Tag Archives: LHS Certified Purex pipes

Restoring an LHS Certified Purex #24


Blog by Dave Gossett
Dave1 This pipe was a pretty straight forward cleanup. It was in overall decent shape. It had some light rim char and the stem was out of alignment. Steve had recently posted an LHS repair with this very problem so it came in handy. I followed his process and sanded the aluminum shank cap gently on a flat sanding board until the stem was in proper position. I can’t imagine they left the factory out of alignment, so I don’t know how they end up like that.Dave2

Dave3 Next I sanded the rim with 1000 grit until I reached fresh briar, and went over the rest of the stummel with 2000 grit to remove the nicks and scratches, then began working my way up the grit ladder until it was smooth.

A quick wipe down with alcohol was applied before adding Fiebings dark brown. I left it to cure for 24 hours. For a nice contrast stain, I lightly mist the briar with alcohol and use a very worn piece of 2000 grit. This removes the dark stain from the soft wood and makes the grain more prominent. After the pipe has been wiped down with a damp cloth to remove the excess stain, it was left to dry and then lightly sanded with micro mesh one last time.Dave4

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A Restored LHS Certified Purex #95 Squashed Tomato


Blog by Dave Gossett

A pipe shape this elegant deserves a better name than squashed tomato. I received this pipe looking more like a bruised tomato. It was beat up and chewed up. An LHS this shape doesn’t pop up very often so I was happy to accept the pipe in any condition.dPk6umBl

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Dave4 I started off with the routine internal cleaning of the pipe with alcohol, pipe cleaners, and shank brush.

Next I began to work out the dents by heating a butter knife with a propane torch and pressing it firmly to the dented areas with a damp rag between the two. This generates steam and lifts the dents out of the briar. This may have to be done several times to the same area depending how bad the dents are.

After steaming, I sanded the scratches from the rest of the briar, smoothed out the bowl chamber, prepping it for the carbon coating, gave it a light alcohol scrub with 0000 steel wool to remove the leftover patchy original finish, and finally, masked off the shank and polished the aluminum.Dave5

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Dave7 Next up is the stem rebuild.Dave8 A tight fitting plug/form for the air way and bit is made from cardboard wrapped in clear tape.

Here is a picture of all the materials used for the stem rebuild.

Cyanoacrylate glue (medium viscosity), activated charcoal. Dave9 I use disposable things for mixing and application process. 25% charcoal/75% glue mixed thoroughly is the recipe. I mix it in bottle caps, and use a q-tip stem with a small scoop/spoon cut into the end to apply to the repair site.

The repair site needs to be scored and cleaned before the mix is applied.Dave10 Once the material has cured, the tape covered cardboard plug is easily removed. Using a needle file I reshaped the button and then wet sanded the stem.

Back to briar.
Now that it has been steamed, sanded, and had the old stain removed, I applied a custom color mix of Fiebings, consisting of dark brown, a hint of orange, and a bit of oxblood, thinned a bit with alcohol.Dave11

Dave12 I always like seeing the color transformation from the dry stained tint to the very different shade it becomes after the carnauba wax is applied.

The final step in the restoration after waxing is the carbon bowl coating. It’s a very simple detail to make an old estate pipe look fresh again. Maple syrup and activated charcoal. After the bowl chamber is clean and smooth, lightly coat the bowl chamber with maple syrup, then fill the bowl to the top with the charcoal. Leave it for one hour or more then dump the bowl and blow through the shank to remove the excess. Next is the hard part. Don’t touch it for 5 days. It takes 3-5 days for it to harden and cure. I usually give it a week just to be sure. Once it has set up, it’s as tough as a Savinelli carbon coating and looks just as good. The pipe will have the familiar slightly bitter taste of a brand new pipe, but it doesn’t last nearly as long. After you smoke a bowl or two it goes away. Dave13

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Restoring an LHS Certified Purex Bullmoose Rhodesian


Blog by Dave Gossett
Dave1 LHS Certified Purex shape #99.

This pipe was in better shape than most estates I start with. It had some dents and dings and some tooth chatter, but overall it was a solid pipe.Dave2

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Dave5 I started off this restoration with the usual internal cleaning, giving the stem, mortise, and airway an alcohol scrub with pipe cleaners and a shank brush. Next up was the bowl chamber. After removing what little cake build up that was in the bowl, I sanded the bowl chamber smooth with 400 grit.

