Tag Archives: removing a finish

Reworking a Dr. Grabow Riviera

Blog by Steve Laug

I am finally down to the last five pipes in my refurbishing box. I have a bunch more on their way here but I would like to finish up this lot before they arrive as they have been sitting here for a long time always getting passed over and laid aside for more favorable looking options. Last evening I decided to rework this old Dr. Grabow Riviera. It was a pleasant shape but an ugly piece of briar. I removed the stem and was amazed that it was a push stem with a well made tenon. The drilling was spot on and the internals were really well done. The draught on the pipe was excellent. The bowl was clean and the drilling in the bowl was nicely done as well with the airway perfectly centered on the back bottom edge of the bowl. The externals however left much to be desired. The first series of four pictures below show the bowl with the many fills that are on the outside of the bowl. These were not tiny fills by any means; in fact the majority of them are quite large. I had to make a decision on whether to refill them or to rusticate the pipe. Last evening I just was not in the mood to rusticate the pipe. Sometimes I just feel like working over a bowl but this was not the night for doing that. So I decided to pick out the fills and rework them with briar dust and superglue and restain the pipe. The stem was in pretty decent shape also – no bite marks or tooth chatter, very clean with a minimum of oxidation.

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The next series of four photos show the bowl after I have picked out the fills with my dental pick. I actually have a good time picking out the ugly pink putty or as in this case bright white putty. The holes that were filled were not deep but they were on the larger side. Once I picked out the putty I wiped down the bowl with acetone to clean up the mess. I always try to scrunch the cotton pad down into the hole to draw out the last of the putty dust. The worst fill to work with was the one on the back side rim. It was like a saw cut in the rim. It was quite deep and intrusive going from the outside to the inside of the bowl.


With each of the cleaned out holes I used my dental pick to tamp in briar dust. I try to tamp in the dust until the hole is packed and the dust forms a bit of a bulge on the hole. I find that once I drip in the superglue the dust settles in and the new fill is closes to the surface of the bowl. I also purposely overfill so that I can work to smooth out the fill with sandpaper and blend it into the surface of the bowl. The next three pictures show the patches on the bowl. You will notice the overflow of superglue on the surface of the bowl in the pictures below. This is fairly easily removed as it dries quickly and does not permeate the surface of the bowl.


The next series of thirteen photos show the progress of sanding the patches back to the surface of the bowl. In this case I was planning on refinishing the bowl anyway so I sanded the whole bowl back to bare briar. I began by sanding the patches with 240 grit sandpaper and then 320 grit sandpaper. Once the overfill of briar dust and glue was sanded fairly smooth I sanded itwith a medium grit sanding sponge and then a fine grit sanding sponge. I wanted to get rid of the excess fill and also to remove all the scratches in the surface of the bowl. I wet sanded the bowl after this with 1500 and 1800 grit micromesh to ready it for staining. I wiped it down with acetone on a cotton pad. The final pictures show the pipe as it is ready for restaining. You can see that the white putty fills are now dark patches on the bowl. I find that those these dark patches still show up they are easier to blend into the stain and somehow do not seem as intrusive to my eyes as the white patches.


I decided to stain the pipe with an oxblood aniline stain. I applied it with a cotton swab, flamed it, restained and reflamed it. Once it was dry I hand buffed it with a soft cotton cloth before taking it to the buffer. The next four photos show the pipe after the staining and initial hand buff.

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After staining the bowl I worked on the stem. I sanded it with a fine grit sanding sponge and then worked through the micromesh sanding pads from 1500-12,000 grit. I wet sanded with the first three grits (1500, 1800 and 2400 grit) and then dry sanded with the remaining grits. I took it to the buffer and buffed the stem and bowl with White Diamond before applying several coats of carnauba wax and then buffing with a soft flannel buff. The next series of four photos show the finished pipe. In my opinion the fills look far better than when I first started on the pipe. They now are tolerable in my sight and I believe this will make a fine yard pipe or rotation extender for some new pipe smoker. It is cleaned and ready to smoke.

