Tag Archives: Stem repairs

New Life for a Peterson’s Republic Era “Donegal” Rocky 407 Prince


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table came to us from one of Jeff’s pipe hunts or auctions. It is a smaller nicely grained and I would say classic Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky 407 Prince with a bent P-lip stem. The rusticated finish is quite rugged and has an instantly recognizable Peterson’s look. The pipe was dirty, with grime and dust ground into the finish. The bowl had a thick cake in the bowl and a lava overflow on the inner edge of the rim and spilling onto the rim top and filling in the rustication there. The pipe is stamped on underside of the shank and reads Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky. It is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland followed by the shape number 407. The silver band is stamped K&P over Sterling Silver. There are also silver hallmarks. The first is the mark for the city of Dublin (woman on a throne). The second mark is the mark for the quality of silver (Irish harp). The third mark looks like an “I” (the date stamp). The stamping is clear and readable on the pipe and ferrule. The stem was dirty, oxidized and calcified. There were light tooth marks and chatter on the stem near the button on both sides and some on the surface of the button as well. There was a Peterson’s “P” on the left side of the taper stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava onto the rim top and filling in the rustication. The photos show the rim top and bowl from various angles.He took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the tight rustication pattern that was on this bowl. It is a dirty but quite beautifully crafted pipe. The stamping on the underside of the shank read as noted above. It took a few photos to show the entirety of the stamping. The stamping is faint but readable. He also took photos of the Sterling Silver band on the shank. The P on the left side of the stem is clear and the stamping on the stem side is in good condition. The stem was a poor fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. There were tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem. I am including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

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

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

I turned to the Peterson’s pipe notes site to have a look at the hallmark chart and see if I can identify the stamping (https://petersonpipenotes.org/tag/peterson-pipe-hallmarks/). I have included the chart below. It looks to me like it is stamped with the letter I that looks like the letter stamp for 1976.With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information that the pipe was made during the Republic Era between 1950 and 1989. Pipedia then qualifies the dating as follows: From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland”. The date stamp on the Sterling Silver cued it to 1976. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had done an amazing job cleaning up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He cleaned the oxidized silver with Soft Scrub and buffed it off with a soft pad. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top to show how clean it was. The rustication on the rim top is very clean and there is darkening that will be hidden by the contrast stains. The stem looks clean of oxidation and there are some deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem.The stamping on the underside of the shank was faint but readable as noted above. The second photo shows the P stamp on the left side of stem.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. It is a great looking pipe.I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the rustication with my fingertips and a shoe brush to get it into the deep briar. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The rustication came alive with the balm. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I heated the vulcanite to lift the dents but they had sharp edges so they did not lift at all. I filled in the deeper tooth marks with clear super glue and set it aside to cure.Once the repairs cured I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. I usually file them first with a needle file but last night my daughters were using my desk top and that is where the files were so I just sanded them smooth. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I touched up the P stamp on the left side of the stem with Paper Mate Liquid Paper and once it dried I scraped off the excess. The P stamp is far from perfect but it definitely looks better.This stem was in great condition so I polished it with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Republic Era Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky 407 Prince is a nice looking rusticated pipe. The combination of brown stains really makes the rustication almost sparkle around the bowl sides and shank. They begin to really stand out with the polishing. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well to give some contrast to the pipe. The polished black vulcanite P-lip taper stem and the Sterling Silver band just add to the mix. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl it is really is eye-catching. I put the stem back on the bowl and lightly buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel, carefully avoiding the stamping on the shank. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky Prince is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another interesting pipe. This Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky will be added to the Irish Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

