Tag Archives: removing oxidation

Restemming and Reconditioning a Rungsted Mariner by Preben Holm


Blog by Steve Laug

I don’t know when I learned that the Rungsted line of pipes was another line that Preben Holm carved. But I learned that he made several lines outside the Ben Wade contract pipes he was producing for Snug Harbor/Lane. This was confirmed when I looked online and found a thread on PipesMagazine.com. The discussion covered a brand called Britta Bech and one of the members there happened to mention and confirm what I already knew about the Rungsted line. From my memory and the speaker’s the pipes were mostly carved in the mid to late 70’s or early 80’s during the height of the Danish Freehand pipe craze in the US. The speaker there said that though some refer to these as seconds he did not think that was accurate and that really it was a totally separate line from Preben Holm. I would agree with his assessment on this. I am pretty certain looking at the various Rungsted pipes that I have worked on that there are no flaws. They all combine both smooth and sandblast finishes and present a really interesting finished pipe. (mlaug on pipesmagazine.com http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/preben-holm-info-needed).

This particular pipe came in a lot that Jeff and I purchased from a fellow in Idaho. Jeff had purchased the pipes shown in the photo below from him. The Rungsted is circled in red at the top right side of the photo. The photo came because I asked Jeff to send me a picture of the pipes he picked up. I have written about the find on a previous blog that you can read if you are interested at the link that follows: https://rebornpipes.com/2016/10/07/a-good-day-hunting-orchestrated-between-british-columbia-and-idaho/ 

Jeff did a great job cleaning off the debris and grime on this old bowl. It did not have a stem when it came to us, one would have to be made to fit it. He reamed it with a PipNet reamer and smoothed the walls of the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to the oils and tars on the bowl, rim and shank. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the grime was removed the finish underneath was in stellar condition. The rich patina of the older briar was a variegated finish of smooth and sandblast looked great. I took photos of the bowl to show its condition before I started my work on it. The shank of the pipe was stamped on the smooth underside. It read RUNGSTED over MARINER over Hand Made in Denmark. The stamping was quite legible, though the lower portion was lighter than the upper.I had a stem in my can of stems that I had started shaping for another pipe some time ago and abandoned. It needed to have a little more of the tenon end taken down to fit in the mortise but it had the correct look for the pipe. I took pictures of the stem before I did the work to make it fit.I sanded the tenon end down with 220 grit sandpaper until it fit snugly in the shank. I put it in place on the pipe and took the next set of photos. Lots of sanding to do, but it gives an idea of what the pipe will look like when it is finished. In my ongoing experiment with Mark Hoover’s Before & After Restoration Balm I am using it on this mixed finish pipe. It should be a good test of how it works in the transitions between the smooth and sandblast portions as well as on the plateau on the rim and the shank end. I have used it individually on each of those finishes but not on a pipe that had all three features. Mark describes the product being designed for use on briar or stems – whether vulcanite, acrylic or horn. It was formulated to pull the dirt off of the briar as well as polish it at the same time. It includes anti-oxidants to keep the briar from getting damaged from UV rays and water as well as something that enlivens the briar. I worked it into the sandblast portions with my fingers and rubbed it on the smooth portions. I wiped it down with a cotton pad to see if it pulled out the dirt. It worked very well on all the different parts of this bowl. I took the following photos to show the results. As always, I will continue using it for a while and see how it works in a variety of settings before I give an opinion of the product. I buffed the bowl with a clean buffing pad to polish the briar and see what the finished bowl would look like and if areas that needed a bit more attention. The buffed bowl can be seen in the photos that follow. It has a rich patina that really has a deep glow to it. The two finishes really flow into each other and give the pipe a warm look. I sanded out the casting marks and scratches on the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I opened the slot in the end of the button with needles files and sandpaper to make it easier to push a pipe cleaner into the stem and shank. I polished it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with Obsidian Oil to give the next pad more bite when I sanded. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and again wiped it down with the oil after each pad. After the final pad I wiped it down with a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish the stem and the smooth portions of the briar. I used a soft touch around the stamped areas as I did not want to flatten them polish them away even more that they already were. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and rubbed it into the sandblast and the plateau areas. I buffed it with a shoe brush and then with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The variegated finish on the bowl and stem combine to present a beautiful pipe. The pipe really does look fresh and new to me and I like the finished look with the new stem. The dimensions of this pipe are Length: 6 1/2 inches, Height: 2 inches, Bowl diameter: 2 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 inches. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipes store if you are interested in adding to your collection. It is a beauty and will serve someone very well. Email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.

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New Life for Heritage Diplomat 8 Panel Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

As I mentioned in the first blog I did on the Heritage threesome – the 45S Antique, earlier this summer I was relaxing and surfing Ebay on my iPad and I came across three listings for Heritage Pipes. All were square shank pipes and all were in decent condition. Two of them had original stems while the third had a well done replacement stem. Several years ago I had learned about the brand through Andrew Selking who writes for rebornpipes. Since then I have kept an eye out for them. There do not seem to be too many showing up on Ebay but every so often there is one. This time there were three. I contacted my brother with the links and he bid and won the threesome. I am working on the middle pipe in the threesome now. If you missed the first blog on the Heritage Antique I thought I would once again summarize a bit of the history of the brand that Andrew wrote on a previous blog on rebornpipes. Here is the link: https://rebornpipes.com/2014/12/23/refurbishing-a-heritage-heirloom/. I am including a brief summary of what he found in the next two short paragraphs to set the stage for the pipe on my work table.

