Tag Archives: contrast staining

Reviving a Vauen Luxus


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is a handsome Vauen, which I acquired from a Craigslist pipe lot. Although not an old pipe, it is a handsome one. It’s rather big and hefty, but not heavy, and feels good in the hand. I’m really glad that my customer picked out this pipe, as it has been sitting around unused for far too long. I’m happy that it has found a new home.This pipe is a Vauen Luxus 2013 chunky, bent billiard with a beautiful horn ferrule, It also takes a 9 mm filter. The stem has the traditional Vauen white dot (not unlike Dunhill’s) and, most interestingly, it has a P-lip, very reminiscent of Peterson’s. The ‘2013’ does not refer to the year of manufacture, rather, it refers to the shape number. The markings on the pipe are as follows: on the left side of the shank, it reads Vauen [over] Luxus. The underside of the shank shows the model number 2013, and the top of the stem shows the classic white Vauen dot.I searched on Pipedia for some history of the Vauen brand. Here’s what I found:

In 1848 Karl Ellenberger and his partner Carl August Ziener turned an idea into reality in Nuremberg. In the first German pipe manufacturing company they produced tobacco pipes from selected woods for connoisseurs throughout the world.

The Vereinigte Pfeifenfabriken in Nuremberg (known in short as VPFN) was brought into being in 1901 with the amalgamation with the Gebhard Ott pipe factory founded in 1866, also in Nuremberg. In this way, a business was created under the management of Ernst Eckert, a scion of the founding family Ott, and its products and services were to attend and shape the culture of tobacco and smoking in Europe and overseas for a long time – for 150 years now.

In the 1920s, VAUEN had taken out a trademark on a white dot on the mouthpiece for Germany and Austria, at the same time that Dunhill had done the same for the international market. The companies ended up in court with the result that Dunhill may use the white dot internationally, whereas VAUEN may use it only in Germany and Austria and has to use a differently-coloured dot for all other markets. They have used light blue and grey dots internationally since then. The white or coloured dot denotes the higher quality pipes of VAUEN; the lower-end pipes are only marked by the VAUEN imprint on the stem.

In the search for a term which would be easy for all pipe friends to remember and not confuse with anything else, Ernst Eckert’s son, Adolf Eckert coined a new name for the business in 1909.

VAUEN, consisting of the initial letters V (pronounced VAU) from Vereinigte Pfeifenfabriken and the N (pronounced EN) of Nuremberg. A brand name for the future had been created.

After 1945 Ernst Eckert, son of Adolf Eckert, succeeded in overcoming the destructive effects of the war with an unshakeable pioneering spirit. VAUEN grew to become a business with a worldwide reputation once more.

Alexander Eckert, now the fifth generation of pipemakers, has been at the head of the oldest German pipe-manufacturing company since 1982. The company, which has been in the hands of the founder’s family since it was established, is expanding again in importance as a result of increased international commitment.

Over at Pipephil.eu, they note that “Some of the pipes in Vauen’s Dr. Perl line (Germany) are equipped with a conventional P-lip stem.” In this context, the word ‘conventional’ is referring to the same P-lip invented by Peterson in 1898.

On to the pipe: given that it wasn’t very old, the pipe was in pretty good shape, but as usual, there were a couple of issues. The rim on the stummel was blackened and a bit burnt – that would need to be addressed. The insides were fairly dirty and would need some work to clean out. There were also some small fills in the wood, and they had ever-so-slightly expanded so that you could feel them when rubbing your finger over the surface. My customer didn’t want the fills dug out and replaced, so I would need to stain the fills instead. Mercifully, the beautiful horn was in good shape and wouldn’t need anything other than a polish. The stem needed some work. It was definitely dirty inside and the cavity that holds the filter would need a thorough cleaning. The stem also had some calcification and tooth marks/dents that would need addressing. In addition, the button would need to be reshaped. The stem was first on my list. I wiped down the outside of the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. I also took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame in order to lift the bite marks and dents. Unfortunately, this didn’t really work, but I have ways of sorting this problem out.

Then, I cleaned out the inside with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. It was pretty dirty and required quite a few pipe cleaners. Once this process was done, the stem went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover.The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation on the stem.The bite marks on and around the button had to be dealt with, so I whipped out my black cyanoacrylate adhesive to fill those in and let them fully cure. 

I then sanded the adhesive down with 220-, 400-, and 600-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. Next, I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. On to the stummel, and the usual cleaning procedures were in order. The bowl really needed reaming so I used the KleenReem to remove the built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper on a dowel to eliminate as much as possible. I took the chamber down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws. Fortunately, there were none. I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and isopropyl alcohol. There was quite a bit of filth inside these stummels and it took a lot of cotton to get them clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes.I used a toothbrush and some Murphy’s Oil Soap to scrub the outside of the stummel and then the lava on the rim of the pipe.The burn marks remained, so in order to remove the remaining burns and nicks on the rim, I “topped” the pipe – that is to say, I gently and evenly sanded down the rim on a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. This effectively removed the damage, without altering the look of the pipe.A de-ghosting session also seemed in order, so I thrust cotton balls into the bowl and the shank and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused the oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowl was nice and clean after this. Just before sanding, I covered the horn with painter’s tape to prevent any damage to it. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) on the stummel to make it lovely and smooth. After that, a light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the wood.In order to minimize the appearance of the fills, I opted to apply some stain to the wood. First, however, I used some furniture pens on the fills and the newly sanded rim to darken them a bit. I began by applying a layer of Fiebing’s Light Brown Leather Dye to the pipe. After applying the dye, flaming it with a BIC, and letting it set for a few hours, I wiped the stummel down with isopropyl alcohol to remove much of the dye. Then it was time for the second round of staining, following the same steps as before. Finally, it was off for a trip to the bench polisher. A dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were just what it needed. The lovely shine made the wood look absolutely beautiful. This Vauen Luxus looks fantastic and arise ready to be enjoyed again by the next owner. I know that the new owner will enjoy smoking it for many years to come. I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe as much I as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 6 in. (150 mm); height 2.3 in. (59 mm); bowl diameter 1.4 in. (35 mm); chamber diameter 0.8 in. (20 mm). The weight of the pipe is 2.5 oz. (72 g). Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Restoring and Restemming a Made in Ireland Shamrock 106 Prince


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe was a mess and one that obviously had been “ridden hard and put away wet”. The finish and condition was abysmal. It was definitely a stranger to any cleaning! This one is a smooth Prince that has a rich coloured finish around the bowl sides and shank under the grit and grime of years. This pipe was purchased from an antique mall on 08/27/21 in Bozeman, Montana, USA. The finish is almost bland looking it is so dirty it was hard to know what to expect once it was cleaned. It was stamped on the  left side of the shank and read SHAMROCK. It was stamped to the right of the shank and reads MADE IN IRELAND (in a circle) with the shape number 106 lower and next to the bowl. It was filthy when Jeff brought it to the table. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. There were nicks in the outer edge all the way around. The replacement stem was chewed and damaged on the top and underside on and near the button. It did not appear to be vulcanite. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked so it is hard to know the condition of the edges under the lava overflow. The stem was a replacement and had been heavily gnawed. The way the bit marks are on the surface of the stem makes me think that it is not vulcanite. The pipe is a real mess and I would probably have to restem the bowl. Jeff took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. You can see the sandpits and nicks in the briar in the photos below. Even so, it is a nice looking pipe. He took a photo of the left side of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is faint but readable in the photo below and is as noted above. He did not take a photo of the circular stamp Made In Ireland and the shape number on the right side of the shank. I will try to capture that later in the blog.I am including the link to the Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson).

I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Shamrock Pipe. On page 312 it had the following information.