Restoring a KBB Yello-Bole Premier Liverpool


Blog by Steve Laug

With this post I am celebrating notification from WordPress that rebornpipes is 8 years old. It does not seem possible that 8 years ago in May I posted the first blog on rebornpipes and wrote about my dream of the blog being a gathering spot for information and individuals who enjoy working on rehabilitation and restoration of pipes. I continue to do the work or restoration and rehabilitation of pipes because it is something I enjoy. It is a pleasure to take pipes that are a bit of a wreck and with some effort and careful work bring them back to life. The next pipe on the table is a great one to work on as a part of that celebration. It is a well smoked KBB Yello-Bole Premier Liverpool. The pipe was very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and some tobacco remnants from the last bowl smoked. There was some darkening and lava around the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. There are a few visible fills around the bowl and the varnish coat is crackling. The taper yellow stem has tooth marks and chatter on both sides. Jeff took some great photos of the pipe to show its general condition before he started his cleanup. Jeff took a photo of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow all over the rim top. It is hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looks like until we remove the cake and the lava.He took photos around the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition. You can see the grime in the finish and the crackling of the varnish coat. He took a photo of the stamping on the left topside of the shank. You can see that it is clear and readable. It reads KBB in a Cloverleaf followed by Yello-Bole over Cured with Real Honey followed by R in a circle. Underneath that it reads Premier over Imported Briar. Normally there would be stamping on the right side but in this case there does not appear to be any stamping visible.The next two photos show the condition of the stem. You can see that it is lightly oxidized and has some tooth chatter and marks on both sides near the button. There is also some wear on the button surfaces on both sides. I turned to the listing on Pipephil on the KBB Yello-Bole pipes and actually found a very similar pipe to the one I am working on (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-y.html). It is a KBB in a cloverleaf Yello-Bole that also bears the Cured with Real Honey, circle R stamp over Premier over Imported Briar. I did a screen capture of the section and the stamping on the shank side. I have included it below.I turned next to Pipedia to gather a more detailed history of the brand and see if I could find any information on this particular pipe (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Yello-Bole). I quote a portion of that article on tips for dating Yello-Bole pipes below.

Tips for Dating Yello-Bole Pipes

  • KBB stamped in the clover leaf indicates it was made in 1955 or earlier as they stopped this stamping after being acquired by S.M. Frank.
  • Pipes from 1933-1936 they were stamped “Honey Cured Briar”
  • Post 1936 pipes were stamped “Cured with Real Honey”
  • Pipe stems stamped with the propeller logo were made in the 1930’s or 1940’s – no propellers were used after the 1940’s.
  • Yello Bole used a 4 digit code stamped on the pipe in the 1930’s.
  • Pipes with the Yello-Bole circle stamped on the shank it were made in the 1930’s, this stopped after 1939.
  • Pipes stamped BRUYERE rather than BRIAR it was made in the 1930’s.

Following the tips above I learned that the KBB Stamped in a Cloverleaf indicates that the pipe I have was 1955 or earlier. The fact that it is stamped Cured with Real Honey puts it post 1936. The field is narrowing down for a date. The fact that the stem has the propeller logo puts it between the 30s and 40s. So now I have it narrowed down to between 1936 and 1949. That is as close as I am going to get with this one as the numbers are worn off the shank.

It is definitely an interesting piece of pipe history. Armed with the brand information and some parameters for the age of the pipe I turned to work on it. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cake from the walls of the bowl. He cleaned up any remnants of cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He was not able to remove the bowl from the base so a thorough cleaning of the base was not possible. He worked on the rim edge lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and washed it off with warm water to remove the cleanser. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show how clean they were. You can the roughness on the top and the inner edge of the rim on the front right side of the bowl. The bowl and rim looks much better without the thick lava and cake. The stem looked better. There was tooth chatter and marks were very visible on both sides of the stem near the button. I have included a photo of the propeller logo on the left side of the stem.I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. The stamping is faint but very readable and it reads as noted above. The right side of the shank is smooth- if there was any stamping it is long gone.I took a photo of the large fill on the underside and up the left side of the shank. It was hard but it had shrunk and left a divot.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. I noted that there was a small stinger apparatus that is removable in the tenon. I heated the stinger with a Bic lighter flame and was able to very easily remove it for more thorough cleaning of the tenon and airway in the stem.I decided to start my work on the pipe by dealing with the damaged rim top and inner edge of the bowl. I lightly topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper to minimize the damage on the top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damaged bevel on the rim edge. It is far from perfect but it is better. I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the rim top and edge of the bowl with the pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris.  I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the even that material. The balm is absorbed by the briar and gives it real life. I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. The stem material is an early acrylic product (perhaps Bakelite) and does not respond like vulcanite when heated. I filled in the deep tooth marks with clear super glue. Once the repairs cured I used a needle file to smooth them out and to reshape the button edge. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.  With both parts of the pipe finished, I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The old KBB Yello-Bole Premier Liverpool polished up pretty nicely. The rich browns of the finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The finish on the briar works well with the polished yellow Bakelite stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, well-made KBB Yello-Bole Liverpool. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This KBB Yello-Bole Premier Liverpool will be going on the rebornpipes store in the American Pipe Makers shortly. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this older American Made pipe.

