I got a call from a customer of a local pipe shop about a possible pipe repair. He had dropped his L’Anatra dalle Uova d’Oro pipe and the stem had snapped at the tenon. He wanted to know if I could repair it for him. He stopped by yesterday afternoon for me to have a look at it and today I had the time to work on it. This kind of break is actually a nice one if you are going to have them. It snapped off pretty close to the stem end and he was able to pull it out of the shank. This is actually the first L’Anatra pipe that I have worked on and one I could easily have added to my collection. It is my kind of shape. I have looked at them in various pipe shops and always like the look and the feel but this is the first one that has crossed the work table. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank with the name of the brand L’Anatra, under that it read dalle Uova d’Oro. Underneath it reads Made in Italy. L’Anatra dalle Uova d’Oro in English means “The Duck that Lays Golden Eggs”. On the underside of the shank it is stamped with three eggs which refers to the grade of the pipe.
When he dropped the pipe off, I took some photos of the broken tenon. The first three photos show the pipe before I started the repair.I used the Dremel and sanding drum to flatten out the end of the stem and finished it on the topping board to make a flat surface for the new tenon to sit against. I started drilling out the airway with a drill bit slightly larger than the airway and worked my way up to the same size as the threaded end on the new tenon. I do not use the power on the drill but rather carefully turn the stem onto the drill bit slowly making sure to hold the stem straight against the bit.Once the airway is opened to the length of the threaded portion of the new tenon I used a tapping tool to thread the sides of the newly drilled airway so that I could screw in the new tenon.Once the airway was tapped I used a knife to cut a small bevel in the end of the stem so that the new tenon would sit tight against the face of the stem. I used the knife to also bevel the end of the tenon to match the original tenon that had broken off. With all the preparations done I screwed the tenon in place to check the fit. Once I knew that the fit was correct I unscrewed it from the stem, brushed the threads with some slow drying epoxy and turned the new tenon into the stem. This was a case of a perfect fit. The photo below shows the newly replaced tenon.I noticed there was some light tooth chatter on the stem so I polished it out with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust.I polished the tenon with micromesh sanding pads to remove the sanding marks and scratches in the Delrin. I put the stem in place in the shank and buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and then gave the stem and bowl several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to give it a deep shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The owner will soon pick up his pipe and fire it up again with his favourite tobacco. Thanks for looking.
The Charatan pipe also had a replacement stem as there was no sign of a CP logo stamp on the top side. The stamping was on the smooth underside of the shank and it read Charatan’s Make and underneath it read London, England. At the end of the brand stamping was the number 0120 which is the shape number of a Canadian. I did some searching online and read the Charatan’s entry in Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dating_of_Charatans). I quote from there: “Pipes that belong to eras till the 1960 have the engraving ‘CHARATAN’S MAKE LONDON, ENGLAND’ in two lines, the shape code is composed by numbers only. The X and the DC appear only on pipes after 1960.”
