Tag Archives: super glue

Reclaiming Paw’s Kaywoodie “500” 04 Long Stem Billiard – A Great-Grandfather’s Legacy


Blog by Dal Stanton

One of the greatest challenges to me AND honors is to receive a request to restore a pipe that is a family’s heirloom.  It’s amazing how when a loved one passes from this life, the things they leave behind become present links to the memories of the past.  Pipes are favorite heirlooms because they hold an enormous sense of the presence of the loved one – the smell, marks left on the pipe, memories of the loved one sitting and reflecting with pipe in hand and a wink of the eye….  This was one of the reasons I took the name, The Pipe Steward, because of this strong sense of passing on something of great value – not just the physical pipe, but the memories and associations welded to that pipe’s presence.   Joe contacted me with a request for some pipes that hold this honor.  Joe and Hannah work in the same organization as my wife and I, but live in Athens, Greece.  I met them for the first time at a conference there last year.  This was Joe’s request:

Hey Dal,
Joe here…, we talked for a while about pipes. I have some old pipes. They were my wife’s Great-Grandfather’s pipes from Winston-Salem, NC.  I’d love for them to be restored, and I’d love for the money to go to a good cause like
the Daughters of Bulgaria program. All of them need an intense deep cleaning, and some have some stem damage. If I sent you some pictures, do you think you could offer a guesstimation of the price? I’d love to give these pipes to my father-in-law in the same condition as his grandfather smoked them.

Many blessings,
Joe

Joe sent some pictures on to me and he settled on one pipe as a starter project – a Kaywoodie “500” Lovat shape – or what I originally identified it as.  Here were a few pictures showing the major issues.Since Joe wanted to gift the pipe to his father-in-law, which belonged to his grandfather – Hannah’s great-grandfather, I asked Joe what he knew about the pipe’s history.  This is what he wrote:

History of the pipe… hmmm. That’s going to be tricky. I will ask and see if anyone can offer more input on the history of Paw’s pipes, but I can’t honestly say much myself.

Ben is my father-in-law. He was raised by a single mom, who worked a lot to raise her 4 boys. So, Ben’s grandparents raised the boys while the mom worked so much. When Ben’s mom passed away a few years ago, we were all cleaning out her home and I noticed a pipe stand in the garage with 5 pipes and a Sir Walter Raleigh bowl cleaner, and someone was asking if that should go in the garage sale. I quickly offered to be a home for it if no one else wanted it, which made Ben happy. He didn’t really have the capacity to decide things that week, he was just glad it was staying in the family and not going to a stranger. 

My ultimate goal is to get these pipes, the stand, and this bowl cleaner in good shape to re-give them back to Ben (maybe for his 60th Birthday next year).  I’ve really just been a pipe steward, myself. I think it will mean a lot to Ben to have an heirloom from his grandfather (who functionally was his father).

Dusty, cobwebby garages often hold the key to finding special heirlooms!  After I wrote Joe describing some of the issues and remedies for Paw’s Kaywoodie “500”, he wrote back with some special instructions to preserve some of the evidences of Paw’s time with his Lovat.  With the heavy erosion to the back of the rim, I had suggested rounding/topping the rim.  Joe’s response:

My initial thoughts are to not round out the rim. I like the flat surface of the rim. As far as the damage on the backside, I know it should be cleaned up, but I wonder if taking 1/10 of an inch off instead of 1/8, if that would yield a proper looking bowl, yet still with the slightest reminder that Paw lit his pipes with a match from the back of the bowl.   It’s just a thought.   I like it when antiques look in their original condition (or close) but I’m also a sucker for the sentimental stuff, so I don’t mind having at least a little bit of the bowl erosion still visible. 

The pipe made it to Bulgaria from Greece via another colleague and another conference in Barcelona that I attended.  With the Kaywoodie “500” now on my worktable I take more pictures to get a better idea of the pipe’s condition. The nomenclature on both sides of the long Lovat stem is clear.  The left flank is stamped KAYWOODIE [over] “500” [over] IMPORTED BRIAR [over] PAT. 2808837.  The right side of the shank is stamped with the Kaywoodie shape number, ‘06’.  The stem holds the classic inlaid Kaywoodie shamrock or clover.  Almost missed and lurking on the lower side of the stem is stamped: “B75” – I’ll need to check this out! Looking first for information about the shape number, ‘06’, Pipedia Kaywoodie Shapes Numbers list is helpful:

04 Large saddle bit billiard, long shank, short bit 1931-1958, 1961-1970

The description is spot on with the saddle stem and long shank.  Calling it a long shank Billiard is essentially the same as a Lovat, in the Canadian family of shapes.  The potential dating brackets are also helpful.  Another Kaywoodie Shapes chart I go to at Kaywoodie Free Forum confirms that this number describes a medium Billiard, long shank, saddle stem but I also see specific shape numbers for Canadians, ‘71’, and such.  So, in deference to the Kaywoodie shape number specifications, I’ll be calling this a Long Shank Billiard and not a Lovat.  Also at Kaywoodie Free Forum, there is a very helpful Kaywoodie Master List that was compiled and I quickly find the Kaywoodie “500” series listed as ‘low end pipes’ with the date range of 1957 to 1967.  The list provided this example of the “500” series of a classic Billiard which matches Paw’s pipe scheme perfectly.  These were not expensive pipes but attractive and well within a working man’s budget.I still have not seen anything regarding the ‘B75’ stamp on the lower side of the saddle stem.  So, as I often do, with all of Steve’s rebornpipes.com experience, I send a note to him with the inquiry.  This response cleared up the mystery:

As for the stamping on the stem I was told by a fellow on the KW forum that they were part numbers to make replacement of a stem easy, I have seen it on quite a few of the KWs I have restored.

So, with that mystery resolved, I look more at the Kaywoodie name.

I’ve worked on several Kaywoodies before this and I am always intrigued by the story and repeat it here to give the broader heritage of Paw’s “500”. The Kaywoodie website, actually the S. M. Frank Co. & Inc. site, is informative:

The history of S. M. Frank & Co. spans nearly a century and half of pipe making, supporting our 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 Kaywoodie, Yello-Bole, Reiss-Premier, DeMuth, Medico, Heritage and Frank are familiar to generations of pipe smokers.

The article describes how in 1919 the Kaufman Brothers & Bondy Company (KBB) produced the Kaywoodie and Dinwoodie pipe lines.  By 1924 the Dinwoodie line fell by the wayside and the primary name of Kaywoodie was the mainstay pipe line and the company came to be known by that name.  Little is known about the early activities of the KBB Company which started in 1851 by the German born Kaufman brothers.  The company had several locations but was centered in the New York City region throughout its production history.  The expansion of the KKB Company following the gold rush I find fascinating:

produced the Kaywoodie and Dinwoodie pipe lines.  By 1924 the Dinwoodie line fell by the wayside and the primary name of Kaywoodie was the mainstay pipe line and the company came to be known by that name.  Little is known about the early activities of the KBB Company which started in 1851 by the German born Kaufman brothers.  The company had several locations but was centered in the New York City region throughout its production history.  The expansion of the KKB Company following the gold rush I find fascinating:

When one of the men from the New York office got “gold fever”, he carried a large supply of pipes with him to California that he sold along the way. This early “national distribution” did much to build the reputation of KBB. By the late 1800’s, branches of KBB were opened in Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and St. Louis with family and friends acting as agents. The trademarks, for the inlaid cloverleaf and the cloverleaf with the KBB initials inside, were issued in 1881. 

In 1935, KBB boasted of being the largest pipe making facility in the world with 500 employees and a production of 10,000 pipes per day from their facility in West New York, New Jersey.  In 1955, Kaywoodie was acquired by S. M. Frank & Co. (See Link) and continues to the present with well-known names Yello-BoleReiss-PremierWilliam Demuth CompanyMedico, Heritage (Heritage Pipes Inc.), along with Kaywoodie (Link).

I enjoyed seeing this picture in the 1955 Kaywoodie Catalog from Pipedia with a specific listing of shape 04.  The ‘04’ is the forth pipe down (picture to the left) and this shows that the shape designations for Kaywoodie pipes stay consistent.  This catalog pre-dates by a few years the ’57 to ’67 dating for the “500” series, but the shape again is spot on.  I enjoyed seeing this catalog page because it shows the huge inventory variety that Kaywoodie provided its customers.  The subtle nuances between these long shank, saddle stem Billiards is interesting to me.  The ‘04’ enjoys the distinction of the longest shank compared to the shapes presented.

