Tag Archives: Bowls – refinishing

Renewing one of Alex’s first pipes – a Lorenzetti Lovat


Blog by Steve Laug

Alex has been an ongoing source of restoration projects for me for a few years now. I actually have a box of Alex’s pipes that he drops by periodically and adds new ones to. It has been fun to see him pick up the restoration hobby himself lately. He leaves the harder ones to me to work on – whether harder in terms of issues or harder in terms of cleaning. I have quite a few of his to work on so I spread them among the others that I am working on. This next pipe is an interesting Lorenzetti Lovat that was one of his first pipes. It has some issues with the finish that will need to be addressed. The pipe is stamped Lorenzetti over Italy on the left side of the shank and Avitus 03 on the right side. It has been in the box for quite a while now so I took it to the work table. The finish is a combination of reddish browns and dark brown in streaks on the bowl sides. It almost appears that it was to make it look like grain. There were some spots around the heel and sides of the bowl where it looked like the shellac coat was peeling off the bowl. The rim top had an inward bevel that had some darkening to the inner edge on the back of the bowl. There were some nicks around the outer edge toward the front. The stem was lightly oxidized with calcification around the button. It has the cursive Lorenzetti “L” on the left of the saddle stem. There were tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem ahead of the button. I took some photos of the pipe as I received it.  I took a close up photo of the rim top. It shows some darkening on the back of the inward beveled top. The outer edges were nicked and damaged on the right side. The photos of the stem show tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. The stem is also quite oxidized.I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank. You can see that it reads as noted above. I also took a photo of the stamping on the side of the saddle stem.I took photos of the bubbled finish around the sides of the bowl. It looked to me that the bubbled portions were over putty fills in the briar. Time would tell! I don’t believe I have worked on this brand before so I turned to Pipephil to get a quick overview of the brand (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-l6.html). I have included a screen capture of the information on that site for quick reference. I learned that the brand was created in 1934 by Otello Lorenzetti. As of (2009) the company was managed by Alessandro Lorenzetti.I then turned to Pipedia and found a great historical survey of the founder Otello Lorenzetti. It is a great read regarding the history of the brand and its development from small beginnings with Otello selling pipes from his bicycle around his community to a brand that is available around the world today. (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Lorenzetti).

This is a thick shank classic looking Lovat with a briar insert in the vulcanite stem. The staining     would have originally hidden the fills very well.  The stain gives the appearance of cross grain around the bowl when in reality the pipe is a mix of grains. I wiped the bowl down with a cotton pad and alcohol to remove the shiny, spotty top coat of the finish. The combination of brown stains on the finish makes it interesting. Now it was time to work on Alex’s pipe. I started the work by reaming the bowl and cleaning out the shank. The pipe was amazingly clean so it did not take too much to clean it.I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The polishing gave the bowl a rich shine. After polishing the rim it was slightly lighter than the other smooth portions of the bowl. I used a Maple Stain Pen to match the colour of the rest of the bowl and blend the new finished rim into the surrounding pipe. I rubbed it down with Before and After Restoration Balm. It is a product developed by Mark Hoover to clean, enliven and protect briar. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. I let it sit for about 10 minutes and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. You can see the results in the photos below. I set the bowl aside and turned to address the light tooth marks, chatter and gouges on the stem surface. I sanded both the top and underside of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damages to the vulcanite. Fortunately they were not too deep so they came out fairly quickly. I also did a quick sanding to remove the oxidation on the stem.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cotton pad to remove the dust. I polished it with Before and After Pipe Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping the stem down with some No Oxy Oil that  received from Briarville Pipe Repair to try out and get a sense of its value to me and others. Once I finished I put the stem back on the shank and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond polish briar and vulcanite. I gave the stem a vigorous polish being careful around the white spot. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This Lorenzetti Lovat is a great piece of Alex’s personal pipe history and looks better than when I began the process. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 4 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outer Bowl Diameter: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber Diameter: ¾ of an inch. The pipe will soon be heading back to Alex so he can continue to enjoy it. I have told him that if he ever wants to part with it I get the right of first refusal. Thanks for walking with me through the restoration.

A New Lease on Life for Alex’s Kaywoodie Hand Made Rhodesian


Blog by Steve Laug

Alex has been an ongoing source of restoration projects for me for a few years now. I actually have a box of pipes that Alex drops by periodically and adds new pipes for work. It has been fun to see him pick up the restoration hobby himself lately. He leaves the harder ones to me to work on – whether harder in terms of issues or harder in terms of cleaning. I have quite a few of his to work on so I spread them among the others that I am working on. This next pipe is an interesting older Kaywoodie Hand Made Rhodesian with an almost Custom Bilt rustication pattern around the bowl. The difference to me is that this beauty has some stunning grain in the smooth portions and the rustication is less random and more methodically chosen to highlight some of the grain features. The pipe is stamped Hand Made over Kaywoodie on a smooth panel on the left side of the shank. On the right side there is a stamp that reads Imported Briar. It has been in the box for quite a while now so this afternoon I took it to the work table. The finish is a combination of reddish browns and dark brown in the rusticated portions. The contrast is quite beautiful though a little dull as it has not been used or cared for in a long time. The rim top had an inward bevel that had some darkening and burn damage to the inner edge on the front right and back of the bowl. The pipe had been reamed before Alex received it and really was quite clean. The push stem was lightly oxidized and had Kaywoodie white logo with a black cloverleaf making it an older pipe. There were hash marks and tooth marks on both sides of the stem ahead of the button. Overall the pipe was in good condition. I took some photos of the pipe as I received it. I took a close up photo of the rim top. It shows some darkening on the right side of the inward beveled top. The outer edges look good. The photos of the stem show hash marks and tooth marks on both sides ahead of the button. They are deep scratches/gouges in the vulcanite that have filled in with calcification. The stem is also quite oxidized.I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank. You can see that it reads as noted above.I have worked on a few of the Kaywoodie Hand Made over the years and have found in the past that they were listed as Oversize Kaywoodie pipes. I turned to Pipephil’s site to see what information I could gather there on the oversize pipes (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-kaywoodie-2.html#oversizekaywoodie). I have included a screen capture of the information on that site for quick reference. The basic information I gather there was that the pipe had in all probability been noted in the 1947 Kaywoodie Catalogue. It also made it clear that all the Oversize models are stamped Hand Made.I then turned to Pipedia and under the general information did not find much helpful that I did not already know. It is a great read regarding the history of the brand and its development from the older KBB and KB&B brand pipes. However it did have follow up information in the end notes on the page and that took me to a series of Catalogues (1937, 1947 and 1955). The Hand Made line shows up first in the 1947 Catalogue that was included. I read through it and that is where I found some additional information to help me in my quest. Here is a link to the 1947 Catalogue for your reading pleasure (https://pipedia.org/images/6/61/Kaywoodie_1947.pdf). I have included a screen capture of the section in the catalogue about the Oversize Kaywoodies. I have included that below. I have also included two of the Catalogue pages that show the oversize Hand Made pipes. The one I am working on while similar to the Hand Carved Colossus and the Hand Carved John Henry is significantly different. This one is carved with the patterns but has a tapered push stem rather than the typical screw mounted Kaywoodie. This is a beautifully styled and positioned Rhodesian shape has a tapered vulcanite push stem that fits proportionally well. The carved areas or “worm trails” around the bowl are separated by smooth well grained portions of briar that highlight the grain. The combination of brown stains on the finish makes it quite stunning. Now it was time to work on Alex’s pipe. I started the work by addressing the issues with the rim top first. I ran some pipe cleaners through the bowl and stem and it was spotless so I decided to deal with rim top damage. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the beveled rim top to remove the darkening. I sanded the rim top and edges of the bowl with the sandpaper to get rid of the damage. Once I was finished the rim and edges were smooth.I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The polishing gave the bowl a rich shine. After polishing the rim it was slightly lighter than the other smooth portions of the bowl. I used a Maple Stain Pen to match the colour of the rest of the bowl and blend the new finished rim into the surrounding pipe.I rubbed it down with Before and After Restoration Balm. It is a product developed by Mark Hoover to clean, enliven and protect briar. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush. I let it sit for about 10 minutes and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. You can see the results in the photos below. I set the bowl aside and turned to address the light tooth marks, chatter and gouges on the stem surface. I sanded both the top and underside of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damages to the vulcanite. Fortunately they were not too deep so they came out fairly quickly. I also did a quick sanding to remove the oxidation on the stem.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cotton pad to remove the dust. I polished it with Before and After Pipe Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping the stem down with some No Oxy Oil that  received from Briarville Pipe Repair to try out and get a sense of its value to me and others. Once I finished I put the stem back on the shank and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond polish briar and vulcanite. I gave the stem a vigorous polish being careful around the white spot. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats of carnauba. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This Kaywoodie Hand Made is a great piece of pipe history and looks better than when I began the process. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outer Bowl Diameter: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber Diameter: ¾ of an inch. The pipe will soon be heading back to Alex so he can continue to enjoy it. I have told him that if he ever wants to part with it I get the right of first refusal. Thanks for walking with me through the restoration.

