Tag Archives: Paresh Deshpande article

My First Ever Tenon Replacement and it’s on a Preben Holm # 7 Freehand Pickaxe Pipe!!


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

The first ever Preben Holm in my collection was from eBay about two years back. It came to me with a broken stem and the tenon stuck in to the mortise. This pipe received a new lease on life in the month of May last year when Steve, Jeff and Dal Stanton visited me here in India. I learned the process of tenon replacement along with many other tips and processes in pipe restoration. Here is the link to the informative write up by Steve on this pipe; (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/05/14/restoring-a-preben-holm-hand-cut-sandblast-freehand-in-pune-india/).

The second Preben Holm in my collection came from my Mumbai Bonanza, which I really enjoyed working on; (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/12/refurbishing-a-tired-preben-holm-1-from-the-mumbai-bonanza-lot/).

The next two Preben Holm pipes came to me from a seller on eBay. Both these pipes had some serious stem issues which really kept other buyers away from placing their bids and lucky me, I got both these pipes for a really good price. Even though both pipes came to me together, I shall be working on them separately since they each have a different set of issues involved.

The first of these two PH pipes was restored a couple of weeks ago and it really turned out to be a gorgeous pipe. Here is the link to the write up that has been posted on rebornpipes.com (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/03/10/refurbishing-a-preben-holm-3-freehand-pipe/).

The second PH currently on my work table, is a beautiful pickaxe freehand with beautiful flame grain all around the stummel and shank and birdseye at the foot of the stummel. The rim top has remnants of plateau along the front left side and extending to the right up to half the length of the rim top. The shank end is sleek and smooth with a slight flare at the shank end, a complete contrast to the earlier PH I had worked on that had a large flare at the shank end. Here are the pictures of the pipe as it sits on my work table. The pipe is stamped on the bottom of the flared shank end as “PREBEN HOLM” in block capital letters over “Hand Cut” in a cursive artistic hand over “COPENHAGEN” over “DENMARK”, all in block capitals. The left side of the shank bears the encircled numeral “7”. All the stampings are crisp and easily readable. The fancy vulcanite stem is devoid of any stampings.There is a lot of interesting information on the carver, Preben Holm, on pipedia.org (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Holm,_Preben) which makes for an interesting read. However, there was no information or guidelines to help understand the grading and dating of these pipes from the carver. In my previous write ups on Preben Holm pipes, I had sought input on these specific aspects and was honored by studied information from esteemed readers of rebornpipes. Here is some of the information that was shared by the readers;

Roland Borchers March 10, 2020 at 8:21 am

Hi Paresh,

What a wonderful pipe and a great job (again) on the restoration. The PH pipes were 1968-1970 graded from 1 (lowest) to 8 (unicorn) .
This page from smokingpipes.com might be of interest, but there is more to be found on the www.
https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/denmark/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=136933

So a 3 is not bad at all…

Best wishes,

Roland

I followed the link forwarded by Mr. Roland Borchers and reproduce the information gleaned;

“Now that my pulse has returned to (vaguely) normal. Preben Holm pipes which bear a single grading number in a circle, represent Holm’s earliest ‘Hand Cuts’, a period that most estimate between 1968 and 1970. Prior to handling this amazing jewel, the highest grade that I had encountered was a ‘5’. Once (just once) I saw a smoked ‘7’ offered across the pond for a price that could feed a decent sized village for a month (mild exaggeration, but you get the idea). Here we have a ‘6’, featuring both the conservancy of shape that one would expect from the earliest days, as well as a grain worthy of such a lofty grade designation. Forty (plus) years young, utterly unsmoked and it comes with both the original presentation box and sleeve. For Pete’s sake, don’t let this one get away”.

–R. ‘Bear’ Graves

borman August 15, 2019 at 5:44 pm

Not sure how correct I am but… pipes 1-4 as such are lower to higher quality rating as A-E is low to high. The bone extensions that I have had and others I have seen appear to be from the 60’s. Hope I am not far off and also I hope it helps you.

Thus from the above information, it’s evident that this beautiful Preben Holm pipe in my hand is a very rare # 7, top grade and very expensive pipe from 1960s…

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
The first and foremost issue that I noticed and was aware of from the description given by the seller is that of the broken tenon. Most of the readers must be wondering as to the rational of buying a pipe, even a Preben Holm, with a broken tenon and it’s a logical question. However, there are two main reasons why I went in for this purchase; firstly my friend and guru, Steve had demonstrated how to replace a broken tenon and I was keen to try my hand at it and secondly was the economic consideration!! Pray tell me if it is possible to get a grade 7 early hand-cut Preben Holm from the 1960s at USD $65, including shipping!! Never, I say. Below are the pictures of the broken tenon stuck in to the mortise. This is going to be a challenging repair being my first tenon replacement.The chamber has a very thin layer of dry and hard cake with the slightly outward flared inner rim edge showing darkening in the 6 o’clock direction. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber can be checked and ascertained only after the cake has been taken down to the bare briar. However, I do not envisage any damage to the chamber walls. There is negligible lava overflow and debris embedded in the plateau of the rim top surface. It is my guess that this pipe suffered said catastrophic damage very early in its existence and had since been languishing in a box with the previous piper before he decided to get rid of it. The stummel boasts of beautiful straight grain all around and extends over the shank surface too!! The surface is relatively clean and without any fills save for a few very minor scratches that could have been caused during routine use. The slightly flared smooth end of the shank is clean. The foot of the stummel shows beautiful bird’s eye grains and is sans any damage. Overall, the stummel presents a sparingly used and a well-cared for pipe. The mortise has the broken tenon stuck in to it. However, given the condition of the chamber and the overall pristine appearance of the stummel, I think the mortise should be clean too!!

The fancy vulcanite stem shows traces of oxidation and is otherwise sans any major damage. The horizontal slot end of the stem is heavily oxidized to a dark brown coloration. The broken tenon end is jagged and sharp at the place where the tenon has snapped. The fancy stem, though it looks beautiful when black and shiny, is a bear to clean with all the dips and narrow gaps between the beads and rings etc.THE PROCESS
I began the process of refurbishing this pipe with cleaning the internals of the stem using pipe cleaners with isopropyl alcohol (99.9% pure) and dunking the stem in to “Before and After Deoxidizer” solution developed by my friend Mark Hoover. The solution helps to draw out heavy oxidation to the surface making its further removal a breeze, while the minor oxidation is eliminated to a very great extent. I usually dunk stems of 5-7 pipes that are in-line for restoration and this pipe is marked in green arrow. I generally allow the stems to soak in this solution overnight for the solution to do its work.With the stem soaking in the deoxidizer solution, I worked the stummel starting with reaming the chamber with my fabricated knife as the layer of cake was too thin and did not warrant the use of a reamer. It was at this stage that I realized that the pipe has been so sparingly smoked that what I was assuming to be a layer of cake, is in fact a layer of bowl coating!! The walls of the chamber are smooth and solid. I tried to wriggle out the broken tenon that was stuck in to the mortise. Lucky me, it came out without any resistance!! That’s a big relief. Next, I cleaned the mortise with hard bristled and regular pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol. I scrubbed the external surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush and dried it using paper towels and soft cotton cloth. I carefully cleaned the plateau rim top with a soft brass wire brush to remove the accumulated dirt and debris from the surface. Thereafter, I cleaned the mortise, plateau rim top and stummel surface with anti-oil dish washing soap on shank brush and tooth brush. The entire stummel, including the platue rim top, cleaned up nicely. I set the stummel aside to dry out naturally. Staying with the stummel restoration, I polished the stummel with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 pads. This time around, I did not repeat the mistake of polishing the plateau rim top as I had done with the PH # 3 earlier! I wiped the surface with a soft cloth at the end of the micromesh cycle. The stummel looks amazing with a deep shine and beautiful straight grains popping over the stummel surface. I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to briar. I rubbed this balm deep in to the nooks and crannies of the plateau rim top surface with my fingers and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the dark brown hues of the grain contrasting with the rest of the stummel surface. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. As mentioned in the previous write up on refurbishing of pipe PH # 3, I had worked on all the stems that had been soaking in the deoxidizer solution overnight. I fished out all the stems and cleaned them under running warm water and scrubbed the raised oxidation from the stem surface using Scotch Brite pad. I further removed the oxidation by scrubbing the stems with 0000 grade steel wool and applied a little olive oil to rehydrate the stems and set them aside for the oil to be absorbed. Complete oxidation was removed on this stem by the process described above. Unfortunately, I did not click any pictures of these stems at this stage.

With this, I have now reached the most critical and challenging part of this restoration; replacing the broken tenon. While Steve, Dal and Jeff were here in India, Steve had replaced a tenon on a Preben Holm which had come to me with a broken tenon. I had minutely observed the procedure, made detailed notes and read the relevant blogs that Steve has written on rebornpipes.com.

