Tag Archives: polishing stems

A Brigham One Dot Dublin with a Back Story


Blog by Steve Laug

This old Brigham was the next pipe I brought to my work table. I got a message from Greg on Facebook saying he had been reading one of my posts about a box of estate pipes I had received and he was interested in adding this one to his rack. The pipe was a Brigham One Dot Dublin with a slight bend in the stem. It was an older one made before the manufacture of the pipes was moved to Italy. It has the standard aluminum tenon and filter mechanism of the Canadian made pipes. The finish is rusticated with the classic Brigham rustication on the bowl, rim top and shank. It has one smooth patch on the underside of the shank that is stamped Brigham in script over Canada. There is no shape number or other stamping on the shank.

The pipe came to me in a box of pipes that I inherited from a friend in Ontario. He was an old Anglican priest and we had shared a lot about pipes and mutual calling over the 15 years that I knew him. I repaired, restored and sold many pipes for him and have a few of his previous pipes in my current collection. He was a great guy and he is alive in my memory each time I smoke one of his pipes. When the box came I found that there were 70+ pipes in the box and his daughter included a note that said her dad wanted me to restore them pass some of them on to others. This is the first from that lot that I have restored.The finish was very worn and the outer edges of the rim showed wear and damage. The inner edge worn as well but the bowl was still in round. The rim had a thick buildup of tars and oils that filled in the grooves and ridges of the rim top. The rim had some darkening of the finish as well. The stem was oxidized and had a sticky residue left behind by a price sticker. There were no tooth marks on the stem surface on either side next to the button.The stamping on the underside of the shank was clear but slightly worn. It reads Brigham in script at an angle from left to right and block letters, CANADA underneath. Charles Lemon of Dadspipes has written a helpful blog about dating Brigham Pipes by the style of the stamping on the shank. I turned to that blog to look up information on this particular pipe and see if I could identify the time period. Here is the link; https://dadspipes.com/2016/10/03/brigham-pipes-a-closer-look-at-dots-dates-and-markings//. According to that info this pipe comes from the late Canadian Era 1980-2000. The second close up photo below shows the rim and the cake in the bowl. The end of the Brigham system can be seen poking out of the airway in the photo as well.The next photo shows the tenon and system tube. It was incredibly dirty with a lot of tar and oil on the inside. The pipe had been smoked a long time without the filter in place and there was a lot of buildup in the tube and stem. The shank was also very dirty.The next two photos show the condition of the stem. The oxidation pattern and the sticky label gum on the surface are very visible on the stem. The stem is also clear of tooth marks or chatter on the surface near the button.I reamed back the cake with a PipNet reamer and a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. I used a brass bristle brush to knock off the tarry buildup on the rim top and clean out the crevices and grooves in the rustication.I decided to clean out the interior of the mortise, shank and airway in the shank and stem before going any further with the exterior. I used alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs to scrub out those areas and scrubbed until the pipe was clean. I wiped down the surface of the stem to remove the sticky gum left behind by a label on the top side of the stem.I scrubbed the surface of the briar with Murphy’s Oil Soap, toothbrush and a brass bristle brush to clean out the grooves and cleaning off the dirt, oil and debris on the briar. The bowl and the rim looked significantly better once I had rinsed it off with running water. It was dry and the stain was lightened but it was clean. I decided to work on the stem first so while I did I stuffed the bowl with cotton balls and used an ear syringe to fill the bowl with alcohol. I folded a pipe cleaner and plugged the airway so that the alcohol could draw out the oils in the briar. The second photo shows the cotton after it had been sitting for four hours. When I took the cotton balls out at the 6 hour mark they were exactly as they looked at the 4 hour mark. I was a bit surprised that they were not darker. But then again my old friend smoked primarily Virginias – in fact I don’t think he ever smoked aromatics in the time I knew him.I took out a new maple wood Brigham filter for the system and took a photo of the pipe at this point in the process. I still need to stain the bowl but it was looking better and it smelled and looked clean.I stained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain and flamed it to set it in the grain. The characteristic blue flame that burns the alcohol out of the stain setting it deep in the grain is a beautiful site to my eyes. I repeated the process several times until the coverage was correct.I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on cotton pads to make a bit more transparent. I wanted the contrast that had originally been on these old Brighams to show through. There was enough dark stain in the deep grooves of the finish to contrast nicely with the new stain coats I gave the pipe. I rubbed the stem down with Brebbia Pipe and Mouthpiece Polish and some Before & After Pipe Stem Polish to remove the oxidation in the vulcanite. It lifted a lot of the oxidation and what was left behind was minor.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad and gave it a final coat of oil after the 12000 grit pad. I set the stem aside to dry. When I finished there still appeared to be a little oxidation at the tenon end of the stem. I was not sure if it was the light from the flash or reality so I took it to the buffer and buffed that area with red Tripoli and repeated the last three micromesh pad grits. I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond to further polish it. I buffed the stem with carnauba wax and gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and with a microfibre cloth to deepen it. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful pipe and even better in person. Thanks for looking.

 

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Parker Super Briarbark Cherrywood 809


