Tag Archives: contrast staining

Rebirthing a Lovely Late Republic Era Peterson’s Kapet 14S Saddle Stem Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is a smooth Peterson’s pipe, a straight, saddle stem Billiard. It was also incredibly dirty. This Billiard is a real beauty under the grime with some great grain around the bowl. The grime was ground into the finish on the bowl sides. The contrast of the brown stains gave the grain a sense of depth. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Kapet. The right side had the shape number 14S stamped near the bowl. Centered on the right side of the shank is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (in three lines). Neither Jeff nor I remember where we got the pipe or when. So we have no photos of the pipe before clean up. Judging from the damage on the rim top and edges I would guess it had been a mess. The stem had tooth marks and some oxidation. But Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better when it arrived. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top photo looks good but there is some burn damage on the inner edge at the back of the bowl and all around the inner edge there is darkening. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks and chatter on the surface near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is clear and readable. He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is clear and readable and reads as noted above. I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has some great cross grain on the sides of the bowl. 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 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 ’87. 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 ’45. Mid-century specimens may be stamped MADE IN over IRELAND. Specimens from 1970 on may have mounts with hallmarks.

I knew that I was dealing with a Late Republic Era Kapet. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

I decided to address the rim top damage first. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the edge a slight bevel to further minimize the damage to the rim. I then used a piece of sandpaper and a wooden ball to even the bevel and give the rim a uniform look. I think that it is definitely better once I finished. I wiped down the bowl and rim top with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the spotty finish on the bowl and make blending in the sanded rim top simpler. I polished the briar rim top and edges along with the rest of the briar with micromesh sanding pads –dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and using a damp cloth after each 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 turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of a lighter to lift them. They came up significantly. I filled in the tooth marks that remained on both sides with clear super glue. I let the repairs cure. Once they had cured I recut the edge and flattened the repairs with a flat file. I sanded them with 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil. I touched up the “P” stamp on the stem with an acrylic white fingernail polish. I worked it into the stamp with a toothpick. I let it sit for a few minutes then scraped off the excess.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 always excited to finish a restoration and this Peterson’s Kapet 14S Saddle Stem Billiard is no exception. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand 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 polished black vulcanite stem. This Classic looking Peterson’s Kapet 14S Billiard 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 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 30 grams/1.09 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.

New Life for a Republic Era Peterson’s Emerald 150 Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is smooth finished Peterson’s Emerald pipe. This one is a smooth 150 Straight Bulldog. It has a triple band on the shank – 2 thinner brass bands separated by and emerald green acrylic band. This pipe was purchased off eBay on 03/01/17 from Rochester, New York, USA. The pipe was very dirty with grit and grime on the bowl and shank. The mix of brown stains gives depth to the grain around the bowl. It was stamped on the top left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Emerald. On the right side it reads Made in the Republic of Ireland in three lines and the shape number 150. The bowl was heavily caked with a thick overflow of lava on the rim top. The edges of the bowl appeared to be in good condition under the lava. The stem was oxidized, calcified 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. 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 grain around this bowl and shank. 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. 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.

This information narrowed down the date even further. The smooth walnut finish was added in 1991 so this one came out before 1991 and has a P-lip style mouth piece.

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 Before & After Stem Deoxidizer. He rinsed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. It looked very good when I brought it to the worktable. The briar was very clean with some darkening on the rim top and inner edge. The stem had light oxidation and tooth marks. 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 and top 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 the light oxidation on the stem surface.I took a photos of the stamping on the sides 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 beautiful grain around the bowl and shank.I began my work on the pipe by dealing with the rim top and 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. I  polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping the bowl down after each sanding pad. The grain really began to shine through. It is a beautiful pipe. 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 sanded out the tooth marks and chatter in the surface and 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 am excited to finish this Republic Era Peterson’s Emerald 150 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 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 42 grams/1.48 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 Republic Era Peterson’s System 31 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

This is another one of those pipes that has been here for a long time and I have no memory where it came from. I had not been cleaned so it is not one that ever went to Jeff for clean up. It was a dirty but appeared to have some great grain under the grime. The bowl had been reamed somewhere in the journey and was quite clean inside. The smooth rim top was damaged and had some darkening. The edges – both inner and outer had some damages by burning and the bowl was out of round. The smooth finish is dirty with grime and grit deep ground into the sides of the bowl and shank. There were some deep nicks in the briar on the right side and heal of the bowl. The pipe stinks like heavily cased aromatics. The stamping on the shank is clear and readable. The left side is stamped Peterson’s [arched over] System. On the right side it was stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines). To the right of that stamp is the shape number 31. The nickel band is oxidized and dirty but it has the K & P stamp over three symbols. Next to that it was stamped Peterson’s. It had some nicks and dents around shank end of the ferrule. The stem was quite clean and has deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button and on the topside of the button. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took close up photos of the bowl and the stem. You can see the reamed bowl and the darkening and light lava on the rim top. The bowl reeked of aromatic tobaccos. The stem surface was clean but there are deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides on and ahead of the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the bowl and shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the proportions of the pipe. It is really quite nice looking.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 found a great description of the System 31 shape on smokingpipes.com (https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/peterson/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=192182). I am including a portion of that below.

Peterson’s “31” shape is the only straight pipe featured in the System Standard line, yet it still features system drilling. Featuring a push-style tenon and a long, tapering metal tube, it houses a condensation chamber just under the bowl itself — providing the same gurgle free smoke you’d expect of a bent System configuration.

I did a search on Google about the Peterson System 31 Straight Billiard to see if I could learn any specific information on the shape. I found a link to a pipe for sale on Smokingpipes.com. I quote:

Paresh had worked on System 31 pipe so I went back and reread his work on that smooth pipe. It was very helpful for the background information included (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-system-31-pipe/).

