Tag Archives: refinishing

A Damaged Danish Crown 49 Oval shank Dublin Given New Life


Blog by Steve Laug

This Danish Crown was the last of the pipes Steve and I had discussed restoring from the box he sent my way. He had sent it to me to chip away at in my spare time. I have been working away at them a few at a time for a few months now. On the weekend I decided it was time to finish the remainder of the box. I pulled out five of the remaining seven pipes and worked on all of them (the last two are nothing spectacular but I may just clean them up anyway so I can send him the entire batch cleaned and usable). The pipe looked like a Stanwell make to me but a little research told me that it was a Kriswill, made by Kriswork Briar Trading, in Kolding (Denmark). The company started about 1955 and went bankrupt in the late 70s. They had a line of seconds (pipes with fills and flaws that were still usable) which included the Danish Crown. This pipe was stamped on the topside of the shank with the name Danish Crown over Handmade in Denmark. On the underside of the shank is the shape number 49 at the shank/stem junction. The stamping on the pipe is probably the most readable of the entire batch of pipes. I took photos before cleaning the pipe.The bowl is heavily caked and there is a thick overflow of tars and cake onto the rim top almost obscuring the inner edge of the rim. There was a large chipped area on the front right of the rim top as well as more dings and dents around the rim top. The finish on the bowl was worn and dirty. The stem has a lot of tooth marks and chatter. There was also oxidation on the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started the restoration. I took a close up photo of the rim top and bowl. You can see from the photo how thick the cake was and the amount of lava over flow on the rim top. The damage to the rim is at the 9:00 and 11:00 o’clock position in the photo below.The stamping on the shank is very readable. In person, it is clearer than it appears in the photo below. The next two photos of the stem show oxidation on the whole stem and tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside of the stem near the button.I put the stem in the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath to soak with the other stems from Steve’s pipes. While they soaked I worked on the five bowls that went with them. The stems soaked over a period of 24 hours.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet Reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working my way up to the third head, which was the same size as the bowl. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar. I scraped the rim with a sharp penknife to clean up the lava buildup on the rim top. I scraped it until the rim was debris free.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and shank with Murphy’s Oil Soap and scrubbed the rim top and the bevel with a tooth brush. I picked the damaged areas clean with a dental pick to remove the buildup deep in the rough spots on the rim. I rinsed the bowl under running water and continued to scrub it until it was clean. I used a rolled piece of sandpaper wrapped around my finger to sand out the inside of the bowl. The bowl walls were a little rough on this one so it was going to take some work to smooth things out. I wiped down the damage on the rim top with a cotton swab and alcohol and filled them in with briar dust and clear super glue.When the repairs had hardened I sanded the rim top and edges with 220 grit sandpaper to begin the process of blending them into the briar. With the rim top repair and the discovery of many small fills around the bowl sides and the bowl/shank junction, I decided to use a darker stain on this pipe than the other ones. I stained it with a dark brown aniline stain and flamed it to set it in the grain of the briar. I repeated the process until I was happy with the coverage.When the stain had dried, I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad to remove the excess and blend the colours to a rich dark brown that allowed some of the grain to show through. Unfortunately, it also allowed the fills to show. More work needed to be done to take care of that issue. I used a dark brown stain pen and a Sharpie pen to colour over the fill areas. I used the dark brown aniline stain dauber to put over the top of the colouring I had done. I flamed the aniline stain spots with my lighter to set the stain in them. I lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I was careful when buffing around the repaired area on the top of the bowl and the fills that I had darkened. I gave the bowl several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I am happy with the look of the bowl at this point. The grain shows through nicely and the fills and repairs blend in pretty well. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I removed it from the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath and dried it off. I ran a pipe cleaner through the airway to remove the Deoxidizer that was on the inside of the stem. I used alcohol to clean out the airway in the stem. It came out of the bath pretty clean of oxidation. The tooth marks and chatter showed up clearly on both sides near the button.I lightly sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and filled in the deeper tooth marks with black super glue. The largest mark was on the underside of the stem.Once the glue dried I sanded the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the stem.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. After the 12000 grit pad I gave it another coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I used a light touch on the areas that were repaired. I gave the bowl several coats of carnauba wax and 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. It is the fifth of this batch of five pipes that I have restored for Steve. It is a well-made Kriswill pipe. I think Steve will really like this last addition to his rack. Steve, if you are reading this I hope you enjoy this beauty. It will be on its way to you very soon. Thanks for looking.

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A Sad Old Danish Sovereign 330 Bent Dublin Made New