Heritage pipes were Kaywoodie’s answer to Dunhill. According to one of their brochures, Heritage pipes were made from “briar burls seasoned and cured for up to 8 months,” with only “one briar bowl in over 300 selected to bear the Heritage name.” “Heritage stems are custom fitted with the finest hand finished Para Rubber stems. Mouthpieces are wafer thin and concave.”

The Heritage line began in the early 1960’s, with the trademark issued in 1964. The line was started at the request of Stephen Ogdon, (who worked for Kaywoodie in 1962). Mr. Ogdon had previous experience working for Dunhill, either running the New York store or working for Dunhill North America. Mr. Ogden was made President of Heritage Pipes, Inc., Kaywoodie Tobacco Co.,Inc. and Kaywoodie Products Inc. as well as a Vice President of S.M. Frank & Co. Heritage Pipes were produced from 1964 until 1970 (Source Kaywoodie.myfreeforum.org).

The second pipe I chose to work on first from the threesome I had on the table was the number 45 an Octagon, Square Shank, Taper stem billiard. I have circled it in the page below. Interestingly, the one thing the Heritage line shared with Kaywoodie was the size and shape numbers. Unlike Kaywoodies, the Heritage pipes are normal push tenons.I am also including another page from Andrew’s blog post that highlights the line of Heritage pipes that the Octagon Billiard comes from. It is a Heritage Diplomat which is described in the page below. Its “Hand rubbed finish accents the richness of the fine grain”.  The brochure goes on to describe it in these terms, “…The distinguished grain of the Heritage Diplomat is a joy to behold. The virgin bore insures easy break-in and full flavor of the tobacco. Heritage Diplomat is truly distinctive in character, becoming mellow and enriched with time and smoking.”When the pipes arrived in Idaho, Jeff took photos of them before he did his cleanup work. The 45 Octagon Billiard was in good condition. There was a light cake in the bowl and a light overflow of lava on the rim. The grain on the eight sides of the bowl is quite interesting being a combination of cross grain, birdseye and mixed. The finish was dirty but appeared to be in good condition under the grime and grit the years. The bowl and square shank were clean and undamaged. There was a small fill on the back side of the bowl just above the bowl/shank junction and one on the front of the bowl. It was stamped Heritage over Diplomat over Imported Briar on the left side of the shank and has the shape number 45 on the right side of the shank. The stem had light oxidation and some tooth chatter and some light tooth marks on both sides of the stem just ahead of the button. The double diamond logo on the left side of the stem was in good condition. The quality vulcanite had held up well through the years.Jeff took some photos of the sides and bottom of the bowl and shank to show the condition of the pipe, the rich stain on the pipe and the lovely grain all around.The next two photos show the condition of the rim and the bowl. They are surprisingly clean with only a light cake and lava overflow. They should clean up nicely. The first photo also shows the fill on the back side of the bowl. I have circled it in red so it is readily identifiable. The next two photos show the stem. There is minor tooth chatter on both sides of the stem at the button. There at tooth marks on the top side of the stem are quite deep.Jeff once again worked his magic in cleaning up this pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet reamer and smoothed the walls of the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to the oils and tars on the bowl, rim and shank. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the grime was removed the finish underneath was in stellar condition. The rich patina of the older briar was a mix of grain around the bowl and shank. The cleaning of the stem left a light oxidation in the vulcanite. The tooth marks were clean but visible. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. The rim top and edges are very clean. There is some darkening and light scratching on the top and inner bevel of the rim that will need to be taken care of but otherwise it looks good.The stem was clean but needed to be worked on in terms of the bite marks and chatter. The light oxidation needed to be polished out. The square stem and shank were also eight sided which gave the pipe an interesting appearance.I “painted” the stem with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks and dents in the rubber. I was able to raise the dents considerably. Some of them disappeared. Others would need to be sanded out and repaired. The stem certainly looked better after heating.I used the Savinelli Fitsall Knife to clean up the small bit of remaining cake on the backside of the bowl a little more.Three of the marks on the top side of the stem were deep enough that I could not sand them out. I used some clear super glue to fill in the marks. Once the repairs dried I used a file to smooth out the repairs and bring them down even with the surface of the stem. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to further smooth it out.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with Obsidian Oil to give the next pad more bite when I sanded. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and again wiped it down with the oil after each pad. After the final pad I wiped it down with a damp cloth and set it aside while I finished the bowl. I turned my attention back to the bowl. I repaired the fill in the back of the bowl with clear super glue. I sanded out the repaired area to blend it into the surface of the briar. Once it was smooth to touch I used a black Sharpie to blend in the light coloured fill.I am continuing to test out Mark Hoover’s new product that he calls Before & After Restoration Balm. I have used it on rusticated, sandblast and smooth briar bowls. Mark is the creator of the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and Polishes that I have written about in earlier blogs and reviewed. I am including Mark’s description of the product once more so that if you have not read this you will have an idea of the rationale for the product.  He says that the product can be used on briar or stems – whether vulcanite, acrylic or horn. He said it was designed to pull the dirt off of the briar as well as polish it. He added some anti-oxidants to keep the briar from getting damaged from both UV rays and water. I rubbed it into the finish on the bowl and shank with my fingers and worked it into the finish with a cotton pad to see if it pulled out the dirt. It seemed to work very well and I took the following photos to show the results. I will continue using it for a while and see how it works in a variety of settings before I give an opinion of the product. I lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond to polish it to see where I needed to do some work before the final buff. I hand polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I worked on the beveled inner edge of the bowl to clean it up some more. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth after the 12000 grit pad. The pictures below show the progress of the polishing on the briar. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish the briar. I used a soft touch around the stamped areas as I did not want to flatten them polish them away even more that they already were. I gave the stem and bowl multiple coats of carnauba wax buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The octagonal shaped bowl, shank and stem combine to present a beautiful pipe. The pipe looks fresh and new. The dimensions of this pipe are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Bowl diameter: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ inches. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipes store if you are interested in adding to your collection. It is a beauty and will serve someone very well. Email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.

