Tag Archives: bowl topping

Restoring Jennifer’s Dad’s Jobey Asti 245 Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

I decided to change things up a bit and work on another of Jennifer’s Dad’s pipes. For the next pipe from the estate of George Rex Leghorn I have chosen a Pot shaped pipe. You may not have read about this estate before, so I will retell the story. I received an email from Jennifer who is a little older than my 64+ (65 now – sheesh, I forget how old I am) years about whether I would be interested in her Dad’s pipes. My brother Jeff and I have been picking up a few estates here and there, so I was interested. Here is the catch – she did not want to sell them to me but to give them to me to clean up, restore and resell. The only requirement she had was that we give a portion of the sales of the pipes to a charity serving women and children. We talked about the organization I work for that deals with trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and their children and she decided that would be a great way to carry on the charitable aspect of her Dad’s character. With some great conversation back and forth she sent the pipes to Jeff and he started the cleanup process on them. Once he had finished cleaning them all he sent them to me to do my work on them.

The pipe on the table is stamped on the left side of the shank Jobey over Asti. On the right side is the shape number 245. The tapered stem bears an inlaid brass Jobey oval. The pipe has an interesting mixed finish – smooth lower bowl and shank with a band of rustication and a smooth inwardly beveled rim top. The finish was very dirty, making it hard to see beyond that to the nice grain underneath that. There was a thick cake in the bowl and it had overflowed with lava onto the rim top. It was hard to know at this point the condition of the rim edges. The pipe was a dirty and tired looking old pipe. The stem was badly oxidized and there were George’s usual tooth marks and chatter on both sides just ahead of the button. It had been sitting in boxes for a lot of years and it was time to move ahead with the restoration. Jennifer took photos of the pipes she was sending. I have included the photos of this pipe below. When the box arrived from Jennifer, Jeff opened it and took photos of each pipe before he started his cleanup work on them. This pipe was a real mess but showed some promise under all of the grime of the years. The shape was a pot with the mixed finish as noted above and visible in the photo below. The briar appeared to be in good condition underneath the grime. The finish was spotty and seemed to be peeling which indicated to me that there was some sort of varnish or shellac coat on top of the finish. The pipe really was covered with the grime and oils on the bowl sides from George’s hands. The bowl had a thick cake that had hardened with time. The lava overflow on the rim top filled in much of the beveled rim top. It was very thick but it could very well have protected the rim from damage. We won’t know what is under it until Jeff had cleaned it off. The stem was oxidized and there were deep tooth marks on both sides just ahead of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started working on it. I include those below.  Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the rim top and dust and grime on the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The lava coat looks horrible but it points to a well-used, favourite smoking pipe. George must have enjoyed this old timer a lot judging from the condition of the pipe.   Jeff took a photo of the side 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 rustication around the midbowl is deep and dirty but it is interesting.  The peeling varnish/shellac coat is also visible in the photos. Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the left and right sides of the shank. It is very clear and readable. On the left it reads Jobey Asti and on the right it reads 245. The top of the tapered stem has a brass inlaid Jobey oval logo.Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the scratching, oxidation and tooth marks on the stem surface and button. The tooth marks are quite deep on both sides of the stem. I turned to Pipephil’s site for a quick review of the brand (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-j3.html). I quote a section of the post on the Jobey brand: These pipes are made in St Claude (France) by Butz-Choquin (Berrod-Regad group) since 1987. Before this date some were manufactured in England and Denmark (Jobey Dansk).

I turned then to Pipedia to gather further information regarding the brand and quote the first part of the article (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Jobey).

English – American – Danish – French… Sadly, solid information about Jobey is scant…

Probably established in England around 1920(?) the brand hiked into the USA later. In the course of time owner, distributor and manufacturer changed repeatedly. As far as is known the following companies have been involved with the brand:

George Yale Pipes & Tobacco, New York (1942)

Norwalk Pipe Co., New York (1949)

Arlington Briar Pipes Corp., Brooklyn (when?)

Hollco International, New York (1969).

Weber Pipe Co., Jersey City, NJ (1970’s)

The Tinder Box, (1970’s – 80’s).

Throughout decades Jobey pipes were mainly sold in the USA, Canada and England but remained almost unknown in continental Europe. The bulk of Jobeys was predominantly made according to classical patterns and mainly in the lower to middle price range. The predominant judgment of the pipe smokers reads: “A well-made pipe for the price.” So there is hardly anything very special or exciting about Jobey pipes although a flyer from ca. 1970 assures: “The briar root Jobey insists upon for its peer of pipes is left untouched to grow, harden and sweeten for 100 years. […] Jobey uses only the heart of this century old briar and only one out of 500 bowls turned measures up to the rigid Jobey specifications.” 99.80% of cull… that makes the layman marveling!

Before I get on to cleaning up the pipe I thought I would once again include the tribute that Jennifer wrote to her Dad for the blog. She also sent some photos and an article that her Dad wrote for Jeff and me to be able to get a feel for him. I have included those below. Note in each of them that he is holding a pipe in his left hand. I asked her to also send me an email with a brief tribute to her Dad. Here is her tribute from an email to me.

Steve, I want to thank you again for accepting my dad’s pipes.  They were so much a part of my dad’s life that I could not simply discard them. But as his daughter, I was not about to take up smoking them either. *laughing* I think my dad would like knowing that they will bring pleasure to others.  I know that I do.

I’m not sure what to say about his pipes. I always remember Daddy smoking pipes and cigars.

First a bit about my dad. Though my father, George Rex Leghorn, was American (growing up in Alaska), he managed to join the Canadian Army at the beginning of WWII, but in doing so lost his American citizenship.  He was fortunate to meet a Canadian recruiting officer who told him the alphabet began with “A” and ended with “Zed” not “Zee”, and also told him to say that he was born in a specific town that had all its records destroyed in a fire.  When the US joined the war my dad, and thousands of other Americans who had made the same choice*(see the link below for the article), were given the opportunity to transfer to the US military, and regain their citizenship.

After WWII, my dad, earned his degree at the University of California Berkeley and became a metallurgist. There is even a bit about him on the internet.

He loved taking the family out for a drive, and he smoked his cigars on those trips. (As a child, those were troubling times for my stomach.)

I most remember my father relaxing in his favorite chair with a science fiction book in one hand and a pipe in the other… Sir Walter Raleigh being his favorite tobacco… and the pipes themselves remind me of him in that contented way.  If I interrupted his repose, he’d look up, with a smile on his face, to answer me.

It seemed he smoked his Briarwood pipes the most, though he had others.  At the time, it was only the Briarwood I knew by name because of its distinctive rough shaped bowl.  And it was the Anderson Free Hand Burl Briar, made in Israel, which I chose for his birthday one year, because I thought he might like that particular texture in his hand.

At least two of his pipes, he inherited from his son-in-law, Joe Marino, a retired medical laboratory researcher (my sister Lesley’s late husband)… the long stemmed Jarl (made in Denmark), and the large, white-bowled, Sherlock Holmes style pipe.  I believe Joe had others that went to my dad, but Lesley was only sure about those two.

The Buescher, corncob pipe my older sister Lesley bought for Daddy while on one of her travels around the States.

A note on the spelling of my sister’s name…

My dad met my mother, Regina, during WWII and they married in Omagh, Ireland.  My mother was English and in the military herself.  The English spelling of Lesley is feminine, and Leslie masculine, in the UK… just the opposite of here in the United States.  I guess my mom won out when it came to the spelling of the name…

This pipe was a real mess just like the other ones in the collection. I was curious to see what it would look like when I unpack it. I was surprised at how good it looked. 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 on the bowl looked really good when I got it. The rim top looked much better and the inner and outer edges were looking good. Jeff had cleaned the internals and scrubbed the exterior of the stem and soaked them in Before & After Deoxidizer bath to remove the oxidation. The stem looked very good other than the deep tooth marks and chatter in the surface. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the bowl and rim top to show how well it had cleaned up. The edges and top were very clean and in excellent condition. There was some darkening on the inner edge but it was still round. The rim top had some light nicks and dents. The stem had some deep tooth marks just ahead of the button.The stem was held in the shank with the Jobey link connector. I is pressed into the stem and threads into the shank. It makes it easily replaceable and also easy to align.I decided to clean up the darkening on the inner edge of the rim top and the dents and nicks on the top itself. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage and 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to smooth out the sanding. I was happy with the overall look. The finish will show as I polish the pipe with micromesh pad shortly.  I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding it with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. It looked better after each pad and the top blended into the colour of the rest of the bowl without staining. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish of the bowl and the rim top and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoebrush 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 and the separate finishes 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 bowl really looks good at this point.   I set the bowl aside and turned to the stem. I filled in the deep tooth marks with clear super glue. I built up the edge of the button at the same time. I set it aside to dry. Once the repairs had cured I used a needle file to cut a sharp edge on the button on both sides and to flatten the repaired areas. I sanded the stem to remove the oxidation that was on the surface and to smooth out the repaired areas. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and a piece of 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point the stem is looking better and the tooth marks are gone.  I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish and a cotton pad to remove remnants of oxidation and to further blend in the sanding. The stem was showing some promise at this point in the process. I polished 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 buffing it to a shine. Once again I am the part of the restoration that I always look forward to – the moment when all the pieces are put back together. I put the pipe back together and buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond 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. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the combination of rustication and smooth finishes. The black vulcanite stem stands out as a shiny black contrast to the colours of the bowl. While this is not one of my favourite finishes as it seems busy to me, it came out looking good. It is a light weight pipe that could be clenched and smoked while doing other things. It must have been a fine smoking pipe judging from the condition it was when we received it from Jennifer. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This is one that will go on the rebornpipes online store shortly. If you want to carry on the pipe trust of George Rex Leghorn let me know. Thank you Jennifer for trusting us with his pipes. 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 generation.

