Tag Archives: Oxidation

New Life for a Kaywoodie Super Grain Zulu


Blog by Steve Laug

I wrote in the blog just previous to this one – the restoration of the Selected Straight Grain bent billiard – how I had been contacted by Jim in the South Eastern US regarding some pipes that he had found (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/09/22/cleaning-up-a-beautiful-comoys-made-selected-straight-grain-bent-billiard/). He called to tell me about a group of six pipes that he purchased on one of his own pipe hunts. He wanted to know if I could help him identifying what he had found. There were two older Kaywoodies (a bent meerschaum lined billiard and a Super Grain Zulu), a Selected Straight Grain bent billiard, a GBD Sauvage Bulldog, a Henley Club Apple (made by Sasieni), and the last one a Medico Crest Prince.

In our conversation he told me he was going to box up the lot and mail them to me to have a look. When they arrived he said we could talk and make an arrangement regarding the pipes that he wanted to have restored from the lot. He wanted my opinion on the others as well. The box arrived last week and I opened it to have a good look at what Jim had sent to me. As I mentioned in the previous blog, I went through them making notes on what I saw regarding the condition of each pipe. I sent Jim my notes on the pipes and he replied noting the two pipes that he wanted me to work on for him in the lot – the first one was a large Bent Selected Straight Grain Billiard and the second was the Kaywoodie Super Grain Zulu. We fired several emails back and forth talking about the pipes and the decision was made. I would restore the two pipes for him.

When I finished the Selected Straight Grain, I turned my attention to the Kaywoodie Super Grain Zulu. It is a nice piece of briar with straight grain on the front and back of the bowl and birdseye grain on the sides of each bowl. The pipe is stamped on the top of the oval shank with the brand name Kaywoodie over Super Grain over Imported Briar. On the right side of the shank the shape number 01 is stamped. The shape is Zulu with an oval shank and stem with a 1/8th bend to the stem. Like the Selected Straight Grain the Kaywoodie was a nice pipe that showed some nice grain underneath the grime.

The pipe was a typical Kaywoodie sized pipe. There was a flaw in the briar on the left back side of the bowl just above the shank/bowl junction. There was another flaw on the front right toward the bottom of the bowl. Other than these two spot on the bowl, there were no other sandpits or fills in the briar. The bowl had a thick cake in it and there was a thick overflow of lava on the top of the rim. It was not possible to know if there was damage to the inner edge and the top of the rim. The finish was worn and tired but should clean up easily. The stem was lightly oxidized and there was tooth chatter on both sides at the button, but no deep tooth marks. The stem was slightly underturned and when I removed it there was a paper gasket that was glued to the end of the stem to correct the issue. The classic Kaywoodie metal stinger apparatus had been cut off and the airway in the remaining metal tenon was damaged.

I took a series of photos of the pipe to record the condition it was in when it arrived.I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava on top of the bowl. The rim and bowl were in rough condition. The photos of the stem show the condition of the vulcanite. The oxidized surface of the rubber was pitted and worn. The light tooth chatter on both sides can be seen in the photos. I unscrewed the stem from the shank and took the following photo. It shows the paper washer that had been glued to the end of the stem to help the alignment of the stem. The clipped stinger is also shown in the photo. I scraped off the glued on gasket with a sharp pen knife and cleaned off the surface with alcohol and cotton swabs. I used a needle file to open up the end of the tenon and remove the damaged edges that had been caused when the stinger was clipped off. I cleaned out the airway with pipe cleaners and alcohol. I heated the tenon with a Bic lighter to soften the glue and put the stem back on the end of the shank and turned it until the stem and the shank were aligned. The photo below shows the newly aligned stem and shank. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working up to the second cutting head. I took the cake back to bare briar. I cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I scraped the top of the rim with the pen knife to take as much of the lava off as possible. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad. I used clear super glue to repair the damage on the back and the front of the bowl. I filled in the areas with the glue and set the bowl aside to dry. When the repairs had cured I sanded the areas with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the briar. I polished the areas with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust.I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad to remove the dust in preparation for staining the briar. I stained it with a dark brown aniline stain and flamed it with a lighter. I repeated the process until the coverage was even around the bowl.I wiped the bowl down with alcohol and cotton pads to remove the stain and make the coverage more transparent. I wanted the grain to pop so that finish stood out.The saturation of the stain was perfect for what I wanted to do with the finish next. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit pads to polish the briar and bring the grain to the surface. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. After polishing it with the 12000 grit pads I really liked the look of the polished briar. The grain really shows clearly.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and the scratches in the vulcanite. I smoothed out the surface of the stem with the sandpaper and then polished it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with some Obsidian Oil. After the final 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.I buffed the pipe on the wheel using Blue Diamond Polish and worked over the stem and bowl to remove any remaining scratches. I was careful around the stamping so as not to buff it out and soften it. I gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It really is a beauty. The black of the polished vulcanite and the polished briar work well together to present a beautiful pipe. Now Jim’s second pipe is finished. In the week ahead the pair will go in the mail. I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of this second one when he has it in hand and fires it up for the first time. Thanks for looking.