Fashioning a Churchwarden Stem for a Mario Grande Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

A while back I was contacted by a fellow named Chris who was referred to me by the local pipe and cigar shop. He needed a repair on a Joh’s Churchwarden with a broken shank. I repaired the shank, banded it and cleaned it up. You can read about that repair on a previous blog at this link:  (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/08/26/repairing-a-broken-shank-and-crooked-alignment-on-a-johs-churchwarden/). He also had a big Mario Grande Freehand that he wanted me to make a churchwarden stem for. He really likes the long stems and wondered if I could make him one that he could use interchangeably on his Mario Grande pipes. He wanted a really long stem but the only stems made are 8 inches long. I contacted him and he said to go ahead order one for this pipe. Several weeks went by and the stems finally arrived. I took some photos of the pipe.The pipe was a big piece of briar and it was in good shape. The existing stem was oxidized on the top side and the ball at the tenon insert. I decided that I would both clean up the existing stem and make a new stem for it.I took a photo of the top of the bowl that shows the beautiful plateau top and the size and shape of the chamber. For a block of briar this large the chamber was only 3/4 inches in diameter. It is a small chamber for a pipe this large.I took photos of the stem to show that the oxidation was heavier on the top side of the stem than the underside.I took the stem out of the mailing bag and wiped it down. It had the casting marks on both sides of the stem and on the tenon and button end. Those would need to be cleaned up. I used a Dremel and sanding drum to remove the casting marks on both sides and the button and tenon end. I drilled the airway open enough to hold the pin on the PIMO tenon turning tool. I put the tool in my cordless drill and pushed the stem onto it. I adjusted the cutting head to cut the tenon to the same diameter as the tenon on the existing stem. I held the stem and used the drill to cut away the excess material so that it would fit snugly in the mortise.I put the stem in the shank and took photos of the new look of this handmade Mario Grande. The pipe looks really good and will be a great sitting pipe. There is no way that the weight of this piece of briar will ever work as a clencher. I put a pipe cleaner in the airway in the stem and put it on a cookie tray. I turned the setting on the oven to 350 degrees F and put the cookie sheet and stem in the oven. I let it heat for 10 minutes until the stem was absolutely straight and pliable. I put the stem in the shank and bent it to an angle that matched the flow of the bowl and shank. I held it until the stem cooled and the bend was set.In my continued experiment with the new product from Mark Hoover – the creator of the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and Polishes. He calls it Before & After Restoration Balm and it can be used on briar or stems – whether vulcanite, acrylic or horn. He said it was designed to pull the dirt off of the briar as well as polish it. He added some anti-oxidants to keep the briar from getting damaged from both UV rays and water. This is the second smooth briar pipe that I chose to use it on. I figured it would be a good test to see how it worked on a smooth briar bowl and a lightly oxidized vulcanite stem. I applied it and worked it into the crevices of the plateau on the shank and the rim top with a shoes brush. It worked well, so I took the following photos to show the results. The bowl and the stem have a rich shine. I would need to polish the stem a bit more to remove all of the oxidation but it was far better than when I started. I will continue using it and see how it works on a variety of pipes before I give a review.I buffed the stem with red Tripoli and Blue Diamond polish to remove as much of the oxidation as I could with the wheel. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads to remove the oxidation that remained – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and again wiped it down with the oil after each pad. After the final pad I gave it another coat of the oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem in the shank and took photos of the new Churchwarden look of the Mario Grande. I sent the photos to Chris to see what he thought of the new stem. I turned my attention to the Churchwarden stem. I sanded away the marks from the castings and shaped the tenon end of the stem into a cone to fit into the conical drilling at the end of the shank. I buffed the stem with red Tripoli and Blue Diamond polish to remove as much of the scratching in the vulcanite as I could with the wheel. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads to further remove the scratches – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and again wiped it down with the oil after each pad. After the final pad I gave it another coat of the oil and set it aside to dry. I put the churchwarden stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish the briar and vulcanite. I switched stems and buffed the short stem with Blue Diamond as well to polish it. I gave the bowl and both stems multiple coats of carnauba wax and I gave the plateau areas on the rim and shank end with several coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The rich medium brown stain and the rough plateau on both the rim top and shank end the polished black vulcanite of both stems worked well together to give a rich look to the pipe. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I took photos of it with the churchwarden stem and with the original short stem to give an idea of how it looked all polished and shining. Thanks for looking.

Another Frankenpipe – Salvaging a Lido Root Briar Dublin Bowl


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff picked up a nice looking Brebbia pipe on one of his trips to Montana. It was a Brebbia Lido Root Briar Dublin. It had an almost Castello Sea Rock finish on the bowl and shank. It was stamped on a smooth spot on the underside of the bowl and shank. It read Lido over Root Briar over 9004. Next to that it read Brebbia over Italy. Jeff showed me the pictures and it was a nice looking pipe as far as I could see. The shank looked a little short and the angle of the stem was funny but it was nice. The oval shape of the bowl was different and made the pipe interesting. When Jeff examined it at his hotel he discovered that the stem had been glued into the shank. The close he looked the more convinced he became that the shank had been broken and that this was a quick fix either to keep the pipe smokable or to make it sellable. Either way it was no longer a good find in his mind.