Blog by Steve Laug

This old Stanwell looking Dublin was in the box of pipes that came from my friend Steve in Dawson Creek. It is one of the batch he sent for me to chip away at in my spare time. Today was the day for that chipping away to happen. I pulled out five of the remaining seven pipes and worked on all of them today. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank with the shape number 330 over Danish Sovereign over Made in Denmark. The stamping on the pipe is faint.  The bowl is heavily caked and there is a thick overflow of tars and cake onto the rim top almost obscuring the beveled inner edge of the rim. The finish on the bowl is worn and dirty. There is paint on the surface of the briar on the left side. The stem has a lot of tooth marks and chatter. There is also oxidation on the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started the restoration. The next photo is a close up of the rim top. The cake was thick but the worst part was the heavy overflow onto the rim. It was impossible at this point to know the condition of the rim and edge of the bowl because of the mess covering it all.The stem was worn and had tooth dents and chatter on both sides near the button. The button itself was worn down and the edges almost indistinct from the rest of the stem surface.I put the stem in the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath to soak with the other stems from Steve’s pipes. While they soaked I worked on the five bowls that went with them.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet Reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working my way up to the second head which was the same size as the bowl. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar. I scraped the rim with a sharp pen knife to clean up the lava buildup on the rim top. I scraped it until the rim was debris free.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and shank with Murphy’s Oil Soap and scrubbed the rim top and the bevel with a tooth brush. I rinsed the bowl under running water and continued to scrub it until it was clean and the bevel was clearly defined. After removing all of the lava on the rim there was quite a bit of rim damage on top. To remove the damage on the outer rim edge I decided to lightly top the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I took a photo of the process and of the top once I had finished it.There were three sandpits or fills in the top of the bowl. I sanded the bevel on the inner edge of the rim to remove some of the burn damage. I repaired the fills with clear super glue. When the repairs dried I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the rim top. I sanded the outer edge and the beveled inner edge of the bowl some more to clean them up. I wiped the bowl down with alcohol to remove remnants of the finish and the grime on the bowl. I stained the rim top and inner bevel with a light brown stain pen to blend it into the rest of the bowl. I gave the repair areas a little heavier coat of the stain to try to blend them in better.I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cotton pad to remove the sanding grit. I scrubbed out the airway in the shank and mortise with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. It was pretty dirty. I probably should have cleaned it earlier but totally got caught up in working on the top of the rim.I decided to give the bowl several coats of Danish Oil with Cherry stain to give it a contrast coat. The cherry stain highlighted the grain on the bowl and gave the pipe a rich look.I buffed the bowl with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and gave it a light coat of carnauba wax. The photos show the new look of the bowl. The grain pops and the bowl is ready once I get the stem finished. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I took it out ofhte Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath and dry it off. I ran a pipe cleaner through the airway to remove the Deoxidizer that was on the inside of the stem. I used alcohol to clean out the airway in the stem.I wiped down the stem a cotton pad and alcohol to remove any film or debris on the surface of the stem that would get in the way of the repairs. I filled in the tooth marks and deeper dents with clear super glue. When the glue dried I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and used a needle file to clean up the sharp edge of the button. I cleaned up the file marks and blended the repairs into the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads (I opened a new package for this pipe) and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. After the 12000 grit pad I gave it another coat of oil and set it aside to dry. The last photo below has a brown tint that I cannot get rid of but in natural light the stem is shiny black. I put the stem on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl several coats of carnauba wax and 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. It is the fourth of this batch of five pipes that I have restored for Steve. It is very obviously a Stanwell made pipe – everything from the shape to the look of the stem and shank says Stanwell. I think Steve will really like this latest addition to his rack. Steve, if you are reading this I hope you enjoy this beauty. It will be on its way to you very soon. Thanks for looking.

Breathing New Life into a CHP-X3 Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

This old freehand was in the box of pipes that came from my friend Steve in Dawson Creek. It is one of the lot he sent for me to chip away at in my spare time. Today was the day for that chipping away to happen. I pulled out five of the remaining seven pipes and worked on all of them today. This one reminds me of a 70s era freehand. It is a lot like one of the old ones that I had years ago. It is stamped on the underside of the shank next to the stem shank junction with the letters CHP-X over the number 3. It is a large freehand with a chair leg style stem. The bowl is heavily caked and there is overflow of tars and cake onto the plateau of the rim top. The plateau on the top side of the shank is also filled with grime and grit. The finish on the bowl is worn and dirty. I it was originally a virgin finish or if not possibly oiled. The stem is oxidized and has light tooth chatter. From my research this pipe was made in the United States by Michael Kabik before 1973. It was named after Chuck Holiday who was a pipe maker that Kabik bought his shop from. The photos show the condition of the pipe before I began the restoration work. The cake in the bowl and the heavy coat of lava overflowing onto the plateau top of the rim are shown in the close up photo below. It is really a mess at this point.The stem was heavily oxidized and the button on the top side of the stem was worn. There were tooth marks and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem near the button. The grooves of the chair leg stem were very oxidized.I put the stem in the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath to soak with the other stems from Steve’s pipes. While they soaked I worked on the five bowls that went with them.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet Reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working my way up to the second head which was the same size as the bowl. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar. I used a brass bristle brush to clean up the lava buildup on the rim top. I scrubbed the rim until it was debris free. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and shank with Murphy’s Oil Soap and scrubbed the plateau top on the rim and the end of the shank using a tooth brush. I rinsed the bowl under running water and continued to scrub it until it was clean and the plateau was clearly defined. I wiped the bowl and plateau down with alcohol on a cotton pad in preparation for staining the plateau. I use a black Sharpie Pen to colour in the valleys and crevices in the plateau and leave the high spots lighter. I don’t worry too much about staining them as I will buff the top and remove the stain from the high spots before I am finished. To me the briar looked lifeless and the natural colour did not do justice to the beautiful grain that was present on the bowl. I decided to stain it with a dark brown aniline stain and flame it to set it in the briar. I repeated the process until I had an even coverage around the smooth portions of the pipe bowl. I left the plateau areas untouched by the dark brown stain.After the stain had dried for about 30 minutes I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on cotton pads to remove some of the heaviness of the brown and make the colour a bit more transparent. I still need to do a lot more but this was the start of the process. I sanded the smooth portions of the bowl with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge and followed that with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad after each stage of the sanding process. The photos below show the bowl beginning to come to life. To give the grain the kind of pop I wanted and to really set off the dark lines of the straight grain I decided to rub the bowl down with several coats of Danish Oil with Cherry stain. I apply the stain with a cotton pad and rubbed it down over the entire surface of the bowl including the plateau areas. I wanted the reds to penetrate into the nooks and crannies of the plateau to give the surface some flashes of colour and contrast. I buffed it on the wheel and took the following photos to show the condition of the bowl at this point in the process. I took the stem out of the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath and wiped it off with a clean paper towel. The first two photos below show the stem after the 24 hour soak. The stem was very clean and the tooth dents. a potential hairline crack and marks are shown in the photos below. These dents were deep enough that I chose to fill them with clear super glue and set the stem aside to let the repairs cure. The third and fourth photos show the repairs on both surfaces of the stem. When the repair dried I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to flatten out the glue and blend it into the surface of the vulcanite. I cleaned out the airway and slot in the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol. There was some Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer from the bath in the airway and debris and tars in it as well. The pipe cleaners took care of that fairly quickly. I used a needle file to recut the sharp edge of the button. During the filing and clean up I noticed what looked like a small crack in the top of the stem. I would keep an eye on it as I cleaned things up and repair it if indeed it is a crack.I sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repaired areas and blend it into the surface of the stem. I reshaped the button at the same time. There still appeared to be a small crack on the top left side near the button. It was a very tiny hairline crack and was tight so I filled it in with clear super glue and sanded it smooth.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads (I opened a new package for this pipe) and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. After the 12000 grit pad I gave it another coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl several coats of carnauba wax and 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. It is the third of pipe that I have restored for Steve from this last batch. It is an interesting freehand with some nice grain on it. The stem repair to the hairline crack looks pretty good and should hold up well. I will be putting an extra stem in the package for Steve as well. I think he is going to love this one. Steve, if you are reading this I hope you enjoy this beauty. It will be on its way to you very soon. Thanks for looking.

