Tag Archives: pipe refurbishing

Time for a Meerschaum – A Fancy Gold Push Stem on a Meer Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is from a guy in New York that hunts for pipes for Jeff and me. This is a no name meerschaum billiard with a push tenon and mortise. The stem is acrylic and is a swirled golden Lucite. The pipe was one of the cleaner ones that have come our way. There was very little cake in the bowl and just some slight darkening on the rim top and on the inner edge on the left side. The bowl is almost unsmoked it is so clean with a little darkening from one or two bowls being drawn through it. The inner and outer edges of the bowl are flawless without any damage areas as is the top of the rim. The acrylic stem was in excellent condition with light tooth chatter around the button. It is a fancy turned stem the kind that I have seen on freehand pipes before but it actually looks very good with the meer. It hearkens back to the days of amber stems. It is well made and has a very comfortable button and slot. The stem is thin enough that it is comfortable in the mouth as well. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started working on it. He took photos of the rim top to show how clean the bowl was. You can see the fresh meerschaum on the walls of the bowl near the top. There is no cake in the bowl and there is no lava on the rim top.He took a photo of the right side and heel of the bowl to show how clean the externals of the meerschaum are. It is really quite pristine.When Jeff took the stem off the bowl the mortise unscrewed from the shank. He took some photos of the stem with the threaded mortise in tow. The first photo shows the inside of the shank and how clean it is. The third photo shows the threaded mortise with the push tenon inside of it. It will need to be pulled off the push tenon and threaded back into the shank. The golden acrylic stem was in excellent condition other than light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The button was in excellent condition.Jeff had already cleaned up the pipe before sending it to me. He had wiped out the bowl to remove the debris and dust in it. There was no need to ream it as there was no cake. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean off the grime off the finish and to see if he could remove some of the darkening on the left side of the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove any remnants of the few smokes that had been run through the pipe. When it arrived here in Vancouver it was a very clean pipe and really left little to do but work on the stem. I took photos of it before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show how clean and almost pristine they were when they arrived. The bowl was spotless and ready to smoke. The stem had some tooth chatter and light marks on the top and underside near the button.I sanded the button and the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and 400 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and tooth marks.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth after each pad. I gave it a coat of Conservator’s Wax when I was finish and once it dried buffed it off with a soft cloth. I put the stem back on the pipe and the pipe to the buffer. I carefully worked it over with Blue Diamond to polish meerschaum and the acrylic stem. I gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. I love the way that the buffer brings a shine to the pipe. I was happy with the look of the finished pipe. The photos below show what the pipe looks like after the restoration. This is a beautiful meerschaum that has not really been broken in. It should colour nicely as it block meerschaum.  The shape of the white bowl and the golden fancy stem are very elegant. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This pipe will soon be added to the rebornpipes online store. If you are interested in adding a virtually new meerschaum pipe to your collection let me know. This one should be a great smoker. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another beauty!

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Renewing a Classic Bari Shape – A Bari Opal 8443


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is from one of the unsung pipe makers that I really enjoy working on. It is a Bari pot shaped pipe with a rectangular shank and tapered vulcanite stem. This has some stunning straight and flame grain around the bowl and shank with birdseye on the top of the bowl and the heel. It showed a lot of promise even in its filthy condition. The rim top was quite wide and had a slight bevel on the inside rim edge. The pipe is stamped on the topside of the shank Bari over Opal and on the underside Made in Denmark over the shape number 8443. Lately we have been picking up some really dirty pipes and this pipe was no exception. It was very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and a layer of lava overflowing on to the rim top. It was thick enough to have some wrinkles in the surface that looked almost like cracks. It was hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looked like because of the lava and cake. From the photos it appeared that the inner edge was in good condition. Other than being dirty the finish also appeared to look very good. The stem was lightly oxidized and the button surface on both sides was worn down from tooth damage. There was chatter on both sides of the stem. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started working on it. He took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava. The cake is thick and hard and the lava overflow is a thicker toward the back of the beveled rim. The bowl and the rim are a real mess. This must have been a great smoking pipe.He took a photo of the right side and heel of the bowl to show some of the grain and the condition of the pipe. There is one small fill at the top of the bowl that will need to be dealt with but otherwise it is a pretty pipe.Jeff took photos of the stamping on the top and underside of the shank to capture the clarity of it even under the grime. It is clear and legible.The vulcanite stem was worn at the button with the sharp edge of the button worn down with tooth marks. The stem also had a lot of chatter both sides and some oxidation.Jeff had already cleaned up the pipe before sending it to me. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean off the grime off the finish and the heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the pipe. When it arrived here in Vancouver it was a clean pipe and I knew what I had to work with. I took photos of it before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. Jeff was able to clean up the thick cake and lava overflow that was shown in the rim and bowl in the earlier photos. He was also able to get rid of the grime and grit in the surface of the briar. The rim top looked a lot better than when he started. There was still some pitting and darkening on the surface of the inward bevel but it should clean up very well.I decided to work on the scratches in the surface of the briar first. I polished the surface with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down with a damp cloth after each pad. I was able to polish out the scratches without damaging the finish on the bowl or the rim. The finish looked very good once I was done polishing it. On the right side of the bowl there was a fill that stuck out. I touched it up with a black Sharpie pen and buffed it by hand. I used a Maple stain pen to touch up the area around the fill and the lighter areas on the shank end. The finish on the rest of the bowl was in excellent condition. After I was finished with the stain pens and polishing the restained areas I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. After it sat for a little while I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem at this point in the  process. The stem may well be a replacement one but it is hard to know for certain. It is well made and fits perfectly to the shank. I decided to start by repairing the deep tooth marks on the button and the stem. I filled them in and built up the surface of the button with clear super glue and set the stem aside while I went to lunch.I used a needle file to cut a sharp edge on the button on both sides of the stem. I worked it until there was a definite sharp edge. I sanded the button and the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and 400 grit sandpaper to remove the scratches. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil to remove the sanding dust. I polished Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final hand buff with some Obsidian Oil and laid it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the pipe and the pipe to the buffer. I worked it over with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. I love the way that the buffer brings a shine to the pipe. I was happy with the look of the finished pipe. The photos below show what the pipe looks like after the restoration. I have worked on quite a few Bari’s over the years and I am always pleased with the way the shape and the grain work together.  The shape and the look is uniquely Bari and are very elegant. The polished black vulcanite stem looks really good with the contrasting browns of the briar. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This pipe will soon be added to the rebornpipes online store. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. This one should be a great smoker. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another beauty!

