Tag Archives: Real Rusticated Sandblast

Another Lincoln Work Horse Billiard – A London Made Real Sandblasted Briar


Blog by Dal Stanton

As things go, the next pipe on my worktable should have been the previous pipe on the worktable except that I got the two Lincoln Real Sand Blasted Billiards mixed up!  The first Lincoln, that was just completed turned out great (Releasing a Work Horse Billiard – A Lincoln London Style Real Sandblasted Briar), but I mistakenly thought it was the Lincoln that Byron had commissioned, but it wasn’t.  I discovered after completing the London Style, that Byron had commissioned the slightly smaller Lincoln London Made, not the Lincoln London Style which is now available in The Pipe Steward Store – a very attractive Blasted Billiard!The Lincoln London Made now correctly on the worktable affords me another opportunity to stroll down memory lane.  My wife and I were at the Bulgarian coastal city of Burgas on the Black Sea in May of 2017 strolling on the main walking street.  We visited a second-hand store that had always provided some nice pipes waiting for me to come by and bring home.  I acquired both Lincolns at the same shop in Burgas but on different trips.   When I came into the shop on this occasion, I was met with the contents of the copper pot – several pipes competing for my attention!  After going through the various pipes in the copper pot, I settled on 5 pipes.  After talking with the shop vendor and coming to agreement, we both were happy.  After bringing the newly acquired pipes home to Sofia, the 5 were placed in the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection where pipe men and women can commission pipes whispering their names.  I believe that 3 of the 5 pictured have already found homes with new stewards.   The Lincoln London Made is top center in the picture below between the BC Panel and the Lindbergh Select Poker.  This straight Blasted Billiard got Byron’s attention in the ‘Dreamers Collection’ and he reached out to me asking about commissioning the Lincoln along with a few other pipes that were whispering his name.When communicating with potential commissioners of pipes, I like to ask questions to find out more about their lives and how they found out about The Pipe Steward.  I was surprised to find out again how small the pipe world is at times.  Byron is a friend of my newest daughter-in-law’s father!  Last year Katie married my son, Josiah, and they are living in St. Louis.  Before they tied the knot, Katie desired to give her father a special gift and commissioned a pipe for him.  Her Dad, Kevin, lives in the chocolate capital of the USA – Hershey, PA.  That pipe turned out well (See: My Future Daughter-in-Law Commissions a Sculpted Bent Billiard as a Gift for Her Father) and with Byron’s inquiry, I discovered that my new in-law relationship was talking up The Pipe Steward.  Thanks, Kevin!  Pictures of the classic Blasted Billiard that got Byron’s attention follow: The nomenclature is stamped on the heel’s smooth briar panel.  Stamped is, LINCOLN over LONDON MADE.  To the right of this is stamped, REAL SANDBLASTED [over] BRIAR.The Lincoln logo is stamped on the right side of the stem (the normal being on the left side) with an encircled *L* (star-‘L’-star).This was the case also with the Lincoln London Style that I just completed.  I discovered a few other Lincoln pipes listed for sale here and there on the internet and discovered that this is characteristic of all the Lincoln stems.

The inconclusive information about the origins of the Lincoln name can be seen in the write up of the Lincoln London Style (LINK).   The only UK country of manufacturing Lincoln leads I found were in Wilczak & Colwell’s ‘Who Made That Pipe?’ where these names were referenced: W. H. Carrington, Sasieni, Higgs Bros (Lincoln IMP).  In the previous research none of these leads resulted in a substantive identification.

One additional piece of anecdotal information I found is a description of a Lincoln for sale in Smoking Pipes.com showcasing a Lincoln London Made Sandblasted Billiard:

A nice, classic Billiard can be a work horse of a pipe. This Lincoln (most likely named after the town in England) should prove a good smoker when the time allows. – Adam Davidson

I found that Lincoln is a city in Lincolnshire and is described in this way (See: LINK):

Lincoln is a city in the English East Midlands. It’s known for the medieval Lincoln Cathedral, with early printed books in a Wren-designed library. Lincoln Castle houses a Victorian prison and a copy of the Magna Carta. The Museum of Lincolnshire Life has social history exhibits in Victorian barracks. The Collection is a museum displaying local archaeology. Nearby, the Usher Gallery has works by Turner and Lowry.

