Tag Archives: Gourd Calabash pipes

New Life for a Full Bent Gourd Calabash with a Meerschaum Cup


Blog by Steve Laug

I have several boxes of pipes that Jeff has sent me to work on over the past months that have some great looking pipes in them. I have chosen to work on four Gourd Calabash pipes that he picked up in several places. The last of them is a full bent Gourd with a meerschaum cup, a black acrylic shank end and a bent vulcanite stem. The gourd was very dirty with a lot of dust and grime ground into the finish. The meerschaum cup had a thick cake and an overflow of lava on the rim top. The pipe had obviously been heavily smoked which reflected on it being a great smoking pipe. The vulcanite stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. It is a an interesting pipe with a lot of potential under the grime and debris of the years. The  Jeff took some photos of the Gourd Calabash before he worked his magic in cleaning up the pipe. Jeff took photos of the bowl, rim top to show the thickness of the cake in the bowl and the thick lava on the rim top. The rim top and inner edge are thickly covered with lava. The meerschaum has some patina developing. He took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth marks and chatter on both sides and the overall look of the stem and shank extension on the gourd.Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the gourd bowl the developing patina on the meerschaum cup. This Full Bent Gourd Calabash is another interesting looking pipe. The meerschaum bowl has developed a patina and the bent vulcanite stem looks very good with it. Everything about the pipe reminds me of the Gourd Calabash pipes that Pioneer used to make. Could this be one of those? Probably will never know.

Jeff reamed carefully reamed the meerschaum bowl and the gourd base with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He carefully scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the exterior of the meerschaum cup and rim top and lava on the rim top. He scrubbed out the internals of the bowl and the gourd with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He cleaned out the shank extension, shank and the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. The finish looks much better and has a deep richness in the colour that highlights the patina in the meerschaum and the contrast of the rusticated gourd. He cleaned the internals of the vulcanite stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He scrubbed the externals with Soft Scrub to remove the grime on the surface and soaked it in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer. He rinsed it and rubbed it down with a bit of olive oil before he sent it to me. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver I was amazed that it looked so good. I took photos of it before I started my work on the pipe.I took some photos of the bowl and meerschaum cup. The rim top looks very good after the clean up though a bit spotty. There is still some darkening and chips/marks around the inner edge of the bowl that will need to be dealt with. The stem looks good but has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near and on the surface of the button.I removed the stem from the shank and the meerschaum bowl from the gourd and took photos of the parts from various angles. The underside of the meerschaum cup was in good condition. I started the process of cleaning up the meerschaum bowl by sanding the inner edge and bevel with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the darkened edges and nicks with the sandpaper. It looked better after I worked on it.I polished the meerschaum rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris.I rubbed the meerschaum rim cap down with some Before & After Restoration Balm and worked it into the surface with my finger tips. I let it sit for about 15 minutes and then buffed it to a polish. The Balm really highlights the growing patina on the meer bowl. It works to protect and polish the meerschaum.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the gourd calabash 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 used some Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to rejuvenate the cork gasket around the inside edge of the gourd. It would make the fit of the meerschaum snug against the gourd and the rejuvenated cork would make it smooth and easy to insert and remove the bowl.I let the cork absorb the Vaseline for about 5 minutes and then fit the bowl in the gourd. The pipe looked very good at this point in the process.I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the tooth marks on the top and underside of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the marks. I started to polish the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry 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 gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. It looks significantly better!With the bowl and the stem finished I put the beautiful Gourd Calabash with Meerschaum cup and fancy vulcanite stem back together and buffed it the bowl and cup lightly on the wheel using Blue Diamond to give it a shine. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finish on the gourd and meer is a great looking. The fancy vulcanite stem looked very good. The dimensions of the pipe are – Length: 7 ½ inches, Height: 4 inch, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. The weight of this large pipe is 3.81 ounces /108 grams. This Gourd Calabash is another great find. It is much more beautiful in person than these photos can capture. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you would like to add it to your rack let me know by email or message. This is another pipe that has the possibility of transporting the pipe man or woman back to a slower paced time in history where you can enjoy a respite. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.

