Tag Archives: cutting a new button on a stem

A Savinelli de Luxe Milano 431KS Reborn Twice – PART 1: reshaping a broken stem.

Blog by Steve Laug

You will see by the end of this blog why I say the pipe was reborn twice. Suffice it to say in this opening paragraph that a near pipe repair tragedy occurred when I had all but finished the first rebirth.When I picked up the pipe it was one of two that I found while on a pipe hunt in Bellingham, Washington with a friend. The other pipe was a Custom Bilt that I have already blogged about. The grain on this pipe attracted my attention and made me want to see what I could do with it.Sav When I brought the pipe to the work table most of the issues were with the stem. The bowl had originally had a natural finish so it was dirty but not stained. There was no finish on it or varnish that needed to be removed so the clean up would be quite simple. The rim was caked with a thick tar and oil buildup that was shiny and hard. The bowl had a cake of the same material and had the sweet smell of an aromatic – lots of vanilla. The main issue with the stem was twofold. The top surface of the stem from the button up the stem about 1 inch there were many dents and bite marks. The underside of the stem had a large piece of vulcanite missing from the stem and the airway had been clamped down by biting. It also was oxidized and calcified. The fit against the shank was fairly decent with a slight gap on the left side, top and bottom at the shank.Sav1



Sav4 The next two close up photos of the stem show the damage to the top and bottom side of the surface next to the button. The underside is the most damaged with a huge chunk missing. The second photo shows the top of the stem with the many tooth marks and bumps that created a thin surface on the top of the stem.Sav5

Sav6 I took the next photo to show the rim. All edges are intact but the surface is coated with a thick, hard coat of oils and tar.Sav7 The tenon had an inner tube insert in it. I have had several of these Savinellis but never had one with the tube. It would turn out to come in handy later.Sav8 I weighed my options with the stem for several days before I decided to cut off the damaged portion of the stem. I used my Dremel with a sanding drum and took the stem back to solid material.Sav9

Sav10 The next four photos show the look of the pipe with the shorter stem. Personally I like the more compact look of the stem as it seems to fit proportionally well with the pipe.Sav11



Sav14 I decided to work on the button on the pipe before turning to the bowl. You can see from the photo below that the underside of the area where I would cut the button was quite thin. I did not want to cut back the stem any further so I built up that area with black super glue. I applied the glue and set the stem aside to cure. It would take several coats before the button was built up.Sav15


Sav17 While the glue cured and hardened I worked on the bowl. I reamed it with a PipNet reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working up to a head that would cut back the cake to bare briar.Sav18

Sav19 With the bowl reamed back I could tackle the top of the bowl. Even using the reamer did not chip or crack the buildup on the top of the rim. It was like rock. I scrubbed the rim with oil soap and a tooth brush. I picked at it with a dental pick and was not able to break through the rock. I decided to lightly top the bowl to remove the buildup. The idea was not to remove any briar but merely to take of the rock hard tars on the rim. I used my topping board and 220 grit sandpaper and worked the rim carefully to ensure that I only took the rim down to briar. Once I broke through the rock I took several more turns on the sandpaper to finish up the rim.Sav20

Sav21 I scrubbed the bowl with acetone on cotton pads to remove the soiling and oils in the briar. It did not take much to bring the briar back to its natural state.Sav22


Sav24 I decided to rub down the bowl with a light coat of olive oil to protect the briar and give it some life. I applied the oil with a paper towel and rubbed it in and rubbed it off. It also served to highlight the grain and make it stand out.Sav25



Sav28 I cleaned out the shank with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol until they came out clean. For the amount of build up of tars and oils on the rim the shank was quite clean.Sav29 I decided to use a cotton ball and alcohol soak on the bowl to remove the sweet smells of the aromatics that had been smoked in the bowl. It had a thick vanilla smell that needed to go in my opinion. I set the stuffed bowl in an ice cube tray and used an ear syringe to fill it with alcohol. I let the bowl soak overnight to leach out the oils in the wood.Sav30



Sav33 By the time I had finished setting up the bowl I called it a night and went to bed. The next morning I worked on cutting and shaping the new button on the stem. I used my usual knife blade file to make the initial cuts and shave back the slope of the stem.Sav34

Sav35 When I had the slope and look right I sanded the newly shaped button and stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I then repaired some of the low spots with clear super glue. I recut the button with the needle files and sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the edges.Sav36