Blog by Steve Laug

The grain on this Parker is absolutely stunning. The sandblast follows the cross grain around the bowl with a deep, craggy blast. The shape is a classic poker or Cherrywood. It is stamped on underside of the shank with the brand name Parker over Super in a Diamond over Briarbark over Made in London England. Next to the shank/stem union it’s stamped with the shape no. 809 and a circled 4 designating the bowl size. There is a Diamond P on top of the stem. The finish is in decent shape with a medium to dark brown stain. When I received the pipe it had a thick cake in the bowl and the lava had overflowed onto the rim filling in the grooves of the sandblast. It is hard to tell if there was rim damage as it is so caked and encrusted on the rim. The stem had calcification from a softee bit on the first inch from the button forward. There were deep tooth marks on top & bottom side of the stem near the button. The following four pictures show the general condition of the pipe when I brought it to my work table. The next photo shows the rim top and the thickness of the cake. The cake was very hard and it would take some serious work to remove it from the bowl. It also looked to me like there was rim edge and bowl damage on the front left side. Once I had reamed it I would know for sure. (Just a side note – this is where I really appreciate my brother’s clean up work. I really like working on pre-cleaned pipes.)The cake was very hard. I have found that on some of these older pipes the tobacco must have been significantly different as the cake is like concrete whereas on the newer tobaccos it is never this hard. Could it be just the fact that the pipe has been sitting for a long time? I reamed it with the PipNet reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working my way up to the third head. I used the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to work on the cake as well. It took a lot of time to get the pipe cleaned out. I probably spent over 45 minutes just reaming this bowl. The second photo below shows the bowl at the end of the 45 minutes of work. Still work to do on it as you can see the remnants of the cake on the walls. I used the Savinelli Fitsall to clean it up further.I picked at the lava on the rim with a dental pick to loosen the rock hard buildup and a brass bristle brush to clean off the debris once I had it loosened. The photo below shows the cleaned out bowl and the cleaned rim. Notice the damage to the front left inner edge of the rim.With the bowl cleaned and reamed I turned my attention to the internals. I scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. It took some coaxing with the swabs and cleaners to finally get the internals free of buildup and debris.The stem had a thick calcified buildup on the first inch from the button forward on both sides. This too was rock hard. I sanded the calcification off the surface of the vulcanite. Doing so revealed the tooth dents on the surface of the both sides of the stem near the button.I “painted” the stem with a Bic lighter flame to raise the tooth dents as much as possible. While they came up significantly some of the edges were sharp and the dents would rise no more. I wiped the stem down with some alcohol to clean out the dents and filled them in with black super glue. I set the stem aside so that the repairs would cure and headed off to work.When I returned in the evening the patches had cured. I sanded the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper and sharpened the 90 degree angle of the button with needle files. I sanded the stem surface some more to remove the oxidation.I decided to take a bit of time and work on the bowl so I set the stem aside for a while. I touched up the worn spots on the rim and on the shank end with a dark brown stain pen. The colour was a perfect match to the rest of the bowl and it blended in very well. I waxed the briar with Conservator’s Wax. It is a soft rub on past that work well with sandblast and rusticated finishes. I buff it with a shoe brush and I am able to polish even the deep grooves in the grain so that no wax sits in those and hardens, dulling the finish. I lightly buffed the bowl with a soft microfibre cloth to raise the shine. The photos below show the bowl at this point in the process. I decided to polish the stem using a different method than my normal routine. I sanded it with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to remove the scratching in the vulcanite. I use a product that I have used before called Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to work over the remaining oxidation. I repeated the process until the vulcanite was clean. I polished it with the Before & After Pipe Polish in both Fine and Extra Fine grits. I rubbed the stem down with a soft cotton pad to remove the polishing compound and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I rubbed it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.I used an artist’s fine bristle brush and white acrylic paint to fill in the Parker Diamond P stamp on the stem. I wiped it down afterwards and lightly buffed it with Blue Diamond to remove the excess paint.I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel – with a light touch on the bowl. The finish shows up beautifully, the sandblasted ring grain standing out front. It is one of those rugged blasts that are a tactile wonder as it heats up during a smoke. I gave the bowl another coat of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba followed by a buff with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the bowl with a shoe brush and then with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outer diameter of the bowl: 1 1/2 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 inches. The contrast of the dark brown and a medium brown that shines through give the finish a rich patina. The bowl has been cleaned and the entire pipe is ready to smoke. The stem is in great shape. The tooth marks have been removed though there is slight scratching on the vulcanite. It is a beautiful pipe, just a little big for my liking or I would hang on to it. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.

 

 

Jen’s Trove No. 2–Perhaps a LHS London Royal Full Bent Billiard – Oom Paul


Blog by Dal Stanton

I don’t usually begin a blog with an addendum, but just before I sent this to Steve to publish on Reborn Pipes, I sent a picture of this pipe along with a few other pipes with the question, “Oom Paul or Full Bent Billiards?”  Here are the two pictures I sent – the first, Jen’s #2, and two others: This is the fun part of learning the fine art of pipe shape identification!  I was identifying the third pipe, (far right) as definitely an Oom Paul – mainly by the way the shank and bowl merge vertically and then the shank/stem breaks away but stays real tight in a full bend.  The other two, have more of a ¾ bend, but they also have more of a merge between shank and bowl creeping upwardly.  I called the 2 on the left, full-bent Billiards for that reason.  I loved Steve’s response:

Dal

To me they are all variations on an Oom Paul Shape which is actually a full bent billiard. LOL! The joys of identifying shapes.

Steve

So, with addendum completed, Jen pulled this very nice Full Bent Billiard, (Oom Paul!) out of the ‘Help Me!’ basket and added it to the trove she has asked me to restore for her.  She will be transitioning back to the US at the end of the summer and she will be packing several of The Pipe Steward’s restorations to give as gifts to the special men in her family.  I’m happy to oblige!  Jen’s purchases will benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria, and bring much joy to her family!  I found this pipe on eBay as one in a lot of 13 pipes – I acquired some interesting pipes that await restoration in the basket!  The pictures I saw from the seller in Nevada included Jen’s Oom Paul – at 8 o’clock below and then a closer view following. The seller’s attempt to identify the Oom Paul were helpful and set me on the path:

Unknown – Markings appear to be rubbed out from handling. I think I see the word “London” followed by some indiscernible word.

On my work desk in Sofia, Bulgaria, I take some additional pictures to fill in the gaps. Looking at two pictures above and the nomenclature on the left side of the shank, I tend to agree with the seller that the first word appears to be London in a cursive-type script with a flared line underneath.  The second word appears to start with a “P” also in a script with a flare line underneath. To see if I can make a possible identification with a pipe name starting with “London P…” I go to Wilczak & Colwell’s “Who Made That Pipe?” and I find some Comoy contenders – “London Pipe” and “London Pride”.  Neither of these candidates seem likely because the corresponding Comoy stem mark, “C” was absent.  Yet, the pipe could have a replacement stem, but not likely.  I then go to Pipephil.eu and simply search anything starting with “London”.  What I found was very interesting and possibly a match.  The clipping from Pipephil below shows the ‘London Royal’ nomenclature – looking at my specimen, what I thought was a “P” very likely is an “R”.  The flare lines underneath is a convincing indicator as well.  Also matching was the right side “Imported Briar”.  Again, missing is any stem marking – a hat in the specimen below.

While I cannot be 100% sure in the identification, “London Royal” may indeed be on target.  Pipedia gives a short description of the LHS company:

Ludwig Stern, a successful pipe manufacturer since 1893 and closing around 1960, reorganized his company along with his brother Hugo Stern, opening a factory in 1911. They named the company L&H Stern Smoking Pipes & Holders. The newly formed company was moved into a six-story building on the corner of Pearl and Waters street Brooklyn, NY.

