Tag Archives: article by Kenneth Lieblich

Restoring a Consul Freehand – Perhaps by Preben Holm or Karl Erik


by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is a gorgeous example of a Danish freehand which I got from an older gentleman in Vancouver. I’ve had my eye on this one for a while because of its a beautiful plateau and wood grain, and I was looking forward to working on it. This is a Consul De Luxe pipe and I am sorry to report that I have found very little on the origin of the Consul brand of pipes. There is no information to be had from the usual sources (Pipepedia, Pipephil, etc.), but Steve believes that Consul could have been made either by Preben Holm or Karl Erik – both esteemed names in Danish pipemaking. In any event, this pipe is clearly Danish, clearly well-made, and clearly a beautiful addition to anyone’s collection. The markings were clear enough. On the left-hand side of the shank, it said Consul [over] De Luxe [over] Special. On the right-hand side of the shank, it said Handcut. On the underside of the stummel, it read Made in Denmark. On the left side of the stem, there was a very thin, stylized capital “C”, which appeared to have been slightly worn. The condition was generally good, and it must have been a good smoker, because it was very well used. The stem was heavily oxidized and had some tooth marks. In addition, there was a strange residue scattered over the surface that was reminiscent of icing sugar – I have no idea what it was, but hopefully, it would come off during cleaning. The stummel was fine; there was some cake in the bowl, lava on the rim, and some dents, though no burn marks to speak of. However, the heel of the bowl was very narrow which made reaming a challenge. To work! The stem was so oxidized and filthy that I wiped it down with SoftScrub before soaking. Ultimately, I did send it for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. The following day, I cleaned the rest of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. Again, I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation. Fortunately, that bizarre ‘icing-sugar’ stuff did come off without a problem.   After this, I used some nail polish to restore the logo on the stem. I painted the area carefully and let it fully set before proceeding. Then, I built up the dents on the stem with black cyanoacrylate adhesive and let them fully cure.Next, I sanded the adhesive down with 220- and 400-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. As I surmised, the ‘C’ on the stem was not as robust as it had been in better days, but I managed to restore it nicely. Now for the stummel. Firstly, I reamed out the bowl. I used the PipNet Reamer to remove the built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as I could. I took the chamber down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the wall. Fortunately, there were none. I then proceeded to clean out the insides with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. There was a bit of filth inside this stummel and it took some cotton to get it clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes. I used cotton rounds and some Murphy’s Oil Soap to scrub the outside of the stummel and a toothbrush with Murphy’s on the rugged plateau of the pipe. A toothbrush gets into the grooves of the wood more easily. Next, I decided to de-ghost the pipe in order to remove any lingering smells of the past. I thrust cotton balls into the bowl and the shank and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused any remaining oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowl was nice and clean after this. You can see the before and after photos – it needed a de-ghosting! But wait! I had missed something. Inside the shank, there was a small gouge – no idea how it got there – but I felt it needed to be repaired. It’s difficult to make out, but I’ve pointed it out in the photograph. Similar to other blemishes, I filled this gouge with cyanoacrylate adhesive and briar dust. Once it had cured, I sanded it down and voilà! Problem solved. Finally, I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) on the stummel to make it lovely and smooth. After that, a light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the stummel’s grain.    This is a very elegant Danish pipe. At the buffer, a dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were just what this pipe needed. However, on the rugged plateau, I used Clapham’s Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish, as carnauba wax will get gummed up in the crevices of the wood. I applied the beeswax finish with my fingers and used a horsehair brush to buff it. This Consul Freehand looks fantastic again and is ready to be enjoyed again by the next owner! It is a gorgeous pipe and will make a fantastic smoker. I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the ‘Danish’ Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 5¾ in. (146 mm); height 2⅜ in. (60 mm); bowl diameter 1⅝ x 2 in. (41 x 51 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1⅞ oz. (56 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe’s restoration as much as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Uncovering a 2011 Peterson Pipe of the Year


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Recently, my wife and I visited some antique shops in the beautiful Fraser Valley, near Vancouver. We stopped in at one shop that was particularly nice and specialized in antique lamps, but which had the odd pipe or two laying around. In one of the display cases, I noticed an old pipe stand with four or five tired-looking pipes. The owner obligingly opened the case so I could take a gander, but the pipes on the stand were not much to my taste. I was about to move away when my wife commented, “Wait, what about that pipe down there?” pointing to something a couple of shelves away. It was a pipe sitting in a Peterson box and I knew it was something special even before I got my hands on it. When I did get my hands on it, choirs of angels broke into song, as I discovered I was holding a brand-new, unsmoked 2011 Peterson Limited Edition Pipe of the Year. It is a gorgeous, luxurious, hexagonal panel with a sterling silver ferrule and military mount. I freely admit that I was rather awestruck — not expecting to find a Pipe of the Year in an old antique shop. Naturally, it was not inexpensive, but it was worth it, and besides, I couldn’t just leave it sitting there. This is a beautiful pipe – no doubt about it.  The left side of the stummel reads Peterson’s [above] Dublin. On the right side of the stummel, it reads Y2011 [above] Limited [above] Edition [above] 46/1000. So, this pipe has one of the very rare low numbers for the pipe of the year: 46! On top of the ferrule is engraved a beautiful, stylized P, flanked left and right by triquetra (the Celtic Trinity knot). On the other side, is engraved the word Peterson above the three silver hallmarks: a seated Hibernia (indicating the city of Dublin), a lozenge with 925 inside it (indicating that it is sterling silver), and the letter ‘A’ (indicating that it was made in the year 2011). The band and the stem had no markings. However, unusually for Peterson, the stem wasn’t a P-lip — it was a fishtail. Peterson has made a Pipe of the Year for many years now and the best source of all things Peterson is, of course, Mark Irwin at Peterson Pipe Notes. He says the following:

“After Charles Peterson’s System pipe, Tom Palmer’s Dublin-era Pipe of the Year is arguably the company’s most noteworthy accomplishment in the worldwide pipe-smoking community. It’s an idea that other companies and artisans have since imitated and continue to imitate. It’s one that’s given us some of Peterson’s most remarkable pipes in the B and D shape charts.

The series has completed its 23rd year, and as Pete Freeks and other pipe companioners and collectors often have questions about them, I thought one place to begin would be a visual dictionary of all twenty-four pipes. That’s right, there are actually twenty-four different shapes, because in 2000 a set of two different shapes was released. Here we go.

When the series began, it had two names, one stamped on the bowl–LIMITED EDITION–and another by which it was commonly called–PIPE OF THE YEAR. Most in the hobby now use POY as the preferred acronym.