Sav37 With more sanding and shaping I had it where I wanted it and then sanded the stem with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge to clean up the scratches in the vulcanite.Sav38

Sav39 With the button shaped in I worked on the slot in the airway. I used my usual three needle files – a flat oval, an oval and a round file to work on the slot. I always start with the flat oval and work to the round file.Sav40

Sav41 I used a folded piece of sandpaper to smooth out the inside of the slot.Sav42 At this point I worked some more on the surface of the button. It still was too rough to my liking. I sanded and filed it to reshape it. The next two photos show it before I worked it over with files and papers.Sav43

Sav44 Once I had the button shaped to my satisfaction I sanded it with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads, rubbed down with Obsidian Oil and then set it aside to dry. I was pleased with the overall effect of the new button and could not wait to finish polishing it. This is where I made the first mistake in this repair.Sav45

Sav46 Instead of leaving it on the work table and calling it a night I brought the pipe upstairs with me from the basement work area. I wanted to show the girls in my family the result of my work. I know that they are not that interested but they attempt to humour the old man. I stopped at the fridge to get some water and that is when the disaster struck. I could not believe it. The pipe simply slid through my fingers and hit the hardwood floor in our kitchen. I can’t tell you how many times that has happened with no issues. But this time there was going to be a major issue and it came with a vengeance. When it hit the floor, really only 2 feet as I was bending over, I heard the awful click and the stem and bowl separated. The tenon snapped at the shank.Sav47 All that work done and now what to do? I was sick with the thought of starting over. I carried the broken pipe down the stairs to the work table and left it in the dark and went to bed – just a tad frustrated. If you are interested in seeing what I did to try and redeem this disaster make sure to read Part Two of the work on this pipe.

Refurbishing another Old Pal – this time a Long Oval Shank Billiard

Blog by Steve Laug

I just finished cleaning up another of the old pipes I picked up in my antique mall grab bag. It is a dainty pipe with an oval shank. When it came out of the grab bag it had a cracked shank and did not have a stem in the shank so I assumed it was a Canadian. When I went over the stems in the bag I found that one of them was stamped Old Pal. It fit the shank well and the look was quite unique. The stem was broken at the button with a large chunk on one side missing. The overall length is 5 ¾ inches and the weight is negligible. It is stamped on top of the shank in arc – Old Pal, over an Eagle with spread wings and then underneath Made in France.

opOn the underside of the shank it is stamped 396 which I assume is the shape number. The shape number appears to be a GBD number but it is not included in the list on the Perdua shape number website. The stamping is faint but still readable. I wrote about the history of the brand in a previous post (https://rebornpipes.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/restemming-and-refurbishing-a-planter-opera-pipe/) But will summarize it again here for those who may not go back and read it.

“Who Made That Pipe” states that there were two French makers for Old Pal. The first of those is Marechal Ruchon and Cie. (Incidentally it is the company that owned the GBD brand). The second maker listed is Rubinovich & Haskell Ltd. The bird emblem is probably the key, but I can find no reference to it. My own thinking is that the brand was made by Marechal Ruchon & Cie. I was able to dig up this brief summary of the MR&C brand. Ganeval, Bondier and Donninger began making pipes in 1850 and rapidly gained prominence in briar pipe making. Of the three, Bondier survived the others by 30 years, but new partners took their places. The name of the company changed to Bondier Ulrich & Cie, then Bine Marechal & Cie and finally to A Marechal, Ruchon & Cie. August Marechal and Ferdinand Ruchon saw the firm into the 20th century, their names being used for the company for well over 50 years.

Prior to 1899, Marechal, Ruchon & Co. became A. Oppenhiemer’s sole agent for cigarette papers but still remained in the pipe making business. Then in 1902, Marechal, Ruchon & Co., owners of GBD and referred to as French pipe makers, merged with A. Oppenhiemer. In the 1915 London Directory of briar pipe makers one will find: “”Marechal, Ruchon & Co. – 38 Finsbury Sq. E.C.; London works, 15 & 16 Featherstone St. E.C. and Oppenhiemer, A. & Co. – 38 Finsbury Sq. E.C. listed separately.

