Tag Archives: removing tooth marks

A Butz Choquin Maitre Pipier Hand Made Calabash


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is a beautiful hand made Butz Choquin Calabash with both a rusticated and smooth finish. The cap and a patch on the left side of the bowl are rusticated while the rest is smooth. There is a horn shank extension that sets off the bowl from the black vulcanite stem. It came to my brother and me in the lot that included a pipe cabinet and 21 pipes. The finish is a rich brown with black undertones and the rustication shows black in the grooves and valley while the high spots are brown. The left side of the shank is stamped Butz Choquin ovwe Maitre Pipier and the right side is stamped Fait Main over St Claude France. It is a unique piece like many of those in this lot. It is on set out in front of the cabinet’s first shelf, the first pipe from the left in the photo below. I have circled it in red to make it easier to identify.The finish on the pipe is dirty but looks good under the grime. I look forward to seeing it cleaned. There is a thick cake in the bowl and a lava overflow onto the rustication on the rim top. Both the inner and outer edges of the rim appear to be in good condition but because of the cake and tars it is hard to know what the inner edge looks like. Jeff took photos of the pipe before cleaning it. The photos give a pretty clear picture of the shape of the pipe and its general condition when we received it.Jeff took some photos of the bowl/rim top and the sides and bottom of the bowl to give and idea of the condition and the shape. The rustication pattern on the rim top is filled in with lava on the back and left side with dust and grime the rest of the way around the bowl. The cake is very thick. The rest of the photos show the condition of the rest of the bowl. It is a beautifully finished pipe with contrast stains of blacks and medium brown. They work well with the horn shank extension and the pattern of the rustication on the rim and left side of the bowl. He also took photos of the stamping on the left side of the shank. The left side was clear and readable. It read Butz Choquin over Maitre Pipier. On the right side of the shank it was stamped Fait Main over St. Claude France, though Jeff did not include that photo. There was a clear circle on the left side of the stem that generally held a BC inside the epoxy but this one is empty.The stem had some deep scratching in the surface ahead of the button and some small tooth marks next to the button. There was also wear on the sharp edge of the button.Butz Choquin was a brand that I was familiar with having worked on quite a few of them over the years. I decided to check on a few sites to refresh the memory of the brand. I turned first to Pipephil and as usual the site gives a great summary. (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-butzchoquin.html). I quote:

The origin of the brand reaches back to 1858 when Jean-Baptiste Choquin in collaboration with his son-in-law Gustave Butz created their first pipe in Metz (France). Since 1951 Butz-Choquin Site officiel Butz Choquin, pipes de Saint-Claude jura. BC pipe de bruyere luxe is a brand of the Berrod-Regad group (Saint-Claude, France).

I also found the line of Fait Main Maitre Pipier pipes listed. The pipe I am working on is stamped the same way as the one in the screen capture below. The shape is different but the rest is the same. The capture has a small paragraph on the line that reads as follows: Pipes of the “Maitre Pipier” séries were crafted by Paul Lanier until he retired and after him by Alain Albuisson. I turned then to Pipedia to see what I could find out there (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Butz-Choquin). I quote the article in its entirety as it gives a clear history.

The pipe, from Metz to Saint-Claude. Jean-Baptiste Choquin of Metz started out as a tobacconist. This enterprise was prosperous; he had several employees. Among those, there was a certain Gustave Butz who was its first workman and who became his son-in-law by marrying Choquin’s daughter Marie in 1858.

In 1858 Jean-Baptiste Choquin created, in collaboration with Gustave Butz, the Choquin pipe. This bent pipe with a flat-bottomed bowl was finished with an albatross-bone mouthpiece, fixed with silver rings.

In 1858, still in Metz, Gustave Butz built an establishment for the manufacture of the Choquin pipe which took the name of . In 1951, the Berrod-Regad company bought the trademark, continuing manufacture until 2002. Departing from Metz, the workshop was relocated to Saint-Claude, then also called “the world capital of the briar pipe,” under the Berrod-Regad group. The Berrod-Regad group would go on to completely rebuild the network of representatives until finally entering the export market in 1960 and has since won several prizes, as well as the Gold Cup of French good taste.

In a few years, the brand’s collection increased from ten to seventy series. 135 years after it was founded, the pipe is still well-known not only in France but throughout the world. In 2002, the Berrod family, wishing to preserve manufacture of pipes in Saint-Claude, handed over the company to Fabien Guichon, a native of the area, who will continue to develop the brand during the 21st century.

Jeff reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. 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, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl of the pipe. He rinsed it off under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove all of the lava build up on the rim top of the pipe. The rim top looked really good with no damage to the edges of the bowl or the top. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show how clean the top came out after Jeff worked it over. The outer edge and inner edges are clean and undamaged. The stem photos show some light tooth marks and chatter on the surface on both sides.I took photos of the stamping to document what it looked like at this point in our cleanup process. You can also see some of the fills in the bowl and shank.With the rim top and bowl looking so good after Jeff’s cleanup work this pipe did not need any work on the briar. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the smooth and rusticated briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. The rusticated patch on the left side of the bowl and the rim top look really good. The smooth finish has a great contrasting stain and looks very good. I am very happy with the results. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the tooth chatter and marks on the stem with 220 grit and 400 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface. I took a photo of the left side of the stem to show the missing BC inside the clear insert.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 wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad.  I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This beautiful calabash with the rusticated cap and the patch on the left of the bowl was truly stunning. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the smooth parts of the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand waxed the rusticated patch and cap with Conservator’s 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 contrasting black and brown stain made the grain come alive with the buffing. It looked very good with the horn shank extension and the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a beauty and feels great in the hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 7 inches, Height: 2 5/8 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2  inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. I will be putting this beautiful briar calabash on the rebornpipes online store soon. It may well the kind of unique pipe you have been looking for so have a look. Thanks for walking through this restoration with me.

