Tag Archives: House of Robertson Pipe Shop Boise Idaho

Restoring a Tired House of Robertson Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

Not too long ago I sold one of the House of Robertson pipes to a fellow named John who collects them and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He loved the pipe that I sent him and wrote and asked if I would be willing to clean up and restore his first House of Robertson (HOR) pipe that had been given to him 30+ years ago by his brother. He said it was a billiard with a mixed finish – both rusticated and smooth. He said he had smoked it heavily as it was a favourite of his and it needed some attention. We made our arrangements and he shipped the pipe to me here in Vancouver. I was looking forward to working on it as I have enjoyed the other House of Robertson pipes that I have restored over the past months.

While I waited for its arrival, between working on other pipes I read over the last restoration blog I had written on an HOR pipe. I thought it might be helpful to add the information I had previously found for those of you who have not read those blogs. “House of Robertson” was in business for many years, but alas, closed their doors in 1999. They were located in Boise, Idaho. They are noted for making rather large and interesting pipes. Thayne Robertson… started the shop about 1947 and his son Jon started working there in 1970 when he finished college, along with Thayne’s daughter. Thayne and his son started making the big pipes at that time, and made them together until 1987 when Thayne passed away. Jon kept the store and his sister moved on to other things. The House of Robertson appears to have closed around 1999. https://pipedia.org/wiki/Robertson

I also received an email from Ed Mitchell from the Boise, Idaho area offering to share some of the history of the shop if I was interested. He was a frequent customer and loves the HOR Pipes. I of course was excited to learn more about the brand so I was looking forward to what he would write. It came in today’s email and I thought you might enjoy Ed’s reminiscences. Thanks Ed for sending me this information.

Hi, Steve

…I do not have any memorabilia, other than a box of two, from the House of Robertson shop. When Jon Robertson closed the store, it caught me by surprise. I do have several of Robertson pipes including a couple that need small repairs. Five or six I bought unsmoked from the widow of one of his Boise customers. The husband apparently was one of Thayne’s many friends and had bought pipes in the course of standing around visiting in his shop. One is a beautiful blond horn that I have saved unsmoked.

Thayne was a bear of a man in his 60s when I met him in the mid-1960s, a great raconteur with strong opinions on politics, religion, people and good pipes. For instance, he hated cigarette smoking; people who popped in to ask for cigarettes were shown the door with instructions on how to find the only other tobacco store in downtown Boise, an institution (still in business) that sold all types of tobacco, men’s magazines and pipes Thayne considered unworthy of any discerning smoker.

Another consequence of Thayne’s hatred of cigarettes was that he created a line of pipes sized and decorated (in some examples with inset bits of bling) for female smokers. He did make pipes in conventional shapes and sizes but preferred big freestyles. I can say I do not remember his ever making two pipes exactly alike. A large part of his business involved creating custom pipes on order. He mailed pipes to customers around the country and internationally. I am not sure what portion of his output was sold outside Boise but I had the impression that it was considerable.

The pipes I remember Thayne smoking in the shop were a couple of huge Oom Pauls about a foot long. The big man liked big pipes, usually loaded with strong English-style or oriental blends. He hooked me on my taste for Latakia tobaccos.

The shop was in one of the long, narrow brick storefronts of the old city core. An old-fashioned glass display case for pipes and accessories dominated the front along with shelves and stacks of at least 50 choices of tobaccos. A narrow flight of stairs led to inventory storage above the dusty workshop located in back behind a curtain.

For a one man shop, Thayne’s output was prodigious especially considering that the individual pipes were unique. His daughter Rosie and son Jon did assist in the shop’s latter years. Both were skilled makers but tended to create more conventionally carved and sized pipes. Most of the pipes made there, even after Thayne died and Jon was doing the work, came from a hoard of old Greek briar Thayne found in Holland around 1970. Some of the bold grain pipes from the latter years were as spectacular as smoking instruments can be. One feature I have never seen is a fill in a Robertson pipe. Thayne liked rusticating briar whenever the grain was flawed or just uninteresting.

Steve, I hope this gives you some brief insight into the House of Robertson. If you have questions to stimulate my ancient memory, I will be glad to try to answer. — Ed Mitchell

When the pipe arrived I took it out of the box to have a look at it and took some photos of it to show its condition before I began. It had a softee bit on the stem that had slid up about ¼ inch up the stem from the button. The finish was dirty and grimy. The rim top was damaged and the bowl was slightly out of round. There was a thick cake in the bowl and a heavy lava overflow on the top of the rim. There was a burn mark that was on the top of the rim at the front and extended down the bowl about a ½ inch. There was a nickel band on the shank that was a typical repair band that is available through repair suppliers. When I examined around the band on the shank end I could not see any cracks in the shank. The band had been cut off slightly so as not to cover the etched House of Robertson name on the left side of the shank. The stem was an obvious replacement that was slightly larger in diameter than the shank. The pipe definitely needed attention. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the damage to the front of the bowl and the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is thickly caked and the rim has an overflow of lava on the rim top.  You can see how the bowl is thicker on one side than the other. The front of the bowl looks damaged as the lava on that portion is different in texture than the hard stuff on the rest of the rim top. The stem was in decent condition – some calcification on the top and underside where the rubber softee bit had been. There were some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides. The stem was lightly oxidized.I did a quick assessment of the pipe and wrote John a quick email about what I saw as I looked it over. I sent my questions to him to see if he could shed any light on what I was seeing. I am including both my questions and his response as it helps clarify what I saw when I examined the pipe first hand.