Breathing Life into a Chacom Paris 861 Quarter Bent Brandy


Blog by Steve Laug

One of the pipes that Jeff and I picked up from a fellow in Pennsylvania was a Chacom Paris straight Brandy. He contacted us about purchasing his pipes as he was cleaning out his collection. This particular pipe showed promise but it was in rough condition. It had some beautiful grain – birdseye and mixed grain. The rim top was beveled inward. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank Chacom over Paris and there is Chacom CC logo stamped in the left side of the tapered, acrylic stem. We seem to pick up some really dirty pipes and this pipe was no exception. It was very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and a heavy layer of lava overflowing on to the rim top. It was hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looked like because of the lava and cake. From the photos it appeared that the inner edge was in good condition. Other than being dirty the finish also appeared to look very good. The stem and the shank end had a decorative metal ferrule that was supposed to meet once the stem was in place. On this pipe the stem would not sit in the shank and there was a gap between the stem and shank. I am including some photos of the pipe that the seller emailed me when we were discussing the pipe.Needless to say we went for the deal and soon the pipe was on its way to Jeff’s place for cleaning and preparation for restoration. Jeff took these pictures when it arrived. You can see the issues that I noted above in the following photos. It was going to take some work to bring it back to what it was supposed to look like. He took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava. The cake is thick and hard and the lava overflow is a thicker toward the back of the beveled rim. The bowl and the rim are a real mess. This must have been a great smoking pipe.The next photo shows the right side of the bowl and shank to give a clear picture of the beauty of the birdseye and mixed grain around the bowl of the pipe. It is a beauty. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the left side of the shank and the shape number 861 on the underside of the shank near the ferrule to capture the clarity of it even under the grime. He also included some photos of the CC logo on the left side of the stem and the Hand Cut stamp on the right side. Jeff took a photo of the fit of the stem in the shank. The tenon (Delrin) did not seem to fit in the mortise. I would need to check it out because it did not look right to me.The acrylic stem was in okay condition other than some heavy tooth marks on the button surfaces and some calcification where the seller had used a softee bit. There looked like there were some light tooth marks and chatter on the stem that should not take too much work to remedy. The brand Chacom turned up (1934) after fusion of Chapuis-Comoy with La Bruyère. Yves Grenard (†2012), second cousin of Pierre Comoy headed the company from 1971. He was responsible for Chapuis Comoy’s recovering its independence from Comoy. His son Antoine Grenard took over the direction of the company in 2007. Chacom is a brand of Cuty-Fort Entreprises (Jeantet, Vuillard, Jean Lacroix, Ropp …) (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-chacom.html).

Pipedia gives a great historical overview of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Chacom). I have not included that here but if you are interested click on the link and you can read about the company from its inception to its current status.

I wanted to know what the pipe should have looked like when it was made so I did a quick google search to see if could find a photo. I turned up a straight shank brandy in a red stain that showed the way that the tenon and mortise should have worked. The stem should have fit into the mortise and the silver ferrule on the shank end and the one on the stem should have met. Now I knew what I was aiming for and work to get the correct fit. Armed with the information I needed I turned to address the pipe itself. Jeff had already cleaned up the pipe before sending it to me. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean off the grime off the finish and the heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the pipe. When it arrived here in Vancouver it was a clean pipe and I knew what I had to work with. I took photos of it before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. Jeff was able to clean up the thick cake and lava overflow that was shown in the rim and bowl in the earlier photos. He was also able to get rid of the grime and grit in the surface of the briar. The rim top looked a lot better than when he started. There was still some pitting and darkening on the surface of the inward bevel but it should clean up very well.As I examined the stem I found that it had an adapter in the tenon to convert the pipe from a 9mm filter pipe to a non-filtered pipe. The adapter was removable so that the pipe could be smoked either way. I took the adapter out of the tenon and took a photo of the parts.I decided to address the improperly fitting tenon first. I removed the adapter from the tenon and sanded it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to reduce the diameter of the tenon. The third photo shows the stem after I have reowrked the tenon. The fit is perfect.I set the stem aside to address the issues with the rim top. It had some light pitting and scratches in the surface of the bevel. I sanded the surface with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down with a damp cloth after each pad. I was able to polish out the scratches without damaging the finish to the rim top. A side benefit was that the darkening also was removed. The finish on the rest of the bowl was in excellent condition. After it was finished with the rim polishing I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. After it sat for a little while I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem at this point in the  process. I still needed to polish the tenon but I decided to start by repairing the deep tooth marks on the stem. The button on the top edge had tooth marks and the flat portion of the stem on the underside also had tooth marks. I filled them in with clear super glue and set the stem aside to allow the repairs to cure overnight.In the morning the repairs had cured so I blended them into the surface of the acrylic with a folded piece of 220 and began polishing the stem with 400 grit sandpaper. I also began polishing the tenon at the same time with the 400 grit sandpaper. The repaired areas looked very good at this point in the process.I polished the Lucite stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I polished Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final hand buff with a microfiber cloth. I polished the metal at the same time. I put the stem back on the pipe and the pipe to the buffer. I worked it over with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up really well and the beveled rim top looked good. I was happy with the look of the finished pipe. The photos below show what the pipe looks like after the restoration. I have a dress black Chacom Paris that is a lot like this pipe. The shape and the fitments are very elegant. The polished black Lucite stem looks really good with the browns of the briar. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This is another pipe that I will be putting it on the rebornpipes online store shortly, if you are interested in adding it to your collection. The shape of the pipe and the ¼ bent stem give this pipe a great feel in the hand and the mouth. This one should be a great smoker. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another beauty!

