Tag Archives: Brigham Pipes

Hard Work on Restoring a Brigham 3 Dot Prince 3


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is an interesting looking mixed finish Prince that was stained with a rich brown colour on both the smooth upper portion and rusticated lower portion of the bowl and shank. It was stamped on the smooth underside of the shank. The stamping was readable. The shape number 3 and the stamping Brigham over Canada was on the smooth band on the underside of the shank. The age on this one is Post-Patent era, nominally 1960s. The pipe was another pipe that Jeff picked up on his hunts. It was in decent condition when he brought it to the table. The finish was dirty and the rim top had some damage but otherwise looked decent the inner edge of the bowl was in good condition. The bowl had been reamed and smoked a few times after that. Whoever had reamed it, had overdone the reaming and left some deep gouges around the inside base of the bowl. The internals were quite clean. The stem was in rough condition with deep tooth marks on the top and underside on and near the button. The Maple Distillator had been recently replaced. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work They tell the story and give a glimpse of the promise that we see in this pipe. Jeff took a photo of the rim top to show the interior the bowl and the rim top and inner edge. It is clean but damaged.Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show grain that was around this bowl. It is a nice looking pipe. He took a photo of the underside of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above – it reads Brigham in script over Canada. In the left corner of the smooth panel is the number 3. The stem has three dots in a triangular pattern on the left side. The stem was a very good fit to the shank. It was lightly oxidized and had deep tooth marks on the stem and on the button surface.   Jeff took the stem off the bowl and took a picture of the aluminum tube tenon with the Maple Distillator in place and out of the tenon on top of the tube.Before I get into the restoration part of this pipe I decided to include a poster I picked up that shows the filtration system of the patented Brigham Distillator. Give the poster a read. It also helps to understand the internals of these older Canadian Made pipes.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. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. The stamping on the side of the stem was very light and the white that had remained was gone. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top and edges show a lot of damage on the surface. It is rough looking and rough to touch. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the deep tooth marks on the surface and on the button. It was in rough condition. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is clear and readable. I took the pipe apart and removed the Distillator from the aluminum tenon. It obviously been replaced by whoever reamed this pipe before we got it. I decided to start my restoration work on this one by dealing with the over reaming of the bowl and the damaged rim top. I sanded the bowl walls to smooth out the reaming damage with a piece of dowel wrapped with sandpaper. I was able to smooth out much of the damage. I cleaned up the inner edge of the bowl and rim top with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage. I polished the smooth portions of the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. After each pad I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. With that done the bowl was finished other than the final buffing. I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the tooth damage with clear CA glue and set the stem aside to cure. Once it had cured I used a needle file to recut the button edge and flatten out the repaired spots. I sanded out the repaired tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sand paper to blend them into the rest of the stem surface. I started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it had begun to shine.   I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish from a tin of it I have in the drawer here. It is a gritty red paste that I rub on with my finger tips and work into the surface of the stem and button and buff off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work.Before I finished the polishing stem I decided to fit it with the Rock Maple Distillator.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I am excited to finish this Brigham Prince. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping through on the bowls sides and rim top. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem with the shining brass pins was beautiful. This mixed grain on the smooth finish Brigham 3 Prince is nice looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. When I was going through the pipes in my box of pipes to be done I came across this beautiful 3 Dot Brigham. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next pipeman or woman.  

A Quick and Easy Restoration on a Brigham 3 Dot Dublin 306


Blog by Steve Laug

Even with the COVID-19 warning rolling in incessantly I am still working on pipes! It keeps my mind busy and focused. There is no reason to not enjoy the time alone at the work table bringing these old-timers back to life. The next pipe I have chosen is an interesting looking mixed finish Dublin that was stained with a rich brown colour on both the smooth upper portion and rusticated lower portion of the bowl and shank. It was stamped on the smooth underside of the shank. The stamping was readable. The shape number 306 is on the heel of the pipe and identifies the shape. The stamping Made in Canada and then the Brigham stamp in script followed on the rest of the flattened shank. The age on this one is Post-Patent era, nominally 1960s. The pipe comes to me I think from a trade I did with Alex but I am uncertain. It was in decent condition when I brought it to the table. The finish was a little dirty and the rim top had some damage but otherwise looked decent the inner edge of the bowl was slightly out of round due to some burn damage. The internals were quite clean. The stem was in good condition other than a few tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. The Maple Distillator was dirty and would need to be replaced. I took photos of the pipe when I brought it to the table. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top was clean, but there was a slight burn mark on the front inner edge. You can also see that the bowl was out of round. I also took close up photos of the stem to show how well surface looked on both sides. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is faint but it is readable.I took the pipe apart and removed the Distillator from the aluminum tenon. It was stained but otherwise clean. I would need to replace it when I was finished. Before I get into the restoration part of this pipe I decided to include a poster I picked up that shows the filtration system of the patented Brigham Distillator. Give the poster a read. It also helps to understand the internals of these older Canadian Made pipes.I decided to start my restoration work on this one by dealing with the damaged rim top. I sanded the inner edge of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper to reshape the out of round bowl and deal with the burned spot on the front edge. I gave it a slight bevel and I am pleased with the results.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. After each pad I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. With that done the bowl was finished other than the final buffing. I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I painted the stem surface with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks from the surface.After the heat had done its work on the tooth marks on the top side I was left with some damage on the button edges and on the underside of the stem. I filled in the remaining tooth damage with clear CA glue and set the stem aside to dry overnight. I sanded out the repaired tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sand paper to blend them into the rest of the stem surface. I started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it had begun to shine.        I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish from a tin of it I have in the drawer here. It is a gritty red paste that I rub on with my finger tips and work into the surface of the stem and button and buff off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work. Before I finished the polishing stem I decided to fit it with a new Rock Maple Distillator.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I am continuing to experiment with Briarville Pipe Repairs new product, No Oxy Oil so I rubbed the stem down with the oil on the cloth that was provided with it. I am excited to finish this Brigham. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping through on the bowls sides and rim top. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem with the shining brass pins was beautiful. This mixed grain on the smooth finish Brigham 306 Dublin is nice looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. When I was going through the box of pipes in my box of pipes to be done I came across this beautiful 3 Dot Brigham. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. 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.    

