Tag Archives: National Washington D.C. Pipes

A National Washington, D.C. Bent Billiard from the Bertram Collection


Blog by Steve Laug

Give the previous blogs a read to have an idea about the Bertram Collection that I am working on these days. I can’t adequately describe how overwhelmed I am when I look at the 200+ pipes that need to be restored but there is only one way to move ahead – 1 pipe at a time. Jeff is doing the major cleanup on the lot as that would be more than I could handle by myself in moving through this many pipes. From his cleaned pipes the next one I chose is a Made in London National Washington, D.C. 33 Bent Billiard to be the next pipe that I would work on. It has some amazing straight grain around the bowl and shank. The bowl had cake in the chamber that was no problem. The rim top had some darkening and lava overflow on the back side. The inner and outer edge of the bowl appeared to be in good condition but we would know more once the bowl had been reamed and cleaned. The exterior of the briar looked lifeless and was dusty with the grime of years of storage. The stem had some oxidation, tooth chatter and marks near the button on both sides. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he began his cleanup work on it. Jeff took close-up photos of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe when it arrived. The rim top had a thick coat of lava and the bowl had a thick cake. It was hard to see what the inner and outer edge looked like with the cake and lava.Jeff took a picture of the bowl side and the heel to show the marvelous grain on the bowl. It really is quite stunning and very dirty! There is also something mis-stamped on right side of the bowl. Under a magnifying lens it reads England.The next two photos show the stamping on the sides of the shank. The left side is stamped with National over Washington, D.C.  over Made in London. At the shank/bowl junction it is stamped 33. The stamping on the shank was slightly double stamped and had some white paint in it.The next two photos show the condition of the stem surfaces. The stem was oxidized and had some calcification on the surface as well as tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.I have already done the work on one of the National pipes in the Bertram lot so I turned to that to have another look at the history of the brand (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/05/21/doing-some-cosmetic-work-on-a-national-pipes-rhodesian/). I quote in full from that blog.

Before I started my restoration work I wanted to refresh my memory about the brand. I remembered from previous National Pipes that I had worked on that there was a tie to the Bertram Pipe Company in Washington, D.C. I also knew that it was a very different company than the National Briar Pipe Company of Jersey City, New Jersey but that is where all the trails let in terms of Pipedia and Pipephil’s site. I turned back to a previous blog that I had written on the brand when I restored a pipe with the same stampings to review the history and connection of the brand to Bertram. https://rebornpipes.com/tag/national-washington-d-c-pipes/. I knew that the fact that there were several of these included with the large lot of Bertram pipes that Jeff and I purchased was not accidental. Here is the link to that previous blog. I quote in part:

I had a gut feeling that the pipe had some connection to Bertram Pipe Company of Washington DC but only the vaguest memory of that connection. I could not remember where I picked that up but just had the memory. I did some searching on the Internet and found a National Briar Pipe Company of Jersey City, New Jersey with no clear ties to Washington DC on the Pipedia site. This was the company that purchased the Doodler after Tracy Mincer died. I could see that the Jersey City pipes were stamped differently and all had line names stamped on them. On the Pipephil site I found an English version that had very different stamping on the left side of the shank as well as Made in England on the right side of the shank.

Thus I was reminded of the non-connection to the New Jersey Pipe Company. The blog went on to record some information that tied the National Washington, D.C. company to Bertram more definitively. I quote

I…posted a question on Smokers Forum (SF) and Pipe Smokers Unlimited regarding the brand. I received several responses that gave me information. One of them on SF came from Ed Klang and provided me with some confirmation regarding my memory of the connection with Bertram. I quote him in full, “In the history of the Bertram company, after the fire at the Washington, D.C. facility and the decision was made to discontinue Bertram production a group of employees and a few investors wanted to buy the rights to the Bertram name, which was turned down and it was then proposed that they would rebrand the pipes as National, no mention was made whether anything ever came of that proposal. Supposedly this group did produce pipes for a while but the effort was finally abandoned and I have never been able to reliably confirm this. Just bits and pieces here and there.” Thanks Ed. This is the random memory that I was trying to dig up.

I also received a reply on SF from Radiobob that read as follows: “National Pipe and Tobacco was located on the 1700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., just about a block from where I worked. I still have two Canadians that I bought there, as well as a Comoy’s Patina Apple. In my recollection, it closed down–much to my regret–in the mid to late 1980s.”