Next, I tackled the dents and dings – first with steam followed by 2000 grit. Heating the flat side of a butter knife and pressing it firmly to the dented areas with a damp rag between the two will generate steam, lifting the dents from the briar. Don’t try this around any stampings, as it will lift the stampings just as it does with dents. This may need to be done more than once or twice for stubborn dents.

After I had worked the dents, I gave the briar a very light scrub with alcohol and 0000 steel wool to remove the stain and even out the finish where I had steamed and sanded.

After prepping the briar, I started on the stem. The button was a little worn down but not bad enough to reform, so I left it as is. I used a needle file to remove the tooth chatter. Feathering out and away from the button past the damaged area will prevent the stem from having a warped look or divot around the repaired area.Dave6

Dave7 The next step after removing the tooth chatter was wet sanding the stem to remove the oxidation and file marks. The way this particular stem was made with a metal inserted logo and metal ring and stinger attached, made this clean up much easier than most others. No worrying about working around a fragile stem stamping or rounding the crisp edge of the stem/shank connection, I was able to just mow through the whole stem while wet sanding until I unearthed fresh black vulcanite.

Now that the grunt work is over, it’s almost time for the fun stuff…Dave8

Dave9 Oh, one more thing. Let’s try our hand in some metal alchemy by making the aluminum look more like sterling silver.

I prepped the briar with tape for two reasons. First, the compound will raise the grain if you run it on a buffing wheel and secondly, the tarnish/compound mix on the buffer wheel with stain the briar black.Dave10 Notice how dark the tape is afterwards.Dave11 The natural briar looked pretty nice and I thought about leaving it in a natural finish, but I decided to put it back to its original color, or as close as I could get. I blended a color close to the LHS burgundy by mixing two full droppers of alcohol, one full dropper of oxblood, and one half dropper of dark brown.

Pay no mind to the workbench of disarray. Sometimes I lose the pipe I’m working on in all the clutter.Dave12

Dave13 After the stain had dried, I lightly sanded the briar with a worn piece of 2000 grit to highlight the grain a bit, and then proceeded with laying on the carnauba wax. Two coats followed by a hand buff with a microfiber rag.Dave14

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Dave17 I forgot to wipe out the buffer fuzz before taking photos.Dave18 Last but least, I finished up the pipe by adding a fresh carbon bowl coating. This is a simple and effective way to give a tired looking bowl chamber a great new look. I’ve seen many crazy recipes for a homemade bowl coating but after trial and error, I have found this to be the most effective and easiest way to do it. Once the bowl chamber is clean and smooth, apply a thin coat of maple syrup to the chamber. Next fill the entire bowl to the top with activated charcoal. Leave it for one hour, then dump it out and blow through the shank to remove excess. Don’t touch it for five days. After the five day curing process, it is as tough as a Savinelli factory coating and looks just as nice.Dave19

NEPAL PROJECT PIPE SALE 11 – Restoring a LHS Certified Purex 97 Squashed Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

I decided to add this LHS Bulldog to the sale. It is thus the eleventh pipe from the box of pipes that I was gifted by a good friend of mine with the instructed purpose of cleaning them up and selling them with all of the proceeds going to the aid of earthquake victims in Nepal. Once again all funds raised will all go to the SA Foundation, and organization that has worked in Nepal for over 15 years helping provide recovery, housing and job training for women who are victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking. The ongoing earthquakes (over 300) that continue to shake Nepal have left much in ruins. The SA Foundation Project there was able to find new housing for the women and help with staff as well. Every dollar raised from the sale of these pipes will go to the work in Nepal.

It is an old LHS (LH Stern) Bulldog. It is stamped on the left side of the shank with the shape number 97 and almost over the top of that stamp is the application of a white imprinted logo. The logo reads LHS in a flattened diamond. On the top of the diamond it reads Certified Purex and on the bottom of the diamond it read Imported Briar.Bulldog1 I have had quite a few LHS pipes on my work table over the years but this is the first time I have seen this shape bulldog. It is squat and short but has a large bowl – the size of my thumb and the bowl is quite deep. There are two rings around the bowl and a bulldog cap. The rustication pattern is also quite unique – looking like a thatched pattern. There is an aluminum fitment in the shank of the pipe and an aluminum tenon with a separated stinger that screws into the fitment in the shank. The stem was slightly oxidized and underturned. There were no major tooth marks or chatter on the stem. The finish was in decent shape, just dirty and dusty. The rings around the cap were plugged with debris that would need to be cleaned out. The airway in the bottom of the bowl was very small looking. The bowl had been reamed recently and was clean that way.Bulldog2