 Only the smooth pipes are called “Limited Edition” and numbered. The sandblasted edition (aside from the Founder’s Edition 2015 POTY) is called the “Pipe of the Year” and stamped accordingly. That is, until 2016, when “Limited Edition” stamping was dropped and the series began being stamped PIPE OF THE YEAR.

The first four years of production lacked a year stamp (aside from the sterling hallmark) and were just stamped “LIMITED EDITION” and so on. That changed in 2001, when Peterson began stamping “Y” plus the year above the “LIMITED EDITION.”

For more information (and to see all of Mark Irwin’s photos), please visit this article: https://petersonpipenotes.org/2014/07/13/a-visual-history-of-petersons-limited-edition-pipe-of-the-year-1997-2014/

As I mentioned earlier, the pipe was unsmoked, so it was obviously in good shape. But there were still a few things I wanted to touch up. The sterling silver was thoroughly tarnished and would need some cleaning, and the stem, unsmoked though it may be, was still well-oxidized. So, it went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation. There were a couple of tiny (almost invisible) blemishes on the stem, which I treated with black cyanoacrylate glue. I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. On to the stummel! The briar wood itself didn’t require any attention, but I used compressed air to blast out any dust or debris inside the draught hole and chamber.

I then moved on to the sterling silver ferrule and the band on the military mount stem. I used a jewelry polishing cloth as I prefer to avoid harsher chemicals. It took a surprising amount of elbow grease to remove the tarnish from the silver, but, as you can see, I managed it in the end. Even though the stummel was already shiny, I added some Conservator’s Wax and hand-polished it to ensured it was as glossy as possible. This Peterson is more handsome than ever and is ready to be enjoyed again by the next owner! I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the Irish Pipemakers Section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 5¾ in. (146 mm); height 1⅞ in. (48 mm); bowl diameter 1¼–1½ in. (32–38 mm); chamber diameter ⅞ in. (22 mm). The weight of the pipe is 2⅜ oz. (67 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe’s restoration as much as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

New and Almost New for You


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

I have two pipes that came my way recently and I am happy to offer them to you for sale. No restoration story on these ones – just two beautiful pipes. I gave them a quick (but thorough) once over and now it’s time to turn them over to you. One pipe has never been smoked and the other has only been smoked once or twice by the look of it.

First, is a Savinelli Arcobaleno 606KS bent billiard filter pipe. This one is very close to new. It was smoked once, maybe twice at the most, I’m guessing. Gorgeous pipe. If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the “Italian” pipe section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the Savinelli Arcobaleno 606KS are as follows: length 6 in. (152 mm); height 3 in. (76 mm); bowl diameter 1¼ in. (32 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1⅝ oz. (48 g). Have a look below. Thanks. Next is a French oldtimer – never smoked, brand new. It is beautiful bent acorn from the Courrieu company in Cogolin, France. Lovely, elegant pipe. If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the “French” pipe section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the Courrieu Cogolin are as follows: length 5½ in. (140 mm); height 2¼ in. (57 mm); bowl diameter 1⅛ in. (29 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1⅛ oz. (33 g). If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Adventures in Cordovan


(Kenneth’s Pipe Incident Report #3)

Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Here is another installment of my Pipe Incident Reports. The idea, in general, is to provide a brief write-up – focusing on a particular pipe-restoration-related issue, rather than an entire restoration story. Last time was all about lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. Today’s report is about a colour of stain that I had not used before, but which always intrigued me: cordovan. If you’re not familiar with the term, it refers to a rich shade of burgundy (but with less purple) and is often compared and contrasted with oxblood.Of course, the name of the colour comes from the Spanish city of Córdoba. Córdoba (or Cordova) has had a thriving leather industry since the seventh century AD, and it is this that is most closely associated with the word, cordovan. I referred to my Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. It confirmed this information and added that the first known use of the word in English was in 1591 – in this context, it was simply used as the adjectival form of the city name. According to the Dictionary of Color, the first recorded use of cordovan as a colour in English was in 1925.I expected this colour to be quite red and that accounted for my previous hesitation in using it. Certainly, the bottle of Fiebing’s Cordovan Leather Dye appeared a bit redder that I would have liked, but an opportunity presented itself to try it out on a pipe. I own Fiebing’s oxblood and I’ve used it before, but it was time to try something different…

The pipe I’m using for this experiment is a handsome paneled billiard. It has no markings on it whatsoever, so I don’t know its origins. I acquired it in a lot of pipes that arrived from France, but there were some non-French pipes in that lot so I can’t be sure that it’s a French pipe. In any event, the pipe is unsmoked, never used. And so, I decided that this was the perfect candidate for me to try out my cordovan dye. The briar was raw and unfinished, so it would take the stain well. As you can see, the briar had some water stains on it and the pipe was generally dusty and dirty, despite never having been used.To give the dye the best chance of succeeding, I cleaned the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap. This removed all the stains and made the stummel nice and clean. I also used a can of compressed air to blow out any dust from the draught hole and chamber.The stem was also new but was clearly dirty from sitting around untouched for years. I cleaned it with a couple of pipe cleaners and then polished up the stem with all nine of my MicroMesh pads. Next, I had to address a couple of issues in the briar. As the photos show, there are some cracks in the wood that I need to tackle. Upon close inspection, fortunately, the cracks are quite shallow and do not meaningfully affect the integrity of the pipe.One of many techniques that I learned from Steve is to use a micro drill bit to stop any briar cracks from lengthening. So, I took one of my micro drill bits – and it is really tiny – put it in my Dremel, and drilled minuscule holes at the end of each crack. Of course, I followed this up by filling the drill holes and cracks with cyanoacrylate glue and let it fully cure. Once cured, I sanded it all down with my MicroMesh pads. Time to try the cordovan! As I mentioned, I expected cordovan to be quite red. In fact, it was a beautiful, rich, brown colour – I suppose at the brown end of burgundy. I flamed it and let it set and then coated it again with dye and flamed that too. I was pleasantly surprised at how attractive the colour was. However, I was equally concerned that I had made it too dark by staining it twice, so I decided to lighten it. Fortunately, this dye is alcohol-based, so I used isopropyl alcohol to wipe down the pipe and remove excess stain. I am very pleased with the results. I polished the pipe on my bench buffer with White Diamond and carnauba wax which made the pipe look all the more lovely.   Cordovan turned out to be an excellent addition to my palette of colours for pipe work. As I mentioned, I expected it to be much redder than it turned out to be, and that originally precipitated my hesitation in using it.   I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the ‘Pipes from Various Countries’ section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 5⅝ in. (143 mm); height 1¾ in. (45 mm); bowl diameter 1⅛ in. (29 mm); chamber diameter ⅞ in. (22 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1⅛ oz. (34 g). I hope you enjoyed reading this installment of the Pipe Incident Report – I look forward to writing more. If you are interested in my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Reviving a Lovely Stanwell Liverpool