As before with that background information remembered I worked on this old pipe to clean it up and restore it. When I picked it up the bowl was badly caked. The rim was dirty and the outer edge had been knocked about pretty hard to remove the dottle of the past. The inner bevel was tarred but still in pretty good shape. The right side of the pipe had no fills or real damage. It was a nice birdseye under the grime. The left side had two fills of pink putty in the midst of some very nice grain. The grain on the rest of the bowl was a mix of cross grain and swirling grain. The finish was worn with some paint marks on the top of the shank. The stem was oxidized and had been broken with a large chunk missing at the button on the right side. The shank was cracked but the joint with the stem was smooth and tight. The tenon fit snug in the mortise with no gap in the junction. The shank and airway were dirty and tarry.



I have included the photo below as it clearly shows the crack in the shank, the broken stem and the stamping on the shank of the pipe.
I debated whether to cut off the stem or to just restem the pipe with a Canadian stem. I looked at it with a small stem and then with this stem and decided to cut off the stem. I used a Dremel and a sanding drum to remove the broken part of the stem and even out the line of the end of the stem.


I took it back to the work table and reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer. I reamed the cake back to bare briar so that I could work on the damage to the inner edge of the rim.
I took out my box of assorted nickel bands and found one that was the correct diameter and squeezed it until it was an oval. I dripped super glue into the open crack and pressed it together to dry. Then I heated the band with a heat gun and pressed it on to the cracked shank.

I used a folded piece of sandpaper to sand the tenon slightly so that it fit snugly in the shank. The fit of the stem to the band and shank looked good so that part of the job was finished.



I set up the topping board and the 220 grit sandpaper and topped the bowl to remove the damaged rim. I used a folded piece of sandpaper to bevel the inner edge of the rim inward like it had been originally.


I wiped the bowl down with acetone to remove the finish and the spots of white paint that were on the top of the shank. I repeated the wash until the finish was clean and then wiped it down again with isopropyl alcohol.



With work on the bowl at a good stopping point I decided to do some work on the stem. I had to cut a new button and taper the stem toward the new button. There would have to be shaping done as well opening the slot on the end of the stem. I used a rasp to cut the edge on the lip of the button and to sand down the taper of the stem. I used a series of needle files to further shape the button and the taper.



I cleaned up the taper and the button with a sanding board that I picked up at a beauty supply house. It makes the edge clean and works well to even the taper on the stem.

The hole in the end of the new button was elongated and oval but needed to be opened more and made into a “Y” shaped slot whose inner edges tapered toward the airway and the slot shaped like an eye – open enough to take a pipe cleaner without any difficulty. I used three different needle files to open the slot. The first was a round file, followed by an oval file and ending with a flat oval that worked well to cut the edges of the slot.


I sanded the stem with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge to smooth out the surface on the stem and also to bevel the edge of the button toward the slot.

With the interesting grain pattern and the fills on the side of the bowl I decided to use a dark brown aniline stain. I applied it with a dauber and then flamed it. I applied it and flamed it a second time to make sure the coverage was even.
When the stain was dry I wiped down the bowl and shank with isopropyl alcohol on cotton pads to remove the top coats of the stain and make it more transparent.
I sanded the bowl with a fine grit sanding sponge and then wiped it again with the alcohol to clean off the dust. I gave it a second coat of a medium walnut stain as a top coat.
I buffed the top coat of stain with White Diamond and then brought it back to the work table and took the following pictures. The angles on the stem are looking good. The shape of the button and the taper of the stem worked well with the pipe.



I sanded the stem with medium and fine grit sanding pads and then applied some liquid white out to the stamping on the stem to try to make it stand out more clearly. I sanded the stem with my usual array of micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads.


I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil and when it was dry buffed the stem and bowl with White Diamond and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax to protect and preserve it. I finished by buffing it with a soft, flannel buff. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The newly shaped stem came out fairly well. I like the overall look of the finish and the band on the pipe. It is ready to join the other Old Pal in the rack.




A Great Piece of Briar – Restored Square Shanked GBD New Era 9489 Billiard

I am generally not a fan of square shanked pipes. I am not sure why but there is just something about them that has never caught my eye… that is until I saw this GBD New Era Billiard. It has stunning grain – cross grain on the back of the bowl and the top and bottom of the shank and the bowl. There is also some cross grain off centre on the front of the bowl. The left side has stunning birdseye and the same is also true on the right side of the bowl. The rim of the bowl is beveled inward and is also cross grain. The finish on the bowl was in excellent shape other than a heavy build up on the rim of tars and carbon. The stem was long, oxidized and had a huge bite through on the underside of the stem. It is stamped GBD in an oval over an arced New Era on the left side of the shank and London England over 9489 on the right side.