My brother had found another good one. The stamping gave me information about the time frame it was made. I knew that it was made prior to 1960 by the style of the stamping. It came from what the article identified as the Reuben era of Charatans that went from 1910-1960. Like the Dunhill the only thing that would have been better was if it had come with the original stem. My brother took the photos that follow. They show the pipe before he cleaned it up and sent it to me. It had a nice sandblast that deep and craggy on the bowl and shank. From mid shank back to the stem it appeared that the pipe had been rusticated to match the blast pattern. He took some photos of the pipe to give a feel for the overall look of it when he received it. These photos show the pipe before he cleaned and reamed it.He took some close up photos of the bowl and sandblast on the bottom of the bowl. The bowl had a thick cake that had flowed over the top of the rim in hard tarry lava. It was thick but it appeared that the outer rim was undamaged and with any luck the inner one would be as well. The blast is interesting in that it also has a rustication pattern on the bowl bottom and also on the shank. It follows the pattern of the grain on the bowl.The next photo shows the clear and sharp stamping on smooth underside of the shank. It reads as noted above – Charatan’s Make over London England with the shape number 0120 on the stem end of the shank.The stem had a lot of tooth chatter and some shallow tooth dents. There was oxidation and also calcification.My brother did his normal thorough job of cleaning the pipe. He scrubbed it with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. He cleaned out all of the dust and debris in the grooves and crevices of the “blastication”. The stem does not fit tightly against the shank at this point. The next photos below show the pipe as it looked when I brought it to my work table.I took some close up photos of the rim to show how well it cleaned up. My brother was able to get the lava out of the grooves on the rim and also on the underside of the shank. The stamping was still very clear.He cleaned out a lot of the gunk in the shank but the stem still did fit tightly against the shank end. He did get the calcification and some of the oxidation off the stem. You can clearly see the tooth chatter and the tooth dents now that the stem was clean.I scraped out the inside of the mortise with a dental pick with a flattened blade end. I scraped the stepped down area of the mortise as it entered the airway in the shank. I took a lot of tar and gunk out the shank area.I scrubbed the mortise, the airway in the shank and the stem with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol. Once it was clean the stem fit more closely against the end of the shank.I scrubbed down the bowl and shank with acetone on cotton pads to remove the finish that remained on the pipe.I restained the pipe with a dark brown aniline stain thinned 50/50 with isopropyl alcohol. I flamed the stain and repeated the process until the coverage was even.I put the stem in the shank and took the pipe to the buffer. I buffed it to polish the stain. When I was just about finished I could not believe what happened. It is that moment when you are buffing a pipe where you get a sick feeling. The wheel grabbed the pipe out of my hand, off my finger and threw it against the table top under the buffer. It was not far – a mere 2 inches but I heard the snap as the tenon broke. I was sick to my stomach. I was almost finished with the pipe and then this had to happen. I took a photo of the broken tenon once I had pulled it from the shank. It was almost a clean break at the end of the stem. Oh the frustration.
I used a Dremel to flatten the broken edge of the tenon against the face of the shank. It took a few moments to smooth out the broken part. I used the topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to face the end of the stem. I went through my box of threaded tenons and actually had one left in the box that was not a Jobey Link system tenon. It was the same diameter as the broken tenon.I chucked a drill bit in the cordless drill that was just a little larger than the air way in the stem. I turned the stem onto the drill bit the length of the threaded portion of the replacement tenon. I put two more drill bits in the drill and turned the stem onto the bits. Once it was the same diameter as the threaded portion I shortened the threaded end slightly so that it would fit tight against the stem. I roughed up the threads with the Dremel and a sanding drum. I left the threads in place so that I could turn it into the stem.I screwed it into the stem as far as it would go by hand and then used a pair of pliers to finish turning it tight against the stem face.I put the stem in place in the shank and the fit was tight against the shank. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads. After the final set I rubbed it down with a last coat of oil. I set the stem aside to dry. (In the photos below of the shank and stem I did not push the stem in against the shank so it shows a small gap at that point. You will notice in the final photos that I pushed it back in place.)With fear and trepidation I took the pipe back to the buffer. I did not want to repeat the broken tenon so I was very careful. I worked the pipe against the buffing wheel that had been charged with Blue Diamond polish. I buffed it until the stem shone. I lightly buffed the bowl with the polish as well – being careful to not let it build up in the grooves. I polished the stem with carnauba wax and put Conservator’s Wax on the sandblast finish of the bowl and shank. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The fit of the stem against the shank was better than when I started. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me and also through the frustrating need to replace the tenon.