It is obvious from the condition of the Kaywoodie “500” that Paw loved this pipe and this pipe hung in there a long time!  As you would expect, the briar surface has its share of nicks and grime after over half a century of service. The chamber has thick cake that has built up and closes the chamber as you go downward. The rim has seen better days.  What I first thought might be burn damage on the back side of the rim.  I think there’s evidence of that too, as the inner rim lip is burnt and receded, but there’s more.  Because the briar is raw here, it indicates something else about Paw’s habits and rituals of pipe smoking.  It looks as if Paw was a knocker.  With that nice long shank in hand after finishing his bowl, my guess is that he would twist the pipe over and give the bowl a few knocks on whatever hard surface was nearby to loosen and remove the ashes.  The knocker dent is what Joe would like to preserve to some extent as a lasting memory of Paw.  The second picture below is convincing forensically to prove that Paw was a knocker – the angle is perfect! The stem is a mess.  The oxidation is deep.  The tooth chatter and button compressions suggest also that Paw was a chewer!  The upper bit over time took the brunt and over time cracked and the entire top of the button broke off, taking with it some of the flat bit vulcanite real estate.  This area will need rebuilding.The stem shows one more issue that needs addressing: the stem is over-clocked.  It tends to be normal with these pipes as they age, with much wear and use, the metal fittings rubbing, gradually there is a microscopic loss in the metal composition.  The result is more thread room and therefore, when the stem turns to the right and tightens, it’s not in the proper orientation.  This is the case for this Kaywoodie “500” as this picture shows. With an ongoing appreciation for the history of the Kaywoodie name, and of this pipe’s former steward and Joe’s desires to gift the pipe to his father-in-law, Ben, I begin the restoration of Paw’s Kaywoodie “500” with a pipe cleaner dipped in isopropyl 95% and clean the airway of the stem.  I also use a thin shank brush to clean up through the air hole on the metal Kaywoodie tenon.  I then add the stem to a soak of Before & After Deoxidizer to work on the deep oxidation in the vulcanite.  I don’t believe the Deoxidizer will have total success in raising all the oxidation, but this is a good start.  There are other pipes and stems in the commissioning queue that the Kaywoodie joins, all of which have been restored and shipped off to new stewards!After several hours, I fish out the Kaywoodie saddle stem and let it drain.  I then put another pipe cleaner wetted with alcohol through the airway to remove the excess Deoxidizer liquid.Next, wiping the stem surface with cotton pads wetted with alcohol removes much of the raised oxidation.  Much comes off, but the evidence of the residual deep oxidation is easily seen.  I take some close up pictures of the upper and lower bit to show what I’m seeing – I notch down the aperture of the iPhone app I use to allow more light to see the brown/olive green oxidation more clearly. For now, with a cotton pad I apply paraffin oil (a mineral oil) to the stem to begin the process of revitalizing the stem.I now commence the cleaning regimen of the stummel. First, I remove the carbon cake build up by reaming the chamber.  I take a picture of the chamber to mark the start.  I start by using the Pipnet Reaming Kit. After putting paper towel down to minimize cleanup, I start with the smallest blade head and go to work. It takes some time for the blade to break through to the floor of the chamber – the cake is hard and stubborn.  In addition, I use the next 2 larger blade heads of the 4 blades available in the kit.  I then scrape the walls more using the Savinelli Fitsall tool and finish by sanding the chamber with 240 grade sanding paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen to give me reach and leverage.  After wetting a cotton pad with alcohol, I clean the chamber of the carbon dust residue left over.  The pictures show the progress. When I inspect the chamber, the walls look good. There are heating veins in the wood, but no cracks or fissures from heating damage.  I do note two things that give me some concern.In the picture below I mark off the draft hole with 2 yellow marks.  The first issue I see is marked by the arrows. Through decades of reaming and scraping, which I just added to, a curved ridge has formed – you can see the edge of the ridge marked by the arrows.  The briar curves outwardly to the ridge which I show with the curved red line.  The ridge is only on the back side of the chamber, over the draft hole.  I may need to sand this ridge down so that the chamber doesn’t have an abrupt bump to hinder future reaming and cleaning.  The second issue is caused by overzealous reaming.  The floor of the chamber drops underneath the proper amount of space below the draft hole.  A floor cavity has been created by the chamber floor wearing down over time.  The ridge of this floor cavity is marked with the red dashes. Not only does this create a burning dynamic that will always leave excess tobacco beneath the draft hole, but also the danger of a burn through is a concern with the thinning of the floor.  I will continue to think about these new issues as I continue the cleaning process.Next, I work on cleaning the external briar surface by using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap on a cotton pad and I scrub.  I also use a brass wire brush to clean the thick lava flow over the rim.  I use cool tap water to rinse off the soap.  The Murphy’s Soap does a good job cleaning, but the cleaning reveals the rough shape of the stummel. The finish is very thin with shiny finish patches here and there.  There are also many scratches and pits – too many to count.  I take pictures for an inventory. I need to remove the old finish so that there aren’t the shiny patches and unevenness.  I first try wiping the stummel surface with cotton pads wetted with isopropyl 95%.  The pads take a good deal off as evidenced in the coloration of the cotton pads, but there are still patches with the old finish hanging on.Next, I wet a cotton pad with acetone and again I scrub the surface.  This does the trick.  I move on.I turn now to the stummel internal cleaning.  The effort is made difficult by the Kaywoodie metal shank facing which only provides a very small access point to the mortise through the thread air hole.   I use cotton buds and pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95% to clean the tars and oil accumulation out of the mortise and airway.  I also reach through the metal hole with a smaller dental spatula to scrape the mortise wall as far as the tool will reach.  But it doesn’t reach far.  To save on my limited supply of pipe cleaners, I utilize shank brushes also wetted with isopropyl 95%.  After some time, I decide to call a halt to this frontal assault which reminds me of the carnage of WWI – carnage but little advance as the lines were kept in check.  The hour is late, and I change gears.I utilize the more passive approach of allowing the stummel to soak through the night with a kosher salt and alcohol soak. First, I stretch and twist a cotton ball to create the ‘wick’ which I stuff down through the mortise into the long shank airway.  The wick will help draw out the tars and oils from the internal briar.  I then set the stummel in an egg crate to stabilize it and fill the bowl with kosher salt which does not leave an aftertaste.  I then fill the bowl until with isopropyl 95%, the purest alcohol I can purchase in Bulgaria, until it surfaces over the salt.  In a few minutes I top off the alcohol after it has absorbed into the internals.  I then turn the lights off and another day ends. The next morning, I’m hoping that the fact that the cotton wick and salt are strongly soiled is indication that the cleaning of the internals has advanced significantly with the kosher salt and isopropyl 95% soak through the night.  I toss the expended salt in the waste and clean the leftover salt from the chamber with a paper towel, also blowing through the mortise to remove crystals.  I follow this with a renewed regimen of pipe cleaners, cotton buds, shank brushes, and scraping with a dental spatula.  Eventually, as I hear the hallelujah course in the recesses of my mind, the cotton buds begin to lighten and finally I declare that the job completed!  The new steward will do well to clean the internals on a regular basis to avoid this in the future! For a change of scenery and to start on the stem repairs, I take a close look at the stem upper and lower.  There remains deep oxidation of the vulcanite stem requiring sanding to bring it out.  It is mainly in the flat part of the saddle stem.  The tooth chatter and button compressions are significant and of course the upper button must be rebuilt using a mixture of CA glue and activated charcoal.  Before working on this, I decide to use the heating method to bring out and minimize the tooth chatter by painting the areas with a Bic lighter.  I do this before rebuilding the button because of the differences in the materials.  Vulcanite will expand with heat – the CA glue/charcoal will not – at least not in the same way.  So, to be on the safe side, I will work on raising and minimizing the tooth chatter and lower button compressions first, before working on the rebuild.  Sanding will be necessary after both.I paint both upper and lower bit with a Bic and sand with 240 grade paper.  The heating did raise the chatter nicely and the sanding erased it.  I also work on the lower button with a flat needle file to refresh the lip and to work on a small compression.  I’m pleased with this first phase of the stem repair.Next, the button repair. The first thing I do is create a wedge that fits in the slot. I use stiffer index card material to do it.  I fold the card stock to form it into a triangle so that it wedges up the slot into the airway.  I trim it a bit with scissors to make a good fit.  I then cover the fashioned wedge with smooth scotch tape to help it not to stick to the patch material. I leave the end of the wedge open – not covered by the tape in order to leave a ‘sleeve’ opening to tighten the fit. I fit the wedge into the slot then slide other folded pieces of the index card through the end of the wedge which expands the wedge to hold it firm but also to form a mold for the formation of the slot. I also put a very thin coating of petroleum jelly on the wedge to help with the non-sticking.With the wedge firmly in place, I open a capsule of activated charcoal on an index card.  I then place a puddle of thick CA glue next to the charcoal and then draw charcoal into the CA glue gradually until the mixture thickens to the consistency of molasses.  I then apply the mixture to the button and build a mound over the cavity. The first application hardens on the index card before I had dolloped enough to area.  I wait a few minutes and mix another batch and finish building the mound over the button rebuild area.  With this completed, I set the stem aside for several hours for the CA glue and activated charcoal rebuild fully to cure.I look again to the stummel and decide that I will continue in the mixing and patching mode.  I mix a small amount of J-B Weld Kwik to rebuild and reinforce the chamber floor.  It will not take much J-B Weld to do this.  I put a pipe cleaner in through the airway to better show the landscape.Again, on an index card, I mix a small amount of the two components of the Weld, the ‘Steel’ and the ‘Hardener’.  The Weld does not set up immediately which is good.  It takes about 4 minutes before it begins to set.  As it’s setting, I will form a rounded chamber floor so that it’s not flat.  I begin by wiping the chamber floor with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to clean it.  I mix small equal amounts of the J-B Weld and then spoon up a portion of the Weld on the end of a dental spatula and carefully carry it to the floor of the chamber. I hold the dental spatula there allowing the Weld to slide off the spatula to fill the cavity. I then carefully remove the spatula to avoid getting the Weld on the chamber wall.  