Tag Archives: removing oxidation

Breathing New Life into a BBB Ultonia Sandblast Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is another one that has been here for over five years. It is nice looking short, old style BBB Ultonia Billiard. We picked it up off eBay on 01/29/17 from a seller in Poughkeepsie, New York, USA. The shank is quite short but it is not cut off or damaged. It was designed that way. The sandblast is quite rugged and there is a lot of dust and grit in the crevices. The bowl has a moderate cake and tobacco debris in the bowl. The edges and rim top look quite good. Other than being dirty the finish is in good condition. The stem has a BBB diamond stamp on the left side. It has an older style straight taper cut to it. It is oxidized and has tooth chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work. He took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the pipe. You can see the cake in the bowl and the light lava on the rim top. The stem photos also show the oxidation and tooth chatter on the top and underside ahead of the button. He took a photo of the sandblast and the smooth heel on the bowl. It really is a nice looking blast and shape.He took photos of the stamping on the heel of the bowl and shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. There does not appear to be a shape number stamped on the pipe. The BBB Diamond stamp is visible on the left side of the shank. I turned to Pipephil’s site to see if it listed the Ultonia line (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-bbb.html). It did not but it gave a short summary of the brand. I quote:

BBB: ” Best British Briar” is now a brand of the Cadogan Company (Oppenheimer group). American rights to use the brand name were sold to Wally Frank in 1980. Founder of the brand in 1847: Louis Blumfeld. The oldest pipe brand name in the UK has been registered in 1876 (Blumfeld Best Briar) Grading (ascendant): Own Make, Bold Grain, Best Make, Rare Grain.

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/BBB) to see if I could get some specific information on the Ultonia. I read through the history on the site and I quote the pertinent section of article below.

Louis Blumfeld develops from the very start of important international trade, with a particular success in Canada, in Australia, in Zealand News, India and in the extrème Is Europe, in Switzerland and, with a special mention, in Denmark. If the USA were never an extraordinary market, a branch is opened all the same in New York. In fact, the marketing strategy was focused especially on the countries of the Britanique Empire. Little before 1914, A Frankau & Co was also a sole agent for the pipes Cherry Wood of the Ropp house to cover the United Kingdom and its colonies.

If the BBB are its the most known pipes, A Frankau & Co had several marks of pipes: Capt. Kidd, Fairway (“F” in white; FAIRWAY/LONDON MADE/ENGLAND), Frankau’ S (London Made/Made in England), Glokar, Major Daff, the Snap-FIT. It also seems that Ultonia and Last word must be regarded as marks with whole share, in spite of the fact that they are presented as being product lines under label BBB. That would explain their absence of catalogues BBB…

In the Thirties, the top-of-the-range one becomes “BBB Best Make” with alternatives like “Super Stopping” and “Ultonia Thule”. The BBB Carlton, sold with the detail with 8/6 in 1938, is equipped with a system complicated out of metal, system which equipped the BBB London Dry too. Blue Peter was not estampillées BBB but BBB Ultonia, and the BBB Two Star (* *) become the bottom-of-the-range one. The calabash leave the catalogues, but some pipes with case and some scums are still produced. The forms also are typical of this time: half are billiards, some princes and bullcaps, a limited number of bulldogs and curved. It is as at that time as the top-of-the-range series receive an incrustation of initials BBB out of metal, whereas the bottom-of-the-range series have only the engraved pipe.

