Blog by Dal Stanton
I acquired two Jarl of Denmark pipes in the Lot of 66 pipes I landed on the eBay auction block a couple of years ago. When I first saw them, I liked the style of the blending of the blasting or is it rustification? – and the twin smooth panels on the sides of the bowl. Both are marked on the underside of the smoothed shank portion. The Billiard is marked ‘Jarl Chieftain’ 1511 with a ‘J’ stem mark and the Dublin is marked simply, ‘Jarl’ 1545. Under each Jarl designation is the COM, Made in Denmark. I will be adding nothing new to the scant information available on the internet for the Jarl name. Pipedia’s only entry is brief:
In December of 2010 Ellen Jarl wrote that Jarl pipes were made by her grandfather, Niels Mogens Jørgensen in a little factory in the town of Bramdrupdam, just outside Kolding, Denmark. We have no reason to doubt that Niels Mogens Jørgensen is the maker of these pipes.
Cyrus, a friend who formerly was a Peace Corp worker here in Bulgaria, saw the Jarl Dublin in the For ‘Pipe Dreamers’ Only! section on ThePipeSteward website and commissioned him. After doing research on these Jarls, I’m wondering if I might not regret pulling the Jarl Chieftain out of the Pipe Dreamers offerings to keep for myself!! Here are the two Jarls in the Pipe Steward collection and more pictures showing the Jarl Dublin as Cyrus saw in Pipe Dreamers.I read through several blog threads containing anecdotal information about Jarl pipes and discovered a universal appreciation and love for this Danish line. More than once, regret was expressed in not buying the Jarl one saw several years ago. I enjoyed by far, a Jarl thread on Pipesmagazine.com by donjgiles, who had taken to collecting Jarls and had several pictures showing the collection. The blending of rough/smooth briar seems to be a trademark of the Jarl motif. If indeed, Niels Mogens Jorgensen made these pipes in a smaller operation, and he no longer does, the Jarl name will only become more difficult to find as it becomes more collectable. Following are a few samples of the collection of Jarl pipes from Pipesmagazine.com: It is an interesting question. Is the surface blasted or a result of rustification? When talking to Steve Laug of rebornpipes, Steve described how it may be both. ‘Blastification’ is a technique that may have been used that combined both blasting and rustification. The Jarl surfaces shows both characteristics – but done so well that it looks natural. Steve also mentioned that with Jarl pipes a special process was developed called ‘Oil Hardened’ that removed the sap and impurities from the briar that made the briar lighter and more resilient. Some Jarl pipes are marked ‘Oil Hardened’ but Steve thought that all Jarl pipes were treated in this way.
Looking at the Jarl Dublin now on my table, I don’t see any major issues and I’m hoping this Jarl cleans up quickly. The chamber has cake that needs clearing and the ‘blastified’ stummel needs a good cleaning. The smooth panels on both sides of the stummel have minor nicks and the entire stummel seems dull and dark. The stem shows some tooth chatter on the upper and lower bit. I begin the clean up by running a pipe cleaner wetted with isopropyl 95% through the stem and the adding the stem to a soak of Before & After Deoxidizer with other pipes in the queue. After several hours, I fish out the stem and let the Deoxidizer drain off the stem. I run another pipe cleaner through the stem to clear the Deoxidizer. I then wipe off the raised oxidation using a cotton pad wetted with alcohol. I follow by additionally wiping with a cotton pad wetted with light paraffin oil. The Deoxidizer did a good job. The pictures show the progress. Putting the stem aside, I next address the carbon cake in the chamber by reaming with the Pipnet Reaming kit. To save on cleanup, I put paper towel on the work table. I use two of the four blade heads available starting with the smaller and working my way to the next larger. I follow the reaming blades by scraping the chamber wall with the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe tool. Finally, I wrap 240 grade paper around a Sharpie Pen and sand the chamber and finish the chamber cleaning by wiping it with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol. After an inspection of the chamber, the wall shows no problems with heat fissures or cracks. The pictures show the progress. To clean the external briar surface, I use undiluted Murphy’s Soap and cotton pads and a bristled tooth brush. I scrub the blasted rustification to clean all the nooks and crannies. Using a brass wire brush, I work on the rim as well, which is a little darkened from oils.Turning to the internals, I use pipe cleaners and cotton buds wetted with isopropyl 95%. I also use a long shank brush to work on the mortise and airway as well. Using a dental spatula, I also excavate tars and oils by scraping the mortise. The cleaning is looking good. Later I’ll continue the internal cleaning process with a kosher salt and alcohol soak.The stem has light chatter on the upper- and lower-bit area and some small bite compressions. First, to lessen the chatter and dents, I use heat to expand the vulcanite. Using a Bic lighter, I paint the vulcanite surfaces and the heating causes expansion, encouraging the rubber to find its original state. The pictures are upper, before and after heating and lower, before and after, to show the changes through this method. I follow by sanding with 240 grade paper and refreshing the button using a flat needle file. The pictures show the process.
