Tag Archives: repairing bite marks

Bringing an older 1890s Era Spiral Shank Horn Stem Billiard back to Life.


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff visited an antique mall in Montana on one of his recent trips and found a lot of older pipes from the 1890s era. There were CPF, WDC and other older brand pipes with amber and horn stems. I wrote about how we used Apple Facetime so that I could be present on the hunt. It was an amazing time “in the shop” for me. The link to the blog on this hunt follows: https://rebornpipes.com/2017/04/26/a-virtual-pipe-hunt-a-new-way-to-experience-the-joy-of-a-pipe-hunt/. The first pipe that I chose to work on from the hunt was the one picture below. My brother took the following pictures of the pipe before he cleaned it up to send to me for finishing. It is a unique and interesting old pipe. The spiral shank continues through the horn stem. The finish on the bowl was worn and tired but the spiral shank and stem were undamaged. There was one deep “worm hole” in the left side of the stem in the bottom of a spiral that would need to be repaired but otherwise it was in pretty decent shape.The photos show the overall condition and look of the pipe. Whoever carved it remains a mystery as there is no stamping on the shank or bottom of the bowl. It is unmarked so it is one of those unknown pipes. The difference is that this is not a homemade pipe it has the marks of a good pipemaker and the drilling is perfect from the stem forward. The bowl was lightly caked and the rim had a tarry overflow on the top. The inside edge of the bowl was in great shape as far as I could see from the photos. The outer edge of the top had been knocked about enough that there was some damage and wear to it. The next two photos show the rim top and bowl. The finish on the outside of the bowl is worn and there are a lot of dents and dings in the surface of the wood. The photos lead me to wonder what kind of wood the pipe is made of because of the way the damaged rim looks. The next photos show the condition of the stem and the drilling in the button. The spiral continues from the shank through the stem seamlessly. The second photo shows the worm hole in the horn stem. It is deep but clean and the areas around it are undamaged. The junction of the stem and the shank is very tight and clean. The transition from wood to horn is smooth to the touch. The last photo shows the orific button on the end of the stem. It is clean, round and centered in the end of the crowned button. This older style button helps me date this pipe as early as I do above. My brother did his usual job reaming and cleaning the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer and cleaned it with a Savinell Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the internals with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to remove the grime in the mortise, shank and airway in the stem and shank. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and was able to remove all of the grime on the bowl sides and rim. The pipe came to me in great condition. I took a close up photo of the rim top and stem to show their condition more closely. The rim top was worn and there were some spots on the edges that had slivered. The rim would need to be topped to smooth things out and remove the damage.The stem photos show the tooth damage on the top and underside at the button and the “worm hole” in the left side near the shank.I wiped down the area around the hole in the left side of the stem with a cotton swab and alcohol and dried it off. I layered in several fills of clear super glue into the hole. As each layer dried I added more glue to the top of the hole repair. I continued until the file was slightly overfilled then sanded the areas smooth.Billiard16While waiting for each layer of glue to dry I worked on the rim top. I topped it lightly with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board to smooth out the damage to the rim. I took enough of the damage off to leave the rim top smooth to the touch.I wiped down the bowl with acetone on a cotton pad to remove all of the finish that remained on the bowl. I kept wiping it down until no more stain would come off and the bowl was clean. I could see once it was clean of the stain that the wood was not briar. I was dealing with what appeared to be walnut. It was extremely light weight and the grain was very different from what I expected once the stain was gone. I restained the pipe with dark brown aniline stain and flamed it to set the stain deep in the grain of the wood. I repeated the process until the coverage is acceptable.I put the stem back on the shank and hand buffed the stain with a soft cloth to show what the pipe looked like at this point in the process. The first photo and the last show the repair to the hole in the stem. It is smooth once again. I polished the bowl with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. Each successive grit made the walnut bowl shine more and made the stain more and more transparent. I polished the horn stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad and when I finished the last pad I gave it a final coat of oil and let it sit and dry. I turned the bone tenon on the stem into the threaded mortise on the shank. I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to raise a shine. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. In the first photo you can see the repair on the lower portion of the horn stem. It is a slightly darkened spot but it is smooth to the touch. Do any of you recognize the style or work on this old pipe? Can you tell me any information regarding the maker or the era? Do you think I am in the ball park with a late 1890s date? What do you think? Thanks for the help ahead of time and thanks for walking with me through this restoration.

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Restoring a Beautiful Parker Super Bruyere Cherrywood 287


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table comes from the estate lot that I received from a local pipe shop. It originally belonged to an old customer whose wife brought them back to the shop after his death. I am cleaning them up and selling them for the shop. This one is a beautiful little Parker Cherrywood. It is significantly more petite than the sandblast version that I restored earlier (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/06/17/parker-super-briarbark-cherrywood-809/). The stamping on the left side of the shank reads Parker over Super in a diamond over Bruyere.To the left of that is the shape number 287. On the right side of the shank the stamping reads Made in London over England and the number 4 in a circle denoting the group size.There is no date stamp next to the D in England.When I brought the pipe to the table it was obviously one of the old pipeman’s favourite smokers. The finish was dull and dirty and the stem oxidized with some calcification and buildup around the button area forward and a few minor tooth marks.I took a close up photo of the rim top and bowl to show the lava overflow onto the rim top and the thickness of the cake in the bowl. I find that the cake in these older pipes is like concrete. It is very hard and takes a lot of effort to break it down when reaming the bowl. I also took some photos of the stem to show the condition of the end near the button before my work began. The hard cake in the bowl demanded a bit different reaming strategy. I needed to use multiple pipe reamers to remove it. I started the reaming process with a PipNet reamer using the smallest head and working my way up to the largest one that could take the cake back to bare briar walls. I finished the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife and a KleenReem pipe reamer. I used the drill bit from the end of the KleenReem reamer to clear out the airway between the mortise and the bowl. It was almost clogged with a buildup of tars and oils that had hardened there. The pipe had been smoked to a point where it must have been like sucking on a coffee stirrer and having a thimble of tobacco in the chamber. It was definitely a favourite and obviously a good smoking pipe.With the bowl reamed, I turned my attention to working on the stem. I sanded the stem to remove the calcification around the button and smooth out some of the tooth marks. I also broke up some of the oxidation on the rest of the stem with the 220 grit sandpaper.I “painted” the stem end with a Bic lighter to raise the tooth dents on the surface of the stem. It did not take too much work to raise all but one of them. What remained of the sole dent was a small divot. I wiped down the stem with alcohol and filled in the divot with a drop of black super glue. I set the stem aside so that the glue would cure.I scrubbed the rim top with cotton pads and saliva to remove the tarry buildup there. It took a lot of elbow grease but I was able to remove all of it. There was some burn damage to the front inner rim edge from consistently lighting it in the same place. I remove the damage by blending it into the rest of the rim bevel with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I restained the edge and the rim top to blend in with the rest of the bowl using a medium and a dark brown stain pen. I mixed the stains on the rim surface and rubbed it in with a soft cloth. I gave it a light coat of Conservator’s Wax to further blend in the stain on the rim. The photos below show the rim top after the stain and after the waxing.With the pipe’s externals cleaned and polished I turned my attention to the internals of the mortise and airway in the shank and the stem. I scrubbed them with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until they were clean.I decided to work on the oxidation on the stem using a combination of the Before & After Stem Deoxidizer and Polish and Brebbia Mouthpiece Polish. I applied the Deoxidizer and Polishes with cotton pads to scrub the surface of the stem. I was able to remove the oxidation without doing any damage to the Parker Diamond stamp on the top of the stem. I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and then gave the entire pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful pipe that fits well in the hand. The dimensions of the pipe are; Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outer diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ inches. It will soon be available on the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in adding it to your collection email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a private message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.

