Tag Archives: bowl topping

Breathing New Life into a Late Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 309


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I removed from box of Peterson’s Pipes that I have to work on was a Peterson’s System Standard pipe. Once again we are getting into pipes that have been here for a long time and pipes that neither Jeff or I have any memory of where it came or when we found it. It was stamped on both sides of the shank. On the left side it read Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it was stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines) and under that was the shape number 309. The shape is one of the most familiar of Peterson’s shapes, taking the Irish maker’s signature shank stoutness to an extreme: the shank here is nearly as wide across as the bowl itself. The nickel ferrule was in great condition and was stamped K&P [over] Petersons. Judging from the look of the rim top and inner edge I would guess that it had a thick cake when we bought it and the top was heavily coated in lava. The rim was out of round a bit. The vulcanite stem had been oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. Obviously we did not have pictures of the pipe before Jeff’s clean up so I took these photos of the pipe when I brought it to my work table. I took close up photos of the bowl, rim and the new stem. You can see the reamed bowl and the darkening, remaining lava and damage on the rim top and the inner edge. The new stem is in perfect condition and will only need to be polished.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and the nickel ferrule. All are clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the proportions of the pipe. It is really quite nice looking.I am including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

Pipedia also included a section of information on the System pipes including a diagram of the sytems look (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson#Republic_Era_Pipes). I quote a section of the article in part and include a link to another article on Pipedia on the System pipe.

The Peterson System pipes are the standard bearers of the Peterson pipe family, famous for the excellent smoking pleasure they provide. Often imitated but never equaled, the Peterson System smokes dry, cool and sweet, thanks to the scientific effectiveness of the original design. The heart of the System is the unique graduated bore in the mouthpiece. This makes the suction applied by the smoker 15 times weaker by the time it reaches the tobacco chamber. The result is that all the moisture flows into the reservoir and, thus cannot reach the smoker’s mouth. The Peterson Lip further enhances the effectiveness of the graduated bore by directing the flow of smoke upwards and away from the tongue. This achieves a uniquely even distribution of smoke and virtually eliminates any chance of tonguebite or bitterness. Furthermore, the shape is contoured so that the tongue rests comfortably in the depression under the opening. Each “PLip” mouthpiece is made from Vulcanite. For the Peterson System pipes to work properly, the stem/tenon has to have an extension, the tip of which will pass by the draft hole from the bowl and into the sump. Upon the smoker drawing in smoke, this extension then directs the smoke down and around the sump to dispense a lot of the moisture before the smoke enters the extension and stem. On the System Standards and other less expensive systems, this extension with be made of Vulcanite turned integrally with the stem. On the more expensive System pipes this extension will be made of metal which screws into the Vulcanite stem. This extension on the earlier pipes will be of brass and the newer pipes will be of aluminium. Most smokers not knowing this function of the metal extension, assumes that it is a condenser/stinger and will remove it as they do with the metal condensers of Kaywoodie, etc. Should you have a System pipe with this metal extension, do not remove it for it will make the System function properly and give you a dryer smoke (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_closer_look_at_the_famous_Peterson_Standard_System_Pipe).

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information that the pipe was made during the Late Republic Era between 1950 and the present day. Personally I think this is probably a 60s-70s pipe. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the sump in the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub to remove as much of the oxidation and calcification as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water.

I decided to work on the damage on the top and the inner edge of the bowl first. I started the work with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inner bevel of the rim. Then moved on to using a wooden ball and a piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the edge a uniform bevel and smooth out the rim top. Once I had finished I think that it looked much better. I wiped off the varnish coat with acetone and a cotton pad to remove the spotty finish and to also blend in the sanded rim top. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each  pad to remove the grit. The bowl began to take on a rich shine. It is going to be a beauty. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my finger tips. I let it sit for 10 minutes and the Balm did its magic. It enlivens, cleans and preserves the briar. It certainly brought this bowl back to life. I buffed it off with a clean cloth and took the following photos.  I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks on the stem with the flame of a Bic Lighter to lift them. I was able to lift them all to some degree. I filled in those that remained with clear CA glue. I used a small file to flatten the repairs. I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Republic Era Ireland Peterson’s System Standard Bent 309 with a Nickel Ferrule and a vulcanite P-lip stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System Standard 309 Bent fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 53 grams/1.83 ounces. I will be adding the pipe to the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in purchasing this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Restoring & Restemming the last the 8 Peterson Bowls – Republic Era System Standard 314


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I often purchase pipe bowl/stummels of brands that we like and want to restore. These have included a lot of different bowls. If you have followed us for long you know that some of these have included Peterson’s, Dunhill’s, and a wide range of Danish and English pipes. Awhile ago Jeff and I were sorting through the bowls in our collection and pulled out eight Peterson’s bowls that were dirty and stemless. A friend referred us to a contact named Silas Walls, of Walls Pipe Repair in Wallace, Idaho, USA as he seems to have a good supply of original Peterson’s stems. Our friend has had him fit stems for some of his Petes and was very happy with the work. We made contact with him and sent him eight bowls for restemming.

In the photo above I show the 8 restemmed pipes. I have marked the 7 I have worked on already with a red X). This eighth one that we cleaned up before mailing them out was a bowl that we received on 06/05/21 from a friend in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [arched over] System [over] Standard. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) over the shape number 314. The ferrule is stamped K&P [over] Peterson’s. The before photos of this bowl were on a corrupted memory card and are gone. But needless to say the pipe was just as bad as the rest of this lot.

As with the others before this one I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson) and read through the article before starting on my work. I found an interesting note in the middle of the page. I quote the pertinent section below and have highlights some important information in red below.