Breathing Life into a Brigham 3 Dot 333 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

Not too long ago I received an email from a fellow in Kitchener, Ontario regarding some pipes he needed cleaned up. He had been referred to me by my local pipe and cigar shop. While I am not currently adding more pipes to my queue of repairs I have made a commitment to the shop to work on pipes for their customers. Generally they have one or two pipes that need a bit of work. This fellow sent me the following email:

I just came across my smoking pipes that I’ve had in storage for about 40 years. I’m wondering what you’d charge to have them refurbished. There are 17 in total (11 are Brighams and 6 are various).

It turns out he said he had 17 pipes. That was certainly more than I expected but I communicated that there was a large queue ahead of him and I would have to fit them in as I could. He was fine with whatever time it took. He sent me the following photos of his collection that he wanted restored. The first photo shows his eleven Brigham pipes – all very interesting shapes. The second photo shows the six various pipes in the collection – A Republic Era Peterson’s System 1312 (Canadian Import), A Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand, a Comoy’s Everyman London smooth billiard, a GBD Popular Dublin 12, an English made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B, a Kriswill Bernadotte 60 with a broken tenon. When the box arrived there were two additional pipes included for a total of 19 – a Ropp 803 Deluxe Cherrywood Poker and a Comoy’s Sandblast Everyman Canadian 296. It was a lot of pipes! I have been randomly choosing the next pipe to work on and chose the final Brigham that I have drawn a purple box around in the photo below.When I unwrapped it the pipe it was a nice looking smooth nicely grained Billiard that was stained with a rich brown colour. It was stamped on the smooth underside of the shank. The stamping was readable. The shape number 333 is on the heel of the pipe and identifies the shape. The stamping Made in Canada and then the Brigham stamp in script followed on the rest of the flattened shank. The age on this one is Post-Patent era, nominally 1960s. The rim top had a thick lava overflow from the thick cake in the bowl. The bowl was in decent condition and the inner edge appeared to be in good condition. There was some darkening around the top and inner edges of the bowl. It was a dirty pipe but the finish appeared to be in okay condition under the grime. The 3 Dot saddle stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. There was also some calcification for about an inch up the stem. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and the rim edge as well as the cake and lava overflowing onto the rim top. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above.     I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to show what I was speaking about above. It is very clear and readable. The 333 shape number is on the heel followed by Made In Canada then the Brigham script logo.I removed the stem from the shank to reveal the aluminum tube/tenon that held the Rock Maple Distillator. The distillator was dirty and tightly jammed in the tube. It would need to be replaced. This is another non-Can. Pat. Brigham pipe from the nineteen pipe installment. This is the final, the eleventh of the Brighams. I went to work on it immediately. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the second cutting head to take the cake back to bare briar so I could inspect the walls. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel to smooth them out and further examine them. I was happy that the walls looked very good. I scraped the rim top with a Fitsall Knife edge to remove the thick cake. I worked on the darkening on the rim top and the rough inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the darkening and smooth out the inner edge of the bowl. I cleaned out the mortise area and airway to the bowl and the interior of the metal tube and airway in the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. The aluminum tube was in better condition than others because the distillator had been used.  I scrubbed the surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit as well as the remnants of the shiny finish on the smooth portions of the bowl.          I wet sanded the rim top and edges of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl surface down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the sanding dust. Once I finished the bowl looked good.   I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I rubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub on with a cotton pad and it removed the oxidation and the calcification build up. It looked a lot better.   This was the first of these pipes with some significant tooth indentations. Heating the vulcanite did not do anything to remove them so I wiped the stem down and filled them in with clear super glue. With this done I set the pipe aside and called it a night. Tomorrow I would address the stem.I sanded out the repairs to the tooth marks, chatter and oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I rubbed down the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish and a cotton pad to remove the remnants of oxidation and to blend in the sanding. The polish is a red gritty paste that works wonders on removing stubborn remnants of oxidation in the crease. The stem is starting to show promise at this point in the process. Before I finished the polishing stem I decided to fit it with a new Rock Maple Distillator.    I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cotton pad to remove the sanding debris.  I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine.     I am excited to finish last Brigham of the lot as it moves me one pipe closer to being finished. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping through on the bowls sides and rim top. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem with the shining brass pins was beautiful. This mixed grain on the smooth finish Brigham Exclusive Billiard is nice looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. This 3 Dot Billiard is the last of the Brigham pipes that I have worked on in this collection. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This is the 17th of the 19 pipes sent to me from Eastern Canada for restoration. Once again I am looking forward to what the pipeman who sent it thinks of this restoration. Lots more to do in this lot! 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.