I repeat this again by bringing a spoon of Weld and allowing it to fill the cavity as it runs off the spatula. I take a picture of the Weld filling the cavity in the chamber floor and decide that I would let it set as it is which will result in a flat floor.  I will use a grinding ball on the Dremel later to round it out for a more natural bowl.  I set the stummel aside allowing the J-B Weld to cure fully.The stem button rebuild has set up and cured.  As hoped, the wedge easily is removed revealing the rough form of a slot to be shaped.Using a flat needle file, I file and shape by bringing the build overhang of the wedge flush with the button face.After filing so that the button face is flush, I’m able to see the basic form of the slot.  The left side of the slot is closed more than the right side as you can see in the picture above.  I use a rounded sharp needle file to file the tighter end.  I’m patient.  I file gently and methodically.I come to a place where the button slot looks balanced.  I can fine tune it later.Next, again using the flat needle file, I file the top of the button down to form the upper contours.  I have the advantage of having the original ends of the button on both sides that were not broken off.  These provide me with the angles of trajectory the upper button lip took.  I try to file down to be consistent with this to form the button.The button is looking good, but I’m concerned that I did not put enough CA glue/charcoal mixture at the side.  In the picture below you can see the unfiled repair material jutting on the right side.  I’m concerned that this may leave a gap when I start filing the inner edge of the button.  To be on the safe side, I apply a drop of Black CA glue on this gap to make sure that I have a uniform platform to file out and shape the button.  I put the stem aside to allow the patch to cure.When CA patch cures, I quickly file off the excess patch material and continue with the lateral filing to form the internal button edge.After completing the filing, I switch to sanding the newly formed button with 240 grade paper and continue to smooth.  I also sand the upper and lower bit to remove residual oxidation.While sanding the new button, an air pocket is uncovered which is visible on the lower side of the button.To fill this very small air pocket, I paint the button with regular CA glue.  I apply a small drop on a toothpick and spot drop it and this spread the CA over the area.I spray the CA glue patch with an accelerator which quickly cures the glue.  I then sand it with 240 grade paper.The stem is still rough from the 240 sanding and filing.  I switch to 600 grade paper and wet sand the entire stem and follow this with applying 000 grade steel wool.  Wow!  I am pleased with the button rebuild.  It looks great and blends well.   I put the stem aside for now.Again, focusing attention on the stummel and the chamber repair.  The J-B Weld is fully cured filling the cavity at the chamber floor. With gravity forming the orientation of the Weld, the floor is now flat.  For a more natural bowl curvature, I initially use a round grinding ball mounted on the Dremel.  Using the round ball, I grind out the flat surface of the J-B Weld.  As I rotate the ball moving it in circles, I check often with my thumb to measure the progress.When the floor feels good, I mount a small sanding drum on the Dremel and reach in to the lower chamber above the new floor where I had earlier detected a distinct ridge from overzealous reaming.  I use the sanding drum to smooth these out.  I do the same as with the grinding ball, I sand and then feel with my thumb.  Progress is made.After the sanding drum, I switch to sanding with 240 grade paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen to help me reach and give me leverage.  I further smooth the lower chamber.  A ridge is still detected, but it is much less distinct.  I like the progress and the entire chamber looks and feels much better. The new floor is now at a more appropriate orientation to the draft hole that is seen in the picture below.With the internal chamber repair complete, I turn to the external surface.  The first thing I look at is the rim repair.  Joe wants the pipe in a pristine condition as much as possible.  Yet, he asked to preserve in some degree the rim knocking damage at the back of the rim as an ongoing remembrance of Paw. With this motif in view, the restored rim will provide a strong contrast of new and old, but not forgetting what the ‘old’ represents.  To begin the rim preservation and restoration, I take the chopping board and place 240 grade paper on it.  Keeping the forward rim surface in contact with the board, I top the forward part of the inverted bowl.The picture below first shows the beginning progression and then after further rotations, the second picture shows the full extent of topping with 240 grade paper.  I leave the area on the back side of the rim and it looks good.I then switch the paper on the board to 600 grade paper and turn the inverted stummel several more rotations to smooth out the 240 scratches.After the topping, I examine the rim edges.  The external rim edge still shows many cuts and nicks.  The internal edge is darkened. To freshen the rim edges and to address the residual blemishes I lightly run a rolled piece of 240 grade paper around the external and internal circumferences (minus Paw’s patch).  I follow the 240 grade with 600 grade.  This doesn’t introduce a bevel as much as clean the edges and soften the flat rim presentation.  I think it looks good.Next, I take another inventory of the stummel’s briar surface.  It has many nicks, scratches and some bruising on all sides of the stummel. I decide to clean the surface by utilizing sanding sponges.  Sanding sponges do a great job addressing the minor issues of normal wear and tear that accumulates on the briar surface.  The soft sponge texture also helps clean and freshen the nooks and corners.  To protect the already thin Kaywoodie “500” nomenclature and shape number, I cover them with masking tape to protect their integrity during the sanding phase.I first use a coarse sanding sponge followed by medium and light grade sponges.  The results are good, but I decided that whatever remains on the surface that is not removed through the sanding belong to Paw 😊.Next, I take the Kaywoodie to the sink to wet sand with micromesh pads 1500 to 2400 grade pads.  I follow wet sanding by dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000. I take a different angle picture with each set of 3 pads. For the last 6 pads I remove the protective masking tape which reveals the contrast of the finish as it was and as it is now. I will add a stain to the stummel which will mask the difference between the dark nomenclature residue of the former hue and the rest of the stummel.  To reduce this contrast, I try rubbing the darkened areas with a cotton pad wetted with acetone.  This works somewhat, but there’s still a contrast, but toned down some.The cotton pad in the picture above gives a good indication of the reddish hue of the original stain which is consistent with other examples that I’ve found on line of the “500” series.  Pipephil’s information on the Kaywoodie “500” provides a few pictured examples.  Here is one that shows the color used for this line of Kaywoodie pipes.  I’ll aim to match it.  My approach will be to first stain the stummel using a dark brown stain.  I’ll then apply an overcoat of Fiebing’s Oxblood over this.  I start with the dark brown first to darken the grain which is evident in the pictures below.I assemble my desktop staining station and fit the stummel with bent pipe cleaners through the mortise to serve as a handle.  I have Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye in a shot glass with another bent over pipe cleaner ready to serve as an applicator.  I wipe the stummel with a cotton cloth wetted with isopropyl 95% to clean it. I then warm the stummel with a hot air gun to heat the briar to expand the grain making it more receptive to the dye.  I then use the pipe cleaner to apply the Dark Brown dye to the stummel and as I paint different sections of the stummel, I flame the dye by igniting it with a lit candle.  As an aniline dye, the alcohol combusts, and it flames out leaving the dye pigment set in the grain.  After I apply the dye thoroughly, I set it aside for a few hours to rest before the next step of the process. After a few hours, I mount the Dremel with a felt cloth buffing wheel, speed set at the lowest possible to avoid too much heat.  I then apply Tripoli compound to the stummel to remove the fired shell on the stummel.  It takes some time to methodically move through the process of ‘plowing’ the crust then following with Tripoli. With my wife’s assistance, a picture of this is shown. When completed, I change the felt buffing wheel to a cotton cloth buffing wheel and again apply Tripoli compound to the entire stummel.  This time it is much faster and the felt wheel allows me to reach into the elbow of the shank and bowl which was not possible with the harder felt wheel.  After I complete the cotton cloth wheel cycle of Tripoli, I then buff the stummel with a felt cloth to remove the compound dust.The first phase results in the darkened grains.  The grain is beautiful – the next pictures show the side of the bowl with beautifully swirled bird’s eye.The first phase results in the darkened grains.  The grain is beautiful – the next pictures show the side of the bowl with beautifully swirled bird’s eye.I repeat the same process for the next phase of applying Fiebing’s Oxblood Leather Dye over the dark brown stained stummel – warming the stummel, applying and flaming the aniline Oxblood dye. I put the newly stained stummel aside to rest overnight.Before I rest, I turn again to the Kaywoodie saddle stem waiting in the wings.  I apply the entire regimen of 9 micromesh pads beginning with wet sanding using pads 1500 to 2400 followed by dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of three pads I apply a coat of Obsidian Oil to enrich the vulcanite.  This stem has come a long way and is looking great. Next, after a few days of a business-related trip, I return to Sofia and to the stummel that had been dyed first with a dark brown undercoat then with an Oxblood overcoat.  I remove the Fiebing’s Oxblood Leather Dye fire crusted shell using a cotton cloth buffing wheel on the Dremel applying Tripoli compound.  When completed, I use a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to lightly wipe the stummel to blend the dyed surface.  I then change to another cotton cloth buffing wheel on the Dremel, remaining at 40% of full power and apply Blue Diamond to both stummel and stem.  Following this, I wipe the surface of the stummel and stem with a felt rag to remove the compound dust.Before moving to applying carnauba wax, I reunite the stem and stummel and address a few smaller projects.  First, I noted before that the stem was overclocked by a few degrees.  This happens through time.  To realign the stem to the correct orientation, I heat the metal stinger until the heat loosens the grip of the metal stinger and while it is hot, I rejoin the stem and turn it clockwise.  When it tightens it puts the necessary torque on the heated stinger which loosens it and allows me to continue the clockwise turn.  I turn it a full 360 degrees bringing it back around into proper orientation. This works well.  I move on.Next, I do a quick job of polishing the metal shank facing using a piece of 000 steel wool.  It did a great job.On last project before applying the wax.  I rebuilt the chamber floor using J-B Weld. Now I apply a mixture of natural yogurt and activated charcoal to form a thickened mixture to apply to the chamber floor and wall to create a cake starter.  After inserting a pipe cleaner in the airway to block the mixture, I then put a small about of Bulgarian natural yogurt in a dish and add activated charcoal and mix it.  I continue to add charcoal and mix until it thickens and will not run. I then apply it to the chamber floor and wall using a dental spatula to apply and spread.  It works well and I put the stummel aside for a time for the coating to cure. In the home stretch, I mount another cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel, maintaining the same speed, and apply carnauba wax to the stem and stummel.  After applying a few coats, I then give the pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth.  This raises the shine even more.