  1. Is the band something that you added? It appears to be cosmetic but it could be a repair band. They are available through online pipe parts guys and are made out of nickel. I think it is a later addition as it covers the N in Robertson. Do you know if the shank was ever cracked?? I will leave it there as it is a touch of bling.
  2. Is the stem a replacement stem? It is wider is in diameter than the shank and appears to be a replacement. The shank was drilled for a filter stem and this one is not the original as far as I can tell. It is well made and will clean up nicely. I took the softee bit off and will clean it up. I will send the softee back with the pipe.
  3. What is the hard substance in the bottom of the bowl? It appears that someone added some fill to the bottom of the bowl (unevenly mind you) to lift the bowl bottom to the level of the entry of the airway into the bowl. Is this something you added or was it there previously? I can leave it be as it is as hard as concrete. I can also smooth it out a bit with a coat of JB Weld (which is what I think is in the bottom of the bowl already).

John replied to my queries and I am including the pertinent parts of his answers:

To my recollection, the pipe is the same un-worked-on one my little brother gave me 38 or so years ago, bought directly from Mr. Robertson at his shop — I’m assuming it was the father and not the son, but I can’t remember when the elder died.

I may have had it worked on — possibly a new stem — at Jeannie’s Smoke Shop (now sold to newcomers since my friend Jeannie died; the shop still retains the name) in Salt Lake City. I do remember taking it, or possibly another pipe, to the craftsman she employed. If that was the pipe I took in, I don’t think he would have filled the bottom of the bowl, but he may have replaced the stem. I smoked that pipe a lot years ago and may have bit the mouth piece off. If you don’t think the current stem is one that Robertson used and feel strongly that it should be changed out with new, proper stem, do it. But you indicate that the stem is fine and you can touch it up and smooth it out, that’s fine, too. Your decision. And do what you suggested with smoothing the bottom of the bowl and adding the JB Weld coat. I have no idea why that would have been filled in.

I don’t recall adding a band. I don’t recall if the shank was cracked years ago and that I may have asked the guy at Jeannie’s to fix that. Please do whatever you need to do with that part. A few weeks ago, I thought I detected a slight crack, or maybe just a dark line along the shank. You don’t seem to think that a new band is necessary. The last Robinson you sold me has a silver band; my other two do not have bands. But I am reasonably sure the nickel band is what Robertson had on it when he sold it to my younger brother ($50 at the time! — a lot of money for a 19-year-old’s gift to his older brother). Possibly the stem got damaged when Robertson was making the pipe, and that’s the way he fixed it…

I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer – starting with the smallest cutting head and working up to the third one. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. Surprisingly there was a rock hard substance at the bottom of the bowl – it looked like JB Weld or something like that. It was rock hard and seemed to have been used to bring the bottom of the bowl up to the bottom of the airway’s entrance to the bowl.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. I worked over the rim top with a brass bristle wire brush to break up the lava flow there. I rinsed the bowl with running water and scrubbed it under the water while it was rinsing. The bowl began to look pretty good at this point. The contrast between the smooth band around the bowl and shank with the rustication above and below the band looked really good. The rim top was so damaged with the burn mark and the nicks around the outer edge that I decided to top the bowl lightly to remove as much of the damage as I could without noticeably changing the profile of the pipe. I worked on the inner edge of the rim and the light bevel with 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inner edge. I used it to also lightly reshape the outer edge of the bowl. You can see from the photos how out of round the bowl edges are outside and inside. I worked on the bevel to work on it and you can see the result in the third photo.I did not want to add stain to the oil finished bowl so I just rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the rustication on the briar. The rustication was well done and looked almost like a sandblast. I also rubbed it into the smooth portions on the band around the bowl, the rim top and the shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers to work it into the rustication. I wiped it off with a soft cloth. I buffed the bowl with a horsehair shoe brush to polish it. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I decided to polish the topped rim top once more using micromesh sanding pads as the balm revealed more scratches in the finish. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cloth. I cleaned out the internals of the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. (I forgot to take photos of the stem after I cleaned it with alcohol and pipe cleaners).I mixed up a small batch of JB Weld to level the previous repair to the bottom of the bowl. I applied it to the uneven area with the end of a small sanding stick. I pressed it into the indentation and smoothed it out with the tip of my finger.I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I sanded out the tooth chatter, tooth marks and oxidation on the button end. I sanded the rest of the stem to remove the oxidation. The diameter of the stem was bigger than that of the shank so I sanded that at the same time to reduce it to the same size as the shank and reshape it at the junction. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads to remove the scratching. I worked on it until the stem surface was smooth and the marks were less visible. I continued to polish it with 3200-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down a final time with Obsidian Oil. I put the stem back on the bowl and worked the pipe over on the buffing wheel using Blue Diamond to lightly polish both the bowl and the stem. I buffed the bowl and stem to raise the gloss on the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I don’t think House of Robertson stained the pipes as they have the rich patina of an oil finish. If it had a stain coat it was a tan stain that went well with the rich black of the vulcanite stem. The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Outside Diameter: 1 3/8 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 7/8 inches. This is an interesting piece of briar that shows a mixture of grain on the smooth portions. I really like HOR pipe work the rustication and smooth parts together in unique ways. Once the repair in the bowl cures I will mail it back to John. I know he is looking forward to enjoying it again. Thanks for walking with me through the restoration.