 

Restoration of an Irwin’s 2007 London Made Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

Even with the COVID-19 warnings rolling in incessantly I am still working on pipes! It keeps my mind busy and focused. There is no reason to not enjoy the time alone at the work table bringing these old-timers back to life. After brief foray restoring pipes from several other estates I am back to Bob Kerr’s estate (his photo is to the left). If you have not “met” the man and would like to read a bit of the history of the pipeman, his daughter has written a great tribute that is worth a read. Because I have included it in over 65 restorations to date I thought that I would leave it out this time. Be sure to check out some of the recent Dunhill restoration blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/01/01/restoring-the-last-of-bob-kerrs-dunhills-a-1962-dunhill-bruyere-656-f-t-bent-billiard/).

The next pipe I have chosen from his estate is a classic Bulldog. Irwin’s London England 2007 Bulldog. The stamping on the shank is faint. On the left side of the shank it is stamped Irwin’s over London, England. On the right side of the shank it is stamped 2007 – which I am unclear of whether that was a date or shape number! Irwin’s was a seconds line of GBD. The finish is worn and dirty. Underneath the grime the finish looks to be good. There also did not appear to be any fills in the bowl or shank. There is a thick cake and lava overflow on the rim top.  There is damage on the top and edges of the rim and the bowl is out of round. The stem is oxidized with a faint IR logo on the left. There are tooth marks and chatter near the button, some calcification with damage to the button.  Jeff took photos of the pipe to show its general condition before he did his cleanup work.some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show their general condition. You can see the thick cake in the bowl with the lava overflowing on to the rim top. The inner edge of the bowl is beveled inward and thickly lava coated. It is not clear if there is damage to the bowl but it does appear to be slightly out of round.Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give an idea of the grain on this particular piece of briar. It is amazing and I cannot wait to see what it looks like once it is polished and waxed. He took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank to capture it for me. The first photo shows the left side of the shank and the stamping as noted above. The second shows the right side of the shank with the 2007 stamp. The final photo of the set shows the faint LR in a circle stamping on the left side of the diamond taper stem. This pipe has a diamond tapered stem that is heavily oxidizes and has some calcification on the button end. There seems to be some tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside.I turned to Pipephil’s site to get a quick overview of Irwin’s pipes. I remembered that they were a seconds of GBD pipes and this confirmed that (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-i.html). I have included a screen capture of the pertinent section from the site.I clicked on the link on the site to the section on GBD (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-gbd.html). There was a brief history as well as a list of GBD seconds. You will note that the Irwin’s brand is listed there. I turned to Pipedia and reread the history of the brand there. I also turned to the link on the shape numbers to see if I could clear up the question whether 2007 was a date or shape number. (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD_Shapes/Numbers). I found the section listing the 2007 as a straight bulldog with a diamond shank. I did a screen capture of that section and included it below: So now I knew with certainty that I was working on a GBD made Bulldog – straight, diamond stem. The 2007 was the shape number. The one thing I am not clear about is what mad this pipe a second and not a GBD regular. That information would not be forthcoming. I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back looking far better than I expected. Even the stem looked remarkably good with most of the tooth chatter gone. I was impressed. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. Just look at the grain on this pipe. Stunning! I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top and bowl looked very good. The cake and lava overflow were gone. Jeff had been able to get rid of the darkening and lava and tars. The rim top had nicks and marks and the inner edge of the bowl was damaged and out of round. The close up photos of the stem shows that it is a much cleaner and better looking stem. The light tooth chatter was gone and the stem looked really good.I took some photos of the stamping on the shank sides to show the condition after the cleanup. Often the stamping takes a hit with the cleaning and is lessened in it clarity. Jeff does a great job in leaving the stamping looking very good.I started my restoration work on this pipe by addressing the out of round inner edge of the bowl and the damage to the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the edge and clean up the bevel. The next series of photos tell the story of the work on the rim. The first photo shows the rim as it was when I started. The second shows the folded sandpaper when I worked it over. I smoothed out the sanding with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad (photo 3). The final photo in the series shows the rim top after the work. With the rim in order I started my polishing regimen on the bowl. I used nine worn micromesh sanding pads and dry sanded the bowl with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. The bowl really shines by the final three pads. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth chatter and blended in the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it was smooth.I used some Denicare Mouthpiece Polish that I have in my kit to start polishing out some of the scratches and remaining oxidation on the stem. I rubbed it in with a cotton pad and my finger tip and buffed it off with a cotton pad.I used some liquid paper to touch up the LR stamp on the left topside of the diamond stem. Once it dried I scraped the excess off with a tooth pick to show the renewed stamp on the stem.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave it a coat of Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem. I don’t know how many times I have said this but I have to say it again with this pipe. I love it when I come to the end of a restoration and all of the parts come together and the pipe looks better than when we started the cleanup process. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank sides during the process. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is a great looking British Bulldog made by GBD and sold as second – an Irwin’s 2007 shaped Bulldog. Once again the grain and the way the shape follows the grain is amazing. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This GBD made Irwin’s Bulldog is a great addition to someone’s rack that price will be very reasonable. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

Fashioning a Churchwarden from a Blasted French Dr. Geo Deposée Bowl


Blog by Dal Stanton

This is the second commissioning project for the pipe man, clam man, Jon, from South Florida.  His first commissioning (see: A Striking Savinelli Fiammata 2 Briar Calabash for a Clam Man Pipe Man) turned out to be a diamond in the rough!  He had commissioned this pipe not from the usual perusal of my online ‘Help Me!’ baskets in the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection, but he had visited us here in Sofia, Bulgaria, along with a team of folks from his church.  During this visit, Jon went through the boxes and baskets of the inventory and found the Savinelli Fiammata and pulled him aside to commission.  During this visit, Jon also saw my personal collection of Churchwardens and offered to give one of them a new home!  In the end, Jon also commissioned a CW project which also benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria, our work here in Bulgaria working among women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  This was also important to Jon, who as a father, had brought his daughter with him to Bulgaria.  My goal in fashioning Churchwardens from bowls that were either orphaned or in their current states had little hope of being put in service again.  I liken it to Santa’s mythical island of misfit toys.  Repurposed bowls mounted on CW stems can rise from ash heap, as it were, to live and serve again.  I sent Jon a picture of different bowls to see which would speak to him as his new Churchwarden.  He had told me he preferred a bent shank – here were the candidates with differing characteristics.Our emailing back and forth between South Florida and Bulgaria to identify the bowl speaking Jon’s name, resulted in the French Blasted Dr. Geo Deposée, the second pipe pictured above.  I acquired the Dr. Geo during one of our summer vacations on a pipe picking expedition to the Bulgarian coastal city of Burgas on the Black Sea.  I found the ‘Burgas Lot of 9’, at a secondhand shop on the main walking street.  The Dr. Geo is at the end of the line of 7 pipes pictured below which were part of the haul – 2 others were added to these that were eventually posted in the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection from which pipe men and women can choose and commission.The Dr. Geo I acquired I called a Prince shape.  I knew nothing about a Dr. Geo line, but what attracted me to the pipe was the blasted bowl – it was tired and dull, but had potential, though the pipe itself was unimpressive and attracted no attention when it had its time in the Dreamers collection.With the bowl now on my worktable to transform into a Churchwarden, I found some information online about the origins of Dr. Geo Deposée.  Pipephil.eu’s panel gave some information confirming that it was of French origins from the Gichard & Cie Company.Pipedia adds some additional information in its list of French made brands.  It lists that Dr. Geo was produced in the 1940s from Guichard & Cie, and later sold by M. Marmet Regge, with Ebonite stems.  Interesting to me is that my guess is that The Dr. Geo I’m looking at was from the later, M. Marment Regge ownership with the specific reference to the use of Ebonite stems.  I have another Dr. Geo in my Dreamers inventory from another Lot I purchased from France, it has a horn stem, which most likely places it in the earlier dating when rubber was in short supply during WW2.  The listing for Marmet in Pipedia, called M. Marmet-Regge, also sold the Dr. Geo brand which were produced in Saint-Claude. The meaning of the French, “Deposée”, attached to Dr. Geo is a bit cryptic, at least to one who is relegated to Google Translate to make sense of the meaning.  The direct primary English translation provided is “deposited” which is a past tense rendering.  Looking at other definitions provided by Google Translate, the possible meaning could be tied to the idea that “Dr. Geo” attests to or is behind the goodness of this pipe brand like Dr. Grabow!  It seemed like I was grasping at straws until I see the ‘info link’ on the Dr. Geo panel provided by the Pipephil.  The link goes to a French site called  ‘Ces pipes pas comme les autres’ (These pipes like no other) to a May 2006 listing selling ‘Two Doctors’ pipes with information about each.  A ‘Dr. Geo’ is described as one of the doctors with the possible clue pointing to a rational for the sub-name of ‘Deposée’:

Many pipe brands have earned the doctoral title. This makes smokers smile during these times of heightened hunting.

