Tag Archives: bite marks

New Life for a Dark “Malaga” Canadian


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is yet another pipe from the batch of pipes I am cleaning up for Alex – this one is another “Malaga” –a Canadian it is a stained version of the pipe and has some interesting grain around the oil cured bowl and shank. The classic Canadian shape is carved to highlight the grain around the bowl. The pipe is stamped on the top side of the shank. It reads “MALAGA”. On the underside it is stamped IMPORTED BRIAR. The tapered stem is vulcanite and has no marking or stamping. It is a nice looking piece much like many of the pipes Alex is picking up. The bowl had a light cake in the chamber and the rim top and edges were in rough condition. There were dents and nicks and some darkening on the rim top. The outer edges had nicks and there was a chip in the back side of the bowl. The exterior of the briar was dusty with grime and dust. The stem has a lot of tooth marks and some very deep dents in the surface of the stem and button.. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before clean up. I took a photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. The bowl had a thin cake and the rim top significant damage to the top and edges of the bowl. The inner edge of the rim seemed to be slightly out of round and showed some burn damage. The outer edge had chips and dents and was rounded. The stem was a mess. There was some deep tooth marks on the stem and the button on both sides.I also took a photo of top side of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photo below and is as noted above – “MALAGA”. The stamping on the underside reads IMPORTED BRIAR very visible in the second photo below.For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, I am also including the link to a blog that I wrote that gives some of the history of the Malaga brand and the Malaga Pipe Shop in Royal Oak, Michigan in the USA. Here is the link – https://rebornpipes.com/tag/malaga-pipes/. That blog also includes links to a catalogue and the history of the pipemaker George Khoubesser. If you are interested to learn more then I invite you to follow the link to get a feel for the brand and the pipemaker.

The bowl had a thin cake so I reamed it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to get rid of remnants of cake. I finished by sanding the bowl with a dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper until the inside of the bowl was smooth.I decided to address the damage to the rim top and edges first. I topped the bowl on a topping board using 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damaged portions of the rim surface.I filled in the damaged around rim and the bowl with clear super glue. The photos below show the extent of the damaged areas.When the repairs had cured I sanded the briar with a folded piece of 220 followed by 400 grit sandpaper. I used the sandpaper to blend the repairs into the surface of the briar and to smooth out the inner edge of the bowl at the same time.I scrubbed the bowl with a cotton pad and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed the bowl under running water to wash off the soap and the grime that had been loosened. I cleaned up the inside of the shank and mortise with a dental spatula to remove the tar build up. I ran some cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol through the shank to remove the tars and oils. I also cleaned out the airway in the stem using pipe cleaners and alcohol. I polished the rim and the outside of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. I started the process of matching the stain on the bowl to the repaired and sanded areas I had worked on. I used a Walnut and a Cherry stain to begin the match.I polished the bowl further, wet sanding it with 3200-4000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad to further blend the stain into the surrounding finish on the rest of the bowl and shank. I used Black stain pen to further blend the stain into the surface of the surrounding briar. I wiped it off with the alcohol dampened cotton pad. The photos below tell the story. I finished polishing the bowl and shank with 6000-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads and wiped the bowl and shank down after each pad with a damp cloth. The photos show the stain blend on the newly repaired areas. I am pretty happy with the results. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I buffed the bowl with a microfiber cloth to polish the briar. I took photos of the pipe at this point to show what it looked like. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the deep tooth marks and rebuilt the surface of the button with clear super glue. Once the repair had cured I used a needle file to smooth out the repairs to the surface of the vulcanite. I sanded the repairs on the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to blend the repairs into the surface of the stem. I am happy with the stem surface once that was done. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I put the pipe back together and polished both the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The oil cured finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The grain really stands out against the dark finish providing a rich contrast. The finish on the briar works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, nicely grained Canadian. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 3/4 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This Malaga Canadian will be going back to Alex to add to his rack of Malaga pipes that are in his collection. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another of Alex’s Malaga collection.

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Breathing Life into a “Malaga” Carved Ball


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is another pipe from the batch of pipes I am cleaning up for Alex – this one is another “Malaga” –a Ball or Apple with some interesting grain around the oil cured bowl and shank and some carved “feathers” around the bowl bottom. There is some beautiful grain around the bowl – almost a flame grain pattern. The pipe has not been stained but sports the usual Malaga oil cured look. The carver did a great job utilizing the block of briar to maximize the grain. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank. It reads “MALAGA”. The tapered stem is vulcanite and has no marking or stamping. This is the first Malaga Ball/Apple that I have worked on. It is a nice looking piece much like many of the pipes Alex is picking up. The bowl had a light cake in the chamber but the edges appeared to be in good condition. There was some lava on the rim top and some darkening on the rim top. The exterior of the briar and the carved areas were dusty with grime and dust. The stem is lightly oxidized and there was some tooth chatter on the top and underside near the button. The stem was in good condition under the grime. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before clean up. I took a photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. The bowl had a thin cake and the rim top had a lava overflow on the front and back side. The inner edge of the rim seemed to be undamaged but the lava made it hard to know for sure. The stem was in decent condition. There was some light pitting and deep oxidation on the stem. There was also some light tooth chatter on the top and underside of the stem at the button. I also took a photo of left side of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photo below and is as noted above – “MALAGA”.For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, I am also including the link to a blog that I wrote that gives some of the history of the Malaga brand and the Malaga Pipe Shop in Royal Oak, Michigan in the USA. Here is the link – https://rebornpipes.com/tag/malaga-pipes/. That blog also includes links to a catalogue and the history of the pipemaker George Khoubesser. If you are interested to learn more then I invite you to follow the link to get a feel for the brand and the pipemaker.

I reamed bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the third cutting head. I  took the cake back to bare briar so I could check out the walls of the chamber. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to get rid of remnants of cake. I finished by sanding the bowl with a dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper until the inside of the bowl was smooth. I scrubbed the bowl with a cotton pad and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed the bowl under running water to wash off the soap and the grime that had been loosened. I then turned to address the damage to the inner edge and top of the rim by carefully sanding it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the darkening to the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge of the bowl.I polished the rim and the outside of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove the sanding debris. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I had forgotten to clean up the inside of the shank and mortise. So I went back to clean up the internals. I scraped the mortise with a dental spatula to remove the tar build up. I ran some cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol through the shank to remove the tars and oils. I also cleaned out the airway in the stem using pipe cleaners and alcohol. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. I am happy with the stem surface once that was done. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I put the pipe back together and polished both the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The oil cured finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The dark feather/leaf like carvings stand out dark against the grain providing a rich contrast. The rich finish on the briar works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, nicely grained Apple. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This apple shaped Malaga with its unique carved surface is a new shape and carving design for me. The Apple/Ball will be going back to Alex to add to his rack of Malaga pipes that are in his collection. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another of Alex’s Malaga collection.

