Tag Archives: Bowl – finishing

Recommissioning a Mysterious Freehand, Made in Denmark – Preben Holm?


Blog by Dal Stanton

I came into possession of this attractive Danish Freehand when I acquired what I call the St. Louis Lot of 26 which my son, Josiah, helped me secure when he was a student in St. Louis.  He texted me from St. Louis about this box of pipes that were for sale at an antique shop he found.  Josiah wanted to split the cost of the Lot with me so that I could pick out a pipe in the Lot that would join my personal collection and would be his gift to me. The rest of the pipes would benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria – our work here in Bulgaria with women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  It was a win/win proposition!  I chose as his gift to me the Champion Churchwarden in the center of the picture below.  The rest of the Lot of 26 went to my online collection I call For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! where pipe men and women can choose a pipe – or a pipe chooses them – to be commissioned for restoration.

Andy has commissioned pipes from The Pipe Steward before and I love it when pipe men (and women) keep coming back!  The pipe calling his name from the St. Louis Lot of 26 is the Danish Freehand marked in the picture below.As a return patron of The Pipe Steward which benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria, Andy’s contribution has been appreciated.  His first commission was a striking Monarch Bent Ball (see: Link) and then a Churchwarden I fashioned from a throw-away bowl (see: Link) which was on his list to add to his personal collection.  Andy came back again and commissioned a Trent Lev-O-Lator Half Bent Billiard (see: Link) that turned out beautifully.  His three previous restorations are pictured below. Now, the striking Danish Freehand now on the worktable. Here are pictures of the Freehand that got Andy’s attention. When I first acquired this Lot of 26 and it made its way here to Bulgaria, I was anxious to get a closer look at this Freehand.  When I first saw it in the pictures that Josiah sent, I thought that it might be a Karl Erik.  When I finally looked at the Freehand on the worktable here in Sofia, I had to work hard to find any identifying markers.  With the help of a magnifying glass and carefully angled lighting, I could only make out with certainty extremely ghosted lettering, ‘Made in Denmark’.  The next two pictures show this ghosted lettering.Yet, in the two pictures following with the light angled differently, the second picture being a blow-up of the first, I can make out just above the ‘Made’, I think I can see two letters: ‘N’ and possibly another ‘N’ or a ‘W’?  And to the far right, possibly the number ‘5’ or another letter?  Often these are phantom letters that form from the grain and our desire to see something that’s not there!  Phantom or not, there’s not a lot to go on.With this meager information I looked at Pipephil.eu where you can search by country.  I clicked on Denmark and as you might expect, several options surfaced of Danish pipe names and carvers.  With the possibility of the phantom ‘N’ being the first letter of a name, I looked at the N section to see if any of the names and pipes made by these might resemble the Danish Freehand on my worktable – reaching at straws!With no leads, I sent a note and pictures of this Freehand off to Steve with his rebornpipes.com depth of experience to draw upon again!  Perhaps there was something he would see in the pipe that would lean toward a Danish style and maker.  The next day I received Steve’s reply which was encouraging:

It has the look of a Preben Holm… under the pipes he made is a group of them – freehands labeled Monte Verde I wonder if that is not what is there.

Steve included the Pipephil.eu link that took me to the Monte Verde panel attributed to Preben Holm.  Wow! Again, I look at the lettering on the lower panel of the Freehand and it could be….  The ‘Made in Denmark’ looks like the same, all cap letters.  With Steve’s input the likelihood of Freehand being a Preben Holm is enhanced.Not long ago, wishing to add to my personal collection a Freehand with Preben Holm’s name on it, I landed on eBay a beautiful piece of his workmanship. This Freehand is still in need of restoration but putting it along side of the smaller Freehand on my worktable, one can easily see why Steve says that it has the ‘look of a Preben Holm’.  Looking at the curves, the angles of the cuts, even the grain pattern presentation – the resemblance is there. I’m looking forward to restoring this big boy one of these days!The Pipedia ‘Preben Holm’ article is full of information and examples of his work.  The opening paragraph is enough to capture the impact that his work has had – why, like me, adding a Preben Holm Freehand to one’s collection checks a box on most pipe men and women’s pipe bucket list:

Preben Holm (1947 – 1989) has set some marks in pipe history. Just before his 16th birthday in 1963 he sold pipes to the legendary Pipe-Dan shop and at the age of only 22 he headed 45 employees. He was among the first Danish artisans who made “Danish pipe design” famous in the USA in the 1960’s. More than that he was one of the very first carvers who exceeded this moderate Danish design which based on the classical shapes. “Chaising the grain” they turned out wild and dramatic fancy pipes. Combining smooth with blasted surfaces, showing big areas of the original bark at the top of the bowl and at the end of the stem, these pipes were quite shocking to many elder and more conservative pipesmokers.

When he started to sell his pipes to Lane Ltd. under the Ben Wade label, he caused a hype fairly beyond comparison. Especially in the U.S., as most of his pipes were sold there.