During the post-war years this title was more a guarantee of seriousness or of a search for perfection rather than the sign of a healthy practice. We did not allow ourselves to be disturbed by medical considerations. Everyone knew that smoking was not very healthy and took responsibility. But that has changed a lot today with the new globalized MacCarthyism.

José Manuel Lopes (1) counts seventeen brands of pipes that bear the famous title! I would like to introduce you to an 18th: Dr Arthur recognizable by his “A” circled on the pipe. No further information on this doctor there Maybe you thought I was going to present you with a leather-wrapped pipe, stamped with the most famous of these doctors? It would be bad to know me. But fear not: in this section you will not escape the famous Franco-English doctor whom I have already mentioned in the section of Cavalier pipes.

The pipes of Dr Géo – French brand of Gichard & Cie which is no longer produced – do not have an exceptional notoriety but sufficient to be cited here and there.

(1) José Manuel Lopes (President of Pipe Club of Portugal), Pipes, Artisans and Trademarks. Quimera Editores, 2005

The listing shows a picture of each Doctor cited with dimensions and a pricing.  I find interesting the dismissive gesture for the listing for the Dr. Geo: “…no longer produced – do not have an exceptional notoriety but sufficient to be cited here and there”.  My hope is to change the demeanor of the Dr. Geo Blasted Prince bowl on my worktable transforming him into a Churchwarden. Churchwardens as a classic pipe shape are unique among pipes.  Bill Burney’s description of Churchwardens on his great Pipedia shapes page, describes why they are unique among pipes:Working on my Man Cave 10th floor balcony, I take a few more pictures to get a closer look at the Doctor Geo Prince bowl, which is essentially an Apple shape without the Prince stem – hmmm, an exception to the CW stem principle? The blasted finish is nice – the smooth 3-D picture of the bowl’s grain structure is nice. The finish on the stummel appears to be a very dark brown.  There are minuscule red flecks visible through the cloudiness of the old finish.  At this point, my thinking is to refresh the finish seeking to apply the ‘Dunhill’ finish that I learned from fellow-restorer and rebornpipes contributor, Paresh.  First, after applying all the paces in cleaning the stummel, I’ll assess the condition of the stummel and how to proceed.  Following this, fashioning the CW stem will come.  To start, the Dr. Geo chamber is moderately caked. To address this, I employ the Pipnet Reaming Kit using only the smallest of the 4 blade heads available in the kit.  I follow by scraping the chamber walls with the Savinelli Fitsall Tool and complete the carbon cake removal by sanding the chamber walls with 240 grade paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen. After wiping the chamber with a cotton pad to remove the carbon dust, an inspection reveals a healthy chamber.Transitioning to cleaning the exterior surface, using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap, I go to work using a cotton pad and a bristled toothbrush. The brass bristled brush also works on the rim.Next, I take the bowl to the kitchen sink to continue the cleaning with shank brushes and anti-oil liquid dishwashing soap to clean the internal mortise and airway.  After giving the bowl a thorough rinsing with warm water, I transfer it back to the worktable.Through the cleaning, the finish has started to come off.  This is an indicator that a fresh start is needed. The finish is old and unstable.I decide to remove the old finish to get to the fresh briar beneath.  Isopropyl 95% is the first agent I try scrubbing the blasted finish with a cotton pad.  It is not effective.Transition next to using acetone is much more effect.  The cotton pad is evidence of the old stain which appears black and purple.  I decide to put the entire stummel into an acetone soak to fully remove the finish.  I leave it in the soak for a few hours. After a couple hours the jar containing the stummel soaking in acetone is clouded with leeched finish.  After taking the stummel out, I use a cotton pad to continue rubbing the finish off as well as employing a little steel wool. The light spots that appeared first are areas that were filled, at least partially, with wood putty which have weakened due to the cleaning.  I use a sharp dental probe to test the fills and they are solid. With the rough texture of the blasted surface, these areas will not be visible after applying new dye to the stummel. Before doing more work on the stummel, I switch the focus to fashioning the CW stem.  The first thing I do is to bring out the electronic caliper and measure the diameter of the mortise which gives me the target size of the tenon that needs to be shaped. This measurement is 7.81mm.  I add about 40mm to this to form my ‘fat target’ – the size I’ll cut the tenon and then follow by sanding to form a customized fit to the mortise.  The fat target is about 8.20mm. Next, with the drill bit provided by the PIMO Tenon Turning Tool, I predrill the airway to accommodate the guide pin of the TTT. Next, after mounting the PIMO tool on the hand drill, I do a test cut on the raw tenon of the precast CW stem and measure it – 8.01mm on the button. Whoops – that is 20mm less than I was aiming for as the ‘fat target’ but I decide to cut the tenon at this size and then sand.  This gives less margin of error, but I’m not too concerned. Keeping the same adjustment of the PIMO tool, I continue the test cutting to form a I have made several Churchwardens and one of the mistakes I have learned is to cut the tenon all the way through the precast uneven molding to create a true stem facing.  Not to do this will leave what appears to be shouldering over the edge of the stem facing.  The picture below shows a sharp 45-degree angle which is the goal.Next, using 240 sanding paper, I sand the newly cut tenon to bring it closer to the target mortise size – 7.81mm.  The rough end of the precast tenon is flattened and smoothed using the flat needle file.After a short time of sanding and fitting, the tenon seats into the mortise.Looking closer, there is a small gapping on the right side which I can close during the fine-tuning sanding.What is also the case is that there is a small overhang of the shank over the seated stem.  This will need to be sanded so that the transition between stummel and stem is smooth.I use masking tape to protect the nomenclature as well as to give a sanding boundary around the shank.I start the sanding on the shank/stem transition.  What is helpful shown in the picture below is that it shows what the ‘low-spot’ is in the pre-cast stem in the darker area passed over by the sanding indicating where sanding continues to be needed. As often is the case with the pre-cast CW stems I purchase, the shank facing along the casting seam has a dimple.  This is a pain because these dimples simply mean more sanding required at those points.Progression with the dimple – I don’t want to take off more than needed.  Note, the darkened area has disappeared on the stem indicating that the sanding paper is making seamless contact between shank and stem.With the shank/stem transition sanding completed, I move to sanding the entire pre-cast CW stem.  To start, I use a coarse 120 grade paper to do the initial sanding.  The casting seams along both sides of the stem need to be erased.  The following picture again shows the differences in the surface of the pre-cast stem.  The pre-cast stem has ripples – unevenness, even though it is new.  The dark stretch below shows a ‘valley’ in the rippling that means I sand more there to bring the edges of the valley flush with the valley floor.  The following pictures show the progression in the 120 sanding.With the CW stem smoothed after the 120 grade sanding, I switch to fine-tuning the button.  As with the stem, the button is rough. The bit needs filing to flatten it and to bring more definition to the button edges.  The slot facing on these CW stems is curved and the upper button extends out a bit more than the lower. This helps in identifying the up/down orientation of the stem.  The pictures show the progression with upper and lower bit.  Upper first:Lower :After the main filing is completed, 240 grade paper is employed to fine-tune the bit and button as well as to sand the entire stem after the 120 sanding.  Upper and lower first: Next, to continue the smoothing, 600 grade paper is used to wet sand the entire stem.  This is followed by applying 000 grade steel wool.A closeup of the button area shows the nice progression!Next, the full regimen of 9 micromesh pads is applied from 1500 to 12000. Between each set of 3 pads, Obsidian Oil is applied to condition and protect the vulcanite from future oxidation.  I only show one orbital view and a couple closeups of the finished process focusing on the upper and lower bit. With the CW stem’s sanding completed, its time to bend the stem.  The general principle I follow in stem bending is that the mouthpiece at the end of the stem, should be generally on the same horizontal plane as the rim.  It’s helpful for me to draw templates to visualize the finished stem.Where the original stem template starts with and estimation of where the bend should take place.I use the hot air gun to focus the heat on the lower side of the stem first – the thicker part.  I want it to become supple before heating the upper, thinner area of the stem which heats faster and wants to be the first place the bend begins.  I want the bend to start in the thicker part of the stem then followed by the thinner.As the stem warms over the hot air gun, I gently coax the bend as the stem softens.  After bending to a point that looks good, I bring the stem to the template holding it there for some minutes for the orientation to take hold.  I then take the stem to the kitchen sink and run cool water over it to solidify the bend.  The first try works well.  I like the look and feel of the pipe in my hand.With the stem sanding and bending completed, focus is again transitioned to the Dr. Geo blasted bowl.  Before moving to the staining process, the stummel needs some preparatory work.  One of the things I really like about working with a combination of blasted and smooth briar surfaces is the contrast that this produces.  I love to see both presentations of the grain – the smooth 2-D viewpoint as well as the rough, blasted 3-D viewpoint of the grain.  This bowl provides an opportunity for the striking contrasting. The rim is angled in a beveled slope from the external rim’s edge downward toward the chamber to the internal rim’s edge.  This rim, I believe, will look great after it is sanded to bring out the smooth briar contrast.The other sanding will bring out smooth grain over the nomenclature panel on the left shank flank as well as the newly sanded area transitioning to the stem.  To begin, 240 grade paper is used on these smooth briar patches followed by dry sanding with 600 grade paper. The full regimen of 9 micromesh pads, from 1500 to 12000, is applied to the smooth briar patches next.I’m loving what I’m seeing!  That grain contrast is great.  In the second picture, the rough area from the old fill is still visible and looks shaky, but it should disappear as it blends with the surrounding briar after the staining process.The staining process is next.  I assemble my desktop staining module with all the component parts.  I recently used the method I learned from my fellow restorer from India, Paresh, of creating the rich Dunhill look.  With this bowl being originally darker, I thought that this approach would be good.  It starts with an undercoat of Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye that is followed with the washing with red dye. After wiping the bowl with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to clean it, I warm it with the hot air gun to open the briar helping it to be more receptive to the dye which is applied using a folded over pipe cleaner.  Using the pipe cleaner, I paint sections of the bowl with the Dark Brown Dye and then immediately ‘flame’ it with a lit candle.  This combusts the aniline dye burning away the alcohol leaving the dye pigment embedded in the briar.  After applying the dye, the stummel is set aside for several hours – through the night, for the dye to ‘rest’ and settle in.  This helps the dye to take hold in the briar.The next morning, it’s time to ‘unwrap’ the flamed stummel.  To do this, a felt cloth buffing pad is mounted onto the Dremel set at the slowest speed, and Tripoli compound is applied to help remove the crusted shell exposing the dyed briar beneath.After the Tripoli compound removes the flamed crust, I wipe the bowl to rid it of the compound dust.  When this is completed, I apply a wash of red overcoat to the briar surface and lightly wipe it with a cotton cloth.  I apply and wipe until I’m satisfied with the hue.  I like what I see.  The rich red tones give a depth to the blasted finish.Next, since it’s easier to handle the stem and stummel separately, after mounting a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel set at about 40% full power, Blue Diamond compound is applied to the long Churchwarden stem and Dr. Geo bowl.  One more step to guard against dye leeching.  Often, bowls that have been newly stained, dye will come off on the steward’s hand the first times the bowl is heated up and put into service. To emulate this, I heat the bowl with the hot air gun and then wipe it with a cotton cloth to pick up leeched dye.  Hopefully, this will keep the bowl from leeching later!I complete the fashioning of the Dr. Geo Churchwarden by giving the reunited stem and bowl a vigorous hand buffing bringing out the shine.  I’m very pleased with the results of the ‘Dunhill’ approach to finishing the bowl that I learned from Paresh.  The Dr. Geo Prince bowl serves well mounted on a long, flowing Churchwarden stem. The contrasting with the smooth and blasted briar surfaces also work very nicely. This was Jon’s second commissioned pipe and he will have the first opportunity to claim this French Dr. Geo Churchwarden from The Pipe Steward Store benefitting the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!