by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is beautiful Danish pipe from Stanwell. I acquired it locally from the estate of an old boy who kept a lovely collection of pipes. The shape of this pipe is a Liverpool – a member of the Canadian pipe family. For some reason, the Liverpool is far less common than the Canadian. Both types have a shank length 1½ to 2 times the height of the bowl. The difference between the two is as follows: the Canadian has an oval-shaped shank whereas the Liverpool has a round-shaped shank. This Stanwell Liverpool is so charming that I was tempted to keep for myself, but, as a life-long Manchester United fan, I cannot have anything named Liverpool in my home!   As I mentioned, this is a Stanwell de Luxe 298 Liverpool. It has beautiful briar from the bowl all the way down the long shank to a short-but-elegant stem. The left side of the shank reads Stanwell [over] Regd. No. 969-48 [over] de Luxe. The right side of the shank reads Fine Briar [over] 298. Finally, the stem’s left side also has the trademark S of the Stanwell company. Of course, 298 refers to the model number and I went to check the list of Stanwell shapes, here on Reborn Pipes. There was no 298 on this list. Hmm. Well, I did find some images from an old Stanwell catalogue (rather vaguely dated as 1960-70). The image below does not mention a shape “298”, but it does show a “98” which looks very similar to the pipe I have. I am assuming that there is a connection.I know from information at Pipephil that the pipe I have is certainly more than 50 years old – and this corresponds to the catalogue above. My pipe has both the “Regd. No.” and the S logo without a crown. This screen capture explains that clearly.Meanwhile, Pipedia has a good amount of information on the Stanwell brand and its history. I certainly recommend looking it over: https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell.

Anyway, this really is a good-looking pipe. No major issues to resolve – just a few minor ones. The stem was dirty, though not too beat up. There were some small scratches and a couple of bite marks, as well as some oxidation and calcification on the vulcanite. The rim on the stummel was blackened and a bit burnt – that would need to be addressed. The insides were fairly dirty and would need some work to clean out. In addition, there was a strange colour to the wood that just wasn’t right. The stem was first on my list. I wiped down the outside of the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. There was enough calcification on the stem that I decided to take a blade and gently scrape it off. I also took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame in order to lift the bite marks and dents. Unfortunately, this didn’t really work, but I have ways of sorting this out. Then, I cleaned out the inside with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. It wasn’t too dirty and only required a few pipe cleaners.I then wiped down the stem with SoftScrub cleaner to remove some surface oxidation. Once this process was done, the stem went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. As the name suggests, this liquid removes oxidation, but, more than anything, it helps draw oxidation to the surface of the vulcanite. This allows me to clean the oxidation off in a couple of ways: both by applying a mild abrasive cleaner to the surface, then by sanding the stem.  The next day, I used SoftScrub again with some cotton rounds and, as you can see, more revolting colour came off the stem.The bite marks on and around the button had to be dealt with, so I whipped out my black cyanoacrylate adhesive to fill those in and let them fully cure. After curing, I used some nail polish to restore the letter S on the stem. I painted the area carefully and let it fully set before proceeding.For sanding the adhesive, I used 220- and 400-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem.  Then I used a set of nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) which gradually erased the ravages of time and brought out the stem’s lovely black lustre. For the last five pads, I also lightly coated the stem with Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each scrubbing. At last, I set the finished stem aside.    Off to work on the stummel! The bowl needed a bit of reaming, so I used the PipNet Reamer to scrape off the built-up cake and I followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as possible. Generally, I prefer to sand the chamber down to bare briar. When restoring, it is important to ensure that there is no damage to the briar in the bowl, under the cake. Fortunately, there were no hidden flaws to the briar on this pipe.   I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. There was a bit of filth inside this stummel and it took a fair amount of cotton to get it clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes.    I decided to de-ghost the pipe in order to remove any lingering smells of the past. I thrust cotton balls into the bowl and the shank and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused any remaining oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowl was nice and clean after this. I used cotton rounds and some Murphy’s Oil Soap to scrub the outside of the stummel and a toothbrush with Murphy’s for the lava on the rim of the pipe. With the lava on the rim removed, I could see that the burn marks remained (see the photo below).In order to remove the remaining burns, I “topped” the pipe – that is to say, I gently and evenly sanded down the rim on a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. I enhanced this further by running the same sandpaper along the inside edge of the rim and creating a very subtle (and beautiful) chamfer. This effectively removed the damage, without altering the look of the pipe. This is always a tricky business – I want to find the balance between removing old burns and maintaining as much of the pipe as possible. But I believe that the photos at the end of this blog show that I got the balance right.

As I mentioned earlier, there were some remnants of an oxblood-like stain on the wood. I’m not sure if this was the original colour of the pipe or if it was added later, but – regardless – it didn’t look good at all. I hoped (and expected) that sanding would help this problem. I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) on the stummel to make it lovely and smooth.  However, not all of the colour was gone, so I removed it with 99% isopropyl alcohol and other stuff I had on hand. It looked so much better with that colour gone.

At this point, I rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar and left it to sit for 10 or 15 minutes. I brushed it with a horsehair brush and buffed it with a microfibre cloth. The BARB does wonderful things to the wood, and I really like the natural colour of the briar.   Finally, it was off for a trip to the bench polisher. A dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were the perfect complement to the briar. The lovely shine made the wood look absolutely beautiful. This pipe is elegant, light, and incredibly comfortable to hold. I thoroughly enjoyed bringing this Stanwell de Luxe 298 Liverpool back to life and I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the “Danish” pipe section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the Stanwell are as follows: length 6 in. (152 mm); height 2 in. (50 mm); bowl diameter 1⅛ in. (29 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1⅛ oz. (33 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this restoration as much as I enjoyed restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

The Frog Prince


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Pull up a chair and light your pipe – I am about to regale you with the tale of one of the most challenging restorations I have ever undertaken. I hesitate to write “restoration”, simply because the work required on this pipe imposed a burden on that word that it may not have been intended to bear. Perhaps “re-creation” is a better word. This post is a little longer than usual, but worth it. This frog needed much more than a kiss to turn into a prince.This is a rusticated Leonard Payne Classic pipe in a billiard shape, with a matching military-style stem and dental bit. The left side of the shank reads Len Payne [over] Classic. Similarly, the ferrule also reads Payne [over] Classic. However, there are no markings (or no visible markings) on the right side of the shank. I acquired this pipe from the granddaughter of the gentleman who once owned it. This fellow is now deceased, but I am pleased to honour his memory with my work. This was obviously a favourite pipe of his, both because it was so dirty and because the rustication was so worn! It is clearly a great smoker.The pipe in question was made by the late, great Canadian artisan, Leonard Payne. He was born in England, moved to Canada in the 1950s, and died in the Vancouver area within the last few years. Payne was, to put mildly, an idiosyncratic pipe maker. I can do no better than quote Mike Glukler of Briar Blues (found on Pipepedia):