Refreshing a Smelly Mehaffey 9 Canadian for Alex


Blog by Steve Laug

Alex has been an ongoing source of restoration projects for me for a few years now. I actually have a box of pipes that Alex drops by periodically and adds new pipes for work. It has been fun to see him pick up the restoration hobby himself lately. He leaves the harder ones to me to work on – whether harder in terms of issues or harder in terms of cleaning. This particular pipe is a nicely grained natural finished Canadian that is stamped 9 Mehaffey on the underside of the shank. It has been in the box in isolation in a sealed plastic bag because of the smell of the bowl. It really does reek.  I took it to the work table this quiet Sunday afternoon. The finish is natural with a slight patina from age. The rim top had an inward bevel that had some darkening and burn damage to the inner edge on the front right and back of the bowl. The top of the rim was also damaged and there were some nicks around the outer edge of the bowl as well. The pipe had been reamed before Alex received it but it smells musty and a bit dank. The smell of English tobacco is permeated with a different smell that gives the pipe a stench. The stem was in good condition other than a few small tooth marks on both sides just ahead of the button. Overall the pipe was in good condition. I took some photos of the pipe as I received it. I took a close up photo of the rim top. It shows some nicks in the surface of the inward beveled top. The outer edges show nicks and damage. The inner edge has some burn marks near the right front of the bowl and on the back side. The top also has what appear to be wrinkles in the briar finish. The photos of the stem looked pretty good. There were small tooth marks on the top and underside of the stem near the button. Otherwise the stem was in very good condition.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see that it is faint but reads as noted above.Though I had not worked on this brand before, Dal Stanton who has written blogs for rebornpipes had worked on one Mehaffey pipe so I turned to that blog to see what he had found previously (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/e-a-mehaffey-pipe-tobacco-shop-in-wheaton-maryland/). I followed the link on the blog and turned to Pipedia to see if there was any additional information added since Dal had been there previously (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Mehaffey). There was not much information available but I quote what was there in full.

E.A. Mehaffey operated a pipe & tobacco shop in Wheaton, Maryland. He used to make pipes for many years but as legend has it, his house tobacco mixtures were much more prestigious than his pipes. Mehaffey was in business up to the 1980’s.

While this statement does not engender enthusiasm for E. A. Mehaffey’s pipe production, the Canadian with a Natural finish is a very nice piece of briar. Both sides of the bowl show a mix of grains. On the front of the bowl there is some nice birdseye and on the back some swirls of grain. This is a beautifully styled and positioned Canadian shape has a tapered vulcanite stem that fits proportionally well. Now it was time to work on Alex’s pipe. I started the work by addressing the issues with the rim top first. I figured I would be generating some sanding dust so I decided to deal with that before cleaning the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to further bevel the inner edge of the rim to remove the burn damage. I sanded the rim top and outer edge of the bowl with the same sandpaper to get rid of the damage. Once I was finished the rim and edges were smooth.I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl and rim down with a damp cloth after each pad. I paused in the polishing of the externals to address the smell of the pipe. I cleaned the airway into the bowl, the mortise and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to remove the surface debris. It was pretty clean. I knew that I would need to do more to get rid of the deep smell.I decided to deep clean the bowl with a cotton ball and alcohol soak. I stuff the bowl with cotton and use an ear syringe to fill the bowl with alcohol. I put a folded pipe cleaner in the shank to wick the oils and tars from the airway and mortise. The alcohol and cotton draws the oils and tars out of the briar. It works in the same manner as salt and alcohol but I like it better as it leaves less mess and the salt does not permeate the briar when cotton is used. I set the bowl aside for several hours while the mixture did its work.I removed the cotton balls and ran a few pipe cleaners and cotton swabs through the shank and mortise to clean up residual debris left behind by the soak. You can see what was absorbed into the cotton in the photos below. The pipe smelled fresh and clean. The mustiness and stench was gone.I picked up the polishing of the bowl again with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The polishing gave the bowl a rich shine. I rubbed it down with Before and After Restoration Balm. It is a product developed by Mark Hoover to clean, enliven and protect briar. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. I let it sit for about 10 minutes and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. You can see the results below. I set the bowl aside and turned to address the light tooth marks and chatter on the stem surface. The stem was in excellent condition other than that so it did not take a lot of work. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cotton pad to remove the dust. I polished it with Before and After Pipe Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping the stem down with some No Oxy Oil that  received from Briarville Pipe Repair to try out and get a sense of its value to me and others. Once I finished I put the stem back on the shank and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond polish briar and vulcanite. I gave the stem a vigorous polish being careful around the white spot. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a great piece of pipe history and looks better than when I began the process. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 7/8 inches, Outer Bowl Diameter: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber Diameter: ¾ of an inch. The pipe will soon be heading back to Alex so he can continue to enjoy it. I have told him that if he ever wants to part with it I get the right of first refusal. Thanks for walking with me through the restoration.