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Cleaning up a Beautiful Comoy’s Made Selected Straight Grain Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

A few months back I sold a nice older Wally Frank pipe to a fellow named Jim in the South Eastern US. Recently he called to tell me about a group of six pipes that he purchased on one of his own pipe hunts. He wanted to know if I could help him identifying what he had found. There were two older Kaywoodies (a bent meerschaum lined billiard and a  Super Grain Zulu), a Selected Straight Grain bent billiard, a GBD Sauvage Bulldog, a Henley Club Apple (made by Sasieni), and the last one a Medico Crest Prince.

In our conversation he told me he was going to box up the lot and mail them to me to have a look. When they arrived he said we could talk and make an arrangement regarding the pipes that he decided to have restored. But he wanted my opinion on the others as well. The box arrived last week and I opened it to have a good look at what Jim had sent to me. I went through them making notes on what I saw regarding the condition of each pipe. I sent Jim my notes on the pipes and he sent back the two pipes that he wanted me to work on for him in the lot – the first one was a large Bent Selected Straight Grain Billiard and the second was the Kaywoodie Super Grain Zulu. We fired several emails back and forth talking about the pipes and the decision was made. I would restore the two pipes for him.

I decided to work larger of the two pipes first. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Selected arched over Straight and Grain underneath that. On the right side of the shank it is stamped with the standard circular COM (Country of Manufacture) stamp – Made in London in a circle over England followed by the shape number 43. Both the COM stamp and the shape number led me to believe this was a Comoy’s made pipe but I was not certain at this point in the process. The shape is a half bent billiard. It was a nice pipe that showed some extraordinary grain underneath the grime.

The pipe was larger than I expected when Jim and I spoke and was a pretty nice looking piece of briar. There were a couple of issues with the bowl. There were some small sand pits on the bottom of the bowl and shank. There was a large flaw that looked like an X at the junction of the bowl and the shank on the left side near the top of the shank. The bowl had a thick cake in it and there were actually cobwebs in the bowl. The rim had a light coat of tars and lava that overflowed onto the beveled surface of the inner edge of the rim. There was a deep gouge on the rim top on the right side toward the back of the bowl. The finish was spotty and worn with shiny spots and scratches on the shank and on parts of the bowl sides. The stem was lightly oxidized and sported a lot of tooth chatter but no deep tooth marks. The stem did not fit tight against the shank with a small gap at the top that told me that the tenon was slightly bent.

I took a series of photos of the pipe to record the condition it was in when it arrived. The next photo show the top of the rim, the darkened and lava encrusted beveled inner edge, the thick cake and the cobwebs deep inside the bowl. You can also see the gouge on the right side of the rim top at the 1 o’clock position in the photo below. I have circled it in red for ease of reference. The pipe certainly had great bones but it was in dire need of a cleanup so that it could be passed on in the pipeman’s trust. This was going to be a fun pipe to work on.I took photos of the oxidized stem to show the general condition of the vulcanite. It looked pretty good. The button was clean and not damaged. There was tooth chatter but no deep tooth marks on either side of the stem. The stem was lightly oxidized but good quality vulcanite.I did a bit of hunting online and read on Pipedia that these pipes were made by Comoy’s and were essentially “Specimen Straight Grain” (exceptional line of Comoy’s pipes). The Selected Straight Grain pipes were seconds to the Specimen line that exhibited some small flaw or sand pit. They were listed in the 1965 catalogue at $15 or $17.50 in Extraordinaire size.