The process starts with sanding the broken tenon end of the stem till a smooth and even stem face is available for the new tenon. This step also reveals and opens up the stem airway for drilling to accommodate the new tenon. I did this by topping the tenon end of the stem face on a piece of 220 grit sandpaper till smooth.Next, I selected a Delrin tenon that was the closest fit in to the mortise. I mounted a sanding drum on to my hand held rotary tool and setting the speed at its lowest, I shaped the tenon to a perfect fit in to the mortise. I was very slow, deliberate and frequently checked the progress being made. Once I had achieved a snug fit, I kept the tenon aside and worked the stem.The one and most important aspect that has to be kept in mind while replacing a tenon is to keep the new tenon and stem airway straight and aligned. To ensure this, with a sharp knife I gave a slight inward bevel to the stem’s airway opening which will serve as a guide to the drill bit when drilling. I use the length of the end of the tenon to determine the depth of the drilling. I marked off this length with a rubber band wound tightly on each and every drill bit that I used. I started the drilling with a bit that was slightly larger than the existing airway. I proceed through a series of bits starting with a 3 mm bit until I had drilled the airway with the final bit of 5.5 mm, the same size as the end of the replacement tenon that I had shaped earlier. I proceed with caution as I wanted to make sure that I kept the airway straight for a good fit of the new tenon.I used a file to knock off the threads on the tenon end just enough to pressure fit it in place in the stem. I carefully checked the alignment to make sure the tenon was straight on the stem before setting it aside to cure. I subjected the stem with the replaced tenon to the pipe cleaner test. The pipe cleaner passed through the air way smoothly and without any obstruction. Once satisfied that the alignment is perfect, I put some super glue on the tenon end and pressed it into the airway and set it aside to cure. I am very pleased with my first attempt at a tenon replacement. I further sand the stem with 600 and 800 grit sand paper and wiped the stem with cotton pad dipped in alcohol to remove the resultant dust and rubbed some extra virgin olive oil in to the stem and set it aside to be absorbed in to stem. I polished the stem with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. I rubbed a little extra virgin olive oil in to the stem at the end of the micromesh pads polishing cycle. I completed the polishing regime of the stem by rubbing a small quantity of Extra Fine Stem polish developed by my friend Mark Hoover, and giving it a final polish with a soft cotton cloth. The stem is now nice, smooth and shiny.To apply the finishing touches, I first mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and apply a coat of Blue Diamond to the stummel and the stem to polish out the minor scratches.With a cotton buffing wheel that I use for carnauba wax, I apply a coat of carnauba wax to the stummel and stem and continue to work on it till the complete coat of wax has been polished out. I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and give the entire pipe a once over buff. I finish the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine further. The finished pipe is shown below. P.S. – First things first; tenon replacement, now that I have personally worked on it, is definitely not a very difficult procedure. All it takes is a lot of patience and I strongly recommend that before attempting it, one should go through as many write ups on tenon replacement as possible. Steve has some nice, simple and informative step by step write ups on this procedure which is strongly recommended.

I am really fortunate to be in the process of learning the nuances of pipe restoration and cannot thank Steve enough for his support and guidance.

I wish to thank Mr. Roland Borchers and Mr. Borman who have explained the numbering system followed on Preben Holm pipes and also on dating these pipes for the larger good of our fraternity.

Thanks for your patience and looking forward to inputs about the write up. Cheers…

 

A New Beginning For An Inherited Peterson’s # 3 System Pocket Pipe…


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

Over the last month and a half, I have worked on five Peterson’s pipes to be added to my personal collection; two from my inherited lot (DONEGAL ROCKY # 999 and KAPMEER # 120S) and three that I had purchased on eBay, a Peterson’s SYSTEM # 31 just so that I could include it in my rotation, a Peterson’s BARREL and a Peterson’s OLD ENGLISH COLLECTION. Continuing with my work on Peterson’s in my collection, the next and sixth pipe that is now on my work table is one from my inheritance; a unique small system pipe with oval shaped chamber/ stummel. The stem folds itself over the rim top, further making it compact enough in size to be carried in one’s vest pocket.

The smooth stummel of this pipe has a beautiful mix of Bird’s eye on the foot of the stummel and cross grain on the front, back, sides and the upturned shank of the stummel. An oval shaped stummel, short upturned shank with a nickel plated ferrule at the shank end and a proportionate vulcanite stem with an orifice for a slot, makes it a visually appealing pipe. It is stamped on the left side of the shank as “K & P” over “3”. The shank end is adorned with a nickel ferrule that is stamped in three shields as “K” “&” “P” over three faux hallmarks a Shamrock, a Prone Fox, and a Stone Tower. The stummel is devoid of any COM stamp that would help in dating this pipe. Even the stem is unstamped. Since I have been recently working on Peterson’s pipes in my collection and reading about it as much as I could, I knew that K & P pipes did not have any COM stamp during the early part of the Patent Era. Furthermore, this pipe has a reservoir/ sump in the mortise making it a System pipe!! The stem slot is a round orifice which points to this pipe being an old one. Thus from these facts, I can safely presume this pipe to be from the Patent Era, that is from 1875 to 1922.

However, in spite of my extensive research on Peterson’s pipes for shapes and models from this era, I came a cropper!!!! In case any of the esteemed readers has some additional information on this pipe, I would request you to share it on Reborn pipes for the benefit of our community.

Initial Visual Inspection
The smooth stummel on this pipe is covered in a thick layer of dust and sticky grime giving it a dull and lackluster appearance. Through all the grime, bird’s eye and cross grains can be still seen at the foot and on sides, front and back of the stummel respectively. The rim top surface appears uneven and is covered in dust, heavy lava overflow, grime and will need to be cleaned and polished. There are a few scratches on the left side of the stummel which will need to be addressed. A few fills seen on either side of the stummel need to be refreshed. The stummel has developed a nice patina which I shall endeavor to preserve. The chamber has a thick layer of uneven cake with lava overflow over the rim top surface. Remnants of half burnt tobacco can be seen at the bottom half of the stummel. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber will be ascertained once the existing cake has been taken down to the bare briar. The draught hole is completely blocked with absolutely no draw. This needs to be addressed. The thin and delicate rim edge appears to be severely damaged with dents and dings all around; however, the extent of this damage will be ascertained once the cake and lava overflow from the chamber and rim top is entirely removed. There is a very strong smell to the chamber which, perhaps, may reduce appreciably after the chamber has been cleaned. The mortise and sump are clogged with dried oils and tars. The nickel ferrule at the shank end, though heavily oxidized, is undamaged. It is cut at an angle to accommodate the stem when it is turned over the stummel. The ferrule, once cleaned should polish up nicely. The vulcanite stem is heavily and deeply oxidized with tooth indentations on the button edge and chatter on either surfaces of the stem in the bite zone. The tenon end shows heavy traces of dried oils and tars. It’s going to take some elbow grease to clean up this stem to a nice deep and shining black. The perpendicular tenon end will make the internal cleaning a bit challenging. The orific slot shows deposition of dried oils and tars. The stink from the stem and clogged airway will take a lot of effort and time to clean up. The Process
I began the process of refurbishing this pipe by using my fabricated knife to remove the unburnt tobacco and thick layer of cake. I further took the cake down to the bare briar with a folded piece of 150 grit sand paper. Once the walls of the chamber were rid of all the remnants of the cake, the chamber walls were found to be smooth and without any damage. With my modified and straightened cloth hanger used as a poker, I cleaned the grime and cake that covered the draught hole at the heel of the stummel. I further wiped the chamber with a cotton swab wetted with isopropyl alcohol to completely remove the sanding dust. While handling the stummel for internal cleaning of the chamber, the nickel ferrule came off, revealing a crack on the left side. This crack extends from the shank end rim surface (indicated with a yellow arrow) and along the shank on the left side (indicated with blue arrows). The extent of the crack will be determined once the dirt, grime and dried glue are removed from the surface. The edges of the ferrule are slightly uneven while the insides of it have traces of deeper oxidation.   I scraped the shank internals with a fabricated tool to remove all the crud that had accumulated along the shank walls and further cleaned it with bristled and regular pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol. A huge pile of q-tips, pipe cleaners and lots of elbow grease later, the sump and mortise still appear dirty. I shall further draw out all the residual oils, tars and gunk by subjecting the chamber and the shank to a salt and alcohol bath. I gently scraped the shank end rim surface to remove all the accumulated oils and grime. Now that the shank end rim was cleaned, a second crack on the right side came to the fore (indicated in yellow arrows). This project is turning out to be more time consuming than I had anticipated. I shall deal with these cracks after I am done with internal and external cleaning of the stummel. I cleared the draught hole using a fabricated poker and further cleaned it using pipe cleaners and alcohol. I continued with the cleaning of the chamber and shank internals with a salt and alcohol bath. I use cotton balls which is an at par substitute to Kosher salt as I have realized over the years. I draw out a wick from the cotton and along with a folded regular pipe cleaner; insert it in to the mortise and through the draught hole into the chamber. Thereafter, I packed the chamber with cotton balls to about quarter of an inch below the rim’s inner edge and soaked the cotton balls with isopropyl alcohol up to the brim. About half an hour later, the level of alcohol had gone down, having being absorbed by the cotton. I topped it up once again and set it aside overnight. By the next afternoon, the cotton and alcohol had drawn out all the remaining oils and tars from the chamber and mortise, fulfilling its intended task. I removed the cotton balls and ran pipe cleaners through the mortise to clean out all the loosened tars and gunk. Using my fabricated tool, I scraped out the entire loosened gunk from the sump and further cleaned it with alcohol and q-tips. The chamber now smells clean and fresh. I set the stummel to dry out naturally. Now that the internals of the stummel were cleaned, I scrubbed the external surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush. I deliberately cleaned the thin delicate rim top and the surface just below the rim edge with Scotch Brite and a soft bristled brass wire brush to remove the entire lava overflow and dried it using paper towels and a soft cotton cloth. The shank end rim surface and the shank were deliberately cleaned to remove the grime and dirt so that the exact extent of the two cracks could be fathomed. The thin rim top is generously peppered with nicks, dings and dents. The fills and cracks that are visible on the stummel surface are marked in yellow circles and blue arrows respectively. I removed the old fills and prepared the stummel for a fresh fill. Using my dental tools, I progressed to removing the fills. I know these pictures do not present a very encouraging scenario at this stage, but I shall prevail… I wiped the surface from where the old fill was gouged out, with isopropyl alcohol to clean the area. I let the stummel dry out completely and after all the alcohol had evaporated, proceeded to fill the gouges with CA superglue and briar dust using the layering technique where I put down a thin layer of superglue in to the fill and press briar dust over the glue. I continue with this process till the fill rises above the rest of the stummel surface. Once all the gouges were filled up, I set the stummel aside to cure for the next 24 hours.While the stummel fills were curing, I worked the stem. The stem air way was filthy to say the least. Using a shank brush and dish washing soap, I cleaned the stem air way. I further cleaned the stem internals with hard and regular pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. A lot of elbow grease and a pile of pipe cleaners later, the pipe cleaners did not emerge as white as I wanted. The perpendicular positioning of the tenon to the rest of the stem made cleaning of the air way all the more difficult. In my exuberance, I chipped the very end of the tenon… Some additional unwarranted work and time penalty!! With the stem internals now somewhat clean, I moved to external cleaning of the stem surface by sanding the surface with a piece of 220 grit sand paper and thereafter dunking the stem in to “Before and After Deoxidizer” solution developed by my friend Mark Hoover. The solution helps to draw out heavy oxidation to the surface making its further removal a breeze, while the minor oxidation is eliminated to a very great extent. I usually dunk stems of 5-7 pipes that are in-line for restoration and the K & P # 3 pipe is marked in pastel pink arrow. I generally allow the stems to soak in this solution overnight for the solution to do its work.Next day, I remove the stems from the deoxidizer solution and clean them under warm running tap water to remove all the solution. I scrubbed the stem surface first with scotch brite pad followed by a piece of 0000 grade steel wool. This helps in removing all the raised oxidation from the stem surface. I rubbed a little Extra Virgin Olive oil in to the stem and wiped the excess with a paper napkin. This was followed by inserting a petroleum jelly smeared folded pipe cleaner in to the tenon for reconstruction of the tenon end. Using a mix of CA superglue and food grade activated charcoal, I began the arduous process of rebuilding the chipped tenon end and also the bite marks on the button edges on both sides in the bite zone. I set the stem aside for the fill to cure and harden completely. I took a stock of the progress made till now on this pipe; stummel internals/ externals cleaned, old stummel fills have been refreshed and cured, stem internals cleaned, stem oxidation removed to a great extent, stem repairs set aside for curing. Addressing the stummel cracks, sanding of the stummel and stem fills, refurbishing the nickel band and final polishing is all that remains to be completed.

