Tag Archives: Peterson System Pipes

Transforming a Stately Peterson’s System Standard Republic of Ireland 312


Blog by Dal Stanton

This Peterson’s System Standard Republic 312 came to me in the Lot of 66 that I secured last year on the eBay auction block.  This eclectic collection of pipes has been good to me and beneficial for the Daughters of Bulgaria as I’ve recommissioned many pipes of this Lot and they are now in the hands of new stewards.  This Pete can be found in the picture below just cattycorner to the lower left of the Sculpted Gourd Calabash that was already recommissioned and with a new steward in Washington State, USA – a US Airforce pipe man serving his country. The Pete now on my worktable was commissioned by a long-time friend and colleague who worked with us while we lived in Ukraine several years ago – before we lived here in Bulgaria.  Debbie contacted me from her present home in the US state of Montana about acquiring a special pipe for her husband’s birthday.  Unfortunately, James’ birthday was coming on a faster timetable than I could accommodate, so we settled on a special Christmas gift.  She looked through the offerings on the www.ThePipeSteward.com section called, For ‘Pipe Dreamers’ Only and after getting input from James’ best friend, settled on the Pete.  When I asked her why the Pete, the response was that it was a manly looking pipe as well as its origins – the Republic of Ireland.  James’ rich heritage finds Irish roots, and Debbie felt that this Pete’s disposition would suit James well.  What a great wife!  So, in the queue the Pete 312 went and now he’s on my worktable.

Not long ago, I enjoyed restoring my first Peterson’s – a System Standard 313 which allowed me the opportunity to look more closely at the history of this well-known Irish pipe name.  What I found interesting and helpful was the description of the classic Peterson System Pipe.  When this design hit the market in the late 1800s it was innovative then and continues to be popular today. Two design innovations were the focus: a trap (or sump) that collected the moisture in the mortise and the well-known ‘P-Lip’ stem, which stands for ‘Peterson’.  This design was supposed to be superior by directing the smoke to the upper part of the mouth rather than burning the tongue.  It is also engineered to compress the air as it moves toward the button with an internal narrowing of the airway.  I found this helpful cut-out of the System Pipe at Pipedia’s article about Peterson.The System 313, I last restored, was quite a bit smaller than this larger System Standard 312.  I found a very helpful Peterson’s System Standard shapes chart at the ‘Amazingmisterp’  blog site – link.  It helpfully situated the 313 and 312 next to each other for an easy comparison – circled below.  I enjoy looking at the nuanced shapes that Peterson has produced through the years.  I can understand why they continue to be a very collectable pipe name and why it would be a great challenge to add to your collection the entire roster!  As a ‘Made in the Republic of Ireland’ stamped Peterson, it is considered to be Republic Era which spans anywhere from 1949 until the present (from the Pipedia article:  A Peterson Dating Guide; A Rule of Thumb, by Mike Leverette).The Peterson history is captured in a short article found in Pipedia which included a bit here:

History pertinent to our purposes began in the year 1865; the year Charles Peterson opened a small tobacco shop in Dublin. Later in 1875, Charles Peterson approached the Kapp brothers, Friedrich and Heinrich, with a new pipe design and with this, a very long-lived partnership was formed, Kapp & Peterson. This new pipe design is the now famous Peterson Patented System Smoking Pipe. By 1890, Kapp & Peterson was the most respected pipe and tobacco manufacturer in Ireland and rapidly gaining followers in England and America. In 1898 another of Peterson’s remarkable inventions became available, the Peterson-Lip (P-Lip) mouthpiece, also known as the Steck mouthpiece. So, for the purpose of this dating guide, we will study Irish history, relevant to our pipe dating needs, from 1870s until now.

With the Peterson’s System Standard 312 now on my worktable, I take some pictures to get a closer look and assess his condition. The nomenclature is clear.  On the left side of the shank is stamped in arched fashion, ‘PETERSON’S’ over ‘SYSTEM’ over ‘STANDARD’ in straight letters.  Above this stamp, on the nickel ferule is ‘K&P PETERSONS’.  The right side of the shank bears the ‘MADE IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND’ placing it in the Republic Era – from 1949 until the present (from the Pipedia article:  A Peterson Dating Guide; A Rule of Thumb, by Mike Leverette) The shape number, 312, is below it.

Assessing the condition of this larger, stately Pete, there’s cake in the chamber that needs to be cleared to allow fresh start.  The rim has some lava caked on it and some burn damage from lighting the tobacco.  The left front of the stummel is darkened from the briar over-heating in the same area that appears to be the lighting point over the rim.  I see very nice briar under the dull finish.  The heel of the stummel appears to have two larger fills that I’ll need to take a closer look at.  The heel is also skinned up.  The P-Lip stem has heavy and deep oxidation as well as calcification on the button and some tooth chatter.  I also detect two deep gashes on the upper and on the lower stem – almost like something sharp was clenching the stem.   That will need repair.

