Tag Archives: restemming a pipe

Restemming and Restoring a Svendborg Sandblast Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

There is something about Freehand pipes that catches Jeff and my eye when we come across them. This stemless one was no exception as it quite captured our attention. The combination of sandblast, carved rim top to look like plateau, the horn shank extension all worked together to make this a stunning looking pipe. Jeff purchased the stummel on 06/16/22 from a seller in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, USA. The pipe was stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the shank and read Svendborg [over] Danish [over] Hand Made. The rich reddish brown overstain on an undercoat of black stain on the sandblast finish looked very good. It had a lot of dust and debris in the grooves of the sandblast. The bowl had a thick cake in it and it overflowed into the carved plateau style rim top. It was dirty but very interesting looking. The horn shank extension was dry but in good condition and flared out to receive a freehand stem. It had long before been separated from the bowl and there was no memory of what it may have looked like when it was present. Jeff took photos of the bowl before his clean up work to give a sense of its beauty and the filthiness of its current condition. It is an interesting and beautiful looking bowl. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to show clearly the cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava in the rustication of the faux plateau rim top. It is quite remarkable. The next photos capture the sandblast in the briar on the sides and heel of the bowl. It is a beautiful blast that shows the grain around bowl sides and the heel. It is a beautiful blast that truly shows the quality of the briar.  He captured the stamping on the underside of the shank and the shape of the horn stem in the next photos. The stamping is clear and readable and reads as is noted above. The horn is solid and has no damage or worm holes.   I looked first on the Pipephil website (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-s14.html) to see what I could find. I have found through the years that it gives me a good summary of the information available and some pictures of some of the pipes from the brand. I have included a screen capture of the pipes in the listing and the stamping that is on the underside of the shank. The one I am working on is stamped like the first pipe below but without the C grade stamp.The sidebar on Pipephil included the following information on the brand. It is a helpful summary.

“Brand founded in 1970s by Henrik Jørgensen, Poul Ilsted and Tao Nielsen. They bought an old factory (Nordisc Pibefabriker) in Svendborg on Funen Island. Poul and Tao gradually bowed out from machine manufactured pipes (1982) and Henrik Jørgensen manages the brand until its takeover by Design Berlin (D) in the late 90ies. Kaj C. Rasmussen jointed the firm for several years. 17 employees worked for this brand under Henrik Jørgensen direction.

That link gave me a bit of information on the brand – a joint venture of Henrik Jorgensen, Poul Ilsted and Tao Nielsen. I could see from the information that usually the carvers stamped their names on the shank of the pipe. In the case of the one I have there is no name stamp. My assumption is that the pipe was made after Ilsted and Nielsen bowed out which would put the date of the carving between 1982 and the late 90’s when Design Berlin took over. The Danish Hand Made stamping also confirms that assumption.

Next I turned to Pipedia for more information and detail (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Svendborg). I find that the articles there fill in some interesting information on the relationships and history of a given brand. In this case I found that also true. I quote pertinent pieces of the article. If you would like more information follow the above link.

Jens Tao Nielsen and Poul Ilsted Bech met each other when working together for Erik Nørding and soon became close friends. Both felt a bit tired to make nothing but bizarre fancy shapes and agreed they wanted to produce pipes of more style and more classicism. They decided to establish their own brand “Tao & Ilsted” – But how to do it?

A good fortune brought them in contact with Henrik Jørgensen, a passionate pipe lover and a wealthy Copenhagen banker who was willing to retire from bank business and change his career to become a pipemaker. The trio joined in 1969 and decided to start a new pipe brand together. Nielsen and Ilsted started to search for a suitable workshop while Jørgensen took care of the finances. In early 1970 the partners found an old, closed down pipe factory in Svendborg on Funen, and bought it shortly after for a mere 16.500 Danish Kroner. It was the earlier Nordic Pipe Factory – Nordisc Pibefabriker – maybe the oldest Danish pipe factory. And now it became the home of Svendborg Piber…

…But in spite of it’s magnificent success the trio fell apart after less than two years, when wilful Poul Ilsted stepped out declaring he didn’t want to make serial pipes anymore, but wanted to make individual specimens… Strange enough, he approached this aim returning to Nørding!

Ilsted’s argumentation doesn’t seem to be absolutely fair: even though Svendborg turned to produce mainly serial pipes under Seiffert’s influence each of the three partners was free to work on his very own one of a kind pieces as well! Since it was Seiffert’s basic idea to profit from – especially – Tao ‘s and Ilsted’s creativity to design new shapes. There are many knowledgeable collectors who confirm that these early Svendsborg pipes class among the most individual, innovating and exciting designs Danish pipecrafters created at that time…

The firm developed well and prospered throughout the 1970’s but around 1980 dissensions between Tao and Jørgensen occured. Tao: “Most pipes were delivered to the United States and whereby the Americans tried to dictate us the conditions. It was not only so that their taste and their view on aesthetics were simply horrible – no, moreover they wanted that the pipes should be as cheap as possible. That did not suit my plans at all, for I strove for high quality and artistic freedom in the end.”

Tao and Jørgensen, who tended to accommodate the US customers’ wishes, could not find a compromise on their different opinions, and so Tao left the firm in 1981 and opened his own pipe workshop near the harbour of Svendborg.

…Henrik Jørgensen continued Svendborg Piber bravely for more than a decade on his own until he finally sold the brand to Seiffert around the midst of the 1990’s. Seiffert, focusing on their mainstay brand Sillem’s, sold Svendborg – a ghost brand now – again before 2000 and the current owner is Planta’s Design Berlin.

The article also included this set of pages from a catalogue that were interesting as they included the Handcarved line. The philosophy that drove the brand is also there to read.

Catalog page, courtesy Doug Valitchka

That gives a good picture of the history and development of the Svendborg brand and the connection to some of the great carvers of Danish pipe history. Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe in hand.

