Blog by Steve Laug
Today is rainy, chilly day in Vancouver. I know in comparison to where many of you live it is not cold but to us it is. It is also the kind of day that my old friend Spencer would have been next to my work table begging for a treat and keeping company. I can’t believe that he died almost four months ago now. I miss him a lot on days like today. The next pipe I have chosen is another Peterson’s Billiard. It is a chunky sandblast pipe but it also was a very dirty pipe. It also came to us from Garson, Ontario, Canada. The grime was ground into the light grooves of the sandblast finish on the bowl sides. I love the way the contrast of the brown and black stains gave the shallow blast a sense of depth. The stain is almost tiger striped. It was faintly stamped on the flat underside of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Kapruf. To the left of that on the heel was the shape number 62. To the right of the Kapruf stamp it read Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines). This pipe must have been another favourite as it had been well smoked. There was a thick cake in the bowl and an overflow of lava and darkening on the rim top. The inner edge of the bowl was badly damaged with a chunk missing on the front and the right side. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had deep tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is badly damaged and heavily caked. The rim top and edges have a lava overflow does little to obscure the damage to the inner edge. The photos of the stem show that it was oxidized, calcified and has deep tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. Jeff took a photo of the bowl sides and heel to show the blast that was around this bowl. It is a shallow sandblast but the choice of stain adds depth to the appearance of the bowl. He took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable and reads as noted above.I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Kapruf line. On page 306 it had the following information.
Kapruf and “Kapruf” (c.1922-87) Sandblast (hence the name, Kapp-rough) P-lip or fishtail mouthpiece, in catalogs from 1940-87. Early documented specimens stamped IRISH over FREE STATE, no Eire specimens documented. Mid-century specimens may be stamped LONDON MADE [over] ENGLAND or MADE IN ENGLAND forming a circle or MADE IN [over] IRELAND, all dating no later than 1970. Those of recent vintage stamped MADE IN THE[over] REPUBLIC [over]OF IRELAND.
I knew that I was working on a KAPRUF that was made between 1970-1987 as it is stamped MADE IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND as noted above. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
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 worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. 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 when it arrived. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top photo shows some heavy damage on the right top and inner edge. There is also damage on the front inner edge. The sandblast on the rim top is virtually destroyed. It will take some work to rebuild and refinish it. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the deep tooth marks on the surface near the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is faint but readable.I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has an interesting shallow sandblast on the bowl.I started my work on the pipe by repairing the damage on the inner edge and rim top. I rebuilt the inner edge and the rim top damage with clear CA glue and briar dust. I put the glue in place and used a dental spatula to apply the briar dust on top of the glue. I layered it on until I was looking far better. I wrapped a dowel with 220 grit sandpaper (virtually the same diameter as the chamber of the bowl). I inserted it in the bowl and turned it until the edge was round again. I worked on the inner edge itself with a folded piece of sandpaper to give the rim edge a slight bevel. That took care of the damaged edge very well. The photos below tell the story. With the edge and top cleaned up it was time to try to match the rim top to the sandblast finish on the bowl. I used my Dremel with the two dental burs shown in the photo below. I carefully attempted to make it look like a light blast. When I got it to the point I was happy I stained it with an Oak and a Cherry stain pen. I intermix the streaks of both pens to approximate the colour of the briar on the bowl sides. I touched up some of the spots that showed up in the photo above with a Black Sharpie Pen to further blend it in. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the dents. I forgot to take photos of the process. However it worked very well and I was able to lift them significantly. What remained I filled in with Black Super Glue and sprayed with an accelerator to keep it from running everywhere. I set the stem aside to cure. Once the repair cured I smooth out the repair and recut the edge of the button with a small file. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to blend the repairs into the rest of the stem. I started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I am excited to finish this Peterson’s Kapruf 62 Billiard, Made in Ireland. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the 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 microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished smooth rim top and the sandblast bowl looks like with the black vulcanite taper stem. This Classic looking Peterson’s Kapruf Sandblast Billiard feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 36grams/1.27oz. It is a beautiful pipe and one that is already sold, or as Dal calls it “commissioned”. The gentleman who asked for it has the first right of refusal. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.