It was a privilege to restore Paw’s old Kaywoodie “500” Long Stem Billiard.  I’m pleased with the stem button rebuild and catching the thinning chamber floor.  I think the final stained hue captures well the historic Kaywoodie “500” theme that ranges from 1957 to 1967 – truly a vintage pipe.  Best of all are the remnants of Paw’s stewardship of the Kaywoodie.  Leaving the rim with latent evidences of Paw’s thumping and lighting, as he went through his own unique ritual with his Kaywoodie in hand, reflecting on life and family with his favorite blend stoked and ready to go.  Joe’s desire to safeguard this heritage and restore this pipe for his father-in-law, benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks, Joe!  And thanks for joining me (ThePipeSteward)!

 

Advertisements

Light in April


Blog by Robert M. Boughton
Copyright © Reborn Pipes and the Author except as cited
https://www.roadrunnerpipes2k.com/
https://www.facebook.com/roadrunnerpipes/

“The past is never dead.  It’s not even past”
— William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun, 1951

As another loose and humble homage – some of which have been received well, others less so – I offer this tribute to the great American author and Southerner William Faulkner (1897-1962).  Perhaps as an inducement to those who may at least entertain the notion of reading on from beginning to end, I also tender a reward: one fine African meerschaum bent billiard of unknown make to the first person who identifies the names of a few of Faulkner’s magnificent literary works contained within this story blog as simple text.  Anyone willing to take the challenge, if such it may be called, need only reply at the end with the titles uncovered.MONDAY, APRIL 15
Perched on a whitewashed planter flecked with dirt and displaying dead flowers, the man smoked a pipe that was carved when his great-grandfather was young, thinking about the never-ending drudge of life but knowing he was not awake enough to keep the idea going.  The camouflaged cinderblock showpiece for the all but disintegrated yarrow, yellow marigold and other forgotten floral detritus, almost as common to the area as weeds and sagebrush and the five local seasons – spring, summer, fall, winter and wind – was prominent between the fractured cement driveway and stylish stone garden that had a proprietary name few locals knew other than perhaps a few grizzled flyboy retirees who flocked to this high desert town to spend their final years and paychecks. Still, the house he rented would always be the mansion to his way of thinking.

He heard the first of many coffee pots, percolating on the stove, that would goad him through the spring day, telling himself out loud how each of them would make him a little more sociable as the warm April sunlight he regarded as somehow less special that the light in August came and went in the course of the day.  The gurgle and flush of the old thing made him crankier, thinking the piñon nuts mixed with the dark ground beans would never taste as good as he thought he remembered before the whole enchilada started breaking bad.  He said, “I hope a cupful will give me a minimum of contentment.”

His parents gave him a name, but he liked to be called Bert, which was a half-baked sort of diminishment of his official designation inscribed on a certificate somewhere, but he was alright with that, thinking, names don’t amount to a hill of pinto beans, and since this one was given to me I can toss it in the river if I want..

Having gotten along in years to the condition where he remembered being a boy like it was yesterday but was hogtied to dredge up a word he wanted or where he saw someone the day before, Bert would tell himself he was no hoary, broken-down wraith of the sad, amusing sort of flags in the dust he saw ambling down bedraggled, pot-holed, sage brush-strewn roads in the hamlet where he lived.  Feeling shackled to call the place home by the antiquated convention of the vague class known as society, all Bert could think was, “That’s Tamalewood, huh.”  The town was no sanctuary to him, if it ever was.  The problem was recollecting the particulars of the fancies that flashed inside his mercurial stream of consciousness that was not as sharp as Hatch chile like it used to be.  He was long since at peace in that respect.

When he was a boy he grabbed hold of the early-onset codger in him as though it were something dear he might lose, knowing in later life he was not as old as most of that breed of character, thinking maybe I’m a curmudgeon but hoping better and pushing the notion out of his head as he would flick mosquitoes from his arm with the nail of a calloused finger.

Trying to piece together how he came to be in frequent contact with a fellow pipe restorer by the name of Benjamin Loveless of Tennessee, Bert’s first thought was how the name evoked a character from some might-have-been Dickens novel – an attorney maybe, or someone else with a good education anyway.  Then, jarring back to reality, he recalled the first encounter was an email from this Loveless in early February, asking for information on Colossus Pipe Factory pipes.  Little more than a week later, he sent a photograph of a rare peculiar wooden pipe in the style named after those who kept watch over churches in years long past, with the head of a tiger cocked to the left.  Seized by a powerful lust from that first gander at the fine old smoker, even if it was a bit what he called froufrou, he had but two words for his chance of ever affording whatever Loveless wanted for it, “Eeee!” followed by “Oraley!” and resented the tease.  If he really wanted to burn that bridge he would have told Loveless to bounce.

Bert knew a thing or two about CPF pipes and wanted that one in the worst way, and being a codger if not a curmudgeon he never counted on Loveless’ proffered hospitable and charitable ways.  In fact he still did not altogether trust the hope sparked inside his chest by the offer Loveless made him.   One way or another, the two men cut a deal on trust that Bert would come through with a reasonable monthly installment until the debt was paid.  The whole while, Bert thought it sounded too good to be true, like ordering from the Sears & Roebuck catalog, based on no more than his pledge.  In all truthfulness, they both knew the end price fixed upon was a good deal higher than anything the regular market would support, but that’s the nature of the pipe hunger beast.for you.  Bert had heard tell of four others he could have bought for the price of the one, if he had the cash on hand that is, but to his eyes they were all Walgreens quality by comparison.  Bert knew, Some day as I lay dying, God willing not before I’ve had time to enjoy it, I’ll never forget the favor Loveless cut me!  The amazing pipe arrived by express mail two days later and was in Bert’s own disbelieving hands.

PRESERVATION
Bert heard tell later from a source of unassailable integrity that Briarville Pipe Repair LLC, thinking of its motto, “Pipe Repair as Close as Your Mailbox” ™, replaced the horn extension with a shiny black bit fixed in place.  Having assisted Briarville in finding the answer to an intriguing old pipe question before, he decided to telephone the business and determine what if any work the excellent operation indeed performed.  The restorer was relieved he did so, as the answers the owner sent back prove why fact-checking is imperative for all types of writing, whether investigative journalism or much simpler pipe restoration blogging.   Indeed, Bert had more than the one questions wanting answers.

    1. Did Briarville provide a replacement extension and bit, and if so, what model was used to choose the very appropriate look? Briarville did not replace anything but instead repaired a single crack in the extension.
    2. What materials formed the extension and bit? Knowing the query might sound somewhat daft given the obvious horn appearance of the extension, he had never worked with the alternative accessory and wanted to be sure it was what it appeared to be.  Also, the bit looked to be something he thought was not invented until after 1915 when CPF closed shop.  The answer was that the extension in fact was horn as it seemed and Bert’s original source suspected, and the bit was Vulcanite as he had guessed.  And so, researching the date Vulcanite was patented, he found US3633A by Charles Goodyear dated June 6, 1844, shown below.  That was excellent news, suggesting the two combined parts were original.
    3. From what type of wood was the stummel carved? The reply to that was briar, but with all due respect to Briarville, Bert had serious doubts about that for several reasons: the extreme darkness of the wood that lightened very little after an extensive soak in alcohol, the somewhat tiger-like grain, and the unique taste of the wood that melded quite well with the tobacco.  Some of the photos that follow will demonstrate Bert’s point, but in the end he emailed photos to his artisan pipe maker friend Don Gillmore in hope of settling the issue.  Don is known for his use of alternative woods such as walnut, maple and pecan, and still others more exotic including bog wood (a.k.a. morta, ebony wood, black wood and abonos wood), and trusted if anyone he know could identify the genus, it was he   From the darkness of the wood, Bert suggested cherry.  Don shot that down, noting the grain and lack of iridescence were not present.  He noted “the color is within the range of walnut,” but as it turned out he was only going by Bert’s conviction it wasn’t briar.  When Bert responded that it was heavy and dense, Don’s final conclusion was “probably briar.”  And so Bert saw no choice but to join the consensus, however contrary the necessity.
    4. What time frame would the pipe’s manufacture date be? The guess was early 20th century. That may very well be the case, Bert knew, and there was no way to pinpoint it, but in this case stuck to his guns and argued his pipe’s creation to be in the late 1800s, with cause having nothing to do with a desire to make it older than it was.  Since 2013, when Bert first heard of CPF, he was confident to a point just short of calling himself an expert that he had researched the brand and its pipes – wood and meerschaum – as thoroughly as anyone.  He never before set eyes on any ornate wooden CPF like the tiger’s head.  More to the point, when Kaufman Brothers & Bondy bought CPF in 1883, the shift from ornate to more traditional models began and continued until the company’s end, and by the time 1900 was rung in by turn-of-the-century revelers, ornate wood pipes were all but phased out.  Nevertheless, when it comes to arguing the potential difference in age from 119 to 136 years, Bert said again out loud he was not going to quibble.  He hated that species of know-it-all more than anything.  His “newest” pipe was an antique with more than enough years to spare, whatever its date of creation.