Advertisements

A Breath of Life for a Variegated Finish S&R Sitter Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

Years ago now I met Steve and Roswitha at the Chicago Pipe Show. I cannot even remember the year but I remember having a good conversation with them. I was not able to pick up one of their pipes at that time but I was amazed at the beauty and style of pipes that the two of them were creating in their shop, Pipes & Pleasures in Columbus, Ohio. Over the years I have watched for them and even bid on a few on eBay. Sadly, I never won any of the pipes that I bid on. They all escaped my grasp. Given that you may have a sense of the surprise I had when my brother and I picked up a pipe rack and 21 pipes from a fellow in Michigan and it had an S&R billiard. I clipped a photo of the collection and circled the S&R in the photo. It is the second pipe from the right on the second shelf of the rack. It is a nice looking two toned sitter billiard – sporting both smooth panels on the sides of the bowl and an interesting sandblast finish.Jeff took some photos of the pipe when he received them to show the general condition. I have included the photos of the S&R pipe. It was dirty and worn looking. There was a thick cake in the bowl and heavy lava overflow on the rim top. The smooth panels on both sides of the bowl and the ring around the shank end have great grain that follows the grain of the sandblast next to them. The stamping is very clear and shows the interlocked SR with a pipe. The sandblast is well done and really shows the grain. It is not to deep or rugged but it is very nicely done. The stem is vulcanite and slightly oxidized. There are deep tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button edge and some scratching on the stem surface. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the saddle billiard shape. Here is a close up of the bowl and rim top. You can see the thick lava coat. It is hard to see if there is any damage on the inner or outer edge of the rim. There is a thick cake in the bowl that is hard and rough. The second photo is a close up of the right side and the flat underside of the bowl. You can see the interesting grain in the sandblast.The next photo shows the interlocked S&R stamp with the pipe. It is clear and legible.The next two photos show the scratching, oxidation and tooth marks in the stem at the button. The first photo shows the top side of the stem and the second the underside.I decided to take some time to review my knowledge of the brand. I turned to Pipedia and read the article that was included there (https://pipedia.org/wiki/S%26R_Pipes). I quote in full below:

Stephen and Roswitha Anderson of S&R Pipes, also known as S&R Woodcrafters, have become pipe makers renowned throughout the world as talented carvers of high-grade briar pipes. They have been featured in several trade publications and magazines such as Pipes and Tobaccos and PipeSmoker, and have several pieces on display in museums in Europe and the United States.

They are the first American pipe carvers honored with induction into the Conferee of Pipe Makers of St. Claude, France; the very place where the carving of briar pipes became a world-wide industry. Sadly, Steve passed away in March of 2009. Roswitha is still carving S&R pipes and carrying on with the shop with help from her “guys” David, Marty, and Tony.

Steve and Roswitha began carving pipes in the 1960’s. They travelled to pipe shows and arts and crafts shows throughout the country and Europe selling their pipes and built up quite an extensive loyal customer base. Eventually, it became time to offer their pipes to the retail fraternity of pipe smokers.

Pipes & Pleasures had its grand opening in a distinct red brick house on Main Street in Columbus, Ohio in 1977. The front section of the house was converted into a traditional tobacco shop selling pipe tobacco, cigars, and pipes manufactured by well known companies such as Dunhill, Charatan, and Savinelli as well as the high-grade S&R pipes that Steve and Roswitha carved. A workshop was set up in the back section of the house.

When the cigar boom hit in the ’90’s, the shop was expanded by building a large computer controlled walk-in humidor. It’s no secret throughout the country that Pipes & Pleasures has the best maintained cigars in the Columbus area as well as the best selection of premium cigars available in the area including the much sought-after Davidoff line.

Soon after the boom began, Steve and Roswitha moved their pipe making workshop to their farm and converted that space into a large smoking lounge for their many customers. The lounge features comfortable easy chairs, a television set, a stereo, a library of books and magazines about every aspect of tobacciana, a chess table, and a couple of card tables. The lounge is populated daily with long-time loyal customers and newcomers to the enjoyment and relaxation of cigar and pipe smoking. It’s also the room where several cigar tastings and samplings are held every year by representatives from cigar companies such as Davidoff and La Flor Dominicana.

I captured a photof the shop from the Pipedia article to include below. It is a great looking shop.

The Pipes & Pleasures shop, home of S&R Woodcrafters

I also turned to the Pipes & Pleasures website and copied the “About Us” section. Here is the link to the site (https://www.pipesandpleasures.biz/maintenance). I quote in part.

Pipes & Pleasures proprietors Stephen and Roswitha Anderson have become pipe makers renowned throughout the world as talented carvers of high-grade briar pipes. They have been featured in several trade publications and magazines such as Pipes and Tobaccos and PipeSmoker, and have several pieces on display in museums in Europe and the United States. They are the first American pipe carvers honored with induction into the Conferee of Pipe Makers of St. Claude, France; the very place where the carving of briar pipes became a world-wide industry.

Steve and Roswitha began carving pipes in the 1960’s. They travelled to pipe shows and arts and crafts shows throughout the country and Europe selling their pipes and built up quite an extensive loyal customer base. Eventually, it became time to offer their pipes to the retail fraternity of pipe smokers…

…Sadly, Steve passed away in March of 2009. Roswitha is still carving S&R pipes and carrying on with the shop with help from her “guys” David, Marty, and Tony, who welcome you to this website.

Jeff reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. 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, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl of the pipe. He rinsed it off under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove most of the lava build up on the rim top of the pipe leaving a clean rim with some debris in the sandblast. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the light debris in the sandblast finish of the rim. The inner and outer edge of the bowl looks really good. The stem photos show the scratching I noted above that extends from the button forward about an inch. They also show the tooth marks and the wear on the button surface on both sides.I started my restoration with the rim top. I used a brass bristle brush to clean out the remaining debris in the grooves of the sandblast. I wiped the rim top down with a damp cotton pad to remove the dust. I used a Walnut Brown and a Black stain pen to blend the colour on the rim top match the rest of the sandblast portion of the bowl.With the rim top cleaned and restained, I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the sandblast and smooth surfaces of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. The bowl and the rim top look good. I am very happy with the results. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the scratches and the tooth marks on the stem and then filled it in with clear super glue. I set it aside to cure for overnight. In the morning I smoothed out the fills with a needle file to dress up the sharp edge of the button. I sanded the repairs with 220 grit and 400 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface. 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 wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with some Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra to deepen the shine. I wiped it down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This interestingly finished S&R billiard was a surprise to me. I had pretty much forgotten about ever restoring one of Steve and Roswitha’s pipes when this one came to me in a lot my brother and I bought from Michigan. It is a stunning example of their craft – the mixed smooth panels, band and sandblast finish and the contrasting stain is very well done. I polished the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax 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 contrasting finishes came alive with the buffing. The rich, contrasting brown and black colours work well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a beauty and feels great in the hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 1/4 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/2 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I will be putting this beautiful billiard on the rebornpipes online store soon. It may well the kind of unique pipe you have been looking for so have a look. Thanks for walking through the restoration of this pipe with me. It was a fun one to work on.