Charles Lemon of Dadspipes blog picked up a batch of pipes that included a lot of Danish made ones from an estate not long ago. He has been writing about their restoration on his blog. He sent me some photos of the pipes and offered to sell some to me. I chose two of them. The first one was the Larsen that is pictured below. The description of the pipe said that it was stamped on the underside of the shank 11 over W.O. LARSEN over Handmade over Made in Denmark. On the topside of the shank next to the stem/shank junction it was stamped SUPER. The stem had a broken tenon and it was stuck in the shank. Charles had mentioned that he thought it looked like it had been glued in so it would take a bit of work. When I saw the grain on it I decided that it would be a fun piece to work on for my own rack. It has some stunning flame grain on all around the bowl sides and birdseye grain on the rim and the bottom of the bowl and shank.I looked up some background on W.O. Larsen and found a great summary on this site. It was helpful and brief so I quote it in full below: https://www.finepipes.com/pipes/danish/w-o-larsen?sort=20a&page=1&zenid=debcdee8f415c1977fb5c359652d6aebW.O. Larsen was one of the most famous tobacco shops in Copenhagen, with a beautiful store located on Copenhagen’s famous “Walking Street.” During the flowering of the Danish pipe in the ’60’s, they first began retailing pipes by such carvers as Sixten Ivarsson, Sven Knudsen, Poul Rasmussen, and Brakner. Urged on by his store manager Sven Bang, the owner, Ole Larsen, decided to begin making pipes in the basement of the shop. He first hired Sven Knudsen as the pipe maker, who soon passed the job to his protégé Hans “Former” Nielsen. Larsen’s fortunes rose along with the rest of the Danish pipe business and Former was soon managing a group of carvers in the old Larsen cigar factory. Among these were Teddy Knudsen, Tonni Nielsen, Jess Chonowitch, Peter Hedegaard and others, who were responsible for the Select and Straight Grain series before they branched out on their own. After Former left to start Bentley pipes in Switzerland, his duties were taken over by Soren Refbjerg Rasmussen, while the straight grains were made by Teddy’s student Benni Jorgenson. As Ole’s health began to fail, the reins were taken over by his son Nils. Nils became convinced that the way for Larsen to prosper was by entering the low-end market, and acquired the Georg Jensen pipe factory to make an array of less expensive pipes. This turned out to be a fatal error, and Larsen was recently sold to Stanwell, who continue to produce so-called “Larsen” pipes in their huge factory. Thus ended an important part of Danish pipe history.
I was looking forward to seeing it firsthand so I paid Charles and he shipped it on Friday. Wonder of wonders, Canada Post delivered it on Monday. I came home from work to find the awaited box on the table. I opened it and found the Larsen in a bag with the label printed on the outside enumerating it’s stamping. I took it out of the bag and immediately took it to the work table. The photos below show the pipe as it looked when it arrived. It was much lighter in colour than the photo had led me to believe.The bowl was dirty and there were some dents and marks in the briar. The rim had a thick coating of tars and the back edge of the rim was worn down from knocking the pipe out to empty it. There was an uneven cake in the bowl. The tenon was stuck in the shank and there were dried bits of glue on the end of the shank and around the end of the stem where someone had glued the stem onto the end of the shank. Fortunately the stem did not stick to the briar but the tenon certainly did. The stem was clean of bite or tooth marks and was lightly oxidized.I took a photo of the end of the shank to show the glue spots on the briar and around the broken tenon.When I had looked at the initial photo I was uncertain that the stem was original as it looked to be bigger in diameter than the shank. I lined up the broken tenon in the shank with the rough end on the stem and took some photos to see if it actually fit the pipe.I decided to try pulling the tenon with my normal screw and it did not budge. It began to shatter and break apart.Thus I knew that I would have to resort to drilling out the broken tenon. I set up my cordless drill and put a drill bit slightly larger than the airway in the chuck. I slowly drilled out the tenon, increasing the size of the drill bit until it was the just slightly smaller than the mortise. The last bit I used broke the tenon piece free from the shank and the mortise was clear.While I had the drill out I also drilled out the broken tenon in the stem in preparation for the replacement tenon I would use.Once the airway was drilled out on the stem I used a tap to thread the newly drilled airway to accommodate the threaded replacement Delrin tenon.I used the topping board and 220 grit sandpaper to clean off the glue residue on the end of the stem before I put the new tenon in place. I want a clean, flat surface to work with against the shank when I was finished.I used some clear super glue on the new tenon and twisted it into the stem. I put it in the shank to check the alignment several times before putting a few more drops of super glue around the tenon stem union.Once the glue dried I put the stem in place in the pipe and took some photos to evaluate the fit.With the tenon repair completed it was time to address the bowl. I took some close up photos of the bowl/rim and the stamping on the shank.