New Life for a Kaywoodie Standard Apple for a Special Pipe Woman


Blog by Dal Stanton

I remember well where I came into possession of the Kaywoodie now on my worktable.  My wife and I were in the US for the wedding of our youngest child, our daughter, who was married near Nashville, Tennessee.  After the wedding, driving along US Interstate 24 heading back toward Atlanta, a billboard sign beckoned us like a Siren to heed the next exit – it said: “Antiques”!  We exited and found Madeline’s Antiques & Uniques near Manchester, Tennessee.  It was the real deal for pipe picking and picked I did!It was at Madeline’s that I found my first Dunhill in the wild (Another Wedding Trip Pick: A 1961 DUNHILL EK Shell Briar Made in England 1 4S).  Along with some other very nice finds, the Kaywoodie Standard Apple also made its way to Bulgaria and was posted in my online collection called For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! where pipe men and pipe women can find a pipe and commission benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  The Kaywoodie is standing in the rack on the right.The Kaywoodie got the attention of one special young lady, Grace, a budding pipe woman.  One of the joys of living and serving in Bulgaria is that we encounter gifted young adults who come to serve with us for a time living and working in a culture much different from the US.  Grace was one such young lady.  She has been to Bulgaria twice now and on one of her deployments my wife and I were host to her as she lived with us in our flat.  It was then that her aspirations as a pipe woman were born as she tried a pipe on my ‘Man Cave’ – my 10th floor balcony where smoking pipes is allowed!  In the picture below Grace is on the right with a Zulu in tow along with a special Bulgarian friend, Kari, who also has her pipe that she commissioned from The Pipe Steward. Last time that Grace was with us, she went through the many ‘Help Me!’ baskets and found the Kaywoodie.  I asked her if it was a gift for someone and she replied somewhat demurely, no, that it was for her 😊.  Here are more pictures of the classic Kaywoodie Standard Apple that got Grace’s attention. The 3-holed stinger of this Kaywoodie Apple marks it as having a date at least from the 1960s when Kaywoodie transitioned from 4-holed to 3-holed stingers (LINK).The nomenclature on the shank is holding on as a wisp in the wind.  It is so thin that only with a direct angle of reflection am I able to discern it.  The stamping is KAYWOODIE [over] Standard (in fancy cursive script) [over] IMPORTED BRIAR.  The stem has the older, inlaid clover. The next picture in this set shows the Kaywoodie shape number ‘33’ on the right flank of the shank which points to the designation of a ‘Large Apple’ from the US production of Kaywoodie pipes (LINK).  According to this discussion on Tapatalk.com, the 2-digit system, employed from 1927 to 1972 when the system was changed to a 3-digit system, was when pipe production (for Kaywoodie, Yello-Bole and Medico) was moved to the Medico factory in Richmond Hill Queens NY as plans for new plant were in process.  The 3-digit numbers was used during this period for all Kaywoodie and Medico pipes, from 1972 to 1980.  The same article indicated that the 2-digit numbers were only for Kaywoodies produced in the US – that Kaywoodie of London (Cadogan) had their own three-digit system.  Putting all the information together, this Kaywoodie Apple is most likely a 1960s vintage.  According to the Kaywoodie Discussion at MyFreeForum the ‘Standard’ line of Kaywoodie started in the 1950s, but with the 2 digit shape number and the 3 hole stinger, the evidence points to the 1960s dating.The Kaywoodie shape number 33 is pictured in this 1970s listing from the now defunk Chris’ Pipe Pages which I had saved from a previous restoration.  The 33 is in the second column, third from the bottom.As I look more closely at the pipe itself, the chamber is relatively clear of carbon cake and the rim has minor lava crusting on the rim. The finish is old, faded and thin.  There is grime on the stummel surface and dark spots/blots that I’m hopeful will clean.  The stem has oxidation but the bit has no detectable tooth chatter. The stem is not in alignment.  It is under-clocked by a few degrees. Kaywoodie is perhaps the quintessential American pipe name and I welcome restoring this Kaywoodie Standard Apple for Grace.  Starting with the stem, with pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95%, I clean the internal airway.  I also use a shank brush to get into the smaller airway of the 3 holed stinger.With the airway cleaned, the Kaywoodie joins other pipes’ stems in a Before & After Deoxidizer soak.  The stems soak in the Deoxidizer for a few hours.After fishing the Kaywoodie stem out of the Deoxidizer, I squeegee the liquid with my fingers and use cotton pads wetted with alcohol to wipe off the raised oxidation.  I also use pipe cleaners to clear the Deoxidizer liquid form the internal airway and stinger.To rejuvenate the vulcanite, paraffin oil is also applied to the stem and put aside to soak.Turning to the Kaywoodie Apple bowl, I use the Pipnet Reaming Kit to clean the light carbon cake in the chamber.  I employ 2 of the 4 blade heads available in the kit, then transition to scraping the chamber wall with the Savinelli Fitsall Tool.  Finally, after wrapping 240 grade paper around the Sharpie Pen, the chamber is sanded to remove the final vestiges of carbon.  After wiping the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to remove the carbon dust, an inspection of the chamber reveals healthy briar with no heating issues.Transitioning now to the external briar surface, undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap is used on a cotton pad.  I’m anxious to see what the cleaning does to the dark spots/blots on the surface. Along with the cotton pad, a brass wired brush helps on the rim as well as focusing on the dark spots.  The bowl is then transferred to the kitchen sink to focus on the internals.  Using a shank brush with anti-oil liquid dish soap, the internal mortise is addressed as well as using my fingernail on the dark spots.  After a thorough rinsing, the bowl goes back to the worktable.I use 000 grade steel wool to clean the nickel shank facing as well.  The spotting on the aft side of the bowl, top of the shank and shank underside are still present but perhaps lessened.  They will need sanding to eradicate.Next, continuing with the internal cleaning, pipe cleaners and cotton buds dipped in isopropyl 95% work on the mortise.  The metal threaded shank facing makes cleaning the internals a bit tricky.  I reach into the mortise with a small dental spoon and excavate old oils and tars by scraping the mortise walls.  This was quite a battle! At the end of the excavating and pipe cleaners and cotton buds, more of a truce was called – not a victory.  I will continue the internal cleaning later with a kosher salt and alcohol soak!Not wanting to contribute to the further demise of the Kaywoodie nomenclature, masking tape is placed over the markings on both sides of the shank.The darkened areas on the rim and the spotting areas are addressed with a light sanding with 240 grade paper.  First, before pictures and after sanding. After sanding the spots are erased.Next, to clean the entire stummel of scratches, cuts and nicks, I utilize sanding sponges.  First, a coarse sponge is used followed by medium and light grade sponges.  I like the appearance of the grain on this Apple bowl.  The grain is showing a lot of flow with some bird’s eye.  It appears this block of briar was taken toward the edge of the bole. Next, using the full regimen of micromesh pads, I wet sand with pads 1500 to 2400 and then dry sand with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  I remove the masking tape in the last set of three to allow some blending without much in the way of sanding. I’m anxious to see how a treatment of Mark Hoover’s Before & After Restoration Balm works on this Kaywoodie stummel.  I am especially interested in the shank areas where the masking tape covered the briar to protect the nomenclature and is a somewhat different hue.  I’m hopeful that the Balm might even out the contrast in these areas.  After putting some of the Balm on my fingers, I work the Balm into the briar surface.  The Balm begins with a cream-like consistency but then thickens to a wax-like texture as it’s worked into the surface.  After applying the Balm, I let the bowl set for several minutes for the Balm to do its thing.  I then remove the excess Balm with a cloth and follow by buffing the surface with a microfiber cloth.The Balm does a great job, but the only way to remove the darker hue over the nomenclature is to destroy the nomenclature and this I’m unwilling to do!  The nomenclature is a pipes heritage and part of its story.Looking now to the stem, first the metal tenon’s 3-holes are clogged.  Using a sharp dental probe, this is cleaned out.Using 000 grade steel wool I then clean and polish what I assume is a nickel tenon/stinger.The stem surface is in good shape.  There is a small imperfection near the clover leaf.I decide to sand the entire stem with 240 grade paper to remove the small divot but also to address potential residual oxidation.Following the 240 paper, wet sanding with 600 grade paper followed by applying 000 grade steel wool leaves the stem in good stead.Earlier I had commented that the stem was not in alignment and that it was under-clocked.  I rejoin the stem with the stummel and screw it in.  It appears that the cleaning corrected the alignment.  It looks good now.Next, the stem receives the full regimen of 9 micromesh pads.  I wet sand beginning with pads 1500 to 2400 then dry sand with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of 3 pads, Obsidian Oil is applied to rejuvenate the stem and to guard it against oxidation. Before applying Blue Diamond and wax, I continue the internal cleaning of the stummel using a kosher salt and alcohol soak.  This refreshes the pipe for a new steward and penetrates the internal briar walls to clean further. A wick is created by pulling and twisting a cotton ball.  The wick serves to draw oils and tars from the internals.  Using a stiff wire, the wick is forced down the mortise as far as it will reach. After this, the bowl is filled with kosher salt which leaves no aftertaste.  After filled, the bowl is placed in an egg carton to provide stability.  Next, the bowl is filled with isopropyl 95% alcohol with a large eye dropper until it surfaces over the salt.  After a few minutes, the alcohol is drawn into the salt and cotton wick.  I top off the alcohol and set it aside to soak for several hours – through the night. The next morning, I find the salt and cotton wick unsoiled.  Doubtful that this was an accurate indicator of the clean condition of the internals, I follow with additional pipe cleaners and cotton buds wetted with alcohol.  My guess is that the metal fitment hindered the wick from making it to raw briar to then draw out the tars and oils.I was correct – many more cotton buds were necessary with additional scraping with the dental spoon to achieve satisfactory results!  I move on.Now on the home stretch.  With the Kaywoodie stem and stummel reunited, a cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted to the Dremel set at about 40% full power and Blue Diamond compound is applied to the entire pipe.  After completing the Blue Diamond, I wipe/buff the pipe with a felt cloth to remove the carbon dust.  Then, after mounting another dedicated cotton buffing wheel onto the Dremel, set at the same speed, a few coats of carnauba wax are applied to the briar surface.  After completed, I give the pipe a rigorous hand buffing to raise the shine.