Cleaning up Another Italian Made DiMonte Blaze 1377 Rhodesian


Blog by Steve Laug

Before I restored DiMonte Classica earlier this year I knew nothing about the DiMonte brand. I wrote about the restoration on a previous blog if you are interested in reading about this previous pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/05/11/a-beautiful-italian-hand-made-dimonte-classica-991/). When I saw that pipe my first thought was that it was an Italian Hand Made pipe somewhere between Savinelli and Castello. The quality of the craftsmanship and the hand made stem and briar work made me think that it was more toward the Castello side of the scale. It was a beautiful pipe. If I had found this one first I would have thought differently. It came to me with a heavy coat of Varathane on the bowl and shank. The craftsmanship was average to medium but it was not high end. This pipe had the looks of a machine made pipe which was certainly different from the previous DiMonte. The pipe was stamped DiMonte on the left side of the shank and Blaze on the right side. On the underside at the shank stem junction it was stamped with the shape number 1377 over Made in Italy.The pipe had some charm, don’t get me wrong but it was nothing like the previous DiMonte. The slick topcoat of “plastic” did nothing for me. It was bubbled on spots on the rim top and the cap or the Rhodesian. The bottom of the bowl looked like it had been used for a hammer. The inner edge of the rim showed damage from poor reaming and rim top both showed darkening. The outer edge looked relatively good other than the bubbly plastic top coat. The stem was lightly oxidized and there were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem near the button. The mother of pearl and brass band on the shank added some charm to the pipe.Along with the above two photos, Jeff took photos of the rim top and edges. The bowl was lightly caked as can be seen in the photo. The top of the rim did not have the common lava buildup but it had a blistered looking finish. Around the edge of the cap there were a lot of nicks.The next three photos show the beat up bottom of the bowl. It is what I mentioned above about the pipe being used as a hammer. There were deep gouges and scratches in the finish. The scratches and nicks went up the front and both sides of the bowl. Those combined with the blistering top of the rim and the bubbles along the sides of the cap meant that I was going to need to strip down the finish on this bowl and rework the damaged areas. The next photos show the condition of the shank – actually the best part of the pipe at this point. The stamping is very clear and readable. It will need to be protected when I strip the finish of the pipe. The next photos show the condition of the stem with all of the light tooth marks and chatter on both sides. Fortunately, none of marks were deep and should easily sand out when I polish the stem.I decided to include some my findings regarding the brand that were on the previous blog for ease of reference. I had found a link to a post on alt.smokers.pipes that was a response to a fellow who posted a question about the brand. I have included the link to the thread as well as the informative response regarding the history of the brand and its place of origin. Here is the link: https://pipesmokersforum.com/community/threads/info-on-this-pipe-brand.20964/

Hello Pappy, here’s a bit of information that I found from an alt.smokers.pipes post in 02/10/2003 that reads:

DiMonte was originally Arlington Briar Works, a pipe factory in New York. It went out of the pipe-making business, and sold off its machinery, I think in the 1970s. Maybe later. Mark Tinsky could probably give you an accurate date on when, if that is of concern.

Recently (2003), the family has decided to get back into pipes, and has been having them made under contract in Italy and importing them. The few I have seen so far seem to be good value for the money, but nothing to rave about. I have one. Wood is good, combustion chamber and shank both properly drilled, good quality mouthpiece. Some of the digits in the nomenclature look as if stamped by a dyslexic (and perhaps were — upside down 8, other minor things), and the finishing touch in fine details was not apparent in all instances.

If you find one and like it, I would expect it to be a good smoker. But if you worry about nit-picks, examine the pipe carefully before buying. You might find some…

One more comment: The old pipes from Arlington Briar Works that I have picked up at estate sales have been of lesser quality wood and a touch on the small side, but craftsmanship and attention to detail was great. The new pipes from Italy have better wood, size is generally larger (better, for me), but attention to detail is not always what it might be. As smokers, I rate the newer ones higher, because wood is so important, but in fit and finish things ain’t what they used to be…”

It appears when Arlington attempted to re-enter the pipe market, they contracted with an unknown Italian outfit, who manufactured these pipes under the DiMonte label. However, Arlington once again soon went out of business.

