Tag Archives: Chacom Pipes

I Needed a Change of Pace – Restoring a Chacom Dynastie #43 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

With the pipes I worked on while in India and the latest restoration of the AGE EXTRA Bulldog I needed a change of pace. I needed to work on a simple pipe that would take some minimal effort on my end for a change. The one I chose was a comfortingly classic Bent Billiard shape in Chacom’s “Dynastie” finish — an amber-hued sandblast with double ringed brass band and Cumberland stem. This pipe was very dirty when Jeff received it from an auction he won from Los Angeles. The sandblast finish was grimy and dusty. There was a thick cake in the bowl and heavy lava overflowing on to the rim top. It was hard to know the condition of the edges due to the cake and lava. The Cumberland stem showed some oxidation and calcification on the top and underside near the button. There was tooth chatter and tooth marks on both sides. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it.Jeff took close-up photos of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe when it arrived. The rim top had some lava build up and a thick cake in the bowl.Jeff took a picture of the right side of the bowl and the heel to show the grain under the blast on the bowl. It really is well made and very dirty! He took photos of the stamping on the left side and underside of the shank. The first photo shows stamping on the left side which read Chacom over Dynastie. The stamping on this pipe is clear and readable. The second photo shows the 43 shape number stamping on the underside toward the shank/stem junction. The third photo shows the brass CC inserted logo on the left side of the tapered Cumberland stem.  The next two photos show the stem surface. They show the calcification and oxidation on both sides near the button. The tooth chatter and marks are visible on the underside next to the button. There is also some wear on the button edge. Jeff reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He rinsed it under warm running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove lava build up on the rim top and you could see the great condition of the bowl top and edges of the rim. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the condition of the bowl and rim after Jeff had cleaned up the grime and lava but the rim top had some light damage, some pits and darkening on the rim. Both the inner edge and the outer edge of the rim look good. The stem photos show that the oxidation is gone. The light tooth chatter and marks are hard to see but I should be able to sand it out quite easily.I sanded the inside edge of the rim and the rough areas on the top with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage and the darkening. I polished the top with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the debris. I rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the sandblast briar. It cleans, protects and enlivens the briar. I buffed the bowl with a clean cloth to give it a shine. The double brass ring band on the shank end was loose. I put a few drops of clear superglue under the band and pressed it onto the shank end. I held it in place until it had cured.I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. The stem was stamped on the right side “Hand Cut” and on the underside “France”. On the left side it had a brass CC logo medallion inlaid in the Cumberland stem. I used a folded piece of 240 grit sandpaper to blend the tooth marks and chatter into the surface of the stem. Once the surface was smooth I sanded out the scratch marks and started the polishing of the stem with a folded piece of 400 grit sandpaper. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and gave it a final coat and set it aside to dry. I put the stem and bowl back together and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I polished the briar and the minute scratches still in the vulcanite of the stem until there was a rich shine. This Chacom has a classic Bent Billiard shape a contrasting finish of browns and reds that matches the colour of the Cumberland stem. Once I buffed the pipe the briar came alive and the mixture of grain under the blast popped with polishing. The Cumberland stem had a rich glow. The finished pipe is a beautiful grained bent Billiard. This pipe fits well in the hand and sits right in the mouth. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. If you are interested in this pipe I will be putting it on the online rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as it was a pleasure to work on.

Breathing Life into a Chacom Paris 861 Quarter Bent Brandy


Blog by Steve Laug

One of the pipes that Jeff and I picked up from a fellow in Pennsylvania was a Chacom Paris straight Brandy. He contacted us about purchasing his pipes as he was cleaning out his collection. This particular pipe showed promise but it was in rough condition. It had some beautiful grain – birdseye and mixed grain. The rim top was beveled inward. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank Chacom over Paris and there is Chacom CC logo stamped in the left side of the tapered, acrylic stem. We seem to pick up some really dirty pipes and this pipe was no exception. It was very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and a heavy layer of lava overflowing on to the rim top. It was hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looked like because of the lava and cake. From the photos it appeared that the inner edge was in good condition. Other than being dirty the finish also appeared to look very good. The stem and the shank end had a decorative metal ferrule that was supposed to meet once the stem was in place. On this pipe the stem would not sit in the shank and there was a gap between the stem and shank. I am including some photos of the pipe that the seller emailed me when we were discussing the pipe.Needless to say we went for the deal and soon the pipe was on its way to Jeff’s place for cleaning and preparation for restoration. Jeff took these pictures when it arrived. You can see the issues that I noted above in the following photos. It was going to take some work to bring it back to what it was supposed to look like. He took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava. The cake is thick and hard and the lava overflow is a thicker toward the back of the beveled rim. The bowl and the rim are a real mess. This must have been a great smoking pipe.The next photo shows the right side of the bowl and shank to give a clear picture of the beauty of the birdseye and mixed grain around the bowl of the pipe. It is a beauty. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the left side of the shank and the shape number 861 on the underside of the shank near the ferrule to capture the clarity of it even under the grime. He also included some photos of the CC logo on the left side of the stem and the Hand Cut stamp on the right side. Jeff took a photo of the fit of the stem in the shank. The tenon (Delrin) did not seem to fit in the mortise. I would need to check it out because it did not look right to me.The acrylic stem was in okay condition other than some heavy tooth marks on the button surfaces and some calcification where the seller had used a softee bit. There looked like there were some light tooth marks and chatter on the stem that should not take too much work to remedy. The brand Chacom turned up (1934) after fusion of Chapuis-Comoy with La Bruyère. Yves Grenard (†2012), second cousin of Pierre Comoy headed the company from 1971. He was responsible for Chapuis Comoy’s recovering its independence from Comoy. His son Antoine Grenard took over the direction of the company in 2007. Chacom is a brand of Cuty-Fort Entreprises (Jeantet, Vuillard, Jean Lacroix, Ropp …) (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-chacom.html).