With the assessment completed, I start the restoration of James’ Christmas Pete by placing the heavily oxidized P-Lip stem in a bath of Before & After Deoxidizer along with five other pipes’ stems that are in queue for restoration.  The Pete is on the far left – first in line of this batch.While the stem is soaking for several hours in the Deoxidizer, I turn to the Peterson stummel.  I start my using the Pipnet Reaming Kit.  Starting with the smallest blade head, I go to work.  I use two of the four blades available to do the heavy lifting on cake removal.  I then fine tune the reaming by utilizing the Savinelli Fitsall Tool by scaping the chamber wall.  Then, after wrapping 240 grade paper around a Sharpie Pen, I sand the chamber revealing fresh briar.  Finally, I clean the chamber using cotton pads wetted with isopropyl 95% to remove the residual carbon dust.  With the carbon cake removed, I inspect the chamber and it looks great.  No problems with crack or heat fissures.  The pictures show the progress. Now I turn to cleaning the external bowl using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and cotton pads. I also utilize a brass wire brush on the rim.  After scrubbing, I rinse the bowl in cool tap water.  The rim is not in good shape and will have to be topped to clean it up.  The two fills I saw on the heel of the stummel are not solid and are not flush with the surface.  I use a sharp dental probe to dig out the old filler.  I will patch these later. With my day ending, I decide to move forward on the heel fill patches to allow them time to cure through the night.  I do additional excavation of the old fill material with a sharp dental probe to remove what I can.  I then wipe the area with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95% to assure that it is clean.  I mix a small batch of CA glue and briar dust to create a putty.  Using a toothpick, I gradually mix the CA glue with the briar dust until it reaches the viscosity of molasses and then apply the briar dust putty to the old fills using a dental spatula.  I apply more than needed to create a mound to be sanded down and blended after cured.  I set the stummel aside and turn off the lights. Morning has come and first order of business before heading out for the workday is to pluck the P-Lip military style stem out of the Before and After Deoxidizer bath.  I allow the stem to drain for a few minutes then I use cotton pads with light paraffin oil to wipe the raised oxidation off the stem.  I also use alcohol to clean the surface as well as with pipe cleaners to make sure the airway is cleared.  The Deoxidizer has done a good job, but I still detect oxidation that will require sanding the vulcanite.  The button also is rough with a combination of tooth dents and calcification ridges that linger.  Of course, the twin ‘pincer’ gashes remain at the mid-stem.  The Before & After Deoxidizer bath is the first salvo.I decide that the second more aggressive salvo to attack the deep oxidation, gashes and tooth dents is to use 240 grade sanding paper over the entire surface of the P-Lip stem – of course, care is given to safe-guard the ‘P’ embedded on the stem.  After completing sanding with 240 grade paper, I wet sand the stem using 600 grade paper.  Then, using 0000 grade steel wool, I sand/buff up the stem.  The sanding process removed the major difficulties with the dents and gashes.  I’m hopeful as well, that the oxidation was also dispatched.While my focus is still on the stem, I apply Before & After Fine Polish, working the polish in with my fingers.  After letting it set a few minutes I wipe the polish off with a cotton pad then in the same way, apply Before & After Extra Fine Polish and let it absorb for a few minutes.  I then wipe it down again with a cotton pad.  These polishes not only help to revitalize the vulcanite but also to continue removing the oxidation.Moving forward, using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400, I wet sand the stem.  Following this, I dry sand using pads 3200 to 4000 then 6000 to 12000.  After each set of 3 I apply Obsidian Oil to continue refreshing the vulcanite P-Stem.  I love the glossy pop of the vulcanite after the micromesh process.  I take pictures to show the progress and I put the stem aside to dry. Turning to the Peterson stummel, the briar dust and CA glue patches have cured and time to file and sand the mounds down.  First, using a flat needle file I file down the excess putty mounds almost to the briar surface.  I take a picture of the starting point, then the filing process.  Then, switching to 240 grit paper I continue the sanding process to the briar surface.  The picture below shows how after the excess is sanded away, the briar dust putty is left providing a new, stronger fill in the briar blemishes.  I then switch to 600 grade paper to finish the sanding to this point. Flipping the stummel over, I tackle the significant rim damage.  I take a picture to get a closer look.  The rim is darkened from scorching but also it has developed dips in the surface plane from burn damage.  To repair the rim and establish a clean, new plane surface, I top the bowl.  Using a kitchen chopping board, I place 240 grit paper on it and gently rotate the inverted stummel in circles – checking often to make sure I’m not leaning into a soft area. After a few rotations I take a picture of the rim.  The picture below shows the degree of damage to the rim by revealing where the board is not making contact with briar – the dips in the rim. The next picture shows where I stop topping with the 240 grit paper.  I don’t want to take more briar off the top.  