Looking now more specifically at the ‘possible’, perhaps probable, Preben Holm on my worktable, the 1 5/8-inch-deep chamber has a light to moderate layer of cake and the plateau is full of grime and lava flow.I am struck by the vertical grain that the carver took advantage of as he shaped the pipe. In the Pipedia Preben Holm article quoted above, I took special note of the phrase, ‘“Chaising the grain” [sic].  Breaking out of the classic shape mold where shape dictated the pipe, in the Freehand movement Preben Holm revolutionized, ‘chasing the grain’ challenged the carver to allow the grain to shape the pipe’s presentation.  This Freehand definitely chased the grain!  The large briar landscape of the peaked stummel is dirty with thick grime as well as some minor dings and scratches from normal use. The fancy stem has deep oxidation and calcium build-up on the bit.  The bit and button have been mercilessly chewed like cud!  The former steward saved money on not purchasing bite guards but it’s obvious this pipe was loved!  To smoke the pipe hands-free would require this kind of clenching with the size of the stummel.To begin the restoration, using pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95%, the fancy stem airway is cleaned.With the oxidation so thick and with calcium caked on the mouthpiece, before putting the stem into a soak of Before & After Deoxidizer, I decide to get a head start on breaking up the crud.  I use 000 grade steel wool on the stem.  I recently read Jeff Laug’s rebornpipes blog on his cleaning methods (Got a filthy estate pipe that you need to clean?) which is very helpful.  One thing he mentions about stem cleaning is to use ‘Soft Scrub’ which unfortunately I didn’t have for this stem.  I used alcohol with the steel wool, but next time I’ll try to find a comparable product to use here in Bulgaria.After attacking the oxidation and calcium build-up with the steel wool, I’m hopeful that the Before & After Soak will prove to be more productive than in the past with heavily oxidized stems.  The Danish Freehand joins other stems of pipes in the queue for a soak of several hours.After soaking for some time, I use a stiff wire to fish the fancy stem out of the Deoxidizer and allow the fluid to drain.  Notice that I have surgical gloves on – I squeegee the excess fluid off the stem with my fingers.I then wipe/scrub the surface with a cotton pads wetted with isopropyl 95% to remove the raised oxidation.  The Before & After Deoxidizer seems to have done a good job after prepping the oxidation first with the steel wool.At this point, I apply paraffin oil to the stem to begin the rejuvenation of the vulcanite.  I put the stem aside and turn to the stummel.With the stummel in hand, I take a closer look at the conical chamber and the minor/moderate carbon cake build-up.  I’m not sure how well the Pipnet Reaming Tool’s blade heads will fit this chamber, but I’ll give it a go. I use the first two smaller blade heads, but as I suspected, the chamber narrows too much for the blades to reach the floor of the chamber, so I use the blades simply to scrape the walls. It was then that I remembered a reamer that I picked up a few years ago at a flea market somewhere in Kentucky when my wife and I were in the States.  The Kleen Reem Pipe Tool has some years on it.  I remember when I found it, I thought that it might come in handy. I love old boxes and paraphernalia.  The company printed underneath the name is W. J. Young Co. Peabody.  A quick look on the internet revealed that Peabody is in the US state of Connecticut.  The reamer is in a case with several shortened pipe cleaners.  I’m not sure what the function is of the pipe cleaners. Taking a closer look at the reamer I discover the smaller knob on the end unscrews and sheathed inside I withdraw a drill bit.  As I rotate the end knob of the reamer, the three blades expand in unison as a metal cylinder pushes the blades open.  The workings are solid. With my curiosity piqued, I dig a bit more on the internet to see if I can find more information.  I find a classic owner’s leaflet (See: LINK) extolling the benefits of keeping one’s pipe clean and the benefits of the Kleen Reem Pipe Tool. Below the text, a schematic of the reamer clearly describes the critical working parts.The next page of the leaflet solved the mystery of the miniature pipe cleaners.  The picture shows a pipe cleaner hooked on the end of the shank reamer.  I look at mine and discover that its not a hook, but a small hole through the pipe cleaner is threaded.  I would imagine that it puts a lot of torque on the crud in the airway when the shank reamer is rotating. After reading the ‘Directions for Use’ below, I decide to see for myself if the claim holds true: ‘The Kleen Reem Pipe Tool fits any pipe….’ The claim held true, at least for this Danish Freehand!  The end of the reamer blades reached down to the floor of the chamber and I expanded the blades gradually as I rotated the reamer moving up the chamber.  A great debut for this vintage old boy Kleen Reem Pipe Tool!  I follow the Kleen Reem by scraping the walls further with the Savinelli Fitsall Tool and finish by sanding the chamber with 240 grade paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen. After wiping the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to clean the carbon dust, I inspect the chamber walls to find everything looking great.Transitioning to cleaning the external briar surface, using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap, I scrub the surface using a cotton pad as well as a bristled toothbrush on the plateaus – rim and shank. I then transfer the stummel to the kitchen sink where I continue the cleaning using shank brushes with anti-oil dish liquid soap (out of Jeff Laug’s Playbook!) and using warm to hottish water, I clean the mortise and airway.  I also use the brass wire brush on the rim plateau where the lava overflow is still hanging on.  After the cleaning, a few pictures show the results.  The plateau is cleaned of the caked crud and most of the dark color is gone.  The old wax build-up and finish, if there was much of a finish, seems now to be gone.  Fresh briar. Continuing the internal cleaning, pipe cleaners and cotton buds wetted with isopropyl 95% go to work on the mortise and airway. I also employ a small dental spoon to scrape the mortise walls.  When I was doing this I suddenly thought, ‘Why am I not testing out the Kleen Reem shank reamer?’  I pull it out of the Kleen Reem case again and rotate it into the airway.  The reamer grabs with traction and begins to move slowly through the airway as I rotate the reamer.  It makes it through to the draft hole and I retract it without difficulty.  It works!I decide to drink the Kool Aide and try out the miniature pipe cleaners.  I thread one through the hole on the tip of the reamer per the directions I read earlier.  I’m wondering to myself, how is all of this going to fit and move through the airway??  I decide to wet the pipe cleaner some with isopropyl 95% as I do regular pipe cleaners.  I push it into the mortise and the halves of the pipe cleaner fold back like slanted wings as I begin rotating the reamer as I did before.  As before, the reamer grabs and gains purchase while the rotation of the reamer pulls the tool into the airway.  It makes it to the draft hole and as before, before trying with the pipe cleaner, I retract it without trouble.I am amazed!  When I extract the reamer, I discover that the pipe cleaner was neatly embedded in the troughs of the reamer – sweet!  The pipe cleaner provides a slightly expanded ‘brushing’ activity while the reamer does the plowing with its blades.  The second picture below shows the pipe cleaner unwrapped a bit.  I’m impressed with the engineering of this tool. After several more cotton buds and pipe cleaners, they begin to emerge lighter and cleaner and I call it ‘cleaned’ for the moment.The hour is late and before the lights go out, I’ll continue the internal cleaning with a kosher salt and alcohol soak.  This both continues to clean the internal briar walls, but also refreshes the bowl for the new steward’s enhanced enjoyment!  I first fashion a mortise ‘wick’ by pulling and twisting a cotton ball.  The wick serves to help draw the tars and oils out of the briar. I then guide the wick down the mortise into the airway with the aid of a stiff wire.  With the wick in place, the chamber is filled with kosher salt.  Kosher salt leaves no aftertaste unlike iodized salt. With the bowl in an egg crate to keep it stable, I add isopropyl 95% to the chamber with a large eyedropper until it surfaces over the salt.  After a few minutes the alcohol is drawn into the pipe and I again add some alcohol to top it off.  I put it aside, turn out the lights and let it soak through the night! The next morning the soak has done the job.  The soiling of the wick and salt indicates the absorbing action of drawing the tars and oils out of the briar.  After tossing the expended salt in the waste, a paper towel and blowing through the airway clears the pipe of salt crystals.I put the stummel aside to address the chewed-up stem.  I take a few pictures to show the upper, lower then a lateral view of the button.  The results of the biting and clenching are not only the severe teeth damage but also that the button is so compressed, there’s essentially no lip left to hang the pipe normally.  This is not good even when you’re not a clencher.  My approach will first seek to expand and raise the tooth compressions and chatter as much as possible on the upper and lower bit.  I’ll attempt this using the heating method with a Bic lighter.  I don’t believe there’s any way to avoid having to rebuild the button to restore a proper lip to hang the Freehand.  First, using a Bic lighter, I paint the upper and lower bit with the flame.  My hope is to minimize the compressions so that sanding is all that will be necessary on the bit. I take a start picture of upper and lower, then after using the Bic lighter for comparison.

I believe the process did minimize the damage as the heated vulcanite expanded toward its pre-damage condition, but we’re a long way from where we need to be! The button was so thin on the top that the flame burned a small bit of the upper lip in the center and it broke off leaving a divot in the middle of the upper lip. To rebuild the button, I mix activated charcoal with BSI Extra Thick Maxi-Cure CA glue.  To help in cleaning, I put scotch tape down on a plastic disk that serves as my mixing pallet, and then clean the bit with a cotton pad and alcohol.  I place a small pile of charcoal on the disk and then a dollop of the glue next to it.  I gradually mix as I pull charcoal into the glue using a toothpick.As the mixture thickens, I trowel the charcoal/CA mixture onto the button to build a mound over the repair site for the button and on the bit area to fill tooth compressions remaining in the vulcanite.  An accelerator is used on each side of the bit to quicken the curing time.After cleaning up, the flat needle file is first used to begin the rough shaping of the button.Starting with the upper side, I file and gradually shape the button.After making progress on the upper bit and button, the patch just above the small air slot that was thin earlier and burned some, is not adequately filled.  With a magnifying glass I see a gap in the patch.To do a quick patch fill above the slot, I fashion a piece of index card into a sharp point that will fit into the slot to form a mold barrier.  I cover the tip of the card stock with a piece of scotch tape to keep the glue from sticking. Using a medium-thick black CA glue, I spot drop the glue in the center above the slot and spray it with accelerator.After waiting a few minutes for the black CA glue to thoroughly cure, I wiggle the card stock out of the slot with no problems of sticking.  The patch above the slot looks good and I continue filing.I finish the roughing out of the upper button with the flat needle file.I transition to filing and shaping the lower button and bit.With the lower roughing out completed, I transition to 240 grade paper and sand to smooth more and to erase the scratching left from the file. Next, using 600 grade paper, I wet sand the entire stem.  I follow this by applying 000 grade steel wool to the entire fancy stem.  It takes some time to work sand in the grooves and around the bulges of the stem.Stem work is the most time consuming and meticulous part of a pipe’s restoration, usually.  I look at the possible Preben Holm Freehand stummel waiting for attention and I would rather put the stem aside and switch to the ‘milk and honey’ part of a restoration, but I press on with the stem applying the full battery of micromesh pads starting with wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400.  I follow this by dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  In between each set of 3 pads, I apply Obsidian Oil which helps rejuvenate the vulcanite stem as well as helping retard the development of oxidation. After finishing the micromesh process, I note that the button rebuild patch material has air pockets showing.  This happens often with this repair. To remedy this, I use clear acrylic nail polish to paint the button with the small brush that comes with the bottle.  The acrylic fills the pockets.  After applying, I put the fancy stem aside for the acrylic polish to cure.With the stem on the side, I now take another look at the Danish Freehand stummel.  The grain is beautiful, and the surface is in very good shape but shows normal nicks and scratches from normal wear. I will use micromesh pads to refresh the briar surface but first I cover the area of the last vestiges of the nomenclature.  I do not wish to contribute to its demise.Using pads 1500 to 2400, I wet sand the surface.  Following this, using pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000, I dry sand the large briar landscape.  It’s exhilarating to see the metamorphosis of the grain through each minute gradation of grade provided by each successive micromesh pad.  It’s as if the grain is coaxed out.  I love the grain on the Danish Freehand.  If this is indeed a work of Preben Holm, it is truly ‘chasing the grain.’ To tease out further the natural hues of the briar, Mark Hoover’s product (www.ibepen.com), Before & After Restoration Balm, does the job well. After putting some Balm on my fingers, I work it into the briar surface including the rim and shank plateaus.  I then put the stummel aside for about 20 minutes, then wipe/buff the excess using a microfiber cloth dedicated to this. I follow with another microfiber cloth to buff the surface further.Next, I use another product of Mark Hoover, Before & After Fine and Extra Fine polishes.  Not only does the polishes revitalize the vulcanite, Mark says that it also has properties that continue to fight or remove oxidation.  Starting with the Fine polish, like the Balm, after placing a small amount on my finger, I work it into the vulcanite and let it set for a few minutes.  With the polishes, I like removing the excess initially with a paper towel – it absorbs and is a bit rougher which seems to help in the polishing at this stage.  I follow the Fine with the Extra Fine polish in the same manner.  The stem looks great.Next, I address the plateaus of rusticated briar – a hallmark characteristic of many Freehand pipes.  This Freehand appears to have had a darkened plateau originally and I use a fine point black Sharpie Pen to do the highlighting and darkening. I also darken and freshen the straight highlight carvings on the heel. I focus on the inner two thirds of the rim plateau intentionally leaving some of the rustication on the outer edge natural briar – I like contrasting and texturing.  I do the same with both plateaus and the heel sculpting. In order to ‘weather’ the freshly darkened plateaus so that the black doesn’t look new, I lightly sand the plateaus with the roughest micromesh pad, 1500 grade.  What this also does is lighten the peaks of the rustication giving more depth of contrast – I like this! The home stretch – after mounting a cotton cloth to the Dremel with the speed set at about 40% full power, Blue Diamond compound is applied to stem and stummel. Following Blue Diamond, another cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted on the Dremel, and maintaining the same speed, carnauba wax is applied to the Freehand.  After applying the wax, I use a microfiber cloth to give the pipe a rigorous hand buffing to raise the shine.If this Danish Freehand is not a Preben Holm, it’s an excellent facsimile.  The vertical grain is mesmerizing.  It reaches up the 2 1/2 inch height of the Freehand’s front bowed bowl section and culminates in the classic rusticated plateau.  The plateau measures 1 3/4 inches across surrounding a 1 3/4 inch deep chamber that will hold an ample load of tobacco.  The length from the front point to the button is 5 3/4 inches.  The button re-build came out well – I’m pleased.  Andy commissioned this Made in Denmark Freehand and will have the first opportunity to claim it in The Pipe Steward Store benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria.  Thanks for joining me!