With that information, I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. There was some darkening on the inner edge of the rim and top that would need to be dealt with. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub to remove as much of the oxidation as possible. He soaked it in Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it with warm water. The acrylic stem was clean but had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. There was an BBB Diamond logo on the left side of the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. It was an amazing looking pipe. I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top and edges looked very good. The stem cleaned up well and the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button were very light.I took photos of the stamping on the heel and underside of the shank. They are readable as noted above. I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe.The bowl was in excellent condition. The rim top and edges looked really good. I started my work by working some Before and After Restoration Balm into the surface of the sandblast bowl. It works to preserve, clean and renew the briar. I worked it into the crevices with a shoe brush. I let it sit for 10 minutes and then buffed it off with a soft cloth. The bowl really looked good at this point. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I touched up the BBB Diamond on the left side with some Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I applied it to the stamp and worked it in with a tooth pick. I buffed it off and the stamping looks good. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads and wiping it down after each pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. This older BBB Ultonia Made in England Sandblast Billiard with a vulcanite taper stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain on the briar shines through the polished finish is stunning. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished BBB Ultonia Billiard fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 27 grams/.95 ounces. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipes store in the British Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Restoring a Savinelli Extra 614 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my work table was dropped off by a local pipe shop that I do repair and restoration work for. It was in the same bag as the Bewlay that I restored for them earlier and wrote about (https://rebornpipes.com/2022/06/30/new-life-for-a-hard-smoked-older-bewlay-popular-127-billiard/). It is another pipe that the shop wanted me to do a full restoration on and properly fit the stem. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Savinelli in an oval [over] Extra. On the right side it is stamped with the Savinelli shield S then the shape number 614 [over] Italy. The finish was dirty and worn but there was some nice grain peeking through the grime. The rim top had some scratches and nicks on the surface. There was a light cake in the bowl it smelled strongly of aromatic vanilla tobacco. The shank and stem airway was very dirty. The stem was lightly oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. It was also loose in the shank. I took photos of the pipe before I started my clean up. I took photos of the rim top and bowl to show the cake in the bowl, and the fills and marks on the top. The stem photos show the oxidation, calcification and tooth chatter and marks very well. I tried to capture the stamping on the sides of the shank in the next photos. They are faint but readable as noted above.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the flow of the pipe. Even with the fills on the rim and various sandpits around the bowl sides it is a beautiful bent billiard that has a great shape.I wanted to remind myself of where the Extra fit in the Savinelli hierarchy so I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli2.html) to get a quick view of the Extra Line. I did a screen capture of the site’s information and have included that below.I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Savinelli) for a quick read. The site is worth reading the history of the Savinelli brand and its philosophy of pipemaking. There was also a shape chart on the site that had the shape 614 as a full bent pipe. I have circled the specific shape in the chart below.There was also a photo of a brochure on the site that included the Extra line of pipes. It also stated that the pipe came in a guilloche and a smooth finish like the one I am working on presently (https://pipedia.org/wiki/File:Sav_Extra.jpg). that came from Doug Vliatchka.Armed with the above information I was ready to work on the pipe itself. I started my work on the pipe by reaming the bowl. I started it with a PipNet pipe reamer using the second cutting head. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished by sanding the walls of the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper. The walls of the bowl looked very good with no damage to the walls. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime on the bowl and rim and was able to remove much of the lava and dirt. The inner edge of the bowl looked good and the rim top had some darkening but otherwise was in good shape. I cleaned out the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they came out clean. I cleaned out the airway with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the rim top and remove the darkening in and damage. I went over the inner edge of the rim to smooth out any roughness. Once I was finished I liked the way it looked.I decided to deghost the bowl and stuffed with cotton bolls and twisted a paper towel into the shank end. I used an ear syringe to fill the bowl with 99% isopropyl alcohol to wick out the oils in the bowl and shank walls. I let it sit overnight and called it a day. In the morning I checked on it and the cotton had turned amber coloured. I pulled it out and cleaned out the shank once more. The pipe smelled significantly better.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the inner and outer edge of the rim as well. After each pad I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. It really took on a shine by the last three sanding pads. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips where it works to clean, restore and preserve the briar. I let it do its magic for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a cotton cloth. The pipe looks incredibly good at this point in the process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks on both sides of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter. I was able to lift them significantly. I filled in the remaining marks on both sides with black super glue and set it aside to cure. When the repair had hardened I used a small file to flatten the repairs and recut the edge of the button. I shaped the button with the file. I used 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repairs to the top and underside of the stem. I was able to blend them into the surface of the vulcanite. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. It is starting to look very good. I continued to polish the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it further with Before & After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to cure. I heated an ice pick and turned it into the airway in the tenon on the stem to swell it slightly so that the fit in the shank would be snug. I am excited to finish this Savinelli Extra Made in Italy 614 Bent Billiard. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful straight grain all around it and the birdseye on the rim top. The polished grain on the pipe looks great with the black vulcanite stem. This smooth Savinelli Extra Billiard is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 57 grams/2.01 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. Now that I have finished the second pipe the pipe shop brought for repair I will be giving them a call for pickup. I hope that the owner will get great enjoyment from the pair. Remember we are the next in a long line of pipe men and women who will carry on the trust of our pipes until we pass them on to the next trustee. Thanks for your time reading this blog.

 

Restoring and Restemming an Edwards Algerian Briar 8F 1 Handmade


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I purchased a group of pipes on 09/04/20 from Gonzales, Louisiana, USA. It included this Edwards Algerian Briar BF 1 Handmade freehand bowl. It had really nice grain and plateau on the top of the rim and on the end of the shank. I had what looked like a leaf on the sides and front of the bowl and underside of the shank. It as also on the sides of the shank.It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Algerian Briar [over] Edwards [over] 8F [over] 1 [over] Handmade. The carving followed the flow of the grain very well and really served to showcase it. There was thick dust in the rustication around the bowl and shank as well as the plateau on the shank end. The bowl was lined with a thin cake. There was some darkening and lava on the back side of the rim edge and top. The smooth finish and carved leaf was also dirty and dull looking. The stem had long before been lost so it did not come with the bowl. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show the overall condition of the bowl and stem. He took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the plateau finish. You can see the light lava and dust in the crevices of the plateau. The bowl has a light coat of lava on the walls. The inner edge of the bowl is in excellent condition.Jeff took 2 photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture it. It was clear and as noted above.I wanted to look at who had carved the Edward’s Freehand line. I started my reading on Pipephil’s site (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-e1.html). I did a screen capture of the listing on the site and have included it below. I also included the information in the sidebar below that.Edward’s Pipes, headquartered in Tampa, FL, got its start importing pipes from France and continued to do so from 1958 to 1963 when it started producing pipes in Florida from prime Algerian Briar, a practice they continue to this day (2010). Randy Wiley, pipecarver in the USA, got his start at Edward’s.

I then turned to the Edwards listing on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Edward’s) and found the following information. I quote the information in that article below.

Edward’s pipes were originally produced in Saint-Claude, France when Francais actually was a world-class pipe maker with longstanding business & political connections to Colonial Algeria that allowed them to obtain the finest briar.

During the tumultuous 1960’s, Edward’s created a business model to offer the finest briar available in both Classic and Freehand shapes – all at a fair price. They bought the company & equipment and cornered the market on the finest, choice Algerian Briar just before the supply vanished in political turmoil of Algeria’s independence. Edward’s packed up both machinery and briar-treasure to America, safely caching the essentials to create a new pipe-making dynasty. This was a coup, for the 70’s and 80’s were grim years for pipe smokers as quality briar all but disappeared.

Edward’s Design Philosophy is hard to pin down, think of their style as the “American Charatan” with unique & clever twists all their own. Today, they fashion pipes in several locations across the USA. All of Edward’s pipes are Algerian Briar – a fact very few pipe companies can claim, and all are oil-cured utilizing natural finishes – no strange concoctions are used to interfere in your tastebud’s dance with the briar. Algerian, Calabrian, Sardinian, Corsican – take your pick, but Algerian Briar is generally considered the finest smoking briar ever used. When combined with oil-curing, Algerian takes on a magical quality that even Alfred Dunhill recognized as far back as 1918 as the choice for both his Bruyere and Shell.

