Tag Archives: polishing a meerschaum

Taking a Breather and Restoring this Geometric Pattern Meerschaum Dublin

Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is an interesting meerschaum Dublin with geometric designs around the bowl sides and shank. The rim top was smooth. There was no marking on the pipe or on the case to help identify the maker. It is a nicely made pipe by an anonymous carver. The stem is a modified/customized saddle style acrylic in yellow/gold. It is a nice complement to the white of the meerschaum. The finish was surprisingly clean though the top of the rim had some dark spots and lava on it. There was a  thin cake in the bowl that was not too much to deal with. The stem is also quite clean and there was light chatter and marks on both sides near the button. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work. The first two photos show the pipe in the case and the case without the pipe. It is quite clean and in good condition. Jeff removed it from the case and took photos of the pipe. It is a really nicely made pipe.He took a close up photo of the bowl to show the marks and the lava on the rim top. There was some darkening on the front and back of the top side. The stem photos show the tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button.Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the pattern that had been carved around the bowl and shank. Jeff also took photos of the push style tenon. It came out of the stem when turned but remained in the shank. You can also see what appear two numbers 77 on the end of the shank and the stem. My assumption is that the numbers match the parts when the pipe was made. Jeff had cleaned the pipe thoroughly. He had reamed it carefully with a PipNet reamer and cleaned that up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He worked slowly so as not to damage the inner edge of the bowl. He had scrubbed the exterior of the meerschaum with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a soft tooth brush. He cleaned out the interior of the shank and airway with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He cleaned out the acrylic stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to remove the debris and oils in the airway and the threads of the push tenon. Once it was clean he turned the tenon into the stem. I took photos of the pipe when it arrived here. The first two photos show the condition of the black case. It was in excellent condition. The third photo shows the pipe in the opened case. It was a great looking pipe. I took the pipe out of the case and took photos of the cleaned pipe. The bowl has the look of a tall Dublin. The exterior of the bowl looked very good as did the stem. There was still some dark spots on the rim top on the front left side. I took some close up photos of the rim top and stem. You can see the marks on the rim top that I noted above. The tooth chatter on both sides of the stem were quite light.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the parts of the pipe. It is well proportioned and looked really good.I decided to start my work on the pipe by polishing the bowl with micromesh sanding pads. I worked over the rim top with the pads at the same time. I used micromesh pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. I was able to remove the dark spots and give the bowl a shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. Since the tooth chatter was quite shallow I polished the newly shaped acrylic stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I know Obsidian Oil does nothing for acrylic but I have found that it removes the small particles left behind by the polishing. I finished polishing the surface with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave it a final coat of obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. It is a beautiful looking golden, yellow acrylic stem. This Carved Meerschaum Dublin with Geometric Patterns turned out to be another fun pipe to work on and I was excited to see it come back together. It was a clean pipe that did not take Jeff too much work to ream and clean. My work was also simpler than expected. I chose not to rewax it because of the shine that still showed on the bowl. I put the stem back on the bowl and lightly 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. The rich polished meerschaum on the bowl looks really good with the polished yellow/golden acrylic stem. The bowl and stem came together looking quite spectacular. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. The weight of the pipe is 36 grams/1.27 ounces. This is truly a great looking Meerschaum. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store in the Ceramic and Meerschaum Pipe Section. If you are interested in the pipe send me an email or a message. Thanks for your time.