Restoring an Austrian Made GS 1957 Gourd Calabash


Blog by Steve Laug

We always have an eye out for Gourd Calabash pipes so we can pick them up and restore them. This one is a pipe Jeff picked up on an online auction in Georgia. We had no idea of the maker but liked the shape of the gourd, the black shank extension and amber coloured Bakelite stem. The finish on the gourd was very dirty with dust and grime. The bowl had a thick cake but the rim top was quite clean. The rim top had some darkening on the inner edge and there was a chip in the meerschaum on the inner edge. There were also scratches in the meerschaum cap of the bowl. The inside of the bowl looked undamaged under the cake so it was a good pick up. The underside of the cup and the outer edge were also clean and undamaged. The stem is Bakelite and has tooth chatter and light tooth marks on both sides near the button. The surface of the button looks very good on both sides. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. The conditions noted above are evident in the photos. Jeff took close up photos of the meerschaum cup from various angles to show the general condition of the bowl and rim. The first photo shows the thickness of the cake in the bowl and the chip on the inner edge. I have used a red arrow to point out the chipped edge. It shows more clearly in the second photo. There are some deep scratches and gouges in the surface of the cup around the rim top. There appears to be little damage to the outer edge. The photos give a clear picture of the bowl cup and rim edges. Jeff took the meerschaum cup out of the gourd and took photos of the underside of the meerschaum and the inner edge of the gourd. What it reveals is some very fascinating information. The first photo below has the initials GS over the date 1957. The second photo shows the number 85 which I am assuming is the production number or possibly the shape number of this particular bowl. The third and fourth photos show that inked stamp Austria on the edge of the gourd next to the cork gasket. Now I have a bit of information to go on and do some detective work on the maker! The photos of the stem show the condition of the stem on both sides. The first one shows the tooth marks and chatter on the top of the stem and on the button. The second photo though out of focus still shows the same tooth chatter. Both side have some calcification on the surface.The tenon on this one is aluminum and the mortise is lined with what appears to be a thin piece of fiber. Very hard to tell. The fit of the stem is very snug and there is little slop to it. The aluminum tenon also potentially points to war years manufacture.I looked up Austrian Made Gourd Calabash pipes that have a GS stamp and the year 1957 on the gourd. It was a long shot but I thought there may be some information available. There were some links to Strambach Meerschaum pipes and Gourd Calabash pipes but the maker was Robert Strambach. That was a dead end. I looked on Pipedia and on Pipephil and again there were no leads. Another possibility was that the pipe was purchase in 1957 by GS. I guess I will chalk this up to the ongoing mysteries of pipe maker identification.

Hitting the dead end, I turned my attention to the pipe itself. Jeff had cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. He carefully reamed it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife, scraping the cake and grime out of the bowl. He scrubbed out the internals of the gourd and shank with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the gourd surface. The gourd looks to be in great condition once it is cleaned. Jeff scrubbed the internals and externals of the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. The bowl and the rim top look good. The inner edge of the rim is clean and you can see the chip and nick on the right side of the photo.  There was some wear in the finish on the rim top.  I also took close up photos of the stem to show how clean the stem was. There were light tooth marks on both sides of the stem.  I took the cup off the gourd to show the interior of the gourd and the underside of the meerschaum cup. You can see the marking on the cup and the bowl and gourd are very clean.There were some very deep gouges around the flat platform of the rim top and the bowl itself. It almost looked like these were caused by the lathe when the bowl was turned. I filled them in with clear super glue. The chip on the inside edge of the cup was ragged. I mixed some meerschaum dust with clear super glue and filled it in so it would be smooth. I know that it won’t colour the same as the rest of the bowl but it will not be ragged and splinter either. I opted for smooth and safe. I sanded it smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped down the surface with a damp cloth. The repairs looked very good. I wet sanded the meerschaum cup with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl surface down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the sanding dust. Once I finished the cup looked pretty nice. I wet sanded the gourd with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl surface down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the sanding dust. Once I finished the exterior of the gourd was clean and it shone. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the gourd 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. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. I rubbed Vaseline into the cork gasket to bring life to the material. I let it sit and the Vaseline absorbed into the cork softening it and adding elasticity.I put the cup back in the bowl and it worked perfect with the softened cork. The fit was snug and perfect. I took photos of the pipe at this point to show the progress. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it final coat of oil and set it aside to dry.   I am excited to be on the homestretch with this old 1957 Gourd Calabash pipe. This is the part I look forward to when it all comes back together, polished and waxed. I carefully and gently polished the gourd bowl by itself and the meerschaum cup separately with Blue Diamond. I carefully polished the Bakelite stem on the wheel with a very gentle touch. I gave the gourd 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 completed pipe looks really good with the white of the cup, the black of the shank extension and the amber Bakelite stem. This Gourd Calabash was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It is one of those gourds that is just the right shape, compact and well bent and looks great. The combination of the parts really makes the pipe look attractive. It is another comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 ¼ inches, Height: 3 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 1 of an inch. This is another nice older calabash that will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in purchasing it and carrying on the trust let me know. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Wow – Restoring a Huge Mario Grandi Blowfish!


Blog by Steve Laug

I have finished many of the pipes on my desk for refurbishing or repair and decided it was time to do something a little different that was a lot less work. I turned again to the group of 42 pipes that Jeff and I purchased from a pipeman who can no longer smoke because serious illness. It is a pleasure to be able to support this Brother of the Briar in this very hard season of his life. He had some beautiful pipes in his collection and with some work we will get them cleaned up and into the hands of other pipemen and women who can carry on the legacy of the briar.