Pipedia gives a great historical overview of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Chacom). I have not included that here but if you are interested click on the link and you can read about the company from its inception to its current status.

I wanted to know what the pipe should have looked like when it was made so I did a quick google search to see if could find a photo. I turned up a straight shank brandy in a red stain that showed the way that the tenon and mortise should have worked. The stem should have fit into the mortise and the silver ferrule on the shank end and the one on the stem should have met. Now I knew what I was aiming for and work to get the correct fit. Armed with the information I needed I turned to address the pipe itself. Jeff had already cleaned up the pipe before sending it to me. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean off the grime off the finish and the heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the pipe. When it arrived here in Vancouver it was a clean pipe and I knew what I had to work with. I took photos of it before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. Jeff was able to clean up the thick cake and lava overflow that was shown in the rim and bowl in the earlier photos. He was also able to get rid of the grime and grit in the surface of the briar. The rim top looked a lot better than when he started. There was still some pitting and darkening on the surface of the inward bevel but it should clean up very well.As I examined the stem I found that it had an adapter in the tenon to convert the pipe from a 9mm filter pipe to a non-filtered pipe. The adapter was removable so that the pipe could be smoked either way. I took the adapter out of the tenon and took a photo of the parts.I decided to address the improperly fitting tenon first. I removed the adapter from the tenon and sanded it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to reduce the diameter of the tenon. The third photo shows the stem after I have reowrked the tenon. The fit is perfect.I set the stem aside to address the issues with the rim top. It had some light pitting and scratches in the surface of the bevel. I sanded the surface with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down with a damp cloth after each pad. I was able to polish out the scratches without damaging the finish to the rim top. A side benefit was that the darkening also was removed. The finish on the rest of the bowl was in excellent condition. After it was finished with the rim polishing I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. After it sat for a little while I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem at this point in the  process. I still needed to polish the tenon but I decided to start by repairing the deep tooth marks on the stem. The button on the top edge had tooth marks and the flat portion of the stem on the underside also had tooth marks. I filled them in with clear super glue and set the stem aside to allow the repairs to cure overnight.In the morning the repairs had cured so I blended them into the surface of the acrylic with a folded piece of 220 and began polishing the stem with 400 grit sandpaper. I also began polishing the tenon at the same time with the 400 grit sandpaper. The repaired areas looked very good at this point in the process.I polished the Lucite stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I polished Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final hand buff with a microfiber cloth. I polished the metal at the same time. I put the stem back on the pipe and the pipe to the buffer. I worked it over with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up really well and the beveled rim top looked good. I was happy with the look of the finished pipe. The photos below show what the pipe looks like after the restoration. I have a dress black Chacom Paris that is a lot like this pipe. The shape and the fitments are very elegant. The polished black Lucite stem looks really good with the browns of the briar. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This is another pipe that I will be putting it on the rebornpipes online store shortly, if you are interested in adding it to your collection. The shape of the pipe and the ¼ bent stem give this pipe a great feel in the hand and the mouth. This one should be a great smoker. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another beauty!

New Life for a Chacom Prestige Chubby Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table was one that my brother Jeff picked up somewhere along his travels through antique shops or online auctions. This one is a nice looking chubby billiard with a classic look and shape. It has some great birdseye grain around the sides of the bowl and shank and some cross grain off-center on the front, on the back and on the top and underside of the shank. It has a smooth natural finish to the bowl that highlights the grain. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Chacom over Prestige. There is no other stamping on the shank or bowl. The finish was dull and a little dirty but otherwise very good. The rim top was chipped and dented with a little damage to the inner edge of the bowl. The bowl had a light cake in it that would be easy to deal with.There was one fill on the left side of the bowl toward the bottom. The stem was vulcanite and had some tooth chatter and scratching on both sides near the button. The stem had a silver double Diamond inlay on the left side. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup up work. Jeff took a photo of the rim top and bowl. You can see that the cake is quite thin. The rim is slightly beveled inward and there are some nicks in the edge. The rim top has dents and nicks in it that are quite deep. The outer edge of the bowl looks good.Jeff took close up photos of the stamping on the left side of the shank. You can see that it is sharp and readable. The first photo shows the stamping and the double diamond logo on the stem. The second photo gives a closer look at the stamping on the shank.Jeff had scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil soap and removed the dust and grime that had accumulated there. The finish looked very good once it had been scrubbed. He lightly reamed the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He cleaned the interior of the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The pipe came to me clean and ready to do the restoration. I took some photos of the pipe to show the condition at this point in the process. I took some photos of the rim top and sides of the bowl to show the damage to the surface of the rim. The dark area on the inner edge at the bottom of the photo (left side of the bowl) is a nick and it has been lightly charred. There is also some darkening on the back edge of the bowl and some nicks and dents that need to be removed. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition. There is some light tooth chatter and tooth marks on both sides near the button but otherwise it is in good condition.I took some photos of the grain around the bowl. In the first photo you can see the only fill toward the bottom of the left side of the bowl. The grain on the pipe is quite stunning. I have worked on quite a few Chacom pipes over the years so I know most of the history or at least know where to turn to refresh my knowledge of the brand. Chacom tobacco pipes are made by the famous Chapuis-Comoy Company. The Chacom brand, a combination of the first three letters of each of the family names. It is the signature brand out of dozens produced by the nearly 200 year-old pipe-making family. Chacom tobacco pipes where the number one pipes in France, Belgium and The United States after World War II. The history of excellence in french pipe construction continues today ( https://www.tobaccopipes.com/chacom-history/). A good timeline on the brand can be found on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Chacom).