However, I’m sure there must be some knowledgeable pipers here that may have more information for you. Hope this helps you a smidge more…

This DiMonte Blaze Rhodesian came to me clean and ready to restore. Jeff had reamed the bowl and scrubbed out the mortise and the airways in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed and scraped the rim top with the edge of the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed it with running water to remove the grime and the soap. He soaked the stem in an OxyClean bath to remove the oxidation. It raised the oxidation to the surface of the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started restoring it. One of the most frustrating things for me in pipe restoration is bowls that have been coated with a thick coat of Varathane and that is what was covering the briar. The brass and white acrylic band on the shank added a nice touch but I could hardly see if for the shiny plastic coat over the surface of the briar. I took a photo of the bowl and the rim top to show the condition of the pipe. The bowl was very clean. The rim surface was clean of the darkening though the blistering of the finish was still very present.I took photos of both sides of the stem to show the condition of the stem. There was tooth chatter on both sides of the stem and some pits in the vulcanite surface. The oxidation was on the surface of the stem. I took the stem off the pipe and put it in the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to soak for 24 hours.I tried wiping the briar down with acetone and it did not even dent the plastic finish. I sanded the surface of the briar with 220 grit sandpaper to break the plastic finish. Once it was broken I wiped the bowl down with the acetone and it began to break through the Varathane/plastic coat on the bowl. I continued to sand the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper and wipe the bowl down to try to remove the finish from the bowl. It was a very thick coat of finish that covered the bowl. It was taking a lot of time to remove the thick top coat but I was intent on making it happen. The next photos show the bowl after the top coat is finally gone. I sanded out the scratches and marks on the sides and bottom of the bowl. I filled in the deepest gouges with clear super glue and when it dried sanded the repairs to blend them into the surface of the briar. I sanded the bowl with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to remove some of the scratching. I would work more with that after staining. I wiped the bowl down a final time with the acetone on cotton pads to remove any remnants of the remaining finish. I stained the bowl with a black aniline stain and flamed it to set it in the briar. I repeated the process until the coverage was well set.I wiped the briar down with alcohol on cotton pads to remove the excess stain on the briar. I was able to remove the top coat of stain leaving behind the black in the grain of the briar. I sanded the bowl with a medium grit sanding pad. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inner edge of the bowl and minimize the damage. The photos that follow show the bowl after the sanding and washing with alcohol. With the black stain removed I wiped the bowl down one more time with alcohol and gave it the next coat of contrast stain. I used a dark brown aniline based stain and flamed it with a lighter to set it in the surface of the briar. I repeated the process until the coverage around the bowl was even and I was satisfied with how it looked. I let the stain set for 30 minutes before moving on with the process.I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on cotton pads to remove the excess brown stain and make it more transparent. I wanted the grain to pop through the finish. The black undercoat would come through in dark contrast to the rest of the browns on the bowl. With the grain showing through it was time to polish the briar with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded the bowl with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads. After each pad I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust and stain powder. Once I finished polishing it with the 12000 grit micromesh pad and wiped it down with a damp cloth I dried it off in preparation for the finish coat of stain. I gave the bowl several coats of Danish Oil with a Cherry stain. I applied the stain with cotton pads and rubbed it into the finish of the briar. I buffed it with a soft flannel pad to smooth out the finish. It added the touch of red that I wanted to the briar and bring out some of the colour in the grain.  I hand buffed the bowl with a microfiber cloth to polish the newly applied Danish Oil finish. I took the following photos of the pipe at this point in the process. It is looking the way I was hoping it would when I stripped off the plastic coat. It is a nice piece of briar with a mix of grains around the bowl and shank.  All that remained was to give it a final buff with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and then wax it with multiple coats of carnauba wax. The finish would really shine when the wax was buffed with a clean buffing pad. I set the bowl aside to dry overnight and took the stem out of the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer Bath. I wiped it down with a dry cloth to remove the Deoxidizer and rubbed it down with some Obsidian Oil to see where things stood. The stem looked good with most of the oxidation removed. The photos below show the stem after it was removed from the bath. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and pitting on both sides near the button and sanded the rest of the stem to remove the residual oxidation.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 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 when I finished sanding with the 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside. I figured that while the bowl and the stem dried I would call it a night and pick it up in the morning. In the morning I picked up where I had left off the night before. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and then gave the entire pipe several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth. The finished pipe looks far better than it did when I began. It no longer has that thick plastic coat and the blistering is gone from the bowl surface. The stem shines and the briar looks amazing to me with the contrast stains of black, dark brown and cherry. It really works well with the grain. The dimensions of the pipe are; Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Bowl diameter: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ inches. This one is going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will make a nice addition to someone’s collection. If you are interested in adding it to your rack contact me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message. Thanks for looking.

 

