Tag Archives: Bakelite Pipes

Another for the strange but true hunt for a Cooler/Drier Smoker Collection


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother sent me the links to this sale on EBay and I was hooked. It is probably the oddest pipe contraption I have seen in the many pipes that formed the pipeman’s dream of a cooler, drier smoke. There have been many over the years that vied for the oddest looking contraption but to date this one takes the prize. I have a few in my own oddity collection that would give this one a fair run for its money but I think this one is still by far the strangest. The T shaped look of the pipe is one thing but once it taken apart it is even odder. The only normal part of the pipe is the vulcanite stem. The Bakelite shank ends in a dropped down base that is part of the shank. It is as big as the briar bowl on the top.Filt1Inside the base is a metal canister contraption that has six wedge shaped holes around the edges and a single hole in the crowned centre. The crowned centre meets the hole in the bottom of the threaded briar bowl which is indented to hold the contraption in place.Filt2The Bakelite shank on the pipe is the only part of the pipe that bears any identification marking. It reads Filtre T with PAT. to the left of the name and PND. to the right. Thus the stamping is Filtre T Patent Pending. The Bakelite base is quite thick with threads extending into it to hold the bowl in place. The diameter of the opening is ¾ inches and the exterior 1 inch. The length of the base and stem is 5 1/8 inches. With the bowl in place the height is 2 ½ inches tall. The hang down base is 1 ¼ inches. The bowl itself is 1 ¼ inches. The filter canister is stamped with the same stampings as the shank PAT. over FILTRET over PND. and is made of aluminum.Filt3I did some hunting for a Patent on the US Patent site and found a written patent. The pipe seems to have been made by FILTRET Inc. of Seattle, Washington and the patent filed by George E. Baldwin, President on May 5, 1930. I cannot find the attached specimens mentioned in the document but this at least identifies the name and gives me a base date.

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When the pipe arrived in Idaho my brother took some photos of it. The stem was slightly oxidized and it was stuck in the shank. It was underturned to the left and could not be straightened out. The rim was dirty with a tar build up and there was a cake in the bowl. The bowl itself was slightly out of round. The briar had a few small fills in it and the finish was dirty.Filt4 Filt5 Filt6When my brother Jeff took the bowl off the base the interior of the base was very dirty with tars and oils. The metal basket was also covered with debris of tars, oils and saliva. It looked to me that the way the pipe worked was that the air was drawn through the single hole in the top of the canister and then it came out through the wedges and into the airway in the shank.Filt7 Filt8 Filt9This pipe was a pleasure to work on because Jeff did the lion’s share of work on it. He reamed and cleaned the bowl. He cleaned out the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol and the base with cotton swabs and alcohol. He flushed out the canister with alcohol and then water. He flushed it until it was clean. He scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and removed the finish and the debris from the surface of the bowl. He was able to remove much of the tar and oil on top of the bowl. The next set of four photos show the way the pipe looked when I unpacked it this afternoon. Thanks Jeff this was an easy clean up.Filt10 Filt11I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the damage to the inner edge of the rim. It is darkened and also has some burned areas on the top and inner edge.Filt12I also took a close up photo of the stem – it was stuck tight in the shank and it was underturned to the left. I tried to heat it with hot water to try to loosen it. It would not move. After taking this photo I put it in the hot water to soak and see if it would loosen the tars and oils in the shank that were holding it tight.Filt13I turned my attention to the bowl and the base while the stem soaked. I cleaned out the airway in the bottom of the bowl with a cotton swab and alcohol to remove the “gunk” that was clogging the airway and reducing the air flow.Filt14I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I topped it until I had removed the damaged areas on the rim surface.Filt15I rolled a piece of 220 grit sandpaper to sand the bowl and the inner edge to clean up the damaged inner edge and bring it back to round.Filt16I sanded the bowl and rim with a medium and a fine grit sanding block to remove the scratches in the briar. Once it was clean of scratches I stained it with a dark brown stain thinned by half with alcohol. I flamed it and repeated the process.Filt17I wiped the bowl down with cotton pads and alcohol to make the stain more transparent and to make the grain show through.filt18I took the stem and base out of the hot water and wiggled it until the stem turned. I removed the stem so that I could clean the inside of the shank and base.Filt19I used a dental spatula inside the tube of the shank to scrape away some of the thick build up on the walls of the shank. I then scrubbed it down with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until they finally came out clean. I also scrubbed down the inside of the base with them to remove the grime in the base.Filt20I used the micromesh sanding pads to polish the Bakelite base and the shank. I sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads and then wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil.Filt21I scrubbed out the canister one more time and found that it was very clean. I dropped it in place in the base.Filt22With the canister in place I screwed the bowl onto the base and took some photos.Filt23 Filt24 Filt25It was ready to buff with Blue Diamond so I took it to the wheel and buffed the bowl and the base. I gave bowl several coats of carnauba wax and then buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. Once I finish the stem I will give it several more coats of wax.Filt26 Filt27 Filt28I cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. After heating it with the hot water to loosen the stem a lot of grime came loose in the shank and ran down the stem.Filt29The stem had some tooth chatter along with the oxidation that I brought out with the hot water bath. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove both the chatter and the oxidation. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil.Filt30I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 and gave it another coat of oil. I finished sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I buffed it on the buffer with Blue Diamond polish and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.Filt31 Filt32 Filt33I put the pipe back together and gave it a final buff with Blue Diamond and then gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and then by hand with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a true oddity but the more I worked on it the more I am intrigued with it. I wonder how the contraption works in real-time. Well, I may have to give it a try one day soon. Thanks for looking.Filt34 Filt35 Filt36 Filt37 Filt38 Filt39 Filt40 Filt41 Filt42