Those responses gave me the kind of details that I always find helpful in my restoration work. I will continue to do some digging on the company and see what I can find but that bit confirmed the visual tie to the Bertram Company of DC. Thank you for your help Ed and Bob.

Now I have a different one that has the National stamp and also is stamped Made in London. There is also a mistaken stamp on the side of the bowl that says ENGLAND. This is another piece of the puzzle for me. I know National had other pipe companies in Europe make there pipes. This one has a very Barling like look to it. I wonder if it was not made by them for National? On with the cleanup and restoration on this Bent Billiard.

When I received the pipe Jeff had already reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He had scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He had scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He had rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove lava build up on the rim top and you could see the great condition of the bowl top and edges of the rim. There was still some darkening to the rim top toward the back of the bowl. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the condition of the bowl and rim after Jeff had cleaned up the grime and lava. The inner edge of the rim has some damage and nicks on it. The out edge of the rim looks good. There is some rim darkening on the back side of the bowl. The stem photos show that the oxidation is gone. The surface of the vulcanite looked very good. The tooth marks and chatter are near the button on both sides. I also took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank showing how the stamping was laid out. It appeared to have been double stamped and the stamping whitened. There was also a strange mistaken stamping on the right side of the bowl – it read ENGLAND.I worked on the inner edge of the rim and the darkening on the backside of the top with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage and remove the darkening. There were two noticeable divots in the otherwise flawless briar – one on the left side of the heel of the bowl and the other on the right side of the shank. I darkened them with a black Sharpie pen and then filled them in with clear super glue. Once the repair cured I sanded it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and smoothed further with 400 grit sandpaper. I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris. After the final sanding pad I hand buffed it with a cotton cloth to raise a shine. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into finish of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Restoration Balm really makes the grain stands out beautifully. Between the polishing with the micromesh pads and the balm I did not have to stain the repaired areas. They blend in very well. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to blend the tooth marks and chatter into the surface of the stem. Once the surface was smooth I sanded out the scratch marks and started the polishing of the stem with a folded piece of 400 grit sandpaper. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and gave it a final coat and set it aside to dry.  This is the part of the restoration process that I really look forward to! When all the parts are finished and the pipe I clean then I put the stem and bowl back together and buff the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I polish the briar and any minute scratches still in the vulcanite of the stem until there is a rich shine. This National Washington, D.C. pipe is a classic English looking bent billiard shape with a natural finish that highlights some amazing straight and flame grain on a proportionally well carved pipe. Buffing the pipe made the briar come alive and the grain popped with polishing. The black vulcanite stem had a rich glow. The finished pipe is a beautifully grained English Made National Bent Billiard. The pipe feels really good in the hand and sits right in the mouth. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as it was a pleasure to work on.

 

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Doing Some Cosmetic Work on a National Pipes Rhodesian


Blog by Steve Laug

Rather than repeat myself and give the blog readers grief with the repetition please refer to the previous blog posts on the Bertrams to learn about how my brother and I picked up this pipe collection. Just know that we have a collection of Bertrams and a smattering of other brands that when they were unwrapped filled three boxes. The photo below is included to show the size of the collection we had purchased. To be honest it was a bit overwhelming to see all of the collection in boxes. We were looking at a lot of work to bring these back to life.I cannot tell you how glad I am that Jeff is working through the clean up on this lot as they are really quite dirty and there are so many! It would be a more daunting task than it already is if I had to clean and restore all of them. I am leaving it to him to choose which pipes to work on. He has chosen some interesting shaped ones to restore. Here is how we are working out the transfer from him to me. As he finishes a batch of them he boxes them up and sends them to me. I have received two boxes so far. From the first box he sent, I chose a beautifully shaped and grained Rhodesian that is stamped National over Washington D.C. to be the next pipe that I would work on. This pipe was another very dirty one! The smooth finish was grimy and dusty but some interesting grain shone through showing me that this was a beautiful pipe. There were a few rough fills and nicks on the right and left backside of the bowl. It was a large thick shank bent Rhodesian shaped pipe with a saddle stem. There was a thick cake in the bowl and some lava overflowing on to the rim top. The condition of the edges appeared to be pretty good but reaming would give an definitive clue on that. There was one small flaw on the smooth rim top on the rear right side that would need attention. The stem was dirty and showed some light oxidation but there were not any deep tooth marks. There were some flaws on the sides of the saddle stem that needed to be addressed. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe.  Jeff took close-up photos of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe when it arrived. The rim top had a thick coat of lava and the bowl had a thick cake.Jeff took pictures of the bowl sides and the heel to show the marvelous grain on the bowl. It really is quite stunning and very dirty!The next three photos show the stamping on the sides of the bowl. The left side is stamped with the shape number 35 followed by National over Washington, D.C. The right side is stamped Imported Briar. The second photo also shows a deep flaw in the surface of the briar. Jeff did not take photos of the stem to show its condition. By and large it was in good condition with some manufacturing flaws on both sides of the stem where the saddle met the blade of the stem. Before I started my restoration work I wanted to refresh my memory about the brand. I remembered from previous National Pipes that I had worked on that there was a tie to the Bertram Pipe Company in Washington, D.C. I also knew that it was a very different company than the National Briar Pipe Company of Jersey City, New Jersey but that is where all the trails let in terms of Pipedia and Pipephil’s site. I turned back to a previous blog that I had written on the brand when I restored a pipe with the same stampings to review the history and connection of the brand to Bertram. https://rebornpipes.com/tag/national-washington-d-c-pipes/. I knew that the fact that there were several of these included with the large lot of Bertram pipes that Jeff and I purchased was not accidental. Here is the link to that previous blog. I quote in part:

I had a gut feeling that the pipe had some connection to Bertram Pipe Company of Washington DC but only the vaguest memory of that connection. I could not remember where I picked that up but just had the memory. I did some searching on the Internet and found a National Briar Pipe Company of Jersey City, New Jersey with no clear ties to Washington DC on the Pipedia site. This was the company that purchased the Doodler after Tracy Mincer died. I could see that the Jersey City pipes were stamped differently and all had line names stamped on them. On the Pipephil site I found an English version that had very different stamping on the left side of the shank as well as Made in England on the right side of the shank.

Thus I was reminded of the non-connection to the New Jersey Pipe Company. The blog went on to record some information that tied the National Washington, D.C. company to Bertram more definitively. I quote

I…posted a question on Smokers Forum (SF) and Pipe Smokers Unlimited regarding the brand. I received several responses that gave me information. One of them on SF came from Ed Klang and provided me with some confirmation regarding my memory of the connection with Bertram. I quote him in full, “In the history of the Bertram company, after the fire at the Washington, D.C. facility and the decision was made to discontinue Bertram production a group of employees and a few investors wanted to buy the rights to the Bertram name, which was turned down and it was then proposed that they would rebrand the pipes as National, no mention was made whether anything ever came of that proposal. Supposedly this group did produce pipes for a while but the effort was finally abandoned and I have never been able to reliably confirm this. Just bits and pieces here and there.” Thanks Ed. This is the random memory that I was trying to dig up.

I also received a reply on SF from Radiobob that read as follows: “National Pipe and Tobacco was located on the 1700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., just about a block from where I worked. I still have two Canadians that I bought there, as well as a Comoy’s Patina Apple. In my recollection, it closed down–much to my regret–in the mid to late 1980s.”

Those responses gave me the kind of details that I always find helpful in my restoration work. I will continue to do some digging on the company and see what I can find but that bit confirmed the visual tie to the Bertram Company of DC. Thank you for your help Ed and Bob.

Once more I had the confirmation I needed to link the two brands – Bertrams and National! On with the cleanup and restoration on this Rhodesian.

When I received the pipe Jeff had already reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He had scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He had scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He had rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove lava build up on the rim top and you could see the great condition of the bowl top and edges of the rim. There was still some darkening to the rim top toward the back of the bowl. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the condition of the bowl and rim after Jeff had cleaned up the grime and lava and in doing so revealed the flaw on the right side of the rim. I have circled it in red. Both the inner edge and the outer edge of the rim look good. The stem photos show that the oxidation is gone. The surface of the vulcanite looked very good. There were some casting marks on both sides of the stem where the blade flowed from the saddle.I also took a photo of the stamping on the left and right side of the shank showing how the stamping was laid out. I repaired the flaws on the sides and top of the bowl with clear super glue. I used a small drop of the clear glue to fill in the spots. You can see them in the photos below. There were two on the right side, one on the left near the shank/bowl junction and one on the rim top on the right side. Once the repairs cured I blended them into the surface of the surrounding briar with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. The photos below show the sanded repairs. I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris. After the final sanding pad I hand buffed it with a cotton cloth to raise a shine. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into finish of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Restoration Balm really makes the grain stands out beautifully. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. The first two photos show the damage to the stem sides – the casting marks on both sides of the stem. I have circled them in red to highlight the damaged areas that needed to be repaired. I filled in the damaged areas with clear super glue and set the stem aside until the repairs cured. I used a folded piece of 240 grit sandpaper to blend the tooth marks and chatter into the surface of the stem. Once the surface was smooth I sanded out the scratch marks and started the polishing of the stem with a folded piece of 400 grit sandpaper. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and gave it a final coat and set it aside to dry.  I put the stem and bowl back together and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I polished the briar and the minute scratches still in the vulcanite of the stem until there was a rich shine. This National is another Washington, D.C. pipe that has a classic bent Rhodesian shape with a natural finish that highlights some amazing grain on a proportionally well carved pipe. Once I buffed the pipe the briar came alive and the mixture of grain – straight, cross, flame and birdseye – popped with polishing. The black vulcanite stem had a rich glow. The finished pipe is a beautiful grained Rhodesian. Like the other pipes I have worked on from this lot this one fits well in the hand and sits right in the mouth. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/2 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as it was a pleasure to work on.