The American company produced such pipe names as Sterncrest, Purex, Silvercrest, Barrister, Marwyn, Park Lane, Radmanol and Warwick.

Whether (or not) the Oom Paul (Billiard) before me is a LHS London Royal, it is a very attractive pipe with quality grain movement.  Overall, it is in good shape and I’m hoping an easier than normal clean-up and recommissioning.  There are a few nicks on the rim and some fills that need attention.  The chamber has very mild cake.  The stem bit shows some tooth chatter and no oxidation that I can see.  I begin the restoration of this possible, LHS London Royal by reaming the chamber bringing it to the briar for a fresh start.  I also plop the stem into the Oxi-Clean bath even though there is no visible oxidation.   Starting with the smallest, I use 2 of the 4 blades available in the Pipnet Reaming Kit.  I follow with the Savinelli Pipe Knife to fine tune the ream then sand the chamber using 240 grit paper.  I then wipe the bowl with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95% to remove carbon dust.  The pictures show the progress. Turning now to the internals, I use cotton swabs and pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95% to clean.  I discover the internals are pretty gummed up.  With the hour becoming late I decide to use the stealth method of cleaning.  I use kosher salt and alcohol to soak in the chamber overnight.  I first twist a cotton ball to form a wick to stuff down the mortise to draw out the oils and tars from the briar.  I then fill the bowl with salt and after placing my palm over the top give it a shake to displace the salt.  Then I carefully fill the chamber with the alcohol until it surfaces over the kosher salt.  I put it aside and turn the lights off.  The pictures show the cleaning process.Turning to the stem the next day, I remove it from the Oxi-Clean bath and even though it is minimal, the bath has successfully ‘raised’ oxidation to the surface.  Using 600 grit paper, I wet sand the stem.  Following this, I utilize 0000 steel wool to remove more and begin the polishing of the stem.  I still detect some tooth chatter especially on the lower bit and a small compression dent on the upper.  I use the heating method to raise the chatter by passing the end of the stem carefully over a lit candle.  The vulcanite when heated like this will naturally expand and seek its original place.  The heating helps, but I still need to do some sanding in the upper and lower button area using 240 grit paper.  Using a flat needle file, I use the opportunity to sharpen the upper and lower button lips. Following the 240 grit paper, I use 600 grit to further smooth and polish then conclude with 0000 steel wool.  The pictures show the progress. The stummel has been in a kosher salt/alcohol soak through the night.  Kosher salt is used because, unlike iodized salt, it does not leave an after-taste.  I remove the wick from the shank and it has done its job of pulling oils and tars out of the stummel.  I toss the used salt in the waste and clean the bowl with paper towel and a long-bristled brush.  I also use a brush reaching into the mortise to remove residue salt.  I follow by continuing use of cotton swabs dipped in alcohol and pipe cleaners to finish up the internal clean-up.  The pictures show the progress.With the stummel internals cleaned, I turn to the internals of the stem.  Using pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl 95% I attack. It did not take long because the pipe cleaners emerged clean.With the internals clean, I now turn to the stummel surface.  I use Murphy’s Soap and cotton pads to clean the stummel surface. As advertised, Murphy’s does a great job cleaning the oils and grime that build up on the surface. After scrubbing, I rinse the excess off using tap water careful to keep water out of the internals. The cleaning reveals two fills on the surface which appear to be solid after I probe them with a sharp dental tool.  The rim has a scorch mark over the 10 o’clock area in the picture below.  There are also scuff marks at the 6 and 8 o’clock areas.  The pictures show what I see.I decide to do a light topping using 240 grit paper on a chopping board.  I don’t need to take off much – only enough to remove the scuffing and surface part of the scorching.  I will make an internal rim bevel which will remove damage along the inner rim edge.  It is a little tricky, because the shank extends beyond the height of the stummel top.  I do the topping on the edge of the board as a result.  After rotating the stummel on the topping board, periodically checking to make sure I’m staying true, I switch to 600 grade paper to smooth the top further.  Using a coarse 120 grit paper, I cut an internal rim bevel to remove damage as well as soften the rim lines.  I follow with 240 grit paper.  On the outside rim edge, I give it a light bevel with 240 followed by 600 paper – again, removing the left-over nicks as well as softening the lines of the rim.  I think bevels add a touch of class to a rim.  The pictures show the rim progress. With the rim repair complete, I move straightaway to the stummel surface.  I’m anxious to see how the briar grain emerges during the micromesh pad process.  I’m careful to stay away from the almost non-existent ‘London Royal’ nomenclature on the sides of the stummel.  I want to preserve what I can. Using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400 I wet sand.  I follow wet sanding by dry sanding with micromesh pads 3200 to 4000 and then finishing with 6000 to 12000.   As hoped and expected, the pictures show the grain emerge.  As I look at the grain, I’m beginning to think that this stummel is a candidate to remain as the natural grain color and not to stain.  There are a few fills that I darken and blend with stain sticks.  It looks good!  I think Jen will like how this Full Bent Billiard (aka Oom Paul) is coming along.  I’ll finish the stem before making the final decision about whether to apply a stain.  Turning now to the stem, I wet sand using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400 then dry sanding using pads 3200 to 4000 then 6000 to 12000.  After each set of 3 micromesh pads, I apply a coat of Obsidian Oil to the thirsty vulcanite stem.  This oil revitalizes the vulcanite.  I love the vulcanite ‘pop’ as the pads do their magic! Moment of decision.  I reassemble stummel and stem to get a look at the big picture.  The possible LHS London Royal Oom Paul is without doubt a handful of pipe.  The grain presents bird’s eye on both sides of the stummel with lateral straight grain in the front and on the shank top and bottom.  A very nice feel to it as well, as I hold it and balance it in my palm.  The rim looks great too with soft beveled lines.  Decision point – do I leave the stummel the natural grain color or do I stain it?  If I stain it, I will use a light brown hue simply to tie together what is already there.  The original appeared to have been leveraged toward the lighter hue as well.  With some input from my wife, who has more color coordination DNA in her gene pool, I decide to stay with the original, natural, saddle, leathery color – leaving it just as it is. With that decision made, I fine tune and bring out the natural finish by using Tripoli compound which applies a fine abrasion, then Blue Diamond compound – more abrasion but finer than Tripoli.  I use a cotton cloth wheel with the Tripoli compound (not my usual felt wheel) because I’m not cutting through the fired crust of a stained stummel.  After mounting the buffing wheel on the Dremel, I set the speed at 2 of 5 (fastest) and purge the wheel to clean it from old compound. I apply the compound over the stummel, rotating the wheel over the surface, not apply a great deal of downward pressure.  I let the compound and the RPMs do the work.  After completing the Tripoli cycle, I attach the Blue Diamond compound cotton cloth buffing wheel, reattach the stem and stummel, and give both the Blue Diamond buffing using the same approach as with Tripoli.  When completed, I hand buff the pipe with a felt cloth to remove the compound dust preparing for the wax.  Then, switching to the carnauba wax cotton cloth wheel, also with Dremel set at speed 2, I apply several coats of carnauba wax to stem and stummel. During the carnauba wax application, I notice that the stem has loosened during the process.  I use a technique of expanding the tenon a bit so that it gains more purchase in the shank from Charles Lemon’s blog site, Dad’s Pipes.  The procedure usually uses a drill bit, where, after gently heating the tenon, a next larger drill bit is inserted into the supple tenon expanding it microscopically.  Instead of a drill bit, I find that a Dremel shaping tool sized up a little better than the drill bit.  After heating the tenon, the shaping tool eased into the tenon.  It did the trick giving the tenon a better fit in the mortise.  The pictures show this procedure.With the tenon now a bit snugger, I complete the application of the carnauba wax. After the carnauba cycles, I mount a clean cotton buffing wheel on the Dremel and do a ‘clean’ buff over the entire pipe.  I do this to assure that no pockets of wax are left on the surface and to raise the shine.  After this, I hand buff the pipe using a micromesh cloth to deepen and raise the shine of the briar grain more.

