with a great shape guide


The next catalogue I scanned was this beautiful Stanwell Pipe Catalogue. It is beautifully laid out and designed with lots of photos and colour. But the shape guide through out the book is priceless to me. I thought I would share it with you all.

Cleaning up a New Old Stock Meerschaum Sheik


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I chose to work on is an unsmoked New Old Stock Meerschaum Sheik that Jeff and I picked up in a lot somewhere. Neither of us have any memory of where or when we picked it up. It had a lot of dust and debris in the grooves and on the smooth surface of the shank and bowl sides as well as the heel. It was dirty but unused. The bowl was clean on the top and inside. The stem was also clean and unused but still had stickiness on the top near the shank from the price tag that must have “graced” its surface somewhere in its life. There were no tooth marks or chatter on the stem and the pipe smell clean. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on to try and capture the condition it was in when I brought it to the table. I include those below. I took a photo of the rim top and the stem to show the condition of them both. The bowl and rim are clean and with a bit of polishing should clean up. The stem was dirty – it had sticky substances on the top and underside of the stem just ahead of the button.I took photos of the carving on the bowl from the front and from both sides. It is a nicely done carving of a sheik with a tall turban and feather. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe as a whole to show the overall look of the bowl and the proportions of the pipe.I polished the meerschaum with micromesh sanding pads  – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wet sanded the grime that was on the sides of the bowl and shank. It was marked and a little dirty on the surface of the bowl. I worked several coats of Clapham’s Beeswax/Carnauba Mixture wax into the meerschaum and let it sit for 20 minutes. I buffed it with a soft cloth and repeated the process several times until the finish looked and felt right. I polished the tortoise shell acrylic stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Fine and Extra Fine stem polish and buffed it out with a soft cloth. I don’t know if I would say that I am excited to be on the homestretch. But I do look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I hand buffed the bowl and stem with a soft cloth to polish the waxed bowl and stem. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The meerschaum looks much better with the wax and polish. The shiny tortoise shell acrylic stem is a beautiful contrast to the white of the bowl and thick shank. This Carved Sheik Figural Meerschaum was an interesting pipe to work on. The pipe is actually quite comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 3 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.15 ounces/61 grams. I will be putting this pipe on the rebornpipes store in the Ceramic & Meerschaum Pipes section. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Fresh Life for a Beautiful Butz-Choquin Maitre Pipier Flamme Extra Horn


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue came from a group of pipes a friend here in Vancouver passed on to me to restore and sell for him. The pipe is a beautiful Butz Choquin Maitre Pipier Flamme Extra pipe. It is almost a Danish shaped horn/scoop with a triangular shank and a uniquely shaped bowl. The entire pipe had some beautiful flame grain around the bowl and birdseye grain on bottom and top of the shank. The rim top was clean other than some burn or darkening damage on the back inner edge of the bowl. I could see that the carver had done an amazing job utilizing the block of briar to maximize the grain. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Butz-Choquin [over] Maitre Pipier [over] Flame [over] Extra. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Fait Main over St. Claude France. On the underside of the shank it is stamped J Berrod. The stem is vulcanite and has the inset BC circle on the left side of the uniquely fit triangular taper stem. I took photos of the rim top and edges and the stem surfaces. The rim top looked very good with some great birdseye. The inner edge had some burn damage and some darkening on the back inner edge. The stem had some oxidation, calcification and tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It read as noted above and is very clear. I removed the stem from the bowl and took a picture of the pipe to show the general look and proportion of the pipe. It is quite pretty in terms of grain and shape. The stem is definitely a fitted blank rather than a hand cut one. I have worked on another Maitre Pipier not too long ago and wrote up a blog on it. It was a nice looking Calabash (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/02/14/a-butz-choquin-maitre-pipier-hand-made-calabash/). On that blog I included some overall information on the brand and I will repeat it here to set the stage.

Butz-Choquin was a brand that I was familiar with having worked on quite a few of them over the years. I decided to check on a few sites to refresh the memory of the brand. I turned first to Pipephil and as usual the site gives a great summary (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-butzchoquin.html). I quote:

The origin of the brand reaches back to 1858 when Jean-Baptiste Choquin in collaboration with his son-in-law Gustave Butz created their first pipe in Metz (France). Since 1951 Butz-Choquin Site officiel Butz Choquin, pipes de Saint-Claude jura. BC pipe de bruyere luxe is a brand of the Berrod-Regad group (Saint-Claude, France).

I also found the line of Fait Main Maitre Pipier pipes listed. The pipe I am working on is stamped the same way as the one in the screen capture below. The shape is different but the rest is the same. The capture has a small paragraph on the line that reads as follows: Pipes of the “Maitre Pipier” séries were crafted by Paul Lanier until he retired and after him by Alain Albuisson.I turned then to Pipedia to see what I could find out there (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Butz-Choquin). I quote the article in its entirety as it gives a clear history.

The pipe, from Metz to Saint-Claude. Jean-Baptiste Choquin of Metz started out as a tobacconist. This enterprise was prosperous; he had several employees. Among those, there was a certain Gustave Butz who was its first workman and who became his son-in-law by marrying Choquin’s daughter Marie in 1858.

In 1858 Jean-Baptiste Choquin created, in collaboration with Gustave Butz, the Choquin pipe. This bent pipe with a flat-bottomed bowl was finished with an albatross-bone mouthpiece, fixed with silver rings.

In 1858, still in Metz, Gustave Butz built an establishment for the manufacture of the Choquin pipe which took the name of . In 1951, the Berrod-Regad company bought the trademark, continuing manufacture until 2002. Departing from Metz, the workshop was relocated to Saint-Claude, then also called “the world capital of the briar pipe,” under the Berrod-Regad group. The Berrod-Regad group would go on to completely rebuild the network of representatives until finally entering the export market in 1960 and has since won several prizes, as well as the Gold Cup of French good taste.

In a few years, the brand’s collection increased from ten to seventy series. 135 years after it was founded, the pipe is still well-known not only in France but throughout the world. In 2002, the Berrod family, wishing to preserve manufacture of pipes in Saint-Claude, handed over the company to Fabien Guichon, a native of the area, who will continue to develop the brand during the 21st century.

I reamed the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to scrape out the thin cake in the bowl. There was not much there but enough that it had to go. I also sanded the bowl walls with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. The bowl walls were smooth when I finished the work.  I wiped the bowl down with acetone to remove the shiny varnish coat as it was spotty on the sides and rim top. With it removed the grain really stood out clearly. It is a great looking piece of briar. I cleaned out the shank and the airway in the mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. It was quite a bit dirtier than I expected from just the appearance. With the cleaning the pipe smelled cleaner. I worked over the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage and to give the edge a slight bevel to remove the burn damage. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – polishing it with 1500-12000 grit pads. By the time I was finished the briar had a great shine. The grain on the pipe is quite beautiful.  I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the finish with my fingers. After it sat for 15 minutes I wiped it off with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the surface with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks and chatter. It worked very well and I sanded out the remnants and oxidation on the top and underside with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the vulcanite. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.   As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. 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 grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl and thick shank. This Butz-Choquin Maitrie Pipier Flamme Extra Scoop was another fun pipe to work on. It is a nice piece of briar whose shape follows the flow of the briar. The pipe is comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.45 ounces/41 grams. I will be putting this pipe on the rebornpipes store in the French Pipe Makers section. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.