I kept my eye on the nickel shank ferule which was very close to the rim plane as I was topping.  I did not want to scratch it up!  After the 240 grit, I replaced it with a sheet of 600 grit paper to erase the scratching created by the 240 grit paper.The darkened areas on the rim (picture above) are residual effects of scorching.  To minimize this, I will cut an internal rim bevel to remove the damage as well as adding a touch of class to this already classy Peterson’s System Standard.  I start with a coarse 120 grit paper to do the initial beveling. I pinch the rolled piece with my thumb and rotate it around the internal rim circumference creating the even bevel.  I follow the 120 paper with a rolled piece of 240 grade paper then 600.  I repeat the same process for the external rim circumference.  The bevel looks good.  The pictures show the progression. I just realize that I became so involved in the technical aspects of this restoration that I forgot to clean the internals of the stummel!  Back to the dirty work.  I use pipe cleaners and cotton buds dipped in isopropyl 95% and go to work.  I also use dental spatulas and probes to scrape the mortise walls.  I also utilize a shank brush to scrub the airway and the mortise walls. I read how challenging Petersons are in the clean-up and this one is no exception.  I expend a lot of cotton buds, alcohol and time and I seem to be making no dent in the gunk carnage.  I finally halt this approach and decide to let it cook overnight in a kosher salt and alcohol bath.  Using a cotton ball, I fashion a wick which I insert down the airway and into the sump area of the mortise. I fill the bowl with kosher salt, which, unlike iodized salt, does not leave an aftertaste. I then fill the bowl with alcohol and let it sit overnight.  Time to turn out the lights. The next morning the kosher salt/alcohol bath did the job through the night. The salt is discolored and the cotton ‘wick’ has drawn tars and oils out of the internals.  After removing the expended salt into the waste and wiping the old salt out of the chamber with paper towel, I blow through the mortise to clear out salt from the internals.  I then follow by using pipe cleaners and cotton buds to make sure things are clean.  Oh my….  The grunge continues unabated!  This is one of the nastiest pipes I’ve tackled!  I’ve read that Petersons are notoriously difficult to clean…. Since I’m running out of time – I need to go to work, I decide to do another kosher salt soak through the day while I’m working.  Off I go…hopeful that the second time is the charm.Several hours later, home from work, and again, the salt is discolored, and the wick shows evidence of gunk extraction.  Again, I clear the salt from the chamber and use additional cotton buds and pipe cleaners – I’m pleasantly surprised to find that the internals are indeed clean!  I use only one cotton bud and pipe cleaner.  I can almost guarantee, this Peterson is the cleanest it’s been since it came from the factory in Ireland!Turning to the stummel surface, to remove the old tired surface finish and nicks and cuts from normal wear, I wet sand the stummel using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400.  I follow by dry sanding using pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  I take pictures recording each step of the micromesh process.  I enjoy watching the grain emerge – this is one of my favorite parts of restoration. To enrich and deepen the briar grain, I then apply Before & After Restoration Balm to the stummel surface.  I apply some to my finger and work the Balm into the briar.  It starts with having a light oil texture and then thickens as it’s worked into the surface – taking on a wax-like texture.  I take a picture of the Balm on the stummel surface and set it aside to allow the Balm to absorb.After about 45 minutes, I use a cloth and wipe the Before & After Restoration off the stummel.  As I wipe and rub it begins to start buffing up.  I like how the Balm works – it is a subtle enhancement to the briar grain hue that deepens the color. I now mount the Dremel with a cotton cloth buffing wheel, set the speed to the slowest, and apply Blue Diamond compound to both stem and stummel.  I apply the compound methodically around the briar surface using the table lamp to see the movement of the compound on the surface as I move the buffing wheel.  As a fine abrasive, the compound removes the very fine blemishes on the stem and stummel surface – buffing the surface to it natural sheen.  I change to another cotton cloth wheel and use the Blue Diamond to clean/buff the Peterson’s classic nickel ferule. When I finish applying the compound, I wipe the stummel and stem with a felt cloth to remove the compound dust in preparation for the carnauba wax application.Before I move on to applying the wax, I have one more project.  The Peterson ‘P’ stamp on the stem needs some touching up.  I use white acrylic paint to do the enhancement.  I lightly apply a coat of the paint over the ‘P’ stamping and while still wet, I dab it very lightly with a cotton pad leaving a film – in the second picture below.  It doesn’t take long to dry, leaving the ‘P’ filled with paint.  I then lightly scrape the dried paint off the surface using the middle, flat section of a toothpick.  The toothpick slides over the top of the ‘P’ leaving the freshened stamping.  It looks great! I now mount another cotton cloth wheel to the Dremel, increase the speed to about 40% of full power, and apply carnauba wax to both stummel and stem. I follow this by giving the stummel and P-Lip stem a hand buffing with a microfiber cloth to raise the shine.