This possible LHS London Royal Full Bent Billiard, Oom Paul has turned out very well.  I think that whichever of Jen’s family of men receives this pipe, he will enjoy it for many years to come as its new steward.  As I said earlier, the profits of this pipe benefit the work we do here in Bulgaria with women who have been sexually exploited and trafficked, the Daughters of Bulgaria.  Check out my blog, The Pipe Steward, for more information about this.  Thanks for joining me!

 

 

 

 

Jen’s Trove #1: A Kaywoodie Author


Blog by Dal Stanton

Jenny has laid the groundwork for a pipe restorer’s dream job!  Jenny has been working with us here in Sofia, Bulgaria, as an intern for the last few years and she will be transitioning back to the US at the end of the summer.  She’ll be working with international students at what she considers her home territory at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.  We’ll miss her, but she has created a bittersweet gauntlet for me!  She has gone through my baskets and boxes of ‘pipes-in-waiting for help’ that I have culled and collected to create a gift trove for the special men in her life when she returns to the US – brothers, brothers-in-laws, father….  She knows that the pipes I restore benefit our work with the Daughters of Bulgaria, women/girls who have been sexually exploited and trafficked throughout Europe.  She wants to support the Daughters but also communicate this to her loved-ones in the US by gifting them pipes restored by The Pipe Steward – me 😊.   Since the proceeds benefit the Daughters, the agreement we have is that after each pipe is restored from her trove, I will determine a price and she will then decide if she would like to ratify the purchase – a win/win/win all around – for her, her special men and for the Daughters.  As Jen poked and prodded through my pipes, I learned that she was seeking a variety shapes and sizes so that each gift would be unique.  I hope that I can run the gauntlet well by providing her precious gifts AND finish on time!!!

The first pipe I chose randomly out of the ‘Jen’s Trove Basket’ is a Kaywoodie Author shape.  I saw this pipe on eBay and was attracted to the solid shape of the Kaywoodie ‘Ball’ shape that was advertised by the eBay seller in New Hampshire.  Here is what I saw:When I looked at Pipedia’s Shape Chart put together by Bill Burney, I saw that the Ball and Author shapes are very similar, but Bill’s description of “The Author as a beefed-up prince, featuring a flattened ball-shaped bowl and a heavy 1/8 to 1/4 bent stem” caused me to classify this Kaywoodie as an Author.  With the pipe now on my work table, I take more pictures to fill the gaps. This is the first Kaywoodie I’ve worked on.  A plethora of information is available online about America’s oldest pipe making manufacturer.  Kaywoodie’s website is informative:

The history of S. M. Frank & Co. spans nearly a century and half of pipe making, supporting our claim as the “oldest pipe house in America.” S. M. Frank, as it exists today, is a combination of some of the biggest names in pipe making from the early part of the 20th. century. The pipe names Kaywoodie, Yello-Bole, Reiss-Premier, DeMuth, Medico, Heritage and Frank are familiar to generations of pipe smokers.

The article describes how in 1919 the Kaufman Brothers & Bondy Company (KBB) produced the Kaywoodie and Dinwoodie pipe lines.  By 1924 the Dinwoodie line fell by the wayside and the primary name of Kaywoodie was the mainstay pipe line and the company came to be known by that name.  Little is known about the early activities of the KBB Company which started in 1851 by the German born Kaufman brothers.  The company had several locations but was centered in the New York City region throughout its production history.  The expansion of the KKB Company following the gold rush I find fascinating:

When one of the men from the New York office got “gold fever”, he carried a large supply of pipes with him to California that he sold along the way. This early “national distribution” did much to build the reputation of KBB. By the late 1800’s, branches of KBB were opened in Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and St. Louis with family and friends acting as agents. The trademarks, for the inlaid cloverleaf and the cloverleaf with the KBB initials inside, were issued in 1881. 

In 1935, KBB boasted of being the largest pipe making facility in the world with 500 employees and a production of 10,000 pipes per day from their facility in West New York, New Jersey.  In 1955, Kaywoodie was acquired by S. M. Frank & Co. (See Link) and continues to the present with well-known names Yello-BoleReiss-PremierWilliam Demuth CompanyMedico, Heritage (Heritage Pipes Inc.), along with Kaywoodie (Link).

It is difficult to date the Kaywoodie before me.  The only identifying marker is the traditional white shamrock on the stem.  There are no other markings that I see.  To the left, a 1964-65 Kaywoodie Dealer Catalog from Pipepages.com shows a remarkable likeness to the Connoisseur line and the Author before me with the stem shamrock on the side rather than on the top as in a 1955 Kaywoodie catalogue (See LINK).  There is no clear indicator for dating the Kaywoodie Author, but this catalog may put me in the ballpark.