“Leonard Payne was based in B.C. for many years. He came to Canada from England. He had shops in Surrey, B.C. and Kelowna, B.C. Interesting fellow. Gruff as the day is long. When you bought a pipe, it was handed to you in a paper bag. No sock, no box. Most of his pipes carried a ‘carburetor’ system at the shank/stem junction. Another Payne idea was his shanks. Almost all his pipes were two pieces. He’d turn the bowl and shank, then cut off the shank and reattach with glue (not always with the same piece of briar, so many did not match grains). His thinking was that the shank being the weakest link, if cut and glued would never break and thus ‘correcting’ the weakest link.In addition, there was a photograph that Steve found of Payne on Reddit that appears to date from the 1960s. The original poster on Reddit told me that the photo comes from the City of Surrey Archives. I have no idea why it is in French, but here is my translation of the text on the right:

“Pipe makers are not on every street corner in Canada! Leonard Payne, originally from England, didn’t know the challenges he would face and that’s probably what influenced his decision to come and try his luck in Canada. After his arrival in 1957, he and his family settled in Vancouver, where he first found work as a tool maker – and made pipes in his free time. In 1959, he decided to become a full-time pipe maker, and since then he has had department stores in all parts of Canada among his clients. He imports briar blocks from Italy and pipe stems from England.”This pipe was a perfect example of Payne’s work. It had a ‘carburetor’ system at the shank/stem junction and the stummel had been separated in two and reattached with glue (although, in this case, he did reattach the matching piece of briar).This pipe was charming, but it had a number of issues. The stem was dirty, though not too beat up. There were a few small scratches, etc., as well as some minor oxidation to the vulcanite. The ‘carburetor’ system was going to make cleaning all the more challenging, as there was little room around the end of the aluminum tube to remove all the filth.The stummel was a different story. It was dirty, dull, and worn. The pipe had been rusticated once-upon-a-time, but so much hand-rubbing of the wood over the years had eroded it (and a lot of the Len Payne markings).

However, by far the biggest problem was the bowl. It was badly out-of-round, burned on the rim, and – take a close look at the photos – it had clearly been decapitated at some point in the past. Steve and I spoke about it, and we figure that the original pipe probably developed a crack after heavy use. The owner, loving his pipe so much, decided that he would rather modify it than toss it. Presumably, he then took a saw and cut off the damaged wood. Following this, he would have stained the wood with something very dark. All of this is conjecture, of course, but it seems likely, given the current state of the pipe.    What on earth do you do with a hacked-up pipe? Read on…

While I decided to have a “thunk” about it, I tackled the stem. I began by cleaning some of the filth on the outside with some Murphy’s Oil Soap on cotton rounds. This removed some of the surface staining. Then, I started cleaning the inside with isopropyl alcohol and pipe cleaners. This took a while. The inside wasn’t terribly dirty, but the empty space inside the end of the stem was tricky to clean well. Once the stem was good and clean, I placed it in a container of Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover overnight. This liquid does (as the name suggests) remove oxidation, but, more than anything, it helps draw oxidation to the surface of the vulcanite. This allows me to clean the oxidation off in a couple of ways: both by applying a mild abrasive cleaner to the surface, then by sanding the stem.I used SoftScrub with some cotton rounds and, as you can see, lots of revolting colour came off the stem. Thankfully, there were no significant dents, scratches, or bite marks that required a cyanoacrylate glue repair, so I moved on to the next step. For sanding the stem, I use a set of nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) which gradually erase the ravages of time and bring out the stem’s lovely black lustre. For the last five pads, I also lightly coat the stem with Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each scrubbing. At last, I set the finished stem aside. On to the stummel and, as I indicated earlier, there were MANY problems to be solved.

  1. The insides were quite filthy and would need considerable work to clean.
  2. The metal ferrule would not come off the wood. It was absolutely solid.
  3. The metal ferrule also needed to be polished.
  4. The rustication had rubbed away so much that it would need to be redone in some way.
  5. The bowl opening was badly out-of-round.
  6. Burn marks and an uneven surface blighted the rim of the pipe.
  7. The fact that the top of the pipe had been lopped off meant that it just didn’t look In a sense, this was the biggest problem of them all.

On to problem #1. The bowl really needed to be reamed, so I used the KleenReem too to scrape off as much built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as possible. Generally, I prefer to sand the chamber down to bare briar. When restoring, it is important to ensure that there is no damage to the briar under the cake. There are a few situations when I might leave some cake in the bowl, but not today. And, fortunately, there were no hidden flaws to the briar on this pipe.I gave the wood a quick cleaning with Murphy’s Oil Soap. It turned out that I would need to clean it again later.I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with pipe cleaners and lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. There was quite a bit of built-up grime inside this stummel, and it took a good number of pipe cleaners to get it clean. Or – I thought it was clean. I’ll come back to that.    Problem #2 was an interesting one. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if the ferrule was permanently attached to the shank or not. Steve told me that it is supposed to come off and that I’d better get it off because there would be plenty more pipe goo to clean. So, I dug out my trusty heat gun, applied some heat to the join and – voilà! – the grime softened sufficiently for me to unscrew the ferrule.As Steve had hinted, it was a real mess inside the shank, behind the ferrule. Just dreadful – and it took more pipe cleaners and Q-tips than I used for the rest of the stummel just to clean out this area. It had obviously never been cleaned before. I even threw the thing in an alcohol bath! The dirt just kept coming and coming, but, at long last, I finally got it clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides of the whole stummel with some Castile soap and tube brushes. Finally, I polished the tiny piece of the ‘carburetor’ system by inserting a piece of 0000 steel wool down the shank and grinding it shiny.    Problem #3 was quite straightforward to resolve – Deo gratias. I started by soaking the filthy threads of the screw in my lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. They were dirty and the dirt was very stubborn. Eventually, it did come off and I could proceed. Next, I rubbed the aluminum ferrule with 0000 steel wool. This is the least abrasive grade of steel wool and I wouldn’t use anything harsher than that. I then used the last few MicroMesh pads to make the metal shine.Problem #4 concerned how worn away the rustication had become. I wanted to recreate the pattern that Payne had originally devised on his pipe. I took my Dremel Rotary Tool and used the smaller engraving cutter to achieve the small worm-track. The work was intricate and a bit nerve-wracking, but I was quite pleased with the results. My only problem was that I ended up having to repeat this process later, but I digress…