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. He dried it off with a soft cloth. 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 horn shank end to show the condition. The rim top carvings and plateau look much better. The horn shank extension looked very good.  I cleaned up the remaining lava on the rim top with a brass bristle brush. It looked much better with the brushing and you can see the grooves in the rim top carving.I polished the horn shank extension with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down between pads with a damp cloth to remove the debris.  I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and horn shank extension 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 grain stood out on the briar.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem I had chosen. I took a photo of the bowl with the stem below it. (I had started to remove the excess  vulcanite on the tenon with my Dremel then remembered to take the photo.)  With that much done I drilled the airway with a small drill bit to fit the guide pin on the tenon turning tool. I used the tenon turning tool to take back the diameter of the tenon so that it would fit the shank. I would need to reduce I a bit more but the overall look is what I was looking for.I used a flat file to make the final adjustments to the shoulder of the stem at the tenon end. I flattened out the edge and then smoothed out the fit in the shank with the file and 220 grit sandpaper.With the tenon the right size I put the stem in the shank and took photos of the pipe from each side to show what the new stem looked like in place. I still needed to bend it and fit it well but it was going to work well. I decided to use my old school method of bending the stem. I filled a mug half full of water and placed the stem in it. I put it in the microwave for 2 minutes and removed it from the cup. The vulcanite was pliable and I bent the stem to the proper angle for the pipe. I cooled it with cold water to set the bend. I put the stem on the pipe and took photos of the pipe and the new stem at this point in the process. I was liking what I saw!  I removed the stem and worked on the shape of it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I wanted the transition between the tenon and the bulge in the saddle to be smooth so I worked on that until the saddle and tenon began to take shape. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  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.   This Svendborg Danish Hand Made Freehand with its newly fit fancy, vulcanite saddle stem is a beautiful  sandblast pipe with a flowing shape that looks great . The rich browns and blacks of the contrasting stain makes the grain come alive 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 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 Svendborg Danish Freehand 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: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.93 ounces/83 grams. This pipe will soon be on the Danish 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 Reclaiming a worn and tired Nording Danmark 116 Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

Though I am not currently not taking on new work but trying to catch up on my backlog of pipes I have a commitment to doing repairs for customers of our local pipe shop. I have worked on several pipes for the pipeman who dropped this pipe and two others off at my house on Tuesday morning. All three had the tenons snapped off in the shank and two with broken or damaged stems. All three were heavily smoked with cakes almost completely filling in the bowls. It always make me wonder how one can fill a bowl when cake is so thick my finger would not fit in the bowl. The exterior of all three bowls were heavily caked with tars, oils and grime ground into the finish. The pipes reeked of the aromatic tobaccos that had been smoked in them. My wife bagged the three pipes and sealed them until I could get to them.

It was time to work on the last of the pipes – Dublin with oval shank. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Nording [over] Danmark [over] 116. It had a tenon stuck in the shank and a large chip on the top of the shank. I took photos of the bowl to show its condition before I started on it. I took photos to show the heavy grime on the bowl sides, the cake in the bowl and the heavy lava and damage to the rim top and inner edge. Somewhere along its journey the pipe had been banded. It was a real mess. I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the thickness of the cake in bowl and the damage on the inner edge of the rim. It was another very dirty pipe. I also took a photo of the chip out of the top of the shank showing the broken tenon in the shank. I tried to pull the broken tenon and was not surprised that it was stuck in the shank. I put the bowl in the freezer and let it sit for 30 minutes. Once I removed it I used a screw turned into the airway to wiggle the tenon out of the shank. It actually came out quite easily.  I decided to repair the large chip on the topside of the shank. I rebuilt it with clear CA glue and briar dust. I layered them into the chipped area using a dental spatula to apply the briar dust to the layers of glue. It took a bit of work but I quickly finished the repair. I flattened the repair with different files to blend them into the surface. I would need to sand them further but the repair looked good. At this point I decided to clean up the pipe so I could work on it. I like restoring clean pipes so that was going to be a lot of work but worth it to me to get rid of the grime. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer using the largest cutting head. I cleaned up the reamer with a Savinelli Fitsall PipeKnife. I sanded the walls of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. There was a small mountain of carbon. I scrubbed the externals of the pipe to remove the heavy oils and tar build up on the bowl. It took a lot of elbow grease using a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. I worked on it until the grime washed away with running water. It looks much better at this point.  I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the rim top and clean up the inner edge of the bowl. I also sanded the repair on the top of the shank with the 220 grit sandpaper at the same time. It took a bit of work but both repairs looked much better.   With the sanding done it was time to band the shank end to bind the repair and the hairline crack from the repair up the shank a slight distance. I spread white glue around the shank end with a tooth pick and pressed a brass band onto the end of the shank. I took photos of the banded shank and it looked good. With the externals cleaned I turned my attention to the internals. I scrubbed the shank and the airway in the bowl with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol until it was clean. It was a mess. The stem was brand new and was very clean.I set the bowl aside and worked on the fit of the stem. I drilled out the airway with a bit the same size as the guide pin on the tenon turning tool. I then used the tenon turning tool to remove and reduce the diameter of the tenon. I smoothed out the tenon with a sanding drum on my Dremel. I used a flat file and a smaller file to remove the casting marks on the sides of the stem and the end of the button. Once finished with the file it was looking much better. I put the stem on the shank and took photos of the look of the fit of the stem to the shank. I will need to do some shaping around the shank end but the fit in the shank is perfect. It is a snug fit. I took the stem off and went back to the bowl to polish it with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth. It looks far better than it did before even with the many fills in the briar around the bowl.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar. To get it into the nooks and crannies of the plateau I used a shoe brush and worked it deeply into the grooves. The balm works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. It is a beautiful pipe.  I turned back to the stem. I shaped the stem and adjusted the saddle portion of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I removed excess vulcanite all around the top, bottom and underside to shape and get the fit next to the shank and brass band. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. The fit looked very good.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished hand polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with another coat of Obsidian Oil and let it dry. The stem really was beginning to look very good.   This was a very beat up Nording Danmark 116 Dublin and now with its restoration and newly fit black vulcanite saddle stem it looks far better than when I started. The reworked rim top works very will with the rest of the bowl. I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The brown stain makes the grain just sing and it works well with the polished vulcanite stem. Have a look at the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 46 grams/ 1.62 ounces. Once I finish restemming the last of the pipes the three will be going home with the fellow who dropped them off. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe.