Rebirthing another Schoenleber Hand Made – A 31 Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is another pipe from the batch of pipes I am cleaning up for Alex – this one is another Schoenleber Hand Made – a ¼ Bent Bulldog with some beautiful grain around what appears to be an oil cured bowl and shank. The entire pipe has some beautiful mixed birdseye, cross and swirled grain around the bowl and shank. The pipe does not appear to have been stained but sports the same look as the Malaga pipes that I have been working on. The carver did a great job utilizing the block of briar to maximize the grain. The pipe is stamped on the top left side of the diamond shank. It reads Schoenleber over Hand Made. On the top right side of the shank it is stamped Imported Briar. On the right side next to the bowl/shank junction there is a number 31 which is either a shape number or size designation. The saddle stem is vulcanite and has no marking or stamping. This is another nice looking piece much like many of the pipes Alex is picking up. The bowl has been reamed and cleaned to all appearances. There some darkening on the rim top. The exterior of the briar was dirty with grime and dust. The stem deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before clean up. I took a photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. There was significant darkening on the top of the inwardly beveled rim at the back of the bowl. The bowl was quite clean. The outer edge of the bowl appeared to be in excellent condition. The stem was in decent condition. There was also some tooth chatter and two deep tooth marks on both sides of the stem near the button.I also took a photo of top, right side of the diamond shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photo below and is as noted above – Schoenleber Hand Made. On the opposite side it reads Imported Briar. There is also a 31 at the shank/bowl junction on the right side.I remember working on a Schoenleber pipe in the past and had a memory of the pipe being made for a shop in the New York area but could not remember much more than that. I quickly googled the brand to see what I could learn and found a link on Pipedia. Here is that link. I quote the article in full (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Schoenleber).

Louis Schoenleber lived in North Arlington N.J. and was an Austrian immigrant and skilled artisan in pipe making. His hand carved pipes were available in his shop, ‘Schoenleber’s Newark Pipe Shop’, at 26 Branford Pl., Newark NJ, thought to open in the 1920’s. Schoenleber’s carried a full line of tobaccos as well as related pipe smoking accessories. It’s thought the shop operated until the late 1960’s, and Louis Schoenleber died in 1976. It’s also fairly certain they may have sold to other brands such as Jelling, also in Newark and are very similar in design and finish.

There was also an advertising card on the site that I have included below. It speaks to my assumptions about the curing process and the finishing process on the pipe. It also connects the pipe to Schoenleber’s Newark Pipe Shop in Newark, N.J. It also has a comment on the fact that pipes were made to order.I started the restoration by working on the darkening to the rear bevel of the rim top rim by lightly sanding the top with 220 and 400 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the darkening and maintain the patina on the pipe.The mortise and the airway in the shank were very clean and there was even bare uncoloured briar showing on the walls and the end of the mortise. No internal cleaning was necessary in this beautifully clean pipe. I turned to polishing the bowl and rim with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove the sanding debris. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I painted the tooth marks in the stem with a Bic lighter to try to raise the deep marks. Once the stem had cooled I filled in the remaining tooth marks with clear super glue. Once the repairs cured, I filed the repaired areas with a needle file to blend them into the surface of the stem. The filing made the sanding a bit simpler as it took the excess material down to the surface. I sanded the filed stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the filing marks on both sides of the stem. I am happy with the stem surface once that was done. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. With both parts of the pipe finished, I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The rich oil cured finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The finish on the briar works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, nicely grained ¼ bent Bulldog. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This Schoenleber Hand Made Bulldog will be going back to Alex soon to join his growing collection of American made pipes. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another of Alex’s pipes.

Giving New Life to a “Malaga” Cherrywood Sitter


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is another pipe from the batch of pipes I am cleaning up for Alex – this one is another “Malaga” –a Cherrywood with some interesting grain around the oil cured bowl and shank. There was a “bald” spot on the left side of the bowl but otherwise there was great grain around the rest of the bowl. There is some beautiful birdseye grain around the bowl and cross grain on the shank. The pipe has not been stained but sports the usual Malaga oil cured look. The carver did a great job utilizing the block of briar to maximize the grain. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank. It reads “MALAGA”. The saddle stem is vulcanite and has no marking or stamping. This is the first Cherrywood Malaga that I have been working on. It is a nice looking piece much like many of the pipes Alex is picking up. The bowl had been reamed and was in decent condition. There were some burn marks on the front outer edge of the bowl and some darkening on the rim top toward the back. The exterior of the briar was dusty with grime on the shank and bowl. The stem is lightly oxidized and there was some tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. The stem was in good condition under the grime. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before clean up. I took a photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. The rim top was clean but there was burn damage on the front outer edge of the rim. There was some darkening on the back topside of the rim. The inner edge of the rim was damaged at the back side and had been poorly beveled inward to mask it. The stem was in decent condition. There was some light oxidation on the stem. There was also some tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside of the stem at the button.I also took a photo of left side of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photo below and is as noted above – “MALAGA”.For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, I am also including the link to a blog that I wrote that gives some of the history of the Malaga brand and the Malaga Pipe Shop in Royal Oak, Michigan in the USA. Here is the link – https://rebornpipes.com/tag/malaga-pipes/. That blog also includes links to a catalogue and the history of the pipemaker George Khoubesser. If you are interested to learn more then I invite you to follow the link to get a feel for the brand and the pipemaker.

Since the pipe had been cleaned and reamed by the pipe shop that sold the pipe to Alex I decided to check out the clean up. The bowl had been well reamed. I used a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to scrape out the slight cake remnants that remained. I then turned to address the damage to the outer and inner edge of the rim by topping it on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the damage and the burned areas. I also sanded to remove the darkening and burn marks on the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge of the bowl. I decided to check on the cleanup work on the inside of the shank and mortise. I scraped the mortise with a dental spatula to check on tar build up and it was clean. I then ran some cotton swabs through the shank and found that it was filthy. Upon that discovery I scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I also cleaned out the airway in the stem using pipe cleaners and alcohol. I scrubbed out the airway in the stem in the same manner.I scrubbed the bowl with a cotton pad and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed the bowl under running water to wash off the soap and the grime that had been loosened. I polished the outside of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove the sanding debris. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. I am happy with the stem surface once that was done. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. With both parts of the pipe finished, I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The oil cured finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The rich finish on the briar works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, nicely grained classic Cherrywood Sitter. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This unique shaped Malaga, one I had not seen before. The Cherrywood Sitter will be going back to Alex to add to his rack of Malaga pipes that are in his collection. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another of Alex’s Malaga collection.

