Tag Archives: staining

Fashioning a Churchwarden from a Blasted French Dr. Geo Deposée Bowl


Blog by Dal Stanton

This is the second commissioning project for the pipe man, clam man, Jon, from South Florida.  His first commissioning (see: A Striking Savinelli Fiammata 2 Briar Calabash for a Clam Man Pipe Man) turned out to be a diamond in the rough!  He had commissioned this pipe not from the usual perusal of my online ‘Help Me!’ baskets in the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection, but he had visited us here in Sofia, Bulgaria, along with a team of folks from his church.  During this visit, Jon went through the boxes and baskets of the inventory and found the Savinelli Fiammata and pulled him aside to commission.  During this visit, Jon also saw my personal collection of Churchwardens and offered to give one of them a new home!  In the end, Jon also commissioned a CW project which also benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria, our work here in Bulgaria working among women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  This was also important to Jon, who as a father, had brought his daughter with him to Bulgaria.  My goal in fashioning Churchwardens from bowls that were either orphaned or in their current states had little hope of being put in service again.  I liken it to Santa’s mythical island of misfit toys.  Repurposed bowls mounted on CW stems can rise from ash heap, as it were, to live and serve again.  I sent Jon a picture of different bowls to see which would speak to him as his new Churchwarden.  He had told me he preferred a bent shank – here were the candidates with differing characteristics.Our emailing back and forth between South Florida and Bulgaria to identify the bowl speaking Jon’s name, resulted in the French Blasted Dr. Geo Deposée, the second pipe pictured above.  I acquired the Dr. Geo during one of our summer vacations on a pipe picking expedition to the Bulgarian coastal city of Burgas on the Black Sea.  I found the ‘Burgas Lot of 9’, at a secondhand shop on the main walking street.  The Dr. Geo is at the end of the line of 7 pipes pictured below which were part of the haul – 2 others were added to these that were eventually posted in the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection from which pipe men and women can choose and commission.The Dr. Geo I acquired I called a Prince shape.  I knew nothing about a Dr. Geo line, but what attracted me to the pipe was the blasted bowl – it was tired and dull, but had potential, though the pipe itself was unimpressive and attracted no attention when it had its time in the Dreamers collection.With the bowl now on my worktable to transform into a Churchwarden, I found some information online about the origins of Dr. Geo Deposée.  Pipephil.eu’s panel gave some information confirming that it was of French origins from the Gichard & Cie Company.Pipedia adds some additional information in its list of French made brands.  It lists that Dr. Geo was produced in the 1940s from Guichard & Cie, and later sold by M. Marmet Regge, with Ebonite stems.  Interesting to me is that my guess is that The Dr. Geo I’m looking at was from the later, M. Marment Regge ownership with the specific reference to the use of Ebonite stems.  I have another Dr. Geo in my Dreamers inventory from another Lot I purchased from France, it has a horn stem, which most likely places it in the earlier dating when rubber was in short supply during WW2.  The listing for Marmet in Pipedia, called M. Marmet-Regge, also sold the Dr. Geo brand which were produced in Saint-Claude. The meaning of the French, “Deposée”, attached to Dr. Geo is a bit cryptic, at least to one who is relegated to Google Translate to make sense of the meaning.  The direct primary English translation provided is “deposited” which is a past tense rendering.  Looking at other definitions provided by Google Translate, the possible meaning could be tied to the idea that “Dr. Geo” attests to or is behind the goodness of this pipe brand like Dr. Grabow!  It seemed like I was grasping at straws until I see the ‘info link’ on the Dr. Geo panel provided by the Pipephil.  The link goes to a French site called  ‘Ces pipes pas comme les autres’ (These pipes like no other) to a May 2006 listing selling ‘Two Doctors’ pipes with information about each.  A ‘Dr. Geo’ is described as one of the doctors with the possible clue pointing to a rational for the sub-name of ‘Deposée’:

Many pipe brands have earned the doctoral title. This makes smokers smile during these times of heightened hunting.

During the post-war years this title was more a guarantee of seriousness or of a search for perfection rather than the sign of a healthy practice. We did not allow ourselves to be disturbed by medical considerations. Everyone knew that smoking was not very healthy and took responsibility. But that has changed a lot today with the new globalized MacCarthyism.

José Manuel Lopes (1) counts seventeen brands of pipes that bear the famous title! I would like to introduce you to an 18th: Dr Arthur recognizable by his “A” circled on the pipe. No further information on this doctor there Maybe you thought I was going to present you with a leather-wrapped pipe, stamped with the most famous of these doctors? It would be bad to know me. But fear not: in this section you will not escape the famous Franco-English doctor whom I have already mentioned in the section of Cavalier pipes.

The pipes of Dr Géo – French brand of Gichard & Cie which is no longer produced – do not have an exceptional notoriety but sufficient to be cited here and there.

(1) José Manuel Lopes (President of Pipe Club of Portugal), Pipes, Artisans and Trademarks. Quimera Editores, 2005