There is a large following of Kaywoodie pipes from what I’ve read and the following is increasing.  I’m pleased with how this 1960s vintage Kaywoodie Standard Apple has turned out.  The briar grain works well around the Apple shape. It has much movement and action.  The nomenclature is still surviving, and this pipe is ready for a new steward.  I’m pleased that pipe women Grace commissioned this Kaywoodie and has the first opportunity to acquire him from The Pipe Steward Store.  This Kaywoodie benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria.  Thanks for joining me!

More work than I expected – an Astleys 109 Jermyn Street London Scoop


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is a bit of a strange one to me. It is almost an egg shape on its side with a stem that should have been bent a bit more to fit the angles of the pipe. It has an oval shank and an oval saddle stem. It is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Astleys over 109 Jermyn St over London. There is no other shape numbers on the pipe. The finish is smooth and has some great grain around the sides, top and bottom of the bowl and shank. It was quite dirty and the rim top had an overflow of lava on the beveled inner rim top. The bowl was thickly caked and the inner edge of the rim had some darkening. The saddle stem was vulcanite and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The stem was oxidized and had some calcification on the end. Jeff took some photos of the pipe to show the general condition of the pipe before he started his clean up. He took some photos of the rim top and bowl from various angles to give me a clear picture of the condition of the rim top and bowl. You can see the cake in the bowl and the darkening around the inner edge of the rim. Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish on the pipe. The photos show the beautiful grain around the bowl. Under the oils and grime it was a nice looking bowl. I think it will be a really nice looking pipe once it is restored. He took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. On the shank it was stamped Astley’s over 109 Jermyn St over London. As noted there was not a shape number.The next two photos show the top and underside of the stem. It is dirty and has calcification on both sides at the button. There is also some tooth chatter and some light tooth marks. The third photo shows the condition of the slot while the final photo shows the curve of the full stem. Jeff once again did an amazing job cleaning the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and got rid of the cake. He cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife so that we could see the walls of the bowl and assess for damage. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and alcohol. He scrubbed the exterior with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed the pipe under warm water. He dried it off with a cloth and then let it air dry. The stem was scrubbed with Soft Scrub and it came out looking very good. The finish on the bowl and the rim top cleaned up nicely. I took pictures of the pipe to show how it looked when I unpacked it. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show how clean it was. There was some damage and darkening on the inner edge of the rim. It was slightly out of round from the damage. You can also see the crack on the top of the shank (Jeff had mentioned this to me in our conversations today). I have circled it in red in the photo below. The stem looked good just some light tooth chatter and several deeper tooth marks near the button.I decided to address the hairline crack in the top of the shank. It was not a deep crack and it did not go all the way around the shank. It was only on the top of the shank. You can see the totality of it in the first photo below. I used a microdrill bit on my Dremel to drill a small hole at each end of the crack to stop it from spreading further. I located the end of the crack with lens and marked it. I drilled a hole at each end (photos 2 and 3). The fourth photo shows both ends of the crack with the pilot holes. I wiped down the surface of the crack. I cleaned it out with a dental pick to open it slightly. I filled in the crack and the pilot holes with clear super glue. I used a dental spatula to spread briar dust over the pilot holes and the crack.Once the repair had cured I sanded the surface of the shank around and over the crack with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and smoothed the repair out and blended it into the surface of the surrounding briar. I was able to blend it in fairly well. While it is still visible in the photo below it is solid and repaired.When I examined the end of the shank, the angled drilling of the airway into the bowl left a thin area at the bottom of the mortise opening. I put a few drops of super glue in the airway and put some briar dust on top of the glue to build up the mortise in that area. Once it was cured I sanded it smooth with a small sanding stick.I decided to address the damage to the inner edge of the rim. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the rim edge and give it a bevel to minimize the damage to the edge.. I was able to remove the damage and bring the bowl back into round.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping down the briar after each sanding pad with a damp cloth. The briar began to shine. I touched up the stain around the sanded area of the repair with a Cherry stain pen and blended the repair into the surrounding briar. The result looks very good.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my fingertips. The product is a great addition to the restoration work. It enlivens, enriches and protects the briar while giving it a deep glow. I appreciate Mark Hoover’s work in developing this product. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of a Bic lighter to try and raise them a bit. Remember vulcanite has “memory” and if the marks are not sharp edge the heat well raise them. In this case while they came up some there was still significant damage.I filled in the remaining tooth marks with clear CA glue and set the stem aside to dry.Once the repairs cured I used a needle file to flatten them out and recut the sharp edge of the button.I sanded the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to further blend in the repairs. I started the polishing process with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish from a tin of it I have in the drawer here. It is a gritty red paste that I rub on with my finger tips and work it into the surface of the stem and button and buff it off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I buffed the stem with a soft cloth to raise the shine. I wiped the stem down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem surface. As always I am excited to finish a pipe that I am working on. I put the Astley’s pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond 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 and hand buffed it to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like along with the polished vulcanite stem. This is nice looking pipe and I am sure that it will be comfortable in hand when smoking as it is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. It is another beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store soon. You can find it in the section of Pipes by English Pipe Makers. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

 