The solution to problem #5 – the out-of-round chamber opening – came from a familiar source. I took a solid wooden sphere, wrapped a piece of 220-grit sandpaper around it, and sanded the inner side of the chamber. This achieved two things: first, it removed some of the burn marks on the inner edge of the rim; and second (and more importantly), the circular shape and motion of the sphere gradually returned the edge to a perfect circle. This takes time and patience, but it is quite effective. But there was more to come. As it turned out, problem #6 bled right into problem #7. As I mentioned earlier, the surgery that the pipe received earlier in its life just didn’t look right. Something significant needed to be done. As always, Steve made an excellent suggestion to save and beautify this Payne pipe. He proposed modifying the pipe to a prince shape. This made a lot of sense. Changing this into a prince would (1) smooth out the ridiculously uneven rim top; (2) eliminate the burn marks on the top; and (3) allow what remains of the briar to be showcased properly and to greatest effect. I’ve included a sample photo of some prince pipes from Greg Pease’s collection, just to give you an idea of what I was aiming for. I’ll let you be the judge of whether I succeeded or not.So, heart-in-throat, I set about grinding the Payne with my Dremel and a sanding disc. Gently, gradually, cautiously, I removed more wood and began to set the new shape. This was no mean feat for me – the Dremel is a powerful tool, and this process can go pear-shaped very easily. The following series of photos demonstrates the progress as I shaped the bowl. Once the shape was nicely developed, I used some 220-grit sandpaper to smooth and round the crown of the rim. Of course, I had to redo much of the rustication work I did earlier, since my Dremel removed most of it. This went very well. It was only at this point, when I felt comfortable with the work I had done, that I cleaned the outside of the pipe thoroughly with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a toothbrush. By the way, here is a close-up photo of how Payne cut off then rejoined the bowl and shank. It’s unusual – I’ll give him that!The stummel cleaned up quite nicely and I was able to move on to the MicroMesh pads. Again, using all nine (1,500 through 12,000 grit), I sanded, rounded, and further embodied the prince shape.  I then paused and rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm into the soft and smooth wood. I gently brushed it into the rustication grooves and let the balm sit for fifteen minutes or so. The BARB works so well at bringing out the best in the wood. I brushed it with a horsehair brush and buffed it with a microfibre cloth. Beauty! It is obvious that at this point the pipe needed to be stained. One issue that needed to be addressed right away was how to match the sanded area to the colour of the pre-existing stain. I opted to apply some Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye only to the sanded area. I flamed it with a BIC lighter and let it set. I then removed some excess with isopropyl alcohol on a cotton round. This provided a sufficiently accurate undercoat to the wood and would allow me to apply a separate layer of dye to the whole stummel. I repeated my steps in order to add the second and final layer of Dark Brown to all of the wood. This turned out beautifully – dark and rich, with lovely subtle variations in colour.    I reassembled the pipe to prepare it for polishing on the bench buffer. However, I added a little bit of petroleum jelly to the wooden threads inside the shank. This would provide some much-needed lubrication for the connection with the aluminum ferrule.I went to the bench buffer and applied some White Diamond to the stummel and stem. Then the final polish! The rusticated surface meant that I didn’t use carnauba wax – it gets gummed up in the grooves. Instead, I used Lee Valley Conservator’s Wax which worked like a charm. What a pipe! Goodbye frog, hello prince! This was an amazing restoration/re-creation and I really had fun with it. I think the result is fantastic – it turned a lump that was destined for the firewood pile into a pipe that pays homage to the man who created it originally and the man who smoked it so joyfully.

I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the “Canada” pipe section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the Payne Classic are as follows: length 5½ in. (140 mm); height 1⅛ in. (29 mm); bowl diameter 1⅝ in. (41 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is ⅞ oz. (27 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this restoration as much as I enjoyed restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Reviving a Vauen Luxus


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is a handsome Vauen, which I acquired from a Craigslist pipe lot. Although not an old pipe, it is a handsome one. It’s rather big and hefty, but not heavy, and feels good in the hand. I’m really glad that my customer picked out this pipe, as it has been sitting around unused for far too long. I’m happy that it has found a new home.This pipe is a Vauen Luxus 2013 chunky, bent billiard with a beautiful horn ferrule, It also takes a 9 mm filter. The stem has the traditional Vauen white dot (not unlike Dunhill’s) and, most interestingly, it has a P-lip, very reminiscent of Peterson’s. The ‘2013’ does not refer to the year of manufacture, rather, it refers to the shape number. The markings on the pipe are as follows: on the left side of the shank, it reads Vauen [over] Luxus. The underside of the shank shows the model number 2013, and the top of the stem shows the classic white Vauen dot.I searched on Pipedia for some history of the Vauen brand. Here’s what I found:

In 1848 Karl Ellenberger and his partner Carl August Ziener turned an idea into reality in Nuremberg. In the first German pipe manufacturing company they produced tobacco pipes from selected woods for connoisseurs throughout the world.

The Vereinigte Pfeifenfabriken in Nuremberg (known in short as VPFN) was brought into being in 1901 with the amalgamation with the Gebhard Ott pipe factory founded in 1866, also in Nuremberg. In this way, a business was created under the management of Ernst Eckert, a scion of the founding family Ott, and its products and services were to attend and shape the culture of tobacco and smoking in Europe and overseas for a long time – for 150 years now.

In the 1920s, VAUEN had taken out a trademark on a white dot on the mouthpiece for Germany and Austria, at the same time that Dunhill had done the same for the international market. The companies ended up in court with the result that Dunhill may use the white dot internationally, whereas VAUEN may use it only in Germany and Austria and has to use a differently-coloured dot for all other markets. They have used light blue and grey dots internationally since then. The white or coloured dot denotes the higher quality pipes of VAUEN; the lower-end pipes are only marked by the VAUEN imprint on the stem.

In the search for a term which would be easy for all pipe friends to remember and not confuse with anything else, Ernst Eckert’s son, Adolf Eckert coined a new name for the business in 1909.

VAUEN, consisting of the initial letters V (pronounced VAU) from Vereinigte Pfeifenfabriken and the N (pronounced EN) of Nuremberg. A brand name for the future had been created.

After 1945 Ernst Eckert, son of Adolf Eckert, succeeded in overcoming the destructive effects of the war with an unshakeable pioneering spirit. VAUEN grew to become a business with a worldwide reputation once more.

Alexander Eckert, now the fifth generation of pipemakers, has been at the head of the oldest German pipe-manufacturing company since 1982. The company, which has been in the hands of the founder’s family since it was established, is expanding again in importance as a result of increased international commitment.