Armed with that information I turned my attention to work on the pipe. It was dirty and sticky so I varied my usual habit of reaming the bowl first and scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and cotton pads. I was able to remove all of the grime on the bowl sides and much of the grime and lava on the rim top and inner beveled edge of the bowl. I took photos of the bowl after scrubbing. You can see the amazing grain on the bowl and shank sides. You can also see the X shaped sandpit in the first photo. I have circled it in red to highlight the damage there. With the outside of the bowl clean it was easier to hold onto while I reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer. I started with the smallest cutting head and worked my way up to the third cutting head. I took the cake back to bare briar. I cleaned up the remnants of the cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I used a dental spatula to scrape out the buildup on the walls of the mortise. There was a thick coat of tars and oils that had hardened there and made the fit of the stem very tight in the shank. Once I had scraped out the hardened substances I cleaned out the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, cottons swabs and pipe cleaners.With the exterior and the interior of the bowl cleaned it was time to work on repairing the sandpits and gouges on the bowl. I wiped down the area of the X pit on the left side of the bowl at the shank bowl junction with alcohol.When it was dry I filled in the area with clear super glue and pressed it into the pit with a dental spatula. I repeated the process with the gouge on the right side of the rim top.  When the repair had cured I sanded it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surface of the briar. I also sanded the inner beveled edge of the bowl to clean up the darkening and damage at that point. I sanded the repair on the side of the shank and bowl with the same sandpaper until the spots were blended into the briar and smooth to touch.I polished the repaired areas with micromesh sanding pads – sanding with 1500-4000 grit pads to smooth out the sanding scratches. I stained the rim top and the repair on the shank and bowl with a light brown stain pen to match the stain on the rest of the bowl.Whenever I used the stain pens, regardless of colour, I blend the stain with the existing stain using Conservator’s Wax. I find that the microcrystalline wax polishes and blends the two areas together when I hand buff the bowl once the wax dries. I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond to polish it a bit and see where I needed to do some work before the final buff. I hand polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp clot after each buffing pad. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth after the 12000 grit pad. The pictures below show the progress of the polishing on the briar. I addressed the fit of the stem against the shank. The tenon was slightly bent downward causing a gap at the top of the shank stem union. I heated the tenon with a Bic lighter to soften it and inserted it in the shank and straightened it. I held it in place while the stem cooled and the fit was perfect against the shank.I sanded the light tooth chatter and the oxidation on the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I wanted to break up the oxidation on the surface of the vulcanite and that is the easiest way to do it. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down after each pad with Fine grit Before & After Pipe Polish. I buffed the pipe on the wheel using Blue Diamond Polish and worked over the stem and bowl to remove any remaining scratches. I was careful around the stamping so as not to buff it out and soften it. I gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It really is a beauty. The flaws that I repaired really disappeared into the grain of the pipe. If you did not know where they were before they are hard to identify. The black of the polished vulcanite and the polished briar work well together to present a beautiful pipe. I have to finish Jim’s second pipe and then the pair will go in the mail. I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of this one once he has it in hand and fires it up for the first time. Thanks for looking.

One Seriously Frustrating Refurb – a Broken Down Hilson Fantasia 206 Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

The last of Steve’s pipes the remained for me to work on was a Hilson Fantasia. It is a Dublin shaped pipe made of resin with a meerschaum insert. It has a yellow coloured bowl and shank with swirls of green that are scattered throughout the pipe. When Steve sent me the box of pipes to work on I told him this one was not worth the effort to clean it up. It was in really rough shape on both the stem and the bowl insert. But in the end I decided to clean it and the Pipe just so he could see what these resin bowl pipes were like. I have cleaned a few of these up over the years that have almost psychedelic patterns in the resin. They are really a product of the 60s and 70s in my opinion. I took the following photos of the pipe before I started the clean up to show the general condition and give you some idea why I said the pipe was not worth cleaning up. The pipe really was in rough condition. The meerschaum bowl was not readily identifiable and there was major damage to the rim top. There chunks of the inner bowl missing from the top at the back edge of the bowl. There was a seriously thick cake in the bowl that was fuzzy with dust and debris. The outer resin bowl was covered with a layer of lava. The stem would not fit in the shank the way it was supposed to which signaled that the shank was cake with about as much debris and the bowl. The stem was oxidized and there were tooth marks on both the top and the underside at the button. The button itself was worn away and no longer clearly defined. The outer resin bowl was in pretty good shape with no deep scratches or gouges. I was hoping that once I reamed the bowl it would be intact lower down. I was basing that hope on the fact that Hilson used block meerschaum and not pressed meerschaum for their bowls. That made the quality of the lining far better and I have rarely seen a Hilson meerschaum lining cracked or broken.The next two photos show the stamping on the pipe. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Belgium and on the right side it is stamped with the shape number 206. The normal stamping on the stem was long gone. So it no longer read Hilson Fantasia. For the identity I am going with the stamping that is visible, the shape and material of the pipe for calling it a Hilson Fantasia.The photos of the stem show the condition of the oxidation and tooth marks on the surface as well as the worn condition of the button.I had previously researched the Hilson Fantasia for a blog I already did on a previous restoration. (https://rebornpipes.com/2016/07/05/is-it-really-a-plastic-smoking-pipe-what-is-a-hilson-fantasia/) On that blog I wrote of what I had found out about the brand. I had learned that the Hilson Fantasia was made in Belgium as this one was stamped. It originally came out as a meerschaum lined pipe with an outer bowl made of a new material that they called pipenite. From what I can find out about the material they call pipenite, it was a specially designed polyester resin. It was light weight and fairly indestructible. The block meerschaum insert was something that Hilson turned into a specialty. I had found a catalogue page on Chris’ Pipe pages, http://pipepages.com/hilson.htm that confirmed my guess regarding the 60s/70s look of the pipe. I have once again included a catalogue page from a 1962 Wally Frank Catalogue that was on the pipepages site. The write up on the Hilson Fantasia is entertaining to read in terms of the sales pitch that is delivered.I have also written about some of the history of the brand on a previous blog on Hilson Double Ecume pipes. If you are interested in reading about the history of the brand click on the following link: https://wordpress.com/post/rebornpipes.com/40547. In addition the following link on the Estervals Pipe House website gives a good summary of the history of the brand for those of you who want to read more: http://www.tecon-gmbh.de/info_pages.php?pages_id=70.