A New Brand for me – an A. Curtz  7 Chunky Egg


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is a large egg shaped pipe with a thick shank. It has a short tapered stem. It is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads A. Curtz 7. I had heard about the name in connection with Jeanie’s Smoke Shop in Salt Lake City but I had never worked on one of the pipes. The finish is smooth and has some great grain around the sides, top and bottom of the bowl and shank. It was quite dirty but still had a charm about it. The bowl was caked and there was a light lava coat on the inner edge of the thin rim. The stem was vulcanite and was a tapered. It was lightly oxidized and there were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem. There was an interesting 2 circle logo on the topside of the taper that looked like a large white circle with an offset red circle inside of it. Jeff took some photos of the pipe to show the general condition of the pipe before he started his clean up.He took some photos of the rim top and bowl from various angles to give me a clear picture of the condition of the rim top and bowl. You can see the cake in the bowl and the darkening and lava coat. It is hard to tell if there was any damage to the edge at this point. Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish on the pipe. The photos show mixed grain on the sides, heel and rim of the pipe. Under the oils and grime it was a nice looking bowl. It is a large pipe with a shape that follows the grain. He took some photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping was readable and uneven in quality. My guess at this point is that the “7” is a grade stamp but I will do some digging into that. He also took a photo of the inset dual circle logo on the stem top.The next two photos show the top and underside of the stem. It is dirty and has calcification on both sides at the button. There is also some tooth chatter and some light tooth marks. The third photo shows the condition of the slot while the final photo shows the curve of the full stem.To learn a bit more about the brand I turned to Pipephil to see what I could find out (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-c8.html). It turns out the pipe was made by an artisan named Arley Curtz who was from Utah. I did a screen capture of the information on the Pipephil site and include it below.I then turned to Pipedia to find out some more dedtail (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Curtz). The information was brief but helpful. I have included that article below.

Arley G. Curtz retired the director of the Bountiful Davis Art Center (Bountiful, Utah) and is now a pipe repairman and pipe maker. He was formerly the pipe repairman at Jeanie’s Smoke Shop, and has been making pipes ever since.

He makes about 70 pipes a year using Greek and Italian briar. His pipes are available at Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco Shop in Denver, CO, at the Tinderbox in Salt Lake City, on the web at The Pipe and Pint, and at Curtz Handmade Pipes and Pipe Repair in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I did a bit more searching to learn more about the repairman/pipe maker. I came across a 2018 article on a site called Utahstories (https://utahstories.com/2018/05/arley-curtz-pipe-making-and-memory-collecting/). The article included a photo of Arley Curtz that I have inserted below. I am also including a short section of the article that makes me want to meet this gentleman.

For Arley Curtz, a pipe is more than just a way to smoke tobacco. It summons up a time when pipe smoking was both acceptable and part of a gentler civility in our culture.

Curtz is a pipe maker and collector of smoking pipes. He has over 300, ranging from simple corn cobs to handmade antiques. Each one has a story. As the smoke from a pipe curls upwards, it allows Curtz a time to pause and reflect. “A pipe,” he says, “is a keeper of memories.”

Just as a pipe cannot be smoked in haste, a handmade pipe requires patience to craft. Curtz forms his pipes from briarwood, which grows in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

I only wish I had found this earlier before I met my brother in Salt Lake City and visited Jeanie’s Smoke Shop. I would have certainly made a point to visit Arley at his own shop and gotten to meet him. Until my next trip to Idaho to visit my Dad and brother I will leave this on my wish list. Now to get on with working on his pipe.

Jeff did his usual thorough job cleaning the pipe which I really appreciate because of the freedom it gives me in dealing with pipes. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and got rid of the cake. He cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife so that we could see the walls of the bowl and assess for damage. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and alcohol. He scrubbed the exterior with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed the pipe under warm water. He dried it off with a cloth and then let it air dry. The stem was scrubbed with Soft Scrub and had a soak in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. One it was rinsed off, it came out looking very good. The finish on the bowl and the rim top cleaned up nicely. I took pictures of the pipe to show how it looked when I unpacked it. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show how clean it was. There was some damage and darkening on the inner edge of the rim on the front of the bowl. The stem looked good just some light tooth chatter and marks near the button. Overall the pipe is a beautiful looking piece.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It read as noted above. It is very clear and readable.I decided to address the damage to the inner edge of the rim. In looking it over closely I could see damages at the front right and left. There some burned areas at those points that were deeper than the darkening. The damage was right on the top edge of the rim. I decided to lightly top it on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage or at least minimize it. I followed up on that with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I worked over the top and edges to smooth out the rim edge and give it the original shape. I forgot to take a photo of the rim top at this point but it will become clear in the photos of the work with micromesh pads that follow.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping down the briar after each sanding pad with a damp cloth. The briar began to shine. I restained the polished rim top with a Maple stain pen to blend it into the surround briar. I am really happy with the match and the reshaped rim top and edges.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my finger tips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product is a great addition to the restoration work. It enlivens, enriches and protects the briar while giving it a deep glow. It is a product I use on every pipe I restore. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I sanded out the light tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sandpaper and polished the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish from a tin of it I have in the drawer here. It is a gritty red paste that I rub on with my finger tips and work it into the surface of the stem and button and buff it off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I buffed the stem with a soft cloth to raise the shine. I gave it a final wipe down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to protect the stem from UV and slow down future oxidation.  I don’t know what it is about finishing a restoration but I have to tell you that it is my favourite part of the process. It is the moment when everything that I have been working on comes together. I can compare it to where I started and there is always the satisfaction that it does indeed look better than when Jeff and I picked it up. As always I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond 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 and hand buffed it to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like along with the polished chunky vulcanite stem. This Arley Curtz pipe is a great looking pipe and I am sure that it will be comfortable in hand when smoking as it is light and well balanced for a pipe of this size. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. It is another beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store soon. You can find it in the section of Pipes by American Pipe Makers. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Bringing Life Back to a Heritage Antique 86 Blasted Apple  


Blog by Dal Stanton

A few years ago I landed a large lot of pipes on the eBay auction block from a seller in Georgetown, Texas.  The seller was actually a charitable organization called the Georgetown Caring Place operating some thrift stores mainly manned by volunteers – elderly.  I liked it from the start!  The description on the ‘Lot of 66’ said it all:

Huge Lot Of 66 Smoking Pipes, Pre-Owned, Loved, Pre-Smoked, Many different makers styles and Brands, We will not be able to list specifics on these pipes, We are not pipe people, You are buying one person’s collection

Undoubtedly, an estate collection of a pipe man’s collection that the family donated to benefit the Caring Place. My bid won the Lot of 66 and helped a good cause.  It also placed the former steward’s pipes in my charge, and it has been a joy for me to discover many treasures in the Lot of 66 and to enable these pipes to continue to serve many new stewards for years to come.  Here’s the Lot of 66 that I saw on eBay.Pipe man Todd, who has commissioned and received several pipes from The Pipe Steward before, all benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria, saw one of the Lot of 66 waiting, an unassuming ‘Heritage Blasted Apple’ listed in my online inventory called For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! and he commissioned it along with 2 others (See: Borge Mortensen of Denmark and Ehrlich Special Chimney of Boston). Todd has a knack for seeing good pipes with ‘Pipe Dreamer’ eyes!  Here are the pictures he saw that got his attention despite the cardboard presentation background! The nomenclature, what there is, is/would be located on the bottom panel.  My initial pictures held little promise of identifying any markings.  In this picture, ‘86’ is discernible – a shape number. The next picture, which is a picture I recently took to get a better look, ‘ANTIQUE’ is discernible on the lower part of the panel.  When I first looked at these pictures, I wanted to see lettering all over the panel, but most would be phantom suggestions.  Yet, above ‘ANTIQUE’ I want to see more lettering on a diagonal, but nothing is discernible without question.The stem provides the first strong clue of identifying this mystery ‘Antique’ Blasted Apple.  A quick trip to Pipephil.eu identifies the double diamond inlay as a ‘Heritage’.  The panel information identified a ‘Heritage Pipe Inc.’ which had closed in 1971 as a submark of the S.M. Frank pipe conglomeration.  The double diamond stem inlay was a match.The next stop at Pipedia brought more clarity to the Heritage name and origins.  In the ‘Collector’s Guide to Kaywoodie Pipes’ (LINK) there was a section devoted to “Other” Kaywoodie Pipes which provides great information.  I include the introductory paragraph and then the information related directly to the ‘Heritage’ brand.

NOTES ON “OTHER” KAYWOODIE PIPES

Kaywoodie Stembiter and Chinrester, courtesy ChrisKeene.com

The previous sections of this Chapter summarize information taken from eight Kaywoodie Catalogs from the period 1936 to 1969. Because of the gaps in the catalogs, it is highly likely that many “holes” exist in the material presented in this monograph. This section presents a brief overview of some Kaywoodie Pipes that did not appear in any of the catalogs consulted in this research. The information on these pipes was provided by W.R. “Bill” Lowndes (a well-known Kaywoodie Collector from California).