To give a better perspective of the actual size of the CPF shown in Loveless’ beautiful photo that isn’t apparrent below (even with the lovely Peterson dwarfed by it), the length was 10 1/2”, the bowl height 2” and the chamber diameter a unique ⅞” x 2”.  Bert chose unique because of the peculiar straight evenness of the depth, which accommodated far more tobacco than his favorite Ben Wade by Preben Holm Danish freehand that sported a 1” x 2” tapered chamber.  The second photo shows the same tobacco needed to fill both the CPF and the PH, left to right.  Despite the trick of the angle, both lids were identical in size, but the left held about five good pinches, and the right three. The tiger’s head needed no cleaning and was unblemished by any apparent damage to the horn extension.  Bert, of course, following his nature, tried it out and enjoyed it so much he made it the only pipe he smoked for a couple of days.  Then, to his horror, he observed the sudden appearance of two cracks in the horn that could only be described as honking.  To make it clear right off, he was not blaming anyone for the weirdness of the manifestation.  He suspected it was due to the extreme age of the horn and long disuse, and may very well require ongoing attention. For the edification of those whose personal values (which are formed by family, social and peer forces as by clay with all of the potential for works of art or bricks or quagmires of mud and possess the same qualities of steady hardening into solids that can nevertheless be shattered) deny them the sublime enjoyment of reading the dry legalese of patents, the second paragraph describes Goodyear’s idea of “combining sulphur and white lead with the india rubber” and heating in such a way that the result is both heat- and cold-resistant, thereby making Vulcanite less apt to soften and crack, although Vulcanite is never mentioned by name.

Illustrated next is the rest of the phenomenal pipe when Bert decided to fix the cracks and re-do the stain, only to satisfy his own quirky druthers. The only real CPF expert Bert knew told him the hallmarks on the brass-coated nickel band were meaningless for dating or other helpful purposes, but they looked impressive.

Commencing his journey to salvation, Bert gave the stummel, extension and bit a quick wipe with a paper towel and purified water, then reamed and sanded the chamber with 220- and 320-grit papers and pre-cleaned the inner shank and air hole with cleaners dipped in Everclear he would have found refreshing for his own consumption in earlier years. He then bathed the extension/bit in an OxiClean solution as though it were a hot natural spring water cure ordered by a physician and got the retort out of the way with his newer laboratory grade kit, which, fueled with Isopropyl alcohol, makes an impressive and mighty flame that should be respected but does boil the Everclear through the rounded Pyrex tube with great speed and efficiency.Concluding there was no time like the present to tackle the only repair needed, Bert confronted the crack with the determination of David against Goliath but an approach that required two applications of Super Glue rather than a sling and stones, the initial one clamping the cracks shut long enough to dry afterward and the other just filling in remaining gaps again before sanding and buffing smooth. In his work of fine-tuning, Bert did not record the multiple buffing steps.  As for the stummel, he had set his mind on as much of a two tone as he could achieve to give the stunning, intricate carving of the tiger’s head a more lifelike color and leave the smooth area darker but still showing a hint of the grain.  After a long Everclear soak, he let it dry and used super fine “0000” steel wool to lighten the color. The remainder of the trek was a blur, and again he failed in his usual obsessive observance of details.  The almost final steps were micro meshing from 1500-12000 and staining the smooth area with Lincoln Brown Leather Dye and the carved part with something a little different: Fiebing’s British Tan.So close to the end and almost delirious, Bert went over the top in obsessiveness making the regal, proud, all-but-lifelike head light enough to suit his exacting taste, using steel wool again and even light sanding with a double-sided 220-320-grit pad.  In almost all cases of waxing carved surfaces of pipes, Bert employed a white, hand-applied concoction, but not this time.  He buffed the carved part on the electric wheel with carnauba alone and the smooth with red Tripoli and carnauba.  In a moment of blinding revelation, the sound and the fury of the experience came together in an epiphany that left him dazed. AFTERWORD
Bert remained one of the unvanquished, believing that so long as the past is remembered and preserved, it never goes away.

SOURCES
https://briarville.com/
https://patents.google.com/patent/US3633?oq=3633a
http://www.teltinc.com/
https://www.etsy.com/shop/DonWarrenPipes
https://rebornpipes.com/2013/04/14/some-reflection-on-the-historical-background-on-cpf-pipes/
https://rebornpipes.com/2019/02/22/reflecting-on-a-few-of-my-cpf-pipes-colossus-pipe-factory-pipes/

Restoring a 1965 Dunhill Shell Briar # 56 F/T 3/4 Bent Billiard


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

I had just finished restoring the fifth Dunhill from my Mumbai Bonanza find, a 1962 DUNHILL SHELL #196 F/T and now this is the sixth. I am left with only one Dunhill pipe to complete from the Mumbai Bonanza, a smooth finish LB.

I was fortunate enough to have heeded to the advice of my dear friend and mentor, Mr. Steve, and struck a deal with a trash collector from Mumbai. He did not know what he was selling and I did not know what I was buying as we reside in different cities!! The argument that Mr. Steve presented was that if not anything, I shall at least have some spares and this was logical. I struck a deal and here are pictures of the pipes that I received in this lot. This lot contains some very nice collectible pipes, a few well known brands and some mediocre brands. Overall, with seven Dunhills, a Preben Holm #1, a couple of “Made in England” Pete System pipes, Charatan’s, Custom-Bilt, Stanwell and other assorted pipes, I would say that I had hit a huge jack pot!! Hence, I like to call this find the “Mumbai Bonanza”.

The pipe that I decided to work on from this find is another Dunhill, a 1965 Shell Briar 3/4 bent billiard, and is marked in pastel pink circle in the picture below. It is stamped on the underside of the shank with the shape number 56 followed by F/T followed by DUNHILL over Shell Briar followed by the COM stamp Made in over England 5 (underlined) which dates it as being made in 1965. This is followed by Group size number 4 in a circle and letter S for Shell. Dunhill White Dot adorns the top of the vulcanite stem. The stampings are very slightly worn out and easily readable.In this short journey of mine in to the world of pipe refurbishing, this particular pipe has one of the deepest and beautiful sandblast patterns that I have come across. The sandblast on this pipe speaks volumes about the skills of the pipe carver. With this thought, I move ahead with the restoration of this beautiful medium sized sandblasted Dunhill bent billiard and restore it to its glory.

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
The chamber is clean with a decent and even thick layer of cake. From what I can see, the chamber walls appear to be without any damage. The chamber is odorless. There is an overflow of lava on the sandblasted rim top surface. The inner and outer rim edges are undamaged. The walls appear to be thin. Is this a case of over reaming or is it because the carver decided to compromise the wall thickness for deeper sandblast patterns?The stummel boasts of some beautiful sandblast pattern of mix of straight and cross grain all around. It is dirty with grime, oils and tars filling in much of the craggy finish. The briar looks lifeless and dull. The mortise shows minor accumulation of dried tars mixed with ash and remnants of tobacco. This will have to be cleaned and refreshed. The vulcanite stem shows a minor damage to the button end with minor chatter on the lower surface. The lip edges have a few bite marks and will have to be reshaped and made crisp. The stem is oxidized; however, the quality of vulcanite is good. The white dot on the upper surface has faded in some places but is still distinctly visible. This cannot be helped and status quo has to be accepted.There are no major issues to address here on this pipe; just a little TLC and the pipe should be good to go…nah, find a place of pride on my rack!!

THE PROCESS
I start this project by tackling the stem first. I sand the stem with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper to erase the minor tooth chatter on the lower surface, get rid of the oxidation and provide a smooth surface for the intended fill to reconstruct the button edges. I cleaned out the internals of the stem with hard bristled and regular pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Once I was satisfied with the internal cleaning, I wiped the stem surface, particularly the damaged button end, with a cotton pad and alcohol to remove any traces of dirt and grime. I prepared a mix of CA superglue and activated charcoal and carefully applied it over the damaged lip and set it aside for curing over night. Before moving ahead, I would like to mention here that I had applied this mix in sufficient thickness which would help during the filing and sanding while shaping the button and achieving the correct lip edge profile.While the stem repair was set aside to cure, I moved ahead to deal with the stummel cleaning. With size 3 head of a PipNet reamer, I took the cake down to bare briar. Using a folded piece of 180 grit sand paper, I sand out the last traces of cake and expose the walls of the chamber to ascertain that there are no cracks/ heat fissures. I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad dipped in isopropyl alcohol to remove the carbon dust left behind by all the reaming and sanding process. The walls of the chamber were solid with no damage. This was followed by cleaning the mortise by scraping away at the dried gunk with my fabricated spatula and followed it up with further cleaning using cue tips, pipe cleaners and shank brush dipped in isopropyl alcohol. This eliminated all traces of old smells from previous usage. I followed up the internal cleaning with external. Using a soft brass wired brush I gently scraped away the thick lava coat in the blast of the rim. With a hard bristled tooth brush and dipped in undiluted Murphy’s oil soap, I very deliberately scrubbed the sandblast finish on the stummel and the rim top. The stummel and rim top was dried using paper napkins and soft cotton cloth and set it aside to dry out naturally. The stummel looks fresh and clean. Next, I rub a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to the briar with my finger tips and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the beautiful contrasting hues colors that are unique to this sandblast pipe, on full display. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. I set the stummel aside and turned my attention to the stem repair. The fill had cured nicely and I moved ahead and began the process of filing and shaping the button end with a flat head needle file. For a better blending, I further sand the entire stem with 220 followed by 400, 600 and 800 grit sand paper. This helps to reduce the sanding marks left behind by the more abrasive 220 grit paper. To bring a deep shine to the vulcanite stem, I went through the complete set of micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem with alcohol after each pad and rubbed it down with Extra Virgin Olive oil to rehydrate the vulcanite. The repairs have blended in very well and the stem now looks shiny black and beautiful. The internals of the stem was once again cleaned out using alcohol and pipe cleaners to clear the airway of all the debris resulting due to the sanding. The finished stem is shown below. To finish, I re-attach the stem with the stummel. I mounted a cotton cloth buffing wheel to my local machine which is similar to the Dremel.  I set the speed at about half of the full power and applied White Diamond compound to the entire pipe. I wiped/ buffed the pipe with a soft cotton cloth to clear it of any leftover compound dust. I then mounted another cotton cloth wheel on to the polishing machine and applied several coats of carnauba wax. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further.The completed pipe looks lovely, fresh and vibrant; the pictures speak for themselves. I really enjoyed working on this pipe and hope that readers too enjoyed walking with me through this restoration. If only this old warrior could share its past life with all of us…if only!! Cheers.