Tina’s first choice: Renewing a Lindbergh 324 Poker


Blog by Dal Stanton
Burgas, Bulgaria, is a coastal city on the Black Sea where my wife and I as often as we can, go to find some rest and relaxation on the beach, especially during the summer months.  When we’re not enjoying the surf and sand, one of my favorite activities is to go pipe picking, of course!  I found the Lindbergh 324 Poker on one of these expeditions in 2017 on the main walking streets in Burgas – an antique shop I’ve visited before did not let me down on this visit!

I found the treasure trove in a copper pot waiting for me on a stack of books.  I carefully and methodically sifted through the pipes in the brass pot and culled 5 nice candidates who were calling my name!  They were a Butz Choquin Supermate 1596 Paneled Billiard – St Claude-France, a Rusticated Harvey Meerschaum Lined Dublin (LONDON/PARIS/NEW YORK), a Lincoln London Made Real Sandblasted Billiard, and an Old Bruyere Billiard with an interesting P-Lip saddle stem and the Lindbergh Select 324 Poker.

I was drawn to both the Lincoln and the Harvey because they had the “RESEARCH ME!” aura about them in addition to being cool looking pipes.  The BC Panel had gain that said, “Let me loose!”  Yes, I believe pipes speak if we have ears to hear and my ears were fine-tuned having spent time on the beach clearing the senses!  After negotiations were completed, the Burgas 5 were wrapped and bagged and came home with me to Sofia.

As with most of my acquisitions that benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria, they are pictured, recorded, catalogued and put into the online For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection waiting for a steward to hear them calling from the virtual ‘Help Me!’ baskets.

Tina was visiting us in Bulgaria with a group of other ladies from Birmingham, Alabama, USA, and with most of our visitors, they heard of my ‘interesting’ hobby of collecting and restoring vintage pipes.  Tina was intrigued and asked to see my work table and some pipes – she had the growing idea of commissioning some pipes FOR THE DAUGHTERS to gift special men in her life – husband, sons, colleagues…. This was my kind of visit!  She started going through the troves of pipes that I have in the inventory for the Daughters and it was fun watching her settle on certain pipes that ‘matched’ the man she had in mind and in the end, she commissioned 4 pipes to be restored and one Churchwarden project which I will fashion from a repurposed bowl.  I gave her estimates for the pipes she had chosen, and she solemnly agreed to a vow of PATIENCE.  I’m thankful for her patience which is finally bearing fruit on my work table!  I chose the Lindbergh Select Poker with a shape number of 324 to work on first.  I love the iconic Poker shape and the story associated with the utilitarian purpose of the Poker’s flat bottom, that easily finds a casual place on the card table next to the adult beverage while its hopeful steward looks expectantly at the cards dealt.  This Poker has a large swatch of briar real estate and an attractive canted volcano-like descent that results in a larger card table base or heel.  The 3/4 bent shank/stem gives the entire pipe a casual, reach for me feel.  Here are pictures of the Lindbergh Select 324 now on my work table: The stamping on the left flank of the shank is ‘LINDBERGH’ [over] ‘SELECT’.  The right flank is stamped with what I’m assuming is the Poker’s shape number, 324.  There are no other identifying marks that I can see.To learn more about Lindbergh Select, I look to Pipedia with no nibbles.  My copy of Herb Wilczak and Tom Colwell’s, ‘Who Made That Pipe?’ also came up empty.  Turning next to Pipephil.eu I found more.  The examples of Lindbergh I found there were of various markings without a strong sense of a positive hit.  The note that was included in this name that gave a COM of France was that they were most likely crafted by more than one maker, which makes sense looking at the different markings and especially the stem stampings and different stem lettering.  Seemingly no continuity in the markings.This was a helpful bit of information which pushes my thinking a bit broader than a single manufacturer of the Lindbergh name.  Next I do a Google search and found another Lindbergh SELECT that was for sale on an auction block (LINK) and found an interesting similarity – the sharply beveled internal rim. Unfortunately, the pictures they provided did not show the nomenclature but did show a shape number – 601 for the oval shank Billiard.  My search took me next to a discussion thread about a Lindbergh pipe on PipesMagazine.com that brought me as close to understanding the origins of this pipe as I’m going to get for now.  The thread started with sablebrush52 who purchased a Meerlined Panel with the markings Lindbergh with the addition of ‘New York – Paris’ in the nomenclature.  The thread described the historical attachment the French have with the famous and controversial aviator Charles Lindbergh, whose historic jaunt across the Atlantic in the prop plane, The Spirit of St. Louis, captured the imaginations and hearts of the French at that time.  This national embrace of Charles Lindbergh would explain how pipes were produced from different French sources with the Lindbergh name – more of a historical commemoration of this event.  The nomenclature of the pipe under discussion in the thread is pictured here:I’m including one well-known contributor’s statement as a summary of this history and fascination with Charles Lindbergh.  From mso489:

Lindberg was one of the early American mega-celebrities, which both immortalized his life and damaged it in various ways, the later kidnapping of his child and his relationship with the rise of the Nazi regime with their interest in aeronautics. So this pipe reflects that tender moment in history where his mere name sent out sparks of admiration. It’s appropriately a handsome example of industrial design. Lindberg was a farsighted designer of aircraft which is why he succeeded first with his flight. His plane, The Spirit of St. Louis, was a masterpiece of prioritization, economy, and spareness; he gave up a front windshield substituted with a periscope to make room for yet another fuel tank — but that’s an easy example. The whole plane was conceptualized that way. Then there was the whole problem of staying awake to fly the plane, which he managed to do.

