Tag Archives: restoration

Polishing a Chair Leg/Fancy Stem

I have a GBD Tapestry that I am restoring, hopefully it will be done in the next day or so. I really like the Tapestry line; this makes my second one in different shapes. They have a fancy “chair leg” stem that while attractive are a pain to polish, especially if they are heavily oxidized, as this one was. 

You can see the “problem” areas in the photos. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos before beginning to remove the oxidation and calcification, which were quite thick. 

Remembering back to the first one I restored, I thought that sharing the method I use on this type of stem would be helpful to others. It’s not a fast process but it is pretty well foolproof because no machines are used, only “you power” and buffing compound on a piece of thin leather lace. 

I use 3/32″ lace but it also comes in 1/4″. I imagine other materials would work, too. I drag the lace across the bar of compound to load it after putting the stem in a hobby vise. (I use this table top vise with only my hand for holding the vise in place – it has rubbed coated jaws – so I don’t put too much stress on the stem and possibly break it.) I take one end of the lace in each hand and rub it using a “sawing” motion (pull the lace toward me with my right hand, then my left, repeat) in the crevices, reloading the compound as needed, until the oxidation is gone. 

It does require some time and effort but there’s almost no chance of getting the stem out of shape, ruining the graceful lines, or breaking it. 

Sasieni “Viscount Lascelles” XS Restoration

Blog by Al Jones

I picked up this Sasieni Four Dot Natural at the NYC show yesterday. It looked to be in very good condition, requiring only a mild clean-up. I knew from the “Four Dot” “London Made” stamping that it was made between 1946 and 1979. The pipe has the football shaped “Made In London” stamp on the other side and “XS”. Curiously, it was missing the name of a London town. At home, I could see some additional stamping and with a magnifying glass, I could read “Viscount Lascelles”. I googled that name and discovered that according to the Stephen Smith article, the Viscount Lascelles was the model name and a rare model.


The bowl had some build-up on the top which I thought might be some scorching. The stem had the faintest of teeth marks and was in overall excellent shape and only lightly oxidized.


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I reamed the cake from the bowl and I could see despite the thick cake, the bowl was in very good condition. Most of the build-up on the bowl top rubbed off with some distilled water and a soft cloth. I soaked the bowl with some 91 proof alcohol and sea salt. The shank was cleaned with a bristle brush and alcohol.

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The bowl didn’t need much else and was buffed lightly with White Diamond and then carnuba wax. I stayed away from the nomenclature to preserve it.

The stem was sanded with 1500 and 2000 grit paper, then 8000 and 12,000 grade micromesh sheets. I buffed it lightly with white diamond and then a plastic polish.

I hand waxed the briar with some Paragon wax.

Here is the finished pipe.


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