 

 

 

Rejuvenating the Amazing Grain of an EWA Trophee of St. Claude, France 909


Blog by Dal Stanton

Next on my worktable is another pipe I acquired from a ‘Lot of Treasures’ I found on French eBay.  This French Lot of 50 has rendered some real keepers with historic interest and collectability.  The EWA Trophee I’m now looking at is a classic Bent Billiard with a flare – the acrylic stem, banding and picturesque briar holds out great potential, but it come with some challenges as well.  Pipe man, Scott, commissioned the EWA – a friend on FB and regular contributor on different Face Book Groups, and a former US Navy man who I appreciate very much.  Scott reached out to me on FB Messenger and had been looking at the pipes available for commission in my For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection and there were 5 pipes he was dreaming about that he had seen, but settled on one, the EWA Trophee.  I appreciate Scott’s patience in the speed of my pipe restoration production line!  His patience is now paying off, and his commission benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria – our work here in Bulgaria helping women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Here are the pictures that drew Scott’s attention. I can see why this pipe got Scott’s attention.  I have worked on several French named pipes, and this was the first with ‘EWA’ stamped on the left shank flank.  Underneath and at an angle is stamped ‘TROPHEE’.  The acrylic stem also is stamped with a distinct EWA.  The right side of the shank is stamped ‘BRUYERE’ [over] ‘ST. CLAUDE’ [over] ‘FILTRE’.  Tucked on the lower side of the shank is stamped the shape number, ‘909’.  Information about this nomenclature was readily available in the Pipedia article on EWA pipes and with this being my first look at the EWA name of St. Claude, I include more of this article.

From Pipes, Artisans and Trademarks, by José Manuel Lopes

EWA is a French brand of Pipe EWA-Ets. Waille SARL. Launched in the 1970s by Michel Waille, the brand began in the Waille factory founded in 1860 by Horace Waille., and has been passed down from generation to generation ever since. He was succeeded by his son, René (1902-1932), his grandson Adré — who obtained the rank of ‘CAP de Pipier’ in 1926 and was in the company from 1920 to 1974 — and his great grandson, Michel Waille.

Michel, ‘Meilleur Ourrier de France’ but retired today, is currently President of the Pipe Club de Saint-Claude. He joined his father in 1968 and was at the head of the firm until 2002, when the brand was sold, first to Mr. Gigandet, and later to Denis Blanc, of Ad Hoc Pipe. [link is dead]

The company specialises in the production of horn, acrylic and cumberland stems, and today is the only maker in Saint-Claude producing horn and Lucite stems. It also makes the Terminus system pipes, employs half a dozen people and export 25% of its production. From site Ad Hoc Pipe [link is dead]

Horace Waille, the great-grandfather was a pioneer in the history of Pipe story of Saint Claude and created in 1860 a pipe workshop.  Rene Waille, his son, has continued the activity from 1902 to 1932 and was specialized in the initial shaping.

Andre Waille, son of Rene, obtained a “CAP de pipier” (Pipe maker degree) in 1926 and has pursued the activity of the familial company from 1932 to 1974. He is the only pipe maker, who obtained a Pipe maker degree. In 1968 Michel, son of Rene, actual Manager of EWA pipe joint the familial company and transform in 1974 the company in SARL PIPE EWA.

The information I gain from Pipedia that is useful – the Waille name is long-standing in France’s pipe center of Saint Claude.  I’m especially interested in the information that the company has historically specialized in the production and use of horn, acrylic and Cumberland stems which is relevant for the pipe on the worktable.  Pipephil.eu was my next stop and information there clarified the age of this EWA Trophee and the meaning of EWA.  The name was changed in 1979 from simply Waille to EWA from “Etablissement WAille” (English: Establishment).  So, the acrylic stemmed Billiard on my table dates at the earliest starting at 1979 with the genesis of the EWA stamp.With a better appreciation of the heritage and age of this EWA Trophee of St. Claude, I look more closely at the pipe itself.  The grain and classy acrylic stem and banding/shank ring shows promise, but there are also some issues and challenges in bringing this pipe back to a more presentable state.  I take several more pictures to catalogue the issues I see.  The fittings of the pipe have come apart.  As I disengage the stem and stummel, the 8mm filter sleeve is unattached to the stem and needs to be reattached.  The shank ring is also loose. The pipe has been heavily smoked and loved and the cake in the chamber is substantial.  By lightening the picture, you can see how the cake expands as it descends into the chamber.  There is no way to assess the health of the chamber wall until this cake is removed to allow the briar a fresh start and to inspect the wall for heat fissures or cracks.The rim corresponds to the lack of maintenance and cleaning of the chamber.  Thick lava has flowed over the rim and must be removed and cleaned to liberate the briar rim presentation.I like the grain on the stummel – very expressive.  What I don’t care for is the thick shellac finish that was used on this stummel – my classic ‘candy apple’ finish.  I love shine, but briar shine not chemical shine!  I will need to strip this stummel down to the raw briar to allow the grain I see to breathe again.There is a deep gouge on the left side of the shank that creeps toward the shank end where there is another dent next to the edge. The heel of the stummel has seen better days!  There are a few good-sized dents and divots that must be addressed.Probably the most fun will be cleaning the acrylic stem.  The external acrylic surface will not be difficult, but the discolored airway is another thing altogether coupled with the issue of not being able to use the normal cleaning attack with the use of alcohol.On close examination, my concern grows for the cleaning of the airway as I can see microscopic veins splaying from the airway – mainly at the bend of the stem. This next picture is looking into the mouth of the stem that the 8mm filter sleeve has vacated.  This needs to be cleaned thoroughly making way to reattach the filter and afterwards, the ring.We have work to do!  To begin the restoration of Scott’s choice of this EWA Trophee Bent Billiard of St. Claude, I start with the cleaning of the stummel by reaming the chamber which is nearly closed by the growth of the cake.  I take another picture to mark the start and then, starting with the smallest of the blade heads of the Pipnet Reaming Kit, I begin the cleaning process.  To help in the cleanup I first put down paper towel. The cake is hard and stubborn and takes some time and effort for the smallest blade to penetrate to the floor of the chamber.  I take a picture about three quarters of the way down the chamber. I use 3 of the 4 blades available and then switch to using the Savinelli Fitsall Tool to scrape chamber walls.  Finally, I sand the chamber with 240 grit paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen.  To clean the chamber of the carbon dust, I wipe it thoroughly with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95%.  The picture below shows the huge pile of carbon that was removed from the chamber. After inspection, the chamber appears to be in good shape.  What I notice after the reaming is complete is the rim width imbalance that is now evident after the cake was removed.  The left side of the rim (bottom in the picture) is thinning where fire was drawn over the rim during the lighting. Next, to clean the exterior surface of the stummel, I use undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap on a cotton pad to scrub.  I also use a brass wire brush to work on the lava crusted on the rim as well as gently scraping it with a knife edge.  The cleaning helps, but the rim remains darkened from the lava and the ‘candy apple’ finish is still very much in place. To complete the stummel cleaning regimen, I use pipe cleaners and cotton buds wetted with isopropyl 95% to clean the internals. After many pipe cleaners and cotton buds, and scraping the mortise walls with a dental spatula, the color of the buds started coming out less soiled.  I decide to stop at this point – the internals were clean enough at this point.In order to strip the ‘candy apple’ finish I put the stummel in a soak of acetone. This should strip the stummel of all the old finish.  I leave it in the soak overnight. Turning to the acrylic stem, before I started on the restoration and as I was thinking about my approach, something in the recesses of my memory was ringing a warning concerning the approach to cleaning the clear, acrylic stem, but I wasn’t sure what it was. I decided to send Steve an email with the stem’s picture and my questions.  With his vast rebornpipes experience, as always, his response was helpful to help chart a course:

Hey Dal

The clear stems like that (if on a GBD are Perspex and early acrylic) are not resistant to alcohol. They can shatter or at least craze. I will often use lemon juice to start with and also liquid cleanser or soft scrub with bristle pipe cleaners or shank brushes. Sometimes you can use a needle file to work the insides. The airways are often rough inside so they need to be smoothed out. It is pretty labour intensive to clean out the stains as originally the airways were clear…

Steve

In a subsequent note he also added this:

Ok… the GBD brand was originally a ST Claude Brand. Perspex is an early acrylic. It was on GBD Prehistoric pipes… Lucite is another brand name for acrylic… both are acrylic.

I have soaked the stems and it does help some, but I have also put the cleanser on a pipe cleaner and let it soak as well. I have even used comet cleanser… big thing is no alcohol if at all possible. Too risky.