All for One and One for All – Giving New Life to a d’Artagnan Meerschaum Figural

Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from a fellow in Columbus, Michigan, USA. The pipe is an interesting carved figural meerschaum with a dashing figure that reminds me of one of the Three Musketeers. The pipe is well shaped and has a great figural head carved in the bowl. The pipe does not have any stamping or identification on the shank or shank end. It is a bit of a Turkish mystery pipe. There was a grime and dust in the feather, the hair and the features of the figure. The bowl and the rim top and edges we virtually unused and looked very good. There is some nice patina developing around the bowl and shank. There is a crack on the left side of the shank and it shows up on the shank end. The taper yellow acrylic stem was dirty and had scratches on the top and underside from the shank to the button. The pipe showed a lot of promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work.  Jeff took some closer photos of the features of the carving around the bowl face and sides. It is dirty and worn looking but the features are very well done. The carving of the facial expression and the hairs of the beard, mustache, eye brows and hair around the face is well done. He took a photo of the underside of the bowl and shank is smooth. There are a few nicks and scratches around the edges of the bottom but it still looks very good.He took some photos of the stem to show the overall condition. It was very clean and the light scratches would easily polish out when I worked on it.Jeff took the stem off the shank and it appears to be a threaded tenon. I have seen this before and I am pretty certain that it is a push tenon that has come out of the stem. I would know more once I saw it in person. My guess is that the other side of the tenon sticking out of the shank is threaded. It is a threaded fitment that is threaded and screwed into the shank. The part that is showing is threaded as well and screws into the stem. I decided to have a look on the web and see what I could find out on the Three Musketeers. I found an article on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Musketeers). I quote a portion of the article below to give a bit of context for the pipe.

The Three Musketeers (French: Les Trois Mousquetaires [le tʁwɑ muskətɛːʁ]) is a historical adventure novel written in 1844 by French author Alexandre Dumas. It is in the swashbuckler genre, which has heroic, chivalrous swordsmen who fight for justice.

Set between 1625 and 1628, it recounts the adventures of a young man named d’Artagnan (a character based on Charles de Batz-Castelmore d’Artagnan) after he leaves home to travel to Paris, hoping to join the Musketeers of the Guard. Although d’Artagnan is not able to join this elite corps immediately, he is befriended by three of the most formidable musketeers of the age – Athos, Porthos and Aramis, “the three inseparables” – and becomes involved in affairs of state and at court.

The Three Musketeers is primarily a historical and adventure novel. However, Dumas frequently portrays various injustices, abuses, and absurdities of the Ancien Régime, giving the novel an additional political significance at the time of its publication, a time when the debate in France between republicans and monarchists was still fierce. The story was first serialised from March to July 1844, during the July Monarchy, four years before the French Revolution of 1848 violently established the Second Republic.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He scrubbed out the interior of the bowl and the exterior of the pipe with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the stem Soft Scrub All Purpose Cleaner and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration work.    I took a photo of the bowl and rim top as well as both sides of the stem. They were clean and would polish up very well.    The first photo below shows the crack in the shank side. It is a tight hairline crack that I need to address so it will be a pretty easy fix. I unscrewed the stem from the shank to deal with the crack in the shank side.     I went through my brass bands and found the one that would fit the shank and bind the crack in the shank and shank end together more permanently.  The second, third and fourth photos below show the crack clearly. I pressed the band onto the shank end by pressing it against the mat on my desktop. I took photos of the pipe after I had banded it.  I took a photo of the shank end to show the band and the threads in the inside of the shank. It was pretty clear that my assessment of the stem/tenon situation was correct. I turned the stem onto the shank to get the fitting in the shank. I twisted the stem out of the shank. Sure enough it was a push tenon with a threaded fitment that fit in the shank end.  I put a bead of glue on the fitting and let it set. I put the stem back on the shank and took pictures of the pipe with the band the stem. It looks quite good. I polished the meerschaum bowl with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down after each pad with a damp cotton pad.  I polished the acrylic stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust between each pad. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after the stem was polished.  I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the carved d’Artagnan Meerschaum with some Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel carefully working to avoid letting it build up in the grooves of the carving. The meerschaum polished up well and the patina came to the surface. The golden, buttery coloured acrylic stem polished well and took on a rich glow. The small brass band worked well to repair the cracked shank and also gives a touch of class to the pipe. The unsmoked bowl looks very good and the pipe is ready to load with your favourite tobacco and break it in for yourself. The Figural Meerschaum looks very good. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches wide x 2 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 5/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 90grams/3.25oz. If you would like to add this pipe to your collection send me an email or a message and I will put it aside for you. Thanks for walking through this restoration with me it was a  pleasure to work on.