1967 DUNHILL 197 SHELL BRIAR Clean-up


Blog by Henry Ramirez

When surfing Ebay I noticed a very well smoked Shell billiard whose stem had lost its White Dot. It looked like it could be cleaned up to present an elegant addition to my collection. I anxiously awaited its arrival and immediately dunked the stem in an Oxyclean bath for a nite.

The next morning I pulled it out of the bath and wiped off the smegma for my first real look at the stem. The divots reminded me of a deflated balloon. Just what I was hoping for! Off to the buffer I went to buff off the sulfur discoloration with a wet rag wheel and pumice. Knowing what I know now, I should have popped this baby in the oven to raise the dents but instead I got to cleaning the stem’s airway and tenon. I bonded some shade A2 dental composite in the hole for the White Spot and was dismayed that it refracted the surrounding black vulcanite. Note to self, next time place a layer of opaque before the bulk fill. Luckily, when researching the earlier White Spots I came across examples of dots so dark they were black. I had made a silicone impression of a new pipe’s stem and used that as a mold to create a refurbishment of the button. What a mess! Next time I’ll mix the charcoal in with the composite resin rather than CA. I ended up recreating the button the way Steve has posted here on Reborn Pipes. OK, so now it’s the bowl’s turn. My armamentarium and procedure is pretty routine for cake and gunk removal. The rim’s blast was scorched but luckily, the rest of the pipe’s blast was vestigial. This was an opportunity to try out emulating a blast through rustication. Plus, since the pipe was stained rather darkly, it would help hide a myriad of sins. When polishing the chamber I noticed some alligatoring of the briar. Today I would probably schmeer some JB Weld into the cracks but what I did was a coating of Structural Sour Cream and charcoal. I played around with the button’s internals, polished with the usual green, red and white compounds (thanks Tim West), threw on some wax and called it a day! Thanks for looking, regards, Henry

Jen’s Trove No. 2–Perhaps a LHS London Royal Full Bent Billiard – Oom Paul


Blog by Dal Stanton

I don’t usually begin a blog with an addendum, but just before I sent this to Steve to publish on Reborn Pipes, I sent a picture of this pipe along with a few other pipes with the question, “Oom Paul or Full Bent Billiards?”  Here are the two pictures I sent – the first, Jen’s #2, and two others: This is the fun part of learning the fine art of pipe shape identification!  I was identifying the third pipe, (far right) as definitely an Oom Paul – mainly by the way the shank and bowl merge vertically and then the shank/stem breaks away but stays real tight in a full bend.  The other two, have more of a ¾ bend, but they also have more of a merge between shank and bowl creeping upwardly.  I called the 2 on the left, full-bent Billiards for that reason.  I loved Steve’s response:

Dal

To me they are all variations on an Oom Paul Shape which is actually a full bent billiard. LOL! The joys of identifying shapes.

Steve

So, with addendum completed, Jen pulled this very nice Full Bent Billiard, (Oom Paul!) out of the ‘Help Me!’ basket and added it to the trove she has asked me to restore for her.  She will be transitioning back to the US at the end of the summer and she will be packing several of The Pipe Steward’s restorations to give as gifts to the special men in her family.  I’m happy to oblige!  Jen’s purchases will benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria, and bring much joy to her family!  I found this pipe on eBay as one in a lot of 13 pipes – I acquired some interesting pipes that await restoration in the basket!  The pictures I saw from the seller in Nevada included Jen’s Oom Paul – at 8 o’clock below and then a closer view following. The seller’s attempt to identify the Oom Paul were helpful and set me on the path:

Unknown – Markings appear to be rubbed out from handling. I think I see the word “London” followed by some indiscernible word.

On my work desk in Sofia, Bulgaria, I take some additional pictures to fill in the gaps. Looking at two pictures above and the nomenclature on the left side of the shank, I tend to agree with the seller that the first word appears to be London in a cursive-type script with a flared line underneath.  The second word appears to start with a “P” also in a script with a flare line underneath. To see if I can make a possible identification with a pipe name starting with “London P…” I go to Wilczak & Colwell’s “Who Made That Pipe?” and I find some Comoy contenders – “London Pipe” and “London Pride”.  Neither of these candidates seem likely because the corresponding Comoy stem mark, “C” was absent.  Yet, the pipe could have a replacement stem, but not likely.  I then go to Pipephil.eu and simply search anything starting with “London”.  What I found was very interesting and possibly a match.  The clipping from Pipephil below shows the ‘London Royal’ nomenclature – looking at my specimen, what I thought was a “P” very likely is an “R”.  The flare lines underneath is a convincing indicator as well.  Also matching was the right side “Imported Briar”.  Again, missing is any stem marking – a hat in the specimen below.

While I cannot be 100% sure in the identification, “London Royal” may indeed be on target.  Pipedia gives a short description of the LHS company:

Ludwig Stern, a successful pipe manufacturer since 1893 and closing around 1960, reorganized his company along with his brother Hugo Stern, opening a factory in 1911. They named the company L&H Stern Smoking Pipes & Holders. The newly formed company was moved into a six-story building on the corner of Pearl and Waters street Brooklyn, NY.