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Restoring a Smooth House of Robertson Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

I am working on the last of the House of Robertson pipes that Jeff picked up on his weekly pipe hunts. He found several others that are quite unique in an antique mall near where he lives. There were two large long shanked pipes – one round shanked and one square shanked. The third of the batch that he found is a nice little classic apple shape. It looks tiny with the size of the other two. The two larger pipes are a combination of smooth and rusticated. They both have smooth panels on the sides or front of the pipes. Both of the large ones are banded with a sterling silver band. It seems to me that the bands on both the square shank and the round shank are decorative rather than a repair for a cracked shank. I have restored the larger rusticated pipes already and they have traveled to two House of Robertson collectors – on in Idaho and one in Utah. I am finally getting to the third – the small apple. Like the other two, in fact like all of them the name House of Robertson roughly hand-etched on the side of the shank with an engraving tool. I am including the information that I found when I received my first of the House of Robertson Pipes. I found a link on Pipedia that gave me the only information I could find on the brand. I include that in total as it is interesting to read.

“House of Robertson” was in business for many years, but alas, closed their doors in 1999. They were located in Boise, Idaho. They are noted for making rather large and interesting pipes. Thayne Robertson was a Master Mason, AF & AM, and started the shop about 1947 and his son Jon started working there in 1970 when he finished college, along with Thayne’s daughter. Thayne and his son started making the big pipes at that time, and made them together until 1987 when Thayne passed away. Jon kept the store and his sister moved on to other things. The House of Robertson appears to have closed around 1999. https://pipedia.org/wiki/Robertson

While this pipe looks tiny in the photos above it is really an average sized pipe. The curve of the apple shaped bowl leaves the bottom almost flat and the pipe sits nicely on the desk top like a sitter. It is completely different from the two larger pipes in that it is completely smooth with no rustication. The bowl has some interesting grain on it – almost circles on each side and some flame grain. The bowl is caked with some lava overflow on the rim top. The outer and inner edges of the rim look to be in good condition. It is engraved with the House of Robertson signature on the left side of the shank and on the right side it is stamped Algerian Briar. The pipe was dirty but underneath all of the grime it appears to be in excellent condition. It is definitely an interesting pipe and should clean up very well. The fit of the stem to the shank was good. The stem was lightly oxidized and had some small tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started the cleanup. The next two close-up photos show the finish on the top of the bowl and the underside of the bowl. The first photo shows the cake in the bowl and the lava overflowing onto the rim top. The grain on the top of the bowl and the inner and outer edge of the rim looks really good. The finish on the rim top appeared to be in great condition under the lava coat. The second photo shows the front and underside of the pipe. The finish is decent condition under the grime.The next photo shows the etched name on the left side of shank on the shank. It reads House of Robertson. On the right side it is stamped Algerian Briar.The tapered stem was lightly stamped France on the underside near the stem/shank union. It was oxidized and had tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem near the button. The edge of the button had some dents in it as well. Jeff did a great job cleaning the pipe on the inside and outside. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the remnants with the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the dust in the rustication on the bowl and shank as well as the smooth portions. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the dust and debris were removed the finish was dull but appeared to be in excellent condition. He soaked the stem in Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it under warm water to remove the deoxidizer gel solution. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. I took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show how well it had cleaned up. There is some rim darkening but you can see the interesting grain on the top of the bowl. The stem looks lightly oxidized and the tooth marks and chatter are very light.I worked on the darkening of the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I smoothed out the inner edge as can be seen in the second photo.I polished the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim top off with a damp cotton pad after each sanding pad. The surface began to take on a nice shine. I worked Before & After Restoration Balm deep into the smooth finish to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers and worked it into the finish then set it aside to dry for a little while. I wiped it off with a soft cloth. I buffed the bowl with a cotton cloth to polish it. It really began to have a deep shine in the briar. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. The grain on the bowl stands out with interesting lines moving across the sides of the bowl and the shank. I looked over the stem a bit before working on it. There was an odd inner tube contraption that stuck out from a deeply funneled tenon. The tube was crooked and slightly bend. I examined it and found that it had a crack in the bottom of the aluminum so a slight movement and it fell off in my hand. I cleaned out the funneled area with cotton swabs and alcohol and ran pipe cleaners and alcohol through the stem quite easily now that the end of the tube was gone.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation on both sides of the tapered stem and remove the tooth marks and chatter on the top and bottom sides at the button.  I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I brought it back to the table and sanded it with the final three 6000-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Polish – using both the Fine and Extra Fine Polishes. I gave it a rubdown with Obsidian Oil one last time and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and worked the pipe over on the buffing wheel using Blue Diamond to lightly polish the stem. I buffed the bowl and stem to raise the gloss on the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The medium brown stains on the smooth apple shaped bowl works well with the rich black of the vulcanite stem. The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 5 1/4 inches, Height: 1 5/8 inches, Outside Diameter: 1 1/4 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 3/4 inches. This is an interesting piece of briar, cross grain and birdseye on the bowl and shank. The patterns on the sides are almost circular. I really like how the briar and the vulcanite work well together. This one will soon be on the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in adding a House of Robertson to your collection this may well be the one for you. Thanks for walking with me through the restoration process.