Restoring a J. Rettke Patent Pipe from Washington, Missouri


Blog by Steve Laug

This strange looking pipe came from Josh (misterzippo), a reader of the blog earlier this year. He sent me an email and photos some pipes that he thought I might want. As usual when you have incurable PAD there is always something that catches my eye. We fired some emails back and forth about the pipes and it did not take long to make a deal. I bought a Malaga Bulldog, a pair of Wally Frank Sandblast Filter pipes, a little Jost’s and this bizarre looking Rettke. There were a couple of things about the Rettke that fascinated me in terms of the history. The stamping of Washington, MO. made me think of Missouri Meerschaum Corn cob pipes which are also from there. I wondered about a connection. The stem is identical to a Medico/Grabow style stem and was made for a Medico paper filter. That also made me wonder if there was a connection to Medico. I will need to do a bit of research to see if I can unearth the connections. I have an unstamped Rettke and find it a fascinating piece of pipe history so I decided to pick up on from Josh. He sent along a photo of the underside of the bowl and shank to show the stamping on the pipe so I would know it was a true Rettke unlike my other pipe. I asked him for photos of the pipes that he had in hand so I could make a decision on which one that I was interested in. He sent along the photo below showing the four pipes that he had available for sale. I wanted something different from the unmarked one that I have which is rusticated. It is a lot like the third pipe in the photo below so I wanted a smooth Rettke. I looked over the pipes and asked him to choose one of the top two smooth pipes in the photo below and include with the other pipes I purchased from him. He chose well and when it got here I was thrilled with his chose. The one he sent was the first pipe in the photo. It has some really nice grain on it.From the photos I could see that the pipe was dirty but that is never really a problem. The tape measure in the photo shows that the Rettke is about 5 inches long with a taper stem. When the pipe arrived in Idaho, my brother took photos of it so that we would know the condition of the pipe before he started working on it. The finish on the briar looked good underneath the grime of the years. There was a cake in the bowl and a buildup of lava on the top of the rim. It was not possible to see what it looked like under the cake so after cleaning we would know if there was rim damage. The stem was made out of nylon and it had a lot of tooth marks and scratches in the surface and they were deep. It was going to take some work to fill them in and sand them out. Polishing the nylon stem is not a pleasant exercise. It takes a lot of work to get it smoothed out and blended together. The metal spacer was an integral part of the stem. It was rough was in good shape with light oxidation and some tooth marks on both sides near the button.Jeff took a close up photo of the rim and bowl and you can see the general condition of the pipe from that photo. This must have been someone’s favorite pipe and it must have smoked very well to have this kind of cake and tar build up. I was looking forward to seeing what was underneath all of that debris on the rim and in the bowl.The next two photos show the stamping on the bottom of the bowl. They are fascinating in that they not only identify the maker but they tell about his method of stamping the pipe. The second photo shows the date stamp and you can see that the patent date is on a bar and the bar was pressed into the briar leaving a faint imprint behind the date stamp. The stamping reads J. Rettke over Washington, MO. and next to that it reads Pat. June 12, 1962.There is some pretty grain on the piece of briar underneath the detritus of time. I was looking forward to making that shine.The next photos show the pipe from various close-up angles so that you can see the damage to the stem and the junction to the shank and stem. Jeff removed the stem from the shank and unscrewed the knurled silver coloured cap below the stem and took photos. It looked to me that the pipe was missing a stinger apparatus that attached to the knurled cap. The last two photos that Jeff included show the top and underside of the stem at the button. There were quite a few tooth marks and lots of chatter on both sides of the stem. When I saw that it was a bit of a pain because cleaning up these nylon style stems is difficult and time consuming.Jeff did his usual thorough cleanup of the pipe. I am coming to expect nothing less when he sends me pipes that have gone through his cleaning process. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer, scraped the bowl and the rim top with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to clear off the lava build up. He cleaned out the internals in the airway in the shank and the condensation chamber with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He cleaned out the metal tenon and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the briar and the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove all of the grime on the briar and the stem. He rinsed the parts under running water and dried it with a soft cloth. He soaked the stem in OxyClean to clean off the grime on the surface. When the pipe arrived in Vancouver it looked different than it did in the above photos. The rim top and bowl looked really good. The damage was minimal and very visible. The condition of the stem was much as I had expected. Before I started my restoration work on the pipe I decided to do a little research on the brand. I first turned to Pipedia where I found a short entry. I include that here as it confirmed that I was missing the 2 3/8 inch corkscrew device. I quote it in full with the link to Pipedia.

J. Rettke, Washington MO, PAT. June 12 1962. The silver colored thumbscrew below the stem unscrews and is a 2⅜” corkscrew like device. The company is now gone having been purchased by Missouri Meerschaum. This odd looking pipe is made of briar and has a lower chamber with a metal condenser and an upper chamber that contains a filter. The smoke leaves the bowl thru the lower chamber then into the upper and out the stem. It smokes dry and cool. It has a large bowl. https://pipedia.org/wiki/Rettke

The pipe was not included in my other usual sources so I dug a bit further to see if I could find more information on the brand and the maker. I wanted to know the links to Missouri Meerschaum or Dr. Grabow/Medico. I found an article in the Washington Citizen Newspaper from Washington, Missouri dated December 13, 1964. Here is the link. I included a photo of the news clipping below as well as a transcript of the article that I did using a magnifying glass. I also copied the photos for ease of reference. I have included them in the article transcript with the captions  http://digital.shsmo.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/WashCitz/id/21937/rec/1.

Julius Rettke Makes and Sells 3,000 Briar Pipes in Two Years

Julius Rettke spent 43 years making pipes. Two years ago he retired. What happened?

“I just couldn’t sit still. I had to do something.”

He went back to making pipes. He calls it a hobby and that’s what it is for him. He could sell his patent and there is no doubt that it could be made into a lucrative business. But Julius is interested in it only as a hobby. He is 74 years old.

He doesn’t advertise his pipes but has made and sold about 3,000 of them in the past two years. Each sells for $4.00. He has been told he could sell them for $8 to $12.

“I would rather sell them for $4. You know there are a lot of people that can’t pay more than that for a pipe.”

Hasn’t Promoted Pipes

His advertising has been only by word of mouth. He does burn his name and Washington, Mo., on the pipes. Most of his pipes have been sold in this immediate area, but he has had orders from all over the country. Many people give them as gifts. Several companies with chain retail outlets would like to handle his pipes.

Julius made his first pipe about nine years ago. It was made of pecan wood. He gave it to James L. Miller of The Missourian-Citizen to try out. The newspaper publisher at that time was a steady pipe smoker. He liked the pipe.

“That made me feel like others would be interested,” he said. But he was too busy with his job as a machinist at Missouri Meerschaum, where he spent 43 years helping to make corn cob pipes. After he retired he made several pipes out of cherry wood. But he soon found most pipe smokers preferred a briar pipe. Carl Otto, his former-boss, supplied him with briar roots and he made his first briar pipe.

“I took the first pipes to the Bryan boys (Harvey and Tom) and they like them. Before long people asked me to make pipes for them. That’s how I got started.