Shamrock (c1941-2009) Originally stamped SHAMROCK with no brand name, an inexpensive line first described in George Yale (New York) mail order booklet in 1941, imported by Rogers Import. The line was actively promoted beginning in ’45, aggressively promoted in US by Rogers from early ‘50s when they registered the Shamrock logo with US Patent Office, claiming propriety since ’38. Over the years offered with P-lip or fishtail mouthpiece, with or without nickel band, with or without Shamrock logo on the band, with or without S stamped in white or later in gold on mouthpiece. Appearing in 2008 as unstained smooth and rustic, fishtail mouthpiece with gold impressed P on the stem. COMS of MADE IN over IRELAND (C1945-1965), MADE IN IRELAND forming a circle (c1945-1965), “A PETERSON’S PRODUCT” over MADE IN IRELAND (c1945-1965), MADE IN THE over REPUBLIC over OF IRELAND9c1948-1998). Model is always difficult or impossible to date.

Judging from the description above, the pipe I am working on is stamped with the stamp noted in red above. Made in Ireland in a circle which narrows the date to between approximately 1945-1965. It is just stamped SHAMROCK with no brand name and no stamping on the stem.

I was utterly surprised when I took this pipe out of the box and compared it to the before photos. 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. Surprisingly the walls looked unscathed from the heavy cake. 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 of the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Briarville’s Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. When I examined the stem I knew it would need to be replaced. The pipe looked far better when it arrived. The cleaned up rim top revealed very damaged inner and outer edges and the top. There were nicks in the surface of the rim and the edges. I took some close up photos of the rim top and edges to show how well it had cleaned up and the damage to the edges around the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the surface near and on the button itself. The stem would be replaced. You can see the deep tooth marks and damage to the button edges on both sides. The diameter of the stem is smaller than that of the shank as can be seen in the photos.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is faint but still readable. It reads as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look.I removed the stem from the shank and went through my stems to find one that matched the length and shape of the previous stem. I was pleased to see that it was slightly larger in diameter than the previous one. The tenon was almost the same size as the other one. It was bent more than the previous one but once straightened out it was only 1/8 of an inch shorter. I thought it would look very good.I used a small folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to reduce the tenon enough that it would fit the mortise on the bowl. It did not take too much work and it fit perfectly. The diameter of the stem was slightly larger than the shank and would need some work to fit it properly. I took photos of the pipe with its new stem. I needed to reduce the diameter of the stem and also straighten it a bit to fit correctly. I used a flat file to take off as much of the excess as I could without damaging the briar ahead of it.I cleaned up the fit of the stem to the shank with folded 220 grit sandpaper. I worked over the flow of the stem into the shank to make the transition smooth. It was looking very good. I also heated the stem with the flame of a lighter to soften the vulcanite and straighten it. I repaired the damaged spots on the rim top with briar dust and clear superglue. Once it cured I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inside edge of the bowl and smooth out the damage. I gave it a slight bevel to minimize the damage. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I restained the rim top with a Walnut and a Maple stain pen to match it to the surrounding bowl colour. It looked pretty good. It will blend well once the pipe is polished and buffed. 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 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and 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 Older Made in Ireland Shamrock 106 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 beautiful mixed grain all around it, looks great with the new black vulcanite stem. This smooth Classic Shamrock 106 Prince is great looking and the pipe 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: 1 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 36 grams/1.27 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. I will be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for your time and as Paresh says each time – Stay Safe.

Restoring and Restemming a Made in Ireland Peterson’s Kapet 595 Bent Rhodesian


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe was a mess and one that obviously had been “ridden hard and put away wet”. The finish and condition was abysmal. It was definitely a stranger to any cleaning! This one is a smooth Bent Rhodesian that has a rich coloured finish around the bowl sides and shank under the grit and grime of years. This pipe was purchased off Facebook Marketplace on 05/22/21 from Fruitland, Idaho, USA. The finish is almost bland looking it is so dirty it was hard to know what to expect once it was cleaned. It was stamped on the  left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Kapet. It was stamped to the right of the shank and reads MADE IN IRELAND with the shape number 595 next to the bowl. It was filthy when Jeff brought it to the table. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava on the back of the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The outer edge looked good. The vulcanite stem did not fit well and was straight rather than bent. It was oxidized and dirty. There was also tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on the rest of the stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and there was a heavy lava overflow on the rim top and the inner edge. The stem is oxidized, calcified and grimy. It was a mess and it was not the correct stem. I would need to replace it. Jeff took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. The grain is quite beautiful around the sides of the bowl and shank. It is a nice looking pipe.   He took photos of the sides of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is faint but still is readable in the photos below and is as noted above. I am including the link to the Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). There was a short note toward the bottom of the page about the series. It is definitely referring to the newer line that came out later. I quote:

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson) to first pin down a date that the pipe was made. I knew that the Made in Ireland stamp would give me that. I quote:

As usual when trying to get accurate facts in regard to Peterson history, something will jump up and get in the way. They are missing many of their records. The following is the best that we can do for a guide to the myriad markings during the period 1922 – 1949. Prior to 1920 it was rare for a country of origin to be stamped on the pipe, just Peterson’s Dublin on the band. After 1921/22, if it is stamped “MADE IN IRELAND” and the “Made in” is stacked over “Ireland” or “MADE IN EIRE” or several other forms, it was made between 1922 and 1938. A considerable number of Peterson pipes were stamped “Irish Free State”. From about 1930 to 1949, most of the pipes (those which were stamped) were stamped “Made in Ireland”.” If the stamp reads “MADE IN IRELAND” in a circle, the pipe was made between 1939 and 1948. These are all “Pre-Republic” pipes. I can tell you that the mark “Irish Free State” was adopted in 1922; and replaced by “Eire” in 1937 and then by “Republic of Ireland” in 1949.

That gave me a date for the pipe – it was made between 1922 and 1938 as can be proved by the Made in Ireland stamp on the right side of the shank.

I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Kapet Line. On page 305 it had the following information.

Kapet (1925-87) Line first described in 1925 brochure and featured in occasional catalogs through 1987. Early specimens will be stamped IRISH over FREE STATE. Described in 1937 catalog as available in dark plum or natural finish. Featured an aluminum “inner tube” or stinger until 1945.  Mid-century specimens may be stamped Made In over Ireland. Specimens from 1970 on may have mounts with hallmarks.

Judging from the Made in Ireland stamp, the pipe I am working on is probably made between 1922-38. Those dates work also for the Kapet information above. The stem is missing the original P-lip stem and the P emblem on the stem side as well as the inner tube.