Rejuvenating a Ben Wade Hand Model London Made Billiard


Blog by Dal Stanton

This Ben Wade came to me a couple of years back when I landed, from the eBay auction block, what I have called the Lot of 66. It continues to yield nice collectable pipes. The finish on this Ben Wade is a rustic looking blasted finish which is eye catching with the detail and bowl shaping. It caught Todd’s eye in the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection and is the last of 3 that he has commissioned. Here are pictures of the Ben Wade Hand Model now on my worktable: I’ve discovered through the reading I’ve done about the name ‘Ben Wade’ that it has an up and down history. The Pipedia article is helpful in simplifying the history in four helpful ‘eras’ which I’ve summarized from the Pipedia:

The Family era (1860 to 1962) – the heydays of the English name when the pipes were stamped Made in Leeds, England.

Charatan / Lane second (1962 to 1988) – When Herman G. Lane purchased the name, the transition from a higher quality pipe during the long Family Era transitioned exclusively to the fabrication of machine-made pipes. Lane moved the production from the Leeds factory (closed in 1965) to Charatan’s Prescott Street factory. Ben Wade became essentially lower quality series pipes produced in standard shapes. The pipes during this period were stamped, “Made in London, England” or dropping the “London” and stamped with “England” alone. After Lane died, in 1978 his heirs sold the Charatan and Ben Wade names to Dunhill, which left the production of Charatan/Ben wade at the Prescott Street factor. In 1988 production came to an end for Ben Wade when the Charatan’s Prescott Street factory closed.

Ben Wade turns Danish (1971-1989) – During this era Preben Holm, from Denmark, was in financial difficulties and Herman Lane and he went into partnership producing the Handmade and fancy pipes. These pipes were marked “Ben Wade Made in Denmark”. These pipes gained great popularity, especially as the were marketed in the US. After Lane’s death, Preben Holm, not the businessman, was in financial difficulties and reduced his workforce and production, but at his death in 1989, production of the Danish Preben Holm pipes came to an end.

Resurrection – (1998 to present) – Duncan Briars bought the Ben Wade name from Dunhill in 1998 and production of Ben Wade pipes restarted at the Walthamstow plant, sharing the same space where Dunhill pipes are produced and reportedly benefiting from the same quality of production. During this present era, the stamping on the pipes is: “Ben Wade, Made in London, England”The reason I went through this summary of Ben Wade’s morphing history is because in nothing I’ve read about Ben Wade (and I’m sure there’s more out there), I found no reference to a Ben Wade Hand Model with the COM, London Made. The stamping on the pipe before me is ‘Ben Wade’ [over] HAND MODEL [over] LONDON MADE. The saddle stem has the Ben Wade stamped on the upper side of the stem saddle. My first glance at the blasted finish made me wonder whether this Ben Wade came out during the ‘mystery’ Resurrection period in the Pipedia article. Here is the full text that made me wonder:

As said before Preben Holm’s death marked the third end of Ben Wade and for long years there were no Ben Wade pipes in the shops anymore. But then, all of a sudden they were back in the USA some years ago! Who made these pipes? A concrete manufacturer was not known at first.

The rumors spreading were considerable. Especially because these Ben Wades – originally all blasted and in deep black color – featured so perfect straight and / or ring-grain that they were almost suspicious in view of the prices. The supposition that “Mother Nature” had been given a leg up by means of rustication combined with subsequent blasting was evident as different sources confirmed.

Steve on rebornpipes refers to pipes as having a ‘blasticated’ finish. The process is blasting a rusticated pipe making it appear naturally blasted but the more perfect lines make it seem better than ‘mother nature’ as the Pipedia described. As I look at this Ben Wade, I wonder if it’s from that time period and the grain looks so good, is it blastication? I sent Steve the picture below and his verdict was not blastication, but a really nice looking blasted finish. Yet, I’m stumped by the COM marking. Here’s a close-up of the stummel, very nice natural 3-D blasted grain and not blastication. I sent out pictures of some pictures and the nomenclature to various pipe Facebook groups and the responses I did get, though they were anecdotal, pointed to an earlier period. Paul, from Pipe Smoker of America FB Group, said that he believed it was a Pre-78 and made in Charatan factory. He also said that these were some of his best smokers are London BWs. It sounds good to me!

As I look at the condition of this Ben Wade, the surface needs cleaning to see what the finish will do. The finish is dark and tired as I look at it. The chamber shows light cake buildup and the rim is darkened with some lava flow. The stem will need to be cleaned of the oxidation and the button is chewed some with bite compressions on both the upper and lower bit.

With a better knowledge of the Ben Wade Hand Model Billiard on my worktable, I begin by cleaning the stem airway with pipe cleaners wetted with alcohol and then add it to a bath of Before & After Deoxidizer along with other pipes and stems in the queue. After several hours, I fish out the Ben Wade’s stem and wipe it down with cotton pads wet with alcohol to remove the raised oxidation. The Deoxidizer did a great job.To begin to rejuvenate the stem, I apply a coat of paraffin oil (a mineral oil) to the vulcanite and then put it aside.Next, I go to work on the chamber using the Pipnet Reaming Kit. After putting paper towel down, I ream using 3 of the 4 blade heads available. I follow by fine-tuning with the Savinelli Fitsall tool and finish by sanding the chamber with 240 grit paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen giving the briar a fresh start. I then wipe the chamber with a cotton pad and alcohol ridding it of leftover carbon dust. After inspecting the chamber, I see no heating or burning problems. I move on! The internals of the mortise and airway are next on the cleaning regimen. Using cotton buds and a few pipe cleaners, things clean up quickly. I also use a dental spatula and scrape the mortise wall and remove very little tars and oils. It’s nice when a stummel isn’t horrendously grungy! Moving on.Moving now to the external blasted finish, I use undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a cotton pad to scrub. I’m wondering how strong the finish is – it appears a bit thin and the cleaning will reveal the answer. I also use a bristled tooth brush as well as a brass wire brush on the rim. After scrubbing, I take it to the sink and rinse the stummel with cool tap water without allowing water in the internals! The verdict is that the finish is worn and the scrubbing on the rim has left bare briar. With the day closing, I want to give the internals a further cleaning using kosher salt and alcohol as a soak. I create a wick from a cotton ball by pulling and twisting it. The wick serves to draw the tars and oils out. I then insert the wick down the mortise and airway with the help of a stiff wire. I then fill the bowl with kosher salt (which leaves no aftertaste) and after placing the stummel in an egg carton to keep it stable; I put isopropyl 95% into the chamber until it fills. I wait a few minutes and top off the alcohol once more. I turn out the light allowing the stummel to soak through the night. The next morning, I discover that the soak has not unearthed too much additional tars and oils from the internals of the pipe. This was confirmed after I followed with a few cotton buds and pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol. Cleaned!Turning my attention now to the Ben Wade stem, the Before & After Deoxidizer did a great job excising the oxidation from the vulcanite rubber compound. Now I focus on the bit and button repair which have some significant bite compressions. I take a closer look with a couple of pictures to mark the start of the repair. I start by painting the bit area with a Bic lighter to heat and expand the vulcanite. After doing this for some time I take comparison pictures to show the unsatisfactory progress. Comparing first:

Upper bit, before and after:Lower bit, before and after:The heating process made little progress. I now mix activated charcoal with CA glue to form a patch material and apply it to the tooth compressions and to the button lips – I’ll need to reshape the button. I first clean the stem area with isopropyl 95%. I then gradually mix thick CA glue with activated charcoal on an index card. I aim for a thickness of molasses so it’s thick enough to stay in place not run but will allow some manipulation once applied. On the first mixing, I mixed too much activated charcoal with the CA glue and got one of the chemical reactions where the mixture hardens instantly giving off an acrid smoke!! This has happened before. I need to apply the mixture before it thickens too much. The next mixtures work well. After applying patch material to both upper and lower I set the stem aside to allow the patch to cure. I turn my attention now to the Ben Wade Hand Model stummel. I like the rustic look of this stummel. What I also like about it is that there is a curving or narrowing in the shaping of the bowl about 2/3s up as it moves toward the rim. With the rough finish, rough is good and the surface reminds me of tree bark! With the stummel being dry and with a light blotchy look in the valleys of the blasted areas, I decide to add some paraffin oil to the briar to hydrate it. Doing this also allows me to get a sneak preview of what the briar will look like somewhat finished, I apply paraffin oil to the surface with a cotton pad. This moisturizes the briar and I like what I’m seeing. The only thing I’m not liking is that the scorched place on the back side of the rim is still evident even with the help of a darkened blend. The pictures show what I’m seeing. I decide to go back to an elbow grease methodology and focus cleaning on the rim with a brass wire brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. This time Murphy’s has its way. I did do a lot of scrubbing and the rim surface shows the skinned lighter area on the rim where the cleaning was, but the scorched area was removed.To darken the rim to blend with the rest of the bowl, I use a cherry dye stick which matches pretty well and I color the rim as well as the edge of the rim – external and internal. This looks good and will blend in more as I polish.Next, to clean up the lower shank panel, I very quickly and lightly, run the area through the full regimen of 9 micromesh pads from 1500 to 12000 – dry sanding with each. I wasn’t worried about the nomenclature because it is deep and solid, and I sanded very lightly with the pads. This gently cleaned the smooth briar of minor nicks and scratches.I like the look of the finish and decide that it looks good just as it is. In order to deepen and enrich the natural grain, I apply Before & After Restoration Balm. I like this product that can be found at http://www.lbepen.com. I apply some of the Balm to my fingers and thoroughly work it into the briar surface – into the nooks and crannies of the richly blasted briar. After applying, I let the stummel sit for a few minutes – 10 or so, and then I wipe the stummel with a microfiber cloth to remove the excess Balm and to buff it up a bit. I take a picture during the ‘absorbing’ period.The patches on bit and button of the stem are now cured after several hours. I begin to remove the excess patch material on the upper bit using a flat needle file. I’m careful to establish the new inner lip of the button. As I filed to shape the new button lip, I discover a crevasse hidden below which is too severe simply to remove. There are other pockets on the button that don’t look too promising. It is normal in my experience, that its necessary to apply additional patch material to fill pockets and gaps that appear during filing and sanding.To address patching the button problems, this time I use a black CA glue to fill the crevasse and pockets and I apply an accelerator to quicken the curing process. Again, filing and shaping the upper button lip and this time better results are realized.I follow filing by sanding with 240 grit paper (which I forgot to add as a prop to this picture!) to erase the marks left by filing. As with the filing of the button, the finer 240 paper reveal a cluster of pockets in the center bit area in the patch. Again, I spot drop black CA glue to fill the pockets, apply an accelerator and file the excess then sand the bit area with 240 grit paper. The upper bit and button area look good. The same process is repeated on the lower bit and button. It too, looks good. With the bit repairs completed and with the repaired button shaped, I continue by wet sanding the entire stem with 600 grade paper. I’m careful to work around the BEN WADE stem stamp on the saddle. After wet sanding with 600 grit, I apply 0000 steel wool to stem. Finally, I wet scrub the stem with Magic Eraser. I’m satisfied with the progress. I move forward with the micromesh pad regimen wet sanding using pads 1500 to 2400 followed by dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000. I follow each set of 3 pads with an application of Obsidian Oil which further rejuvenates the vulcanite. I like that vulcanite pop! The stem looks great. I try to reunite the stem and the stummel and as is the case sometimes, after cleaning the mortise, the briar inside can expand causing the fit with the tenon to become too tight. I do not want to force the stem and risk a cracked shank, so I gently ream the mortise with a half-rounded needle file. Then I gently sand the tenon by wrapping 600 grit paper around the tenon.This works and I am able then to reunite the stem with the stummel and mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel and set the speed at about 40% full power.  I apply Blue Diamond compound to the entire pipe.  I run the wheel along the grain of the blasting to bring out the contrasts of rough briar as well as to buff it up into a shine.  After completing the Blue Diamond, before applying wax, I freshen the Ben Wade white stem stamp.  I clean the area with alcohol and then I dab a bit of white acrylic paint over the stamping.  I then use a cotton pad to tamp the wet paint which draws off the excess paint and helps the paint to dry sooner. Then using a toothpick, I gently scrape off the excess paint leaving a refreshed BEN WADE stamp.  It looks nice and crisp.I then mount another cotton cloth buffing wheel onto the Dremel and apply carnauba wax to the stummel.  I increase the speed of the Dremel from my usual 40% up to about 50 to 60% full power.  I do this to create more heat with the friction of the wheel to encourage the wax to dissolve in the craggy blasted briar surface.  Waxing a rough surface can cause the wax to collect and not to absorb into the surface.  The added heat encourages this and as I look at the waxing action, it looks like it’s having the desired effect.  Nice!  After finishing the waxing process, I then give the stem and stummel a rigorous and substantial hand buffing to remove any excess wax and to raise the shine.