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From Sow’s Ear to Silk Purse

Blog by Steve Laug

This morning I decided to do a few more refurbs on pipes from my box. It is getting low on options as I have reworked the majority of the interesting ones. There are about 25 or so pipes to choose from now and many are in a real state of disrepair. As I sorted through them I came upon this one. I took it out of the box and turned it over in my hands. The bowl was clogged with the remnants of the last smoke – dried tobacco and sticky tars. I decided that this was the first pipe I would work on today. It would be a challenge to see if anything beautiful could come from this mess. It was a beat up old pipe. I think the previous owner must have always had it in mouth and chewed on it like a piece of straw and then used it to hammer nails. The top was chipped and dented with valleys and mountains and the whole covered in a thick coating of tars – pipe lava. The stem was gnawed on had deep dents and tooth marks. It was oxidized to a rich brown that stank of sulfur.

The first step in the process for me is always to ream the bowl and clean out the detritus of the past. I used a dental pick to get the remaining dottle out of the bowl and to make way for my reamers. I find that the dental pick works well as it is sharp enough to break into the hardened ball of tobacco remnant and remove it quickly. I work it around to clean out any loose leftovers so that I can work on the hardened cake that is left in the bowl. This one had a thick cake that was a bit crumbly and soft once the tobacco ball was removed. It would need to be reamed back quite a bit. I generally ream back to bare wood on these old timers as I want to start a hard cake that is not built upon the old crumbling base cake that was in the pipe when I started. I used the PipNet reamer on this one. I fit the cutting head into the T handle and began to carefully turn the reamer into the bowl. I generally do this over a plastic bucket as it is a mess. The coarse dust of the carbon that is cut away is a black cloud if you are not careful. I proceed slowly as it is easy to angle the cutting head and take the bowl out of round. Once it is done I tap out any dust that remains before moving the pipe to my work desk.


On the desk I had placed a work surface that was washable and then took out the soft cotton wash cloths that I use to remove grime and stains and wet them with Isopropyl. I washed down the outside of the bowl including the rim. It removed much of the dirt the first pass and I continued to scrub until the cloth came back clean. For this part of the process I leave the old stem in place as it serves as a handle for me to hang on to while I am working with the bowl. I picked at the grime on the top of the bowl a bit with the dental pick and decided that indeed this one was a candidate for topping. The two pictures above show the pipe after the reaming and cleaning of the bowl. It is ready to be topped.

In preparation for topping the bowl I use a flat surface – either a hard flat board or a piece of glass to which I anchor the sand paper. This time however I wanted to try out a new trick that I had learned from a friend on one of the online forums so I anchored a piece of 240 grit sand paper on a Masonite clipboard and put the clipboard on the desk top. Topping the bowl is a careful process that involves keeping the rim flat on the sand paper and turning it either clockwise or counter clockwise until the chips and dents are minimized. The trick is to take if far enough to remove the majority of the dents and chips without changing the overall profile of the bowl. Too much of the top removed changes the pipe rather than merely restoring it. As I sand the top of the bowl I stop to check it regularly to see if I have removed enough of the damage to the bowl. On this particular pipe it took me quite a bit of time to take it down slowly to the point it was smooth enough to do the next step in the process.

Often once the top is close to being smooth enough the last remaining dents can be steamed out and then a minimal amount of sanding will finish the job. On this particular pipe the top was smooth after sanding it. There was no need to remove any further dents. However there were some major chips out the outer edge of the rim. To remove them would have involved sanding off a fairly significant amount of the top and would have changed the overall look of the pipe. I decided instead to chamfer the edges on the outer portion of the rim. I used a piece of sand paper held at an angle that I maintained throughout the sanding. The idea was to hide the battered edge and remove some of the damage while minimizing some of the larger chips. Once I had the outer rim repaired to my satisfaction I did the same to the inside rim to regain some of the roundness of the bowl. The previous owner seemed to have used a knife to remove cake so there were major chunks taken out of the inside edge. Chamfering the inner edge took care of most of the damage and made the rest relatively invisible to a quick glance.

I then cut a stem to fit – turning the tenon on a precast stem and also taking off the excess vulcanite on the area where the stem joined the shank. I wanted to get the fit to be precise without gaps. Once I had the fit correct and just needed to sand out the scratches I put the bowl in the alcohol bath to let it soak and remove the stain. I continued to work on the stem while it soaked. I generally leave the bowl in the bath for a minimum of 30 minutes and have even left them over night in an extremely dirty bowl. Once I take it out of the bath I wipe it down with a dry cotton cloth and let it dry. I then sand the bowl down to remove any scratches in the surface. I start with a 400 grit wet dry sand paper and work my way through the Micro-mesh pads 1500, 1800, 2400, 3200, 4000, and 6000 to get a good smooth surface. As I worked on the shank I noticed a fine crack that became evident as I removed the grime from the inside of the shank. I heated a nickel band and pressure fit it to the shank to take care of the crack.