The fifth of the pipes that I am working on is a monstrously large Mario Grandi Blowfish with a dual finish of smooth and sandblast. The smooth portions have great grain and the sandblast portion on the right side adds depth to the shape. The sandblast portion has some darker brown stain in the valleys of the blast that really are a nice touch. There is an acrylic black insert in the shank and a smooth shank cap. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Mario Grandi over Fatta in Italia. It is another nice piece of briar that the carver accommodated the shape to highlight. The turned fancy, vulcanite stem shifts shape from the round bead to a four sided panel in the blade of the stem. When it arrived at Jeff’s house and he opened the box he could see it was a beautifully grained piece of briar and an interestingly carved pipe. The pipe was dirty but there was little damage to the bowl or stem. There was some chipping on the right side of the shank extension – almost like tooth marks. Perhaps it had fallen prey to a dog’s attention. The rim top had darkening and tars flowing up from the thickly caked bowl. But it did not appear to be burned or charred. The stem was in good condition – just lightly oxidized and a little dirty. There was calcification and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem near the button. Overall the large unique pipe was a beautiful piece that must have been enjoyed by the previous pipeman who had held it in trust. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work. Jeff took photos of the bowl and the rim top to show the condition of the bowl and rim. You can see the lava and darkening on the rim top. You can also see the cake in the bowl and the tobacco debris stuck to the walls.   Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish – the pipe looked pretty good and the grain on the sides and bottom of the bowl was very pretty. The contrast between the smooth and the sandblast portions was quite nice. The next three photos show the damage to the shank extension. It almost looks the pipe was bitten by a dog or dropped on a rough surface without the stem in place. He took photos of the stamping on the left and underside of the shank. He missed the number on the right side of the shank. The stamping was very readable as noted above. It is a beauty!  He took some photos of the fancy vulcanite stem surfaces to show their condition. There were not any deep tooth marks just some calcification and light chatter ahead of the button on both sides.I turned then to Pipedia to see what I could find out about Mario Grandi pipes. I read through the page to gather some information. Here is the link (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Grandi). I will quote from the article.

The Mario Grandi line was created in late 2006 by Aldo Pierluigi and his family as a sub-brand of their mainstay brand Mastro Beraldi.

Mario Grandi often show unusual and imaginative shapes – some really take getting used to. Every now and then you may find a pipe with some minor negligence concerning the workmanship. To give an example: the shank /stem junction sometimes shows a little split. Even though the quality is generally very high and you will hardly find any other (mainly) hand-crafted pipes at such affordable prices.

Outside Italy Mario Grandi pipes are officially offered by *futurepipes* on eBay. More than 2,000 pipes have been sold since December 2006. The offers change almost daily.

Now I had the information I wanted to know on the brand it was time to begin to work with it and clean it up. It really is a beautiful pipe. I am getting more and more used to Jeff cleaning up the pipes before I work on them. So much so that when I have to clean them it is a real chore! This pipe was dirty just like the other ones in the collection. I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looked really good once it was clean. There was no damage and the sandblast stood out with stark contrast around the bowl. The rim top showed some beautiful sandblasted birdseye on the beveled surface. He cleaned the stem internals and scrubbed the exterior and the result looked very good. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it was impressive. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what the cleanup of the rim top looked like. It was a real beauty. The sandblast and the contrasting smooth areas on the rim really highlighted the grain patterns on the rim top and they were very clean! I also took close up photos of the stem to show condition it was in. It would not take a lot of work – just sanding out the light tooth chatter and polishing with micromesh sanding pads.I took a photo of the chipped/chewed area on the shank extension. It had cleaned up nicely and did not actually look too bad. In fact in many ways it matched the sandblast on the right side of the bowl. I would probably leave it as it is as a fill would definitely detract from the beauty of the pipe.I took a photo of the stamping on the shank of the pipe. On the left it read Mario Grandi over Fatta in Italia. I started my work on this pipe with the bowl. I polished the bowl and rim with worn micromesh sanding pads. I sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down between pads with a soft cotton cloth. You can see the progress in the shine as you go through the photos.  I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I find that the balm really makes the briar come alive again. The contrasts in the layers of stain really made the grain stand out. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The pipe really looks good at this point. I am very happy with the way the pipe is looking at this point in the process.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the remaining oxidation and tooth chatter on the surface of the stem on both sides.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I hand buffed it with a cloth. I gave it a coat of Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to protect and preserve the newly cleaned and polished stem.  This was another fun pipe to work on since Jeff had done the heavy work in cleaning it. Once I was finished I put the fancy vulcanite stem back on the bowl and polished the bowl and 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 depth and look of the sandblast portion stands out in real contrast to the smooth portions and makes the pipe vibrant. The pipe polished up really well. The polished stem looked very good after the buffing. This is a big pipe and it feels great in my hand and I am sure that it will feel even better radiating the heat of a good smoke. It must have been a fine smoking pipe judging from the condition it was when we received it from the pipeman who we bought it from. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions of this large blowfish are Length: 8 inches, Height: 3 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This is one is a unique beauty that is eye catching. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested in adding it to your collection email or message me. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next pipeman or woman.

Life for a Beautiful Sandblast Il Ceppo Made By Hand Triangle 1 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I have finished many of the pipes on my desk for refurbishing or repair and decided it was time to do something a little different that was a lot less work. I turned again to the group of 42 pipes that Jeff and I purchased from a pipeman who can no longer smoke because serious illness. It is a pleasure to be able to support this Brother of the Briar in this very hard season of his life. He had some beautiful pipes in his collection and with some work we will get them cleaned up and into the hands of other pipemen and women who can carry on the legacy of the briar.

The fourth of the pipes that I am working on is a large Il Ceppo Sandblast Billiard. It has a very nice sandblast with different brown stains highlighting the peaks and valleys. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Il Ceppo in an arch. On the right side of the shank it is stamped C3068. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Made by Hand over in Italy. Just over that stamp there is a small triangle with a 1 in the center. It is another nice piece of briar that is shown by the sandblast. The tapered stem is acrylic and has a large C inlaid in the top. When it arrived at Jeff’s house and he opened the box he could see it was a beautifully grained piece of briar and an interestingly carved pipe. The pipe was dirty but there was no significant damage to the bowl or stem. The rim top had darkening and tars in the sandblast of the inward beveled rim. But it did not appear to be burned or charred. There was a thick cake in the bowl. The acrylic stem was in good condition – just a little dirty and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem near the button. There was also a small chip in the left side of the button on the underside. Overall the pipe was a beautiful and a dirty pipe that must have been a favourite smoker. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work.Jeff took photos of the bowl and the rim top to show the condition of the bowl and rim. You can see the lava and darkening on the rim top. You can also see the cake in the bowl and the tobacco debris stuck to the walls. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish – the grime and grit all over the sides and bottom of the bowl. The overall finish looks good. It is a dirty pipe but the sandblast grain is absolutely stunning.   He took photos of the stamping on the left and underside of the shank. He missed the number on the right side of the shank. The stamping was very readable as noted above. It is a beauty!  The acrylic stem has an inlaid C inlaid top side. He took some photos of the acrylic stem surfaces to show their condition. There were not any tooth marks just some calcification and light chatter ahead of the button on both sides. You can also see the chip on the underside of the button. I have pointed it out with a red arrow to help identify it quickly.I turned then to Pipedia to see what I could find out about Il Ceppo pipes. I read through the Il Ceppo page written by the pipemaker and then the next section of the page written by RD Field. Here is the link to that page on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Il_Ceppo). I will quote from the section on the line below.

The IL CEPPO brand has been in production since the late 1970’s but, in spite of its overall good value, is not well known in all parts of the United States. Partly this is because of a limited supply of pipes and partly because the brand has not been put in front of the pipe smoking public through a national venue.

The Il Ceppo brand is made in Pesaro, Italy and is part of the famous Pesaro school of design that has also produced Mastro de Paja and Ser Jacopo. That all three brands have similar characteristics can be seen at a glance, but they all have significant differences as well.

Giorgio Imperatori, an architect, had a passion for pipes, and in 1978 began to design and make Il Ceppo. Always considered a good value and very good for smoking, the brand did not make folks stop and take notice until 1995 when Franco Rossi joined the firm. He brought with him a true elegance of design and a unique flair that now helps Il Ceppo stand apart. Giorgio has retired to his farmhouse, and the pipes are now all made by Franco and his sister Nadia.

Individuals involved in the creation and continuation of the Il Ceppo brand are; Giorgio Imperatori (now retired from pipe making); Franco Rossi who, along with his sister Nadia, are the current Il Ceppo pipe makers; Mario Lubinski, the distributor of the Il Ceppo brand in Italy; Massimo Palazzi who worked with Il Ceppo until 1998 when he founded his own brand, L’Anatra.

I turned to Pipephil’s site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-i.html) to gather additional information. I have included a screen capture below of the section on the brand.From the notes on that page it confirms RD Field’s information. Brand founded by Giorgio Imperatori in 1977 (first period) and bought by Franco Corinaldesi Rossi (second period, about 1996) when Giorgio retired. Franco and his sister Nadia are the current (2011) Il Ceppo pipe makers.

I also found that the section on the grading system on the Pipephil site was really helpful in identifying and reading the stamping on the pipe in my hands.

Grading system.

Pipes from the first period:

    “Il Ceppo” stamping slightly curved

    A to H and a 4-5 digit number

    Group number in a triangle

Putting together all of the information on the pipe I can summarize what I have learned. I knew now that the pipe on my table war from the First Period (1977-1996). The Il Ceppo stamping is slightly curved on this one. It is also stamped on the right side of the shank C3068. The group number in the triangle on this one is 1.