Restoring a NATIONAL Washington DC Square Shank Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I picked up this little square shank billiard in a foursome I purchased on EBay. I wanted the Rhodesian in the lot and the others were really just a bonus. This one was in the group but there was no information on it in the advert. When I saw it in the listing I thought it had a bit of a look like an older Comoy’s or even an old GBD square shank. There was no stamping visible in the photos. The stem had some heavy calcification and tooth marks in the photo and what appeared to be a bite through on the topside of the stem. Once it arrived I would have a better idea of what I had purchased.Foursome9

Foursome 6

Foursome8 When I opened the box, of course I went for the BBB Rhodesian first and it was the first pipe I cleaned up. The apple shaped pipe at the top was a Bertram and it was my second cleanup. I pretty much ignored the little square shank billiard as the stem was a mess that I did not feel like tackling at the moment. Shortly after receiving this one I got a gift box of more pipes so this one was pushed to the bottom of the refurb box.

Finally last evening I decided to take it out of the box and examine it more closely. It had faint stamping on the left side of the shank that read NATIONAL over WASHINGTON DC. In many ways it reminded me of the stamping on the Bertram apple that is shown above. It read Bertram in script over WASHINGTON DC. There was no other stamping on the sides, top and bottom of the pipe.Nat1

Nat2 The bowl had a heavy, hard cake that had chunks missing out of it in the bowl sides. The rim was heavily caked and tarred and also had cuts in the top of the rim and dents and chips in the outer edge of the rim.Nat3

Nat4 The underside of the bowl and shank had been flattened to create a sitter. There were scratches and dents in the finish of the bowl. The bowl had evidently been finished like the Bertrams as well in that it did not have a stain coat. It had picked up a patina in the finish over the years that had some red overtones that would come out nicely once the bowl was cleaned up.Nat5 The stem was in rough shape. With a buildup of white calcification that went half way up both sides of the stem. There were also a lot of tooth marks on the top and bottom sides of the stem. The stem was upside down in the photos and did not align properly with the square shank. I turned it over and everything fit very well. The stem had a pinhole like bite through in the surface that would need to be repaired. The stem itself had a slight cant to the right when it was manufactured and that could not be changed without drastically reworking the stem. The slot in the airway was clogged to an airhole the size of a pin that allowed minimal airflow and would not take a pipe cleaner.

Topside of the stem

Topside of the stem

Underside of the stem

Underside of the stem

With the stem removed from the shank it was obvious that the shank had never been cleaned out and had a thick build up of tars and oils. The tenon was a step down version and the step itself was tarred and caked to the point that the step did not show.Nat8 I had a gut feeling that the pipe had some connection to Bertram Pipe Company of Washington DC but only the vaguest memory of that connection. I could not remember where I picked that up but just had the memory. I did some searching on the Internet and found a National Briar Pipe Company of Jersey City, New Jersey with no clear ties to Washington DC on the Pipedia site. This was the company that purchased the Doodler after Tracy Mincer died. I could see that the Jersey City pipes were stamped differently and all had line names stamped on them. On the Pipephil site I found an English version that had very different stamping on the left side of the shank as well as Made in England on the right side of the shank.