Refreshing a NOS/Unsmoked Meerschaum Bowled Gourd Calabash


Blog by Steve Laug

I received a box of pipes from Jeff recently that he had cleaned up and sent to me. It is a nice assortment of pipes that should be fun to work on. In the box were two unsmoked, NOS (New Old Stock) Meerschaum bowled Gourd Calabash pipes. The first of these is the pipe below. It is a larger sized Gourd Calabash with a meerschaum cup and a smooth gourd. The shank extension is turned briar and is smooth and reddish brown. The stem is vulcanite and is lightly oxidized. Its measurements are Length: 7 inches, Height: 3 ½ inches, Diameter of the meerschaum cup: 2 ½ inches, Diameter of the chamber: 1 inch, Depth of the chamber: 1 ¼ inches. I took photos of that pipe before my polishing work.  I took photos of the cup to show the cleanness of the bowl. It is a little scratched which I will polish out. The stem is lightly oxidized but unmarked by tooth chatter or marks. It should clean up easily and allow whoever takes it in trust to put their own teeth marks on it.I took the pipe apart and took a series of photos to show its condition and the overall appearance of the pipe. You can see that the cork gasket it dry and lifeless and needs to be rejuvenated.   I polished the meerschaum cup/bowl with micromesh sanding pads – polishing with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping them down with a damp cloth after each pad.     I used some Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to rejuvenate the cork gasket in the bowl. I worked it into the cork with my finger tips to soften the gasket. Once it had absorbed a bit it would be soft and hold the meerschaum bowl in the gourd easily.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the gourd calabash 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 put the meerschaum cup in the gourd calabash bowl and took photos of this portion of the restoration of this pipe. I set aside the bowl and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine.      I really enjoyed putting this pipe together and restoring it because I love the final touches that make it sing. I put the New Old Stock, Unsmoked Gourd Calabash back together and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the gourd and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished meerschaum bowl looks like with the smooth finished gourd and the black vulcanite stem. This richly finished Unsmoked Gourd Calabash is light weight and ready for you to load up a tobacco of preference and enjoy smoking it. Have a look at it in the photos below. As noted above, its measurements are Length: 7 inches, Height: 3 ½ inches, Diameter of the meerschaum cup: 2 ½ inches, Diameter of the chamber: 1 inch, Depth of the chamber: 1 ¼ inches. The weight of the pipe is 65 grams/2.29 oz. This is one that will go on the Meerschaum Pipemakers section of the rebornpipes online store shortly. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.            

New Life for a Rusticated Gourd Calabash with a Meerschaum Cup


Blog by Steve Laug

I have several boxes of pipes that Jeff has sent me to work on over the past months that have some great looking pipes in them. I have chosen to work on four Gourd Calabash pipes that he picked up in several places. The first of these is a rusticated Gourd with a meerschaum cup, a black acrylic shank end and a variegated gold/orange/brown fancy acrylic stem. The rusticated gourd was very dirty with a lot of dust and grime ground into the finish. The meerschaum cup had a thick cake and an overflow of lava on the rim top. The pipe had obviously been heavily smoked which reflected on it being a great smoking pipe. The acrylic stem had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. It is a an interesting pipe with a lot of potential under the grime and debris of the years. The  Jeff took some photos of the Gourd Calabash with a Meerschaum Bowl and acrylic stem before he worked his magic in cleaning up the pipe. Jeff took photos of the bowl, rim top to show the thickness of the cake in the bowl and the thick lava on the rim top. The rim top and inner edge are thickly covered with lava. The meerschaum has some patina developing. He took photos of the top and underside of the acrylic stem showing the tooth marks and chatter on both sides and the overall look of the stem and shank extension on the gourd.

Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the gourd bowl the developing patina on the meerschaum cup. This Rusticated Gourd Calabash is an interesting looking pipe. The meerschaum bowl has developed a patina and the acrylic amber coloured stem looks very good with it.