Restoring a Smooth Finished House of Robertson Straight Grain Rhodesian


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff found an assortment of House of Robertson pipes at an auction in Wilder, Idaho which is an area in the greater Boise, Idaho area. He picked them up for us to restore. I had forgotten that I had mentioned the brand in passing in a blog on Leonard’s Pipe Shop in Portland, Oregon. Here is the link to that blog where I mention it as one of the brands that Leonard’s sold: https://rebornpipes.com/2013/06/06/leonards-pipe-shop-portland-oregon/. It is a fascinating brand that really I had never had the privilege of seeing first hand. He cleaned them all up and on a recent trip to Idaho, I picked them up and brought them back to Canada. I took pictures of the lot of them to show the wide variety of pipes that they made in terms of both size and style. The craftsmanship is very good with the fit of the stem and shank well done and the finish both rusticated and smooth exemplary. Jeff picked up three more of the brand in Pocatello, Idaho so I will be working on more of these pipes in the future. They all have the name House of Robertson roughly hand etched on the side or underside of the shank with an engraving tool. I have posted this information on the brand on the previous House of Robertson pipes that I have worked on but I thought I would add it on this blog as well. There is very little information available and what I found on Pipedia pretty well summarizes all I could find. I include that here.

“House of Robertson” was in business for many years, but alas, closed their doors in 1999. They were located in Boise, Idaho. They are noted for making rather large and interesting pipes. Thayne Robertson was a Master Mason, AF & AM, and started the shop about 1947 and his son Jon started working there in 1970 when he finished college, along with Thayne’s daughter. Thayne and his son started making the big pipes at that time, and made them together until 1987 when Thayne passed away. Jon kept the store and his sister moved on to other things. The House of Robertson appears to have closed around 1999. https://pipedia.org/wiki/Robertson

I am restoring the last of the five pipes in this lot – this one a beautiful little Rhodesian Straight Grain. It is the pipe on the lower left in all of the above photos. Like the rest of the pipes in this fivesome this pipe still has raw briar in the bottom third of the bowl and appears to never have been smoked to the bottom of the bowl. It is etched with the House of Robertson signature on a smooth panel on the left side of the oval shank. On the underside of the shank next to the shank/stem union it is etched Straight Grain. The smooth finish on the pipe was dirty but showed some real promise through the grime. There was a light coat of lava that had overflowed from the cake in the bowl over the top of the rim. The cake was quite thick and was hard. Overall the pipe was in excellent condition and had some interesting grain around the bowl. The bottom of the bowl and shank has a flat panel that allows the bowl to sit upright on the desk or table. The stem was lightly oxidized but clean. The oxidation had caused some pitting on the surface. The fit of the stem to the shank was good. The vulcanite appeared to have been a pre-formed stem that was shaped to fit this pipe. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started the cleanup. The next close-up photos show the finish on the top and the underside of the bowl. The first two photos show the lava on the rim top and the dust bunnies and cake in the bowl. The grain on the top of the bowl and the inner and outer edge of the rim looks really good. The third photo shows the side and underside of the pipe. The next two photos show the etched name on the left side of shank – House of Robertson. On the underside of the shank it reads Straight Grain.The tapered stem surprised me. The pipe etched Straight Grain made me assume it was a higher end House of Robertson. It still may be one but the stem was loose and I really had not taken time to check it out. I tried to pull the loose stem only to find that it had a threaded tenon. I unscrewed it from the shank and was surprised to find that it had a Grabow style threaded metal tenon and a threaded mortise insert. In all of the other House of Robertson that I have worked one I had not ever seen a threaded metal tenon. This was a first. The surface of the vulcanite was oxidized and pitted from the oxidation. There was tooth chatter and some light tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button.Jeff once again performed his usual stellar clean up job on the pipe leaving it pristine and without damage to the finish. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the remnants with the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime of the smooth finish on the bowl and shank. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the dust and debris were removed the finish looked very good. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it.   I took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the pipe. The bowl was quite clean in the bottom third of the bowl – the briar was not darkened but was still raw briar. The rim itself was very clean with none of the dark lava and very little darkening along the edges. The inner and outer edge of the rim was very clean. The photos of the stem show that it was clean but oxidized on both sides and pitted in the surface of the vulcanite.I worked over the top of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the darkened areas left behind by repeated lighting of the pipe in that area. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the rim down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust left behind after each pad. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers, worked it into the finish with a horsehair shoe brush. I wiped it off with a soft cloth. I buffed the bowl with a horsehair shoe brush to polish it. It really began to have a deep shine in the briar. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. The birdseye grain stands out on the two sides and the cross grain stands out on the rim top, the front and back of the bowl and the top and underside of the shank.    I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem near the button.I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I brought it back to the table and sanded it with the final three 6000-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Polish –using both the Fine and Extra Fine Polishes. I gave it a rubdown with Obsidian Oil one last time and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and worked the pipe over on the buffing wheel using Blue Diamond to lightly polish the stem. I buffed the bowl and stem to raise the shine on the briar and on the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The medium brown stain on the smooth finish of the Rhodesian shaped bowl works well with the rich black of the vulcanite stem. The polishing of the stem left this a beautiful and interesting looking pipe. The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside Diameter: 1 5/8 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 3/4 inches. Still thinking through whether or not I am going to keep this House of Robertson in my collection or let it go. Keep an eye open for it to appear on the store if decide to pass it on. Thanks for looking.