Breathing New Life into a Kriswill Handmade Count 370


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is one that has been around here for quite a while and today was its day to be cleaned up. It is a Kriswill Handmade pipe. It is a pretty pipe with a nice looking shape. The condition is a bit rough. The left side of the shank is scratched and there is a significant road rash toward the bottom of the bowl. There was a think cake in the bowl and there was a thick lava overflow on the rim top. The pipe was dirty and grimy feeling. The pipe is stamped on the left and underside of the shank and reads Kriswill Count over Handmade in Denmark on the left side and on the underside it has the shape number 370 at the shank/stem junction. The vulcanite taper stem is not too bad – there is light oxidation and tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. It has the Kriswill Snowflake Logo on the left side of the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started my clean up work. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of the bowl, rim top and edges and stem. The bowl has a thin cake and a thick overflow of lava on the rim top. The inner edge is dirty and caked so it is hard to know what the condition was like. I was hopeful that the edges were in good condition! The next photos show the condition of the stem. It is also clean and has light oxidation. There are tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. You can see that it is clear and readable. I forgot to take a photo of the shape number 370 stamp on the underside. There is also the snowflake logo on the left side of the taper stem. I took a quick photo of the damaged area on the lower left side of the bowl – the road rash!I took the stem off the shank and took a photo of the pipe.I turned to the Pipephil website to do a quick review of the brand and try to see if there was any information on the Count line (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-k3.html). I have included a screen capture of the section on the site:I quote from the side bar on the above screen capture:

Kriswill is a brand of Kriswork Briar Trading, in Kolding (Denmark) established about 1955.

Some of Kriswill pipes were designed by Sigvard Bernadotte, Swedish prince and brother to the late Queen Ingrid of Denmark. He collaborated with his Danish partner Acton Bjørn.

When the company went bankrupt in the late 1970s it was on a level with Stanwell. Dan Pipe Cigar & Company (Hafenstrasse 30 D-21481 Lauenburg/Elbe, Ge) bought the rights to use the name and it is Holmer Knudsen and/or Poul Winsløw who make the Kriswill line. Nørding, on its side, bought the plant and introduced a Kriswell line.

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Kriswill) and sure enough I found catalogue page Circa 1970, courtesy Doug Valitchka. Unfortunately it did not have the 370 shape on the page.

I also have included a large part of the history from the article.

Founded in the late 1950s, Kriswill was one of two large pipe manufacturers in Denmark during the 1960s and 1970s, on par with Stanwell as measured by number of employees, pipes produced, and quality. The Kriswill catalog cover reads “By Appointment to the Royal Danish Court, KRISWILL, Kriswork Briar Trading, Briar Pipes Hand Made in Denmark.”

Kriswell began immediately after World War II. Karl Robert Kris, an engineer for the shipping company AP Møller at the time, was in port (undoubtedly in the Mediterranean) when he encountered a shipment of briar. The briar blocks awakened his curiosity and he took some home. About this time the the shipping trade become difficult due to the war, causing Kris to consider other business opportunities. In 1947, Kris (then 47 years old) established himself as a pipe maker in his hometown of Kolding.

Kris started his pipe making operation in a house located at Haderslevvej 115 in Kolding, and was soon joined by 3-4 employees. The pipes were sold under the name Rocky and supplied the domestic market. Within 6 months the company had grown, more employees hired, and their sales expanded to markets abroad.

Due to increasing production and marketing, Karl Robert Kris decided in the mid-1950s to expand. An entirely new factory was built at Sdr. Ring road on the outskirts of Kolding. At that time the pipes were branded Kriswell. That name did not last long, however, as Stanwell believed that name was too close to theirs. The compromise was to change the name to Kriswill. Krisill soon grew to become a serious competitor to Stanwell, especially in the export markets. The Kriswill factory logo, stamped on the stem, became the stylized compass rose – as a reference to the manufacturer’s maritime background.

Kriswill pipes excelled in design and craftsmanship. Karl Robert Kris was not afraid of new designs and had a good eye on the US market, where larger and more innovative designs were increasingly popular. Craftsmanship was given top priority throughout Kriswell’s production. A local designer / architect had designed the first models. Later, the famous architects Sigvard Bernadotte (Swedish prince and brother of Queen Ingrid) and Acton Bjørn designed their own series, which were known as Bernadotte designed.

Two other series were the Golden Clipper and the Chief. The Golden Clipper pipes were smaller, lighter, more reserved, and popular in Europe. The Chief series was especially designed for the Americans, who wanted larger pipes. These pipes were light for their size, however, very different from the “Danish Free Style” pipes that other Danish makers were sending to the US market. Kriswill pipes that did not meet the requirements of the main lines were sold as “seconds” under the names Danish Crown and Navigator…

…Karl Robert Kris died in 1966. The factory was well-run, and Kris’s widow wanted the family to continue the business. Karl’s son, Jens was groomed as director and remained with the company until 1975. The 1970s were difficult times for pipe-making in Denmark, as in the rest of the world. In addition to declining demand, they struggled with runaway inflation and annual wage increases of 18-20 percent. It was challenging to maintain the level of craftsmanship without raising prices, yet customers had difficulty accepting large price increases. As a result manufacturing become less profitable. Soon Jens Kris left Kriswell and new management and staff were hired at the factory.