Over at Pipephil.eu, they note that “Some of the pipes in Vauen’s Dr. Perl line (Germany) are equipped with a conventional P-lip stem.” In this context, the word ‘conventional’ is referring to the same P-lip invented by Peterson in 1898.

On to the pipe: given that it wasn’t very old, the pipe was in pretty good shape, but as usual, there were a couple of issues. The rim on the stummel was blackened and a bit burnt – that would need to be addressed. The insides were fairly dirty and would need some work to clean out. There were also some small fills in the wood, and they had ever-so-slightly expanded so that you could feel them when rubbing your finger over the surface. My customer didn’t want the fills dug out and replaced, so I would need to stain the fills instead. Mercifully, the beautiful horn was in good shape and wouldn’t need anything other than a polish. The stem needed some work. It was definitely dirty inside and the cavity that holds the filter would need a thorough cleaning. The stem also had some calcification and tooth marks/dents that would need addressing. In addition, the button would need to be reshaped. The stem was first on my list. I wiped down the outside of the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. I also took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame in order to lift the bite marks and dents. Unfortunately, this didn’t really work, but I have ways of sorting this problem out.

Then, I cleaned out the inside with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. It was pretty dirty and required quite a few pipe cleaners. Once this process was done, the stem went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover.The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation on the stem.The bite marks on and around the button had to be dealt with, so I whipped out my black cyanoacrylate adhesive to fill those in and let them fully cure. 

I then sanded the adhesive down with 220-, 400-, and 600-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. Next, I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. On to the stummel, and the usual cleaning procedures were in order. The bowl really needed reaming so I used the KleenReem to remove the built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper on a dowel to eliminate as much as possible. I took the chamber down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws. Fortunately, there were none. I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and isopropyl alcohol. There was quite a bit of filth inside these stummels and it took a lot of cotton to get them clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes.I used a toothbrush and some Murphy’s Oil Soap to scrub the outside of the stummel and then the lava on the rim of the pipe.The burn marks remained, so in order to remove the remaining burns and nicks on the rim, I “topped” the pipe – that is to say, I gently and evenly sanded down the rim on a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. This effectively removed the damage, without altering the look of the pipe.A de-ghosting session also seemed in order, so I thrust cotton balls into the bowl and the shank and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused the oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowl was nice and clean after this. Just before sanding, I covered the horn with painter’s tape to prevent any damage to it. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) on the stummel to make it lovely and smooth. After that, a light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the wood.In order to minimize the appearance of the fills, I opted to apply some stain to the wood. First, however, I used some furniture pens on the fills and the newly sanded rim to darken them a bit. I began by applying a layer of Fiebing’s Light Brown Leather Dye to the pipe. After applying the dye, flaming it with a BIC, and letting it set for a few hours, I wiped the stummel down with isopropyl alcohol to remove much of the dye. Then it was time for the second round of staining, following the same steps as before. Finally, it was off for a trip to the bench polisher. A dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were just what it needed. The lovely shine made the wood look absolutely beautiful. This Vauen Luxus looks fantastic and arise ready to be enjoyed again by the next owner. I know that the new owner will enjoy smoking it for many years to come. I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe as much I as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 6 in. (150 mm); height 2.3 in. (59 mm); bowl diameter 1.4 in. (35 mm); chamber diameter 0.8 in. (20 mm). The weight of the pipe is 2.5 oz. (72 g). Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Brothers in Arms


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is a lovely pair of pipes, formerly belonging to an old gentleman from Winnipeg. I acquired them in a lot of pipes from a relative of his here in Vancouver. The two pipes are both sub-brands of the famous Savinelli factory. The slightly bent Dublin is a Gulden Dansk; the stylized poker/sitter is a Silveren Dansk. They are really handsome pipes and clearly well-loved by their previous owner. The markings on these pipes are quite interesting. On the Dublin, the markings on the underside of the pipe read Gulden Dansk, followed by a model number which is obscured by the rustication. The number might be 4130, but it’s difficult to tell. On top of the stem are engraved the two letters GD, obviously referring to Gulden Dansk. Meanwhile, the Silveren Dansk’s underside shows the words Silveren Dansk, next to the model number 33 [over] Italy; the ‘s’ and ‘i’ have vanished into the rustication, however. Like its sibling, the top of the stem has the initials SD for Silveren Dansk, of course. These pipes were evidently cut from the same cloth (or block of wood?), as you can see in the pictures. The rustication and colour are the same on both. The rustication is actually quite well done, and there is a combination of both black and brown colour on the wood, which I will attempt to replicate.

The brands Gulden Dansk and Silveren Dansk are ones about which there is very little information. I cobbled together as much information as I could, and I will do my best to record that here. Both brands are sub-brands of Savinelli, according to smokingpipes.com. You can see in the photo below that smokingpipes.com states this clearly, and they are quite knowledgeable.Pipedia had no information at all regarding these brands. Meanwhile, pipephil.eu had precious little info (see below). One small clue is their reference to Italy in the Gulden Dansk image. Comments from some old pipe forums suggest that the brand(s) might be made for the Canadian market and came to full prominence in the early 1980s. See below.The newspaper ad above (sorry for the poor quality) is taken from the Montreal Gazette, November 1st, 1980. It shows that, in addition to pipes, they also sold tobacco.Furthermore, I found Canadian trademark registrations for both brands. I have shown some of that information below. For reasons unknown, the Silveren Dansk trademark is still active, whilst the Gulden Dansk one has expired. I also found an Australian trademark registration for the same, but it was noted on the Australian site that the origin of the application was Canada. In short, we can say a few things about both Gulden Dansk and Silveren Dansk. They were both made by Savinelli, probably for the Canadian market (and perhaps other markets). The Canadian connection obviously fits with the gentleman in Winnipeg. They made pipes and tobacco, and all the comments I could find on the quality of the pipes were very positive. If you have any further details on these brands, I would love to hear from you.