I started my restoration of the pipe by addressing the damage to the rim top. I topped the rim on a topping board using 220 grit sandpaper. I checked the progress repeatedly as I only wanted to remove the damage and not too much of the briar. The second photo shows the rim top with the damaged areas removed and the rim looking very good.I used an Oak stain pen to match the colour on the bowl. I took the photo below to show the quality of the match.I addressed the dented fill on the lower left side of the bowl next. I filled it in with a drop of clear super glue and set it aside to dry. When the glue dried I sanded it flat with a corner of 220 grit sandpaper and blended it into the briar with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad. I touched up the stain with an Oak stain pen. The colour was slightly off but once I buffed and polished the bowl it would blend in well.I polished the briar with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to smooth the finish and blend in the restained portions of the bowl. Once I had that finished with the 2400 grit pad I checked the rim top and edges and was not happy with the dark spot on the inner edge of the right side. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to bevel the edge a bit more to take care of that. I resanded the top with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads.I finished polishing the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. The briar is shining and the repairs have all but disappeared. In some of the photos I notice a bit of carbon on the walls of the bowl so I wrapped a piece of dowel with some 220 grit sandpaper and sanded the walls of the bowl smooth.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the briar bowl and the rim top as well as the briar shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers, working it into the exterior of the pipe. After it had been sitting for a little while, I buffed it with a soft cloth to polish it. The pipe really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to sand out the tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem just ahead of the button. They were not deep so it did not take tooth much to remove them.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a Obsidian Oil to remove the sanding dust on the vulcanite. I finished the polishing process with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. When I finished polishing and wiping it down I set it aside to dry. I polished stem and bowl with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The contrasting light brown stain on the smooth briar with the polished, black vulcanite stem worked together to give the pipe a unique look. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This is a beautiful Chacom Prestige chubby billiard that needs a new home. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 5 3/4 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/2 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 inches. This one will be added to the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection send me an email to slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this beautiful billiard.

Chacom Panache #44


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

I have embarked on a journey into the wonderful, invigorating and leisurely world of pipe restoration and want to try out and address as many issues that one may encounter when dealing with an old, used and also abused pipes. Though there are a large number of old and vintage pipes that I have inherited, I went ahead and purchased two pipes, one is a CHACOM PANACHE # 44 and the other is a SAVINELLI SILVER, for gaining hands-on experience in stem repair. The stems on both these pipes have large gaping hole near the button end, exposing the stem’s airway. I shall be working on the stems of both these pipes simultaneously while the stummel will be worked on separately. The write up on both, though separate, is being uploaded at the same time so as to maintain continuity.

Even though I had purchased this pipe to practice repairing a stem bite-through, what really caught my attention was the beautiful coral like rustication on the bowl and shank which could be seen on some high end pipes from equally higher end brands. Through all the dust and grime, the beautiful contrasting stains between the lighter brown raised rustication and darker hued depressions makes for an eye catching finish. On the smooth surface at the bottom of the shank, it is stamped “CHACOM” in an artistic hand over “PANACHE” in block capital letters. This is followed by the shape number # “44” at the edge of the shank where it meets the stem. The stem bears the double “C” logo stamped on the left side of the stem towards the tenon end.I gleaned following info from Pipedia to know more about the brand of this pipe. It is reproduced below (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Chacom):

1825 : Well before the discovery of briarwood the COMOY family manufactured pipes in the small village of Avignon, near to Saint-Claude, mostly in boxwood for the “Grumblers” of the Army of Napoleon. 1850 : Birth of Henry COMOY, founder of the brand.
1856 : Discovery of briarwood and particularly the special treatment it required for the making of pipes. Saint-Claude becomes the birthplace of briar pipe manufactures and the world capital of pipe-making.
1870 : Henri COMOY, prisoner of war in Switzerland meets his cousins the Chapuis and ruminates the idea of an association.
1879 : Henry COMOY emigrates to London with some of his technicians from Saint-Claude and establishes the first English pipe factory in England H. COMOY & C° LTD. The Saint-Claude factory supplies them with briarwood and pipe bowls.
1922 : After the First World War the association COMOY and CHAPUIS is realised and the Saint-Claude factory becomes CHAPUIS COMOY & Cie.
1924 : Death of Henri COMOY. His sons Paul and Adrien assume the direction of the factories in Saint-Claude and London assisted by their cousins Emile and Louis Chapuis.
1928 : London now able to produce their own pipes, and in order to develop the Saint-Claude factory, the brand CHACOM is created, using the first three letters of the COMOY and CHAPUIS families. Up till 1939 CHACOM was offered only in France, Belgium and Switzerland in order not to embarrass the COMOY pipes which had the same shapes and qualities.
1932 : The world economic crisis reaches Saint-Claude. To weather this problem Chapuis Comoy & Cie joins with another company under the name of LA BRUYERE, forming the biggest pipe concern in the world with 450 workpeople. Big trucks were needed to transfer the briar blocks from the drying shed to the factory.
1945 : After the Second World War CHACOM assumes its entire commercial liberty and launches a complete and modern range of pipes.
1946 : Chacom becomes the principal brand in France and Belgium.
1947 – 1948 : CHACOM, number one in Scandinavia, Germany, then United States…
1957 : In face of the commercial preponderance of the brand CHACOM the company La Bruyère returns to the name of CHAPUIS COMOY & Cie.
1964 : Death of Adrien COMOY. His son Pierre succeeds to him in London. Mr REED is the Chairman and Managing Director in Saint-Claude.
1965 : First French brand named pipe in JAPAN
1971 : Having recovered its independence from COMOYS of London, Yves GRENARD, second cousin of Pierre COMOY, takes over the Direction of Chapuis Comoy & Cie and at the same time the exclusive sale of H. COMOY & Ltd, in France.