A Blasticated Capri Bent Billiard that came with a story


Blog by Steve Laug

A few days ago I received a call at work from a fellow who was just leaving the local pipe shop in Vancouver that refers people to me for repairs. I have to tell you this guy had a story that I had not heard before. He was driving and chatting at the same time. He said that he had picked up a pipe that fast becoming a favourite of his. He was driving and smoking it when he accidentally dropped it out of the window. It seems like the car was moving – at least slowly in his story. The bowl went one way and the stem took off. He stopped and picked up the bowl and could not find the stem. What was not clear to me was what happened to the stem. He said that there was no broken tenon in the shank. He only had the bowl. He stopped by my house and left the bowl in his Autoplan Car Insurance plastic bag in my mail box. He had his phone number and name on the bag. This morning I called to see what kind of stem he wanted on the pipe and it turns out he is a tugboat captain. He said the stem was tapered and rubber. He would be back to Vancouver in two weeks and would get a hold of me then. So that is the story of this pipe.

I actually had no idea what to expect when I returned to my house. My wife had brought the bag inside when she came home. I asked about the pipe and she handed me the Autoplan bag. I took the pipe out of the bag and took photos. The pipe appeared to have what I call a blasticated finish. It is typically done when someone rusticates a bowl and then sandblasts it afterwards. It gives it a very interesting look. The finish was almost new other than several rough spots of road rash around the rim top, heel and sides. The beauty of this type of finish is that it is very forgiving when it has this kind of damage. I took some photos of the pipe before I did any work on it. You can see it is a bent billiard, it is made by Capri and it is sans stem. I went through my cans of stem options and found only one thick tapered stem that would actually work on this pipe. The tenon was not turned and it was an unused blank that still had some casting marks on the sides and button. I quickly sanded the tenon to see what I was working with. I could see that with a bit of work it would be a good fit for this pipe.I used a wire brush to knock off the loose bits from the road rash and then used a walnut stain pen to touch up the damaged areas on the finish.Now it was time to work on the stem. I set up my cordless drill and put the PIMO tenon turning tool in the chuck. I set the cutting head for the first pass on the tenon and spun the stem on the drill to remove excess rubber.I measured the diameter of the mortise again and reset the cutting head on the PIMO. I spun the stem once more and took it down to a close fit. I filed and sanded it the rest of the way.The shoulders on the cast stem were slightly rounded and the diameter of the stem was a little bigger than the diameter of the shank. I used a rasp to remove the excess material and reduced the stem to a very close fit on the shank.I sanded the file marks out of the stem sides with 220 grit sandpaper. There still needs to be some fine tuning but the stem is beginning to look like a fit. I took photos of the pipe with the new stem at this point to have a look. I worked on the sides of the stem diameter to fine tune it. It was definitely looking better. It was time to bend the stem to fit the flow of the bowl. I set up my heat gun. I put a pipe cleaner in the airway of the stem to keep the airway from crimping. I moved the stem over the heat until the vulcanite softened. I used round handle of a chisel for the shape of the bend and bent the stem until it looked right on the bowl. I always try to bend the stem to get the same angle on the bend as the flat top of the bowl.I put the stem back on the bowl and took photos of the look of the pipe now. I like the look of the stem and the flow of the pipe. I still want to shape the shank stem fit some more so the flow is uninterrupted. I removed the stem and turned my attention to finishing the restoration of the bowl. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I find that the balm really makes the briar come alive again. The contrasts in the layers of stain really made the rustication shimmer and show depth. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The pipe really looks good at this point. I am very happy with the way the pipe is looking at this point in the process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded it with 220 grit and 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to smooth out the remaining marks on the stem. I had coated the tenon with a light coat of clear fingernail polish to protect the fit during all of the fiddling and sanding I was doing.  I have experienced damaging a tenon because I was careless so I will often do this when restemming a pipe now. I still needed to smooth out the tenon a bit but it was starting to look really good.I polished the stem surface with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I hand buffed it with a cloth. I gave it a coat of Briarville’s No Oxy Oil even though it does not work as well on acrylic as it does on the vulcanite it was designed for. It works to give a top coat to protect and preserve the newly cleaned and polished stem.  This was a change of pace to the normal day to day restoration I have been doing. Fitting a stem to a bowl is interesting and it is time consuming. Once I was finished I put the new vulcanite stem back on the bowl and polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservators Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The Capri Bent Billiard with the new stem polished up really well. The polished stem looked very good after the buffing. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions of this pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. For a low cost pipe this little billiard is eye catching. I will be calling the fellow who dropped it off and let him know the pipe is finished. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next pipeman or woman.

Cleaning up a 1965 Dunhill 631 F/T Root Briar Group 1 Billiard for Henry


Blog by Steve Laug

If you have followed rebornpipes for long you will know that I am a sucker for older pipes and that if I have restored pipes for you in the past I will definitely be available to you for future restorations. The post just previous to this one on an old 1902 LKL Cutty was an example of both of those these maladies of mine. This post speaks to the second one – if I have worked on a pipe for you in the past I will be available as best I can for future restorations. Some of you will recognize Henry Ramirez name as he was a long time contributor to rebornpipes with his innovative restorations. Henry is a dentist who retired not long ago and got rid of his restoration tools. He wrote to see if I could help him out with the restoration of a small Dunhill he had. He wrote the following email:

Hi Steve, long time no talk. I recently moved again to San Francisco and upon opening an empty tin of vintage Dunhill tobacco found the small Dunhill that I’d thought was lost. I’ve gotten rid of my pipe cleaning supplies since moving to an apartment and was hoping you could clean this pipe up for me. You seem to be very busy and in the middle of large restorations. Let me know if you can help. Best, Henry