I have included the photo below of the underside of the stem. The size of the hole made it unpatchable with my usual methods.
Hole in stem

I used the Dremel and sanding drum to cut off the end of the stem and remove the damaged portion of the stem. I would then recut a button on the end of the stem and rework the airway opening in the slot.




I took the pipe back to my work table and used a file to cut the line for the button. For this initial part of shaping the new button I leave the stem on the shank as the bowl provides a good “handle” to hold on to when reworking the stem.

I used a flat needle file to carve down the slope of the stem toward the button. I find that reworking the slope of the stem gives a smoother transition between the new button and the blade of the stem. I think we have all seen poorly cut buttons where the button looks pinched on the end – almost like someone squeezed the button out of the stem. I want the transition to move gently toward the new button and then have clean angles on the button.

At this point I usually remove it from the shank as I have much more carving to do on the stem with needle files and I want to be able to turn it at various angles to get things the way I want them. I continued to work on the stem with various needle files and 220 grit sandpaper to shape and contour the stem. I sanded the rest of the stem as well carefully working around the GBD roundel to make sure not to damage it. When I had finished the shaping of the button I sanded the entirety with a medium grit sanding sponge to smooth out the scratches and further remove the oxidation. I probably could have soaked it in Oxyclean but since I was working the button over with sandpaper and files anyway I just sanded the stem.

I set the stem aside for a bit and scrubbed the bowl rim down with saliva on cotton pads scraping and rubbing until I got to the clean surface of the rim. I did not intend to restain this pipe so I was careful not to remove the finish in the process.

I took it to the buffer after I had it cleaned up as shown above. I buffed the edge with White Diamond to remove the last of the detritus of the carbon on the rim. The first photo below shows the clean bowl rim. The three photos following that one show the bowl after it had been buffed with carnauba wax to polish it and protect it.




I put the stem back on just to have a look at the work so far. Sometimes I need to get a bit of perspective on the stem work so I will stop and put things back together, take a few photos and study them to see what I need to do. Somehow the photos show things that my eye does not pick up as I work on the pipe.




The pipe was looking good and the areas that needed work on the oxidation and scratches showed up clearly in the flash. I used micromesh sanding pads to work on the finish. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12,000 grit pads.




When I finished sanding I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil and when it as dry buffed it with White Diamond once again. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean flannel buffing pad to give it a shine. It is important when buffing to not press to hard around the nomenclature. I generally use a very light touch in those areas and then hand polish them with a soft cotton cloth. The finished pipe is pictured below. The stem came out quite nicely There is a bit of oxidation around the roundel that still remains. I will continue to work on that with the micromesh pads and see what I can do but it is ready to load a bowl and smoke.




Restoring a Comoy’s Tradition Shape 225 Bent Dublin

Blog by Steve Laug

The second Comoy’s I picked up on the recent hunt was a beautifully shaped 225 Tradition. It is a shape that I love for its graceful flow and bend. The stamping on it was weak but visible under a lens. The left side of the shank was stamped Comoy’s over Tradition and the right side was stamped 225. I looked up the shape on Chris Keene’s Pipe Pages and found this page on a 1960’s catalogue http://pipepages.com/64com19s.htm . It is the 225 shape at the bottom of the page.

When I picked it up the pipe the stain on the briar was slightly faded. The stamping was weak. On the side where Comoy’s Tradition was stamped it is very faint, though still visible with light. On the side of the shank where the shape number was stamped the 2 and the 5 are clear and the middle 2 is very light. The bowl was caked and the rim was caked with tars and carbon build up. The inner bevel was clean and undamaged though dirty with tars and the outer edge was also very clean. The exterior of the pipe had no dents of dings. The stem was a replacement and was missing the usual step down tenon that I have come to expect and the existing tenon was shorter than normal. The stem itself was oxidized and had a large bite through on the underside. Of the six pipes (GBD and Comoy’s) that I picked up all but the little bulldog have the same issue.