The pipe that I was working came from the Edward’s workshops. From what I knew of the history of the company I think that it was American made in the 70’s after they had bought out the French company and brought the equipment and briar to the US. The Freehand shape also fits the popularity of that shape in the 70’s.

Now it was time to work on the pipe on my end. When I received it Jeff had once again done an amazing job cleaning the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and got rid of the cake. He cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife so that we could see the walls of the bowl and assess for damage. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and alcohol. He scrubbed the exterior with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed the pipe under warm water. He dried it off with a cloth and then let it air dry. I took pictures of the pipe this morning to show how it looked before I started my work. I took a photo of the plateau on the rim top to show how clean it was and to see a well executed finish on the rim top. The ravines, crevices and high points were very beautiful. I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It had some colour in the stamp (like ones in the photos on the Pipedia site). It made the stamp very readable.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove any sanding debris left behind. The bowl began to shine through the process. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes and then buffed the bowl with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I had a nice looking fancy turned stem in my collection of stems. It will well with this pipe. I will need to polish the stem to remove the casting marks and give it a slight bend. The tenon was the right size so with some polishing it was a perfect fit. With a nostalgic flash from the past I decided to give the stem a slight bend to match the flow of the bowl using a cup of boiling water. I put enough water in a coffee cup to cover the amount of stem I wanted to soften to bend. I put it in the microwave until it was boiling then dropped the stem in the hot water. I let it sit until it was pliable and then removed it and bent it the amount I was looking for. I cooled the bent stem with running cold water and dried it off.I sanded out the tooth chatter and light marks ahead of the button on both sides with 220 grit sandpaper and also smooth out the casting marks on the sides. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to smooth out the sanding marks left behind by the 220 grit paper.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This is a beautiful Algerian Briar Edwards 8F 1 Handmade Freehand with a fancy, turned, black vulcanite stem. It has a great look and feel. The shape fits well in the hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top and shank end multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The rich combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes and the plateau areas took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished vulcanite stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Edwards Handmade 8F 1 Freehand pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 3 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ wide, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.82 ounces/80 grams. This Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store in the American Pipe Making Section shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

Restoring and Restemming a Jobey Dansk Made in Denmark 4 Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I purchased an estate last December from a fellow in Longview, Washington, USA. It included this Jobey Dansk 4 freehand bowl. It had really nice grain and plateau on the top of the rim and on the end of the shank. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Jobey in script [over] Dansk. Underneath it read Made in Denmark [over] 4. The carving followed the flow of the grain very well and really served to showcase it. There was something familiar about the style of carving that reminded me of other Danish Freehand pipes I have worked on. I seemed to remember that Jobey Dansk pipes were carved by Karl Erik. There was thick dust in the rustication around the bowl and shank as well as the plateau on the shank end. The bowl was lined with a thin cake. The smooth finish was also dirty and dull looking. The stem had long before been lost so it did not come with the bowl. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show the overall condition of the bowl and stem. He took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the plateau finish. You can see the light lava and dust in the crevices of the plateau. The bowl has a light coat of lava on the walls. The inner edge of the bowl is in excellent condition. Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture it. It was clear and as noted above.I wanted to look at who had carved the Jobey Dansk line to confirm my suspicions I had about it. I had a feeling that the pipes were carved by a Danish carver known as Karl Erik. I looked up the Jobey listing on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Jobey) and found the following information. I quote a portion of the article that is pertinent as follows.

English – American – Danish – French… Information about the brand Jobey are only to be found in form of smithereens… Probably established in England around 1920(?) the brand hiked into the USA later. In the course of time owner, distributor and manufacturer changed repeatedly. As far as known:

George Yale Pipes & Tobacco, New York (1942)

Norwalk Pipe Co., New York (1949)

Arlington Briar Pipes Corp., Brooklyn (when?)

Hollco International, New York (1969).

Weber Pipe Co., Jersey City, NJ (1970’s)

The Tinder Box, (1970’s – 80’s).

Throughout decades Jobey pipes were mainly sold in the USA, Canada and England but remained almost unknown in continental Europe. The bulk of Jobeys was predominantly made according to classical patterns and mainly in the lower to middle price range. The predominant judgment of the pipe smokers reads: “A well-made pipe for the price.” So there is hardly anything very special or exciting about Jobey pipes although a flyer from ca. 1970 assures: “The briar root Jobey insists upon for its peer of pipes is left untouched to grow, harden and sweeten for 100 years. […]Jobey uses only the heart of this century old briar and only one out of 500 bowls turned measures up to the rigid Jobey specifications.” 99.80% of cull… that makes the layman marveling!

Yet then there are partially really exciting Freehands mainly in the seventies, that Jobey – Weber owned back then – bought from Danish pipe genius Karl Erik Ottendahl. These pipes were offered as Jobey Dansk – ’70’s pure! (BTW waning sales caused Ottendahl to discontinue exports to the United States in 1987.)

From that information, my suspicions were confirmed. The pipe that I was working on was carved by Karl Erik Ottendahl. There were some similarities to the Karl Erik pipes that I have worked on in the past. The dating of the pipe line in the 70s fits well with the pipe I have in hand.