I finished the bowl by re-staining it with a medium brown stain as an undercoat and then buffed and sanded it yet again. A top coat of oxblood stain followed that sanding. I find that the two coats of stain complement each other and add some depth and patina to the pipe that only the one colour does not give. It was then polished on the buffing wheel with White Diamond and then given several coats of carnauba wax. I had also finished the stem and put it on the bowl and buffed and waxed the entirety.

This is the finished product. I think you would agree it has ceased to be a sow’s ear and has become a silk purse!




Plugging a burnout

Blog by Steve Laug

I picked up an old Dunhill Root Briar off eBay that I knew would have to have a lot of work done to make it smokeable once again. It was obvious that it would need a plug as it was burned out. Many probably would not have bid on it but I got it for cheap and thought it would be worth learning how to do a briar plug to repair it. With not a huge amount invested in it I figured it was worth the education I would get doing a repair. I often will buy pipes on eBay that are rejects for the sole purpose of learning a new skill in the repair department.

When the old Dunhill arrived I opened the package for the initial inspection of the pipe. I wanted to have a clear picture of what I would be dealing with in the repair. On the underside of the bowl there was some kind epoxy fill that had been injected into small burnout spot. It had been also daubed on the bowl to provide a layer of “insulation” or something. It was really a mess in terms of the application of the epoxy. No amount of wiping the bowl down with alcohol or acetone would remove the goo from the surface of the pipe. I sanded it until the bottom was back to briar alone and the glue was gone. I then used a dental pick to check the integrity of the bottom of the pipe. I wanted to find out from the outside how far the damage had gone into the briar. If it was charcoal like and soft I would know the extent to which I would have to drill out the bottom of the bowl. I marked the extent of the damage with a permanent marker to show how far the burnout had damaged the briar.

Once I had the outside of the bowl cleaned up and the burn out clearly marked I turned my attention to the inside of the bowl. Once I had cleaned out the grit and grime from the inside of the bowl I found that the previous owner had reamed far too aggressively and compromised the thickness of the bottom of the bowl. It was almost ¼ inch below the bottom of the airway. The bottom of the bowl was in fact very thin. Using my dental pick I probed the bowl bottom to identify the extent of the damage around the burn out hole. It was virtually the same as the outside. With that information in hand I was ready to drill out the spot on the bowl.

I sanded out the inside of the bowl with a dowel and sandpaper to smooth out the hack job on the bottom. I then drilled out the burned out spot from the outside of the bowl with a drill bit slightly larger than the area I had marked with the marker. I was careful to get all the burned wood. Once the hole was open I again tested the soundness of the surrounding briar with my dental pick. I wanted to make sure that the damaged briar was removed. I re-drilled it a second time with a slightly larger bit to remove what remained of the damage. I then cleaned the pipe yet again. I wanted to make sure that the inside of the bowl was reamed and sanded to bare wood and that the bottom of the bowl that remained was free of carbon and dirt. I washed the entirety with isopropyl alcohol and then let it dry out.

I measure the outer diameter of the hole in the bottom and the inner diameter of the bowl. I then cut a piece of briar to those dimensions. The briar plug was shaped like a “T” and was actually significantly bigger than the pin hole that was originally in the bottom of the bowl. I had decided to create a new bottom for the bowl and a plug for the hole I had drilled. I used some wood glue and coated the bowl bottom and the inside of the hole. I then inserted the plug in the top of the bowl and used a rubber mallet and a piece of dowel to drive peg to the bottom of the bowl. The leg of the T extended through the hole in the bottom of the bowl that I drilled out. I had purposely made it longer than the thickness of the bowl so that it would extend below the bottom of the bowl. Once it was in place it not only was glued but in essence was pressure fit. I laid it aside to dry over night before I worked on sanding the leg of the T flush with the bottom of the pipe. The next morning I sanded it flush with the bottom of the bowl. It was a great fit as can be seen from the pictures that are included in this essay.

Once the exterior was smooth and ready to go I turned to the inside of the bowl. The top of the T formed a new thicker bottom for the bowl. I had made it thick enough to provide a new briar bowl. Because of the thickness I had used a spade bit to re-drill the bottom of the chamber and give it a concave feel like the original bowl. I also re-drilled the airway so that it would come out in the bottom of the new bowl. I again used the dowel and sand paper to smooth out the junction between the new surface and the old surface of the chamber walls. I wanted the transition between the two pieces to be smooth.