On to the pipes: both were in decent condition — they just looked a little shabby. Both pipes’ stems were dirty and had some oxidation, but the damage from tooth marks was minimal on both. Similarly, the bowls were dirty and definitely needed a cleaning, but there wasn’t any notable damage. The stems were first on my list. I wiped down the outside of the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. I also took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stems with its flame in order to lift the few bite marks and dents. Then I cleaned out the insides with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. They were fairly dirty, but not too bad and I only went through a handful of pipe cleaners to finish each one. Once this process was done, the stems went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation on each stem. After this, I used some nail polish to restore the two letters on each stem. I painted the area carefully and let it fully set before proceeding. It’s worth noting that the GD ultimately emerged from the restoration far better than the SD. Presumably, the SD had been rubbed more over time and lost some of its groove (literally, not figuratively).Then I sanded the stems down with 220-, 400-, and 600-grit sandpapers. Finally, I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stems. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing.On to the stummels, and the usual cleaning procedures were in order for these two. Firstly, I decided to ream out the bowls. I used the PipNet Reamer on Gulden and the KleenReem on Silveren to remove the built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper to eliminate as much as I could. I took the two chambers down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the walls. Fortunately, there were none. I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the two shanks with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and isopropyl alcohol. There was quite a bit of filth inside these stummels, and it took a lot of cotton to get them clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes. I used a wire brush and some Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the lava on the rims of the two pipes. This worked very well. I then moved on to cleaning the rustication on the outside of the stummels with Murphy’s and a toothbrush. That removed any latent stains that blighted the wood. A de-ghosting session also seemed in order, so I thrust cotton balls into the bowls and the shanks and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummels sit overnight. This caused the oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowls were nice and clean after this.I wanted to redo the finish on the pipes: it may have looked good once upon a time, but no longer. So, I opted to soak the stummels in isopropyl alcohol overnight. This will usually remove some of the deteriorating finish I was faced with. When I took the stummels out of the alcohol bath, I scrubbed the wood with a brush (to remove any remnants) and left it to dry. At this point, I rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar and left it to sit for 10 or 15 minutes. It really does wonderful things to the wood. On to the staining. This turned out to be an unnecessarily laborious and error-strewn procedure. As I don’t want to bore you with the details of my minor blunders, I will simply give you the quick and dirty version of the staining procedure. I began by applying a layer of Fiebing’s Black Leather Dye to both pipes. After applying the dye, flaming it with a BIC, and letting it set for a few hours, I wiped the stummels down with isopropyl alcohol to remove much of the dye. I wanted to achieve a two-tone effect of black and brown to replicate what had been there originally. Then it was time for the second round of staining. To do this, I applied some of Fiebing’s Medium Brown Leather Dye over both stummels. As before, I applied flame from a BIC lighter in order to set the colour. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) on the stummels to polish the surface. I then added a second coat – just to make sure. It looked so much better with a richer colour. Once again, I wiped the stummels down with isopropyl alcohol to remove any excess. After that, a light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the stummels’ grain. These siblings are a good-looking pair and they feel great in the hand!  Then it was off for a trip to the bench polisher. A dose of White Diamond and a few coats of Conservator’s Wax (from Lee Valley) were just what these two pipes needed. Boy – that wax really makes these pipes pop! The lovely shine made the wood look absolutely beautiful. The Gulden Dansk and Silveren Dansk look fantastic and are ready to be enjoyed again by the next owner. I am pleased to announce that these pipes are for sale! You can buy them either individually or as a set (as you wish). If you are interested in acquiring them for your collection, please have a look in the “Italy” pipe section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the Gulden Dansk Dublin are as follows: length 5⅛ in. (130 mm); height 1¾ in. (45 mm); bowl diameter 1⅜ in. (35 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1¼ oz. (35 g). The approximate dimensions of the Silveren Dansk poker/sitter are as follows: length 5⅝ in. (143 mm); height 2 in. (51 mm); bowl diameter 1⅛ in. (29 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1½ oz. (44 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this restoration as much as I did restoring them. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Sidle Up to the Bari


by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is a charming Danish pipe, likely by Bari. I say “likely” because it does not specifically name Bari on the pipe, but Steve assured me that he has seen other Bari pipes like it. He feels comfortable calling it a Bari and that is more than good enough for me. His imprimatur is worth its weight in gold!   There was only one marking on the pipe – the underside of the stummel read Made in [over] Denmark. There was no shape number or any other identifying marks.This freehand pipe is quite beautiful and many of its curves are reminiscent of ski slopes from my youth. It is a pretty pipe and feels light and comfortable in the hand.

From Pipedia, here is a very brief history of the Bari company:

Bari Piber was founded by Viggo Nielsen in Kolding around the turn of 1950-51. Viggo’s sons Kai Nielsen and Jørgen Nielsen both grew into their father’s business from a very young age and worked there till 1975. Bari had very successfully adapted the new Danish Design that had been started mainly by Stanwell for its own models. When Viggo Nielsen sold Bari in 1978 to Joh. Wilh. von Eicken GmbH in Hamburg, Bari counted 33 employees. From 1978 to 1993 Åge Bogelund and Helmer Thomsen headed Bari’s pipe production. Thomsen bought the company in 1993 re-naming it to Bari Piber Helmer Thomsen. The workshop moved to more convenient buildings in Vejen. Bari’s basic conception fundamentally stayed the same for decades: series pipes pre-worked by machines and carefully finished by hand. Thus no spectacular highgrades but solid, reliable every day’s companions.On to the pipe: it was in decent shape, but there were a few issues. The stem had a bit of oxidation and a LOT of calcification, though fortunately, very few bite marks. The stummel also had a few issues. The outside of the bowl had some dings and a couple of fills that needed to be addressed. The wood also had some stains and paint splatter. There was lava and debris on the rim, and a small burn mark. Most significantly, there was a chunk missing from around the mortise end of the shank. Some serious repair work was needed there! The stem was first on my list. I wiped down the outside of the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. There was so much calcification on the stem that I decided to take a blade and gently scrape it all off. You can see in the photos how much came off! I also took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame in order to lift the few bite marks and dents. This was moderately successful in raising the damage. Then, I cleaned out the insides with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. It was pretty dirty and required quite a few pipe cleaners. Once this process was done, the stem went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation on the stem. I built up the dents on the stem with cyanoacrylate adhesive and let them fully cure. Then I sanded the adhesive down with 220-, 400-, and 600-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. Finally, I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing.On to the stummel, and the usual cleaning procedures were in order for this pipe. I first decided to ream out the bowl. I used both the PipNet Reamer and the KleenReem to remove the built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper to eliminate as much as I could. I took the bowl down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the walls of the bowl. Fortunately, there were none. I used a small butter knife to gently chip away at the lava on the rim and used more Murphy’s with a scrub brush to remove any remainder. This actually worked quite well. I then moved on to cleaning the outside of the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and some cotton pads. That removed any latent dirt that blighted the wood. I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and isopropyl alcohol. There was some filth inside this stummel and it took quite a bit of cotton to get it clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes.A de-ghosting session also seemed in order, so I thrust cotton balls into the bowl and the shank and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused the oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. Now it was time for the serious work: to fix the large gouge in the mortise, at the end of the shank. There were several problems to be addressed: to ensure that the repair was structurally sound, so it could withstand the wear and tear of the tenon going in and out; to ensure that the repair looked reasonably consonant with the surrounding wood, and to ensure that the inside of the mortise was smooth and conformed perfectly to the shape of the tenon. The repair was made with a mixture of briar dust and cyanoacrylate adhesive. This ensures a strong repair and one that looks similar to the surrounding wood. As it turned out, I had to build up the repair more than once to achieve the results I wanted. It was fairly straightforward to sand down the flat end of the shank, but it was very difficult to ensure that the inside of the mortise matched perfectly with the tenon. Honestly, it took a bit of trial and error to get it right. I sanded the repair down with a file and 200- and 400-grit sandpaper until it was level with the surrounding briar. Having completed that, I was able to address the small nicks on the rim and the bowl. I dug out my iron and a damp cloth to try to raise the nicks. The hot and moist steam can often cause the wood to swell slightly and return to shape. There was some movement – not a lot, but it was better than doing nothing. The repair was not perfect, but the remaining scratches would be improved by sanding. Now I could address the burn on the rim. I took some oxalic acid, used several Q-tips, and rubbed. The burn improved quite a bit. The burn was very superficial and did not affect the integrity of the wood at all.After removing the burn and checking in on the mortise repair to ensure its integrity, I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) on the stummel to finish it off. After that, a light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the stummel’s grain. This is a very elegant Danish pipe. At this point, I checked in with Steve to see what he thought of the restoration so far. He made the excellent suggestion of applying a layer of Fiebing’s Black Leather Dye to the rim and the mortise-end of the shank. After applying the dye, flaming it, and letting it set, I wiped those areas down with isopropyl alcohol to remove most of the dye. The goal here was to accentuate the grain on those particular areas of the pipe with only residual amounts of black dye. In order to further the external beauty of this pipe, I applied some of Fiebing’s Medium Brown Leather Dye over the entire stummel. As usual, I applied flame from a BIC lighter in order to set the colour. I then added a second coat – just to make sure. It looked so much better with a richer colour. I then used some isopropyl alcohol to wipe down the pipe and remove some excess dye. At this point, I chose to re-sand the stummel with all of the micromesh pads. I followed up with some more Before & After Restoration Balm. What a wonderful result! Then it was off for a trip to the buffer. A dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were just what this pipe needed. The lovely shine made the wood look absolutely beautiful. In fact, it turned out so well that this pipe has already sold! I know that the new owner will enjoy smoking it for many years to come. I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe as much I as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Kenneth’s Pipe Incident Report #2