I knew that I was dealing with a Republic Era pipe made between 1950-1989. The K&P mark on the nickel band ties to Kapp & Peterson brings the date to the time between 1950-1964. It was a smooth Straight billiard with a unique shape and chamber beneath the bottom of the bowl. The finish was stained with a combination of rich reddish brown stains. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

The bowl had been reamed and cleaned. I started working on the pipe by cleaning out the inside of the shank and the airway into the bowl and the stem. I scraped the shank out with a small pen knife to remove the thick tars. I then cleaned it with a isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until it was clean.  I topped the damaged rim top on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage on the rim top and edges of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge of the bowl. I gave the inner edge of the bowl a slight bevel. I filled in some of the deep gouges in the briar on the right side and heel of the bowl with some clear CA glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded the briar surface with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out and blend it into the surrounding briar.I stained the sanded area on the bowl side and the rim top with a Cherry stain pen to lay a base coat and then did a top coat of Mahogany stain pen. I polished the rim top and edges with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads to raise a shine. I wiped it down with a damp cotton pad to wipe off the debris after each sanding pad.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. It works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let it sit for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth and raised the shine. The bowl looks great at this point.   The nickel ferrule was out of round and dented. It was solidly connected to the shank end so I did not want to removed it. Instead I fit a dowel into the end of the ferrule that was round and heated the nickel with a lighter to soften it. Once it was softened I used a small furniture hammer to bring the ferrule end back to round. I repeated the process until the opening in the ferrule was round and the stem fit well. It was not perfect but it was better than when I started. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I “painted” the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks in the stem. I was able to raise them slightly. I filled in the remaining marks with Black CA glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded it smooth with 120 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I unscrewed the extension tube from the end of the stem. I cleaned up the threads on the extension and inside the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. It did not take long to clean it. I coated the threads on the extension with Vaseline and screwed the extension back into the stem. I worked on the stem to further smooth and reshape the button and stem with the 220 grit sandpaper and the 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and gave it a final coat and set it aside to dry.  I put the stem back on the Peterson’s System 31 Straight Billiard and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I polished the briar and the vulcanite of the stem until there was a rich shine. This classic Peterson’s shape and finish really highlights a proportionally well carved pipe. Once I buffed the pipe the briar came alive and popped with polishing. The black vulcanite stem has a rich glow. This Peterson’s System Straight Billiard fits well in the hand and sits right in the mouth. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of and inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.23 ounces/35 grams. This beauty will be going on the rebornpipes online store in the Irish Pipemakers Section. If you are interested let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as it was a pleasure to work on.

Restoring a Long Shank “Canadian” By Sasieni London Made


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I chose to work on has the characteristic rustication that I have seen on quite a few of the Sasieni Rusticated pipes that I have worked on. It is a long shank Canadian with hatch marked rim top and beveled inner edge. Jeff bought the pipe at an antique store on 10/29/2016 in Boise, Idaho, USA. It is stamped “Canadian” [over] By Sasieni [over] London Made [over] Made in England. The rustication on the bowl and shank was rugged with a tight pattern. The briar was stained with dark brown and black stains that provided depth to the finish. The finish on the pipe is dirty with a lot of dust and grime in the grooves of the rustication. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing on to the rim top. The rim top is hatch marked and the inner edge is smooth. The outer edge of the rim has some wear from being knocked against a hard surface. There is a smooth ring around the end of the shank. The stem looked dirty but otherwise there were no tooth marks or chatter on the surface on either side. It was in good condition. Overall the pipe looked good. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top and the stem to give a sense of the condition they were in. You can see the cake in the bowl and lava on the rim top as well as the hatch marks scratched into the rim top in the first photo. The stem photos show a relatively clean stem. He took photos of the bowl sides and heel to give a sense of the rustication around the bowl. To me it is a classic Sasieni style rustication. He took a photo of the stamping to show how clear and readable it is. It reads as noted above.I turned to Pipephil’s site to see if there was any specific information on “Canadian” By Sasieni (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-sasieni2.html). There was a listing there under the section on Sasieni seconds that matched the pipe I was working on. The pipe I have on the table is a lot like the second pipe in the screen capture below. The finish is the same though the stamping is slightly different and the stem does not have the –S- logo stamp on the top of the taper. I also captured the additional photos of the second pipe to show the finish and shape of the pipe. I then turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Sasieni#Sasieni_Seconds) and clicked on a list of seconds that had been provided by Doug Valitchka. The “Canadian” line is in the list at the bottom of the second column below. I have marked it in red for ease of reference on the chart below.Now it was time to work on the pipe. It is really a beautiful piece. Jeff had done a great cleanup on the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the bowl exterior with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime on the finish of the bowl and the lava from the rim top. He rinsed it under running water. One of the benefits of this scrub is that it also tends to lift some of the scratches and nicks in the surface of the briar. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He cleaned the internals and externals of the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. I took photos of the pipe as I saw it when I put it on the table. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition. The rim top and edge looked much better. You can see the darkening on the beveled inner edge of the bowl and the hatching marks on the top of parts of the rim top. It seems to me that those marks are not original to the pipe when it was made. The stem looked very good and was smooth on both sides. There were scratches on both sides but no tooth marks or chatter.   The stamping on underside of the shank on the smooth panel is clear and readable as noted above. I really like the rugged Sasieni style rustication on the bowl and shank. The pipe is a beauty and the long shank fascinating to me. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the proportions of the bowl and stem.I started my work on the pipe by dealing with the darkening on the beveled inner edge of the rim and the hatch marks on the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the bevel and then stained it with a black Sharpie pen to blend it into the rest of the bowl walls. I then used the sandpaper to further flatten out the rim top. It definitely looks much better. I polished the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust and debris. I restained the rim top with a combination of Walnut and Cherry stain pens to match the stained panel on the underside of the shank and the variations in colour on the rustication. Once it is buffed it will look very good.I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes, then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the rustication took on depth. It really looks good.  I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. It was in great condition so I polished it with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished the polishing with Before & After Polishes – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final rub down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.   This “Canadian” By Sasieni London Made with a vulcanite taper stem has a classic Sasieni rusticated finish that looks great. The rich dark contrasting stain gives depth to the rustication with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Sasieni Made Canadian really is a beauty and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 7 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.38 ounces /39grams. This pipe will soon be on the British Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Restoring a  Petite MARKA St. Claude France 246 Dublin for a New Pipe Smoker