Jeff reamed carefully reamed the meerschaum bowl and the gourd base with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He carefully scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the exterior of the meerschaum cup and rim top and lava on the rim top. He scrubbed out the internals of the bowl and the gourd with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He cleaned out the shank extension, shank and the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. The finish looks much better and has a deep richness in the colour that highlights the patina in the meerschaum and the contrast of the rusticated gourd.  He cleaned the internals of the acrylic stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He scrubbed the externals with Soft Scrub to remove the grime on the acrylic. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver I was amazed that it looked so good. I took photos of it before I started my work on the pipe. I took some photos of the bowl and meerschaum cup. The rim top looks very good after the clean up though it is spotty. There is still some darkening around the inner edge of the bowl that will need to be dealt with. The stem looks good but has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the parts. I removed the meerschaum bowl from the gourd and took photos of it from various angles. The underside was in good condition other than a chip out of one side of the pointed bowl bottom. I started the process of cleaning up the meerschaum bowl by sanding the inner edge and the rim top with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the darkened edges and top with the sandpaper. It looked better after I worked on it.I worked over the chipped bottom of the bowl with the some 180 grit sandpaper to smooth out the chipped area and round the edges. I polished the meerschaum rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the gourd calabash 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 used some Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to rejuvenate the cork gasket around the inside edge of the gourd. It would make the fit of the meerschaum snug against the gourd and the rejuvenated cork would make it smooth and easy to insert and remove the bowl. I let the cork absorb the Vaseline for about 5 minutes and then fit the bowl in the gourd. The pipe looked very good at this point in the process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the tooth marks on the top and underside of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the marks. I started to polish the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry 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 gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. It looks significantly better! With the bowl and the stem finished I put the beautiful Gourd Calabash with Meerschaum cup and an amber acrylic stem back together and buffed it the bowl and cup lightly on the wheel using Blue Diamond to give it a shine. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finish on the gourd and meer is a great looking. The fancy acrylic stem looked very good. The dimensions of the pipe are – Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 3 ½ inch, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of this large pipe is 3.17 ounces /90 grams. This Gourd Calabash is another great find from this collection. It is much more beautiful in person than these photos can capture. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you would like to add it to your rack let me know by email or message. This is another pipe that has the possibility of transporting the pipe man or woman back to a slower paced time in history where you can enjoy a respite. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.

Cleaning up another Carved Bowl Gourd Calabash with Porcelain Cup


Blog by Steve Laug

With all of the work I have been doing the last couple of days on gourd calabash pipes I decided to look through some my pipes awaiting restoration and found three more calabashes. Last night I tried to remove the stem from the top pipe with the yellow stem and the tenon broke off in my hand. That left me with the bottom pipe in the photo below. It had a carved finish on the gourd surface and a unique Porcelain cup instead of meerschaum. It was a tall narrow pipe. Jeff had done the clean up work on the interior of the gourd and the porcelain cup. There was still some darkening on the rim top but nothing serious. He had soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and then scrubbed it with Soft Scrub. I have had it in boxes here for at least a year if not longer The vulcanite stem is lightly oxidized and the porcelain is dull and needing to be polished but otherwise they are in excellent condition.The calabash on the bottom of the above photo is a tall, narrow, drawn out gourd. The gourd has a carved finish that does not come through well in the above photo. It is well done and very tactile. Its measurements are Length: 9 inches, Height: 4 ½ inches, Diameter of the porcelain cup: 2 ½ inches, Diameter of the chamber: 1 inch, Depth of the chamber: 1 inch. I took photos of that pipe before my polishing work. I took photos of the cup to show the cleanness of the bowl. It is a little scratched which I will polish out. The stem is lightly oxidized and has light tooth chatter and marks. It should clean up easily.      I took the pipe apart and took a series of photos to show its condition and the overall appearance of the pipe. The cork gasket it dry and lifeless and needs to be rejuvenated. The porcelain bowl is quite different from the normal meerschaum bowl that is generally used on these calabash pipes.     I used some Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to rejuvenate the cork gasket in the bowl. I worked it into the cork with my finger tips to soften the gasket. Once it had absorbed a bit it would be soft and hold the porcelain bowl in the gourd easily.I polished the porcelain cup/bowl with micromesh sanding pads – polishing with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping them down with a damp cloth after each pad.  Because the gourd had been carved and the surface opened up the calabash was quite dry. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish with my finger tips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product cleans, protects and enlivens the surface of the material that it is rubbed into and in this case it really enhanced the rustication on the gourd.   I put the porcelain cup in the gourd calabash bowl and took photos of the restoration of this pipe to this point in the process.      I sanded out the tooth marks in the vulcanite with 220 grit sandpaper and blended them into the surface of the surrounding stem. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after the sanding.    I set aside the bowl and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads –sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil.     I really enjoyed refurbishing this pipe because I love the final touches that make it sing. I put the Gourd Calabash back together and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the gourd and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished porcelain bowl looks like with the smooth finished gourd and the black vulcanite stem. This richly finished Gourd Calabash is light weight and ready for you to load up a tobacco of preference and enjoy smoking it. The porcelain bowl is clean and ready load up with your favourite tobacco. Have a look at it in the photos below. As noted above, Its measurements are Length: 8 inches, Height: 3 ½ inches, Diameter of the meerschaum cup: 2 ¼ inches, Diameter of the chamber: ¾ of an inch, Depth of the chamber: 1 ¼ inches. The weight of the pipe is 71grams/2.50oz. This is one will be going on the rebornpipes store in  CERAMIC & MEERSCHAUM PIPES – CALABASHES, SMOOTH & FIGURALS section. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.           