Now for the cleanup of the Fantasia! I carefully reamed the bowl with the smallest cutting head of the PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the inside of the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe knife. I say carefully because I did not want to damage the meerschaum insert in the bowl but I wanted to remove the rock hard cake in the bowl.I topped the bowl carefully using a medium and a fine grit sanding pad. I wanted to smooth out the surface of the rim and remove the lava that was on top. I wanted to remove the lip of lava that had formed on the top of the bowl. The second photo below shows the cleaned rim top and also the damage that was very evident at the back edge of the bowl and around the sides. I cleaned out the shank of the pipe with a thin pen knife to scrape away the hardened tars that lined the inside walls. I followed that with a sanding stick and many pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol before the shank was clean.The inner edge of the bowl was pitted and uneven so I sanded it with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out and to clean up the damaged area at the back of the bowl. It was not perfect but it looked better than when I started.I took the stem out of the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and wiped it down with a cotton pad. I cleaned out the inside of the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol to remove the left over deoxidizer. The photos below show that it removed most of the oxidation but there were some stubborn spots left. The tooth dents are also very clear in the next photos of the stem. I wiped the stem down with alcohol and filled in the dents with a black super glue. I set the stem aside to let the repairs cure. When the glue had cured I worked on the fit of the stem in the shank. The tenon was still too big for the stem to sit properly in the shank so I sanded it down with 220 grit sandpaper. There were some high spots on the tenon that needed to be rounded out and cleaned up. Once that was completed the stem fit perfectly.Once the fit of the stem was correct, I turned to work on the stem itself. I wanted to blend the patched areas into the surface of the stem and also recut and redefine the button with needle files. I used a knife-edge needle file to redefine the sharp edge of the button and give it form. I also used it to flatten out the repaired areas on both sides of the stem.I smoothed out the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper and worked to blend them into the surface of the stem. I was a little concerned in that the repairs seemed to look almost red against the surface of the still oxidized vulcanite. I would have to work that to see if I could blend it in more. At worse the repairs will show but the pipe will be smokable.Now the frustration heightened – I really should have listened to my initial thoughts on this pipe. It was not worth working on. But I did not listen and now one of the reasons became more apparent. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads. The more I polished them the more the two repaired spots on the top of the stem showed a red colour. I have never had that happen before. I cleaned the stems before patching them with alcohol and dried them off. I used black super glue for the repairs, like I have many times before. Yet this time the repairs show a red tint. I have no idea what is going on with this repair. Fortunately it is one that I am calling finished. It was just a quick clean up on a badly damaged pipe. The stem is functionally very good just those spots are irritating. I used micromesh sanding pads to polish the stem – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad and set it aside to dry after the 12000 grit pad. I was irritated with the way the pipe looked – both bowl and stem. They were ragged looking still and even though they were better they were not what I like to see in a finished pipe. I was finished though as I decided that more work would not improve the damaged pipe. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I hoped that the buffing might blend the repairs into the surface of the stem. While they certainly looked better they still showed. The overall look of the pipe was much better than when I started. The damage to the back side top edge of the meerschaum bowl liner was significant but the pipe was still able to be smoked. It was clean and would certainly make a workable yard pipe. I have boxed the pipe with the rest of Steve’s pipes and have them packed and ready to send to Dawson Creek. I am hoping he enjoys the lot and gives them a good workout in the days ahead. Thanks for looking.