Blog by Steve Laug

Yesterday I got a call from a local lady who had been directed to me by our local pipe shop. She had found a pipe at an antique store when her family was traveling and decided it was time to load a pipe and try it out. When she was at the shop she picked up some tobaccos to sample once the pipe was cleaned up. We made arrangements for her to stop by and show me the pipe and I would be able to tell her what I saw. She arrived and took a small bag out of her pocket and removed a hard shell case. She opened it and took out the small pipe that is shown in the photos below. The pipe was stamped on the left side of the shank and read MARKA in bubble style type. On the right side it was stamped St. Claude – France [over] the number 246 (shape number). The bowl had a thick cake and an overflow of thick lava on the inwardly beveled rim top and edges. The finish was very dirty and appeared to be coated with a thick varnish coat that was bubbled or peeling on the underside of the shank. The thin saddle stem was oxidized, calcified and had light tooth chatter on the top and underside of the stem ahead of the button. The stem screwed on to a threaded metal tenon that was set in the shank of the pipe. The small pipe is a nice looking delicate Dublin that should clean up very well. I took photos of the pipe before I started my clean up work.  I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the thickness of the cake in the bowl and the thick overflow of lava on the beveled rim top. It really is a mess and hard to know what it looks like under the lava. I also took photos of the stem to show the condition it was in when she dropped it off. I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. It is clear and readable as noted above.I unscrewed the stem from the tenon and took a photo of the bowl and stem to show the delicate proportions of the pipe. Note the metal threaded tenon on the shank end.I did some work on the background for this pipe. I checked on PipePhil and Pipedia and did not find any information on the Marka brand. I checked several other French brands to see if there was a sublisting for the Marka brand. There was nothing there. I also did a search on Google for the brand but found nothing listed. I also checked the book “Who Made That Pipe” and there was nothing listed there.  I wrote to Kenneth Lieblich to see if he was familiar with the brand or had any information on it. While I waited I did some work on the shape number 246. Interestingly it is a three digit number that fits neatly into the list of Comoy’s and Chacom shape numbers. That particular number is not listed, however the number before that – 245- is listed as is the number after it. Kenneth wrote me back that he wondered if the shape number pointed to Chacom. So independently we both came to the same conclusion that the brand was connected to Chacom. I don’t know if we will ever know for certain but that is where it stands at this point.

Now it was time to work on the pipe. I reamed the bowl back to bare briar with a PipNet reamer with the smallest cutting head. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished the bowl work by sanding it with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a small piece of briar. Once finished I wiped out the inside. The bowl walls looked very good with no heat damage or checking.   I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and rim with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. I scrubbed the pipe with the brush to remove the grime and the tars on the rimtop. I rinsed the bowl with warm water to remove the soap and the grime. It began to look better. There was some burn damage on the outer edge of the rim toward the back of the bowl. It was not deep damage and would probably be easily removed. I wiped down the bowl and rim with acetone on cotton pads to remove some of the darkening and the remnants of the varnish. It worked well and you can see the debris on the cotton pads. It looked much better.    Now it was time to address the damage on the rim top and the inner bevel of the chamber. I topped the pipe on a piece of 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I removed the damage and the top looked significantly smoother.   The beveled inner edge of the bowl still had some burn damage and darkening on the front and the back of the bowl. I used a piece of 220 grit sandpaper and a wooden ball to work on the bevel. I put the sandpaper on the ball and turned the bowl rim on the paper to remove damaged areas on the top. The rim top looked better but you can see the damage on the inner front and back of the bowl edge.     I used an Oak Stain Pen to match the sanded rim top to the rest of the bowl. It certainly looks better at this point.Now it was time to clean out the inside of the shank and stem. I used isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to remove the tars and oils. The shank was clogged near the entry to the bowl. I used an unfolded paper clip to poke through the airway and then worked pipe cleaners through the airway until the draught in the pipe was open and clean. I cleaned the airway in the stem at the same time using the same supplies. Once finished it smelled clean and fresh. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. The pipe took on a shine as I moved through the sanding pads.   I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes, then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out on the briar.     I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished the polishing with Before & After Polishes – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final rub down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.  This St. Claude-France Marka 246 Dublin with a vulcanite saddle stem has some beautiful grain. The rich brown stain makes the grain come alive with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Marka 246 Dublin really is a beauty and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inch, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is .56 ounces/16 grams. This pipe will soon be back in the hands of the pipewoman who brought it to me to restore. I think she will enjoy smoking this petite little French Pipe. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Cleaning Up a Lovely French Made GBD Sandblast Avoriaz 816 Oval Shank Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

Over the years Jeff and I have picked up many different GBD pipes from a variety of lines that all have a very English look and feel to them. We have also picked up quite a few that are from the French factory before the move to England. This pipe was purchased from an estate on 06/13/22 from Fort Myers, Florida, USA. The finish on the pipe is a sandblast that is deep but smooth and follows the grain around the pipe. The mix of black and brown stains of the briar looks very good with the black of the saddle stem. The rim top is crowned with a bevel inward and has some great grain. It was hard to know if there was damage with the thick cake in the bowl and the veritable eruption of lava over the top of the rim. The finish was quite dirty with grit, grime and oils ground into the surface of the bowl and shank. The shank is stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the shank and reads GBD in an oval [over] Avoriaz. Next to the shank/stem junction there is the shape number 816 [over] France. The vulcanite saddle stem was lightly oxidized and well dented with tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. There is a GBD brass oval roundel on the top of the saddle stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe to capture its condition when it arrived at his place. It was going to take some work to bring this one back to life. But both of us thought that it would be worth it. Jeff took photos of the rim top and bowl that show the cake and overflowing lava on the top and edges of the bowl. It is really hard to know what it looks like under all of that. We have learned that it will either be badly damaged or it will have been well protected. Only cleaning it off would reveal which result was on this pipe. The stem had a lot of tooth chatter and marks that are clear in the photos that follow. There is some oxidation and the calcification on the stem surface. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show condition of the briar. You can see the dust and debris ground into the bowl. The rim edge and top have some very nice grain. The sandblast is actually quite different. I wonder if it isn’t manipulated when blasting. It has a unique look to it. He took photos of the stamping on the underside shank. It was clear and readable as noted above. The brass GBD roundel looked good as well.   I always like to be able to set the pipe I am working on in its historical setting so I turn to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD) and read through the brand history. Toward the middle of the article I found what I was looking for. I quote below:

The Paris factory moved to Saint-Claude in 1952. Since 1981 the majority of GBD pipes come from the English factory.

The premium lines of GBD offered very good values, and are considered amongst the most affordable high end pipe of the 1960’s and earlier and a rival in quality, design, and price to Dunhill. Smokers’ Haven was the main retail supplier for GBD’s in the US until the early 1980’s.

GBD produced consistently well made pipes, almost entirely of Algerian or Grecian briar. In the late 1960’s to late 1970’s, they introduced the “Collector” and “Unique” lines, made primarily by Horry Jamieson, who had carved for Barling for many years, and was skilled in freehand design. Older GBD pieces are excellent smokers and unique in design. They did an excellent executions of classic pipe shapes, as well as some beautiful freehands in the “Unique” line. [2]

The following list comprises the better grades in descending order:

The pipe I am working on was stamped Avoriaz (not listed in the GBD line list) and with a shape number that is not on the list either. It is stamped France, thus I knew that it was made either in Paris before 1952 or in St. Claude after that date and before 1981 when production moved to England.