Another Rebirth – A Schoenleber Hand Made 3 Canadian


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is another pipe from the batch of pipes I am cleaning up for Alex – this one is a Schoenleber Hand Made – a Canadian with some beautiful grain around what appears to be an oil cured bowl and shank. The entire pipe has some beautiful birdseye grain around the bowl and cross grain on the front and back of the bowl. The pipe does not appear to have been stained but sports the same look as the Malaga pipes that I have been working on. The carver did a great job utilizing the block of briar to maximize the grain. The pipe is stamped on the top side of the shank. It reads Schoenleber over Hand Made. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Imported Briar. On the right side next to the bowl/shank junction there is a number 3 which is either a shape number or size designation. The tapered stem is vulcanite and has no marking or stamping. This is another nice looking piece much like many of the pipes Alex is picking up. There was cake in the bowl and a burn mark on the front inner edge of the bowl and darkening on the rim top. The exterior of the briar was dusty with grime and sticky spots on the shank and bowl. The stem is lightly oxidized and there light tooth chatter on both sides near the button. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before clean up. I took a photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. There was burn damage on the front of the inner edge and top of the rim. There was a thick cake in the bowl. The outer edge of the bowl appeared to be in excellent condition. The stem was in decent condition. There was some light oxidation on the stem. There was also some tooth chatter and marks at the button on both sides of the stem. I also took a photo of top and underside of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photo below and is as noted above – Schoenleber Hand Made. On the underside it reads Imported Briar. There is also a 3 at the shank/bowl junction on the right side.I remember working on a Schoenleber pipe in the past and had a memory of the pipe being made for a shop in the New York area but could not remember much more than that. I quickly googled the brand to see what I could learn and found a link on Pipedia. Here is that link. I quote the article in full (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Schoenleber).

Louis Schoenleber lived in North Arlington N.J. and was an Austrian immigrant and skilled artisan in pipe making. His hand carved pipes were available in his shop, ‘Schoenleber’s Newark Pipe Shop’, at 26 Branford Pl., Newark NJ, thought to open in the 1920’s. Schoenleber’s carried a full line of tobaccos as well as related pipe smoking accessories. It’s thought the shop operated until the late 1960’s, and Louis Schoenleber died in 1976. It’s also fairly certain they may have sold to other brands such as Jelling, also in Newark and are very similar in design and finish.

There was also an advertising card on the site that I have included below. It speaks to my assumptions about the curing process and the finishing process on the pipe. It also connects the pipe to Schoenleber’s Newark Pipe Shop in Newark, N.J. It also has a comment on the fact that pipes were made to order.I started the restoration by reaming the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using three of the four cutting heads to take the cake back to bare briar. I followed by using a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the remnants of the cake on the walls in the heel. I sanded the inside of the walls with a dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper. I worked on the slight damage to the inner edge of the rim by lightly topping the bowl to remove as much of the damaged rim top as possible without changing the shape. Once it was topped I sanded the inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the damage and the burned areas. I stained the rim top with a Maple stain pen to match the colour of the rest of the pipe. I scraped the mortise with a dental spatula to remove the hardened tars and oils on the walls. I then scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I also cleaned out the airway in the stem using pipe cleaners and alcohol.I polished the outside of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove the sanding debris. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem. I am happy with the stem surface once that was done. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. With both parts of the pipe finished, I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The rich oil cured finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The finish on the briar works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, nicely grained classic Canadian. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This Schoenleber Hand Made Shop pipe will be going back to Alex soon to join his growing collection of American made pipes. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another of Alex’s pipes.

Restoring your own Peterson Pipe – Part 2


Blog by Steve Laug

I originally wrote this blog for the Peterson’s Pipe book that Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg coauthored and just published. Parts of it have been included in the Peterson book but I am including it here so that it can be kept with the blogs of other pipes that I have restored. Part of the reason for rebornpipes is a repository for my learning of this restoration art. It is a beautiful pipe that I am enjoying today after my work on it. Thanks Mark for including it in the book. – Steve

The second Peterson pipe that is up for restoration is a Deluxe 11S. As I did with the first pipe, I detail Mark’s comments below in italics and follow that with my own observations once the pipe arrived on my work table. Before I begin any restoration or refurbishing of a pipe I take time to look it over and get an idea of what the work will entail. I do a thorough analysis of the pipe to determine both the time it will take to restore it and what challenges I will face in the process. This old Peterson came with some interesting challenges on the stem and very few on the bowl.

Preliminary Observations:
Pipe #2. An 11S System billiard from 1973, hand cut stem, really tired. Interesting stem and button problems—none too severe. The sterling band has been removed and reglued (old glue marks still plainly visible) slightly higher; band top bent down all around mortise to allow stem to appear closer to stummel—a bit of “retro” nostalgia, perhaps. Carbon build up on rim and in bowl commensurate with pipe’s age. Bowl dark from long use and little care.

Pipe #2.The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank Peterson’s Deluxe. On the right side it is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland and the shape number 11S. The silver band is stamped Peterson’s over Dublin on the left side. Next to that is the stamp Sterling over Silver. On the underside it bears the three hallmarks, the last of which is a lower case “d” which dates the pipe as having been made in 1971 as opposed to the date of 1973 Mark noted above. A first pass over the pipe showed that the finish was in quite good shape. I was dirty and a thin coat of grime and oily dirt had dulled the finish of the bowl. The stain looked to be in excellent shape under the grime. There were no serious dents or scratches on the bowl or rim (Photos 1 – 2). As Mark noted the silver band had been removed and reglued. Not only the old glue marks showed that but also the spillage of over filled glue and the gap between the folded shank end of the silver and the briar inside the band. The gap accounted for the difference between the old glue and the new. In examining the band it appears to be beveled inward rather than bent inward to appear closer to the stummel. The band had also been put on incorrectly in terms of the alignment of the stamping. It was turned to the right about a 1/8 turn so that the Peterson’s stamp was not aligned as it was in the pictures that I looked at for comparison. The silver had one significant dent in it on the right top edge – a slight pucker outward on the side and inward on the top of the shank. I was also very tarnished, a blue black in colour making it hard to read the hallmarks. Moving to the rim I was pleased to see that it had been well cared for. The inner and the outer edge of the rim were both undamaged. The slight chamfer on the inner rim was also undamaged. The cake was broken and full of pits and holes. The back edge of the rim had a build up on it that was not too thick and would quite easily be remedied.