Restemming and Reclaiming a worn and tired Portland Bruyere Garantie Canted Egg


Blog by Steve Laug

Though I am not currently not taking on new work but trying to catch up on my backlog of pipes I have a commitment to doing repairs for customers of our local pipe shop. I have worked on several pipes for the pipeman who dropped this pipe and two others off at my house on Tuesday morning. All three had the tenons snapped off in the shank and two with broken or damaged stems. All three were heavily smoked with cakes almost completely filling in the bowls. It always make me wonder how one can fill a bowl when cake is so thick my finger would not fit in the bowl. The exterior of all three bowls were heavily caked with tars, oils and grime ground into the finish. The pipes reeked of the aromatic tobaccos that had been smoked in them. My wife bagged the three pipes and sealed them until I could get to them.

I decided to work on one of two oval shank canted eggs with oval saddle stems next. I opened the bag and removed both the bowl and the broken stem. I took photos of the bowl to show its condition before I started on it. I took photos to show the heavy grime on the bowl sides, the cake in the bowl and the heavy lava and damage to the rim top and inner edge. Somewhere along its journey the pipe had been banded. It was a real mess. I tried to pull the broken tenon and was not surprised that it was stuck in the shank. I put the bowl in the freezer and let it sit for 30 minutes. Once I removed it I used a screw turned into the airway to wiggle the tenon out of the shank. It actually came out quite easily. I went through my stems and found a new one that matched the broken piece of the previous stem. I took a photo. I would need to turn the cast tenon and remove the casting marks on the sides and the button on the pipe to get a fit. Here is a photo of the bowl with the new stem. Now it was time to clean it up so I could work on it. I like restoring clean pipes so that was going to be a lot of work but worth it to me to get rid of the grime. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer using the largest cutting head. I cleaned up the reamer with a Savinelli Fitsall PipeKnife. I sanded the walls of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. There was a small mountain of carbon. I scrubbed the externals of the pipe to remove the heavy oils and tar build up on the bowl. It took a lot of elbow grease using a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. I worked on it until the grime washed away with running water. It looks much better at this point.  With the externals cleaned I turned my attention to the internals. I scrubbed the shank and the airway in the bowl with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol until it was clean. It was a mess. The stem was brand new and was very clean.I topped the bowl to prepare it for reworking the damage to the inner edge of the bowl. I wanted to smooth it out before working on the inner bevel of the bowl. I used a wooden ball and 220 grit sandpaper to give the bowl a bevel. The final photo of the four below shows the repaired and reshaped rim edge.  I set the bowl aside and worked on the fit of the stem. I drilled out the airway with a bit the same size as the guide pin on the tenon turning tool. I then used the tenon turning tool to remove and reduce the diameter of the tenon. I smoothed out the tenon with a sanding drum on my Dremel. I used a flat file and a smaller file to remove the casting marks on the sides of the stem and the end of the button. Once finished with the file it was looking much better. I put the stem on the shank and took photos of the look of the fit of the stem to the shank. I will need to do some shaping around the shank end but the fit in the shank is perfect. It is a snug fit. I went back to the bowl to finish the cleanup and restoration of it. I polished the it with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth. It looks far better than it did before even with the many fills in the briar around the bowl.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The balm works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. It is a beautiful pipe.  I turned back to the stem. I shaped the stem and adjusted the saddle portion of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I removed excess vulcanite all around the top, bottom and underside to shape and get the fit next to the shank and brass band. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. The fit looked very good. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished hand polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with another coat of Obsidian Oil and let it dry. The stem really was beginning to look very good.   This was a very beat up Portland Bruyere Garantie Canted Egg and now with its newly fit black vulcanite saddle stem it looks far better than when I started. The reworked rim top works very will with the rest of the bowl. I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The brown stain makes the grain just sing and it works well with the polished vulcanite stem. Have a look at the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 46 grams/ 1.62 ounces. Once I finish restemming the last of the pipes the three will be going home with the fellow who dropped them off. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe.

Restemming and Reclaiming a worn and tired No Name Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

Though I am not currently not taking on new work but trying to catch up on my backlog of pipes I have a commitment to doing repairs for customers of our local pipe shop. I have worked on several pipes for the pipeman who dropped this pipe and two others off at my house on Tuesday morning. All three had the tenons snapped off in the shank and two with broken or damaged stems. All three were heavily smoked with cakes almost completely filling in the bowls. It always make me wonder how one can fill a bowl when cake is so thick my finger would not fit in the bowl. The exterior of all three bowls were heavily caked with tars, oils and grime ground into the finish. The pipes reeked of the aromatic tobaccos that had been smoked in them. My wife bagged the three pipes and sealed them until I could get to them.