Shortly after Jens departed Kriswill the company failed. The Kriswill name and model series were sold to the Norwegian pipe factory Lillehammer. The machines were acquired by Erik Nørding, and the property was sold.

After a few years Lillehammer also ceased production. Kriswills were made for a while in the 1980s at the Catalan factory, Iberica de Pipas. But these pipes were far from the quality of the originals, and became Kriswills in name only.

I now knew that the Count I had on the table was made between the start of the company in 1950 and the sale of the company in the late 1970s. Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe. I started by reaming the cake back to bare briar with a PipNet pipe reamer so I could check out the integrity of the bowl. I cleaned up the remnants of cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe knife. I finished by sanding the walls of the bowl with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. I scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. I scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. The shank was very dirty and appeared to not have been cleaned. The stem was much better.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and rim top with a tooth brush and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed it off under warm running water and dried it off with a soft towel. With the bowel cleaned inside and out it was time to address the remaining lava on the rim top. I scraped it off with the edge of the Savinelli Fitsall knife. I sanded off the remaining tars and cleaned up the darkening on the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I started to polish the rim top and edges with a piece of 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. When I finished the rim top looked far better. I also sanded out the road rash on the lower left side of the bowl with 220 and 400 grit sandpaper. I was able to smooth it out and blend it into the surrounding briar. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks and chatter on the vulcanite. I was able to lift all of them.I sanded what remained and blended them into the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point it is starting to look much better.  I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.   This Kriswill Count 370 turned out to be a great looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the mix of grain around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished vulcanite taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Kriswill Count fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be going on the rebornpipes shortly. If you are interested in adding this one to your collection let me know. Thanks for your time.

Restoring another Jobey Dansk 3 Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff picked up another Jobey Dansk 3 freehand pipe on one of his adventures pipe hunting. It had really nice grain and plateau on the top of the rim and on the end of the shank. It came with a Jobey Dansk Pipe Sock. There were rusticated spots on the right side and back of the bowl and top of the shank as well as the heel of the bowl. There was something familiar about the style of carving that reminded me of other Danish Freehand pipes I have worked on. I seemed to remember that Jobey Dansk pipes were carved by Karl Erik. The finish on this pipe was dirty with dust and lava on the plateau top. The bowl was lined with a thick cake. There was thick dust in the rustication around the bowl and shank as well as the plateau on the shank end. The smooth finish was also dirty and dull looking. The stem is a turned fancy turned vulcanite stem. The fit of the stem to the shank was snug. There were tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button and on the smooth parts of the button on both sides. Otherwise it was a very clean stem. Jeff took of the pipe to show the overall condition of the bowl and stem. He took close up photos of the bowl and rim top from different angles to show the condition of the plateau finish. You can see the lava and build up on the rim top and the lava flowing over the inner edge of the bowl onto the plateau. It is hard to know if there is damage or if the lava protected it. The bowl has a thick cake that lining the walls and overflowing into lava.He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the lay of the grain and the rustication around the pipe. It is a nice piece of briar. The top of the bowl is craggy and rugged looking. Unique!Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture it. It was clear and read Jobey Dansk at the top. Under that it read Handmade in Denmark followed by a large number 3.The next photos show the condition of the vulcanite stem. The first photo shows flow of the stem as a whole. You can see the tooth marks and damage both on the surface of both sides. I wanted to look at who had carved the Jobey Dansk line to confirm some suspicions I had about it. I had a feeling that the pipes were carved by a Danish carver known as Karl Erik. I looked up the Jobey listing on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Jobey) and found the following information. I quote a portion of the article that is pertinent as follows.

English – American – Danish – French… Information about the brand Jobey are only to be found in form of smithereens…

Probably established in England around 1920(?) the brand hiked into the USA later. In the course of time owner, distributor and manufacturer changed repeatedly. As far as known:

George Yale Pipes & Tobacco, New York (1942)

Norwalk Pipe Co., New York (1949)

Arlington Briar Pipes Corp., Brooklyn (when?)

Hollco International, New York (1969).

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

The Tinder Box, (1970’s – 80’s).