The photo below shows a closer look at the bite through on the underside of the stem. It’s size, the length of the stem and the fact that it was an obvious replacement stem made my decision of whether to try to repair the hole or to cut the stem back quite easy to make.

I used a Dremel and sanding drum to cut the stem back to solid vulcanite and remove the damaged spot and the button. This would necessitate recutting and shaping a new button on the stem as well as reshaping the slot in the button.


After cutting it off I took it back to the worktable to prepare it for the new button. I wiped the stem down to remove the dust from cutting and to clean the surface so that I could get a good clean line on the button.


I used files, a wood rasp and various needle files to cut an edge for the new button on both the top and the bottom sides of the stem. I also used the files to cut back the stem on the slope before the new button on both sides of the stem. The stem needed to be thinned down from the button forward to the shank for more comfort in the mouth and to keep the graceful lines of the shape intact. I used the needle files to carve back the stem thickness and smooth out the lines so that the button did not look choked and pinched at the line. Once I had a clean slope on the stem previous to the button I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to further highlight the angles of the button.



I sanded the end of the new button to give it a slope toward the slot and to remove the sharp edge look of the new cut. I opened up the button to give it a funnelled shape to the airway and also made it oval. The side profile photos give a clear look at the stem and the angle of the stem previous to the new button.





I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer to get rid of the cake and to clear away the debris from the inner edge of the bowl. I cleaned the rim with saliva on a cotton pad and scrubbed until I had removed the tars and buildup from both the top and the inner bevel of the rim.

I sanded the stem to further define the button and shape it using 220 grit sandpaper and a medium grit sanding sponge. When I was happy with the overall shape of the stem, I sanded its entirety to remove the oxidation. I finished sanding it with my usual regimen of micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12,000 grit pads.






When I had finished sanding with the final grits of pads I put the stem in the shank and buffed it with red Tripoli to remove some of the scratches that still remained on the underside of the stem near the button and then buffed the whole stem with White Diamond. I lightly buffed the pipe as well before taking it back to the worktable to give it a top coat of red mahogany Minwax stain. I rubbed the stain on the bowl to bring back some of the reddish colour that I have found in my other Tradition pipes and used them to match the colour on this pipe.




I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil to preserve the vulcanite. And when the stain was dry I gave it a light buff with White Diamond. I finished by giving the entire pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax to preserve and give it a shine. The finished pipe is picture below. It is cleaned and ready to continue a life of service.




Comoy’s The Everyman Billiard Brought Back to Life

Blog by Steve Laug

This is the third of the lot that I picked up on EBay that included the BR Israeli Apple and the Richmond Oddity. This one is stamped The Everyman over London Pipe on the left side of the shank. On the right side it is stamped Made in London in a circle over England and the shape number 291. This one came to me in rough shape. The bowl showed promise of great grain under the grime. The finish was shot but the briar was undented. The rim was caked with tars and oils but there were no dents or burns. Even the beveled inner edge of the bowl was clean under the grime. The bowl had a thick crumbly cake that reeked of the same sweet aromatic smell as the other two pipes in this lot. There was one rather large fill on the right side of the bowl that was hard and dark. The stem was oxidized and a major chunk of vulcanite had been chomped off. It was a large bite out of the top of the stem extending back along the stem about a ¼ inch or more. The fifth photo below shows the extent of the damage to the stem. Since the stem had the Comoy’s three bar logo I did not want to make a new stem for this old pipe but rather look for a way to keep it. The series of four photos below show the state of the pipe when it arrived to my work table.


I took the stem to the work area where I have my Dremel to cut off the broken part of the stem. I have the large sanding drum on the Dremel and use it at half speed to cut off the stem. I have learned that it works very well at that speed and allows me to control the angles of the cut to insure that the line is straight. This one was a bit of a challenge as the Y cut in the airway was very close to the surface of the stem. I needed to cut it back far enough to allow me to have enough material to work with to cut the new button. The next six photos show the process of cutting the stem back. There are several photos of the end of the stem showing the new airway and the amount of material available to cut the new button. From the point of the stem the airway dropped suddenly back to the normal straight drilling and would allow me room to do the shaping.