Now I had the information I wanted to know on the brand it was time to begin to work with it and clean it up. It really is a beautiful pipe. I am getting more and more used to Jeff cleaning up the pipes before I work on them. So much so that when I have to clean them it is a real chore! This pipe was dirty just like the other ones in the collection. I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looked really good once it was clean. There was no damage and the sandblast stood out with stark contrast around the bowl. The rim top showed some beautiful sandblasted birdseye on the beveled surface. He cleaned the stem internals and scrubbed the exterior and the result looked very good. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it was impressive. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what an amazing job Jeff did in the cleanup of the rim top. It was a real beauty. The sandblast really highlighted the grain patterns on the rim top and they were very clean! I also took close up photos of the stem to show condition it was in. It would not take a lot of work – just sanding out the light tooth chatter and polishing with micromesh sanding pads. There was also a chip out of the underside of the button on the left that needed to be addressed. (I have pointed it out with a red arrow.)I took photos of the stamping on the shank of the pipe. On the left it read il ceppo. On the right side was the number as explained above – C3068 and underside of the shank it reads Made by Hand in Italy.   Because Jeff had done such a great job cleaning this pipe and the end result really shone my work on the bowl was very minimal. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish of the bowl, the rim top and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I find that the balm really makes the briar come alive again. The contrasts in the layers of stain really made the grain stand out. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The pipe really looks good at this point. I am very happy with the way the pipe is looking at this point in the process.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the chipped area on the button with clear Super Glue first as it hardens very quickly and provides a solid bond to the existing acrylic material. I followed that with several layers of black Super Glue to get the transition right. I used a needle file to recut the button and shape the area. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to finish shaping and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I sanded the light tooth chatter on the top side and the repaired area and sanded area on the underside of the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I hand buffed it with a cloth. This was another fun pipe to work on since Jeff had done the heavy work in cleaning it. Once I was finished I put the acrylic stem back on the bowl and polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax 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 dimensionality of the sandblast is vibrant. The pipe polished up really well. The polished acrylic stem seemed to truly come alive with the buffing. This is a big pipe and it feels great in my hand and I am sure that the sandblast finish will make feel even better radiating the heat of a good smoke. It must have been a fine smoking pipe judging from the condition it was when we received it from the pipeman who we bought it from. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This is one beauty that is eye catching. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested in adding it to your collection email or message me. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next pipeman or woman.

A Resurrection for a C.P.F. Fancy Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

Back in November of 2019 I received an email from a fellow pipe man and restorer who I regularly communicate with regarding a C.P.F. pipe. He keeps an eye out for these as he knows that I have a love of the old American brand. He sent the email below and piqued my interest in the pipe.

Steve, I just picked up a CPF pipe that needs some TLC.  Will send to you if you are interested.  No strings attached.  Marked French Briar CPF with some Brass fitments.  Half-3/4 bent bulldog shape.  Bowl looks solid from the outside but can’t really tell what it looks like from the inside.  Might have an amber stem that is pretty much shot – complete, but has problems that probably cannot be repaired – holes near button, crack near shank. – Curtis

I asked him to send me some photos of the pipe but he had already put it in the mail to my brother Jeff. He did however send the photos from the EBay seller that I have included below. Curtis certainly has a gift for understatement… TLC is definitely not all that will be needed with this old timer. But I have a soft spot for hopeless old pipes and this was a C.P.F. as well so it would need to get some attention. At least it could be an ongoing project for me to fiddle with while working on pipes for others. It would be one that stayed in my C.P.F. collection so there was no rush.

You can see some of the issues that came with this old pipe in the photos below. The rim cap and shank end cap are brass and they were oxidized and the grooves and filigree of the pieces were filled in with grime and some rust as well. The rim cap had been hammered almost completely out of shape which will show up later in the photos Jeff took when he received the pipe. The bowl itself had a thick cake in it and an overflow of lava onto the rim cap. The finish was tired and dirty with many small scratches. The C.P.F. oval with French Briar around the oval was still readable but worn. The issues with the stem were many. First appearances show that it is held onto the tenon with thread wound around the tenon. The amber is crystallized and cracked. There is a split on the right side of the shank end. There are two bite throughs – one on the top and one on the bottom. These bite throughs do not align. Patching them will be a challenge. The button itself is worn as well with chips and nicks. The airway is filled with tars that have caused it to turn black. This old pipe will need a lot of work but I can see potential. Curtis shipped it to Jeff so that he could do the cleanup work on it before sending it on to me in Canada. Jeff took photos of the pipe to give me a better idea of the condition before he started his cleanup. The first photo shows the look of the pipe and for me shows the promise I saw in the tired old timer.Jeff also took a photo of the rim top and bowl to show the thick cake and the damage to the brass cap. The second photo shows the bone tenon in the shank and the stem with the string wrap removed to show the issues with the size of the airway into the stem that would have originally been threaded to accommodate the tenon. The threads were long gone and the opening was now cavernous.He took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to shows the scratches and nicks in the finish and gives a good picture of what will need to be done to bring the finish back to life. Jeff took photos of the shank cap to give an idea of the condition of the oxidation and the darkening on the surface of the carvings in the brass. It was still solid even with the debris and oxidation.He took a series of photos of the stem to show the crystallization and cracks in the surface as well as the bite through areas and damage to the airway. The stem almost looked to be a lost cause but I had a few ideas and nothing to lose. I am getting more and more used to Jeff cleaning up the pipes before I work on them. So much so that when I have to clean them it is a real chore! The above photos told the story of the condition of the pipe when Jeff received it so I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. II was pretty amazed at what I saw. Yes it had a lot of issues but it was CLEAN! He removed the bowl cap and reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim brass rim cap and shank cap. The finish looked surprisingly good once it was clean. The brass rim cap showed its damage clearly and I was not sure how much of that I could remove but I would give it a try. He cleaned the stem internals and scrubbed the exterior and the result looked very good. The airway and bite through holes were clean but the crystallization was very evident. I have to say that when the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it was impressive. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim cap and shank cap. I wanted to show what an amazing job Jeff did in the cleanup of the caps. Even though they were damaged there were quite nice. The briar also cleaned up very nicely and you could see the grain! I also took close up photos of the stem to show condition it was in. It would not take a lot of work – stabilizing the crazing or crystallizing of the amber and also repairing the bite throughs.I took the pipe apart so I could work on the various components. You can see the bowl, the rim and shank cap and the stem in the photos. Each piece needed special attention.I used a small ball-peen hammer and a screwdriver and a Robertson head to tap out as many of the dents as I could.I used a brass bristle wire brush to polish the shank and rim cape and then glued them both in place on the shank and rim top respectively. I tapped the top of the rim cap with the hammer and was able to flatten it slightly. I knew that I would never get the bone tenon out of the shank and that the interior of the stem was far too big to receive the tenon. I wrapped the end of the tenon with Teflon tape to get a good fit on the stem.I coated the exterior of the stem with clear Krazy Glue to stabilize the crazing of the amber. I let it dry and then the stem was ready to sand. I tried to repair the bite through marks on both side of stem with the normal procedure of a greased pipe cleaner in the airway and building the hole up with the glue. It did not work this time at all.I used my Dremel and sanding drum to take off the damaged button. I was able to remove the majority of the bite through on the top side. Having that completed, I then was able to repair the one on the underside. I put the greased pipe cleaner in the stem and filled in the hole on the underside. This time it held. I also was able to build up the area just ahead of where the button had been on the topside. It truly looks ugly at this point in the process but would look better when I was finished.I sanded the surface on both sides of the stem with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and then filled in some of the pits in the repair with more Krazy Glue.With that repair done I started to build up the glue around the stem end to make a new button. I layered on the glue and sprayed it with an accelerator and re-layered and resprayed until the button edge was present. I used a needle file to cut a sharp edge on the new button. Once it was clearly defined I sanded the button and stem surface with 220 and 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to smooth out the surface and blend it into the stem.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I hand buffed it with a cloth. I wiped it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to protect and preserve the stem. The progress on both sides of the stem is clear in the next series of photos. Curtis was correct in telling me that this would be a challenging pipe to work on. Jeff had done the heavy work in cleaning it so that was a major boost for me. Once I was finished I put the repaired amber stem back on the bowl and polished it by hand with a microfiber cloth. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and buffed the pipe with a shoe brush to raise the shine. I hand buffed it again with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe has come a long way from where it was when Jeff received it. Thank you Curtis, for believing that I could do something with this one. That kept me moving forward during some rough moments with the restoration. The pipe polished up really well. The polished amber stem seemed to truly come back to life with the buffing. This little pipe feels great in my hand and I am sure that it will feel even better radiating the heat of a good smoke. It must have been a fine smoking pipe judging from the condition it was when we received it. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This is interesting piece of late 1890s early 1900s history and even with the warts and wrinkles has beauty that is eye catching. I will be putting it in my C.P.F. Collection. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next pipeman or woman. This is the push behind the work I do.