Refurbishing an Intricately Carved Old Meerschaum Eagle Claw Holding an Egg

Blog by Paresh

The next pipe on my work table is an old intricately carved meerschaum Eagle claw holding an egg in its talons. The stummel has an intricately carved shape of an eagle claw complete with perfectly carved scales and claw knuckles. The shank extension is a beautiful colored amber hexagonal block with copper end adornments. The delicate thin horn stem has a threaded bone tenon with orifice slot. There is no stamping whatsoever anywhere on this pipe. The lack of stamping makes it impossible to establish the origins of this pipe. However, the intricate carvings and eye for details on this pipe makes me believe this pipe to be Vienna made. Here is the pipe as it sits on my work table. Initial Visual Inspection
The pipe comes apart in three sections. The first is the meerschaum stummel carved to resemble an eagle’s claw that holds an egg; the second is a block of beautifully colored amber with six chiseled sides. The shank end and the stem end of this hexagonal amber block are adorned with decorated copper end adornments. The airway through the amber shank extension appears to be made of bone which extends out and seats into the mortise. Lastly is the delicate thin bent horn stem with matching threaded tenon end face and the orifice slot end face and appears akin to the triangular head of a grasshopper.There is a light build up of cake in the chamber that has dried and is crumbly due to prolonged storage. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber can be ascertained only after the cake has been removed completely. No apparent cracks or damage to the stummel surface is seen from the outside. The rim top has darkened due to overflow of lava and burn marks. There are a large number of dings and chips to the rim top which are visible through the lava overflow. The right side of the outer edge of the rim is severely damaged (enclosed in red), the result of striking the edge against a hard surface to remove dottle, presenting lop sided appearance to the rim on to the right. The inner edge of the rim on the left side appears thin in 8 o’clock direction (enclosed in blue) and combined with the damaged left outer edge gives the appearance of out of round chamber. The inner rim edge is dented and chipped in few places. Topping the rim surface and creating bevels should address these issues satisfactorily. The stummel is exquisitely carved with intricate details of the scales and knuckles replicated real like!! The four talons are all intact and perfectly shaped. The stummel had developed a nice patina from years of usage. Every nook and cranny of the carvings is filled with dirt and dust from years of uncared for storage giving a very dull and dirty appearance to the stummel. The short shank is a flared round and flumed and there are a few scratches on the surface. The mortise is lined with cork and is intact all around. The mortise has strong odors akin to some sort of soap smell (?), a smell that I have not come across as yet. Cleaning of the stummel to dislodge all the grime and dust from the carving will have to be a deliberate effort. Preserving the old cork lining at the shank end while cleaning the shank and mortise will be a challenge as the cork is susceptible to easy crumbling.   The hexagonal large block of Amber shank extension has developed a crack towards the tenon end (indicated with yellow arrow). This crack is deep but thankfully has not progressed all the way down to the airway. The amber is also chipped (indicated with green arrow) in one place just above the crack. The decorative copper end pieces are decoratively cast and serve the dual purpose of protecting the amber end face while adding a very classic bling to the appearance of the pipe. The copper adornments and the block amber piece are joined by a hollow bone that extends out as tenon. The amber is loose with gap in between the copper adornments and would need to be fixed. The threaded stem end copper adornment is full of old oils and tar accumulations. The tenon end of the copper adornment appears to have had some sort of packing/ separator between the metal and meerschaum shank end that has now worn out and disintegrated.  The horn stem is very delicate and thin that is full bent. The profile of the stem lends the entire pipe a tapered profile that is both delicate and attractive. The peculiarity of this stem is that the tenon end and the slot are identical in shape and size. The bite zone on either surface of the stem has been chewed up and with the horn fibers exposed. The thin delicate buttons on upper and lower stem surface have deep tooth indentations. The tenon end of the stem is heavily scratched. The threaded bone tenon is covered in oils and tars. One of the challenges in this project would be to match the tenon end and orifice slot end profile.The Process
I started this project by reaming the chamber with my smaller fabricated knife and scraped out all the carbon from chamber. I used a 220 grit sand paper, pinched between my thumb and forefinger, to sand the inner walls of the chamber of the pipe. Once I had reached the bare walls, I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad dipped in isopropyl alcohol. This removed all the residual carbon dust and also rid the chamber of all ghost smells. The walls of the chamber are nice and solid with no signs of cracks. Using a sharp knife, I gently scraped out the overflow of lava from the rim top. The dents and chips on the rim surface are now clearly visible and so is the extent of damage to the outer edge of the rim. The inner rim edge too shows a few chipped spots along the edge. I followed up the reaming of the chamber with cleaning of the mortise and air way of the pipe using hard bristled and regular pipe cleaners, q-tips dipped in alcohol. The mortise and the draught hole were given a final clean with shank brushes dipped in alcohol. The shank internals and the draught hole are now nice and clean with an open and full draw. This was easier said than done. The pipe cleaners would not pass through the draught hole for the love of money!! A great deal of poking and prodding with a straightened paper clip got me there.Next I cleaned the internals of the stem and shank extension with pipe cleaners and alcohol. I followed up the internal cleaning of the stummel, shank extension and the stem with external cleaning. I cleaned the external surface of all the three parts with Murphy’s Oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush/ shank brush. The stummel surface cleaned up nicely. The scratches and dents and dings over the stummel and shank extension surface are now clearly visible. The crack in the block amber in the shank extension is wider and deeper than I had anticipated since the dirt and grime which was embedded in the crack has now been cleaned. The external cleaning was followed by carefully removing old and now moistened wax and gunk that remained embedded in the many nooks and crannies of the intricate carvings over the stummel surface using sharp dental tools. The stummel is now truly cleaned and prepared for the next step in restoration.   