From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

Since I found a new stem it was now it was time to work on this final bowl of the lot. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. It looked much better. I took pictures of the bowl without the new stem. It is a great looking piece of briar even with the gouges and marks on sides, top and heel of the bowl. The nickel ferrule has a few dents but otherwise looks very good. When the pipes came back to Jeff with their new stems they looked great. When the pipes arrived here I checked them out. Here is what I found. The first six pipes from the lot were flawless and quite beautiful. The last two – this 314 and a 313 I reworked previously, looked great at first glance but upon further examination it was clear that the stems were not Peterson’s style stems. The draught on the P-lip portion of the stem is on the top of the stem, but in the case of these two stems the airway came straight out the end of the stem like a Wellington pipe. I was not happy with them. I have already replaced the stem on the 313 and this 314 was the only one I still needed a stem for. Today I was gifted some Peterson’s P-lip stems and one was what I was looking for. It fit well but I would need to give it a bit more of a bend for a perfect look. With the new stem chosen, I turned to work on the damage on the top and the inner edge of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inner bevel of the rim and remove the damage on the rim top. Once I had finished I think that it looked much better. I filled in the deep gouges in the bowl on the right heel and the underside of the heel with CA glue and also briar dust. I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them in. They looked significantly better. I stained the sanded areas with a Cherry stain pen to match the surrounding area around the rest of the bowl sides, top and heel.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each  pad to remove the grit. The bowl began to take on a rich shine. It is going to be a beauty.   I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my finger tips. I let it sit for 10 minutes and the Balm did its magic. It enlivens, cleans and preserves the briar. It certainly brought this bowl back to life. I buffed it off with a clean cloth and took the following photos.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. Since it was a new stem I did not need to polish it. The stem was looking very good. I heated the stem with a lighter to soften the vulcanite and bent it to the shape that it needed to be for the shape of the bowl. I held it in place to let it cool and set the shape. It looked very good.  This Republic Era Ireland Peterson’s System Standard Bent 314 with a Nickel Ferrule and a vulcanite P-lip stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System Standard 314 Bent Billiard fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 44 grams/1.55 ounces. I will be adding the pipe to the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in purchasing this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Cleaning up a Second Peterson’s De Luxe System 8S Bent Billiard with a Sterling Silver Ferrule


Blog by Steve Laug

I have a few pipes that I am working on for local folks who either have dropped them off or who are friends that I am catching up with. The next pipe on the worktable is the second of two more that belongs to an old friend of mine who is in the process of moving. He stopped by and asked me to clean up two more of his favourite pipe. This first one I worked on was a Whidbey Hand Cut CW ’76 Freehand (https://rebornpipes.com/2022/11/11/cleaning-up-a-chuck-whitmore-hand-cut-whidbey-freehand-for-a-friend/). This second on is another Peterson Deluxe with a Sterling Silver Ferrule. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [over]De Luxe. The stamping on the right side reads Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines) over the shape number 8S. The ferrule on the shank is clear and readable under the tarnish. It reads Peterson’s [over] Dublin. That is followed by Sterling [over] Silver. That was followed by three hallmarks – The Hibernia stamp, the Crowned Harp stamp and finally the letter “m”. It has some stunning grain around the bowl and shank under the grime. There was a thin cake in the bowl and the top and edges of the rim had some scratches and damage on both. The stem was lightly oxidized and calcified. There were light tooth marks on the surface of both sides. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my work. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. The top and edges look quite good other than some darkening on the beveled rim top – heavier toward the back. The silver was badly oxidized but I could still read the stamping. The stem was oxidized, calcified and has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides. I took photos of the stamping on the shank and the Sterling Silver ferrule to capture its condition. The stamping on the shank is readable as noted above. The stamping on ferrule is clear and readable as noted above. There was no “P” stamp on the stem side. I removed the stem from the bowl and took a picture of the pipe to show the general look and proportion of the pipe. It also shows the metal condenser tube in the tenon end. To help identify the shape number I turned to a Peterson Catalogue that I have on rebornpipes and looked up the System Deluxe pipes (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-hallmark-chart/). I compared the shape of the pipe in hand with the shape chart show below. I have put a red box around the 8S pipe shown in the catalogue page shown below. So now I knew it was an 8S Bent Billiard.I turned first to Pipephil’s site to reacquaint myself with the DeLuxe. Unfortunately there was no information to be found on this specific line. I then turned to Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes to see what I could garner from that information. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era  – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated…

…With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping on the pipe. It is a Republic Period pipe. I also wanted to be able to interpret the hallmarks on the silver band. I have captured a portion of the chart that include below that helps to clarify the meaning of each of the three hallmarks. I like the Hallmark feature on the higher end Peterson pipes with Sterling silver bands. It helps to pin down the date even further.

  • “Hibernia” seated, arm on harp represents Ireland (country of manufacture). There have been minor design changes over the years.
  • The “Harp Crowned” is the fineness mark denoting the high quality (purity) of the silver, and was used in a variety of designs until October 1992 when it was replaced by the new European Standard or Millesimal mark which gives the purity or quality of the silver in parts per thousand.
  • The Date Letter Code for the year in which the silver was hallmarked (see the chart below). In certain years a fourth hallmark is applied – for example 1966 – a Sword of Light for the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising 1973. There were also other marks used for the fourth hallmark.

The pipe on my table had the Hibernia seated mark (Ireland) followed by the Harp Crowned signifying Sterling Silver percentage and finally in this case a lower case “m”. Each of the hallmarks was in an octagonal cartouche. The chart below helps me identify the date mark to 1978. I have drawn a red arrow to point out the 1978 mark in the chart below.