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

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

Now that I was reminded about the Karl Erik Ottendahl connection it was time to work on the pipe on my end. When I received it Jeff had once again done an amazing job cleaning the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and got rid of the cake. He cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife so that we could see the walls of the bowl and assess for damage. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and alcohol. He scrubbed the exterior with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed the pipe under warm water. He dried it off with a cloth and then let it air dry. The stem was scrubbed with Soft Scrub and soaked in Before & After Deoxidizer. 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 some photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of them both when the pipe arrived. Overall it looked good. There is some darkening and damage to the inner edge of the bowl. The stem had some deep tooth marks ahead of the button and on the button surface on both sides.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is readable and in great condition.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to show the look of the pipe.I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth. The bowl is starting to look very good. With the polishing finished I used a Black stain pen to fill in the crevices of the plateau top and give some contrast to the smooth high spots. I like this look as it give the pipe a sense of dimensionality. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for 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. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. The stem was very clean so I filled in the tooth marks and built up the button with clear super glue and set it aside to cure. The second photo is blurry but still is clear enough to see the filled in area. Once it had cured I flattened out the repairs and sharpened the edge of the button with a needle file. I sanded out the tooth chatter and blended in the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it began to shine.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This is a beautiful Jobey Dansk Hand Made by Karl Erik with a fancy, turned, black vulcanite stem. It has a great look and feel. The shape fits well in the hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top and shank end multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The rich combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes and the plateau areas took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished vulcanite stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Jobey Dansk pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ wide, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This Danish Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store in the Danish Pipe Making Section shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

What a Mess – Restoring a Stanwell Made Danish Sovereign 332


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is from the next box of pipes I am working through. It is a Stanwell Made Danish Sovereign 332. The acorn/pear shaped bowl, round shank and saddle stem made up a nicely made pipe in a classic Danish shape. The smooth finish showed great grain through the ground in dirt and grime. There are also quite a few fills and deep gouges in the surface of the briar. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Danish Sovereign over Made in Denmark. On the right side it had the shape number 332 stamp. The finish was very dirty with a heavy coat of grime ground into the bowl and rim top as can be seen in the photos. The bowl had a thick cake with a lava overflow onto the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. There were hash marks on the top front of the rim top and nicks around the edges. The stem was oxidized, calcified and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides and on the top and bottom edges of the button. It was also stamped with three XXX marking it as a second. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up so you could see what we saw. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show lava build up around the rim, the edges and cake in the bowl.  This one was obviously someone’s favourite pipe and it was a mess. You can also see the hash marks on the front edge and top of the bowl. Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the absolutely dirty finish ground into the briar. It was a dirty pipe but I think it will be a beautiful one once we are finished. You can see all the damaged areas and fills on the bowl in these photos. The bowl is really quite dirty. The stamping on the sides of the shank is shown in the photos below. It is clear and read as noted above.  There was a triple XXX stamped on the left side of the stem. The stem was a good fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. It also shows the tooth marks on the stem and on the button surface.  I turned first to Pipephil’s site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-d2.html) to see what information I could find there. On the site was a pipe similarly stamped to the one that I am working on. It is clearly identified as a Stanwell second that was marketed only in the USA and Canada.I turned to Pipedia to read more about the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Danish_Sovereign). There was nothing definitive there only a statement that it may be a Stanwell second line.

It looks I am dealing with a pipe made especially for the American and Canadian market by Stanwell. Now it was my turn to work on the pipe now. I was really looking forward to what the pipe would look like once Jeff had worked his magic. What would the rim top look like? What would the dirty bowl look like? I had no idea. When I took it out of the box I was struck great job cleaning up the pipe Jeff had done. It was impressive! He had reamed the pipe with a Pipnet piper reamer and taken the cake back to bare briar. He cleaned up the remaining cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed the stem off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show how clean they were. You can see the hash marks on the front of the rim top and the darkening and damage to the inner edge of the rim. There are nicks on the top all the way around. The stem is clean and the tooth damage on the button top and bottom edges.   I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping is readable as noted above.    I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the damage to the rim top and edges. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge and sand the darkening on the top and smoothing out the nicks and scratches and minimizing the hash marks on the front top and outer edges.    I filled in the deep gouges and nicks in the briar on both sides of the bowl with clear super glue and when the glue cured I sanded them smooth to blend them into the surrounding briar.    I stained the briar with a tan stain. I applied it to the stummel with a dauber and then flamed it with a Bic lighter. I repeated the process as often as needed until I was happy with the coverage on the briar. I set it aside to cure for several hours.    I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a paper towel to make the stain a bit more transparent. I buffed the bowl on the buffer with Red Tripoli to polish it and get a sense of what the bowl looked like at this point in the process.    I polished the briar with micromesh – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth.  I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm.      I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the indentations on the button edge and built it up with clear super glue. Once the repair cured I used a needle file to reshape the button edges and also flatten the repaired areas.    I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to finish the shaping and to remove the remaining oxidation. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil before further polishing it.   I used some Paper Mate Liquid Paper to touch up the white that remained in the XXX stamp on the left side of the stem.   I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.    This Danish Sovereign 332, made by Stanwell with a saddle vulcanite stem turned out very nice. The mix of brown stains highlights the grain around the bowl sides and bottom. The rim top and edges look very good. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Bent Acorn is very nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. It is a nice pipe whose dimensions are Length: 5 inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This Stanwell made Danish Sovereign 332 will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interesting in adding it to your collection let me know! Thanks for your time.