Breathing Life into a Can Pat Brigham Exclusive 314 Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

Not too long ago I received an email from a fellow in Kitchener, Ontario regarding some pipes he needed cleaned up. He had been referred to me by my local pipe and cigar shop. While I am not currently adding more pipes to my queue of repairs I have made a commitment to the shop to work on pipes for their customers. Generally they have one or two pipes that need a bit of work. This fellow sent me the following email:

I just came across my smoking pipes that I’ve had in storage for about 40 years. I’m wondering what you’d charge to have them refurbished. There are 17 in total (11 are Brighams and 6 are various).

It turns out he said he had 17 pipes. That was certainly more than I expected but I communicated that there was a large queue ahead of him and I would have to fit them in as I could. He was fine with whatever time it took. He sent me the following photos of his collection that he wanted restored. The first photo shows his eleven Brigham pipes – all very interesting shapes. The second photo shows the six various pipes in the collection – A Republic Era Peterson’s System 1312 (Canadian Import), A Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand, a Comoy’s Everyman London smooth billiard, a GBD Popular Dublin 12, an English made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B, a Kriswill Bernadotte 60 with a broken tenon. When the box arrived there were two additional pipes included for a total of 19 – a Ropp 803 Deluxe Cherrywood Poker and a Comoy’s Sandblast Everyman Canadian 296. It was a lot of pipes! I have been randomly choosing the next pipe to work on and chose the Brigham that I have drawn a green box around in the photo below.When I unwrapped it the pipe it was a nice looking rusticated pot that was lighter in colour than the other rusticated Brighams in the collection. It was stamped on the smooth underside of the shank. The stamping is faint but part of it was readable. The shape number 314 is on the heel of the pipe and identifies the shape. It is followed by the Can. Pat. 372982 and then the Brigham stamp in script. It had a rusticated bowl and shank with a smooth rim top. The rim top had a lava overflow from the medium cake in the bowl. The bowl was in decent condition, slightly out of round on the inner edge. There was some darkening around the top and inner edges of the bowl. It was a dirty pipe but the finish appeared to be in okay condition under the grime. The 3 Dot saddle stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. There was also some calcification for about an inch up the stem. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and damage to the rim edge as well as the cake and lava overflowing onto the rim top. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above.     I took a photo of the faint stamping on the underside of the shank to show what I was speaking about above. It is very clear and readable. The 314 shape number is on the heel followed by the Can. Pat. 372982 number then the Brigham script logo.I removed the stem from the shank to reveal the aluminum tube/tenon that held the Rock Maple Distillator. The distillator was dirty and tightly jammed in the tube. It would need to be replaced. Before starting my clean up work on the pipe I turned to a chart that Charles Lemon of Dad’s Pipes sent to me on the patent era Brighams. There were made from 1938-1980. As the pipe I am working on is a Patent pipe, it’s more accurate to refer to its grade by name (the post 1980 grading scheme refers to Dots). Here is the  chart that Charles sent me. The pipe I am working on is thus a Brigham Exclusive with the 3 brass pins arranged in a triangle. With this pipe I am continuing to work on another Can Pat Brigham pipe from the nineteen pipe installment. This is tenth of the eleven Brighams. I went to work on it immediately. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the second cutting head to take the cake back to bare briar so I could inspect the walls. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel to smooth them out and further examine them. I was happy that the walls looked very good.    I worked on the darkening on the rim top and the rough inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the darkening and smooth out the inner edge of the bowl.    I cleaned out the mortise area and airway to the bowl and the interior of the metal tube and airway in the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. The aluminum tube was dirty because it was missing the distillator and had been smoked sans filter.    I scrubbed the surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit as well as the remnants of the shiny finish on the smooth portions of the bowl.     I wet sanded the rim top and edges of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl surface down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the sanding dust. Once I finished the bowl looked good.    I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I rubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub on with a cotton pad and it removed the oxidation and the calcification build up. It looked a lot better.        I sanded out the tooth marks, chatter and oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.     I rubbed down the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish and a cotton pad to remove the remnants of oxidation and to blend in the sanding. The polish is a red gritty paste that works wonders on removing stubborn remnants of oxidation in the crease. The stem is starting to show promise at this point in the process.   Before I finished the polishing stem I decided to fit it with a new Rock Maple Distillator.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cotton pad to remove the sanding debris.  I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine.     I am excited to finish another of the lot as it moves me one pipe closer to being finished. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping through on the rim top and the rustication coming to life. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem with the shining brass pins was beautiful. This mixed smooth and rusticated finish Brigham Exclusive Pot is nice looking and feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. This is the smallest of the Brigham pipes that I have worked on in this collection. The dimensions are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 5/8 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This is the 16th of the 19 pipes sent to me from Eastern Canada for restoration. Once again I am looking forward to what the pipeman who sent it thinks of this restoration. Lots more to do in this lot! 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.

Breathing Life into a Can Pat Brigham Exclusive Tall Stack


Blog by Steve Laug

Not too long ago I received an email from a fellow in Kitchener, Ontario regarding some pipes he needed cleaned up. He had been referred to me by my local pipe and cigar shop. While I am not currently adding more pipes to my queue of repairs I have made a commitment to the shop to work on pipes for their customers. Generally they have one or two pipes that need a bit of work. This fellow sent me the following email:

I just came across my smoking pipes that I’ve had in storage for about 40 years. I’m wondering what you’d charge to have them refurbished. There are 17 in total (11 are Brighams and 6 are various).