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Restoring an odd Trom-bone Pipe


Blog by Troy Wilburn

I got this off eBay because it was an American made pipe and it was a poker. It came unsmoked. It gets its name from the unique way you slide the pipe apart to clean it. I thought it would be an interesting addition to my poker collection.

I don’t know much about the pipe other than that they were made in California. This seems to be one of those “let’s build a better mousetrap” ideas when there is nothing wrong with the old mousetrap. Like I always say, some things are rare for a reason.

The pipe is a Bakelite type of plastic with a briar insert. I don’t know if I will smoke it or not as I am not sure how the plastic can take the heat coming from the bottom of the bowl.

So here is the pipe in all of her weird glory after I did a little buffing. Trombone1

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Trombone12 I really didn’t think that this pipe would be that air tight and that it would have a lot of leaks. It doesn’t though. I can cap the bowl with my hand and blow and not hear or feel any air leaks.

A Piece of Tobacciana History – a Bakelite Bowl on a Bakelite Base


This is a new one to me. I have never seen this combination of parts. I have refurbished quite a few of the screw on bowls on Bakelite bases with either metal or vulcanite stems. I even recently completed a Bakelite base with a Bakelite stem on it. But never have I seen a Bakelite bowl. This one is solid Bakelite with no lining whatsoever. The bowl is like a cup. This one was another Chuck Richards gift. I think he takes delight in these surprises. And a surprise it truly is. There is not a single identifying stamp on the pipe so it is a mystery as to its manufacture. It is very unique. The brass ring between the bowl and base was loose and slide around as the pipe was moved. The bowl was lightly coated with tar. The rim had some dings in it and the base/stem unit was not even at the button. Each side of the angle coming down to the button was off and there were tooth marks in the stem. The inside cup of the base was dirty and the inside of the shank and stem unit was also dirty with tars. The end of the button and orific “o” opening was very clean and unstained which is a bonus. Once I get it cleaned up I intend to load a bowl and see what it is like to smoke. The first series of four photos show the pipe as it was when it arrived to my worktable.
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I took it to the work table this morning and took it apart. I cleaned all the parts of the pipe with Everclear and a soft pipe cleaner. I scrubbed out the cup in the Bakelite base with Everclear on a cotton pad. There was darkening to the Bakelite that I could not remove but the slight build up disappeared. I cleaned up the brass ring and then reglued it to the base. I used a white glue to anchor this to the base. The next series of three photos shows that process.
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I sanded out the interior of the bowl with 320 grit sandpaper, wiped it down with Everclear on a cotton pad and then sanded it again with a fine grit sanding sponge. I sanded down the rim of the bowl with the sanding sponge to remove the slight nicks in the edge of the bowl and clean up the rough edges. I followed up with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad. The picture below shows the cleaned bowl.
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I reshaped the stem and button area with needle files to repair the angles and remove the tooth marks. I sanded the newly shaped area with 240 and 320 grit sandpaper to remove the file scratches. I followed up with micromesh sanding pads 1500-12,000 grit to progressively polish and shine the stem and base. I sanded the entire base with the micromesh sanding pads. There were many small surface scratches in the surface that the micromesh took care of. The next series of eight photos show the reshaping of the button area from the use of the files through the sanding with 1500 grit micromesh sanding pads.
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The bowl did not seat well on the base. It seemed to sit at a bit of an angle and did not fit into the bottom of the cup. I sanded down the bottom of the bowl insert to remove a small portion of the material to reduce the depth of the threaded portion of the bowl. I also sanded the thread carefully to remove the nicks and chips to the surface. I used micromesh to sand the threads as I wanted to merely clean them up not damage or reduce them. Once this was completed the bowl threaded on more easily and also was seated well on the base. The next series of three photos show the reseating of the bowl.