To help clarify the stamping on the shank my daughter did some digging and found a shape chart on Mark Irwin’s site that had the 595 shape and it did indeed have a saddle stem (https://petersonpipenotes.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR2VQVQbIXKn90Y9DK56WQVIknkz7UVkfbivxdAjdNqslt9297JIUMvpyjc). The chart identified the 595 as a Medium Rhodesian with a fish tail stem so I was excited to see that the stem I had would be correct! I was utterly surprised when I took this pipe out of the box and compared it to the before photos. 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. Surprisingly the walls looked unscathed from the heavy cake. 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. There was some scratching, dents and wear on the top and the inner edge of the rim. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Briarville’s Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. He sent the stem along so that I could use it to fit another stem. I took photos of the pipe when it arrived. The cleaned up rim top looked clean but there were dents and marks on the top and some damage and burn marks on the inner edge of the bowl. I took some close up photos of the rim top and edges to show how well it had cleaned up. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the condition on both sides.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is faint but reads as noted above. I removed the stem and went through my stems and found one that matched the shank well. I would need to reduce the sides of the diamond saddle and then I would work the stem to fit correctly. The stem had originally been a P-lip style but someone along the way had cut it off. I would need to clean up that work and reshape it to be a fish tail stem like the one in the chart above. There was a faint P on the left side of the saddle that would probably disappear with the shaping.I put the stem in the shank and took a photo of the bowl with the stem first to have a look at the pipe with this stem. It looked very good and I think with the adjustments it was going to look like the original.I took photos of the stem to show the shape of the bent and also the modification that had been done to remove the P-lip and convert it to what was an attempt at a fish tail. The work on it was a bit of a hack job so it was a mess. I would need to do some reshaping and opening of the button. I started my work on this pipe by fitting the new stem to the shank. I had to reduce the sides of the diamond saddle with my Dremel and sanding drum. As with all diamond shank pipes, the sides were not equal in measurement so I had to shave off some of the vulcanite on each side to get a proper fit to the shank. I also used it on the button end to flatten it out and give it some initial shape. There is more work to do but it is getting there. I used a flat file to get the fit close to a smooth fit. Care had to be taken not to damage the briar. I then worked on it with a folded piece of 220 sandpaper. I wanted the transition between the shank and stem to be smooth. I converted the single hole in the button end to a slot using a hole saw (a pottery trimming saw). I worked on it to shape it as an oval. Once that was done I shaped the button to remove some of the thickness and give it a comfortable shape. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I sanded the inside of the slot with 220 and 400 grit sandpaper to smooth out the airway in the button.I cleaned the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. The stem was very dirty so it took a bit of work to get the oils and tars out of it. Once it was cleaned it smelled very good.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. With the stem finished, I removed it and turned my attention to the bowl. I know some of you would have kept working on the stem but I needed a change of pace so I went to the bowl for awhile to address this darkening on the rim top and edges. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge and work on the darkening on the top.I used an oak stain pen to touch up the sanded areas on the rim top and edges as well as the shank end. The pen was a good match to the rest of the briar around the bowl and shank. It would blend in very well once it was buffed and waxed.I polished the briar and worked to blend in the sanded areas on the rim top and shank end with the surrounding briar with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust and assess progress. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the twin rings around the cap with a shoe brush. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process.  I am excited to finish this beautifully grained, restemmed Peterson’s Kapet 595 Bent Rhodesian. 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 beautiful mixed grain all around it. The Bent Rhodesian looks great with the new replacement black vulcanite stem. This smooth Classic Peterson’s Kapet Bent Rhodesian is great looking and the pipe 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 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 40 grams/1.41 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. I will be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for your time and as Paresh says each time – Stay Safe.

Restoring and Restemming a Made in Ireland Peterson’s Premier Selection 493 Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe was a mess and one that obviously had been “ridden hard and put away wet”. The finish and condition was abysmal. It was definitely a stranger to any cleaning! This one is a smooth Bent Billiard that has a rich coloured finish around the bowl sides and shank under the grit and grime of years. This pipe was purchased from an antique mall on 08/27/21 in Bozeman, Montana, USA. The finish is almost bland looking it is so dirty it was hard to know what to expect once it was cleaned. It was stamped on the  left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Premier Selection. It was stamped to the right of the shank and reads MADE IN IRELAND with the shape number 493 next to the bowl. It was filthy when Jeff brought it to the table. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava on the back of the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The outer edge looked good. The replacement Biteproof stem was oxidized and had a chunk missing from the left side of the stem at the button. There was also tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on the rest of the stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and there was a heavy lava overflow on the rim top and the inner edge. The stem is broken, oxidized, calcified and grimy. It was a mess. Jeff took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. The grain is quite beautiful around the sides of the bowl and shank. It is a nice looking pipe. He took photos of the sides of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above.    I am including the link to the Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). There was a short note toward the bottom of the page about the series. It is definitely referring to the newer line that came out later. I quote:

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson) to first pin down a date that the pipe was made. I knew that the Made in Ireland stamp would give me that. I quote:

As usual when trying to get accurate facts in regard to Peterson history, something will jump up and get in the way. They are missing many of their records. The following is the best that we can do for a guide to the myriad markings during the period 1922 – 1949. Prior to 1920 it was rare for a country of origin to be stamped on the pipe, just Peterson’s Dublin on the band. After 1921/22, if it is stamped “MADE IN IRELAND” and the “Made in” is stacked over “Ireland” or “MADE IN EIRE” or several other forms, it was made between 1922 and 1938. A considerable number of Peterson pipes were stamped “Irish Free State”. From about 1930 to 1949, most of the pipes (those which were stamped) were stamped “Made in Ireland”.” If the stamp reads “MADE IN IRELAND” in a circle, the pipe was made between 1939 and 1948. These are all “pre-Republic” pipes. I can tell you that the mark “Irish Free State” was adopted in 1922;and replaced by “Eire” in 1937 and then by “Republic of Ireland” in 1949.

That gave me a date for the pipe – it was made between 1922 and 1938 as can be proved by the Made in Ireland stamp on the right side of the shank.

I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Kapp-Royal Pipe. On page 310 it had the following information.

Premier on the shank (c. 1953- c. 1981) A high grade line of Classic Range shapes for the US market introduced by Rogers Imports in their 1953 catalog. Offered in smooth or sandblast finish, a P-lip mouthpiece with an aluminum P. The first occurrence of this logo in the ephemera. The Tan Bark Premier appeared in the ’69 Iwan Ries catalog. COM of Made in over Ireland, a PREMIER stamp also appears over SELECTION and will be distinguished by an inset brass P on the mouthpiece. See system for SYSTEM over PREMIER stamp.

Judging from the Made in Ireland stamp, the pipe I am working on is probably made between 1922-38. The contrary piece of the puzzle is that the second red highlight above dates it to between 1953 and 1981. It is missing the original P-lip stem and the P emblem on the stem side. So once more we enter the realm of Peterson’s mysteries. Anyone have any ideas on this one.

I was utterly surprised when I took this pipe out of the box and compared it to the before photos. 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. Surprisingly the walls looked unscathed from the heavy cake. 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. Since the stem was ruined he did not clean it. He sent the ruined stem along so that I could use it to fit another stem. I took photos of the pipe when it arrived. The cleaned up rim top looked very good around the edges and the top. I took some close up photos of the rim top and edges to show how well it had cleaned up. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the damage on the left side of the stem near the button.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It reads as noted above. I removed the stem and went through my stems and found one that matched the broken one very well. I would need to reduce the diameter of the tenon and then I would work the stem to fit correctly.I started my work on this pipe by fitting the new stem to the shank. I had to reduce the tenon with 220 grit sandpaper to fit the shank. As with all diamond shank pipes, the sides were not equal in measurement so I had to shave off some of the vulcanite or some of the briar to get a proper fit to the shank. I did the work with some 220 grit sandpaper until the transition was smooth all the way around the shank and stem. There is more work to do but it is getting there. With the stem fit I removed it and turned my attention to the bowl. I know some of you would have kept working on the stem but I needed a change of pace so I went to the bowl for awhile to address this darkening on the rim top and edges. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge and work on the darkening on the top.I polished the briar and worked to blend in the sanded areas on the rim top and shank end with the surrounding briar with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust and assess progress. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the twin rings around the cap with a shoe brush. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention back to the stem. Started by opening up the slot in the button with a small saw. Once I had it the way I wanted I turned to the rest of the stem. I worked on the shaping and smoothing out the sanding marks with 220 grit sandpaper and starting polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I cleaned the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. The stem was very dirty so it took a bit of work to get the oils and tars out of it. Once it was cleaned it smelled very good. 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 beautifully grained, restemmed Peterson’s Premier Selection 493 Straight Bulldog. 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 beautiful mixed grain all around it. The Bulldog looks great with the new replacement black vulcanite stem. This smooth Classic Peterson’s Premier Selection Bulldog is great looking and the pipe 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 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 38 grams/1.34 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. I will be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for your time and as Paresh says each time – Stay Safe.