Looking more closely at the Lindbergh Select on my work table, the chamber has light cake and some lava flow on the rim and shows some scorching on the right forward quadrant.  The large Poker stummel has several fills that will need to be cleaned out and refilled on the stummel side and the heel.  The upper right side of the bowl has a dent which might be able to be drawn out through heating.  The saddle stem has oxidation.  The bit has very little tooth chatter at all. I discover that scotch tape was wrapped around the tenon in order to tighten the fit.  When I remove the tape, the result is a very loose fitting tenon – rattling around in the mortise! It’s very possible that this stem is a replacement, but it should fit nicely. The balance of the Poker is perfect – it sits quite nicely. I start the restoration of this Lindbergh Select Poker by first cleaning the internal airway of the stem with pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl 95% and then placing it in a bath of Before & After Deoxidizer along with other pipes and stems in the queue – most commissioned by Tina! After some hours, I fish out the Lindbergh bent Saddle Stem and allow the B&A Deoxidizer to drain off.  I also run another pipe cleaner through the airway to force the Deoxidizer out and then wipe the raised oxidation with cotton pads wetted with isopropyl 95%.  Much oxidation is removed.After finishing the removal of oxidation, I begin to revitalize the vulcanite stem by applying a coat of paraffin oil (a mineral oil) and I put the stem aside to soak in the oil and dry.Turning now to the Poker stummel, using 3 of the 4 blade heads available in the Pipnet Reaming Kit, I ream the chamber.  I follow by employing the Savinelli Fitsall tool to fine tune by scraping the chamber walls further.  Finally, I use a Sharpie Pen wrapped with 240 grade paper and sand the chamber removing the residue carbon and revealing fresher briar.  I wipe the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to remove the remaining carbon dust.  After inspection of the chamber, all looks great!  There are no evidences of heating problems. Next, I clean the external real estate of the Poker’s briar using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a cotton pad.  I keep my eye on the old fills to see how they react.  I also utilize a brass bristled brush to work on the darkened scorched area on the rim.  I also carefully scrape the rim with the sharp edge of a Buck pocket knife.The results of the cleaning are good, but the rim still shows the burn trail of the lighting practice of the former steward – pulling the flame over the rim instead of over the tobacco and pulling the flame downwardly.As I suspected would be the case, the old fill material softened, and I easily remove it from the side and heel of the stummel using a sharp dental probe.Before moving further with the external repairs, I clean the internals of the stummel by using pipe cleaners and cotton buds wetted with isopropyl 95%. The internals turn out to be nasty and I do much excavating using a dental spatula – scraping the mortise walls of tars, old oils and much gunk. I also use a shank brush to clean the airway. Finally, the crud starts giving away and cotton buds start emerging a much lighter hue. I call the job done for now, to return later for a kosher salt and alcohol soak to draw more tars and oils from the internal cavity as well as to freshen the stummel.To continue the work on the stummel surface, I start from the top down.  First, to address the deep scorching on the rim, I use the topping board with 240 grade paper on it to top the stummel.  Thankfully, this stummel as a good bit of real estate but I still am very stingy in giving up the briar.  I take a picture to mark the start and then a few pictures showing the progression as I rotate the inverted stummel over the 240 grade paper. I come to a place that is the tension between complete removal of the dark area and having given up enough top briar in the effort.  I stop and switch out the paper to 600 grade paper and give the stummel a few more rotations to smooth out the scratches of the 240 paper.  The rim lines are refreshed, but a darkened area remains at this point.To now sharpen the bevel and clean the rim further, I use 240 grade paper tightly rolled and sand the internal bevel. I follow this with 600 grade paper (which I forgot to picture!) and then, one final rotation on the topping board with 600 grade paper to sharpen the rim lines once more.  I like it.  The rim looks great.With the rim repair advanced to this point, I now work on refilling the pits on the side and the heel of the stummel that were left after removing the old fill.I mix briar dust and thick CA glue to form a putty that I use to fill the pits.  After putting a small amount of briar dust on an index card, I then place some CA glue next to it.  Using a toothpick, I gradually mix briar dust into the CA glue until it thickens to the consistency of molasses.  I then apply the putty to the pits using a tooth pick.  When filled, I put the stummel aside for the putty to cure.After the briar dust patches have set up sufficiently, I now work on the two dents on the upper part of the Poker.  I take a couple pictures to capture the larger and the smaller dents from different angles.The heating method can work very well to expand the compressed wood by using heat to hydrate the wood and causing it to expand.  I’m thankful that my wife allows use of her iron to do the job.  I go to the ironing board for this activity.  I wet a cotton cloth handkerchief and place the wet cloth over the dents then I apply the hot iron over the dented area. It steams a lot as the moisture in the cloth rapidly evaporates and steam is forced toward the wood surface.After doing this steaming procedure a few times, I take another picture.  You can still see the outline of the injury, but compared to where it was, by touch it is much less pronounced and should easily sand out.With the briar putty patches now fully cured after several hours, I use a flat needle file to begin working the patch mounds down to the briar surface. From the needle file I transition to 240 grade paper and remove the remainder of the excess briar patch material bringing the fill flush with the briar surface.Next, I again bring out the topping board with 240 grade paper.  