The American company produced such pipe names as Sterncrest, Purex, Silvercrest, Barrister, Marwyn, Park Lane, Radmanol and Warwick.

Whether (or not) the Oom Paul (Billiard) before me is a LHS London Royal, it is a very attractive pipe with quality grain movement.  Overall, it is in good shape and I’m hoping an easier than normal clean-up and recommissioning.  There are a few nicks on the rim and some fills that need attention.  The chamber has very mild cake.  The stem bit shows some tooth chatter and no oxidation that I can see.  I begin the restoration of this possible, LHS London Royal by reaming the chamber bringing it to the briar for a fresh start.  I also plop the stem into the Oxi-Clean bath even though there is no visible oxidation.   Starting with the smallest, I use 2 of the 4 blades available in the Pipnet Reaming Kit.  I follow with the Savinelli Pipe Knife to fine tune the ream then sand the chamber using 240 grit paper.  I then wipe the bowl with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95% to remove carbon dust.  The pictures show the progress. Turning now to the internals, I use cotton swabs and pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95% to clean.  I discover the internals are pretty gummed up.  With the hour becoming late I decide to use the stealth method of cleaning.  I use kosher salt and alcohol to soak in the chamber overnight.  I first twist a cotton ball to form a wick to stuff down the mortise to draw out the oils and tars from the briar.  I then fill the bowl with salt and after placing my palm over the top give it a shake to displace the salt.  Then I carefully fill the chamber with the alcohol until it surfaces over the kosher salt.  I put it aside and turn the lights off.  The pictures show the cleaning process.Turning to the stem the next day, I remove it from the Oxi-Clean bath and even though it is minimal, the bath has successfully ‘raised’ oxidation to the surface.  Using 600 grit paper, I wet sand the stem.  Following this, I utilize 0000 steel wool to remove more and begin the polishing of the stem.  I still detect some tooth chatter especially on the lower bit and a small compression dent on the upper.  I use the heating method to raise the chatter by passing the end of the stem carefully over a lit candle.  The vulcanite when heated like this will naturally expand and seek its original place.  The heating helps, but I still need to do some sanding in the upper and lower button area using 240 grit paper.  Using a flat needle file, I use the opportunity to sharpen the upper and lower button lips. Following the 240 grit paper, I use 600 grit to further smooth and polish then conclude with 0000 steel wool.  The pictures show the progress. The stummel has been in a kosher salt/alcohol soak through the night.  Kosher salt is used because, unlike iodized salt, it does not leave an after-taste.  I remove the wick from the shank and it has done its job of pulling oils and tars out of the stummel.  I toss the used salt in the waste and clean the bowl with paper towel and a long-bristled brush.  I also use a brush reaching into the mortise to remove residue salt.  I follow by continuing use of cotton swabs dipped in alcohol and pipe cleaners to finish up the internal clean-up.  The pictures show the progress.With the stummel internals cleaned, I turn to the internals of the stem.  Using pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl 95% I attack. It did not take long because the pipe cleaners emerged clean.With the internals clean, I now turn to the stummel surface.  I use Murphy’s Soap and cotton pads to clean the stummel surface. As advertised, Murphy’s does a great job cleaning the oils and grime that build up on the surface. After scrubbing, I rinse the excess off using tap water careful to keep water out of the internals. The cleaning reveals two fills on the surface which appear to be solid after I probe them with a sharp dental tool.  The rim has a scorch mark over the 10 o’clock area in the picture below.  There are also scuff marks at the 6 and 8 o’clock areas.  The pictures show what I see.I decide to do a light topping using 240 grit paper on a chopping board.  I don’t need to take off much – only enough to remove the scuffing and surface part of the scorching.  I will make an internal rim bevel which will remove damage along the inner rim edge.  It is a little tricky, because the shank extends beyond the height of the stummel top.  I do the topping on the edge of the board as a result.  After rotating the stummel on the topping board, periodically checking to make sure I’m staying true, I switch to 600 grade paper to smooth the top further.  Using a coarse 120 grit paper, I cut an internal rim bevel to remove damage as well as soften the rim lines.  I follow with 240 grit paper.  On the outside rim edge, I give it a light bevel with 240 followed by 600 paper – again, removing the left-over nicks as well as softening the lines of the rim.  I think bevels add a touch of class to a rim.  The pictures show the rim progress. With the rim repair complete, I move straightaway to the stummel surface.  I’m anxious to see how the briar grain emerges during the micromesh pad process.  I’m careful to stay away from the almost non-existent ‘London Royal’ nomenclature on the sides of the stummel.  I want to preserve what I can. Using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400 I wet sand.  I follow wet sanding by dry sanding with micromesh pads 3200 to 4000 and then finishing with 6000 to 12000.   As hoped and expected, the pictures show the grain emerge.  As I look at the grain, I’m beginning to think that this stummel is a candidate to remain as the natural grain color and not to stain.  There are a few fills that I darken and blend with stain sticks.  It looks good!  I think Jen will like how this Full Bent Billiard (aka Oom Paul) is coming along.  I’ll finish the stem before making the final decision about whether to apply a stain.  Turning now to the stem, I wet sand using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400 then dry sanding using pads 3200 to 4000 then 6000 to 12000.  After each set of 3 micromesh pads, I apply a coat of Obsidian Oil to the thirsty vulcanite stem.  This oil revitalizes the vulcanite.  I love the vulcanite ‘pop’ as the pads do their magic! Moment of decision.  I reassemble stummel and stem to get a look at the big picture.  The possible LHS London Royal Oom Paul is without doubt a handful of pipe.  The grain presents bird’s eye on both sides of the stummel with lateral straight grain in the front and on the shank top and bottom.  A very nice feel to it as well, as I hold it and balance it in my palm.  The rim looks great too with soft beveled lines.  Decision point – do I leave the stummel the natural grain color or do I stain it?  If I stain it, I will use a light brown hue simply to tie together what is already there.  The original appeared to have been leveraged toward the lighter hue as well.  With some input from my wife, who has more color coordination DNA in her gene pool, I decide to stay with the original, natural, saddle, leathery color – leaving it just as it is. With that decision made, I fine tune and bring out the natural finish by using Tripoli compound which applies a fine abrasion, then Blue Diamond compound – more abrasion but finer than Tripoli.  I use a cotton cloth wheel with the Tripoli compound (not my usual felt wheel) because I’m not cutting through the fired crust of a stained stummel.  After mounting the buffing wheel on the Dremel, I set the speed at 2 of 5 (fastest) and purge the wheel to clean it from old compound. I apply the compound over the stummel, rotating the wheel over the surface, not apply a great deal of downward pressure.  I let the compound and the RPMs do the work.  After completing the Tripoli cycle, I attach the Blue Diamond compound cotton cloth buffing wheel, reattach the stem and stummel, and give both the Blue Diamond buffing using the same approach as with Tripoli.  When completed, I hand buff the pipe with a felt cloth to remove the compound dust preparing for the wax.  Then, switching to the carnauba wax cotton cloth wheel, also with Dremel set at speed 2, I apply several coats of carnauba wax to stem and stummel. During the carnauba wax application, I notice that the stem has loosened during the process.  I use a technique of expanding the tenon a bit so that it gains more purchase in the shank from Charles Lemon’s blog site, Dad’s Pipes.  The procedure usually uses a drill bit, where, after gently heating the tenon, a next larger drill bit is inserted into the supple tenon expanding it microscopically.  Instead of a drill bit, I find that a Dremel shaping tool sized up a little better than the drill bit.  After heating the tenon, the shaping tool eased into the tenon.  It did the trick giving the tenon a better fit in the mortise.  The pictures show this procedure.With the tenon now a bit snugger, I complete the application of the carnauba wax. After the carnauba cycles, I mount a clean cotton buffing wheel on the Dremel and do a ‘clean’ buff over the entire pipe.  I do this to assure that no pockets of wax are left on the surface and to raise the shine.  After this, I hand buff the pipe using a micromesh cloth to deepen and raise the shine of the briar grain more.