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer using the third cutting head and took the cake back to bare briar. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Pipe Knife.I sanded the inside of the bowl with a tube of sandpaper. This smoothed out the walls of the bowl and began to clean up the damage on the inner edge of the rim.The rim damage on the back side needed to be dealt with so I topped the bowl to remove the damaged area.I scrubbed the briar with acetone on cotton pads to remove the wax, grime and oils in the wood. The grain is really beautiful in the photos below.I scrubbed out the mortise and airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until they came out clean.I mixed three of the stain pens together to get the correct brown on the rim. Once it was blended and sanded I stained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain and flamed it. I repeated the process until the coverage was even on the bowl.I wiped down the bowl with alcohol on cotton pads to make it more transparent and make the grain show through. It still needed more work but it was definitely getting there.The inner edge of the rim needed more work to remove the damage but the colour was correct.I used a folded piece of 180 grit sandpaper to bevel the inner rim of the bowl to remove the damaged areas. I followed up by sanding it with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper and continued to sand the inner edge. I sanded the inner edge and rim with 1800-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I restained the inner bevel with a dark brown stain pen to match the finish on the bowl.With the bowl finished I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil and dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I gave it another coat of oil and sanded it with 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and let it dry.I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and then gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. By now you are all probably very familiar with my process. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine and then hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to add depth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is one I plan on hanging onto for my own rack and I am happy with how it turned out. Thanks for looking.
I was contacted by Robb, a reader of the blog about working on an old Yello-Bole Cutty that he had picked up. He said it was in decent shape but had a cracked shank that someone had already done a repair on. They had glued the shank with wood glue but when the stem was inserted it cracked again. He wanted the shank reglued and banded. We talked about different options for repairing the pipe and the costs of doing it. Finally, in an email he offered to trade me the pipe in exchange for one that I had for sale on the blog – a Kaywoodie Signature Bulldog. The deal was done and the pipe was now mine.
As with many of the pipes I repair and restore I want to learn as much about them as I can. I did some work on the internet trying to find the shape number of the pipe and information on the stamping. After a pretty fruitless search I wrote to Troy Wilburn of the Baccypipes Blog to get some information on dating the pipe. Troy has become my go to guy when I want to learn information on this particular brand of American pipes. He wrote back quickly with a reply which I summarize below. In it he walked me through the meaning of the stamping and how that helped with the dating of the pipe. His quick first answer stated that the pipe was made between 1933-1936. Here is the main portion of what he wrote to me:
“I’ll break down the stamping and numbers for you. Starting with the left side of the shank the pipe is stamped with KBB in a clover leaf and next to that it says Yello-Bole. Underneath it is stamped Honey Cured Briar. Yello-Bole pipes that come from 1933-1936 bore the stamp Honey Cured Briar. On the right side of the shank it is stamped 2070B. The meaning of the numbers breaks down as follows. The number 20 tells us that the stem is black vulcanite with a push tenon made between 1932-1940s. The next two numbers, 70 gives the shape – a long Belgian and that it was made between 1928/9 and 1935. They made a regular 70 (it’s just called Belgian), a large Belgian 70B, and a long Dublin Belgian 70B.”
