Tag Archives: article by Dave Gossett

Revival of a Globetrotter: LHS Sterncrest 14K


Blog by Dave Gossett
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Dave2 A great pipe is reborn, the ad should read. This old LHS has been an extensive traveler throughout its long life. Plucked from the Mediterranean soil and carved in Brooklyn New York, traveling to the west coast, back to the east coast once more. From there it made its way to British Columbia, then again back to the east coast of America where it currently resides.

I received this pipe in an estate lot from California with the tenon and stinger broken off in the mortise. Someone had crudely tried to remove the broken tenon without success. I thought the pipe was a lost cause, but with little hope for a remedy I put out the bat signal for help. Steve Laug himself from Reborn Pipes answered the call. Off to British Columbia it went to undergo surgery from the master repairman.Dave3

Dave4 Here is the link to Steve’s great repair/rescue and stem replacement on this pipe.

https://rebornpipes.com/2015/11/04/removing-a-broken-metal-tenon-from-a-lhs-sterncrest-14k/

Back from surgery, Steve had sent me a fully functioning usable pipe.Dave5

Dave6 I started in on the usual ream and clean. Next I lightly topped the bowl and began working out the dents and scratches.Dave7

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Dave10 Once I had a smooth clean stummel, I mixed up some Fiebings and tried to match the original finish.Dave11

Dave12 Sanding with 2500 grit I lightened the stain until I was close to the shade I wanted. I used a rag dampened with alcohol around the stampings to lighten those areas and blend in with the rest of the stummel.Dave13

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Restoring 2 Kaywoodies – a Flame Grain 99B and a Meerschaum Lined 86B


Blog by Dave Gossett
KW1 These two Kaywoodie’s were found at an estate sale. They are great survivor examples from the heyday of Kaywoodie. I could tell the previous owner cared for and loved these pipes. They were well used and dirty, but in near perfect condition. Free of fills, tooth chatter, scratches, nicks, or dents. The stampings are crisp and clear. The lines are sharp and straight. Both are 4 hole Drinkless stinger era KW’s.

Bringing these pipes back to their former glory was pretty simple. I have about an hour of work in each pipe. I gave them a wood soap wash, a light ream, deoxidized the stems, and put on fresh coat of carnauba.

The first is a Kaywoodie Flame Grain 99B KW2

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KW5 The second is a Kaywoodie Meerschaum Lined 86BKW6

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Removing Stain from a Briar Pipe – Additional info added


Blog by Dave Gossett
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stain2 I’ve been working on a stain removal recipe/technique with some junker pipes and came up with this. It works pretty well. It will also strip the color out of any fills in the pipe and they will stand out afterwards. This is great for a fill free briar, but not recommended if it does, unless you plan on digging out the old fills and replacing them with briar dust. I always advise trying new repair and restoration tips on a test pipe before trying it on a keeper.

Step 1. Use Murphy’s wood soap to remove the wax. Take care not to get the Murphy’s soap inside the pipe!

Step 2. Wipe down with alcohol.

Step 3. Mix a heavy batch of Oxy Clean powder with hot water. 3 tablespoons give or take. Use just enough hot water to dilute the powder and then add a couple of shots of 91% alcohol. Heat the briar with a hair dryer before starting. This opens the pores and speeds up the removal process. (at least that’s my theory.)

0000 steel wool can be used with mix to gently scrub the briar. The steel wool is fine enough it will not scratch the briar. Use gently, let the wool do the work for you. A rag can be used but it will take a few runs to achieve the same results. When dipping the rag or wool don’t submerge to the bottom of the mix where the undissolved gritty powder is settled. You don’t want the grit on the briar when scrubbing. Stay clear of the stampings with the steel wool. Use a rag on those areas.

Rinse the stummel clean with tap water and towel off so the oxy residue doesn’t dry on the wood.

Let the stummel dry completely to see if you’re satisfied with the coloring. repeat the process again if it’s still dark.

Step 4. Depending on how much time and cleaning it took to remove the stain, it could raise the grain a bit. Don’t worry. Most of the time this isn’t the case. After the stain has been striped and the pipe has thoroughly dried, give the stummel a light dry sanding with 2000-3000 grit and this will take care of any raised grain concerns.