This possible LHS London Royal Full Bent Billiard, Oom Paul has turned out very well.  I think that whichever of Jen’s family of men receives this pipe, he will enjoy it for many years to come as its new steward.  As I said earlier, the profits of this pipe benefit the work we do here in Bulgaria with women who have been sexually exploited and trafficked, the Daughters of Bulgaria.  Check out my blog, The Pipe Steward, for more information about this.  Thanks for joining me!

 

 

 

 

Sasieni Fantail Wire Rusticated Patent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff found this old Sasieni on one of his gallivants to the Oregon Coast. He stopped by an antique shop and picked up a few nice ones. This wire rusticated Sasieni billiard with a Sterling Silver band is unique to my eyes. I have not cleaned one up before or repaired one for someone else. It has a Fantail or Fish Tail stem that is unique. It is stamped on the underside of the shank and the stamping is faint but readable. In bright light I can read that at the bowl end it is stamped England in an arch. Flowing from the arched England it reads Sasieni in the newer script over FANTAIL over Pat. D-170067. The last stamping is the shape number 55. I am pretty certain that this is a Family Era pipe made somewhere between 1946 – 1979. The change of “Sasieni” script without the fish-tail initiated by Alfred Sasieni occurred after second world war. This puts the date of the pipe between 1946 and 1979 – a large spread.The Sterling Silver band looks like it could have been original with the pipe when it left the factory but I am not certain. Sasieni is a brand that I am not as familiar with so I do not know all of the ins and outs of the shapes and finishes.

I remembered that Al Jones had worked on a Sasieni pipe with a similar finish and stamping. His was a Moorgate Pot. Here is the link: https://rebornpipes.com/2015/02/28/sasieni-moorgate-rustic-restored/ I quote a section of Al’s blog regarding this pipe, “This Sasieni “Moorgate” shape in Rustic finish is the second pipe from the shop in Albany and part of the General Electric executives estate. The nomenclature shows that the pipe is from the “Family Era” and made between 1946 and 1979. The “Rustic” finish is a hand carved, rusticated finish done completely by hand. This work must have been painstakingly slow with the carving following the briar grain lines.”

I have included a photo of the stamping on the underside of the Moorgate shank from Al’s blog post as it is very close to the stamping on the one I am working on. Mine is not stamped Four Dot Rustic over “Moorgate” but rather FANTAIL where the Rustic stamp is and where Moorgate is mine has a Patent number. The finish on Al’s was more horizontal than the one I am working on. The striations run vertically on the bowl sides but the shank is the same style. I have included the photos of the bottom of the shank on the one I am working on below. I also included a screen capture of the pertinent section of PipePhil’s Logos and Stamping website and included the link should you want to look at on the site. http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-sasieni2.html From what I can see through the oxidation on the stem there may well be a letter “F” on the left side of the stem. Jeff included photos of the pipe from a variety of angles to show the condition of the bowl, rim and finish on the pipe. It was worn and tired. Fortunately there were no chips or cracks in the briar and other than just being dirty and worn it was in good shape. Jeff sent along a photo of the cake in the bowl and the lava that had flowed over the top of the rim. The outer edges of the rim looked pretty decent with no wear or tear from tapping it out against hard objects. The cake in the bowl was hard and quite this. The lava on the top filled in most of the grooves in the rustication on the back half of the bowl.The Sterling Silver band was heavily tarnished but it appeared to be sound underneath the tarnish. It had an arched Sterling Silver stamped into the topside of the band.The stem had deep tooth marks and the button was worn away from use. There were no bite throughs or cracks in the stem. The middle portion on both sides of the stem near the button was in the worst condition with the edges being quite clean. The stem was oxidized. The photos below show the tooth marks and chatter on the stem surfaces.Jeff reamed the bowl with the PipNet reamer and took out all of the cake. It was then clear that the inner edge was also undamaged. He scrubbed out the inside of the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until it was spotless. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and the lava on the rim with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap and was able to remove all of the grim and build up in the grooves of the finish. The stain lightened considerably with the cleaning but it would not be hard to restain it to match the colour of the original. I took the next photos to show the condition of the pipe when it arrived in Vancouver. The cleanup on the rim was stellar in my opinion. The grime and lava are gone and the grooves of the rustication are clean and visible.I took photos of both sides of the stem to document the oxidation and the tooth marks located on the top and underside.I sanded the tooth chatter out of the vulcanite and cleaned up the area with a cotton swab and alcohol. I used black super glue to fill in the tooth dents that were too large to raise by applying heat to the stem. I set the stem aside while the glue dried. After the photo I used a little more glue to build up the area around the sharp edge of the button. Once it is dried I will recut that area with a needle file.I cleaned and polished the tarnished Sterling Silver band with a jeweler’s cloth. The tarnish came off quite easily and I buffed it with the cloth to make it shine.I restained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain cut by 50% with isopropyl alcohol. I applied it and flamed it with a lighter. I repeated the process until the coverage was good on the briar. Once it was dry I wiped down the bowl with cotton pads and alcohol to lighten it even more and bring it closer to the finish that had originally been on the bowl. I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel carefully avoiding the stamping on the underside of the shank. It was light enough already and I did not want to damage it further. I hand buffed the area with a microfibre cloth. The bowl was looking very good at this point. I took the following photos to show where what the pipe looked like at this point. I decided to clean up a bit of extra cake that clung to the bowl walls toward the bottom of the bowl with the Savinelli Fitsall Reamer. It did not take too much to knock off the small remnants of cake toward the bottom of the bowl.Once the repair had cured I used a needle file to recut the sharp edge of the button. I also used the file on the flat surface of the repairs to blend them into the rest of the stem. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and blend in the repairs with the surface of the stem. I sanded it so as to remove the oxidation but not change the profile of the stem. I examined the left side of the stem for the “F” stamp and all that was present was a very faint mark. If you did not know it was supposed to be there you would not see it. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and rubbing it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I buffed it with red Tripoli and gave it another coat of oil. I dry sanded it with 6000-12000 grit pads and rubbed it down between each pad with a coat of oil. I set aside the stem to let the oil dry. I put the stem back in place in the shank and buffed the bowl and stem lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the pipe and stem with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the bowl with a shoe brush and then with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outer diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 inches. The contrast of the dark brown and a medium brown that shines through give the finish a rich patina. The bowl has been cleaned and the entire pipe is ready to smoke. The stem is in great shape. The tooth marks have been removed though there is slight scratching on the vulcanite. It is a beautiful pipe, just a little big for my liking or I would hang on to it. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.