Now that I was reminded about the Karl Erik Ottendahl connection it was time to work on the pipe on my end. When I received it Jeff had once again done an amazing job cleaning the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and got rid of the cake. He cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife so that we could see the walls of the bowl and assess for damage. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and alcohol. He scrubbed the exterior with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed the pipe under warm water. He dried it off with a cloth and then let it air dry. I took pictures of the pipe this morning to show how it looked before I started my work. I took a photo of the plateau on the rim top to show how clean it was and to see a well executed finish on the rim top. The ravines, crevices and high points were very beautiful.I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It had some colour in the stamp (like ones in the photos on the Pipedia site). It made the stamp very readable.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove any sanding debris left behind. The bowl began to shine through the process. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes and then buffed the bowl with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I had a fancy stem in my can of stems. It is a nice looking panel sided stem. In examining it I could see a faint Stanwell logo on the side of the stem. I will use it on this pipe anyway and smooth out the stamping. I will need to polish the stem before I am finished. The tenon was the right size so with some polishing it was a perfect fit. I sanded out the tooth chatter and light marks ahead of the button on both sides with 220 grit sandpaper and also smooth out the faint Stanwell stamp on the side. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to smooth out the sanding marks left behind by the 220 grit paper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This is a beautiful Jobey Dansk 4 Hand Made by Karl Erik with a fancy, turned, black vulcanite stem. It has a great look and feel. The shape fits well in the hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top and shank end multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The rich combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes and the plateau areas took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished vulcanite stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Jobey Dansk 4 pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ wide, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.36 ounces/67 grams. This Danish Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store in the Danish Pipe Making Section shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

New Life for a Hard Smoked Older Bewlay Popular 127 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table was dropped off by a local pipe shop that I do repair and restoration work for. It is an older pipe that the shop wanted me to do a full restoration on and properly fit the stem. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Bewlay in script [over] Popular. On the right side it was stamped London Made and lower on the shank it read 127 (shape number) [over] 0. The shank had an oxidized silver band (stamped on the underside Sterling Silver) on the shank and under examination with a bright light it was a repair for a cracked shank. The poor pipe was another one that had obviously been someone’s favourite and must have been a grand smoker. The finish appears to have some nice grain around the bowl and shank that even stands out with the grime on the finish. The bowl is heavily caked with a thick lava overflow on the rim top. The inner edge looked good under the grime but a clean up would tell the full story. The stem is quite oxidized, calcified and had a lot of tooth chatter on the top and underside near the button. The diameter of the stem is larger than the diameter of the shank. I would need to reduce it for a proper fit. The pipe showed a lot of promise but it was a mess. I took photos of it before starting my work on it. I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem surfaces to show the condition of the well smoked pipe. You can see the thick cake in the bowl and the heavy lava on the inner edge and rim. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter on both sides ahead of the button.I tried to capture the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is faint in spots but is readable as noted above. You can also see the diameter variation in the stem and the shank in the photos. I am pretty certain that somewhere along the way the original stem broke and cracked the shank. The pipe was banded and a new stem put on the pipe. Whoever did the work did not adjust the fit of the stem.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the beauty of the pipe. Look at the grain on the left side of the bowl.I have worked quite a few Bewlay pipes over the years but wanted a reminder of the background of the brand. I turned first to Pipephil’s site (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-b4.html).  I got a quick summary there. I have included a screen capture below. The second pipe in the photograph below is stamped similarly to the one I have. It is also a Bewlay Popular. The shape number is different but that stamp also looks like this one. I have also included the information that was in the sidebar below photos below.Brand distributed by Bewlay & Co (chain of pipe stores) until the 50s, taken over by Imperial Tobacco & Co.

I turned to Pipedia next and include a screen shot of a photo there and a short history of the brand and who made pipes for them (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Bewlay).The English brand of Bewlay & Co. Ltd. (formerly Salmon & Gluckstein Ltd.), was in business from the early 20th century until the 1950s. The brand ended up being sold and taken over by Imperial Tobacco Co.. The shop chain closed in the 1980s but there seems to be one shop still in business on Carr Lane in the city of Hull.

Bewlay pipes were made by prestigious firms. Notably Barling, Charatan, Loewe & Co., Sasieni, Huybrecht, and Orlik. So understandably, the English considered a Bewlay pipe a quality pipe.

The information highlighted in red above is very interesting. Key English pipe making firms made pipes for Bewlay. I did a bit of searching for the shape number 127 under those company’s but did not find anything conclusive.

I started my work on the pipe by doing the cleanup work. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar and sanded the walls with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. I checked the walls of the bowl for damage. It looked very good. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime on the bowl and rim and was able to remove much of the lava and dirt. The inner edge of the bowl looked good and the rim top had some darkening but otherwise was in good shape. I cleaned out the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they came out clean. I cleaned out the airway with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners.I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the rim top and remove the darkening in and damage. I went over the inner edge of the rim to smooth out any roughness. Once I was finished I liked the way it looked.I decided to deghost the bowl and stuffed with cotton bolls and twisted a paper towel into the shank end. I used an ear syringe to fill the bowl with 99% isopropyl alcohol to wick out the oils in the bowl and shank walls. I let it sit for 5 hours and worked on the stem and took my wife to lunch. When we came back the cotton had turned amber coloured. I pulled it out and cleaned out the shank once more. The pipe smelled significantly better.I polished the Sterling Silver band with some silver polish to remove the tarnish and protect it from further tarnish. With it polished the Sterling Silver stamp is visible and readable on the underside.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the inner and outer edge of the rim as well. After each pad I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. It really took on a shine by the last three sanding pads.  I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips where it works to clean, restore and preserve the briar. I let it do its magic for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a cotton cloth. The pipe looks incredibly good at this point in the process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I used 220 grit sandpaper to reduce the diameter of the stem to match that of the shank. It took a lot of sanding to get there. I also sanded the oxidation, calcification and chatter at the same time. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. It is starting to look very good. (The first two photos show the size of the stem diameter in comparison with the shank.) I continued to polish the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it further with Before & After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to cure. I am excited to finish this Bewlay Popular 127 Billiard. Who made this pipe for Bewlay? My guess, and it is just that, is that the pipe was made by Loewe & Co. Whoever made it the pipe is a beauty. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful straight grain all around it and the birdseye on the rim top. The polished grain on the pipe looks great with the black vulcanite stem. This smooth Bewlay Popular Billiard is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 35 grams/1.23 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. Once I finish the second pipe the pipe shop brought for repair I will be giving them a call for pickup. I hope that the owner will get great enjoyment from the pipes. Remember we are the next in a long line of pipe men and women who will carry on the trust of our pipes until we pass them on to the next trustee. Thanks for your time reading this blog.