With a better understanding of the Kaywoodie name, I take a closer look at the Author.  The good news is that the stem is in good shape with little tooth chatter.  The classic Kaywoodie patented Synchro-Stem which boasts that “metal-to-metal contact prevents binding and sticking” from a 1955 catalogue.  The stummel, however, is a different story.  The rim is beat up significantly, and I detect what might be cracks in the stummel.  Looking back at the eBay pictures provided by the seller, it made it very difficult to see what I seen now.  There appear to be two cracks, across from each other on the front and on the back of the rim.  I take a few closeups.

At this point, I’m not sure what I’m seeing.  Are the cracks superficial or do the run deeply into the briar.  It’s curious also that they seem to be opposites – perhaps part of the same trauma or what?  I will need to clean the chamber and rim to see more clearly the depth of the problem.  After spreading paper towel to minimize cleanup, I use the Pipnet Reaming Kit to work on the fire chamber.  I use 2 or the 4 blades available, starting first with the smallest.  I fine tune the reaming job with the Savinelli pipe knife then sand the chamber with coarse 120 grade sanding paper then 240 grade.  I wipe the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95% to clean the carbon dust.  I take some close-ups of the chamber revealing some heat fissures and evidence that the crack seems to run through the bowl – especially the crack on the back-side of the bowl.  I continue with the external cleaning using Murphy’s Oil Soap and cotton pads.  I also employ a brass bristle brush to work on the rim which is really beat up and scorched.  The cleaning reveals more of the damage to the rim as well as the cracks I will need to address.  I’m guessing that the stummel cracks were caused by excessive heating of the briar.  I decide to clean the internals of the stummel using cotton swabs and pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl 95%.  I also employ a straight needle file to scrape the walls of the mortise to dig out the gunk and tar.  I like to take care of the dirty work before continuing with the externals.  This also gives me time to think about how to approach the stummel repair.  The pictures show the progress which is slow – the internals are really gummed up. 

The day is coming to an end so I decide to employ a kosher salt and alcohol soak to make progress with the internals – while I sleep!  I use kosher salt so not to leave an iodine after-taste.  I stretch and twist a cotton ball to create a thinner ‘string’ of cotton to stuff down the narrow mortise opening through the metal plate of the Kaywoodie.  This cotton string will act as a wick to draw out the oils.  I then fill the bowl with kosher salt and cover the opening with my palm and give it a shake to displace the salt.  Using a large eyedropper, I introduce isopropyl 95% to the bowl until it surfaces over the salt.  I leave the stummel in an egg crate and turn the lights out – another day is done.  The next morning, the salt/alcohol soak has done the job.  The salt has discolored as well as the cotton wick.  I dump the used salt into the waste basket, thumping the stummel on my palm.  I wipe the chamber out with paper towel and using a long-bristled brush remove the excess salt from the internals.   I then return to using cotton swabs dipped in isopropyl 95% to complete the cleaning.  The pictures show the progress.