New Life for a Savinelli Extra 412KS Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table came to us from one of Jeff’s pipe hunts. It is an interesting straight Dublin shaped pipe with darkening and lava around the rim edge and top. It is stamped with a oval with SAVINELLI inside and EXTRA below that on the left side of the shank. On the right side of the shank it was stamped with the Savinelli “S” shield and the shape number 412KS over Italy. The stamping is clear and readable. The pipe has a combination of brown stains that highlighted some nice mixed grain around the bowl sides. The finish was very dirty with grime ground into the bowl. The bowl had a thick but even cake in the bowl and a heavy lava overflow on the inner edge of the top and beveled edge all around the bowl. It was hard to know what was underneath the lava and grime in terms of damage to the inner edge and the top of the rim. The taper stem was oxidized and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides and on the top and bottom edges of the button. There was gold crown stamped on the stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow on the rim top and the beveled inner edge of the rim.  Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the great looking grain around the bowl. It is actually a nice looking pipe.  The stamping on the sides of the shank is shown in the photos below. They look very good and readable.  There is also a crown on the left side of the taper stem. The stem was a very good fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. It also shows the tooth marks on the stem and on the button surface.  I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli2.html) to read about the Extra Line. It is a smooth finished pipe with the same stamping on the shank and on the stem as the one that I am working on. I have included the screen capture from the site below.Armed with that information and a clearer picture of the original pipe I turned to work on the pipe on my work table. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show how clean they were. You can see the damage and the darkening on the inner edge and the top on the right front and the rear of the bowl. The stem looks clean of oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter are fairly light.  I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. They are clean and readable and read as noted above.    I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening on the rim top and the inner edge. I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper on a board. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to work on the inner edge to remove the darkening. It took a bit of work but I was able to remove the majority of it and the end product looked much better. I polished the bowl and rim with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the rim top and edge of the bowl with the pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris.      I used an Oak stain pen to blend the cleaned rim top into the colour of the rest of the bowl. The match was perfect.I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I decided to “paint” the stem surface to raise the dents in the vulcanite. The process worked very well.     I built up the edges of the button and filled in the small dents in both sides of the stem. Once the repairs had cured I used a needle file to recut the edge of the button. I worked over the oxidation on the stem and blended the repaired area of the button with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point it is starting to look much better.   I touched up the gold crown on the stem side with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I pressed the gold into the stamp and buffed it off with a cotton pad.   I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish – a red, gritty Tripoli like substance that is a paste. I rubbed it into the surface of the stem and polished it off with a cotton pad. I have found that is a great intermediary step before polishing with micromesh pads. I am not sure what I will use once the final tin I have is gone!     I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.   This Savinelli Extra 412KS Dublin is a great looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the mix of grain around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished black vulcanite taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Savinelli Extra 412KS Dublin is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be added to the Italian Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

 

A Fresh Start for a Pipstar Standard Dublin Sitter of Saint Claude, France


Blog by Dal Stanton

The Pipstar Standard 06 026 Dublin Sitter now on my worktable, is simply a cool looking pipe.  I was attracted to it because of the Dublin Sitter shape eBay description and the grain had great potential. I like the lines and the very gentle bend of the stem flowing out of a rounded sitter heel.  The pipe really doesn’t sit well as a sitter, but the flat rounded bottom is more for artistic consideration (as a French pipe) than utilitarian.  I saw it on the eBay auction block from a seller in Akron, Ohio.  My bid held true and the Pipstar Standard Dublin made its way to Bulgaria where I posted it in the ‘For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! online virtual ‘Help Me!’ baskets where pipe men and women commission pipes to be restored.  These hopeful restorations benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria, the work in Bulgaria helping women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  This is where Nathan saw the Pipstar along with 3 other pipes he commissioned to benefit the Daughters.  Here are pictures of the Pipstar Dublin Sitter that got his attention. The nomenclature is found stamped on the underside of the shank.  The stamping reads ‘PiPstar’ bracketed, followed by ‘STANDARD’.  Underneath this is stamped ’26 026’ which I assume is a shape number that I’m sure, will remain a mystery.  The stem bears an interesting stamp of a ‘P’ and a miniature star to its right.There isn’t much information about the Pipstar name.  Pipedia shows it to be a brand of C.J. Verguet Frères – a French factory in St. Claude that began in the 19th century.  It also cites that,

In 1906, its merger with Sina & Cie., gave rise to a large company within the Oppenheimer Pipe group and run by Lucien Verguet.  In 1917, the factory produced 4.8 million pipes and bowls.