Dunhill 1949 Patent 120 FrankenStem


Blog by Henry Ramirez

Cruising Ebay for a pipe to play with I came across a Shell bent which, as stated in the listing, had the stem bit completely chewed off. I’d been trying a mold technique to reconstruct the stem button with limited success, very limited. Anyway, this pipe’s stem had been chewed to the point where no pipe cleaner could negotiate the airway and tobacco dottle was packed in tight. Here is a photo of the listing.Dang me, the previous owner had a heck of an oral fixation!  This stem was exactly what I was looking for.While the stem soaked in the Oxyclean bath, I evaluated the briar. The cake in the chamber was so thick you could shake a stick at it but after removal proved to be the protection connection because the inner bowl was pristine. I don’t know what it is about old tobaccos but the cake is dry and pumice-like with a delightfully transporting aroma to another time. The bowl’s rim was likewise protected by the lava of cake and tar. When I use my augers and drill bits, it’s either by holding the bit by hand or using an electric drill to hold the spade bit and turning the pipe itself. I’m listening for the crunching sound of cake being cleaved rather than the squeaky sound of metal on briar. Full rotations are usually not possible until the very end.

The stain and finish on the briar had that great oxblood highlight color that I love but was tarnished with a river of muck. I decided to try using my micro etcher to preserve the blast on the rim but knowing that I would later have to re-stain. I didn’t want to use Murphy’s Oil Soap because it diminishes the intensity of the stain somewhat.  Regarding the River o” Muck, I tried using my steamer which has a gun for accurate aiming and a boiler which keeps up the psi.  This muck was visible in the blast’s valleys as a white deposit. I fished out the stem from the Oxyclean bath, scrubbed it with blue shop paper towels to remove the slimy coating and polished it with flour of pumice, green, red, white diamond and Bendix on the lathe with individual rag wheels.

When the stem airway is too congested or crimped to allow passage of even a bristle pipe cleaner, I use a base “E” guitar string. It has a stiff central core wire which is later wound with another thicker resilient wire to poke on through.  My intent is not to mechanically open the airway but to remove any remaining tobacco chattel that the steamer couldn’t dislodge.

Next, I want to straighten the stem in my Wife’s oven. Of course I do this when she’s not around and so far she has turned a blind eye towards this practice.  But if there is residual tobacco burnt in her oven, I don’t want to be around to explain! The vulcanite has a memory of its initial pre-bent and pre-chewed state which will allow ease of cleaning and repair. The only bugaboo is that tenon-mortise margin can open. I was fortunate to have that happen because I have an adjustment technique to fix that which I want to try out. Importantly, don’t forget to trace the initial outline of the bent stem on a piece of paper for a reference when re-bending.

The pipe stem is positioned on a sheet of aluminum foil on the middle shelf where it is easy access and can be well illuminated by the oven’s light, I have tried to use an aluminum pie plate but the higher sides obscure my viewing the stem. I set the temperature to 247 degrees using the Bake Convection mode. This oven is electric and if yours is gas, you may want to let it get up to temperature first before placing your stem. Gadzooks!  The tenon on the stem opened like a blunderbuss barrel and the stem won’t fully seat. More fun!

The cross section on either side of the air way seemed meaty enough for some pins and channeling to create a ferrule of composite resin. I made a silicone putty impression of an unsmoked stem which approximated the same size and shape of this pipe. I made sure to capture the airway’s interior.I then plugged the stem’s airway with wax; micro etched the exterior surface and bonded the composite. I’d gotten a black resin colorant online but found that it either accelerated the mix to a very short working time or inhibited the mix to not fully curing. To blacken my next mix I’m going back to activated charcoal. But although this bit is ivory colored, it is very strong and decently shaped so I decided to simply slather it with a coating of black CA.

When I placed the pipe back in the oven to re-bend it, I found that some of the CA had over heated and was bubbled up like road tar. Note to self, keep CA out of the oven. I had seen this happen with an infrared light in a previous experiment but thought the temp was sufficiently lower to prevent a recurrence. Oh well, just more fussin’.

By the way, when re-bending the stem I never seem to be able to wait long enough and go through several attempts before getting it right. If it doesn’t fully bend to the proper contour, you have to wait until it re-straightens itself and then some. If you get greedy you can snap stem in half. I’m looking forward to my next stem bending because I plan to chronicle the ideal temperature using my laser thermometer.Returning to the bowl’s rim, I stained it with a light brown, got the stem to fit better but haven’t yet dialed it in and polished the pipe.I noticed that the preliminary outline of the stem displayed the additional length that the new bit added.Here’s the semi-final result and I wonder if any of these projects are truly ended because to aspire to the superb craftsmanship of these old Dunhill artisans is a journey rather than an endpoint.