It turns out he said he had 17 pipes. That was certainly more than I expected but I communicated that there was a large queue ahead of him and I would have to fit them in as I could. He was fine with whatever time it took. He sent me the following photos of his collection that he wanted restored. The first photo shows his eleven Brigham pipes – all very interesting shapes. The second photo shows the six various pipes in the collection – A Republic Era Peterson’s System 1312 (Canadian Import), A Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand, a Comoy’s Everyman London smooth billiard, a GBD Popular Dublin 12, an English made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B, a Kriswill Bernadotte 60 with a broken tenon. When the box arrived there were two additional pipes included for a total of 19 – a Ropp 803 Deluxe Cherrywood Poker and a Comoy’s Sandblast Everyman Canadian 296. It was a lot of pipes! I have been randomly choosing the next pipe to work on and chose the Brigham that I have drawn a red box around in the photo below.When I unwrapped it the pipe it was a tall Stack. It was stamped on the smooth underside of the shank. The stamping is faint but part of it was readable. There is no shape number to identify the pipe. Where it would have been it is followed by the Brigham Script over Can. Pat. 372982. It had a rusticated bowl and shank with a smooth rim top. The rim top had a lava overflow from the medium cake in the bowl. The bowl was in decent condition, slightly out of round on the inner edge. There was some darkening around the top and inner edges of the bowl. It was a dirty pipe but the finish appeared to be in okay condition under the grime. The 3 Dot tapered stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. There was also some calcification for about an inch up the stem. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and damage to the rim edge as well as the cake and lava overflowing onto the rim top. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above.     I took a photo of the faint stamping on the underside of the shank to show what I was speaking about above. It is very clear and readable. It reads Brigham in script over Can Pat. 372982.I removed the stem from the shank to reveal the aluminum tube/tenon that held the Rock Maple Distillator. The distillator was missing and the tube was very dirty. It will need to be replaced. Before starting my clean up work on the pipe I turned to a chart that Charles Lemon of Dad’s Pipes sent to me on the patent era Brighams. There were made from 1938-1980. As the pipe I am working on is a Patent pipe, it’s more accurate to refer to its grade by name (the post 1980 grading scheme refers to Dots). Here is the  chart that Charles sent me. The pipe I am working on is thus a Brigham Exclusive with the 3 brass pins arranged in a triangle. With this pipe I am returning to work on another Can Pat Brigham pipe from the nineteen pipe installment. I went to work on it immediately. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the second and second cutting head to take the cake back to bare briar so I could inspect the walls. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel to smooth them out and further examine them. I was happy that the walls looked very good. I worked on the darkening on the rim top and the rough inner edge of the bowl by first scraping it with the edge of the Fitsall reamer and the sanding it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the darkening and smooth out the inner edge of the bowl. I cleaned out the mortise area and airway to the bowl and the interior of the metal tube and airway in the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. The aluminum tube was dirty because it was missing the distillator and had been smoked sans filter.   I scrubbed the surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit as well as the remnants of the shiny finish on the smooth portions of the bowl.         With the rim top cleaned off and the inner edge restored and the darkening gone the rim was lighter than the smooth underside of the shank. I stained it with a Maple Stain pen. I don’t worry too much about the evenness of the coverage at this point as I plan on polishing it with micromesh sanding pads.I wet sanded the rim top and edges of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl surface down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the sanding dust. Once I finished the bowl looked good. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. It really makes the grain stand out on this pipe.    I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I rubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub on with a cotton pad and it removed the oxidation and the calcification build up. It looked a lot better.       I sanded out the tooth marks, chatter and oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I rubbed down the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish and a cotton pad to remove the remnants of oxidation and to blend in the sanding. The polish is a red gritty paste that works wonders on removing stubborn remnants of oxidation in the crease. The stem is starting to show promise at this point in the process.     Before I finished the polishing stem I decided to fit it with a new Rock Maple Distillator.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cotton pad to remove the sanding debris.  I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine.   I am excited to finish another of the lot as it moves me one pipe closer to being finished. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping through on the rim top and the rustication coming to life. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem with the shining brass pins was beautiful. This mixed smooth and rusticated finish Brigham Exclusive Stack is nice looking and feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This is the 15th of the 19 pipes sent to me from Eastern Canada for restoration. Once again I am looking forward to what the pipeman who sent it thinks of this restoration. Lots more to do in this lot! 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.

Breathing Life into a Can Pat Brigham Exclusive 316 Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

Not too long ago I received an email from a fellow in Kitchener, Ontario regarding some pipes he needed cleaned up. He had been referred to me by my local pipe and cigar shop. While I am not currently adding more pipes to my queue of repairs I have made a commitment to the shop to work on pipes for their customers. Generally they have one or two pipes that need a bit of work. This fellow sent me the following email:

I just came across my smoking pipes that I’ve had in storage for about 40 years. I’m wondering what you’d charge to have them refurbished. There are 17 in total (11 are Brighams and 6 are various).

