Tag Archives: Kenneth Lieblich article

Bringing a Dunhill Shell Briar Back to Its Best


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Ah, Dunhill. It is a name that inspires awe and warms the cockles of the hearts of many pipe smokers worldwide. Today, I am pleased to show the restoration of a wonderful shell briar. I acquired it in an auction on the Canadian Prairies. Other than that, I don’t know much of its provenance. What I can say definitively is that this must have been a great smoker and a much-loved pipe – it had been very thoroughly used. Rightly or wrongly, I instinctively have a certain respect for Dunhill pipes, and I am especially keen to restore this one so that the next smoker can enjoy it. As I mentioned this is a Dunhill Shell Briar and the markings confirm this. It is a beautiful, classic billiard shape. One of the ways I can tell that this was a much-loved pipe is that the markings on the underside of the shank were quite worn. As you can see, I can only make out so much. On the left-hand side is the model number, 39. Immediately to the right of this is Dunhill [over] Shell Briar. Then, to the right of that, is Made in [over] England. I cannot make out the year suffix, but my instincts tell me that it’s probably from the 1960s. Steve concurs with this. Additionally, this is a size three pipe. Normally, there would be an encircled 3, followed by an S. In this case, these marks are not visible, but I compared it with other Dunhills of size three and they are identical.The image below from Pipephil seems to confirm my suspicions about this pipe. The history of Dunhill’s shell briar pipes is fascinating. If you are interested in learning more, have a read of this article from Pipedia.This pipe was pretty darn filthy. As you can see, the stem had the usual wear-and-tear – some scratches, etc. There were no notable tooth dents, which pleasantly surprised me. There was some calcification, but not much oxidation. I figured the inside would be dirty because the inner tube certainly was!Meanwhile, the stummel was in lovely condition, but very dirty inside. The shank was dark and dank, and the bowl had lots of cake and lava. Who knows what horrors I might find inside? Spoiler alert: it wasn’t good. The inner tube was first on my list. It was being quite stubborn about coming out of the tenon, so I opted to warm the stem and inner tube with my heat gun. This provided just enough softening of the internal goo to allow me to pull it out. It then went for a soak in some lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. I let it sit for several hours and then cleaned it off and it looked much improved. I then finished it with a quick polish and moved on. I wiped the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. There was calcification there and I needed to remove it. Fortunately, although the stem was pretty dirty inside, it was not as bad as I had feared. I had no problem cleaning out the inside with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol.I then wiped down the stem with SoftScrub cleaner to remove some surface oxidation. Once this process was done, the stem went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. As the name suggests, this liquid removes oxidation, but, more than anything, it helps draw oxidation to the surface of the vulcanite. This allows me to clean the oxidation off in a couple of ways: both by applying a mild abrasive cleaner to the surface, then by sanding the stem. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation.Then I used a set of nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) which gradually erased the ravages of time and brought out the stem’s lovely black lustre. For the last five pads, I also lightly coated the stem with Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each scrubbing. At last, I set the finished stem aside. Off to work on the stummel! It was pretty dirty after all these years, so I used cotton rounds and some Murphy’s Oil Soap to scrub the outside of the stummel and a toothbrush with Murphy’s for the lava on the rim of the pipe. This had the benefit of revealing a bit more of the markings on the underside of the shank.  The bowl needed a thorough reaming, so I used the KleenReem to scrape off the built-up cake and I followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as possible. Generally, I prefer to sand the chamber down to bare briar. When restoring, it is important to ensure that there is no damage to the briar in the bowl, under the cake. Normally, there is none, but today…The walls of the pipe were just fine, but – horror of horrors! – the previous owner had clearly cleaned the bottom of the bowl with a jackhammer. There were some deep gouges in the heel. The gouges are hard to make out in the photos, so take my word for it. This is a straightforward fix, just time-consuming.However, before I addressed that issue, I needed to clean the shank and bowl thoroughly. I proceeded to use Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. Holy moly – this was an incredibly dirty pipe. Not sure it had ever seen a pipe cleaner before. Just look at the pile of Q-tips and pipe cleaners below!Then, to further clean the inside of the pipe, I put the stem and stummel back together and used my pipe retort system. This system uses boiling isopropyl alcohol and a vacuum (i.e. a void, not the household appliance) to clean the interior of a pipe. As you can see by the brownish colour of the alcohol, the retort worked well. I managed to extract lots of otherwise inaccessible filth from inside the pipe. Once I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some Castile soap and tube brushes. Now for the reconstructive surgery. I prepared some J.B. Weld epoxy for the purposes of filling the gouges in the briar. The great thing about J.B. Weld is that, once cured, it is totally inert, heat resistant to well beyond pipe temperatures, and hard as rock. I used a folded pipe cleaner and awkwardly smeared the stuff into the breach – then left it to cure overnight. On the morrow, I needed to remove all the excess epoxy from the bowl. I only wanted epoxy in the repair and nowhere else. This is a tricky and tedious exercise, but I used a combination of techniques to accomplish it. First, I used my Dremel (with different attachments) to remove most of the excess material. Second, I went back to my 200-grit sandpaper on a dowel to sand it down to where I wanted it. Naturally, the bottom of the bowl was much narrower than the top, so I acquired a couple of thinner dowels in order to sand where I needed to. I am very pleased with the results. The repair is exactly as big as it needs to be – and no bigger. After the pipe’s use over the years (and my restoration), the rim had lost some of its colour. I opted to use my furniture stain pens to match the colour of the rest of the stummel. Voilà! Looks terrific.At this point, I rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar and left it to sit for 15 minutes or so. I brushed it with a horsehair brush and buffed it with a microfibre cloth. The BARB does wonderful things to the wood, and I really like the sheen on the sandblast. I then coated the entire inside of the bowl with a thin coat of a mixture of activated charcoal and my wife’s homemade yogurt. It hardens overnight and provides a good, slightly rough surface for a new cake to build. Now, the bowl can be used again as if nothing happened. Then it was off for a trip to the bench polisher. A few coats of Conservator’s Wax (from Lee Valley) were just what this pipe needed. Boy – that wax really makes this pipe pop! The lovely shine made the wood look absolutely beautiful. The sandblast looks fantastic and is ready to be enjoyed again by the next owner. I thoroughly enjoyed bringing this Dunhill Shell Briar 39 Billiard back to life and I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the “British” Pipe Section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the Dunhill are as follows: length 5 in. (125 mm); height 1¾ in. (43 mm); bowl diameter 1⅛ in. (29 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is ⅞ oz. (25 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this restoration as much as I enjoyed restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Restoring an Amphora Sandblasted Bent Billiard