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At this point in the process I sanded the entire pipe with micromesh sanding pads. I used all the grits from 1500-12,000 to polish the Bakelite and give it back its luster. This took quite a bit of time as I was trying to remove all of the minute scratches in the base and on roughness on the outer edges of the bowl. The seven photos below show the progress shine developing through the sanding with the micromesh sanding pads.
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When I had finished with the sanding and the bowl and base had a shine to them I hand buffed it with carnauba wax, applying several coats and buffing it with a soft cotton cloth. My only frustration with the finished pipe is that the area around the button that I changed and sanded is a bit lighter than the yellow/amberlike colour of the rest of the base. It shined up nicely but is lighter. Ah well, it is better than it was and it is certainly more comfortable than when I began. The final series of four photos show the finished pipe. Now it is time to load it and fire it up. The experience is about to begin.
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A Renewed WDC Bakelite and Briar Pipe Restemmed


I received the Bakelite bowl base in a lot that I picked up on EBay. At first glance I figured I would trash it and not worry about working on it at all. However, I tend to be drawn to working on things that others would throw away so I decided to see what I could do with it. The two bowls pictured below are threaded and both fit the base. The Dublin like bowl, once on the base, was too narrow for the base but the bulldog bowl fit well. It was packed with a cake and there were chips out of the double line band around the bowl. The bowl rim was damaged and the finish was absolutely shot with dark black stains in the briar all around the bowl where the thumb and fingers held the bowl. The Bakelite shank had the WDC in a diamond stamped on it. The ornate band that usually adorned the shank as well as the metal washer like band on the top of the bowl base was missing. The shank had a broken metal tenon stuck deep within it. The surface had scratches in it but none of them were too deep.

Bakelite bowl base and two potential bowls before beginning the process of refurbishing.

Bakelite bowl base and two potential bowls before beginning the process of refurbishing.


The bowl is pictured below. You can see the thickness of the cake and the rough surface of the rim where a previous owner had damaged it when emptying the bowl. The second photo shows the exterior damage and the finish on the pipe. I reamed the bowl to clean out the cake. I decided to take it back to bare wood and start over with the cake. I checked the bowl for cracks and damage but surprisingly there were none to be found. Eventually I would top the bowl.
SIde view of the bowl before refurbishing.

SIde view of the bowl before refurbishing.

Top view of the unreamed pipe bowl showing its condition before cleaning

Top view of the unreamed pipe bowl showing its condition before cleaning


I wiped the bowl down with acetone on a cotton pad, used a dental pick to clean out the grooves and screwed bowl on the base to get an idea how the pipe would look. I also wiped down the bowl base with Everclear to clean off the grime and buildup on that surface. I went through my can of stems in search of a diamond shaped stem that would finish out the look of the pipe. I came up empty-handed so I chose a round stem of the right diameter and length that I could shape to fit the shank. I drilled out the shank to remove the metal tenon and also to open the diameter of the mortise. The original stem had been a screw on one and the metal mortise and the metal tenon were firmly welded together so the drill was the only way to remove it. I opened it as wide as possible while still leaving enough material on the shank to maintain strength. I turned the tenon with the PIMO tenon turning tool and then a Dremel to bring it to the correct size for the new shank. The next two photos show the stem and the fit of the stem to the shank.
WDC base in need of a diamond shaped stem. Necessity is the mother of invention. I used a round Lovat stem.