 

Cleaning up a sad “the Pipe” Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I have hinted at the fact that my friend Steve from Dawson Creek included two pipes in his box of pipes for me to refurbish that I had relegated to a “not worth doing” category. One of these was a Hilson Fantasia – Resin bowl and shank with a meerschaum lining and a plastic pipe stamped “the Pipe” that has a pyrolytic graphite bowl lining and a phenolic resin exterior. When I was working on the last one, the Kriswill made Danish Crown pipe I thought I would just do a clean up on these two just to be able to send a clean batch of pipes back to Steve.

I decided to begin working on the pipe labeled “the Pipe”. I have never paid attention to these pipes and have actually never had one in hand until this moment. I have avoided buying them or even being gifted one of them. I just was not interested in this combination of phenolic resin and pyrolytic graphite at all. I am generally intrigued by the unusual as those of you who follow the blog know, but this one had no draw for me. It was a bit of a mess. The bowl had a crumbling cake that was uneven. It had flowed over the rim top leaving it a mess. The outer edge of the bowl had been knocked against hard surfaces to empty the bowl leaving behind characteristic dents and chips. The right side of the bowl and the entire shank was scratched with deep scratches that carried on up the stem. The top and underside of the stem was also covered with bite marks and tooth chatter. The pipe looked pretty sad with all of the damage. I wondered if I could make it look any better and to be honest, if there was a point to doing so.

I took photos of the pipe before I started for comparison sake. Once I was finished I could look back and see if my work had made any difference at all. I wanted to get a quick education regarding the manufacture and date of this brand of pipes. My gut feel was that it was a product of the 60s and 70s. I looked up the brand on Pipedia and found that it began in 1963. There was a good summary of the history of the brand there. The Super-Temp Corporation who started making plastic pipes with pyrolytic graphite bowl liners made it. They called them “the Pipe”. In 1965, Super-Temp contracted to market their unique pipes through Venturi, Inc., the company that sold Tar Gard cigarette filters. Colors and stripes were added to the pipes that were offered circa 1967. About 1970, THE SMOKE pipes were added to the line – they were non-traditional shapes with a less expensive bowl liner. Venturi pipes were added around 1972 – they had no liner in the bowls at all. The pipes were out of production by 1975 (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Super-Temp). If you would like to read more about the brand, including a comprehensive history visit Dr. Billie W. Taylor’s site http://www.thepipe.info/. He is a collector of the Super-Temp Corporation pipes. He is a source of incredible information if you want to tap into it.

I took a close up photo of the bowl and the rim top to show the condition of both. The cake is heavy in the bowl and overflowing onto the black rim. It is hard to see because both the bowl insert and the exterior of the pipe are black. You can also see the damage on the outer edges of the bowl.The stem damage was one of the most worrisome parts of this restoration. The scratches running both the length of the stem and across the stem had left deep marks. Underneath and on top of those scratches there was a lot of small tooth marks and chatter that would need to be sanded out. The scratches extended up the top side and partly up both the right and left side of the shank. There were even scratches on the right side of the bowl. It was almost as if the pipe had road rash from being dragged across concrete or asphalt. The stem was not vulcanite so it would be hard to polish. It was going to be an interesting part of the work on this pipe. The stamping on the left side of the shank was very clear and readable. It was deeply embossed and no amount of sanding to remove the scratching would damage it. The stem was held snug in the shank by a rubber grommet that fit over the tenon. This was replaceable as the rubber wore out and air leaked by. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and carefully took the cake back to the graphite bowl insert. I left a little cake to protect the insert and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. Using the knife I scraped the bowl back to bare walls and scraped the rim top free of the buildup of lava that was there.I scraped the top of the bowl with the edges of the Savinelli Fitsall Knife to remove the lava build up. Once I had the majority of it off I polished the rim with 1500 grit micromesh sanding pads to polish both the bowl insert and the rim top. I sanded the outer edges of the bowl to smooth out the damage to the edge of the bowl.I polished the entire bowl with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad using a damp cotton pad. I worked on the left side of the bowl and the top and left side of the shank where there were a lot of deep scratches running both vertically and horizontally on both. I polished the shank and bowl with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with the damp cotton pad. When I finished with the 12000 grit pad I buffed the bowl on the buffing wheel using Blue Diamond to polish it further. The photos below tell the story. With the bowl finished for now, I turned to work on the horrendous damage to the stem. It was in rough shape as was seen in the above photos. I sanded the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the scratches. It took a lot of sanding but I was able to remove almost all of them on the top and underside of the stem. I ran a pipe cleaner through the stem to clean out any debris that might have been in the airway before continuing on the stem. I used black super glue to fill in the small tooth marks on the top and underside of the stem at the button. I sanded the repaired areas with 220 grit sandpaper until the repairs blended into the surface of the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. After the final 12000 grit pad I gave it a last coat of the Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I had already spent quite a few hours working over the badly gouged and scratched stem and I was able to remove many of the scratches. I tried to lightly buff the pipe to remove more of them but the nylon stem resists buffing too much as it heats quickly and melts. I decided to call the pipe finished at this point. It was not going to get much better without many more hours of work that I am unable to give it. I buffed the bowl on the buffing wheel with Blue Diamond to buff out some more of the scratches on the shank and right side. I gave the bowl a buff with a clean buffing pad. I polished the stem with Before & After Pipe Polish – both fine and extra fine. I did not bother giving the stem a carnauba coat as it is plastic and the wax does not do much. I hand waxed the stem with Conservator’s Wax to polish it more. The finished pipe is far from perfect but it is better than when I started. I will box it up later this week when I finish the Hilson Fantasia I have left and then mail it back to Steve in Dawson Creek, BC. Thanks for looking.