Cleaning Up an Older Meerschaum Bowled Gourd Calabash


Blog by Steve Laug

With all of the work I have been doing the last couple of days on gourd calabash pipes I decided to look through some my pipes awaiting restoration and found three more calabashes. I received an email from a fellow wanting one that would cost a little less than the unsmoked ones that have all sold. I sent him the photo below and he chose the second pipe the one in the middle toward the right of the photo. Jeff had done the clean up work on the interior of the gourd and the meerschaum cup. There was still some darkening on the rim top but nothing serious. He had soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and then scrubbed it with Soft Scrub. I have had it in boxes here for at least a year if not longer The vulcanite stem is lightly oxidized and the meerschaum is dull and needing to be polished but otherwise they are in excellent condition. The calabash is a well formed gourd with a nicely crowned meerschaum cup. Its measurements are Length: 7 inches, Height: 4 inches, Diameter of the meerschaum cup: 3 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 1 inch, Depth of the chamber: 1 ½ inches. I took photos of the cup to show the cleanness of the bowl. It is a little scratched which I will polish out. The stem is lightly oxidized but surprisingly unmarked by tooth chatter or marks. It should clean up easily.     I took the pipe apart and took a series of photos to show its condition and the overall appearance of the pipe. The cork gasket it dry and lifeless and needs to be rejuvenated. I used some Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to rejuvenate the cork gasket in the bowl. I worked it into the cork with my finger tips to soften the gasket. Once it had absorbed a bit it would be soft and hold the meerschaum bowl in the gourd easily.I polished the meerschaum cup/bowl with micromesh sanding pads – polishing with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping them down with a damp cloth after each pad.   I put the meerschaum cup in the gourd calabash bowl and took photos of the restoration of this pipe to this point in the process.  I set aside the bowl and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads –sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil.     I really enjoyed refurbishing this pipe because I love the final touches that make it sing. I put the Gourd Calabash back together and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the gourd and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished meerschaum bowl looks like with the smooth finished gourd and the black vulcanite stem. This richly finished Gourd Calabash is light weight and ready for you to load up a tobacco of preference and enjoy smoking it. The bowl has a light patina from just sitting unsmoked. It should colour very well as you smoke it. Have a look at it in the photos below. As noted above, its measurements are Length: 7 inches, Height: 4 inches, Diameter of the meerschaum cup: 3 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 1 inch, Depth of the chamber: 1 ½ inches. The weight of the pipe is 109grams/3.84oz. This is one is already sold and will soon go to pipeman who purchased it. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.   