I scraped off the old remnants of the packing from the tenon end of the shank extension. This would provide a fresh and clean surface for a new packing between the shank extension and the shank end to protect and provide an airtight seal between the shank end cork lining and the copper adornment at the shank extension end. I intend to use a leather gasket (if I can find one!) to seal the joint between the shank extension and the shank end. It was at this stage that while cleaning the tenon of the shank extension that realization dawned on me that the tenon is not bone as I had appreciated but WOOD!! The wood tenon even has part of the old bark covering the tenon (encircled in green). I decided to let the piece of bark remain on the tenon to preserve the originality of the pipe. Next, I decided to address the crack, chipped surface in the amber and also the gaps between the amber block and copper adornments. I filled the crack, chipped portion and the gaps with clear superglue and set the amber shank extension aside for the glue to cure.  With the amber shank extension set aside to cure, I addressed the bit marks on the horn stem. I start by sanding the bite zone with a piece of 180 grit sand paper. I filled the bite marks on both lower and upper surfaces of the horn stem with clear superglue. Once the glue had set, I layered superglue over the button in the bite zone as well as over the tenon end and set the stem aside for the glue to completely cure. Once the glue at the either ends of the stem has cured, I shall sand the fill to match the button in the bite zone and at the tenon end.   Now that the amber shank extension and horn stem had been set aside for the superglue fill to cure, I turned my attention to address the stummel issues. To address the darkened and out-of-round rim as well as the dings to the rim edges,, I first top the rim surface on a folded piece of 180 grit sand paper. Once the darkened areas were addressed, with a folded piece of worn out 180 grit sandpaper pinched between my forefinger and thumb, I create a slight bevel over the inner and outer rim edges till all the dings were removed and the out of round issue was reduced to a large extent.   I set the stummel aside and checked the stem fills. The glue had hardened completely. With a flat head needle file, I sand the fills on upper and lower surface and reconstruct the button edges at either ends of the horn stem. With a folded piece of 320 grit sandpaper, I sand the entire stem surface, including the button edges, to blend and smooth out the repaired surfaces. I rubbed a generous amount of EVO in to the stem to rehydrate it and set the stem aside for the oil to be absorbed.    All the while that I was working on the stummel and the stem, the repairs to the amber shank extension were curing nicely. Once the glue had completely hardened, with a flat needle file, I sand off the excess fill to achieve a rough match with the surrounding amber surface. I further blend in the repairs by sanding the entire amber block with a folded piece of 320 grit sandpaper. Now moving on to the most tedious and time consuming process of polishing the three parts of the pipe with micromesh pads. I wet sand the entire stem and the block amber shank extension with 1500 to 12000 grit micromesh pads. I wiped these parts with a moist cloth to note the progress being made. Once I was done polishing with all the pads, I rubbed a small quantity of EVO in to the stem to rehydrate it. I am happy with the progress being made thus far.    I polished the top of the bowl and rim edges with micromesh pads to remove the dark surface that still remained on the surface. I wet sand the entire stummel with 1500-12000 grit pads. I diligently worked around the intricately carved scales and knuckles of the claw to polish these carvings. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth to remove the dust that was left behind by the sanding. I wanted to minimize the scratching but not necessarily remove them. These lacerations and dings must have had a history and I wanted to preserve it.   I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to the meerschaum stummel. I rubbed this balm deep in to the nooks and crannies of the carvings with my fingers and let it rest for a few minutes. Though I use the balm on briars, I have seen Steve use it on meerschaums as well and it really helps to bring out the patina that has developed on the meerschaum!! I am very pleased with the way the meer bowl appears at this stage.   Next, I polish the copper adornments at either ends of the block amber shank extension with a multi-purpose polishing liquid. I wiped it clean with a soft cotton cloth and gave a final polish with a jeweler’s cloth. Wow!! These copper adornments are now looking fantabulous and add a very chic and classy look to the appearance of the pipe.The only aspect, and functional aspect at that, to remain unaddressed was the gasket at the tenon end of the shank extension. I had thought of using a soft leather gasket as it is easy to shape and would provide an air tight seal. However, I could not lay my hands on one and neither could fabricate one. I discussed this with Abha, my wife, about the non availability of leather gasket. Always the problem solver, she promptly suggested using cork!! This solution was both practical and most likely original to the pipe. I selected a piece of cork that comes from wine bottle/ whiskey cap. With a sharp paper cutter, I carefully cut a couple of very thin round rings. I cut a hole of the size of tenon in the middle and stuck it to the end of the tenon end face of the copper adornment with superglue. I tried the seating of the tenon in to the mortise. It was snug and a perfect fit.   To complete the restoration of this pipe, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and applied White Diamond compound to each of the three pipe parts. I wiped/ buffed the pipe with a soft cotton cloth to clear it of any leftover compound dust.   I then mounted another cotton cloth wheel on to the polishing machine and applied several coats of carnauba wax over the stummel, amber shank extension and the stem. I finished the restoration by giving the pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. Admiring the pipe, it made me wonder, did he really have a spirit which kept him ticking after having suffered the kind of abuse which was evident from all the lacerations, dents and dings and chips. But he has survived his past nonetheless and will continue on his warpath with me…Cheers!! P.S. I wish to thank all the esteemed readers for being a part of my journey as I walked through this project.