 I further searched pipephil.eu for additional information and the same is reproduced below:

The brand Chacom turned up (1934) after fusion of Chapuis-Comoy with La Bruyère. Yves Grenard (†2012), second cousin of Pierre Comoy headed the company from 1971. He was responsible for Chapuis Comoy’s recovering its independance from Comoy. His son Antoine Grenard took over the direction of the company in 2007. Chacom is a brand of Cuty-Fort Entreprises (Jeantet, Vuillard, Jean Lacroix, Ropp …).

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION

The bowl is caked but not heavily. The rustication on the rim top is filled with tars oils and grime. The finish is dull with dirt and dust filling the rustication. This will be cleaned with Murphy’s oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush.The mortise is filled with gunk and debris. This will need to need to be cleaned.The stem is heavily oxidized with heavy calcification towards the button end in the bit area. There is tooth chatter and bite marks on the top surface of the stem near the button end. However, the biggest damage can be seen on the lower surface of the stem. There is a large through and through hole in the stem exposing the airway. Thankfully, the top surface is complete with only tooth marks and tooth chatter. This reconstruction will be the biggest challenge since I have never attempted this restoration before. The button is badly damaged and will need to be reconstructed.THE PROCESS

In this restoration project the stem repair posed the biggest challenge. I searched the net, viewed YouTube videos and my most reliable website “rebornpipes.com” and read over each and every blog available on the website on stem repairs and took down notes and the steps involved. I even discussed with Mr. Steve. Now armed with this acquired knowledge, I embarked on my quest to gain knowledge through personal experience.

The first thing I did was to paint the upper and lower surfaces of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to raise the tooth chatter to the surface and also raise the edges of the hole to create an even surface. Next, I cleaned the surface of the stem with isopropyl alcohol to get rid of all the dirt, oils and tars from the surface. I also had the internals of the stem thoroughly cleaned using pipe cleaners, cue tips and alcohol.

Once I was satisfied with the cleaning, I smeared a generous amount of Vaseline onto regular pipe cleaners and inserted it into the airway, ensuring the pipe cleaners are fully underneath the hole. This helps in ensuring that the airway remains open. Vaseline coated pipe cleaners prevents the mixture of CA superglue and activated charcoal from percolating down into the airway and clogging the airway.The next step in the process of this repair is mixing of CA superglue and activated charcoal to the consistency of putty filler. Suffice to say that the consistency should be such that it should not be too runny but just sufficient to spread smoothly and evenly over the intended surface. First timers like me, do not worry too much, even I did not understand what should be the ideal consistency (LoL). From the pictures below, it is amply evident that I did not achieve the exact consistency I desired, but no issues, it still worked!!! Since the beginning of my journey into the beautiful and challenging world of pipe refurnishing, I am being faced with problem relating to glue. Maybe the hot temperate climate prevalent here is causing issues or the quality of glue itself is an issue. However notwithstanding the issues of glue, I was able to prepare a mixture of CA superglue and activated charcoal and applied it to the surface. I set it aside to cure overnight.I began by sanding the repaired/ filled areas using a flat needle head. It was not as easy as it seemed because when I began the process, as I sanded down the stem, I observed that the filling crumbled and dislodged from hole. Apparently, the filling was too dry.

I prepared a fresh mixture of CA glue and activated charcoal and applied it to area to be filled. After curing, when I tried to file it down, I realized that shiny dots were visible. On close observation, these tiny dots were air pockets which were trapped during application and subsequent curing. I discussed with Mr. Steve who advised me to fill the spots with glue only. I did so and let it cure for 2 days.I sanded down the fill and realized bigger air pockets were now exposed. It is unfortunate that I did not take pictures of these issues and processes as I was too engrossed and concentrating on getting the filling right.

I again prepared a fresh mixture of activated charcoal and superglue and reapplied it to the stem surface and let it cure for 3 days since I was traveling.For this sanding, I took unusually long time taking frequent breaks to check the progress. I was very deliberate and used light hands. I used less of flat head needle file and more of 180 grit sandpaper. Finally, I was able to achieve a satisfactory fill. I further evened out the fill using 220 grit sandpaper, followed by 440, 600 and 800 grit papers. Now I am satisfied with the results of the fill.With the fill now evened out, I proceeded to sand the stem with micromesh pads, going through wet sanding with 1500-2400 pads and dry sanding with 3200- 12000 grit pads. I rubbed in Extra Virgin Olive oil after every three pads. The stem now has a nice shine to it and No Hole!! However, the finish is not as refined and minor imperfection can be seen in the finish, though not as glaring in person.With the issue of the stem now addressed, I turned my attention to the stummel. Using a Kleen Reem pipe reamer and fabricated knife, I removed the complete cake from the chamber. I further sanded down the walls of the chamber with a 220 grit sand paper to smooth the walls and took the cake back down to the bare briar.I cleaned the internals of the shank and mortise using regular and bristled pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol and cue tips. I also wiped the internal walls of the chamber with cotton pads dipped in 99.9 % isopropyl alcohol. I use high proof isopropyl alcohol as it evaporates very rapidly and leaves no traces of odor or liquid behind to ghost your pipe.I cleaned the externals of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and tooth brush. Thereafter, the stummel was washed under running water and dried using a paper towel. I observed that the thin, delicate wire rustication on the rim top was still filled with oils and tars. To clean the rim top, I used a 000 grade steel wool with Murphy’s Oil soap to gently scrub out the dirt. I dried it with paper towels and a soft cotton cloth. Once the stummel had dried out, I rubbed a little “Before and After Restoration Balm “deeply into the coral rustication and also into the wire rustication of the rim top. I worked it deep into the rustication with a horse hair shoe brush. I polished the stummel to a deep shine by rubbing it down with a microfiber cloth. The raised portion of the rustication has a light reddish hue which contrasts beautifully with the dark brown coloration of the rest of the stummel. The completed pipe is shown below. Thanks for your valuable time spent in reading my amateurish attempt at pipe restoration.