I took the pipe back to my work table and reamed the bowl back to bare wood. I then topped the pipe very slightly to remove the buildup on the rim and to smooth things out. The next series of four photos show the topping process and the results. In the fifth photo below I used a medium grit sanding sponge and then a fine grit sponge to finish the topping and remove any sign of scratching to the surface. I also used 320 grit sandpaper to clean up the beveled inner edge of the bowl.


Once the top was cleaned and smooth I wiped the bowl down with acetone (finger nail polish remover) on a cotton pad to clean off the grime and remnants of finish on the bowl. The next two photos show the bowl after I have wiped it down. There was some beautiful birdseye on one side of the bowl and some great flame grain on the other side. In the second photo you can see the fill that is visible on the bowl.


After cleaning the outside of the bowl it was time to clean the shank and bowl. I removed the stem and poured some Everclear into the cap to use to clean the airway. I used many cotton swabs to clean out the airway and the mortise. I also used a significant number of pipe cleaners in the process. The next three photos show the cleaning materials I use and the final photo of the threesome shows the pile of cotton swabs and pipe cleaners used to clean the shank.


I used a black permanent marker to draw the grain pattern over the fill to make it less obvious once I stained it. I stained the bowl next using a dark brown aniline stain (Feibings Shoe Dye) and applied the stain with the dauber in the box. I flamed it with a match to set the stain, restained it and then flamed it a second time. I paid particular attention to putting the stain on heavy on the rim. The next three photos show the pipe after staining.


After staining I set the bowl aside to thoroughly dry and went to work on reshaping/cutting the new button on the stem. I use needle files to cut the button and work to keep it even on both sides of the stem and to also modify the taper from the stem backward to the button. After cutting the edge with the files and working the slope to make a smooth transition with the files I use a fine grit emery paper to sand out the scratches left by the file and to remove the oxidation. I am careful as I near the stem shank joint to not remove too much material as I do not want to round the shoulders on the stem or reduce the diameter of the stem in the process. I follow that by sanding with 320 grit sandpaper to yet again reduce the scratching. The next eleven photos show the progress of shaping the button and modifying the stem.


Once the button is cut and the taper modified I set the stem aside to work again on the bowl. There is no logic to this in terms of timing. I just need to give my hands and wrists a rest after working on the vulcanite. I wipe the bowl down with some isopropyl alcohol as the dark brown stain is too dark and opaque for what I wanted the finished pipe to look like. I find that the alcohol will remove the surface stain while leaving the undercoat. I work at this carefully to get the finish to the colour I want and then set it aside to dry yet again. The next three photos show the bowl after the wash.


I went back to the stem and worked on it with 320 grit sandpaper again. I worked to remove the oxidation and the scratches. I also used 0000 steel wool to scrub the stinger apparatus that is present in the Everyman pipes.


I then put the stem back on the pipe to check the fit and the profile of the pipe. I wanted to make sure that the angles looked right on the slope and also that the shank and stem junction still was smooth. The next three photos show the look that I had been aiming for in the process of reshaping the stem.


I once again removed the stem and sanded it again with a fine grit sanding sponge (pink sponge backed sanding medium). The scratches and oxidation are becoming less pronounced. The next four photos show that progress.


I reinserted the stem and polished it with some Maguiar’s to see where I stood on the scratches. I also buffed the bowl and stem to get an idea of the finished look. The next series of four photos show the state of the pipe after that work. The fill on the right side of the bowl is almost invisible and the pipe is beginning to look like the final product. There still remained much to do to get the stem back to a new look.


I wet sanded the stem with 1500, 1800 and 2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and also dry sanded the bowl with the same pads. I wanted a bit lighter and translucent finish on the pipe. The next four photos show the bowl and stem after this treatment. The fifth and sixth photos below show the stem and bowl after I had once again polished the stem with the Maguiar’s. You can see the new look of the finish on the bowl. The grain really is beginning to pop through.


I continued sanding with 3200-12,000 grit micromesh to finish the stem work and then polished the stem a last time with Maguiar’s before taking it to the buffer and polishing the stem and bowl. I brought it back to the work table, wiped down the stem with Obsidian Oil and then applied multiple coats of carnauba wax to the stem and bowl. The first two photos below show the state of the pipe after the sanding, buffing and application of Obsidian Oil. The stem and bowl are looking very good in my estimation. The final four photos show the finished pipe with the newly adjusted stem and many coats of wax. It is ready for its inaugural smoke.