I have included the entire Hallmark chart for ease of reference show any of you be looking to date the pipes that you are working on at present.I polished the silver to remove the tarnish so that I could confirm the stamping on the silver and the date noted above. It is indeed hallmarked with the year stamp identifying it as a 1978 pipe. I took photos of the polished silver to show what it looked like after polishing. It is quite stunning. I worked over the rim top and the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage and to bring the bowl back to round as much as possible. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – polishing it with 1500-12000 grit pads. By the time I was finished the briar had a great shine. The grain on the pipe is quite beautiful. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the finish with my fingers. After it sat for 15 minutes I wiped it off with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the surface with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks and chatter. It worked very well and just a few small spots were left. I filled them in with clear CA glue and set it aside to cure. I sanded out the repairs and oxidation on the top and underside with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the vulcanite. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.   I cleaned up the condenser and then put it back I place I the stem. This condenser was metal instead of the older bone ones. It is an integral part of the System pipe.As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl and thick shank. This Peterson’s DeLuxe 8S Bent Billiard was another fun pipe to work on. The Sterling Silver Ferrule works as a contrast between the stem and the briar and binds it all together. It really is a quite stunning piece of briar whose shape follows the flow of the briar. The pipe is comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.45 ounces/41 grams. This beautiful pipe will be going back with the other pipe to my friend. He will enjoy smoking it once again in his new place. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Breathing New Life into a Peterson of Dublin Dalkey 221 Chunky Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I brought to the table was another Peterson that Jeff purchased off eBay on 11/19/17 from Fort Meyers, Florida, USA. It has been sitting here in Vancouver awaiting my contribution to the restoration. It is a nicely shaped pipe with a chunky shank and feel in the hand. The finish is a walnut stain that gives a sense of rich brown. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson [arched over] of Dublin [over] Dalkey (in block print). On the right side there is the shape number 221 in the center of the and no other stamping. The bowl had a thick cake and a heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. The front outer edge of the rim had been beat against a hard surface and had a lot of damage and roughness across the bowl front. The rim top was also damaged with scratches and nicks in the surface that looked like it had been used as a hammer. The rest of the finish on the bowl was quite clean. The twin silver bands separated by an orange acrylic band on the stem is dirty but in good condition. The fishtail stem was oxidized, calcified and had light tooth chatter on both sides ahead of the button. The “P” stamp on the side of the saddle stem and readable and painted white. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work. He captured the cake in the bowl and the debris and lava on the rim top and edges in the next photos. It was very clear that it was an exceptional smoker! The damage on the front of the rim edge and the rim top is visible even under the heavy lava on the top and edges. The stem is oxidized, calcified and shows the tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff captured some of the beauty of the shape and the grain in the next photo. The mix of grains on the front of the bowl and heel are quite lovely as can be seen in the photo below.He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. He also took a photo of the  P logo stamp on the left side of the stem. I decided to check out both the Pipephil and the Pipedia sites for information on the Dalkey line. Both sites did not have any specific information. I then did a quick Google search for the Peterson Dalkey. The first link took me to smokingpipes.com (https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/ireland/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=332074) to a pipe that had been sold there. I have included the information I found below:

While the bent Billiard is a classic shape, rendered by countless companies, Peterson’s “221” iteration is readily recognized as the work of the Irish marque because of the added visual weight attributed to the shank and transition. Such extra heft stretches the heel and provides more palm-filling substance. It makes for an eye-catching, muscular form in profile yet remains well balanced thanks to the curled transition and bent stem out back. Here it’s presented in the Dalkey finish, with a warm hazelnut stain and nickel-and-acrylic band.

The second link took me to pipesandcigars.com (https://www.pipesandcigars.com/p/peterson-dalkey-pipes/2000657/).I quote the following from the introduction to the line:

Peterson Dalkey Pipes come in an assortment of classic Peterson shapes. The finish is a warm brown tone, mated to black stems, and finished with a gold and orange triple trim ring. These pipes are not only handsome, but they’re among the most affordable smooth finished pipes that Peterson makes.

I then turned to The Peterson Pipe by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg and looked up the listing in the book for Dalkey. I quote what I found there.

Dalkey (2010-) Dark stained smooth finish line with a band of orange acrylic sandwiched between nickel bands, white P stamped on a fishtail mouthpiece.

Now I knew I was dealing with a pipe made after 2010 and the dark stained finish (to me it is a dark walnut). The shank band looks amazing with the stain on the finish. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had done a great cleanup on the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the bowl exterior with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime on the finish of the bowl and the lava from the rim top. He rinsed it under running water. One of the benefits of this scrub is that it also tends to lift some of the scratches and nicks in the surface of the briar. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He cleaned the internals of the shank/mortise and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. I took photos of the pipe as I saw it when I finally brought it to my work table.   I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition. The rim top and edges were in very rough condition. You can see the damage to the top all the way around and to the outer edge on the bowl front. It really very rough to the touch. The stem was vulcanite and there were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. They are clear and readable as noted above. The “P” logo on the stem is faint but is still quite readable.   I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the proportions of the bowl and stem.I took photos of the damage on the rim top and the front edge to show how beat up it was. The roughness is very tangible when I touched it. I dripped some clear CA glue on the front edge of the bowl so I could rebuild it. I then dipped it into some briar dust to build it up. I cleaned up and reshaped the edge with 220 grit sandpaper. I topped the bowl with a topping board and 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage to the rim top. When I was finished it looked much better. With the rim top smooth it was now time to give the inner edge a bevel. I used a wooden ball and 220 grit sandpaper to shape the edge. I wrapped the ball with the sandpaper and worked on the edge. It took a bit of work to smooth it out and give it a bevel. I smoothed out the bevel with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. The rim top came out looking very good at this point. I stained the rim top and the inner and front outer edges with an oak stain pen to match the colour of the stain around the bowl and shank.I decided to start with polishing the briar with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The bowl began to take on a rich shine and grain was beginning to stand out.   At this point the bowl was polished and clean. I rubbed down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes, then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out on the briar.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished the polishing with Before & After Polishes – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final rub down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I repainted the “P” logo stamp on the left side of the saddle stem with some white acrylic nail polish. I worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick. Once it dried I scraped of the excess and lightly polished it with a 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pad. This Peterson of Dublin Dalkey 221 Bent Billiard with a vulcanite taper stem has a smooth reddish finish. The rich browns of the stain make the grain come alive with the polishing and waxing. I put the vulcanite stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s Dalkey 221 Bent Billiard really is a great looking and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. 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. The weight of the pipe is 1.62 oz./46 grams. This pipe will soon be on the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Cleaning up a Peterson’s De Luxe System 8S Bent Billiard with a Sterling Silver Ferrule