Restoring a Republic Era Peterson’s “Kapp-Royal” 69 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe was a mess and one that obviously had been “ridden hard and put away wet”. The finish and condition was abysmal. It was definitely a stranger to any cleaning! This one is a smooth Bent Billiard that has a rich coloured finish around the bowl sides and shank under the grit and grime of years. The shank end did not have a ferrule but had a carved finish on the end. This pipe was purchased on 06/17/21 from a fellow in Brazil, Indiana, USA. The finish is almost bland looking it is so dirty it was hard to know what to expect once it was cleaned. It was stamped on the  left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] “Kapp-Royal”. It was stamped to the right of the shank and reads MADE IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (three lines) with the shape number 69 next to the bowl. The underside of the shank was flattened like it is in a Dunmore pipe. It enables the pipe to be a sitter. It was filthy when Jeff brought it to the table. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava on the back of the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The outer edge looked good. The stem was oxidized and had light tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and there was lava overflow on the back of the rim top and the inner edge. The stem is oxidized, calcified and grimy. It has some tooth marks on the top and underside near and on the surface of the button itself. Jeff took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. The grain is quite beautiful around the sides of the bowl and shank. It is a nice looking pipe. He took photos of the sides of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above. I am including the link to the Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). There was a short note toward the bottom of the page about the series. It is definitely referring to the newer line that came out later. I quote:

Kapp Royal Series: The Kapp Royal series is a relatively new one, but has a well establish history in Europe. They are a handsome colourful series with a good quality natural stain briar and bright orange Lucite stems and occasionally Cumberland.

I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Kapp-Royal Pipe. On page 306 it had the following information.

Kapp-Royal (1969, 1976-79, c1988, 2004) First appearance  as a line introduced 1969. In 1976-79 Iwan Ries catalog offering identical with non-System Dunmore line. Second appearance in the late eighties as a high-grade Italian market line with briar band inset into the mouthpiece. From c.2004, Italian line available in US as high grade, orange finish, sterling band, amber-colored acrylic fishtail stem or sometimes vulcanite, embedded aluminum P.

Judging from the description above, the pipe I am working on is probably made between 1976-79. It fits the description above in red that says it is “identical with non-System Dunmore line”. The Made in the Republic of Ireland stamp on the right side of the stamp puts it in the Republic Era 1950-1989.

I was utterly surprised when I took this pipe out of the box and compared it to the before photos. 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. Surprisingly the walls looked unscathed from the heavy cake. 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 of the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Briarville’s Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better when it arrived. The cleaned up rim top looked very good around the edges and the top. I took some close up photos of the rim top and edges to show how well it had cleaned up. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks on the surface near and on the button itself.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It reads as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look.I started my work on this pipe polishing the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. 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 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I scrubbed it down with Soft Scrub to deal with the remaining oxidation on the vulcanite. It took a bit of scrubbing but I was able to remove it.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 beautifully grained Peterson’s Kapp-Royal 69 Bent Billiard. 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 beautiful mixed grain all around it. The polished nickel band is losing some of the plating but it still looks great with the black vulcanite stem. This smooth Classic Peterson’s Kapp-Royal Bent Billiard is great looking and the pipe 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 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 43 grams/1.52 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. I will be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for your time and as Paresh says each time – Stay Safe.

Restoring a Made in Ireland Shamrock +69 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe was a mess and one that obviously had been “ridden hard and put away wet”. The finish and condition was abysmal. It was definitely a stranger to any cleaning! This one is a smooth Bent Billiard that has a rich coloured finish and great grain around the bowl sides and shank under the grit and grime of years. This pipe was purchased on 06/05/21 from a fellow in Brazil, Indiana, USA. The finish is almost bland looking it is so dirty it was hard to know what to expect once it was cleaned. It was stamped on the  left side of the shank and read SHAMROCK. It was stamped to the right of the shank and reads MADE IN IRELAND (in a circle) with the shape number +69 next to the bowl. It was filthy when Jeff brought it to the table. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. There were nicks in the outer edge all the way around. There were burn marks on the outer edge on the right and left front of the bowl. The stem was oxidized and had light tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked so it is hard to know the condition of the edges under the lava overflow. The burn marks are also visible on the outer edge of the bowl. The stem is oxidized, calcified and grimy. It has some tooth marks on the top and underside near and on the surface of the button itself. Jeff took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. You can see the sandpits and nicks in the briar in the photos below. Even so, it is a nice looking pipe. He took photos of the sides of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above. I am including the link to the Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson).

I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Shamrock Pipe. On page 312 it had the following information.

Shamrock (c1941-2009) Originally stamped SHAMROCK with no brand name, an inexpensive line first described in George Yale (New York) mail order booklet in 1941, imported by Rogers Import. The line was actively promoted beginning in ’45, aggressively promoted in US by Rogers from early ‘50s when they registered the Shamrock logo with US Patent Office, claiming propriety since ’38. Over the years offered with P-lip or fishtail mouthpiece, with or without nickel band, with or without shamrock logo on the band, with or without S stamped in white or later in gold on mouthpiece. Appearing in 2008 as unstained smooth and rustic, fishtail mouthpiece with gold impressed P on the stem. COMS of MADE IN over IRELAND (C1945-1965), MADE IN IRELAND forming a circle (c1945-1965), “A PETERSON’S PRODUCT” over MADE IN IRELAND (c1945-1965), MADE IN THE over REPUBLIC over OF IRELAND9c1948-1998). Model is always difficult or impossible to date.

Judging from the description above, the pipe I am working on is stamped with the stamp noted in red above. Made in Ireland in a circle which narrows the date to between approximately 1945-1965. It is just stamped SHAMROCK with no brand name and no stamping on the stem.

On page 302 there was a listing on the nickel mounted markings such as those used on the band on the shank of this pipe. I quote:

Nickel-Mount Markings. Often called faux hallmarks or faux marks by Peterson collectors, this set of three little images of a shamrock, an Irish wolfhound and a round tower appear within rectangular shapes as decorations on nickel mountings. Very early nickel mounts (1891-c. 1920) had no such decorations, only the same stamps used on sterling but without the hallmarks. As a stamp, the set of decorations began to appear at the beginning of the Irish Free State era, sometimes alone but often under K&P and over block lettered PETERSON over DUBLIN, although the  three emblems appeared on K&P’s Irish Carving Shamrocks pipes since 1896. The stamp was used until about 1963, when hand soldered nickel bands and ferrules were replaced by pressed ferrules and premade bands…The shamrock is the emblem of Ireland; the Irish wolfhound has long been used for both hunting and protection, and is an emblem of strength; the round tower a symbol of Ireland’s early religious power. These decorations were stamped at the factory on non-sterling mounts only, and the assay office has nothing to do with them…

I was utterly surprised when I took this pipe out of the box and compared it to the before photos. 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. Surprisingly the walls looked unscathed from the heavy cake. 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 of the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Briarville’s Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better when it arrived. The cleaned up rim top revealed very damaged inner and outer edges and the top. It was both burned and nicked from being knocked out on a hard surface. I took some close up photos of the rim top and edges to show how well it had cleaned up and the damage to the edges around the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the surface near and on the button itself.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It reads as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look. I started my work on this pipe by topping the bowl and reworking the damage to the inner edge. I topped the bowl on a piece of 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. Once I had it smooth I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge of the bowl a slight bevel to accommodate the burned areas and blend them into the surrounding briar. There was a large flaw in the briar near the rim top on the right side of the bowl. I filled it in with clear super glue and briar dust. Once the repair cured I sanded it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surrounding briar.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I restained the rim top with a Walnut stain pen to match it to the surrounding bowl colour. It looked pretty good. I also touched up the repaired flaw on the right side of the bowl toward the top. They will both blend well once the pipe is polished and buffed.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 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and 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 Nickel Banded Older Made in Ireland Shamrock 69+ Bent Billiard. 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 beautiful mixed grain all around it. The polished nickel band is losing some of the plating but it still looks great with the black vulcanite stem. This smooth Classic Shamrock 69+ Bent Billiard is great looking and the pipe 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: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 59 grams/2.08  oz. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. I will be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for your time and as Paresh says each time – Stay Safe.