Restoring an Amazing Looking Comoy’s Magnum Supreme


Blog by Steve Laug

I have finished many of the pipes on my desk for refurbishing or repair and decided it was time to do something a little different that was a lot less work. I turned again to the group of 42 pipes that Jeff and I purchased from a pipeman who can no longer smoke because serious illness. It is a pleasure to be able to support this Brother of the Briar in this very hard season of his life. He had some beautiful pipes in his collection and with some work we will get them cleaned up and into the hands of other pipemen and women who can carry on the legacy of the briar.

The third of the pipes that I am working on is a large Comoy’s. It has an octagonal shank that is a really nice touch. The bottom of the bowl and shank are flat so the pipe is a sitter. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Comoy’s over Magnum over Supreme. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Made in over London England. It is a stunning piece of briar with beautiful straight, flame and birdseye grain around the bowl. The saddle stem is Cumberland and has a C inset in clear acrylic inlaid in the left side of the saddle. When it arrived at Jeff’s house and he opened the box he could see it was a beautifully grained piece of briar and an interestingly carved pipe. The pipe was dirty but there was no significant damage to the bowl or stem. The rim top had darkening and tars on the bevel of the inner edge. But it did not appear to be burned or charred. There was a thick cake in the bowl. The Cumberland stem was in great condition – just a little dirty and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem near the button. Overall the pipe was a beautiful and a dirty pipe that must have been a favourite smoker. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work. Jeff took photos of the bowl and the rim top to show the condition of the bowl and rim. You can see the light oil and darkening on the inner edge of the beveled rim top. You can also see the cake in the bowl and the tobacco debris stuck to the walls.   Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish – the grime and grit all over the sides and bottom of the bowl. The overall dullness of the finish looks lifeless. It is a dirty pipe but the grain is absolutely stunning.   He took photos of the stamping on the octagonal shank. It is both artfully and tastefully done. The stamping was very readable as noted above. It is a beauty!  The Cumberland stem has an inset acrylic encased C inlaid on the left side of the saddle and is stamped faintly on the right side of the saddle with the words Hand Cut.  He took some photos of the Cumberland stem surfaces to show their condition. There were not any tooth marks just some calcification and light chatter ahead of the button on both sides.  I turned then to Pipedia to see what I could find out about this particular line of Comoy’s pipes. I read through the main Comoy’s page and looked at the page on dating the pipes by the stamping on both sides and neither one had any reference to the Comoy’s Magnum Supreme. I then turned to the article by Derek Green on Pipedia to see if there was any reference to the line there. Low and behold about half way down the article under the section entitled, The Names or Grades I found some information on the Magnum line. Here is the link to that page on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_History_Of_Comoy%27s_and_A_Guide_Toward_Dating_the_Pipes#The_Names_or_Grades). I will quote from the section on the line below.

Extraordinaire. This designation was given to any pipe that was out of the ordinary in size or grain. The E/O was introduced in the 1930s, and “Extraordinaires” can be found with no other designation or also stamped, for instance, “Blue Riband” or “London Pride.” The 1936 advertisement lists the “Extraordinaire” at $13 to $23, and the 1965 catalogue also lists a “Specimen Straight Grain Extraordinaire” at $60, though I cannot imagine many of these were made! There seem to be two distinct-sized pipes that were called “Extraordinaire.” The very large or Magnum-sized variety are unique and were given shape numbers in the 800 series. My 1939 panel example is 803 and is 9 inches long, with a bowl 2 3/8” high and 1 ¾” wide. I understand that BBB, Comoy and Dunhill made these Magnum-sized pipes in the 1920s and 30s and that Dunhill purchased the bowls for their Magnums from BBB when they started producing them in 1921. Other Extraordinaires are somewhat larger than a Dunhill LBS, for instance 6 ½” long with a bowl height of 2” and 1 ½” wide. These are given normal shape numbers and are illustrated in the 1965 catalogue.

The Extraordinaire was reintroduced in 1979 as the “Extraordinaire 1,” which was priced at $100 in the 1979 catalogue in a light natural finish, and the “Extraordinaire 11,” a light two-tone walnut finish. Neither of these was as large as the 800 series.

Magnum. As mentioned above, the 800 series are “Magnum” sized, but I also have one pipe that is stamped “Magnum,” with the shape number 802 and is the same shape and size as my Extraordinaire 802. It dates from the 1960s, and Comoy’s may have used this name as a marketing exercise to supersede the 800 series. The name Magnum was re-introduced by Cadogan in the 1990s, but these were not really magnum sized.

From the site I determined that the pipe in my hand was most like made during the Cadogan time frame as it does not bear any shape number. It is large but I do not know that I would call it a Magnum sized pipe. That would make it a pipe from the 1990s which also goes along with the interesting acrylic encased C that is inlaid in the Cumberland stem.

Now I had the information I wanted to know on the brand it was time to begin to work with it and clean it up. It really is a beautiful pipe.

I am getting more and more used to Jeff cleaning up the pipes before I work on them. So much so that when I have to clean them it is a real chore! This pipe was dirty just like the other ones in the collection. I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looked really good once it was clean. There was no damage and the grain just popped around the bowl. The rim top was bursting with birdseye grain and was beautiful. He cleaned the stem internals and scrubbed the exterior and the result looked very good. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it was impressive. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what an amazing job Jeff did in the cleanup of the rim top. It was a real beauty. The layout of the pipe absolutely captured the birdseye grain on the pipe. I also took close up photos of the stem to show condition it was in. It would not take a lot of work – just sanding out the light tooth chatter and polishing with micromesh sanding pads.I took photos of the stamping on the left, right and underside of the shank. The stamping reads as noted above.   I polished the bowl and rim with worn micromesh sanding pads. I sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down between pads with a soft cotton cloth. You can see the progress in the shine as you go through the photos.  I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish of the bowl, the rim top and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I find that the balm really makes the briar come alive again. The contrasts in the layers of stain really made the grain stand out. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The pipe really looks good at this point. I am very happy with the way the pipe is looking at this point in the process.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the light tooth chatter on both sides of the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and set it aside to dry. This was another fun pipe to work on since Jeff had done the heavy work in cleaning it. Once I was finished I put the Hand Cut Cumberland stem with a Delrin tenon back on the bowl and polished the bowl and 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 grain just pops and is almost multidimensional it is so deep. The pipe polished up really well. The polished Cumberland stem seemed to truly come alive with the buffing. This is a big pipe and it feels great in my hand and I am sure that it will feel even better radiating the heat of a good smoke. It must have been a fine smoking pipe judging from the condition it was when we received it from the pipeman who we bought it from. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. This is one beauty that is eye catching. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested in adding it to your collection email or message me. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next pipeman or woman.