This time, though, I’m topping the heel of the stummel which has taken the brunt of the wear and tear.  It is interesting to see the progression of the ‘topping’ of the heel which is not flat.  The first picture marks the starting point followed by a progression of rotations on the topping board. I switch the topping paper to 600 grade paper and take the heel a few more rotations to smooth the heel surface after the 240 grade paper.  The grain on the heel looks good.Now moving to the stummel proper, I return to the dents that I used the steaming method to expand and minimize the dents.  To fully remove these injuries, I lightly sand the area with 240 grade paper and follow with 600 grade paper to smooth further.  The steaming method helped and now the dents have been erased.With all the patches and blemishes addressed, I use a progression of sanding sponges from coarse, medium to light to sand the entire stummel removing the nicks and scratches.  I lightly address the surface around the Lindbergh Select nomenclature and shape number. I’m at a junction point for the stummel – moving on to the micromesh pad regimen.  I also have a stem that is waiting in the wings for attention.  I reunite the stem and Lindbergh Select Poker to get a look at the progress.  I love the shape of this Poker as its heel expands outwardly to form a stable platform to sit. With the reunification of the stem and stummel, I’m reminded again of the very loose-fitting junction of the tenon’s seating in the mortise.  During the cleaning of the stem, I discovered that the stem fitting had been tightened by wrapping scotch tape around the tenon.  The picture below shows the extent of the looseness. To rectify this by expanding the tenon, I use a drill bit one size larger than what will fit comfortably into the airway. To introduce the larger drill bit end into the tenon’s airway to begin expanding it, I first heat the end of the tenon with a Bic lighter to soften the vulcanite.  When the heated vulcanite becomes supple, I begin to gently insert the drill bit into the airway.  The larger bit expands the airway which pushes the tenon’s diameter outwardly.  As the bit begins to enter less supple, cooler vulcanite while I’m inserting it, the bit is straightened by this, so I don’t have to worry about the tenon during the supple stage to be angled improperly.After the first try, I refit the stem into the shank and it is tighter, but it needs a little more tightening for a snugger fit. I repeat the process and heat more of the tenon and then insert more of the bit into the expanding airway.  Before taking the bit out of the airway, I set the vulcanite with cool water from the tap so that the expansion holds. The second procedure works like a charm with a good snug junction.  I’m pleased.I decide to move forward with the finishing of the stummel’s briar surface with the micromesh regimen.  I plan to apply a dye to the Poker, but we’ll see how things develop.  I first wet sand using pads 1500 to 2400 and then dry sand with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  I love this part of teasing out the grain of this large Poker stummel.  I’m amazed at how the grain darkened and deepened during the micromesh process.  Before this, I was thinking that I would need to stain the stummel to mask the patches on the briar surface.  After looking at the natural grain, the patches look like natural knots in the briar.  I decide at this point to go with the natural briar hue. Before applying Before & After Restoration to the briar surface, I eyeball once more the junction between stem and stummel.  I’m not satisfied with the seating of the stem in the shank.  I can see a gap on the lower side of the shank/stem junction.  The top of the junction is riding high preventing a clean meeting on the lower side.  To address this, I fold a piece of 240 grade paper in half and insert it between the upper shank/stem junction and sand between the two.  This eventually lowers the top side helping the lower junction to seat better.  I’m not totally pleased with the junction at the end, but I’ve learned when to stop striving for perfection! With the stem and shank junction fitting much better, I put the stem aside again and apply Before & After Restoration Balm to the Poker surface.  I place some of the Balm on my finger and work it in to the briar surface.  After about 10 minutes I wipe off the excess and buff up the surface with a microfiber cloth.  The grain hues deepen and the natural briar finish is very nice.Turning now to the stem, the tooth marks on the bit are very minor.Using 240 grit paper, I sand out the minor issues on the bit very quickly.I then wet sand the stem using 600 grade paper and then follow by applying 0000 grade steel wool.  In addition, I scrub the surface with Magic Eraser to finish the cleaning. With my day ending, I have two projects that I’ll leave to work through the night.  I apply paraffin oil to the stem to further rejuvenate it.I also give the stummel internals a further cleaning and freshening with a kosher salt and alcohol soak.  I create a mortise ‘wick’ by pulling and twisting a cotton ball and then insert it down the mortise with the help of a stiff straight wire.  I then sit the Poker in its natural state on the table and fill the bowl with salt.  I then fill the bowl with isopropyl 95% until it surfaces over the salt.  After a few minutes the alcohol has been absorbed and I top the bowl with more alcohol and turn out the lights. The next morning, the soak had furthered the cleaning – there was minor discoloration in the salt and wick.  I tossed the salt in the waste and cleaned out the stummel with a paper towel and blowing through the mortise to be sure to remove all the expended salt.  To be on the safe side, I expend a few more pipe cleaners and cotton buds to clean up residue after the soak.  All was clean!  Moving on. Now back to the stem.  I now apply the full regimen of micromesh pads from 1500 to 12000 to the stem.  I first wet sand using pads 1500 to 2400, then dry sand using pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  After the wet sanding I move out to the satellite work desk on my 10th floor ‘Man Cave’ balcony where spring is trying to show itself.  A shot of me enjoying the change of weather and the view that I have of Sofia’s Vitosha Mountain nursing a bowl of Land BCA with my smooth Meer and teasing out more patina!