I took some photos of the pipe with the stem in the shank to highlight the issues that I saw with the pipe. Not only was the shank cracked but the tenon was also cracked and set at an angle to the stem making alignment in the shank impossible. The dimensions of the pipe to give some perspective to the photos are: Length – 8 inches, bowl height – 2inches, outer bowl diameter – 1 ¼ inches, inner bowl diameter – ¾ inches. You can see that it is a large pipe. The finish was crackled and dirty – almost opaque to the point that the grain was hidden. The rim had a lava buildup and the bowl had a thin, uneven cake that covered it top to bottom. The stem was oxidized and yellow. The stinger was glued in place in the tenon with the broken tenon anchored firmly to the metal insert on the stinger. It was also glued in sideways instead of upright.I took a close up photo of the tenon and stinger repair that had been done to show the cracked and glue pieces of the tenon on the stinger. You can see in the photo where pieces of the tenon had broken free when I removed the stem from the pipe.The crack in the shank arced from one side of the pipe to the other forming a closed crack. The chunk of briar had been glued in place by what appeared to be wood glue. The repair was not strong enough to protect the shank when the angled tenon was inserted in the mortise. Each time the stem was inserted the crack opened wide. Because it had a start and an end point there was no threat in the crack spreading upward along the shank. I had two options for repairing this. I could either insert a tube inside the shank thus internally banding the pieces in place or I could use a band on the exterior to the same effect. As I worked on the i decided to band the shank rather than do an internal repair. The thinness of the tenon with the stinger in place would make it impractical to reduce the size of the tenon further to fit in the inner tube repair.I removed the stinger from the stem and broke away the pieces of the rubber tenon from the metal insert. The stinger was exceptionally long and once I replaced the tenon I would make a decision what to do with it.I have an assortment of threaded replacement tenons that I use to repair broken tenons. I went through my container and found one that was a good fit in the shank.I used the Dremel and sanding drum to flatten out the broken pieces of the old tenon on the end of the stem. I used the topping board to square up the end. I set up a cordless drill and a drill bit approximately the size of the threaded portion of the new tenon. I turned the stem onto the drill bit and slowly opened the airway to fit the new tenon. Once I had the airway open and deep enough to accommodate the threaded end I used a tap to cut threads into the inside of the stem. I turned the new tenon into the threaded airway in the stem to check the fit. When it was correct I gave the threads a coat of slow drying black super glue and turned the tenon into the stem until it was tight against the face of the stem.I set the stem aside to let the glue cure and began to work on the crack in the shank. It did not matter which way I chose to repair the shank I needed to clean up the previous repair and remove the dried wood glue. I needed a clean surface to reglue with super glue. Once I had the surface clean I pried open the crack and used a dental pick to push clear super glue into the crack. Once the glue was in place I clamped the shank until the glue set.I sanded the glued shank with 180 grit sandpaper to remove the finish and the over flow of glue from the repair. I wanted to make the surface smooth so that I could either band it externally or do it internally and then refinish the shank.The next two photos show the gold/yellow colour of the paint in the stamping of the shank on both sides. Once I stripped the bowl of the varnish coat this would disappear and I would need to recreate it.I cleaned out the inside of the shank and the mortise with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. It was dirty but cleaned up easily. I repeated the same process on the airway in the stem. It too was easy to clean. I reamed out the bowl with the Savinelli Pipe Knife to take the cake back. Underneath the light cake I found that they original Yello-Bole coating was still in place.Once the glue on the shank had cured overnight I carefully put the stem in the shank to check the alignment of the stem and shank. I took the following photos of the pipe at this point in the process.I wiped the bowl down with acetone on cotton pads to remove the varnish coat that was crackling. It took some scrubbing but the finish came off quite easily and left the colour in the briar.I was careful to not wipe around the repaired shank as the acetone will dissolve super glue and I would be back to square one. I sanded the bowl with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to further remove the finish.I wiped the bowl down with a light coat of olive oil to see what the grain looked like.I cleaned the shank and used European Gold Rub N’ Buff to restore the gold in the stamping. I really like how Yello-Bole and some of the older American pipes utilized the gold leaf in the stamping to make it highly readable.I scrubbed the stem with Meguiar’s Scratch X2.0 to remove the majority of the oxidation and polish the stem. The residue of the oxidation is shown on the cotton pad under the stem.I sanded the remaining oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper to remove it from the surface of the stem. There were some small tooth marks on the top and bottom sides of the stem as well that I sanded out with the sandpaper.I wetsanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and gave the stem a coat of Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I finished sanding with 6000-12000 grit pads and gave it a final rubdown with Obsidian Oil.I drilled out the tenon to the diameter of the stinger apparatus that had originally come with the old tenon. I made it large enough that the stinger was removable in order that the pipe could be smoked with or without the stinger.The band that Charles shipped me came on Friday and it was a good fit on the shank. I coated the shank with some white glue and pressed the band onto the shank. I wiped away the excess glue with a damp cotton pad.I used a dark brown stain pen to touch up the area around the shank repair that extended beyond the band. The colour worked well with the brown/red colour of the stain on the rest of the shank.I buffed the area around the band with White Diamond on the wheel to blend in the stain colour with the rest of the pipe. I buffed the entire pipe with Blue Diamond, being careful to avoid the nickel band. I have found that when I buff the band at the same time as the rest of the pipe the black from the nickel on the buffing pad is transferred to the shank and stem. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil and gave the stem and bowl multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad and then with a microfibre cloth to deepen and raise the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I really like the way it turned out and I am sure glad that I was able to work a trade with Robb for the pipe.I took some final photos of the pipe. The first photo shows the stinger next to the bowl and stem go give an idea of the size of the stinger and the second photo shows the stinger in place in the stem. Thanks for looking.