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is a pipe which was selected by a customer of mine in the prime of his youth. Understandably, this very young fellow wanted a handsome and inexpensive pipe and chose this Amphora sandblasted bent billiard. I acquired it in a lot of pipes from a gentleman living on Vancouver Island. It was quite an assortment of pipes, as they ranged from horrible to beautiful. The selected pipe looked like a handsome, solid pipe that would smoke well and my young customer took a liking to it immediately. So did I – the sandblast is really quite attractive and I felt that he had made a good choice. The underside of the shank had the pipe’s markings. They read as follows: Genuine Briar [over] Amphora-Holland. Next to that was Amphora [over] X-tra-845. Secondarily, the Amphora logo (and encircled ‘A’) was on the left side of the stem. This logo was quite worn and I was unsure if I could restore it. Clearly, this pipe had been well-loved, as it arrived with some marks and general wear, and the stem was pretty nasty. There were also a couple of fills, but I was confident that those would be easy to handle. Amphora is a Dutch pipe brand of long-standing and they are perhaps best known because of their pipe tobacco. I must admit that whenever I heard the word “amphora”, I immediately think of this:I have cobbled together the brief bits of information from Pipedia, Pipephil, and the forums of PipesMagazine. Amphora was a brand of the Royal Dutch Pipe Factory, owned by Elbert Gubbels & Sons B.V. They produced several other brands, such as Douwe Egberts and Royal Dutch. Dr Grabow also produced bowls for them for some time and I have reason to believe that this particular pipe was from the Grabow factory. The Royal Dutch Pipe Factory went bankrupt in 2012. For some further speculative information about Amphora, please read Robert M. Boughton’s article here. Off to work! First, I wiped the filthy stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. There was oxidation and calcification there and I needed to remove it.The bore in the mouthpiece was clogged with debris (yuck!) and I used a dental pick to remove it. I feared that this might hint at the filthy horrors awaiting me in the stem. Fortunately, although the stem was pretty dirty, it was not as bad as I had feared. I had no problem cleaning out the inside with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. Before the stem went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover, I used some SoftScrub to remove the first layer of filth and give the soak the best chance of working. It then went into the bath overnight. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation. Once clean, I took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame to lift the bite marks. This did very little, but I built up the bite marks on the stem with black cyanoacrylate adhesive and let them fully cure. Following that, I sanded the adhesive down with 220- and 400-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem, with some Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. Now for the stummel. Firstly, I decided to ream out the bowl. I used the KleenReem to remove the built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as I could. I took the chamber down to bare briar to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the wall. Following this, I cleaned the insides with the requisite pipe cleaners, Q-tips and isopropyl alcohol. As the stack of cleaning materials show, it was a mess! I also took this opportunity to wash the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and remove as much grime as I could. The pipe’s rim was so caked with filth that I opted to soak it in a jar-lid of Murphy’s to soften it. Then I used a wire brush to dig out all the gunk. As the pictures show, the rim was badly worn and had lost a fair amount of colour. So, I took one of my furniture pens and touched it up. A bit later, you’ll see how much the rim improved. I decided the pipe needed some additional TLC and I chose to de-ghost it. I thrust cotton balls in the bowl (and plugged up the shank) and saturated it with isopropyl alcohol. I left it overnight and let all the evil spirits in the pipe leech into the cotton. Once complete, the pipe looked great and smelled even better.   I really liked the colour of the pipe and felt that it didn’t need any stain, so I applied some Before & After Restoration Balm which I massaged into the wood and let sit for 15-20 minutes. After that, I rubbed it with a microfiber cloth. The balm brings out the best in the beautiful wood. It makes things shine and really shows the lustre. Finally, it was off for a trip to the buffer. I used neither White Diamond nor carnauba wax because I didn’t want to lose any of the beautiful sandblast. Also, carnauba wax gets gummed up in the grooves. Instead, I used Conservator’s Wax and my bench buffer. One of the pictures below shows me holding two stems, but the stem in question is the one on the left (with the arrow). All finished! This is a handsome pipe with a beautiful sandblast and a classic look. I know the new owner will enjoy smoking it for many years to come and he’s already told me that he’s thoroughly enjoyed several bowls with it. I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe as much as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