WDC base in need of a diamond shaped stem. Necessity is the mother of invention. I used a round Lovat stem.


I turned the tenon to fit the mortise and then inserted the stem against the shank.

I turned the tenon to fit the mortise and then inserted the stem against the shank.


Now I needed to shape the stem and remove material to transform the round saddle bit to a diamond saddle bit. I used a Dremel to cut the basic shape in the stem. I proceeded from side to side with the stem on the shank to make sure to match the angles of the shank. I wrote a post on the process for the blog and posted that earlier. You can read about the details of that process on this link https://rebornpipes.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/shaping-a-diamond-shaped-stem-from-a-round-one/ The next eleven photos give a quick look at the shaping work on the stem. It took time and I had to be careful to not damage the shank when I was using the Dremel and sanding drum on the stem.
Figure 3 I used a Dremel to shape the stem to match the diamond angles of the shank. I worked on one side at a time.

Figure 3 I used a Dremel to shape the stem to match the diamond angles of the shank. I worked on one side at a time.

Figure 4 Pipe resting against the Dremel with a sanding drum. Shaping progressed quite quickly. This picture shows one side beginning to take shape.

Figure 4 Pipe resting against the Dremel with a sanding drum. Shaping progressed quite quickly. This picture shows one side beginning to take shape.

5 Top view of the shank. Both sides of the round stem are beginning to take on the shape of the shank.

5 Top view of the shank. Both sides of the round stem are beginning to take on the shape of the shank.

Figure 6 Top view after more shaping with the Dremel.

Figure 6 Top view after more shaping with the Dremel.

Figure 7 Bottom view before the Dremel did its work.

Figure 7 Bottom view before the Dremel did its work.

Figure 8 Left side view after the first side has begun to take shape.

Figure 8 Left side view after the first side has begun to take shape.

Figure 9 Bottom view after both sides have begun to take shape.

Figure 9 Bottom view after both sides have begun to take shape.

Figure 10 Right side view of the stem after it began to take shape.

Figure 10 Right side view of the stem after it began to take shape.

Figure 11 Back to the worktable and the hand sanding.

Figure 11 Back to the worktable and the hand sanding.

Figure 12 Hand sanding continues.

Figure 12 Hand sanding continues.

Figure 13 Hand sanding continues.

Figure 13 Hand sanding continues.


The original shank had sported an ornate band and the stain in the Bakelite showed the marks of the band. I did not have any ornate bands in my collection of bands so I chose instead to band it with a nickel band. I shaped the band to fit, beginning with a round band. This took a bit of fussing to get the shape and fit correct. I have written that process up in detail in a previous blog post as well. You can read about the process at this link https://rebornpipes.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/shaping-a-round-metal-band-to-fit-a-square-or-diamond-shank/ Once the band was shaped correctly I heated it with a heat gun until it was pliable and then pressure fit it on the shank of the pipe. The next series of five photos show the process I used to pressure fit the band on the shank. Once it was in place I carefully used my furniture hammer to flatten the band against the shank.
The square is done

The square is done

Fitting a nickel band on the shank

Fitting a nickel band on the shank

Fitting a nickel band on the shank

Fitting a nickel band on the shank

Nickel band fitted on the shank

Nickel band fitted on the shank

Nickel band fitted on the shank

Nickel band fitted on the shank


The next series of four photos show the newly shaped stem in place on the banded pipe. There was still a lot of work to do on the pipe including cleaning the internals and reworking the bowl and rim but the overall look of the “new” pipe is intriguing.
New band and stem in place.

New band and stem in place.

New band and stem in place

New band and stem in place

Bottom view of the newly banded and stemmed pipe

Bottom view of the newly banded and stemmed pipe

Top view of the new band and stem

Top view of the new band and stem


I have included one photo below to give you an idea of the shape of the new stem. I remove a lot of vulcanite to get it from its original round shape to the diamond shape pictured below. The fit and the angles match the shank perfectly. These older pipes are tricky to fit a diamond stem on because none of the sides of the diamond are the same dimensions. Each one is just slightly different so you have to do the fitting work with the stem in place on the shank.
View from the tenon end of the diamond stem at this point in the process.