Restoring a Smooth House of Robertson Zulu


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff found an assortment of House of Robertson pipes at an auction in Wilder, Idaho which is an area in the greater Boise, Idaho area. He picked them up for us to restore. I had forgotten that I had mentioned the brand in passing in a blog on Leonard’s Pipe Shop in Portland, Oregon. Here is the link to that blog where I mention it as one of the brands that Leonard’s sold: https://rebornpipes.com/2013/06/06/leonards-pipe-shop-portland-oregon/. It is a fascinating brand that really I had never had the privilege of seeing first hand. He cleaned them all up and on a recent trip to Idaho, I picked them up and brought them back to Canada. I took pictures of the lot of them to show the wide variety of pipes that they made in terms of both size and style. The craftsmanship is very good with the fit of the stem and shank well done and the finish both rusticated and smooth exemplary. Jeff picked up three more of the brand in Pocatello, Idaho so I will be working on more of these pipes in the future. They all have the name House of Robertson roughly hand etched on the side or underside of the shank with an engraving tool.I have posted this information on the brand on the previous House of Robertson pipes that I have worked on but I thought I would add it on this blog as well. There is very little information available and what I found on Pipedia pretty well summarizes all I could find. I include that here.

“House of Robertson” was in business for many years, but alas, closed their doors in 1999. They were located in Boise, Idaho. They are noted for making rather large and interesting pipes. Thayne Robertson was a Master Mason, AF & AM, and started the shop about 1947 and his son Jon started working there in 1970 when he finished college, along with Thayne’s daughter. Thayne and his son started making the big pipes at that time, and made them together until 1987 when Thayne passed away. Jon kept the store and his sister moved on to other things. The House of Robertson appears to have closed around 1999. https://pipedia.org/wiki/Robertson.

The fourth of the five pipes in this lot that I chose to work on was a smooth Zulu or Yachtsman shaped pipe. It is the pipe on the lower right in all of the above photos. It still has raw briar in the bottom third of the bowl and appears to never have been smoked to the bottom of the bowl. It is engraved with the House of Robertson signature on a smooth panel on the left side of the oval shank. The smooth finish on the pipe was dirty but showed some real promise through the grime. There was a light coat of lava that had overflowed from the cake in the bowl over the top of the rim. The cake was quite thick and was hard. Overall the pipe was in excellent condition and had some interesting grain around the bowl. The bottom of the bowl and shank has a flat panel that allows the bowl to sit upright on the desk or table. The stem was lightly oxidized but clean. The oxidation had caused some pitting on the surface. The fit of the stem to the shank was good. The vulcanite appeared to have been a pre-formed stem that was shaped to fit this pipe. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started the cleanup. The next close-up photos show the finish on the top and the underside of the bowl. The first photo shows the lava on the rim top and the cake in the bowl. The grain on the top of the bowl and the inner and outer edge of the rim looks really good. The next three photos show the sides and underside of the pipe. The next photo shows the etched name on the left side of shank on the oval side of the shank. It reads House of Robertson. The tapered stem was oxidized and pitted from the oxidation. It was otherwise very clean and unsmoked. Jeff once again performed his usual stellar clean up job on the pipe leaving it pristine and without damage to the finish. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the remnants with the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime of the smooth finish on the bowl and shank. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the dust and debris were removed the finish looked very good. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it.   I took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the pipe. The bowl was quite clean in the bottom third of the bowl – the briar was not darkened but was still raw briar. The rim itself was very clean with none of the dark lava and very little darkening along the edges. The inner and outer edge of the rim was very clean. The photos of the stem show that it was clean but oxidized on both sides and pitted in the surface of the vulcanite.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers, worked it into the finish with a horsehair shoe brush. I wiped it off with a soft cloth. I buffed the bowl with a horsehair shoe brush to polish it. It really began to have a deep shine in the briar. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. The birdseye grain stands out on the two sides and the cross grain stands out on the rim top, the front and back of the bowl and the top and underside of the shank. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation on both sides of the tapered stem.I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I brought it back to the table and sanded it with the final three 6000-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Polish –using both the Fine and Extra Fine Polishes. I gave it a rubdown with Obsidian Oil one last time and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and worked the pipe over on the buffing wheel using Blue Diamond to lightly polish the stem. I buffed the bowl and stem to raise the shine on the briar and on the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The medium brown stain on the smooth finish of the Zulu shaped bowl works well with the rich black of the vulcanite stem. The polishing of the stem left this a beautiful and interesting looking pipe. The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Outside Diameter: 1 3/8 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 3/4 inches. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly if you want to add it to your collection. Why not take this opportunity to add a House of Robertson pipe to your rack. Thanks for looking.