What could I say to such a request from a fellow pipe restorer? I sent him an email and said I would take on his pipe. He packed it up and sent it to me in Vancouver. It arrived here a couple of weeks ago. Today, I took a break from the large estates and the other repairs I have going to work on Henry’s pipe. It is a small Dunhill saddle stem billiard. It is stamped on the left side of the shank 631F/T next to the bowl shank junction. The 631 is the shape number and the F/T is the designation for a Fish Tail stem. That is followed by Dunhill over Root Briar. On the right side of the shank it is stamped with a circle 1 R next to the bowl shank junction designating the group size of the pipe – a 1 and R which says it is a Root Briar. To the left of that it is stamped Made in England5 which tells me that the pipe was made in 1965. The finish on the bowl was dirty and spotty. The bowl had a thick cake in it and the lava overflowed onto the rim top. The inner edge of the bowl was damaged on the right side with both carving from a knife and a burned area. There was some darkening on the outer rim edge at the front of the bowl. It was in rough condition. The stem was not too bad. It was heavily oxidized but other than tooth chatter was in good condition. I took photos of the pipe before I started the restoration work to document the progress that way Henry can vicariously work on this pipe. I took some close up photos of the bowl and rim top and the stem surfaces. The first photo shows the condition of the bowl and rim top. I described the damage above but I have to say I probably minimized it in my description. It is in rough shape. The inner edge is hacked and uneven showing that it had probably been reamed with a knife. There was burn damage on the right inner edge and on the front edge. The stem on the other hand looked good other than the heavy oxidation on the surface. There was light tooth chatter but it still was in great shape.I took photos of the stamping on the shank. The left side was definitely in better condition than the left. You can see the stamping on the left side in the first photo. The second photo shows the right side of the shank. It reads as noted above.I turned to Pipedia to read about the Root Briar. I have worked on enough Dunhill pipes to have a good idea of the history and I already knew I was working on a 1965 pipe but I wanted to refresh my memory on the Root Briar finish (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill#Root_Briar).

(The Root Briar finish) was introduced in 1931 and highly prized because the grain is more pronounced in this finish (usually made using Corsican briar). The Root Briar finish requires a perfectly clean bowl with excellent graining. Therefore, it is the most expensive of the Dunhill pipes. Corsican briar was most often used for the Root finish since it was generally more finely grained. This is a rare finish, due to the scarcity of briar suitable to achieve it. These pipes are normally only available at Company stores, or at Principle Pipe Dealers. Straight grained pipes were formerly graded A through H, but are now only “Dr’s” and graded with one to six stars, with the letters G and H still used for the very finest pieces.

“Dunhill introduced its third major finish, the Root finish, in 1931. Corsican mountain briar is characteristically beautifully grained and the Root was made exclusively from that briar into the 1960s. The pipe was finished with a light natural stain to allow the beauty of the graining to show through. Although always available with a traditional black vulcanite bit, the Root was introduced in either 1930 or more likely 1931 and fitted with a marble brown dark and light grained vulcanite bit that has since become known as the ‘bowling ball’ bit because of the similarity in appearance between the bit’s finish and that of some bowling balls of the time. With the war, however, the bowling ball bit was dropped from production. Through 1954 (and after) the Root pipe nomenclature (including shape numbers) was identical to that of the Bruyere except that instead of the “A” of the Bruyere, the Root was stamped with an “R”. In 1952 when the finish rather than LONDON was placed under DUNHILL, ROOT BRIAR rather than BRUYERE was used for the Root.” Loring, J. C., The Dunhill Briar Pipe, The Patent Years and After (self-published, Chicago, 1998).

That was a good reminder for me of the character and the rarity of the finish. Henry was going to enjoy this pipe. Now it was time to work on it. I carefully removed the stem and found that there was an inner tube stuck in the shank. I examined it and found that I could see glimmers off it under the cake in the bowl. I would need to work on the cake and try to ream the bowl a bit around the entrance of the airway to loosen it. I reamed the bowl back around the airway with the tip of a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe knife. I ran alcohol down the tube using a pipe cleaner. I folded the pipe cleaner and dribbled alcohol around the end of the tube sticking into the bottom of the chamber. I worked alcohol in next to the tube using pipe cleaners. I paused and wiggled the tube regularly. I heated it a bit with a lighter and wiggled some more. Finally it came free. You can see all the debris on the outside of the tube.I cleaned up the outside of the tube with sandpaper to remove the grime. Once it was gone I could see significant damage to the tube. Where it was stuck in the shank there some deep pinch marks. Where it sat in the shank also had some grooves. It was actually damaged enough that I did not want to use it again. I have a box of inner tubes that I picked up in an estate I purchased. I have probably 8-9 different tubes of different sizes. I went through the tubes and found the identical tube but undamaged. The photos below show the original tube and the new replacement tube. I checked the fit in the bowl, shank and stem and it was perfect.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the smallest cutting head. I was able to remove the heavy cake. I cleaned up the remaining cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe knife and then sanded the walls of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel. I was pleased to see that the walls of the bowl were undamaged. I moved on to clean the interior. I scraped the walls of the shank with a pen knife to remove the oils and tars that had locked the inner tube in the shank. I was able to remove the majority of the debris with the knife. I followed up by scrubbing the airway in the shank and mortise as well as the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I scrubbed the exterior of the stem with some Soft Scrub to soften and remove some of the oxidation (of course I forgot to take photos of that part of the process). I used 3-4 cotton pads to scrub the stem and I was happy with the amount of oxidation that it removed. When I was finished I rinsed it off and dropped the stem into a bath of Before & After Deoxidizer. I left it in the mix for a while and turned my attention to the bowl.I topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a hard board to minimize the damage. I worked it over the sandpaper in a circular motion to reduce the scratches left behind by the sandpaper. When I finished topping it to my liking I used a folded piece of 220 sandpaper to give the inner edge of the bowl a bevel to reduce the burn damage. The third photo below shows the rim top after this treatment. It has come a long ways from the original rim top. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the debris from sanding. The photos show the developing shine on the bowl and rim top. I  used an Oak and a Maple stain pen to blend the colour of the rest of the bowl. I am happy with the blend as well as the new look of the rim top… What an improvement.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I find that the balm really makes the briar come alive again. It also works well to blend the restained areas of the bowl with the rest of the pipe. The contrasts in the layers of stain really made the grain stand out. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. This is the point that tells the truth about the blend on the rim top. It really does look good! I am very happy with the way the pipe is looking at this point in the process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I took it out of the Before & After Bath and scrubbed it with warm water to remove the bath product and blew out the airway. I buffed it with a rough cotton cloth but sadly the oxidation though better was still present. I scrubbed it again with Soft Scrub and was able to remove a lot more of the oxidation.I sanded the stem with 220 grit and 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the oxidation that remained. Even after the sanding it was still present.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – Fine and Extra Fine. I finished by buffing the stem with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil. Now that the stem is finished the pipe is one step away from packing and sending back to Henry. It is a pretty little Group 1 Dunhill saddle billiard. The pipe cleaned up really well and the stem looks quite stunning in place. I put the new inner tube in place and put the pipe back together again. I buffed it on the wheel with Blue Diamond polish and then gave the entirety several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deep the shine. It really is a beauty and should serve Henry well while he holds it in trust. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. I will be putting it in the mail to Henry on Monday after work. I am looking forward to what he thinks of the pipe when he receives it. I am happy with the finished look of the pipe. Thanks for walking with me through the restoration. It was a fun one with its own set of challenges.

