Tag Archives: restaining a bowl and rim

Rebirthing a Lovely Late Republic Era Peterson’s Kapet 14S Saddle Stem Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is a smooth Peterson’s pipe, a straight, saddle stem Billiard. It was also incredibly dirty. This Billiard is a real beauty under the grime with some great grain around the bowl. The grime was ground into the finish on the bowl sides. The contrast of the brown stains gave the grain a sense of depth. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Kapet. The right side had the shape number 14S stamped near the bowl. Centered on the right side of the shank is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (in three lines). Neither Jeff nor I remember where we got the pipe or when. So we have no photos of the pipe before clean up. Judging from the damage on the rim top and edges I would guess it had been a mess. The stem had tooth marks and some oxidation. But Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better when it arrived. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top photo looks good but there is some burn damage on the inner edge at the back of the bowl and all around the inner edge there is darkening. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks and chatter on the surface near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is clear and readable. He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is clear and readable and reads as noted above. I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has some great cross grain on the sides of the bowl. I am including the link to the Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). There was a short note toward the bottom of the page about the series. It is definitely referring to the newer line that came out later. I quote:

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

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

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

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

Kapet (1925-87) Line first described in 1925 brochure and featured in occasional catalogs through ’87. Early specimens will be stamped IRISH over FREE STATE. Described in 1937 catalog as available in dark plum or natural finish. Featured an aluminum “inner tube” or stinger until ’45. Mid-century specimens may be stamped MADE IN over IRELAND. Specimens from 1970 on may have mounts with hallmarks.

I knew that I was dealing with a Late Republic Era Kapet. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

I decided to address the rim top damage first. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the edge a slight bevel to further minimize the damage to the rim. I then used a piece of sandpaper and a wooden ball to even the bevel and give the rim a uniform look. I think that it is definitely better once I finished. I wiped down the bowl and rim top with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the spotty finish on the bowl and make blending in the sanded rim top simpler. I polished the briar rim top and edges along with the rest of the briar with micromesh sanding pads –dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and using a damp cloth after each pad. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of a lighter to lift them. They came up significantly. I filled in the tooth marks that remained on both sides with clear super glue. I let the repairs cure. Once they had cured I recut the edge and flattened the repairs with a flat file. I sanded them with 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil. I touched up the “P” stamp on the stem with an acrylic white fingernail polish. I worked it into the stamp with a toothpick. I let it sit for a few minutes then scraped off the excess.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I am always excited to finish a restoration and this Peterson’s Kapet 14S Saddle Stem Billiard is no exception. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the polished black vulcanite stem. This Classic looking Peterson’s Kapet 14S Billiard feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 30 grams/1.09 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Swapping Bowls on a Peterson’s Cracked and Damaged Belgique


Blog by Steve Laug

I received an email from a fellow in England who was looking for a bowl for a Peterson’s Beligique that he had. His small Beligique was cracked and irreparable and he was looking for a new bowl. Interestingly I had a bowl without a stem in my box of Peterson’s here. I was looking for a stem for it so this was one of those interesting connections. He sent me the bowl and stem of his damaged pipe to me to see if it would work with my bowl. His damaged pipe was severely cracked and was exactly what he had said it was. It was Peterson’s of Dublin Belgique military mount with a P-lip stem. It was stamped on the left side of the shank with the words Peterson’s [arched over] Of Dublin. On the right side of the shank it is stamped London Made [over] England. It has no shape number on them and a vulcanite shank extension bearing the Peterson’s “P”. The stem was in good condition with chatter and tooth marks on both sides ahead of the button. It also has some light oxidation. I took photos of the crack around the bowl – all the way across the back of the bowl and across the left side with a branched crack going down the side of the bowl almost to the heel. It was a nasty crack. There was a thick cake in the bowl that told the story of how the crack had happened. I have a 2010 Peterson Catalogue on rebornpipes that shows the various shapes that Peterson made. There is a page there on Specialty Pipes that shows the pipes that I am working on. The pipes pictured are different from the two that I am working on in that both of these are military mount stem. It states that the Belgique and Calabash are two petite and lightweight Peterson crafted with all the care and know how of century old pipe makers, from finest quality briar in red polish and rustic finishes with Fishtail mouthpieces only. However they are described in the catalogue the two shapes that are extremely lightweight. These two are not red polish but actually a rich matte brown finish. The fishtail mouthpieces are classic military mounts that can easily be removed to fit in the pocket. They represent the best micro-pocket pipe within the Peterson portfolio. I have included the noted page below (https://rebornpipes.com/2015/05/15/).On a previous restoration I did a bit more digging on the Peterson Pipe Notes blog. There I found that Mark had included a photo of the various Specialty pipes. Peterson’s first put these four small pipes on the market in 1945 – Tankard & Barrel, Calabash & Belgique seen in the photo below.  Here is the link to Mark’s Blog (https://www.petersonpipenotes.org/tag/peterson-valentia-pipe/).I did a bit more digging and found some descriptions of the two shapes that I am working on. The various descriptions of the Belgique come from a variety of sites and the final one is quoted on the Brothers of Briar site.

…The Belgique is yet another extremely lightweight, petite pipe. It can be described as a tulip shape, and is fitted… and fishtail mouthpiece. A rich brown hue adorns the briar and makes for an attractive finish to this pocket companion.

…The Peterson Belgique Pipe is a straight cutty, which is a traditional shape derived from the old clay pipes. It is a small un-filtered pipe made from the finest Briar that Peterson have become renowned for. It has a smooth polished finish with a rich Brown stain to show of the natural grain pattern of the Briar.