I have read of guys chucking a pipe cleaner in their drill like a drill bit and spinning it in the stem but have not tried that myself…  Anyway..,

 Enjoy

Steve

To begin the ‘enjoyment’ in tackling what proves to be a very stubborn project, I take a picture to mark the starting block.Using a sharp dental spoon, I work on digging gunk out of the slot cavity and scraping the hard stain buildup there.In Bulgaria we do not have ‘Soft Scrub’ but we have a product in the same genre called CIF that I next use to begin addressing the rough stains in the bent stem airway.  I use a bristled pipe cleaner and dip it in the cleanser and go to work.  With the pipe cleaner serving as a back drop I can see that microscopic veins are already evident in the airway lining. This is the ‘crazing’ effect that Steve mentioned in his note.  Removing stain from these will be an effort.  The veins are concentrated at the bend of the stem.To up the ante a bit, I decide to try the technique that Steve described that others had tried – to chock a pipe cleaner in a hand drill and utilize the high-speed rotation to enhance the cleaning process of the acrylic airway.  In order to increase the diameter of the pipe cleaner ‘bit’ I twist and wrap an additional pipe cleaner that I had already used.  I then insert this into the chuck and tighten it down.  I use another bristled pipe cleaner as the ‘drill’ and dip it in CIF cleanser.  I then insert the end of the pipe cleaner into the shank side of the stem and start the drill rotation gradually as I slowly insert the pipe cleaner into the airway – I haven’t done this before so I’m watching to see what happens!  It works like a charm.  As I insert the pipe cleaner, I increase the speed of the rotation and there is no wobble at all.  With the drill speed rotation engaged, I then push and draw the stem back and forth to create more cleaning movement.  I do this also with a soft pipe cleaner and cleanser.  The pictures show the pipe cleaner drilling.Well, I hoped for perfect results, but as feared, the stains in the veins remain visible and these are concentrated at the outer bend of the stem.  Because of this, it is evident that these veins have been here a while.  The rest of the airway is looking good.Next, from Steve’s suggested assault options, I squeeze lemon juice into a dish.  I will use the natural acids of the lemon to work on the airway.  I use the pipe cleaner too, but since the night is late, I settle at this point to put the stem into the lemon juice to soak through the night.  With the stummel soaking in the acetone and the stem in the lemon juice, I turn off the lights and end another day. The next morning, I use a pipe cleaner on the stem again.  The lemon soak through the night did seem to work, but the veins and the discoloration in the veins remain.  A reminder that we live in a fallen world where perfect pipes and restorations do not exist.  I accept this and decide to move on, but I decide to leave a pipe cleaner wet with CIF cleanser in the airway to continue to work on the stains while I turn to the stummel.The stummel has been soaking in acetone through the night to remove the ‘candy apple’ finish.  I fish it out of the acetone and the first appearance is that it still has the sheen showing that old finish was still present.  The finish has been greatly softened through the soak and with the gentle help of 0 grade steel wool I remove the finish without difficulty.  With the old thick finish removed, I examine the shank and the heel areas again where I saw significant dents and pits and discover that these are not as pervasive as they appeared before.  Most of the visible damage was to the thick finish and not to the briar.  Well, that’s one argument in favor of thick finishes!  The second picture below of the close-up of the grain – the bird’s eye grain is fantastic! Looking at the rim, it is thinner on the left side (bottom in the picture) and that edge is deteriorated.  The entire rim presentation needs freshening and to try to improve the width balance some. To address this, I take out the chopping board and put 240 grade sanding paper on it.  I give the stummel a minimal topping to give the rim a fresh start.After taking as much briar off the rim as will be helpful, I switch the board to 600 grade paper and rotate the stummel a few more times to smooth and blend.After the topping, the thinning on the left side of the stummel (bottom in picture above) remains thinner and more topping will not improve this because the stummel width descending in the chamber is thinned because of burning and lighting on that side.  To top until the rim width starts evening out would require too much briar real estate.  The way to mitigate against this, but not fully remove it, is to create an internal rim lip bevel.  On the ‘fatter’ side of the rim I increase the amount of bevel somewhat to help even out the round of the chamber.  I use a coarse 120 grade paper to begin, then follow with 240 and 600 grade papers.  The results I believe have improved the rounding, but again as with the stem airway, perfection is not achieved but it is looking very good none the less! Again, looking at the dent on the stummel heel and on the shank, just below the Trophee stamping, I examine the dents and how to repair them.  I go out on our 10th floor balcony, which is my ‘Man Cave’, and use the steaming method to raise the dent that’s on the heel of the stummel.  I wet a cotton cloth with water, and using my wife’s iron, I apply heat to the wet cloth.  When I do this, the moisture in the cloth evaporates and creates steam which is forced into the area of the briar compression.  The porous composition of wood expands with the forced heat and moisture and the result is the dent hopefully shrinks as the wood reclaims its original state.I apply the hot iron to the wet cloth over the dent.The results are excellent.  If I look hard at the place, I can still see an imprint but there is no longer a compression of the wood.I do the same to the small compression on the edge of the shank and the results are equally as good. To clean the entire stummel of the minor nicks and scratches, I utilize the less invasive approach of sanding sponges.  I use a coarse grade, then follow with a medium and light grade sponges.  I like using sponges because they can find the hard to get places as sponges, but they help remove the small nicks and pits in the briar surface.  The grain on this stummel is amazing – the dark grains appear almost cloudy as they cluster. Next, I take out the micromesh pads and wet sand utilizing pads 1500 to 2400. After finishing the wet sanding, I notice a fill on the underside of the shank next to the shape number that doesn’t look solid. Using a sharp dental probe, I test it and it doesn’t take much to remove it.  Before continuing with the micromesh process, I need to refill the pit left behind.I wipe the area with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol and mix a small amount of thick CA glue and briar dust.  I place a small amount of briar dust on an index card then drop some CA glue next to it.  Using a toothpick, I gradually pull briar dust into the CA glue until it thickens to the consistency of molasses. I then apply a small amount of the putty over the patch area, careful not to go over the shape number.  I put the stummel aside for the putty to cure.Several hours later, the patch has cured, and I begin the process of filing the patch down with a flat needle file.I’m careful to remain on the patch as I file avoiding collateral damage with nearby briar.After bringing the patch mound down almost to flush with the briar surface, I switch to using the sharp edge of a piece of 240 grade sanding paper to bring the patch down to the briar surface.  Again, keeping the sanding process tightly confined to the patch area.When the patch is smooth to touch, I then switch to 600 grade paper to smooth the patch and blend further.When the 600 grade has finished its work, I catch up the patch area in the micromesh process utilizing pads 1500 to 2400.With the patch completed, I continue by dry sanding using pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  I love the thick grain on this stummel!There is no question in my mind about whether this grain can stand on its own!  At this point I apply Before & After Restoration Balm to the briar surface.  The B&A Restoration Balm does a great job simply deepening the richness of the natural briar.  I apply some to my fingers and rub it into the briar surface.  As I rub it in, it thickens to a wax-like consistency.  After I apply it thoroughly, I let it stand and absorb for about 20 minutes then I wipe off the excess and buff up the surface with a microfiber cloth.  I’m loving the grain!With the stummel on the side, I now turn to the clear Lucite stem. I begin by washing the stem with dish soap and warm water.  Looking closely at the bit area, the top lip of the button is compressed.  I take a picture of it but it’s not easy to see!  There is also roughness from tooth chatter.The lower bit has a tooth compression as well as tooth chatter.I apply clear CA glue to the lower tooth compression and spray the CA glue with an accelerator to hold the glue in place and to quicken the curing process.To deal with the compression on the top button lip, I simply sand it out using 240 grad paper.  I smooth out the tooth chatter as well.I then use 240 grade paper to sand and smooth the patch on the lower side as well as to remove the tooth chatter and roughness of the bit and button.  I follow the 240 sanding by wet sanding the entire stem with 600 grade paper to take out the small nicks and scratches.Following the 600 grade paper, I sand/buff the entire stem with 0000 steel wool.Following the steel would I wet sand the stem using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400 and then dry sand with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  After each set of three pads I apply a coat of Obsidian Oil to the stem. The stem is ready to go.  I take the nickel shank ring and clean it with Tarn-X.  It does a great job shining up. Now it’s time to reattach the 8mm filter sleeve.  I want to make sure its straight and seats accurately in the mortise.  I first slip the ring over the sleeve without attaching it with CA glue.  I want to simply use it as a spacer for the first step of reattaching the sleeve.  With the ring over the sleeve, I apply CA glue around the end of the sleeve that is inserted into the stem cavity. After I insert the sleeve into the cavity, before the CA glue sets up, I quickly seat the filter sleeve into the mortise with the ring compressed between the shank and stem.  I hold the stem firmly in place with proper orientation until the CA glue sets.With the sleeve properly seated, I then apply a few drops to the stem side of the ring and then reattach it, again seating the stem into the mortise.  It looks good – no gaps and a straight snug fit.To spruce up the EWA stem stamping, I apply Rub ‘n Buff European Gold.  I apply a little over the stamping and simply wipe it lightly off with a cotton pad.  The stamp is a little thin, but the Rub ‘n Buff holds well, and it looks good.Now the home stretch.  I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel set at about 40% of full speed and apply Blue Diamond compound to the stem and stummel. I then separate the stem and change to another cotton cloth wheel dedicated to applying Blue Diamond to nickel and I buff up more shine on the shank ring.  After reuniting the stem and stummel again, I then wipe the pipe with a felt cloth to clean off the compound dust in preparation of the application of the wax.  I then change to another cotton cloth wheel with the same speed and apply a few coats of carnauba wax to stem and stummel and then finish with a rigorous hand buffing to raise the shine.

The unique grain cluster constellation that I see in the EWA Trophee is amazing.  The heel grain pattern shows color, swirls and vortexes that remind me of pictures of the planet Jupiter.  It is truly amazing and mesmerizing to look at.  The Lucite stem came out well – it is classy with the complimentary gold and black band ring providing a nice transition.  My only wish is that I could have purged the stem airway totally of the discoloration in the crazed veins that will remain as a reminder of this pipes battle scars from its past!  Even so, the EWA Trophee of St. Claude, is a beautiful Bent Billiard and Scott did well in seeing the potential of this pipe when he commissioned it.  As the commissioner, he has the first opportunity to acquire it in ThePipeSteward Store.  This pipe benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thank you for joining me!