View from the tenon end of the diamond stem at this point in the process.


With the stem fitting correctly it was time to tackle the bowl. I set up my board and emery paper so that I could top the bowl. The first photo shows the set up. The second photo shows the state of the bowl rim when I started the process.
Set up for topping the bowl

Set up for topping the bowl

Reamed and ready to top

Reamed and ready to top


Once I had it topped I decided to wipe it down with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the finish and the grime from the topping. The next three photos show the clean bowl and the topped bowl. The finish work would take some time but the bowl was ready to move on to the next stage of rejuvenation.
Wiping down the bowl with acetone

Wiping down the bowl with acetone

Wiping down the newly topped rim with acetone

Wiping down the newly topped rim with acetone

Wiping down the bowl with acetone

Wiping down the bowl with acetone


I sanded the bowl with 240 and 320 grit sandpaper and finished sanding with a fine grit sanding sponge. The next two photos show the cleaned and prepped bowl ready for staining. The dark oil stains on the sides of the bowl would not come out. I wiped the bowl down with repeated washings of acetone and the surface was clean. I also sanded the stem with the sanding sponge while I worked on the bowl.
Bowl sanded, in place and ready to stain.

Bowl sanded, in place and ready to stain.

Bowl in place, sanded and ready to stain.

Bowl in place, sanded and ready to stain.


I decided to restain this old timer with an opaque oxblood aniline based stain. I wanted the opacity so that the dark stains would be minimized beneath the new stain and would eventually be blended in through smoking the pipe. I applied the stain and then flamed it. After flaming I hand buffed it to remove the excess stain. I also used a cotton pad and a dental pick to clean out the grooves on the bowl.
Stained with oxblood stain.

Stained with oxblood stain.

Stained with oxblood stain.

Stained with oxblood stain.


The next series of four photos shows the hand buffed bowl in place on the pipe base. The finish was matte at this point and still needed to be taken to the buffer to raise the shine. The third photo shows the rim. The surface is smooth but there is still damage to the inner edge of the rim. I chose to leave that without reworking it too much. I did not want to change the roundness of the inner bowl and decided that I could live with the nicks in the inner edge.
Left side of the pipe with a hand buff on the newly stained bowl.

Left side of the pipe with a hand buff on the newly stained bowl.

Right side of the newly stained bowl with a hand buffed surface.

Right side of the newly stained bowl with a hand buffed surface.

Top view of the hand buffed newly stained bowl.

Top view of the hand buffed newly stained bowl.

View of the underside of the bowl and Bakelite bowl base.

View of the underside of the bowl and Bakelite bowl base.


The next three photos show the pipe after I had buffed it with White Diamond. The bowl shines and the dark marks around the bowl show faintly beneath the finish but add a flair of character to the old pipe.
Buffed with White Diamond

Buffed with White Diamond

Buffed with White Diamond

Buffed with White Diamond

Buffed with White Diamond

Buffed with White Diamond


The next series of three photos are included to give an idea of the polishing process that went into bringing the stem work to completion. Again I invite you to read the post mentioned above on the transformation of a round saddle stem to a diamond shaped one to understand the full work that the shaping took to bring it to this place.
Stem sanded with 320 grit sandpaper

Stem sanded with 320 grit sandpaper

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Stem sanded with 320 grit sandpaper

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Stem sanded with micromesh sanding pads


Once I had finished polishing the stem with the various grades of micromesh from 1500-12,000 grit I took the pipe to the buffer once again and buffer the entirety with White Diamond and then gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax to protect it and to give it a deep shine. The next series of four photos show the finished pipe. It is ready to load up with a favourite tobacco and be gently sipped in the solitude of an afternoon on the porch.