We talked when he was doing the cleanup and he was going to throw it away. He did not take pictures of the pipe as it was when he got it for this reason. The bowl had a thick cake and the rim had a copious overflow of lava that filled in the finish. I asked him to clean it up anyway and send it to me. He was dubious but he did it. He reamed and cleaned the bowl and shank to a point where it was spotless. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush and was able to get the rim clean of the lava. It was clean when it arrived in Vancouver. I unpacked the box and looked at it briefly and tossed it back in the box. I had no inspiration as to what to do with it at that point so I figured I would just let it sit for a while.

Yesterday I woke early to an idea for the Brebbia bowl. I don’t know if that happens to you but it does to me. Probably means I am thinking too much about pipes but it is what it is. I knew what I wanted to do with the bowl so I dug it out of the box and turned it over in my hands. I did not take photos of it at that point though I should have. I used a Dremel and sanding drum to square up the broken shank end. It was at an angle so it needed to be made flat. I sanded it on the topping board to smooth out the end of the shank and face it. I cleaned out the inside of the shank end with alcohol and cotton swabs to remove the dust and debris and ready for the next part of the process.

I went through my box of parts and found a one inch long piece of bamboo with one knuckle that I had cut off in a repair on another pipe. It was a thick hard piece of bamboo that would work well. The end with the knuckle was the same basic diameter as the shank end so that would work well. I also keep broken chunks of Delrin and vulcanite tenons to use for this kind of thing so I salvaged a one inch long piece of Delrin that was perfect. I roughed up the surface a bit and took down the outer diameter with the Dremel and sanding drum so that it would insert into the shank end. The photo below shows the accumulation of parts ready to be joined together.In the past I have used epoxy to glue the parts together. This time I chose to use clear super glue. I applied the glue to the end of the tenon that went into the shank and pressed it into place. I made sure that things lined up well and let the glue cure. It does not take long – which is why I chose to use it this time. You have to work quickly to assure all is aligned before it sets. Once it was set I painted the end of the shank and the bamboo with super glue and applied it to the tenon as well and pressed the bamboo over the extended piece of tenon. I lined everything up so the fit was correct. I wanted the groove in the bamboo on the top side of the shank so once it was done I held it until it set. The following photos show the bowl and shank repair at this point in the process. I liked the look of the pipe at this point. I cleaned up the reaming a bit as I saw some remaining cake on the back side of the bowl during the process. I used the Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to cut it back and smooth out the surface of the bowl interior.I used a brass bristle brush to clean up the top of the rim a bit more. There still seemed to be remnants of lava in the nooks and crannies of the rustication that needed attention. Nothing does the job on this kind of surface like a brass bristle tire brush.I am continuing to experiment with a new product from Mark Hoover – the creator of the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and Polishes. He calls it Before & After Restoration Balm and it can be used on briar or stems – whether vulcanite, acrylic or horn. He said it was designed to pull the dirt off of the briar as well as polish it. He added some anti-oxidants to keep the briar from getting damaged from both UV rays and water. I chose to use it on this third pipe – because of the roughness of the rusticated finish on this bowl. I figured it would be a good test to see if it reached deep into the rustication and pulled out the dirt. I applied it and worked it into the crevices with a shoes brush. It seemed to work very well and I took the following photos to show the results. I will continue using it for a while and see how it works in a variety of settings before I give an opinion of the product. I decided to see what stem I would use for this pipe. I needed something close to the diameter of the end of the bamboo. I went through my can of stems and found one that was perfect. It was the same diameter and would match well. It was oxidized but there were no tooth marks in the vulcanite so it would be a simple clean up. It did not have a tenon so I would need to replace the tenon in the stem. The photo below shows the parts. The thing I neglected to photograph was the end of the stem. The drilling was perfect for being able to turn the new threaded tenon in place. I coated the threads with a coat of super glue and turned the tenon in place on the stem. I quickly aligned the tenon and made sure it was straight before the glue set. You have to work quick with the super glue to achieve this before it sets. I sprayed the tenon with accelerator to harden the glue. It leaves behind a white residue that is shown in the photo. It easily comes off with a damp cloth.I set the stem aside for a while and turned back to the end of the bamboo where it would meet the stem. I used the Dremel and sanding drum to flatten it out. I pressed it against the sandpaper on the topping board to face it and make it square. Once I had that done I looked through my box of parts and found a hard rubber button that I had drilled to use as a spacer on a previous pipe. It would work perfect in this situation. I glued it in place on then end of the shank with super glue. I filled in around the joint against the bamboo with the tip of the superglue to seal it and allow no air or moisture to seep through the joint. Once the glue had hardened I would need to trim it back to the diameter of the stem. It would serve as a smooth surface for the end of the stem to sit against and make the fitting of the stem much easier. The final photo in this series shows an end view of the space on the bamboo. You can see how it looks from that perspective in the photo. I neglected to take photos of the process of trimming back the spacer. Once the glue set (several hours) I used the Dremel and sanding drum to take back the excess material of the space close to the diameter of the stem. I sanded the spacer with the stem in place using a worn piece of 180 grit sandpaper to smooth it out and also to remove the oxidation on the stem. I did take a photo of the pipe to send to my brother.There will still need to be a lot of sanding to match these two parts a bit more but you can see the general idea in the photos below. I like the way the pipe looks so far. Given the parts I had available this Frankenpipe is coming together quite well. Once everything lined up well it was time to polish the spacer and the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and again wiped it down with the oil after each pad. After the final pad I gave it another coat of the oil and set it aside to dry. I polished the spacer at the same time  using micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and again wiped it down with the oil after each pad. After the final pad I gave it another coat of the oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish the briar. I used a soft touch on the sandblasted areas as I did not want to flatten them or fill in the grooves with polishing compound. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and I gave the sandblasted bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The rough sandblast finish with its dark brown and oxblood contrast stain and the newly added bamboo shank work well with the tapered stem I fit to the shank to make a beautiful pipe. The pipe looks fresh and new. The dimensions of this pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 1/8 inches, Bowl diameter: 1 3/8 inches wide and 1 3/4 inches long, Chamber diameter: 7/8 inches. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I like it! It came out pretty well in my opinion – not too bad for a Frankenpipe. Thanks for looking.