Heritage. Lowndes suggests that the Heritage pipes were introduced in the 1960’s to compete with Dunhill. No fitments. Smooth finish called “Heirloom”, sandblast called “Antique”. Lowndes notes that there was a carved Heritage similar to Barling Quaints. Pipes were not marked “Kaywoodie”, and logo on bit is a double diamond. Lowndes notes that the Heritage pipes in his collection are small to medium-­size pipes and have Kaywoodie shape numbers. Lowndes suggests there may have been a special Heritage catalog.

I love it when research begins to back up the forensics of the pipe on your worktable!  “Antique”, which I could barely make out on the lower panel is the sandblasted line of Heritage pipes, a line introduced by Frank to compete with Dunhill.  Not a bad aspiration!

The article provided by Pipedia on the S. M. Frank & Co. adds more information:

The history of S. M. Frank & Co. spans nearly a century and half of pipe making, supporting its claim as the “oldest pipe house in America.” S. M. Frank, as it exists today, is a combination of some of the biggest names in pipe making from the early part of the 20th. century. The pipe names KaywoodieYello-BoleReiss-PremierWilliam Demuth CompanyMedico, Heritage (Heritage Pipes Inc.), and Frank are familiar to generations of pipe smokers.

In May of 1960, S. M. Frank started a subsidiary company called Heritage Pipes. The Heritage pipes were an upscale line of push bit pipes meant to compliment the Kaywoodie line. Although not hugely successful, Heritage produced some fine pipes that are still in the collections of many pipe smokers. This company was dissolved on December 31, 1971.

The article references an article about Heritage Pipes Inc. does not add new information but has examples of Heritage pipes which give a clue to the nomenclature and the marking design of the Blasted Apple on my table.  The picture on the top shows the way ‘Antique’ was below the fancy script ‘Heritage’ above it and diagonal – as I was trying to make out on the panel of the Blasted Apple.  The shape number to the left, beneath the bowl proper, is the design which I’m seeing – or, barely seeing.  The upscale Heritage pipe subsidiary of Frank was started in May of 1960 and the company closed its doors in December of 1971.  The look and feel of the pipe on my table I would guess ranges toward the early of these years.  The look and wear it has endured, with much dignity, gives it an older cast to me.

As if frosting were needed on the Heritage Antique cake, the reference to ChrisKeene.com.  In the introductory paragraph to the “Collectors Guide to Kaywoodie Pipe” was a reference to Chris Keen’s Pipe Pages.  This site has been down for some time and I miss the information that was on this site.  Here’s the paragraph:

This is an ongoing effort to adapt information from the Collector’s Guide to Kaywoodie Pipes into Pipedia articles. The Guide was first compiled by Chris Keene for his pipe pages at ChrisKeene.com. Chris used source material from Robert W. Stokes, Ph.D and additional support materials from Bill Feuerbach III, of the S.M. Frank Co.. Many thanks to these dedicated pipemen for their work in compiling this material.

Without expecting too much, I followed the ChrisKeene.com link to see what I might find.  What I found appears to be links to ALL the information that was formerly compiled in the now defunk Pipe Pages site.  Oh my!  There are 100s of links to catalogues and brochures listed.  They are not categorized but the links gives some identifying information.  I went down the long list of links and pulled out four pictures that had ‘Heritage’ referenced.  A brochure of ‘Heritage – Briar Pipes of Rarest Beauty’ emerged with great information about this line of pipes – included is the ‘Antique’ line and the shape number of 86 – a large Apple.  I enjoyed the motto given for the ‘Double-Diamond’: “Symbol of FINEST, RAREST PIPES of IMPORTED BRIAR”.

