Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to me in a group of six pipes I bought from a fellow in Eastern Canada. It included two Canadian made pipes – a Blatter of Montreal and a Trypis. In the mix was an English made Charatan second stamped Mountbatten and two Peterson’s and an Irish Second. The pipes were well used and all had been smoked. The seller sent me a photo of the pipes so that I could see what he was selling. We discussed some options together and arrived at an agreement and the pipes were on their way to me in Vancouver.The next pipe that grabbed my attention was a semi-rusticated billiard with a slightly bent stem. This is what I saw. The bottom half of the bowl and the shank are rusticated with a heavy rustication. The top half of the bowl and the rim top are smooth. The rustication is very reminiscent of the rustication on Brigham. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Made [over] in Canada. That is followed by Trypis in script [over] 3. The finish had some grime ground into the valleys of the rustication and on the smooth part of the bowl but still looked to be in good condition. The bowl was thickly caked with some light lava on the top at the back and some darkening on the top and the inner edge of the rim. The taper stem had some light tooth chatter on the top and underside near the button. It had promise but it was dirty. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. I took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the overflow of lava on the back rim top and inner edge. I also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the chatter and tooth marks. I took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the smooth and rusticated briar around the pipe looked like. There is some stunning grain under the grime. I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the proportion of this Billiard and the slightly bent stem.I turned to Pipephil to confirm what I remembered about Trypis. I wanted to read a bit of the history (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-t8.html). I have included a screen capture of information on the site below. I have also included information from the sidebar below the screen capture.Artisan: Phillip Trypis first worked for Brigham as production manager. He continued to supply the Canadian brand when he was established on his own with his own Trypis label. Phillip Trypis had a pipe shop in Toronto.
I turned to the section on Pipedia about Trypis Pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Trypis_Pipes). I quote below.
Quoting Stefan Seles: “Phillip Trypis has been a pipe maker in Canada for well over 40 years. Originally from Greece, his experience ranges from cutting burls in a briar mill to making literally thousands of pipes out of his home in the hamlet of Oakwood, Ontario. Brigham pipes benefited from Phillip’s skills where he worked for a number of years. There he directed the pipe production of the company when it was producing over 50,000 a year. Even though he left to start his own pipe shop, he still imported briar and turned tens of thousands of bowls for Brigham not to mention produce a large number of his own branded pipes.
Just over a year ago, Phillip had a serious fall and although he is back making pipes, he is unable to travel around to sell them as he once did. He has asked me to help him in that effort.
The pipes listed below are some of his best work made from decades old MF and R ebuchauns as well as some recently purchased Italian plateau. The prices are excellent, especially given the age and quality of the briar used. In fact, I would venture to say that these pipes have no peers, especially below the $100.00 price. You must be the judge.
Many of the styles are traditional in form although Phillip has a number of freehand styles that are both familiar and off the beaten path. The vast majority of the higher priced pipes are very large pieces to be sure.”
I have worked on quite a few of Phillip’s pipes through the years and it is always a pleasure as they are well engineered and made.
I started my work on the pipe by reaming the bowl of the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer using the first and second cutting heads to remove all of the cake. I cleaned up the remnants of the cake on the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished by sanding the bowl walls smooth with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. I cleaned up the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove almost all of the darkening with the sandpaper. I scrubbed the externals of the pipe with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. I rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. The bowl and rim top cleaned up really well with the lava coat removed. The inner edge of the rim was in good condition. I cleaned out the inside of the mortise, shank and the airway in the stem with isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The pipe had a strong latakia smell very different from the three Petersons and the Mountbatten I completed. It had a heavy smoky smell that needed to be deghosted. I filled the bowl with cotton boles and twisted a plug into the shank end. I used and ear syringe to fill the bowl with alcohol. The alcohol will eventually evaporate from the bowl wicking out the oils and tars in the briar into the cotton. I let it sit over night and in the morning pulled it out and took photos of the cotton at that point. I polished the smooth briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. By the end of the last set of three the bowl took on a rich shine. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips 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 sanded out the tooth marks and chatter with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. The quality of the vulcanite was very high and did not show oxidation. I started the polishing of the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I polished the stem with Before and After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with some more Obsidian Oil. It was great to finish this Semi Rusticated Trypis Billiard 3. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the rusticated portion of the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the smooth portions and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with deep sandblast all around it. Added to that the polished black, vulcanite, fishtail stem was beautiful. This Trypis Billiard is great looking and the pipe 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 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 31 grams/ 1.06 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will soon be on the rebornpipes store in the Canadian Pipe Makers Section of the store. If you want to add it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.