…I have a pre rep Belgique love it. As you know the bowl is pretty large for the small pipe measuring 5/8″ ID and 1 1/4″ deep. My pipe is just shy of 6″ long and only weighs 11.7 grams. the bowl is not tapered which makes the capacity rather nice. Depending on what tobacco you load you will get a 30- 45 min smoke. The Belgique has thin walls so you have to sip very slowly and tamp more than usuall. The newer models have a fishtail stem which i believe makes the newer pipes not as delicate as my military p lip. If you decide to get the Belgique I am sure you will not be disappointed. (http://www.brothersofbriar.com/t16010-anybody-familiar-with-peterson-s-belgique-model).

…The Belgique is one of our favorite shapes in the Peterson line up. Interestingly, while it was a serious mainstay of the brand in decades past, it sort of faded into obscurity for a few years there, before being seriously revived in the past decade. A particularly small shape, and sort of an oddity in Peterson’s shaping lexicon (a bit like Native American loan words in English), it nonetheless fits the timeless, elegant style for which Peterson is known and loved.             

I took the bowl I had without a stem out and took photos of it. You can that is the same shape and over all size as the cracked bowl. It is stamped on the left side and reads Peterson’s [arched over] Dublin. The right side is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines). It is all clear and readable. The bowl had been cleaned and reamed. The rim top was damaged, slightly out of round and had some darkening on the top and edges. I put the two bowls side by side and took photos of them. They are quite similar. The top one in the photo was the cracked original bowl and the bottom one is the new bowl. There is some variation but that is quite normal. The new bowl is a bit thicker and the shank is a bit shorter. But they look similar enough. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It was clear and readable on both sides. The ”P” logo stamp was clear on the left side of the vulcanite ferrule. It will need to be touched up but it is clear. I decided to turn my attention to cleaning up the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. I wanted to remove the burn and darkening damage from both. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to work over the edge and the rim top. I also worked on the darkening on the outside edge of the bowl. It looked much better.I used a piece of 220 grit sandpaper to reduce the diameter of the tenon end of the stem to better fit the shank extension. I used a rolled piece of sandpaper and several round and flat files to open the diameter of the shank extension. I worked on it until it matched the diameter of the opening in the shank extension of the cracked bowl.I polished the bowl with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads to raise a shine on the briar. Each successive pad raised more of a shine on the bowl. Once finished, It looked very good. I touched up the “P” stamp on the shank extension with white acrylic fingernail polish. I filled in the stamping with the white acrylic and worked it into the stamp. Once it dried I used a worn micromesh 1500 grit pad to clean off the excess. It looked very good.I rubbed down the bowl with Before& After Restoration Balm. It works to clean, protect and preserve the briar. I worked it into the surface with my finger tips. I let it sit for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. The bowl looked good and the grain stood out clearly. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I took photos of the stem that came with the damaged bowl. The vulcanite ferrule was the same on both pipes but the opening on the new bowl was slightly smaller than the old one. I would need to open it up for a good fit in the shank. I would also need to reshape the tenon end of the stem for a proper look. There were also tooth marks and chatter on both sides as well as some light oxidation.I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of a lighter. I filled in the remaining tooth marks with a clear CA glue. Once it cured, sanded the repairs smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. I also worked on the diameter of the tenon end of the stem at the same time. I started to polish it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a final coat of Obsidian Oil. This Peterson’s Speciality Pipe is a great addition. The Belgique shape is classic in every way. It is petite, lightweight and comfortable in the hand. It will be a short smoke. The briar is beautifully grained and the black vulcanite military/stick P-lip stem go well with the briar and the vulcanite shank extension. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The rich stained briar on both bowls took on life with the buffing. The rich brown colour of the briar bowl works well with the polished vulcanite stem. The finished pipe has a rich look that is quite catching. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions of the Belgique are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 7/8 of an inch, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is .53 ounces/14 grams. I am pleased with how the pipe turned out. It looks very good and shows some signs of age. I will be sending it back to the fellow in England soon. Thanks for reading the blog.