Transforming a Hornless Sculpted Bull’s Head into a Churchwarden with Horns


Blog by Dal Stanton

I would have never come up with this on my own.  Seth already commissioned the restoration of a French GEFAPIP 500 Bent Bulldog which he found calling his name in the online collection of pipes I call, For “Pipe Dreamers” Only!.  The Bulldog needed a lot of stem work which included deep oxidation, a button rebuild and re-seating the stem/shank fit.  I was pleased with the results of that transformation pictured below.While I was working on the GEFAPIP Bulldog, Seth emailed me with a question – could he commission a Churchwarden project by repurposing another pipe’s bowl listed in For “Pipe Dreamers” Only!.  A Sculpted Bull’s Head with a bent stem had gotten his attention and with a little ‘dreaming’ applied, Seth could envision the Bull’s Head mounted on a Warden stem.  I found the Bull’s Head in the inventory and pulled it out to look at through Seth’s eyes… Yep!  I could see it, too.  What was missing in the mix were the Bull’s horns.  I responded that we could do this and after working out the details, I added the Bull’s Head CW project to follow the Bulldog project! Here are pictures of the Sculpted Bull’s Head which got Seth’s attention: The Bull’s profile is detailed and a bit on the whimsical side, especially with his missing horns.  He seems to be smiling in the picture above.  There are no identifying marks on the pipe.  When the Bull made it to the worktable, the question that came to my mind was how would I fashion the missing horns?  I took this question to ‘Google search’ to find other sculpted bull heads to get some ideas.  I clipped a screen shot of the search results and you can see that the horns are not uniform which is true of real bulls.  I looked through the pictures to see if I could find a bull that resembled Seth’s Bull, but I could not.  The interesting thing was that I found that many bull heads were from Italy.  What I noticed as well, was the similarities and differences between the pipes.  The eyes were made of differing materials and also the shaping of the ears situated behind the horns were distinctive and showed bulls sculpted by the same ‘school’ or carver.  After concluding the online search, I decided that I would send a note to Seth asking him to do the same search and to let me know what horns looked best – with the understanding this Bull’s Head will be mounted at the front end of a Churchwarden stem.  I’m thinking about the balancing and general look.  After sending the email, I place the Bull’s Head stummel with a Warden stem to get an overall sense of proportion.  I like it!I begin the Sculpted Bull’s Head Churchwarden project with the general cleaning of the stummel before fashioning the stem.  I take a picture of the chamber showing very little cake buildup, but I do see vestiges of the former steward’s tobacco.  I use the Savinelli Fitsall Tool to scrape the walls of the narrower than usual chamber.  After wrapping 240 grade paper around a Sharpie Pen, sanding the chamber removes more carbon.  I finish this phase by wiping the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95%.  After inspecting the chamber, I determine that all looks good. Moving to the cleaning of the external surface, using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a bristled tooth brush I go to work scrubbing all the crevasses of the sculpting.From the worktable, I transfer the Bull’s Head to the kitchen sink where I rinse the surface with warm water as well as clean the internals.  Using anti-oil dish soap, long shank brushes scrub the internals.  Afterwards, the stummel is rinsed thoroughly – inside and out.The appearance of the Sculpting is realistic, especially the carving around the eyes. I continue cleaning the internals using cotton buds and a pipe cleaner – all dipped in isopropyl 95%.  The internals are good, and I move on.With the stummel clean, it’s time to begin fashioning the Warden stem.  The first step is to take some measurements using my German made electronic caliper – one of the best additions to the toolbox I’ve made.  I measure the internal diameter of the mortise to establish the target size of the tenon.  The measurement is 6.80mm.  Next, after mounting the drill bit provided by the PIMO Tenon Turning Tool set, the airway is drilled out to receive the Guide Pin of the TTT. After drilling the airway, the TTT is mounted.  The first cut of the tenon is intentionally larger to act as a starting point for the measurement.  In the picture below the guide pen is in the now enlarged airway.  In the past, I’ve learned the hard way that it’s critically to cut the tenon of the precast Churchwarden stem all the way to and through the raw stem facing.  I’ve put an arrow at the facing that is shouldered coming from the casting.  If this shoulder is not removed, it simply migrates to the pipe which is not good.I do the initial cut of the tenon through the ‘shoulder’ so that a sharp 45-degree angle is left which will be able to seat more exactly with the shank facing.Again, I measure and the tenon after the initial cut and it is 8.92mm.  The difference between the starting cut and the target size of the tenon (6.80mm) is 2.12mm. In order to approach the target size conservatively through sanding, 40mm is added to the target size of the tenon to create a ‘fat’ target – to leave a bit of sanding to be able to customize the fit.  Adding .40mm to 6.80mm gives a fat target of about 7.20mm.  This is what I aim for with the PIMO Tenon Turning Tool before transitioning to sanding the raw tenon.After a few cuts closing in on the ‘fat’ target, I settle for 7.31mm.  I now transition to sanding. Using a coarse 120 grade, I pinch the paper around the tenon as evenly as possible and rotate the stem while holding the paper stationary.  My goal is to size down the tenon evenly so that the whole tenon is maintaining contact snuggly on the mortise walls once seated.  Progress is patient as I sand and test the fit. As the progression moves closer to completion, I transition to 240 grade paper to do the final sanding.The tenon is fitting well – snug but not too tight.  The pictures below show the seated stem.  The stem is almost perfectly flush with the upper shank, but the stem is fat on the lower quadrant.After taping the shank with a layer of masking tape to buffer the briar from the heavy sanding, I attack the fat lip of the lower stem using coarse 120 grade sanding paper.  The goal is to sand the excess vulcanite to form a uniform shank/stem union.After achieving a good union at the shank, I continue the sanding with the 120 paper over the entire precast Warden stem.  The stem, even though it is new, has the casting seam down both sides that needs sanding and uneven rippling that needs smoothing. After the 120 grade paper, I follow by sanding the entire stem with 240.After the stem proper has been sanded, I switch the focus to the rough precast button.  Pictures of the upper and lower raw button show the imperfections that are first filed using a flat needle file.After doing the major shaping with the file, I follow with 120 and 240 sanding papers to fine tune the button shaping.Without a doubt, the least pleasing aspect of fashioning Churchwardens is sanding the stems and dealing with all the rubber dust!  I’m thankful to move to the fine sanding stage by wet sanding with 600 grade paper followed by applying 000 grade steel wool to the entire stem.Next, with the stummel and stem united, I remove the masking tape to begin sanding with micromesh pads.  At this point, I focus the sanding on the stem/shank junction and the stummel.  Sanding the shank with the stem engaged keeps the junction edges from shouldering.  I also sand the stummel to clean it up.  There’s no doubt that this Bull’s Head sculpting will remain ‘rough’ and rustic, but I want to sand the smooth briar points of the Bull’s head: shank, underside, muzzle and the high points of the sculpting ridges.  Pictures of the landscape show the smooth briar patches that will be the focus of the micromesh pads. I begin by first wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400, followed by 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000. Next, I address the stummel’s hue.  The original pictures of the Sculpted Bull’s Head indicate an original darker stummel.  What I believe will look good is to darken the stummel again and then lightly sand the peaks of the sculpting to bring out highlights giving the overall appearance more depth and contrast. The crevasses of the sculpting will hold on to the darkened hue while the peaks will lighten.  I’ll use Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye to do the job.  After removing the stem, I clean the stummel using a cotton pad and isopropyl 95%. It takes a bit of time as I get into each crevasse of the sculpting.I assemble the staining station and use the hot air gun to warm the stummel before applying the stain. This opens the briar to help its receptivity to the dye. Unlike my normal approach of flaming the aniline dye after painting it on the briar surface, with the rough texture I apply a simple dye wash and allow it to dry and set. I use the bent over pipe cleaner to apply dye in all the crevasses of the sculpted surface.  After applying the leather dye, I let the stummel rest for several hours.With the stummel resting now, I turn back to the stem.  Before, with the stummel attached, I have already applied micromesh to the junction area.  Now I continue with the rest of the stem starting with wet sanding with micromesh pads 1500 to 2400 then dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of 3 pads, Obsidian Oil is applied to the stem.  Steve did an informative blog on comparing Obsidian Oil with Briarville’s, No Oxy Pipe Stem Oil (See LINK).  His conclusion was that both seemed to be equally good products.  What I didn’t know before reading Steve’s blog was about the anti-oxidation properties of Obsidian Oil.  It doesn’t remove oxidation if already present, but it hinders the growth of oxidation.  As a result, I’ve started using Obsidian Oil for the maintenance of my own pipes in rotation. Putting the stem aside for the time, I take up the stummel which has been resting for several hours after applying the dye.  I use a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to give the stummel a wipe to remove excess dye. Next, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel with the speed set at about 40% full power.  I apply a light application of Blue Diamond compound and I intentionally keep the compound light because I want to avoid caking in the crevasses.  My focus is primarily buffing on the smooth briar and the peaks of the sculpting.After application of the compound, I use a felt cloth to give the stummel a rigorous buffing to remove the compound dust from the surface.  I very much like the results.  The effect I was shooting for with the contrast between the smooth briar peaks and the darker crevasses is evident. The rough, rustic texture is preserved but the smooth briar pops in comparison.  I’m surprised also by the mahogany leaning hue resulting from the dark brown dye that I applied.  The following pictures show what I see. I decide to condition the dried Sculpted Bull’s Head stummel using Before & After Restoration Balm. I place some Balm on my fingers and work it well into the crevasses of the sculpting and over the smooth briar surfaces.  