 

 

 

Jen’s Trove #1: A Kaywoodie Author


Blog by Dal Stanton

Jenny has laid the groundwork for a pipe restorer’s dream job!  Jenny has been working with us here in Sofia, Bulgaria, as an intern for the last few years and she will be transitioning back to the US at the end of the summer.  She’ll be working with international students at what she considers her home territory at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.  We’ll miss her, but she has created a bittersweet gauntlet for me!  She has gone through my baskets and boxes of ‘pipes-in-waiting for help’ that I have culled and collected to create a gift trove for the special men in her life when she returns to the US – brothers, brothers-in-laws, father….  She knows that the pipes I restore benefit our work with the Daughters of Bulgaria, women/girls who have been sexually exploited and trafficked throughout Europe.  She wants to support the Daughters but also communicate this to her loved-ones in the US by gifting them pipes restored by The Pipe Steward – me 😊.   Since the proceeds benefit the Daughters, the agreement we have is that after each pipe is restored from her trove, I will determine a price and she will then decide if she would like to ratify the purchase – a win/win/win all around – for her, her special men and for the Daughters.  As Jen poked and prodded through my pipes, I learned that she was seeking a variety shapes and sizes so that each gift would be unique.  I hope that I can run the gauntlet well by providing her precious gifts AND finish on time!!!

The first pipe I chose randomly out of the ‘Jen’s Trove Basket’ is a Kaywoodie Author shape.  I saw this pipe on eBay and was attracted to the solid shape of the Kaywoodie ‘Ball’ shape that was advertised by the eBay seller in New Hampshire.  Here is what I saw:When I looked at Pipedia’s Shape Chart put together by Bill Burney, I saw that the Ball and Author shapes are very similar, but Bill’s description of “The Author as a beefed-up prince, featuring a flattened ball-shaped bowl and a heavy 1/8 to 1/4 bent stem” caused me to classify this Kaywoodie as an Author.  With the pipe now on my work table, I take more pictures to fill the gaps. This is the first Kaywoodie I’ve worked on.  A plethora of information is available online about America’s oldest pipe making manufacturer.  Kaywoodie’s website is informative:

The history of S. M. Frank & Co. spans nearly a century and half of pipe making, supporting our claim as the “oldest pipe house in America.” S. M. Frank, as it exists today, is a combination of some of the biggest names in pipe making from the early part of the 20th. century. The pipe names Kaywoodie, Yello-Bole, Reiss-Premier, DeMuth, Medico, Heritage and Frank are familiar to generations of pipe smokers.

The article describes how in 1919 the Kaufman Brothers & Bondy Company (KBB) produced the Kaywoodie and Dinwoodie pipe lines.  By 1924 the Dinwoodie line fell by the wayside and the primary name of Kaywoodie was the mainstay pipe line and the company came to be known by that name.  Little is known about the early activities of the KBB Company which started in 1851 by the German born Kaufman brothers.  The company had several locations but was centered in the New York City region throughout its production history.  The expansion of the KKB Company following the gold rush I find fascinating:

When one of the men from the New York office got “gold fever”, he carried a large supply of pipes with him to California that he sold along the way. This early “national distribution” did much to build the reputation of KBB. By the late 1800’s, branches of KBB were opened in Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and St. Louis with family and friends acting as agents. The trademarks, for the inlaid cloverleaf and the cloverleaf with the KBB initials inside, were issued in 1881. 

In 1935, KBB boasted of being the largest pipe making facility in the world with 500 employees and a production of 10,000 pipes per day from their facility in West New York, New Jersey.  In 1955, Kaywoodie was acquired by S. M. Frank & Co. (See Link) and continues to the present with well-known names Yello-BoleReiss-PremierWilliam Demuth CompanyMedico, Heritage (Heritage Pipes Inc.), along with Kaywoodie (Link).

It is difficult to date the Kaywoodie before me.  The only identifying marker is the traditional white shamrock on the stem.  There are no other markings that I see.  To the left, a 1964-65 Kaywoodie Dealer Catalog from Pipepages.com shows a remarkable likeness to the Connoisseur line and the Author before me with the stem shamrock on the side rather than on the top as in a 1955 Kaywoodie catalogue (See LINK).  There is no clear indicator for dating the Kaywoodie Author, but this catalog may put me in the ballpark.

With a better understanding of the Kaywoodie name, I take a closer look at the Author.  The good news is that the stem is in good shape with little tooth chatter.  The classic Kaywoodie patented Synchro-Stem which boasts that “metal-to-metal contact prevents binding and sticking” from a 1955 catalogue.  The stummel, however, is a different story.  The rim is beat up significantly, and I detect what might be cracks in the stummel.  Looking back at the eBay pictures provided by the seller, it made it very difficult to see what I seen now.  There appear to be two cracks, across from each other on the front and on the back of the rim.  I take a few closeups.

At this point, I’m not sure what I’m seeing.  Are the cracks superficial or do the run deeply into the briar.  It’s curious also that they seem to be opposites – perhaps part of the same trauma or what?  I will need to clean the chamber and rim to see more clearly the depth of the problem.  After spreading paper towel to minimize cleanup, I use the Pipnet Reaming Kit to work on the fire chamber.  I use 2 or the 4 blades available, starting first with the smallest.  I fine tune the reaming job with the Savinelli pipe knife then sand the chamber with coarse 120 grade sanding paper then 240 grade.  I wipe the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95% to clean the carbon dust.  I take some close-ups of the chamber revealing some heat fissures and evidence that the crack seems to run through the bowl – especially the crack on the back-side of the bowl.  I continue with the external cleaning using Murphy’s Oil Soap and cotton pads.  I also employ a brass bristle brush to work on the rim which is really beat up and scorched.  The cleaning reveals more of the damage to the rim as well as the cracks I will need to address.  I’m guessing that the stummel cracks were caused by excessive heating of the briar.  I decide to clean the internals of the stummel using cotton swabs and pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl 95%.  I also employ a straight needle file to scrape the walls of the mortise to dig out the gunk and tar.  I like to take care of the dirty work before continuing with the externals.  This also gives me time to think about how to approach the stummel repair.  The pictures show the progress which is slow – the internals are really gummed up. 