Next, I reunite stem and stummel and after mounting a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel, I adjust the speed to about 40% of full power and apply Blue Diamond compound to the entire Lindbergh Select Poker.  Following the compound, I wipe/buff using a felt cloth to clean the pipe of compound dust.  I then mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel dedicated to applying carnauba wax.  Leaving the Dremel and 40% power, I apply several coats of wax and finish by hand buffing with a microfiber cloth.

The Lindbergh Select 324 Poker fits and exceeds the expectations of this classic shape.  The grain is displayed over the large briar landscape and the broad heel is an added benefit.  The vertical flame grain terminates in the rim revealing distinctive bird’s eye grain – very nice.  The 3/4 bent saddle stem also adds to the overall balanced feel of the iconic Poker.  The Lindbergh Select’s specific manufacturer will remain a mystery, but the French origin seems secure.  Tina commissioned this pipe along with 4 others from the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection to give as gifts to special men in her life.  She will have the first opportunity to acquire the Lindbergh Select in The Pipe Steward Store.  This pipe benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!

Restoring an Alpha Hand Made Pipe from Israel


Blog by Steve Laug

It was time to turn back to a couple of pipes that Jeff and I purchased recently. We had picked up some pipes from a guy in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I pulled one of those pipes out of my “to be restored” bin and brought it to my worktable. This one is a large freehand with beautiful grain and a plateau rim top. It has some smooth beveled areas on the inner edge of the rim and a flush mount acrylic stem. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Alpha over Hand Made and there is an A logo stamped in the left side of the tapered, acrylic stem. We seem to pick up some really dirty pipes and this pipe was no exception. It was very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and a heavy layer of lava overflowing on to the rim top filling in the crevice of the plateau. It was hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looked like because of the lava and cake. From the photos it appeared that the inner edge was in good condition. Other than being dirty the finish also appeared to look very good. The gold variegated acrylic saddle stem was in excellent condition with some light tooth chatter on both sides at the button. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started working on it so I could see what he was dealing with. I am including those now. He took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava. The cake is thick and hard and the lava overflow is a thick band around the bowl. The bowl is a real mess. This must have been a great smoking pipe.The next photo shows the right side of the bowl and shank to give a clear picture of the beauty of the straight and flame grain around the bowl of the pipe. It is a beauty.Jeff took a photo of the stamping and logo on the stem to capture the clarity of it even under the grime. The acrylic stem looked very good and though the photos are a little out of focus the stem appeared to be in good condition. There looked like there were some light tooth marks and chatter on the stem was light that should not take too much work to remedy.Before I started my work on the pipe I wanted to refresh my memory of the Alpha brand I remembered that somewhere along the line it was sold to Grabow in the US. Since Alpha was the first good pipe I owned I was interested in revisiting the history a bit. I turned first to Pipephil’s site and the information was brief so I went to Pipedia hoping to find more. I looked up the brand there (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Alpha). I was reminded that the brand was made by the Shalom Pipe Factory. I quote in full:

Alpha was originally a brand of the Shalom Pipe Factory in Israel, owned by Bernard Hochstein, former CEO of Mastercraft. The Alpha line was made exclusively for export to the United States. They were made in Israel from the 1970s into the 1980s, at which point the name was sold to Mastercraft, and later to Lane, Ltd., who produced very few Lane Alpha pipes at the end of the 1990’s. Lane Alphas were sold in five finishes, each denoted with a Greek letter. After Lane, Mastercraft again marketed the Alpha, under the name Alpha USA, with finishes named Sierra, Delta, Mark V, Blue Ridge, Sabre, and Big Boy, some of which were not stamped with the Alpha name. Among others, the Israeli made Alpha pipes were available in a line marketed as “Citation”.

So I now had a date for the pipe – 1970s and into the 80s at which point the brand was sold to Mastercraft (not Grabow as I remembered). I also knew that it was made in Israel for the US market.

Armed with that information I turned to address the pipe itself. Jeff had already cleaned up the pipe before sending it to me. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean off the grime off the finish and the heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the pipe. When it arrived here in Vancouver it was a clean pipe and I knew what I had to work with. I took photos of it before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. Jeff was able to clean up the incredibly thick cake and lava overflow that was shown in the rim and bowl in the earlier photos. He was also able to get rid of the grime and grit in the surface of the briar. The rim top looked really good. The inner edge of the bowl was in good condition and there was a smooth bevel on the surface of the rim edge.I took a photo of the left side of the shank to show the stamping on the pipe. It read as noted above – Alpha Hand Made. You can also see the A stamp on the left side of the saddle stem. The second photo below shows the ISRAEL stamping at the stem/shank junction.The bowl was in excellent condition. I touched up the edges of the plateau briar with a black Sharpie pen. It blended those areas into the rest of the plateau finish. After it was finished I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. I worked it into the plateau surface with my finger tips and buffed it in with a horsehair shoe brush. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. After it sat for a little while I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem at this point in the  process. I sanded tooth chatter and the remaining oxidation on the stem with folded pieces of 220 to remove the marks and the light brown colouration on the stem surface. I sanded them with 400 grit sandpaper until the marks were gone and the oxidation was gone.I polished the Lucite stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. The stamped A on the left side of the stem was originally white in colour but the colour had been faded or wiped away. I used a white correction pen and pipe cleaner to work the white into the stamp. Once it had dried I scraped it off with my nail and buffed the area with an 8000 and 12000 grit micromesh sanding pad.I put the stem back on the pipe and the pipe to the buffer. I worked it over with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up really well and the beveled rim top looked good. I was happy with the look of the finished pipe. The photos below show what the pipe looks like after the restoration. The freehand shape reminds me of some of the American made freehand pipes that I have restored. It was a bit of a blast from the past for me to pick up and Alpha again and work on it – taking me back to one of my first pipes a little Alpha author. The polished variegated, gold Lucite stem looks really good with the browns of the briar and the darker plateau on the rim top. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This is another pipe that I will be putting it on the rebornpipes online store shortly, if you are interested in adding it to your collection. The thick shank and tall bowl look and feel great in the hand. This one should be a great smoker. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this beauty!