Does Work in His Basement

The work is done in Mr. Rettke’s basement of his home at Third and Market streets. He doesn’t work at it every day only when he feels like it. He likes to fish and that comes before his pipes in the summer.

What is the reason for the rather wide acceptance of his pipe?

“They claim it is a dry smoking pipe with no nicotine. It has protection against nicotine,”

Mr. Rettke received his patent on his pipe in 1962. What makes his pipe different from others on the market is the path the smoke takes from the bowl, and the passage of smoke through a twisted piece of aluminum, or a “whirler.” The smoke also travels through a standard filter in a standard hard-rubber stem. The “whirler” has a rubber tip that shows on the outside of the pipe under the stem. The “whirler” also can be used as a pipe cleaning tool. It pulls out easily for cleaning purposes.

Mr. Rettke: makes only one style of pipe. He buys his briar roots from a New York importing company. The briar roots are grown chiefly in Mediterranean countries. Most of the briar now conies from Greece and is several hundred years old. The briar itself is a shrub-like plant. The briar burl is cut into specific sizes and shapes and it is in an almost square form when Mr. Rettke receives it.

The manufacturing process in Mr. Rettke’s basement is illustrated in the accompanying photos.

No Production Schedule!

When he works at it, he can make about 10 or 12 pipes a day, he has no production schedule to meet! Things tend to get a little hurried around Christmas time since many people buy pipes for gifts.

When he received his patent, Mr. Rettke gave one of it to John Fowler, who is a career man in the Air Force, and to Wilson Schroeder of Washington, his two sons-in-law. Mr. Rettke’s son, Arthur Rettke lives in Clover Station. He is a carpenter and does some farming.

Mr. Rettke was born and raised in Warren County near Martinsville. He spent some time as a carpenter before going to work for Missouri Meerschaum.

Mr. Rettke was never a heavy smoker and never did smoke a pipe. He did smoke cigars for a period, but he gave that up long ago.

“It’s just a hobby with me. I never expected it to be anything else, but somebody should take it over after I’m gone,” he confided.

To me this is a fascinating article. It answered at least some of my questions. Julius Rettke had indeed worked for Missouri Meerschaum as a bowl turner in their factory. On his retirement he started making the pipes. He only made one style of pipe and never varied from the basic shape. He purchased briar from a company in New York. I wonder if he did not purchase it from S.M. Frank along with the premade Medico style stems and filters. I suppose I won’t ever know but it does fit the general information above.

Now better armed with information I turned my attention to the restoration of the pipe. I took it apart and took a photo. I was missing the “twirler” as Julius called the spiral condenser that sat in the condensation chamber below the bowl. Everything else looked good. He had chosen a beautiful piece of briar and laid out the pipe to fit the grain pattern really well. This would be a pretty looking pipe once it was polished.The nicks and scratches on the rim top and edges were deep enough that a light topping was warranted. I topped it on a piece of 220 grit sandpaper on the topping board. I did not have to top it too much as continuous checking showed me when the surface of the rim was smooth.The stem was a mess so I decided to clean it and do some repairs to all the damaged spots with black super glue. It would take time for the glue to harden, so I applied it and gave it a quick shot of accelerator. The accelerator dried and turned to a white powder on the rest of the stem as seen in the photos below. I set the stem aside to dry and called it a night. I have to tell you; my strong dislike of nylon pipe stems is even more confirmed. They are hard to repair as dents are virtually permanent. Patching with black or clear super glue works but leaves shiny spots that are hard to blend into the rest of the material. Polishing to get a shine needs to be done by hand as a buffer, even with a light touch, melts the material and sends you back to the beginning. They are a pain. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and rubbing it down with Obsidian Oil after each pad – not so much to give shine as to give more bite to the micromesh. I dry sanded the stem with 3200-12000 grit pads and repeated the oil after each pad. The stem is slowly but surely getting a shine. (The shiny spots in the photos are not dents but super glue repairs.) I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a wet cloth to wipe off the sanding dust after each pad. The further I went with the micromesh the deeper the shine became. This is really a pretty piece of briar. I dry sanded with 3200-12000 and once more wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth. I took apart the other unstamped Rettke style pipe and removed the “whirler” from that one. I inserted it in the knurled cap that sat under the stem and took the following photo.I worked on the stem for several hours. I was able to smooth out the damaged areas but they show up in the pictures. They look like black dents or dips in the stem surface but they are actually the super glue repairs. The nylon is very hard to polish for me. Buffing on the machine is next to impossible without melting it. I polished it with polishing compound by hand and I gave the stem multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to give it some life. Once that was finished I called it done. I buffed the bowl with multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the bowl with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I put the stem back on the bowl and gave it a final hand buff. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautifully grained piece of briar and is lightweight and interesting to look at. Thanks for journeying with me through the history and the restoration.

Repairing a Cracked Shank and a Chipped Stem on a Dr. Plumb Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