A Pipe by Lee Limited Edition 2 Star Rhodesian worth restoring


Blog by Steve Laug

Over the years I have gained a soft spot for Pipe by Lee pipes. I have found them in antique and junk shops around Canada and the US. They seemed to have had quite a following. Most of the pipes I have found have been 2 or 3 star pipes – designated by the number of gold stars on the stem. I have had a variety of shapes from Billiards, Bulldogs, Bull Moose, and Rhodesians. All have been well cut shapes and fairly decent pieces of briar. Some of the 2 star pipes have had small fills but generally they are well blended into the rest of the briar with the stain. Many have obviously been favourite pipes judging by the thick cake in the bowl and the wear and tear on the stems. They are workhorses and when cleaned up there is always a lot of life left in the pipe.

My brother Jeff picked up a Pipe by Lee Rhodesian that is on the delicate side – far different from the chunky ones that I have cleaned and restored. This one is a low profile Rhodesian with a round shank and a saddle stem. It has a dark stain on the briar, which is also different from other Lee pipes I have worked on. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started to work on it.The next two photos show the condition of the bowl. You can see from the photos that the bowl is thickly caked and there is a heavy lava overflow on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. It covers the beveled rim top to where it almost looks flat. There appears to be some nicks and damage on the front outer edge of the bowl but I won’t know until it has been reamed and cleaned. The finish on the bowl was dirty and had a lot of nicks and scratches in the surface of the briar. The double rings around the rim cap are in excellent condition with no damaged areas.Jeff took some photos of the shank sides to show the stamping on the pipe. It is stamped Pipe by Lee on the left side of shank over Limited Edition. On the right side it is stamped An Authentic over Imported Briar. The saddle stem had two gold stars inset in the top portion of the saddle equidistant from the front and back of the saddle. The stem was dirty, sticky and lightly oxidized. There were light tooth marks on the top and underside at the button and on the sharp edge of the button.

I decided to refresh my memory regarding the Pipe by Lee brand. I checked on my usual sites to learn what I could. I went to Pipedia and looked up the brand. Here is the link https://pipedia.org/wiki/Lee

I quote the entirety of the listing as it is brief and pointed regarding the history of the brand.

This brand was distributed by Stewart-Allen Co. Inc., NY. The Grading (ascending): 1 to 5 stars. Early pipes have seven pointed stars, middle run have five points and later pipes are stamped with coloured gold stars.

The site also quoted a section from the pipephil website regarding the brand. Lee seconds: Briar Lee, Gold Coast (preceding content from  “Pipes: Logos & Markings” website http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-l3.html#lee)

I quote the next section of the article because it pertains to the pipe I am working on.

I have seen one pipe. “Pipe By Lee” stamped on left side of shank over “LIMITED EDITION”. Right side of shank stamped “AN AUTHENTIC” over “IMPORTED BRIAR”. Logo on top of the stem is three gold seven pointed stars in a row. Additional information on time frame of operation or quality of the pipes would be helpful. — Dgillmor 21:51, 10 May 2012 (CDT)

I went directly to the pipephil site to look at the stamping and logo markings that are included there. There was a photo of a similar pipe though it had a tapered stem rather than the saddle stem on the one that I am working on. The shape is a Rhodesian as well. Below that there was a photo of the stamping on that pipe that matches the stamping that is on the pipe have. http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-l3.html#lee

I decided to do some more searching and look for sites other than Pipedia or Pipephil. I wanted to find a good summary of the history of the brand from someone who collects the pipe. I found a great link to a conversation on the Shotgun World BBS. The link is as follows http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=75&t=269843 I am including portions of that conversation from a member there, going by the screen name SuperXOne. He obviously collects pipes from Pipe by Lee. If you are interested in reading the entire interchange you can go to the site. For my purposes I only wanted the one side.

For any of you pipe smokers, I want to share something I’ve discovered about “estate” pipes. You may come on a pipe at a garage sale, flea market, or eBay that is marked “Pipes by Lee”. This pipe will be, if not completely abused beyond salvation…a goodun!!!

Evidently, there was somebody named Lee who made pipes in New York City from just after WW2 on up until sometime in the 1970’s. Lee’s pipes were not ever cheapies. He sold them mail order and wholesale, and Lee met Kaywoodie grade for grade back when Kaywoodie was winding down from making their best pipes into a slow, declining mediocrity.

Lee Pipes came marked with stars to determine quality. As of 1950, a one star pipe was $3.50, Two stars were $5, and Three stars were $10. Four star pipes were $15 and Five star pipes were $25. $3.50, $5, and $10 were the exact prices in the first three grades of Kaywoodies, the Drinkless, Super Grain, and Flame Grain. Later prices went up gradually for both brands, but somewhere along the line Lee lost the race and yet you can still buy a brand new pipe that says Kaywoodie Flame Grain in 2011…but it’s only a decent, basic pipe that wouldn’t have even made the lowest cut for a $3.50 Drinkless or One Star in 1950.