 

Restoration of a deeply loved Chacom Rallye


Blog by Roberto Castiglioni

Over the past month I have corresponded with Rob about a variety of things about restoration processes and procedures. He is a great guy! When he sent me photos of his work on this pipe I wrote and asked him to write it up for rebornpipes. Without further words on my part his is Rob. Welcome to rebornpipes. — Steve

Bizarre hobbies like these prove that nothing is too arcane for humans. Fortunately, the insane have valiantly stepped up to plug that gap.

Seeing a dirty and damaged pipe come back to life makes me extremely happy. That happiness comes from fact that I am handling something that is old and has a long history. The more dirty they are more interested I am. Sometimes I ask to myself how the previous pipe smoker could smoke them. Sometimes I get a stem with double hole, a tobacco chamber with a very limited space. It is then that I remember when my father told me when I was younger that my great-grandparent’s pipe needed maintenance .

This is a very amazing hobby where I can practice applying all my knowledge of Mechanical Engineering. I can use even what I learned  high school about adjusting a piece of steel manually by means of files and other tools without using machine tools.

I am very thankful to those gents of rebornpipes for their willingness to post and teach others. They have shown how experience and manual work still has value in this modern society .

For a beginner, who most of the time is a dummy, reading all the posts in different forums to learn a general procedure how to do the work is extremely important. In rebornpipes I found a lot of information and suggestions on how to proceed.

With many thanks I have enclosed my first important restoration on Chacom Rallye …

Here are the before photos of the pipe. The stem was very damaged with a bite through on the top side and much chewing around the edges of the stem. The fit of the stem in the shank is also not good. The bowl is very dirty with little room in the bowl – thick cake and lots of overflow on to the back side of the rim.I reamed the bowl with reamers. I sanded out the bowl to remove the remants of cake. I cleaned the mortise, and the airway in the shank and stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol. I patched the chewed through stem and cleaned and polished the stem.Once the pipe was clean the metal tenon was loose in the mortise so I painted it with a coat of clear fingernail polish and let it dry in my improvised clothespin vise. You can see what the bowl looks like now in the next two photos. It is quite a change. Here are some photos of the completed pipe. Thanks Rob from Italy.

Chacom Churchwarden Resurrected


Blog by Joshua Fairweather

I received an email from Joshua about one of the Gourd Calabashes and a grab bag of pipes for refurbishing that I was selling. We made a deal on the pipes. At the end of his email he included some photos of some of the pipes he had already refurbished. His work looked really good so I invited him to submit a write up of some of his work to rebornpipes. Here is the first of those pieces that he submitted. A warm welcome and a thank you Joshua for your contribution to the blog. – Steve

I came across this pipe at an antique mall in London, Ontario. I almost passed it by had it not been for the vendor who was cleaning his case, he was kind enough to say ‘hi’ and ask what I was looking for. He just so happened to have a few pipes hiding in a glass case in the back of his store.

As you can see from the picture the pipe is heavily oxidized with little to no chatter marks. The bowl has a thick cake and tar on the bowl rim. Overall the bowl was in great condition with a small white mark on the bottom of the bowl (I think it was glue). The wood grain of the bowl also had nice appeal.

The brand of the pipe was marked on the bowl – ‘Chacom coin osseu’.

Now, I want to walk you through how I cleaned and restored this pipe. Step 1
When a pipe has a heavy cake inside the bowl, I like to put it through a salt and alcohol treatment. This method does a great job at cleaning the pipe, softening the hardened cake making it easier to remove from the bowl. It also, freshens up the bowl and gets ride of any ghosting left from prior tobaccos smoked.

I fill the bowl to the brim with larger grained salt. Using the syringe, I add the alcohol to the salt, topping it up to the bowl brim. I usually leave this treatment in the bowl overnight.Step 2
I prefer to use my old trusty friend (pocket knife) to clean the cake from the bowl. It has a more rounded tip and I find it a perfect tool to clean out most pipes without damaging the bowl.Step 3
With the same alcohol I use cotton pads to remove the finish off the pipe. Alcohol also does a great job at removing tar from the bowl rim. If the tar is heavy then a light sanding works better.Step 4
I don’t know what it is about sanding that brings so much satisfaction; I think it is the results you get on the pipe finish; it looks like glass. I use these foam padded Micro-Mesh pads to bring out the best finish on the briar wood. Step 5
Two of my favourite household products that do a fantastic job at cleaning pipe stems are OxiClean and Vim. Soak the stem in an OxiClean bath for about an hour maybe two hours. It will depend on how oxidized the pipe stem is, a heavy oxidized stem, leave in the solution for longer. This stem needed a longer soak.

After the bath I use Vim and a dry clean rag to wipe clean. Vim has a corrosive component that acts like a sand paper to buff the pipe stem back to a clean black colour again.

I will say, if the pipe stem is heavily oxidized it will take more than just Vim to bring out that black finish. I refer back to the Micro-Mesh foam sanding pads, which also do an amazing job at bringing out that preferred finish. I use alcohol and pipe cleaners to remove left behind tar inside the pipe stem. I repeat this process until the pipe cleaners come out clean.Step 6
To bring out the beauty of the natural grains of the wood, I use a variety of products and natural substances to do this. For this pipe I used an extra virgin olive oil.

With the combination of the sanded finish, adding the olive oil turns the pipe a darker colour. Well you can see the finished results for yourself!Conclusion:
Overall, I am pleased with the results. This pipe I will probably put into my private collection, as I do not have a churchwarden styled pipe as of yet.

Hope you have enjoyed my process.

Cleaning up a Beautiful Chacom Sahara Brandy


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff got a call from an auction house that does estate sales. He had built relationships with the owner and his son in law over the past months and we had purchased other pipes from them. This time they were calling about a lot of what they called higher end pipes that they had coming up on a weekend estate sale. They talked a bit and he asked if they would mind sending him a list of the pipes that were coming up. They went one step better and sent him the two photos of the pipes as a preview of what was going on sale. We looked them over and chose a few of them for purchase if Jeff had the chance. (It is times like this that I wish I lived close so I could go with him to these sales.