After sending an email off to Steve to get some advice on the stummel cracks and the stinger/tenon system of this older Kaywoodie, I put the stummel aside to work on the stem.  I wasn’t exactly sure how the stinger on the stem which screws into the metal shank plate comes off – and off it must come if one is to adequately clean the stem – and keep it cleaned!  Steve’s email was helpful with the question whether the stinger had 3 holes or 4 – 4 would indicate an older system according to Steve.  Ok, another clue to the age of this old boy. I look and discover 4 holes on the end ball of the stinger which indicated to Steve that the stinger may be threaded and screws into the metal tenon.  Taking a closer look, there does appear to be a seam marking the tenon and stinger contact point.  Steve’s advice was to heat the tenon and twisting the stinger to release it.  I take a couple of pictures to show what I’m seeing.Holding the stinger over a lit candle, after a few tests to twist, the entire tenon unscrewed from the stem.  By the appearance of the seam, I’m thinking that the stinger will separate from the tenon and needs to be removed for ease of cleaning.  With another quick note off to Steve, I’m cautious because I don’t want to damage the tenon and Steve has seen a few more of these than I!  I clean the tenon with alcohol and a cotton pad and then follow this with 0000 steel wool to finish cleaning the tenon/stinger. To work on the oxidation of the stem I drop the stem into an OxiClean bath to let it soak for several hours.  The pictures show the progress. After several hours, I retrieve the stem from the OxiClean bath.  The stem shows little oxidation after the soak.  Using 0000 steel wool I clear the layer raised by the OxiClean bath.  Then, using pipe cleaners and long-bristled brushes, dipped on isopropyl 95%, I clean the internals of the stem.  The airway is tight and I resort to the long-bristled brushes to push through the airway.  After cleaning the airway, I want to alleviate some of the tightness of the airway by expanding the slot area.  I use a pointed needle file and insert the point into the slot and carefully apply abrasive pressure to the edges of the slot.  The pictures show the progress. The upper bit shows latent bite dents – the lower as well but much less.  I use the heating technique to expand the vulcanite.  With a lighted candle, I pass the end of the stem over the flame – in a back and forth motion, not allowing the stem to cook by holding it stationary over the flame.  After a few passes, the idea came to my mind that while the vulcanite is pliable to insert a pipe cleaner in the airway to expand it a bit allowing pipe cleaners to pass through without as much fuss.  The effort seems to work – both for expanding the vulcanite and the airway.  There remains a ‘footprint’ of the bite dent, but not as much.  Using 240 grit sanding paper I work the dents out on the upper and lower bit.  Following the 240 grit paper, I use 600 grit and then finishing with 0000 steel wool.  I reattach the tenon/stinger to the stem and clock it so that the stem tightens at the correct angle.  I tighten the tenon one full turn less to make it easier to remove and therefore, much easier to clean the airway.  I like the results – good progress on this nice-looking KW Author.  The pictures show the progress. I turn my attention back to the stummel, and take a few more up-close pictures.  The burn damage is significant and the chamber is out of round.  Heat fissures are evident in the chamber and I’ve already noted the cracks in the stummel which track over the rim into the chamber.  I can say with little doubt, this pipe was loved and used much by its former steward.  Yet, he’s taken quite a beating.  My plan is to fill the heat fissures in the fire chamber with a coat of J. B. Weld.  With Steve’s input, I’ll drill back-holes at the terminus points of both fore and aft cracks to prevent further crack creep.  I will fill each hole with CA glue as well as apply a penetration layer of CA glue over the path of the crack to seal the cracks.  Before I start these repairs, I work on the external rim area with the goal of cleaning up the damage, re-balancing the stummel’s look as much as I can through a combination of topping and sanding.  When the stummel starts looking human again, if this is possible, I will then again assess the cracks and their needs.  All in all, the stummel’s undamaged briar is quite attractive – nice grain.  I hope I can return this Kaywoodie up to specs so that Jen can be proud to gift this old boy to her men-folk! I start with a coarse sanding sponge to see what progress can be made.  I follow by gently topping the stummel with 240 grit paper on a chopping board and then again return to the coarse sanding sponge to ‘reduce’ the edge of the topped stummel.  What develops is a technique of gradually reshaping the rim area to give the stummel a more uniform look.  I cycled through a light topping and then returning to the coarse sanding sponge several times.  The pictures show the process. As the rim starts taking shape, the fact that the bowl is out of round becomes even more distinctive.  To shape incrementally a truer ‘round’ I use a coarse 120 grit sanding paper rolled up and I sand the internal bowl at the point where the rounding was needed.  I gradually work around the internal chamber wall careful not to lean to aggressively into beveling an angle on the internal rim at this point.  I want to address first the unevenness in the walls of the fire chamber.  After doing this, I move more toward the top of the chamber and then create an inner bevel which gradually helps to round out the rim.  As I work on the internal sanding, I recycle as before, doing a gentle topping followed by the coarse sanding sponge to even and balance the whole.  The pictures show this gradual process starting with the ‘unrounded’ bowl. While the completed shaping is not perfect, I’m pleased that the stummel has regained proportion with the removal of the damaged briar and the gradual shaping through sanding and topping.  Looking very good at this point!Before I move forward finishing the stummel, I need to do the crack repairs.  The first thing I do, with the aid of a magnifying glass is mark the terminus points of the forward and aft cracks on the stummel.  The mark is made by creating a dimple using sharp dental probe.  This helps to guide the drill point when I create the ‘back hole’.  Using a 1mm sized drill bit mounted on the Dremel, I drill holes at the terminus points of the cracks.  With a somewhat steady hand, the work is successful. With the ‘back-holes’ drilled I drop-fill the holes with CA glue using a toothpick, and sprinkle briar over the hole.  I also apply a line of CA glue over the crack itself to strengthen the repair and seal the cracks.  The CA glue I use is extra thin and will seep into the cracks – hopefully.  I put the stummel aside for the night for the patches to cure.  The pictures show the patch process.The next day, the patches have fully cured and I use a rounded and flat needle files to work on the ‘forward and aft’ cracks where the back-holes were drilled. When I bring the CA glue patch mound down to briar surface level, I use 240 grit sanding paper to smooth it further and to blend with the briar.  Once this is completed, I again use the coarse sanding sponge and do a light topping to freshen the lines of the rim after the repair work.  I then roll a piece of 240 grit paper and again freshen the rim’s internal bevel.  The pictures show the progress. I proceed to smooth and blend the stummel by using a medium grade sanding sponge followed by a light grade sanding sponge.  The picture shows these last two stages and I take pictures of the finished crack repairs.  During the staining, I’ll seek to blend these further – especially the aft crack. At this juncture, I repair the fire chamber before continuing to the external stummel surface. Earlier I describe using J. B. Weld to coat the fire chamber, filling the heat fissures that had developed over years of use.  The J. B. Weld compound will also provide a protective barrier against the heat.  Later, I will coat the chamber with ‘pipe mud’ to provide a foundation for a new cake to develop to protect the chamber walls.  The few times I’ve used J. B. Weld, I always mixed too much.  I’ll try to moderate this time around.  After cleaning the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95%, I place equal parts of the J. B. Weld components on an index card – hardener and steel.  The directions state that after mixing the two, one has about four minutes before they start setting.  I insert a pipe clean into the draft hole to prevent the Weld mixture to plug the airway.  I mix the components with a tooth pick then I place a dollop of the compound into the chamber walls.  I use my pinky finger to spread the mixture evenly and pull out excess.  After a bit, the mixture is setting up.  I rotate the pipe cleaner out when the tackiness of the mixture has firmed up enough that it will remain in place.  I set the stummel upright in an egg carton and let it cure overnight.  The pictures show the process. Turning now to the stem restoration, I utilize a plastic disc I fabricated to protect the shoulders of the stem during the micromesh process.  Using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400 I wet sand the stem, then follow with dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 then 6000 to 12000.  After each cycle of three I apply a coat of Obsidian oil to the stem to revitalize the vulcanite.  The stem looks good.  The pictures show the progress. A new day has arrived in Bulgaria and I turn again to the stummel.  All the major repair work is completed and I begin to prepare the stummel’s surface for a stain finish.  Using 1500 to 2400 micromesh pads I wet sand the stummel.  Amazingly, after this first cycle, I see what I did not see before – Kaywoodie [over] Standard nomenclature on the left side of the shank and what appears to be 13B on the right side.  I take a picture to mark this – unfortunately, I did not see it sooner to avoid sanding in that area.  Checking again with Pipedia’s Collector’s Guide to Kaywoodie Pipes, 13B is the shape number identifying this as an Apple.  Looking at the catalogs in the same article, with the stem shamrock on the side, I’m feeling pretty confident identifying this pipe from the 1960s. I follow this by dry sanding using pads 3200 to 4000 and then 6000 to 12000.  I never grow tired of seeing the grain emerge as the micromesh cycles do their magic.  The pictures show the process. To encourage better blending by hiding the cracks and repairs, I use a mixture of Fiebing’s Dark and Light Brown Leather Dyes.  I use 2 parts light to 1 part dark.  I don’t want to go too dark and hide the beautiful grain that has emerged.  When I look at the original hue of the Kaywoodie (the 1960s catalogs above I think is a pretty good guess regarding the age of this KW) leveraged toward the lighter hues – yet, I do want to mask the cracks. After mixing the dyes, I heat the stummel using a hot air gun to open the briar making it more receptive to the dye.  With the stummel heated, using a cork in the bowl as a handle, I liberally apply the dye over the stummel surface.  Following this, I fire the wet dye with a lit candle and the alcohol immediately ‘flames’ and burns off setting the stain.  I repeat the same process a few minutes later.  After the second firing, I put the stummel aside for several hours.  The pictures show the staining process. Some hours later, I’m ready to ‘unwrap’ the fired layer to discover what the briar has done with the dye.  Using a felt buffing wheel, I mount it on the Dremel and set the speed to the slowest.  After purging the buffing wheel on the edge of the metal tightening wrench, using Tripoli compound I methodically begin removing the fired layer by not applying much downward pressure, and allowing the RPMs and the compound to do the work. When I complete the removal of the fired layer with Tripoli, I take a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95% and wipe down the stummel.  I do this not only to blend the dye but also to lighten it.  I then move to Blue Diamond compound.  I use a cotton cloth buffing wheel mounted on the Dremel, increase the speed by one notch, and move in circular motions over the entire stummel – again, as with the Tripoli compound, I do not apply a lot of downward pressure on the buffing wheel but allow the RPMs and compound to buff up the surface.  When completed with the Blue Diamond, I use a felt cloth to hand buff the stummel to remove compound dust before moving to the wax phase.  The pictures show the compound process. Before finishing the external surface with carnauba wax, I apply a layer of ‘pipe mud’ in the fire chamber.  This creates a layer to encourage the development of a carbon cake in the bowl.  I use a mixture of sour cream and two 260mg capsules of activated charcoal powder. I mix the sour cream and charcoal powder with a wooden stick and then, after inserting a pipe cleaner through the draft hole, apply a dollop of pipe mud mix in the chamber.  I then use my pinky finger to spread the mud evenly and draw out the excess.  When finished, I put the stummel aside to let the pipe mud set up.  The pictures show the mud process. With pipe mud set, I reattach stem and stummel.  I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel, set at speed 2, with the fastest being 5, and apply carnauba wax to the stem and stummel.  After applying several coats, I switch the Dremel to a clean cotton cloth buffing tool and again buff the pipe.  I do this to work in pockets of wax that were missed and to raise the shine.  Following this, I hand buff the pipe with a micromesh cloth to raise the shine more.