The Resurrection of Frog Morton


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Beside all the venerable gentlemen in the long history of pipe smoking, I am a but newborn infant. I have only immersed myself in this wonderful hobby in the last few years, and one of things that especially rankles my ever-ravenous brain is learning about wonderful tobacco companies that no longer exist and no longer produce the tobaccos that become semi-mythic to those of us who have never tried them.

McClelland Tobacco Company is a perfect example of the sort of company that no longer exists – but I wish did. I am mildly obsessed with tobaccos from McClelland and I have only tried a couple of their blends — thanks to the kindness of fellow pipe smokers, particularly Steve. My opportunities to try these old tobaccos have been exceptionally few and far between. The one that always springs to mind for me was trying McClelland’s Anniversary blend (from 2002), some twenty years after its release. That was a magnificent experience.I recently came across a post about recreating their legendary Frog Morton tobacco. I wish I could find the post (but can’t), but I will do my best to do it justice here. I’ve never had the chance to try any of the original Frog Morton tobaccos – and there is no question of me affording the prices to buy old, original tins on the secondary market – so this is the best I can do.

This recreation is whimsically called “Ghost of Frog Morton” by its originator, and I was keen to blend it myself to see the results. Allow me, for a moment, to go off on a brief tangent about the name of McClelland’s original Frog Morton. As many of you will already know, Frogmorton (as one word) is the name of a village on the Great Road in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. It is in Eastfarthing and is not a town of any great significance, but reference is made to it twice in the Lord of the Rings: once in The Fellowship of the Ring, at the end of the Prologue, when it is displayed on a map of the Shire; and later in The Return of the King, when Tolkien writes:

“As evening fell they were drawing near to Frogmorton, a village right on the Road, about twenty-two miles from the [Brandywine] Bridge. There they meant to stay the night; The Floating Log at Frogmorton was a good inn. But as they came to the east end of the village they met a barrier with a large board saying NO ROAD; and behind it stood a large band of Shirriffs with staves in their hands and feathers in their caps, looking both important and rather scared.”Many books about Middle-Earth include minor references to Frogmorton, including Day’s A Tolkien Bestiary, Fonstad’s The Atlas of Middle-Earth, Foster’s The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth, Hammond and Scull’s The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion, Strachey’s Journey’s of Frodo, and Tyler’s The Tolkien Companion – among others.

Back to the tobacco: it is a Virginia-Latakia mix. On the original tins, Frog Morton is described as “An exceptionally rich, smooth and dark Latakia mixture for the pipe”. Well, I love Latakia and Virginia, so this resurrected “Ghost of Frog Morton” should be a winner for me.The procedure to make it couldn’t be easier, and it is certainly worth a try. To begin, I ordered the ingredients from my preferred tobacco merchant. The two components of this blend are Peter Stokkebye English Luxury PS 17 and Lane Limited HGL. I ordered four ounces of each, figuring that half-a-pound would be good enough to start with and share with friends.I emptied the contents of the two tobacco bags into a large, glass salad bowl – incurring raised eyebrows from my beloved wife. I took several minutes to thoroughly mix the tobaccos together. I did not want hidden chunks of one tobacco or another persisting in this blend. With gloved hands, I mixed and separated and tossed and blended and turned over all eight ounces. I hummed and hawed for some time about how to store it. Normally, I cellar tobaccos in Mason jars in two-ounce increments. However, I wanted to keep this batch all together, so I used a canning funnel and put it all in one large Mason jar.Voilà – my first quasi-blending! I obviously don’t have the real Frog Morton to compare it too, but reports suggest that it is a very good imitation of the original. I’m going to let it sit for a while and I’ll get back to you all once I’ve tried it.I hope you enjoyed reading this brief tale of bringing a classic tobacco back to life. If you are interested in my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

 

Restoring a Payne to Its Former Glory


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is an interesting pipe of Leonard Payne’s making. I acquired this pipe from an “antique” shop in Cloverdale (just outside Vancouver) – although it is doubtful how many genuine antique things were in the shop. Here’s a photo of me in situ, with the pipe.I love the prince shape, and I was excited to work on this pipe. The gentleman who commissioned this pipe is a regular customer of Steve’s, so I was all the more delighted.