 

A Damaged Danish Crown 49 Oval shank Dublin Given New Life


Blog by Steve Laug

This Danish Crown was the last of the pipes Steve and I had discussed restoring from the box he sent my way. He had sent it to me to chip away at in my spare time. I have been working away at them a few at a time for a few months now. On the weekend I decided it was time to finish the remainder of the box. I pulled out five of the remaining seven pipes and worked on all of them (the last two are nothing spectacular but I may just clean them up anyway so I can send him the entire batch cleaned and usable). The pipe looked like a Stanwell make to me but a little research told me that it was a Kriswill, made by Kriswork Briar Trading, in Kolding (Denmark). The company started about 1955 and went bankrupt in the late 70s. They had a line of seconds (pipes with fills and flaws that were still usable) which included the Danish Crown. This pipe was stamped on the topside of the shank with the name Danish Crown over Handmade in Denmark. On the underside of the shank is the shape number 49 at the shank/stem junction. The stamping on the pipe is probably the most readable of the entire batch of pipes. I took photos before cleaning the pipe.The bowl is heavily caked and there is a thick overflow of tars and cake onto the rim top almost obscuring the inner edge of the rim. There was a large chipped area on the front right of the rim top as well as more dings and dents around the rim top. The finish on the bowl was worn and dirty. The stem has a lot of tooth marks and chatter. There was also oxidation on the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started the restoration. I took a close up photo of the rim top and bowl. You can see from the photo how thick the cake was and the amount of lava over flow on the rim top. The damage to the rim is at the 9:00 and 11:00 o’clock position in the photo below.The stamping on the shank is very readable. In person, it is clearer than it appears in the photo below. The next two photos of the stem show oxidation on the whole stem and tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside of the stem near the button.I put the stem in the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath to soak with the other stems from Steve’s pipes. While they soaked I worked on the five bowls that went with them. The stems soaked over a period of 24 hours.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet Reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working my way up to the third head, which was the same size as the bowl. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar. I scraped the rim with a sharp penknife to clean up the lava buildup on the rim top. I scraped it until the rim was debris free.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and shank with Murphy’s Oil Soap and scrubbed the rim top and the bevel with a tooth brush. I picked the damaged areas clean with a dental pick to remove the buildup deep in the rough spots on the rim. I rinsed the bowl under running water and continued to scrub it until it was clean. I used a rolled piece of sandpaper wrapped around my finger to sand out the inside of the bowl. The bowl walls were a little rough on this one so it was going to take some work to smooth things out. I wiped down the damage on the rim top with a cotton swab and alcohol and filled them in with briar dust and clear super glue.When the repairs had hardened I sanded the rim top and edges with 220 grit sandpaper to begin the process of blending them into the briar. With the rim top repair and the discovery of many small fills around the bowl sides and the bowl/shank junction, I decided to use a darker stain on this pipe than the other ones. I stained it with a dark brown aniline stain and flamed it to set it in the grain of the briar. I repeated the process until I was happy with the coverage.When the stain had dried, I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad to remove the excess and blend the colours to a rich dark brown that allowed some of the grain to show through. Unfortunately, it also allowed the fills to show. More work needed to be done to take care of that issue. I used a dark brown stain pen and a Sharpie pen to colour over the fill areas. I used the dark brown aniline stain dauber to put over the top of the colouring I had done. I flamed the aniline stain spots with my lighter to set the stain in them. I lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I was careful when buffing around the repaired area on the top of the bowl and the fills that I had darkened. I gave the bowl several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I am happy with the look of the bowl at this point. The grain shows through nicely and the fills and repairs blend in pretty well. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I removed it from the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath and dried it off. I ran a pipe cleaner through the airway to remove the Deoxidizer that was on the inside of the stem. I used alcohol to clean out the airway in the stem. It came out of the bath pretty clean of oxidation. The tooth marks and chatter showed up clearly on both sides near the button.I lightly sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and filled in the deeper tooth marks with black super glue. The largest mark was on the underside of the stem.Once the glue dried I sanded the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the stem.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. After the 12000 grit pad I gave it another coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I used a light touch on the areas that were repaired. I gave the bowl several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is the fifth of this batch of five pipes that I have restored for Steve. It is a well-made Kriswill pipe. I think Steve will really like this last addition to his rack. Steve, if you are reading this I hope you enjoy this beauty. It will be on its way to you very soon. Thanks for looking.