New Life for a Tired Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 314


Blog by Steve Laug

We picked this older Peterson’s System Standard purchased from a seller on 11/17/21 in San Marcos, Texas, USA. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it is stamped and reads Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) with the shape number 314 underneath. The pipe was another tired old workhorse with lots of grime ground into the finish and a thick cake in the bowl. There was a heavy lava over flow on the rim top and some burn damage on the left front and side of the top and edges. The nickel ferrule was tired by undamaged. The sump and mortise were black with tars and oils. The stem was lightly oxidized and a lot of heavy calcification build up on the P-lip button and underside. There were some tooth marks and chatter on both sides just ahead of the button. Jeff took these photos before he did his clean up work to give an idea of the condition of the pipe. Jeff captured the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow onto the rim top in his photo below. There really was no way of knowing what the edges looked like under the thick cake and lava. You can also see the lava flowing down the sides of the bowl in the photos. The burn marks on the left side are also visible in the photo. The stem surface appears to have a lot of tooth chatter and marks but perhaps the calcification and grime on the bowl protected it a bit. There is also some oxidation. He took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to show the interesting grain patterns in the briar. It was quite beautiful. He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and on the ferrule and stem. It is readable but faint in places. The stamping on the nickel ferrule is very clear and readable. I remembered that Paresh had restored a Peterson’s System Standard (his was a 314) earlier this year and as usual had done good work on the research. I turned to his blog and read through his work on the pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/24/helping-a-fellow-piper-with-his-dream-pipea-petersons-system-pipe/). I quote below from the section on his blog regarding the dating of the pipe.

While dating a Peterson’s pipe, I always fall back to my under mentioned favorite site; http://thepetersonpipeproject.blogspot.com/2007/07/dating-peterons-pipes.html

I quote from the above site.

Stamping of Bowl:

During the years of Kapp and Peterson’s business operations, the country of Ireland has undergone several name changes and K&P’s stamping on their pipes reflects these changes. Knowing these changes, a Peterson pipe can be roughly dated and placed in “eras.”

  • The Republic Era is from 1949 until the present. The Republic of Ireland was formed on 17 April 1949. From 1949 to present the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

With that information at hand I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub to remove as much of the oxidation as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. (You can see the burn damage on the left edge mid bowl.) I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top had some scratching on the top and damage to the outer edge and rim top on the side. The stem cleaned up well and the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button are light and should clean up easily.I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. The are clear and readable as noted above. There is some faintness on parts of the stamping but it is still readable.I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe. I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the damage on the outer left edge of the bowl and the rim top.  I lightly topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I wiped the top and edges down with a damp cloth and the rim top damage and burn marks on the outer edges were gone.I polished the top with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to prepare it for staining. I stained the rim top and edges with a Walnut stain pen. I let it dry and repeated it until the stain matched.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I sanded the tooth marks and chatter smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to begin blending them into the stem surface. I started the polishing with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 314 Bent Billiard with a vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should darken and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System Standard 314 fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 41 grams/1.41 ounces. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipe store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

New Life for a Worn and Tired Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 303


Blog by Steve Laug

We picked this older Peterson’s System Standard on a Facebook auction on 02/02/22 from Cottage Grove, Minnesota, USA. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it is stamped and reads Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) with the shape number 303 underneath. The pipe was a tired old workhorse with lots of grime ground into the finish and a thick cake in the bowl. There was a heavy lava over flow on the rim top and some serious burn damage on the right front of the top and edges from repeated burning with a flame lighter. The nickel ferrule was tired but undamaged and stamped K&P [over] Peterson. The sump and mortise were black with tars and oils. The stem was a mess with oxidation and a lot of heavy calcification build up on the P-lip button and underside. There were some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides just ahead of the button. Jeff took these photos before he did his clean up work to give an idea of the condition of the pipe. Jeff captured the thick cake in the bowl and the heavy lava overflow onto the rim top in his photos. It looks like there is some damage to the inner edge on the right front of the bowl. There really was no way of knowing for sure what the edges looked like under the thick cake. You can also see the lava flowing down the sides of the bowl in the photos. The stem surface appears to have a lot of tooth chatter and marks but perhaps the calcification and grime on the bowl protected it a bit. There is also some oxidation.He took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to show the interesting grain patterns in the briar. It was quite beautiful. He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and on the ferrule and stem. It is readable but faint in places. I remembered that Paresh had restored a Peterson’s System Standard (his was a 314) earlier this year and as usual had done good work on the research. I turned to his blog and read through his work on the pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/24/helping-a-fellow-piper-with-his-dream-pipea-petersons-system-pipe/). I quote below from the section on his blog regarding the dating of the pipe.

While dating a Peterson’s pipe, I always fall back to my under mentioned favorite site; http://thepetersonpipeproject.blogspot.com/2007/07/dating-peterons-pipes.html

I quote from the above site.

Stamping of Bowl:

During the years of Kapp and Peterson’s business operations, the country of Ireland has undergone several name changes and K&P’s stamping on their pipes reflects these changes. Knowing these changes, a Peterson pipe can be roughly dated and placed in “eras.”