On to the pipe itself! It was certainly a charming pipe, but it was grungy and had an unholy quantity of tooth marks, dents, lava, cake, and just general filth.  The markings on the left side of the shank read Leonard Payne [over] Original. On the left side of the stem, there was a faint capital ‘P’.I little while back, I detailed my restoration of another Payne pipe, in a tale I entitled, The Frog Prince. I will repeat the information I wrote there about Leonard Payne. He was born in England, moved to Canada in the 1950s, and died in the Vancouver area within the last few years. Payne was, to put mildly, an idiosyncratic pipe maker. I can do no better than quote Mike Glukler of Briar Blues (found on Pipepedia):

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

“Pipe makers are not on every street corner in Canada! Leonard Payne, originally from England, didn’t know the challenges he would face and that’s probably what influenced his decision to come and try his luck in Canada. After his arrival in 1957, he and his family settled in Vancouver, where he first found work as a tool maker – and made pipes in his free time. In 1959, he decided to become a full-time pipe maker, and since then he has had department stores in all parts of Canada among his clients. He imports briar blocks from Italy and pipe stems from England.”My customer selected this pipe because (a) he wanted a prince manufactured by Leonard Payne, and (b) he wanted a Payne that didn’t have a carburetor system or the reattached shank. Providentially, this pipe fit the bill on all counts.

The stem on this pipe was in decent shape, with a small draught hole. But most remarkably, the button had been decapitated or stolen by a goblin. At any rate, the button was not there, and I knew that I would have quite a job on my hands.   Well, to work! I briefly considered finding a new stem for this pipe, but I believed I should try to work with the original parts before seeking a different solution. So, first on the list was constructing a new button for this pipe. I started by sanding off the end of the stem with some 220-grit sandpaper to smooth out the bottom. In order to fashion a new button, I needed to minimize the rounding on the end of the stem and make the face even. Then I took out some small files and began cutting into the vulcanite, carving out a new button. This was a tricky business and it took some real patience and effort to make it work. After much nerve-wracking work, I had successfully carved out a new button and smoothed it with files and sandpaper. The following is a tedious series of photos showing the progress of the stem! Next, I used a thin file to widen the draught hole. The end result is better than what these photos show. Finally, I could move on to the regular cleaning procedures for the stem. First, I cleaned out the inside with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. Fortunately, it wasn’t overly dirty, and it only needed a handful of pipe cleaners.Then, I wiped down the stem with SoftScrub, before sending it off for a bath in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and I could easily remove it. Then I scrubbed with more SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation. After this, I used nail polish to restore the logo on the stem. I painted the area carefully and let it fully set before proceeding. I worried that this wouldn’t work, as the ‘P’ was so faint. Fortunately, I ended up being wrong and some of the ‘P’ came back to life.I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. Hey – this looks like a real stem! I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. I always want to use the original parts of a pipe, if possible, and I’m glad this worked. Setting the stem aside, I moved on to the bowl. I started by reaming it out. I used the PipNet Reamer and the KleenReem to remove the built-up cake inside and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as I could. I took the chamber down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the wall. Fortunately, there were none. After that, I used cotton rounds and some Murphy’s Oil Soap to scrub the outside of the stummel and a toothbrush with Murphy’s for the lava on the rim of the pipe. Oddly, there appeared to be shiny bits of a previous coating on the stummel, left over from some other time; I figured my sanding would remove these marks, so I ignored them for the time being. I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. There was quite a bit of filth inside this stummel and it took a fair amount of cotton to get it clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes. Next, I decided to de-ghost the pipe to remove any lingering smells of the past. I thrust cotton balls into the bowl and the shank and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused any remaining oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowl was nice and clean after this. Here are the “before” and “after” photos: Having completed that, I was able to address the small nicks on the rim and the bowl. I dug out my iron and a damp cloth to try to raise the nicks. The hot and moist steam can often cause the wood to swell slightly and return to shape. There was some movement – not a lot, but it was better than doing nothing. The repair was not perfect, but the remaining scratches would be improved by sanding. To remove the remaining burns and nicks on the rim, I “topped” the pipe – that is to say, I gently and evenly sanded down the rim on a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. This effectively removed the damage, without altering the look of the pipe. After this, I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to remove the frustrating scratches in the wood and make everything smooth. Additionally, a light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the stummel’s grain.  At the buffer, a dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were just what this pipe needed. The lovely shine made the wood look beautiful. I am pleased with this pipe – it was tricky work, but thoroughly enjoyable for me. Best of all, I know that the new owner will enjoy it for many years to come. I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe as much I as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Restoring a Consul Freehand – Perhaps by Preben Holm or Karl Erik