The overwhelming majority of Lee Pipes that I own and I’ve seen were three stars. There are two periods of quality, and no Lee Pipe is ever junk. The earlier, better Lee Pipes had actual gold inlaid stars into the rubber stem. The later, still good but not as nicely polished Lee pipes, had the stars cast into the stem but have no gold inlaid in the stars. Every so often, I’ll see a two star Lee and it will always have nice grain, but a few “fills” here and there. A three star Lee will have no noticeable “fills” and will always have excellent grain structure, but not quite on a level with a Pre War Kaywoodie Super Grain or Flame Grain. Evidently, Lee saved his best wood for his four star and five star pipes…but I’ve never seen one and never seen one advertised for sale. Likewise, for some odd reason, I’ve never seen a “one star” Lee pipe. Perhaps because the one stars all got used up and smoked out and thrown away within a few years of purchase.

What you’ll likely find is a “Three Star” Lee in a conventional shape such as an Author, Billiard, Apple, or Bulldog. They pretty well matched Kaywoodie in their shapes offered. Do not pretend that a Lee Pipe is the equal of a Pre War Kaywoodie “four hole” Super Grain or Flame Grain. But they are probably better than the Pre War “four hole” Kaywoodie Drinkless…at least the three star Lees are…and a Pre War “four hole” Kaywoodie Drinkless is a truly fine pipe. I’ve found the Lees to be better quality than the later “three hole” Kaywoodies, as well…even the higher grades of Kaywoodie. I’ve never seen a trace of varnish on a Lee pipe of any grade, and the workmanship is wonderful. Remember too that all that incredibly fine briar that Kaywoodie used before the war to make all those wonderful “four hole” Kaywoodies was already more or less gone by the time that Lee starts making his pipes after the war. Lee pipes more than hold their own against Kaywoodies of the same year of manufacture.

Prices on Lee pipes are cheap. A brand new one in the box is often less than fifty bucks. Well-used ones are giveaway cheap at flea markets and yard sales. A fair price for a good condition, lightly smoked three star Lee is probably twenty five dollars. For that you’ll get a pipe that you’d have to pay several hundred for if it was made brand new today…if you could even find one as good.;)

Here’s a web page that shows the Lee 1950 dealer’s catalog. Drool away!: http://pipepages.com/pblpage

But while Lee might have equaled Kaywoodie pipes, Kaywoodie had Lee beat hands down in catalogs. If you smoke a pipe you just have to see this 1947 Kaywoodie catalog: http://pipepages.com/47kaycat2.htm

All links are to Pipe Pages. A fine place to while away the time looking at old pipes.;)

And here’s a link to the existing Kaywoodie Company. Sad to compare them with the 1947 Kaywoodie, but at least they are still kicking and still in the USA: http://www.smfrankcoinc.com/

Too further illustrate just how high quality the Lees and the Kaywoodies were in the 1940’s, here is the 1949 price list of Alfred Dunhill. You could get your choice of Dunhill pipe in the USA in 1949 for $15 retail. In those days that would have included tariffs, and of course transportation to the USA from England. Dunhills are, of course, still being made to the exact same standards as they were in the late 1940’s. Today any Dunhill is over five hundred dollars…at the very least,,,,even the sandblasted ones. Back in the 40’s Lee and Kaywoodie hardly sold any sandblasted pipes at all, because their customers demanded for ten dollars a completely perfect, flame grained, smoothly polished, outrageously high quality pipe, and they would have only sand blasted a pipe that somehow didn’t make the grade. For fifteen dollars an American expected a Lee or Kaywoodie to be out of this world wonderful, and I can’t even imagine those $25 grade Kaywoodies and Lees…but we know that some were made. We Americans don’t think about us making the finest of anything, but we did back in the 1940’s when it came to making smoking pipes. Our pipes were the absolute best in the world, using the very best briar. http://pipepages.com/49rtda13.htm

Armed with the renewed information it was time to work on the pipe. Jeff did his usual thorough clean-up work. He reamed it with a PipNet reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim cap and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap and rinsed it under running water. It took a lot of scrubbing to get it free of the tars. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the grime was removed the finish was in excellent condition with a mix of straight and birdseye grain around the bowl and shank. He cleaned up the vulcanite stem and metal threaded tenon with the oil soap as well and was able to remove much of the debris. There were some light tooth marks on both sides of the stem.I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. Jeff did an excellent job removing the cake from the bowl and scrubbing the rim cap. The bevel came out absolutely clean and looked great. The rounded outer edge of bowl looked good as well. There were a few light scratches that could be lifted from the right front of the rim top.The stem looked very clean. The vulcanite was pitted but did not show much oxidation on the surface. The wear on the sharp edge of the button on both sides was clear. The tooth mark on the top of the stem near the button was deeper than the chatter on the underside.I repaired the worn sharp edge on the top and underside of the button with clear super glue and used a needle file to clean up the edges. I sanded the tooth mark out with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper.I sanded the stem surfaces with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the light oxidation and the button. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and buffed it with red Tripoli to remove the oxidation that showed up in the first photo below. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad to give traction to the next pad and also bring a little life to the vulcanite stem. After the final pad I gave it a last coat of the oil and set it aside to dry. The next series of photos show the development of the shine on the rubber stem. I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond to polish it a bit and see where I needed to do some work before the final buff. I hand polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each buffing pad. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth after the 12000 grit pad. The pictures below show the progress of the polishing on the briar. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish the briar. I gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The black stem of polished vulcanite and the polished dark stained briar work well together to present a beautiful pipe. The pipe looks fresh and new. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. Thanks for looking.