I enjoyed reading an article about Lincoln on Traveler.com entitled, ‘Lincoln, England: The unlikely English city that the Romans and Vikings prized’.  I found all this information interesting, but no closer to knowing why a pipe nomenclature would enshrine the name of this historic, English city.

What I concluded previously with the research of the first Lincoln was that the information is scattered regarding a concrete understanding of the company origin of the Lincoln on my worktable.  What is consistently understood is that the only examples of Lincolns are classic blasted Billiards.  They consistently present the Lincoln stem logo on the right side of the stem and they are stamped ‘London Style’ or ‘London Made’.  The feel of the Lincoln pipes would not surprise me if they were produced in the 1960s, but this is only a guess.

Looking now more specifically at the blasted Billiard on the table – it is clear why Byron commissioned this pipe – the add above describes well the pipe as a “work horse of a pipe”.  Billiards are the heavy lifters of pipes in the pipe world, no doubt.   The Lincoln London made has extremely thick cake in the chamber to the extent that it’s almost closed.  Clearing the cake build up will allow me to inspect the chamber for heating damage.  Clearing the carbon cake also allows the briar to have a fresh start.  The rim is worn, and the blasted finish is almost gone leaving a flat, dull looking rim.  The blasted surface on this Lincoln London Made is less distinct and more subtle.  The stummel surface needs cleaning from the grime collected over the years.  The stem has some oxidation, and the bit has tooth chatter and some compressions.