I love historic brochures and catalogs!  With a better understanding of the Heritage Antique name and history, I take a closer look at the Blasted Apple on my worktable.  The chamber has moderately heavy cake build up which needs to be removed to give the briar a fresh start.  The rim has grime as you would expect, but most notable are the divots out of the internal rim lip.  The damage to the rim is significant.  The left-aft quadrant of the rim is in especially poor shape where it appears that lighting practices caused the chamber wall to deteriorate so that it’s now thinner at this point.The blasted briar surface is dirty and has grime build-up, but the blasted surface has a look of quality about it. The stem has oxidation and the bit has biting.  There are compressions on the upper and lower bit, but the button appears to be in good shape.  Interestingly, the left side of the stem has a cut where a wedge of vulcanite has been removed.I start the restoration of this Heritage Antique Blasted Apple by cleaning the stem’s airway using a pipe cleaner wetted with alcohol. To address the oxidation, I use a soak of Before & After Deoxidizer along with the Ehrlich stem.  I leave the stems in the soak for a few hours.After fishing out the Heritage stem, I squeegee the liquid off with my fingers and run a pipe cleaner wetted with alcohol through the airway to clean it of the Deoxidizer.  I use cotton pads wetted with isopropyl 95% to wipe off the raised oxidation.  The Deoxidizer did a good job dealing with the oxidation.To help rejuvenate the vulcanite stem, paraffin oil is applied with a cloth for that purpose.Turning now to the stummel, to ream the chamber I use the Pipnet Reaming Kit.  After putting paper towel down for easier cleanup, I use the two smaller blade heads of the four available.  I follow the reaming by scraping the chamber wall with the Savinelli Fitsall Tool and then sanding by wrapping 240 grade paper around a Sharpie Pen.  Finally, after wiping the bowl with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol, an inspection reveals a healthy chamber.Continuing with cleaning, using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap, the external blasted surface is cleaned using a cotton pad and bristled toothbrush.  For the rim, I employ the brass wire brush to clean it of minor lava flow.Next, taking the stummel to the kitchen sink, I use shank brushes to clean the mortise with anti-oil dish soap.  After rinsing well, I return to the worktable.Continuing with the internal cleaning, I find that it is clean and pipe cleaner and cotton bud wetted with isopropyl 95% are not soiled indicating that the internals are clean.After the cleaning is completed, I look at the stummel.  The old finish has been removed during the cleaning process.  I’ll need to give some consideration to how to proceed down the path regarding re-staining the blasted surface.  With the original coloring emulating the Dunhill look – S. M. Frank’s marketing strategy, I hope to oblige.  I decide to send my fellow restorer and good friend in India, Paresh, an email asking for advice.  I know that in his past restorations of Dunhills, he has worked on techniques in restoring the Dunhill hue.  With an email written including pictures, I’ll await Paresh’s advice. Turning now to the rim, it’s in bad shape.  There are some significant divots out of the internal rim edge.  In the picture below with 12 o’clock being up, a small divot is at 12 o’clock, and larger divots at 3:30, 4:30 and 5:30.  The 2 o’clock region suffers from some burning degradation with a slight compression in the rim plane because of it.  The questions in my mind focus on restoring this Heritage close to its original design – a challenge to Dunhill!  The coloring is an issue and the remnants of blasting on the rim are evident especially at the 4 o’clock region.  I have not done much in the way of rustication processes to emulate the blasting and to repair the rim will undoubtedly mean topping it and therefore, removing the blasting on the rim as a result.  The question would then be how to restore it?  With this question in my mind, I send an email off to Steve with the full weight of rebornpipes.com experience behind him, to see what light he could shed on an approach.As I await responses from my fellow restorers, I move forward with the structural issues of the rim that must be addressed either way.  As I look at it, there is no way around having to top the bowl to provide a new rim foundation from which to work.  Starting with 240 grade paper on the chopping board, I give only a few rotations.  The picture below reveals the contouring in the rim with the flat surface of the topping board not touching the areas that are compressed.  The upper (in the picture) area that I referenced above is compressed.  The divots are more distinctly defined as well. After several more rotations on 240 grade paper, the compression is minimized.  The divots from 3:30 to 5:30 are also growing less distinct.I come to the terminal point in using 240 grade paper.  I only take off what is needful because we can’t replace briar!  My goal was to erase the degraded area at the 1 to 2 o’clock area.  That has been done.  In the process, the major divots no longer appear as divots but areas of the rim that are thinner.After replacing the 240 paper with 600 grade paper, the stummel is rotated several more times to smooth and erase the scratching of the 240 papers. With the topping completed, the small divot at the top should be dispatched with sanding.  On the lower quadrant, from 3:30 to 7 o’clock, the rim is noticeably thinner.  To see the lower quadrant from different angles to demonstrate what I can see, I take a few more pictures looking from the left, then the right.  As I see it, I have two options of approach.  First, to even out the entire circumference of the rim internal edge and to blend the thinning on the lower quadrant in the pictures, I can sand the entire circumference of the internal rim to smooth to even out the different rim depths.  Or, secondly, I can build up the lower quadrant with briar dust putty and sand it down to blend with more balance with the entire rim.I decide to do the latter – seek to build up the thinning area with briar dust putty.  Since the application will be only on the very upper part of the chamber, I’m not concerned about issues of heating.  I use the plastic disk that serves as a mixing pallet and cover a portion with scotch tape to ease the cleanup.  I scoop a small mound of briar dust on the pallet. Following this, I place next to the briar dust a small puddle of Extra Thick CA glue and with a toothpick, I pull briar dust into the glue.As briar dust is pulled into the glue, it is mixed with the developing putty.  I aim for the thickness of molasses – not runny and if it gets too thick, it will set up and harden spontaneously – with a little smoke for excitement!  The putty needs to be pliable enough to adhere to the chamber/rim edge.  When it’s thick enough, I trowel the putty onto the target area.I set the bowl aside to allow the briar dust putty to cure thoroughly.  It looks good.  In the picture below you can see how it adheres to the contours of the damaged area.After a few hours, the briar dust putty is ready to go.  The process of removing the excess patch material and shaping starts with a half circle needle file focusing on the center of the patch to shape out the curved pitch of the rim. After a few minutes of filing, I remember that I have a Dremel and attach a sanding drum!  With the speed set to low, the Dremel quickens the job of removing the excess and shaping the curve.  I do go slowly and patiently not to take off too much too quickly.After the sanding drum does its job, I switch back to filing to fine tune the removal of excess patch and shaping. When the needle file brings the patch down near to flush to the briar chamber, I switch and use 240 grade paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen.  This works well to continue a nice curve and to give more leverage to removing excess patch material.  My goal is to feel no transition from the patch to the chamber wall.This is achieved after the sanding.  I like what I see.Transitioning now to the rim surface, using a flat needle file the patch excess is removed and smoothed to blend with the rim surface.After using the file, I use 240 then 600 grade paper to fine tune.  I also sand around the full circumference of the rim to remove other smaller nicks.I’m pleased with the progress of the rim’s restoration.  The rim rebuild with briar dust putty will be invisible after the rim is dyed and I figure out an approach to introduce an emulated blasted surface on the rim!Well, I received Steve’s response regarding his thoughts about how to approach the rim.  His counsel was not to top the stummel and to blend repairs and blemishes using burrs from the Dremel.  His counsel arrived a bit late but using burrs to emulate a ‘blasted’ rim surface is the direction I’ll take.  Since I’ve not had a lot of experience with the use of burrs and what effects they produce, I practice on a discarded stummel destined for the briar dust container.After testing different burrs and saw what they do, I chose an approach and apply it to the Heritage’s rim.  I start with a cylindrical burr and finish with a sharper, cone-like burr to get the effect that I practiced. Still not sure if I will stain or leave the stummel as it is, I decide to hydrate the stummel as well as get a sneak peek at what the stummel would look like more in a finished state.  I apply paraffin oil to the stummel, not the rim.  The stummel darkens nicely, but the finish is uneven – patches of lighter on the lower side which darkens going up.  Still thinking….With the stummel darkened, I need to darken the raw rim briar to match where the stummel is.  I use two dye sticks to do the job.  The under coat is with a walnut stain, then over that, a mahogany.  Then, in order to give the new fresh rim surface a more weathered look, I use three mid-range micromesh pads and lightly sand the rim.I heard back from my good friend, Paresh in India, about his approach to achieving a Dunhill color tone.  His basic approach is to apply a dark brown undercoat in the normal way – flamed and then ‘unwrap’ after several hours.  Then, the key part of the process is when Paresh stain washes with a cherry red dye, applying with cotton pad and immediately wiping until the hue that is wanted is reached.  He also sent a link to his great write up on rebornpipes describing the process: A Project Close to My Hear: Restoring a Dunhill From Farida’s Dad’s Collection.  With Paresh’s encouragement, I decide to give Paresh’s approach a try with this Dunhill minded Heritage Antique Blasted Apple.  Not long ago, thankfully, I acquired some red concentrated dye solution that I’ll be able to employ for the first time.  To start, I assemble my desktop staining ensemble.  After wiping the bowl with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to clean, I warm the stummel using a hot air gun.  This has the effect of expanding the briar and helping it to be more receptive to the dye. Using a fashioned cork as a handle, I then apply Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye, per Paresh’s directions.  I use a folded over pipe cleaner to do this.  After ‘painting’ a section, I immediately ‘flame’ the alcohol-based dye with a lit candle.  The combustion burns off the alcohol leaving behind the embedded hue absorbed into the briar. After completing this process with a thorough painting and flaming of the entire stummel, I put it aside for several hours for the new dye to rest.  This helps to solidify the new dye.With the newly dyed stummel resting, I turn my attention to the stem.  Taking a closer look, the compressions on the upper bit and lower bit are significant.  There is also a divot of vulcanite sliced off the left side of the stem.  I’m not sure how something like this would happen – perhaps a lit match?  I’ll work on blending this in by sanding.  First, using the heating method, I paint the compressions with the flame of a Bic lighter.  This heats and expands the rubber helping it to regain its original disposition – or closer to it.  The goal is to raise the compressions sufficiently enough so that simple sanding will then be all that is needed to erase them – hopefully avoiding patching.   Before and after pictures of upper and then lower show the results.  First, the upper: And the lower:I believe that the lower bit may now be sanded out.  I’m not so sure about the upper bit – the compression next to the button is still significantly deep.  Before sanding, I fill this compression with black CA glue to be on the safe side and fill up against the button.  When the patch cures, this will make sure that the compression is addressed in conjunction with the button lip edge.After the patch cures, a flat needle file goes to work on bringing the excess CA glue down to the stem’s surface level on both the upper and lower sides.  The change in the background is explained by me moving out onto my 10th floor balcony ‘Man Cave’ to enjoy the warmth of the day!As I was filing the lower side, it became apparent that the compression was too pronounced for filing and sanding to remove.  It would require too much to dig that deep.  Switching gears, I decide to detour a bit and fill the compression with black CA glue.After cleaning it with alcohol, I place a drop of black CA glue on the lower side compression.What I missed taking a picture of was that during the detour, I also decided to apply some black CA glue to the wedge on the left side of the stem.  I used an accelerator to hold the glue in place and to quicken the curing time.After both of the ‘tour patches’ cure, I used the flat needle file on both to remove excess and to bring the patches down to stem level.After filing, the sanding continues with 240 grade paper on the upper and lower.Sanding is continued after the 240 grade paper with wet sanding using 600 grade paper on the entire stem along with applying 000 grade steel wool.Continuing to the micromesh process, I wet sand with pad 1500 to 2400 and dry sand with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of three pads Obsidian Oil is applied to freshen as well as to protect the vulcanite against oxidation.  I’m pleased with the repairs.  The large fill on the upper side is solid but still visible.  We still live in an imperfect world! Turning back to the newly stained stummel, it has been resting now for several hours and it’s time to ‘unwrap’ the flame crusted surface.  To remove the crusted surface, a felt buffing wheel is mounted onto the Dremel with the speed set almost to the slowest to avoid excess heating with the friction created by the felt on the briar surface.  With the felt wheel, the coarser Tripoli compound is applied to the blasted briar surface.  With my wife’s help taking some pictures while my hands are full, it shows the ‘unwrapping’ process.  The second close-up shows the line between the crusted part and the unwrapped part.The stummel has been unwrapped revealing the dark brown undercoat.  Next, the stain wash with a red dye applied until the desired hue is reached – hopefully!The red dye concentrate I acquired not long ago prescribes a ratio of 1 fluid ounce per quart of either water or alcohol.  For my smaller purposes of application, I pour some isopropyl 95% in a small jar – about 1/3 filled and add several drops of the red tint concentrate until it looks good. Then, using a folded pipe cleaner, I wash the stummel with the red dye and wipe it with a cotton pad.  Since I haven’t done this before, I’m going by the ‘seat of my pants’ to see how the briar takes the wash and what the effect will be.Satisfied at this point, not sure whether I’m achieving the ‘Dunhill’ look, I set the stummel aside to rest for several hours through the night.The next morning, the red dye wash has had time to settle.  The next step to unwrap the stummel a second time.  For this, I mount the Dremel with a softer cotton cloth buffing wheel, set at the normal 40% speed, and apply the lesser abrasive compound, Blue Diamond.  Again, my wife assists with a picture of this process.DISASTER AVOIDED!  When I reached for the stem to rejoin it to the stummel to apply Blue Diamond to it, I noticed that the double diamond inlay was missing!  Oh my!  Miracle of miracles, I looked down and amazingly saw the diamonds.  To remedy this near disaster, using a toothpick, I dab a bit of CA glue in the diamond cavities on the stem and with tweezers replace the double diamond inlay.  The process was not as easy as it sounds as small as the double diamonds are and not getting excess CA glue on the finished stem surface…. With Double Diamonds reattached, and the stem and stummel reunited, I continue the application of Blue Diamond compound to the stem.  I do change buffing wheels because of the dye unwrapping.Before applying wax, I do a ‘heat’ buffing.  To help minimize dye leaching off on the hands of the new steward, I use the heat gun to warm the stummel, emulating the heating of a pipe in service, and use a cotton cloth to wipe it during the heated state.  This helps to stabilize the new dyed briar surface.After reuniting stem and stummel, I mount another cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel, set at 40% full power, and apply carnauba wax to the pipe.  When completed, a microfiber cloth provides a rigorous hand buffing to raise the shine.

Wow!  With Paresh’s help, I think I nailed it!  The depth and richness of this blasted finish has that ‘Dunhill’ look to it I believe.  Thanks, Paresh!  The blasted landscape of this Heritage Antique Blasted Apple jumps out with the 3-dimensional contours of the briar grain contours.  I can’t get over the red notes in the finish – it gives it a depth and richness that is something to enjoy.  The technical challenges with the rim repairs and stem patches turned out great.  I’m pleased with this restoration and Todd, who commissioned it, will have the first opportunity in The Pipe Steward Store to acquire the Heritage Antique benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!