Tag Archives: Peterson’s Donegal Rocky pipes

New Life for a Peterson’s Republic Era “Donegal” Rocky 407 Prince


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table came to us from one of Jeff’s pipe hunts or auctions. It is a smaller nicely grained and I would say classic Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky 407 Prince with a bent P-lip stem. The rusticated finish is quite rugged and has an instantly recognizable Peterson’s look. The pipe was dirty, with grime and dust ground into the finish. The bowl had a thick cake in the bowl and a lava overflow on the inner edge of the rim and spilling onto the rim top and filling in the rustication there. The pipe is stamped on underside of the shank and reads Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky. It is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland followed by the shape number 407. The silver band is stamped K&P over Sterling Silver. There are also silver hallmarks. The first is the mark for the city of Dublin (woman on a throne). The second mark is the mark for the quality of silver (Irish harp). The third mark looks like an “I” (the date stamp). The stamping is clear and readable on the pipe and ferrule. The stem was dirty, oxidized and calcified. There were light tooth marks and chatter on the stem near the button on both sides and some on the surface of the button as well. There was a Peterson’s “P” on the left side of the taper stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava onto the rim top and filling in the rustication. The photos show the rim top and bowl from various angles.He took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the tight rustication pattern that was on this bowl. It is a dirty but quite beautifully crafted pipe. The stamping on the underside of the shank read as noted above. It took a few photos to show the entirety of the stamping. The stamping is faint but readable. He also took photos of the Sterling Silver band on the shank. The P on the left side of the stem is clear and the stamping on the stem side is in good condition. The stem was a poor fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. There were tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem. I am including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era  – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

I turned to the Peterson’s pipe notes site to have a look at the hallmark chart and see if I can identify the stamping (https://petersonpipenotes.org/tag/peterson-pipe-hallmarks/). I have included the chart below. It looks to me like it is stamped with the letter I that looks like the letter stamp for 1976.With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information that the pipe was made during the Republic Era between 1950 and 1989. Pipedia then qualifies the dating as follows: From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland”. The date stamp on the Sterling Silver cued it to 1976. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had done an amazing job cleaning up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He cleaned the oxidized silver with Soft Scrub and buffed it off with a soft pad. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top to show how clean it was. The rustication on the rim top is very clean and there is darkening that will be hidden by the contrast stains. The stem looks clean of oxidation and there are some deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem.The stamping on the underside of the shank was faint but readable as noted above. The second photo shows the P stamp on the left side of stem.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. It is a great looking pipe.I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the rustication with my fingertips and a shoe brush to get it into the deep briar. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The rustication came alive with the balm. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I heated the vulcanite to lift the dents but they had sharp edges so they did not lift at all. I filled in the deeper tooth marks with clear super glue and set it aside to cure.Once the repairs cured I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. I usually file them first with a needle file but last night my daughters were using my desk top and that is where the files were so I just sanded them smooth. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I touched up the P stamp on the left side of the stem with Paper Mate Liquid Paper and once it dried I scraped off the excess. The P stamp is far from perfect but it definitely looks better.This stem was in great condition so I polished it with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Republic Era Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky 407 Prince is a nice looking rusticated pipe. The combination of brown stains really makes the rustication almost sparkle around the bowl sides and shank. They begin to really stand out with the polishing. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well to give some contrast to the pipe. The polished black vulcanite P-lip taper stem and the Sterling Silver band just add to the mix. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl it is really is eye-catching. I put the stem back on the bowl and lightly buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel, carefully avoiding the stamping on the shank. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky Prince is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another interesting pipe. This Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky will be added to the Irish Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

New Life for a Peterson’s Republic Era “Donegal” Rocky Bent Apple 03


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table came to us from one of Jeff’s pipe hunts or auctions. It is a rusticated Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky 03 Bent Apple. The rusticated finish is quite nice with at that classic Peterson’s rustication pattern. The pipe was very dirty, with grime and dust deep in the grooves of the rustication. The bowl had a thick cake in the bowl and surprisingly only dust on the rusticated rim top. There was darkening on the briar and a little lava on the inner edge of the rim. The pipe is stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the shank and reads Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky with the shape number 03 ahead of that. It is also stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland. On the oxidized Sterling Silver band it is stamped K&P in shields over Sterling Silver there are three hallmarks below and to the left of that. The hallmarks are: 1. a seated woman (Hibernia) – the city stamp for Dublin, 2. Harp – the mark for the quality of the silver, 3. a slanted uppercase N – the date identification of the pipe. The stamping is clear and readable on the pipe. The stem was dirty and oxidized. There were tooth marks and chatter on the stem near the button on both sides and some on the surface of the button as well. There was the Peterson’s “P” on the left side of the taper stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the relatively clean rim top and beveled edge. The photos show the rim top and bowl from various angles.Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the rustication that was on this bowl. It is a quite beautifully crafted pipe. The rustication is quite dirty. The stamping on the underside of the shank read as noted above. The photo shows that they are very clear and readable. The stamping on the silver is also readable. The P on the left side of the stem is in good condition. The stem was a very good fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. There was light tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem and on the button surface.  I am including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era  – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