To begin with the restoration of the Lincoln London Made, the stem’s airway is cleaned with pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 99%.  It took a good bit of effort!The stem has moderate oxidation and I continue to test the new (to me) www.Briarville.com, ‘Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover’ which I found out about on a FB group.The stem is placed in the bottle and it left for several hours.While the stem is in the deoxidizer soak, work begins on the stummel.  The cake is thick and hard.  The picture below shows how the buildup closes toward the floor of the chamber.  The rim also shows some crusting of the lava overflow.The smaller chamber accommodates only one blade head of the Pipnet Reaming Kit.  Because of the amount of cake that was remaining after the smaller blade head did its job and the next larger blade would only cut about a quarter down the chamber, I pulled out my antique Kleen Reem Tool which can expand incrementally and could navigate the chamber nicely.  I landed the Kleen Reem Tool at a Flea Market my wife and I happened upon in Kentucky a few years back when we were traveling.  Cleaning the chamber continued with the Savinelli Fitsall Tool and then sanding with 240 paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen.  After wiping the chamber with a cotton pad, I was glad to see that the briar was healthy – no burning or heating issues.Turning next to the external blasted surface, undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap is used with a cotton pad to scrub the briar surface.  A brass bristled brush also helps to clean the rim surface.The stummel is then taken to the sink where the cleaning continues using shank brushes and anti-oil dishwashing soap.  The shank brushes are used to scrub the internals of the pipe using warm to hottish water.  After thoroughly rinsing, the stummel is back on the worktable.After the sink cleaning, the cleaning of the internals is continued using pipe cleaners and cotton buds wetted in isopropyl 99%.  The small dental spoon is used also to scrape tars and oils off the mortise walls.  It takes quite a bit of work and the buds start to lighten.  I stop for now and will continue the internal cleaning later with a kosher salt and alcohol soak through the night. With the main cleaning completed, a closer look at the stummel shows that the finish on the Lincoln is well nonexistent.  Like the Lincoln London Style before it, the rim is devoid of finish and is worn down so that there is almost no blasted texture remaining. The out rim edge is also worn and chipped at a few places.  An inspection of the blasted stummel surface reveals blotched finish remaining but basically a dull presentation. The following pictures show what I’m seeing. Looking at the rim, without doubt the rim is worn and in need of refreshing.  As with the Lincoln London Style, the challenge with the rim is solved by topping the rim to refresh the lines.  Then, to restore the blasted surface on the rim, burrs will be used to rusticate the surface to emulate the blasted surface. Starting with the rim, the chopping board is used as a topping board. After placing 240 grade paper on the board, the stummel is inverted and rotated on the paper.  The progress is checked often to make sure the plane of the rim is flat and not dipping.  After taking a start picture, the progress is shown in the following pictures. I have come to the place where I will stop topping.  There are still a few dips in the rim on the outer edge at the 5:30 and 7 o’clock positions.  I’m not concerned about these because the one at 7 o’clock is a natural indentation from the blasted grain pattern.  The process of roughing the rim surface should help to blend the other issues.Next, the rim surface is roughed up with burrs mounted on the rotary tool to emulate a blasted surface.  I start with a round burr which I randomly touch on the surface.The results look good. A random order is taking shape.Next a cylindrical burr is used to ‘dance’ on the rim surface and inscribe cuts randomly but orderly over the work of the round burr.Again, I like the results.  I’m careful to keep the burr action very conservative.  I don’t want to dig a hole and go too deep or chew off the edge of the rim inadvertently.The next step is to freshen the entire stummel with a new dye.  A cotton pad wetted with alcohol is used to wipe the surface to remove the vestiges of the old dye and to prepare for the new dye.  The color of the dye, as with the Lincoln London Style I restored previously, is a very dark hue – the residue on the pad has a strong black angle to it.  I liked the results of the last Lincoln of applying a mixture of Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye with Black also mixed in.  One difference this time around with the Lincoln London made is that I will pre-dye the bare rim first using a walnut-colored dye stick.  I do this to first ‘even up’ the rim coloring so that the whole dye application will be more balanced.Next, after assembling all the dying components on the worktable, a small amount of Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye is mixed with Fiebing’s Black in a small glass.  Then, using a hot air gun, the stummel is warmed to heat the briar so that it expands and is more receptive to the dye.Using a folded pipe cleaner, the dye mixture is painted onto the stummel blasted surface a section at a time and flamed using the lit candle.  