The final touch for this old timer was a good coating of pipe mud on the walls and on the bowl bottom. The mix I use for the mud is cigar ash and water. Others have used pipe tobacco or a mix of various things but I like cigar ash. The bonus is I get to smoke a good cigar in the process. I mix a good thick paste that I apply with a brush and a pipe nail. I brushed it on and tamped it into place with the brush and the nail. It gave a nice grey ash look to the inside of the bowl. The inside looked as good as new. I left it to dry through the night.

I sanded the rest of the bowl be careful to not damage the stamping. Once it was smooth and the scratches and nicks were gone I stained the outside of the bowl. I gave it a second and third coat with a Mahogany and then a brown stain. Between each coat of stain I flamed the stain by lighting it with a lighter. I find that this sets the stain a bit better than an air dry. I also buffed between coats of stain to make sure the coverage was even. The final coat of stain was applied, wiped off and then buffed with white diamond and then carnuaba.

I let the pipe mud cure for several days before I fired up the pipe. I was curious to see how hot the bottom of the bowl became. Success!! It smoked cool and dry to the bottom with no heat to the hand. The patch worked well. Next time I do a patch I will try to blend the flow of the grain a bit more!

I have been smoking it for a long time now and continue to be pleased with it. The patch is starting to blend in a bit more as it gets a patina. The pipe still smokes dry and cool throughout the bowl.




This week my computer died!!! I was forced to dig out a very old laptop that I have sitting in the basement  so that I could at least have access to the internet. While I was cleaning up the hard drive I found these old photos of the same pipe. The repair may be a bit more visible in these photos if you are interested to have a look.

A Pipe Refurbishing Journal

I have worked out a process of refurbishing old pipes as a hobbyist that has worked for me with ongoing improvements and learning being added almost every pipe I work on. That is not to say that I am even a wannabe professional because I am not. For me it is a way of doing something that I find relaxing and rewarding as well as something that I can actually finish. With my work I am involved in ongoing dealings with people and issues that seem never to really come to closure so to take a pipe and bring it back to life and enjoy a good smoke in it is something I take great pleasure in. I thought I would write a bit about my process using and old pipe that came in the mail that I picked up off of ebay as an example.

… I got home from Budapest, Hungary last week to find a package of pipes had arrived that I bought on EBay before I left. I opened the box to find a real mess waiting for me. The photos on eBay were not good and I was in no way prepared for what awaited when I opened the box. There were four pipes there – two Dr. Plumbs, a Stanwell with a broken tenon and a White Cliff meer-lined pear. The two Dr. Plumbs were what interested me in the lot and why I had initially bid. Dr. Plumb was an older second’s line of GBD and these two interested me. The first was a 9438 – GBD Rhodesian shape that I find is an all time favourite of mine. The second was a silver spigot Oom Paul – a shape that I have wanted to try for a long time.  I figured the Oom Paul would be one I kept – not sure of the others in the lot. The White Cliff and Stanwell went back in the box and I turned my attention first to the Oom Paul.

I took it out of the crumpled newspaper that wrapped it, being careful not to spill the ash and crumbling cake all over the place. It really was an ugly mess. I wanted to assess what needed to be done with it and whether it would be worth the effort. Sometimes even if it is really not worth it I will still clean it to practice methods and the use of new tools. This one was in desperate shape. The bowl was filled with crumbling cake and torn remnants of tobacco. The top was covered with a sticky and thick tar or lava that was about the thickness of a dime. The outside of the bowl had dark grime deeply embedded in the finish. It was muddy and dark enough that I could not see the grain at all. Now before you think it was an old patina finish – I assure that it was not. There was no way of even seeing the finish. It looked just like one of my dogs when he has been playing in the mud on a rainy day. I know somewhere underneath he has a black coat but it is not visible at all under the dirt and grime. This pipe was just unbelievably dirty.