I wondered about whether Avoriaz was a French word or a region. I did a quick search on Wikipedia and found what I was looking for (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avoriaz). I quote the introduction to the article on Avoriaz, a French Mountain Resort.

Avoriaz (French: [avoʁija], Franco-Provençal: [aˈvɔʁja, aˈvɔʁi])[1] is a French mountain resort in the heart of the Portes du Soleil. It is located in the territory of the commune of Morzine. It is easily accessible from either Thonon at Lake Geneva or Cluses station on the A40 motorway between Geneva and Chamonix. Either way one follows the D902, Route des Grandes Alpes,[2] to Morzine and then the D338 running from Morzine to Avoriaz. Snow chains are often necessary. Avoriaz is built on a shelf high above the town of Morzine, which is among the pioneering towns of skiing with its first lifts dating back to the early 1930s. Today Avoriaz is one of the major French ski destinations catering for all standards of skiing and ranks among the top snowboarding destinations of the world. Apart from snow-based pursuits, Avoriaz is also a centre for trekking, golf, VTT (mountain biking) and other outdoor activities during the summer. Cars are forbidden in Avoriaz. The resort is designed to be fully skiable. Other transport around the resort includes horse-drawn sleighs and snowcats during winter.

Now it was time to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual focus on detail. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of the cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush and was able to remove the thick lava build up on the rim top. 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 alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He rubbed down the stem with Soft Scrub – an all purpose cleaner that works well to remove oxidation and calcification on a vulcanite stem. He soaked it in Briarville’s Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. The rim top cleaned up really well. The crowned rim top, inner and outer edges of the bowl looked very good. The rim top and inner edge has some darkening on the back side of the bowl but there was no burn damage. The stem surface looked good with some small, deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It was readable as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole.  I polished the crowned rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris and dust.  I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. I worked it into the deeper parts of the blast with a horse hair shoe brush. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks. It worked very well and many of the marks lifted. I filled in the remaining marks with clear CA glue and let the repairs cure. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to blend the repairs into the stem surface. I started the polishing with 400 grit sandpaper.    I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.  This French Made GBD Avoriaz 816 oval shank saddle stem Billiard is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The rich contrasting brown stained finish around the bowl is quite beautiful and highlights the sandblast grain. The stain and finish 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 Conservator’s Wax and buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished GBD Avoriaz 816 sits nicely on the desk top and in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inch, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 56 grams/1.98 ounces. I will be putting it on the French Pipe Maker section of the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Adventures in Cordovan


(Kenneth’s Pipe Incident Report #3)

Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Here is another installment of my Pipe Incident Reports. The idea, in general, is to provide a brief write-up – focusing on a particular pipe-restoration-related issue, rather than an entire restoration story. Last time was all about lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. Today’s report is about a colour of stain that I had not used before, but which always intrigued me: cordovan. If you’re not familiar with the term, it refers to a rich shade of burgundy (but with less purple) and is often compared and contrasted with oxblood.Of course, the name of the colour comes from the Spanish city of Córdoba. Córdoba (or Cordova) has had a thriving leather industry since the seventh century AD, and it is this that is most closely associated with the word, cordovan. I referred to my Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. It confirmed this information and added that the first known use of the word in English was in 1591 – in this context, it was simply used as the adjectival form of the city name. According to the Dictionary of Color, the first recorded use of cordovan as a colour in English was in 1925.I expected this colour to be quite red and that accounted for my previous hesitation in using it. Certainly, the bottle of Fiebing’s Cordovan Leather Dye appeared a bit redder that I would have liked, but an opportunity presented itself to try it out on a pipe. I own Fiebing’s oxblood and I’ve used it before, but it was time to try something different…

The pipe I’m using for this experiment is a handsome paneled billiard. It has no markings on it whatsoever, so I don’t know its origins. I acquired it in a lot of pipes that arrived from France, but there were some non-French pipes in that lot so I can’t be sure that it’s a French pipe. In any event, the pipe is unsmoked, never used. And so, I decided that this was the perfect candidate for me to try out my cordovan dye. The briar was raw and unfinished, so it would take the stain well. As you can see, the briar had some water stains on it and the pipe was generally dusty and dirty, despite never having been used.To give the dye the best chance of succeeding, I cleaned the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap. This removed all the stains and made the stummel nice and clean. I also used a can of compressed air to blow out any dust from the draught hole and chamber.The stem was also new but was clearly dirty from sitting around untouched for years. I cleaned it with a couple of pipe cleaners and then polished up the stem with all nine of my MicroMesh pads. Next, I had to address a couple of issues in the briar. As the photos show, there are some cracks in the wood that I need to tackle. Upon close inspection, fortunately, the cracks are quite shallow and do not meaningfully affect the integrity of the pipe.One of many techniques that I learned from Steve is to use a micro drill bit to stop any briar cracks from lengthening. So, I took one of my micro drill bits – and it is really tiny – put it in my Dremel, and drilled minuscule holes at the end of each crack. Of course, I followed this up by filling the drill holes and cracks with cyanoacrylate glue and let it fully cure. Once cured, I sanded it all down with my MicroMesh pads. Time to try the cordovan! As I mentioned, I expected cordovan to be quite red. In fact, it was a beautiful, rich, brown colour – I suppose at the brown end of burgundy. I flamed it and let it set and then coated it again with dye and flamed that too. I was pleasantly surprised at how attractive the colour was. However, I was equally concerned that I had made it too dark by staining it twice, so I decided to lighten it. Fortunately, this dye is alcohol-based, so I used isopropyl alcohol to wipe down the pipe and remove excess stain. I am very pleased with the results. I polished the pipe on my bench buffer with White Diamond and carnauba wax which made the pipe look all the more lovely.   Cordovan turned out to be an excellent addition to my palette of colours for pipe work. As I mentioned, I expected it to be much redder than it turned out to be, and that originally precipitated my hesitation in using it.   I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the ‘Pipes from Various Countries’ section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 5⅝ in. (143 mm); height 1¾ in. (45 mm); bowl diameter 1⅛ in. (29 mm); chamber diameter ⅞ in. (22 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1⅛ oz. (34 g). I hope you enjoyed reading this installment of the Pipe Incident Report – I look forward to writing more. If you are interested in my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Reconstructing The Rim And Sprucing Up a 1961 Dunhill Bruyere Billiard


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

It’s been a long while since I have posted any write ups here and the primary reason is my laziness. I know and accept that these are very useful as references and as records of the work done till date and yet I enjoy restoring pipes more than doing the write ups.