Bringing a Dunhill Shell Briar Back to Its Best


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Ah, Dunhill. It is a name that inspires awe and warms the cockles of the hearts of many pipe smokers worldwide. Today, I am pleased to show the restoration of a wonderful shell briar. I acquired it in an auction on the Canadian Prairies. Other than that, I don’t know much of its provenance. What I can say definitively is that this must have been a great smoker and a much-loved pipe – it had been very thoroughly used. Rightly or wrongly, I instinctively have a certain respect for Dunhill pipes, and I am especially keen to restore this one so that the next smoker can enjoy it. As I mentioned this is a Dunhill Shell Briar and the markings confirm this. It is a beautiful, classic billiard shape. One of the ways I can tell that this was a much-loved pipe is that the markings on the underside of the shank were quite worn. As you can see, I can only make out so much. On the left-hand side is the model number, 39. Immediately to the right of this is Dunhill [over] Shell Briar. Then, to the right of that, is Made in [over] England. I cannot make out the year suffix, but my instincts tell me that it’s probably from the 1960s. Steve concurs with this. Additionally, this is a size three pipe. Normally, there would be an encircled 3, followed by an S. In this case, these marks are not visible, but I compared it with other Dunhills of size three and they are identical.The image below from Pipephil seems to confirm my suspicions about this pipe. The history of Dunhill’s shell briar pipes is fascinating. If you are interested in learning more, have a read of this article from Pipedia.This pipe was pretty darn filthy. As you can see, the stem had the usual wear-and-tear – some scratches, etc. There were no notable tooth dents, which pleasantly surprised me. There was some calcification, but not much oxidation. I figured the inside would be dirty because the inner tube certainly was!Meanwhile, the stummel was in lovely condition, but very dirty inside. The shank was dark and dank, and the bowl had lots of cake and lava. Who knows what horrors I might find inside? Spoiler alert: it wasn’t good. The inner tube was first on my list. It was being quite stubborn about coming out of the tenon, so I opted to warm the stem and inner tube with my heat gun. This provided just enough softening of the internal goo to allow me to pull it out. It then went for a soak in some lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. I let it sit for several hours and then cleaned it off and it looked much improved. I then finished it with a quick polish and moved on. I wiped the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. There was calcification there and I needed to remove it. Fortunately, although the stem was pretty dirty inside, it was not as bad as I had feared. I had no problem cleaning out the inside with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol.I then wiped down the stem with SoftScrub cleaner to remove some surface oxidation. Once this process was done, the stem went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. As the name suggests, this liquid removes oxidation, but, more than anything, it helps draw oxidation to the surface of the vulcanite. This allows me to clean the oxidation off in a couple of ways: both by applying a mild abrasive cleaner to the surface, then by sanding the stem. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation.Then I used a set of nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) which gradually erased the ravages of time and brought out the stem’s lovely black lustre. For the last five pads, I also lightly coated the stem with Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each scrubbing. At last, I set the finished stem aside. Off to work on the stummel! It was pretty dirty after all these years, so I used cotton rounds and some Murphy’s Oil Soap to scrub the outside of the stummel and a toothbrush with Murphy’s for the lava on the rim of the pipe. This had the benefit of revealing a bit more of the markings on the underside of the shank.  The bowl needed a thorough reaming, so I used the KleenReem to scrape off the built-up cake and I followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as possible. Generally, I prefer to sand the chamber down to bare briar. When restoring, it is important to ensure that there is no damage to the briar in the bowl, under the cake. Normally, there is none, but today…The walls of the pipe were just fine, but – horror of horrors! – the previous owner had clearly cleaned the bottom of the bowl with a jackhammer. There were some deep gouges in the heel. The gouges are hard to make out in the photos, so take my word for it. This is a straightforward fix, just time-consuming.However, before I addressed that issue, I needed to clean the shank and bowl thoroughly. I proceeded to use Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. Holy moly – this was an incredibly dirty pipe. Not sure it had ever seen a pipe cleaner before. Just look at the pile of Q-tips and pipe cleaners below!Then, to further clean the inside of the pipe, I put the stem and stummel back together and used my pipe retort system. This system uses boiling isopropyl alcohol and a vacuum (i.e. a void, not the household appliance) to clean the interior of a pipe. As you can see by the brownish colour of the alcohol, the retort worked well. I managed to extract lots of otherwise inaccessible filth from inside the pipe. Once I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some Castile soap and tube brushes. Now for the reconstructive surgery. I prepared some J.B. Weld epoxy for the purposes of filling the gouges in the briar. The great thing about J.B. Weld is that, once cured, it is totally inert, heat resistant to well beyond pipe temperatures, and hard as rock. I used a folded pipe cleaner and awkwardly smeared the stuff into the breach – then left it to cure overnight. On the morrow, I needed to remove all the excess epoxy from the bowl. I only wanted epoxy in the repair and nowhere else. This is a tricky and tedious exercise, but I used a combination of techniques to accomplish it. First, I used my Dremel (with different attachments) to remove most of the excess material. Second, I went back to my 200-grit sandpaper on a dowel to sand it down to where I wanted it. Naturally, the bottom of the bowl was much narrower than the top, so I acquired a couple of thinner dowels in order to sand where I needed to. I am very pleased with the results. The repair is exactly as big as it needs to be – and no bigger. After the pipe’s use over the years (and my restoration), the rim had lost some of its colour. I opted to use my furniture stain pens to match the colour of the rest of the stummel. Voilà! Looks terrific.At this point, I rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar and left it to sit for 15 minutes or so. I brushed it with a horsehair brush and buffed it with a microfibre cloth. The BARB does wonderful things to the wood, and I really like the sheen on the sandblast. I then coated the entire inside of the bowl with a thin coat of a mixture of activated charcoal and my wife’s homemade yogurt. It hardens overnight and provides a good, slightly rough surface for a new cake to build. Now, the bowl can be used again as if nothing happened. Then it was off for a trip to the bench polisher. A few coats of Conservator’s Wax (from Lee Valley) were just what this pipe needed. Boy – that wax really makes this pipe pop! The lovely shine made the wood look absolutely beautiful. The sandblast looks fantastic and is ready to be enjoyed again by the next owner. I thoroughly enjoyed bringing this Dunhill Shell Briar 39 Billiard back to life and I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the “British” Pipe Section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the Dunhill are as follows: length 5 in. (125 mm); height 1¾ in. (43 mm); bowl diameter 1⅛ in. (29 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is ⅞ oz. (25 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this restoration as much as I enjoyed restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Restoring & Restemming the last the 8 Peterson Bowls – Republic Era System Standard 314


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I often purchase pipe bowl/stummels of brands that we like and want to restore. These have included a lot of different bowls. If you have followed us for long you know that some of these have included Peterson’s, Dunhill’s, and a wide range of Danish and English pipes. Awhile ago Jeff and I were sorting through the bowls in our collection and pulled out eight Peterson’s bowls that were dirty and stemless. A friend referred us to a contact named Silas Walls, of Walls Pipe Repair in Wallace, Idaho, USA as he seems to have a good supply of original Peterson’s stems. Our friend has had him fit stems for some of his Petes and was very happy with the work. We made contact with him and sent him eight bowls for restemming.

In the photo above I show the 8 restemmed pipes. I have marked the 7 I have worked on already with a red X). This eighth one that we cleaned up before mailing them out was a bowl that we received on 06/05/21 from a friend in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [arched over] System [over] Standard. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) over the shape number 314. The ferrule is stamped K&P [over] Peterson’s. The before photos of this bowl were on a corrupted memory card and are gone. But needless to say the pipe was just as bad as the rest of this lot.

As with the others before this one I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson) and read through the article before starting on my work. I found an interesting note in the middle of the page. I quote the pertinent section below and have highlights some important information in red below.