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Cleaning up a Swedish Bromma Dollar System Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

I picked up this old Swedish Pipe in a little town in Northern Alberta, Canada. It was an antique mall, the only one in town and I was able to pick up this one for about $10 so I did not feel too bad about it. I had not seen one of these pipes before. It is stamped BROMMA over Sweden on one side of the shank. On the other there is an Elephant logo in a circle and inside the circle is the word DOLLAR. The bowl is briar and the rest of the pipe seems to be either plastic or Bakelite. It is interesting. I was able to take the stem out when I picked it up but the bowl would not budge. It was definitely a screw on bowl as it was on crooked and at somewhat of an angle. The stem had tooth chatter on the top and bottom but no tooth dents. I sprayed some solvent on the bowl stem connection to try to loosen it. I twisted it carefully but it would not budge so I set it in my box of pipes for repair.

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Today was my day to work on it. I took it out of the box and gave the bowl a twist and it would not budge. I used the sanding board to top the bowl and once it was smooth and clean I wiped the entire bowl with acetone. I was careful not to get any on the shank or bottom of the part. I then used Isopropyl and a cotton swab to swab alcohol around the bowl and the bottom portion of the pipe – the keeper for lack of a better word. I repeated this several times and tried to carefully twist the bowl off the keeper. I repeated the swab and alcohol until finally I was able to twist it off the keeper. The next two photos below show what I found inside the keeper portion of the pipe. This is amazingly like the stem portion of the Falcon pipes. The difference is the material it is made of. It is incredibly lightweight and resilient. The base was absolutely full of hardened tars and sludge. My guess is that it had never been taken apart after the initial purchase and after the bowl was put on and misaligned. This would take some work to be sure. The stuff was as hard as rock and would not budge with a pipe cleaner.

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I decided to drop the bowl into the alcohol bath and let it soak away while I worked on the stem and base portion. I used my dental pick and Isopropyl alcohol to work at the rocklike tar in the base. I soaked the tarry stuff with alcohol and picked at it with the dental pick. Once I had some of it loose I would use the cotton swabs to daub out the gunk and alcohol and then repeat the process. The next series of three photos show the process of picking away the tar and the results after wiping it clean with the swabs. I probably used about 60 or more swabs and removed a lot of the gunk from the bottom of the base. I soaked it and kept at it. I used 0000 steel wool to scrub the tars once I had the majority of the material picked free. Then I took it to the sink and used a microfiber cloth to scrub the base with hot water and degreaser.

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The next two photos show the inside of the base after it has been thoroughly cleaned. The shank itself was almost like a Kirsten barrel and need lots of soft tissue and cloth run through it until it was clean and shiny on the inside. The photos are slightly out of focus but the cleanness of the base is very visible.

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I then removed the bowl from the alcohol bath and went to work on it. I picked out the two putty fills with my dental pick. I also followed the threads with the dental pick to remove the grime and grit that filled the threads and did not allow the bowl to be threaded on correctly. I also used a bristle tooth brush and alcohol to scrub the bottom of the bowl from the threads down to the nipple like structure on the bottom. The next four photos show the bottom of the bowl and the threads after cleaning them. There is an inset portion of the bowl bottom that is like a moat around an island that has the moutainlike nipple in the centre. This took quite a few cotton swabs to clean the grime out of the channel. Once it was clean there is a patent stamp on it. It reads Pat. S. I am guessing it is a Swedish Patent mark. The portion of the bowl that is threaded seems like it is made of the same kind of material as the base of the pipe. The mountain in the middle is briar. It is an interesting and unique design. I am looking forward to firing it up and giving it a smoke once it is finished.

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Once the bowl was clean I decided to replace the fills with briar dust and super glue. The next series of photos show that process. I had already picked out the putty fill. I used a dental pick to tamp briar dust into the pits on the bowl. The first picture shows the briar dust before I wiped it smooth and added a few drops of super glue to the mix. The second and third photo are a bit out of focus but show the repaired fills after I sanded them down with sandpaper to smooth the surface to match the surface of the bowl.

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The bowl was now ready to be stained with an oxblood coloured aniline stain. I applied the stain with a cotton swab and then flamed it and buffed it off. The first two photos below show the stain applied and ready to be flamed with a match. I held the bowl with a dauber so that I could manipulate it to apply the stain.

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The next two photos show the bowl after a buff with Tripoli. I had not polished them at all at this point I merely buffed off the stain to get an even coat on the bowl sides and rim. The great thing with the briar and super glue fill is that it takes the stain and darkens with the finish coat. It is far more attractive to me than the pink putty fills that were originally present.