Praying for you and your loved ones in these troubled pandemic spread. Stay Home and Stay Safe!!

A Face Lift for a Battered Old Meerschaum Bulldog – Robert M. Boughton

Guest Blog by Robert M. Boughton
Member, North American Society of Pipe Collectors
Photos © the Author

“Age should not have its face lifted, but it should rather teach the world to admire wrinkles as the etchings of experience and the firm line of character.”
— U.S. author Clarence Day, 1874-1937

I agree that facelifts in most cases are attempts, nothing more than vain at best and narcissistic at worst, by those with money to burn to avoid the inevitable, and often enough have undesired effects the recipients deserve. However, in the case of a very battered and generally abused meerschaum pipe, as with some people who have suffered at the hands of others, at least a bit of a makeover is in order. This holds true with a bulldog, the animal breed of which many coarse or misguided folks think lacks beauty in the first place.

The unknown brand I will discuss, clearly a fine Turkish block example, is one of those exceptions. For reasons which will be obvious it resembled a dog that had been in a fight. I received it as part of a lot of eight from eBay that I purchased in large part because I saw the poor bulldog alone among all of the briars, and upon closer scrutiny with the magnifier observed it was filthy and somewhat oddly colored and had horrible scratches all over its once smooth, white, pristine body. Some unknown carver trying to eke out a living as his father and generations before him had done likely made it without even a signature of any sort, as is unfortunately all too common among Turkish crafters due to the central nature of humility in Islamic beliefs.