A Sad Old Danish Sovereign 330 Bent Dublin Made New


Blog by Steve Laug

This old Stanwell looking Dublin was in the box of pipes that came from my friend Steve in Dawson Creek. It is one of the batch he sent for me to chip away at in my spare time. Today was the day for that chipping away to happen. I pulled out five of the remaining seven pipes and worked on all of them today. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank with the shape number 330 over Danish Sovereign over Made in Denmark. The stamping on the pipe is faint.  The bowl is heavily caked and there is a thick overflow of tars and cake onto the rim top almost obscuring the beveled inner edge of the rim. The finish on the bowl is worn and dirty. There is paint on the surface of the briar on the left side. The stem has a lot of tooth marks and chatter. There is also oxidation on the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started the restoration. The next photo is a close up of the rim top. The cake was thick but the worst part was the heavy overflow onto the rim. It was impossible at this point to know the condition of the rim and edge of the bowl because of the mess covering it all.The stem was worn and had tooth dents and chatter on both sides near the button. The button itself was worn down and the edges almost indistinct from the rest of the stem surface.I put the stem in the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath to soak with the other stems from Steve’s pipes. While they soaked I worked on the five bowls that went with them.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet Reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working my way up to the second head which was the same size as the bowl. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar. I scraped the rim with a sharp pen knife to clean up the lava buildup on the rim top. I scraped it until the rim was debris free.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and shank with Murphy’s Oil Soap and scrubbed the rim top and the bevel with a tooth brush. I rinsed the bowl under running water and continued to scrub it until it was clean and the bevel was clearly defined. After removing all of the lava on the rim there was quite a bit of rim damage on top. To remove the damage on the outer rim edge I decided to lightly top the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I took a photo of the process and of the top once I had finished it.There were three sandpits or fills in the top of the bowl. I sanded the bevel on the inner edge of the rim to remove some of the burn damage. I repaired the fills with clear super glue. When the repairs dried I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the rim top. I sanded the outer edge and the beveled inner edge of the bowl some more to clean them up. I wiped the bowl down with alcohol to remove remnants of the finish and the grime on the bowl. I stained the rim top and inner bevel with a light brown stain pen to blend it into the rest of the bowl. I gave the repair areas a little heavier coat of the stain to try to blend them in better.I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cotton pad to remove the sanding grit. I scrubbed out the airway in the shank and mortise with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. It was pretty dirty. I probably should have cleaned it earlier but totally got caught up in working on the top of the rim.I decided to give the bowl several coats of Danish Oil with Cherry stain to give it a contrast coat. The cherry stain highlighted the grain on the bowl and gave the pipe a rich look.I buffed the bowl with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and gave it a light coat of carnauba wax. The photos show the new look of the bowl. The grain pops and the bowl is ready once I get the stem finished. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I took it out ofhte Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath and dry it off. I ran a pipe cleaner through the airway to remove the Deoxidizer that was on the inside of the stem. I used alcohol to clean out the airway in the stem.I wiped down the stem a cotton pad and alcohol to remove any film or debris on the surface of the stem that would get in the way of the repairs. I filled in the tooth marks and deeper dents with clear super glue. When the glue dried I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and used a needle file to clean up the sharp edge of the button. I cleaned up the file marks and blended the repairs into the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads (I opened a new package for this pipe) and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. After the 12000 grit pad I gave it another coat of oil and set it aside to dry. The last photo below has a brown tint that I cannot get rid of but in natural light the stem is shiny black. I put the stem on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is the fourth of this batch of five pipes that I have restored for Steve. It is very obviously a Stanwell made pipe – everything from the shape to the look of the stem and shank says Stanwell. I think Steve will really like this latest addition to his rack. Steve, if you are reading this I hope you enjoy this beauty. It will be on its way to you very soon. Thanks for looking.