Next, I address the two cracks at the shank end. Using a magnifying glass and a white correction pen, I marked the points for the counter holes at the end points along the extent of the cracks seen on the stummel. I drilled counter holes with a 1mm drill bit mounted on to my hand held rotary tool, deep enough to serve as a counter hole while taking care that I did not drill a through and through hole. These counter holes arrest and prevent the spread of the cracks further. I filled these cracks and counter holes with a mix of briar dust and CA superglue using the layering method (layer of superglue followed by sprinkling of briar dust and repeated it till desired thickness of fill was achieved) and set it aside for the fills to cure. I ensured that I filled the thin outer edge of rim top surface that I will subsequently sand down to match with the rest of the rim surface. I set the stummel aside for the fills to harden. I cleaned the nickel shank band with Colgate Toothpowder, which Abha, my wife, uses to polish her silver and gold cutlery and jewelry. This compound is a very fine powder and is least abrasive with fantastic results. The band is now a nice shining piece of nickel and should provide a nice contrast to the shining black stem and the dark brown stummel. The patches of deep oxidation that were observed were also completely eliminated.  With the stummel fills nicely cured, it was time again to work on it. Using a flat head needle file, I sanded the fills and followed it by sanding with worn out folded piece of 150 grit sand paper. I sand the thin rim top surface with the same sand paper to minimize the numerous chips, dents and dings. I did not resort to topping since the oval shape with a slight saddle dip in the centre makes it difficult to top without compromising the shape of the rim top. A couple of dents and chips are still visible, but I shall let them be as a part of this pipe’s journey from my grandfather then to with me now!!! The fills have blended in quite well. However, I shall strive to further achieve a near perfect blend during further sanding and polishing with micromesh pads. The shank end crack repairs are now solid and have blended in really well. Yeah, I am pleased with this progress. Thereafter, I polished the entire stummel with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 pads. I wiped the surface with a soft moist cloth at the end of the micromesh cycle. The stummel looks amazing with a deep shine and beautiful grains over the stummel surface. Another issue that was addressed to a great extent was that of the minor scratches and nicks that were observed on the stummel. The rim top surface looks good with the few nicks and chips still visible, if observed closely. The refreshed fills distinctly stand out because of their dark coloration, and I shall let it be as a testimony of the journey of this beautiful pipe. I am very happy with the appearance of the rim top and stummel at this stage. I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to briar and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the dark hues of the grain contrasting with the rest of the stummel surface. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. I set the stummel aside and took up the stem repairs. The tenon tip rebuild had cured nicely. With a flat head needle file, I sand the rebuilt portion of the tenon and the button edges to achieve a rough match. Using a round needle file, I shaped the opening of the tenon to a perfect round. I resorted to topping the tenon end on a piece of 220 grit sand paper to achieve the correct tenon size, which is just below the opening of the draught hole in the mortise. This ensures that the Pete’s famed “System” functions as effectively. I further sand the entire stem surface with a folded piece of a 220 grit sand paper to achieve a perfect blend of the fill with the stem surface. With the same piece of sand paper, I sharpened the button edges on both the upper and lower surface. I wiped the stem with a cotton swab and Murphy’s oil soap to further remove the oxidation and sanding dust. I rubbed some extra virgin olive oil into the stem and set it aside to be absorbed into stem. I polished the stem with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. I rubbed a little extra virgin olive oil in to the stem at the end of all the micromesh pads. Next I rubbed a small quantity of extra fine stem polish that I had got from Mark Hoover and set it aside to let the polish work its magic. After about 10 minutes, I hand buffed the stem with a microfiber cloth to a nice shine. The stem is now nice, smooth and shiny. Now with the stummel nicely polished, the nickel band polished and shining and stem repairs and polishing completed, all that remained to be done was to get these parts together for a final polishing with carnauba wax. I glued the nickel ferrule to the shank end with CA superglue.To apply the finishing touches, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and apply a coat of Blue Diamond to the entire pipe to polish out the minor scratches. With a cotton buffing wheel that I use for carnauba wax, I apply a coat of carnauba wax to the stummel and stem and continue to work on it till the complete coat of wax is polished out. I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and gave the entire pipe a once over buff. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The finished pipe is shown below. P.S. – This is another unique and vintage pipe of my grandfather that has been passed on to me. I feel singularly fortunate and honored to carry forward his legacy while at the same time preserving a part of history of these pipe brands. Thanks for your patience and looking forward to inputs about the write up.

I had decided to let the fills be seen and not mask it under a darker stain; I am still open to suggestions from esteemed readers!!

 Cheers…

A Simple Refurbishing Of Peterson’s Barrel Pipe


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

In the last couple of weeks, I have worked on three Peterson’s pipe, two from my inherited lot (DONEGAL ROCKY # 999 and KAPMEER # 120S) and one that I had purchased on eBay (PETERSON’S SYSTEM # 31)  just so that I could include it in my rotation. Continuing with my work on Peterson’s in my collection, the next pipe that is now on my work table is a rusticated Peterson’s “BARREL” with a thin delicate and long P-lip stem.