Restoring an interesting 1902 LKL Amber Stemmed Cutty


Blog by Steve Laug

If you have followed rebornpipes for long you will know that I am a sucker for older pipes and that if I have restored pipes for you in the past I will definitely be available to you for future restorations. One such example of this is an interesting JW Straight Shank Bulldog that I restored for Ray in Australia in May about a year ago. I have included the link to the write up of the restoration if you are interested:  https://rebornpipes.com/2019/05/19/restoring-a-cased-1906-jw-straight-shank-amber-stemmed-bulldog/. Once in a while I get an email from Ray about the old timers that he picks up along the way. Ray seems to pick up some interesting older pipes so I am always glad to hear from him. Not too long ago I received an email from him about an old pipe that he picked up. I have included his email below.

Dear Steve,
I got this pipe and another a few days ago and they both need rescuing. This one is a 1902 Cutty with silver mount by Charles Maxwell Kinnear of Manchester. The issue with this is a humongous chunk of rim is missing on the right, plus 2 “pits” on the right flank. No other issues I can see. The stem fits well.

Best Regards
Ray

He attached some photos of the pipe to his email so I could see what he was speaking about. I have included them below. The photos that he included showed the pipe that he had picked up. It was a cased, amber stemmed Cutty that was marked LKL in an oval on the left side of the shank. The bowl was hardly smoked and the amber stem looked very good. There was some light crazing internally around the airway in the stem. The tenon was perfect. The alignment of the stem on the shank was perfect as well. It was in great shape. The bowl itself was where the issues were. There were some chips out of the bowl on lower, middle and top outer edge as can be seen in the above photos. The lower ones looked like fills that had fallen out of the briar. The one on the rim top and edge was more extensive and actually looked like fills had fallen out of that area as well. The edges were too smooth and the shape too smooth for it to be damage caused by dropping it. Other than these issues it appeared to be a beautiful pipe in a well made case.

Ray put the pipe in the mail and in short order it arrived in Vancouver. I opened the well packed box and was pleased that Ray had carefully packed the pipe for safe shipping. He added and item that I did not expect. He included a folded document that gave me the information that he had found in his research on the brand and silver stamping. I set the papers aside and carefully unwrapped the pipe from the internal box. I was surprised to see a red, leather covered, fitted case for the pipe. There was some light wear on the surface and the edges of the case but it was still in great condition for a pipe of this age. I took photos of the case and pipe before I started my work on it as part of the documentation on the restoration.I opened the case to have a look at the pipe. The inside of the case was in good condition. There was some wear on the lining but it was obvious that the case was designed with this pipe in mind.I took the pipe out of the case and took photos of the pipe from all sides to give an idea of the overall condition of the piece. Ray’s earlier photos had captured the essence of the damage on the rim top and right hand side of the bowl. The briar looks good from the left and underside. The rim top shows a damaged inner edge that is out of round. There is also damage to the surface of the rim on the right side as well. It is almost like a large fill had become dislodged. On the right side of the bowl there were large spots where fills had also come out and left pits on the lower and middle portion of the bowl. The silver looks pretty good. It is worn and tarnished and unreadable as it is. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the missing fill. I also took photos of the stem showing the overall condition of the surfaces on both sides. There appeared to be some crazing around the airway in the stem. There was also some tooth chatter and light tooth marks on the surface near the button that is hard to see in the photos. But overall it looked very good. The stamping on the pipe reads LKL in an oval on the left side of the shank. On the left side of the silver band it reads KLd in an oval with the hallmarks underneath. The KLd and the hallmarks are clearly visible with a lens. They are from left to right – a rampant lion followed by the seal that is used to indicate Chester, England and on the far right is a cursive letter B signifying that the pipe was made in 1902.Ray included the following papers in his package. The first of them is a document entitled Tobacconists Pipe Makers Pipe Mounters Silver Hallmarks. I followed the web address on the bottom of the document to the original page and have included a screen capture. That document has a highlighted portion on the bottom identifying the markings on the silver band on this pipe. It is KLd in an oval which identifies  Charles Maxwell Kinnear trading as Kinnear Ltd. – Manchester as the mother company. It further shows that the group worked as Pipe Mounters in Chester starting in 1901. http://www.silvercollection.it/DICTIONARYTOBACCONISTK.htmlRay also sent along a paper with the dates for pipes made in Chester that had the hallmarks that this pipe had on the silver. I have included a photo of that below. You can see that he has highlighted the markings for a 1902 pipe.He also cut out that section of the chart, rolled it and inserted it in the bowl.Now I clearly knew when the pipe was made and banded. The KLd stamp on the band was also now a Pipe Mounting Company in Chester. The one thing that was not clear to me yet was who LKL was that had carved the bowl. I checked on Pipedia and Pipephil’s site and neither one had a listing for either the LKL stamp or the KLd stamp on the silver. I took a chance on the stamping that it may well have read KLL since the K was larger than the L’s on either side and did a search for Kinnear pipes. That lead to a link on Pipemagazine’s forums where a fellow quote Jon Guss’ response to a fellow posted a pipe similarly stamped to this one. Here is the link to the full thread (https://pipesmagazine.com/forums/threads/1901-kinnear-restoration.61696/). I have quoted the pertinent part for the pipe I am working on.

…I think a much better candidate is Charles Maxwell Kinnear (b. Edinburgh 1872, d. Liverpool 1939), who’s involvement in the tobacco trade was a) documented, b) encompassing exactly the right time period (all his hallmarks were registered in 1901-1902), and c) at the right place (his hallmarks were registered in Chester). See: http://www.silvercollection.it/DICTIONARYTOBACCONISTK.html.

The Wikipedia entry for Kinnear’s father (a famous architect; see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Kinnear)  states that his son Charles became a tobacco manufacturer, and this was clearly true for at least 14 years. As a young man in 1891 the census lists him as apprenticed to his maternal uncle, an “american produce merchant”. What exactly that means is unclear. But by 1896 Kinnear pops up in Manchester trading as Leon Marcus & Co, a cigarette and tobacco manufacturer. He bought the business about that time from its founders, Leon Marcus Sogolowitch (1860-1919; a man who was a travelling salesman in the cigar and cigarette business both before and after his brief foray as a manufacturer), and Joseph V Lester. By 1900 Kinnear had relocated to Liverpool and was doing business under his own name as Kinnear Ltd at 49-57 Park Lane West.