Working my way back along the shank of the pipe I came to the silver shank cap which was loose and very tarnished. It appeared to be sterling or at least silver plated under the tarnish. It had pulled away from the shank and was turned to one side. It appeared to have something engraved in it at about 1 o’clock but it was not clear under the tarnish and grime. The stem, a faux spigot, no long fit in the shank as it sat among the grime and crumbling build up of tars and a yellowish residue that erupted around the edges of the union of shank and stem. It was solidly embedded in this mess and was immoveable. The stem was an oxidized brown colour at the saddle and the curve. It had a silver cap at the end of the stem before it disappeared into the grime. That union of vulcanite and metal was a mottled edge of tarnish and grime. The button end of the stem was grimy and oxidized but it did not appear to have tooth marks or pits in it. It was merely encircled by that hard, white coloured material that can collect under a rubber bit protector. I moved to the lip of the pipe and looked at the slot. Unbelievable!! The airway was gone. The slot was filled and all that was left was a tiny hole the size of a pencil lead. The tar was erupting out of the slot and was a hard black semi circle that enclosed the button end.

I turned the pipe over in my hands to look at the underside of the bowl. I always like to check and see if I am going to be surprised by a burnout or a blackening spot that could signal an impending burnout. I scraped some of the grime off the bottom of the bowl and found a spot that appeared to be the size of a pencil eraser on the bottom. It was black but did not appear to be burned or soft in anyway. I used saliva to clean away the grime a bit for a better look at this spot. It cleaned up slowly and with a soft cloth and a bit of spit it showed that what I was dealing with was a repair in the bowl bottom – a plug of briar that had been inserted. It was a bit darker than the briar around it but it was a good solid repair and did not appear to be loose or damaged. That was a good sign.

I laid the old pipe down and gave it a good hard look. Would this be worth the effort or would I end up pitching it at some point in the cleaning process? That is always a question I ask before I get everything out to do the cleaning. I picked up and turned it over in my hands again. I checked it over one more time and figured I would start and see what happened in the process. I set up my desk top work bench with newspaper as a base and then laid out the tools of the craft! I put out a variety of reamers and brushes of different sizes. I put out the dental picks that I knew would be needed in the stem and the shank. I put out the pipe cleaners – bristle, thin and fuzzy, the alcohol and the alcohol bath that I keep handy for bowls that need a soak. I drizzled some clean alcohol around the shank stem union and with a bit of wiggling and more dripping the stem came free. I use an ear syringe for that part of the work as it allows me to control the placement of the alcohol.

I set the stem aside and turned my attention to the bowl. I wiped down the outside with a soft cloth and Murphy’s Oil Soap (undiluted) to get the grime off and get some idea of what was underneath the mess. It took several applications and wipes with the cloth to get through the grime. I also wiped it down with an alcohol wipe to get the last of it off. As I was planning on refinishing the pipe anyway I was not concerned with the finish. Underneath the grime the briar was actually quite nice – birdseye on one side and a variety of grains the rest of the way around the bowl. The shank was flame grain. It looked promising. I took a sanding block that is fine grit and sanded the top of the bowl to get the grime off. It was rock hard and since I was refinishing the pipe anyway it was the preferred method of removing the grime. Once that was done I reamed the inside of the bowl and the inside of the shank. I used my Senior Reamer to start with and then the T reamer with the four different cutting heads. The bowl was lined with a crumbling cake that needed to be taken back to the bare wood as it kept letting go and falling apart. Once it had been cleaned out I was able to inspect the bowl for cracks and burned out areas. Fortunately it was clean and uncracked.  The bottom of the bowl was below the airway so once it was cleaned I would need to use some pipe mud to build it up to the proper height.

The shank was really a mess. I could not fit a standard pipe cleaner through it and had to use a dental pick to open it up. Because it is a full bent a drill bit was unworkable past about the middle of the shank. I have a dental pick that have I straightened out a bit and it worked like a champ. The pipe had a sump in it like the Peterson system pipes and it was absolutely jammed packed with tars. The stem would not even fit in the shank it was so full of junk. I used a small brass battery terminal brush to work over the inside of the shank and the sump area once I had opened it up. I blew air through to make sure it was open. I used pipe cleaners and q-tips to clean it up. I kept at it until the airway and shank were clean. Once I finished with the interior of the pipe I put the bowl in an alcohol bath over night. I have found that this takes off all the grime that is rubbed into the finish and any remaining interior grime.