Blog by Steve Laug

I have a few pipes that I am working on for local folks who either have dropped them off or who are friends that I am catching up with. The next pipe on the worktable is the second of two that belongs to an old friend of mine who is in the process of moving. He stopped by and asked me to clean up a couple of his favourite pipe. This first one I worked on was a Savinelli de luxe Milano 607KS (https://rebornpipes.com/2022/10/23/new-life-for-a-savinelli-de-luxe-milano-sandblast-607ks-bent-billiard/). This second on is a Peterson Deluxe with a Sterling Silver Ferrule. It is stamped faintly on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [over]De Luxe. The stamping on the right side was buffed off. The ferrule on the shank is clear and readable under the tarnish. It reads Peterson’s [over] Dublin. That is followed by Sterling [over] Silver. That was followed by three hallmarks – The Hibernia stamp, the Crowned Harp stamp and finally the letter “m”. It has some stunning grain around the bowl and shank under the grime. There was a thin cake in the bowl and the top and edges of the rim had some scratches and damage on both. The stem was lightly oxidized but there were no tooth marks on the surface. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my work. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. The top and edges showed some damage and was out of round and had darkening. The stem had oxidation though there was not any tooth marks of damage on the surface. I took photos of the stamping on the shank and the Sterling Silver ferrule to capture its condition. The stamping on the shank is faint but readable as noted above. The stamping on ferrule is clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem from the bowl and took a picture of the pipe to show the general look and proportion of the pipe. It also shows the metal condenser tube in the tenon end. To help identify the shape number that had worn off I turned to a Peterson Catalogue that I have on rebornpipes and looked up the System Deluxe pipes (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-hallmark-chart/). I compared the shape of the pipe in hand with the shape chart show below. I have put a red box around the 8S pipe shown in the catalogue page shown below. So now I knew it was an 8S Bent Billiard.I turned first to Pipephil’s site to reacquaint myself with the DeLuxe. Unfortunately there was no information to be found on this specific line. I then turned to Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes to see what I could garner from that information. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era  – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated…

…With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping on the pipe. It is a 1978  Republic Period pipe. I also wanted to be able to interpret the hallmarks on the silver band. I have captured a portion of the chart that include below that helps to clarify the meaning of each of the three hallmarks. I like the Hallmark feature on the higher end Peterson pipes with Sterling silver bands. It helps to pin down the date even further.

  • “Hibernia” seated, arm on harp represents Ireland (country of manufacture). There have been minor design changes over the years.
  • The “Harp Crowned” is the fineness mark denoting the high quality (purity) of the silver, and was used in a variety of designs until October 1992 when it was replaced by the new European Standard or Millesimal mark which gives the purity or quality of the silver in parts per thousand.
  • The Date Letter Code for the year in which the silver was hallmarked (see the chart below). In certain years a fourth hallmark is applied – for example 1966 – a Sword of Light for the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising 1973. There were also other marks used for the fourth hallmark.

The pipe on my table had the Hibernia seated mark (Ireland) followed by the Harp Crowned signifying Sterling Silver percentage and finally in this case a lower case “m”. Each of the hallmarks was in an octagonal cartouche. The chart below helps me identify the date mark to 1978. I have drawn a red arrow to point out the 1978 mark in the chart below.

I have included the entire Hallmark chart for ease of reference show any of you be looking to date the pipes that you are working on at present.I worked over the rim top and the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage and to bring the bowl back to round as much as possible. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – polishing it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I rubbed down the Sterling Silver with a silver polishing cloth. By the time I was finished both the briar and the silver ferrule they both had a great shine. The grain on the pipe is quite beautiful.  I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the finish with my fingers. After it sat for 15 minutes I wiped it off with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl.   I polished the silver ferrule with a jeweler’s cloth to remove the rest of the tarnish on the silver. It is treated with a product that protects the silver and removes the remaining tarnish. It has a rich, beautiful shine.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the vulcanite. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.   As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl and thick shank. This Peterson’s DeLuxe 8S Bent Billiard was another fun pipe to work on. The Sterling Silver Ferrule works as a contrast between the stem and the briar and binds it all together. It really is a quite stunning piece of briar whose shape follows the flow of the briar. The pipe is comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.52 ounces/44 grams. This beautiful pipe will be going back with the Savinelli De Luxe Milano to my friend. He will enjoy smoking it once again in his new place. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Restoring a Victim of a Sharp Knife – A Peterson’s of Dublin System Standard 313