One of my friends here is an avid collector of pipes and he expressed a desire to expand his collection restricted only to English made pipes. He wanted a Dunhill with crisp stampings (that is always a challenge!) and so began my hunt for one. I found one on eBay Germany, which had a seriously damaged rim edge but otherwise in great condition for a 61 year old pipe. I discussed this piece with my friend and soon the pipe made its way to India and is now on my work table. It’s a classic Billiard with a fishtail stem and a flat bottom that makes it a sitter. The briar is flawless and without any fills or imperfections as expected from Dunhill. The pipe is stamped on the left near the bowl and shank junction as “59” followed by “F/T” followed by “DUNHILL” over “BRUYERE”, all in capital letters, towards the shank end. The right side of the shank is stamped as “MADE IN” over “ENGLAND” with suffix 1 after letter D and followed by an encircled “4” and letter “A”. The upper surface of the stem bears the trademark White Dot of the brand.    The brand Dunhill is well researched and documented and pipedia.eu has reams of information on the same. However, of interest to me here is the dating of this pipe, which is fairly straight forward. The shape code 59 denotes Dunhill’s Billiards shape with tapered stem while F/T denotes fish tail style stem. The suffix numeral 1 after letter D denotes 1961 as the make year because firstly, the numeral is not underscored; secondly, it is the same size as the preceding letter D and finally, the letter ‘A’ denoting the finish is slightly larger than the circle enclosing the group size. The encircled letter 4 denotes the group size as 4 and the letter ‘A’ points to the Bruyere finish on this pipe.

With the dating conclusively established, I moved ahead with the initial inspection of the pipe.

Initial Visual Inspection
The first thing that one notices is the damaged rim edge, both aft and at the front. The chamber appears to have been reamed and is sans any cake. There is no lava overflow atop the rim surface. The stummel surface is dull, dirty and lackluster. Being a Bruyere finish, the stummel does not boast of excellent grains but it does prove its quality by being a flawless piece of briar without having a single fill or imperfection. There is a slight ghosting smell and would need to be addressed. The shank bottom is flattened making it a sitter. The stem is in fairly great condition with only a few bite marks over the button edges and some minor tooth chatter in the bite zone. Overall, it’s a very decent pipe and I hope to repair and restore this pipe to its former glory. Detailed Inspection
The chamber appears to have been reamed before the pipe was designated for sale by the previous owner and thus the chamber is devoid of any cake. All that remains is some dust and fine carbon particle accumulation along the walls of the chamber. The rim top is darkened but without any overflowing carbon. However, it’s all together a different ball game when it comes to the rim edges. The most significant damage is to the aft outer rim edge where a large chunk of briar has chipped away, most likely the result of a fall from some height. Similarly, the front of the rim outer edge too has a small chunk of briar missing and appears to be the result of knocking against a hard edge. Both these damages are encircled in yellow. The inner rim edge shows signs of charring in the 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock directions. These areas have been encircled in red. The chamber odor is light but present and would need to be completely eliminated. The stummel feels solid in the hand and the surface is sans any dents and dings. However, the surface is dull and dirty with the finish fading out from over the surface. A nice cleaning and polish of the stummel should make things interesting. The mortise and shank walls are clean. The tapered fishtail vulcanite stem is in good condition. There are some tooth indentations on the button edge on the upper surface with tooth chatter in the bite zone on either surface. The stem surface shows some minor oxidation that would be easily addressed. The stem airway is open but would benefit from a thorough internal cleaning.   The Process
I started the process of restoration by first cleaning the stem internals with anti-oil dish cleaning soap and thin shank brushes. I scrubbed the stem surface with the soap using a ScotchBrite pad, firstly to rid the surface of old oils and gunk and secondly to remove the loose surface oxidation.I dunked the stem into the deoxidizer solution overnight for the oxidation to be pulled out to the surface. I generally allow the stem to soak in the deoxidizer solution overnight. While the stem was sat aside in the deoxidizer solution, I moved ahead to deal with the stummel repairs. I started with reaming the chamber with a size 1 head of the PipNet reamer and progressed to size 2 head. Using my fabricated knife, I gently scrapped away the cake which could not be reached by the reamer head. I further cleaned the chamber with a folded piece of 180 grits sand paper to sand out the remaining traces of cake and expose the walls of the chamber to ascertain that there were no cracks/ heat fissures. I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad dipped in isopropyl alcohol to remove the carbon dust left behind by all the reaming and sanding process. This also reduced traces of old smells from previous usage. The walls of the chamber were solid with no damage.I cleaned the shank walls and mortise with a hard bristled pipe cleaner dipped in alcohol. I used a specifically fabricated scoop to scrape out the gunk from the shank walls and face of the mortise wall. There was not much to clean though!  Prior to moving ahead with the rim repairs, I decided to address the strong ghost smells from the chamber. To eliminate the ghost smells from the pipe, I decided to treat it with salt and alcohol. I used cotton balls which is an at par substitute to Kosher salt as I have realized over the years. I drew out a wick from the cotton and along with a folded regular pipe cleaner; inserted it into the mortise and through the draught hole in the chamber. Thereafter, I packed the chamber with cotton balls to about quarter of an inch below the inner rim edge. I soaked the cotton balls with isopropyl alcohol up to the brim. About half an hour later, the level of alcohol had gone down, having being absorbed by the cotton. I topped it up once again and set it aside overnight. By next afternoon, the cotton and alcohol has drawn out all the remaining oils and tars from the chamber and mortise and the cotton and alcohol had fulfilled its intended task. I removed the cotton balls and ran pipe cleaners through the mortise to clean out all the loosened tars and gunk. The chamber now smelled clean and fresh. I set the stummel to dry out naturally. The next day, I fished out the stem and cleaned it under running warm water and scrubbed the raised oxidation from the stem surface using ScotchBrite pad. I further removed the oxidation by scrubbing the stems with 0000 grade steel wool and applied a little olive oil to rehydrate the stems and set the stem aside for the oil to be absorbed.  I heated the surface of the stem with the flame of a lighter to raise the tooth indentations to the surface and followed it up by sanding with a piece of folded 220 grit sand paper. This helps to even out the raised surface, address minor tooth chatter and also remove the deep seated oxidation. I wiped the stem with a cotton swab and alcohol to remove the raised oxidation and the resulting sanding dust. The tooth indentations over the button edge, though greatly reduced, were still prominent and would need to be addressed.    Next I filled these tooth indentations with a mix of organic charcoal and clear superglue and set the stem aside for the fills to cure.   Once the fills had cured nicely, I moved ahead and began the process of filing and shaping the button end with a flat head needle file followed by further sanding the repair with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper.  To achieve a better blending of the repaired surface with rest of the stem as well as to polish the stem, I dry sanded the entire stem with 320, 600 and 800 grit sand papers followed by wet sanding using 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit sand papers. This progressive use of higher grit sandpapers helps to reduce the sanding marks left behind by the more abrasive ones while completely eliminating the oxidation and imparting a clean shine to the stem surface.  To bring a deep shine to the vulcanite stem, I went through the dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit micromesh pads, and wiped the stem with Extra Virgin Olive oil to rehydrate the vulcanite. The repairs have blended in very well and the stem now looks shiny black and beautiful. The finished stem is shown below.  With the stem repairs and polishing now completed, I turned my attention to the stummel repairs and refurbishment. Using a hard bristled tooth brush dipped in undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap; I very deliberately scrubbed the surface of the stummel and the rim top. I also cleaned the mortise and shank internals using anti-oil dish washing soap and shank brush. I rinsed the stummel under warm running water and dried it using paper napkins and soft cotton cloth. The original reddish dye was also washed away to some extent, but that was not worrisome as I would be re-staining it after repairs. Next, I filled up the large areas of missing briar from the front and back of the outer rim edges with CA superglue and briar dust using the layering method. The only disadvantage of this method is the presence of large number of air pockets which necessitates repeated refilling with glue and briar dust. Once I was satisfied with the repairs, I set the stummel aside for the mix to cure completely.  The next evening, the repairs to the edge had completely cured and I moved ahead by filing and rough shaping with a flat head needle file. I further fine tuned the blending by sanding it down with a 150 grit sand paper. Here is how the repaired area appears at this stage. I am very pleased with the way this repair has progressed.    Thereafter, I took the stummel to the topping board with the aim of making the rim top surface smooth and even as the rim top was also rebuilt along with the edge. I topped the rim surface on 220 grit sandpaper with even circular rotations and frequently checked the progress being made. This step also helped to minimize the charring to the inner rim edge. I shall further mask the damage by creating a slight bevel to the inner edge. I am very pleased with the progress being made thus far. Once the repairs to the stummel were completed, it was time to polish and stain the stummel. I dry sanded the entire stummel with 1500 to 12000 grit micromesh pads, wiping the stummel with a moist cloth after every pad. I massaged a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” into the briar with my finger tips and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works it’s magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance. I further buffed it with a microfiber cloth. I had hoped that the balm would work it’s magic on the filled area and help in blending it a bit, but unfortunately that did not happen. Well, moving on to the staining process after this step… While refreshing my readings about Dunhill lines, I remember having read that Dunhill achieved the trademark Bruyere color by having an undercoat of dark brown stain followed by deep red color stain. And that’s exactly what I decided to follow with a slight modification. I would first stain wash the stummel with DB stain and thereafter stain it deep red.