About a decade later Kinnear left the tobacco business to enter into partnership in an enterprise called Dorn, Harding & Co, effective January 1, 1911. They were rubber brokers and merchants. This evidently failed since by the end of that same year the partnership was dissolved. What happened to Kinnear over the next 28 years before dying outside Liverpool at the age of 66 in 1939 is unknown to me. – Jon Guss

I think that I have now nailed down the provenance of this pipe as a Kinnear Ltd. made Cutty. Thus linking Kinnear not only to the Chester band but also to the manufacture of the pipe itself. With that done it was time to work on the pipe.

I started with the issues at hand with the pipe – the out of round inner edge of the bowl and the missing fills on the side and rim top. I began by taking a couple of photos of the bowl to show the damage that needed to be addressed.I started my work on the bowl with the out of round inner edge of the rim. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the rim edge. To prepare the top of the rim for the work that needed to be done I lightly topped the surface of the rim to make it clean and smooth. The added benefit was that the out of round edge was also much better between the sanding and the topping. The third photo below shows the cleaned up rim top and inner edge of the bowl. There is some progress on reshaping and repairing this pipe. The rim looked much better at this point in the process. The inner edge looked much better and was round again. Now it was time address the issue of the missing fills. I am pretty convinced that the damage to the rim top and bowl side did not come from a drop or damage but rather was the result of an old putty fill falling out along the way. I have found that in many of the old briar pipes from the early 1900s that I have worked on that the fills will dry out and drop out somewhere along the journey. I decided to rebuild the fills but instead of using putty to use Krazy Glue and briar dust. I put a drop of glue in each damaged fill and press briar dust into the glue. I repeated the process until the holes were filled in. I used this method on both the rim top and the right side of the bowl. The pictures below show the process.I sanded the repaired areas with 220 grit sandpaper once the fill had cured. The first step of the repair was complete. The repairs were smooth with the surface of the surrounding briar. I needed to a lot more sanding and blending but it was getting there.I did some more sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and took some progress photos. I continued to sand the repaired areas with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped the areas down with a damp cloth and took the photos.I polished the repaired areas and the rest of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. I used a Cherry and a Maple stain pen blended together on the side of the bowl and the rim top to match the colour of the rest of the bowl. Once it had dried I buffed it with a soft cotton cloth.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I find that the balm really makes the briar come alive again. It also works well to blend the restained areas of the bowl with the rest of the pipe. The contrasts in the layers of stain really made the grain stand out. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The pipe really looks good at this point. I am very happy with the way the pipe is looking at this point in the process. While I was hand buffing the bowl I noticed that the silver band was loose on the shank and rotated freely. I removed the band and put some all-purpose glue on the shank and pressed the band into place. I turned it to align the stamping on the band with the stamping on the shank. It set quite quickly and I polished the silver band with a jeweler’s cloth.At this point I wrote Ray an email and sent a few pictures of the current state of the pipe. I asked him a few questions about the next steps in the process. I was also curious about whether he had reamed and cleaned the pipe. I did not want to do that if it had already been done and I was also uncertain about whether he wanted me to refresh the gold in the stamp on the shank. I sent the email and called it a night. In the morning I received this response.

Hi Steve,

The gold foil sound great – I have not seen that before, but I usually don’t bother much with the nomenclature. Perhaps I should.

 No, I have not done any cleaning of the pipe at all – sent to you, as received.

 It came from Jason… he usually cleans up the pipes, but he is more a conservator than a restorer. William (who sold Jason the pipe)… gives them a buffing before sending them out, but not much more.

 My feeling is that the pipe has hardly been smoked. I have not tried cleaning the shaft or stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol, so I am just guessing.

The bowl is already looking really good. I’m afraid I was too afraid to take on the repair of the rim and the chips on the side of the bowl. As for matching the stain/colour – I am colour-blind, so goodness knows what shade the pipe will have ended up with…- Ray

Now I had some direction. I decided to finish my work on the bowl before proceeding to the stem. I used some Rub’n Buff Antique Gold to rework the gold stamping on the shank. I apply it with a tooth pick to work it into the grooves of the stamp. It is an oily product so once it is applied the idea is to “rub” it off with a soft cloth. The photos show the process.Now to back step a bit… It is always easier to do the internal cleaning before the repairs and buffing of the externals but it still had to be done – so I carefully worked on the bowl walls without damaging the inner edge of the rim. I examined the inside of the bowl with a light and I could see what looked like checking on the walls. Looking closer It appeared that there was a light cake in the areas that looked checked. The cake was not even on the walls of the bowl so it had to go! I used a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to scrape of the cake on the bowl walls. I then used a piece of dowel with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around it to smooth out the walls. Viola! The checking was gone and the bowl walls looked very good!I still wanted to clean out the internals of the mortise, shank and airway in the shank and stem. I cleaned mortise and shank with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. Because of the pre-existent crazing in the stem I used water to clean out the inside of the stem. The pipe was quite clean as can be seen in the photos of the pipe cleaners and swabs. I agree with Ray it was indeed either lightly smoked or very well cared for.With the bowl finished it was time to address the tooth chatter and marks on the stem. I sanded them out with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and followed that with a piece of 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. It did not take too much sanding for the surface to be smooth.I polished the sanded areas of the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – Fine and Extra Fine. I finished by buffing the stem with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil. I am happy to see this pipe finished. Later today I will pack it up and send it back to Ray in Australia. It was a fun one to work on – I love old pipes. This one has a lot of character and charm that just got my attention as I am sure it did Ray’s. I put it back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the wheel being careful to not let the wheel snatch it away from me. I gave the bowl several coats of carnauba wax and the stem several coats of Conservator’s Wax. The pipe looked really good. I could not wait to hear what Ray thought of the pipe once he saw it. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I am happy with the way the repairs to the fills turned out. The pipe is a real beauty and should be a great smoker for Ray. It will soon be on its way back to Australia. Thanks for walking through this restoration with me. It is a great example of the trust we carry on as pipemen and women. This pipe has passed through many hands before coming to Ray. It will have a long useful life ahead of it as Ray carries on the trust… for this season. Cheers.  