He went on a Friday morning and stood in line for the doors to open. When they did he went in and they handed him a bucket and the box of pipes that they had set back behind the counter for him. There were indeed some nice pipes in the batch and certainly pricier than the average lot we find at antique sales and malls. There were quite a few Savinelli products, Stanwell, GBD, Aldo Velani, Nording, Il Ceppo, Barlings, DiMonte and a Chacom Sahara. They made him a proposition for the entire lot of pipes and he went for it. He came home with all of the pipes in the photos to the left.

He called me on FaceTime and we were both pretty excited by what he had picked up. We went through them and noted the names and brands. We noted all of the stamping on the shank of each pipe. I got more excited as we noted each pipe and its condition. We realized that they were in pretty decent shape other than the usual dirtiness and grime from smoking. There were not any damaged rims or bowls. There were tooth marks on the stem that would need to be cleaned up but really it was a very nice lot of pipes. We had done well with the purchase.

This afternoon I was greeted at my door by the box that he had sent my way. I excitedly opened cut the tape on the box. Like a child at Christmas I tore in to the box to see what was inside. I pulled away the bubble wrap that he had put around each pipe. Now I was really excited by the pipes that he had sent along for me.

I chose to work on the Chacom Sahara first. It is a beautiful brandy shaped pipe that was in decent shape. It was stamped on the left side of the shank with the brand CHACOM over SAHARA. On the underside of the shank next to the stem shank junction it bore the shape number 864. The stem bore the Chacom CC oval logo inset in the vulcanite. There was a band of faux horn/Lucite that was part of the stem. It sat between a thin band of black and the rest of the tapered stem. My brother took the following photos before he worked on the pipes.The finish on the bowl was in excellent shape. There was a thin cake in the bowl and an overflow of lava on the rim top. Sometimes this can be a good sign in that it can protect the finish underneath it. Other times it was a bad sign and hid a lot of rim burn and damage. I wondered what would be underneath this buildup. He took a photo of the pipe from the top and a close up photo to show the condition of the bowl and the rim.He also took some close up photos of the bottom and sides of the bowl. The finish was in excellent condition all around the bowl. Jeff took some good photos of the stamping on the shank. The first shows the left side of the shank. The second shows the shape stamping on the underside of the shank. The third shows the CC logo oval on the right side of the stem.He also took some photos of the chatter on the top and underside of the stem next to the button. Fortunately none of them were too deep.Jeff did his usual thorough cleanup of the pipe. He scrubbed the interior and exterior and sent me a very clean pipe that I only needed to put the finishing touches on. The next four photos show the pipe when I brought it to my work table. The pipe looked really good. The finish on the bowl sides, bottom and shank were in excellent condition. The stem was clean as well other than the light oxidation and the tooth chatter. The rim top had been cleaned up but it looked dull. I took a close up photo of the rim to show what it looked like after Jeff had cleaned it up. The top was clean and free of all build up. The finish on the rim was a bit dull but it looked like it would polish up nicely.I forgot to take a picture of the tooth chatter before I started working on it. I sanded the surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and marks. I was able to remove all of them without changing the profile of the stem. I left behind the usual scratch marks after sanding with 220 grit sandpaper.I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust and took the following photos before I polished it with micromesh sanding pads.I cleaned out the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol. My brother had done a great job cleaning both so that nothing came out. It was very clean on the inside.I scraped out the last of the cake on the bowl walls with the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife until the walls were clean.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. The oil both enlivens the rubber and provides bite for the sanding pads. I polished it with the 12000 grit pad and gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. (I forgot to take a photo of sanding it with 4000-6000 grit pads.) To give the rim top a shine like the rest of the bowl I buffed it with Blue Diamond and then applied some Cherry Danish Oil to the rim top with a cotton swab. I repeated the process until the top of the rim just shone. It looked like the rest of the bowl once again. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. It polished out all of the minute scratches in the surface of the vulcanite and the briar. It does a great job with a soft touch when polishing briar and the shine that the Blue Diamond gives rubber is almost glassy. I gave the bowl and stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It really is a beautiful looking pipe. The layout of the grain with the brandy shape is really well done. This one will soon be for sale on the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know either by email to slaug@uniserve.com or a private message on FaceBook. Thanks for looking.

Restoring a damaged rim on a Chacom Noir Dress Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

One of my recurrent nightmares in terms of refurbishing pipes is to find a black dress pipe with a perfect finish on the bowl and some kind of damage to the finish at some point on the pipe that ruined the perfectly good pipe. Well that nightmare came to life in the most recent restoration project I took on. My brother sent me a boxed Chacom Noir. It was stamped on the left side of the shank Chacom over Noir. On the underside of the shank it had the shape number 43 stamped next to the sterling silver band stamped with 925 in an oval. He had shown me pictures of it and we decided to leave it alone in terms of clean up until I had in it hand.