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The next two photos show the pipe taken apart. There is the bowl base and long shank that is made of the plastic or Bakelite material, the bowl itself. It has a small burn mark on the top of the rim but I left it rather than take it down any deeper into the surface. The third portion is the stem unit with a four finned stinger apparatus. The airflow is straight through from the bottom of the bowl to the slot in the button. The stinger with cooling fins is designed to cool the smoke and trap the tar and oils along the fins. This portion and the inside of the stem took work to clean. It is open enough to take a pipe cleaner through it with no problem.

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The final four photos are of the complete pipe reassembled and ready to smoke. I coated the bowl base and stem with Obsidian Oil and then hand waxed it with Halcyon II wax and buffed it to a shine by hand as I did not want to risk it on the buffer. I have had this kind of material melt when buffed so I am shy to try it on this pipe. The stem was sanded with micromesh sanding pads from 1500-12,000 grit and then polished with Maguiar’s Plastic polish as I have been doing on all of the pipes lately. I put some carnauba wax on the threads of the bowl to lubricate make the threads as I screwed on the bowl.

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A Unique Piece of Pipe History – A Royden Meer-Tone


Blog by Steve Laug

I picked this old Royden Meer-Tone up in a sale on EBay where a friend wanted the tobacco pouch that came with it. I won the bid and the result was he got the pouch and I got to keep this unique little pipe. It is different than any I have seen. I have done some research trying to find information on it and cannot find much at all. I have seen several on EBay that are unsmoked, some on Etsy that are also unsmoked, one even in a box. But there is not any information on the manufacturer that I can find. Anyone know anything about this brand and maker? Let us know.

The stem is a yellow nylon, the bowl is a white plastic (maybe Bakelite) and the lining of the bowl is a meerschaum cup inserted into the bowl and drilled on the side like a regular pipe. The meer cup is fit tight to the bottom of the bowl with no airspace between it and the bottom of the bowl. When it arrived the meer was dirty – possibly smoked just a few times as the bottom of the bowl was still clean. The top half of the bowl and the rim were darkened. The shank had a fine crack in it.

I used 1500 grit micromesh to clean up the rim of the insert and the outer edge of the bowl. I also used the micromesh to polish the plastic bowl that the insert sat in. There were rub marks and some scratches that the micromesh took care of. The nylon stem was dirty on the inside and stained with tobacco oils. I cleaned that with some alcohol on pipe cleaners and a shank brush until it was clean. The inside of the shank was also dirty and I cleaned it as well. I repaired the crack in the shank with a little superglue and then banded the shank with a pressure fit nickel band. The stem had tooth marks (fortunately not deep). I am not sure about heating a nylon stem to raise the marks so in this case I sanded them with 240 grit sandpaper until they were gone. I used 400 and 600 grit wet dry (you probably have gotten the pattern by this point in my stem refurbishing) and then used micromesh pads 1500-12,000 grit. I find that the 8000 and the 12,000 add a noticeable shine to the stem.

The pictures below give you a good idea of what the pipe looks like. It is a small pipe – roughly 5 inches in length.

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Refurbed Piece of pipe smoking history – A Brittish Buttner Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I picked this pipe up on Ebay awhile back solely for my historical interest in this kind of pipe. I am drawn to creative pipe manufacturers and the search for a drier and cooler smoke. It is that interest that attracted me to the gadgetry of the British Buttner pipes. This is the second one that I have purchased on Ebay. The first one is older (patent is earlier)and has a yellow Bakelite stem and is a pot in terms of shape. I have also collected a Bakelite canister that holds an extra clay insert bowl. I saw this one and added it to the collection. It looks like a briar billiard but is not. It is a Bakelite bowl and Vulcanite stem. The tenon is long and extends to the air hole in the bowl. There is a clay insert that sits in the bottom of the Bakelite bowl. This one has a few chips out of it but is still workable. The rim unscrews and holds clay bowl (much like a gourd calabash. It is mounted on the rim and screws into the bowl. I cleaned the inside of all three parts and cleaned the stem and shank. I have polished it with wax and since have smoked it several times. It is a very different smoke – very similar to a calabash smoke; very cool and dry.

Here are some pictures of it taken apart before cleaning:

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Here it is cleaned and polished.

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Here are some pictures of the older British Buttner