 

Giving New Life and Stem Alignment to a Made in London England Diplomat


Blog by Dal Stanton

When I put this pipe in the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! online collection, I identified it as a Squat Apple. It came to me from the lot my son helped me to procure from an antique shop in St. Louis.  When Andy chose this as his next pipe after commissioning the probable Preben Holm Danish Freehand which I just finished restoring (See: Recommissioning a Mysterious Freehand, Made in Denmark – Preben Holm?) I fished it out of the ‘Help Me!’ basket and put it on the table and the ‘Squat Apple’ sort of fit, but not quite.  Volcano?  No, too rounded.  Here are the pictures of the ‘Squat Apple’ that got Andy’s attention. The only markings are found on the lower side of the oval shank, MADE IN LONDON [over] ENGLAND.  Below the COM is what I assume is a shape number, ‘140’.   Not a lot to go on to determine origins.The ‘Squat Apple’ wasn’t sitting well with me so I looked at Bill Burney’s great Pipe Shapes Chart on Pipedia and found the shape classification that worked better – Diplomat.  Interestingly, my ‘Squat Apple’ designation was used by Bill Burney to describe the Diplomat.  I clipped the panel to show the description of the Diplomat:The English Diplomat now on my worktable is not a bad looking pipe but has a few issues.  The Diplomat’s chamber has a thick layer of cake and the lava flow on the rim is thick – it needs some cleaning as well as the stummel.The after section of the rim reveals the darkening of the briar that has been scorched through the lighting practices of the former steward.As the following three pictures show, the stummel is darkened from grime and oils on the surface.  You can see some very nice grain lurking beneath.  There are also dings and scratches on the stummel from normal wear. The acrylic stem is attractive, but I’m guessing that it’s a replacement stem.  My first observation looked like the stem simply didn’t fit with a wobble and gaps showing between the shank and stem facings.  When I removed the stem the acrylic tenon was stuck in the mortise and not attached to the tenon.  It didn’t take much to dislodge the rogue tenon but after inserting it into the tenon and trying the fit again, the wobble and looseness is evident and if I’m able to reattach the acrylic tenon and keep the stem facing flush with the shank facing before the CA glue sets, it should do well.I then noticed the darkened airway through the translucent acrylic.  As I suspected, after inserting a pipe cleaner into the airway from the shank side, I discover that there is blockage in the stem. In the picture below, I’ve placed my fingers roughly where the inserted pipe cleaner stops and the blockage begins.  This can be a pain!  The following picture with the slot view shows blockage very near to the opening.I decide to try to ‘bull’ through the blockage with a pipe cleaner and to my surprise, the pipe cleaner was able to break through and not a lot of gunk came out.  Good to go.Before moving toward re-attaching the tenon to the acrylic stem, I’ll first do the cleaning.  I’m trying a ‘Soft-Scrub-like’ product we have here in Bulgaria called Cif brand to try to clean the darkened internal airway.  The label describes micro-crystals and a bleach component as the active agents.  I’m using Jeff Laug’s recommendations from his blog (Got a filthy estate pipe that you need to clean?).Holding the translucent acrylic stem up to the light provides a good Xray of the airway and how it’s darkened.  We’ll see how much the cleaning removes the internal buildup and lightens the airway. I go to work with the Cif product and start by using bristled pipe cleaners dipped in Cif to begin breaking up the tars and oils that have crusted inside the airway. At first there was no noticeable progress except for the darker discoloration of the pipe cleaners which meant something was happening.  I add after the pipe cleaners shank brushes.  I transferred the shank brushes, Cif and stem to the kitchen sink where using hot water, I continued the cleaning with the Cif and brushes.  At this point, progress was evident.  A combination of the brushes and cleaner AND the hot water helps break down the crud.Back to the worktable, the follow-up light Xray shows the results.  Nice!  I move on.I put the stem aside and move to the stummel cleaning before I start on the repairs to the stem and tenon.  Not only do I prefer working on cleaned pipes, but often the cleaning process can change the mortise environment because we are working with wood.  Cleaning often loosens tenon fittings.  So, before moving to more permanent repairs, it’s a good principle to get the cleaning done first.  Looking again at the chamber, the cake is moving from moderate to thick cake.  Using the Pipnet Reaming Kit I start with the smallest blade head and end up using 3 of the 4 blade heads available in the Kit. The Savinelli Fitsall Tool works well to follow by doing fine-tune scraping of the chamber walls.  I complete the cleaning by wrapping 240 grade paper around a Sharpie Pen which provides the leverage as I sand the chamber to remove the final vestiges of carbon cake to expose fresher briar to have a clean start. After wiping the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to clean the carbon dust, I take a picture as I examine the chamber walls for heating damage.  All looks great. Moving now to the external cleaning of the stummel, I employ undiluted Murphy’s Oil soap on a cotton pad to scrub the surface and rim covered by lava flow.  In the immediate picture below, the sharp-edged pocketknife is helpful to remove the caked crusting.  You can see the progress being made as the blade is carefully scraping the rim top without cutting into the wood.  After the knife edge, the brass bristled brush cleans the rim further without damaging the wood.After working on the rim and stummel surface, I take the stummel to the kitchen sink using hot water and clean the internals using shank brushes and anti-oil dish soap liquid.  After thoroughly rinsing the stummel with water, back on the worktable a picture records the present cleaning state.Again, focusing on the internals, now using cotton buds and pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95%, cleaning continues.  Also employed is a dental spoon to scrape the mortise walls – which produces very little.  A shank brush wetted with isopropyl 95% is used saving on pipe cleaners.  When the pipe cleaners and buds start emerging lighter and cleaner, I call this phase completed to be continued later using a kosher salt and alcohol soak.Now looking again at the tenon repair of the acrylic stem.  The tenon that was part of the Diplomat was not attached and since it’s not, fitting it to see how it will work is not easy – it shifts and moves.  The first two pictures below show the result when I insert the tenon tightly into the stem cavity to test it out.  The first picture is from the top perspective.  Notice that the stem is offset to the right (top of the picture) so that the stem is overhanging on the top and the shank is overhanging the bottom of the picture.Now looking at the underside of the fit, the offset is augmented by the gapping that is evident.Not only do the pictures reveal the seating difficulties of the tenon, but the drilling through the tenon for the airway is not centered.  This has potential challenges on at least two fronts.  First, it potentially creates a hang-up lip as pipe cleaners are pushed through.  This is not huge as usually simply twisting the pipe cleaner in the airway solves this hindrance.  Secondly, is that if the tenon needs to be expanded, I will not use the heating method to expand it.  The reason for this is that the offset drilling has created a very thin wall of acrylic which will probably split if expansion is attempted.  The alternative will be to simply paint the exterior of the tenon with acrylic clear polish or CA glue.  This builds out the tenon circumference.As I was fiddling with the tenon trying to figure out the best approach, another issue surfaced.  On a hunch, the question came to mind, ‘Is the acrylic stem facing flat?’  I took out the chopping board that serves as a topping board and I placed the stem facing flat against it.  I discover that there is a dance in it – a microscopic rocking.  