I received a short email from a reader of the blog about a Dr. Plumb Bulldog that he had that needed a bit of work. He wanted to know if I would be willing to work on it for him. He said that there were some issues with the pipe that he wanted me to try my hand at repairing. He said that the shank had a crack, the stem had a broken stinger end lodged in the airway and the button was broken off on the underside of the stem. I wrote back and asked him to send me some photos of the pipe so I could see what he was speaking about regarding the pipe. He sent the first photo to give me an idea of the overall look of the pipe. Looking at it I have to say that it is a classic GBD shaped bent Bulldog and it had nice grain. He sent a photo of the crack at the bowl/shank junction and noted that he had glued it but was not happy with the way it looked. The photo only shows the crack on the left side of the stem but it was also on the right side. He wanted me to clean it up and stabilize it so that it would not crack any further. That should not be too much of an issue.He sent along a photo of the rim top showed that the outer edge of the bowl had some small nicks in it that needed to be cleaned up. The surface of the beveled rim had some lava overflow and was darkened in several places around the top and the inner edge of the bowl. It was hard to tell for certain from the photos but there was probably some wear on the top and inner edges. The next photo he included showed the stem. Not only was it oxidized with a nice greenish brown colour but there was the “little issue” shown on the underside of the stem. There was a large chunk of vulcanite missing from the button and extended down into the surface of the stem. It appeared to be broken off and I wonder if had not happened when attempting to drill out the broken stinger. I am not sure but I have seen that kind of damage done with a drill bit on other stems in the past. The other possibility is less likely but could have happened, while inserting a thick pipe cleaner the button had cracked and come off.The final two photos pin point the second issue that he was having with the pipe. The metal stinger threaded into the tenon that comes on all Dr. Plumb pipes had been broken off with the threaded portion of it stuck in the tenon and extending part of the way up the stem. His photos included a tenon end shot and a photo of the broken stinger by itself. You can see the ragged edge of the end that would have sat flush against the end of the tenon.Once I saw the photos, I wrote back and told him to send the pipe up to Canada and I would see what I could do with the issues on the pipe. He packed it up and sent it off to me. It did not take too long for it to arrive here in Vancouver. I unpacked it from the mailing envelope it came in and had a look at it. It was even a better looking little Bulldog in person. There were a few small fills on the shank. The largest of the fills was on the right side of the shank right at the junction of the stem and bowl. The crack went through and around the fill. The pipe was stamped faintly on the left side of the shank with the script Dr. Plumb over Perfect Pipe and on the right side it was faintly stamped Made in England and the shape number 134. The stamping was only readable under a bright light. The shank was dirty and the airway in the bowl was tarry and dirty from the buildup around the stinger apparatus. The airway in the stem was dirty and partially blocked by the broken stinger. I took photos of the pipe when I received it so I would have a base to show the progress once I had finished. The third photo shows the damaged stem and I have circled the missing chunk of vulcanite in red. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the darkening to the rim and the debris that was built up on the top. There was some damage to the inner edge of the rim that would need to be smoothed out.I took some photos of the stem to show the oxidation and the damaged area on the underside at the button.I made a wedge out of cardboard and cellophane tape and pushed it into the slot in the button to provide a base for the repair. I mixed charcoal powder with black super glue and built up the missing chunk. I removed the wedge and slid a greased pipe cleaner into the slot and built up the area on the end of the button. I filled in the deep tooth marks on the top side of the stem with the mixture. I filed the repair on the underside of the stem with a rasp and a file to begin to shape the button edge and blend the repair into the surface of the stem. I shaped the button with the files as well to begin to shape it in a classic football shape to match the top half of the stem. The photos show the progress of the shaping. Once I had the levels on the surface correct I wiped the stem down and could see the tiny air bubbles in the repair. I filled them in with clear super glue and let them cure. Once the repairs had cured I used needle files to reshape the button and slot in the end of the stem. There were a few more air bubbles that showed up as I reshaped the button. Once they dried I sanded repaired spots. I used the files to cut the sharp edge of the button. When the spots dried I sanded the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repaired areas and blend them into the rest of the stem. I set the stem aside for awhile and worked on the bowl. I wiped down the area around the crack in the shank and drilled small microdrill bit holes in the end of each of them. I fount that on the right side there was a third trail of crack so I drilled it as well. I filled in the drill holes with clear super glue. I layered in the glue to a bubble and let it dry. Once the glue had dried I sanded the length of each crack in the shank and the repaired holes as well until they were smooth. I sanded the beveled rim top to smooth out the damage and clean up the surface. I worked over the inner edge with sandpaper to smooth out the damaged areas.I used a dark brown stain pen to touch up the repaired and sanded areas on the shank and on the beveled rim top. I cleaned out the inside of the shank and mortise with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol until the shank was clean and all of the oils and tars were removed.I stained the bowl and shank with a dark brown aniline stain. I flamed the stain to set it in the briar and repeated the process until the coverage around the bowl was even. I wiped down the briar with alcohol on cotton pads to make it more transparent. After wiping it down the grain shone through the stain coat. I think that once it is polished it would be a beautiful finish for this Dr. Plumb. Polishing the stem was a harder prospect and took more work than the bowl. The sanding and polishing process repeatedly revealed new air bubbles in the newly built up underside of the stem and button. I sanded and added drops of clear super glue to take care of each air bubble. It was tedious but it paid off. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and wiping down the stem after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I checked for new air bubbles and then went on to dry sand it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I gave it a coat of oil after each one and then finished polishing it with 6000-12000 grit pads. I repeated the oil after each pad and after the 12000 grit pad I set the stem aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond. I kept a light touch in buffing the underside of the stem and button as I did not want to do any harm to the repair. I buffed the repairs on the shank normally and the rest of the pipe the same way. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine in the briar and vulcanite. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe is almost ready to go back to the pipe man who sent it to me. It will go out later this week after I do a last minute check up on the entire pipe. I want it to go back to him in good condition. Thanks for walking with me through this repair and restoration project.