My oh my, did this Peterson come out nicely – he is stately.  The stem reach gives a long flowing impression.  The briar grain is rich with bird’s eye and swirls – pleasing to the eye.  The 312 is a larger System pipe and feels full in the palm.  I’m sure James will appreciate the gift that his wife has provided him under the tree this year and I’m thankful their support of the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thank you, James and Debbie!  Debbie found this Peterson’s System Standard Republic 312 in the “For ‘Pipe Dreamers’ Only” section of The Pipe Steward website where many pipes are available to be commissioned – all benefitting the Daughters of Bulgaria – a great cause helping women who are/were enslaved.  Thank you for joining me!  I start with a ‘Before & After’ picture lest we forget – an amazing transformation!

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Paresh’s Grandfather’s Pipe #6 – Peterson’s System Standard 307 Made in Eire Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

I have repaired 5 of the 7 older pipes (1937-1950s) left to Paresh by his Grandfather. I have enjoyed working on them and researching as well. His Grandfather was a pipeman who worked for the Indian Railroad. Paresh only recently learned that his Grandfather smoked a pipe. The 6th pipe is a Peterson’s System Standard 307 Made in Eire with a bent system stem and a smooth finish. I took photos of the pipe before I stated to work on it. It was in good condition, very clean with just a thin bit of lava and tar on the top of the rim. The inner edge of the bowl had some damage and was slightly out of round. The outer edge of the bowl was in excellent condition. The stem had a deep tooth mark on the right of the top just ahead of the P-lip. The underside had a lot of tooth chatter. The tenon had a large chunk out of the extension that went into the shank. The rim top was clean and the bowl reamed. Abha had once again done a great job cleaning the finish. She had scrubbed it with Murphy’s Oil Soap and removed all of the debris and dust from the smooth finish. There was some darkening to the rim top and some light dents in the top surface. The inner edge of the bowl was slightly out of round with some damage from reaming. The bowl had a light cake and it appeared that Abha had removed a lot of the cake in her reaming. I also took a close up photos of both sides of the stem. You can see that there is light tooth chatter on the top and underside of the stem just in front of the button. There is a deep tooth mark on the topside in front of the P-lip. The surface of the stem is lightly oxidized.The stamping is faint and worn but it is readable under a light and with a lens. The stamping on the left side of the shank reads Peterson’s System Standard.  On the right side of the shank it is stamped Made in the Eire in a circle and under that is reads 307 which is the shape number. I looked up the Made in Eire stamp on Pipedia’s section on Peterson pipes to see if I could find out information (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). There I found out that the Made in Eire era stamps were from 1938 through till 1941. Peterson stamped their pipes with “Made in Eire” in a circle format with “Made” and “Eire” in a circle with the “in” located in the centre of the circle. This was used during the years of 1938 – 41. This is exactly how the pipe I am working on is stamped. I learned that the pipe was made between 1938-1941. After that Peterson stamped their pipes with “Made in Ireland” in a circle format 1945-1947 and still later with “Made in Ireland” in a block format 1947-1949. The “Made in Ireland” block format came in either one or two lines.

With that I reread Paresh’s biographical write up on his Grandfather once again. There Paresh stated that his Grandfather had visited England in 1946 and that later after 1947 the British left India for good. Many of the Superior Officers gave his Grandfather pipes as parting gifts. I am fairly confident that this was one of those gift pipes given to him around 1947. I am including his bio now as part of the background information on this pipe. Here is Paresh’s tribute.

Respected Sir,

Now that the first batch of my Grandfather’s pipes has reached you, I would like to share my memories of him with you, the aim being to provide you with an insight to his personality, the era in which he lived, and a brief history associated with the pipes that I have inherited from him.

My Grandfather, Ananta (named after an exotic seasonal white flower having lovely fragrance), was born in a small coastal town of Konkan region of Maharashtra, India, in 1918. These were very turbulent times when India’s freedom struggle against British rule was gathering momentum and the atmosphere was charged with “Quit India Movement”. Having completed his graduation from Bombay, he joined Railways in 1937. This also marked the beginning of his journey into the world of pipe smoking!!!!!

Having seen his potential, in 1945, he was sponsored by the Government to visit England, for gaining further experience and expertise in his profession. This was a period when India’s Independence was round the corner and efforts were being made to train Indians for various administrative appointments in future Independent India. He returned back to India after a year, in 1946 and with him came some pipes that he had purchased in England. I believe a few of his Petes, Barlings, Charatans and GBDs are from this visit.

In 1947, when the British finally left India for good, my Grandfather was gifted pipes by his British peers, subordinates and Superior Officers as a parting gift. He stayed in touch with a few of them over all these years, even visiting them in 1959-60. Some of his later era Charatans and Barlings and Petes are from this trip. He quit smoking in early 1970s (before I was even born!!!!) and his pipes were packed up. There were a number of pipes which were used as TINDER for lighting fires (CAN’T BELIEVE IT…… I have not overcome my grief of this loss till date!!!!!) due to ignorance!!!!!!

My Grandfather was a very strict disciplinarian and temperamental (I did not know this as he was neither when dealing with me as I am the youngest of all his grandchildren!!!!!! He was always the most understanding and loving person in my life). I later learned that in his office, he was not to be disturbed when his pipe was lit, as he would be in his thinking/ contemplating mode while it was just the opposite as he lit his pipe in the evening while at home, when he would be at his relaxed best!!!!.