The listing shows a picture of each Doctor cited with dimensions and a pricing.  I find interesting the dismissive gesture for the listing for the Dr. Geo: “…no longer produced – do not have an exceptional notoriety but sufficient to be cited here and there”.  My hope is to change the demeanor of the Dr. Geo Blasted Prince bowl on my worktable transforming him into a Churchwarden. Churchwardens as a classic pipe shape are unique among pipes.  Bill Burney’s description of Churchwardens on his great Pipedia shapes page, describes why they are unique among pipes:Working on my Man Cave 10th floor balcony, I take a few more pictures to get a closer look at the Doctor Geo Prince bowl, which is essentially an Apple shape without the Prince stem – hmmm, an exception to the CW stem principle? The blasted finish is nice – the smooth 3-D picture of the bowl’s grain structure is nice. The finish on the stummel appears to be a very dark brown.  There are minuscule red flecks visible through the cloudiness of the old finish.  At this point, my thinking is to refresh the finish seeking to apply the ‘Dunhill’ finish that I learned from fellow-restorer and rebornpipes contributor, Paresh.  First, after applying all the paces in cleaning the stummel, I’ll assess the condition of the stummel and how to proceed.  Following this, fashioning the CW stem will come.  To start, the Dr. Geo chamber is moderately caked. To address this, I employ the Pipnet Reaming Kit using only the smallest of the 4 blade heads available in the kit.  I follow by scraping the chamber walls with the Savinelli Fitsall Tool and complete the carbon cake removal by sanding the chamber walls with 240 grade paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen. After wiping the chamber with a cotton pad to remove the carbon dust, an inspection reveals a healthy chamber.Transitioning to cleaning the exterior surface, using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap, I go to work using a cotton pad and a bristled toothbrush. The brass bristled brush also works on the rim.Next, I take the bowl to the kitchen sink to continue the cleaning with shank brushes and anti-oil liquid dishwashing soap to clean the internal mortise and airway.  After giving the bowl a thorough rinsing with warm water, I transfer it back to the worktable.Through the cleaning, the finish has started to come off.  This is an indicator that a fresh start is needed. The finish is old and unstable.I decide to remove the old finish to get to the fresh briar beneath.  Isopropyl 95% is the first agent I try scrubbing the blasted finish with a cotton pad.  It is not effective.Transition next to using acetone is much more effect.  The cotton pad is evidence of the old stain which appears black and purple.  I decide to put the entire stummel into an acetone soak to fully remove the finish.  I leave it in the soak for a few hours. After a couple hours the jar containing the stummel soaking in acetone is clouded with leeched finish.  After taking the stummel out, I use a cotton pad to continue rubbing the finish off as well as employing a little steel wool. The light spots that appeared first are areas that were filled, at least partially, with wood putty which have weakened due to the cleaning.  I use a sharp dental probe to test the fills and they are solid. With the rough texture of the blasted surface, these areas will not be visible after applying new dye to the stummel. Before doing more work on the stummel, I switch the focus to fashioning the CW stem.  The first thing I do is to bring out the electronic caliper and measure the diameter of the mortise which gives me the target size of the tenon that needs to be shaped. This measurement is 7.81mm.  I add about 40mm to this to form my ‘fat target’ – the size I’ll cut the tenon and then follow by sanding to form a customized fit to the mortise.  The fat target is about 8.20mm. Next, with the drill bit provided by the PIMO Tenon Turning Tool, I predrill the airway to accommodate the guide pin of the TTT. Next, after mounting the PIMO tool on the hand drill, I do a test cut on the raw tenon of the precast CW stem and measure it – 8.01mm on the button. Whoops – that is 20mm less than I was aiming for as the ‘fat target’ but I decide to cut the tenon at this size and then sand.  This gives less margin of error, but I’m not too concerned. Keeping the same adjustment of the PIMO tool, I continue the test cutting to form a I have made several Churchwardens and one of the mistakes I have learned is to cut the tenon all the way through the precast uneven molding to create a true stem facing.  Not to do this will leave what appears to be shouldering over the edge of the stem facing.  The picture below shows a sharp 45-degree angle which is the goal.Next, using 240 sanding paper, I sand the newly cut tenon to bring it closer to the target mortise size – 7.81mm.  The rough end of the precast tenon is flattened and smoothed using the flat needle file.After a short time of sanding and fitting, the tenon seats into the mortise.Looking closer, there is a small gapping on the right side which I can close during the fine-tuning sanding.What is also the case is that there is a small overhang of the shank over the seated stem.  This will need to be sanded so that the transition between stummel and stem is smooth.I use masking tape to protect the nomenclature as well as to give a sanding boundary around the shank.I start the sanding on the shank/stem transition.  What is helpful shown in the picture below is that it shows what the ‘low-spot’ is in the pre-cast stem in the darker area passed over by the sanding indicating where sanding continues to be needed. As often is the case with the pre-cast CW stems I purchase, the shank facing along the casting seam has a dimple.  This is a pain because these dimples simply mean more sanding required at those points.Progression with the dimple – I don’t want to take off more than needed.  Note, the darkened area has disappeared on the stem indicating that the sanding paper is making seamless contact between shank and stem.With the shank/stem transition sanding completed, I move to sanding the entire pre-cast CW stem.  To start, I use a coarse 120 grade paper to do the initial sanding.  The casting seams along both sides of the stem need to be erased.  The following picture again shows the differences in the surface of the pre-cast stem.  The pre-cast stem has ripples – unevenness, even though it is new.  The dark stretch below shows a ‘valley’ in the rippling that means I sand more there to bring the edges of the valley flush with the valley floor.  The following pictures show the progression in the 120 sanding.With the CW stem smoothed after the 120 grade sanding, I switch to fine-tuning the button.  As with the stem, the button is rough. The bit needs filing to flatten it and to bring more definition to the button edges.  The slot facing on these CW stems is curved and the upper button extends out a bit more than the lower. This helps in identifying the up/down orientation of the stem.  The pictures show the progression with upper and lower bit.  Upper first:Lower :After the main filing is completed, 240 grade paper is employed to fine-tune the bit and button as well as to sand the entire stem after the 120 sanding.  Upper and lower first: Next, to continue the smoothing, 600 grade paper is used to wet sand the entire stem.  This is followed by applying 000 grade steel wool.A closeup of the button area shows the nice progression!Next, the full regimen of 9 micromesh pads is applied from 1500 to 12000. Between each set of 3 pads, Obsidian Oil is applied to condition and protect the vulcanite from future oxidation.  I only show one orbital view and a couple closeups of the finished process focusing on the upper and lower bit. With the CW stem’s sanding completed, its time to bend the stem.  The general principle I follow in stem bending is that the mouthpiece at the end of the stem, should be generally on the same horizontal plane as the rim.  It’s helpful for me to draw templates to visualize the finished stem.Where the original stem template starts with and estimation of where the bend should take place.I use the hot air gun to focus the heat on the lower side of the stem first – the thicker part.  I want it to become supple before heating the upper, thinner area of the stem which heats faster and wants to be the first place the bend begins.  I want the bend to start in the thicker part of the stem then followed by the thinner.As the stem warms over the hot air gun, I gently coax the bend as the stem softens.  After bending to a point that looks good, I bring the stem to the template holding it there for some minutes for the orientation to take hold.  I then take the stem to the kitchen sink and run cool water over it to solidify the bend.  The first try works well.  I like the look and feel of the pipe in my hand.With the stem sanding and bending completed, focus is again transitioned to the Dr. Geo blasted bowl.  Before moving to the staining process, the stummel needs some preparatory work.  One of the things I really like about working with a combination of blasted and smooth briar surfaces is the contrast that this produces.  I love to see both presentations of the grain – the smooth 2-D viewpoint as well as the rough, blasted 3-D viewpoint of the grain.  This bowl provides an opportunity for the striking contrasting. The rim is angled in a beveled slope from the external rim’s edge downward toward the chamber to the internal rim’s edge.  This rim, I believe, will look great after it is sanded to bring out the smooth briar contrast.The other sanding will bring out smooth grain over the nomenclature panel on the left shank flank as well as the newly sanded area transitioning to the stem.  To begin, 240 grade paper is used on these smooth briar patches followed by dry sanding with 600 grade paper. The full regimen of 9 micromesh pads, from 1500 to 12000, is applied to the smooth briar patches next.I’m loving what I’m seeing!  That grain contrast is great.  In the second picture, the rough area from the old fill is still visible and looks shaky, but it should disappear as it blends with the surrounding briar after the staining process.The staining process is next.  I assemble my desktop staining module with all the component parts.  I recently used the method I learned from my fellow restorer from India, Paresh, of creating the rich Dunhill look.  With this bowl being originally darker, I thought that this approach would be good.  It starts with an undercoat of Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye that is followed with the washing with red dye. After wiping the bowl with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to clean it, I warm it with the hot air gun to open the briar helping it to be more receptive to the dye which is applied using a folded over pipe cleaner.  Using the pipe cleaner, I paint sections of the bowl with the Dark Brown Dye and then immediately ‘flame’ it with a lit candle.  This combusts the aniline dye burning away the alcohol leaving the dye pigment embedded in the briar.  After applying the dye, the stummel is set aside for several hours – through the night, for the dye to ‘rest’ and settle in.  This helps the dye to take hold in the briar.The next morning, it’s time to ‘unwrap’ the flamed stummel.  To do this, a felt cloth buffing pad is mounted onto the Dremel set at the slowest speed, and Tripoli compound is applied to help remove the crusted shell exposing the dyed briar beneath.After the Tripoli compound removes the flamed crust, I wipe the bowl to rid it of the compound dust.  When this is completed, I apply a wash of red overcoat to the briar surface and lightly wipe it with a cotton cloth.  I apply and wipe until I’m satisfied with the hue.  I like what I see.  The rich red tones give a depth to the blasted finish.Next, since it’s easier to handle the stem and stummel separately, after mounting a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel set at about 40% full power, Blue Diamond compound is applied to the long Churchwarden stem and Dr. Geo bowl.  One more step to guard against dye leeching.  Often, bowls that have been newly stained, dye will come off on the steward’s hand the first times the bowl is heated up and put into service. To emulate this, I heat the bowl with the hot air gun and then wipe it with a cotton cloth to pick up leeched dye.  Hopefully, this will keep the bowl from leeching later!I complete the fashioning of the Dr. Geo Churchwarden by giving the reunited stem and bowl a vigorous hand buffing bringing out the shine.  I’m very pleased with the results of the ‘Dunhill’ approach to finishing the bowl that I learned from Paresh.  The Dr. Geo Prince bowl serves well mounted on a long, flowing Churchwarden stem. The contrasting with the smooth and blasted briar surfaces also work very nicely. This was Jon’s second commissioned pipe and he will have the first opportunity to claim this French Dr. Geo Churchwarden from The Pipe Steward Store benefitting the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!