The rusticated stummel of this pipe has beautiful texture and feels tactile in the hand. A short shank with a nickel ferrule at the end and a long, tapered delicate P-lip stem makes it a visually stunning pipe. It is stamped on the bottom flat smooth surface at the foot of the stummel as “Peterson’s” in a cursive hand over “BARREL” in capital letters over “MADE IN THE” over “REPUBLIC” over “OF IRELAND” in capital letters. The shank end is adorned with a nickel ferule that is stamped as “K & P” over three faux hallmarks a Shamrock, a Prone Fox, and a Stone Tower. Further to the right, it is stamped as “PETERSON’S”. The stampings are crisp and easily readable less the Shamrock hallmark which has been slightly rubbed off.  Having researched and worked on a few early Peterson’s pipes, I knew that the stampings identified this pipe as being from Republic era i.e. 1949 to until the present, making it a newer generation pipe. Also during my search on Donegal Rocky # 999 pipe that I had researched earlier, I knew that BARREL belonged to the Group 4 basic entry level pipes from Peterson’s. Given below are snippets of relevant information that I had learned from pipedia.org:

Group 4, Basic Entry Level Pipes

In this group you will find the basic entry level pipes which many smokers desire and are most comfortable with for every day and rotation use. The two most famous and popular issues probably being the System and the Classic shape pipes. All of the pipes in this group can be purchased for relatively little cost and probably accounts for the majority of Petersons worldwide pipe sales

Tankard & Barrel: Two attractively shaped pipes finished in red polish or rustic. A quality briar fitted with a nickel mount. Available with Peterson lip or fishtail mouthpiece. Prices start from $45.With this information, I now know that this pipe is a pipe from the newer generation that is most comfortable and desired and I move ahead with my initial visual inspection.

Initial Visual Inspection
The pipe, as it sits on my work table, is dirty with a thick layer of cake in the chamber, a stummel that is covered in dust and grime and a military mount tapered vulcanite stem that is lightly oxidized. Here are a few pictures of the pipe before I proceed with a detailed visual inspection of each part of the pipe. The chamber has a thick cake with lava overflow over the rim top surface. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber will be ascertained once the existing cake has been taken down to the bare briar. The inner and outer rim edges appear to be in good condition, however, the same will be ascertained once the cake and lava overflow from the chamber and rim top respectively, is entirely removed. There is a very strong smell to the cake which, perhaps, may reduce appreciably after the chamber and the shank has been cleaned. The draught hole is right at the bottom and center of the wide and rounded heel of the stummel, making it an excellent smoker. The mortise is filled with oils and tars and specks of dried ash are seen on the walls of the mortise. The mortise is filled with dried oils, tars and gunk. The walls, however, are intact and well protected under the nickel ferule.  The rusticated stummel on this pipe is covered in a thick layer of dust and grime giving it a dull and lackluster appearance. The rim top surface is also covered in dust, lava overflow, grime and will need to be cleaned and polished. The nickel ferule at the shank end appears dull due to oxidation. The bottom of the ferrule has a patch that is heavily oxidized. The saving grace is that it is intact and undamaged.The tapered, thin and long slightly bent vulcanite P-lip stem is lightly oxidized with negligible, but visible on close inspection, scratches on either surfaces of the stem in the bite zone and over the P-lip. The shank end opening on the stem is constricted with dried oils and gunk. This should be a relatively simple cleaning up job of the stem.The Process
I began the process of refurbishing this pipe by reaming the chamber with a Castleford reamer tool, using size 2 followed by size 3 head. Using my fabricated knife; I further took the cake down to the bare briar. With a 150 grit sand paper, the walls of the chamber were rid of all the remnants of the cake, revealing smooth chamber walls. I further wiped the chamber with a cotton swab wetted with isopropyl alcohol to completely remove the sanding dust. I gently scraped the lava overflow from the rim top with a brass bristled brush. The inner and outer rim edge is in good condition. I scraped the shank internals with a fabricated tool to remove all the crud that had accumulated along the shank walls and further cleaned it with bristled and regular pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol. I shall further draw out all the residual oils, tars and gunk by subjecting the chamber and the shank to a salt and alcohol bath. I continued the cleaning of the chamber and the short shank internals with a salt and alcohol bath. I use cotton balls which is an at par substitute as I have realized over the years. I draw out a wick from the cotton and along with a folded regular pipe cleaner; insert it in to the mortise and through the draught hole in to the chamber. Thereafter, I pack the chamber with cotton balls to about quarter of an inch below the rim inner edge and soaked the cotton balls with isopropyl alcohol up to the brim. About half an hour later, the level of alcohol had gone down, having being absorbed by the cotton. I topped it up once again and set it aside overnight. By next afternoon, the cotton and alcohol had drawn out all the remaining oils and tars from the chamber and mortise, fulfilling its intended task. I removed the cotton balls and ran pipe cleaners through the mortise to clean out all the loosened tars and gunk. Using my fabricated tool, I scraped out the entire loosed gunk from the shank walls and further cleaned it with alcohol and q-tips. The chamber now smells clean and fresh. I set the stummel to dry out naturally. Now that the internals of the stummel were cleaned, I scrubbed the external surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush. I deliberately cleaned the rim top surface with a soft bristled brass wire brush to remove the entire lava overflow and dried it using paper towels and soft cotton cloth. I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to briar and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the reddish brown hues of the raised rustications contrasting with the dark stummel surface. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. With the stummel refurbishing completed, I turned my attention to the stem. The stem air way was filthy to say the least. Using a shank brush and dish washing soap, I cleaned the stem air way. I further cleaned the stem internals with hard and regular pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. A lot of elbow grease and a pile of pipe cleaners later, when the pipe cleaners emerged white I knew that the stem internals were clean and fresh.With the stem internals now clean, I moved to external cleaning of the stem surface by dunking the stem in to “Before and After Deoxidizer” solution developed by my friend Mark Hoover. The solution helps to draw out heavy oxidation to the surface making its further removal a breeze, while the minor oxidation is eliminated to a very great extent. I usually dunk stems of 5-7 pipes that are in-line for restoration and the BARREL is marked in yellow arrow. I generally allow the stems to soak in this solution overnight for the solution to do its work.I sand the entire stem surface with a folded piece of a 220 grit sand paper to remove the tooth chatter and minor oxidation from the stem surface. With the same piece of sand paper, I sharpened the button edges on both the upper and lower surface. I wiped the stem with a cotton swab and Murphy’s oil soap to further remove the oxidation. I rubbed some extra virgin olive oil in to the stem and set it aside to be absorbed in to stem. I polished the stem with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. I rubbed a little extra virgin olive oil in to the stem at the end of all the micromesh pads. I finished the polishing of the stem by rubbing a small quantity of Paragon wax and giving it a final polish with a soft cotton cloth. The stem is now nice, smooth and shiny.I cleaned the nickel ferrule at the shank end with a local compound that Abha, my wife, uses to polish her silver and gold jewelry and cutlery. This compound is a very fine powder and is least abrasive with fantastic results. The results were appreciated by Steve during his visit to India. The band is now a nice shining piece of nickle and provides a nice contrast to the shining black stem and the dark brown stummel. Unfortunately, I missed out on taking pictures as I was keen to finish this pipe!

To apply the finishing touches, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and apply a coat of Blue Diamond to the stem to polish out the minor scratches. With a cotton buffing wheel that I use for carnauba wax, I apply a coat of carnauba wax to the stummel and stem and continued to work on it till the complete coat of wax had been polished out. I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and gave the entire pipe a once over buff. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The finished pipe is shown below. P.S. – This was one of the easiest and most straight forward refurbishing works that I have undertaken till date. It was also a nice change from restoring pipes only from my inheritance. I am really privileged to have had an opportunity to carry forward the trust that the previous owner had posed in his pipes. Thanks for your patience and looking forward to inputs about the write up. Cheers…

Readying An Inherited Pete Kapmeer #120 S, Great Britain, For Its Second Inning…


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

While going through the pile of my inherited pipes searching for my next project, I selected the DONEGAL ROCKY # 999 and this pipe, PETERSON’S KAPMEER # 120 S for restoration. Since I wanted to add Rhodesian shape to my rotation, I first restored the Donegal # 999. Thereafter other interesting pipes caught my fancy and this pipe was relegated to backseat. A few pipes later, as I was contemplating my next project, this pipe again came in to focus along with a few other Peterson’s which were languishing in the box and I decided to complete a few Peterson’s pipes during the next few days.

The shape of this pipe is a nice classic Dublin with a P-lip saddle stem. The deeply rusticated stummel feels tactile in one’s hand and the deep burgundy stain makes for a visual treat. It is stamped on the smooth underside as “120 S” towards the heel of the stummel followed by “PETERSON’S” over “KAPMEER” followed by the COM stamp “GREAT” over “BRITAIN” towards the shank end. The stampings are crisp and clear. The vulcanite P-lip saddle stem bears the trademark decorative letter “P”.During my research on Donegal Rocky # 999 (my first and only Donegal in my collection!!), I had read that KAPMEER belongs to the Classic Range of pipes offered by Peterson’s. These are basic entry level pipes and most of this line up is no longer in production. The COM stamp “GREAT BRITAIN” also points to this being an older pipe, that is, pre-1959.