New Life for a Republic Era Peterson’s Emerald 01 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is smooth finished Peterson’s Emerald pipe. This one is an 01 Bent Billiard that has a great rustication on the bowl sides and shank. It also has a triple band on the shank – 2 thinner brass bands separated by and emerald green acrylic band. It came to us from an online auction on 10/04/21 in Leesport, Pennsylvania, USA. This rusticated Bent Billiard had a triple brass and emerald band on the shank that adds a touch of colour to the rusticated pipe. The pipe was very dirty in the rustication on the bowl and shank. The contrast of the brown and black stains gives depth to the rustication. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Emerald. That is followed by the stamp that reads Made in the Republic of Ireland in three lines and the shape number 01. The bowl was heavily caked with a thick overflow of lava in the rustication on the rim top. The edges of the bowl appeared to be in good condition under the lava. The stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside on and near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. They tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked with a thick overflow of lava on the top and edges. It fills in the rustication quite a bit on the to. The stem is calcified, oxidized and has tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside near the button. Jeff took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the rustication around this bowl. Underneath all the grime it is a nice looking pipe. He took photos of the underside of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above. He also included a photo of the P stamp on the left side of the stem to show the condition. I am including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

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

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

I knew that I was dealing with a Republic Era pipe made between 1950 and the present. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

I turned to The Peterson Pipe book by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg for more information. On page 299 there was a summary of the Emerald Pipe. I quote

Emerald (1987-) Moderate-priced  line in Bordeaux and black rustic finish with a shank band of green acrylic between brass rings, P-lip mouthpiece; smooth walnut version added in ’91. Fishtail mouthpiece added in ’97. Identical line and finishes named Jade from early eighties until ’87.

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 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 Briarville’s Deoxidizer. He rinsed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. It looked very good when I brought it to the worktable. I took close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top looked very good. The beveled inner edge had some darkening that would need to be cleaned up in the next steps of the process. I took photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the surface ahead of the button and on the sharp edge of the button itself. 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 took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has a rugged rustication around the bowl and shank.I began my work on the pipe by dealing with the beveled inner edge of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it our and lessen the darkening. It cleaned up well and looked very good.The front portion of the rim top had been slightly smoothed out from use so I used a series of burrs on my Dremel to recut the rustication on that portion. I was able to match it pretty well with the remaining rustication on the rim top. I used a brass bristle wire brush to knock off the high spots. I restained the rim top and edge in that area with a Mahogany and Walnut stain pen. The combination of the colours looked very good. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I sanded out the tooth marks and gouges in the surface and reshaped the button edges with 200 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.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 touched up the “P” stamp on the top of the stem with Gold Acrylic Nail Polish. I worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick and wiped off the excess. There was not enough of a stamp to hold the gold stamp in place. It is faint enough that without a lens it cannot be seen. I am excited to finish this Republic Era Peterson’s Emerald 01 Bent Billiard. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the rugged rustication all around it. Added to that the polished triple brass and emerald acrylic band and the black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This Classic Peterson’s Emerald 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. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 47 grams/1.66 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the Irish Pipe Makers Section of 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.

Restoring a 1969 Dunhill Shell Briar 60F/T 4S Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is another Dunhill Group 4 Shell Briar Billiard with a taper stem that is proportionally well done. It has a two digit the shape number that I will define below. This is another pipe from the group which Jeff and I purchased on 04/26/2022 from a woman who contacted us from Cleveland, Ohio, USA. They had belonged to her husband’s father. We spent time chatting with her and arrived at a price and she sent the pipes to Jeff. It included 28+ pipes along with this one.

This Dunhill Billiard is stamped on the underside and reads 60F/T on the heel of the bowl followed by Dunhill over Shell Briar followed by Made in England9 (two lines with the 9 the same size as the letter D). A circle 4 followed by S is stamped next to that. The numbers and stamping tell me that the pipe is a Shell Briar and the size is a Group 4. The F/T refers to the Fish Tail style stem. The finish was very dirty with spots of grime and debris stuck on it. The bowl had a thick cake in the bowl and heavy lava overflowing onto the rim top. The rim top appeared to have burn on inner edge. It was hard to know what was under the lava at this point. The stem had calcification, oxidation and tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. The button itself appeared to be in good condition. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition. You can see the thick cake in the bowl and rim top and edges. The lava is so thick that is hard to know what the edges and top look like underneath. The sandblast on the rim top is also completely filled in with tar and lava. The stem was heavily oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Overall the pipe is a real mess. Jeff took a photo of the sandblast finish around the bowl side and heel. It was nice looking if you can see through the grime ground into the blast. He took photos of the stamping on the underside of the bowl, shank and stem. The stamping is readable but filthy. It reads as noted above.Now it was time to begin to work on the stamping on the pipe. Because I had just finished working on another Shell Briar I used the information that I had dug up on that one. I quote below.

Pipedia had some great information on the Root Briar finish and dates and how the finish was made (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill#Bruyere). The first quote below give the short version of the finish. I quote from both below.

Shell – A deep craggy sandblast with a black stain finish (usually made using Algerian briar) – the color of the stain used has varied over the years. Although there is some doubt as to them being the first to sandblast pipes, Dunhill’s Shell pipes, and the sandblasting techniques developed to create them are considered one of Dunhill’s greatest and most lasting contributions to the art of pipe making.

The documented history of Dunhill’s inception of the Shell is largely limited to patent applications — there are no catalog pages or advertisements promoting blasted pipes at the time. The preliminary work on the English patent (No. 1484/17) was submitted on October 13, 1917. The patent submission was completed half a year later, on April 12, 1918, followed by the granting of the English patent on October 14, 1918. This was less than a month before the end of The Great War on November 11th.

In 1986 Dunhill released a line of premium Shell finish pipes – “RING GRAIN”. These are high-quality straight grain pipes which are sandblasted. Initially only Ring Grain, but now in two different finishes. In 1995 the “Shilling” was introduced with Cumberland finish – it is an extremely rare series. These pipes exhibit a deeper blast characteristic of that of the 1930’s – mid-1960’s (and the limited ‘deep blast’ pipes of the early 1980s) and show a fine graining pattern. These are considered the best new Dunhills by many enthusiasts today and are very rare. The finish is sometimes described as tasting like vanilla at first, with the taste becoming more normal or good as the pipe breaks in.

With that information clear for me I wanted to identify the shape number and try to pin that down (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill_Shape_Chart). I turned to the section on the older 3 digit Shape Numbers and read it. I quote it below.

Early Days – 2 digits/letters – The original skus/model numbers from the 1920’s until the early 1970’s stood for very specific shapes and bowls. For example, the codes 31, 34, 59, 111, 113, 117, 196, LB, LBS… were all different types of Billiard shaped pipes and there were about 50(!), such codes for the Billiard shape alone. On top of those are a large variety of other shapes.

With the information on the 2 digit stamp not making clear enough the meaning of the number I turned to another link on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill_Shapes_List) to a shape list that Eric Boehm put together for Dunhills. It is amazing to see the sheer number of variations on the Billiard shape. I copied the four of the two digit numbers in the list as it includes the shape 60 Billiard.

I knew that the pipe shape number locked in a time period between 1920-1970 – a large time span that I needed to narrow down more clearly. I turned to another link on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill_Shapes_List) to a shape list that Eric Boehm put together for Dunhills. I copied the two 2 digit numbers on Billiards from the list. The shape 60 was in the list.

59 Billiard, tapered bit 4 5¾” 1928, 50, 69 3

60 Billiard, tapered bit 4 5½” 1928, 50, 60, 69 3 (This is the pipe I am working on. It is a tapered bit Billiard with an F/T or Fish Tail bit.)