More work than I expected – an Astleys 109 Jermyn Street London Scoop


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is a bit of a strange one to me. It is almost an egg shape on its side with a stem that should have been bent a bit more to fit the angles of the pipe. It has an oval shank and an oval saddle stem. It is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Astleys over 109 Jermyn St over London. There is no other shape numbers on the pipe. The finish is smooth and has some great grain around the sides, top and bottom of the bowl and shank. It was quite dirty and the rim top had an overflow of lava on the beveled inner rim top. The bowl was thickly caked and the inner edge of the rim had some darkening. The saddle stem was vulcanite and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The stem was oxidized and had some calcification on the end. Jeff took some photos of the pipe to show the general condition of the pipe before he started his clean up. He took some photos of the rim top and bowl from various angles to give me a clear picture of the condition of the rim top and bowl. You can see the cake in the bowl and the darkening around the inner edge of the rim. Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish on the pipe. The photos show the beautiful grain around the bowl. Under the oils and grime it was a nice looking bowl. I think it will be a really nice looking pipe once it is restored. He took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. On the shank it was stamped Astley’s over 109 Jermyn St over London. As noted there was not a shape number.The next two photos show the top and underside of the stem. It is dirty and has calcification on both sides at the button. There is also some tooth chatter and some light tooth marks. The third photo shows the condition of the slot while the final photo shows the curve of the full stem. Jeff once again did 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. The stem was scrubbed with Soft Scrub and it came out looking very good. The finish on the bowl and the rim top cleaned up nicely. I took pictures of the pipe to show how it looked when I unpacked it. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show how clean it was. There was some damage and darkening on the inner edge of the rim. It was slightly out of round from the damage. You can also see the crack on the top of the shank (Jeff had mentioned this to me in our conversations today). I have circled it in red in the photo below. The stem looked good just some light tooth chatter and several deeper tooth marks near the button.I decided to address the hairline crack in the top of the shank. It was not a deep crack and it did not go all the way around the shank. It was only on the top of the shank. You can see the totality of it in the first photo below. I used a microdrill bit on my Dremel to drill a small hole at each end of the crack to stop it from spreading further. I located the end of the crack with lens and marked it. I drilled a hole at each end (photos 2 and 3). The fourth photo shows both ends of the crack with the pilot holes. I wiped down the surface of the crack. I cleaned it out with a dental pick to open it slightly. I filled in the crack and the pilot holes with clear super glue. I used a dental spatula to spread briar dust over the pilot holes and the crack.Once the repair had cured I sanded the surface of the shank around and over the crack with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and smoothed the repair out and blended it into the surface of the surrounding briar. I was able to blend it in fairly well. While it is still visible in the photo below it is solid and repaired.When I examined the end of the shank, the angled drilling of the airway into the bowl left a thin area at the bottom of the mortise opening. I put a few drops of super glue in the airway and put some briar dust on top of the glue to build up the mortise in that area. Once it was cured I sanded it smooth with a small sanding stick.I decided to address the damage to the inner edge of the rim. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the rim edge and give it a bevel to minimize the damage to the edge.. I was able to remove the damage and bring the bowl back into round.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping down the briar after each sanding pad with a damp cloth. The briar began to shine. I touched up the stain around the sanded area of the repair with a Cherry stain pen and blended the repair into the surrounding briar. The result looks very good.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my fingertips. The product is a great addition to the restoration work. It enlivens, enriches and protects the briar while giving it a deep glow. I appreciate Mark Hoover’s work in developing this product. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of a Bic lighter to try and raise them a bit. Remember vulcanite has “memory” and if the marks are not sharp edge the heat well raise them. In this case while they came up some there was still significant damage.I filled in the remaining tooth marks with clear CA glue and set the stem aside to dry.Once the repairs cured I used a needle file to flatten them out and recut the sharp edge of the button.I sanded the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to further blend in the repairs. I started the polishing process with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish from a tin of it I have in the drawer here. It is a gritty red paste that I rub on with my finger tips and work it into the surface of the stem and button and buff it off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work.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 buffed the stem with a soft cloth to raise the shine. I wiped the stem down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem surface. As always I am excited to finish a pipe that I am working on. I put the Astley’s 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 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 along with the polished vulcanite stem. This is nice looking pipe and I am sure that it will be comfortable in hand when smoking as it is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. It is another beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store soon. You can find it in the section of Pipes by English Pipe Makers. 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.

 

Bringing Life Back to a Heritage Antique 86 Blasted Apple  


Blog by Dal Stanton

A few years ago I landed a large lot of pipes on the eBay auction block from a seller in Georgetown, Texas.  The seller was actually a charitable organization called the Georgetown Caring Place operating some thrift stores mainly manned by volunteers – elderly.  I liked it from the start!  The description on the ‘Lot of 66’ said it all:

Huge Lot Of 66 Smoking Pipes, Pre-Owned, Loved, Pre-Smoked, Many different makers styles and Brands, We will not be able to list specifics on these pipes, We are not pipe people, You are buying one person’s collection

Undoubtedly, an estate collection of a pipe man’s collection that the family donated to benefit the Caring Place. My bid won the Lot of 66 and helped a good cause.  It also placed the former steward’s pipes in my charge, and it has been a joy for me to discover many treasures in the Lot of 66 and to enable these pipes to continue to serve many new stewards for years to come.  Here’s the Lot of 66 that I saw on eBay.Pipe man Todd, who has commissioned and received several pipes from The Pipe Steward before, all benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria, saw one of the Lot of 66 waiting, an unassuming ‘Heritage Blasted Apple’ listed in my online inventory called For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! and he commissioned it along with 2 others (See: Borge Mortensen of Denmark and Ehrlich Special Chimney of Boston). Todd has a knack for seeing good pipes with ‘Pipe Dreamer’ eyes!  Here are the pictures he saw that got his attention despite the cardboard presentation background! The nomenclature, what there is, is/would be located on the bottom panel.  My initial pictures held little promise of identifying any markings.  In this picture, ‘86’ is discernible – a shape number. The next picture, which is a picture I recently took to get a better look, ‘ANTIQUE’ is discernible on the lower part of the panel.  When I first looked at these pictures, I wanted to see lettering all over the panel, but most would be phantom suggestions.  Yet, above ‘ANTIQUE’ I want to see more lettering on a diagonal, but nothing is discernible without question.The stem provides the first strong clue of identifying this mystery ‘Antique’ Blasted Apple.  A quick trip to Pipephil.eu identifies the double diamond inlay as a ‘Heritage’.  The panel information identified a ‘Heritage Pipe Inc.’ which had closed in 1971 as a submark of the S.M. Frank pipe conglomeration.  The double diamond stem inlay was a match.The next stop at Pipedia brought more clarity to the Heritage name and origins.  In the ‘Collector’s Guide to Kaywoodie Pipes’ (LINK) there was a section devoted to “Other” Kaywoodie Pipes which provides great information.  I include the introductory paragraph and then the information related directly to the ‘Heritage’ brand.

NOTES ON “OTHER” KAYWOODIE PIPES

Kaywoodie Stembiter and Chinrester, courtesy ChrisKeene.com

The previous sections of this Chapter summarize information taken from eight Kaywoodie Catalogs from the period 1936 to 1969. Because of the gaps in the catalogs, it is highly likely that many “holes” exist in the material presented in this monograph. This section presents a brief overview of some Kaywoodie Pipes that did not appear in any of the catalogs consulted in this research. The information on these pipes was provided by W.R. “Bill” Lowndes (a well-known Kaywoodie Collector from California).

Heritage. Lowndes suggests that the Heritage pipes were introduced in the 1960’s to compete with Dunhill. No fitments. Smooth finish called “Heirloom”, sandblast called “Antique”. Lowndes notes that there was a carved Heritage similar to Barling Quaints. Pipes were not marked “Kaywoodie”, and logo on bit is a double diamond. Lowndes notes that the Heritage pipes in his collection are small to medium-­size pipes and have Kaywoodie shape numbers. Lowndes suggests there may have been a special Heritage catalog.

I love it when research begins to back up the forensics of the pipe on your worktable!  “Antique”, which I could barely make out on the lower panel is the sandblasted line of Heritage pipes, a line introduced by Frank to compete with Dunhill.  Not a bad aspiration!

The article provided by Pipedia on the S. M. Frank & Co. adds more information:

The history of S. M. Frank & Co. spans nearly a century and half of pipe making, supporting its claim as the “oldest pipe house in America.” S. M. Frank, as it exists today, is a combination of some of the biggest names in pipe making from the early part of the 20th. century. The pipe names KaywoodieYello-BoleReiss-PremierWilliam Demuth CompanyMedico, Heritage (Heritage Pipes Inc.), and Frank are familiar to generations of pipe smokers.

In May of 1960, S. M. Frank started a subsidiary company called Heritage Pipes. The Heritage pipes were an upscale line of push bit pipes meant to compliment the Kaywoodie line. Although not hugely successful, Heritage produced some fine pipes that are still in the collections of many pipe smokers. This company was dissolved on December 31, 1971.