Blog by Steve Laug

While I was traveling in Europe I received a call from a fellow here in British Columbia who was referred to me by the local cigar shop. I call him when I returned home and it turned out that he had a pipe that he wanted me to work on. He sent it to me and it came on Friday. He said that the stem was clogged and he wanted me to clean up the airway and make it usable again. When it arrived I unpacked the box and found it was a Peterson’s 313 System pipe. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [arched over] of Dublin [over] System [over] Standard followed by the shape number 313. It had once been a beautiful pipe with an acrylic stem but it had long before lost its charm. The sides of the bowl were beat up and the rim top was also beat up. There was a thick cake of lava on the rim top and the bowl was out of round. The cake in the bowl was also out of round and heavier on the left side than the rest. There was a lot of grime on the briar that made it sticky feeling. There was a hole in the bottom of the bowl that punctured the heel. The pipe was a mess. The stem was plugged as well and I could not blow any air through it. The nickel ferrule was oxidized and dirty with  grime on it and an overflow of oils from the sump. It was a mess.I called the fellow who sent the pipe and told him about the hole in the bottom of the bowl. He laughed and said he did not notice it. He said it was probably the result of constant reaming with a pocket knife. I am  pretty sure that is what caused the damage as it was very much of a cut. I would know more once I reamed the bowl.

I reamed it with a PipNet reamer to take the cake back to bare briar. I scraped the remnants of the cake off with a Savinelli Fits All Pipe Knife. I sanded the walls with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of briar. What I found in the bottom of the bowl confirmed the issues I noted above. Repeated scraping of the cake around the bottom of the bowl had left a trough all the way around the bottom and a nipple standing in the bottom of the bowl. I spoke with the owner and he wanted a fix that I have done often. I would repair the exterior with briar dust and clear CA glue. The inside bottom of the bowl would be filled in with JB Weld and once cured would be sanded and given a bowl coating of sour cream and charcoal powder. Before I could start the repair work I would need to clean up the external and the internals. I topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. It looked better at this point in the process. I sanded out the scratches on the sides of the bowl and around the rim top. It was quite damaged. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the marks in the bowl side in preparation for scrubbing it.  I scrubbed the bowl with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed it off with warm running water to wash away the grime and debris. It was beginning to look much better. The first step in the repair was to repair the small hole in the bowl bottom. It was about the size of a pencil lead. I coated the edges with clear CA glue and packed in some briar dust. I repeated the process until the hole was repaired. Once it had hardened I sanded it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surrounding briar.  I mixed up a batch of JB Weld with the stick and then built up the bottom of the bowl. I put a pipe cleaner in the airway so as not to cover it in the process of the repair. I coated bottom of the bowl and layered it on top of the trough around the bottom and built it up until it was smooth. I raised the bottom of the bowl about 1/8th of and inch. I applied several more coats of the mixture with a folded pipe cleaner and also filled in some of the deep gouges in the sides of the bowl left behind by the knife. I set it aside to cure overnight. This morning with the internals hardening I decided to clean out the sump and the airway into the bowl with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. The pipe was a filthy one so it took a lot of cleaners. The stem was clogged but once I started working on it I could seen why. The fit of the pipe cleaner in the airway was tight and there was a lot of tars build up closing off even the small airway that was still open. Many pipe cleaners later the stem was open and the draught was perfect.  I had previously cleaned out the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each  pad to remove the grit. The bowl began to take on a rich shine. It is going to be a beauty.   I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my finger tips. I let it sit for 10 minutes and the Balm did its magic. It enlivens, cleans and preserves the briar. It certainly brought this bowl back to life. I buffed it off with a clean cloth and took the following photos.   As I looked at the rim top and the inner edge I still was not happy with the way it looked. Part of the issue was that the outer edge was out of round as well and there was not much that could be done with that without changing the 313 shape so I was pretty well stuck with the outer edge. I decided to work some more on the inner edge and give it a slight bevel. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and worked on it until I was happier with it. It is now as good as it can be with the condition of the pipe. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the deep gouges on the topside with clear CA glue and set it aside to cure. Once the repairs cured I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.  I mixed up a batch of bowl coating with sour cream and activated charcoal powder to form a protective coat over the repair. I applied it with a folded pipe cleaner. I wiped off the grime on the rim top and set it aside to cure. This coating will facilitate cake formation and protect the bowl until it forms. This Made in Ireland Peterson’s System Bent 313 with a nickel Ferrule and an acrylic P-lip stem is a better looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System 313 Bent Billiard fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 43 grams/ 1.52 ounces. I will be sending the pipe back to the owner once the bowl coating dries. It should give him a few more years of good service. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Restoring a Payne to Its Former Glory


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is an interesting pipe of Leonard Payne’s making. I acquired this pipe from an “antique” shop in Cloverdale (just outside Vancouver) – although it is doubtful how many genuine antique things were in the shop. Here’s a photo of me in situ, with the pipe.I love the prince shape, and I was excited to work on this pipe. The gentleman who commissioned this pipe is a regular customer of Steve’s, so I was all the more delighted.