by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is a gorgeous example of a Danish freehand which I got from an older gentleman in Vancouver. I’ve had my eye on this one for a while because of its a beautiful plateau and wood grain, and I was looking forward to working on it. This is a Consul De Luxe pipe and I am sorry to report that I have found very little on the origin of the Consul brand of pipes. There is no information to be had from the usual sources (Pipepedia, Pipephil, etc.), but Steve believes that Consul could have been made either by Preben Holm or Karl Erik – both esteemed names in Danish pipemaking. In any event, this pipe is clearly Danish, clearly well-made, and clearly a beautiful addition to anyone’s collection. The markings were clear enough. On the left-hand side of the shank, it said Consul [over] De Luxe [over] Special. On the right-hand side of the shank, it said Handcut. On the underside of the stummel, it read Made in Denmark. On the left side of the stem, there was a very thin, stylized capital “C”, which appeared to have been slightly worn. The condition was generally good, and it must have been a good smoker, because it was very well used. The stem was heavily oxidized and had some tooth marks. In addition, there was a strange residue scattered over the surface that was reminiscent of icing sugar – I have no idea what it was, but hopefully, it would come off during cleaning. The stummel was fine; there was some cake in the bowl, lava on the rim, and some dents, though no burn marks to speak of. However, the heel of the bowl was very narrow which made reaming a challenge. To work! The stem was so oxidized and filthy that I wiped it down with SoftScrub before soaking. Ultimately, I did send it for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. The following day, I cleaned the rest of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. Again, I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation. Fortunately, that bizarre ‘icing-sugar’ stuff did come off without a problem.   After this, I used some nail polish to restore the logo on the stem. I painted the area carefully and let it fully set before proceeding. Then, I built up the dents on the stem with black cyanoacrylate adhesive and let them fully cure.Next, I sanded the adhesive down with 220- and 400-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. As I surmised, the ‘C’ on the stem was not as robust as it had been in better days, but I managed to restore it nicely. Now for the stummel. Firstly, I reamed out the bowl. I used the PipNet Reamer to remove the built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as I could. I took the chamber down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the wall. Fortunately, there were none. I then proceeded to clean out the insides with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. There was a bit of filth inside this stummel and it took some cotton to get it clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes. I used cotton rounds and some Murphy’s Oil Soap to scrub the outside of the stummel and a toothbrush with Murphy’s on the rugged plateau of the pipe. A toothbrush gets into the grooves of the wood more easily. Next, I decided to de-ghost the pipe in order to remove any lingering smells of the past. I thrust cotton balls into the bowl and the shank and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused any remaining oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowl was nice and clean after this. You can see the before and after photos – it needed a de-ghosting! But wait! I had missed something. Inside the shank, there was a small gouge – no idea how it got there – but I felt it needed to be repaired. It’s difficult to make out, but I’ve pointed it out in the photograph. Similar to other blemishes, I filled this gouge with cyanoacrylate adhesive and briar dust. Once it had cured, I sanded it down and voilà! Problem solved. Finally, I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) on the stummel to make it lovely and smooth. After that, a light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the stummel’s grain.    This is a very elegant Danish pipe. At the buffer, a dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were just what this pipe needed. However, on the rugged plateau, I used Clapham’s Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish, as carnauba wax will get gummed up in the crevices of the wood. I applied the beeswax finish with my fingers and used a horsehair brush to buff it. This Consul Freehand looks fantastic again and is ready to be enjoyed again by the next owner! It is a gorgeous pipe and will make a fantastic smoker. I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the ‘Danish’ Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 5¾ in. (146 mm); height 2⅜ in. (60 mm); bowl diameter 1⅝ x 2 in. (41 x 51 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1⅞ oz. (56 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe’s restoration as much as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

A Good Smoker


by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is an unnamed, apple-shaped pipe I acquired in a lot from France. My customer was looking for a simple, modest pipe — nothing fancy, but a good smoker. In his opinion, this one seemed to fit the bill quite nicely.  Clearly, it had been well-loved, as it arrived with a dirty inner tube, plenty of dents, marks and a burn on the rim. Interestingly, this pipe had an orific button at the end of the stem, a feature that apparently disappeared by the 1930s, so it must be around a hundred years old. For more information on the orifice button, take the time to read Steve’s interesting article on the subject. The only markings were on the left side of the shank: Bruyère [over] Garantie which translates to ‘Genuine Briar’. The words Bruyère Garantie on a pipe are the bane of my pipe restoration existence. They are found on a plethora of different pipes, usually without any other identification. Ugh. One comment on the old Pipes Magazine forums confirms exactly what my meagre research has uncovered:

“Lots of French and German pipes, even pre-war ones, were given the label “Bruyere Garantie.” At least the ones I’ve seen for sale were listed as being from the 1920s and 30s. But I suspect that is a genuine date for those because many of them had horn stems, which are much rarer in post-war pipes and some of them definitely had an Art Deco/Art Nouveau look about them as well as old-fashioned rounded buttons.” — pitchfork

Well, time to get to work! I started by sending the inner tube for a soak in some lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. I let it sit for several hours, cleaned it off and gave it a quick polish. Good as new! Next, I wiped the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads, then took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame to lift the bite marks. This did scarcely anything to fix the damage, but I would worry about that later. Then I cleaned out the inside with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. Fortunately, it wasn’t overly dirty, and it only needed a handful of pipe cleaners. Next, the stem went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation. I built up the bite marks on the stem with black cyanoacrylate adhesive and let them fully cure. Following that, I sanded the adhesive down with 220- and 400-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem, with some Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing.   Now for the stummel. Firstly, I decided to ream out the bowl. I used the PipNet Reamer to remove the built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as I could. I took the chamber down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the wall. I also took this opportunity to wash the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and remove as much grime as I could. Following this, of course, I cleaned out the insides with the requisite pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. Now I could address the burn on the rim. I took some oxalic acid, used several Q-tips, and rubbed. The burn improved slightly, but it needed some more help, so I took a solid wooden sphere, wrapped a piece of 220-grit sandpaper around it, and sanded the inner edge of the rim. This helped to both remove the burn and maintain the beveled edge of the rim. The top edge of the rim was sufficiently even, so no extra sanding (topping) was needed.The century-old patina was nice enough that it didn’t need a new stain so I simply finished it up by sanding with my Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit). Then applying some Before & After Restoration Balm added that je ne sais quoi which brings out the wood’s beauty.   In fact, the photo above shows a bit of burn remaining on the inner edge of the bowl. Although I don’t have photos, I did address this and the final product was much improved.

Finally, it was off for a trip to the buffer. A dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were just what this pipe needed. This is a handsome pipe with a classic look and feels very comfortable in hand. The lovely shine made the wood very attractive, and I know that the new owner will enjoy smoking it for many years to come. I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe as much as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Uncovering a 2011 Peterson Pipe of the Year


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Recently, my wife and I visited some antique shops in the beautiful Fraser Valley, near Vancouver. We stopped in at one shop that was particularly nice and specialized in antique lamps, but which had the odd pipe or two laying around. In one of the display cases, I noticed an old pipe stand with four or five tired-looking pipes. The owner obligingly opened the case so I could take a gander, but the pipes on the stand were not much to my taste. I was about to move away when my wife commented, “Wait, what about that pipe down there?” pointing to something a couple of shelves away. It was a pipe sitting in a Peterson box and I knew it was something special even before I got my hands on it. When I did get my hands on it, choirs of angels broke into song, as I discovered I was holding a brand-new, unsmoked 2011 Peterson Limited Edition Pipe of the Year. It is a gorgeous, luxurious, hexagonal panel with a sterling silver ferrule and military mount. I freely admit that I was rather awestruck — not expecting to find a Pipe of the Year in an old antique shop. Naturally, it was not inexpensive, but it was worth it, and besides, I couldn’t just leave it sitting there. This is a beautiful pipe – no doubt about it.  The left side of the stummel reads Peterson’s [above] Dublin. On the right side of the stummel, it reads Y2011 [above] Limited [above] Edition [above] 46/1000. So, this pipe has one of the very rare low numbers for the pipe of the year: 46! On top of the ferrule is engraved a beautiful, stylized P, flanked left and right by triquetra (the Celtic Trinity knot). On the other side, is engraved the word Peterson above the three silver hallmarks: a seated Hibernia (indicating the city of Dublin), a lozenge with 925 inside it (indicating that it is sterling silver), and the letter ‘A’ (indicating that it was made in the year 2011). The band and the stem had no markings. However, unusually for Peterson, the stem wasn’t a P-lip — it was a fishtail. Peterson has made a Pipe of the Year for many years now and the best source of all things Peterson is, of course, Mark Irwin at Peterson Pipe Notes. He says the following:

“After Charles Peterson’s System pipe, Tom Palmer’s Dublin-era Pipe of the Year is arguably the company’s most noteworthy accomplishment in the worldwide pipe-smoking community. It’s an idea that other companies and artisans have since imitated and continue to imitate. It’s one that’s given us some of Peterson’s most remarkable pipes in the B and D shape charts.