As aniline dyes, the alcohol immediately combusts for a couple seconds and the dye pigment is left in the briar grain. After going over the stummel painting and flaming the dye, the newly dyed stummel is put aside for several hours allowing the dye to settle.  This ‘pause’ period seems to help the dye to be absorbed into the wood better and later not come off as easily through leaching.With the stummel resting, the stem is up next.  It has been soaking in the Briarville.com Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover for several hours.  I’ve been trying out this new (to me) product and so far, it’s been working well.  After the stem started soaking, I remembered that the Lincoln stem logo was in decent shape.  It will be interesting to see if the Oxidation Remover has adverse impact on the logo.  We’ll see.  After fishing out the stem, it is first rubbed with a dry cotton pad to remove the raised oxidation on the stem.  I then wet another cotton pad with alcohol and scrub the stem more.  Again, I’m pleased with the results.  The stem seems to be clear of oxidation.Unfortunately, the logo deteriorated some.  The logo impression, though, appears deep enough to receive fresh acrylic paint to sharpen it.  This we’ll do later.To help condition the vulcanite stem, paraffin oil is applied and worked in.  The stem is then set aside to absorb the oil.With the day closing, the internal cleaning is continued on the stummel with a kosher salt and alcohol soak.  The first step is to fashion a cotton wick using a cotton ball.  The cotton ball is pulled and twisted to form the wick which is inserted into the mortise to help draw the tars and oils out of the briar.A stiff wire that I took from a regular closet hanger, is used to guide the end of the cotton wick down the mortise to the draft hole.  The bowl is then filled with kosher salt which does not leave an aftertaste.  After the stummel is placed in the egg carton to keep it stable and to angle the stummel so that the top of the bowl and the end of the shank are roughly level.  Using a large eye dropper, isopropyl 99% then fills the bowl until it surfaces over the salt.  I wait about 10 minutes to top off the alcohol after it has been absorbed into the stummel.The stummel is then put aside to soak through the night.The next morning soiling is evident in both the salt and the wick indicating the process of drawing the oils and tars from the briar through the several hours of soaking.  The expended salt and wick are tossed in the waste, the bowl is wiped with paper towel and I blow through the mortise to dislodge any remaining salt crystals.To make sure all the residue is cleaned up, a few pipe cleaners and cotton buds are used to finish the internal cleaning.  A whiff of the chamber reveals a very pleasing fresh aroma – no ghosting of odors.Before working on ‘unwrapping’ the newly dyed stummel that has been ‘resting’ through the night, I continue to bring the stem up to speed.  The soak in Briarville.com’s, ‘Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover’ has done a good job it seems by what I can see now.  The upper and lower bit have tooth chatter and bite compressions which need addressing.  To minimize the chatter and compressions so that a minimal amount of sanding is necessary, I use the heating method.  I paint the bit with the flame of a Bic lighter which heats the vulcanite rubber compound and expands it to reclaim its original condition – or closer to it.  The comparison pictures of before and after show the results after painting the upper and lower bit several times.  The upper bit should need only sanding, but the lower bit, though much better than before the heating, will need a patch to fill the compression. To patch the lower bit compression, medium black CA glue is spot dropped filling the indentation.  After applying the CA glue, the stem is put aside allowing the glue to cure.Turning now to the flamed stummel which has rested through the night, its time to unwrap the crusted dye shell.  After mounting a felt buffing wheel to the rotary tool and setting the speed at about 30% full power, the coarser Red Tripoli compound is applied to the crusted blasted surface.  The felt wheel is purged often with the edge of the metal rotary tool tightening wrench to keep it softer and to clear the flamed dye that collects during the unwrapping process.Following the application of Tripoli compound with the felt wheel, the bowl is wiped with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol.  This is done to remove excess dye from the rough blasted surface.Next, Tripoli compound is applied a second time to the surface using a cotton cloth buffing wheel with the speed increased to about 50% full power.  This further sharpens the dyed blasted surface, and the cotton cloth wheel is able to reach the surface area that was not as accessible to the firmer felt wheel.Again, after the use with the cotton cloth wheel, the bowl is wiped with alcohol and more excess dye is removed.  At this point, the next step is to apply Blue Diamond compound.  With the stummel waiting, I continue with the stem to catch it up.  The black CA glue has cured on the lower bit and the excess patch material is removed using a flat needle file.  With the file, the upper and lower button lips are also refreshed. Next, 240 sanding paper is used to sand the remaining excess patch material on the lower bit as well as to remove the remaining residual tooth chatter.