On to the pipe itself! It was certainly a charming pipe, but it was grungy and had an unholy quantity of tooth marks, dents, lava, cake, and just general filth.  The markings on the left side of the shank read Leonard Payne [over] Original. On the left side of the stem, there was a faint capital ‘P’.I little while back, I detailed my restoration of another Payne pipe, in a tale I entitled, The Frog Prince. I will repeat the information I wrote there about Leonard Payne. He was born in England, moved to Canada in the 1950s, and died in the Vancouver area within the last few years. Payne was, to put mildly, an idiosyncratic pipe maker. I can do no better than quote Mike Glukler of Briar Blues (found on Pipepedia):

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

“Pipe makers are not on every street corner in Canada! Leonard Payne, originally from England, didn’t know the challenges he would face and that’s probably what influenced his decision to come and try his luck in Canada. After his arrival in 1957, he and his family settled in Vancouver, where he first found work as a tool maker – and made pipes in his free time. In 1959, he decided to become a full-time pipe maker, and since then he has had department stores in all parts of Canada among his clients. He imports briar blocks from Italy and pipe stems from England.”My customer selected this pipe because (a) he wanted a prince manufactured by Leonard Payne, and (b) he wanted a Payne that didn’t have a carburetor system or the reattached shank. Providentially, this pipe fit the bill on all counts.

The stem on this pipe was in decent shape, with a small draught hole. But most remarkably, the button had been decapitated or stolen by a goblin. At any rate, the button was not there, and I knew that I would have quite a job on my hands.   Well, to work! I briefly considered finding a new stem for this pipe, but I believed I should try to work with the original parts before seeking a different solution. So, first on the list was constructing a new button for this pipe. I started by sanding off the end of the stem with some 220-grit sandpaper to smooth out the bottom. In order to fashion a new button, I needed to minimize the rounding on the end of the stem and make the face even. Then I took out some small files and began cutting into the vulcanite, carving out a new button. This was a tricky business and it took some real patience and effort to make it work. After much nerve-wracking work, I had successfully carved out a new button and smoothed it with files and sandpaper. The following is a tedious series of photos showing the progress of the stem! Next, I used a thin file to widen the draught hole. The end result is better than what these photos show. Finally, I could move on to the regular cleaning procedures for the stem. First, I cleaned out the inside with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. Fortunately, it wasn’t overly dirty, and it only needed a handful of pipe cleaners.Then, I wiped down the stem with SoftScrub, before sending it off for a bath in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and I could easily remove it. Then I scrubbed with more SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation. After this, I used nail polish to restore the logo on the stem. I painted the area carefully and let it fully set before proceeding. I worried that this wouldn’t work, as the ‘P’ was so faint. Fortunately, I ended up being wrong and some of the ‘P’ came back to life.I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. Hey – this looks like a real stem! I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. I always want to use the original parts of a pipe, if possible, and I’m glad this worked. Setting the stem aside, I moved on to the bowl. I started by reaming it out. I used the PipNet Reamer and the KleenReem to remove the built-up cake inside and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as I could. I took the chamber down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the wall. Fortunately, there were none. After that, I used cotton rounds and some Murphy’s Oil Soap to scrub the outside of the stummel and a toothbrush with Murphy’s for the lava on the rim of the pipe. Oddly, there appeared to be shiny bits of a previous coating on the stummel, left over from some other time; I figured my sanding would remove these marks, so I ignored them for the time being. I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. There was quite a bit of filth inside this stummel and it took a fair amount of cotton to get it clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes. Next, I decided to de-ghost the pipe to remove any lingering smells of the past. I thrust cotton balls into the bowl and the shank and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused any remaining oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowl was nice and clean after this. Here are the “before” and “after” photos: Having completed that, I was able to address the small nicks on the rim and the bowl. I dug out my iron and a damp cloth to try to raise the nicks. The hot and moist steam can often cause the wood to swell slightly and return to shape. There was some movement – not a lot, but it was better than doing nothing. The repair was not perfect, but the remaining scratches would be improved by sanding. To remove the remaining burns and nicks on the rim, I “topped” the pipe – that is to say, I gently and evenly sanded down the rim on a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. This effectively removed the damage, without altering the look of the pipe. After this, I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to remove the frustrating scratches in the wood and make everything smooth. Additionally, a light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the stummel’s grain.  At the buffer, a dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were just what this pipe needed. The lovely shine made the wood look beautiful. I am pleased with this pipe – it was tricky work, but thoroughly enjoyable for me. Best of all, I know that the new owner will enjoy it for many years to come. I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe as much I as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Restoring a Republic Era Peterson’s System 31 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

This is another one of those pipes that has been here for a long time and I have no memory where it came from. I had not been cleaned so it is not one that ever went to Jeff for clean up. It was a dirty but appeared to have some great grain under the grime. The bowl had been reamed somewhere in the journey and was quite clean inside. The smooth rim top was damaged and had some darkening. The edges – both inner and outer had some damages by burning and the bowl was out of round. The smooth finish is dirty with grime and grit deep ground into the sides of the bowl and shank. There were some deep nicks in the briar on the right side and heal of the bowl. The pipe stinks like heavily cased aromatics. The stamping on the shank is clear and readable. The left side is stamped Peterson’s [arched over] System. On the right side it was stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines). To the right of that stamp is the shape number 31. The nickel band is oxidized and dirty but it has the K & P stamp over three symbols. Next to that it was stamped Peterson’s. It had some nicks and dents around shank end of the ferrule. The stem was quite clean and has deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button and on the topside of the button. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took close up photos of the bowl and the stem. You can see the reamed bowl and the darkening and light lava on the rim top. The bowl reeked of aromatic tobaccos. The stem surface was clean but there are deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides on and ahead of the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the bowl and shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the proportions of the pipe. It is really quite nice looking.I am including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era  – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson Company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

I found a great description of the System 31 shape on smokingpipes.com (https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/peterson/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=192182). I am including a portion of that below.

Peterson’s “31” shape is the only straight pipe featured in the System Standard line, yet it still features system drilling. Featuring a push-style tenon and a long, tapering metal tube, it houses a condensation chamber just under the bowl itself — providing the same gurgle free smoke you’d expect of a bent System configuration.