From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

Since I found a new stem it was now it was time to work on this final bowl of the lot. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. It looked much better. I took pictures of the bowl without the new stem. It is a great looking piece of briar even with the gouges and marks on sides, top and heel of the bowl. The nickel ferrule has a few dents but otherwise looks very good. When the pipes came back to Jeff with their new stems they looked great. When the pipes arrived here I checked them out. Here is what I found. The first six pipes from the lot were flawless and quite beautiful. The last two – this 314 and a 313 I reworked previously, looked great at first glance but upon further examination it was clear that the stems were not Peterson’s style stems. The draught on the P-lip portion of the stem is on the top of the stem, but in the case of these two stems the airway came straight out the end of the stem like a Wellington pipe. I was not happy with them. I have already replaced the stem on the 313 and this 314 was the only one I still needed a stem for. Today I was gifted some Peterson’s P-lip stems and one was what I was looking for. It fit well but I would need to give it a bit more of a bend for a perfect look. With the new stem chosen, I turned to work on the damage on the top and the inner edge of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inner bevel of the rim and remove the damage on the rim top. Once I had finished I think that it looked much better. I filled in the deep gouges in the bowl on the right heel and the underside of the heel with CA glue and also briar dust. I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them in. They looked significantly better. I stained the sanded areas with a Cherry stain pen to match the surrounding area around the rest of the bowl sides, top and heel.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each  pad to remove the grit. The bowl began to take on a rich shine. It is going to be a beauty.   I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my finger tips. I let it sit for 10 minutes and the Balm did its magic. It enlivens, cleans and preserves the briar. It certainly brought this bowl back to life. I buffed it off with a clean cloth and took the following photos.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. Since it was a new stem I did not need to polish it. The stem was looking very good. I heated the stem with a lighter to soften the vulcanite and bent it to the shape that it needed to be for the shape of the bowl. I held it in place to let it cool and set the shape. It looked very good.  This Republic Era Ireland Peterson’s System Standard Bent 314 with a Nickel Ferrule and a vulcanite P-lip stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System Standard 314 Bent Billiard fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 44 grams/1.55 ounces. I will be adding the pipe to the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in purchasing this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Fresh Life for a Beautiful Butz-Choquin Maitre Pipier Flamme Extra Horn


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue came from a group of pipes a friend here in Vancouver passed on to me to restore and sell for him. The pipe is a beautiful Butz Choquin Maitre Pipier Flamme Extra pipe. It is almost a Danish shaped horn/scoop with a triangular shank and a uniquely shaped bowl. The entire pipe had some beautiful flame grain around the bowl and birdseye grain on bottom and top of the shank. The rim top was clean other than some burn or darkening damage on the back inner edge of the bowl. I could see that the carver had done an amazing job utilizing the block of briar to maximize the grain. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Butz-Choquin [over] Maitre Pipier [over] Flame [over] Extra. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Fait Main over St. Claude France. On the underside of the shank it is stamped J Berrod. The stem is vulcanite and has the inset BC circle on the left side of the uniquely fit triangular taper stem. I took photos of the rim top and edges and the stem surfaces. The rim top looked very good with some great birdseye. The inner edge had some burn damage and some darkening on the back inner edge. The stem had some oxidation, calcification and tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It read as noted above and is very clear. I removed the stem from the bowl and took a picture of the pipe to show the general look and proportion of the pipe. It is quite pretty in terms of grain and shape. The stem is definitely a fitted blank rather than a hand cut one. I have worked on another Maitre Pipier not too long ago and wrote up a blog on it. It was a nice looking Calabash (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/02/14/a-butz-choquin-maitre-pipier-hand-made-calabash/). On that blog I included some overall information on the brand and I will repeat it here to set the stage.

Butz-Choquin was a brand that I was familiar with having worked on quite a few of them over the years. I decided to check on a few sites to refresh the memory of the brand. I turned first to Pipephil and as usual the site gives a great summary (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-butzchoquin.html). I quote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

I reamed the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to scrape out the thin cake in the bowl. There was not much there but enough that it had to go. I also sanded the bowl walls with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. The bowl walls were smooth when I finished the work.  I wiped the bowl down with acetone to remove the shiny varnish coat as it was spotty on the sides and rim top. With it removed the grain really stood out clearly. It is a great looking piece of briar. I cleaned out the shank and the airway in the mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. It was quite a bit dirtier than I expected from just the appearance. With the cleaning the pipe smelled cleaner. I worked over the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage and to give the edge a slight bevel to remove the burn damage. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – polishing it with 1500-12000 grit pads. By the time I was finished the briar had a great shine. The grain on the pipe is quite beautiful.  I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the finish with my fingers. After it sat for 15 minutes I wiped it off with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the surface with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks and chatter. It worked very well and I sanded out the remnants and oxidation on the top and underside with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the vulcanite. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.   As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl and thick shank. This Butz-Choquin Maitrie Pipier Flamme Extra Scoop was another fun pipe to work on. It is a nice piece of briar whose shape follows the flow of the briar. The pipe is comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.45 ounces/41 grams. I will be putting this pipe on the rebornpipes store in the French Pipe Makers section. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Breathing New Life into a Peterson of Dublin Dalkey 221 Chunky Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I brought to the table was another Peterson that Jeff purchased off eBay on 11/19/17 from Fort Meyers, Florida, USA. It has been sitting here in Vancouver awaiting my contribution to the restoration. It is a nicely shaped pipe with a chunky shank and feel in the hand. The finish is a walnut stain that gives a sense of rich brown. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson [arched over] of Dublin [over] Dalkey (in block print). On the right side there is the shape number 221 in the center of the and no other stamping. The bowl had a thick cake and a heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. The front outer edge of the rim had been beat against a hard surface and had a lot of damage and roughness across the bowl front. The rim top was also damaged with scratches and nicks in the surface that looked like it had been used as a hammer. The rest of the finish on the bowl was quite clean. The twin silver bands separated by an orange acrylic band on the stem is dirty but in good condition. The fishtail stem was oxidized, calcified and had light tooth chatter on both sides ahead of the button. The “P” stamp on the side of the saddle stem and readable and painted white. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work. He captured the cake in the bowl and the debris and lava on the rim top and edges in the next photos. It was very clear that it was an exceptional smoker! The damage on the front of the rim edge and the rim top is visible even under the heavy lava on the top and edges. The stem is oxidized, calcified and shows the tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff captured some of the beauty of the shape and the grain in the next photo. The mix of grains on the front of the bowl and heel are quite lovely as can be seen in the photo below.He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. He also took a photo of the  P logo stamp on the left side of the stem. I decided to check out both the Pipephil and the Pipedia sites for information on the Dalkey line. Both sites did not have any specific information. I then did a quick Google search for the Peterson Dalkey. The first link took me to smokingpipes.com (https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/ireland/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=332074) to a pipe that had been sold there. I have included the information I found below:

While the bent Billiard is a classic shape, rendered by countless companies, Peterson’s “221” iteration is readily recognized as the work of the Irish marque because of the added visual weight attributed to the shank and transition. Such extra heft stretches the heel and provides more palm-filling substance. It makes for an eye-catching, muscular form in profile yet remains well balanced thanks to the curled transition and bent stem out back. Here it’s presented in the Dalkey finish, with a warm hazelnut stain and nickel-and-acrylic band.

The second link took me to pipesandcigars.com (https://www.pipesandcigars.com/p/peterson-dalkey-pipes/2000657/).I quote the following from the introduction to the line:

Peterson Dalkey Pipes come in an assortment of classic Peterson shapes. The finish is a warm brown tone, mated to black stems, and finished with a gold and orange triple trim ring. These pipes are not only handsome, but they’re among the most affordable smooth finished pipes that Peterson makes.

I then turned to The Peterson Pipe by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg and looked up the listing in the book for Dalkey. I quote what I found there.

Dalkey (2010-) Dark stained smooth finish line with a band of orange acrylic sandwiched between nickel bands, white P stamped on a fishtail mouthpiece.

Now I knew I was dealing with a pipe made after 2010 and the dark stained finish (to me it is a dark walnut). The shank band looks amazing with the stain on the finish. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had done a great cleanup on the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the bowl exterior with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime on the finish of the bowl and the lava from the rim top. He rinsed it under running water. One of the benefits of this scrub is that it also tends to lift some of the scratches and nicks in the surface of the briar. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He cleaned the internals of the shank/mortise and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. I took photos of the pipe as I saw it when I finally brought it to my work table.   I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition. The rim top and edges were in very rough condition. You can see the damage to the top all the way around and to the outer edge on the bowl front. It really very rough to the touch. The stem was vulcanite and there were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. They are clear and readable as noted above. The “P” logo on the stem is faint but is still quite readable.   I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the proportions of the bowl and stem.I took photos of the damage on the rim top and the front edge to show how beat up it was. The roughness is very tangible when I touched it. I dripped some clear CA glue on the front edge of the bowl so I could rebuild it. I then dipped it into some briar dust to build it up. I cleaned up and reshaped the edge with 220 grit sandpaper. I topped the bowl with a topping board and 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage to the rim top. When I was finished it looked much better. With the rim top smooth it was now time to give the inner edge a bevel. I used a wooden ball and 220 grit sandpaper to shape the edge. I wrapped the ball with the sandpaper and worked on the edge. It took a bit of work to smooth it out and give it a bevel. I smoothed out the bevel with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. The rim top came out looking very good at this point. I stained the rim top and the inner and front outer edges with an oak stain pen to match the colour of the stain around the bowl and shank.I decided to start with polishing the briar with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The bowl began to take on a rich shine and grain was beginning to stand out.   At this point the bowl was polished and clean. I rubbed down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes, then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out on the briar.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished the polishing with Before & After Polishes – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final rub down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I repainted the “P” logo stamp on the left side of the saddle stem with some white acrylic nail polish. I worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick. Once it dried I scraped of the excess and lightly polished it with a 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pad. This Peterson of Dublin Dalkey 221 Bent Billiard with a vulcanite taper stem has a smooth reddish finish. The rich browns of the stain make the grain come alive with the polishing and waxing. I put the vulcanite stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s Dalkey 221 Bent Billiard really is a great looking and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.62 oz./46 grams. This pipe will soon be on the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Restemming and restoring a meerschaum lined Vauen Dr. Perl 1242 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

This past weekend a fellow stopped by on a recommendation from a local pipe shop about my restemming a couple of pipes that he purchased on Ebay. Both of the pipes were Vauen pipes and both were sandblasted with P-lip style stems. The stems had the additional feature of being 9mm filter pipes. The first of these I chose to work on was the sandblast billiard that had a meerlined bowl. The tenon had snapped in the shank in the process of the shipping and the thin filter stem was stuck in the shank. The meerlined bowl was also dirty and had a light to moderate cake on the walls. The rim top was stain dark from use and was much the same colour as the stain on the bowl. The finish was dirty but had a charm that was characteristic of older sandblast pipes. The pipe was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Vauen [over] Dr. Perl. That was followed by the shape number 1242 followed by the crossed pipes Vauen logo. It was quite lightweight and would clean up quite nicely. In chatting with the fellow on Sunday he was clear that he wanted to get rid of the p-lip stem altogether and have an acrylic fishtail style stem in the same shape made for a 9mm filter tenon. I took photos of the pipe before I started working on it. I took photos of the snapped tenon on the stem to show how close to the shank it had broken. The broken tenon was tight in the shank and would be difficult to remove.I took a photo of the meerschaum insert in the bowl. It looks good in the photo below. It is smooth and shows some darkening on the top of the insert where it seems to almost blur into the surround briar.The next photo shows the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I wanted to get some background on the Dr. Perl pipe by Vauen. I turned first to Pipephil’s site (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-v1.html). I did a screen capture of the information on the site. There was a great sidebar that gave some history of the brand. I include both of them below. There was also a note at the bottom of the screen capture below that has a link to the Vauen Dr Perl variant on the P-Lip pipe.In 1848, Karl Ellenberger and his partner Carl August Ziener establish a pipe factory in Nuremberg. In 1901 they merge with Gebhard Ott an other factory in town and they create a firm named Vereinigten Pfeifenfabriken Nürnberg (abbreviated : VPFN*). Shortly after Ernst Eckert, a member of the Ott family became manager of the society. During the 20th century Adolf, Ernst (jr) and Alexander Eckert (CEO in 2012) followed one another at Vauen’s head.* VPFN : “V” is said VAU in German (pronounce faou) and “N” becomes EN. Hence VAUEN.