The day is coming to an end so I decide to employ a kosher salt and alcohol soak to make progress with the internals – while I sleep!  I use kosher salt so not to leave an iodine after-taste.  I stretch and twist a cotton ball to create a thinner ‘string’ of cotton to stuff down the narrow mortise opening through the metal plate of the Kaywoodie.  This cotton string will act as a wick to draw out the oils.  I then fill the bowl with kosher salt and cover the opening with my palm and give it a shake to displace the salt.  Using a large eyedropper, I introduce isopropyl 95% to the bowl until it surfaces over the salt.  I leave the stummel in an egg crate and turn the lights out – another day is done.  The next morning, the salt/alcohol soak has done the job.  The salt has discolored as well as the cotton wick.  I dump the used salt into the waste basket, thumping the stummel on my palm.  I wipe the chamber out with paper towel and using a long-bristled brush remove the excess salt from the internals.   I then return to using cotton swabs dipped in isopropyl 95% to complete the cleaning.  The pictures show the progress.

After sending an email off to Steve to get some advice on the stummel cracks and the stinger/tenon system of this older Kaywoodie, I put the stummel aside to work on the stem.  I wasn’t exactly sure how the stinger on the stem which screws into the metal shank plate comes off – and off it must come if one is to adequately clean the stem – and keep it cleaned!  Steve’s email was helpful with the question whether the stinger had 3 holes or 4 – 4 would indicate an older system according to Steve.  Ok, another clue to the age of this old boy. I look and discover 4 holes on the end ball of the stinger which indicated to Steve that the stinger may be threaded and screws into the metal tenon.  Taking a closer look, there does appear to be a seam marking the tenon and stinger contact point.  Steve’s advice was to heat the tenon and twisting the stinger to release it.  I take a couple of pictures to show what I’m seeing.Holding the stinger over a lit candle, after a few tests to twist, the entire tenon unscrewed from the stem.  By the appearance of the seam, I’m thinking that the stinger will separate from the tenon and needs to be removed for ease of cleaning.  With another quick note off to Steve, I’m cautious because I don’t want to damage the tenon and Steve has seen a few more of these than I!  I clean the tenon with alcohol and a cotton pad and then follow this with 0000 steel wool to finish cleaning the tenon/stinger. To work on the oxidation of the stem I drop the stem into an OxiClean bath to let it soak for several hours.  The pictures show the progress. After several hours, I retrieve the stem from the OxiClean bath.  The stem shows little oxidation after the soak.  Using 0000 steel wool I clear the layer raised by the OxiClean bath.  Then, using pipe cleaners and long-bristled brushes, dipped on isopropyl 95%, I clean the internals of the stem.  The airway is tight and I resort to the long-bristled brushes to push through the airway.  After cleaning the airway, I want to alleviate some of the tightness of the airway by expanding the slot area.  I use a pointed needle file and insert the point into the slot and carefully apply abrasive pressure to the edges of the slot.  The pictures show the progress. The upper bit shows latent bite dents – the lower as well but much less.  I use the heating technique to expand the vulcanite.  With a lighted candle, I pass the end of the stem over the flame – in a back and forth motion, not allowing the stem to cook by holding it stationary over the flame.  After a few passes, the idea came to my mind that while the vulcanite is pliable to insert a pipe cleaner in the airway to expand it a bit allowing pipe cleaners to pass through without as much fuss.  The effort seems to work – both for expanding the vulcanite and the airway.  There remains a ‘footprint’ of the bite dent, but not as much.  Using 240 grit sanding paper I work the dents out on the upper and lower bit.  Following the 240 grit paper, I use 600 grit and then finishing with 0000 steel wool.  I reattach the tenon/stinger to the stem and clock it so that the stem tightens at the correct angle.  I tighten the tenon one full turn less to make it easier to remove and therefore, much easier to clean the airway.  I like the results – good progress on this nice-looking KW Author.  The pictures show the progress. I turn my attention back to the stummel, and take a few more up-close pictures.  The burn damage is significant and the chamber is out of round.  Heat fissures are evident in the chamber and I’ve already noted the cracks in the stummel which track over the rim into the chamber.  I can say with little doubt, this pipe was loved and used much by its former steward.  Yet, he’s taken quite a beating.  My plan is to fill the heat fissures in the fire chamber with a coat of J. B. Weld.  With Steve’s input, I’ll drill back-holes at the terminus points of both fore and aft cracks to prevent further crack creep.  I will fill each hole with CA glue as well as apply a penetration layer of CA glue over the path of the crack to seal the cracks.  Before I start these repairs, I work on the external rim area with the goal of cleaning up the damage, re-balancing the stummel’s look as much as I can through a combination of topping and sanding.  When the stummel starts looking human again, if this is possible, I will then again assess the cracks and their needs.  All in all, the stummel’s undamaged briar is quite attractive – nice grain.  I hope I can return this Kaywoodie up to specs so that Jen can be proud to gift this old boy to her men-folk! I start with a coarse sanding sponge to see what progress can be made.  I follow by gently topping the stummel with 240 grit paper on a chopping board and then again return to the coarse sanding sponge to ‘reduce’ the edge of the topped stummel.  What develops is a technique of gradually reshaping the rim area to give the stummel a more uniform look.  I cycled through a light topping and then returning to the coarse sanding sponge several times.  The pictures show the process. As the rim starts taking shape, the fact that the bowl is out of round becomes even more distinctive.  To shape incrementally a truer ‘round’ I use a coarse 120 grit sanding paper rolled up and I sand the internal bowl at the point where the rounding was needed.  I gradually work around the internal chamber wall careful not to lean to aggressively into beveling an angle on the internal rim at this point.  I want to address first the unevenness in the walls of the fire chamber.  After doing this, I move more toward the top of the chamber and then create an inner bevel which gradually helps to round out the rim.  As I work on the internal sanding, I recycle as before, doing a gentle topping followed by the coarse sanding sponge to even and balance the whole.  The pictures show this gradual process starting with the ‘unrounded’ bowl. While the completed shaping is not perfect, I’m pleased that the stummel has regained proportion with the removal of the damaged briar and the gradual shaping through sanding and topping.  Looking very good at this point!Before I move forward finishing the stummel, I need to do the crack repairs.  The first thing I do, with the aid of a magnifying glass is mark the terminus points of the forward and aft cracks on the stummel.  The mark is made by creating a dimple using sharp dental probe.  This helps to guide the drill point when I create the ‘back hole’.  Using a 1mm sized drill bit mounted on the Dremel, I drill holes at the terminus points of the cracks.  With a somewhat steady hand, the work is successful. With the ‘back-holes’ drilled I drop-fill the holes with CA glue using a toothpick, and sprinkle briar over the hole.  