The blasted grain on this Ben Wade Hand Model is distinctive.  It looked so good I thought that it might be the blastification process, but it is the real deal.  The shaping of the bowl also adds to the rustic effect with it tightening near the top and then flaring out.  The blasted briar displays many hues of grain – very eye pleasing.  This is the third of three pipes that Todd commissioned, and he will have the first opportunity to acquire this Ben Wade Hand Model from The Pipe Steward Store.  These pipes benefit the work we do here in Bulgaria with the Daughters of Bulgaria working among women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thank you for joining me!

Life for an interesting Triangle Shank Enrico Bocci Belgium 612


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is an interesting triangular shaped billiard – I think that is what I would call it. It came to us in the lot that included the pipe cabinet and 21 pipes. There is a decided slope from the button to the junction of the bowl and shank. The bottom of the bowl and shank is flattened and broad so that it is a very stable sitter. It is a unique piece and like many of those in this lot it is a brand that I have not seen before. It is on the second shelf, the third pipe from the right in the photo below. I have circled it in red to make it easier to identify.The finish on the pipe is very dirty with an interesting orange and black contrasting stain. I look forward to seeing it cleaned. There is a thick cake in the bowl and a lava overflow on the rim top. I can see some damage to the outer edge of the rim but because of the cake and tars it is hard to know what the inner edge looks like. Jeff took photos of the pipe before cleaning it. The photos give a pretty clear picture of the shape of the pipe and its general condition when we received it. Jeff took some photos of the bowl/rim top and the sides and bottom of the bowl to give and idea of the condition and the shape. You can see the nicks on the back and front side of the outer edge of the rim. He also took photos of the stamping on the left and underside of the shank. The left side was clear and readable. It read Enrico Bocci in script over Marrone. On the underside it said Belgium followed by the shape number 612. The left side of the stem also had a stamped EB logo. The stem had some deep scratching in the surface ahead of the button and some small tooth marks next to the button. There was also wear on the sharp edge of the button.Enrico Bocci was a brand that I was unfamiliar with so I did some research on the web to see what I could learn about the brand and the maker. I turned first to Pipephil and found the first lead. As usual the site gives a great summary. It identified the maker as Enrico Bocci and the brand as Italian (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-e3.html). This did not match the Belgium stamping on the underside of the shank so more searching would be necessary. I have included a screen capture from Pipephil that gave the initial information on the brand. It seems that Bocci retired from pipe making in the 1980s so that helped to date the pipe that I am working on.I turned then to Pipedia to see what I could find out there (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Bocci). The brand was listed under the country of Belgium. Sadly there was not a lot of information. I have copied the information and included it below.

Enrico Bocci, presumed to be of Italian origin, primarily turned out machine made pipes. The better ones were pre-turned and finally shaped and finished by hand.

From that at least I found that the maker was of Italian origin (not hard with a name like that). I knew that the pipe I had in hand was Belgian made and made prior to 1980. I also could deduce from the listing being in the Belgian list of pipemakers that Bocci lived there. Armed with that information I turned to deal with the pipe on the table.

As usual Jeff does a lot of the clean up on the pipes that we buy. He does a great job. When I pick them up here or do repairs here in Canada I am reminded just how much work he does to get the pipes to the point they are when I open his box to work on them.

Jeff reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. 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, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl of the pipe. He rinsed it off under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove most of the lava build up on the rim top of the pipe leaving behind some darkening and a clear view of the damage to the outer edge. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the darkening on the top and the damage to the outer edge at both the back and the front. You can also see some nicks and marks on the surface of the rim top. The stem photos show the scratching I noted above that extends from the button forward about an inch. They also show the tooth marks and the wear on the button surface on both sides.I took photos of the stamping to document what it looked like at this point in our cleanup process. You can also see some of the fills in the bowl and shank.I decided to address the damage to the rim top and edges of the bowl first. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inner edge of the bowl first. Once that was complete, I topped the bowl on a topping board using 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage along the top surface and minimize the damage to the outer edge of the bowl. It looks like I forgot to take a photo of the rim top at this point. I removed the damaged surface (a minimal topping). I worked over the outer edge with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad to smooth out the damage on the edges (the condition of the rim top can be seen in the third photo below). Once I finished that I polished the entire bowl and shank with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit pads to clean up the rim and smooth out the bowl. There were shiny spots on the finish from what looked like a light varnish coat that needed to be removed as well. I decided to stain the rim top and touch up the spots on the bowl and shank that needed it with a Maple stain pen before proceeding with the rest of the polishing. This might seem odd but I have found that it can work to blend the colours better. I let the stain coat dry for about 30 minutes and worked on the stem. Once the stain had cured for that time I continued polishing the bowl.I continued to polish the bowl with 3200-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. Each successive grit of micromesh made the grain stand out more and hid the fills better. The overall look of the bowl improved. With the rim top and bowl polished, I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. The bowl and the rim top look really good and the darkening and lava are gone. The finish looks good and though the fills are visible they are not as obnoxious looking as before. I am very happy with the results. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the scratches and the tooth marks on the stem and then filled it in with clear super glue. I set it aside to cure for about a half hour then smoothed out the fills with a needle file to dress up the sharp edge of the button. I sanded the repairs with 220 grit and 400 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I used some liquid paper or correction white out to touch up the stamping on the stem. I applied it with a tooth pick and when it had dried I buffed the excess off with a cotton pad.I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.This interestingly shaped Enrico Bocci surprised me. When I first saw it I thought it was a Lorenzo pipe and expected a real mess under the stain and lacquer coat. It turned out I was wrong. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. 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 contrasting grain came alive with the buffing. The rich contrasting orange/brown and black colour works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a beauty and feels great in the hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/2 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I will be putting this triangular shanked billiard on the rebornpipes online store soon. It may well the kind of unique pipe you have been looking for so have a look. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this interestingly shaped Enrico Bocci.

New Life for a Pair of Kaywoodie Bamboo Shank Mandarins


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pair of pipes on the work table is another relatively new acquisition. The Mandarin with the acrylic stem comes from a collection Jeff and I purchased from Michigan. It included a pipe cabinet and 21 pipes that is pictured below. The second one came from a friend of Jeff’s who is always on the lookout for pipe he thinks we might be interested in the New York area. This one has the original stem. I have circled the first Mandarin in the photo below – third pipe from the left on the first shelf of the rack.In the last box Jeff sent me he included both of these pipes. Both have the bamboo shank, both have an apple shaped bowl. Both are stamped Kaywoodie Mandarin on the underside of the bowl. Both had threaded stems and a metal space at the end of the shank. The first pipe from the rack above had a thinner diameter bamboo shank while the second was thicker – both were two knuckle bamboo pieces. The first pipe had a black acrylic replacement stem with a saddle while the second one had the original tapered stem with the Kaywoodie Club in a white circle on the left side of the stem.