I received this one from a fellow who wanted the tenon replaced but being the way I am I could not just replace the tenon and leave the pipe looking tired and worn so I wrote and offered to clean it up for him. It took more work than I had originally thought it would but the added effort made for a beautiful looking pipe. It is stamped on the left side of the shank MANAGER over SORRENTINO. On the right side it says 0704 which is the shape number and Italy. The briar was really in need of some work. The left side was stained with a dark patch that ran from the top to the bottom of the bowl. The finish was also rough to the touch over that section. On the bottom, front and right side of the bowl there was a lot of dents and dings like the pipe had been dropped. The rim had a coat of lava and the bowl had a very uneven cake with more on the left side of the bowl than the right. The finish was basically shot. The stem came with lots of tooth chatter and a broken tenon. The tenon snapped right at the shank and was stuck in the shank. The brass band on the shank was loose. The pipe was tired and needed some TLC. Here is what it looked like when I started.In the photos above I had already turned the wood screw into the broken tenon. I use that to pull a broken tenon and it never disappoints in effectiveness. Note the state of the bowl in the photos.I used a Dremel and sanding drum to flatten out the remnant of the broken tenon on the stem. Once it was flat it was time to drill the stem to take the new tenon. I started with a bit slightly larger than the airway to center the drilling and turned the stem onto the bit by hand. I find that though it is harder to do it by hand, turning it by hand and not drilling it gives me more control of the stem. I worked my way up to a ¼ inch bit and then cleaned it out with a needle file. I had a Delrin tenon I purchased from Tim at JH Lowe and I roughed up the surface of the portion that would go into the stem and gave it a coat of two part slow drying epoxy to hold it in place.I lined up the stem in the shank and then set it aside to let the epoxy cure over night. While it dried I worked on the bowl. I stripped off the remaining finish with acetone and cotton pads. I sanded the dark stain mark on the left side of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damaged briar and smooth things out. I scrubbed that side with acetone to finish.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer to even out the cake that had been there. I decided to strip it back to bare wood. I wanted to check out the inside of the bowl walls. The interior was sound and there was no damage on the bowl walls. I sanded the bowl with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to clean up the scratches left behind on the briar by the sand paper and by the wear and tear of age. The stripped and sanded bowl was looking pretty good.I sanded the inner bevel of the rim to clean it up and prepare the bowl for staining. I wiped it down a final time with isopropyl alcohol. I stained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain. I flamed it and restained it with a second coat of the stain. I flamed it again.Before setting the bowl aside to dry I wiped it down with alcohol on a cotton pad to smooth out the stain and lighten it slightly. I wanted the grain to show through.I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave it several coats of carnauba wax to seal and preserve the finish. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. (Forgive the poor focus on the first photo below. It is blurry but still gives you an idea of how the dark area had been reduced.)With the bowl finished I set it aside and worked on the stem. I sanded the tooth marks and chatter on the stem with 220 grit sandpaper until they were smoothed out. I was able to easily remove most of the tooth damage to the stem. There was one small tooth dent on the top of the stem that I left as it is minimal and I did not want to thin the stem.I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I finished with 6000-12000 grit pads. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the wheel.I put the pipe together and lightly buffed it with some more carnauba wax to finish it. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth for the final buffing. The photos below show the finished pipe. Hopefully when it is returned to the pipeman who owns it he will be pleased with the finished pipe. Thanks for looking.