It turns out he said he had 17 pipes. That was certainly more than I expected but I communicated that there was a large queue ahead of him and I would have to fit them in as I could. He was fine with whatever time it took. He sent me the following photos of his collection that he wanted restored. The first photo shows his eleven Brigham pipes – all very interesting shapes. The second photo shows the six various pipes in the collection – A Republic Era Peterson’s System 1312 (Canadian Import), A Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand, a Comoy’s Everyman London smooth billiard, a GBD Popular Dublin 12, an English made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B, a Kriswill Bernadotte 60 with a broken tenon. When the box arrived there were two additional pipes included for a total of 19 – a Ropp 803 Deluxe Cherrywood Poker and a Comoy’s Sandblast Everyman Canadian 296. It was a lot of pipes! I have been randomly choosing the next pipe to work on and chose the Brigham that I have drawn a red box around in the first photo below. When I unwrapped it the pipe it was a Petite Classic Bulldog. It was stamped on the flat left underside of the Diamond shank. It was stamped 316 which is the shape number. That is followed by the Brigham Script over Can. Pat. 372982. It had a rusticated lower half of the bowl and shank with a smooth top half. The rim top had a lava overflow from the medium cake in the bowl. The bowl was out of round with damage and some darkening around the top and inner edges of the bowl. It was a dirty pipe but the finish appeared to be in okay condition under the grime. The 3 Dot tapered stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. There was also some calcification for about an inch up the stem. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and damage to the rim edge as well as the cake and lava overflowing onto the rim top. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above. I took a photo of the stamping on the left underside of the diamond shank to show what I was speaking about above. It is very clear and readable. It reads 316 followed by Brigham in script over Can Pat. 372982.I removed the stem from the shank to reveal the aluminum tube/tenon that held the Rock Maple Distillator. The distillator was present and looked almost new. It would need to be cleaned a bit but it would be very usable.Before starting my clean up work on the pipe I turned to a chart that Charles Lemon of Dad’s Pipes sent to me on the patent era Brighams. There were made from 1938-1980. As the pipe I am working on is a Patent pipe, it’s more accurate to refer to its grade by name (the post 1980 grading scheme refers to Dots). Here is the  chart that Charles sent me. The pipe I am working on is thus a Brigham Exclusive with the 3 brass pins arranged in a triangle. The pipe I am working on has a 3XX shape number.With this pipe I am returning to work on a Can Pat Brigham pipe from the nineteen pipe installment. I went to work on it immediately.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the second and third cutting head to take the cake back to bare briar so I could inspect the walls. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel to smooth them out and further examine them. I was happy that the walls looked very good. I used the Savinelli Fitsall knife to scrape off the lava coat on the rim top. I worked on the darkening on the rim top and the rough inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the darkening and smooth out the inner edge of the bowl.      I cleaned out the mortise area and airway to the bowl and the interior of the metal tube and airway in the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. The aluminum tube was dirty but the distillatory had been changed before the pipe was stored so once again it was not as bad as I expected.   I scrubbed the surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit as well as the remnants of the shiny finish on the smooth portions of the bowl. I wet sanded the rim top and the smooth portions on the bowl sides with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl surface down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the sanding dust. Once I finished the bowl looked good.   I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. It really makes the grain stand out on this pipe.     I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I rubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub on with a cotton pad and it removed the oxidation and the calcification build up. It looked a lot better.         The tooth dents in the surface of the stem were not deep – more dents that bites. I “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame of a Bic Lighter to lift the dents from the vulcanite. The process worked really well and the dents were virtually invisible. I would be able to sand the surface to remove what remained.    I sanded out the remaining tooth chatter and oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.   I rubbed down the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish and a cotton pad to remove the remnants of oxidation and to blend in the sanding. The polish is a red gritty paste that works wonders on removing stubborn remnants of oxidation in the crease. The stem is starting to show promise at this point in the process.       Before I finished the polishing stem I decided to fit it with a new Rock Maple Distillator.       I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cotton pad to remove the sanding debris.  I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine.   Once again I was at one of favourite parts of the restoration process. It is that moment when all the pieces are put back together. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping through on the rim top and the rustication coming to life. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem with the shining brass pins was beautiful. This mixed smooth and rusticated finish Brigham Exclusive 316 Bulldog is nice looking and feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This is the tenth of the pipes sent to me from Eastern Canada for restoration. Once again I am looking forward to what the pipeman who sent it thinks of this restoration. Lots more to do in this lot! 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.

Breathing Life into a Brigham 325 Squat Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

Not too long ago I received an email from a fellow in Kitchener, Ontario regarding some pipes he needed cleaned up. He had been referred to me by my local pipe and cigar shop. While I am not currently adding more pipes to my queue of repairs I have made a commitment to the shop to work on pipes for their customers. Generally they have one or two pipes that need a bit of work. This fellow sent me the following email:

I just came across my smoking pipes that I’ve had in storage for about 40 years. I’m wondering what you’d charge to have them refurbished. There are 17 in total (11 are Brighams and 6 are various).