I followed that link on the bottom of the photo above (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/infos/p-lip-en.html). I found that there was description of the Vauen Dr. Perl that had the same style stem as the pipe I was working on. I have included a screen capture of the Dr. Perl pipe below:I could not find anything in the information to help establish the date for the pipe but it is fascinating to see the look of the P-lip.

I also turned to a blog written on rebornpipes by Dal Stanton (Pipesteward.com) that I quote a section from the blog below that gives a great sense of the history of the German brand and some photos from the website (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/04/27/breathing-new-life-into-a-german-vauen-6294-p-lip-saddle-billiard-for-a-special-young-lady/).

… I turn to the question of the history of the VAUEN name? I look to the History section of the VAUEN website and again, I am impressed with the presentation. Whenever I work on a pipe, and especially when a pipe name is new to me, I enjoy looking at its history to appreciate the pipe more fully now on my worktable. From VAUEN’s website:Quality and a wealth of ideas have a long tradition at VAUEN. 160 years of VAUEN: that means 160 years of skilled workmanship and modern technology and 160 years of experience in fulfilling the individual wishes of today’s pipe lovers, and those of tomorrow.

In Nuremberg in 1848, Karl Ellenberger and his partner Carl August Ziener turned an idea into reality: Germany’s first pipe manufacturer produced tobacco pipes for connoisseurs around the world using a selection of the best wood. In an amalgamation with the Gebhard Ott pipe factory, which was founded in 1866 in Nuremberg, the Vereinigten Pfeifenfabriken Nuremberg (United Pipe Factories Nuremberg, or VPFN) was born in 1901.  Under the management of Ernst Eckert, a descendant of the founding Ott family, a company was born whose products and services would shape the tobacco and smoking culture in Europe and overseas for the next 160 years and counting.

The question about the name, VAUEN, not being a name of a person and why it is capitalized throughout is explained:

In his search for a name that would be easily remembered by all pipe lovers, Ernst Eckert’s son, Adolf Eckert, coined a new name for the company in 1909: VAUEN – a composition of the first letters V (pronounced vow) of Vereinigte Pfeifenfabriken and N (pronounced en) of Nuremberg. A brand for the future was born.

Now it was time to work on the pipe itself. I needed to pull the broken tenon from the shank but it was harder than I thought it would be. I tried to drill it out but it would not move. I painted it with alcohol to try to soften the grime on it but again no movement. I was nervous about putting it in the freezer because of the meerlining so I was left to other methods. I finally used a knife to scrape away as much of the tenon as possible. I finally used a small file and was able to pull out the last piece of the broken tenon. With it gone I sanded the mortise smooth with a rolled piece of 220 grit sandpaper until the fit in the shank was smooth.I examined the bowl and saw that the meerschaum insert ended just above the entrance of the airway. It is a meerschaum sleeve rather than a bowl insert. The bottom of the bowl is still briar. I carefully scraped out the cake on the meerschaum walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded it with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel to make it smooth.I cleaned out the mortise and airway into the bowl and the stem with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol until they came out clean. In chatting with the pipeman who brought me the pipe we decided to add a small thin brass band for decorative purposes. I went through my bands and found one that was a perfect fit. I put a thin band of glue around the shank edge and pressed the band into place. I took photos of the new look of the pipe. I really like the looks of the band in place.  I restained the briar portion of the rim top and edges with a combination of Black and Walnut stain pens to match the colour around the bowl sides. It looked much better. I polished the meerschaum portion a bit as well but it has some great colour to it.I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the finish with my fingers and used a shoe brush to press it deep into the crevices of the sandblast. The product works to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank and enliven and protect the briar. After it sat for 15 minutes I wiped it off with a soft cloth. The briar really came alive with a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I put it in a cup of water and boiled the water to straighten out the new stem. Heated the stem and the water in the microwave for 2 minutes until the material became flexible. I straightened it out and set the stem shape with cold running water.I sanded out the light remaining tooth marks and chatter in the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the vulcanite. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.  As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl and thick shank. This Meerschaum Lined Vauen Dr. Perl 1242 Billiard was another fun pipe to work on. It really is a quite stunning piece of briar whose shape follows the flow of the grain on the briar. The pipe is comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.48 ounces/42 grams. The first of two Vauen Dr. Perl Pipes that were dropped off for me to clean up and restem. Once the second is finished, I will be sending them back to the pipeman who dropped them off. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I working on it.