I decided to work on this billiard first. I opened the bag and removed both the bowl and the stem. It was a real mess. I took photos of the bowl to show its condition before I started on it. I took my normal foursome of photos and then added a few extra to show the heavy grime on the bowl sides, the cake in the bowl and the snapped tenon in the shank. Somewhere along its journey the pipe had been banded. Something about it makes me think it may well have been that I had banded and restemmed for the fellow quite a few ago. I did a bit of searching on rebornpipes for the blog but could not find it. In the big picture is did not matter but I am always very curious. I tried to pull the broken tenon and was not surprised that it was stuck in the shank. I put the bowl in the freezer and let it sit for 30 minutes. Once I removed it I used a screw turned into the airway to wiggle the tenon out of the shank. It actually came out quite easily. I went through my stems and found one that matched the broken one that had been included in the bag. I took a photo. I would need to reduce both the length and the diameter of the tenon to get a snug fit in the shank. It had a lot of potential but would take work to lift the dents in the stem and fit it to the pipe. Here is a photo of the bowl with the broken stem and the new one.Now it was time to clean it up so I could work on it. I like restoring clean pipes so that was going to be a lot of work but worth it to me to get rid of the grime. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer using the largest cutting head. I cleaned up the reamer with a Savinelli Fitsall PipeKnife. I sanded the walls of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. There was a small mountain of carbon. I scrubbed the externals of the pipe to remove the heavy oils and tar build up on the bowl. It took a lot of elbow grease using a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. I worked on it until the grime washed away with running water. It looks much better at this point.  With the externals cleaned I turned my attention to the internals. I scrubbed the shank and the airway in the bowl and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol until it was clean. It was a mess.I topped the bowl to prepare it for reworking the damage to the inner edge of the bowl. I used briar dust and super glue to build up the heavily damaged areas around the edge. I layered it in place in the damaged area with a dental spatula. The second photo below shows the repair.I cleaned up the rough edge of the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I wanted to smooth it out before working on the inner bevel of the bowl. I used a wooden ball and 220 grit sandpaper to give the bowl a bevel. The final photo of the four below shows the repaired and reshaped rim edge. I stained the rim top and edges with an oak stain pen to match the colour of the bowl. With the micromesh polishing it would be a good match.I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth. It looks far better than it did before even with the many fills in the briar around the bowl.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The balm works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. It is a beautiful pipe. The bowl looks surprisingly good when you consider what it looked like when I started. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the surface of the stem and then “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks and scratches. I was able to lift many of them. I used clear super glue to fill in those that remained. I sanded the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repairs and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I also sanded the tenon with 220 grit sandpaper to reduce the diameter of the tenon and get a snug fit. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished hand polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with another coat of Obsidian Oil and let it dry. The stem really was beginning to look very good.   This was a very beat up No Name Straight Billiard and now with its newly fit tapered black vulcanite stem it looks far better than when I started. The reworked rim top works very will with the rest of the bowl. I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The brown stain makes the grain just sing and it works well with the polished vulcanite stem. Have a look at the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 60 grams/ 2.12 ounces. Once I finish restemming the other two pipes the three will be going home with the fellow who dropped them off. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe.

Restemming and Restoring a Heavily Smoked Meerschaum Bacchus Figural


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my table was a filthy meerschaum carved figural. Jeff believes that we got this meerschaum on 07/30/2019 from an online auction in Oceanside, New York, USA. It had some golden brown patina developed under the thick dark grime and tar on the face and leaf had of the figural. It also cover the rim top and the grapes on the shank. There was a thick cake in the bowl and a heavy build up of lava on the rim top. It really was a mess. The carving on the figural was very well done as were the leaves and grapes that made up the headdress. The stem was a replacement I believe as it was a soft acrylic that did not fit very well. Someone had fit the stem with a push tenon but the shank was threaded so it was a poor and sloppy fit. It was dirty and the airway was almost clogged with tars and oils. The surface of the button on the end had been chewed through and there were holes on both sides. Long and short of it the stem would need to be replaced yet again. Here are some photos Jeff took of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. It has a lot of potential and a lot of promise. Time and work will tell!He took photos of the bowl to clearly show the facial features of this well carved meerschaum. The features are really well done and the details are quite remarkable. The pipe should clean up really well and look quite amazing. It is certainly worth restemming. He took photos of the bowl from the side to show the carving details on the leave and grapes along the side of the bowl and shank. Even those details are quite well done.   Jeff took a photo of the heel of the bowl. It was flat and the bowl sat as a sitter with the stem removed. It also has some scratches and nicks in the surface and debris in the carved swirls of the beard.The rim top and bowl were filthy. There was a thick cake on the walls of the bowl and a heavy overflow of lava on the rim top and top of the headdress. It was black, heavy and quite thick. The replacement stem was a disaster as well with major holes in the top and underside of the stem at the button and on the button itself. The photos of the stem show the odd placement of a push tenon in the stem end even though the shank is threaded. You can also see the split in the top side and the chewed end of the button and hole I the underside.  Jeff did a remarkable job on the cleanup of this pipe. He reamed the bowl carefully with a PipNet reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the surface and crevices of the carved figural with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and leave behind the patina. He rinsed the bowl with warm water and dried it off with a clean cotton towel. He cleaned the internals of the bowl and shank with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to clean out the built up tars and oils that were present there. We through away the stem as it was very unusable. When the pipe arrived here it looked amazing and the features and the patina in the meerschaum is beautiful. I took photos of it when I brought it to the table this morning. I would need to restem it but it would be worth it.    I started my work on the pipe by working on the darkening and damage on the inner edge of the rim. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out and clean it. The finished edges looked much better.I went through my can of stems and found several that looked like they would work. I settled on gold/amber fancy turned acrylic stem that had a bone tenon in place. It would look great but had a few tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside of the stem.   I filled in the tooth marks on the button edge and surface of the stem on both sides with clear CA glue. I set it aside to let the repairs cure. Once they had cured I reshaped the button edges and top with a small file. I smooth it out further and reshaped it with 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final rubdown with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to cure.    I set the stem aside and polished the meerschaum with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I worked some Clapham Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish into the meerschaum carving on the bowl. It is a combination of Mineral Oil, Beeswax and Carnauba Wax that works very well on waxing a bowl. I buffed it briskly with a cotton cloth to raise a shine and the bowl looks very good. Once again I am excited to finish a pipe that I am working on. I put the nicely patinaed Bent Bacchus Meerschaum back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Clapham’s Beeswax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the patina colouring the meerschaum on the smooth and the grooves of the carving. Added to that the polished golden acrylic fancy saddle stem worked to give the pipe just the right touch. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ x 2 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 86 grams/3.03 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store in the Ceramic and Meerschaum Pipes Section. 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. I remind us all of the fact that we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next pipeman or woman.