It turns out he said he had 17 pipes. That was certainly more than I expected but I communicated that there was a large queue ahead of him and I would have to fit them in as I could. He was fine with whatever time it took. He sent me the following photos of his collection that he wanted restored. The first photo shows his eleven Brigham pipes – all very interesting shapes. The second photo shows the six various pipes in the collection – A Republic Era Peterson’s System 1312 (Canadian Import), A Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand, a Comoy’s Everyman London smooth billiard, a GBD Popular Dublin 12, an English made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B, a Kriswill Bernadotte 60 with a broken tenon. When the box arrived there were two additional pipes included for a total of 19 – a Ropp 803 Deluxe Cherrywood Poker and a Comoy’s Sandblast Everyman Canadian 296. It was a lot of pipes! I have been randomly choosing the next pipe to work on and chose the Brigham that I have drawn a red box around in the first photo below. When I unwrapped it the pipe it was a Brigham 325 Squat Bulldog with a mixed finish – rusticated bowl and shank with a smooth cap and rim top. It was stamped on the left underside of the shank and reads 325 (shape number) followed by Brigham in script over Made in Canada. The rim top had a lava overflow and a thin cake in the bowl and some darkening around the top and edges of the bowl. The finish was dull and it was a dirty pipe but appeared to be in okay condition under the grime. The 3 Dot saddle stem was oxidized and had tooth chatter and marks on the surface near the button on both sides. There was also some calcification for about an inch up the stem. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and rim as well as the cake and lava overflowing onto the rim top. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above. I took a photo of the stamping on the left underside of the diamond shank to show what I was speaking about above. It is very clear and readable. It reads 325 followed by Brigham in script over Made in Canada.I removed the stem from the shank to reveal the aluminum tube/tenon that held the Rock Maple Distillator. The distillator was present and looked almost new. It would need to be cleaned a bit but it would be very usable.This is the second Brigham pipe that I am working on the nineteen pipe installment that is not a Can Pat pipe. It is a newer Brigham but I do not know the era. I went to work on it immediately.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the second and third cutting head to take the cake back to bare briar so I could inspect the walls. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel to smooth them out and further examine them. I was happy that the walls looked very good.    I cleaned out the mortise area and airway to the bowl and the interior of the metal tube and airway in the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. The aluminum tube was dirty but the distillator had been changed before the pipe was stored so once again it was not as bad as I expected. I scrubbed the surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit as well as the remnants of the shiny finish on the smooth portions of the bowl.    I wet sanded the rim top and the smooth portions on the bowl sides with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl surface down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the sanding dust. Once I finished the bowl looked good.      I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. It really makes the grain stand out on this pipe.        I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I rubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub on with a cotton pad and it removed the oxidation and the calcification build up. It looked a lot better.    I sanded out the tooth chatter and the remaining oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.    I rubbed down the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish and a cotton pad to remove the remnants of oxidation and to blend in the sanding. The polish is a red gritty paste that works wonders on removing stubborn remnants of oxidation in the crease. The stem is starting to show promise at this point in the process.    Before I finished the polishing stem I decided to fit it with a new Rock Maple Distillator.    I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cotton pad to remove the sanding debris.  I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine.     Once again I was at one of favourite parts of the restoration process. It is that moment when all the pieces are put back together. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping through on the rim top and the rustication coming to life. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem with the shining brass pins was beautiful. This mixed smooth and rusticated finish Brigham 325 Bulldog is nice looking and feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This is the ninth of the pipes sent to me from Eastern Canada for restoration. Once again I am looking forward to what the pipeman who sent it thinks of this restoration. Lots more to do in this lot! 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.

Breathing Life into a Smooth Finish Brigham 221 Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

Not too long ago I received an email from a fellow in Kitchener, Ontario regarding some pipes he needed cleaned up. He had been referred to me by my local pipe and cigar shop. While I am not currently adding more pipes to my queue of repairs I have made a commitment to the shop to work on pipes for their customers. Generally they have one or two pipes that need a bit of work. This fellow sent me the following email:

I just came across my smoking pipes that I’ve had in storage for about 40 years. I’m wondering what you’d charge to have them refurbished. There are 17 in total (11 are Brighams and 6 are various).

It turns out he said he had 17 pipes. That was certainly more than I expected but I communicated that there was a large queue ahead of him and I would have to fit them in as I could. He was fine with whatever time it took. He sent me the following photos of his collection that he wanted restored. The first photo shows his eleven Brigham pipes – all very interesting shapes. The second photo shows the six various pipes in the collection – A Republic Era Peterson’s System 1312 (Canadian Import), A Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand, a Comoy’s Everyman London smooth billiard, a GBD Popular Dublin 12, an English made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B, a Kriswill Bernadotte 60 with a broken tenon. When the box arrived there were two additional pipes included for a total of 19 – a Ropp 803 Deluxe Cherrywood Poker and a Comoy’s Sandblast Everyman Canadian 296. It was a lot of pipes! I have been randomly choosing the next pipe to work on and chose the Brigham that I have drawn a red box around in the first photo below. When I unwrapped it the pipe it was a Brigham Natural Finish 221 Dublin. It was stamped on the flat shank/heel Made in Canada and Brigham in a script. It had a smooth finish on the bowl and shank. The rim top had a lava overflow from the thick cake in the bowl and some darkening around the top and edges of the bowl. The finish was dull and it was a dirty pipe but appeared to be in okay condition under the grime. The 2 Dot saddle stem was oxidized and had tooth chatter and marks on the surface near the button on both sides. There was also some calcification for about an inch up the stem. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and rim as well as the cake and lava overflowing onto the rim top. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above.      I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to show what I was speaking about above. It was faint but readable. It reads Made in Canada then Brigham in script.I removed the stem from the shank to reveal the aluminum tube/tenon that held the Rock Maple Distillator and removed the Distillator from the tenon.This is the only Brigham pipe that I am working on the nineteen pipe installment that is not a Can Pat pipe. It is a newer Brigham but I do not know the era. I went to work on it immediately.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the second and third cutting head to take the cake back to bare briar so I could inspect the walls. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel to smooth them out and further examine them. I was happy that the walls looked very good.  I used the Savinelli Fitsall knife to scrape off the lava coat on the rim top.     I cleaned out the mortise area and airway to the bowl and the interior of the metal tube and airway in the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. The aluminum tube was dirty but the distillator had been changed before the pipe was stored so it was not as bad as I expected.   I scrubbed the surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit as well as the remnants of the shiny finish on the smooth portions of the bowl.    I worked on the darkening on the rim top and the rough inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the darkening and smooth out the inner edge of the bowl.  I wet sanded the rim top and the smooth portions on the bowl sides with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl surface down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the sanding dust. Once I finished the bowl looked good. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. It really makes the grain stand out on this pipe.     I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I rubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub on with a cotton pad and it removed the oxidation and the calcification build up. It looked a lot better.  I sanded out the tooth chatter and the remaining oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.    I rubbed down the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish and a cotton pad to remove the remnants of oxidation and to blend in the sanding. The polish is a red gritty paste that works wonders on removing stubborn remnants of oxidation in the crease. The stem is starting to show promise at this point in the process.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cotton pad to remove the sanding debris. Before I finished the last polishing touches on the stem I decided to fit it with a new Rock Maple Distillator.       I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine.  Once again I was at one of favourite parts of the restoration process. It is that moment when all the pieces are put back together. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the popping through with new life and added to that the polished black vulcanite stem with the shining brass pins. This smooth finished Brigham 221 Dublin is nice looking and feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This is the eighth of the pipes sent to me from Eastern Canada for restoration. Once again I am looking forward to what the pipeman who sent it thinks of this restoration. Lots more to do in this lot! 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.