 

 

 

Restemming a A Unique Randy Wiley Freehand 99


Blog by Steve Laug

Earlier this week I received a call from a fellow who had been referred to me by a local pipe and cigar shop. He had a pipe that he had broken the stem on and wanted to know if I would replace the stem for him. He was visiting Vancouver and thought he could get a stem while he was here. I told him to drop it by my office and I would have a look and see what I could do with it. I was not clear at this point if the stem had broken at the tenon or somewhere else. I also wondered if the tenon was still in the shank. I wanted to see for myself before I committed to repairing it. He brought it by the office and he showed it to me and I was hooked. It was a beautiful Randy Wiley Pipe stamped Wiley over an R. Wiley signature. Under that it was stamped Handmade USA over 99. Andy C. posted a comment below that the number 99 is a grade number and that this is one of Randy’s higher grade pipes. Thanks Andy for the information. He told me that pipe was a gift from a partner and he really wanted it repaired. The briar was beautiful grained on the smooth part and faded into a swirled and dotted rustication pattern. The rim top was plateau briar and had been left natural. There was a shank extension that was marbled green, golds, yellows and blacks and really worked well with the patterns on the briar. I looked down the shank of the pipe and could see a lot of debris that was built up in the mortise and airway. It appeared to be tars and pieces of debris from the broken stem. The bowl still had some remnants of tobacco inside. It had a rich tobacco smell that was intriguing. I asked him what tobacco he smoked and he said that he primarily smoked a dark natural tobacco from the Amazon called Mapacho.

I knew nothing of Mapacho so I looked it up on the internet. I found that Mapacho was Nicotiana rustica and is a rainforest plant in the Solanaceae family. It is a very potent variety of tobacco. It contains up to nine times more nicotine than common species of Nicotiana such as Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco). I have included a picture because it is an intriguing looking tobacco.I asked him if he wanted me to clean up the bowl, ream and polish the pipe while I made a stem. He did not think it was necessary as it did not have a thick cake and he had taken good care of it. So I brought it home to fit a new stem. I checked out the inside of the mortise and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to make sure that I could get a snug fit with the new stem. I pushed a pipe cleaner through the airway and cleaned out the debris. I waxed the bowl with Conservator’s Wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I took pictures of the polished pipe.  It really is a beauty and the contrast of finishes with the marbled shank extension of the really work well together. The next photo shows the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping is very clear and readable.With the bowl finished I used a preformed stem that I had in my stem can that I thought would work well with the style of this pipe. It was in excellent condition – unused and undamaged. It had slight oxidation that would be quite easy to deal with on the buffer. I turned the stem end on my PIMO tenon turning tool to reduce the end to fit in the shank. I cut it back to slightly larger than I needed and then sanded and filed it by hand until it fit in the mortise.I funneled the end of the tenon to facilitate the flow of air from the bowl to the end of the button. I used a sharp pen knife to shape the funnel and sanded the inside to remove all sharp edges.I sanded the stem surfaces with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the light oxidation and scratches on both sides of the stem. I sanded the end of the button and the sides of the stem to remove the casting marks on the stem. I worked on it until it was black and there was no remnant of oxidation or the casting marks left on it. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and buffed it with red Tripoli to remove the oxidation that showed up in the first photo below. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad to give traction to the next pad and also bring a little life to the vulcanite stem. After the final pad I gave it a last coat of the oil and set it aside to dry. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. The next series of photos show the development of the shine on the rubber stem. I gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The new black stem of polished vulcanite and the polished briar work well together to present a beautiful pipe. The pipe looks fresh and new. Tomorrow it will go out in the afternoon post to its original owner. I think he will enjoy the look and feel of his new stem. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. Thanks for walking with me through this restemming job and through a bit of education for me on Mapacho tobacco. Thanks for looking.