The interesting part is that neither of us knew that we each smoked a pipe until after his demise in Jan 2018!!!! In our culture, to this day, smoking or alcohol consumption is socially never talked about (mute acceptance!!!). It was during his last rites that absent mindedly I lighted my pipe and looking into the flickering flames of his funeral pyre, remembered and recollected all the wonderful memories and talks that we had shared. No one said a word to me about my lighting up a pipe!!!!!! Immediately thereafter, I rejoined my duty station. A few days later, my wife, Abha, received a box from my Uncle with a note that said “Grandfather would have loved Paresh to have these”. This box contained a collection of his fountain pens and 8-10 of his pipes (since then as my folks are winding up his belongings, I have received 2-3 packets and a large number of pipes, some in decent condition and some in unspeakable state). Abha immediately messaged me with pictures of these pipes and pens. I had been collecting and restoring (no major repairs, though) fountain pens since long and immediately recognized some of them as highly collectibles, however, pipes were a totally different ball game! I was inexperienced with no knowledge/ information regarding various brands/ pipe makers, shapes and materials. I knew nothing about the value of these pipes, nothing about pipe restorations, nothing about caring for them; I mean zero knowledge about collecting pipes. I smoked some real cheap Chinese pipes which were readily and unfortunately, the only ones, available in India and some inexpensive pipes from eBay India!!!!! Also regular pipe cleaning, pipe rotation, pipe cleaners and such things were unknown to me.

Thus, to know more about the REAL pipes, I embarked upon the journey of exploring finer nuances of pipe brands/ makers, their history and watching “How to videos” on packing a pipe, cleaning, repairing and caring for ones pipes. I found it extremely interesting and satisfying. It was while meandering through this confusing quagmire of pipe world that I came across rebornpipes.com website and eventually established contact with you, Mr Steve, who has since been my mentor, guide and GURU, making this journey a wonderful and satisfying experience.

Sir, there is one more thing that I need to thank you for and that is when you asked me to write a brief about my grandfather and his pipes, I realized how little I knew about him, in fact, knew nothing, as I was not even aware that he was a “pipeman” as no one in my family ever spoke about it being taboo subject and since he had quit a long time before I was even born!!!! This led me to ask the elders in my family, questions on the subject and came to know the above details. I cannot thank you enough for prodding me to get to know my grandfather and his pipes a lot better. Sir, these pipes of his, with your help and guidance, will remain with me forever in mint condition……

I began work on the pipe by cleaning up the reaming of the bowl first with a PipNet pipe reamer. I began with the smallest cutting head and worked up to the one roughly the same size as the bowl. I finished cleaning it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to remove the remnants of cake left behind. When I examined the walls of the pipe they looked really good.  I cleaned out the internals of the mortise and shank with the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife, pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I scraped the walls of the sump and the mortise with the pipe knife to get rid of the hard tars and oils on the walls. Once I had removed the hardened cake I cleaned the inside with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until the interior was clean.I worked Before & After Restoration Balm deep into the briar of the bowl and shank to clean, enliven and protect it. I worked it in with my fingertips and set it aside for a few minutes to let the balm work. I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth to polish it. The briar really began to have a deep shine and the grain began to shine through. I took photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I set the bowl aside and began the work on the stem. I cleaned up the tenon end of the stem with alcohol and cotton swabs. The first photo below shows the end of the tenon with the large chunk of vulcanite missing. I made a mixture of black super glue and charcoal powder and rebuilt the end of the tenon. I filled in the chipped area and built it up until it was roughly the same size and shape as the rest of the end. It would take several coats to fill in the rough spots in the repair but I layered it in and let it cure between coats. Once the repair had cured, I rough shaped it with a needle file to remove the excess repair. I worked it over until it was close to the right shape. I sanded it with 180 grit sandpaper and with 220 grit sandpaper. I used a half round, a round and a flat blade needle file to reshape the inside of the airway of the tenon end. I reshaped it until it matched the remainder of the existing tenon.There were some deep gouges in the surface of the stem near the tenon end. It looked as if the stem had been twisted out with a pair of pliers. The gouges were deep and visible. I cleaned the areas with alcohol and filled in the marks with super glue. I used a Bic lighter to lift the tooth mark on the right top side of the stem, filled in the tooth marks with super glue and when it dried, sanded it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded the repairs on the tenon end of the stem at the same time.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad and set it aside to dry. With the stem polished I put it back on the pipe and lightly buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I have one more of Paresh’s Grandfather’s pipes to finish and then I will pack them up and send the whole lot across the sea to India where he can carry on the legacy. I know that he is looking forward to having them in hand and enjoying a bowl of his favourite tobacco in memory of his Grandfather. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked this pipe over.

Saving a New Friend


Blog by Dave Weagle

When I saw Dave’s work on this old pipe I knew I wanted to read about the process he used in repairing this old friend. I wrote him a message on the Facebook Tobacco Pipe Restorers Group and asked him if he would be interested in putting together a blog for us here at rebornpipes. He gladly accepted the offer and today he sent along this blog. Welcome to rebornpipes Dave. It is a pleasure to have you show your work and skills here. The invitation is always open to you. With no further intro I will let Dave speak for himself. Enjoy.

Growing up I always knew that someday I would be a pipe smoker. I remember during an anti smoking discussion in grade 1 at the rip old age of 7, I told the teacher I had no interest in cigarettes but someday I would smoke a pipe. That was 1978.

Over the past 40 years I have had a few passions that have shaped my life. Recently pipe smoking and restoration has been one of them. During the 90’s while working backshifts I discovered old black and white suspense movies from the 1930’s & 1940’s. Of these the Sherlock Holmes movies starring Basil Rathbone became a favorite.