Initial Visual Inspection
The pipe, as it sits on my work table, is dirty with thick layer of even cake, covered in dust and grime with a heavily oxidized stem. Here are a few pictures of the pipe before I proceed with a detailed visual inspection of each part of the pipe. The stummel has beautiful rustic patterns on this classic shaped pipe and is covered in a thick layer of dust and grime. The stummel appears dull and lackluster. However, the rich dark burgundy hues of the raised portions of the rustications contrast beautifully with the lighter hues of the stummel and would look more appealing once the stummel has been cleaned and polished. The end of the long and rusticated shank has a nice thin band of smooth briar. Once polished, this briar band should further enhance the beauty of this pipe. The meerschaum lined rim top is surrounded by briar wood and is covered in a thick coat of dust, lava overflow, grime and will need to be cleaned and polished. This lava overflow is chipped at places revealing an intact white meerschaum layer. The chamber has an even layer of thick cake that is sticky and hard. The condition of the meerschaum lined walls of the chamber will be ascertained once the existing cake has been completely removed. The inner meerschaum layered rim edge appears intact, however, the same will be ascertained once the cake and lava overflow from the chamber and rim top is removed. There is a distinct perfectly round ring above the draught hole which could be seen even through the cake and grime. Is it a crack? It is unlikely that a crack should be such a perfect round. It would require a closer inspection once the chamber has been cleaned. The mortise has a thick layer of black dried oils and tars on the walls which would need to be cleaned. The straight tapered vulcanite P-lip saddle stem is heavily oxidized and is peppered with light tooth chatter/ indentations on either surface of the stem in the bite zone and on the top surface of the P-lip. Heavy calcification is seen at the base of the edges of the P-lip. The button edges of the P-lip are deformed due to tooth marks and would need to be sharpened. The tenon end is covered in dried oils and tars. This should be a relatively simple repair and cleaning up job of the stem.The Process
I began the process of refurbishing this pipe with scraping out the calcification from the base of the button edges, cleaning the internals of the stem using pipe cleaners with isopropyl alcohol (99.9% pure) and dunking the stem in to “Before and After Deoxidizer” solution developed by my friend Mark Hoover. The solution helps to draw out heavy oxidation to the surface making its further removal a breeze, while the minor oxidation is eliminated to a very great extent. I usually dunk stems of 5-7 pipes that are in-line for restoration and this Kapmeer is marked in blue arrow. I generally allow the stems to soak in this solution overnight for the solution to do its work.Now that the stem is soaking in the deoxidizer solution, I worked the stummel, starting with reaming the chamber with a Castleford reamer tool, using only the second head. I was very gentle and careful while using the reamer head, applying minimum force for fear of cracking the meerschaum lining. Using my fabricated knife; I took the cake down to the meerschaum layer. With a 150 grit sand paper, the walls of the chamber were rid of all the remnants of the cake. My worst fears while working on meerschaum lined pipes were unraveled in front of my eyes!! There are two distinct cracks on either sides on the chamber walls, one each in 3 o’clock and 9  o’clock direction. These cracks are marked in yellow and orange arrows respectively. These cracks do not go all the way through the meerschaum layer, but are only superficial. The perfectly rounded crack that I had mentioned (marked in green arrow) earlier, is not a crack but just a circular line formed most likely by a reamer head. I further wiped the chamber with a cotton swab wetted with isopropyl alcohol to completely remove the sanding dust. I gently scraped off the entire lava overflow from the rim top with a sharp knife blade. The inner rim edge has no damage save for uneven surface. This issue will be easily addressed by a little sanding and polishing with micromesh pads. Just to allay my fears, I shared these pictures with Steve and Facetimed with him. I suggested that I coat the cracks with a mix of egg whites and chalk for repairs. However, Steve opined that these cracks are just superficial and that he would let them be. His closing remark was “that meer lining is going nowhere…”! At peace with my inner being, I move to the next stage.

I scraped the dried gunk from the walls of the mortise with my dental tool and further cleaned the shank internals with q-tips, pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. I continued the cleaning till the pipe cleaners and q-tips came out clean.I scrubbed the external surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush and dried it using paper towels and soft cotton cloth. The burgundy hues of the raised rustications contrast beautifully with the rest of the stummel. I set the stummel aside to dry out naturally. I packed the chamber with paper towels to absorb any water and moisture that may have inadvertently seeped in to the meerschaum. To even out the rim top, I dry sand the top with 1500 to 12000 grit micromesh pads. I also polished the raised rustications and the thin briar band at the shank end, dry sanding with the micromesh pads to further enhance the contrast. I am really happy with the appearance of the entire stummel at this stage. I massaged a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to briar. I rubbed this balm deep in to the nooks and crannies formed between the rustications with my fingers and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the dark hues of the raised carvings contrasting with the rest of the stummel surface. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. I worked on all the stems that had been soaking in the deoxidizer solution overnight. I fished out all the stems and cleaned them under running warm water and scrubbed the raised oxidation from the stem surface using Scotch Brite pad. I further removed the oxidation by scrubbing the stems with 0000 grade steel wool and applied a little olive oil to rehydrate the stems and set them aside for the oil to be absorbed. Unfortunately, I did not click any pictures of these stems at this stage.

I painted both surfaces of the stem with the flame of a lighter to raise the tooth indentations to the surface. This also helps in loosening minor oxidation from the stem surface. I sand the entire stem surface with a folded piece of a 220 grit sand paper to remove the loosened oxidation. I wiped the stem with a cotton swab and Murphy’s oil soap to further remove the oxidation. I filled the tooth indentation in the button edge on both lower and upper stem surfaces with a mix of activated charcoal and CA superglue and set it aside for the fill to cure. Once the fill had cured sufficiently, I sanded down the fill with a needle file to match with rest of the stem surface. With the same file, I sharpened the button edge on both the upper and lower surface. I fine tuned the blending of the fill with the rest of the stem surface using a 220 grit sand paper and also sanded down the entire stem to remove the stubborn residual oxidation. I further sand the stem with 600 and 800 grit sand paper and wiped the stem with cotton pad dipped in alcohol to remove the resultant dust. I rubbed some extra virgin olive oil in to the stem and set it aside to be absorbed in to stem. However, I completely missed taking pictures of this stage.

I polished the stem with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. I rubbed a little extra virgin olive oil in to the stem at the end of the micromesh pads polishing cycle. I finish the polishing of the stem by rubbing a small quantity of Paragon wax and giving it a final polish with a soft cotton cloth. The stem is now nice, smooth and shiny.I refreshed the stem logo by masking the logo with a whitener correction pen. Once the whitener had dried, I gently wiped the excess whitener away. The stem logo now looks prominent.To apply the finishing touches, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and applied a coat of Blue Diamond to the stem to polish out the minor scratches. With a cotton buffing wheel that I use for carnauba wax, I apply a coat of carnauba wax to the stummel and stem and continued to work on it till the complete coat of wax had been polished out. I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and gave the entire pipe a once over buff. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The finished pipe is shown below. P.S. – This was an easy restoration and the pipe turned out fabulously refreshed. I did enjoy working on it. Steve, with his practical and sound advice has been a great help. I cannot imagine this fun filled journey of mine without his help, guidance and encouragement. Thanks Steve for being such a big support and also for introducing some great friends in piper community.

I have three more Peterson’s pipes lined up and each one is interesting in its own way. I surely am looking forward to work on each one of them in the coming days!!

Thanks for your patience and looking forward to input about the write up. Cheers…

Refurbishing A Peterson’s Old English Collection Pipe.


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

In the last couple of weeks, I have worked on four Peterson’s pipe, two from my inherited lot (DONEGAL ROCKY # 999 and KAPMEER # 120S) and two that I had purchased on eBay, a PETERSON’S SYSTEM # 31 just so that I could include it in my rotation and a Peterson’s BARREL. Continuing with my work on Peterson’s in my collection, the next and fifth pipe that is now on my work table is a smooth Peterson’s “OLD ENGLISH COLLECTION” pipe with a thin delicate and long stem.

The smooth stummel of this pipe has beautiful mix of densely packed Bird’s eye grain on the sides and cross grain on the front and back of the stummel. The Duke shape (or more akin to the Tankard pipe from Peterson’s!!!) captures these grains beautifully for a stunning visual experience. A tallish stummel, short shank with a gold plated silver ferrule at the end and a long, tapered delicate stem makes it a visually appealing pipe. It is stamped on the bottom flat smooth surface at the foot of the stummel as “PETERSON’S” over “OLD ENGLISH” over “COLLECTION” in capital letters over “MADE IN THE” over “REPUBLIC” over “OF IRELAND” in capital letters. The shank end is adorned with a gold plated silver ferule that is stamped as “Peterson’s” in a cursive hand over “DUBLIN”. Further to the right there are three hallmarks in a cartouche, which unfortunately are worn off to the extent that I am unable to identify and make use of them for dating this pipe. Rest of the stamping on this pipe is crisp and easily readable. I would really be glad if any of the readers are able to make out these hallmarks and either share the same with us or describe them and help in dating this pipe. Since I have been working on Peterson’s pipes in my collection, I knew that these stampings identified this pipe as being from Republic era i.e. 1949 to until the present, making it a newer generation pipe. Also during my search on Peterson’s Barrel pipe that I had researched earlier, I knew that OLD ENGLISH COLLECTION belonged to the Collection Series of pipes from Peterson’s. Given below are snippets of relevant information that I had learned from pipedia.org;

Collections: Usually these popular themed collections of pipes are boxed.

They vary in price from the Ebony and Ivory at around $300 and up to $1000 for the River, 6 pipe set.