The article references an article about Heritage Pipes Inc. does not add new information but has examples of Heritage pipes which give a clue to the nomenclature and the marking design of the Blasted Apple on my table.  The picture on the top shows the way ‘Antique’ was below the fancy script ‘Heritage’ above it and diagonal – as I was trying to make out on the panel of the Blasted Apple.  The shape number to the left, beneath the bowl proper, is the design which I’m seeing – or, barely seeing.  The upscale Heritage pipe subsidiary of Frank was started in May of 1960 and the company closed its doors in December of 1971.  The look and feel of the pipe on my table I would guess ranges toward the early of these years.  The look and wear it has endured, with much dignity, gives it an older cast to me.

As if frosting were needed on the Heritage Antique cake, the reference to ChrisKeene.com.  In the introductory paragraph to the “Collectors Guide to Kaywoodie Pipe” was a reference to Chris Keen’s Pipe Pages.  This site has been down for some time and I miss the information that was on this site.  Here’s the paragraph:

This is an ongoing effort to adapt information from the Collector’s Guide to Kaywoodie Pipes into Pipedia articles. The Guide was first compiled by Chris Keene for his pipe pages at ChrisKeene.com. Chris used source material from Robert W. Stokes, Ph.D and additional support materials from Bill Feuerbach III, of the S.M. Frank Co.. Many thanks to these dedicated pipemen for their work in compiling this material.

Without expecting too much, I followed the ChrisKeene.com link to see what I might find.  What I found appears to be links to ALL the information that was formerly compiled in the now defunk Pipe Pages site.  Oh my!  There are 100s of links to catalogues and brochures listed.  They are not categorized but the links gives some identifying information.  I went down the long list of links and pulled out four pictures that had ‘Heritage’ referenced.  A brochure of ‘Heritage – Briar Pipes of Rarest Beauty’ emerged with great information about this line of pipes – included is the ‘Antique’ line and the shape number of 86 – a large Apple.  I enjoyed the motto given for the ‘Double-Diamond’: “Symbol of FINEST, RAREST PIPES of IMPORTED BRIAR”.