I did a search on Google about the Peterson System 31 Straight Billiard to see if I could learn any specific information on the shape. I found a link to a pipe for sale on Smokingpipes.com. I quote:

Paresh had worked on System 31 pipe so I went back and reread his work on that smooth pipe. It was very helpful for the background information included (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-system-31-pipe/).

I knew that I was dealing with a Republic Era pipe made between 1950-1989. The K&P mark on the nickel band ties to Kapp & Peterson brings the date to the time between 1950-1964. It was a smooth Straight billiard with a unique shape and chamber beneath the bottom of the bowl. The finish was stained with a combination of rich reddish brown stains. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

The bowl had been reamed and cleaned. I started working on the pipe by cleaning out the inside of the shank and the airway into the bowl and the stem. I scraped the shank out with a small pen knife to remove the thick tars. I then cleaned it with a isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until it was clean.  I topped the damaged rim top on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage on the rim top and edges of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge of the bowl. I gave the inner edge of the bowl a slight bevel. I filled in some of the deep gouges in the briar on the right side and heel of the bowl with some clear CA glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded the briar surface with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out and blend it into the surrounding briar.I stained the sanded area on the bowl side and the rim top with a Cherry stain pen to lay a base coat and then did a top coat of Mahogany stain pen. I polished the rim top and edges with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads to raise a shine. I wiped it down with a damp cotton pad to wipe off the debris after each sanding pad.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. It works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let it sit for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth and raised the shine. The bowl looks great at this point.   The nickel ferrule was out of round and dented. It was solidly connected to the shank end so I did not want to removed it. Instead I fit a dowel into the end of the ferrule that was round and heated the nickel with a lighter to soften it. Once it was softened I used a small furniture hammer to bring the ferrule end back to round. I repeated the process until the opening in the ferrule was round and the stem fit well. It was not perfect but it was better than when I started. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I “painted” the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks in the stem. I was able to raise them slightly. I filled in the remaining marks with Black CA glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded it smooth with 120 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I unscrewed the extension tube from the end of the stem. I cleaned up the threads on the extension and inside the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. It did not take long to clean it. I coated the threads on the extension with Vaseline and screwed the extension back into the stem. I worked on the stem to further smooth and reshape the button and stem with the 220 grit sandpaper and the 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and gave it a final coat and set it aside to dry.  I put the stem back on the Peterson’s System 31 Straight Billiard and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I polished the briar and the vulcanite of the stem until there was a rich shine. This classic Peterson’s shape and finish really highlights a proportionally well carved pipe. Once I buffed the pipe the briar came alive and popped with polishing. The black vulcanite stem has a rich glow. This Peterson’s System Straight Billiard fits well in the hand and sits right in the mouth. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of and inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.23 ounces/35 grams. This beauty will be going on the rebornpipes online store in the Irish Pipemakers Section. If you are interested let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as it was a pleasure to work on.

Restoring a Long Shank “Canadian” By Sasieni London Made


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I chose to work on has the characteristic rustication that I have seen on quite a few of the Sasieni Rusticated pipes that I have worked on. It is a long shank Canadian with hatch marked rim top and beveled inner edge. Jeff bought the pipe at an antique store on 10/29/2016 in Boise, Idaho, USA. It is stamped “Canadian” [over] By Sasieni [over] London Made [over] Made in England. The rustication on the bowl and shank was rugged with a tight pattern. The briar was stained with dark brown and black stains that provided depth to the finish. The finish on the pipe is dirty with a lot of dust and grime in the grooves of the rustication. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing on to the rim top. The rim top is hatch marked and the inner edge is smooth. The outer edge of the rim has some wear from being knocked against a hard surface. There is a smooth ring around the end of the shank. The stem looked dirty but otherwise there were no tooth marks or chatter on the surface on either side. It was in good condition. Overall the pipe looked good. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top and the stem to give a sense of the condition they were in. You can see the cake in the bowl and lava on the rim top as well as the hatch marks scratched into the rim top in the first photo. The stem photos show a relatively clean stem. He took photos of the bowl sides and heel to give a sense of the rustication around the bowl. To me it is a classic Sasieni style rustication. He took a photo of the stamping to show how clear and readable it is. It reads as noted above.I turned to Pipephil’s site to see if there was any specific information on “Canadian” By Sasieni (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-sasieni2.html). There was a listing there under the section on Sasieni seconds that matched the pipe I was working on. The pipe I have on the table is a lot like the second pipe in the screen capture below. The finish is the same though the stamping is slightly different and the stem does not have the –S- logo stamp on the top of the taper. I also captured the additional photos of the second pipe to show the finish and shape of the pipe. I then turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Sasieni#Sasieni_Seconds) and clicked on a list of seconds that had been provided by Doug Valitchka. The “Canadian” line is in the list at the bottom of the second column below. I have marked it in red for ease of reference on the chart below.Now it was time to work on the pipe. It is really a beautiful piece. Jeff had done a great cleanup on the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the bowl exterior with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime on the finish of the bowl and the lava from the rim top. He rinsed it under running water. One of the benefits of this scrub is that it also tends to lift some of the scratches and nicks in the surface of the briar. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He cleaned the internals and externals of the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. I took photos of the pipe as I saw it when I put it on the table. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition. The rim top and edge looked much better. You can see the darkening on the beveled inner edge of the bowl and the hatching marks on the top of parts of the rim top. It seems to me that those marks are not original to the pipe when it was made. The stem looked very good and was smooth on both sides. There were scratches on both sides but no tooth marks or chatter.   The stamping on underside of the shank on the smooth panel is clear and readable as noted above. I really like the rugged Sasieni style rustication on the bowl and shank. The pipe is a beauty and the long shank fascinating to me. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the proportions of the bowl and stem.I started my work on the pipe by dealing with the darkening on the beveled inner edge of the rim and the hatch marks on the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the bevel and then stained it with a black Sharpie pen to blend it into the rest of the bowl walls. I then used the sandpaper to further flatten out the rim top. It definitely looks much better. I polished the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust and debris. I restained the rim top with a combination of Walnut and Cherry stain pens to match the stained panel on the underside of the shank and the variations in colour on the rustication. Once it is buffed it will look very good.I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes, then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the rustication took on depth. It really looks good.  I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. It was in great condition so I polished it with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished the polishing with Before & After Polishes – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final rub down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.   This “Canadian” By Sasieni London Made with a vulcanite taper stem has a classic Sasieni rusticated finish that looks great. The rich dark contrasting stain gives depth to the rustication with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Sasieni Made Canadian really is a beauty and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 7 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.38 ounces /39grams. This pipe will soon be on the British Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Restoring a  Petite MARKA St. Claude France 246 Dublin for a New Pipe Smoker