During this process, I note that the dye applied to the stummel earlier is coloring the Balm somewhat as it’s worked into the briar.  I also see some coloring on my fingers.  After working the Balm in well, I place it aside to allow the Balm to do its thing and then I use a cotton cloth that I will discard to wipe the excess Balm which is also colored somewhat with the fresh brown dye that is lifting off the stummel. To address the leaching dye issue, which is normal for newly dyed woods – briar is no exception, is to heat the stummel with the hot air gun which helps the dye to fully leach.  When the stummel is heated, I wipe it first with a cotton cloth and then with a paper towel.  The hopeful result of this is after the pipe reaches his new steward, when the steward fires it up for the first few uses, dye will not leach on his hands from the heated stummel – or be minimized greatly!Next: bending the Warden stem.  After reuniting the stem and stummel I place the pipe on a piece of paper to sketch the angle of curve needed to help as a template.  I first draw a horizontal line to serve as the plane of the plateau.  I use the horizontal shelf behind the angled chamber stack to line up with the horizontal plane.  After outlining the unbent angle, I sketch the bend to bring it into alignment with the horizontal to serve as my template.Even though the bend needed is not great, a pipe cleaner is inserted into the end of the stem to guard the airway integrity during the bend.  Using the hot air gun, the middle of the stem is heated because this is where I want the bend to be so that the end of the stem resolves nicely along the horizontal plane.  I remove the stummel so that I can place the stem flat on the template after it is heated so that the stem is not angled or twisted to the left or right during the vulcanite’s supple stage.As the stem heats, I’m careful to keep ‘up’ up, so that the fit of the stem in the mortise isn’t accidentally flipped!  As the rubber heats, I gently apply pressure to the bend area.  When the heating has sufficiently warmed the vulcanite, I bring the stem to the template and create the bend according to the template and hold it in place for a few minutes as the rubber cools and the bend is held in place.  The first attempt renders perfect results!  I move on.With the stem now bent, I catch it up with the stummel by applying Blue Diamond compound to the entire stem.  After mounting a cotton cloth buffing wheel onto the Dremel and with the speed set at about 40% full power, I apply compound to the stem.  After finishing the application, I wipe/buff the stem with a felt cloth to remove the leftover carbon dust.I’m very pleased how things are shaping up.  Before the final polishing, I have one project left which is a little daunting: the horns.  I’ve been thinking throughout (and even before starting!) the restoration how I was going to address the fashioning of the horns.  The sides of the Bull’s head have holes which provide the diameter of the horn mass.  As I looked at many examples on the internet of sculpted Bull’s heads, I found that there are a several varieties of horn style which is true with real life bulls!  To narrow in on a style, I described sending Seth an email asking him to do some online research.I received his reply stating that he liked the shorter, stockier horns that turn up slightly on the ends.  He also sent a couple pictures to illustrate his desires which were very helpful.  As I’ve thought about this part of the project, fashioning one horn is not the greatest challenge, but fashioning two is!  The challenge is to match the two but in reverse orientation – left and right horns!  The pictures Seth provided are helpful, but there is a contrasting complexity even between the two examples he sent.  The picture on the left shows the horns set on a vertical platform shaped on the side of the bull’s head to allow the visible horn to have more mass with (I’m assuming) a smaller peg inserted into the holes.  Whereas, the example on the right, more like what I have on my worktable, the horn diameter and mass are confined to the diameter of the hole.  It seems to be that the general proportion of the examples Seth sent below and many of the online examples I’ve seen is that the visible horn is about half the width of the bull’s head. Unfortunately, in my 10th floor flat in the formerly Communist period apartment block, I do not possess much in the way of precision wood working equipment, like a lathe!  Shaping the horns will be by hand using a Dremel, files and sanding paper.  I plan to use cherrywood as the material for the horns.  Cherry trees grow almost everywhere in Bulgaria and there are several in the green area in front of our block.  A couple years ago I harvested a couple very straight branches from a cherrywood tree in the front green area to dry out and to use with a project of restoring a French made cherrywood Ropp stummel and stem.  I trimmed them down and they’ve been in my bucket waiting for some time – now, very much dried and ready.  The Ropp project will continue to wait! I begin with horn number one.  First, I cut a length of the cherrywood stem the width of the bull’s head.  I know that roughly half of this will be the horn.  The other half will be what is eventually inserted in the hole which is the ‘peg’ side.In order to give a center orientation for the peg, I use a small sanding drum to trace a guide circle.After drawing a line around the piece of wood to mark the extent of peg shaping, I use a sanding drum in a circular motion around the end  and gradually shape out the peg. As I was progressing on shaping the horn peg, I notice the line of a grain crack – ugh.  I decide to see if it might work after some sanding and filing, but the crack will be a problem.  I’m hoping that this is not characteristic of this wood! I move on and start over.With the second start, I decide not to cut the short piece of cherrywood but to shape the horn peg first.  I do this so that I can save wood if I must cut it off again and restart.  Again, I mark the center horn peg template and use the sanding drum mounted on the Dremel to shape the peg.I sanded and tested the fit a few times until the horn peg finally found home in the side of the bull’s head! Next, I cut off the smaller piece measuring to leave a little more than half the width of the Bull’s head.  I leave extra length to enable me to sand down to a good fit.Next, with the picture that Seth sent to me showing the horn style he likes, I draw a horn template on the cherrywood inserted into the hole.  The most critical thing at this point is to have a guide to help me stay within close parameters of proportion as I shape the horn step by step.Remembering that the first horn is easier than the second, I use the rounded angle of the sanding drum to create a consistent angle for the upswing of the horn tip.  I’ll do the same for the second horn to minimize differences.  With the Dremel set to slow, I press the drum into the wood to create the horn tip upswing angle. I then remove the remaining excess wood on the upper side of the horn bringing the top parallel with the upper side of the peg. Next, I turn the horn shaping over, with the horn tip facing down, to now work on the bottom of the horn. The hand saw cuts the excess off the cherrywood piece so that the cut is very close to the end of the horn.  This saves on sanding.Again, using the sanding drum mounted on the Dremel, I begin to take wood off the lower side of the horn piece.  I start by sanding a horizontal base-line which identifies the horn’s lower side.As the sanding moves toward the end of the cherrywood – toward the horn tip that is facing downwardly, I curve the sanding so that the angled underside of the horn is shaped toward the inverted horn tip.The roughing out of the upper and lower horn is looking good and it resembles a paddle at this stage.  The next 3 pictures show the horn from the different angles and the excess wood on the end identified by the template is still needing to be sanded to better define the horn tip. I insert the rough horn into the bull head to make sure I’m tracking in a good direction.  I’m looking for good proportions. So far, very nice – but again, the first horn is easier!I transition to a smaller sanding drum to begin the removal of the excess wood on the front and back portions of the rough horn.  The horn starts to emerge very nicely during this part of the sanding which is patient – I am very careful sculpting with the sanding drum.  I can’t replace wood!After patient shaping, I test the emerging horn and it looks great!  The proportions are good on both the horizontal and vertical axis.With the challenge of now replicating the roughed-out horn, but in reverse, I try to emulate the same process and patiently move step by step.  I draw the peg template and again use the drum to shape out the peg.When the peg arrives in time with a good fit, I use the finished horn to draw a template on the second horn piece.Again, using the sanding drum, the angle is notched out creating the pitch toward the horn tip.As before, I then remove the excess on the top bringing it roughly parallel to the upper side of the peg.  With this done, I cut the cherrywood for a more manageable piece.To shorten this part of the write-up, after much careful sanding, shaping and test fittings, I arrive at two roughed-out horns.They aren’t identical but close enough to pass for the real deal!To leave the horns in semi-rough condition with some texture, I sand both with 240 and 600 grade papers.  This smooths the cherrywood but keeps the horns more rustic.I’m not sure what it will do with the raw cherrywood, but I apply Before & After Restoration Balm to see what happens.  After applying the Balm with my fingers, I let the Balm do its thing for about 20 minutes.  The light cherrywood didn’t change much, but there is a more of a ivory-like hue to it now. Not bad.Almost in the home stretch.  Using BSI Maxi-Cure Extra Thick CA glue, I glue the horns in place.  After placing a drop in each hole, with a toothpick, I spread the glue around the circumference of the hole.  I then insert each horn and pitch it up as Seth requested.Now the home stretch.  All that is lacking is applying carnauba wax to the pipe.  After reuniting stem and stummel, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel and set the speed to about 40% full power.  I apply carnauba wax to the stem and Sculpted Bull’s Head stummel and horns.  I’m careful to go light on the wax in the sculpting staying primarily on the smooth briar and peaks. After application of the wax, I give the Churchwarden a rigorous hand buffing with a microfiber cloth to raise the shine.Oh my!  I love it, and I trust that Seth will as well.  His idea of turning this Sculpted Bull’s Head into a Churchwarden is a winner hands down.  The sculpting cleaned up nicely and the dark brown dye with the contrast highlighting with smooth briar is attractive, but the rustic air of the pipe is preserved.  I’ve never fashioned horns in a restoration before this project, but I believe the Bulgarian cherrywood looks good and does a good job emulating the horns.  Fashioning the horns wasn’t easy, but I’m pleased with the outcome. As the commissioner of this project, Seth will have the first opportunity to acquire this Sculpted Bull’s Head Churchwarden from The Pipe Steward Store.  This pipe benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria, women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!