Replacing a Broken Tenon & Restoring an Old Italian Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

I am just about finished cleaning up and restoring the pipes my brother and I picked up on our Virtual Pipe Hunt in Montana. The next pipe that I brought to my work table was from that hunt. I think I may have two or three left two work on but this is one that I have picked up and put back several times since they arrived in Vancouver. As I mentioned in my last blog I have written several blogs about that hunt as it was one of those once it a life time finds. It contained a lot of late 1890s and early 1900 era pipes. These included C.P.F., W.D.C. and some no name pipes from the same era. Again if you are interested in reading about any of the restorations, a quick search on the blog for “Virtual Pipe Hunt” will give you the links to a blog about the hunt and to other pipes that were included. This particular little Bulldog shaped pipe had something about it that caught my eye. It combined some interesting grain (birdseye, swirled and cross grain) on the bowl and a diamond shaped taper stem with an orific button. The finish was worn and the stem was glued onto the shank. At this point in the process the stem would not move as the glue held it tightly in place. The top of the shank was stamped ITALIAN BRIAR in block print and no other stamping on the pipe on either side. The stem had a red dot on the left top side of the diamond. There were tooth marks and the stem was really dirty with an overflow of glue that was on both sides. My brother took photos of the pipe before he started the cleanup process.The next two photos show the pipe from the top side and the underside of the pipe. The topside shows the wear and tear to the finish. There were a lot of scratches and nicks in the briar and a cake in the bowl with lava overflow on the rim top. The underside of the bowl showed the nicks and scratches that went down both sides and the bottom of the bowl and shank. He took some photos of the rim top and bowl. Both photos show the thick cake in the bowl and a thick lava coat on the rim top. It is hard to know if there was any damage to the inner edge of the bowl or on the top surface of the rim.The close up of the underside of the bowl and shank shows the glue buildup in the gap between the shank and the stem.The stem looked like it was in rough shape. There were some peeling flakes on the surface of the stem. They could either be glue or damage to the stem.I was really surprised that my brother was able to get the stem off the shank. It turned out that the broken tenon was glued in the shank and a piece of inner tube was glued into the broken tenon. About an inch of the tube extended beyond the shank and the stem fit on the tube. The glue was painted onto the end of the shank and the end of the stem and the two parts were held together until the glue set. Jeff used some acetone to eat through the glue in the gap between the stem and the shank and was able to pry the pieces apart.The next photos show the damaged stem. It looked like the repair had also included painting the surface of the stem with glue. The glue had bubbled, cracked and peeled leaving behind a messy chipped finish. The orific button on the rounded stem end was in good shape. It appeared that the glue mixture had protected the stem from a lot of tooth marks and chatter. Jeff did his usual thorough cleanup of the pipe. I am coming to expect nothing less when he sends me pipes that have gone through his cleaning process. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer, scraped the bowl and the rim top with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to clear off the lava build up. He cleaned out the internals in the airway in the shank as much as possible with the broken glued in tenon in the way. He used alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the briar and the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove all of the grime on the briar and the hardened, chipped glue on the finish of the stem. He rinsed the parts under running water and dried it with a soft cloth. He soaked the stem in OxyClean to clean off the glue on the surface. When the pipe arrived in Vancouver it looked different than it did when we picked it up in Montana. I forgot to take photos of the pipe before I started on it because I was excited to pull the broken tenon from the shank. You can see the clean bowl and stem in the photos.

I put a drill bit in the chuck of my cordless drill and turned the bowl as the bit went into the airway on the broken tenon. I used one that was slightly larger than the airway and worked my way up to the one in the second photo. Some of the tenon crumbled away and the remainder stuck on the drill bit. I pulled it out of the shank and that part of the process was complete. The shank was clear. I used a Dremel and sanding drum to smooth out the broken edges of the tenon on the end of the stem. I smoothed it out until the broken tenon was smooth against the end of the stem. I put a drill bit in the chuck of my cordless drill and turned the stem onto the bit to open the airway for the new threaded Delrin tenon. I increased the size of the bit until it was the same size as the threaded tenon end. I cleaned up the newly drilled airway with a dental burr on the Dremel.I took the stem back to the work table and took pictures of the process of inserting the new tenon in the stem. The photos show the progress. I turned the tenon into the stem and put glue on the final few threads and use a pair of pliers to turn it into the stem until it was seated against the flush end. I put the stem in the shank and took some photos. The alignment is always a little off when the stem is first inserted. In this case the fit against the shank was perfect. The sides on the old stem and shank were just a little bit off. The left and top side aligned almost perfectly but the right and underside of the stem need some minor adjustments to fit properly. I sanded the stem/shank connection with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the transition and make it smooth to touch. I wiped the bowl down with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the remaining finish from the bowl. When I was finished I took photos of the fit and it was looking really good. I topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I topped it until the surface was smooth and the damaged areas were removed. I used a folded piece of sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge of the bowl.I sanded the stem surface to remove the scratches and damage to the flat sides of the diamond and also the flat angle to the button. I wiped the stem down with alcohol on a cotton pad and removed the debris left behind by the sanding. I filled in the tooth marks with clear super glue and when the glue dried I sanded the repairs smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. I put some clear super glue on the tenon to build it up so that the fit in the shank would not be too loose. When the glue dried I sanded the surface of the tenon until it was smooth. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad and after the final pad I gave it a final coat of oil. I set it aside to let it dry. I scraped out the inside of the mortise with a pen knife to remove the glue build up on the walls. I cleaned up the bevel with the blade of the knife at the same time to make sure that it did not interfere with the fit of the stem against the shank. I cleaned out the airway and mortise with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the debris that remained once I pulled the old tenon. It took a few pipe cleaners and swabs but it did not take too long to clean it up. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads.  I worked around the stamping so I would not damage it in the process. I decided to stain the bowl with a medium brown stain pen rather than my regular aniline stain. I covered the sanded rim top, bowl sides and the shank with the stain. I continued to polish the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cotton pad. The briar began to really shine as I worked through the micromesh sanding pads. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed it with a carnauba wax buffing pad. I gave the stem and bowl multiple coats of wax. I buffed the completed pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfibre cloth to deepen the polish. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It turned out to be a pretty pipe. The black vulcanite stem with the red dot works well with the reddish colour of the briar. The grain stands out well with the colours of the stain. I like the look of finished pipe a lot. This one will probably stay in my own collection. Thanks for following along with me on this refurbishing journey.