Blog by Steve Laug

Yesterday I got a call from a local lady who had been directed to me by our local pipe shop. She had found a pipe at an antique store when her family was traveling and decided it was time to load a pipe and try it out. When she was at the shop she picked up some tobaccos to sample once the pipe was cleaned up. We made arrangements for her to stop by and show me the pipe and I would be able to tell her what I saw. She arrived and took a small bag out of her pocket and removed a hard shell case. She opened it and took out the small pipe that is shown in the photos below. The pipe was stamped on the left side of the shank and read MARKA in bubble style type. On the right side it was stamped St. Claude – France [over] the number 246 (shape number). The bowl had a thick cake and an overflow of thick lava on the inwardly beveled rim top and edges. The finish was very dirty and appeared to be coated with a thick varnish coat that was bubbled or peeling on the underside of the shank. The thin saddle stem was oxidized, calcified and had light tooth chatter on the top and underside of the stem ahead of the button. The stem screwed on to a threaded metal tenon that was set in the shank of the pipe. The small pipe is a nice looking delicate Dublin that should clean up very well. I took photos of the pipe before I started my clean up work.  I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the thickness of the cake in the bowl and the thick overflow of lava on the beveled rim top. It really is a mess and hard to know what it looks like under the lava. I also took photos of the stem to show the condition it was in when she dropped it off. I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. It is clear and readable as noted above.I unscrewed the stem from the tenon and took a photo of the bowl and stem to show the delicate proportions of the pipe. Note the metal threaded tenon on the shank end.I did some work on the background for this pipe. I checked on PipePhil and Pipedia and did not find any information on the Marka brand. I checked several other French brands to see if there was a sublisting for the Marka brand. There was nothing there. I also did a search on Google for the brand but found nothing listed. I also checked the book “Who Made That Pipe” and there was nothing listed there.  I wrote to Kenneth Lieblich to see if he was familiar with the brand or had any information on it. While I waited I did some work on the shape number 246. Interestingly it is a three digit number that fits neatly into the list of Comoy’s and Chacom shape numbers. That particular number is not listed, however the number before that – 245- is listed as is the number after it. Kenneth wrote me back that he wondered if the shape number pointed to Chacom. So independently we both came to the same conclusion that the brand was connected to Chacom. I don’t know if we will ever know for certain but that is where it stands at this point.

Now it was time to work on the pipe. I reamed the bowl back to bare briar with a PipNet reamer with the smallest cutting head. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished the bowl work by sanding it with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a small piece of briar. Once finished I wiped out the inside. The bowl walls looked very good with no heat damage or checking.   I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and rim with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. I scrubbed the pipe with the brush to remove the grime and the tars on the rimtop. I rinsed the bowl with warm water to remove the soap and the grime. It began to look better. There was some burn damage on the outer edge of the rim toward the back of the bowl. It was not deep damage and would probably be easily removed. I wiped down the bowl and rim with acetone on cotton pads to remove some of the darkening and the remnants of the varnish. It worked well and you can see the debris on the cotton pads. It looked much better.    Now it was time to address the damage on the rim top and the inner bevel of the chamber. I topped the pipe on a piece of 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I removed the damage and the top looked significantly smoother.   The beveled inner edge of the bowl still had some burn damage and darkening on the front and the back of the bowl. I used a piece of 220 grit sandpaper and a wooden ball to work on the bevel. I put the sandpaper on the ball and turned the bowl rim on the paper to remove damaged areas on the top. The rim top looked better but you can see the damage on the inner front and back of the bowl edge.     I used an Oak Stain Pen to match the sanded rim top to the rest of the bowl. It certainly looks better at this point.Now it was time to clean out the inside of the shank and stem. I used isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to remove the tars and oils. The shank was clogged near the entry to the bowl. I used an unfolded paper clip to poke through the airway and then worked pipe cleaners through the airway until the draught in the pipe was open and clean. I cleaned the airway in the stem at the same time using the same supplies. Once finished it smelled clean and fresh. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. The pipe took on a shine as I moved through the sanding pads.   I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes, then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out on the briar.     I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished the polishing with Before & After Polishes – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final rub down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.  This St. Claude-France Marka 246 Dublin with a vulcanite saddle stem has some beautiful grain. The rich brown stain makes the grain come alive with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Marka 246 Dublin really is a beauty and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inch, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is .56 ounces/16 grams. This pipe will soon be back in the hands of the pipewoman who brought it to me to restore. I think she will enjoy smoking this petite little French Pipe. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!