I mixed a small quantity of Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye with isopropyl alcohol to dilute it and applied it to the stummel with a folded pipe cleaner after heating the stummel with a heat gun. I let this stain wash set for a few minutes and vigorously wiped it down with a clean cotton swab. I repeated this process a couple of times till I was satisfied with coloration of the stummel. The next afternoon, I again heated the stummel surface with a heat gun and applied Fiebing’s Oxblood stain with a folded pipe cleaner. As I painted the stummel with stain over sections at a time, I lit the dye using a lighter which burns the alcohol in the aniline dye and sets the dye pigmentation in the wood. After fully saturating the stummel and covering the whole surface, including the rim top, I set the stummel aside to rest for several hours for the stain to set. A few hours later, I wiped the stummel with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl alcohol to remove any excess stain from the stummel surface and dry polished the stummel with 3200 to 12000 grit micromesh pads. The repairs seem to have blended in pretty well to the naked eye, but under a camera, the repairs mark their presence. Yeah, I am pretty happy with the end result. This now gets me to that part of the process where I get to savor the fruits of my labor until this point, that being the final polishing with Blue Diamond and Carnauba wax!

I began the final polishing cycle by mounting a cotton cloth buffing wheel onto my hand held rotary tool and applied a coat of Blue Diamond to the stummel and the stem to polish out the minor scratches. With a cotton buffing wheel that I use for carnauba wax, I applied a coat of carnauba wax and continued to work on it till the complete coat of wax had been polished out. I mounted a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and gave the pipe a once over buff. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buff using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The finished pipe is as shown below and will soon make it’s way to my friend here for many more years of happy smokes. Thank you for reaching thus far with the write up and really appreciate you being part of my journey in the world of pipe repairs.

Restoring a Patent Dunhill Shell Briar 253 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is another Dunhill Group 4 size Shell Briar Billiard with a taper stem that is proportionally well done. It has a three 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 253 on the heel of the bowl followed by Dunhill followed by what I think is Shell Briar though it is very faint. The Made in England stamp is not present and there is no date stamp. The remnant of a circle and what I think would be a 4S by comparative size. Underneath the Dunhill stamp there is a partial stamp PATENT No…. with everything following gone. 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. The white spot on the stem was missing as well. 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 rugged, deep blast. He took photos of the stamping on the underside of the bowl, shank and stem. The stamping is quite worn, but is partially readable. It reads as noted above. Now it was time to begin to work on the stamping on the pipe. The stamping was very faint but some of it was readable. I knew it was a Dunhill Shell or maybe Shell Briar (not sure). I knew the shape number was 253 a billiard. I knew there was a partial Patent No. Stamp but the number itself was not visible. I turned to Pipedia for some help with what I could ascertain from the partial stamping (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill#Bruyere). The first quote below give the short version of the finish. I quote from it 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 3 digit Shape Numbers and read it. I quote it below.

A 3-digit system (“Interim”) was developed that showed a logical approach to identify pipes in terms of size, mouthpiece, and shape, with the 1st digit being the size, the 2nd digit the mouthpiece, and the 3rd digit the shape, i.e. the old “85” became a “321” which was a group 3 Apple with taper mouthpiece. This was soon to be replaced by a more detailed, formal 4- and 5-digit system around 1978.