Photo 1 Left Side View

Photo 2 Right Side View

Removing the stem I could see a gap between the top of the shank and the folded top edge of the silver band. It matched the distance between the bottom of the band and the glue line on the shank. That explained the gap. The band had been reglued higher on the shank, possibly to accomplish what Mark noted above – to bring the stem closer to the shank. The interior of the mortise and the sump was actually pretty clean. There was no grime or tarry buildup in the shank or sump. I was quite surprised. It looked as if it had been recently cleaned. The bowl smelled of latakia and strong English tobacco (Photo 3 – 4). The stem itself was good at the insert end. The screw in plastic tip that is on the Deluxe Peterson pipes was in place and in good shape. There was one flattened spot on it but it easily unscrewed from the tenon. The top side and underside of the stem near the button were dented with tooth marks. The ones on the underside were quite shallow. On the top surface there were 6 dents and several were quite deep, several actually had broken the surface of the vulcanite rather than denting it. The 90 degree top edge of the button had been flattened by tooth marks. There was a large piece missing. It was no longer sharp and distinct. There were also several tooth marks cutting into the edges of the air hole in the button. The stem was not too badly oxidized and should clean up quite easily (Photo 5 – 6). The underside of the stem is stamped Hand Cut. The photos below highlight the areas of concern that would need to be addressed in a restoration/refurbishment.

Photo 3 Top view of the bowl and the metal cap/band

Photo 4 Bottom view showing the inner chamfering of the end of the band/cap

Photo 5 Top view of stem damage

Photo 6 Underside view of the stem

I began the restoration, as has become a natural rhythm, by cleaning the internals of the pipe. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer. It is pictured in Photo 7 as a T handle and 4 different cutting heads. I generally start with the smallest head or the one that fits most easily into the bowl. I am careful to hold the head straight up and down while I am working on the bowl as it is easy to misalign the reamer and cut the bowl out of round. I work from the smallest head that fits until I get to the one that takes the cake back until the briar is bare. When I am working on a pipe that I intend to keep for myself I like to remove the cake and start over. Photos 8 – 10 show the process of the reaming with the PipNet and the finished bowl after reaming.

Photo 7 Pip Net set and Peterson 11S before reaming

Photo 8 Peterson Bowl with #1 Pip Net head inserted

Photo 9 Peterson Bowl with #2 Pip Net head inserted

Photo 10 Peterson Bowl after reaming

Sometimes at this point I will clean the internals but the band bothered me so I decided to address that issue next. It was not only lifted about a 1/8 inch leaving a gap between the end of the shank and the end of the cap, it was also turned in such a way that the stamping was not aligned as it originally had been (Photos 11 – 12). The band was turned about a 1/8 turn to the right. I found photos of the 11S on the internet that showed the original position of the band and I wanted to bring this band back to match the position shown in the photos.  I heated the band with my heat gun to soften the glue so that I could turn the band to the correct position and also press it back into place on the end of the shank (Photos 13 – 17). Eventually I wanted to flatten he beveled edge of the band to make the surface flush once again but would do that a little later in the process.

Photo 11 Gap between end cap/band and the end of the shank

Photo 12 Heating the band to adjust and reset it

Photo 13 Heating the band

Photo 14 pressing the band into place

Photo 15 Adjusting the stamping on the band – putting it in place

Photo 16 The gap is closed

Photo 17 End view of the closed gap

I decided to clean up the band with silver polish and remove the tarnish from the surface. All of this was preparatory for the work I would do later to flatten the end of the band against the shank. In order to do that correctly I needed to clean off any of the build up so that as I flattened the band it would not have ripples or added dents in the surface (Photos 18 – 21). I use Hagerty Tarnish Preventive and Silver Polish to clean up a band as badly tarnished as this one. The jeweler’s cloth is far more labour intensive and this polish really cuts the tarnish and raises a shine. I apply it with a finer and rub it into the surface and then scrub it off with a cotton pad. Once I have removed the tarnish I finish by wiping down the band with the jeweler’s cloth.

Photo 18 Polishing the silver

Photo 19 Polishing the silver

Photo 20 Polishing the silver

Photo 21 Polishing the silver

To clean up the exterior of the bowl I use Everclear on a cotton pad. I wetted the pad with Everclear and wiped down the exterior of the bowl to remove the grime and build up. I have found that the alcohol removes the grit and grime as well as the wax that has been used on the bowl but does not damage the stain like an acetone wipe would. For the rim I scrubbed it down with the Everclear and then used a fine grit sanding sponge to loosen the hard tars that remained. I scrubbed, sanded and scrubbed until the rim was smooth and clean. This scrub down gives a clean surface to work with when doing the repair on the band (Photos 22 –27). When I had finished the cleaning both the bowl and the band the dents in the band were very visible and I knew clearly what I was working with in the upcoming repair.

Photo 22 Wiping down the rim with Everclear

Photo 23 Wiping down the rim with Everclear

Photo 24 Bowl after cleaning with Everclear

Photo 25 Bowl after cleaning with Everclear

Photo 26 Rim after cleaning with Everclear

Photo 27 Rim after cleaning with Everclear

I then cleaned out the shank and sump area to remove the tars and oils. I wanted to do this prior to heating the end of the band/cap with the heat gun. I have found that if I do not clean it prior to heating the oils and tars melt with the heat and make a huge mess of the work area. I used Everclear and cotton swabs to clean the shank and sump. It generally takes many swabs before the shank is clean (Photos 28 – 29).

Photo 28 Cleaning the shank and reservoir prior to heating

Photo 29 Shank and reservoir cleaned and ready

I took the pipe bowl to my heat gun and held the bowl shank down over the heat source. At this point I wanted to both soften the glue a second time and also soften the silver in order to be able to press it flat (Photo 30). I held it in position as long as I was able, took a break to cool the fingers and then did it a second and third time. I wanted silver very pliable. Once it was heated I pressed hard against a steel plate that I use for pressure fitting bands into place (Photo 31). I repeated the heating and the pressing until the end of the band was once again flat against the end of the shank. Photos 32 and 33 show the end of the band/cap after pressing it flat the first time.