I love historic brochures and catalogs!  With a better understanding of the Heritage Antique name and history, I take a closer look at the Blasted Apple on my worktable.  The chamber has moderately heavy cake build up which needs to be removed to give the briar a fresh start.  The rim has grime as you would expect, but most notable are the divots out of the internal rim lip.  The damage to the rim is significant.  The left-aft quadrant of the rim is in especially poor shape where it appears that lighting practices caused the chamber wall to deteriorate so that it’s now thinner at this point.The blasted briar surface is dirty and has grime build-up, but the blasted surface has a look of quality about it. The stem has oxidation and the bit has biting.  There are compressions on the upper and lower bit, but the button appears to be in good shape.  Interestingly, the left side of the stem has a cut where a wedge of vulcanite has been removed.I start the restoration of this Heritage Antique Blasted Apple by cleaning the stem’s airway using a pipe cleaner wetted with alcohol. To address the oxidation, I use a soak of Before & After Deoxidizer along with the Ehrlich stem.  I leave the stems in the soak for a few hours.After fishing out the Heritage stem, I squeegee the liquid off with my fingers and run a pipe cleaner wetted with alcohol through the airway to clean it of the Deoxidizer.  I use cotton pads wetted with isopropyl 95% to wipe off the raised oxidation.  The Deoxidizer did a good job dealing with the oxidation.To help rejuvenate the vulcanite stem, paraffin oil is applied with a cloth for that purpose.Turning now to the stummel, to ream the chamber I use the Pipnet Reaming Kit.  After putting paper towel down for easier cleanup, I use the two smaller blade heads of the four available.  I follow the reaming by scraping the chamber wall with the Savinelli Fitsall Tool and then sanding by wrapping 240 grade paper around a Sharpie Pen.  Finally, after wiping the bowl with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol, an inspection reveals a healthy chamber.Continuing with cleaning, using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap, the external blasted surface is cleaned using a cotton pad and bristled toothbrush.  For the rim, I employ the brass wire brush to clean it of minor lava flow.Next, taking the stummel to the kitchen sink, I use shank brushes to clean the mortise with anti-oil dish soap.  After rinsing well, I return to the worktable.Continuing with the internal cleaning, I find that it is clean and pipe cleaner and cotton bud wetted with isopropyl 95% are not soiled indicating that the internals are clean.After the cleaning is completed, I look at the stummel.  The old finish has been removed during the cleaning process.  I’ll need to give some consideration to how to proceed down the path regarding re-staining the blasted surface.  With the original coloring emulating the Dunhill look – S. M. Frank’s marketing strategy, I hope to oblige.  I decide to send my fellow restorer and good friend in India, Paresh, an email asking for advice.  I know that in his past restorations of Dunhills, he has worked on techniques in restoring the Dunhill hue.  With an email written including pictures, I’ll await Paresh’s advice. Turning now to the rim, it’s in bad shape.  There are some significant divots out of the internal rim edge.  In the picture below with 12 o’clock being up, a small divot is at 12 o’clock, and larger divots at 3:30, 4:30 and 5:30.  The 2 o’clock region suffers from some burning degradation with a slight compression in the rim plane because of it.  The questions in my mind focus on restoring this Heritage close to its original design – a challenge to Dunhill!  The coloring is an issue and the remnants of blasting on the rim are evident especially at the 4 o’clock region.  I have not done much in the way of rustication processes to emulate the blasting and to repair the rim will undoubtedly mean topping it and therefore, removing the blasting on the rim as a result.  The question would then be how to restore it?  With this question in my mind, I send an email off to Steve with the full weight of rebornpipes.com experience behind him, to see what light he could shed on an approach.As I await responses from my fellow restorers, I move forward with the structural issues of the rim that must be addressed either way.  As I look at it, there is no way around having to top the bowl to provide a new rim foundation from which to work.  Starting with 240 grade paper on the chopping board, I give only a few rotations.  The picture below reveals the contouring in the rim with the flat surface of the topping board not touching the areas that are compressed.  The upper (in the picture) area that I referenced above is compressed.  The divots are more distinctly defined as well. After several more rotations on 240 grade paper, the compression is minimized.  The divots from 3:30 to 5:30 are also growing less distinct.I come to the terminal point in using 240 grade paper.  I only take off what is needful because we can’t replace briar!  My goal was to erase the degraded area at the 1 to 2 o’clock area.  That has been done.  In the process, the major divots no longer appear as divots but areas of the rim that are thinner.After replacing the 240 paper with 600 grade paper, the stummel is rotated several more times to smooth and erase the scratching of the 240 papers. With the topping completed, the small divot at the top should be dispatched with sanding.  On the lower quadrant, from 3:30 to 7 o’clock, the rim is noticeably thinner.  To see the lower quadrant from different angles to demonstrate what I can see, I take a few more pictures looking from the left, then the right.  As I see it, I have two options of approach.  First, to even out the entire circumference of the rim internal edge and to blend the thinning on the lower quadrant in the pictures, I can sand the entire circumference of the internal rim to smooth to even out the different rim depths.  Or, secondly, I can build up the lower quadrant with briar dust putty and sand it down to blend with more balance with the entire rim.I decide to do the latter – seek to build up the thinning area with briar dust putty.  Since the application will be only on the very upper part of the chamber, I’m not concerned about issues of heating.  I use the plastic disk that serves as a mixing pallet and cover a portion with scotch tape to ease the cleanup.  I scoop a small mound of briar dust on the pallet. Following this, I place next to the briar dust a small puddle of Extra Thick CA glue and with a toothpick, I pull briar dust into the glue.As briar dust is pulled into the glue, it is mixed with the developing putty.  I aim for the thickness of molasses – not runny and if it gets too thick, it will set up and harden spontaneously – with a little smoke for excitement!  The putty needs to be pliable enough to adhere to the chamber/rim edge.  When it’s thick enough, I trowel the putty onto the target area.I set the bowl aside to allow the briar dust putty to cure thoroughly.  It looks good.  In the picture below you can see how it adheres to the contours of the damaged area.After a few hours, the briar dust putty is ready to go.  The process of removing the excess patch material and shaping starts with a half circle needle file focusing on the center of the patch to shape out the curved pitch of the rim. After a few minutes of filing, I remember that I have a Dremel and attach a sanding drum!  With the speed set to low, the Dremel quickens the job of removing the excess and shaping the curve.  I do go slowly and patiently not to take off too much too quickly.After the sanding drum does its job, I switch back to filing to fine tune the removal of excess patch and shaping. When the needle file brings the patch down near to flush to the briar chamber, I switch and use 240 grade paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen.  This works well to continue a nice curve and to give more leverage to removing excess patch material.  My goal is to feel no transition from the patch to the chamber wall.This is achieved after the sanding.  I like what I see.Transitioning now to the rim surface, using a flat needle file the patch excess is removed and smoothed to blend with the rim surface.After using the file, I use 240 then 600 grade paper to fine tune.  I also sand around the full circumference of the rim to remove other smaller nicks.I’m pleased with the progress of the rim’s restoration.  The rim rebuild with briar dust putty will be invisible after the rim is dyed and I figure out an approach to introduce an emulated blasted surface on the rim!Well, I received Steve’s response regarding his thoughts about how to approach the rim.  His counsel was not to top the stummel and to blend repairs and blemishes using burrs from the Dremel.  His counsel arrived a bit late but using burrs to emulate a ‘blasted’ rim surface is the direction I’ll take.  Since I’ve not had a lot of experience with the use of burrs and what effects they produce, I practice on a discarded stummel destined for the briar dust container.After testing different burrs and saw what they do, I chose an approach and apply it to the Heritage’s rim.  I start with a cylindrical burr and finish with a sharper, cone-like burr to get the effect that I practiced. Still not sure if I will stain or leave the stummel as it is, I decide to hydrate the stummel as well as get a sneak peek at what the stummel would look like more in a finished state.  I apply paraffin oil to the stummel, not the rim.  The stummel darkens nicely, but the finish is uneven – patches of lighter on the lower side which darkens going up.  Still thinking….With the stummel darkened, I need to darken the raw rim briar to match where the stummel is.  I use two dye sticks to do the job.  The under coat is with a walnut stain, then over that, a mahogany.  Then, in order to give the new fresh rim surface a more weathered look, I use three mid-range micromesh pads and lightly sand the rim.I heard back from my good friend, Paresh in India, about his approach to achieving a Dunhill color tone.  His basic approach is to apply a dark brown undercoat in the normal way – flamed and then ‘unwrap’ after several hours.  Then, the key part of the process is when Paresh stain washes with a cherry red dye, applying with cotton pad and immediately wiping until the hue that is wanted is reached.  He also sent a link to his great write up on rebornpipes describing the process: A Project Close to My Hear: Restoring a Dunhill From Farida’s Dad’s Collection.  With Paresh’s encouragement, I decide to give Paresh’s approach a try with this Dunhill minded Heritage Antique Blasted Apple.  Not long ago, thankfully, I acquired some red concentrated dye solution that I’ll be able to employ for the first time.  To start, I assemble my desktop staining ensemble.  After wiping the bowl with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to clean, I warm the stummel using a hot air gun.  This has the effect of expanding the briar and helping it to be more receptive to the dye. Using a fashioned cork as a handle, I then apply Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye, per Paresh’s directions.  I use a folded over pipe cleaner to do this.  After ‘painting’ a section, I immediately ‘flame’ the alcohol-based dye with a lit candle.  The combustion burns off the alcohol leaving behind the embedded hue absorbed into the briar. After completing this process with a thorough painting and flaming of the entire stummel, I put it aside for several hours for the new dye to rest.  This helps to solidify the new dye.With the newly dyed stummel resting, I turn my attention to the stem.  Taking a closer look, the compressions on the upper bit and lower bit are significant.  There is also a divot of vulcanite sliced off the left side of the stem.  I’m not sure how something like this would happen – perhaps a lit match?  I’ll work on blending this in by sanding.  First, using the heating method, I paint the compressions with the flame of a Bic lighter.  This heats and expands the rubber helping it to regain its original disposition – or closer to it.  The goal is to raise the compressions sufficiently enough so that simple sanding will then be all that is needed to erase them – hopefully avoiding patching.   Before and after pictures of upper and then lower show the results.  First, the upper: And the lower:I believe that the lower bit may now be sanded out.  I’m not so sure about the upper bit – the compression next to the button is still significantly deep.  Before sanding, I fill this compression with black CA glue to be on the safe side and fill up against the button.  When the patch cures, this will make sure that the compression is addressed in conjunction with the button lip edge.After the patch cures, a flat needle file goes to work on bringing the excess CA glue down to the stem’s surface level on both the upper and lower sides.  The change in the background is explained by me moving out onto my 10th floor balcony ‘Man Cave’ to enjoy the warmth of the day!As I was filing the lower side, it became apparent that the compression was too pronounced for filing and sanding to remove.  It would require too much to dig that deep.  Switching gears, I decide to detour a bit and fill the compression with black CA glue.After cleaning it with alcohol, I place a drop of black CA glue on the lower side compression.What I missed taking a picture of was that during the detour, I also decided to apply some black CA glue to the wedge on the left side of the stem.  I used an accelerator to hold the glue in place and to quicken the curing time.After both of the ‘tour patches’ cure, I used the flat needle file on both to remove excess and to bring the patches down to stem level.After filing, the sanding continues with 240 grade paper on the upper and lower.Sanding is continued after the 240 grade paper with wet sanding using 600 grade paper on the entire stem along with applying 000 grade steel wool.Continuing to the micromesh process, I wet sand with pad 1500 to 2400 and dry sand with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of three pads Obsidian Oil is applied to freshen as well as to protect the vulcanite against oxidation.  I’m pleased with the repairs.  The large fill on the upper side is solid but still visible.  We still live in an imperfect world! Turning back to the newly stained stummel, it has been resting now for several hours and it’s time to ‘unwrap’ the flame crusted surface.  To remove the crusted surface, a felt buffing wheel is mounted onto the Dremel with the speed set almost to the slowest to avoid excess heating with the friction created by the felt on the briar surface.  With the felt wheel, the coarser Tripoli compound is applied to the blasted briar surface.  With my wife’s help taking some pictures while my hands are full, it shows the ‘unwrapping’ process.  The second close-up shows the line between the crusted part and the unwrapped part.The stummel has been unwrapped revealing the dark brown undercoat.  Next, the stain wash with a red dye applied until the desired hue is reached – hopefully!The red dye concentrate I acquired not long ago prescribes a ratio of 1 fluid ounce per quart of either water or alcohol.  For my smaller purposes of application, I pour some isopropyl 95% in a small jar – about 1/3 filled and add several drops of the red tint concentrate until it looks good. Then, using a folded pipe cleaner, I wash the stummel with the red dye and wipe it with a cotton pad.  Since I haven’t done this before, I’m going by the ‘seat of my pants’ to see how the briar takes the wash and what the effect will be.Satisfied at this point, not sure whether I’m achieving the ‘Dunhill’ look, I set the stummel aside to rest for several hours through the night.The next morning, the red dye wash has had time to settle.  The next step to unwrap the stummel a second time.  For this, I mount the Dremel with a softer cotton cloth buffing wheel, set at the normal 40% speed, and apply the lesser abrasive compound, Blue Diamond.  Again, my wife assists with a picture of this process.DISASTER AVOIDED!  When I reached for the stem to rejoin it to the stummel to apply Blue Diamond to it, I noticed that the double diamond inlay was missing!  Oh my!  Miracle of miracles, I looked down and amazingly saw the diamonds.  To remedy this near disaster, using a toothpick, I dab a bit of CA glue in the diamond cavities on the stem and with tweezers replace the double diamond inlay.  The process was not as easy as it sounds as small as the double diamonds are and not getting excess CA glue on the finished stem surface…. With Double Diamonds reattached, and the stem and stummel reunited, I continue the application of Blue Diamond compound to the stem.  I do change buffing wheels because of the dye unwrapping.Before applying wax, I do a ‘heat’ buffing.  To help minimize dye leaching off on the hands of the new steward, I use the heat gun to warm the stummel, emulating the heating of a pipe in service, and use a cotton cloth to wipe it during the heated state.  This helps to stabilize the new dyed briar surface.After reuniting stem and stummel, I mount another cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel, set at 40% full power, and apply carnauba wax to the pipe.  When completed, a microfiber cloth provides a rigorous hand buffing to raise the shine.