Once I decided I was ready to take up pipe smoking I knew there was one pipe brand I would have to acquire. Peterson. After some research I found that Basil Rathbone smoked a 4ab in the movies produced by Universal. Further research suggested the 4ab shape would become the 309.   I found a Peterson Patent pipe a few years ago hiding in a lot on Ebay with a bunch of old burnt cobs. With a bit of work I had a close copy of a 4ab.

My Peterson Patent pipe with a stem I modified.Now for the back story. 

Now for the back story.  Since March of 2016 I have started chasing pre- republic pipes. This past Christmas (2017) with a little cash burning a hole in my pocket, I went surfing my usual online pipe haunts for older Petes. I found a seller on Etsy that had some interesting older pipes. One was a Pete. There was no shape number in the listing so I emailed the seller. It turned out to be a 313. I have three 313 already, so I thanked the seller but declined the pipe. To my surprise he emailed me back and asked if I’d be interested in some older unrestored Petersons. We emailed back and forth and came up with an arrangement that both were happy with. I bought 8 pipes. A Peterson calabash with a silver hallmark dated 1908 and a S17 sealed the deal (those will be future restorations). The other 6 pipes where all Republic era pipes. My favorite shape 309 was there so I was very pleased with my purchase.

This is where my restoration story begins. When the pipes arrived from England I was surprised to find how well loved the 309 was. The shank was actually worn crooked. The stem was worn and the nickel cap had a crack and 11 dents. I contacted Peterson about getting a new cap on the 309. When I found out how expensive it was I decided this was a lot of money to restore a well used 309. I started looking for a donor 309. It didn’t take long to find a cracked 309 (a cracked Chacom and Nording came with it) which would be a great parts pipe for about half the price of shipping my original 309 back to the factory to be fixed.

The donor 309 came from EBay. It took two weeks for the pipe to travel from California to Nova Scotia. During the two weeks, I kept going back to the original listing and night after night I keep thinking I can’t send this donor 309 to the scrap pile without at least attempting to save it. This is how the pipe arrived.Not sure how to approach this repair I decided to gently ream it to see the extent of the inner bowl damage. I didn’t want to just start filling the crack with CA glue and briar dust. This was the result of reaming. Some people might have been upset by the result but I knew it was a good thing. I now knew the extent of the damage. Also, I could clean up the cracked surfaces to remove any loose char or ash. Using cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol I cleaned all the damaged area before reattachment. I now had two pieces of the bowl which I glued together and let them set. Once they dried I fit them back in place and set to gluing and pinning.I started by drilling several vertical holes and then drilled the horizontal holes making sure that the two broken pieces were pinned to each other and into the remaining bowl. I used several types of CA glue in this process. I used a thinned glue designed to flow into cracks. The pins were cut to fit and glued with a thicker gap filling gel CA. When it came time to fill the cracks and the drilled holes I used a standard CA and briar dust. I used several coats of glue and dust to fill everything in, brushing the bowl between coats with a brass bristled bush to remove any loose dust and checked each coat with my jeweler’s lope for coverage. Once I was happy with the surface coverage, using my jewelers lope and a rotary tool I tried to copy the rustification as close to the original as possible. I always wear a dust mask when I attempt surface repairs using a jeweler’s lope and a rotary tool. The pipe is right about nose level and the tool blows the dust right in your face.This is the outer surface after about two hours of work. Now it was time to fix up the inner bowl.  After the outer repair was complete it was evident that a burnt out was the cause of the crack.  There was an indent which need to be filled. Usually I use fireplace cement (a paste I make out of hardwood ash that I collect from my woodstove) to patch small burns in a bowl but this was going to be a large patch ,so I wanted something stronger. JB Weld was what I used. After wiping out the bowl with cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol to remove any loose char and ash I mixed up some JB Weld and applied it to the inner bowl. After let it dry overnight I turned again to my rotary tool with a sanding drum to even out the walls. Again, wear a mask if using when this method because it throws a lot of dust in the air, and you’ll be sneezing for a few days (past experience). With the inner bowl smooth and round it was on to cleaning the draft hole and the shank. Using a 4mm drill bit I redrilled the draft hole. With cotton swabs, isopropyl alcohol and a dental tool I cleaned the shank and draft hole. After cleaning and drilling I didn’t like the depth of the bowl reverses the position of the draft hole so I added a bit more JB Weld to the bottom of the bowl. Using a small piece of 220 grit sand paper I sanded the inner bowl again so there were no rough seams. With the repairs to the bowl it was time to refinish. Using my brass bristle brush and a 3M autobody scuff pad I gently buffed the outer bowl. I carefully polished the stamping using micro mesh pads starting at 3200, finishing with 12000.