Restoring a Republic Era Peterson’s System 31 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

This is another one of those pipes that has been here for a long time and I have no memory where it came from. I had not been cleaned so it is not one that ever went to Jeff for clean up. It was a dirty but appeared to have some great grain under the grime. The bowl had been reamed somewhere in the journey and was quite clean inside. The smooth rim top was damaged and had some darkening. The edges – both inner and outer had some damages by burning and the bowl was out of round. The smooth finish is dirty with grime and grit deep ground into the sides of the bowl and shank. There were some deep nicks in the briar on the right side and heal of the bowl. The pipe stinks like heavily cased aromatics. The stamping on the shank is clear and readable. The left side is stamped Peterson’s [arched over] System. On the right side it was stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines). To the right of that stamp is the shape number 31. The nickel band is oxidized and dirty but it has the K & P stamp over three symbols. Next to that it was stamped Peterson’s. It had some nicks and dents around shank end of the ferrule. The stem was quite clean and has deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button and on the topside of the button. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took close up photos of the bowl and the stem. You can see the reamed bowl and the darkening and light lava on the rim top. The bowl reeked of aromatic tobaccos. The stem surface was clean but there are deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides on and ahead of the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the bowl and shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the proportions of the pipe. It is really quite nice looking.I am including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era  – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson Company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

I found a great description of the System 31 shape on smokingpipes.com (https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/peterson/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=192182). I am including a portion of that below.

Peterson’s “31” shape is the only straight pipe featured in the System Standard line, yet it still features system drilling. Featuring a push-style tenon and a long, tapering metal tube, it houses a condensation chamber just under the bowl itself — providing the same gurgle free smoke you’d expect of a bent System configuration.

I did a search on Google about the Peterson System 31 Straight Billiard to see if I could learn any specific information on the shape. I found a link to a pipe for sale on Smokingpipes.com. I quote:

Paresh had worked on System 31 pipe so I went back and reread his work on that smooth pipe. It was very helpful for the background information included (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-system-31-pipe/).

I knew that I was dealing with a Republic Era pipe made between 1950-1989. The K&P mark on the nickel band ties to Kapp & Peterson brings the date to the time between 1950-1964. It was a smooth Straight billiard with a unique shape and chamber beneath the bottom of the bowl. The finish was stained with a combination of rich reddish brown stains. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

The bowl had been reamed and cleaned. I started working on the pipe by cleaning out the inside of the shank and the airway into the bowl and the stem. I scraped the shank out with a small pen knife to remove the thick tars. I then cleaned it with a isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until it was clean.  I topped the damaged rim top on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage on the rim top and edges of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge of the bowl. I gave the inner edge of the bowl a slight bevel. I filled in some of the deep gouges in the briar on the right side and heel of the bowl with some clear CA glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded the briar surface with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out and blend it into the surrounding briar.I stained the sanded area on the bowl side and the rim top with a Cherry stain pen to lay a base coat and then did a top coat of Mahogany stain pen. I polished the rim top and edges with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads to raise a shine. I wiped it down with a damp cotton pad to wipe off the debris after each sanding pad.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. It works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let it sit for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth and raised the shine. The bowl looks great at this point.   The nickel ferrule was out of round and dented. It was solidly connected to the shank end so I did not want to removed it. Instead I fit a dowel into the end of the ferrule that was round and heated the nickel with a lighter to soften it. Once it was softened I used a small furniture hammer to bring the ferrule end back to round. I repeated the process until the opening in the ferrule was round and the stem fit well. It was not perfect but it was better than when I started. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I “painted” the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks in the stem. I was able to raise them slightly. I filled in the remaining marks with Black CA glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded it smooth with 120 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I unscrewed the extension tube from the end of the stem. I cleaned up the threads on the extension and inside the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. It did not take long to clean it. I coated the threads on the extension with Vaseline and screwed the extension back into the stem. I worked on the stem to further smooth and reshape the button and stem with the 220 grit sandpaper and the 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and gave it a final coat and set it aside to dry.  I put the stem back on the Peterson’s System 31 Straight Billiard and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I polished the briar and the vulcanite of the stem until there was a rich shine. This classic Peterson’s shape and finish really highlights a proportionally well carved pipe. Once I buffed the pipe the briar came alive and popped with polishing. The black vulcanite stem has a rich glow. This Peterson’s System Straight Billiard fits well in the hand and sits right in the mouth. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of and inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.23 ounces/35 grams. This beauty will be going on the rebornpipes online store in the Irish Pipemakers Section. If you are interested let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as it was a pleasure to work on.

Restoring a Long Shank “Canadian” By Sasieni London Made


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I chose to work on has the characteristic rustication that I have seen on quite a few of the Sasieni Rusticated pipes that I have worked on. It is a long shank Canadian with hatch marked rim top and beveled inner edge. Jeff bought the pipe at an antique store on 10/29/2016 in Boise, Idaho, USA. It is stamped “Canadian” [over] By Sasieni [over] London Made [over] Made in England. The rustication on the bowl and shank was rugged with a tight pattern. The briar was stained with dark brown and black stains that provided depth to the finish. The finish on the pipe is dirty with a lot of dust and grime in the grooves of the rustication. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing on to the rim top. The rim top is hatch marked and the inner edge is smooth. The outer edge of the rim has some wear from being knocked against a hard surface. There is a smooth ring around the end of the shank. The stem looked dirty but otherwise there were no tooth marks or chatter on the surface on either side. It was in good condition. Overall the pipe looked good. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top and the stem to give a sense of the condition they were in. You can see the cake in the bowl and lava on the rim top as well as the hatch marks scratched into the rim top in the first photo. The stem photos show a relatively clean stem. He took photos of the bowl sides and heel to give a sense of the rustication around the bowl. To me it is a classic Sasieni style rustication. He took a photo of the stamping to show how clear and readable it is. It reads as noted above.I turned to Pipephil’s site to see if there was any specific information on “Canadian” By Sasieni (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-sasieni2.html). There was a listing there under the section on Sasieni seconds that matched the pipe I was working on. The pipe I have on the table is a lot like the second pipe in the screen capture below. The finish is the same though the stamping is slightly different and the stem does not have the –S- logo stamp on the top of the taper. I also captured the additional photos of the second pipe to show the finish and shape of the pipe. I then turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Sasieni#Sasieni_Seconds) and clicked on a list of seconds that had been provided by Doug Valitchka. The “Canadian” line is in the list at the bottom of the second column below. I have marked it in red for ease of reference on the chart below.Now it was time to work on the pipe. It is really a beautiful piece. Jeff had done a great cleanup on the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the bowl exterior with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime on the finish of the bowl and the lava from the rim top. He rinsed it under running water. One of the benefits of this scrub is that it also tends to lift some of the scratches and nicks in the surface of the briar. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He cleaned the internals and externals of the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. I took photos of the pipe as I saw it when I put it on the table. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition. The rim top and edge looked much better. You can see the darkening on the beveled inner edge of the bowl and the hatching marks on the top of parts of the rim top. It seems to me that those marks are not original to the pipe when it was made. The stem looked very good and was smooth on both sides. There were scratches on both sides but no tooth marks or chatter.   The stamping on underside of the shank on the smooth panel is clear and readable as noted above. I really like the rugged Sasieni style rustication on the bowl and shank. The pipe is a beauty and the long shank fascinating to me. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the proportions of the bowl and stem.I started my work on the pipe by dealing with the darkening on the beveled inner edge of the rim and the hatch marks on the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the bevel and then stained it with a black Sharpie pen to blend it into the rest of the bowl walls. I then used the sandpaper to further flatten out the rim top. It definitely looks much better. I polished the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust and debris. I restained the rim top with a combination of Walnut and Cherry stain pens to match the stained panel on the underside of the shank and the variations in colour on the rustication. Once it is buffed it will look very good.I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes, then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the rustication took on depth. It really looks good.  I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. It was in great condition so I polished it with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished the polishing with Before & After Polishes – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final rub down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.   This “Canadian” By Sasieni London Made with a vulcanite taper stem has a classic Sasieni rusticated finish that looks great. The rich dark contrasting stain gives depth to the rustication with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Sasieni Made Canadian really is a beauty and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 7 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.38 ounces /39grams. This pipe will soon be on the British Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