The series has completed its 23rd year, and as Pete Freeks and other pipe companioners and collectors often have questions about them, I thought one place to begin would be a visual dictionary of all twenty-four pipes. That’s right, there are actually twenty-four different shapes, because in 2000 a set of two different shapes was released. Here we go.

When the series began, it had two names, one stamped on the bowl–LIMITED EDITION–and another by which it was commonly called–PIPE OF THE YEAR. Most in the hobby now use POY as the preferred acronym.

 Only the smooth pipes are called “Limited Edition” and numbered. The sandblasted edition (aside from the Founder’s Edition 2015 POTY) is called the “Pipe of the Year” and stamped accordingly. That is, until 2016, when “Limited Edition” stamping was dropped and the series began being stamped PIPE OF THE YEAR.

The first four years of production lacked a year stamp (aside from the sterling hallmark) and were just stamped “LIMITED EDITION” and so on. That changed in 2001, when Peterson began stamping “Y” plus the year above the “LIMITED EDITION.”

For more information (and to see all of Mark Irwin’s photos), please visit this article: https://petersonpipenotes.org/2014/07/13/a-visual-history-of-petersons-limited-edition-pipe-of-the-year-1997-2014/

As I mentioned earlier, the pipe was unsmoked, so it was obviously in good shape. But there were still a few things I wanted to touch up. The sterling silver was thoroughly tarnished and would need some cleaning, and the stem, unsmoked though it may be, was still well-oxidized. So, it went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation. There were a couple of tiny (almost invisible) blemishes on the stem, which I treated with black cyanoacrylate glue. I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. On to the stummel! The briar wood itself didn’t require any attention, but I used compressed air to blast out any dust or debris inside the draught hole and chamber.

I then moved on to the sterling silver ferrule and the band on the military mount stem. I used a jewelry polishing cloth as I prefer to avoid harsher chemicals. It took a surprising amount of elbow grease to remove the tarnish from the silver, but, as you can see, I managed it in the end. Even though the stummel was already shiny, I added some Conservator’s Wax and hand-polished it to ensured it was as glossy as possible. This Peterson is more handsome than ever and is ready to be enjoyed again by the next owner! I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the Irish Pipemakers Section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 5¾ in. (146 mm); height 1⅞ in. (48 mm); bowl diameter 1¼–1½ in. (32–38 mm); chamber diameter ⅞ in. (22 mm). The weight of the pipe is 2⅜ oz. (67 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe’s restoration as much as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

New and Almost New for You


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

I have two pipes that came my way recently and I am happy to offer them to you for sale. No restoration story on these ones – just two beautiful pipes. I gave them a quick (but thorough) once over and now it’s time to turn them over to you. One pipe has never been smoked and the other has only been smoked once or twice by the look of it.

First, is a Savinelli Arcobaleno 606KS bent billiard filter pipe. This one is very close to new. It was smoked once, maybe twice at the most, I’m guessing. Gorgeous pipe. If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the “Italian” pipe section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the Savinelli Arcobaleno 606KS are as follows: length 6 in. (152 mm); height 3 in. (76 mm); bowl diameter 1¼ in. (32 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1⅝ oz. (48 g). Have a look below. Thanks. Next is a French oldtimer – never smoked, brand new. It is beautiful bent acorn from the Courrieu company in Cogolin, France. Lovely, elegant pipe. If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the “French” pipe section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the Courrieu Cogolin are as follows: length 5½ in. (140 mm); height 2¼ in. (57 mm); bowl diameter 1⅛ in. (29 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1⅛ oz. (33 g). If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Adventures in Cordovan


(Kenneth’s Pipe Incident Report #3)

Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

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

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

Reviving a Lovely Stanwell Liverpool


by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is beautiful Danish pipe from Stanwell. I acquired it locally from the estate of an old boy who kept a lovely collection of pipes. The shape of this pipe is a Liverpool – a member of the Canadian pipe family. For some reason, the Liverpool is far less common than the Canadian. Both types have a shank length 1½ to 2 times the height of the bowl. The difference between the two is as follows: the Canadian has an oval-shaped shank whereas the Liverpool has a round-shaped shank. This Stanwell Liverpool is so charming that I was tempted to keep for myself, but, as a life-long Manchester United fan, I cannot have anything named Liverpool in my home!   As I mentioned, this is a Stanwell de Luxe 298 Liverpool. It has beautiful briar from the bowl all the way down the long shank to a short-but-elegant stem. The left side of the shank reads Stanwell [over] Regd. No. 969-48 [over] de Luxe. The right side of the shank reads Fine Briar [over] 298. Finally, the stem’s left side also has the trademark S of the Stanwell company. Of course, 298 refers to the model number and I went to check the list of Stanwell shapes, here on Reborn Pipes. There was no 298 on this list. Hmm. Well, I did find some images from an old Stanwell catalogue (rather vaguely dated as 1960-70). The image below does not mention a shape “298”, but it does show a “98” which looks very similar to the pipe I have. I am assuming that there is a connection.I know from information at Pipephil that the pipe I have is certainly more than 50 years old – and this corresponds to the catalogue above. My pipe has both the “Regd. No.” and the S logo without a crown. This screen capture explains that clearly.Meanwhile, Pipedia has a good amount of information on the Stanwell brand and its history. I certainly recommend looking it over: https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell.