More information was offered on pipephil.eu with a Pipstar panel stating that the company closed it’s doors in St. Claude in 1970.  This let’s me know that the dating of the Pipstar on the table is at least that old. Now looking at the St. Claude, France, made Pipstar Dublin Sitter on the worktable, it appears to have originally had an Oxblood or red finish.  Looking at the stummel there are a few blotches of what appears to be dye hanging on from former days.  What’s interesting to me is that the brown leftover is attractive.  I’ll be interested to see how the stummel cleans up. There are also nicks and scratches on the stummel from normal wear and usage. The chamber has thick cake buildup which will need to be cleaned out to allow fresh briar to emerge.  This also allows inspection of the chamber walls to detect heating problems.The stem has thick oxidation which needs addressing.  The picture from the eBay seller shows this very well.  There is a bite compression on the lower bit, but overall, not in bad shape.Beginning the process of restoring and recommissioning this French Pipstar Standard, I clean the airway with pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl 95%.Next, to begin addressing the deep, heavy oxidation on the entire stem, a ‘Soft-Scrub-like’ product called CIF, available here in Bulgaria, is used along with 000 steel wool.  I use the steel wool and CIF to break up the oxidation with the hope that it enables the Before & After Deoxidizer soak to follow to be more productive. After a few hours, I fish out the Pipstar stem and clear the liquid from the airway with pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95%.  Cotton pads wetted with alcohol are also used to wipe away oxidation that has been raised.To help begin the conditioning process, paraffin oil, a mineral oil, is applied to the vulcanite stem.  The stem is then put to the side to absorb the oil.After putting the stem to the side, I start the work on the stummel by cleaning the chamber of the cake build-up.  I take a starting picture and using the Pipnet Reaming Kit, I go to work starting with the smallest blade head.  I discover quickly that the conical Dublin chamber angles too sharply for a ‘regular’ reaming blade to traverse.  Instead of pressing down on the blade head, which will cause a ‘reaming ridge’ I simply press toward the walls of the chamber to remove cake buildup.  I use two blade heads in this manner and then switch to the Savinelli Fitsall tool to reach the narrower areas of the chamber.  I also utilize an older, vintage Kleen Reem Pipe Tool which can close and expand the cutting blades orientation.  It works well in the Dublin chamber! After cleaning the cake buildup, I wipe the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95% to clear the carbon dust and examine the chamber.  The chamber is healthy regarding heating and burning issues, but I detect what I was mindful of earlier – what I call a ‘reaming ridge’.  Overzealous reaming when the chamber narrows to a tighter angle than the reaming blade can pass results in the blades cutting into the chamber wall above the floor of the chamber. Moving on to the cleaning of the external surface, undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap is used with a cotton pad to scrub the smooth briar surface.  I’m interested to see how the Oxblood spots fair in the cleaning. A brass bristled brush is also employed to clean the rim as well as my Winchester pocketknife to scrape some hard gunk carefully off the rim. Next, the stummel is transferred to the kitchen sink where the cleaning commences on the internals.  Using shank brushes and anti-oil liquid dishwashing soap with warm water, I work on the internals of the pipe, scrubbing the mortise.  After a thorough rinsing, the pipe is back on the worktable.After the cleaning, the Oxblood stained spots are as firm as ever hanging on while the rest of the briar surface is cleaning nicely.  I’ll need to address these spots. I continue with the internal cleaning regimen using cotton buds and pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95%. I also utilize a small dental spoon to scrape the internal walls and excavate old tars and oils.  This helps a great deal.  After some time, the buds and pipe cleaners begin to emerge lighter.  I stop cleaning now to continue at the end of the workday with a kosher salt and alcohol soak to continue to clean and freshen the internal briar.I take another look at the Oxblood stains on the stummel.  I first try rubbing alcohol on the spots, but this does not phase them. Next, using a cotton pad, acetone is applied to the stains and some color was raised on the cotton pad.  In the end, I decide to put the stummel in a soak with acetone to break down the old dye. With the stummel soaking, I return to the stem.  The lower bit has a small bite compression which I address using the heating method.  I use a Bic lighter to paint the lower bit and as the vulcanite heats, the compression expands to regain its original condition, or closer to it.  This compression responds well as the comparison of the pictures shows.  Sanding should easily dispatch the compression.Next, using a flat needle file, the button lips on the upper and lower sides are refreshed.  With 240 grade paper, the bit is sanded and the remaining compressions are dispatched.Using 240 grade paper, sanding is expanded over the entire stem to address latent oxidation.  