Restoring and Restemming an Edwards Algerian Briar 8F 1 Handmade


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I purchased a group of pipes on 09/04/20 from Gonzales, Louisiana, USA. It included this Edwards Algerian Briar BF 1 Handmade freehand bowl. It had really nice grain and plateau on the top of the rim and on the end of the shank. I had what looked like a leaf on the sides and front of the bowl and underside of the shank. It as also on the sides of the shank.It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Algerian Briar [over] Edwards [over] 8F [over] 1 [over] Handmade. The carving followed the flow of the grain very well and really served to showcase it. There was thick dust in the rustication around the bowl and shank as well as the plateau on the shank end. The bowl was lined with a thin cake. There was some darkening and lava on the back side of the rim edge and top. The smooth finish and carved leaf was also dirty and dull looking. The stem had long before been lost so it did not come with the bowl. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show the overall condition of the bowl and stem. He took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the plateau finish. You can see the light lava and dust in the crevices of the plateau. The bowl has a light coat of lava on the walls. The inner edge of the bowl is in excellent condition.Jeff took 2 photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture it. It was clear and as noted above.I wanted to look at who had carved the Edward’s Freehand line. I started my reading on Pipephil’s site (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-e1.html). I did a screen capture of the listing on the site and have included it below. I also included the information in the sidebar below that.Edward’s Pipes, headquartered in Tampa, FL, got its start importing pipes from France and continued to do so from 1958 to 1963 when it started producing pipes in Florida from prime Algerian Briar, a practice they continue to this day (2010). Randy Wiley, pipecarver in the USA, got his start at Edward’s.

I then turned to the Edwards listing on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Edward’s) and found the following information. I quote the information in that article below.

Edward’s pipes were originally produced in Saint-Claude, France when Francais actually was a world-class pipe maker with longstanding business & political connections to Colonial Algeria that allowed them to obtain the finest briar.

During the tumultuous 1960’s, Edward’s created a business model to offer the finest briar available in both Classic and Freehand shapes – all at a fair price. They bought the company & equipment and cornered the market on the finest, choice Algerian Briar just before the supply vanished in political turmoil of Algeria’s independence. Edward’s packed up both machinery and briar-treasure to America, safely caching the essentials to create a new pipe-making dynasty. This was a coup, for the 70’s and 80’s were grim years for pipe smokers as quality briar all but disappeared.

Edward’s Design Philosophy is hard to pin down, think of their style as the “American Charatan” with unique & clever twists all their own. Today, they fashion pipes in several locations across the USA. All of Edward’s pipes are Algerian Briar – a fact very few pipe companies can claim, and all are oil-cured utilizing natural finishes – no strange concoctions are used to interfere in your tastebud’s dance with the briar. Algerian, Calabrian, Sardinian, Corsican – take your pick, but Algerian Briar is generally considered the finest smoking briar ever used. When combined with oil-curing, Algerian takes on a magical quality that even Alfred Dunhill recognized as far back as 1918 as the choice for both his Bruyere and Shell.

The pipe that I was working came from the Edward’s workshops. From what I knew of the history of the company I think that it was American made in the 70’s after they had bought out the French company and brought the equipment and briar to the US. The Freehand shape also fits the popularity of that shape in the 70’s.

Now it was time to work on the pipe on my end. When I received it Jeff had once again done an amazing job cleaning the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and got rid of the cake. He cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife so that we could see the walls of the bowl and assess for damage. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and alcohol. He scrubbed the exterior with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed the pipe under warm water. He dried it off with a cloth and then let it air dry. I took pictures of the pipe this morning to show how it looked before I started my work. I took a photo of the plateau on the rim top to show how clean it was and to see a well executed finish on the rim top. The ravines, crevices and high points were very beautiful. I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It had some colour in the stamp (like ones in the photos on the Pipedia site). It made the stamp very readable.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 any sanding debris left behind. The bowl began to shine through the process. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes and then buffed the bowl with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I had a nice looking fancy turned stem in my collection of stems. It will well with this pipe. I will need to polish the stem to remove the casting marks and give it a slight bend. The tenon was the right size so with some polishing it was a perfect fit. With a nostalgic flash from the past I decided to give the stem a slight bend to match the flow of the bowl using a cup of boiling water. I put enough water in a coffee cup to cover the amount of stem I wanted to soften to bend. I put it in the microwave until it was boiling then dropped the stem in the hot water. I let it sit until it was pliable and then removed it and bent it the amount I was looking for. I cooled the bent stem with running cold water and dried it off.I sanded out the tooth chatter and light marks ahead of the button on both sides with 220 grit sandpaper and also smooth out the casting marks on the sides. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to smooth out the sanding marks left behind by the 220 grit paper.  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 some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This is a beautiful Algerian Briar Edwards 8F 1 Handmade Freehand with a fancy, turned, black vulcanite stem. It has a great look and feel. The shape fits well in the hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top and shank end multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. 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 combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes and the plateau areas took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished vulcanite stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Edwards Handmade 8F 1 Freehand pipe. 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 are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 3 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ wide, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.82 ounces/80 grams. This Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store in the American Pipe Making Section shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

Restoring and Restemming a Jobey Dansk Made in Denmark 4 Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I purchased an estate last December from a fellow in Longview, Washington, USA. It included this Jobey Dansk 4 freehand bowl. It had really nice grain and plateau on the top of the rim and on the end of the shank. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Jobey in script [over] Dansk. Underneath it read Made in Denmark [over] 4. The carving followed the flow of the grain very well and really served to showcase it. There was something familiar about the style of carving that reminded me of other Danish Freehand pipes I have worked on. I seemed to remember that Jobey Dansk pipes were carved by Karl Erik. There was thick dust in the rustication around the bowl and shank as well as the plateau on the shank end. The bowl was lined with a thin cake. The smooth finish was also dirty and dull looking. The stem had long before been lost so it did not come with the bowl. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show the overall condition of the bowl and stem. He took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the plateau finish. You can see the light lava and dust in the crevices of the plateau. The bowl has a light coat of lava on the walls. The inner edge of the bowl is in excellent condition. Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture it. It was clear and as noted above.I wanted to look at who had carved the Jobey Dansk line to confirm my suspicions I had about it. I had a feeling that the pipes were carved by a Danish carver known as Karl Erik. I looked up the Jobey listing on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Jobey) and found the following information. I quote a portion of the article that is pertinent as follows.