A friend on Facebook messaged me not long ago with a proposition. I had repaired a pipe for a friend of his before Christmas and now he had one for me. He would send it up with some pipes to add to my refurbishing box. The one he had for me to repair was a Radice Brown Canadian with a gold band. The pipe arrived with the broken tenon stuck in the shank. In looking it over I could also see a small crack coming out from under the band that would need to be addressed. I used my usual tenon pulling method and was able to wiggle it free of the shank. The tenon was Delrin and was threaded so that it screwed into the stem. It had broken off leaving two full threads remaining on the end of the tenon. The second photo below shows the pulled tenon and the broken remainder of the tenon in the stem.
I drilled out the broken tenon using a drill bit slightly smaller than the diameter of the hole in the stem. As I drilled it the broken tenon stuck on the drill bit and I was able to unscrew it from the stem. The photo below shows the freshly drilled stem. There was a lot of clutter left behind by the drill that I would need to clean out. I used a dental pick and pipe cleaners to remove all the debris and open up the airway in the stem. I noticed that there was a ridge on the inside of the bowl toward the bottom from whoever had reamed it before I received it. Once I had the tenon out of the shank and the stem drilled and cleaned I examined the pipe carefully. From experience I have seen that when a tenon snaps there can also be collateral damage such as a cracked shank. The band on the pipe was loose so I slid it off and examined the shank. From the end view photo below you can see a crack at about 11 o’clock. It ran up the shank for about ¼ inch and then turned downward along the side of the shank. It extended for almost an inch along the side of the shank. There was a slight crack that split off of it and headed backward toward the end of the shank as well. I used a microdrill bit on the Dremel and drilled a small pin hole at the end of each branch of the crack.
I put a light line of white all purpose glue around the shank and pressed the band in place. I cleaned up the overage of the white glue. I used a dental pick to guide super glue drops into the drill holes and along the crack.
I sanded the repair I had made to the cracked shank with 220 grit sandpaper and then with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge. I sanded the repair area with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and then stained it with a light coloured stain touch up pen. The colour matched the rest of the bowl and shank and once it was polished blended in well. The two dark spots on the side of the shank were the filled drill holes. They are smooth to touch. I used a needle file to smooth out the ridge at the bottom of the bowl and blended it in with the sides of the bowl as much as possible. I cleaned out the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I used a dental pick to clean out the slot on the stem and then ran pipe cleaners and cotton swabs through it to clean up the threads in the tenon end and the airway throughout the pipe. I set the bowl aside and began to work on the stem. I decided to fill the missing dot on the top of the stem before I replaced the tenon. I screwed the broken tenon in to give me something to hold onto while I worked on the stem. I used a knitting needle that was ivory coloured and cut it down with the Dremel until I had a piece that would fit in the hole in the stem. I glued it in place with super glue and then cut off the body of the needle leaving just a small piece in the hole. I sanded it with the sanding drum on the Dremel and brought it as close to flush with the surface of the stem as possible without damaging the stem.
I sanded the dot flush with the surface of the stem with sandpaper and then with the sanding sponges and micromesh pads. I removed the broken tenon and prepared to cut a new tenon. For the material I used a small stem that I have been cannibalizing for tenon repairs. I cut off a piece of the stem that would give me material to work with using a hacksaw. I used the Dremel and sanding drum and two different rasps to reduce the diameter of the end of the newly cut tenon that would insert into the stem. It had to be the same diameter as the threaded end of the old tenon. When I had the tenon fit I cut the length back to match the length of the previous tenon. I put some clear super glue on the small end of the tenon and pressed it into the stem. I ran a bead of clear super glue around the insertion point of the new tenon to make an air tight fit. The photo below shows the new tenon in place in the stem sitting next to the broken one. I sanded the new tenon with micromesh sanding pads to polish it and readied it for the shank. Once it was clean I pushed the stem into the shank and took a series of photos to show the newly stemmed pipe. I quickly sanded the gold band with 6000-12000 grit micromesh pads to remove the scratching and grooves that had been present when I received the pipe.