Breathing Life into a Petite Patent Era Brigham Exclusive 308 Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

Not too long ago I received an email from a fellow in Kitchener, Ontario regarding some pipes he needed cleaned up. He had been referred to me by my local pipe and cigar shop. While I am not currently adding more pipes to my queue of repairs I have made a commitment to the shop to work on pipes for their customers. Generally they have one or two pipes that need a bit of work. This fellow sent me the following email:

I just came across my smoking pipes that I’ve had in storage for about 40 years. I’m wondering what you’d charge to have them refurbished. There are 17 in total (11 are Brighams and 6 are various).

It turns out he said he had 17 pipes. That was certainly more than I expected but I communicated that there was a large queue ahead of him and I would have to fit them in as I could. He was fine with whatever time it took. He sent me the following photos of his collection that he wanted restored. The first photo shows his eleven Brigham pipes – all very interesting shapes. The second photo shows the six various pipes in the collection – A Republic Era Peterson’s System 1312 (Canadian Import), A Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand, a Comoy’s Everyman London smooth billiard, a GBD Popular Dublin 12, an English made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B, a Kriswill Bernadotte 60 with a broken tenon. When the box arrived there were two additional pipes included for a total of 19 – a Ropp 803 Deluxe Cherrywood Poker and a Comoy’s Sandblast Everyman Canadian 296. It was a lot of pipes! I have been randomly choosing the next pipe to work on and chose the Brigham that I have drawn a red box around in the first photo below. When I unwrapped it the pipe it was a Petite Brigham Apple. It was stamped on the flat shank/heel 306 which is the shape number. That is followed by Can Pat. 372982 then Brigham in a script. It had a rusticated lower half of the bowl and shank with a smooth top half. The rim top had a lava overflow from the thick cake in the bowl and some darkening around the top and edges of the bowl. The inner edge of the bowl was out of round. It was a dirty pipe but appeared to be in okay condition under the grime. The 3 Dot tapered stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. There was also some calcification for about an inch up the stem. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and rim as well as the cake and lava overflowing onto the rim top. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above.    I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to show what I was speaking about above. It is very clear and readable. It reads 308 followed by Can. Pat. stamp  372982 then Brigham in script.I removed the stem from the shank to reveal the aluminum tube/tenon that held the Rock Maple Distillator. The distillator was was missing in this pipe so I would need to replace it with a new one once I had cleaned it.Before starting my clean up work on the pipe I turned to a chart that Charles Lemon of Dad’s Pipes sent to me on the patent era Brighams. There were made from 1938-1980. As the pipe I am working on is a Patent pipes, it’s more accurate to refer to its grade by name (the post 1980 grading scheme refers to Dots). Here is the  chart that Charles sent me. The pipe I am working on is thus a Brigham Exclusive with the 3 brass pins arranged in a triangle. The pipe I am working on has a 3XX shape number.It is helpful having this chart and getting a quick picture of where the pipe fits in the Brigham line. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the second and third cutting head to take the cake back to bare briar so I could inspect the walls. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel to smooth them out and further examine them. I was happy that the walls looked very good.  I used the Savinelli Fitsall knife to scrape off the lava coat on the rim top. I cleaned out the mortise area and airway to the bowl and the interior of the metal tube and airway in the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. The aluminum tube was really dirty since it had been smoked frequently without the distillator in place. It took a lot of work to clean out all of the grit and tars.     I scrubbed the surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit as well as the remnants of the shiny finish on the smooth portions of the bowl. I worked on the darkening on the rim top and the rough inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the darkening and smooth out the inner edge of the bowl.  I wet sanded the rim top and the smooth portions on the bowl sides with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl surface down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the sanding dust. Once I finished the bowl looked good.     I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. It really makes the grain stand out on this pipe.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I rubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub on with a cotton pad and it removed the oxidation and the calcification build up. It looked a lot better.    I sanded out the tooth chatter and the remaining oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.    I rubbed down the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish and a cotton pad to remove the remnants of oxidation and to blend in the sanding. The polish is a red gritty paste that works wonders on removing stubborn remnants of oxidation in the crease. The stem is starting to show promise at this point in the process.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cotton pad to remove the sanding debris. Before I finished the last polishing touches on the stem I decided to fit it with a new Rock Maple Distillator.  I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine.  I always look forward to this part of the restoration when all the pieces are put back together. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the smooth portion and the rusticated portion contrasting well and added to that the polished black vulcanite stem with the shining brass pins. This Brigham Exclusive 308 Apple is nice looking and feels great in my hand. The pipe is one that is light enough that it could be clenched and smoked while doing other things as it is very light weight and well balanced. 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 an inch. This is the seventh of the pipes sent to me from Eastern Canada for restoration. Once again I am looking forward to what the pipeman who sent it thinks of this restoration. Lots more to do in this lot! 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.