Easy Cleanup of the third NOS Unsmoked Gourd Calabash with a rusticated bowl


Blog by Steve Laug

Yesterday I received a box of pipes that Jeff had cleaned up and sent to me. It is a nice assortment of pipes that should be fun to work on. In the box were three unsmoked, NOS Meerschaum bowled Gourd Calabash pipes. I lined them up and took a photo of them that I have included below. The vulcanite stems are lightly oxidized and the meerschaum is dull and needing to be polished but otherwise they are in perfect condition. The top two are smooth calabashes that I have cleaned up and posted. The bottom one is etched/rusticated. I will finish my polishing work on the last of them below.The calabash on the bottom left side of the above photo is a well formed gourd. The gourd has a nice rustication that does not come through to well in the above photo. It is well done and very tactile. Its measurements are Length: 8 inches, Height: 3 ½ inches, Diameter of the meerschaum cup: 2 ¼ inches, Diameter of the chamber: ¾ of an inch, Depth of the chamber: 1 ¼ inches. I took photos of that pipe before my polishing work.    I took photos of the cup to show the cleanness of the bowl. It is a little scratched which I will polish out. The stem is lightly oxidized but unmarked by tooth chatter or marks. It should clean up easily and allow whoever takes it in trust to put their own teeth marks on it.    I took the pipe apart and took a series of photos to show its condition and the overall appearance of the pipe. The cork gasket it dry and lifeless and needs to be rejuvenated.    I used some Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to rejuvenate the cork gasket in the bowl. I worked it into the cork with my finger tips to soften the gasket. Once it had absorbed a bit it would be soft and hold the meerschaum bowl in the gourd easily.I polished the meerschaum cup/bowl with micromesh sanding pads – polishing with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping them down with a damp cloth after each pad.    Because the gourd had been rusticated the calabash was quite dry. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish with my finger tips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product cleans, protects and enlivens the surface of the material that it is rubbed into and in this case it really enhanced the rustication on the gourd.  I put the meerschaum cup in the gourd calabash bowl and took photos of the restoration of this pipe to this point in the process.      I set aside the bowl and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads –sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil.    I really enjoyed refurbishing this pipe because I love the final touches that make it sing. I put the Gourd Calabash back together and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the gourd and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished meerschaum bowl looks like with the smooth finished gourd and the black vulcanite stem. This richly finished Gourd Calabash is light weight and ready for you to load up a tobacco of preference and enjoy smoking it. The bowl has a light patina from just sitting unsmoked. It should colour very well as you smoke it. Have a look at it in the photos below. As noted above, Its measurements are Length: 8 inches, Height: 3 ½ inches, Diameter of the meerschaum cup: 2 ¼ inches, Diameter of the chamber: ¾ of an inch, Depth of the chamber: 1 ¼ inches. The weight of the pipe is 80grams/2.82oz. This is one is already sold and will soon go to pipeman who purchased it. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.        

Easy Cleanup of a Nice Midsized Bowled Gourd Calabash


Blog by Steve Laug

Yesterday I received a box of pipes that Jeff had cleaned up and sent to me. It is a nice assortment of pipes that should be fun to work on. In the box were three unsmoked, NOS Meerschaum bowled Gourd Calabash pipes. I lined them up and took a photo of them that I have included below. The vulcanite stems are lightly oxidized and the meerschaum is dull and needing to be polished but otherwise they are in perfect condition. The top two are smooth calabashes and the bottom one is etched/rusticated. I will start my polishing work and go through them in the order below.The calabash in the middle, toward the right side of the above photo is a well formed gourd. Its measurements are Length: 7 inches, Height: 3 ¼ inches, Diameter of the meerschaum cup: 2 ½ inches, Diameter of the chamber: 1 inch, Depth of the chamber: 1 inch. I took photos of that pipe before my polishing work.    I took photos of the cup to show the cleanness of the bowl. It is a little scratched which I will polish out. The stem is lightly oxidized but unmarked by tooth chatter or marks. It should clean up easily and allow whoever takes it in trust to put their own teeth marks on it.  I took the pipe apart and took a series of photos to show its condition and the overall appearance of the pipe. The cork gasket it dry and lifeless and needs to be rejuvenated. I used some Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to rejuvenate the cork gasket in the bowl. I worked it into the cork with my finger tips to soften the gasket. Once it had absorbed a bit it would be soft and hold the meerschaum bowl in the gourd easily.  I polished the meerschaum cup/bowl with micromesh sanding pads – polishing with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping them down with a damp cloth after each pad.  I put the meerschaum cup in the gourd calabash bowl and took photos of this portion of the restoration of this pipe.       I set aside the bowl and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads –sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil.     I really enjoyed refurbishing this pipe because I love the final touches that make it sing. I put the Gourd Calabash back together and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the gourd and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished meerschaum bowl looks like with the smooth finished gourd and the black vulcanite stem. This richly finished Gourd Calabash is light weight and ready for you to load up a tobacco of preference and enjoy smoking it. The bowl has a light patina from just sitting unsmoked. It should colour very well as you smoke it. Have a look at it in the photos below. As noted above, its measurements are Length: 7 inches, Height: 3 ¼ inches, Diameter of the meerschaum cup: 2 ½ inches, Diameter of the chamber: 1 inch, Depth of the chamber: 1 inch.  The weight of the pipe is 80grams/2.82oz. This is one that will go on the Meerschaum Pipemakers section of the rebornpipes online store shortly. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.