Not shown is the plastic disk I use to sand against to prevent shouldering the stem facing.Next, 600 grade paper is used to wet sand the stem followed by applying 000 grade steel wool.  Throughout the sanding I’m mindful of the Pipstar stem stamping.Moving now to apply the full regimen of micromesh pads, using pads 1500 to 2400, I wet sand followed by dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of 3 pads Obsidian Oil is applied to further condition and to prevent the development of oxidation.  The stem pops! The stummel has been soaking in an acetone bath for a few hours.  After fishing the stummel out of the acetone, steel wool helps in removing the Oxblood stain spots that lingered.  It continued to need quite a bit of sanding from the steel wool but in the end, the stummel is now clean, natural briar.  Due to this soak, there is no need to further soak the stummel with alcohol and kosher salt. To clean the stummel of the minor nicks and dents that comes through normal wear, and to freshen the surface, sanding sponges are used starting with the coarser sponge and graduating to the finer sponges.  In total, 4 sponges are applied in sanding the briar surface.  The pictures show the results after 4 sponges.  The grain has started to make a nice appearance! Continuing with the external briar sanding and polishing, the full regimen of micromesh pads is applied.  Beginning by wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400, then dry sanding follows with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000. I reunite the St. Claude made Pipstar Standard Dublin stem and stummel to get a fresh look at the progress. It’s looking great!  I’m at the point in the process where a decision is needed regarding whether to apply a dye to the briar surface or to leave the natural briar hue that is emerging through the process.  The purpose of applying a dye, probably Light Brown, would be to bring more distinction to the dark grains and the lighter wood.  Yet, the natural grain is rocking by itself.  I decided to ask the expert – my wife.  Without hesitation she said that this pipe needed no dye to help it.  Decision made!Staying with the natural briar hue, next Mark Hoover’s (www.ibepen.com) Before & After Restoration Balm is applied.  This is an excellent product Mark has produced that teases out and deepens the natural hues of the briar.  Applying it now, I place a small amount on my fingers and word it into the briar.  At the start, it has a cream-like texture but thickens as it’s worked into the briar surface.  After applied, I set the stummel aside for 15 or so minutes while the Balm does its thing – the picture below is during this period.  I then use a microfiber cloth dedicated to wiping off the excess Balm (and I use the cloth to refresh other pipes with a quick buffing) and then buff the surface.  The results are as good as hoped!While the Restoration Balm was working on the stummel, the Pipstar stem also receives the treatment of Before & After Fine and Extra Fine Polishes.  Starting with the Fine Polish, I apply the black oily liquid to the stem and work it in well.  After some minutes, the excess polish is wiped off.  Following this, the same process with the Extra Fine Polish is done.  After some minutes, the excess is wiped off and the stem is buffed up with a microfiber cloth.  These polishes continue the removal of oxidation and conditions the stem according to Mark’s billing.Before moving on to apply compound and wax, the Pipstar stem stamping needs refreshing.  To do this, white acrylic paint is used.  I place a small amount of paint onto the stamping and then I dob it dry using a cotton pad.  Following this, the flat side of the toothpick is used to scrape the excess gently from the stem surface.  The stamping is left refreshed with new paint.  The star looks good! On the home stretch – after rejoining stem and stummel and mounting a cotton cloth buffing wheel on the Dremel set and 40% full power, Blue Diamond compound is applied to the pipe.  After completing this, the pipe is wiped/buffed with a felt cloth to clean it of compound dust in preparation for application of the wax.Next, another cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted on the Dremel at the same speed.  A few coats of carnauba are then applied to stem and stummel.  After application of the wax, a microfiber cloth is used to give the pipe a rigorous hand buffing to raise the shine and to disperse any wax that was not distributed.Wow!  I’m pleased with the results!  The French Pipstar Standard’s grain is beautiful as it climbs the Dublin bowl and swirls here and there with bird’s eye and flame formations.  The original presentation of this pipe was with an Oxblood or reddish stain, but I believe the natural grain is much more appealing when the grain is as expressive as on this gently bent Dublin semi-Sitter.  The rounded rim and the rounded heel complement each other and the gentle slight bend of the oval stem create an extremely attractive ensemble.  This is the third of the 4 pipes that Nathan commissioned from the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! online collection.  He will have the first opportunity to acquire the French Pipstar Standard in The Pipe Steward Store benefitting the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!