New Life for a Patent Era Brigham Select Billiard Sitter


Blog by Steve Laug

Not too long ago I received an email from a fellow in Kitchener, Ontario regarding some pipes he needed cleaned up. He had been referred to me by my local pipe and cigar shop. While I am not currently adding more pipes to my queue of repairs I have made a commitment to the shop to work on pipes for their customers. Generally they have one or two pipes that need a bit of work. This fellow sent me the following email:

I just came across my smoking pipes that I’ve had in storage for about 40 years. I’m wondering what you’d charge to have them refurbished. There are 17 in total (11 are Brighams and 6 are various).

It turns out he said he had 17 pipes. That was certainly more than I expected but I communicated that there was a large queue ahead of him and I would have to fit them in as I could. He was fine with whatever time it took. He sent me the following photos of his collection that he wanted restored. The first photo shows his eleven Brigham pipes – all very interesting shapes. The second photo shows the six various pipes in the collection – A Republic Era Peterson’s System 1312 (Canadian Import), A Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand, a Comoy’s Everyman London smooth billiard, a GBD Popular Dublin 12, an English made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B, a Kriswill Bernadotte 60 with a broken tenon. When the box arrived there were two additional pipes included for a total of 19 – a Ropp 803 Deluxe Cherrywood Poker and a Comoy’s Sandblast Everyman Canadian 296. It was a lot of pipes! I have been randomly choosing the next pipe to work on and chose the Brigham that I have drawn a red box around in the first photo below. When I unwrapped the next pipe it was a flat bottomed Brigham Billiard sitter without clear number stamp. The smooth finish looked like it had a varnish coat and that was spotty around the sides of the bowl. There is a faint Made in Canada with Brigham in a script on the flat bottom of the shank. It looked like it could also have had the Can. Pat. stamp but I could not read it for sure. The rim top has some darkening, nicks and the inner edge is out of round. There is a light cake in the bowl. The 2 Dot tapered stem is oxidized and has tooth marks and chatter near the button and some calcification. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and rim. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above.   I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to try and capture what I was speaking about above.I removed the stem from the shank to reveal the aluminum tube/tenon that held the Rock Maple Distillator. The distillator was was missing in this pipe so I would need to replace it with a new one once I had cleaned it. Before starting my clean up work on the pipe I turned to a chart that Charles Lemon of Dad’s Pipes sent to me on the patent era Brighams. There were made from 1938-1980. As the pipe I am working on is a Patent pipe, it’s more accurate to refer to its grade by name (the post 1980 grading scheme refers to Dots). Here is the  chart that Charles sent me. The pipe I am working on is thus a Brigham Select with two brass pins.It is helpful having this chart and getting a quick picture of where the pipe fits in the Brigham line. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the first and second cutting head to take the cake back to bare briar so I could inspect the walls. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel to smooth them out and further examine them. I was happy that the walls looked very good. I cleaned out the mortise area and airway to the bowl and the interior of the metal tube and airway in the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I scrubbed the surface of the bowl with acetone to remove the varnish coat from the bowl. When I had finished it looked far better.   I worked on the darkening on the rim top and the rough inner edge of the bowl by first lightly topping the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the darkening and smooth out the inner edge of the bowl. I wet sanded the rim top and the smooth portions on the bowl sides with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl surface down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the sanding dust. Once I finished the bowl looked good. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. It really makes the grain stand out on this pipe. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. When I was in the US visiting Jeff and his wife I picked up some Soft Scrub. Jeff swears by this stuff as the first tool to use to remove a lot of the oxidation on the stem. I rubbed it on with a cotton pad and sure enough it removed the oxidation and the calcification build up. It looked a lot better.    I cleaned out the marks with alcohol and a cotton swab. I filled them in with clear super glue and set the stem aside to cure.    I smoothed out the repairs and sanded out the remaining oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cotton pad to remove the sanding debris.   Before I finished the last polishing touches on the stem I decided to fit it with a new Rock Maple Distillator.  I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine.  I always look forward to this part of the restoration when all the pieces are put back together. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the polished black vulcanite stem and the shining brass pins. This Brigham Select Billiard sitter is nice looking and feels great in my hand. The pipe is one that is light enough that it could be clenched and smoked while doing other things as it is very light weight and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 5/8 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This is the sixth of the pipes sent to me from Eastern Canada for restoration. Once again I am looking forward to what the pipeman who sent it thinks of this restoration. Lots more to do in this lot! 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.