Both pipes were quite dirty which seems to be the case when working on pipes that were obviously someone’s favourite.  Jeff took photos of both pipes before his cleanup work. The first pipe from the Michigan collection is shown first. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing onto the rim top. The inner and outer edges of the bowl looked very good. The stem had some tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button and some tooth damage to the sharp edge and top of the button. The photos below show the first pipe. The next photo shows a close up of the bowl. You can see the thick cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava on the rim top. He also took photos of the bottom of the bowl to highlight the condition of the pipe. It had some great grain all around the bowl and some nicks. It was a dirty pipe and obviously well smoked. The bamboo shank extension had a nice patina and a crackle like look that had developed as the pipe was smoked.  The next photo shows the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is quite clear and legible.  Jeff also took a photo of the shank and the fit of the replacement stem to the shank end. It is well done and the alignment is very good.The close up photos of the stem show the tooth marks in the surface near the button and the damage to the button itself on both sides. The tooth marks and chatter were repairable and the button could be reshaped.The pipe from the New York purchase is shown second. There was a thin cake in the bowl and very little lava on the rim top. The inner and outer edges of the bowl looked very good. The original Kaywoodie vulcanite stem had some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button and some light wear on the sharp edge of the top and the bottom of the button. The photos below show the second pipe. The next photo shows a close up of the bowl. You can see the cake in the bowl and the light burn marks on the right side of the inner edge of the rim top.  The second photo below shows the stamping on the underside of the bowl – clear and readable Kaywoodie Mandarin.The Kaywoodie Club logo looks great and the fit of the stem to the metal spacer on the shank end is very good.He took close up photos of the stem top and bottom at the button. You can see the tooth chatter on both sides and the slight wear to the sharp edge of the button. Generally the stem is in very good condition.Jeff reamed both bowls with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out each mortise and the airway in the shanks and the stems with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exteriors of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl of each pipe and bamboo shank. He rinsed them under running water. He dried them off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove most of the lava build up on the rim top of the first pipe and the little bit oon the second one. I took photos of the pipes to show its condition before I started my work on them. The first one is the Mandarin with the acrylic stem. Here are the photos of the second pipe. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem on each of the pipes. You can see the condition of the rim top and bowl in the first photo of each pipe. Jeff was able to remove almost all of the tar and oils but there was darkening and damage on the inner surface of the rim on the first pipe and the surface and inner edge of the second pipe. The acrylic stem on the first pipe had tooth chatter and some tooth marks on the top and underside of the stem near and on the button surface. The vulcanite stem on the second pipe had some chatter but otherwise was in very good condition. The first set of photos show the first acrylic stem Mandarin. The second set shows the original vulcanite stem Mandarin.

The first pipe.The second pipe.I wanted to confirm a possible date for both of these pipes. I turned to Pipephil to see what he had to say about the brand (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-kaywoodie-2.html). I have included a screen capture of the listing on the site. It appears to have been made between 1958-1967.I turned next to Pipedia to check out the Kaywoodie Collector’s Guide to see if I could get some more information on the Mandarin line. I found an interest monograph there called Notes on Kaywoodies Introduced between 1955 and 1968. It included reference to the Mandarin line. I include that in part below (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Collector%27s_Guide_to_Kaywoodie_Pipes). I have highlighted and underlined the Mandarin in the list below. Both of the pipes I am working on are the smooth versions.

NOTES ON KAYWOODIES INTRODUCED BETWEEN 1955 AND 1968

The material presented in this monograph is extracted from 1936, 1947, 1955, 1968-69, and four undated Kaywoodie catalogs. Based on a comparison of prices in the 1955 and 1968-69 catalogs, the four undated catalogs appear to span the period from the late 1950’s to the late 1960’s (i.e., after 1955 but before 1968). This section presents a brief summary of the Kaywoodie Pipes that appeared in these undated catalogs, but did not appear in either the 1955 or 1968-69 catalogs…

Here is a list of pipes from this time period.

…Hi-Bowl. Tall, tapered bowl in six shapes (see Table 5). Available in smooth or “rough” finish ($10).

Mandarin. Smooth or relief grain finish with burnished-bamboo shank ($10).

Setter. No shank, just a ridged hole for a slender, filter-free, push-bit. Available in “flat bottom” (hence, “Setter”) panel, billiard, and poker shapes. Smooth or textured finish ($10).

Tuckaway. The 1955 catalog shows a Drinkless Tuckaway that was simply a smaller version of other Kaywoodie styles. The Tuckaways of the 1955-1968 period had military mountings, filter-free see-thru bits, and were packaged in a leatherette case. Available in Standard, Relief Grain, and Super Grain grades ($6-$8, depending on grade). Miniatures. Two-inch miniature replicas of “their big brother”, complete with the Drinkless fitment and Synchro Stem. The catalogs show these as individually-cased pipes but multiple pipe sets were apparently available. Price: $5.

Miniatures. Two-inch miniature replicas of “their big brother”, complete with the Drinkless fitment and Synchro Stem. The catalogs show these as individually-cased pipes but multiple pipe sets were apparently available. Price: $5.

Colossal Super Grains. Available in three “oversize” shapes (see Section 3.2) in hand-carved or smooth finishes ($5).

Now I knew that both pipes came from this time period. They were made between 1955-1968. Somewhere along the way the first pipe had been repaired and given an acrylic stem (this was the Michigan pipe). The other pipe from the NY connection had the original stem and threaded tenon though the stinger apparatus had been clipped off.

I started by working on the rim top of both pipes. The first pipe had a more classic apple shaped rim that came to a rounded top curved into the bowl. The second one had a flat rim top that I suppose could have come from a restoration sometime in its life but I could not be sure of that.

To smooth out the damage on the rim of the first pipe I sanded out the burn damage and the nicks with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded the inner edge of the rim and the rounded top to remove the damage.On the second pipe I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge of the rim a slight bevel to remove the burn marks and smooth out the rim top and outer edge.I polished the bowls and the rim top on both pipes with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the surface down after each sanding pad with a damp cotton cloth.