I turned then to deal with the Hallmarks. I turned to Pipephil’s site for his quick reference charts on the Peterson’s Hallmarks (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/infos/hallmark-dublin.html). I have included the pertinent charts below. The first chart defines the first two hallmarks on the Sterling Silver Band. The Hibernia/Lady is the Dublin Town Mark. The Harp identifies the fineness of the metal.The second chart pins down the date that this particular pipe was made. The slanted N mark identifies the pipe as being made in 1999. I have drawn a red box around the N on the chart below.With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information that the pipe was made during the Republic Era between 1950 and 1989. Pipedia then qualifies the dating as follows: From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland”. I was wondering how a pipe stamped Republic of Ireland and 1999 fit! I guess the “present time” stamp qualifies that.  Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He cleaned the oxidized silver with Soft Scrub and buffed it off with a soft pad. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top to show how clean it was. The rim top and edges look very good. The stem looks clean of oxidation and there are light tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. It is a great looking pipe.I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to get it into the deep crevices of the rustication. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The rustication came alive with the balm. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. There were some deep marks on the left side of the stem at the bend. I filled them with clear super glue and set it aside to cure. Once it was cured I sanded the stem to blend the repairs into the rest of the surrounding vulcanite.I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the button surface and stem with 220 grit sandpaper and began the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish – a red, gritty Tripoli like substance that is a paste. I rubbed it into the surface of the stem and polished it off with a cotton pad. I have found that is a great intermediary step before polishing with micromesh pads. I am not sure what I will use once the final tin I have is gone!I touched up the P stamp on the left side of the stem with Paper Mate Liquid Paper and once it dried I scraped off the excess. The P stamp definitely looks better at this point.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Republic Era Peterson “Donegal” Rocky 03 Bent Apple is a nice looking pipe. The rustication and mixed stain around the bowl sides and shank really stand out with the polishing. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well to give some contrast to the rusticated finish of the pipe. The polished black vulcanite P-lip taper stem adds to the mix. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl it is really is eye-catching. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel, carefully avoiding the stamping on the shank and using a light touch on the rusticated bowl and shank. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax by hand and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Bent Apple is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that like the other pipes I am working that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another interesting pipe. This Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky will be added to the Irish Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

A Peterson’s Donegal Rocky 05 Reborn


The third pipe in the Peterson trio of pipes shown in the photo below came to the worktable today. It is a Peterson’s Donegal Rocky 05 bent Dublin. It is the second pipe in the photo below. The bowl was badly caked – uneven and broken. The rim had a thick coat of tar and carbon buildup and was damaged on the right front side of the rim. The stem was missing and the nickel band was tarnished but undented. The finish was worn and the grooves of the rustication were filled with grit and grime from years of smoking. Like the other two pipes in this lot it must have been a favourite of the previous owner to be smoked to this degree. The inside of the shank was clogged with thick tars and oils and I was unable to blow air through it.
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I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer until the cake was gone and the bowl was bare wood. My goal was to take back all the cake and rebuild a new smooth one. I pushed a paper clip through the airway to open the clog. I used cotton swabs, shank brushes and a drill bit to remove all of the grime and buildup in the airway and the shank. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with a soft bristle tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed it under warm water to remove the soap and patted it dry. Once it was clean I filled the bowl with cotton balls and used an ear syringe to fill the bowl with isopropyl alcohol. I let the bowl sit over night in an ice cube tray to keep it upright. The first photo shows the set up when I first filled it. The second photo below shows the bowl after it had soaked over twelve hours.
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I took the dirty cotton balls out and washed out the bowl and shank with clean isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs. While it was drying I scrubbed the rim with a brass tire brush to clean off the build up on the rustication. In the photo below the damage to the rustication is very evident. It is burned and worn smooth on the right front and side.
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I used the Dremel with one of the burs that Joyal gave me to re-rusticate the rim. I followed the patter on the portions of the rim that were still visible and tried to duplicate them on the rest of the rim.
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After rusticating the rim I restained it with a dark brown aniline stain. I applied the stain, flamed it and repeated the process until the coverage was even across the rim. I stained the bowl with the dark brown stain as well and flamed it.
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The brown stain was too opaque and the contrast between the dark in the crevices and grooves of the briar and the lighter brown on the high spots was gone. I wiped the bowl down with acetone on a cotton pad until I had the contrast that I was aiming for.
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I ordered some stems that were the correct diameter and length for the 05 from Tim West at J.H. Lowe and Company. They arrived on Friday so I was able to fit one to the shank. I turned the tenon with a PIMO Tenon Turning Tool. The fitting of a tenon to the tapered shank of Peterson pipes takes a little getting used to. I worked to match the taper of the tenon to the taper of the mortise and was able to get a good fit on against the band.
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I used the sanding drum on the Dremel to remove the casting seams on the sides and the button of the stem.
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I sanded the stem with 150 and 220 grit sandpaper to match the diameter of the shank to the diameter of the band.
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I sanded the stem with medium and fine grit sanding sponges to remove the scratching left behind by the sandpapers.
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I wanted to bend the stem to match the original stem that would have been on the pipe. I looked up photos on the web of the 05 and copied one of them. I decided to use a fishtail stem instead of the p-lip stem but I was able to use the photo as a template of the bend.
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I heated the stem with a heat gun until it was flexible and then bent it over a rolling pin with a cardboard sleeve over it. I have found that the cardboard prevents the hot vulcanite from marring when I bend it. The second photo below shows the first attempt at the bend and the third photo shows it after I reheated it and rebent it to match the template.
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I sanded the stem with the medium and fine grit sanding sponges again. At this point in the process the stem was ready for the fine sanding work with the micromesh sanding pads.
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I sanded the stem with the usual array of micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. In between each set of three pads (1500-2400, 3200-4000 and 6000-12000) I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil. I let it dry before moving on to the next grit of pads. Once it was finished I rubbed it down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and when it had dried I buffed the stem with White Diamond. I gave the bowl a coating of Halcyon II wax and hand buffed it with a shoe brush and gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax, buffing with a clean flannel buffing pad between applications. The finished pipe is shown below. It too is ready for its inaugural smoke – maybe a bowl of Louisiana Red will start this one off also… anyway, it is ready for the a long life ahead.
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