When it came to the staining I used Fiebing’s leather dye. USMC black was the base coat and Ox Blood was the finish coat. Both colours where flamed to set the dye into the grain. I then hand buffed the bowl before coating the bowl with Halcyon II wax. Once the wax had dried I hand buffed the bowl again. While staining the bowl I got some red stain on the cap which I removed with Autosol polish (I use it to polish the chrome bumpers on my Dodge Ram) which also cleans up the oxidation. With the outside finished it was time to finish the inside. For this I decided a coating of maple syrup and charcoal would be the best to help rebuild the new cake as the pipe is smoked. With a pipe cleaner placed in the draft hole the inner bowl was lined with maple syrup. Then the bowl was filled with charcoal. I gently tapped the top of the bowl with a spoon to remove any air gaps (not unlike how I may tap a bowl when I fill it with tobacco). I let the bowl dry before removing the excess charcoal. This was the finish of the work on the bowl. All that was left to finish was the stem. The stem was heavily oxidized so a soak in Oxiclean for a few hours. After removing the stem from its Oxi bath I cleaned the inner stem with bristle pipe cleaners and Isopropyl alcohol. There was a lot of chatter on the tip including some dents on the P lip. I heated the stem with a heat gun to raise the dents with some success. A quick sanding with 220 grit sand paper and a wipe with isopropyl alcohol I was ready to repair the dents that didn’t raise. Rubberized CA glue and charcoal powder were mixed and used to patch the dents. With a coarse file I reshaped the P lip. Starting with 220 grit sand paper I dry sanded the stem removing the excess glue. From there I dry sanded the stem with 600 grit. I then changed to wet sanding with 1000, 2000, and 3000 sand paper. I switch to dry sanding with 4000 – 12000 grit micro mesh pads. Once I was happy with the sanding, I polished the stem with blue diamond compound on a buffing wheel. To finish, I applied several coats of carnauba wax on a soft buffing wheel. A hand buff finished the stem work. All that was left was to assemble the stem and the bowl. Here is a shot of the two 309’s involved in this project. The donor being in the front. With guidance from certain pipe repair blogs, I have used their techniques and developed some of my own. A few years ago starting out buying estate pipes I never thought I’d be able to do repair work like this.

Just for the record, I have decided to just send the other 309 to Peterson to have a new cap installed. My attempt to save money ended up costing me more, but one can never have too many pipes. Right?

 

 

Rejuvenating a Peterson’s System Premier 307


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe that is on my desk came to me from a friend on Smokers Forums who wants me to clean and sell them for the support of the forums. It is a nice Peterson’s Premier System Pipe in the 307 shape. It is stamped on the underside of the shank Peterson’s System Premier 307. The silver ferrule is stamped as normal with Petersons of Dublin on one side. Underneath it is stamped Sterling Silver and there are hallmarks that give the date of the pipe. The stamping of the hallmarks was as follows: Hibernia, Lion (denoting that the silver is .925) and the letter “b” which denotes that the pipe was made in 1969. I have included the Peterson’s Hallmark chart below as it is a very helpful tool that I have used repeatedly to date my Peterson pipes.Peterson Hallmarks The pipe was dirty and the silver was oxidized enough that the stamping was hard to see. The rim was darkened by in pretty decent shape. The sandblast finish had a lot of grime in the grooves and there was some white paint of dried wax in the grooves. There was a light cake in the bowl that was thicker toward the middle of the bowl than it was at the top or the bottom. The stem had a rough finish from the oxidation and there were some small tooth marks on the top and the bottom edge of the stem near the P lip. The airway on the button was in excellent shape and the crease was still well defined.Pete1

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Pete4 I took a close up of the bowl to show the cake that was in the bowl. There was a small nick on one side of the inner edge of the bowl on the right side but it looked like it would clean up very nicely.Pete5 I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer and took the cake back to the bare wood. I wanted a good even base so that the new owner could build a solid hard cake evenly in the bowl. I used a folded piece of sandpaper to smooth out the nick on the right side.Pete6

Pete7 I took the stem out of the shank and removed the Bakelite/wood extension that screws into the tenon on Peterson Premier pipes. The photo below shows the pipe taken apart.Pete8 I took the next series of photos to show the grime and white wax in the grooves of the sandblast.Pete9

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Pete13 I scrubbed the bowl with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean out the grooves of the blast. I worked on it until I was able to remove the grit. I followed up with a light scrub of the rim and the grooves with a brass bristle tire brush to finish the cleaning.Pete14 I rinsed the bowl under running water to remove the soap and the loosened dirt. I dried it off with a soft cloth and then took the next set of photos.Pete15

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Pete18 I polished the sterling silver ferrule with a jeweler’s polishing cloth and was able to remove the tarnish. The silver began to shine and the stamping became very clear as I cleaned it.Pete19

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Pete21 I rubbed some microcrystalline Conservator’s Wax on to the bowl surface with my fingers and then buffed it with a shoe brush. The result was a warm shine on the bowl. I don’t like to use a buffer on deep blasts as it tends to flatten the blast and wear it down. Hand buffing it with a shoe brush preserves the blast.Pete22

Pete23 I cleaned the interior of the stem and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I was surprised at how clean the shank and the stem were. It took very few cleaners to clean up the interior of the pipe.Pete24 I soaked the stem in Oxyclean for about 30 minutes and then dried it off and sanded the oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and also a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge to remove the loosened oxidation.Pete25 I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and then rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit micromesh and gave it another coat of oil. In each of these steps I did not let the oil absorb but rather used it to give traction to the micromesh pads. I buffed the stem with Red Tripoli and with White Diamond on the wheel to remove the stubborn oxidation that remained. I finished by sanding the stem with 6000-12000 grit sanding pads. I gave the stem a final coat of Obsidian Oil and let it absorb into the vulcanite.Pete26