Easy Cleanup of a Nice Large Bowled Gourd Calabash


Blog by Steve Laug

Yesterday I received a box of pipes that Jeff had cleaned up and sent to me. It is a nice assortment of pipes that should be fun to work on. In the box were three unsmoked, NOS Meerschaum bowled Gourd Calabash pipes. I lined them up and took a photo of them that I have included below. The vulcanite stems are lightly oxidized and the meerschaum is dull and needing to be polished but otherwise they are in perfect condition. The top two are smooth calabashes and the bottom one is etched/rusticated. I will start my polishing work and go through them in the order below.The calabash at the top of the above photo is the largest of the three pipes. Its measurements are Length: 7 inches, Height: 4 ½ inches, Diameter of the meerschaum cup: 3 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 1 inch, Depth of the chamber: 1 ¼ inches. I took photos of that pipe before my polishing work. I took photos of the cup to show the cleanness of the bowl. It is a little scratched which I will polish out. The stem is lightly oxidized but unmarked by tooth chatter or marks. It should clean up easily and allow whoever takes it in trust to put their own teeth marks on it.     I took the pipe apart and took a series of photos to show its condition and the overall appearance of the pipe. You can see that the cork gasket it dry and lifeless and needs to be rejuvenated. I used some Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to rejuvenate the cork gasket in the bowl. I worked it into the cork with my finger tips to soften the gasket. Once it had absorbed a bit it would be soft and hold the meerschaum bowl in the gourd easily.I polished the meerschaum cup/bowl with micromesh sanding pads – polishing with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping them down with a damp cloth after each pad.    I put the meerschaum cup in the gourd calabash bowl and took photos of this portion of the restoration of this pipe. I set aside the bowl and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine.     I really enjoyed putting this pipe together and restoring it because I love the final touches that make it sing. I put the Gourd Calabash back together and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the gourd and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished meerschaum bowl looks like with the smooth finished gourd and the black vulcanite stem. This richly finished Gourd Calabash is light weight and ready for you to load up a tobacco of preference and enjoy smoking it. Have a look at it in the photos below. As noted above, its measurements are Length: 7 inches, Height: 4 ½ inches, Diameter of the meerschaum cup: 3 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 1 inch, Depth of the chamber: 1 ¼ inches. The weight of the pipe is 146grams/5.15oz. This is one that will go on the Meerschaum Pipemakers section of the rebornpipes online store shortly. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.            

Restemming a Small Porcelain Bowled Gourd Calabash


Blog by Steve Laug

In my box of bowls, collected over the years I had this small gourd calabash pipe with a ceramic cup insert. Somewhere along its journey someone had broken the tenon off in the shank. I was looking at it this morning and was drawn to it. There was something about the little calabash that was attractive. The golden shank extension and the white porcelain cup looked good. I imagined what it would look like with a black stem and figure it would be a good one to fiddle with while I waited for calls that I was expecting. To start off the work I would need to remove the broken tenon in the shank. There are multiple ways to do that but first I tried to pull it with a screw twisted into the airway but it would not budge. I removed the porcelain bowl from the gourd and set it aside to work on later. I did not drop it by accident. I used my cordless drill and a bit the same size as the mortise and slowly drill the broken tenon out of the mortise. It did not take long before it dropped out of the mortise in pieces as shown in the photos below. I went through my can of stems and found one that I thought looked good with golden coloured shank extension and gourd. It is a fancy stem that is paneled once passed the saddle.The tenon was a little large for the mortise so I used a Dremel and sanding drum to start the process of taking down. I noticed that the tenon was not centered on the stem so I used a rasp to bring it back to center and remove the excess vulcanite. I sanded it smooth with a folded piece of 220 sandpaper and fit it on the shank. I took photos of the look of the stem at this point. I would need to give it a slight bend before it was finished, but I liked the look of it.I set the gourd and stem aside for awhile and turned to work on the porcelain bowl. It was a dirty mess with lava on the rim top and a thick cake in the bowl. I removed the lava on the rim top by dry sanding it with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad. I was able to remove all of the build up and get it back to the porcelain finish underneath.I scraped out the cake in the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and took it back to bare walls. The bowl and airway at the bottom were in excellent condition. I scrubbed the internal of the bowl and the exterior of the cup and rim top with a tooth brush and some dish soap to remove the grime that had build up and leave the bowl clean and fresh smelling.I cleaned up the inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of worn 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the nicks in the edge. When I finished it looked better.I polished the porcelain cup top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the cup top down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust and debris. The cup really took on a shine.The gourd was quite clean inside. I wiped it out with a paper towel to remove the debris. I used some Vaseline petroleum jelly renew the cork gasket around the inside of the gourd neck. I worked it in with my fingertips and let it sit until the dry cork had absorbed the jelly and was more elastic.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the gourd with my finger tips to enliven, clean and protect the surface. I let it sit on the gourd for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. The gourd really came alive with the product. I put the porcelain cup back on the gourd bowl and took pictures of the pipe at this point in the restoration and restemming. I set the gourd and cup aside and turned my attention to the stem. I put a slight bend in the stem using my heat gun. The photo below shows the bend. The angle of the bend makes the pipe level in the mouth.I polished the vulcanite 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 Delicate Looking Small Porcelain Bowled Gourd Calabash is a great looking older pipe. I have no idea of the age of the pipe but I have had it in my box of bowl for probably15-18 years and I have no memory of where I picked it up or when. It is a great looking pipe that came out looking even better with the newly fit stem. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition. The white of the porcelain cup works well with the orange/brown of the gourd, the golden shank extension and the polished black vulcanite fancy stem adds to the mix. With the grime gone from the finish and the bowl it was a beauty and is eye-catching. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel being careful to not drop or damage the bowl or gourd. I gave the gourd and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Porcelain Bowled Gourd Calabash is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that like the other pipes I am working that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 3 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 42grams/1.48oz. It will soon be added to the Ceramic and Meerschaum Pipes section on the rebornpipes store. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.