The Old English Collection: The old English Collection is no longer in production. It featured a set of 12 pipes, recreated using original classic designs from the 1930s and 1940s. Each pipe is handmade and mounted with gold plated sterling silver bands.With this information, I now know that this pipe is a pipe from the newer generation that is handmade and part of set of 12 pipes and I move ahead with my initial visual inspection. I would once again like to request readers of this blog to help me in pinning the exact date for this pipe.

Initial Visual Inspection
The pipe, as it sits on my work table, is dirty with an uneven layer of cake in the chamber, a stummel that is covered in dust and grime and a military mount tapered vulcanite stem that is heavily oxidized. Here are a few pictures of the pipe before I proceed with a detailed visual inspection of each part of the pipe.The smooth stummel on this pipe is covered in a thick layer of dust and grime giving it a dull and lackluster appearance. Through all the grime, beautiful Bird’s eye and cross grains can be still seen on the sides and front/ back of the stummel respectively. The rim top surface is also covered in dust, lava overflow, grime and will need to be cleaned and polished. The stummel has developed a nice patina which I shall endeavor to preserve. There are a few negligible scratches on the left side of the stummel which will be addressed during polishing the stummel with micromesh pads. There is one tiny but a slightly deep chip on the left side of the stummel, any repairs of which I shall take a call on subsequently. The chamber has a thin layer of uneven cake with lava overflow over the rim top surface. This overflow of lava is significantly more on the back of the rim top, in the direction of 6 ‘O’ clock. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber will be ascertained once the existing cake has been taken down to the bare briar. The inner and outer rim edges appear to be in good condition, however, the same will be ascertained once the cake and lava overflow from the chamber and rim top is entirely removed. There is a very strong smell to the cake which, perhaps, may reduce appreciably after the chamber has been cleaned. The mortise is filled with oils and tars and specks of dried ash are seen on the walls of the mortise. The walls, however, are intact and well protected under the gold plated silver ferrule.The gold plated silver ferrule at the shank end appears dull due to oxidation. It shows patches of heavy oxidation over the lower surface. The saving grace is that it is intact and undamaged.The slotted and slightly bent vulcanite stem is heavily and deeply oxidized with significant tooth indentations on the button edge and chatter on either surfaces of the stem in the bite zone. The tenon end shows traces of dried oils and tars. It’s going to take some elbow grease to clean up this stem to a nice deep and shining black. The Process
I began the process of refurbishing this pipe by using my fabricated knife to remove the thin layer of cake. I further took the cake down to the bare briar with a folded piece of 150 grit sand paper. Once the walls of the chamber were rid of all the remnants of the cake, chamber walls were found to be smooth and without any damage. With my modified and straightened cloth hanger, I cleaned the grime and cake that covered the draught hole at the heel of the stummel. I further wiped the chamber with a cotton swab wetted with isopropyl alcohol to completely remove the sanding dust. I scraped the shank internals with a fabricated tool to remove all the crud that had accumulated along the shank walls and further cleaned it with bristled and regular pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol. I shall further draw out all the residual oils, tars and gunk by subjecting the chamber and the shank to a salt and alcohol bath.I continued the cleaning of the chamber and shank internals with a salt and alcohol bath. I use cotton balls which is an at par substitute as I have realized over the years. I draw out a wick from the cotton and along with a folded regular pipe cleaner; insert it in to the mortise and through the draught hole in to the chamber. Thereafter, I packed the chamber with cotton balls to about quarter of an inch below the rim inner edge and soaked the cotton balls with isopropyl alcohol up to the brim. About half an hour later, the level of alcohol had gone down, having being absorbed by the cotton. I topped it up once again and set it aside overnight. By next afternoon, the cotton and alcohol had drawn out all the remaining oils and tars from the chamber and mortise, fulfilling its intended task. I removed the cotton balls and ran pipe cleaners through the mortise to clean out all the loosened tars and gunk. Using my fabricated tool, I scraped out the entire loosed gunk from the sump and further cleaned it with alcohol and q-tips. The chamber now smells clean and fresh. I set the stummel to dry out naturally. Now that the internals of the stummel were cleaned, I scrubbed the external surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush. I deliberately cleaned the rim top surface with Scotch Brite and a soft bristled brass wire brush to remove the entire lava overflow and dried it using paper towels and soft cotton cloth. The rim darkening that I had observed over the rim top in 6 o’clock direction, was completely addressed. The inner and outer rim edges are in pristine condition. Thereafter, I polished the entire stummel with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 pads. I wiped the surface with a soft moist cloth at the end of the micromesh cycle. The stummel looks amazing with a deep shine and beautiful grains popping over the stummel surface. The rim top surface looks pristine with the issue of darkened inner edge entirely addressed. The second issue that was addressed to a great extent was that of the minor scratches and nicks that were observed on the left side of the stummel. One small nick can still be seen but to address it, I would have to compromise on the patina, which I did not desire. This minor nick is a part of the journey of this beautiful pipe and I shall let it be.  I am very happy with the appearance of the rim top and stummel at this stage. I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to briar and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the dark hues of the grain contrasting with the rest of the stummel surface. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. With the stummel refurbishing completed, I turned my attention to the stem. The stem air way was filthy to say the least. Using a shank brush and dish washing soap, I cleaned the stem air way. I further cleaned the stem internals with hard and regular pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. A lot of elbow grease and a pile of pipe cleaners later, when the pipe cleaners emerged white I knew that the stem internals are now clean and fresh.With the stem internals now clean, I moved to external cleaning of the stem surface by sanding the surface with a piece of 220 grit sand paper and thereafter dunking the stem in to “Before and After Deoxidizer” solution developed by my friend Mark Hoover. The solution helps to draw out heavy oxidation to the surface making its further removal a breeze, while the minor oxidation is eliminated to a very great extent. I usually dunk stems of 5-7 pipes that are in-line for restoration and the OLD ENGLISH COLLECTION is marked in green arrow. I generally allow the stems to soak in this solution overnight for the solution to do its work.Next day, I remove the stems from the deoxidizer solution and clean it under warm running tap water to remove all the solution. I scrubbed the stem surface first with scotch brite pad followed by a piece of 0000 grade steel wool. This helps in removing all the raised oxidation from the stem surface.  The deeper tooth indentations and chatter were raised to the surface by heating the damaged area with the flame of a lighter. I further sand the entire stem surface with a folded piece of a 220 grit sand paper to remove the raised tooth chatter and even out the stem surface. With the same piece of sand paper, I sharpened the button edges on both the upper and lower surface. I wiped the stem with a cotton swab and Murphy’s oil soap to further remove the oxidation. I rubbed some extra virgin olive oil in to the stem and set it aside to be absorbed in to stem. I polished the stem with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. I rubbed a little extra virgin olive oil in to the stem at the end of all the micromesh pads. I finish the polishing of the stem by rubbing a small quantity of Paragon wax and giving it a final polish with a soft cotton cloth. The stem is now nice, smooth and shiny. I cleaned the gold plated sterling silver shank band with a local compound that Abha, my wife, uses to polish her silver and gold jewelry and cutlery. This compound is a very fine powder and is least abrasive with fantastic results. The results were appreciated by Steve during his visit to India. The band is now a nice shining piece of gold and provides a nice contrast to the shining black stem and the dark brown stummel. The patches of deep oxidation that were observed on the lower surface of the band were also completely eliminated. Unfortunately, I missed out on taking pictures as I was keen to finish this pipe and enjoy a bowl!

To apply the finishing touches, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and apply a coat of Blue Diamond to the stem to polish out the minor scratches. With a cotton buffing wheel that I use for carnauba wax, I apply a coat of carnauba wax to the stummel and stem and continued to work on it till the complete coat of wax had been polished out. I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and gave the entire pipe a once over buff. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The finished pipe is shown below. P.S. – This is indeed a beautiful piece of briar that exudes excellent craftsmanship and quality. Now I have set myself a target to acquire all the remaining 11 pipes to complete my personal collection. Thanks for your patience and looking forward to inputs about the write up. Cheers…

A Simple Refurbishing Of A Peterson’s System 31 Billiard Pipe.


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

Two years ago, I had restored a rusticated Peterson’s “System 31, Made in Eire”, from my inherited pipes. Here is the link to the write up, my first post on Reborn pipes!!

https://rebornpipes.com/2018/06/01/restoring-my-grandfathers-petersons-system-31-made-in-eire-billiard/

Being from 1938-41 time period, I could never get myself around to enjoy a smoke in this pipe. However, I always wanted to try out the system # 31 pipes and thus when I came across one on eBay at an attractive price point, I made it a point to purchase it.