Wow!  With Paresh’s help, I think I nailed it!  The depth and richness of this blasted finish has that ‘Dunhill’ look to it I believe.  Thanks, Paresh!  The blasted landscape of this Heritage Antique Blasted Apple jumps out with the 3-dimensional contours of the briar grain contours.  I can’t get over the red notes in the finish – it gives it a depth and richness that is something to enjoy.  The technical challenges with the rim repairs and stem patches turned out great.  I’m pleased with this restoration and Todd, who commissioned it, will have the first opportunity in The Pipe Steward Store to acquire the Heritage Antique benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!

Restoring a Savinelli Autograph 5 Freehand Style Bent Sitter


Blog by Steve Laug

As you might have figured out from the title I am working on another pipe from Italy. This one is a Savinelli Autograph 5. It reads Savinelli over Autograph on the underside of the bowl on a smooth panel. It is also stamped with the Grade number 5 and Italy. The pipe has a beautiful sandblast on the bowl, rim top and shank. The bowl is canted from front to rear. The rim top was filled in with lava and there was thick cake in the bowl. The outer edge of the bowl had some nicks and scratches particularly at the front. There was Sterling Silver band on the shank that was a previous repair to a crack. The crack had been repaired but there was still cosmetic damage on the underside of the shank. The autograph stamp on the vulcanite stem was worn away and non-existent anymore. The twist to the stem confirms that the stem is original. The pipe was dirty but it showed a lot of promise. Jeff took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. Jeff took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the pipe at this point. The bowl has a light cake and some debris in the bottom of the bowl. The rim top is dirty but undamaged. The stem looks pretty good with the autograph stamp readable. There is tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside just ahead of the button on both sides. He took photos of the sides of the bowl and the heel of the bowl showing the great grain showing through the sandblast finish.   He took a photo of the smooth underside of the bowl/heel. You can see the stamping – Savinelli Autograph 5 over Italy. It is stamped on a smooth portion of the heel while leaving the other portion sandblasted.     He also took photos of the Sterling Silver band on the shank as well as the crack in the underside of the shank. The next photos show the top and underside of the stem. There is a chip out of the top left edge of the button. The overall stem is deeply oxidized and has calcification on both sides at the button. There is also some tooth chatter and some light tooth marks. The final photo shows the curve of the full stem. I wanted to remind myself a bit about the Autograph line from Savinelli so I reread a blog I had written on a previous Autograph restoration (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/01/05/restoring-a-savinelli-autograph-3-rhodesian-dublin-long-shank/). I quote that portion of the blog now:

I turned first to the Pipephil website (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli1.html) to get a brief overview of the Autograph line. There I found out that the Autographs were hand made and unique. The Autograph Grading system is ascending: 3, 4, … 8, 0, 00, 000.

I turned then to Pipedia to get a more background on the Autograph line. I had the outline I needed from pipephil for the pipe but wanted more (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Savinelli). I quote in part from the article on that site.

While Savinelli’s serially produced pipes account for around 98% of annual production, the marque also creates a number of artisanal, handmade pieces as well. The Autographs, the Creativity line, and the Mr. A. line are all the result of Savinelli’s unique handmade process, with the Autographs reflecting the larger Freehand aesthetic, the Creativity line delving into more complex hand carving, and the Mr. A. line sidestepping the standard shape chart for remarkable and unusual pipes.

All of the briar for Savinelli’s Autographs and other freehand pipes is sourced specifically for those pieces. While the majority of the marque’s serial production is made from extra grade ebauchon blocks, Savinelli keeps a separate supply of Extra Extra plateau blocks for Freehands. This variety of briar is much larger, and of a higher quality, which explains why so many Autographs and Savinelli handmades are naturally larger designs.

These handmade pieces are shaped much like traditional Danish Freehands: they are shaped first and drilled second. Using this method, Savinelli’s team of artisans is able to showcase their own creativity, as it maximizes flexibility and facilitates a more grain-centric approach to shaping. The resulting Freehand designs are at once both a departure from the marque’s classical standard shapes, yet very much still “Savinelli” in their nature—i.e. proportioned so that the bowl is the visual focus when viewed from the profile, juxtaposed by the comparatively trim lines of the shank and stem. To provide a little more insight into the differences between Savinelli’s standard production and freehand lines, Luisa Bozzetti comments:

“When we choose to make Freehand pipes we must stop production on the standard shapes. The process for Freehands is much more involved and takes much more time. Finding the best people from the production line and pulling them to make Freehands is challenging since it’s not an assembly line, but rather a one or two man operation.

After the rough shaping of the stummel, we must get together and brainstorm which style of stem will be paired before the pipe can be finished since we do not use pre-shaped stems. All accents and stems for the Freehands are cut from rod here in the factory. A lot of care goes into the few pieces lucky enough to make the cut; to end up with a certain number of Autographs, for instance, means that many, many more will be made, and only the few will be selected.”

The quality control process for Savinelli handmades is even more rigorous than that employed in the standard lineup. Many blocks are started and later discarded because of pits or defects. While Savinelli’s briar sourcing is a constant process, working with some of Italy’s top cutters to ensure only the finest and most suitable blocks make their way to the factory, it’s impossible to source plateau briar that’s completely free from flaws. That’s just nature. Savinelli creates the standard for quality by working through the rough (a very high-quality rough, mind you) to find that shining diamond with the potential to become a Savinelli handmade.

It looks like the Autograph 5 I am working is pretty high in the hierarchy of the line. Like other autographs I have worked on in the past this one has a unique twist to the vulcanite stem. Jeff once again did an amazing job cleaning the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and got rid of the cake 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 to get into the grooves and valleys of the rustication. He rinsed the pipe under warm water. He dried it off with a cloth and then let it air dry. The stem was scrubbed with Soft Scrub and then soaked in Before & After Deoxidizer. It came out looking pretty good with a light coat of oxidation still present. The finish on the bowl and the rim top cleaned up pretty good. I took pictures of the pipe to show how it looked when I unpacked it.     I took a close up photo of the rim top to show how clean it was. There was some damage to the finish on the rim top and some damage to the inner edge of the rim. The stem looked good just the chip on the top edge of the button and some light tooth marks. Overall the pipe looked impressive at this point in comparison to where it had started. The band was firmly glued and pressed in place. The crack was seal and solid when I picked at it with a dental pick. I cleaned it out with alcohol and a cotton swab to remove any debris in the surface area. I filled in the crack with clear super glue to seal it further and minimize the damage to the shank area.Once the repair cured I sanded the filled area with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I work to smooth out the repair and blend it into the surface of the surrounding briar. I was very happy with the way in which the repair blended into the surrounding sandblast.  I decided to address the damage to the inner edge of the rim. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the rim edge and cleanup the slight bevel that was there. I was able to minimize the damaged area. I stained the inner edge with a black stain pen and mixed the stain with a Walnut stain to blend it into the rest of the rim top. I also stained the damage to the outer edge at the same time.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my finger tips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product is a great addition to the restoration work. It enlivens, enriches and protects the briar while giving it a deep glow. It is a product I use on every pipe I work on.   I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I rebuilt the chip out of the top left side of the button with clear super glue. I built it up and reshaped the button edge with 220 grit sandpaper and polished it when I did the rest of the stem.I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I polished the sanding marks with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. The photos show the stem at this point.    I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish from a tin of it I have in the drawer here. It is a gritty red paste that I rub on with my finger tips and work it into the surface of the stem and button and buff it off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work. I wet sanded the tooth chatter on both sides of the stem with 1500 -12000 grit micromesh pads to polish it. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil on a cloth after each sanding pad. I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine polishes. I rubbed it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil as a final preservative measure to protect the stem.    I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the smooth part of the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the sandblasted bowl and shank several coats of Conservator’s Wax 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 contrast of the beautiful dark and medium brown stains and the smooth and sandblast finish worked amazingly well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The sandblast was deep and craggy on the bowl and shank and looks quite remarkable. This is truly a beautiful Freehand pipe. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 1/2 inches, Height: 3 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. I have restored quite a few Autographs over the years and this estate is another rare beauty. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me. Cheers. 