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Bulldog4 If you look closely at the alignment of the metal band on the shank with the band on the stem you will see how it is underturned and how the band on the shank is slightly corroded next to the shank.Bulldog5

Bulldog6 The close up of the bowl shows the constricted airway at the bottom of the bowl on the back side. Too me it looked to be almost plugged with tars and would not be too difficult to open.Bulldog7 I unscrewed the stem from the shank to look at the internals. I have found that pipes with the metal fitment in the shank are generally quite dirty on the other side of the metal mortise and take some work to clean. This pipe was no exception. I tapped the metal end against my desk top and a lot of chunks of tar fell out on the desk top. The stinger was inserted into the threaded tenon and also was quite dirty and the slots in it were also restricted with buildup.Bulldog8 I heated the tenon and stinger with the flame of the lighter hoping to loosen the tenon in the shank and straighten the fit in the shank. I heated it until the stem itself was warm and the metal tenon did not budge. I was able to remove the stinger for cleaning.Bulldog9

Bulldog10 I examined the tenon insert in the stem (probably should have done this first). I found that the metal plate that acted as a stem adornment and the tenon were integrated into one piece and no amount of heating would ever loosen the tenon from the shank. I had to come up with another solution. I screwed the stem back on the pipe and set it aside to contemplate my course of action. I thought of adding a thin plate of Lucite or briar between the stem adornment and the shank adornment but decided against that. I let it sit for a while and worked on the stem.

Suddenly I figured out a potential fix. If I were to sand down the shank end enough to allow the stem to sit correctly I could possibly get the alignment correct. I measured the depth of the threads in the shank and then those on the tenon and found that the thread went deeper than the length of the tenon by about 1/8 of an inch. If I could remove some of the aluminum shank end plate I could get it to seat correctly. I used my topping board and pressed the end of the aluminum end plate flat against the board. I carefully worked it in a circular motion on the sandpaper. I checked frequently to make sure I did not take of too much or too little of the aluminum plate.Bulldog11 The next photo shows the end plate after it had been topped sufficiently. The scratches from the sandpaper would easily be polished off with micromesh. I have also included four photos of the different angles on the stem to show how the underturn had been corrected. The fit was perfect.Bulldog12

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Bulldog16 With the stem fit corrected I then turned to cleaning out the inside of the stem and the shank. It took many pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I also used the drill bit from the KleenReem reamer to open the airway into the bowl. Bulldog17 I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl down with oil soap and a tooth brush. I picked out the debris in the twin rings around the cap. I sanded the stem down with 220 grit sandpaper and then followed that by sanding with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge.Bulldog18

Bulldog19 There were two small tooth marks in the vulcanite on the underside of the stem. I repaired those with a drop of clear super glue. I sanded the glue patch with 220 grit sandpaper and then repeated sanding it with the two sanding sponges. When finished I sanded it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12,000 grit pads. Between each set of three pads I rubbed the stem down with an Obsidian Oil saturated sock that I use for this purpose. I let it sit for just a few moments before continuing with the next grit of pads. The oil gives traction for polishing the stem.Bulldog20

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Bulldog22 I used the micromesh pads to also polish the aluminum on the shank and the stem. I worked through all of the grits to polish it to a shine. I also used 0000 steel wool to polish the stinger and the tenon. Then I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond Plastic polish to further raise the shine. I put it back on the bowl and buffed the bowl and shank lightly with Blue Diamond. A light touch keeps the buffing compound from collecting in the grooves. I also carefully worked around the white stamping on the shank. I gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax and then rubbed the bowl down with Halcyon II Wax and hand buffed the bowl and shank with a shoe brush. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I really like the shape and the rustication on this one. I am looking forward to loading a bowl and enjoying it on the weekend ahead. Thanks John.Bulldog23

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Bulldog28 This LHS Bulldog is a beautiful pipe and the rustication and stain gives it almost a multidimensional look. It should make someone a great addition. The entirety of the sale price will go to the Nepal project. I will pay the postage so that does not get taken off the proceeds. If you are interested in reading about the SA Foundation you can look at their website at http://www.safoundation.com.

Thanks for looking.