I turned next to dating the pipe. There is a 9 following the D in ENGLAND on the underside of the shank. The 9 is the same size as the D in England. I turned to the dating chart on Pipephil to pin down the date on this twin (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/dunhill/cledat-en1a.html). I did a screen capture of Part 2 of the Dunhill Dating Key and included it below. I drew a red box around the section dating this pipe. It is clear that the pipe was made after 1954 so that is why I went to Part 2. Once again, because the year suffix is a 9 that is the same size and on line with D in England that tells me that the pipe was made in 1960+9 for a date of 1969.Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself. Before he sent it to me, Jeff had done an amazing job cleaning the pipe. It almost looked like a different pipe after his work. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and then rinsed it off with warm water. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and a tooth brush and rinsed it off with warm water. It looked amazing when I took it out of the package of pipes he shipped me. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration work. The rim top was cleaner and the inner and outer edge of the bowl showed some damage. The rim top had smooth spots that would need to be worked on and the sandblast surface had been worn off. The stem surface looked good with the oxidation gone and light but visible tooth chatter on either side of the stem.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I took the stem off the shank and took a photo of the parts of the pipe. It is another great looking Dunhill Shell Briar.I started my portion of the work on this pipe by addressing the damage to the inner edge of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the edge and give it a slight bevel to deal with the chipping and cutting on the inner edge. I used a brass bristle wire brush to knock off any residual grime on the rim top. With the bevel and wire brush it looked better but there were still flat spots on the rim top where the blast had worn away. I used a series of burrs on my Dremel to copy the finish that was on the good spots on the rim and sides. I took a photo of the burrs and the rim top once I had finished the rustication process. It looked better and once stained to match the bowl it would look very good.I used a Mahogany and a Walnut Stain Pen to restain the rim top and the inner bevel of the rim edge. Once it dried I buffed it with a cotton cloth and the match was very good. It looked much better with the work on the rim edge.The bowl looked good at this point so I rubbed it down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl and shank with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about 10-15 minutes and buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 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 and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil to finish it.  This Sandblasted 1969 Dunhill Shell Briar 60F/T Taper Stem 4S is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The rich Shell Briar sandblast finish that highlights the grain and works well with the polished vulcanite 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 and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Dunhill Shell Briar 60F/T Billiard is a Group 4 size pipe that will be a great smoker. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 32 grams/1.13 ounces. I will be adding the pipe to the British Pipemakers Section of the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested in adding it to your collection be sure to let me know. I take a moment to remind myself and each of us that we are trustees of pipes that will outlive us and the lives of many other pipe men and women who carry on the trust of their care and use. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Restoring a  Patent Era Dunhill Bruyere 40 Lovat


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is a Dunhill Group 4 Bruyere Lovat that is proportionally well done. It has a two digit the shape number that I will define below. Jeff and I purchased a group of pipes on 04/26/2022 from a woman who contacted us from Cleveland, Ohio, USA. They had belonged to her husband’s father. We spent time chatting with her and arrived at a price and she sent the pipes to Jeff. It included 28+ pipes including this one.

This Dunhill Lovat is stamped on the left side and reads 40 followed by Dunhill over Bruyere. On the right side it is stamped Made in England2 3 (double date stamp) [over] Pat. No. 417574/34. A circle 4 followed by A is stamped on the right side next to the bowl/shank junction. The numbers and stamping tell me that the pipe is a Bruyere and the size is a Group 4. The 2 digit shape number makes it an older pipe as does the Patent No. stamp under Made in England. The double date stamp says the pipe was made one year and sold the next. The finish was very dirty with spots of grime and debris stuck on it. The bowl had a thick cake in the bowl and heavy lava overflowing onto the rim top. The rim top had burned area on the left front top and inner and outer edges. There was darkening and burn damage on the inner edge all the way around. There were burn marks toward the back of the rim top. The stem had calcification, oxidation and tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. The button itself appeared to be in good condition. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition. You can see the thick cake in the bowl and rim top and edges. The lava is so thick that is hard to know what the edges and top look like underneath. The stem was heavily oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Overall the pipe is a real mess.Jeff took photos of the grain and the finish around the bowl sides and heel. It was nice looking if you can see through the grime ground into the surface.He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. The stamping is faint but readable. It reads as noted above. Now it was time to begin to work on the stamping on the pipe. I turned first to Pipedia as I remembered they had some great information on the Bruyere finish and dates and how the finish was made (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill#Bruyere). The first quote below give the short version of the finish. The second link goes into more detail. I quote from both below.

Bruyere – The original finish produced (usually made using Calabrian briar), and a big part of developing and marketing the brand. It was the only finish from 1910 until 1917. A dark reddish-brown stain. Before the 1950s, there were three possible finishes for Dunhill pipes. The Bruyere was a smooth finish with a deep red stain, obtained through two coats, a brown understain followed by a deep red.

https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill_Bruyere

Initially, made from over century-old briar burls, classified by a “B” (denoted highest quality pipe); “DR” (denoted straight-grained) and an “A” (denoted first quality), until early 1915. After that, they became a high-end subset to the Dunhill ‘Bruyere’. The DR and B pipes, a limited production, they should be distinguished as hand-cut in London from burls as opposed to the Bruyere line which was generally finished from French turned bowls until 1917, when the Calabrian briar started to be used, but not completely. Only in 1920 Dunhill took the final step in its pipe making operation and began sourcing and cutting all of its own bowls, proudly announcing thereafter that “no French briar was employed”.

Bruyere pipes were usually made using Calabrian briar, a very dense and hardy briar that has a modest grain but does very well with the deep red stain.

“Before the 1950s, there were three possible finishes for Dunhill pipes. The Bruyere was a smooth finish with a deep red stain, obtained through two coats, a brown understain followed by a deep red. The Shell finish was the original sandblast with a near-black stain (though the degree to which it is truly black has varied over the years). Lastly, the Root finish was smooth also but with a light brown finish. Early Dunhill used different briars with different stains, resulting in more distinct and identifiable creations… Over the years, to these traditional styles were added four new finishes: Cumberland, Dress, Chestnut and Amber Root, plus some now-defunct finishes, such as County, Russet and Red Bark.”

With that information clear for me I wanted to identify the shape number and try to pin that down (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill_Shape_Chart). I turned to the section on the older 3 digit Shape Numbers and read it. I quote it below.

Early Days – 2 digits/letters – The original skus/model numbers from the 1920’s until the early 1970’s stood for very specific shapes and bowls. For example, the codes 31, 34, 59, 111, 113, 117, 196, LB, LBS… were all different types of Billiard shaped pipes and there were about 50(!), such codes for the Billiard shape alone. On top of those are a large variety of other shapes.

I knew that the pipe shape number locked in a time period between 1920-1970 – a large time span that I needed to narrow down more clearly. I turned to another link on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill_Shapes_List) to a shape list that Eric Boehm put together for Dunhills. I copied the four 2 digit numbers on Lovats from the list. The shape 40 was in the list.