The smooth stummel of this pipe has beautiful mixed grain all round with distinct cross grain to the side and on the shank. It is stamped to the left on the shank as “PETERSON’S” over “SYSTEM” in capital letters with a forked P in Peterson’s. The right side of the shank is stamped as “MADE IN THE” over “REPUBLIC” over “OF IRELAND” in capital letters with the numeral “31” towards the stummel shank junction. The shank end is adorned with a nickel ferule that is stamped as “K & P” over three faux hallmarks a Shamrock, a Prone Fox, and a Stone Tower. Further to the right, it is stamped as “PETERSON’S”. The stampings are crisp and easily readable. Having researched and worked on a few early Peterson’s pipes, I knew that the stampings identified this pipe as being from Republic era i.e. 1949 to until the present, making it a newer generation pipe. This fact is further authenticated by the article I found on pipedia.org on Peterson’s System pipes;

https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_closer_look_at_the_famous_Peterson_Standard_System_Pipe

For the Peterson System pipes to work properly, the stem/tenon has to have an extension, the tip of which will pass by the draft hole from the bowl and into the sump. Upon the smoker drawing in smoke, this extension then directs the smoke down and around the sump to dispense a lot of the moisture before the smoke enters the extension and stem. On the System Standards and other less expensive systems, this extension with be made of Vulcanite turned integrally with the stem. On the more expensive System pipes this extension will be made of metal which screws into the Vulcanite stem. This extension on the earlier pipes will be of brass and the newer pipes will be of aluminum.

With this information, I now know that this pipe is an expensive system pipe from the newer generation and now that my curiosity is satiated, I move ahead with my initial visual inspection.

Initial Visual Inspection
The pipe, as it sits on my work table, is dirty with a thick layer of cake covered in dust and grime with many scratches and a lightly oxidized stem. Here are a few pictures of the pipe before I proceed with a detailed visual inspection of each part of the pipe. The smooth stummel on this pipe is covered in a thick layer of dust and grime giving it a dull and lackluster appearance. Through all the grime, beautiful grains can be still seen. The rim top surface is also covered in dust, lava overflow, grime and will need to be cleaned and polished. The stummel has developed a nice patina which I shall endeavor to preserve. The stummel surface is peppered with many minor scratches and nicks, notably over the foot of the stummel. The chamber has a thick cake with lava overflow over the rim top surface. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber will be ascertained once the existing cake has been taken down to the bare briar. The inner and outer rim edges appear to be in good condition, however, the same will be ascertained once the cake and lava overflow from the chamber and rim top is entirely removed. There is a very strong smell to the cake which, perhaps, may reduce appreciably after the chamber has been cleaned. The draught hole has reduced considerably in diameter causing air flow through it to being restricted. The mortise is filled with oils and tars and specks of dried ash are seen on the walls of the mortise. The sump is filled with dried oils, tars and gunk. The walls, however, are intact and well protected under the nickel ferule. The nickel ferule at the shank end appears dull due to oxidation. The saving grace is that it is intact and undamaged.The P-Lip straight vulcanite stem is lightly oxidized with few tooth indentations on the button edge and chatter on either surfaces of the stem in the bite zone. The aluminum tenon extension shows traces of dried oils and tars and remnants of black color at the base. This should be a relatively simple cleaning up job of the stem. The Process
I began the process of refurbishing this pipe by reaming the chamber with a Castleford reamer tool, using the second head. Using my fabricated knife; I further took the cake down to the bare briar. With a 150 grit sand paper, the walls of the chamber were rid of all the remnants of the cake, revealing smooth chamber walls. With my modified and straightened cloth hanger, I cleaned the grime and cake that covered the draught hole at the heel of the stummel. I further wiped the chamber with a cotton swab wetted with isopropyl alcohol to completely remove the sanding dust. I gently scraped the lava overflow from the rim top. The inner and outer rim edge is in good condition. I scraped the shank internals with a fabricated tool to remove all the crud that had accumulated along the shank walls and further cleaned it with bristled and regular pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol. The sump was cleaned using q-tips wetted with isopropyl alcohol. I also cleaned the sump with rolled paper napkins. A few hours later and after a lot of patience, elbow grease and q-tips, the sump is finally cleaned to a great extent. I shall further draw out all the residual oils, tars and gunk by subjecting the chamber and the shank to a salt and alcohol bath.I continued the cleaning of the chamber and shank internals with a salt and alcohol bath. I use cotton balls which is an at par substitute as I have realized over the years. I draw out a wick from the cotton and along with a folded regular pipe cleaner; insert it in to the mortise and through the draught hole in to the chamber. Thereafter, I packed the chamber with cotton balls to about quarter of an inch below the rim inner edge and soaked the cotton balls with isopropyl alcohol up to the brim. About half an hour later, the level of alcohol had gone down, having being absorbed by the cotton. I topped it up once again and set it aside overnight. By next afternoon, the cotton and alcohol had drawn out all the remaining oils and tars from the chamber and mortise, fulfilling its intended task. I removed the cotton balls and ran pipe cleaners through the mortise to clean out all the loosened tars and gunk. Using my fabricated tool, I scraped out the entire loosed gunk from the sump and further cleaned it with alcohol and q-tips. The chamber now smells clean and fresh. I set the stummel to dry out naturally. Now that the internals of the stummel were cleaned, I scrubbed the external surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush. I deliberately cleaned the rim top surface with Scotch Brite and a soft bristled brass wire brush to remove the entire lava overflow and dried it using paper towels and soft cotton cloth. On close inspection of the stummel, I noticed a superficial and light burn mark on the front of the bowl in 11 o’clock direction and darkened inner rim edge at 12 o’clock. The saving grace was that the briar at both these places was solid. I shall decide if I would need to resort to more invasive processes like topping after I have polished the stummel with micromesh pads. To address the issue of the light superficial burn mark to the front of the stummel, I lightly sanded the burn mark with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. Thereafter, I polished the entire stummel with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 pads. I wiped the surface with a soft moist cloth at the end of the micromesh cycle. The stummel looks amazing with a deep shine and beautiful grains popping over the stummel surface. The burn mark, though lightened considerably, is still visible. The rim top surface, however, looks pristine with the issue of darkened inner edge entirely addressed. The third issue that was addressed to a great extent was that of the numerous scratches and nicks that were observed on the foot and on the sides of the stummel. A few minor nicks can still be seen but to address them, I would have to compromise on the patina, which I did not desire. These minor nicks are a part of the journey of this beautiful pipe and I shall let them be.  I am very happy with the appearance of the rim top and stummel at this stage. I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to briar and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the dark hues of the grain contrasting with the rest of the stummel surface. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. With the stummel refurbishing completed, I turned my attention to the stem. The stem air way was filthy to say the least. Using a shank brush and dish washing soap, I cleaned the stem air way. I further cleaned the stem internals with hard bristled and regular pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. A lot of elbow grease and a pile of pipe cleaners later, the pipe cleaners emerged white and I knew that the stem internals were now clean and fresh. I wiped the aluminum tenon extension with alcohol and cotton swabs.I sand the entire stem surface with a folded piece of a 220 grit sand paper to remove the tooth chatter and minor oxidation from the stem surface. With the same piece of sand paper, I sharpened the button edges on both the upper and lower surface. I wiped the stem with a cotton swab and Murphy’s oil soap to further remove the oxidation. I further sand the stem with 600 and 800 grit sand paper. I wiped the stem with cotton pad dipped in alcohol to remove the resultant dust. I rubbed some extra virgin olive oil in to the stem and set it aside to be absorbed in to stem. I polished the stem with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. I rubbed a little extra virgin olive oil in to the stem at the end of all the micromesh pads. I finish the polishing of the stem by rubbing a small quantity of Paragon wax and giving it a final polish with a soft cotton cloth. The stem is now nice, smooth and shiny. I cleaned the Sterling Silver shank band with a local compound that Abha, my wife, uses to polish her silver and gold jewelry and cutlery. This compound is a very fine powder and least abrasive with fantastic results. The results were appreciated by Steve during his visit to India. The band is now a nice shining piece of nickel and provides a nice contrast to the shining black stem and the dark brown stummel. Unfortunately, I missed out on taking pictures as I was keen to finish this pipe and enjoy a bowl!

To apply the finishing touches, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and apply a coat of Blue Diamond to the stem to polish out the minor scratches. With a cotton buffing wheel that I use for carnauba wax, I apply a coat of carnauba wax to the stummel and stem and continued to work on it till the complete coat of wax had been polished out. I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and gave the entire pipe a once over buff. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The finished pipe is shown below. P.S. – Since the completion of this restoration, I have smoked this pipe and included it in my rotation. Believe you me; this pipe smokes perfect with a nice, smooth draw right to the end. No wonder then that the System pipes from Peterson’s are so much preferred amongst pipers. I am really privileged to have had an opportunity to carry forward the trust that the previous owner had posed in his pipes. Thanks for your patience and looking forward to inputs about the write up. Cheers…

Refurbishing A Preben Holm # 3 Freehand Pipe


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

The first ever Preben Holm in my collection was from eBay about two years back. It came to me with a broken stem and tenon stuck in to the mortise. This pipe received a new lease on life in the month of May last year when Steve, Jeff and Dal Stanton visited me here in India. I learned the process of tenon replacement along with many other tips and processes in pipe restoration. Here is the link to the informative write up by Steve on this pipe; https://rebornpipes.com/2019/05/14/restoring-a-preben-holm-hand-cut-sandblast-freehand-in-pune-india/

The second Preben Holm in my collection came from my Mumbai Bonanza, which I really enjoyed working on; (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/12/refurbishing-a-tired-preben-holm-1-from-the-mumbai-bonanza-lot/) .

The Preben Holm, currently on my work table, came to me from a seller on eBay along with another Preben Holm. Both these pipes had some serious stem issues which really kept other buyers away from placing their bids and lucky me, I got both these pipes for a really good price. Even though both pipes came to me together, I shall be working on them separately since they each have different set of issues involved.