This Kaywoodie Standard Author has turned out in classic form.  I’m very pleased with results of the rim repair and the rich, ‘smoking jacket’ finish that masks the crack repairs.  The Author has a solid presence in the hand as I hold it – a classic shape that will provide a new steward with several more years of service.  As I mentioned before, Jen’s purchase of this Kaywoodie Standard Author benefits the work we do here in Bulgaria with women who have been sexually exploited and trafficked, the Daughters of Bulgaria.  If you would like more information about my restorations check out The Pipe Steward.  Thanks for joining me!

 

 

 

 

 

Refurbishing an Iwan Ries Savinelli Made Black Knight 207


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe from the estate sale that I chose to work on is a sandblast apple with a contrast black and brown stain. It is stamped on the underside of the shank in a smooth portion starting at the bottom of the bowl. It reads Iwan Ries over Black Knight. Next to that is the shape number 207 over Italy. Lastly there is a capital C. It is a Savinelli shape number. The finish was very dirty with dust and grime in the grooves and it seemed to be sticky. The cake in the bowl was quite thick and the lava had flowed over the rim top. The stem had a light IRC stamped on the left side of the taper and was lightly oxidized. The now characteristic tooth marks and chatter were on the top and underside of the stem near the button and the button surface itself had chatter and wear. The next four photos show the condition of the pipe when my brother Jeff brought it home from the sale and before he started to work on cleaning it up.He took a photo of the bowl from the top to show the cake in the bowl and the tarry build up on the rim top. The second photo below shows the sandblast on the left side of the bowl which is birdseye. The right side shows more of the ring grain but it will show up in later photos. The next photos show the clear and sharp stamping on the bottom of the bowl and the IRC stamp on the left side of the stem. It looks more deeply stamped than it appeared once it arrived in Vancouver.The stem shows the now characteristic tooth marks and chatter on both sides and the wear on the button surface as well, just as the rest of the pipes in the lot did.My brother scrubbed the bowl exterior with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the sticky buildup and the grime in the grooves. He rinsed it with warm water to remove the soap and the dust. He reamed the bowl and scrubbed the rim top with the soap and tooth brush. He cleaned out the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem. He cleaned the stem with a short soak in Oxyclean. The soak brought the oxidation to the surface. I took the next four photos of the pipe when it arrived in Vancouver. The grain shows through the blast – birdseye on the left side and ring grain on the right side. I took a photo of the rim top and the inside of the bowl to show the condition. Like several other pipes in the estate lot this one still had raw briar at the bottom third of the bowl.The next two photos show the condition of the stem. The tooth marks and chatter are visible in the photo. The ones on the underside of the stem were deeper than the ones on the top side.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth marks and chatter. I worked over the entire stem to break up the oxidation.I rubbed the bowl down with a light coat of olive oil on a soft towel. I took the following photos of the pipe after I had wiped it down. The shine on the sandblast revealed the contrast stains that had been used on the bowl – both a dark brown and black. I touched up the rim top with a dark brown stain pen to blend the rim into the rest of the bowl colour. The dark brown stain worked well on the high area and the black filled in the grooves of the blast.I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and gave it a rub down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I let the oil dry and then buffed the stem with red Tripoli and Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I brought it back to the work table and finished polishing it with 6000-12000 grit micromesh pads. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the bowl lightly with Blue Diamond and more intently on the stem. The Blue Diamond polishes out the minute scratches in the vulcanite and gives the material more shine. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and hand waxed the bowl with Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 1/8 inches, Outer diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ inches. The pipe is the kind of shape that feels great in the hand, it is light weight and comfortable. The look of the finished pipe is quite attractive and the contrast between the brown of the high spots on the briar and black in the crevices contrast well with the polished vulcanite stem. This one will soon be on the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in adding it to your rack email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.