English – American – Danish – French… Information about the brand Jobey are only to be found in form of smithereens… Probably established in England around 1920(?) the brand hiked into the USA later. In the course of time owner, distributor and manufacturer changed repeatedly. As far as known:

George Yale Pipes & Tobacco, New York (1942)

Norwalk Pipe Co., New York (1949)

Arlington Briar Pipes Corp., Brooklyn (when?)

Hollco International, New York (1969).

Weber Pipe Co., Jersey City, NJ (1970’s)

The Tinder Box, (1970’s – 80’s).

Throughout decades Jobey pipes were mainly sold in the USA, Canada and England but remained almost unknown in continental Europe. The bulk of Jobeys was predominantly made according to classical patterns and mainly in the lower to middle price range. The predominant judgment of the pipe smokers reads: “A well-made pipe for the price.” So there is hardly anything very special or exciting about Jobey pipes although a flyer from ca. 1970 assures: “The briar root Jobey insists upon for its peer of pipes is left untouched to grow, harden and sweeten for 100 years. […]Jobey uses only the heart of this century old briar and only one out of 500 bowls turned measures up to the rigid Jobey specifications.” 99.80% of cull… that makes the layman marveling!

Yet then there are partially really exciting Freehands mainly in the seventies, that Jobey – Weber owned back then – bought from Danish pipe genius Karl Erik Ottendahl. These pipes were offered as Jobey Dansk – ’70’s pure! (BTW waning sales caused Ottendahl to discontinue exports to the United States in 1987.)

From that information, my suspicions were confirmed. The pipe that I was working on was carved by Karl Erik Ottendahl. There were some similarities to the Karl Erik pipes that I have worked on in the past. The dating of the pipe line in the 70s fits well with the pipe I have in hand.

Now that I was reminded about the Karl Erik Ottendahl connection it was time to work on the pipe on my end. When I received it Jeff had once again done an amazing job cleaning the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and got rid of the cake. He cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife so that we could see the walls of the bowl and assess for damage. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and alcohol. He scrubbed the exterior with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed the pipe under warm water. He dried it off with a cloth and then let it air dry. I took pictures of the pipe this morning to show how it looked before I started my work. I took a photo of the plateau on the rim top to show how clean it was and to see a well executed finish on the rim top. The ravines, crevices and high points were very beautiful.I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It had some colour in the stamp (like ones in the photos on the Pipedia site). It made the stamp very readable.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 any sanding debris left behind. The bowl began to shine through the process. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes and then buffed the bowl with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I had a fancy stem in my can of stems. It is a nice looking panel sided stem. In examining it I could see a faint Stanwell logo on the side of the stem. I will use it on this pipe anyway and smooth out the stamping. I will need to polish the stem before I am finished. The tenon was the right size so with some polishing it was a perfect fit. I sanded out the tooth chatter and light marks ahead of the button on both sides with 220 grit sandpaper and also smooth out the faint Stanwell stamp on the side. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to smooth out the sanding marks left behind by the 220 grit paper.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 some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This is a beautiful Jobey Dansk 4 Hand Made by Karl Erik with a fancy, turned, black vulcanite stem. It has a great look and feel. The shape fits well in the hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top and shank end multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. 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 combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes and the plateau areas took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished vulcanite stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Jobey Dansk 4 pipe. 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 are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ wide, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.36 ounces/67 grams. This Danish Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store in the Danish Pipe Making Section shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

Restoring and Restemming a Made in Ireland Shamrock 106 Prince


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe was a mess and one that obviously had been “ridden hard and put away wet”. The finish and condition was abysmal. It was definitely a stranger to any cleaning! This one is a smooth Prince that has a rich coloured finish around the bowl sides and shank under the grit and grime of years. This pipe was purchased from an antique mall on 08/27/21 in Bozeman, Montana, USA. The finish is almost bland looking it is so dirty it was hard to know what to expect once it was cleaned. It was stamped on the  left side of the shank and read SHAMROCK. It was stamped to the right of the shank and reads MADE IN IRELAND (in a circle) with the shape number 106 lower and next to the bowl. It was filthy when Jeff brought it to the table. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. There were nicks in the outer edge all the way around. The replacement stem was chewed and damaged on the top and underside on and near the button. It did not appear to be vulcanite. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked so it is hard to know the condition of the edges under the lava overflow. The stem was a replacement and had been heavily gnawed. The way the bit marks are on the surface of the stem makes me think that it is not vulcanite. The pipe is a real mess and I would probably have to restem the bowl. Jeff took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. You can see the sandpits and nicks in the briar in the photos below. Even so, it is a nice looking pipe. He took a photo of the left side of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is faint but readable in the photo below and is as noted above. He did not take a photo of the circular stamp Made In Ireland and the shape number on the right side of the shank. I will try to capture that later in the blog.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).

I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Shamrock Pipe. On page 312 it had the following information.

Shamrock (c1941-2009) Originally stamped SHAMROCK with no brand name, an inexpensive line first described in George Yale (New York) mail order booklet in 1941, imported by Rogers Import. The line was actively promoted beginning in ’45, aggressively promoted in US by Rogers from early ‘50s when they registered the Shamrock logo with US Patent Office, claiming propriety since ’38. Over the years offered with P-lip or fishtail mouthpiece, with or without nickel band, with or without Shamrock logo on the band, with or without S stamped in white or later in gold on mouthpiece. Appearing in 2008 as unstained smooth and rustic, fishtail mouthpiece with gold impressed P on the stem. COMS of MADE IN over IRELAND (C1945-1965), MADE IN IRELAND forming a circle (c1945-1965), “A PETERSON’S PRODUCT” over MADE IN IRELAND (c1945-1965), MADE IN THE over REPUBLIC over OF IRELAND9c1948-1998). Model is always difficult or impossible to date.