Restoring a Large Rusticated House of Robertson Panel Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

After my brother Jeff found an assortment of House of Robertson pipes at an auction in Wilder, Idaho which is an area in the greater Boise, Idaho area. He kept an eye out for more of the brand on his weekly pipe hunts. He found several others that are quite unique in an antique mall near where he lives. There were two large long shanked pipes – one round shanked and one square shanked. The third of the batch that he finds is a nice little classic apple shape. It looks tiny with the size of the other two. The two larger pipes are a combination of smooth and rusticated. They both have smooth panels on the sides or front of the pipes. Both of the large ones are banded with a sterling silver band. It seems to me that the bands on both the square shank and the round shank are decorative rather than a repair for a cracked shank. I finished the restoration of the square shanked sitter, the bottom pipe in the above photos and did the blog write up on it (https://rebornpipes.com/2018/02/28/restoring-a-rusticated-house-of-robertson-war-club/). It is soon on its way to a fellow who was a regular of the House of Robertson Pipe Shop in Boise, Idaho. He is excited to be adding it to his collection. Each of these pipes has the name House of Robertson roughly hand-etched on the side or underside of the shank with an engraving tool. I am also including the information that I found when I received my first of the House of Robertson Pipes. “House of Robertson” was in business for many years, but alas, closed their doors in 1999. They were located in Boise, Idaho. They are noted for making rather large and interesting pipes. Thayne Robertson was a Master Mason, AF & AM, and started the shop about 1947 and his son Jon started working there in 1970 when he finished college, along with Thayne’s daughter. Thayne and his son started making the big pipes at that time, and made them together until 1987 when Thayne passed away. Jon kept the store and his sister moved on to other things. The House of Robertson appears to have closed around 1999. https://pipedia.org/wiki/Robertson

The second pipe, the next House of Robertson pipe I chose to work on is a large rusticated billiard with smooth panels on the sides and front of the bowl and a hexagonal shaped bowl. It is another very different pipe than the others pipes from this Boise based store. It is large and similar to the previous larger pipe in this threesome – 7 long with a bowl that is 2 1/8 inches tall. It is engraved with the House of Robertson signature on the smooth portion of the shank on the left side just ahead of the band. There is a smooth panel on the right, left and front sides of the bowl. The rim top was rusticated. The pipe was dirty but underneath all of the grime it appears to be in excellent condition. The rustication on the bowl and shank was nicely done and was made to look like a sandblast finish. The bottom of the bowl and shank also appeared to be sandblasted. It is definitely an interesting pipe and should clean up very well. The band on the shank is decorative as the shank is undamaged. It has the look of a repurposed band from an older pipe. There are some worn hallmarks on the oxidized Sterling Silver band. The fit of the stem to the shank was good. The stem was oxidized and had some small tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started the cleanup. The next close-up photos show the finish on the top and the sides of the bowl. The first photo shows cake in the bowl and the lava overflowing onto the rim top. The inner and outer edge of the rim looks really good. The finish on the rim top was appeared to be in great condition but the lava coat as pretty thick. The next two photos show sides of the pipe. It was a different rustication from any of the other Robertsons that I have done and it was interesting. The next photo shows the etched name on the left side of shank on a smooth panel of briar. It reads House of Robertson. The second photo shows the stamping on the band. You can also see the general condition of the grime in the rustication of the briar.The tapered stem was oxidized and had tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem near the button. The edge of the button had some dents in it as well.This unique pipe was really dirty with a thick cake, overflow of lava on top the rim and dust and debris in the heavy rustication on the sides of the bowl. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the remnants with the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the dust in the rustication on the bowl and shank as well as the smooth portions. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the dust and debris were removed the finish was dull but appeared to be in excellent condition. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. I took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition it was in once it was cleaned off. It has an interesting rustication on the rim top – it has the look of almost a faux plateau. Normally I would include photos of the stem at this point as well to show its condition. Sadly while I was chatting with my brother on Facetime I dropped the pipe on the floor next to my worktable and the stem snapped off leaving the tenon in the shank… Arghhh I hate that. It is not enough to have to clean up and restore an old timer now I have to replace the tenon on the stem and get the fit in the shank correct… oh well these things happen. I am attaching photos of the stem after the “accident” to show what it looked like.Normally my habit at this point in the restoration is to work on the bowl. However, with the broken tenon I decided to address that first before even touching the bowl. I used a long drywall screw to pull the broken tenon out of the shank. I screw it into the airway on the broken tenon and wiggle it out of the shank.I have a small container of threaded replacement tenons that I have on hand for just this kind of “accident”. I went through the tenons and found one that was the same size as broken one. I flattened the broken edges remaining on the stem end with a Dremel and sanding drum to make the face smooth. I started drilling it with a bit slightly larger than the airway to begin to open it up to receive the threaded tenon end. I worked my way up to a bit the same size as the tenon end. The critical part when you are doing this by hand is to keep everything straight or you can end up with a crooked tenon. I finished the drilling and cleaned up the opening in the stem with a needle file to ensure that everything was smooth. Once it was clean and ready I checked out the fit of the tenon and then glued it in place in the stem. The photos show the process. I worked Before & After Restoration Balm deep into the nooks and crannies of the rusticated finish to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers and worked it into the finish with a horsehair shoe brush. I wiped it off with a soft cloth. I buffed the bowl with a cotton cloth to polish it. It really began to have a deep shine in the briar. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. The grain on the smooth panels on the sides of the bowl stands out, while the grooves of the rustication look almost undulating. It is another unique and strangely beautiful House of Robertson pipe. Once the glue on the tenon was set I put the stem in the shank and took the following photos to show the fit of the repaired stem to the shank. Finally, after the “accidental” extra steps I am back to where I was when the pipe arrived. It is ready to be cleaned up and restored. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation on both sides of the tapered stem and remove the tooth marks and chatter on the top and bottom sides at the button.I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I brought it back to the table and sanded it with the final three 6000-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Polish –using both the Fine and Extra Fine Polishes. I gave it a rubdown with Obsidian Oil one last time and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and worked the pipe over on the buffing wheel using Blue Diamond to lightly polish the stem. I buffed the bowl with a light touch so as not to get any of the buffing compounds in the grooves of the rustication. I buffed the stem to raise the gloss on the vulcanite. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The medium brown and dark brown stains on the rusticated billiard shaped bowl with a smooth panels and bands works well with the rich black of the vulcanite stem. The polishing of the stem material left this a beautiful and interesting looking pipe. The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 7 inches, Height: 2 1/8 inches, Outside Diameter: 1 1/2 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 3/4 inches. I will be putting this pipe on the rebornpipes store shortly. It is another big pipe and will make a great addition to someone’s collection. If you are interested in adding this unique pipe let me know. Thanks for looking.