Just to be on the safe side for comparison, I also place the shank facing down on the board and find that its rock solid. You can see from the second picture the culprit looks to be around the airway – old glue protruding.  I decide to address this straight away by placing 240 grade paper on the board and ‘top’ the stem facing to flatten it – carefully!  Instead of rotating like I would if it were a stummel being topped, I drag laterally along the paper.  After a few ‘drags’ on the topping board, another test on the flat chopping board is much better.  The stem facing is now flush with no rocking.I again do a test fitting with the unglued tenon in place, reengage the stem to bring the facings flush.  To see if a pipe cleaner would snag on the tenon, I insert one through without problem.If I can glue the tenon and achieve this much, I’ll be satisfied.  Sanding can address the overhangs where the shank and stem do not line up.A lot of time has elapsed thinking and testing, now it’s time for action!  I use BSI Extra Thick Maxi-Cure CA glue.  Using a piece of 240 grade sanding paper, I sand the part of the tenon that will be inserted into the mortise.  I want it round and smooth. After cleaning the area with alcohol, I place a small amount of glue around the circumference of the tenon just above where the tenon will be inserted into the mortise.  In this way I hope to avoid glue getting into the airway on the end of the tenon. Yet, I don’t put a lot of glue on it to avoid CA glue being forced out the top onto the stem facing.  After placing the glue, I insert the glued part of the tenon partially into the stem cavity and then insert the mortise side of the tenon into the mortise and engage the parts.  In this way, while the glue is still pliable, the tenon gives way to the flush orientation of the shank and stem facings. After doing this, I leave the pipe for several minutes allowing the CA glue to cure and hopefully hold the tenon in place! I’m hopeful for a solid and snug seating. I decide to move forward with working on the acrylic stems button.  The top button lip has been compressed on the left side and the lower lip has also been chewed.  The tooth compressions on both upper and lower sides need filling. I use regular CA glue combined with an accelerator.  Starting on the topside and apply CA to the problem areas – also on the lip to build it.  I do the same for the lower bit and button lip.  With each application of CA glue, I use the accelerator to hold the patch in place and cure the glue more rapidly. I next use a flat needle file to file the CA glue patches over the tooth compressions down to the stem surface on both the upper and lower bit.  I file and shape the button repair as well.To remove the scratches left by the file, 240 grade paper is used on the bit and button but also on the whole stem.Focusing the sanding on the junction now, I sand out the edges that were hanging over the shank and stem facings.  I first cover the nomenclature with masking tape to protect it. The sanding moves around the circumference of the junction and I like the way the stem and shank now are in alignment and the union is flush.Next, I wet sand the entire stem with 600 grade sanding paper and follow with applying 000 steel wool. I’m on a roll with the stem, which I normally like to get out of the way so I can work on the stummel!  Next, I apply the full battery of 9 micromesh pads to the acrylic stem.  First, I wet sand using pads 1500 to 2400 and follow by dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Even though I don’t believe it makes a difference but seems to enrich the acrylic surface.  I love the pop of the stem – almost luminescent. After reuniting stem and Diplomat stummel, I get a sense of where things are.  I’m liking what I see!  While the stem was probably not the original, I like the combination and thinking now about how to finish the bowl to take advantage of the striking hues of the acrylic stem. At this point, if the micromesh process brings out the grain well and there is no nuanced lightening of the wood on the shank where the major sanding was, I’ll leave it in the natural briar state.  If there is indication that the shank sanding stands out, I’ll apply a stain.  The briar patterns are very nice – time to bring it out!Next, to freshen the rim and to remove the darkened old finish, I take the stummel to the topping board.Not much is needed – only a cosmetic topping.  With the stummel inverted on 240 grade paper, I give the stummel a few rotations to clean things up.Then switching to 600 grade paper, the stummel is rotated several more times.With the rim refreshed, sanding sponges will address the tired finish on the bowl and the normal nick and dents.  I see no major issues to address on the stummel surface – no fills.With the ‘Made in London, England’ covered by masking tape to protect it, I make sure that the sanding sponges address the shank area well.  I want to blend the lightened area that was sanded.  Using a coarse sanding sponge to do the initial heavy sanding, it removes the minor nicks and old tired finish.  After using the coarse sponge, I remove the masking tape covering the nomenclature for the application of the medium and light graded sponges.  The sponges are not rough enough to impact the nomenclature which is healthy.To fine tune further, the full set of micromesh pads are applied by first wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400.  Following this, dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000 bring out the grain which is beautiful. On a roll, and very enthused by the richness of the honey brown hue emerging and the detailed grain, I apply Mark Hoover’s product (www.ibepen.com), Before & After Restoration Balm which does a great job teasing out the deeper natural hues of the briar.  With some Balm on my fingers, I work it into the briar well and then set it aside for about 20 minutes for the Balm to be absorbed by the wood.  I then wipe off the excess with a cotton cloth dedicated to this and then buff the stummel with microfiber cloth.The day is coming to its close and I continue the internal cleaning using a kosher salt and alcohol soak.  This further cleans as well as freshens the bowl for the new steward.  I first fashion a ‘wick’ by stretching and twisting a cotton ball which is then inserted into the mortise and airway with the help of a stiff wire.  This wick helps to draw out the tars and oils from the internal chamber walls.I then fill the chamber with kosher salt which does not leave an aftertaste and place the bowl in an egg carton for stability.Using an eyedropper, isopropyl 95% fills the chamber until it surfaces over the salt.  After a few minutes the alcohol is absorbed, and the alcohol is topped off.  I let the soak work on the cleaning through the night.The next morning the salt and wick are soiled revealing the added cleaning of the chamber and mortise.  After dumping the expended salt and wiping the chamber with paper towel, I blow through the mortise to loosen and remove salt crystals remaining.To make sure all is clean, I follow with some pipe cleaners and cotton buds.  This is a good step in the cleaning process because the dirty pipe cleaners revealed that the airway was still in need of more cleaning.  After more pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95%, the pipe cleaners were emerging cleaner and lighter.  I declare after a time, ‘Clean!’ and I move on.After reuniting the stem and stummel and mounting a cotton cloth buffing wheel on the Dremel, setting the speed at about 40%, the fine abrasive Blue Diamond is applied to the entire pipe.  After completing this, I use a felt cloth to buff the pipe to remove compound dust in preparation for applying the wax.Finally, after changing to another cotton cloth buffing wheel, carnauba wax is applied to the pipe and I after this, I give the pipe a hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine.The grain on this Made in London England Diplomat is superb.  I’m extremely pleased with the repair to the acrylic stem.  It is now beautifully seated in the mortise, straight balanced and snugly secure.  The waves in the acrylic pop and the Diplomat shape, with the broad heal, makes for a very nice feel in the palm.  Andy from Maryland commissioned this English Diplomat and will have the first opportunity to acquire him in The Pipe Steward Store.  This pipe benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria.  Thanks for joining me!