Judging from the description above, the pipe I am working on is stamped with the stamp noted in red above. Made in Ireland in a circle which narrows the date to between approximately 1945-1965. It is just stamped SHAMROCK with no brand name and no stamping on the stem.

I was utterly surprised when I took this pipe out of the box and compared it to the before photos. 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. Surprisingly the walls looked unscathed from the heavy cake. 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 of the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Briarville’s Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. When I examined the stem I knew it would need to be replaced. The pipe looked far better when it arrived. The cleaned up rim top revealed very damaged inner and outer edges and the top. There were nicks in the surface of the rim and the edges. I took some close up photos of the rim top and edges to show how well it had cleaned up and the damage to the edges around the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the surface near and on the button itself. The stem would be replaced. You can see the deep tooth marks and damage to the button edges on both sides. The diameter of the stem is smaller than that of the shank as can be seen in the photos.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is faint but still readable. It reads as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look.I removed the stem from the shank and went through my stems to find one that matched the length and shape of the previous stem. I was pleased to see that it was slightly larger in diameter than the previous one. The tenon was almost the same size as the other one. It was bent more than the previous one but once straightened out it was only 1/8 of an inch shorter. I thought it would look very good.I used a small folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to reduce the tenon enough that it would fit the mortise on the bowl. It did not take too much work and it fit perfectly. The diameter of the stem was slightly larger than the shank and would need some work to fit it properly. I took photos of the pipe with its new stem. I needed to reduce the diameter of the stem and also straighten it a bit to fit correctly. I used a flat file to take off as much of the excess as I could without damaging the briar ahead of it.I cleaned up the fit of the stem to the shank with folded 220 grit sandpaper. I worked over the flow of the stem into the shank to make the transition smooth. It was looking very good. I also heated the stem with the flame of a lighter to soften the vulcanite and straighten it. I repaired the damaged spots on the rim top with briar dust and clear superglue. Once it cured I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inside edge of the bowl and smooth out the damage. I gave it a slight bevel to minimize the damage. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I restained the rim top with a Walnut and a Maple stain pen to match it to the surrounding bowl colour. It looked pretty good. It will blend well once the pipe is polished and buffed. 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 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 excited to finish this Older Made in Ireland Shamrock 106 Prince. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful mixed grain all around it, looks great with the new black vulcanite stem. This smooth Classic Shamrock 106 Prince is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 36 grams/1.27 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. I will be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for your time and as Paresh says each time – Stay Safe.

Restoring and Restemming a Made in Ireland Peterson’s Kapet 595 Bent Rhodesian


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe was a mess and one that obviously had been “ridden hard and put away wet”. The finish and condition was abysmal. It was definitely a stranger to any cleaning! This one is a smooth Bent Rhodesian that has a rich coloured finish around the bowl sides and shank under the grit and grime of years. This pipe was purchased off Facebook Marketplace on 05/22/21 from Fruitland, Idaho, USA. The finish is almost bland looking it is so dirty it was hard to know what to expect once it was cleaned. It was stamped on the  left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Kapet. It was stamped to the right of the shank and reads MADE IN IRELAND with the shape number 595 next to the bowl. It was filthy when Jeff brought it to the table. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava on the back of the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The outer edge looked good. The vulcanite stem did not fit well and was straight rather than bent. It was oxidized and dirty. There was also tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on the rest of the stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and there was a heavy lava overflow on the rim top and the inner edge. The stem is oxidized, calcified and grimy. It was a mess and it was not the correct stem. I would need to replace it. Jeff took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. The grain is quite beautiful around the sides of the bowl and shank. It is a nice looking pipe.   He took photos of the sides of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is faint but still is readable in the photos below and is as noted above. 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 Peterson’s 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 1987. 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 1945.  Mid-century specimens may be stamped Made In over Ireland. Specimens from 1970 on may have mounts with hallmarks.

Judging from the Made in Ireland stamp, the pipe I am working on is probably made between 1922-38. Those dates work also for the Kapet information above. The stem is missing the original P-lip stem and the P emblem on the stem side as well as the inner tube.