Step 5. Now your pipe is ready for your color change of choice or waxed up for a beautiful natural finish.

I tried to be as detailed as possible but may have forgotten something. This is why I recommend trying new techniques on a test pipe.

Here are the results of the stain removal on a very dark pipe.

Photos of the pipe before stripping the stain:stain3

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stain5 Photo of the pipe with the stain stripped:stain2 Photos of the finished pipe:stain9

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Dave took the time to measure all of the components in his recipe and has sent them to be added to this post. Here it is:
1 cup hot water (hotter the better)

3 spoons of Oxy Clean powder

After the Oxy is thoroughly dissolved then add the alcohol

1 spoon of 91% alcohol

The alcohol cuts the suds and stops the solution from becoming a foaming mess while you’re working on the pipe.

Thanks Dave

Restoring an LHS Certified Purex #24


Blog by Dave Gossett
Dave1 This pipe was a pretty straight forward cleanup. It was in overall decent shape. It had some light rim char and the stem was out of alignment. Steve had recently posted an LHS repair with this very problem so it came in handy. I followed his process and sanded the aluminum shank cap gently on a flat sanding board until the stem was in proper position. I can’t imagine they left the factory out of alignment, so I don’t know how they end up like that.Dave2

Dave3 Next I sanded the rim with 1000 grit until I reached fresh briar, and went over the rest of the stummel with 2000 grit to remove the nicks and scratches, then began working my way up the grit ladder until it was smooth.

A quick wipe down with alcohol was applied before adding Fiebings dark brown. I left it to cure for 24 hours. For a nice contrast stain, I lightly mist the briar with alcohol and use a very worn piece of 2000 grit. This removes the dark stain from the soft wood and makes the grain more prominent. After the pipe has been wiped down with a damp cloth to remove the excess stain, it was left to dry and then lightly sanded with micro mesh one last time.Dave4

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Reviving a Savinelli Silver 806


Blog by Dave Gossett
Dave1 My Army cousin stationed in Italy came to the states recently bearing gifts. He bought me 9 pipes at a swap meet in Vencenza – 5 Savinelli’s, 2 Brebbia’s, 1 Rossi, and 1 lesser known Italian briar. I’m a sucker for silver bands, long shanks, and Sav’s, so naturally this is the first one out of the batch I cleaned up.

This one had not been “smoked lightly” as the saying goes. The rim was beat up, the stummel had plenty of scratches, and the stem had a hefty chunk missing.Dave2

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Dave4 I started out by reaming and cleaning the airways. Then I topped the bowl and beveled it, and sanded the scratches from the exterior.Dave5 After removing the damage from the stummel, I gave it a light alcohol scrub to remove the rest of the stain.

I gave it a dark contrast stain starting with Fiebings dark brown and a hint of oxblood, then after drying for 24 hours I sanded it to lighten it up and make the grain pop. A cloth dampened with alcohol can be used around the stampings to lighten the stain a bit without compromising the nomenclature.

Next up, the stem. I removed the oxidation and scored the area around the repair site. Patched up the missing vulcanite with CA and charcoal, then filed it down and wet sanded smooth, followed by a light run on the wheel with compound.Dave6 I’ve already put a few bowls of Syrian Reserve through it since the pictures were taken. Great smoker. This one’s a keeper.Dave7

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Whitehall Thermofilter Rebuild


Blog by Dave Gossett

This pipe was part of an estate lot I received a few weeks ago. Borderline firewood. I was just going to throw it in the pipe parts box but decided to make it my nightshift project at work. It passes the time and keeps me awake.

I have American and English made Whitehall’s but this one is stamped Italy, so It would make a nice addition to the Whitehall collection if it came out looking presentable.

I initially planned to use this pipe for practice and try my hand at beveling a rim, so I didn’t take very many pictures of the rebuild.

It had several fills and deep gashes in the briar, and the button on the stem was completely MIA.Dave1

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Dave3 I started off with some aggressive sanding of the briar with 200 grit. This pipe lost some serious weight. It couldn’t get any worse so I went for broke and sanded down past the fills and gashes working around the stampings until I had a smooth stummel.