Sanding with 240 paper is expanded to the entire stem, careful to guard the stem logo.  The stem is reunited with the stummel during this sanding with the plastic disk wedged between.  The disk guards the shouldering of the stem facing of the stem.Next, using 600 grade paper the stem is wet sanded.  This is followed by applying 0000 grade steel wool.The full regimen of micromesh pads is applied next starting with wet sanding using pads 1500 to 2400.  This is followed by dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of 3 pads Obsidian Oil is applied to condition the vulcanite and to guard against oxidation. The stem has caught up with the stummel.  After reuniting the Lincoln stem and blasted stummel, another cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted on the rotary tool with the speed set at about 40% full power.  Blue Diamond is then applied to the pipe – stem and stummel.Following the application of Blue Diamond compound, a felt cloth is used to wipe down/buff the pipe to remove compound dust before the application of wax.Before applying the wax, the circled star-L-star stem logo needs refreshing.  All the paint has left the imprint and the good news is the imprint looks to be sufficiently distinct to hold new acrylic paint.  This was not the case with the Lincoln London Style that was last on the worktable.To begin, white acrylic paint is put over the entire stem logo.My practice is to then daub the wet paint with a cotton pad.  The result of this is that the excess paint is absorbed, and the paint dries almost immediately.A toothpick is then employed to clear the excess paint over the logo.  This is done by lightly scraping over the logo with the side edge of the toothpick.  The toothpick scrapes away the paint that is above the impression of the logo and this sharpens the logo image.  I have had times when the fresh paint is peeled up and pulled out of the impression and then needed another application of paint.  This logo did this once with a small portion of the upper ‘L’.  After using the side of the toothpick, the point of the toothpick is then carefully used to scrape off excess paint that was too close to the imprint channels to come off with the side of the toothpick.  This takes a bit of patience.  To finish, the cotton pad is run over the logo with some pressure like it is being sanded – a very gentle abrasive.  This helps to sharpen the logo even more.  The refreshed logo looks good.With the Lincoln stem stamping refreshed, another cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted on the rotary tool maintaining the same speed of 40%.  Carnauba wax is then applied to the pipe.  When completed, the pipe is given a rigorous hand buffing to raise the shine and to disperse excess wax on the blasted surface.This second ‘work horse’ Billiard came out well.  The blasted surface has the textured flecking in the color to give it an eye appeal along with the touch.  The rim’s repair came out nicely emulating a refreshed blasted surface.  Byron commissioned the Lincoln London Made Real Sandblasted Briar and will have the first opportunity to claim him in The Pipe Steward Store benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria.  Thanks for joining me!