A Peterson’s Deluxe Zulu Brought Back to Life


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen to work on is a Peterson’s Sterling Prince. This pipe was purchased on 05/25/22 from an antique mall in Portland, Oregon, USA. The grain on the pipe is quite beautiful and follows the flow of the bowl. The bowl heavily caked with a moderate lava overflow on the rim top. The inner edge of the bowl had some damage but also had cake on the edges. The outer edge looked to be in good condition. The finish on the bowl was filthy with grime ground into the surface but the grain shone through. There were some scratches on the top of the shank near the bowl and on the underside of the shank in the middle. The stem was lightly oxidized, calcified and also has tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. The pipe was stamped on the topside of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Deluxe. There does not appear to be any shape number or other stamping on the pipe. It is an interesting pipe that should clean up very well. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is caked and the rim top and edges have a light lava overflow on the edges and top of the bowl. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside near the button. Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. It is a nice looking pipe under the grime on the outside of the bowl.    Jeff took photos of the damage on the top and underside of the bowl and the small scratches/cracks on the top of the shank. The scratches/cracks are not deep but they are visible in close up and with a lens. He took a photo of the top side of the shank to show the stamping. It is readable in the photo below and is as noted above. You can also see the line running into the P of the top line. There were also several small lines on the underside of the shank.   I turned to Pipedia and read an article by Jim Lily called “A Closer Look at the Peterson Deluxe System pipe (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_Closer_Look_at_The_Peterson_Deluxe_System_Pipe). While the article was focused on the System pipe there was some pertinent information on the Deluxe as a whole. I quote below:

…As far as value and cost is concerned, for the excellent quality finish, these are competitively priced at around $135 to $250 depending on size and briar grade.

For what it is worth, I reckon the Deluxes are probably the best value range of pipes that Peterson produce, both in terms of functionality and value. There is not a thing wrong with these pipes. Those who malign the brand because they’re made by the hundreds using machines, are very wrong, IMHO. I like them a lot and the bang for the buck is the best I’ve ever seen for new pipes of this quality. The Deluxes are all excellent smokers.

I then turned to the general history article on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). Below, I quote one section that refers to the hierarchy of the brand.

Peterson initially graded their mass -produced System pipes, i.e., regular catalogue pipes (in descending order) “Deluxe,” “First Quality,” “0” grade, “2nd grade,” and “3rd grade.”

Now, on to the restoration of this beautifully grained Peterson’s Deluxe Zulu. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better when it  arrived. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top had some darkening and there was some damage on the inner edge with burn damage and some darkening that was heavier on the front edge of the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks and chatter on the surface near the button.    I took photos of the stamping on sides of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above and is clear and readable. The stamping on the band is also visible.I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has nice mixed grain around the bowl.There were a series of small scratches/cracks on the top and underside of the of the shank. The cracks are not deep but they are visible in close up and with a lens. I cleaned off the areas on the underside and the top side at the curve of the bowl and shank with some isopropyl alcohol. I smeared the surface of the cracks with clear CA glue and spread it into the cracks with a dental spatula. I set it aside to dry. Once the repairs cured I sanded the repaired surface with 220 grit sandpaper until the surface is smooth and the repairs blended in. I used the sandpaper to also smooth out the inner edge of the rim top and bowl. I sanded the rim top at the same time. The bowl edge and rim top looked significantly better.   With the sanding finished I wiped the bowl down with isopropyl alcohol on a cotton pad to remove the darkening and mixed stain around the bowl sides and rim top. I used Maple Stain Pen to restain the sanded areas of the shank (top and bottom) and the rim top. It matched the stain on the pipe quite well and would look even better once I buffed it.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust and debris left behind by the sanding. The briar took on a deep shine and the sanded portions blended in very well with the rest of the bowl.  I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it final coat of oil and set it aside to dry.    As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the Peterson’s Deluxe Zulu back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl. This Peterson’s Deluxe was a great pipe to spruce up. It is a very comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 28 grams/.99 ounces. This pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section if you would like to add it to your collection and be the first to smoke it. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.