The Rebirth of an Unmarked Horn


Blog by Steve Laug

When my brother sent me photos of this particular pipe I could not see what he saw in it. It was just ugly in my opinion. The shank was crooked, the plateau crown had been sanded slightly, the shank was cracked and missing a chunk of briar, the copper ferrule looked like it fit better under a sink than on the shank and the finish had warts in it all around the bowl. To top it off the stem was clunky, thick Lucite and had lots of divots and tooth marks. It did not look like it belonged at all. The entire pipe looked like a failed shop project to me – one that took its own direction as it was being made. He purchased it and took photos of it before he cleaned it up thinking I might be charmed by it as he was.The next photo from the top shows the bow in the shank. I figured that the drilling would be way off once I got it and took it apart. I was pretty certain this one was going to interesting to work on to see if I could get anything resembling a nice looking pipe out of the concoction that it was in the photos. Note also the thick cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava on the rim filling in the smoothed out plateau. It was hard to know at this point if there was damage to the inner edge of the rim because of the thick cake and lava. Only a thorough clean up would reveal the condition. The next three photos show the warts on the sides of the bowl. The finish was rough. It was hard to tell if these were fills or if the pipe had not been sanded smooth when it was originally finished. In the photos, they look like scratches but they are actually standing above the finish on the briar. Some of them have scratches around the edges on the surface of the bowl. As I looked at the horn, I had to admit there was something strangely alluring to the shape and it was growing on me. The copper fitting is not snug on the shank it rattles around and is only held in place by the stem. You can see the gap between the cap and the shank. The shank under the band is coated with grime and there is a dark oxidized buildup.When the stem is removed the cap falls off and reveals the damaged shank. You can see the crack in the shank end and up the side on the right side of the photo below. The tars and oils that have built up on the end of the shank and in the mortise are quite thick. In the second photo below you can see the missing piece of briar. The third photo is a close up of the shank end. It shows the damage clearly as well as thick tars on the shank  under the cap. The stem is Lucite and in rough condition. It is the thick kind of stem that came out when Lucite first came on the market. It thick and poorly shaped. There are major dents in the surface and many tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem at the button. I do not intend to reuse the stem as it is not my kind of stem. I will replace it with a vulcanite stem and fit it to the shank. Jeff did his usual thorough clean up even on this ugly, old pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap and rinsed it under running water. He scrubbed the rim on the bowl to clean out the lava on the plateau. It took much scrubbing to get it free of the tars. He dried it off with a soft cloth. The bowl itself was very light weight. It is a good looking piece of briar and has flame grain all around the bowl and shank with some birdseye on the shank top and bottom. He cleaned up the Lucite stem with the oil soap as well and was able to remove much of the debris. There were tooth marks and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem. The freehand style stem had a tapered tenon that sat tightly in the copper end cap. The copper cap was loose and fell off when the stem was removed from the pipe. I spent time turning the pipe over to see if I could find any identifying stamping that would help me know who made it and when it was made. There was nothing there. It was an unstamped pipe by an unknown maker at an unspecified point in time. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. Jeff did a great job on the rim top and the bowl. The inner edge of the rim was in good condition with little damage. There was still a little lava on the back side of the rim top that would need to be taken care of.The Lucite stem was clean but looking at it close up I knew that I did not want to keep the stem. I would need to go through my can of stems to find one that would work on this pipe.I removed the stem and the end cap and looked closely at the damage to the end of the shank. Once Jeff had cleaned it up the damage was really clear. The end of the shank had deteriorated and chunks of briar were missing. The surface of the shank end was rough and damaged. There was a large crack on the right side near the underside going from the shank end up the shank for ½ inch. I used a Dremel and sanding drum to remove the damaged shank end. I evened up the end of the shank and took off all of the compromised briar. I cleaned up the end so that a regular stem would work with it. I smoothed out the inside of the mortise. During this cleanup is when I discovered that the mortise and the airway in the shank were drilled at an angle. The airway was high in the end of the mortise and came out at the bottom of the bowl. The mortise itself curved and was poorly drilled in the shank. I cleaned up the briar that had been under the copper band. The briar was black with the colour going deep in the briar. I sanded it smooth and used a microdrill bit to drill a pin hole at the end of the crack to stop it from spreading further. I filled in the hole and the crack with clear super glue and let it cure.When the glue repair had dried, I sanded it smooth and pressure fit a nickel band over the end of the shank. I heated the band with a lighter to expand it and pressed the shank end and band so that the band went up the shank to cover the crack and the repair. I think that the band was a far better look for the pipe than the copper shank cap had been. I scrubbed the plateau top with a brass bristle tire brush to remove the remaining lava in the crevices of the surface. I worked on it until the rim top was clean.I sanded the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the warts from the surface and smooth out the scratches and dents. I wanted the surface to be smooth the way it should have been when the pipe was made. I worked on it until it was smooth to the touch. When I finished I washed the surface of the bowl and shank with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the last of the dust and the remaining finish from the briar. I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond to polish it a bit and see where I needed to do some work before the final buff. I hand polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each buffing pad. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth after the 12000 grit pad. The pictures below show the progress of the polishing on the briar. I used a black Sharpie Pen to colour in the crevices on the plateau top. I wanted the smooth high spots to shine through the deep black in the grooves. The contrast would look really good once the pipe was given a finish coat of stain and was buffed and waxed.I stained the briar with a Danish Oil Cherry stain to highlight the red colours in the briar and bring about a contrast with straight grain. I stained the plateau as well to give red hues to the high spots and contrast with the black of the crevices on the top. I hand buffed the bowl with a soft cotton cloth and then with a microfiber cloth to raise the shine. The bowl looks really good and the grain stands out. The straight grain all around the bowl sides looks really good. I chose a vulcanite saddle stem for the replacement for the Lucite stem. I knew it would be a bit of work to get things lined up because of the drilling in the shank. I measured the angles in the shank and figured I would need to bend the tenon at the angle shown in the photo. I heated the tenon and put it in the shank while it was still pliable and set the angle to match the angle of the mortise. The photo below shows the angle on the tenon. Bent at that angle the stem sits tight against the mortise. It gives you a good idea of the how poorly drilled the pipe was and what measures I had to take to line things up. I gave the tenon a coat of clear fingernail polish to make it fit snug in the mortise and let it dry. I roughened it up with the edge of a needle file to give it a bite in the shank. I tried the fit and all was well.I sanded the stem surfaces with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the light oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem. I worked on it until it was black and there was no remnant of oxidation or tooth marks.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad to give traction to the next pad and also bring a little life to the vulcanite stem. After the final pad I gave it a last coat of the oil and set it aside to dry. I left the tenon with a few ridges to add bite to the inside of the mortise and hold it firmly in place. Some oxidation showed up on the top side of the stem near the saddle in the photos above so I worked it over in that area once again. When I finished I buffed the pipe on the wheel using Blue Diamond Polish and worked over the stem and bowl to remove any remaining scratches. I buffed the nickel band to give it a shine. I gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The warts and nicks that I had sanded out were gone and the grain just popped on this old pipe. The new stem, with the angled tenon brought things into line and to me the pipe looked much better. The black of the polished vulcanite and the polished briar work well together to present a beautiful pipe. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It really is a beauty. Thanks for looking.