Releasing a Work Horse Billiard – A Lincoln London Style Real Sandblasted Briar


Blog by Dal Stanton

The next pipe on my worktable affords me the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane.  The Lincoln London Style Real Sandblasted Billiard was found along with 8 other pipes at a favorite walking street antique shop in Burgas, Bulgaria.  Burgas is located on the coast of the Black Sea near where my wife and I made our annual summer pilgrimages to the beach.  During the summer of 2017, one of the side trips we enjoyed was to go into Burgas and stroll down the main walking streets lined with shops and a favorite second-hand/antique store.   The vendor on this particular visit was fun to talk with and to finally strike a deal with to acquire the 9 pipes that made their way to the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection available online for pipe men and women to commission benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria.The Lincoln is the second pipe – the straight Billiard – from the right in the picture below.  With the Lincoln London Style now on the worktable some pictures are taken go get a closer look. The nomenclature is stamped on the heel’s smooth briar panel.  Stamped is, LINCOLN over LONDON STYLE.  To the right of this is stamped, REAL SANDBLASTED [over] BRIAR.  The Lincoln logo is interestingly stamped on the right side of the stem (the normal being on the left side) with an encircled *L* (star-‘L’-star).I cannot remember seeing a pipe logo stamped on the right side of the stem.  With my curiosity piqued, a quick search finds a few Lincoln pipes listed for sale here and there.  The confusion is captured here with this Lincoln Sandblasted at one site and the undiscerning seller simply leaving the logo upside-down where it should be – the left side!I have two Lincolns in my For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection.  I acquired both at the same shop in Burgas but on different trips. The two Billiards are similar with the right-sided stem logo stamping and ‘Real Sandblasted Briar’ markings.  The only difference is that the Lincoln still in the ‘Help Me!’ Basket One is marked: LINCOLN [over] LONDON MADE rather than the LONDON STYLE on the Lincoln on the worktable now.  The other small difference is that the current London Style is 6 inches in length whereas the London Made is 5 and 3/4 inches in length.

I turned to Pipehil.eu to find a lone listing for ‘Lincoln’.  The example shows a ‘London Made’ stamping and the stem logo stamping is also on the right side of the stem.  Looking to Pipedia, nothing turns up in the search bar for ‘Lincoln’.  Turning again to my prized copy of ‘Who Made That Pipe?’ by Wilczak and Colwell, a few leads emerge.The only UK leads referenced are W. H. Carrington, Sasieni, Higgs Bros (Lincoln IMP).  The W. H. Carrington listing is also referenced in Pipedia (See: Carrington).  The short article is:

H. Carrington & Co. was founded by William Henry Carrington, and located at 53 Thomas Street, Manchester among several other addresses. Carrington lists his profession as tobacconist as early as the 1891 census, following in his father John Carrington’s footsteps. The firm first registered a silver hallmark in Chester in 1888 and in Birmingham’s Assay Office in 1891. Carrington pipes in both briar and meerschaum with silver have been seen marked “W.H.C.”.

H. Carrington was in operation for nearly a century before going out of business.

The pictures shown in this article point to early examples of hallmarked silver fitments (late 1800s/early 1900s).  The article references that the company functioned for a century before closing.  The first hallmark was registered in 1888 which would suggest that the company produced pipes until the 1980s.  The company is described being in Manchester whereas the examples of Lincolns I have indicate a London origin.  I did find other examples of WHC marked pipes listed (see: LINK) but could find no current description of the W. H. Carrington & Co. nor any connection with Lincoln.

Looking for a Lincoln connection to Sasieni likewise resulted in nothing.  The Higgs Bros referenced pointed again to the late 1800s hallmark information.  Lincoln is mentioned but nothing more.  Interestingly, other listings on the same page would suggest that ‘Lincoln’ in the listing is referencing a place of origin rather than a line – Lincoln, England.  This clipping shows the scant information but with the Lincoln, England, marked as the origin.One additional piece of anecdotal information I found is a description of a Lincoln for sale in Smoking Pipes.com showcasing a Lincoln London Made Sandblasted Billiard:

A nice, classic Billiard can be a work horse of a pipe. This Lincoln (most likely named after the town in England) should prove a good smoker when the time allows. – Adam Davidson

The research is scattered regarding a concrete understanding of the company origin of the Lincoln on my worktable.  What is consistently understood is that the only examples of Lincolns are classic blasted Billiards.  They consistently present the Lincoln stem logo on the right side of the stem and they are stamped London Style or Made.  The feel of the pipe would not surprise me that it was produced in the 60s, but this is only a guess.