  • The Republic Era is from 1949 until the present. The Republic of Ireland was formed on 17 April 1949. From 1949 to present the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

With that information at hand I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrubb to remove as much of the oxidation as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. (You can see the burn damage on the right top edge of the bowl.) I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top had some scratching on the top and damage to the inner edge and rim top on the right front as I had guessed when I saw the photos before the cleanup. The stem cleaned up well and the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button are light and should clean up easily.I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. The are clear and readable as noted above. There is some faintness on parts of the stamping but it is still readable.I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe. I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the damage on the inside edge of the bowl and the rim top.  I topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I then used a wooden ball and 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge a slight bevel to remove the burn damage on the right front. I wiped the top and edges down with a damp cloth and the rim top damage and burn marks on the outer edges were gone. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I did not need to restain the rim top and edge because with polishing the match is very good. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I sanded the repairs smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to begin blending them into the stem surface. I started the polishing with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. I touched up the “P” logo on the stem with white acrylic fingernail polish. I worked it into the tails on the “P” with a tooth pick and scraped off the excess with my fingernail. I used a worn piece of 1500 and 1800 grit micromesh to polish off the excess, then buffed it with a soft cloth. This Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 303 Bent Apple with a vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should darken and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System Standard 303 Apple fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 49 grams/1.73 ounces. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipe store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Restoring and Restemming a Made in Ireland Shamrock 106 Prince


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe was a mess and one that obviously had been “ridden hard and put away wet”. The finish and condition was abysmal. It was definitely a stranger to any cleaning! This one is a smooth Prince that has a rich coloured finish around the bowl sides and shank under the grit and grime of years. This pipe was purchased from an antique mall on 08/27/21 in Bozeman, Montana, USA. The finish is almost bland looking it is so dirty it was hard to know what to expect once it was cleaned. It was stamped on the  left side of the shank and read SHAMROCK. It was stamped to the right of the shank and reads MADE IN IRELAND (in a circle) with the shape number 106 lower and next to the bowl. It was filthy when Jeff brought it to the table. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. There were nicks in the outer edge all the way around. The replacement stem was chewed and damaged on the top and underside on and near the button. It did not appear to be vulcanite. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked so it is hard to know the condition of the edges under the lava overflow. The stem was a replacement and had been heavily gnawed. The way the bit marks are on the surface of the stem makes me think that it is not vulcanite. The pipe is a real mess and I would probably have to restem the bowl. Jeff took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. You can see the sandpits and nicks in the briar in the photos below. Even so, it is a nice looking pipe. He took a photo of the left side of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is faint but readable in the photo below and is as noted above. He did not take a photo of the circular stamp Made In Ireland and the shape number on the right side of the shank. I will try to capture that later in the blog.I am including the link to the Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson).

I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Shamrock Pipe. On page 312 it had the following information.

Shamrock (c1941-2009) Originally stamped SHAMROCK with no brand name, an inexpensive line first described in George Yale (New York) mail order booklet in 1941, imported by Rogers Import. The line was actively promoted beginning in ’45, aggressively promoted in US by Rogers from early ‘50s when they registered the Shamrock logo with US Patent Office, claiming propriety since ’38. Over the years offered with P-lip or fishtail mouthpiece, with or without nickel band, with or without Shamrock logo on the band, with or without S stamped in white or later in gold on mouthpiece. Appearing in 2008 as unstained smooth and rustic, fishtail mouthpiece with gold impressed P on the stem. COMS of MADE IN over IRELAND (C1945-1965), MADE IN IRELAND forming a circle (c1945-1965), “A PETERSON’S PRODUCT” over MADE IN IRELAND (c1945-1965), MADE IN THE over REPUBLIC over OF IRELAND9c1948-1998). Model is always difficult or impossible to date.

Judging from the description above, the pipe I am working on is stamped with the stamp noted in red above. Made in Ireland in a circle which narrows the date to between approximately 1945-1965. It is just stamped SHAMROCK with no brand name and no stamping on the stem.

I was utterly surprised when I took this pipe out of the box and compared it to the before photos. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. Surprisingly the walls looked unscathed from the heavy cake. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Briarville’s Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. When I examined the stem I knew it would need to be replaced. The pipe looked far better when it arrived. The cleaned up rim top revealed very damaged inner and outer edges and the top. There were nicks in the surface of the rim and the edges. I took some close up photos of the rim top and edges to show how well it had cleaned up and the damage to the edges around the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the surface near and on the button itself. The stem would be replaced. You can see the deep tooth marks and damage to the button edges on both sides. The diameter of the stem is smaller than that of the shank as can be seen in the photos.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is faint but still readable. It reads as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look.I removed the stem from the shank and went through my stems to find one that matched the length and shape of the previous stem. I was pleased to see that it was slightly larger in diameter than the previous one. The tenon was almost the same size as the other one. It was bent more than the previous one but once straightened out it was only 1/8 of an inch shorter. I thought it would look very good.I used a small folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to reduce the tenon enough that it would fit the mortise on the bowl. It did not take too much work and it fit perfectly. The diameter of the stem was slightly larger than the shank and would need some work to fit it properly. I took photos of the pipe with its new stem. I needed to reduce the diameter of the stem and also straighten it a bit to fit correctly. I used a flat file to take off as much of the excess as I could without damaging the briar ahead of it.I cleaned up the fit of the stem to the shank with folded 220 grit sandpaper. I worked over the flow of the stem into the shank to make the transition smooth. It was looking very good. I also heated the stem with the flame of a lighter to soften the vulcanite and straighten it. I repaired the damaged spots on the rim top with briar dust and clear superglue. Once it cured I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inside edge of the bowl and smooth out the damage. I gave it a slight bevel to minimize the damage. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I restained the rim top with a Walnut and a Maple stain pen to match it to the surrounding bowl colour. It looked pretty good. It will blend well once the pipe is polished and buffed. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I am excited to finish this Older Made in Ireland Shamrock 106 Prince. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful mixed grain all around it, looks great with the new black vulcanite stem. This smooth Classic Shamrock 106 Prince is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 36 grams/1.27 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. I will be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for your time and as Paresh says each time – Stay Safe.