The first pipe. The second pipe. With the rim top cleaned, polished and restored on both of the pipes I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I worked it into the bamboo on both pipes as well to enliven it as well. It took some time to really get it into the grooves and valleys of the bamboo but I was able to work it in. I used a shoe brush to make sure it was deep in the grooves. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowls at this point in the restoration process. The bowl and the rim top on both pipes look really good and the darkening and lava are gone. The grooves and patina on the bamboo also look really nice with the new finish. I am very happy with the results. (Hopefully by now you can tell which is which. If not the pipe with the threaded metal tenon sticking out is the one with the acrylic stem from the Michigan collection.)I set aside the bowls at this point and turned my attention to the stems. I started with the acrylic replacement stem from the Michigan collection. I sanded out the tooth marks on the button surfaces on both sides with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded it with a folded piece of 400 grit sandpaper to sand out the scratches. Once I was finished the tooth marks and chatter were gone.As I finished the stem I noticed that the end of the stem had an unfinished slot – merely a round hole that comes standard on replacement stems. It needed to be shaped and a slot cut in the end. I used a series of needle files to cut open the slot and shape it. I still needed to sand the slot but it was starting to look good. I folded a piece of 220 grit sandpaper and sanded the edges of the button to further shape it. The photos tell the story. I moved onto the original Kaywoodie vulcanite stem from the New York find. I sanded out the tooth marks on the button surfaces on both sides with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded it with a folded piece of 400 grit sandpaper to remove the scratches. Once I was finished the tooth marks and chatter were gone.I polished both stems with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped them down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth. I polished them with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish and wiped them down a last time with the damp cloth and some Obsidian Oil and set them aside to dry. This beautiful pair of Kaywoodie Mandarin Smooth Apples really are unique and special pipes. The bamboo shank and the smooth well grained bowls make them quite stunning. I have a pair of these in my own collection and they are great smoking pipes. The patina on the old bamboo is very nice. You have to figure at the earliest these pipes come from the mid to late 50s and early 60s and at the latest they come from 1968. That means that they may be 64 years old at the earliest and then at the latest 51 years old. Either way they are old pipes. They have a lot of life left in them that is for sure and will definitely outlive most of us. I polished the bowls and stems with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowls and stems multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed both pipes with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed them with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipes polished up pretty nicely. The rich grain shining through the medium brown stain came alive with the buffing. The rich contrasting brown colour works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipes are beautiful and feel great in the hand. Have a look at them in the photos below. The dimensions of the first pipe with the replacement Lucite stem are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The dimensions of the second pipe with the original Kaywoodie vulcanite stem are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I will be putting both Mandarin pipes on the rebornpipes online store individually and they can be purchased individually or as a pair. The patina on the bamboo of both pipes is a bonus on these beauties. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this pair of oldtimers.

New Life for a Preben Holm Monte Verde Twin Finish Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is another relatively new acquisition from a collection Jeff and I purchased from Michigan. It included a pipe cabinet and 21 pipes that is pictured below. There were some nice pipes in that collection and some that I have never seen before.In looking over the pipes in the collection I pulled out several that intrigued me. The next pipe I chose to work on an interesting freehand pipe. It was a sitter with a scooped bowl leaning forward. The finish was two coloured – a dark flume around the rim top and about a ½ inch down the bowl sides and a medium brown the rest of the way around the bowl. The stem was a swirled Lucite in tans, browns and blacks that was cut for the freehand bowl. It had a crown on the top of the saddle with an MV below. The rustication on the bowl is very rough and then has what appears to be a wire rustication over the top of the original one. The grain shows through the rustication and it looks like the wire rustication follows the flow of the grain. It is shown in the photo of the rack above – it is identified at the left side of the second shelf of the rack by the red oval around it.

There was something about the pipe that made me think of Preben Holm carved freehands. The pipe is stamped on a smooth panel on the underside. It reads Monte Verde over Made in Denmark by Hand. Underneath that there is a script stamp that reads Twin Finish. It was quite dirty, like the rest of the pipes in this collection. There was a thick cake in the bowl and a heavy lava overflow on the rim top. The inner and outer edges of the bowl looked very good. The stem had some tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button and some tooth damage to the sharp edge and top of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup process. The next photo is a close up of the bowl. You can see the thick cake in the bowl and heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. He also took photos of the side and bottom of the bowl to highlight the condition of the pipe and the beauty of the rustication and finishing. It was a dirty pipe and obviously it was another favourite pipe because it is so dirty and caked.   The next photo shows the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is quite clear and legible.  The top of the stylized saddle stem has a Crown MV stamped into the surface. It appears to have originally been gold.The close up photos of the stem show the tooth marks in the surface near the button and the damage to the button itself on both sides. The tooth mark on the underside looked like a bite through but I was glad to see it was not.Jeff reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. 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, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove most of the lava build up on the rim top and you could see a little remaining in the depths of the rustication. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem. You can see the condition of the rim top and bowl in the first photo. Jeff was able to remove almost all of the tar and oils but there was some deep lava in the rustication at the back of the rim. The Lucite stem had tooth chatter and some tooth marks on the top and underside of the stem near and on the button surface. The tooth marks on the underside appeared to go through the stem but I was glad to see that it was just a deep mark. The swirled browns, tans, blacks and greys of the Lucite looked good with the variegated browns of the briar.I also took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping is very clear and readable. You can also see the rustication style on the shank in the photo. It is an interesting looking piece of carving.Somewhere in the back of my mind rattled a memory that the brand was associated with Preben Holm of Ben Wade fame. It seemed like I had seen it listed on Pipephil’s site when I was working on Ben Wade and Preben Holm pipes. Now it was time to check that out.  I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-m6.html) to check out my memory. Sure enough it was indeed a Preben Holm pipe. I have included a screen capture of the listing on the site.I also Googled the brand and found a thread on Pipes Magazine about the brand that gave me some more information (http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/monte-verde-pipes). I include that below.

The Monte Verdi line was indeed a pipe style offered by Holm. It usually features heavily blasted and rusticated briar and smaller group sizes than some of his other lines. Some refer to this line as a “second”, but it provided an outlet for briar that had flaws and therefore unsuitable his other lines. Holm marketed many different lines featuring a variety of finishes in both stains and carvings and this is merely one of those. The ones I own are good pipes and smoke well. The blast finish is very interesting to look at and the tactile sensations make it fun to hold.