When I opened the Chacom box and saw the pipe sock in the box and the quite stunning Noir pipe nestled in the folds of the cloth I was hoping for the best. I turned it over in my hands and was visibly relieved when I saw the condition of the finish on the bowl. It looked great. There were no scratches or gouges in the finish the nice black bowl was set off perfectly by a sterling silver band that had a bit of oxidation and by the Cumberland stem that was stamped Hand Cut. The stem had no significant tooth marks just a lot of tooth chatter that would be easily cured. This pipe looked like it would be an easy restoration.chacom1 chacom2Those thoughts would come back to haunt me. I examined the rim with a light and my finger tips and immediately saw a big issue. The inside edge of the rim was damaged all along the back side. Repeated lighting had burned the edge and created a burned area in that spot. The wood was charred and missing and there was a significant slope to the rim. That particular area on the rim was thinner than the rest of the bowl. There was also a burn spot on the rim top on the right side of the pipe that was not nearly as bad. Now I had a problem and the work would be a challenge. Could I remove the burned area and still retain the black finish on the bowl? That would be something that I would find out. It was either give it a try or get rid of the pipe. I tend to love the challenge so of course I took this pipe on. The worst case scenario was that it would end up with a smooth stained rim that would contrast with the black bowl. The best case would be that I could make it work. The photo below shows the damaged area on the two spots on the bowl. I have circled them in red to highlight them.chacom3The stem was oxidized but otherwise fair condition. There was a bit of tooth chatter on the top and underside of the stem at the button as can be seen in the next two photos.chacom4The stem would be the easiest part of this restoration (besides the polishing of the silver band) so I decided to start there. I removed the stem and dumped out the 9mm filter. I was still thinking about the rim issues and the black finish so I had given no thought to the fact that my brother had cleaned out the internals of the pipe. He had reamed it and cleaned the mortise and shank and he had cleaned out the airway in the stem. I just naturally grabbed some pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol and recleaned them only to find that other than removing black stain from the mortise the pipe was impeccably clean. Thanks Jeff!chacom5I sanded out the tooth chatter with 220 grit sandpaper until it was smooth and then worked on the stem with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. After each set of three pads I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil. After the last rubdown with Obsidian Oil I set the stem aside to dry.chacom6 chacom7 chacom8With the easy work done I spent some time looking at the rim top to decide the best course of action to take. I knew that I could top the bowl but the extent damage to the inner edge of the bowl would mean that I would need to top it pretty radically. I also knew that if I topped the bowl I would expose a raw edge to the black finish at the bowl top. I was not sure if I was dealing with paint or stain but I dreaded sanding back the rim only to have the outer edges of the bowl begin to peel. So I decided to do something a bit different. I worked to bevel the inner edge of the rim to remove the burnt portion and to match the rest of the bowl to that area. It took quite a bit of sanding with 220 grit sandpaper to get the rim edge smoothed out. I sanded it with 1500-1200 grit micromesh sanding pads to polish the newly sanded bevel. Once I was finished the rim looked better. It was still a little thinner at the back of the bowl but overall it was more round looking. I was hoping that a black stain would blend with the rest of the bowl and minimize the look of the rim edge. chacom9I still was not certain that a black stain would match the finish on the pipe. It could easily not work and the rim repair would have to be addressed in a different manner. Several possible issues could arise – the stain would be too transparent or it would be a different shade of black. I would not know unless I tried so with a bit of trepidation I stained the rim and bevel with a black aniline stain, let it dry and restained it. I did not flame the stain as I did not want to risk damaging the rest of the finish on the bowl. The photo below shows the rim after several coats of black stain have dried. After this I gave it several more coats of black stain to get a match.chacom10I cleaned the sterling silver band with a jeweler’s cloth until the silver shone. This cloth easily removes most light oxidation without much effort. They are available at jewelry shops for a minimum cost. I have had mine for about 10 years and it works well.chacom11I gave the bowl and rim several coats of Conservator’s Wax and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth. I did not want to risk removing some of the finish from the bowl by buffing it on the wheel. I was relieved to see that the rim colour blended in very well after waxing and buffing. I would still need to clean out the debris in the bowl but the pipe was beginning to look better than when I started.chacom12 chacom13I decided to use a black Sharpie pen to add some depth to the colour on the rim of the pipe. I wiped down the rim to remove the wax then used the Sharpie to give it a top coat. The black pen and the stain together made a better blend to the rim. I gave it another coat of Conservator’s Wax and hand buffed the rim.chacom14I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and hand buffed the pipe with a microfibre cloth. While the rim is not perfect the colour matches perfectly and the shine on it matches the finish on the bowl. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I am pleased with the finished pipe and the results of the experiment. This pipe will also find its way to the rebornpipes store soon. It comes with a Chacom box and pipe sock. There is a lot of life left in this beautiful pipe. The contrast of the Cumberland stem, the silver band and the matte black finish on the pipe works really well together. Email me if you are interested in the pipe before it goes on the store. My email is slaug@uniserve.com.

Thanks for looking.chacom15 chacom16 chacom17 chacom18 chacom19 chacom20 chacom21 chacom22 chacom23 chacom24

Restoring a Chacom Festival Billiard


I have had this Chacom Billiard for quite a while and never done any work to it. It had a lot of rim damage and the outer edge had been rounded over. Looking at the brand online I could not find any with a rounded top so I decided to rework the top. It also had many dents and dings in the surface of the briar all around the bowl. It seemed like there were too many to be a onetime drop of the pipe but rather seemed like the pipe had been bumped around in a drawer or glove box in a car and picked up the dents. I have not smoked the pipe so I have no idea how it smokes but I have been in a mood to clean up many I have around that need a little more TLC. This one was also filthy inside the shank and the stem to the point that the airway in the stem was a black line like a stripe from the shank to the button. The stamping on the pipe is Chacom over Festival on the left side of the shank and Chapuis Comoy on the right. On the underside near the shank stem junction it bears the stamped numbers 291 – the shape designation. The 291 shape is a Comoy’s number. The acrylic stem is stamped CC on the left side near the shank. I am not clear on the relationship between Comoy’s and Chacom other than a few vague memories regarding the company separating and the Comoy’s moving to London and a portion staying in France and taking on the name Chacom. I do not recall the history or the connection.
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I decided to do some research on the web to check out my vague recollections and gather details on Chacom pipes. I found a timeline for the brand on the Chacom website with a short history abbreviated. (http://www.pipechacom.com/en/pipes-traditionnelles/history.htm). It turned out that I was partly correct in my information regarding the connection but the timeline gives details to the name and the changes that it went through. I had no idea that Chacom was a combination of the first three letters of the Chapuis name and the first three letters of the Comoy’s name. I also had no idea of the detailed ongoing use of the two names that are stamped on my pipe. It appears that the dual name was stamped for many years and generations. I have copied some of the pertinent dates that give me data in understanding the stamping on this pipe. I have incluced portions that give a glimpse into the history of the brand. For more information or to follow-up on this I have also included the website above.