Looking now more specifically at the blasted Billiard on the table – the add above describes well the pipe as a “work horse of a pipe”.  Billiards are the heavy lifters of pipes in the pipe world, no doubt.  When you add the blasted surface, it is almost like adding ‘draft horse’ to the description – horses that are exceedingly strong and pull the loads that others can’t.  So, here is my horse version of this Lincoln Blasted Billiard (LINK) on my worktable!

The chamber has a thick cake build up which needs to be removed to allow fresh briar to have a clean start.  The picture is lightened to allow the chamber to be seen.The rim is worn around the edges showing raw briar and on the rear of the outer rim.  This shows a deterioration of the briar – it slopes a bit showing the damage. The blasted surface is exceptional – it’s a genuinely nice classic blasted surface.  The surface is dirty and grimy and needs cleaning.  The stem shows tooth chatter on the bit and oxidation.To begin the recommissioning of the Lincoln London Style, the focus is on the stem.  First, the stem airway is cleaned using several pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl 99%.  It was dirty and took a bit of time.With the airway cleaned, the Lincoln stem joins other pipes’ stems in the queue in a soak using Briarville.com’s Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover as I continue to test this new (to me) product’s effectiveness. After soaking for about 24 hours, the stem is removed and using a dry cotton pad raised oxidation is wiped off the vulcanite stem surface.  This is followed by scrubbing the stem with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 99% to remove more raised oxidation.The stem is then treated with paraffin oil to start the reconditioning of the vulcanite.  So far, the Briarville Oxidation Remover has worked well.  I will continue to use it and see how it goes.Next, the attention turns to the stummel.  Using the Pipnet Reaming Kit, 3 of the 4 blade heads available were accommodated by the chamber measuring 1 5/8 inches deep and 7/8 inches wide.  Following the reaming, the Savinelli Fitsall Tool reaches down into the chamber to scrape more carbon cake off the walls.  Finally, 240 paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen clears and cleans the remaining carbon.  After an inspection of the chamber, healthy briar is evident, and I move on.Transitioning now to cleaning the external surface, undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap is used with a cotton pad. A bristled toothbrush also helps to clean the blasted briar surface and a brass wire brush helps with the rim.  Brass is used because it scrubs without being too invasive with the briar.The stummel is then taken to the sink where the cleaning continues using shank brushes and anti-oil liquid dishwashing soap.  Warm to hottish water is used to scrub the internal mortise. After a thorough rinsing the stummel is back on the worktable.Continuing the internal cleaning, a bunch of cotton buds and pipe cleaners are used as well as scraping the mortise wall with a small dental spoon.  The internals were in pretty bad shape and when the buds finally started lightening up, I decide to stop for now.  At the end of my workday, I’ll continue the cleaning by giving the stummel a kosher salt and alcohol soak through the night.  This helps to draw out the remaining tars and oils from the internal briar.After the cleaning of the external briar surface, I look at the results.  The rim’s worn and deteriorated external edge is evident in the next few pictures.  Raw briar shows the wearing, especially on the back side of the rim.The finish has been removed in large measure by the cleaning – this is not really surprising.  The pictures show the blasted surface very nicely with many bald spots of briar. I’ve come to a decision point in the restoration process.  The rim damage needs addressing.  The following two pictures focus on the damage and deterioration of the outer rim edge.  The first picture is from the steward’s perspective looking down the stem.  The back of the rim tapers down with the huge skinning of the briar.  This probably happened as the former steward knocked the stummel’s back edge on a hard surface to remove ash using the stem as a handle.The next picture is the perspective looking from the right side of the stummel.  You can easily see the disparity between the front of the rim (on the right side of the picture) and the tapered, worn off briar on the rear (the left side).  I’ve marked the angle of drop-off in the photo.Topping the stummel would be the normal call with a smooth briar stummel.  However, to top the stummel of a blasted surface means that either you leave the new rim as a smooth briar surface contrasting with the rough blasted surface – which can be a very nice and attractive option – or it means that after the topping, burrs are used to rusticate the rim seeking to emulate a blasted surface texture.  It goes without speaking, the stummel will be the recipient of a fresh application of dye to finish it.  The restoration purist, I suppose, would opt toward recreating the blasted rim without question.  I personally like the smooth/rough briar surface contrasting – it can look classy.  I decide to give some thought to the options and call it a day.