Rejuvenating a Norwegian Made Lillehammer 204 Horn


Blog by Steve Laug

It was time to turn back to a couple of pipes that Jeff and I purchased recently. We bought some pipes from a guy in Pennsylvania. The next pipe on my worktable comes from that collection. This one is a panel shape horn with a square shank and a saddle stem. The rim topped is crowned and the shape follows the grain of the block of briar very well. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Lillehammer arched over GL and on the right side it has the shape number 204 stamped just ahead of the stem/shank union. The stem has a GL stamped on the left side of the saddle. The pipe was very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and some lava overflowing on to the rim top. It was hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looked like because of the lava and cake. From the photos there seemed to be some damage to the inner edge at the back of the bowl but I could not be sure. Other than being dirty the finish appeared to be in good condition. The stem was lightly oxidized and had come calcification where a pipe Softee bit had been. There was some light tooth chatter and tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button. I have included two photos that the seller sent to me to give an idea of what Jeff and I saw when we were deciding to purchase the pipe. We had the pipe lot shipped to Jeff in the US so he could do the cleanup on them for me. He took photos of the pipe before he started working on it so I could see what he was dealing with. I am including those now. He took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava. The cake is thick and hard and the lava overflow is a thick band around the bowl. The bowl is a real mess. This must have been a great smoking pipe.The next photos show the side and bottom of the bowl to give a clear picture of the beauty of the birdseye, cross and flame grain around the bowl of the pipe. Under the grime there is some great grain peeking through.Jeff took photos of the stamping to capture the clarity of it even under the grime. The brand and the shape number are very readable. The stem looked dirty and oxidized with the calcification left behind by a pipe Softee bit. The bite marks and tooth chatter on the stem was light and should not take too much work to remedy. The oxidation was another issue that would need to be addressed.Before I started my work on the pipe I wanted to learn more about the Lillehammer brand so I turned to the first two sites that I always check to gather information on a brand. The first site I turned to this time was the Pipedia site (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Lillehammer). There I was able to learn the backstory and history of the brand. I quote in full from that article and include pictures of the two principals.

In the 1830’s a young Norwegian wood-carver named Gudbrand Larsen saw some pipes made from meershcaum. He though they were beautiful and wanted to make pipes like that, but he could not obtain the material. So he decided to go where it was to be found.

Gudbrand Larsen (1815-1902)

Larsen went to Eskisehir, Turkey, to learn all about meerschaum. But the most beautiful pipes in those days were not made there but in France, so he continued his journey to Marseielle, where he found work in one of the most famous factories at the time. In 1844 he returned to Norway and started a small factory for meerschaum pipes in the town of Lillehammer. The pipes garnered a good reputation from the first.

Gudbrand’s son, August, followed in his father’s footsteps and joined him in the business. However, father and son did not get along very well, so Junior–as August usually was called–did like his father once had, he traveled to learn more about pipe-making.

Martin August “Junior” Larsen (1855-1915)

Junior understood that briar, not meerschaum, was the material of the future, so during his journey he studied the subject carefully, first in England and then in France.

In Paris Junior earned a position with a pipemaker of good repute and became highly respected in his work. However, Gudbrand was getting old and considering retirement, so he asked his son to come home and take over the family business, an offer Junior willingly accepted. As a businessman Junior was even more successful than his father, and during his period of leadership the business prospered.

In 1902 Gudbrand Larsen died at almost 90 years of age. Then Junior passed away a dozen years later, in 1914. His death was followed by some unstable years for the factory because it lacked competent management. And World War I had just started on the continent, which made it difficult to obtain raw material.

In 1916 the factory was bought be a company that appointed new management, and a long, stable period of successful expansion had begun. That period was to last for almost half a century. The main part of the production was briar pipes, but they also continued to make some meerschaums.

Problems at the factory began again at the end of the 1960s, when sales slowed dramatically. The main reason was the “fancy pipes” had become very popular, and Larsen’s of Lillehammer had nothing to offer there. Something had to be done and two steps were taken. In the middle of the 1970s the Danish company Kriswill was bought, and in that way they obtained access to that company’s more modern shapes. A new designer was also employed, but these efforts were not sufficient, and in the 1979 the factory closed.

I turned to the my usual second information site – Pipephil’s (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-l4.html) and most of the information was confirmed. There was one startling difference that I have highlighted above in the Pipedia information and below in the Pipephil information with bold, italic and underlined text with the main point in red text.

While Lillehammer’s sales went from bad to worse in the 1960’s, Kriswill purchased the brand and used to manage the Norwegian plant a short period.

Now there was a mystery that needed checking. On the Pipedia site it said that in the mid 70’s the Lillehammer Company bought out Kriswill to access the modern shapes. Pipephil reverses that and says that the purchase went the other way around – Kriswill bought out Lillehammer and managed the shop for a short period which putting the two articles together was from the mid 1970s until the plant closed in 1979.

I did some searching on the web to see if I could clarify the above anomaly. The first link I found was to the Pipe Club of Sweden site. There was a great article on the pipe maker Bård Hansen who followed the tradition of the Lillehammer Factory and was trained by a retired engineer from the Lillehammer Factory thus tying him to the brand. In that article there is confirmation for the Pipedia information above (http://www.svenskapipklubben.se/en/pipemakers/bard-hansen/). I quote in part the article there by Jan Andersson. (Once again I have highlighted the pertinent information in the text below using bold, italic and underlined text and marking the main point highlighted in red.