Photo 30 Heating the end of the cap

Photo 31 pressing the cap on a steel plate to flatten it

Photo 32 After pressing it flat the first time

Photo 33 End view after pressing it flat

I then sanded the band surface with micromesh sanding pads. I started with 1800 grit and then polished the end with each successive grit of micromesh from 2400-12,000 (Photos 34 – 35). By the end of the sanding and polishing process the surface of the band is flat and relatively smooth. I was able to remove many of the dents with the repeated heating and pressing against the steel surface. In Photo 35 you can still see the few remaining dents that I was not able to remove. The overall look is greatly improved and with the stem in place the pipe looks as it supposed to in terms of the gap between the end cap and the stem.

Photo 34 Polishing the silver end cap with micromesh

Photo 35 End view after polishing

With the work on the bowl finished to this point, I gave the silver band a quick polish with the jeweler’s cloth and rubbed down the bowl with some Conservator’s Wax and hand buffed it. I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. The condition of the stem would make it necessary to use several of the tricks I have learned over the years to deal with dents, tooth marks and bite marks. Dents are always relatively easy and can be dealt with by heating the stem surface with either a Bic lighter or a heat gun to lift the vulcanite back into place. Vulcanite has memory so heat causes the surface to expand back to fill the dents and some of the shallow tooth marks. Bite marks are another problem all together. The surface of the stem has actually been cut and no amount of heat will lift the surface. A different method needs to be used to repair this kind of damage. This stem had both problems (Photos 36 – 37). There were also some divots or missing parts of vulcanite on the top edge of the button and around the opening into the airway on the button. This would need to be addressed in a different way.

Photo 36 View of the tooth mark on the underside of the stem

Photo 37 View of the tooth damage on the top side of the stem

I heated the top and underside of the stem with a Bic lighter. The key in this process is moving the flame of the lighter quickly across the surface of the vulcanite. Never leave it in one place as it will burn the vulcanite and cause more damage. Move the flame across the surface until it is heated. The lesser damaged areas will lift with this kind of heat very easily and then will need to be lightly sanded to remove the damage (Photos 38 – 39). A heat gun will be used to lift the larger dents.

Photo 38 Tooth marks after heating with a Bic lighter to lift the dents

Photo 39 Underside of the stem after heating with a Bic lighter to lift the dents

I followed up the heating with the lighter by sanding the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. Sanding has a dual purpose – it removes the signs of the small dents and at the same time highlights the areas that will need to be addressed with other methods. Photo 40 shows the top of the stem after sanding. There are three large spots that are actually both dents and cuts in the surface. The divot on the button is also very clear in this photo. Photo 41 shows the underside of the stem and the two remaining shallow dents that more heat will lift and remove.

Photo 40 Tooth marks after sanding with 220 grit sandpaper

Photo 41 Tooth marks on the underside of the stem after sanding with 220 grit sandpaper

To further work on the tooth marks I took the stem to the heat gun. I held the stem surface1-2 inches above the tip of the gun (Photo 42). Again the idea is to keep the stem moving over the heat. If it is held still in one place too long the vulcanite burns and the damage that occurs is worse than the dents. The heat lifted the remaining small dents on the underside of the stem and they were invisible after sanding. The dents on the top of the stem lifted considerably but not totally. The smaller ones only needed a little sanding to disappear. The large cut area I filled in with black super glue. I used black super glue to also build up the divot area on the button and the deeper dents and divots around the airhole (Photos 43 – 44). Once the glue was in place I set the stem aside in an upright position so that the super glue would dry and not run off the surface. Drying generally takes 6-8 hours to dry to touch. Once it is dry to touch I sand the excess away and add a second coat in the places that need more building up (Photos 45 – 46). Photo 47 shows the side profile of the button after the superglue has dried and the surface has been sanded.

Photo 42 Heating the dents with a heat gun

Photo 43 Building up the divot on the button with black superglue

Photo 44 Black super glue build up on the button

Photo 45 Super glue cleaned up with sand paper. Second coat applied to the divot area

Photo 46 second coat of superglue on the divot on the button

Photo 47 Stem profile after building up with black super glue

After I have reshaped the button and repaired the divots and cut areas on the stem it was time to sand the whole stem with the micromesh sanding pads. The sanding process blends in the repaired areas with the rest of the stem surface. I started sanding the stem with 1500 grit micromesh and worked on the edges of the button on the top side and also the ridge on the underside. I wanted these sharp edges to be clearly defined so I spent extra time with the coarser grit in order to sharpen these edges (Photos 48 – 49). I sanded with 1800 grit micromesh and further defined the edges and blended the patches into the stem surface (Photos 50 – 51).

Photo 48 Superglue repair after sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and 1500 grit micromesh. Tooth marks are also gone

Photo 49 the underside of the stem – sans tooth marks

Photo 50 – sanding the top of the stem with 1800 grit micromesh

Photo 51 sanding the underside of the stem with 1800 grit micromesh

The next series of photos (Photos 52 – 58) shows the progressive shine that the micromesh sanding pads bring to the surface of the vulcanite. Each of the successive grits of micromesh gives a deeper polish and a higher sheen. It always is amazing to me to see the difference in shine between the last four grits – 4000, 6000, 8000 and 12,000. Each one takes the shine to another level. When the sanding is completed all that remains is to buff the stem with White Diamond on the buffing wheel and then give it multiple coats of wax to protect the shine and prevent oxidation.

Photo 52 Sanding with 3200 and 3600 grit micromesh

Photo 53 sanding with 3200 and 3600 grit micromesh

Photo 54 sanding with 4000 and 6000 grit micromesh

Photo 55 sanding with 4000 and 6000 grit micromesh

Photo 56 sanding with 8000 and 12,000 grit micromesh

Photo 57 sanding with 8000 and 12,000 grit micromesh

Photo 58 End view of the button after sanding

I rubbed down the pipe with the Conservationist’s Wax and set it aside to dry for a few moments while I cleaned up the sanding pads. Once it was dry I hand buffed it with a soft cotton cloth to give it an initial shine and to highlight any areas that had scratches that I needed to sand some more before buffing it on the buffer (Photo 59).