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Here is another installment of my Pipe Incident Report. The idea, in general, is to provide a brief write-up – focusing on a particular pipe-related problem and/or solution, rather than an entire restoration story. Last time was all about plaster of Paris. Today’s report is about lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. I have had questions, from time to time, asking me why I frequently use this lemon alcohol, rather than the usual, plain alcohol. In fact, I use both. If you do not know what this lemon alcohol is – no problem! That is what this report is intended to elucidate.

I learned about this lemon alcohol thanks to my wife. She stumbled upon a “mom” blog, written by Alexis Rochester, a mother who is also a professional chemist. One particular blog post extolled the virtues of lemon-infused alcohol as a household cleaner. My wife sent it to me, and I was intrigued at the possibility of this cleaner being used to attack the oils, tars, etc. on the inside of pipes. Obviously, the article was not considering the possibility of this being used on pipes, but I certainly was! If you are curious to read the original article, here is the link: https://chemistrycachet.com/lemon-infused-rubbing-alcohol/.

So, what is lemon-infused 99% isopropyl alcohol? In brief, it is the extracted chemicals from the zest of the lemon (Citrus limon), absorbed into 99% isopropyl alcohol. The addition of the lemon makes a more effective cleaner than alcohol alone.

I learned from the blog that isopropyl alcohol, on its own, is slightly acidic. This is important because some acidity is very effective for cleaning. Lemon zest is also slightly acidic. These low levels of acidity are NOT harmful to wood. It is also important to note that this lemon-alcohol extraction does NOT contain any lemon juice – that would be too acidic for our purposes. Essentially, we have a cleaner that is very mildly acidic and combines the best cleaning properties of isopropyl alcohol and lemon. Among other things, Alexis says the following in her post:

Rubbing alcohol is a great disinfectant on its own, but adding in lemon peels increases the disinfectant quality. Lemon peels contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C), malic acid, and citric acid all which make great cleaning options. But again, you are just getting the benefits of the peel without the acid of the lemon juice.

I went ahead and bought a bag of lemons and thought I would give it a try. Lemons are inexpensive and the method of manufacture couldn’t be easier. You simply peel a bunch of lemons, stick the zest in a container with isopropyl alcohol, seal the container, and let it sit for two or three weeks. You can read more details on how to make it from the link above.

Now that I have made this product and used it frequently, some important questions need to be answered: (1) is the lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol a better cleaner of pipes than alcohol alone;  (2) does this product leave a lemon “ghost” in the pipe; and (3) is it ultimately worthwhile making this stuff? I will address the questions in turn.

I am not a chemist and I have not personally executed the full, scientific method in answering the question of which is a better cleaner. However, anecdotally, I think that lemon-infused alcohol is a better cleaner of pipes than alcohol alone. I don’t really have the inclination to use full scientific rigour on this, but I have tried both and I think the lemon one is superior – perhaps not dramatically so, but superior nonetheless. Having said that, perhaps the most important statement in this report is this: I use both “plain” 99% isopropyl alcohol and the lemon-infused 99% isopropyl alcohol. It is not one or the other, but both.

In answer to the second question, there is no lemon ghost in the pipe after cleaning. Certainly, during the cleaning process (and for a few moments afterwards), there is a detectable scent of lemon in the pipe, but it dissipates very quickly. I have tested this several times. First, I have smoked pipes cleaned in this way and there was no hint of lemon at all. More emphatically, however, I had my son test this out – he was born blind. Naturally, he relies more heavily on his other senses in navigating the world. I told him to stick his nose inside pipes that I have cleaned with lemon alcohol and then asked him what he could discern. He was never able to smell any hint of lemon – even within a few minutes of the pipe being cleaned.

Third question: is it worthwhile for you to make this stuff? Yes it is, but I don’t think it is world-changing. As I’ve said, it is a superior cleaner (in my non-professional opinion) and I will continue to make and use it. However, it would be disingenuous for me to say that you MUST make this for yourself. For goodness’s sake, Steve and Jeff use plain alcohol and they are the gold standard of pipe cleaning and restoration!

If you do try this lemon alcohol, please let me know how it goes. I would be interested to know what your results are. I hope you enjoyed reading this installment of the Pipe Incident Report – I look forward to writing more. If you are interested in my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.