Before I do, the internal cleaning continues with a kosher salt and alcohol soak through the night.  To begin, a cotton ‘wick’ is created by pulling and twisting a cotton ball.  This wick serves to draw oils and tars out of the briar during the soak process.  The wick is guided down the mortise to the draft hole with the help of a stiff wire that I cut from a wire closet hanger.  Kosher salt then fills the chamber and the stummel is placed in an egg carton for stability through the night.  Kosher salt is used instead of regular iodized salt because it will not leave an aftertaste.  Isopropyl 99% then fills the bowl until it surfaces over the salt using a large eye dropper.  After 10 minutes or so, the alcohol is absorbed, and more alcohol is added to top it off.  The lights are then switched off!The next morning a picture shows the soiling of the cotton wick and salt showing that some cleaning activity was continuing through the several hours soak.  After clearing the expended salt to the waste, the bowl is wiped with paper towel and I blow through the mortise to make sure salt crystals were removed.  To check the cleaning, a few cotton buds wetted with isopropyl 99% confirm that the internals are clean and refreshed for a new steward.  I love the fresh smell of the chamber after using the kosher salt and alcohol soak.After sleeping on it, I decide to top the stummel and then rough it up with burrs to emulate the blasted surface.  Using the chopping board on my worktable, after taking a starting picture, the inverted stummel is rotated over 240 grade paper. I stop the rotation often to check the progress making sure that the topped plane is level and not dipping. The Billiard bowl, fortunately, has significant height and the loss of briar on the top will be negligible.  The goal is to take off as little briar as possible to erase the raw briar along the outer edge of the rim.  The raw briar indicates that the rim has worn away and deteriorated.  The aft of the rim will be the most stubborn as the deterioration is most acute there.  The pictures show the gradual process of topping the stummel. At this point, I stop the topping process.  There is still a bit of rim damage evident on the aft quadrant but I’m hopeful that after roughing the rim surface with burrs, this damage will blend away.  The topping resulted in a nicely rounded chamber and an even rim diameter – this is good! One of my briar dust donor bowls volunteers allowing me to test the burrs that I’ve chosen to use.  The general goal is to emulate a blasted surface on the rim.  The guiding principle I use is ‘less is more’ with this.  Pictures of the original Lincoln rim displayed a gentler texture on the rim and not as distinctive as the bowl surface.  You can always add MORE texture with a burr but you can’t remove it without sanding.  I first try the round burr.I gently tap the burr over a portion of the rim to see how it behaves.  I like what I’m seeing.I add to this the cylindrical burr and randomly ‘dance it’ over the previous burr’s work.  Again, I’m liking what I see.  I’m looking for more subtlety.With the dry run completed, the Lincoln takes the stage. The first phase is random taps and curves using the rounded burr.  I use a light touch to avoid deep ravines and digs.  After working around the rim, I’m liking what I’m seeing.Following with the cylindrical burr, again the movement is uniform randomness writing, dancing, and dragging gingerly over the rim surface.  The final close up shows the finished roughed surface.  I think it will blend very nicely.The next step is to apply a dark dye to refresh the blasted surface of the bowl and to cover and blend the refurbished rim.  First, the bowl is wiped with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to clean the surface.  A few fresh pictures are taken to show the starting point of the needy blasted surface.From the pictures I’ve seen of Lincolns online and the Lincolns in my own collection, the sense I get is that the finish is very dark.  I use a dark brown base and mix a small amount of black dye with it to take it to the next level of a darker brown hue.  Fiebing’s Leather Dyes work well.  After the Dark Brown is put in a small mixing glass, a few drops of Black dye are added and mixed with the toothpick.  The toothpick coloring gives me a clue to the mixture balance.  Using the hot air gun, the stummel is warmed to open the briar and to make it more receptive to the dye.After heated, the Fiebing’s Leather Dye mixture is applied in sections moving around the bowl using a folded pipe cleaner.  With each section painted, the wet aniline dye is flamed with a lit candle immediately combusting the alcohol base of the dye.  The combustion lasts a few seconds leaving behind the embedded pigment of the dye in the briar. After painting and flaming the entire surface, including the refurbished rim, the stummel is set aside for several hours allowing the new dye to settle.Turning now to the Lincoln straight tapered stem, I take fresh pictures of the tooth chatter on the upper and lower bit.  To minimize and maybe erase most of the chatter, the heating method is used.  Using a Bic lighter, the flame is painted over the bit sides and with the heating of the vulcanite, the rubber expands and regains its original condition or in some degree.  After painting, the before pictures are compared to the after pictures to show the results.  I believe there’s some improvement, but all should be removed through sanding.  Using the flat needle file, the button lips are refreshed.  The remaining tooth chatter is removed using 240 sanding paper on the upper and lower bit.While the stummel is resting with new dye, I rejoin the stummel and stem with the sanding disk wedged between.  The disk protects against shouldering the stem facing as the 240 sanding expands to the whole stem.  During this sanding, care is given while sanding around the circled *S* stem logo.The sanding is next transitioned to wet sanding with 600 grade paper and then 0000 grade steel wool is applied. Next, the full regimen of micromesh pads is applied starting with wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400.  This is followed with dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of 3 pads, Obsidian Oil is applied to condition the stem as well as help protect it from developing oxidation. After putting the stem aside, the stummel has rested through the night allowing the new dye to settle in.  To unwrap the crusted, flamed dye surface, a felt buffing wheel is mounted to the rotary tool set at about 30% full power – a bit slower to reduce the heat/friction.  Tripoli compound, a more abrasive compound, is used.I pause during the process to show the contrast and the results.  I like the natural lighter, reddish peaks appearing because of the felt wheel and Tripoli action.  Usually, with blasted surfaces, I will lightly sand the peaks of the blasted surface with a 1500 grade micromesh pad to create the lighting effect.  This effect helps to create a depth and texture contrast in the darker dye blasted surface background.  I like what I’m seeing! I rotate the wheel angle a lot to navigate the edge of the wheel to run down the crevasses to make sure the excess flamed dye is removed. After completing the application of Tripoli with the felt wheel, I change to a cotton cloth buffing wheel, increase the speed to about 50% full power and again apply Tripoli over the entire stummel.  I do this to continue removing excess dye that is compacted deeper in the crevasses missed by the firmer felt wheel.  The cotton cloth wheel can reach where the felt wheel could not. To blend the new dye and to remove excess, the bowl is wiped with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol.After reuniting the stem and stummel, a different cotton cloth wheel is mounted to the rotary tool and Blue Diamond compound is applied setting the speed at about 40% full power.  This continues to fine tune and sharpen the features in the blasted surface.Both stem and stummel are then buffed after application of the Blue Diamond compound.  I do this to remove the compound dust before applying wax.With the stem and stummel separated, I have two more micro projects to do before applying wax.  First, to prevent dye leaching onto the fingers after the pipe is put into service, the bowl is warmed with the hot air gun to emulate the heating of the bowl in service.  Often, newly dyed bowls will leach and turn fingers a nice shade of brown.  After the bowl is thoroughly heated, it is buffed with an old cotton cloth to remove more dye leaching from the briar.  I don’t think leaching can be 100% prevented, but these procedures will certainly minimize the possibility.The next mini project is seeing if the Lincoln stem logo can be refreshed.  It looks solid enough to give the acrylic paint traction.A small drop of the white acrylic paint is spread over the entire logo.It is then daubed with the cotton pad to remove excess paint and to dry it.Well…, I wish I could say, presto, and here is the refreshed Lincoln logo, but I’m not able.  The paint would not hold in the treads of the logo imprint.  The best result I achieved, unfortunately, would have drawn attention to a half-baked stem stamping.  I would rather leave it as it is than leave it looking worse.  So, after reuniting the Lincoln stem and stummel, another cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted to the rotary tool and with the speed set to about 40% full power, carnauba wax is applied to the pipe.  After a thorough application of wax, the pipe is given a rigorous hand buffing to raise the shine and to blend any excess wax on the blasted surface.I am pleased with the rustic, classic look and feel of this Lincoln London Style Sandblasted Briar Billiard.  He is without doubt a work horse pipe and ready to go again.  I am especially pleased with the repair to the rim and the emulated blasted surface that I was able to create.  The new blasted finish, well, it rocks.  The flecked reddish highlights of the blasted peaks give depth and eye-drawing appeal to the briar surface.  The Lincoln is available to be claimed from The Pipe Steward Store benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria – helping women and girls who were trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!