Restoring a Rusticated House of Robertson War Club


Blog by Steve Laug

After my brother Jeff found an assortment of House of Robertson pipes at an auction in Wilder, Idaho which is an area in the greater Boise, Idaho area. He kept an eye out for more of the brand on his weekly pipe hunts. He found several others that are quite unique in an antique mall near where he lives. There were two large long shanked pipes – one round shanked and one square shanked. The third of the batch that he finds is a nice little classic apple shape. It looks tiny with the size of the other two. The two larger pipes are a combination of smooth and rusticated. They both have smooth panels on the sides or front of the pipes. Both of the large ones are banded with a sterling silver band. It seems to me that the bands on both the square shank and the round shank are decorative rather than a repair for a cracked shank. I will be restoring them in the days ahead. He picked them up for us to restore. They all have the name House of Robertson roughly hand-etched on the side or underside of the shank with an engraving tool. I am including the information that I found when I received my first of the House of Robertson Pipes. I found a link on Pipedia that gave me the only information I could find on the brand. I include that in total as it is interesting to read.

“House of Robertson” was in business for many years, but alas, closed their doors in 1999. They were located in Boise, Idaho. They are noted for making rather large and interesting pipes. Thayne Robertson was a Master Mason, AF & AM, and started the shop about 1947 and his son Jon started working there in 1970 when he finished college, along with Thayne’s daughter. Thayne and his son started making the big pipes at that time, and made them together until 1987 when Thayne passed away. Jon kept the store and his sister moved on to other things. The House of Robertson appears to have closed around 1999. https://pipedia.org/wiki/Robertson

This large, long square shank, flat bottom sitter is the next House of Robertson pipe I chose to work on. It is quite different from the other pipes from this Boise based store. It is large – 7 ¼ long with a bowl that is 2 inches tall. It is engraved with the House of Robertson signature on a smooth panel on the left side of the shank just ahead of the band. On the top of the shank it is etches P.L.F.S. I have no idea what that etching stands for. There is a smooth band of briar just ahead of the silver band. There is also a smooth panel on the front of the bowl and two smooth areas on the rim top. The pipe was dirty but underneath all of the grime it appears to be in excellent condition. The rustication on the shank was quite light and had the look of a sandblast finish. The sides of the bowl were deeply rusticated, almost like roots and then it is almost like it was also sandblasted over the top. The bottom of the bowl and shank also appeared to be sandblasted. It is definitely an interesting pipe and should clean up very well. The narrow silver band is stamped Sterling Silver on the top side. There were some nicks in the edge of the silver at the stem/shank junction. The fit of the stem to the shank was good. The square stem was oxidized and had some small tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started the cleanup. The next close-up photos show the finish on the top and the underside of the bowl. The first photo shows cake in the bowl and the lava overflowing onto the rim top. The grain on the top of the bowl and the inner and outer edge of the rim looks really good. The finish on the rim top was appeared to be in great condition under the lava coat. The next two photos show the front, side and underside of the pipe. It has a very interesting finish. The next photo shows the etched name on the left side of shank on a smooth panel of briar. It reads House of Robertson. On the top of the shank on a narrow smooth panel it reads P.L.F.S. The final two photos show square shank and band. You can also see the general condition of the grime in the rustication of the briar. The tapered stem was oxidized and had tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem near the button. The edge of the button had some dents in it as well.This unique pipe was really dirty with a thick cake, overflow of lava on top the rim and dust and debris in the heavy rustication on the sides of the bowl. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the remnants with the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the dust in the rustication on the bowl and shank as well as the smooth portions. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the dust and debris were removed the finish was dull but appeared to be in excellent condition. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. I took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition it was in once it was cleaned off. It has an interesting combination of rusticated and smooth finishes on the top of the bowl. The unique square stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides. You can also see the nicks in the edge on the top and underside of the Sterling Silver band.I worked Before & After Restoration Balm deep into the nooks and crannies of the rusticated finish to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers and worked it into the finish with a horsehair shoe brush. I wiped it off with a soft cloth. I buffed the bowl with a cotton cloth to polish it. It really began to have a deep shine in the briar. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. The grain on the smooth portions stands out, while the deep grooves of the rustication look almost undulating. It is a unique and strangely beautiful pipe. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation on both sides of the tapered stem and remove the tooth marks and chatter on the top and bottom sides at the button.I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I brought it back to the table and sanded it with the final three 6000-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Polish –using both the Fine and Extra Fine Polishes. I gave it a rubdown with Obsidian Oil one last time and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and worked the pipe over on the buffing wheel using Blue Diamond to lightly polish the stem. I buffed the bowl with a light touch so as not to get any of the buffing compounds in the grooves of the rustication. I buffed the stem to raise the gloss on the vulcanite. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The medium brown stains on the rusticated square shanked poker shaped bowl with a smooth bands and rim works well with the rich black of the vulcanite stem. The polishing and the reworking of the stem material left this a beautiful and interesting looking pipe. The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 7 3/8 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside Diameter: 1 5/8 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 7/8 inches. This one will be heading back to Idaho. A House of Robertson collector who used to frequent the Boise shop is adding it to his collection. Thanks for looking.