I sanded the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and wiping down the stem with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads and then gave it another coat of oil. I finished sanding with 6000-12000 grit pads and then gave it a final coat to wipe off the sanding dust.
I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond on the wheel and then gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean flannel buff. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth and then set it aside for photographs. I hand polished the band with a jeweler’s cloth to give it a shine to match the stem.
A good friend of mine stopped by for a bowl the other day and to drop off some pipes he was donating to the Nepal Pipe Project. He has given quite a few already and some of you have benefited from his generosity. This time he had a couple of surprises with him as well. He had two of his favourite pipes with him that needed some attention. The first was a handmade Gepetto Canadian made by Ser Jacopo. It was a shape #37 and had a rusticated finish. It was a beautiful pipe. He had been twisting the stem out of the shank and it was stuck. One little twist too much and the tenon snapped in the shank. It broke off quite deep in the shank and was solidly stuck in place. I would need to pull the tenon, drill out the stem and insert a new tenon.
I used my drywall screw and twisted it into the airway of the broken tenon until it caught hold and then wiggled it loose. With careful wiggling and pulling the broken tenon came free of the shank.
I used the Dremel and sanding drum to take off the majority of the remaining broken tenon on the stem itself. I faced it on the topping board with 220 grit sandpaper until it was flat against the rest of the stem face.
The stem is Lucite and the original tenon was an integral part of the stem. I did not have any Lucite tenon and also no Delrin tenons. So once again I decided to do some improvisation. I turned down the tenon on an old thin vulcanite stem that I had in my stem can until it was a snug fit in the mortise of the shank. I wanted it to sit as deeply as the previous tenon so I turned it down accordingly with the Dremel and sanding drum. When the fit was correct I left it in place in the shank and carefully cut off the stem with a hacksaw. I left enough of the new tenon to sit in the hole I would drill in the stem face. I set up a drill and turned the stem onto the drill bit by hand until it was deep enough to hold the new tenon but not too deep because of the sharp taper of the stem. If it was too deep it would have broken through the top and bottom side of the taper. I measured the depth I had to work with and drilled only that depth in the stem. I started out using a drill bit slightly larger than the airway in the stem and worked my way up to a ¼ inch bit. I used a round needle file to clean up the inside edges of the drilled out stem. I turned the end of the tenon down until it slid snugly into the hole. Once I had a good fit I coated the end of the tenon with super glue and pressed it into the hole. I did this carefully to keep the tenon straight both horizontally and vertically. Once the glue set on the new tenon I cleaned it up with some sandpaper and then pushed it into the mortise of the pipe. The fit was good and the taper lined up correctly on the top, sides and bottom of the shank. The stem needed to be sanded to clean it up and polish it. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the edges and around the button.
I continued to sand it with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge. The fit against shank on the underside had a slight gap so I needed to do some adjustments. I heated the tenon and then pushed it in place and held it against the shank until it cooled and set. The fit was better. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh pads and then used some mineral oil to give the next grits of micromesh some bite. I then dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads and repeated the oil and then finished with 6000-12000 grit pads. I put the stem on the pipe and buffed it with Blue Diamond.
The rim had some build up of tars on the back top edge so I cleaned that off and then buffed the rim the rim to polish it. I lightly buffed the entire bowl. I used carnauba wax on the rim and the smooth portions of the pipe as well as the stem. I buffed it with a clean flannel buff and then buffed it by hand with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown below. It should be back in my friend’s hands soon and he can enjoy it once again. Thanks for looking.