I also apply a line of CA glue over the crack itself to strengthen the repair and seal the cracks.  The CA glue I use is extra thin and will seep into the cracks – hopefully.  I put the stummel aside for the night for the patches to cure.  The pictures show the patch process.The next day, the patches have fully cured and I use a rounded and flat needle files to work on the ‘forward and aft’ cracks where the back-holes were drilled. When I bring the CA glue patch mound down to briar surface level, I use 240 grit sanding paper to smooth it further and to blend with the briar.  Once this is completed, I again use the coarse sanding sponge and do a light topping to freshen the lines of the rim after the repair work.  I then roll a piece of 240 grit paper and again freshen the rim’s internal bevel.  The pictures show the progress. I proceed to smooth and blend the stummel by using a medium grade sanding sponge followed by a light grade sanding sponge.  The picture shows these last two stages and I take pictures of the finished crack repairs.  During the staining, I’ll seek to blend these further – especially the aft crack. At this juncture, I repair the fire chamber before continuing to the external stummel surface. Earlier I describe using J. B. Weld to coat the fire chamber, filling the heat fissures that had developed over years of use.  The J. B. Weld compound will also provide a protective barrier against the heat.  Later, I will coat the chamber with ‘pipe mud’ to provide a foundation for a new cake to develop to protect the chamber walls.  The few times I’ve used J. B. Weld, I always mixed too much.  I’ll try to moderate this time around.  After cleaning the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95%, I place equal parts of the J. B. Weld components on an index card – hardener and steel.  The directions state that after mixing the two, one has about four minutes before they start setting.  I insert a pipe clean into the draft hole to prevent the Weld mixture to plug the airway.  I mix the components with a tooth pick then I place a dollop of the compound into the chamber walls.  I use my pinky finger to spread the mixture evenly and pull out excess.  After a bit, the mixture is setting up.  I rotate the pipe cleaner out when the tackiness of the mixture has firmed up enough that it will remain in place.  I set the stummel upright in an egg carton and let it cure overnight.  The pictures show the process. Turning now to the stem restoration, I utilize a plastic disc I fabricated to protect the shoulders of the stem during the micromesh process.  Using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400 I wet sand the stem, then follow with dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 then 6000 to 12000.  After each cycle of three I apply a coat of Obsidian oil to the stem to revitalize the vulcanite.  The stem looks good.  The pictures show the progress. A new day has arrived in Bulgaria and I turn again to the stummel.  All the major repair work is completed and I begin to prepare the stummel’s surface for a stain finish.  Using 1500 to 2400 micromesh pads I wet sand the stummel.  Amazingly, after this first cycle, I see what I did not see before – Kaywoodie [over] Standard nomenclature on the left side of the shank and what appears to be 13B on the right side.  I take a picture to mark this – unfortunately, I did not see it sooner to avoid sanding in that area.  Checking again with Pipedia’s Collector’s Guide to Kaywoodie Pipes, 13B is the shape number identifying this as an Apple.  Looking at the catalogs in the same article, with the stem shamrock on the side, I’m feeling pretty confident identifying this pipe from the 1960s. I follow this by dry sanding using pads 3200 to 4000 and then 6000 to 12000.  I never grow tired of seeing the grain emerge as the micromesh cycles do their magic.  The pictures show the process. To encourage better blending by hiding the cracks and repairs, I use a mixture of Fiebing’s Dark and Light Brown Leather Dyes.  I use 2 parts light to 1 part dark.  I don’t want to go too dark and hide the beautiful grain that has emerged.  When I look at the original hue of the Kaywoodie (the 1960s catalogs above I think is a pretty good guess regarding the age of this KW) leveraged toward the lighter hues – yet, I do want to mask the cracks. After mixing the dyes, I heat the stummel using a hot air gun to open the briar making it more receptive to the dye.  With the stummel heated, using a cork in the bowl as a handle, I liberally apply the dye over the stummel surface.  Following this, I fire the wet dye with a lit candle and the alcohol immediately ‘flames’ and burns off setting the stain.  I repeat the same process a few minutes later.  After the second firing, I put the stummel aside for several hours.  The pictures show the staining process. Some hours later, I’m ready to ‘unwrap’ the fired layer to discover what the briar has done with the dye.  Using a felt buffing wheel, I mount it on the Dremel and set the speed to the slowest.  After purging the buffing wheel on the edge of the metal tightening wrench, using Tripoli compound I methodically begin removing the fired layer by not applying much downward pressure, and allowing the RPMs and the compound to do the work. When I complete the removal of the fired layer with Tripoli, I take a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95% and wipe down the stummel.  I do this not only to blend the dye but also to lighten it.  I then move to Blue Diamond compound.  I use a cotton cloth buffing wheel mounted on the Dremel, increase the speed by one notch, and move in circular motions over the entire stummel – again, as with the Tripoli compound, I do not apply a lot of downward pressure on the buffing wheel but allow the RPMs and compound to buff up the surface.  When completed with the Blue Diamond, I use a felt cloth to hand buff the stummel to remove compound dust before moving to the wax phase.  The pictures show the compound process. Before finishing the external surface with carnauba wax, I apply a layer of ‘pipe mud’ in the fire chamber.  This creates a layer to encourage the development of a carbon cake in the bowl.  I use a mixture of sour cream and two 260mg capsules of activated charcoal powder. I mix the sour cream and charcoal powder with a wooden stick and then, after inserting a pipe cleaner through the draft hole, apply a dollop of pipe mud mix in the chamber.  I then use my pinky finger to spread the mud evenly and draw out the excess.  When finished, I put the stummel aside to let the pipe mud set up.  The pictures show the mud process. With pipe mud set, I reattach stem and stummel.  I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel, set at speed 2, with the fastest being 5, and apply carnauba wax to the stem and stummel.  After applying several coats, I switch the Dremel to a clean cotton cloth buffing tool and again buff the pipe.  I do this to work in pockets of wax that were missed and to raise the shine.  Following this, I hand buff the pipe with a micromesh cloth to raise the shine more.

This Kaywoodie Standard Author has turned out in classic form.  I’m very pleased with results of the rim repair and the rich, ‘smoking jacket’ finish that masks the crack repairs.  The Author has a solid presence in the hand as I hold it – a classic shape that will provide a new steward with several more years of service.  As I mentioned before, Jen’s purchase of this Kaywoodie Standard Author benefits the work we do here in Bulgaria with women who have been sexually exploited and trafficked, the Daughters of Bulgaria.  If you would like more information about my restorations check out The Pipe Steward.  Thanks for joining me!