Breathing New Life into a CHP-X3 Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

This old freehand was in the box of pipes that came from my friend Steve in Dawson Creek. It is one of the lot he sent for me to chip away at in my spare time. Today was the day for that chipping away to happen. I pulled out five of the remaining seven pipes and worked on all of them today. This one reminds me of a 70s era freehand. It is a lot like one of the old ones that I had years ago. It is stamped on the underside of the shank next to the stem shank junction with the letters CHP-X over the number 3. It is a large freehand with a chair leg style stem. The bowl is heavily caked and there is overflow of tars and cake onto the plateau of the rim top. The plateau on the top side of the shank is also filled with grime and grit. The finish on the bowl is worn and dirty. I it was originally a virgin finish or if not possibly oiled. The stem is oxidized and has light tooth chatter. From my research this pipe was made in the United States by Michael Kabik before 1973. It was named after Chuck Holiday who was a pipe maker that Kabik bought his shop from. The photos show the condition of the pipe before I began the restoration work. The cake in the bowl and the heavy coat of lava overflowing onto the plateau top of the rim are shown in the close up photo below. It is really a mess at this point.The stem was heavily oxidized and the button on the top side of the stem was worn. There were tooth marks and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem near the button. The grooves of the chair leg stem were very oxidized.I put the stem in the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath to soak with the other stems from Steve’s pipes. While they soaked I worked on the five bowls that went with them.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet Reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working my way up to the second head which was the same size as the bowl. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar. I used a brass bristle brush to clean up the lava buildup on the rim top. I scrubbed the rim until it was debris free. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and shank with Murphy’s Oil Soap and scrubbed the plateau top on the rim and the end of the shank using a tooth brush. I rinsed the bowl under running water and continued to scrub it until it was clean and the plateau was clearly defined. I wiped the bowl and plateau down with alcohol on a cotton pad in preparation for staining the plateau. I use a black Sharpie Pen to colour in the valleys and crevices in the plateau and leave the high spots lighter. I don’t worry too much about staining them as I will buff the top and remove the stain from the high spots before I am finished. To me the briar looked lifeless and the natural colour did not do justice to the beautiful grain that was present on the bowl. I decided to stain it with a dark brown aniline stain and flame it to set it in the briar. I repeated the process until I had an even coverage around the smooth portions of the pipe bowl. I left the plateau areas untouched by the dark brown stain.After the stain had dried for about 30 minutes I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on cotton pads to remove some of the heaviness of the brown and make the colour a bit more transparent. I still need to do a lot more but this was the start of the process. I sanded the smooth portions of the bowl with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge and followed that with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad after each stage of the sanding process. The photos below show the bowl beginning to come to life. To give the grain the kind of pop I wanted and to really set off the dark lines of the straight grain I decided to rub the bowl down with several coats of Danish Oil with Cherry stain. I apply the stain with a cotton pad and rubbed it down over the entire surface of the bowl including the plateau areas. I wanted the reds to penetrate into the nooks and crannies of the plateau to give the surface some flashes of colour and contrast. I buffed it on the wheel and took the following photos to show the condition of the bowl at this point in the process. I took the stem out of the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath and wiped it off with a clean paper towel. The first two photos below show the stem after the 24 hour soak. The stem was very clean and the tooth dents. a potential hairline crack and marks are shown in the photos below. These dents were deep enough that I chose to fill them with clear super glue and set the stem aside to let the repairs cure. The third and fourth photos show the repairs on both surfaces of the stem. When the repair dried I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to flatten out the glue and blend it into the surface of the vulcanite. I cleaned out the airway and slot in the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol. There was some Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer from the bath in the airway and debris and tars in it as well. The pipe cleaners took care of that fairly quickly. I used a needle file to recut the sharp edge of the button. During the filing and clean up I noticed what looked like a small crack in the top of the stem. I would keep an eye on it as I cleaned things up and repair it if indeed it is a crack.I sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repaired areas and blend it into the surface of the stem. I reshaped the button at the same time. There still appeared to be a small crack on the top left side near the button. It was a very tiny hairline crack and was tight so I filled it in with clear super glue and sanded it smooth.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads (I opened a new package for this pipe) and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. After the 12000 grit pad I gave it another coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is the third of pipe that I have restored for Steve from this last batch. It is an interesting freehand with some nice grain on it. The stem repair to the hairline crack looks pretty good and should hold up well. I will be putting an extra stem in the package for Steve as well. I think he is going to love this one. Steve, if you are reading this I hope you enjoy this beauty. It will be on its way to you very soon. Thanks for looking.