Photo 59 Coated with Conservationist’s Wax

After hand buffing, I took the pipe to the buffing wheel and buffed it with White Diamond. The next series of photos shows the pipe after buffing with White Diamond (Photos 60 –65).

Photo 60 right side after buffing with White Diamond

Photo 61 left side after buffing with White Diamond

Photo 62 top view after buffing with White Diamond. Note how the patch on the stem surface is blended into the shine

Photo 63 bottom view after buffing with White Diamond

Photo 64 pipe in pieces after buffing with White Diamond

Photo 65 pipe in pieces after buffing with White Diamond

The next five photos show the finished pipe after several coats of carnauba wax and a buff with a clean flannel buffing pad on the buffer. The stem looks new and the shine is deep and rich. The silver has a warm glow and the briar is clean and fresh looking. The top of the band on the shank is smooth with just a few small dents that could not be removed. The rim has been cleaned and restored. It is polished but it is not flawless, it does show its age but it shows it well.

Photo 66 The finished view of the left side of the pipe

Photo 67 The finished view of the right side of the pipe

Photo 68 Bottom side view of the finished pipe. The stem is undented and looks new

Photo 69 Top side view of the finished pipe

Photo 70 Another top side view of the finished pipe

A Knute of Denmark Freehand – a Special Gift for My Son


Blog by Dal Stanton

This story begins in October of 2017 and concludes less than a week ago with the graduation of my son who received a master’s degree in counseling.  My wife and I have lived in Europe over 25 years and periodically we return to the US for several months from Bulgaria, to visit friends, family, and supporters of our work in Bulgaria.  It’s a great time renewing relationships and we travel a lot during these visits – often very tiring!  One of our favorite things to do as we travel (when we’re not flying over America from airport to airport) is to rent a car and drive off the interstates on the ‘Old Roads’ when we are visiting and speaking about Bulgaria.

On one such road trip, we were traveling from visiting our son (in St. Louis) and our daughter and her husband (in Nashville) and we were returning to home base near Atlanta, Georgia – to a little hamlet railroad stop called, Palmetto.  As often as possible when time allows, we break off from the interstates and cling to two lane highways that trace our path through small towns and villages.  Of course, I’m always looking for the antique and second-hand shops along the way to do pipe-picking!  We came across one such place in a small crossroads town of Alabama which was a great place to stop and rest and to search for pipe treasures!

I found 3 pipes that were candidates, but the one that received the lion’s share of my attention was the Knute of Denmark, a stout Freehand that had a beautiful balance of upper blasted briar and a large underside shank of smooth briar that encased the Danish nomenclature.   The bowl’s plateau was striking but the shank plateau facing sloping toward and tying in the fancy stem was frosting on an already nice-looking cake!  I was fully present in the moment of this exceptional find – a find that I would keep for myself and add the first freehand to my collection of vintage pipes.

I left the 3 at the front of the shop while I did a walk about through the shop.  While doing this, I was also researching the ‘Knute of Denmark’, the sole marks on the pipe.  I discovered that ‘Knute’ was a second of well-known Danish Freehand pipe maker and manufacturer, Karl Erik Ottendahl – this sweetened the pot considerably!

Dave’s Antiques was primarily a consignment shop and the desk person, perhaps it was Dave, had the number of the owner of the Knute and called him with my counter offer.  To my surprise and gratification, the owner accepted my offer.  The Knute Freehand joined me when my wife and I returned to Bulgaria and has waited patiently in my own personal “Help Me!” basket for his turn on the work table.  Here are some pictures of the Knute of Denmark I took while still in the US on that trip. Pipedia’s listing for Knute provided helpful information to appreciate more my newest acquisition and the Karl Erik name behind it:

Karl Erik Ottendahl

Knute of Denmark pipes are said to be made by Karl Erik, see his listing herein. Karl Erik Ottendahl was born in Aalborg in 1942, just a few miles from the very northernmost tip of Denmark. He began his career as a Lithographer as an apprentice in the craft at the age of 16. While working as an apprentice he began hand carving pipes as a hobby and to give as gifts to his more senior colleagues. He began his career making pipes for various labels in Denmark and the United States. Often, he would make the higher-grade pipes for a well-known brand that was known for their midrange or low-end pieces such as Wally Frank. While doing this he administered a factory of fifteen craftsmen. During this period, he did make some of his own handmade pipes, but he felt that the responsibility of managing the factory did not give him the freedom he wished he had.

Other brands confirmed to be from Karl Erik are: Champ of Denmark, HTL, Jobey Dansk, Knute, Golden Danish, Lars of Denmark, Larsen & Stigart (Copenhagen pipe shop), Shelburne, Sven Eghold and Wenhall (for Wenhall Pipes, New York), some Ben Wade and pipes marked IS and IIS.

One other paragraph from the Karl Erik article in Pipedia referenced above is noteworthy in understanding this pipe man who died in 2004:

As one of the few notable Danes Karl Erik Ottendahl dedicated himself to the needs of the normal pipe smoker with a normal income. In the end he was one of the last of this tier. He never made any pretense of the fact that his “hand mades” were prefabricated to a large extent on automated machines and only the last steps of fine-shaping and finishing were carefully made by hand. But he never employed a copy milling, so many KE pipes may look very similar but no two are identical. As well the bulk of the stems was supplied by Stanwell in a close-to-finished state. Stanwell also did the sand blasting for KE to a large extent.

I’m thankful for my family.  We’ve been spread out all over the world for many years, but we stay close.  My son, Josiah, is number 4 of our 5 children.  He’s pictured to the right of his baby sister and my wife, when we were in Nashville during our Christmas visit to the States last year.  Soon, we’ll be heading to the US again in May to join Josiah with other gathered family members as he graduates with a master’s degree in counseling from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis.  During his years in college and seminary, as a younger pipe man, he has enjoyed a bowl now and again.  He has gifted me with pipes that are special to me because they came from him AND they are very nice pipes as well after restoring them!  My first Peretti came from Josiah.  I have gifted all my kids, sons and daughters, with pipes that I’ve restored.  It gives me joy to pass pipes on which then become family heirlooms because ‘the ole man’ restored them.

I had been thinking for some time which pipe I could give to Josiah commemorating this great milestone accomplishment in his life.  The Knute of Denmark waiting for restoration came to mind.  Several weeks ago, when Josiah and I were Face Timing, he in St. Louis and I in Sofia, I asked him if he would like this Freehand as a graduation present?  His response did not take long!  I have viewed that Knute somewhat as a ‘Pearl of Great Price’ – looking forward to restoring it and recommissioning it into my collection and service.  Yet, for Josiah to have it to commemorate his graduation is something that will always be important.  When he goes through the ritual of taking the pipe from the rack, methodically packing the bowl with his favorite blend, lighting and reflecting upon life and faith – he will remember his accomplishment as well as how proud his family is of him.