Restoring a NOS Rusticated House of Robertson Hawkbill


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff found an assortment of House of Robertson pipes at an auction in Wilder, Idaho which is an area in the greater Boise, Idaho area. He picked them up for us to restore. I had forgotten that I had mentioned the brand in passing in a blog on Leonard’s Pipe Shop in Portland, Oregon. Here is the link to that blog where I mention it as one of the brands that Leonard’s sold: https://rebornpipes.com/2013/06/06/leonards-pipe-shop-portland-oregon/. It is a fascinating brand that really I had never had the privilege of seeing first hand. He cleaned them all up and on a recent trip to Idaho, I picked them up and brought them back to Canada. I took pictures of the lot of them to show the wide variety of pipes that they made in terms of both size and style. The craftsmanship is very good with the fit of the stem and shank well done and the finish both rusticated and smooth exemplary. Jeff picked up three more of the brand in Pocatello, Idaho so I will be working on more of these pipes in the future. They all have the name House of Robertson roughly hand etched on the side or underside of the shank with an engraving tool. I did a bit of hunting for information about the brand and found a link on Pipedia that gave me the only information I could find on the brand. I include that in total as it is interesting to read.

“House of Robertson” was in business for many years, but alas, closed their doors in 1999. They were located in Boise, Idaho. They are noted for making rather large and interesting pipes. Thayne Robertson was a Master Mason, AF & AM, and started the shop about 1947 and his son Jon started working there in 1970 when he finished college, along with Thayne’s daughter. Thayne and his son started making the big pipes at that time, and made them together until 1987 when Thayne passed away. Jon kept the store and his sister moved on to other things. The House of Robertson appears to have closed around 1999. https://pipedia.org/wiki/Robertson

The third of the six pipes I chose to work on was rusticated Hawkbill shaped pipe. It is NOS (new old stock) and is unsmoked. It is engraved with the House of Robertson signature on a smooth panel on the right side of the shank. The rusticated finish on the pipe had a smooth band around the rim and the rim top was smooth. There were also smooth bands on the left, front and right sides of the pipe moving up from a smooth circle on the bottom of the bowl. The pipe was in excellent condition other than being dusty from time. The deep grooves in the rustication were very dusty. I have circled the pipe in red in the above group photos. It is an interesting pipe. The bowl is clean and unsmoked briar. The drilling on the pipe is different to me – it looks like the airway came out below the bottom of the bowl. It is still very smokable but the look is quite unique. The stem was lightly oxidized but clean. The fit of the stem to the shank was good. The vulcanite appeared to have been a pre-formed stem that was shaped to fit this pipe. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started the cleanup. The next close-up photos show the finish on the top and the underside of the bowl. The first two photos show clean bowl and the rim top. The grain on the top of the bowl and the inner and outer edge of the rim looks really good. The finish on the rim top was in great condition. The next two photos show the sides and underside of the pipe. The next photo shows the etched name on the right side of shank on a smooth panel of briar. It reads House of Robertson.The tapered stem was oxidized and pitted from the oxidation. It was otherwise very clean and unsmoked.This unsmoked pipe was an easy cleanup for Jeff. After all of the heavily caked and dirty pipes he has cleaned it was a nice break to clean off the dust and oxidation from a pipe that had been sitting in storage for a long time. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the dust in the rustication on the bowl and shank as well as the smooth portions. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the dust and debris were removed the finish actually looked to be in excellent condition. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. I took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show the NOS condition of the pipe. The stem was clean but pitted and oxidized.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the nooks and crannies of the rusticated finish, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers, worked it into the finish with a horsehair shoe brush. I wiped it off with a soft cloth. I buffed the bowl with a horsehair shoe brush to polish it. It really began to have a deep shine in the briar. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. The birdseye grain stands out on the two sides bands and the cross grain stands out on the rim top, the smooth base and the front band. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation on both sides of the tapered stem.I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I brought it back to the table and sanded it with the final three 6000-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Polish –using both the Fine and Extra Fine Polishes. I gave it a rubdown with Obsidian Oil one last time and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and worked the pipe over on the buffing wheel using Blue Diamond to lightly polish the stem. I buffed the bowl with a light touch so as not to get any of the buffing compounds in the grooves of the rustication. I buffed the stem to raise the gloss on the vulcanite. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The medium brown stains on the rusticated Hawkbill shaped bowl with a smooth bands and rim works well with the rich black of the vulcanite stem. The polishing and the reworking of the stem material left this a beautiful and interesting looking pipe. The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 5 3/4 inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Outside Diameter: 1 1/2 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 3/4 inches. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly if you want to add it to your collection. Even with an under drilled airway it should still smoke very well. It will be priced accordingly for seconds pipe. Why not take this opportunity to add a House of Robertson pipe to your rack. Thanks for looking.