Restoring and Restemming a Made in Ireland Peterson’s Kapet 595 Bent Rhodesian


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe was a mess and one that obviously had been “ridden hard and put away wet”. The finish and condition was abysmal. It was definitely a stranger to any cleaning! This one is a smooth Bent Rhodesian that has a rich coloured finish around the bowl sides and shank under the grit and grime of years. This pipe was purchased off Facebook Marketplace on 05/22/21 from Fruitland, Idaho, USA. The finish is almost bland looking it is so dirty it was hard to know what to expect once it was cleaned. It was stamped on the  left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Kapet. It was stamped to the right of the shank and reads MADE IN IRELAND with the shape number 595 next to the bowl. It was filthy when Jeff brought it to the table. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava on the back of the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The outer edge looked good. The vulcanite stem did not fit well and was straight rather than bent. It was oxidized and dirty. There was also tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on the rest of the stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and there was a heavy lava overflow on the rim top and the inner edge. The stem is oxidized, calcified and grimy. It was a mess and it was not the correct stem. I would need to replace it. Jeff took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. The grain is quite beautiful around the sides of the bowl and shank. It is a nice looking pipe.   He took photos of the sides of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is faint but still is readable in the photos below and is as noted above. I am including the link to the Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). There was a short note toward the bottom of the page about the series. It is definitely referring to the newer line that came out later. I quote:

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson) to first pin down a date that the pipe was made. I knew that the Made in Ireland stamp would give me that. I quote:

As usual when trying to get accurate facts in regard to Peterson history, something will jump up and get in the way. They are missing many of their records. The following is the best that we can do for a guide to the myriad markings during the period 1922 – 1949. Prior to 1920 it was rare for a country of origin to be stamped on the pipe, just Peterson’s Dublin on the band. After 1921/22, if it is stamped “MADE IN IRELAND” and the “Made in” is stacked over “Ireland” or “MADE IN EIRE” or several other forms, it was made between 1922 and 1938. A considerable number of Peterson pipes were stamped “Irish Free State”. From about 1930 to 1949, most of the pipes (those which were stamped) were stamped “Made in Ireland”.” If the stamp reads “MADE IN IRELAND” in a circle, the pipe was made between 1939 and 1948. These are all “Pre-Republic” pipes. I can tell you that the mark “Irish Free State” was adopted in 1922; and replaced by “Eire” in 1937 and then by “Republic of Ireland” in 1949.

That gave me a date for the pipe – it was made between 1922 and 1938 as can be proved by the Made in Ireland stamp on the right side of the shank.

I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Kapet Line. On page 305 it had the following information.

Kapet (1925-87) Line first described in 1925 brochure and featured in occasional catalogs through 1987. Early specimens will be stamped IRISH over FREE STATE. Described in 1937 catalog as available in dark plum or natural finish. Featured an aluminum “inner tube” or stinger until 1945.  Mid-century specimens may be stamped Made In over Ireland. Specimens from 1970 on may have mounts with hallmarks.

Judging from the Made in Ireland stamp, the pipe I am working on is probably made between 1922-38. Those dates work also for the Kapet information above. The stem is missing the original P-lip stem and the P emblem on the stem side as well as the inner tube.

To help clarify the stamping on the shank my daughter did some digging and found a shape chart on Mark Irwin’s site that had the 595 shape and it did indeed have a saddle stem (https://petersonpipenotes.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR2VQVQbIXKn90Y9DK56WQVIknkz7UVkfbivxdAjdNqslt9297JIUMvpyjc). The chart identified the 595 as a Medium Rhodesian with a fish tail stem so I was excited to see that the stem I had would be correct! I was utterly surprised when I took this pipe out of the box and compared it to the before photos. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. Surprisingly the walls looked unscathed from the heavy cake. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. There was some scratching, dents and wear on the top and the inner edge of the rim. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Briarville’s Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. He sent the stem along so that I could use it to fit another stem. I took photos of the pipe when it arrived. The cleaned up rim top looked clean but there were dents and marks on the top and some damage and burn marks on the inner edge of the bowl. I took some close up photos of the rim top and edges to show how well it had cleaned up. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the condition on both sides.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is faint but reads as noted above. I removed the stem and went through my stems and found one that matched the shank well. I would need to reduce the sides of the diamond saddle and then I would work the stem to fit correctly. The stem had originally been a P-lip style but someone along the way had cut it off. I would need to clean up that work and reshape it to be a fish tail stem like the one in the chart above. There was a faint P on the left side of the saddle that would probably disappear with the shaping.I put the stem in the shank and took a photo of the bowl with the stem first to have a look at the pipe with this stem. It looked very good and I think with the adjustments it was going to look like the original.I took photos of the stem to show the shape of the bent and also the modification that had been done to remove the P-lip and convert it to what was an attempt at a fish tail. The work on it was a bit of a hack job so it was a mess. I would need to do some reshaping and opening of the button. I started my work on this pipe by fitting the new stem to the shank. I had to reduce the sides of the diamond saddle with my Dremel and sanding drum. As with all diamond shank pipes, the sides were not equal in measurement so I had to shave off some of the vulcanite on each side to get a proper fit to the shank. I also used it on the button end to flatten it out and give it some initial shape. There is more work to do but it is getting there. I used a flat file to get the fit close to a smooth fit. Care had to be taken not to damage the briar. I then worked on it with a folded piece of 220 sandpaper. I wanted the transition between the shank and stem to be smooth. I converted the single hole in the button end to a slot using a hole saw (a pottery trimming saw). I worked on it to shape it as an oval. Once that was done I shaped the button to remove some of the thickness and give it a comfortable shape. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I sanded the inside of the slot with 220 and 400 grit sandpaper to smooth out the airway in the button.I cleaned the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. The stem was very dirty so it took a bit of work to get the oils and tars out of it. Once it was cleaned it smelled very good.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. With the stem finished, I removed it and turned my attention to the bowl. I know some of you would have kept working on the stem but I needed a change of pace so I went to the bowl for awhile to address this darkening on the rim top and edges. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge and work on the darkening on the top.I used an oak stain pen to touch up the sanded areas on the rim top and edges as well as the shank end. The pen was a good match to the rest of the briar around the bowl and shank. It would blend in very well once it was buffed and waxed.I polished the briar and worked to blend in the sanded areas on the rim top and shank end with the surrounding briar with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust and assess progress. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the twin rings around the cap with a shoe brush. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process.  I am excited to finish this beautifully grained, restemmed Peterson’s Kapet 595 Bent Rhodesian. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful mixed grain all around it. The Bent Rhodesian looks great with the new replacement black vulcanite stem. This smooth Classic Peterson’s Kapet Bent Rhodesian is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 40 grams/1.41 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. I will be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for your time and as Paresh says each time – Stay Safe.