With Josiah’s master’s graduation present now on my worktable, I look more closely at the pipe itself to assess its needs and issues.  The narrowing chamber has thick cake.  The attractive squared plateau is covered with lava flow and there is much dirt and grime lodged in the valleys between the ridges.  The sandblasted stummel is beautiful, but is also covered with grime, but I see no problems with the briar.  The same observation of much needed cleaning is also true for the shank facing plateau. The lower side with the smooth briar is blotched because the finish seems thin and uneven.  I also detect a few nicks where it looks like it was knocked on the edge of something – just to the lower right of the Knute of Denmark stamping.  The fancy stem has some oxidation and tooth chatter and compressions show on the stem bit.  I take a few fresh pictures to look more closely at the plateau and the smooth briar underside.  I begin the restoration of the Knute of Denmark by using a pipe cleaner wetted with isopropyl 95% and cleaning the fancy stem’s airway.  I then add the stem to a soak of Before & After Deoxidizer along with other pipes in the queue. After several hours soaking, I fish out the fancy stem and run another pipe cleaner wetted with isopropyl 95% and clear the airway of the Deoxidizer.  I also use cotton pads wetted with alcohol and wipe off the raised oxidation.  The Deoxidizer does a great job.  The fancy stem looks good.To start the process of rejuvenating the vulcanite stem, I wipe it down with paraffin oil, a mineral oil, and set is aside to absorb and dry.Looking now at the Freehand stummel, I use the Pipnet Reaming Kit and start removing the thick cake in the chamber.  I put down paper towel to catch the excavated carbon. Starting with the smallest blade head I begin reaming the chamber. Wow, the carbon cake is as hard as a brick!  I’m careful not to force the blade head too much but allow the metal blades to crush the carbon cake gradually as I rotate the handle.  I take a picture at the starting point and then about half way down the chamber that shows how the chamber has narrowed over time. I finally break through to the floor of the chamber and I’m careful not to over ream – to continue forcing the blade downwardly which would begin to damage the briar.  I continue with the next two blade heads, using 3 of the four available in the kit.I then switch to the Savinelli Fitsall Tool – the name of this tool is apropos, as it not only scrapes the chamber walls further but also reaches down and works around the draft hole – removing cake that is hard to reach.To clean further I also sand the chamber using 240 grade paper which I wrap around a Sharpie Pen using it as a dowel rod.  With this configuration I’m able to reach down into the huge chamber cavity and sand with some leverage.  This does a great job cleaning the chamber and removing the last vestiges of cake.Finally, I wipe the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95% to remove the carbon dust left behind.  I take a picture of the pile of carbon cake removed from the chamber and the full arsenal used.After the reaming, I inspect the chamber and it shows no problems with heating cracks or fissures.  I move on!I’m anxious to see how the external blasted surface cleans up as well as the smooth briar – will the cleaning remove the thin finish?  The plateaus are full of grime as well.  I use undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap on a cotton pad to begin the scrubbing.  I use a bristled tooth brush as well on the blasted surface and the plateaus.  To help clean the lava on the rim plateau I also employ a brass wire brush that will not damage the briar.  The cleaning did well. The rim plateau cleaned up but also lightened in the process – not unexpected.  The rest of the blasted stummel looks good. The picture below shows the blotch of old, thin finish.  The cleaning with Murphy’s did not remove it.  To clean it off and give the smooth briar under-panel a cleaned surface, I use a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to do the job.  I wipe it and it comes off.  The surface looks good now. With the external briar surface cleaned, I now start working on the internals.  Using pipe cleaners and cotton buds I go to work…, and I work!  The internals are very dirty and there seems to be no end to the cotton buds coming out looking like nothing was happening.  I also use a smaller, dental spoon to reach into the mortise to scrape the tars and oils which have accumulated on the internal briar surface.  I continue until the hour of the night is too late and I decide to change gears.Before going to bed I continue the cleaning effort on the internals by using a kosher salt and alcohol soak.  To do this I first create a cotton mortise wick by pulling and twisting a cotton ball and then stuffing it down the airway with the help of a stiff hanger wire.  I then fill the ample bowl with kosher salt and place it securely in an egg crate.  Then, using a large eye dropper, I fill the internal chamber with isopropyl 95% until it surfaces over the salt in the chamber.  After waiting a few more minutes, I top off the alcohol once more and turn out the lights!  Hopefully, through the night progress will be made as the cotton wick and salt draw the tars and oils from the internal briar. The next morning, the cotton wick was very soiled showing that progress was made through the night.  I remove the soiled and expended salt from the chamber to the waste and clean the remaining salt crystals using paper towels and blowing though the mortise. I follow with more pipe cleaners and cotton buds wetted with isopropyl 95% and at first, I was worried that I still had a ways to go!  But after a few times through, the cotton buds removed the remaining tars and oils drawn from the briar and started to emerge much lighter!  Success in hand, I move on.Looking at the external stummel, I have essentially 2 projects to consider, the sanding of smooth briar and color repair to both rim and shank plateaus.  After the cleaning process to the plateaus, the wood has lightened and there are bald spots that need to be colored to blend.  I decide to do this after sanding.  The large underside of the Freehand is beautiful and has a few very minor nicks. The other sanding needed is to clean up the internal chamber wall that rises to form the forward crest of the rim plateau.  This will clean up very nicely and should provide a striking contrast to the rough, rusticated plateau.  This ridge rise continues around the circumference of the upper chamber. I start by using a coarse 120 grade paper to work on mainly the gouges and scratches to the upper chamber wall where it appears that cleaning tools were a little too anxious!  This injury is primarily on the shorter rise on the back of the chamber (picture immediately above, to the left a bit).  After I work out these larger gouges, I switch to 240 grade paper and work it around the entire upper chamber area.  Then, I finalize the inner upper chamber with 470 then 600 grade papers.  I like it! Switching to the underside, but also including the upper chamber, I go directly to using micromesh pads by wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400 followed by dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 then 6000 to 12000.  I’m careful to keep my thumb over the nomenclature stamping, Knute of Denmark on the underside.  Wow!  The smooth briar contrasts are taking shape and I like what I’m seeing. Now, the second project – repairing the briar coloration on the plateaus.  