Restoring a Beautiful St. Claude Ben Wade Calabash


Blog by Steve Laug

This St. Claude, France Ben Wade Calabash is quite stunning. The shape and flow of the briar, the rich red stains and the curve of the Lucite stem all combine to create a shape that is elegant and beautiful. Jeff picked this pipe up from a favourite shop in Utah. I have never seen one of these before even though I have worked on a lot of both English and Danish Ben Wade pipes. This one is a French Made Ben Wade. It is stamped on the left side of the curved shank with the words Ben Wade in script over Calabash. The name is also stamped on the left side of the half saddle stem. On the right side it is stamped St. Claude arched over Bruyere Garantie. To the left is a very tight stamp France. On the underside of the shank it is stamped with the letter F. There appears to be remnants of gold leaf in the stamping on both sides of the shank. It can be seen in the photos below. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he began his cleanup work on it.The pipe was dirty and there were some worn spots on the plateau rim top. The original colour had been black but the dust had turned it almost grey. There was a cake in the bowl and some lava overflow on the plateau. The finish on the bowl was cordovan or oxblood. It was dirty as well with some nicks in the finish. You can see the chipped areas around the rim top and the lava in the plateau in the photos below.Jeff took photos of the bowl from various angles to give a picture of the grain and the condition on the finish of the pipe. It is a beautifully grained and finished pipe. The oxblood stain really works well to highlight and showcase the grain. Jeff also took photos of the stamping on the shank and the stem. The first two photos show the left side of the shank and stem. The third photo shows the stamping on the right side and the fourth shows the stamping on the underside. The acrylic/Lucite stem was dirty and there were tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside. There was one deep tooth mark on the underside up against the button edge. The flat surface of the button had tooth chatter and wear on both sides. Jeff also took a photo of the gentle curve of the half saddle stem and I have included that below. Jeff did his usual extensive cleanup of the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer removing the cake from the bowl so that we could see what was going on underneath the surface. The interior of the bowl looked very good. He cleaned the internals of the pipe and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until it was very clean. He scrubbed the externals with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He worked over the plateau rim and edges with the brush and the soap and rinsed the pipe down with warm water. He cleaned the stem as well so that the externals and internals were clean. He did scrub the stem with Soft Scrub on cotton pads to remove the grime on the surface. It was acrylic so it was not oxidized so it was not necessary to soak it in a deoxidizer. I took photos of the pipe when I unpacked it and brought it to my work table. I took close up photos of the stem and the rim top to show the condition. The cragginess of the plateau is clean and shows the peaks and valleys in their fullness. You can also see some of the worn spots on the rim top where the finish has been removed. The stem looks good. The photo of the underside shows the deep tooth marks next to the button (third photo).I took some photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank to confirm what I mentioned above. The stamping is crisp and readable.I took the stem off the shank and took two photos to give a clear idea of the gentle curves of the pipe and the look of the rugged plateau rim on the delicate bowl. It really is a beauty! The tenon is drilled for a 6mm filter but could easily be smoked without one or with an adapter.Jeff and I were talking on Facetime and he was showing me how well the pipe had cleaned up. We do that often as he is in Idaho and I am in BC Canada. While he was carefully turning the stem into the shank we both heard and audible “POP”. That sound is a pipe restorer’s nightmare. If you have not heard that sound I can guarantee you will one day. Jeff groaned and showed me the crack in the shank. So when it arrived here in Vancouver I had a look. I took a photo of the crack and have included it below. It is on the top left side of the shank and is a good ½ inch long. That would need to be repaired. I also found some small hairline cracks on the top right side near the plateau top. They were not deep or serious but nonetheless they were present.I decided to deal with the cracked shank first. I went through some brass bands that I have that are polished gold in colour and would go well with the gold stamping on the stem and shank. They were quite thin and some have an inward bevel on the shank cover. I chose the band on the right and used my topping board to reduce the depth of the band by half. I wanted to retain as much of the stamping as possible and still bind the cracked shank together.I spread the crack in the shank and pushed some CA Glue into the space. Because of the way the curve in the shank I could not drill and hole at the end of the crack. I clamped it together until the glue cured. I did not glue the band on at this point because I wanted to touch up the gold stamping before I put it in place. Once the repair cured I put the stem on the shank and took a photo to give an idea of what the band looked like with the stem in place.   With that repair complete it was time to deal with the hairline cracks on rim edge. I used a tiny bit to put a hole at the end of each crack and filled them in with a bead of CA glue. The photo below is very blurry but shows the glued are well enough(I apologize for the lousy picture). I also filled in some of the pits in the back side of the bowl.Once the repairs had cured I sanded them smooth with a 1500 grit micromesh pad to blend them into the surface of the surrounding briar.I have found that the Mahogany stain pen I have blends really well with oxblood or cordovan stain. I touched up the sanded areas on the shank top, right side of the bowl at the topo and the back of the bowl with the pen and let it cure. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the debris. The bowl began to look very good. I also really like the look of the polished brass band on the shank end. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau with a horsehair shoe brush. I let it sit for about 10 minutes and buffed it off with a soft cotton cloth. The product cleans, protects and preserves the briar and leaves it enriched and beautiful. I set the bowl aside and turned to the stem. I sanded the tooth chatter on both sides of the stem with particular attention to the large tooth mark on the underside of the stem just ahead of the button. I cleaned the tooth mark with alcohol on a cotton swab. I filled it in with a bead of clear CA glue and set it aside to cure. When the repair cured I used a needle file to sharpen the edge and flatten the repair.I sanded the repaired area and the rest of the tooth chatter areas on both sides of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and followed up with a piece of 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish from a tin of it I have in the drawer here. It is a gritty red paste that I rub on with my finger tips and work into the surface of the stem and button and buff off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work.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 buffed the stem with a soft cloth to raise the shine. I paused in my polishing of the stem to touch up the gold leaf on the stem side and the sides of the shank. I used Rub’n Buff Antique Gold and pressed it in the stamping with the end of a tooth pick. I let it sit for a few minutes then buffed it off with a soft damp cloth to remove the excess. I went back to polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed the stem with a clean cotton rag. The stem looks really good at this point.I used a dental spatula to spread some white glue around the shank end. Once the glue was evenly spread I pressed the band in place. I adjusted it so that it fit well. I set it aside to cure for a while as I wanted the band to be permanent. It looks very good now.I am excited to finish this beautiful Ben Wade Calabash from St. Claude France. It is both a rare one in terms of availability but also for me as I have never seen one before. 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 the grain popping through on the bowls sides and the contrast of the black plateau rim top. The brass band on the shank adds a touch class to the overall look in my opinion. When you add to that the polished black acrylic stem with the shining gold stamping you have a winning combination. The gold stamping also looks great on the shank and stem. This grain on the smooth finish Ben Wade Calabash is nice looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced for a large pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 ¾ inches, Height: 3 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on 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. Remember 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.    

Another Fun Restore from Bob Kerr’s Estate – A BBB 2 Star Apple 11


Blog by Steve Laug

Even with the COVID-19 warnings rolling in incessantly I am still working on pipes! It keeps my mind busy and focused and not to get carried away with the sense of powerlessness. There is no reason to not enjoy the time alone at the work table bringing these old-timers back to life. After brief foray restoring pipes referred to me by my local pipe shop I am back to Bob Kerr’s estate (his photo is to the left). If you have not “met” the man and would like to read a bit of the history of the pipeman, his daughter has written a great tribute that is worth a read. Because I have included it in over 60 restorations to date I thought that I would leave it out this time. Be sure to check out some of the recent Dunhill restoration blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/01/01/restoring-the-last-of-bob-kerrs-dunhills-a-1962-dunhill-bruyere-656-f-t-bent-billiard/).