Now I knew the connection. I was working on a Preben Holm made pipe and it was an interesting one to work on. I started by working on the rim top. I used a brass bristle wire brush to clean off the remaining lava debris on the rim top. I was able to remove all of the remaining debris and the rim top looked really good. The deep rustication and the second wire rustication gave the pipe a very unique look.With the rim top cleaned I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the rusticated surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. It took some time to really get it into the grooves and valleys of the rustication but I was able to work it in. I used a shoe brush to make sure it was deep in the grooves. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. The bowl and the rim top look really good and the darkening and lava are gone. The striations and rustication look really nice with the new finish. I am very happy with the results. I set aside the bowl at this point and turned my attention to the stem. I repaired the damaged areas on the edge of the button and filled in the tooth marks with clear super glue. Once the glue cured I sanded the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the rest of the stem surface. I polished the sanding marks with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. The photos tell the story. I touched up the stamping on the saddle portion of the stem with some Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I let it dry in the stamping for a bit then buffed it off with a cotton pad. It looked much better. The MV was legible and the crown looked good. The side of the M was a little faint as the stamping was worn.I polished the Lucite stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish and wiped it down a last time with the damp cloth. This beautiful, double rusticated freehand is a special looking pipe and it feels amazing in the hand. I polished stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax 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 multi-coloured grain shining through the rustication came alive with the buffing. The rich contrasting brown colour works well with the polished swirling brown, tan, black and white Lucite stem. The finished pipe is a beauty and feels great in the hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 3/8 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. I will be putting this Monte Verde by Preben Holm on the rebornpipes online store soon. It is such an interesting tactile pipe and if you have been looking for a freehand then this might be the one for you. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this interestingly shaped Preben Holm Hand made pipe.

A Hard Ridden “Malaga” Billiard Made New


Blog by Steve Laug

I have mentioned several times in the blogs I have done on the Malaga pipes that I have restored for Alex that he is now collecting them in a focused manner. He has found some beautiful pieces that come from the Malaga Pipe Shop in Royal Oak, Michigan in the USA. The more I work on the brand the more I am impressed by the quality of the craftsmanship and beauty of the pipes that came from the shop. I have written an earlier blog to give a little history of the Malaga Brand if you are interested: https://rebornpipes.com/tag/malaga-pipes/. That blog also includes links to a catalogue and the history of the pipemaker George Khoubesser). Follow the link to get a feel for the brand and the pipemaker. If the pipes Alex has found have been beautiful, this one was not! It was a bleached and varnished mess. The stem did not fit in the shank and the feel of the pipe when I ran my fingers over it was ridged and bubbled. It was a strange feeling pipe. It is stamped on the left side of the shank with “MALAGA” and on the heel of the bowl with a 0. I have not seen the 0 stamp before so I am unclear of the meaning. All I know is that this pipe was going to be a hard one to make beautiful again. Here are some photos of it before I started. The varnish coat had protected the bowl from scratches and dents but it was rough feeling with its ridges – almost like it had been painted on with a brush. The rim top was dirty with some darkening around the surface and the inner edges of the bowl. The outer edge was clean. The bowl had a thick cake. The finish had some dark stains along the left side of the shank around the Malaga stamping. There were also some stains on the underside of the shank. It really was an odd pipe in many ways. The stem was quite oxidized and there were deep tooth marks on both sides near the button. The button surface was also marked. The stem did not seat in the shank. That led me to believe that the shank was lined with tars and oils.The stamping was hard to capture because of the painted on varnish but is clear and readable. It is stamped “MALAGA” on the left side. The 0 on the heel of the bowl is very clear.The varnish coat was so hard and impervious I decided to throw the bowl into an alcohol bath to soak overnight. I did not think it would work but thought it was worth a try. I closed up the container and called it a night.In the morning I removed the bowl from the bath. It had not done any damage to the thick coat of varnish or whatever… it was a hopeless endeavour so I decided to wait and deal with it later. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer using three of the four cutting heads. I took the cake back to bare briar. I followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to scrape away the remnants of cake and clean up the walls of the bowl. I finished the reaming with a piece of dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper and sanded the walls of the bowl. To remove the damage to the rim and the varnish coat I used a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper and worked the rim against the surface of the board in a circular motion to remove the damage. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge of the rim and to remove the darkening present there. I decided to go back to stripping off the painted coat on the bowl. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to break the shiny surface of the topping. I wiped it down with acetone on a cotton pad and sanded more and repeated the process until the finish was gone. With the varnish/plastic coat removed I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads.  Wet sanded with 1500-24000 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pipes. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cotton pad to remove the sanding dust. The colour of the briar was uneven and the area around the stamping had some dark streaks that I could not remove. I worked on them with a corner of micromesh but I was thinking I would need to stain the bowl to take care of the issues. Before I went that far I decided to rub the bowl down with some Before & After Restoration Balm. I rubbed it into the briar and buffed it to see what showed up. I like the grain but I wanted to go for a darker brown to cover the stains on the shank. I was not happy with the overall look yet but decided to clean out the shank and the mortise. I scraped the mortise walls with a dental spatula to loosen the build up in the shank. I used cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol to remove the tars and oils that had built up in the  shank and kept the stem from seating against the shank end.  With the inside and outside clean it was time to stain the bowl. I heated the briar and then applied some Fiebing’s Light Brown stain to the briar. I flamed it and repeated the process until I was happy with the coverage on the bowl.I let the stain cure for several hours and worked on another pipe. Once the stain had set I wiped it down with isopropyl alcohol on cotton pads to remove the excess and make the stain more transparent. I 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 to remove the sanding dust. I worked some Restoration Balm into the newly stained surface of the briar and it came alive. The following photos show the new look of the pipe. I buffed the pipe on the buffing wheel using Blue Diamond polish. It removed a little more of the darker stain and the grain really began to shine through more clearly. I set the bowl aside and addressed the issues with the stem. I sanded the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove as much of the oxidation as I could. I wiped down the surface of the stem with a damp cloth and cleaned out the tooth marks with cotton swabs. I filled in the tooth marks with black super glue and laid the stem aside to let the repairs cure. I turned to work on another pipe while the repair cured.Once the repairs had hardened and cured I used a needle file to sharpen the edge of the button and smooth out the repair on the stem. I sanded the stem repairs with 220 and 400 grit sand paper to blend the repair into the surface of the stem. It took a lot of sanding to smooth it out but the finished product looked a lot better than when I started. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil and then cleaned the airway in the airway with pipe cleaners and alcohol. I was quite surprised by the lack of debris and grime in the airway.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – Fine and Extra Fine. When I had finished it I wiped it down a final time and set it aside to dry. This Malaga Billiard came alive with the buffing. I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. 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 various styles of grain shining through the finish on the bowl. The rich contrasting brown colour works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a beauty and feels great in the hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 3/4 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 inch. I will be putting this I have a few more of Alex’s pipes to finish then this one will be heading back to him. I look forward to hearing what he thinks of the new look Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this Malaga.