The first PH that I selected to work on is a beautiful freehand with some great flame grains all around the stummel and shank and bird’s eye at the foot of the stummel. The shank end has a nice large outward flare with a flattened lower edge, akin to a large whale tail fin. The rim top is a nice plateau with the shank end flare showing minor plateau along the upper outer edge, similar to the scars on a tail fin of a whale that has seen a few skirmishes in its lifetime. Here are the pictures of the pipe as it sits on my work table.   The pipe is stamped on the bottom of the flared shank end as “PREBEN HOLM” in block capital letters over “Hand Cut” in a cursive artistic hand over “COPENHAGEN” over “DENMARK”, all in block capitals. The left side of the shank bears the encircled numeral “3”. All the stampings are crisp and easily readable. The fancy vulcanite stem is devoid of any stampings.There is a lot of interesting information on the carver, Preben Holm, on pipedia.org (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Holm,_Preben) which makes for an interesting read, however, as before when I had worked on a PH from my Mumbai Bonanza, I still could not find any information on dating this particular piece of briar and also the significance of the # 3!!   I had made a humble appeal to all the readers then and making one again, to please share any information on this system of numbering followed by Preben Holm and also method of dating PH pipes.

Initial Visual Inspection
I am making a slight deviation from my usual process that I follow for my write ups in that, in this case, I shall first address an issue that I was aware of from the description given by the seller and thereafter continue with my initial inspection. The seller had advertised that the stem was stuck in to the pipe (mortise) and would not budge. True enough, when the pipe arrived, the stem was firmly stuck in to the mortise and no amount of twists and turns loosened the seating of the stem. I did not wrestle too hard with it as I did not want to have another broken tenon on my hands. I chucked the complete pipe in to the freezer and let it sit for 3-4 hours. Once I removed the pipe from the freezer, I heated the shank a little with my heat gun and gave it a gentle twist and the stem came out intact quite easily. I was very pleased with this progress. I sincerely apologize for not taking any pictures of this process. Now that the stem has been separated from the mortise, I proceed to complete my initial inspection.

The chamber has a thick layer of dry and hard cake with heavy overflow of lava on to the platue rim top surface. The slightly outward flared inner rim edge is covered in oils and tars, but there are no apparent signs of charring. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber can be checked and ascertained only after the cake has been taken down to the bare briar. The stummel boasts of beautiful flame grains all around and extends over the shank surface too!! The surface is relatively clean and without any fills save for a few scratches that could have been caused during routine use. The flared end of the shank is clean with the partial plateau top edge showing accumulated dust and dirt which should be a breeze to clean. The foot of the stummel shows beautiful bird’s eye grains and is sans any damage. Overall, the stummel presents a well cared for pipe. The mortise is clogged with accumulated oils and tars. That the draw is not as smooth and full was expected, given that the stem was firmly stuck in. With a through leaning, this issue should be resolved.The fancy vulcanite stem is where maximum damage is seen on this pipe. It is heavily oxidized and is peppered with deep tooth chatter/ indentations on either surface of the stem. The lower button edge has a bite through and will need to be repaired. The horizontal slot end of the stem is heavily oxidized to a dark brown coloration while the tenon end is covered in dried oils and tars. The button edges on either surface have worn down and will need to be sharpened. The fancy stem, though looks beautiful when black and shiny, is a bear to clean with all the dips and narrow gaps between the beads and rings etc.The Process
I began the process of refurbishing this pipe with cleaning the internals of the stem using pipe cleaners with isopropyl alcohol (99.9% pure) and dunking the stem in to “Before and After Deoxidizer” solution developed by my friend Mark Hoover. The solution helps to draw out heavy oxidation to the surface making its further removal a breeze, while the minor oxidation is eliminated to a very great extent. I usually dunk stems of 5-7 pipes that are in-line for restoration and this pipe is marked in pastel pink arrow. I generally allow the stems to soak in this solution overnight for the solution to do its work.With the stem soaking in the deoxidizer solution, I worked the stummel starting with reaming the chamber with a Castleford reamer tool, using the second, third and fourth head of the tool. Using my fabricated knife; I further take the cake down to the bare briar. With a 150 grit sand paper, the walls of the chamber were rid of all the remnants of the cake, revealing smooth and solid chamber walls. I further wiped the chamber with a cotton swab wetted with isopropyl alcohol to completely remove the sanding dust. Next, I tried cleaning the mortise with hard bristled and regular pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol. However, the pipe cleaners would not pass through the draught hole and in to the chamber. I used my fabricated tool, a simple straightened cloth hanger, and pried clear the chunk of dried gunk. This was followed by cleaning the shank internals with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. I further scrapped out the entire moistened gunk with a dental tool. The shank internals cleaned up nicely with a smooth and full draw.I scrubbed the external surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush and dried it using paper towels and soft cotton cloth. I deliberately cleaned the plateau rim top to clean the entire lava overflow from the surface. The entire stummel cleaned up nicely. I set the stummel aside to dry out naturally. Staying with the stummel restoration, I polished the stummel with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 pads. I polished the raised surfaces on the plateau rim top surface. I wiped the surface with a soft cloth at the end of the micromesh cycle. The stummel looks amazing with a deep shine and beautiful grains popping over the stummel surface. However, I am not very happy with the way the rim top appears at this stage. No amount of wiping with a moist cloth could address this issue. If I wash it again with Murphy’s oil soap, it will be like going back to square one!! I would request all the esteemed readers to suggest remedial methods to this issue and help me learn. I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to briar. I rubbed this balm deep in to the nooks and crannies of the plateau rim top surface with my fingers and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the dark brown hues of the grain contrasting with the rest of the stummel surface. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. The rim top has now taken on dark hues which is an eye sore at this stage. As mentioned in the write up on refurbishing S & R, Donegal Rocky # 999 and Countryman, I had worked on all the stems that had been soaking in the deoxidizer solution overnight. I fished out all the stems and cleaned them under running warm water and scrubbed the raised oxidation from the stem surface using Scotch Brite pad. I further removed the oxidation by scrubbing the stems with 0000 grade steel wool and applied a little olive oil to rehydrate the stems and set them aside for the oil to be absorbed. Unfortunately, I did not click any pictures of these stems at this stage.

This is how the stem of this pipe came out after the stem cleaning described above. Deep tooth indentations are visible at the base of upper and lower button edges with heavy tooth chatter visible in the bite zone on the lower surface. Complete oxidation was removed on this stem by the process described above.

I painted both surfaces of the stem with the flame of a lighter to raise the tooth indentations to the surface. This also helps in loosening minor oxidation from the stem surface. I sand the entire stem surface with a folded piece of a 220 grit sand paper to even out the raised tooth chatter and the tooth indentations to a degree and also to remove the loosened oxidation. I wiped the stem with a cotton swab and Murphy’s oil soap to further remove the oxidation. Even though the most of the tooth chatter has been addressed by heating the damaged stem portion with the flame of a lighter, couple of deeper indentations and bite marks/ deformation to the button edges is still visible on both upper and lower surface in the bite zone. At this stage in stem repairs, I now had a clear idea as to the extent of the through hole in the bottom surface of the stem. I also realized that the surrounding stem surface around the hole has thinned out and is brittle. However, I am happy with the way this stem appears at this stage and also with the deoxidizer solution. I filled the tooth indentation in the button edge on both lower and upper stem surfaces with a mix of activated charcoal and CA superglue and set it aside for the fill to cure. Once the fill had cured sufficiently, with flat needle file I sanded the fills to match with rest of the stem surface. With the same file, I sharpened the button edge on both the upper and lower surface. I fine tuned the blending of the fill with the rest of the stem surface using a 220 grit sand paper and also sanded down the entire stem to remove the stubborn residual oxidation. I further sand the stem with 600 and 800 grit sand paper and wiped the stem with cotton pad dipped in alcohol to remove the resultant dust. I rubbed some extra virgin olive oil in to the stem and set it aside to be absorbed in to stem. I polished the stem with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. I rubbed a little extra virgin olive oil in to the stem at the end of the micromesh pads polishing cycle. I completed the polishing regime of the stem by rubbing a small quantity of Paragon wax and giving it a final polish with a soft cotton cloth. The stem is now nice, smooth and shiny.To apply the finishing touches, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and apply a coat of Blue Diamond to the stem to polish out the minor scratches. With a cotton buffing wheel that I use for carnauba wax, I apply a coat of carnauba wax to the stummel and stem and continued to work on it till the complete coat of wax had been polished out. I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and gave the entire pipe a once over buff. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine further. The finished pipe is shown below. P.S. – This was an indeed an easy restoration. The issue of the stem being stuck inside the mortise had driven bidders away from this beautiful pipe and it proved to be my gain. I am really fortunate to be in the process of learning the nuances of pipe restoration and cannot thank Steve enough for his support and guidance.

I wish to request all the experienced readers to shed some light on the numbering system followed on Preben Holm pipes and also on dating these pipes for the larger good of our fraternity.

Thanks for your patience and looking forward to input about the write up. Cheers…