Putting together a Great Looking Gourd Calabash from Parts


Blog by Steve Laug

For years now I have kept a box of parts and bowls for a variety of pipes. It has briar bowls that I want to one day restem and shank extensions etc. Periodically Jeff will send me bits and bobs in the boxes of pipes that he sends me. I don’t remember where I picked up the gourd calabash with a meerschaum cup below. It was large and in excellent condition. It was missing the acrylic  shank extension that was glued into the shank of the calabash and it was missing a stem. In the latest box that Jeff sent me he included a shank extension and a stem that I thought would work perfectly to complete this calabash. I put the extension in the shank and took pictures of the parts of the pipe. It worked very well together and once it was all glued and fitted it would look great. I glued the shank extension in the end of the calabash and set it aside to cure. Once the glue was set the shank extension was ready for the new stem.I used some Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to rejuvenate the cork gasket in the bowl. I worked it into the cork with my finger tips to soften the gasket. Once it had absorbed a bit it would be soft and hold the meerschaum bowl in the gourd easily.I put the meerschaum bowl in the gourd and put the stem in the shank extension and took photos of the newly constructed calabash.  I took a photo of the meerschaum cup from the top to show the general condition. It was in decent condition with some scratching and staining around the top surface. The inside of the bowl was in excellent condition. The edges of the bowl and chamber  were in excellent condition. The stem was virtually unused with no tooth marks or chatter on either side.  I took a photo of the bowl and stem from the side to give a sense of proportion. It is a great looking pipe.I started my work on the bowl by polishing the meerschaum bowl with micromesh sanding pads – polishing with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping them down with a damp cloth after each pad. I waxed the meerschaum bowl with Clapham’s Beeswax Polish. I rubbed it into the meerschaum with my finger tips and once it had dried I buffed it out with a soft cotton cloth.    I polished the gourd down with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. The gourd had taken on a great shine. I rubbed the gourd down with Before  and After Restoration Balm to clean and rejuvenate the  gourd and give the calabash and briar a fresh look. I put the meerschaum cup in the gourd calabash bowl and took photos of this portion of the restoration of this pipe. I set aside the bowl and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine.   I really enjoyed putting this pipe together and restoring it because I love the final touches that make it sing. I put the Gourd Calabash back together and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the gourd and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished meerschaum bowl looks like with the smooth finished gourd and the black vulcanite stem. This richly finished Gourd Calabash is light weight and ready for you to load up a tobacco of preference and enjoy smoking it. Have a look at it in the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 7 inches, Height: 4 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 3 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. The weight of the pipe is 142grams/5.04oz. This is one that will go on the Meerschaum Pipemakers section of the rebornpipes online store shortly. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.