Wow, what birdseye – a Savinelli Pantera 614 OomPaul


Blog by Steve Laug

I am getting very close to finishing up the lot from the estate sale that my brother Jeff sent me for restoration. Because he had done a great job on the clean up the restoration of the lot has been a pretty easy process. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to work on clean pipes. Once I finish up this one I have only three left to complete. It is a good feeling when I get toward the end of a package of pipes. It feels like I actually am making some progress in the box of pipes to be restored sitting in my shop. This particular pipe is a beautiful Oom Paul with stunning grain all around the bowl. It is stamped Iwan Ries over Pantera on the left side of the shank with a faint IRC stamped on the left side of the saddle stem. It is stamped with the traditional Savinelli “S” shield with the shape number 614 over Italy on the right side of the shank. The underside has an upper case “C” next to the shank/stem junction.My brother took quite a few photos of the pipe from a variety of angles to show both the condition of the pipe and the beautiful grain around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The photos show the pipe before he started his clean up. The bowl was lightly cake and there was a light coat of lava overflowing on to the top of the rim. It appeared to be in excellent condition under the lava and both the inner and outer edges of the bowl were undamaged.The next three photos show the stamping that I noted above. It is readable and very clean and sharp. The IRC stamp on the stem was deep on the lower half and fainter as it moves toward the top. The next photos of the grain around the bowl show the cross grain and birdseye around the bowl sides, top and bottom. It really shows some spectacular grain. The stem was in very good condition in comparison to the other pipes in the estate. Even so, there were still some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem near the button and flowing onto the top and bottom of the button as well.My brother did his usual stellar job of cleaning up the pipe. The inside and outside were spotless when the pipe arrives. The stem was lightly oxidized as the Oxyclean treatment he gave it brought that to the surface. The next photos show the condition of the pipe when I brought it to my work table. The briar is beautiful with great grain. The stamping on the side of the saddle stem is faint and worn. The top of the rim and the bowl were very clean. Jeff had been able to remove the lava on the rim and had reamed the bowl back to bare briar. The bottom 1/3 of the bowl was undarkened and revealed that the bowl had not been smoked to the bottom.The oxidized stem shows the light tooth marks and chatter on both sides next to and on top of the button. They were the same characteristic marks that were on every other pipe in this estate lot.I sanded the stem surface and the top and underside of the button with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter. It did not take too much work to remove the tooth chatter and marks as they were not deep in the vulcanite stem surface. The oxidation had come to the surface of the stem so it came off quite easily.With the tooth marks and chatter removed, I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I worked over the stem with each of the grits of micromesh and between each one I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil to enliven the rubber. I buffed the stem with red Tripoli on the buffing wheel after I had finished sanding it with the 4000 grit pad. I brought it back to the work table and finished polishing it with the 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the stem and bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I worked it over until the minute scratches that were visible on the stem in the photos above were gone. The briar also began to shine with the buffing. I gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This one has some remarkable grain and look. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. It is available to add to your pipe collection if you want it. Just email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook.

Restoring an Unstamped Rhodesian Handmade


Blog by Steve Laug

When I saw this pipe that my brother picked up I was captivated by the grain. The unknown maker had done an amazing job of laying the shape out with the grain. The sides of the bowl and shank have stunning flame grain radiating from the point at the heel of the bowl. The heel and the cap on the bowl, as well as the top and the pointed bottom edge of the shank have beautiful birdseye grain. He sent me the following pictures to whet my appetite for this pipe. I like the Rhodesian shape and I like the combination of nice grain, a sterling silver band and a black vulcanite stem. This one had them all. The only oddities to me were the shape of the shank – it was an egg shape, pointed at the bottom and the freehand style panel stem. The bowl had a thick cake in it and it was scratched at about 11 o’clock in the photo below. It looked as if it could have been cracked but it was not once he had reamed it free of the cake. The finish was dirty and there was some darkening/burn marks on the back side of the cap. It appeared to me that it was originally a virgin finish but I would know more once I had it in Vancouver and had cleaned up the finish.The next two photos show the grain on the sides of the bowl and the bottom. There is birdseye toward the left side of the bottom of the bowl curving up to meet the grain on the sides.Underneath the oxidation and tarnish on the band it was stamped Sterling Silver in an arch. The stamping was centred on the top side of the shank.The stem was heavily oxidized and had tooth chatter on both sides near the button. On the underside of the button there were deep tooth marks and one of them was on the button. The chair leg style stem would be a challenge to clean up.My brother did his usual comprehensive clean up on the pipe. He was able to remove all of the cake in the bowl and on the rim. He cleaned up the dirty finish on the bowl and cleaned out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem. The stem was more oxidized from his cleanup but the oxidation was on the surface so it would be a bit simpler to work on. The next four photos show what the pipe looked like when I brought it to the work table. There was some rim damage on the back side of the bowl. You can see it in the photo below. There was some burn damage as well as some bad nicks in the burned area. The outer edge had been flattened at that point and would need to be reworked. I took close up photos of both sides of the stem to highlight the tooth marks and chatter on them. There were three sandpits on the bottom of the bowl. The first was on the right side and was the largest of the three. The second and third were on the opposite side and were mere pin prick flaws. I filled in the holes with clear super glue. When it dried I sanded it with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper and then with a medium and fine grit sanding sponge to blend it into the surrounding briar.I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damaged rim and ready the back side for a repair. I was pretty sure that if I topped it most of the damage would be remedied and the burn mark would disappear. Fortunately it was not deep in the briar so the sanding took care of it. Once I had it smooth I sanded it with the medium and fine grit sanding sponge.I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad to remove any remaining oils and dirt on the on surface of the briar. The next set of four photos show the cleaned surface of the briar. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. The photos below tell the story of the polishing and interestingly the ring grain in the briar begins to show through by the polishing with the three final pads. I rubbed the polished briar down with a light coat of olive oil to highlight the grain and make it stand out. A little olive oil brings new life to the dry briar. This pipe truly  has some stunning grain as is evident in the following photos. I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on the stem along with the oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper. The photo below shows the stem after the sanding. I rebuilt the dent in the button with black super glue. Once it was dry I sanded it to match the rest of the button.The stem had a very interesting tenon. It was short and it had what looked like threads on it. I decided to leave these in place rather than change the original shape of the tenon. I worked over the stem itself. I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit pads. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil repeatedly during the sanding. The photo below shows the stem after being sanded with the first three pads. There is still evidence of oxidation in the rubber so it will take a lot more sanding and polishing before it is black again. I buffed it after this with red Tripoli on the buffing wheel and was able to remove more of it. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads (the second and third photos below) and again rubbed it down repeatedly with Obsidian Oil. Once it was finished I gave it a final coat of oil and let it dry. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond a final time and worked to remove any remaining oxidation on the stem. The Blue Diamond is a plastic polish and it really brings a shine to the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I finished buffing by hand to deepen the shine. I polished the silver band with a jeweler’s polishing cloth and removed the remaining tarnish. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I wish I knew who the unknown maker was. He or she did a great job making this pipe. The shape, the layout with the grain and the craftsmanship make this a pipe that will outlive me that is for certain. It is truly a beautiful pipe. Thanks for walking with me through the process of the restoration.