Anyway, this really is a good-looking pipe. No major issues to resolve – just a few minor ones. The stem was dirty, though not too beat up. There were some small scratches and a couple of bite marks, as well as some oxidation and calcification on the vulcanite. The rim on the stummel was blackened and a bit burnt – that would need to be addressed. The insides were fairly dirty and would need some work to clean out. In addition, there was a strange colour to the wood that just wasn’t right. The stem was first on my list. I wiped down the outside of the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. There was enough calcification on the stem that I decided to take a blade and gently scrape it off. I also took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame in order to lift the bite marks and dents. Unfortunately, this didn’t really work, but I have ways of sorting this out. Then, I cleaned out the inside with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. It wasn’t too dirty and only required a few pipe cleaners.I then wiped down the stem with SoftScrub cleaner to remove some surface oxidation. Once this process was done, the stem went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. As the name suggests, this liquid removes oxidation, but, more than anything, it helps draw oxidation to the surface of the vulcanite. This allows me to clean the oxidation off in a couple of ways: both by applying a mild abrasive cleaner to the surface, then by sanding the stem.  The next day, I used SoftScrub again with some cotton rounds and, as you can see, more revolting colour came off the stem.The bite marks on and around the button had to be dealt with, so I whipped out my black cyanoacrylate adhesive to fill those in and let them fully cure. After curing, I used some nail polish to restore the letter S on the stem. I painted the area carefully and let it fully set before proceeding.For sanding the adhesive, I used 220- and 400-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem.  Then I used a set of nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) which gradually erased the ravages of time and brought out the stem’s lovely black lustre. For the last five pads, I also lightly coated the stem with Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each scrubbing. At last, I set the finished stem aside.    Off to work on the stummel! The bowl needed a bit of reaming, so I used the PipNet Reamer to scrape off the built-up cake and I followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as possible. Generally, I prefer to sand the chamber down to bare briar. When restoring, it is important to ensure that there is no damage to the briar in the bowl, under the cake. Fortunately, there were no hidden flaws to the briar on this pipe.   I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. There was a bit of filth inside this stummel and it took a fair amount of cotton to get it clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes.    I decided to de-ghost the pipe in order to remove any lingering smells of the past. I thrust cotton balls into the bowl and the shank and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused any remaining oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowl was nice and clean after this. I used cotton rounds and some Murphy’s Oil Soap to scrub the outside of the stummel and a toothbrush with Murphy’s for the lava on the rim of the pipe. With the lava on the rim removed, I could see that the burn marks remained (see the photo below).In order to remove the remaining burns, I “topped” the pipe – that is to say, I gently and evenly sanded down the rim on a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. I enhanced this further by running the same sandpaper along the inside edge of the rim and creating a very subtle (and beautiful) chamfer. This effectively removed the damage, without altering the look of the pipe. This is always a tricky business – I want to find the balance between removing old burns and maintaining as much of the pipe as possible. But I believe that the photos at the end of this blog show that I got the balance right.

As I mentioned earlier, there were some remnants of an oxblood-like stain on the wood. I’m not sure if this was the original colour of the pipe or if it was added later, but – regardless – it didn’t look good at all. I hoped (and expected) that sanding would help this problem. I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) on the stummel to make it lovely and smooth.  However, not all of the colour was gone, so I removed it with 99% isopropyl alcohol and other stuff I had on hand. It looked so much better with that colour gone.

At this point, I rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar and left it to sit for 10 or 15 minutes. I brushed it with a horsehair brush and buffed it with a microfibre cloth. The BARB does wonderful things to the wood, and I really like the natural colour of the briar.   Finally, it was off for a trip to the bench polisher. A dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were the perfect complement to the briar. The lovely shine made the wood look absolutely beautiful. This pipe is elegant, light, and incredibly comfortable to hold. I thoroughly enjoyed bringing this Stanwell de Luxe 298 Liverpool back to life and I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the “Danish” pipe section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the Stanwell are as follows: length 6 in. (152 mm); height 2 in. (50 mm); bowl diameter 1⅛ in. (29 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1⅛ oz. (33 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this restoration as much as I enjoyed restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.