While it soaked I turned my attention to the stem. I opened the airway in the stem with my dental pick from the button end. I was able to remove the stinger apparatus in the tenon and then began to work on the interior of the stem. The stem itself was a mess on the inside – a pipe cleaner would not fit through so again the dental pick did the trick. I opened it up a bit then used over a 100 pipe cleaners and a bunch of q-tips to clean out the gunk. I also used a bristle shank brush to loosen things up. Once I cleaned it with lots of alcohol and many cleaners the inside was clean. The outside needed lots of attention. The Dr. Plumb painted logo (not stamped at all just a surface paint) was sacrificed to cleanliness.  I sanded the stem with 1200 and 1500 grit sandpaper to get the brown out that even the buffer did not remove. After that was done I polished it on the buffer with red Tripoli and White Diamond. The stem was actually in very good shape once the grime and oxidation was removed. I cleaned the silver portion of the stem and the faux military mount with silver cleaner and then polished that and buffed it with a soft cloth. I also used steel wool on the stinger apparatus until the roughness and grime was gone from it and it shone. I inserted it back in the pipe for the first smoke to see if it would remain. The stem was in great shape and ready to be inserted in the shank of the pipe once it was done. It still needed to be buffed with Tripoli and White Diamond before a good coating of Carnuba was applied to keep the oxidation at bay.












I removed the bowl from the alcohol bath and found that bath had done its magic. All the grime was off and the finish as well. What remained was a soft reddish briar that was clean and smooth to the touch. After bowl dried I sanded it with 1500 and 1800 grit sandpaper, being careful of the stamping that showed up on the bottom of the shank once the grime was gone. I finished the sanding with micro mesh pads in 1800, 2400 and 4000 grit. The top had some minor burned areas and the bowl was out of round so I bevelled the bowl top into the bowl to take care of the unevenness. When I finished sanding it I washed the outside down with a damp alcohol soaked rag to remove any dust and show any scratches that needed a bit more attention. Once those were taken care of I filled the bowl with cotton boles and using the ear syringe filled the bowl and shank with clean alcohol to remove any ghosts and residual tars in the bowl. I let it sit over night while the leaching process did its work.







While bowl was undergoing that treatment I took silver polish and a soft cloth and worked on the stem metal work. For the stinger apparatus I used some 0000 steel wool to clean off the staining. I buffed the stem with Tripoli and white Diamond and laid it next to the bowl.

The next day I removed the cotton boles and let the bowl dry out. I opened a can of cherry stain that I use on these old timers that matches the original colour really well. I shook the alcohol based stain until it was well mixed and then using a soft rag and a folded pipe cleaner I applied it to the whole bowl. Once it was well coated in the stain I lit it on fire with a lighter to set the stain. Once that was done I set it aside to dry well.

In the afternoon when the stain was dry I took it to the buffer and lightly buffed the stummel until it was smooth and shining. The finish looked really good. I gave it a good coat of wax and then polished the silver on the shank cap. I was able to turn the cap a slight bit and the initials that were engraved in it became visible – WGW. I took it back to the desk and inserted the mouth piece. It fit snugly into the shank and the look was as it should have been.






















(In the last picture on the bottom right the plug in the bottom of the bowl is visible. I re-stained that area of the bowl and the plug is a little less visible.)

I then turned my attention to the inside of the bowl. I needed to raise the bottom of the bowl to meet the bottom of the draught hole and protect the plugged bottom of the bowl. I mixed a batch of pipe mud – cigar ash and water mixed to a pasty thick consistency and painted it with a folded pipe cleaner and packed it in place with a pipe tamper to raise the bottom of the bowl to the bottom of the airway. I let it dry for a day until it was hard and then prepared a bowl coating with activated charcoal and my secret ingredient and painted the inside of the bowl with it. I wanted this old timer to have a chance and with the cake gone I did not want to take a chance on burnout with it. I wanted it to have a fighting chance for a long life ahead. I set it aside to dry for two days and waited for the initial smoke once it was dry.

Two days went by and the bowl coating was dry and the mud was hard in the bottom of the bowl. I had packed the pipe in my brief case and took it to work with me for the ride home that evening. After work I packed the Dr. Plumb Oom Paul with Doc Piedmont and lit it with the Zippo. Wow what a clean, dry smoke. It was smooth and full of flavour. It is a great smoker and did not heat up at all during the smoke. I carefully knocked out the ash and inspected my bowl coating and the bottom of the bowl. It looked undisturbed and solid.

When I got home I removed the stinger that was in it to give it a go without the stinger to see what that does for it…my gut feel is that this pipe will be one of my go to pipes in the future.