With the information on the 3 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 several 3 digit numbers in the list as it includes the shape 253.

  • 252 Billiard, tapered bit 4 5¾” 1950, 1969 3
  • 253 Billiard, tapered bit 4 57/8″ 1950, 1969 3 (This is the pipe I am working on. It is a tapered bit Billiard.)
  • 260 Billiard, tapered bit 2 5½” 1950, 1969 3

I knew that the pipe shape number locked in a time period 1950, 1969 – a  time span that I probably would not be able to narrow down further due to the missing date stamp.

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 forgot to take photos before I started my work on the stem so the top down photo shows the start of my repair to the missing white spot. I took photos of the pipe when I remembered.  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. The White Spot was also missing from the stem top. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is faint and barely 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 with a craggy blast. 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 also lightly topped the bowl to give it a smooth working surface and to remove the deep cuts and chips.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, Cherry and Black Stain Pen to restain the rim top and the inner bevel of the rim edge. Once it dried I worked it over with a brass bristle wire brush. The rustication I did on the top of the rim approximated the depth of the sandblast around the sides of the bowl and gave the rim top a very tactile feel.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 decided to build up the missing White Spot on the stem top. I used some acrylic white spots and acrylic white fingernail polish to fill the hole. I layered in the spots and fingernail polish. I continued until the spot was smooth and set it aside to cure. Once the acrylic hardened I sanded it smooth and put a drop of clear CA glue on it to seal it and make the surface smooth. 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 Patent Dunhill Shell Briar 253 Taper Stem Billiard 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 253 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 ¾ 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 28 grams/1.02 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.

The Frog Prince


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Pull up a chair and light your pipe – I am about to regale you with the tale of one of the most challenging restorations I have ever undertaken. I hesitate to write “restoration”, simply because the work required on this pipe imposed a burden on that word that it may not have been intended to bear. Perhaps “re-creation” is a better word. This post is a little longer than usual, but worth it. This frog needed much more than a kiss to turn into a prince.This is a rusticated Leonard Payne Classic pipe in a billiard shape, with a matching military-style stem and dental bit. The left side of the shank reads Len Payne [over] Classic. Similarly, the ferrule also reads Payne [over] Classic. However, there are no markings (or no visible markings) on the right side of the shank. I acquired this pipe from the granddaughter of the gentleman who once owned it. This fellow is now deceased, but I am pleased to honour his memory with my work. This was obviously a favourite pipe of his, both because it was so dirty and because the rustication was so worn! It is clearly a great smoker.The pipe in question was made by the late, great Canadian artisan, Leonard Payne. He was born in England, moved to Canada in the 1950s, and died in the Vancouver area within the last few years. Payne was, to put mildly, an idiosyncratic pipe maker. I can do no better than quote Mike Glukler of Briar Blues (found on Pipepedia):

“Leonard Payne was based in B.C. for many years. He came to Canada from England. He had shops in Surrey, B.C. and Kelowna, B.C. Interesting fellow. Gruff as the day is long. When you bought a pipe, it was handed to you in a paper bag. No sock, no box. Most of his pipes carried a ‘carburetor’ system at the shank/stem junction. Another Payne idea was his shanks. Almost all his pipes were two pieces. He’d turn the bowl and shank, then cut off the shank and reattach with glue (not always with the same piece of briar, so many did not match grains). His thinking was that the shank being the weakest link, if cut and glued would never break and thus ‘correcting’ the weakest link.In addition, there was a photograph that Steve found of Payne on Reddit that appears to date from the 1960s. The original poster on Reddit told me that the photo comes from the City of Surrey Archives. I have no idea why it is in French, but here is my translation of the text on the right:

“Pipe makers are not on every street corner in Canada! Leonard Payne, originally from England, didn’t know the challenges he would face and that’s probably what influenced his decision to come and try his luck in Canada. After his arrival in 1957, he and his family settled in Vancouver, where he first found work as a tool maker – and made pipes in his free time. In 1959, he decided to become a full-time pipe maker, and since then he has had department stores in all parts of Canada among his clients. He imports briar blocks from Italy and pipe stems from England.”This pipe was a perfect example of Payne’s work. It had a ‘carburetor’ system at the shank/stem junction and the stummel had been separated in two and reattached with glue (although, in this case, he did reattach the matching piece of briar).This pipe was charming, but it had a number of issues. The stem was dirty, though not too beat up. There were a few small scratches, etc., as well as some minor oxidation to the vulcanite. The ‘carburetor’ system was going to make cleaning all the more challenging, as there was little room around the end of the aluminum tube to remove all the filth.The stummel was a different story. It was dirty, dull, and worn. The pipe had been rusticated once-upon-a-time, but so much hand-rubbing of the wood over the years had eroded it (and a lot of the Len Payne markings).

However, by far the biggest problem was the bowl. It was badly out-of-round, burned on the rim, and – take a close look at the photos – it had clearly been decapitated at some point in the past. Steve and I spoke about it, and we figure that the original pipe probably developed a crack after heavy use. The owner, loving his pipe so much, decided that he would rather modify it than toss it. Presumably, he then took a saw and cut off the damaged wood. Following this, he would have stained the wood with something very dark. All of this is conjecture, of course, but it seems likely, given the current state of the pipe.    What on earth do you do with a hacked-up pipe? Read on…

While I decided to have a “thunk” about it, I tackled the stem. I began by cleaning some of the filth on the outside with some Murphy’s Oil Soap on cotton rounds. This removed some of the surface staining. Then, I started cleaning the inside with isopropyl alcohol and pipe cleaners. This took a while. The inside wasn’t terribly dirty, but the empty space inside the end of the stem was tricky to clean well. Once the stem was good and clean, I placed it in a container of Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover overnight. This liquid does (as the name suggests) remove oxidation, but, more than anything, it helps draw oxidation to the surface of the vulcanite. This allows me to clean the oxidation off in a couple of ways: both by applying a mild abrasive cleaner to the surface, then by sanding the stem.I used SoftScrub with some cotton rounds and, as you can see, lots of revolting colour came off the stem. Thankfully, there were no significant dents, scratches, or bite marks that required a cyanoacrylate glue repair, so I moved on to the next step. For sanding the stem, I use a set of nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) which gradually erase the ravages of time and bring out the stem’s lovely black lustre. For the last five pads, I also lightly coat the stem with Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each scrubbing. At last, I set the finished stem aside. On to the stummel and, as I indicated earlier, there were MANY problems to be solved.