In a Swedish tobacco shop, even in small places in the province, there were usually a fair number of pipes in the 50s and 60s with stems from aluminum. But even for the more traditional pipesmoker, who wanted a pipe from wood and ebonite, there was a lot to choose from. Ratos was the dominant brand, but for those who were willing to spend a little extra, there were usually at least a few more exclusive pipes – pipes in green or blue-checked boxes. Those pipes came from Norway, from G.L. Larsens pipe factory in Lillehammer.

Photo is from the Pipephil Website.

Lillehammer pipes were found in two qualities, Bastia was a little cheaper and Lillehammer GL was for the truly discerning pipesmoker. Later I have learned that there were also more expensive and finer qualities, even one called Best Make, but those luxury pipes were never found in the shops in the small town where I lived. Lillehammer pipes were easily recognizable, they usually were rather slim and with a long stem, which was the fashion at the time. So while a true English gentleman smoked a Dunhill with the white dot on the stem, Norwegian or Swedish pipesmokers preferred an elegant Lillehammer.

We will not go into detail about the interesting story of Lillehammer, but unfortunately we can see that from the beginning of the 70s, it rapidly went downhill for the factory. They bought the Danish company Kriswill but that was not a success, nor was the new series of shapes created by the pipemaker Thorbjørn Rygh. So G.L. Larsen’s pipe factory in Lillehammer had to close, deeply missed by many of us. This feeling persists to this day, which is particularly evident in the great interest in the Lillehammer pipes at auctions and collector’s markets.

The article goes on to make the tie with Bard Hansen. I quote in part to show the ongoing life of a brand and its machinery and to help establish a date for the pipe that I am working on.

Until last spring, I thought that Norwegian manufacture of smoking pipes was just a memory, but fortunately I was wrong. In Bergen there is a man called Bård Hansen, who carries the tradition on.

It all began six years ago when Bård met Hans Tandberg, a retired engineer who had been working as a pipemaker in Larsen’s pipe factory. He had built a workshop with machines from his old workplace and as he had no heirs, he wanted to sell it all to someone who could carry on the traditions. Bård was interested to learn, so he bought the machines and a large stock of briar from the old Lillehammer factory and, not least, he was trained in the art of making pipes by Hans Tandberg.

Bård keeps the old traditions from the Lillehammer factory alive. He prefers the classical, clean lines and two things are important to him: balance and rhythm.

Mainly Bård makes small and medium-sized pipes. The pipes are stamped Tabago. The stems are from ebonite, except on some pipes, where the shaft is from briar.  Those who wish can get their name or any other engraving on a silver ring.

Gathering the data together from my research I have learned that the pipe I have on my worktable is from the period between the mid 70’s to the closing of the factory in 1979. I am also quite certain that came from the time when Kriswill was purchased with the hope of breathing new life into the old Lillehammer Factory. The purchase was made with the thought that through their innovative and modern shapes the Kriswill company would offer new markets for the Lillehammer brand. The GL stamping on this one makes it one of the higher end pipes from the factory.

Armed with that information I turned to address the pipe itself. Jeff cleaned up the pipe for me. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean off the grime off the finish and the heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the pipe. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and was able to remove much of the oxidation. When it arrived here in Vancouver it was a clean pipe and I knew what I had to work with. I took photos of it before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. Jeff was able to clean up the incredibly thick cake and lava overflow that was shown in the rim and bowl photos above. He was also able to get rid of the grime and grit in the surface of the briar. There was some general rim darkening and a burned and damaged area on the backside of the bowl that made the bowl out of round. The inner edge of the bowl was rough to the touch and a bit jagged because of the burn. The rest of the rim top and edges looked very good. The variation in the size of the shank and stem are also visible in the photos below. You can see the step down transition. However what you cannot see in the photos is the “lip” at that transition on the briar portion. The stem was much cleaner and there was light tooth chatter on both sides near the button.I took a photo of the left side of the shank to show the stamping on the pipe. It read as noted above – Lillehammer GL. You can also see that a portion of the white paint in the GL stamp on the left side of the saddle stem is missing.I decided to address the bowl first. I worked on both the rim damage and on the flow of the shank to the stem. There was a lip on the briar at the shank/stem transition that needed to be dealt with to make it smooth to touch. I worked on the inner edge of the rim first using a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper smooth out the damage, bevel the inner edge and bring the bowl back as close as possible to round.I then turned to the shank to smooth out the transition to the stem. I sanded the shank with 220 grit sandpaper to match the stem. I carefully avoided sanding the stamping so as not to damage it but to still minimize the lip on the briar at the joint. I  sanded the top and underside with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth that out as well. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I used a Maple and a Cherry Stain pen to blend the sanded areas with the rest of the bowl and shank. The combination of the two stain pens were a good match. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. It also helps to blend the newly stained areas in to the surrounding briar. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it in with my fingers to get it into the briar. After it sat for a little while I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem at this point in the  process. I sanded tooth chatter and the remaining oxidation on the stem with folded pieces of 220 to remove the marks and the light brown colouration on the stem surface. I sanded them with 400 grit sandpaper until the marks were gone and the oxidation was gone.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the vulcanite even after the micromesh regimen. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the pipe and the pipe to the buffer. I worked it over with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up really well and even the newly beveled rim top looked good. I was happy with the results of the reworking of the rim. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The unique horn shape definitely reminds me of the Kriswill pipes that I have restored though none of them were paneled horns. It is my first Lillehammer pipe and I have to say it is quite stunning. The polished black vulcanite stem looks really good with the browns of the briar. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This is another pipe that I will be putting it on the rebornpipes online store shortly, if you are interested in adding it to your collection. The “detective” work on the brand was an added bonus for me as I worked on this beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this beauty!