To help clarify the stamping on the shank my daughter did some digging and found a shape chart on Mark Irwin’s site that had the 595 shape and it did indeed have a saddle stem (https://petersonpipenotes.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR2VQVQbIXKn90Y9DK56WQVIknkz7UVkfbivxdAjdNqslt9297JIUMvpyjc). The chart identified the 595 as a Medium Rhodesian with a fish tail stem so I was excited to see that the stem I had would be correct! I was utterly surprised when I took this pipe out of the box and compared it to the before photos. 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. Surprisingly the walls looked unscathed from the heavy cake. 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. There was some scratching, dents and wear on the top and the inner edge of the rim. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Briarville’s Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. He sent the stem along so that I could use it to fit another stem. I took photos of the pipe when it arrived. The cleaned up rim top looked clean but there were dents and marks on the top and some damage and burn marks on the inner edge of the bowl. I took some close up photos of the rim top and edges to show how well it had cleaned up. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the condition on both sides.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is faint but reads as noted above. I removed the stem and went through my stems and found one that matched the shank well. I would need to reduce the sides of the diamond saddle and then I would work the stem to fit correctly. The stem had originally been a P-lip style but someone along the way had cut it off. I would need to clean up that work and reshape it to be a fish tail stem like the one in the chart above. There was a faint P on the left side of the saddle that would probably disappear with the shaping.I put the stem in the shank and took a photo of the bowl with the stem first to have a look at the pipe with this stem. It looked very good and I think with the adjustments it was going to look like the original.I took photos of the stem to show the shape of the bent and also the modification that had been done to remove the P-lip and convert it to what was an attempt at a fish tail. The work on it was a bit of a hack job so it was a mess. I would need to do some reshaping and opening of the button. I started my work on this pipe by fitting the new stem to the shank. I had to reduce the sides of the diamond saddle with my Dremel and sanding drum. As with all diamond shank pipes, the sides were not equal in measurement so I had to shave off some of the vulcanite on each side to get a proper fit to the shank. I also used it on the button end to flatten it out and give it some initial shape. There is more work to do but it is getting there. I used a flat file to get the fit close to a smooth fit. Care had to be taken not to damage the briar. I then worked on it with a folded piece of 220 sandpaper. I wanted the transition between the shank and stem to be smooth. I converted the single hole in the button end to a slot using a hole saw (a pottery trimming saw). I worked on it to shape it as an oval. Once that was done I shaped the button to remove some of the thickness and give it a comfortable shape. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I sanded the inside of the slot with 220 and 400 grit sandpaper to smooth out the airway in the button.I cleaned the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. The stem was very dirty so it took a bit of work to get the oils and tars out of it. Once it was cleaned it smelled very good.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. With the stem finished, I removed it and turned my attention to the bowl. I know some of you would have kept working on the stem but I needed a change of pace so I went to the bowl for awhile to address this darkening on the rim top and edges. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge and work on the darkening on the top.I used an oak stain pen to touch up the sanded areas on the rim top and edges as well as the shank end. The pen was a good match to the rest of the briar around the bowl and shank. It would blend in very well once it was buffed and waxed.I polished the briar and worked to blend in the sanded areas on the rim top and shank end with the surrounding briar with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust and assess progress. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the twin rings around the cap with a shoe brush. 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 am excited to finish this beautifully grained, restemmed Peterson’s Kapet 595 Bent Rhodesian. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful mixed grain all around it. The Bent Rhodesian looks great with the new replacement black vulcanite stem. This smooth Classic Peterson’s Kapet Bent Rhodesian is great looking and the pipe 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 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 40 grams/1.41 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. I will be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for your time and as Paresh says each time – Stay Safe.

Restoring and Restemming a Made in Ireland Peterson’s Premier Selection 493 Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe was a mess and one that obviously had been “ridden hard and put away wet”. The finish and condition was abysmal. It was definitely a stranger to any cleaning! This one is a smooth Bent Billiard that has a rich coloured finish around the bowl sides and shank under the grit and grime of years. This pipe was purchased from an antique mall on 08/27/21 in Bozeman, Montana, USA. The finish is almost bland looking it is so dirty it was hard to know what to expect once it was cleaned. It was stamped on the  left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Premier Selection. It was stamped to the right of the shank and reads MADE IN IRELAND with the shape number 493 next to the bowl. It was filthy when Jeff brought it to the table. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava on the back of the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The outer edge looked good. The replacement Biteproof stem was oxidized and had a chunk missing from the left side of the stem at the button. There was also tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on the rest of the stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and there was a heavy lava overflow on the rim top and the inner edge. The stem is broken, oxidized, calcified and grimy. It was a mess. Jeff took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. The grain is quite beautiful around the sides of the bowl and shank. It is a nice looking pipe. He took photos of the sides of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above.    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 Peterson’s Kapp-Royal Pipe. On page 310 it had the following information.

Premier on the shank (c. 1953- c. 1981) A high grade line of Classic Range shapes for the US market introduced by Rogers Imports in their 1953 catalog. Offered in smooth or sandblast finish, a P-lip mouthpiece with an aluminum P. The first occurrence of this logo in the ephemera. The Tan Bark Premier appeared in the ’69 Iwan Ries catalog. COM of Made in over Ireland, a PREMIER stamp also appears over SELECTION and will be distinguished by an inset brass P on the mouthpiece. See system for SYSTEM over PREMIER stamp.

Judging from the Made in Ireland stamp, the pipe I am working on is probably made between 1922-38. The contrary piece of the puzzle is that the second red highlight above dates it to between 1953 and 1981. It is missing the original P-lip stem and the P emblem on the stem side. So once more we enter the realm of Peterson’s mysteries. Anyone have any ideas on this one.

I was utterly surprised when I took this pipe out of the box and compared it to the before photos. 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. Surprisingly the walls looked unscathed from the heavy cake. 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. Since the stem was ruined he did not clean it. He sent the ruined stem along so that I could use it to fit another stem. I took photos of the pipe when it arrived. The cleaned up rim top looked very good around the edges and the top. I took some close up photos of the rim top and edges to show how well it had cleaned up. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the damage on the left side of the stem near the button.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It reads as noted above. I removed the stem and went through my stems and found one that matched the broken one very well. I would need to reduce the diameter of the tenon and then I would work the stem to fit correctly.I started my work on this pipe by fitting the new stem to the shank. I had to reduce the tenon with 220 grit sandpaper to fit the shank. As with all diamond shank pipes, the sides were not equal in measurement so I had to shave off some of the vulcanite or some of the briar to get a proper fit to the shank. I did the work with some 220 grit sandpaper until the transition was smooth all the way around the shank and stem. There is more work to do but it is getting there. With the stem fit I removed it and turned my attention to the bowl. I know some of you would have kept working on the stem but I needed a change of pace so I went to the bowl for awhile to address this darkening on the rim top and edges. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge and work on the darkening on the top.I polished the briar and worked to blend in the sanded areas on the rim top and shank end with the surrounding briar with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust and assess progress. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the twin rings around the cap with a shoe brush. 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 back to the stem. Started by opening up the slot in the button with a small saw. Once I had it the way I wanted I turned to the rest of the stem. I worked on the shaping and smoothing out the sanding marks with 220 grit sandpaper and starting polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I cleaned the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. The stem was very dirty so it took a bit of work to get the oils and tars out of it. Once it was cleaned it smelled very good. 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 excited to finish this beautifully grained, restemmed Peterson’s Premier Selection 493 Straight Bulldog. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful mixed grain all around it. The Bulldog looks great with the new replacement black vulcanite stem. This smooth Classic Peterson’s Premier Selection Bulldog is great looking and the pipe 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 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 38 grams/1.34 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. I will be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for your time and as Paresh says each time – Stay Safe.