Lovats:

37 Lovat, short, thick, saddle 1928 11

38 Lovat, long shank, saddle bit 3 4¾” 1928, 50, 60, 69 11

40 Lovat, long shank, saddle bit 4 5″ 1928, 1950, 1969 11

481 Lovat, long shank, saddle bit 1 5″ 1950, 1969 11

I turned next to dating the pipe. There is a superscript underlined 2 followed by superscript underlined 3 a little higher and to the right of the first superscript. The numbers follow the D in ENGLAND on the right side of the shank. I turned to the dating chart on Pipephil to pin down the date on this twin (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/dunhill/cledat-en1a.html). I did a screen capture of Part 1 of the Dunhill Dating Key and included it below. I drew a red box around the section dating this pipe. It is clear that the pipe was made prior to 1954 as it includes a Patent Number. I drew a red box around the pertinent section that narrows the date down to between 1921 and 1954. It also had a link to further narrow down the dating.I followed the link to narrow it down and it took me to Page 2. The pipe has the patent number listed at the top of the chart – 417574/34. I followed the tree down the yes path to the part where it reads DUNHILL stamping aligned with SHELL. My pipe has BRUYERE aligned with DUNHILL. Again I followed the yes path to two options 1950 or 1940 + suffix (2-9). Since the pipe has a superscript 2 followed by a slightly higher superscript 3 told me that the pipe was made in 1942 and later sold in 1943. It was an old timer.Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself. Before he sent it to me, Jeff had done an amazing job cleaning the pipe. It almost looked like a different pipe after his work. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and then rinsed it off with warm water. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and a tooth brush and rinsed it off with warm water. It looked amazing when I took it out of the package of pipes he shipped me. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration work. The rim top was cleaner and the inner edge of the bowl looked rough. The rim top was chipped and damaged with the edges carved. There was burn damage all the way around but heavier on the front and the back of the bowl on the top and inner edge. The bowl was slightly out of round. The stem surface looked good with the oxidation gone and light but visible tooth chatter on either side of the stem.  I took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is faint but is still readable as noted above.I took the stem off the shank and took a photo of the parts of the pipe. The overall look of the pipe is quite nice.I started my portion of the work on this pipe by addressing the damage to the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage to the rim top and minimize it on the edges. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the edge and give it a slight bevel to deal with the chipping and cutting on the inner edge. It cleaned up remarkably well. With polishing and buffing it would look even better. I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the debris and sanding dust. I used an Maple Stain Pen to restain the rim top and the inner bevel of the rim edge. With the darkening on the edges and the top still present the Maple stain worked well to mimic the stain on the rest of the bowl and shank. Once it dried I buffed it with a cotton cloth and the match was very good. It looked much better with the work on the rim edge. The bowl looked very good at this point so I rubbed it down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl and shank with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about 10-15 minutes and buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the surface of the vulcanite stem with the flame of the lighter. I was able to lift almost all of the tooth marks and chatter except one on the top side that I needed to fill in with drop of black CA glue. I sanded the repair and the remaining tooth chatter with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to start the polishing. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 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 and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil to finish it. This Beautiful Patented 1942/43 Dunhill Bruyere 40 Lovat is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The rich Bruyere finish that highlights the grain and works well with the polished vulcanite 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 and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Dunhill Bruyere 40 Lovat is a Group 4 size pipe that will be a great smoker. 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 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 35 grams/1.23 ounces. I will be adding the pipe to the British Pipemakers Section of the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested in adding it to your collection be sure to let me know. I take a moment to remind myself and each of us that we are trustees of pipes that will outlive us and the lives of many other pipe men and women who carry on the trust of their care and use. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

My Methods for Reworking a Bowl, Rim Top and Edges


Blog by Steve Laug

I thought it might be worth taking time to talk about my methods of cleaning and restoring a rim top and edges of the bowl. I will address the process in the blog below by starting with the least intrusive method and work my way through the options and conclude with the most intrusive. I think if you were to just read the blogs you would default to topping a bowl and beveling a rim edge to deal with damage while there are actually several other options available to you. Obviously, some of the bowls that I have to deal with have a lot of rim top and edge damage so those restorations go into quite a bit of detail on that process. So if you are ready and interested let’s work through the process together.

1. I begin with the least intrusive method for smooth rim tops. For all intents and purposes this really is a cleaning and reconditioning process.

  • Ream the bowl and clean it up while carefully paying attention to the rim edges. You do not want to add damage to the shape of the bowl or edges by the reaming. I use a PipNet pipe reamer with four different cutting heads to fit a variety of bowls. I touch up that cleaning with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.
  • Carefully scrape off the thick lava coat on the rim top and edges with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe knife. I work to get the thick coating off as gently as possible with the knife.
  • Scrub the rim top and edges using Murphy’s Oil Soap (undiluted) and a Scotch Brite pad. It works well to remove buildup on the top without scratching the rim top. I use it to also scrub the inner edge of the rim to carefully remove the darkening and build up there. The goal is to keep the rim as round as possible and still smooth out the edge.
  • Scrub the entire bowl with the Murphy’s Oil Soap (undiluted) and a tooth brush to remove any residual grime on the bowl, rim top and edges.
  • Rinse bowl exterior and top with warm water to remove residue left behind by the soap and scrubbing.
  • Dry the bowl off and check for residue on the rim top and edges. Repeat to take care of those spots as necessary. Don’t worry too much about the lightening of the stain on the rim top at this point. We just want it clean.
  • If the stain has lightened considerably from the cleaning, buff the rim top to make sure the polishing does not bring the briar to match. If not, it can be restained to match the rest of the bowl using stain pens that are available on line.

2. We will look at modifications to the above procedure to arrive at the least intrusive method for plateau/sandblast/rusticated rim tops. Again, for all intents and purposes this is a deep cleaning process of the surfaces as described.

    • Ream the bowl and clean it up while carefully paying attention to the rim edges. You do not want to add damage to the shape of the bowl or edges by the reaming. I use a PipNet pipe reamer with four different cutting heads to fit a variety of bowls. I touch up that cleaning with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.
    • Carefully work over the rim top with a brass bristle brush (brass bristle brushes are much softer than a regular wire brush and do not do damage to the finish. These are available at most Walmart stores or small auto parts stores and are used for cleaning.) I use the brush dry and carefully work over the rim top with the goal of removing the thickest and most pervasive lava. Once it is finished the finish begins to take on its original appearance.
    • Scrub the rim top and edges using Murphy’s Oil Soap (undiluted) and a Scotch Brite pad. It works well to remove the remaining buildup on the top without damaging the plateau/sand blast/rusticated finish on the rim top. I use it to also scrub the inner edge of the rim to carefully remove the darkening and build up there. The goal is to keep the rim as round as possible and still smooth out the edge.
    • Scrub the entire bowl with the Murphy’s Oil Soap (undiluted) and a tooth brush to remove any residual grime on the bowl and rim top and edges.
    • Rinse bowl exterior and top with warm water to remove residue left behind by the soap and scrubbing.
    • Dry the bowl off and check for residue on the rim top and edges. Repeat to take care of those spots as necessary. Don’t worry too much about the lightening of the stain on the rim top at this point. We just want it clean.
    • If the stain has lightened considerably from the cleaning different procedures are used for the various surfaces.

a) Plateau surfaces if lightened generally will come back alive with polishing. I tend to stain the crevices in the plateau with a black Sharpie Pen to give some contrast to the rim top when polished. I will also often use the pen to colour the inner edge of the bowl.
b) Sandblast surfaces – I have found that a good buff will often bring this back to match the bowl. If not, it can be restained. I work to find a match the rest of the bowl with a variety of stain pens are available. These can be purchase online or at hardware stores.
c) Rusticated surfaces – Buff the surface to see what the finish looks like after buffing. It may well match the rest of the bowl with just that work. If not you can restain it in the same manner as the sandblast surfaces.

If the rim top and edges look good at this point proceed as usual to buff and wax them with the rest of the bowl.

3. Let’s move on to moderate intrusion when the above procedures do not work to address the issues on a smooth rim top and there is still damage to the inner edge of the bowl. The process below carries on from where you left off above in 1.