1870: Henri COMOY, prisoner of war in Switzerland met his cousins the Chapuis and together they consider the idea of an association.

1879: Henry COMOY immigrated to London with some of his technicians from Saint-Claude and establishes the first English pipe factory in England – H. COMOY & C° LTD. The Saint-Claude factory supplied them with briar and pipe bowls…

1922: After the First World War the association COMOY and CHAPUIS is realised and the Saint-Claude factory becomes CHAPUIS COMOY & Cie.

1924: Death of Henri COMOY. His sons Paul and Adrien assume the direction of the factories in Saint-Claude and London assisted by their cousins Emile and Louis Chapuis.

1928: London was able to produce their own pipes, and in order to develop the Saint-Claude factory, the brand CHACOM was created, using the first three letters of the COMOY and CHAPUIS family names. Up till 1939 CHACOM was offered only in France, Belgium and Switzerland in order not to cause confusion with the COMOY pipes which had the same shapes and qualities.

1932: The world economic crisis reached Saint-Claude. To weather this problem Chapuis Comoy & Cie joined with another company under the name of LA BRUYERE, forming the biggest pipe concern in the world with 450 workers. Big trucks were needed to transfer the briar blocks from the drying shed to the factory.

1945: After the Second World War CHACOM assumed its entire commercial liberty and launched a complete and modern range of pipes.

1946: Chacom became the principal brand in France and Belgium…

1957: In face of the commercial preponderance of the brand CHACOM the company La Bruyère returned to the name of CHAPUIS COMOY & Cie.

1964: Death of Adrien COMOY. His son Pierre succeeded him in London. Mr. REED was the Chairman and Managing Director in Saint-Claude…

1971: Having recovered its independence from COMOYS of London, Yves GRENARD, second cousin of Pierre COMOY, took over the Direction of Chapuis Comoy & Cie and at the same time the exclusive sale of H. COMOY & Ltd, in France…

1994: Chapuis-Comoy integrated ROPP Company.

As can be seen in the next series of photos below the rim was damaged and the outer edges were rounded over instead of sharply defined and the surface flat.
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I set up my topping board and sandpaper and sanded the top of the bowl. I generally use a circular motion while pressing the top onto the sandpaper. I find that this minimizes the scratches and makes the easier to sand later. The next photo below shows the top after just a few rotations on the board and highlights the damages rim edges.
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I continued to sand the top until the surface was smooth and the edges sharp and defined. I wanted to remove all of the rounding that was present on the outer edges of the bowl. When I finished with the sandpaper I sanded the top with a medium and a fine grit sanding block to further smooth out the surface and remove the scratches left behind by the paper.
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I wiped down the bowl with acetone on cotton pads to remove the finish. In this case there were so many dents in the briar that I wanted to remove the finish before I steamed out the dents in the sides of the bowl.
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I took the pipe up to the kitchen to use the gas stove to heat a knife for steaming the dents. I generally try to do this when my wife is away as I use an old butter knife, a dish cloth and her stove for the work. I have found her hovering to make sure I don’t ruin her stove or knife or cloth for that matter, hard to deal with while I am focusing on the work at hand. It is far easier to do it when she is away – I avoid her concern and I find it goes more quickly!

The next photo below shows the tools I used. I put the wetted dish cloth on a plastic lid so that I do not damage the counter tops. The knife on the right side of the photo is my weapon of choice in this process as the blade is long and wide so it covers a lot of dents.
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The next photo shows the blade being heated with the gas flame. For some reason the flame is not visible in the photo but it is present. It does not take long to heat the knife to the temperature that works with the cloth to create steam.
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The next photo shows the next step in the process. When it is hot enough I place it against the wet cloth that I have placed over the dents and hold the hot knife blade against the cloth and pressed against the dented briar. The application of heat to the wet cloth creates the steam that is needed to raise the dent in the briar.
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The next series of photos show the bowl after steaming out the dents in the surface. The majority of the marks are gone after the process. Those that remain were minimal and I dealt with them by sanding the bowl. I used a medium grit sanding sponge and a fine grit sanding block to sand the briar of the bowl and smooth out the surface dents that remained.
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The airway on the acrylic stem was black. I thought at first this was a part of the striations in the acrylic but that turned out to be wrong. I cleaned the stem with a shank brush, many pipe cleaners and Everclear until the pipe cleaners finally came out clean. The shank brush cleans up easily with soap and water when I am finished. The airway looked far better when cleaned.
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The next three photos show the pipe, cleaned and ready to be stained. I wiped it down a final time with Everclear to remove any dust or grease from my hands and took it to my work table to restain it.
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I stained the pipe with MinWax – using a Medium Walnut stain first and then applying a Red Mahogany stain over that. The photos below show the bowl after I have stained it with Medium Walnut. Once applied the Red stain it blended very nicely with the darker colours in the acrylic of the stem.
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I buffed the bowl with White Diamond and then stained it with the red stain. I buffed it a second time with White Diamond. I buffed the stem and pipe again with White Diamond and then gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax to give it a shine. I liked the way the finish is almost matte and does not have a high gloss to it. The addition of the red stain brought out the red tones in the briar and they match those in the acrylic exceptionally well. The acrylic stem is one of the most comfortable ones that I have seen or experienced and that is a pleasant surprise. The following photos show the finished pipe ready to fire up and enjoy.
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