Blog by Steve Laug
A while back I received a small box of pipes from a fellow pipeman who wanted to donate them to support the non-profit organization I work for – the SA Foundation (www.safoundation.com). The organization has been providing long term recovery, housing and job training for women who have escaped sexual exploitation and trafficking. For over thirty years the work has gone on and thousands of young women and their children have been empowered to start over with skills and options. The work is currently in 7 countries and 12 cities around the world. If you are interested give the website a look.
Now back to the pipes. The first one I restored was a large Irish Second 05 Calabash that is heading off to Michigan. The second pipe from the lot was unique looking Peterson’s Kapet pipe in a shape 124 (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/08/16/restoring-a-republic-era-petersons-kapet-124/). The third pipe was a very Danish looking Made in London, England Sandblast Acorn. (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/08/17/restoring-a-very-danish-looking-made-in-london-england-acorn/) All of the pipes were in clean condition and had been lightly reamed. The next pipe is a nylon pipe built a lot like a Falcon. The base is nylon and the bowl is briar and threaded. The stem is also nylon/plastic. When I first saw it I thought about a previous pipe that I had worked on that was called a Bromma Dollar. Everything about it was just like the Bromma. The etched pattern on the shank and base is identical to the Bromma. The only stamping on the pipe is on the bottom of the briar bowl. It is stamped PAT. S. 3.The pipe has a thin pencil shank that is in excellent condition. The bent taper stem had a lot of tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button. There were no logo stamps on the stem.
I took some photos of the pipe before I started my clean up work on it. It is another unique and interesting looking pipe. The shape and materials of the pipe reminds me of the Bromma as mentioned above. I will go into more detail on that in the section before I start the restoration. I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show the condition of the pipe. The rim top had some darkening and debris in the. The stem had a lot of tooth chatter and some deep tooth marks on both the top and bottom. The stem had a built in stinger which was a finned tube that extended into the shank.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the threaded bowl. It was clear and readable as noted above. The Pat. S. is below my finger and the 3 is just above my thumb in the photo below. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe. I removed all the parts and took a series of photos to show all of the parts. It is an interesting pipe for sure. I turned to Pipedia and found nothing listed for the brand that I was thinking about. I then turned to Pipephil and was glad to find that Bromma was listed with a picture for comparison sake (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-b8.html). While the pipe I was working on is not stamped like this one the material is the same. I did a screen capture of the pertinent section of the article and have included it below along with the information from the sidebar.A brand of the Scandinaviska Pipfabriken. Probably from same workshop: Harlekin, Dollar
I also remembered working on a Bromma pipe many years ago and doing a blog on it for rebornpipes. I have included the link for the blog below and some photos of the pipe to show the parallels to the one I am working on now. Here is the link to the blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2012/11/24/cleaning-up-a-swedish-bromma-dollar-system-pipe-2/). The parts of the pipe are identical to the one I am working on now. The etched pattern on the base, the patent stamp on the underside of the bowl, the stinger apparatus the way the bowl is threaded are all the same. I described the unique structure of the bottom of the bowl in the blog which is precisely the same as the bowl on the table now. All leads me to conclude that I am working on another Bromma Swedish system pipe. I quote:
…I also used a bristle tooth brush and alcohol to scrub the bottom of the bowl from the threads down to the nipple-like structure on the bottom…There is an inset portion of the bowl bottom that is like a moat around an island that has the mountain-like nipple in the centre. This took quite a few cotton swabs to clean the grime out of the channel. Once it was clean there is a patent stamp on it. It reads Pat. S. I am guessing it is a Swedish Patent mark. The portion of the bowl that is threaded seems like it is made of the same kind of material as the base of the pipe. The mountain in the middle is briar. It is an interesting and unique design. From that I concluded that the threaded platform of the bowl was nylon or Bakelite like the base and shank and that the briar bowl was seated permanently on that nylon threaded platform. The current pipe bowl and platform are identical to the one shown above. It is a unique and patented system that removes the easily damaged briar threads on other system pipes like this and replaces them with a more solid and durable plastic/Bakelite platform that screws into the base. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
I cleaned the blast on the rim top with a brass bristle brush to loosen the debris in the grooves. It mad a difference and the blast was identifiable once more.I cleaned up the reaming of the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I took out the remnant of cake that had been left so I could examine the walls. I was glad to see there were no fissures in the briar walls. I cleaned the hexagonal filter pad with alcohol. I let it sit in the alcohol and it leeched out the oils and tars in the material. From examining it I think it is made of cork. I cleaned the base of the pipe, shank and removable bowl with cotton swabs and alcohol. I cleaned the airway in both the stem and shank with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the interior of the pipe was very clean.I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for ten minutes then buffed the bowl with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I rubbed down the base which seemed to be made of a lightweight nylon or plastic material, possibly Bakelite with Before & After Restoration Balm and let it sit for 10 minutes. I buffed the base off with a cotton cloth and then inserted the cork washer.I fit the cleaned cork filter on the top of the nipple on the base of the bowl and then screwed the bowl onto the base.I screws the bowl back onto the base and took photos of the pipe at this point in the process. It is actually a nice looking pipe and incredibly light weight. I heated the stem with the flame of a lighter to try and raise the dents. It did not work at all. I filled them in with clear CA glue and set it aside to cure. Once it cured I used 220 grit sandpaper to sand out the tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem. I started to polish it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. The stem is looking much better. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. The stem material is very odd and hard to polish. The spots where the repairs were done are visible because they are more shiny with the polishing. I am not sure where to take this at this point so it will probably go as it is now. This Swedish Made Bromma Bent Billiard System Pipe with a pencil shank is a great looking pipe whatever you call the shape. The rich, black stained rusticated finish around the briar bowl is quite beautiful. The finish works well with the polished nylon/Bakelite base and the thin nylon taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. No matter how I polished the stem the strange nylon mix material is a beast to fully polish. The repairs show clearly but the stem is solid. The finished Bromma Bent Billiard is very light and sits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ inch. The weight of the pipe is 26 grams/.92 ounces. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly in the Pipes From Various Makers – Czech, Belgian, German, Israeli, Spanish Pipemakers along with Metal Pipes Section. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!