I take a few close ups of both the rim and shank facing plateaus.  I have been thinking a lot about my approach to this.  I’m satisfied with the condition of the color of the blasted surface – it has a classy looking weathered and rustic appearance with the dark stain that appears to have an oxblood or mahogany lean and is flecked with reds. I also take a closeup of the stummel surface to show what I’m seeing. I begin by cleaning each plateau with alcohol using a cotton bud – careful not to spread alcohol on the stummel surface.  Color matching is more of a dance or an artform rather than a science.  I use a cotton pad as a canvas and use different dye sticks to identify the best match for the darker overcoat color.  I have two brands of mahogany that are the two marks – the upper one is darker, and I like it better.  The cotton bud on the top is Fiebing’s Oxblood Leather Dye.  I like this for the undercoat.With a cotton bud I apply Fiebing’s Oxblood to both plateaus which serve as the undercoat. After waiting about 15 minutes to make sure that Oxblood was dry, I then use the Mahogany Dye Stick and go over the Oxblood application.  I do this for both plateaus. In the next picture it shows the Oxblood colored edge which is not the finished product!  I will address this.To help erase this edge line, as well as to lightly sand the plateaus to bring out the oxblood flecks, I use a 3200 grade micromesh pad and sand over the tops of the ridges of the rusticated plateaus.  This removes a bit of the darker overcoat and exposes the oxblood undercoat.  I also use the micromesh pad to reestablish the line of the smooth upper chamber briar helping to remove the line of oxblood.  I follow the 3200 grade pad and go through the remaining 5 pads to sand and polish the smooth upper chamber briar.  Lastly, I do a light wipe with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to remove excess and blend the dyes on the plateaus.I like the results!  Both rim plateau and shank facing plateau look refreshed and emulate the flecking that is evident on the Knute stummel. With the plateaus completed, I condition the rest of the stummel using Before & After Restoration Balm aiming to bring the rest of the stummel into a harmonious alignment with the refreshed plateaus.  My hope and expectation are that it will deepen and darken the beautiful blasted surface.  It will be equally enriching to the smooth briar patches.  I take ‘before’ pictures to compare, but I doubt whether the pictures will detect the darkened tones.  We’ll see. I put a generous amount of the Balm on my fingers and work it into the blasted stummel surface, the rusticated plateaus and on the smooth briar patches.  I can immediately see the briar responding to the Balm.  Josiah is going to love this beautiful Karl Erik Knute Freehand!  After saturating the surface with the Balm, it gradually thickens to a wax-like viscosity as I work it in.  Finally, I place it on the pedestal to allow the Balm to do its thing as the briar absorbs it.  I take this picture during this period.  After about 15 or 20 minutes, I use a microfiber cloth to wipe off the excess Balm and buff the stummel rigorously making sure the excess balm has been removed from the nooks and crannies of the rustication and blasted surface.  I love it!  As hoped, the stummel’s enrichment with the Balm darkened it and both plateaus and stummel are closer in shade, but the plateaus, by design, just a wee bit darker.  Yes!The fancy stem is waiting in the wings.  The Before & After Deoxidizer did a great job removing the oxidation.  Now to address the tooth chatter and bites on the button.  The stem has a very slight bend to it to mark the orientation.  The upper bit has tooth chatter and a compression, but also long scratches along the length.  The Lower bit also has tooth chatter and compressions – the button is chewed as well.  When you freehand it with a Freehand you’re bound to see evidences of clamping. To begin to address these issues, I use the heating method to see if the compressions will lessen.  Using a Bic lighter, I paint the areas with the flame.  As the vulcanite heats, it expands, and the hope is that the compressions disappear or are much lessened.  I apply the flame on both sides, and it does make a difference in lessening the compressions.  I move on to using 240 grade paper to sand both the upper and lower sides.  I also use the flat needle file to freshen the button lips edges.  The compressions sand out nicely.  The pictures show the results with the upper and lower bit. Next, I wet sand the entire stem using 600 grade paper. I then buff the stem with 0000 steel wool.I see that the slot is not smooth, and I use rounded needle file to file the edges.Next, I apply the full regimen of micromesh pads to the stem.  I begin by wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400 and then dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  After each set of 3 pads, I apply a coat of Obsidian Oil to revitalize the vulcanite.  As expected, the Knute fancy stem now has that glossy shine – like new and better. I’m in the home stretch. I keep the stem and Freehand stummel separated for now as I apply Blue Diamond compound and wax.  It’s easier this way to manipulate the pieces.  I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to the Dremel, set the speed at 40% of full power, and I apply Blue Diamond compound to both stummel and stem.  When finished, I buff both with a felt cloth to remove compound dust from the surfaces.  I use a bristled brush as well to make sure the rusticated and blasted areas are free of dust.  I use the felt cloth again.  I don’t usually have these action pictures, but with my wife’s help here are a few.Then I change buffing wheels on the Dremel, maintain the same speed, and apply a few coats of carnauba wax to the Knute stummel and stem.  I then hand buff the stummel and stem with a microfiber cloth to blend and collect any excess wax and raise the shine more.  Again my wife provides the picture and a good shot of The Pipe Steward workstation on the 10th floor of a formerly Communist apartment complex ‘block.’  All the tools of the trade!  I finish the restoration of the Karl Erik Knute, by rejoining the stem and stummel.After completing the Knute of Denmark, I slipped it into a black, pull string pipe sock and placed it in a Bulgarian ornate lidded wooden box to serve as the protector of the Knute of Denmark and the gift box for my son’s graduation gift.  When my wife and I flew to St. Louis from Bulgaria for the graduation ceremony, the pipe was safely stowed in my backpack.  Most of our family was able to gather from all over the United States to celebrate Josiah’s achievement.  Family is special – a gift from God to remind us of the way He created us – to be in loving and supportive relationships. Our family gathering around Josiah’s celebration was rich blessing for me and my wife since we live so far away.  Admittedly, often words fail to express the depths of a father’s pride for his son – for all his children and grandchildren.  They fail me now. During the ceremony we watched as Josiah was donned by his professors with his master’s degree hood.  Afterwards, we gathered together as a family in our hotel room where we enjoyed the precious moments and gifts were given.  Among them was the Knute of Denmark which met his new steward – a gift expressing the pride and love of a father for his son, and carrying a blessing of,  “Well done, son!”

Thanks for joining me!