This unfortunate meerschaum was in about as bad shape as I had ever seen any pipe I still wanted to buy. I thought, if not I, then who? There were others of more merit in the lot, but that one cried out to me. Then again, I do have a sizable collection of meerschaums and knew I would be more than happy to keep that one if things didn’t work out restoration-wise. A former roommate told me many years ago that I am attracted to strays, and although he said it with sarcasm I told him he was right. I see nothing wrong with that trait. By the way, I also tend to root for the underdog – although not as often in organized sports– such as the bull versus the matador. Nothing pleases me more than seeing a jerk in a pompous outfit, with all kinds of helpers, gang up on a bull and find himself gored and bleeding out. But that’s just a dark part of me.


I have had fair success restoring meerschaums, including the following befores and afters: Robert1 Robert2 Robert3 Robert4And so I figured I would give this poor ol’ dog a shot:Robert5 Robert6 Robert7 Robert8 Robert9 Robert10 Robert11Despite the deplorable condition of the bowl and rim, I knew from the past that they would be the easy part of this job, so I tackled them first. I reamed the bowl and then used #800 micromesh to smooth it out. Surprisingly, with a light touch and a piece of 400-grit paper, I took the blackness right off of the rim and didn’t hurt the coloring at all. There were a few dings that rubbed out easily with #1000 micromesh.

The hard part, I knew and remember already indicating, but it bears repeating, was to remove as many of the scratches and other blemishes as I could with a minimum of damage to the nice if oddly distributed color on the outside of the bowl and shank. The spread of yellow and orange, not to mention the lack of any shine to the meerschaum, suggested over-hot smoking of this delicate if strongly shaped and named pipe. That conclusion would seem to be a no-brainer given horrendous caking within the bowl and cooking of the rim. And somehow I doubt the maker never treated it with beeswax or something else, yet it was as flat as could be.

My experience with washing the outside of a pipe with distilled water in general is that it seems to give a brighter light on the job at hand by removing all of the filth that has built up over time smoking any pipe. I could see this one was going to be worse than most, but nothing prepared me for the indefensible groping with dirty hands by whatever anti-aficionado of pipe smoking who had abused the bulldog with apparent joyful perversity. Why, I even had to scrub the muck out of the trademark groove beneath the rim! The result was not one or two, but three small pieces of cotton cloth spent and blackened with the physical dirtiness of some variety of pipe lecher.

Therefore, with the highest care, I applied stronger use of the #1000 micromesh to the seemingly endless scratches and other stray marks, like signs of skin cancer, that were everywhere. When I had stopped and resumed again time after time, finding more and more marks upon this wonderful pipe, I was at last as satisfied with the results as I knew I would ever be.

Then I used more stem cleaners and pipe freshener than I had ever expended on a single pipe, let me just say that, to sanitize the stem, shank and bowl, and by the end of it I have to admit only the stem came out perfectly clean. But I knew it was sanitized and ready to smoke one good bowl of tobacco, so I chose my own blend of burleys, Oriental, perique, a touch of Cavendishes and a bit of Virginias including red cake that I call Sneaky Rabbit (and which will soon be a house blend at my favorite tobacconist) to smoke the pipe once.
True enough, I wanted to know how this unusual bulldog smoked, but my main reason for lighting up a pipe I intend to sell and therefore knew I would have to give another quick clean was to heat the meerschaum enough to melt beeswax from a bar evenly over the outer area. I swear to it! I had researched online different processes for accomplishing this necessary completion for previous restorations, and the method I described had worked before so I knew it would again.

And so, once the smoking enjoyment had reached a high enough degree, I began applying the beeswax as described, and it worked just as well as I was certain it would. I took my last puffs of the pipe and cleared out the ash with care quickly before rubbing the beeswax vigorously into the meerschaum with a big soft cotton cloth.

The stem, despite the awful damage inflicted on the meerschaum, to my great surprise was in okay shape and only need some sanding and micro-meshing to prep it for a spin on the wax wheels.

Here are the final results:Robert12 Robert13 Robert14 Robert15 Robert16 Robert17 Robert18CONCLUSION
This was a work of love, and I know the results are a little rough around the edges. But I was determined throughout the process to assure that no more damage than had already been perpetrated against this pipe be made. It is already up for sale, but if nobody ever buys it, I know it is safe in my possession.