Next I gave my first rim beveling a shot. Using a rolled piece of 200 grit angled at 45 degrees, I turned the bowl slowly with one hand while sanding with the other. After trying this, I now have a new found respect for carvers that shape pipes by hand. I stopped frequently and eyeballed the rim closely to make sure it was symmetrical.

After I was content with the shape I worked my way up the grit ladder until it was smooth as babies butt.

The briar was starting to look pretty good. If I couldn’t save the original stem I would have found a substitute. The Thermofilter was similar in size and shape as my old 1919 old Loewe & Co. pipe with an antique rounded button that was popular at the turn of the century, so I modeled the stem rebuild after the Loewe.Dave4

Dave5 This is the biggest stem rebuild I’ve tried so far. This recipe is great for fixing tooth holes or small missing portions. Only time will tell if an addition this large will hold up. Here is the link of how I rebuild stems if anyone wants the details.

http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/how-to-fix-tooth-holes-in-stems
I piled on the mix and filed it about five times before I found the shape I was going for.Dave6

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Dave10 American WhitehallDave11 English WhitehallDave12 Italian WhitehallDave13 It would be interesting to know how many other countries accompanied the Whitehall name.

Waxing & Buffing Made Easy


Blog by Dave Gossett

This originally appeared on Pipes Magazine forums. Dave wrote and gave me the link. Here is the link to the original post Dave made if you want to read it in that context as well as the responses there. http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/waxing-amp-buffing-made-easy I thought his work on the LHS pipes that you have all read and your comments on his buffing methods warranted posting it here as well. – SL

I’ve received several messages asking how I wax and buff pipes, so I took a few photo’s to show how it’s done.

My ancient buffer gave out a while back and since then I’ve been using a 3450rpm one speed. A variable speed buffer is preferable. Mistakes or loss of concentration at this speed are unforgiving.

(left is the wax wheel/right is the metal wheel)Buff1 I have waxed at least 20 pipes with this block of carnauba, and you can see just how little it takes to get a nice shine.Buff2 Start with a buffing wheel that is clean and has never been used with any compounds etc. Using a screw driver blade, fluff the wheel with the flat edge. Run a block of pure carnauba from left to right on the spinning wheel for 1 second with easy pressure so that the wheel is not overloaded with wax.

Here is the briar prepped and ready to wax.Buff3 I always keep my index finger inside the bowl while using the buffer. This usually prevents the pipe from being launched into floor at mach speed. I said usually. Lessons learned the hard way. Always keep your flat edges pointed away from the rotation, such as the rim or diamond shaped shanks.

Applying the first coat
This is pretty straight forward. Don’t worry about getting an even coat or making it shine. For the first coat, you’re just covering the all the briar. It will look uneven, cloudy, and have streaks. When the wax is wearing thin, give the wheel another quick 1 second zip with carnauba and continue on. Light and gentle pressure is the key to waxing. All the wax is in the top loose layers of the fabric. Never press hard and dig into wheel.

After the first coat. Still cloudy and uneven.Buff4

Buff5 Second run on the wheel

For this, I don’t apply any more wax to the wheel. Use the flathead screw driver and fluff the wheel again before starting. Gentle pressure is the key. Think of spreading warm butter on toast. Always keep the pipe moving. Don’t hold it in one spot, and try not to let the pipe bounce on the wheel. You’ll start to see the ripples and cloudiness fade away. At this point don’t worry about getting the mirror finish yet, just concentrate on thinning the wax ripples and getting an even coating. It will still look a bit cloudy.

Somewhat shiny and slightly cloudy.Buff6

Buff7 Here is where the micro fiber cloth comes into play. This makes a huge difference in the final outcome of the finish. Give the briar good rub down with the cloth and a hand buffing.

Once more on the wheel.

This time I use a clean buffer wheel that has never had anything applied to it, marked the “finisher.” I have all the different buffer wheels labeled for each purpose. Wax, Compound, metal (sterling, aluminum), etc.

After the finisher, one final rub down with the microfiber.Buff8

Buff9 If I’ve left anything out or didn’t convey any of the process clearly, just ask me to clarify. Everyone has their own way of doing things and there is more than one way to skin a cat, but this is what works for me. Through trial and error, I have condensed what I’ve learned into the most simple and effective way of achieving the best results.