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Pete28 I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax to protect and give it a shine. I then buffed it with a soft flannel buff and then by hand with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful sandblast system pipe that will make someone a great addition to their rack. If you are interested in this pipe contact me via Facebook of comment on the blog. All proceeds will go toward supporting Smokers Forums.Pete29

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Cleaning up a Peterson 312 System Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

The Peterson I picked up on my trip was in great shape externally. The seller at the antique mall had cleaned up the outside of the pipe and polished the stem and bowl. The pipe was clean and shiny. The stamping was very clear on the ferrule and shank. The ferrule was stamped K&P Peterson’s and had three faux hallmarks as usual on the nickel ferrule of Peterson pipes. The shank was stamped on the left side with an arched Peterson’s over System and over Standard. On the right side of the shank the shape number has been stamped over with Made in the Republic of Ireland. The shape number is present under the over stamp and I can read the first two numbers clearly – 31_, but the third number is covered with other letters so it is not readable.Pete1 Pete2 I wanted to figure out the number stamping that lay hidden under the Made in the Republic of Ireland stamping. I went to the Peterson site and looked for the shape charts. I was able to identify the shape as a 312. Here is the link to the shape http://www.peterson.ie/p/5291/312-standard as well as a picture of the shape 312.0002552_312-standard_430 I also found this shape chart of Peterson System pipes on Pinterest and included the link to it here: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/464996730250913354/ I was particularly interested in noting the size variation between the 312 and the 314. While the shapes are very similar the 314 is significantly smaller than the 312.Pete3 The bowl had been wiped clean and had no cake inside. The rim was dirty and darkened with a thin buildup of carbon and oils. The inside rim was clean and the bowl was in round. There were no serious nicks in the bowl edges. The nickel band was polished and undented. The stem was lightly oxidized and had a light tint of brown. There were no tooth marks or bite marks on the stem. The pipe was in good shape and would be one of my easier clean ups. The inside of the shank and sump had a lot of tars built up inside. The airway was also dirty. The seller had used silver polish on the ferrule and there was a white buildup on the inside edges of the shank.Pete4 Pete5 Pete6 The next photo below shows the underside of the bowl and stem. Both the finish and the stem were in great shape with no visible dents or damage.Pete7 The tenon was wide open like it had been made for a filter. It could hold a paper Medico style filter. I have never seen a filter version of the system pipe. I am wondering if the stem is a replacement or possibly it was drilled out to open it up to receive the paper filter. Obviously the internals had not been cleaned. There was a buildup of hard carbon on the tenon end and on the inside of the tenon. It was hard and would not easily be removed.Pete8 I cleaned up the stem and the sump with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol until they came out clean. I used a lot of pipe cleaners and cotton swabs before it was clean. I softened the carbon buildup on the tenon with alcohol and then sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and scraped it away with a small blade to remove the hardened carbon.Pete9 Pete10 The bowl and shank had a heavy aromatic tobacco smell so I stuffed them both with cotton balls and used an ear syringe to put alcohol in both the bowl and shank. I set the bowl upright in an ice-cube tray and let it sit while the alcohol and cotton wicked out the oils and tars and sweetened the pipe. By doing this the pipe would be reset and could be smoked with any tobacco without picking up residual tastes.Pete11 Pete12 While the bowl sat soaking I worked on the stem to remove the oxidation. I sanded it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12,000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads.Pete13 Pete14 Pete15 I buffed it with White Diamond on the buffing wheel. Then I gave it several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it to a shine with a soft flannel buffing pad.Pete16 Pete17 Pete18 Pete19 After the bowl had been sitting for 4 hours I took the photo below and then pulled out the cotton balls. The alcohol had evaporated and left behind a brown/amber residue on the cotton balls. Once the cotton was out I ran a folded pipe cleaner through the bowl and the sump area of the shank. It came out clean. I ran a straight cleaner through the airway into the bowl. It also picked up a slight bit of residue from the soak but it was clean after a few swabs. Best of all the smell of the aromatic tobacco was gone and what was left was a clean new pipe smell.Pete20 Pete21 Pete22 When the shank was dry I put the newly polished stem back in the shank. I gave the pipe a quick buff with some carnauba and polished it with a shoe brush to raise the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It has some slight rim darkening from the previous owner but otherwise it is like new. The bowl and shank are fresh and ready to be loaded with a bowl of fine Virginias or some Virginia/Perique. I have some aged 5100 sitting in a jar here ready to smoke and also a small jar of some blending Perique so I may have to mix a small batch just for the inaugural smoke on this pipe…The briar is beautiful and the refurbished pipe came out very nice. I am looking forward to having a bowl very soon – just have to let the bowl dry out and air for a couple of days before I load it up and smoke it. In the meantime I will just look it over and enjoy the beauty of the pipe.Pete23 Pete24 Pete25 Pete26