I also posted a question on Smokers Forum and Pipe Smokers Unlimited regarding the brand. I received several responses that gave me information. One of them on SF came from Ed Klang and provided me with some confirmation regarding my memory of the connection with Bertram. I quote him in full, “In the history of the Bertram company, after the fire at the Washington facility and the decision was made to discontinue Bertram production a group of employees and a few investors wanted to buy the rights to the Bertram name, which was turned down and it was then proposed that they would rebrand the pipes as National, no mention was made whether anything ever came of that proposal. Supposedly this group did produce pipes for a while but the effort was finally abandoned and I have never been able to reliably confirm this. Just bits and pieces here and there.” Thanks Ed. This is the random memory that I was trying to dig up.

I also received a reply on SF from Radiobob that read as follows: “National Pipe and Tobacco was located on the 1700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., just about a block from where I worked. I still have two Canadians that I bought there, as well as a Comoy’s Patina Apple. In my recollection, it closed down–much to my regret–in the mid to late 1980s.”

Those responses gave me the kind of details that I always find helpful in my restoration work. I will continue to do some digging on the company and see what I can find but that bit confirmed the visual tie to the Bertram Company of DC. Thank you for your help Ed and Bob.

I started work on the pipe by removing the stem and then reaming the bowl. The cake was hard as a rock but by beginning with the smallest cutting head of my PipNet reamer and working up to the third cutting head I was able to ream the bowl back to bare briar.Nat9

Nat10

Nat11 You can see in the photo above that there were still some rough places on the side of the bowl that needed more attention. I used a pen knife/letter opener that I keep in my refurb tool kit to carefully scrape away the remnant of cake.Nat12 I started to slowly sand the top of the rim with a folded piece of sandpaper but found the damaged areas significant enough that I decided to top the bowl and reshape the top of the rim by hand afterwards.Nat13

Nat14

Nat15 I scrubbed the bowl down with acetone on cotton pads to remove the grime that had been rubbed into the bowl sides and shank. There were a few fills present but I figured that once I oiled the bowl these would blend into the reddish finish of the briar.Nat16

Nat17 I reshaped the rim with a folded piece of sandpaper to smooth out the rough spots on the outer edge and to give the rim a slight bevel toward the inner rim edge. I wiped it down with acetone and cotton pads as well.Nat18 I set the bowl aside for a bit and worked on the stem. I sanded the stem surface to remove the tooth marks and the calcium buildup. I also wanted to remove the light oxidation that was underneath that and to also clean up the stem enough that I could see the extent of the damage around the bite through on the topside. The first photo below is enlarged to show the hole. It was not huge but there were small cracks radiating around the hole. There were no holes on the bottom side of the stem or tooth marks along the sides.Nat19

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Nat22 I picked the area around the small hole with a dental pick to remove any loose pieces of vulcanite that were present and then scrubbed down the area on the top of the stem with alcohol to clean it up for the repair. I greased a pipe cleaner with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly and inserted it in the airway under the hole. I filled the hole with a large drop of black super glue, intentionally overfilling it in order to have the glue go into the spidering cracks around the edges. I set the stem aside for the evening and let it cure.Nat23 In the morning when the glue had cured I used a needle file to redefine the button and then sanded the repair with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the excess and feather it into the surface of the stem.Nat24

Nat25 I sanded the stem with a medium and fine grit sanding sponge and found that while the major hole was filled and solidly repaired there was a small air bubble that once sanded produced a small hole that also needed to be fixed. It was right next to the newly shaped button. I used a drop of clear super glue to repair that. It dries quickly so I could easily sand it and blend it into the stem.Nat26

Nat27 I sanded the patch and the stem with a medium and fine grit sanding sponge. The results can be seen in the photos below. The hole is gone and the stem is ready for polishing.Nat28

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Nat32 I sanded the bowl, shank and stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads.Nat33 I rubbed down the stem with Obsidian Oil and while it dried I decided to rub down the bowl with a light coat of olive oil. It serves to highlight the grain and brings out the red in the briar. The next four photos show the pipe at this point in the refurb.Nat34

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Nat37 I dry sanded the stem, bowl and shank with 3200-12,000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads and gave the stem a final coat of the oil after the 12,000 grit pad.Nat38

Nat39 I buffed the pipe and stem with White Diamond and gave them both multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a soft flannel buff to raise the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The olive oil really highlights the red tints in the briar and shows the contrast between the birdseye and the background briar as well as the grain on the front, back, top and bottom of the shank and bowl. It truly is a beautiful pipe – the briar is well grained and the fills disappear into the red colour of the briar.Nat40

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