Restoring and Restemming a Made in Ireland Peterson’s Premier Selection 493 Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe was a mess and one that obviously had been “ridden hard and put away wet”. The finish and condition was abysmal. It was definitely a stranger to any cleaning! This one is a smooth Bent Billiard that has a rich coloured finish around the bowl sides and shank under the grit and grime of years. This pipe was purchased from an antique mall on 08/27/21 in Bozeman, Montana, USA. The finish is almost bland looking it is so dirty it was hard to know what to expect once it was cleaned. It was stamped on the  left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Premier Selection. It was stamped to the right of the shank and reads MADE IN IRELAND with the shape number 493 next to the bowl. It was filthy when Jeff brought it to the table. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava on the back of the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The outer edge looked good. The replacement Biteproof stem was oxidized and had a chunk missing from the left side of the stem at the button. There was also tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on the rest of the stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and there was a heavy lava overflow on the rim top and the inner edge. The stem is broken, oxidized, calcified and grimy. It was a mess. Jeff took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. The grain is quite beautiful around the sides of the bowl and shank. It is a nice looking pipe. He took photos of the sides of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above.    I am including the link to the Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). There was a short note toward the bottom of the page about the series. It is definitely referring to the newer line that came out later. I quote:

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson) to first pin down a date that the pipe was made. I knew that the Made in Ireland stamp would give me that. I quote:

As usual when trying to get accurate facts in regard to Peterson history, something will jump up and get in the way. They are missing many of their records. The following is the best that we can do for a guide to the myriad markings during the period 1922 – 1949. Prior to 1920 it was rare for a country of origin to be stamped on the pipe, just Peterson’s Dublin on the band. After 1921/22, if it is stamped “MADE IN IRELAND” and the “Made in” is stacked over “Ireland” or “MADE IN EIRE” or several other forms, it was made between 1922 and 1938. A considerable number of Peterson pipes were stamped “Irish Free State”. From about 1930 to 1949, most of the pipes (those which were stamped) were stamped “Made in Ireland”.” If the stamp reads “MADE IN IRELAND” in a circle, the pipe was made between 1939 and 1948. These are all “pre-Republic” pipes. I can tell you that the mark “Irish Free State” was adopted in 1922;and replaced by “Eire” in 1937 and then by “Republic of Ireland” in 1949.

That gave me a date for the pipe – it was made between 1922 and 1938 as can be proved by the Made in Ireland stamp on the right side of the shank.

I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Kapp-Royal Pipe. On page 310 it had the following information.

Premier on the shank (c. 1953- c. 1981) A high grade line of Classic Range shapes for the US market introduced by Rogers Imports in their 1953 catalog. Offered in smooth or sandblast finish, a P-lip mouthpiece with an aluminum P. The first occurrence of this logo in the ephemera. The Tan Bark Premier appeared in the ’69 Iwan Ries catalog. COM of Made in over Ireland, a PREMIER stamp also appears over SELECTION and will be distinguished by an inset brass P on the mouthpiece. See system for SYSTEM over PREMIER stamp.

Judging from the Made in Ireland stamp, the pipe I am working on is probably made between 1922-38. The contrary piece of the puzzle is that the second red highlight above dates it to between 1953 and 1981. It is missing the original P-lip stem and the P emblem on the stem side. So once more we enter the realm of Peterson’s mysteries. Anyone have any ideas on this one.

I was utterly surprised when I took this pipe out of the box and compared it to the before photos. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. Surprisingly the walls looked unscathed from the heavy cake. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. Since the stem was ruined he did not clean it. He sent the ruined stem along so that I could use it to fit another stem. I took photos of the pipe when it arrived. The cleaned up rim top looked very good around the edges and the top. I took some close up photos of the rim top and edges to show how well it had cleaned up. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the damage on the left side of the stem near the button.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It reads as noted above. I removed the stem and went through my stems and found one that matched the broken one very well. I would need to reduce the diameter of the tenon and then I would work the stem to fit correctly.I started my work on this pipe by fitting the new stem to the shank. I had to reduce the tenon with 220 grit sandpaper to fit the shank. As with all diamond shank pipes, the sides were not equal in measurement so I had to shave off some of the vulcanite or some of the briar to get a proper fit to the shank. I did the work with some 220 grit sandpaper until the transition was smooth all the way around the shank and stem. There is more work to do but it is getting there. With the stem fit I removed it and turned my attention to the bowl. I know some of you would have kept working on the stem but I needed a change of pace so I went to the bowl for awhile to address this darkening on the rim top and edges. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge and work on the darkening on the top.I polished the briar and worked to blend in the sanded areas on the rim top and shank end with the surrounding briar with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust and assess progress. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the twin rings around the cap with a shoe brush. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention back to the stem. Started by opening up the slot in the button with a small saw. Once I had it the way I wanted I turned to the rest of the stem. I worked on the shaping and smoothing out the sanding marks with 220 grit sandpaper and starting polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I cleaned the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. The stem was very dirty so it took a bit of work to get the oils and tars out of it. Once it was cleaned it smelled very good. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I am excited to finish this beautifully grained, restemmed Peterson’s Premier Selection 493 Straight Bulldog. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful mixed grain all around it. The Bulldog looks great with the new replacement black vulcanite stem. This smooth Classic Peterson’s Premier Selection Bulldog is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 38 grams/1.34 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. I will be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for your time and as Paresh says each time – Stay Safe.