  • The rim top has been cleaned and the edges cleaned as noted above. The inner edge of the bowl is out of round and has darkening and burn damage that remains.
  • I use a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the edge a slight bevel and remove the damage from burning or nicks. The angle of the bevel varies depending on the depth of the damage, as the idea is to minimize it and bring the bowl back to round.
  • Sometimes that is all it takes -sand a slight bevel and bring the bowl back to round and clean up the edges.
  • Sometimes you have to decide how far to go – a bevel generally covers a lot of issues in shaping the edges of the bowl.
  • Polish the sanded rim edge with micromesh sanding pads to smooth it out.
  • Reclean the bowl and edge with a clean cloth. If the edge matches the rest of the bowl you are finished and can buff and wax the pipe.
  • If they do not blend in then use a stain pen and match the stain as much as possible to the rim top and bowl. Then buff, wax and polish on the wheel.

4. Let’s move on to moderate intrusion when the above procedures do not work to address the issues on a plateau/sandblast/rusticated rim top and there is still damage to the inner edge of the bowl. The process below carries on from where you left off in 2 above .

  • The rim top has been cleaned and the edges cleaned as noted above. The inner edge of the bowl is out of round and has darkening and burn damage that remains.
  • I use a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to bevel the rim edge inward and remove the damage from burning or nicks. The angle of the bevel varies depending on the depth of the damage and the overall structure of the bowl. The idea is to minimize the damage and bring the bowl back to round.
  • Sometimes that is all it takes – sand a slight bevel and bring the bowl back to round and clean up the edges.
  • Sometimes you have to decide how far to go – a bevel generally covers a lot of issues in shaping the edges of the bowl.
  • Polish the sanded rim edge with micromesh sanding pads to smooth it out. Remember on all three of these types of finishes a smooth inward bevel can add a real touch of finesse to the rim top that is stunning.
  • Reclean the bowl and edge with a clean cloth. If the edge matches the rest of the bowl you are finished and can buff and wax the pipe.
  • If they do not blend in then use a stain pen and match the stain as much as possible to the rim top and bowl. Then buff, wax and polish on the wheel.

If the rim top and edges look good at this point proceed as usual to buff and wax them with the rest of the bowl. If the damage is even more extensive than originally thought after proceeding through the steps and procedures above then more intrusive measures will be required to bring the bowl back to round and the rim top to undamaged condition. Once again, how far you go with this process depends on choices that only you can make. As a general rule I will not change the visual profile of the pipe regardless of the work I do and that sets the limits for the degree of work I will do.

5. Let’s move on to the most intrusive methods when the above procedures do not work to address the issues on a smooth rim top and there is still damage to the inner edge of the bowl. The process below carries on from where you left off above in 1 and 3.

  • On a smooth rim top where there is damage to the top itself as well as the inner and outer edges several methods are available to try.
  • If you have cleaned up the edges already and the top has burn damage or is dented and nicked the first step is to steam out the dents with a damp cloth and a hot knife or small steam iron. I wet the cloth and lay it on top of the dent then apply the heat source that generates steam and lifts the dents. I repeat until the surface is smooth. That leaves the burn marks to address.
  • If the steaming has left behind damage that could not addressed using the method then it is time to move forward. If the damage is on the inner edge of the bowl then I generally use a wooden ball or darning egg wrapped with a piece of sandpaper (220 grit) to give the inner edge more of a bevel (deeper bevel) to accommodate the damage and minimize it. (both the bevel and the following topping will minimize burn damage).
  • If the damage is to the rim top itself then I use a topping board and 220 grit sandpaper to top the bowl and carefully remove the damaged part. Topping does not have to be too deep or drastic. I always proceed slowly checking often to see if the surface is smoothing out. Remember it is easier to remove than to put wood back. 😉
  • If all is done and you still feel the burn damage is too intrusive you can make a wash of oxalic acid and warm water and use a cotton pad or paper towel to apply it to the burn damaged area. Repeat until you are convinced that no more damage can be removed.
  • When finished smoothing out the rim top polish it and the edges with micromesh sanding pads (1500-12000 grit pads). You can either wet sand or dry sand. As you polish the rim top it should begin to shine. That may be enough if it matches the bowl sides and you can buff and wax it.
  • If it does not match then you will need to restain the rim top and edges to match the rest of the bowl. This can be down with an aniline based stain like Feibings or even with the small Stain Pens I have referred to above.
  • Buff the bowl and rim with a buffer and a polish like Blue Diamond and then generously wax the briar with carnauba wax and buff with a clean buffing pad.
  • At this point the rim top will likely look very good and match the bowl well. The damage from burn marks or nicks and dents will have disappeared and the edges will look like they were meant to be as they are now.

6. Let’s move on to the most intrusive methods when the above procedures do not work to address the issues on a plateau, sandblast or rusticated rim top and there is still damage to the inner edge of the bowl. The process below carries on from where you left off above in 2 and 4. Each of these take slight variations to accommodate the finish.

When the damage on a plateau rim top is beyond the work listed above in sections 2 and 4. If the damage is on the plateau top itself then I proceed as follows.

  • I used the brass bristle wire brush more aggressively than I did in previous sections above to remove all of the loose char and burn damage on the plateau itself. Once all is removed I wipe it down with a damp cloth.
  • I wipe down the damaged area with a mix of oxalic acid and water on cotton swabs and pads to get deeply in the grooves. I repeat until I am not getting any coloration on the cotton pads. I wipe it off with a damp cloth.
  • I work over the inner edge with 220 git sandpaper again to remove the damage that remains and reshape it. I stain it at the same time as the plateau.
  • Generally a plateau rim is darker than the bowl colour so it can be safely stained with a black or a dark brown stain. That will take care of most of the damage on the top of the bowl.
  • Buff and wax rim top and edges with a buffing pad and Blue Diamond and then coat generously with carnauba wax. Buff the top with a clean buffing pad to deepen the shine.

When the damage on the rusticated rim top remains after the work in sections 2 and 4 above.

  • I used the brass bristle brush more aggressively than I did previously above to remove as much of the loose char as possible. If that does not make better then and even more aggressive fix is needed.
  • I top the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage and even out the rim top. Sometimes it takes removing all of the rustication but sometimes it does not. Once I have it cleaned up I wipe it down with alcohol to remove the sanding dust.
  • I even out the inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I wipe it down with alcohol.
  • I use a Dremel and burrs to replicate the rustication pattern from the bowl sides on the rim top. I used several burrs – ball, cone and cylinder to work over the rim top to match the previous rustication. When I am happy with it I use a brass bristle wire brush to knock of the high spots and any loose debris.
  • I restain the rim top with a stain pen to match the bowl. Sometimes I darken the inner edge with a black stain pen.
  • Buff and wax rim top and edges with a buffing pad and Blue Diamond and then coat generously with carnauba wax. Buff the top with a clean buffing pad to deepen the shine.

When the damage on the sandblast rim top remains after the work in sections 2 and 4 above.

  • I used the brass bristle brush more aggressively than I did previously above to remove as much of the loose char as possible. If that does not make better then and even more aggressive fix is needed.
  • I top the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage and even out the rim top as I do with the rusticated rim top. Sometimes it takes removing all of the sandblast but sometimes it does not. Once I have it cleaned up I wipe it down with alcohol to remove the sanding dust.
  • I even out the inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I wipe it down with alcohol.
  • I use a Dremel and burrs to replicate the sandblast pattern from the bowl sides on the rim top. I used several burrs – ball, cone and cylinder to work over the rim top to match the previous blast. I use smaller burrs and work to keep the pattern close and tight like a sandblast. When I am happy with it I use a brass bristle wire brush to knock of the high spots and any loose debris.
  • I restain the rim top with a stain pen to match the bowl. Sometimes I darken the inner edge with a black stain pen.
  • Buff and wax rim top and edges with a buffing pad and Blue Diamond and then coat generously with carnauba wax. Buff the top with a clean buffing pad to deepen the shine.

That is the process I generally follow. As with any restoration, refurbishing you have to make a decision how far you want to go. My goal is to minimize the damage without changing the bowl profile or shape. I want the pipe to still retain the marks of its maker not me. Have fun in the process.