  1. The insides were quite filthy and would need considerable work to clean.
  2. The metal ferrule would not come off the wood. It was absolutely solid.
  3. The metal ferrule also needed to be polished.
  4. The rustication had rubbed away so much that it would need to be redone in some way.
  5. The bowl opening was badly out-of-round.
  6. Burn marks and an uneven surface blighted the rim of the pipe.
  7. The fact that the top of the pipe had been lopped off meant that it just didn’t look In a sense, this was the biggest problem of them all.

On to problem #1. The bowl really needed to be reamed, so I used the KleenReem too to scrape off as much built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as possible. Generally, I prefer to sand the chamber down to bare briar. When restoring, it is important to ensure that there is no damage to the briar under the cake. There are a few situations when I might leave some cake in the bowl, but not today. And, fortunately, there were no hidden flaws to the briar on this pipe.I gave the wood a quick cleaning with Murphy’s Oil Soap. It turned out that I would need to clean it again later.I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with pipe cleaners and lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. There was quite a bit of built-up grime inside this stummel, and it took a good number of pipe cleaners to get it clean. Or – I thought it was clean. I’ll come back to that.    Problem #2 was an interesting one. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if the ferrule was permanently attached to the shank or not. Steve told me that it is supposed to come off and that I’d better get it off because there would be plenty more pipe goo to clean. So, I dug out my trusty heat gun, applied some heat to the join and – voilà! – the grime softened sufficiently for me to unscrew the ferrule.As Steve had hinted, it was a real mess inside the shank, behind the ferrule. Just dreadful – and it took more pipe cleaners and Q-tips than I used for the rest of the stummel just to clean out this area. It had obviously never been cleaned before. I even threw the thing in an alcohol bath! The dirt just kept coming and coming, but, at long last, I finally got it clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides of the whole stummel with some Castile soap and tube brushes. Finally, I polished the tiny piece of the ‘carburetor’ system by inserting a piece of 0000 steel wool down the shank and grinding it shiny.    Problem #3 was quite straightforward to resolve – Deo gratias. I started by soaking the filthy threads of the screw in my lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. They were dirty and the dirt was very stubborn. Eventually, it did come off and I could proceed. Next, I rubbed the aluminum ferrule with 0000 steel wool. This is the least abrasive grade of steel wool and I wouldn’t use anything harsher than that. I then used the last few MicroMesh pads to make the metal shine.Problem #4 concerned how worn away the rustication had become. I wanted to recreate the pattern that Payne had originally devised on his pipe. I took my Dremel Rotary Tool and used the smaller engraving cutter to achieve the small worm-track. The work was intricate and a bit nerve-wracking, but I was quite pleased with the results. My only problem was that I ended up having to repeat this process later, but I digress…

The solution to problem #5 – the out-of-round chamber opening – came from a familiar source. I took a solid wooden sphere, wrapped a piece of 220-grit sandpaper around it, and sanded the inner side of the chamber. This achieved two things: first, it removed some of the burn marks on the inner edge of the rim; and second (and more importantly), the circular shape and motion of the sphere gradually returned the edge to a perfect circle. This takes time and patience, but it is quite effective. But there was more to come. As it turned out, problem #6 bled right into problem #7. As I mentioned earlier, the surgery that the pipe received earlier in its life just didn’t look right. Something significant needed to be done. As always, Steve made an excellent suggestion to save and beautify this Payne pipe. He proposed modifying the pipe to a prince shape. This made a lot of sense. Changing this into a prince would (1) smooth out the ridiculously uneven rim top; (2) eliminate the burn marks on the top; and (3) allow what remains of the briar to be showcased properly and to greatest effect. I’ve included a sample photo of some prince pipes from Greg Pease’s collection, just to give you an idea of what I was aiming for. I’ll let you be the judge of whether I succeeded or not.So, heart-in-throat, I set about grinding the Payne with my Dremel and a sanding disc. Gently, gradually, cautiously, I removed more wood and began to set the new shape. This was no mean feat for me – the Dremel is a powerful tool, and this process can go pear-shaped very easily. The following series of photos demonstrates the progress as I shaped the bowl. Once the shape was nicely developed, I used some 220-grit sandpaper to smooth and round the crown of the rim. Of course, I had to redo much of the rustication work I did earlier, since my Dremel removed most of it. This went very well. It was only at this point, when I felt comfortable with the work I had done, that I cleaned the outside of the pipe thoroughly with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a toothbrush. By the way, here is a close-up photo of how Payne cut off then rejoined the bowl and shank. It’s unusual – I’ll give him that!The stummel cleaned up quite nicely and I was able to move on to the MicroMesh pads. Again, using all nine (1,500 through 12,000 grit), I sanded, rounded, and further embodied the prince shape.  I then paused and rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm into the soft and smooth wood. I gently brushed it into the rustication grooves and let the balm sit for fifteen minutes or so. The BARB works so well at bringing out the best in the wood. I brushed it with a horsehair brush and buffed it with a microfibre cloth. Beauty! It is obvious that at this point the pipe needed to be stained. One issue that needed to be addressed right away was how to match the sanded area to the colour of the pre-existing stain. I opted to apply some Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye only to the sanded area. I flamed it with a BIC lighter and let it set. I then removed some excess with isopropyl alcohol on a cotton round. This provided a sufficiently accurate undercoat to the wood and would allow me to apply a separate layer of dye to the whole stummel. I repeated my steps in order to add the second and final layer of Dark Brown to all of the wood. This turned out beautifully – dark and rich, with lovely subtle variations in colour.    I reassembled the pipe to prepare it for polishing on the bench buffer. However, I added a little bit of petroleum jelly to the wooden threads inside the shank. This would provide some much-needed lubrication for the connection with the aluminum ferrule.I went to the bench buffer and applied some White Diamond to the stummel and stem. Then the final polish! The rusticated surface meant that I didn’t use carnauba wax – it gets gummed up in the grooves. Instead, I used Lee Valley Conservator’s Wax which worked like a charm. What a pipe! Goodbye frog, hello prince! This was an amazing restoration/re-creation and I really had fun with it. I think the result is fantastic – it turned a lump that was destined for the firewood pile into a pipe that pays homage to the man who created it originally and the man who smoked it so joyfully.

I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the “Canada” pipe section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the Payne Classic are as follows: length 5½ in. (140 mm); height 1⅛ in. (29 mm); bowl diameter 1⅝ in. (41 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is ⅞ oz. (27 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this restoration as much as I enjoyed restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.