Upper, before and after and 240 grade paper: Lower, before and after, and 240 grade: I continue working on the stem by wet sanding with 600 grade paper followed by using 0000 grade steel wool over the entire stem. I put the stem aside and look at the stummel. It’s difficult for me to tell if the rustified/blasted part of the stummel is simply in need of conditioning and wax or if it needs a fresh finish. To sneak a preview of what the finish might look like pretty much as is, I wipe some light paraffin oil over the stummel. I take a before (first 2 pics) and after (second 2 pics) the oil picture for comparison. The rim briar (not showing in the pictures) is on the thin side, but overall the ‘blastified’ briar looks good. The smooth briar panels on both sides have scratches from normal usage. After looking at the ‘sneak peek’ using the light paraffin oil, the plan is formulated. I’ll touch up the rim with a dye stick to darken the thin, bald patches. I’ll sand the smooth panels to clear the scratching and to create more of a comparative ‘pop’ between the smooth and rough briar. Using a Mahogany dye stick, I color the rim and edge. I then feather wipe it with a cotton pad wetted slightly with alcohol to blend the dye giving it more texture. Now, using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400, I wet sand both side panels. I then follow by dry sanding the side panel with the remainder of the micromesh pads 3200 to 12000. I also lightly sand the underside nomenclature panel and the ring at the end of the shank – only with the latter pads. I do not want to cause further deterioration of the nomenclature. I love the smooth briar panel pop! The first two pictures show the starting point and then following the micromesh application. At this point I put the brakes on a bit with the stummel. I continue the internal cleaning using kosher salt and alcohol. I first create a wick by stretching and twisting a cotton ball and inserting it in the mortise and airway. The wick acts to draw the tars and oils out of the mortise as the alcohol soaks. I then fill the bowl with kosher salt and place it in an egg carton to keep it stable during the soak. I then fill the chamber with isopropyl 95% until it surfaces over the salt. After a few minutes I top off the alcohol again. I put the stummel aside and let it soak for several hours. With the stummel on the sidelines for the time, I turn again to the stem. Using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400, I wet sand the stem. Falling this, I dry sand using pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000. Between each set, I apply a coat of Obsidian Oil to enrich and revitalize the vulcanite stem. It’s looking great. The kosher salt/alcohol soak is next to address. The salt has darkened, and the wick is very soiled demonstrating that the cleaning process had happened. I clear the expended salt in the waste and wipe the chamber with paper towel to remove the left-over salt. I also use a bristled shank brush in the chamber and a narrower one through the mortise to remove old salt. I blow through the mortise as well. To make sure all is clean, I run a pipe cleaner through the airway and a cotton bud in the mortise – both dipped in isopropyl 95%. Each came out clean. I like this final internal cleaning process to fully freshen the internals for the new steward. With the stummel cleaned and a stem waiting in the wings, I continue working on the external surface of the stummel. I thought about how to approach the stummel earlier and decided that the blastification of the Jarl was in good shape but needed some conditioning. After sanding the smooth briar panels, I treat the entire surface by applying Before & After Restoration Balm. I’m have been looking forward to using it and seeing how it turns out. I take a picture of the stummel before starting for comparison. I place some of the Balm on my fingers and work the Balm into the briar surface. I’m careful to work the Balm well into the rough landscape of the blasting/rustification. After working it in well, I wait for a few minutes for the Balm to absorb and do its thing. I take another picture at this stage. Then, taking a microfiber cloth, I wipe off the excess Balm and eventually begin to buff up the surface with the cloth. I like what I see! The Balm provides a deep, rich rendition of the natural color already there. The pictures show the progress. Next, I reunite the stem with the stummel and mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel and set the speed at 40% full power. I then apply Blue Diamond compound to the entire pipe. I work the cotton cloth wheel well into the blasted/rustified surface as I rotate the wheel methodically over the surface. I make sure I’m applying the compound into all the nooks and crannies. After finishing with the compound, I rigorously buff the surface with a felt cloth primarily to remove the compound dust from the stummel in preparation for the waxing phase. After mounting the Dremel with another cotton cloth wheel, increasing the speed slightly to about 45 to 50% of full power, I apply carnauba wax to both the stem and the stummel. I apply a few coats of carnauba then I follow by going over the entire surface again with a clean cotton cloth wheel. I do this to be sure that the wax is spreading uniformly through the rustification and not gunked up in the nooks and crannies. Finally, I finish the restoration by giving the Jarl Dublin a rigorous hand buffing with a microfiber cloth. This not only raises the shine beautifully but gives one more pass over the surface to make sure of an even wax coverage.
This pipe is beautiful and gives credence to the Jarl lovers I read in the threads. The tapestry of briar texture and presentation draws the gaze to look more closely the grain of smooth briar contrasted with the brown, reddish blastification. The classic Dublin shape simply adds attitude to the overall look. I like this pipe a lot and I’m sure Cyrus will too. Since he first commissioned the Danish Jarl 1545 Dublin from the For ‘Pipe Dreamers’ Only! collection, he will have the first opportunity to acquire the Jarl in The Pipe Steward Store. The best part is that this pipe also benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria, our effort here in Bulgaria to help women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited. Thanks for joining me!