The next pipe I have chosen from his estate is an interesting looking Apple with a slender stem. It is stamped BBB in a diamond on the left side of the shank with a Star on each side of the diamond. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Made in England over the shape number 11. The slender stem does not bear the BBB brass logo. The tapered stem is oxidized and has tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. There is some calcification on the stem with damage to the button. The finish is worn and dirty. There is a thick cake and lava overflow on the rim top. There is some damage on top & edges. There appears to be some chips out of the thin rim top/edge that will need to be addressed in the restoration. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show its general condition before he did his cleanup. The finish on the pipe was very dirty – grime and grit from years of use and sitting fill the crevices in the rustication. The rim top was covered with a coat of thick lava that overflowed the bowl. There was also some darkening and chipping damage on the rim top. The bowl itself had a thick cake with flecks of tobacco stuck in the cake on the sides.Jeff took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to give a better feel for the grain around the bowl. He took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the. You can see that the stamping is very clear. On the left side it reads BBB in a diamond with a star on each side of the base. On the right side it reads Made in England over the shape number 11.The stem was dirty and extremely oxidized. Once again the stem appeared to be a replacement as I have learned Bob was a chewer and his stems seemed to have been replaced often. This one at least fit well to the shank and did not yet have the chew marks that were a norm on Bob’s pipes.Before I started my work on the pipe I decided to read a bit of BBB history to remind myself how the two stars fit into the hierarchy of BBB pipes. I turned first to Pipephil’s site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-bbb.html). I have included a screen capture to show the stamping on the pipe. At this point I still did not know how it fit. Also the pipe I was working on did not have the BBB Diamond or Brass logo on the stem.I turned to Pipedia to see what I could gather there about the hierarchy of the Two Star pipe (https://pipedia.org/wiki/BBB). I read through the page and found some more information. I quote a pertinent section of the article that give the information that I was hoping for and expecting.

…In the Thirties, the top-of-the-range one becomes “BBB Best Make” with alternatives like “Super Stopping” and “Ultonia Thule”. The BBB Carlton, sold with the detail with 8/6 in 1938, is equipped with a system complicated out of metal, system which equipped the BBB London Dry too. Blue Peter was not estampillées BBB but BBB Ultonia, and the BBB Two Star (* *) become the bottom-of-the-range one.

Now I knew about where the Two Star fit – at the bottom of the range. Armed with that information it was time to work on the pipe. Jeff cleaned this filthy pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I was looking forward to seeing what he had done with this one when I took it out of his box. It looked amazing and CLEAN and other than the stem work needing a little effort on my part. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks good with great looking grain around the bowl and shank. The rim top and front of the bowl was severely damaged with burns. The condition of the inner and outer edges was rough. The stem looked a lot better but damage was evident on the button. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. The pipe was ready for me to carry on the next part of the process. 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 was clean and the damage was very evident. There were several chips on the edge of the rim top with the largest being at the back of the bowl.  I also took close up photos of the stem to show how well surface looked on both sides. I took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above.I decided to start my restoration work on this one by dealing with the damaged rim top. I filled in the damaged areas with a drop of clear Krazy Glue (CA) and then pressed some briar dust into the glued areas with a dental spatula. I set the bowl aside to dry overnight.   I sanded the repaired areas with 220 and 400 grit sandpaper to shape the repaired areas and blend them into the rest of the bowl. I also worked over the edge and top to minimize the darkening to the edges.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. After each pad I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth. I touched up the rim top colour with a Maple Stain Pen to match the colour of the rest of the bowl. I let it dry and buffed it by hand.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 a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. With that done the bowl was finished other than the final buffing. I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the remaining tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sand paper to blend them into the rest of the stem surface. I started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it had begun to shine.        I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish from a tin of it I have in the drawer here. It is a gritty red paste that I rub on with my finger tips and work into the surface of the stem and button and buff off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work.  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 continuing to experiment with Briarville Pipe Repairs new product, No Oxy Oil so I rubbed the stem down with the oil on the cloth that was provided with it. This BBB Two Star 11 Apple was another interesting pipe to work on. It is a classic shaped Apple. It has a tapered vulcanite stem that I am pretty certain is a replacement stem. The grain on the pipe is very nice and the shape has a great look and feel in the hand. The smooth finish is beautiful and highlights the grain. The repaired rim top looks very good and blends in well. 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 deeply grained briar took on life with the buffing. The rich browns of the briar 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 Apple are very well done even with the replacement stem. 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. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on 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. 

The 18th Pipe from the 19 Pipe Eastern Canada Lot – a GBD Popular 12 Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

With two pipes left to finish for the fellow in Kitchener, Ontario I decided to work on one more of them. He had been referred to me by my local pipe and cigar shop. While I am not currently adding more pipes to my queue of repairs I have made a commitment to the shop to work on pipes for their customers. Generally they have one or two pipes that need a bit of work. This fellow sent me the following email:

I just came across my smoking pipes that I’ve had in storage for about 40 years. I’m wondering what you’d charge to have them refurbished. There are 17 in total (11 are Brighams and 6 are various).

It turns out he said he had 17 pipes. That was certainly more than I expected but I communicated that there was a large queue ahead of him and I would have to fit them in as I could. He was fine with whatever time it took. He sent me the following photos of his collection that he wanted restored. The first photo shows his eleven Brigham pipes – all very interesting shapes. The second photo shows the six various pipes in the collection – A Republic Era Peterson’s System 1312 (Canadian Import), A Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand, a Comoy’s Everyman London smooth billiard, a GBD Popular Dublin 12, an English made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B, a Kriswill Bernadotte 60 with a broken tenon. When the box arrived there were two additional pipes included for a total of 19 – a Ropp 803 Deluxe Cherrywood Poker and a Comoy’s Sandblast Everyman Canadian 296. It was a lot of pipes! I have been randomly choosing the next pipe to work on and chose the Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand that is shown in the second photo below. I have drawn a purple box around the GBD Popular 12 Dublin in the photo below. I have also put and X through all of the pipes that I have finished. I am making progress on the lot – I have finished 17 pipes now and this is the 18th.The 18th pipe that I took out of the box was a GBD Popular. It had a smooth finish. It was stamped on both sides of the shank. On the left side it read GBD in an oval over Popular in script. On the right side it was stamped Made in England and under that was the shape number 12. The finish was really dirty and spotty looking. The rim top had a thick coat of lava on the flat surface and the beveled inner rim. The bowl had a thick cake in it that was hard and crumbling. The vulcanite stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. The GBD roundel on the left side of the stem looked good. It seemed to have tabs around the edges that held it on the stem surface.   I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and the darkening and damage to the inner edge as well. You can also see the cake in the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above. I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank to show what I was speaking about above. It is very readable. On the left side it reads GBD in an oval over Popular.  On the right side it read Made in England over the shape number 12.  The stem also had a GBD Roundel on the left side of the taper.   Before doing cleanup work on the pipe I decided to do some research on the pipe. I looked first on the Pipephil website and found nothing on the Popular line. I turned to Pipedia and also was disappointed to find nothing on the line. Hitting the dead end I decided to turn to working on the pipe. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer to remove the cake. I cleaned up the remaining cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel to smooth them out. I was happy that the walls looked very good.   I scraped off the lava on the rim top with the edge of the Fitsall Pipe Knife. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the top of the rim and the bevel on the inner edge. I was able to make it look significantly better. I cleaned the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. They were dirty but the pipe is clean now.   I scrubbed the surface of the bowl and rim top with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grimes, oils and tars and leave the surface clean. I rinsed it off with warm running water to remove the grime and the soap.   I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down after each sanding pad to remove the dust and debris from the sanding. The rim top was looking very good after the final polishing pad.     Once I had finished with the 2400 grit pad I touched up the colour of the rim top using an Oak Stain Pen. It blended very well with the colour of the bowl and shank. Once it cured I went on with the polishing with the remaining micromesh pads. I rubbed the bowl and shank 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 a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.     I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I rubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub on with a cotton pad and it removed the oxidation. It was looking better.     I sanded out the remaining tooth marks, chatter and oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.     I rubbed down the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish, a red gritty paste and a cotton pad to remove the remnants of oxidation and to blend in the sanding. The stem is starting to show promise at this point in the process.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cotton pad to remove the sanding debris.  I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine.   It feels good to be one pipe away from finishing the restoration of this 19 pipe lot from Eastern Canada. With the completion of this one I have finished 18 of the pipes. I put the English Made GBD Popular 12 Billiard back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain showing through the rustication on both sides and the smooth rim top. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This nicely finished GBD Popular Billiard is nice looking and feels great in my hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Once again I am looking forward to what the pipeman who sent it thinks of this restoration. Only 1 more pipe to do in this lot! Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on the trust to the next pipeman or woman.