An Easy Sprucing up of a 1949 Dunhill Shell # 52 F/T


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

Believe you me friends, this is FUN!! Being able to work on different pipes, be able to choose your project, choose a brand you wish to work on, is an exhilarating experience for me. Prior to the Mumbai Bonanza striking me, I was restricted mostly to working on my inherited collection of pipes, each complete with its stem challenges and similar stummel condition and was getting slightly monotonous to say the least.

I was fortunate enough to have heeded the advice of my dear friend and mentor, Mr. Steve, and struck a deal with a trash collector from Mumbai. He did not know what he was selling and I did not know what I was buying as we reside in different cities!! The argument that Mr. Steve presented was that if not anything, I shall at least have some spares and this was logical. I struck a deal and here are pictures of the pipes that I received in this lot.  This lot contains some very nice collectible pipes, a few well known brand pipes and some mediocre pipe brands. Overall, with seven Dunhills, a Preben Holm #1, a couple of Made in England Pete System pipes, Charatan’s, Custom-Bilt, Stanwell and other assorted pipes, I would say that I had hit a huge jack pot!!! Hence, I like to call this find as “Mumbai Bonanza”.

The pipe that I decided to work on from this find is a smallish full bent Dunhill Shell billiard, and is marked in pastel blue circle in the picture below (the ones circled in red and yellow are completed projects). This is a beautiful deeply sandblasted billiard with a lovely tactile feel in the hand. The play of dark red brown hues on the sandblast makes for a visual treat. It is stamped on a smooth surface on the foot and the underside of the shank with the shape number 52 followed by F/T followed by DUNHILL Shell Made in England 9 (9 is underlined) 0 all in a straight line over PATENT No 417574/34 followed by an encircled 3 at the shank end. This stamping indicates that this pipe is a fishtailed group 3 sized shell and dates this pipe to being manufactured in 1949 and sold in 1950.  The Trademark Dunhill White Dot adorns the top of the vulcanite stem. The stampings are deep, crisp and clear.With this information, I move ahead with the restoration of this beautiful sandblasted Dunhill bent billiard.

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
The chamber has a thick layer of even and smooth cake which indicates that the pipe has been well used but also well cared for by its previous Steward. From what I can see, the chamber walls appear to be without any damage. The chamber is odorless. There is an overflow of lava on the blasted rim top surface. The inner and outer rim edges appear to be in pristine condition. The mortise is clean and so is the shank airway. The stummel boasts of some beautiful deep sandblast pattern all around. It is dirty with grime and oils filling in much of the craggy finish. The briar, in this condition also, looks amazing. I can’t wait to see after I have worked on it. The round shank of the bent billiard flows into a bent tapered stem which has a flare, like a fish tail, at the button end and hence the stamp F/T. The vulcanite stem shows significant damage to the button end with deep bite marks on both upper and lower surface of the stem. The lip is also severely damaged and will have to be reshaped. In this project, repairs to the damaged stem will be a major challenge, however if compared to previous stem repairs, this should be a cake walk.

THE PROCESS
Since the stem has significant damage, and from my experience of stem repairs, this will be time consuming and laborious part and hence I start this project by tackling the stem first

Now that I was clear about the path to be followed, I first flame both the surfaces of the stem with a Bic lighter. The heat from the flame raises the vulcanite to the surface and takes care of the tooth chatter that was seen earlier. I sand the stem with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper to get rid of the oxidation, have a clear idea of the areas which require fill and its extent while providing a smooth surface for the intended fill. I cleaned out the internals of the stem with hard bristled and regular pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Once I was satisfied with the internal cleaning, I wiped the stem surface, particularly the damaged button end, with a cotton pad and alcohol to remove any traces of dirt and grime.To begin the stem repairs, I prepared a mix of CA superglue and activated charcoal and generously applied it over the damaged surface and set it aside for curing over night. Before moving ahead, I would like to mention here that I had applied this mix to achieve sufficient thickness which would help during the filing and sanding while shaping the button and achieving the correct stem profile.While the stem repair was set aside to cure, I moved ahead to deal with the stummel repairs. I start the reaming with a size 1 head of the PipNet reamer and progress to size 2 head. I further clean the chamber with a folded piece of 180 grits sand paper to sand out the remaining traces of cake and expose the walls of the chamber to ascertain that there are no cracks/ heat fissures. Using my fabricated knife, I gently scrapped away the lava overflow. I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad dipped in isopropyl alcohol to remove the carbon dust left behind by all the reaming and sanding process. This also eliminated all traces of old smells from previous usage. The walls of the chamber were solid with no damage. Continuing with the cleaning regime, using a soft brass wired brush I gently scraped away the thick lava coat in the blast of the rim. With a hard bristled tooth brush and dipped in undiluted Murphy’s oil soap, I very deliberately scrubbed the sandblast finish on the stummel and the rim top. The stummel and rim top was dried using paper napkins and soft cotton cloth and set it aside to dry out naturally. The stummel looks fresh and clean. Next, I rub a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to the briar with my finger tips and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the beautiful contrasting hues colors that are unique to this sandblast pipe, on full display. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. After I had applied the balm, the rim top surface appeared too darkened and unclean. I was not happy with the way the rim top looked at this stage and decided to further clean it. I scrapped the rim top surface with a brass wired brush with a bit more pressure than I normally apply. The rim surface appeared clean as can be seen in the picture below. I reapplied the balm, hoping that the surface would look clean with the sandblast patterns showing themselves proudly. But alas!! The rim top surface appeared as before, blackened and unclean. I was at my wits end when after repeated cleaning with the brass brush with increasing pressure each time, the rim top surface appeared as before, dark and unclean. Mind you readers, being a sandblasted surface, topping really was not an option that I desired to adopt. I let the rim top surface be, satisfied that it was clean and sans any old lava overflow. In my exuberance to appreciate the beautiful and rugged patterns on the stummel caused by sandblasting, I missed out on cleaning the mortise and the shank airway. This is what exactly I addressed at this stage. Using bristled and regular pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol, I first moistened the oils, tars and gunk in the mortise. Thereafter, with my fabricated spatula, I scrapped out all the tars and oils from the mortise. As I progressed with my cleaning, eventually the pipe cleaners started coming out clean indicating that the shank internals are clean.I set the stummel aside and turned my attention to the stem repair. The fill had cured nicely and I moved ahead and began the process of filing and shaping the button end with a flat head needle file. For a better blending, I further sand the entire stem with 220 followed by 400, 600 and 800 grit sand paper. This helps to reduce the sanding marks left behind by the more abrasive 220 grit paper. To bring a deep shine to the vulcanite stem, I went through the complete set of micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem with alcohol after each pad and rubbed it down with Extra Virgin Olive oil to rehydrate the vulcanite. The repairs have blended in very well and the stem now looks shiny black and beautiful. The internals of the stem was once again cleaned out using alcohol and pipe cleaners to clear the airway of all the debris resulting due to the sanding. The finished stem is shown below. To finish, I re-attach the stem with the stummel. I mounted a cotton cloth buffing wheel to my local machine which is similar to the Dremel.  I set the speed at about half of the full power and applied White compound to the entire pipe. I wiped/ buffed the pipe with a soft cotton cloth to clear it of any leftover compound dust. I then mounted another cotton cloth wheel on to the polishing machine and applied several coats of carnauba wax. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further.The completed pipe looks lovely, fresh and vibrant. The deeply sandblasted surface proudly displays the contrasting dark brown hues which was the hallmark of Dunhill Shell pipes with a nice tactile feel in the hand. It surely is one of the best looking sandblasted pipes and will find a place of pride in my humble collection. As and when I load this pipe with my favorite tobacco (I love my English blends…) and sip my scotch, I wish this dude could tell me all about its past life!! Ah, this would be bliss…cheers!

Sprucing up another WDC: A Cased Bakelite & Briar Dublin


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

There a quite a few WDCs that I have inherited from my old man and the one on my table now is “WDC BAKELITE” in its original case. I loved the deep red color of the Bakelite shank and the fiery transparent red of the stem. Thus, no surprise here that I chose to work on this WDC Bakelite Dublin shaped pipe!!

This is the third WDC from my grandfather’s collection, WDC Bakelite in an impressive Dublin shape. The dark brown briar bowl, Bakelite base and translucent Bakelite stem looks attractive. The gold filigree at the shank end adds a classy bling, breaking the red monotony of the stem and shank.  I dare say that this pipe does not boast of only beautiful bird’s eye or cross or straight grains but nevertheless distinct swirls of grains can be seen which are eye-catching to say the least!!  The shank and stem is devoid of any stamping, however, the only stamping to identify this pipe to be a WDC is seen on the top lid of the leather covered case. The case is internally lined with a soft silky felt cloth in light green color and bears the trademark inverted equilateral triangle in red with letters “WDC” over “BAKELITE” in gold. Gold ribbons flow from either sides of the triangle and bears the words “FRENCH” on the left ribbon and “BRIAR” on the right. The quality of the case, its felt lining and the stamping simply shouts QUALITY!! I searched pipedia.com for more information on this pipe and attempt at estimating the vintage of this pipe. Though I could not find any information about this pipe in particular or a connection between WDC and Bakelite material, here is what I have found on pipedia.org about the brand:

William Demuth. (Wilhelm C. Demuth, 1835-1911), a native of Germany, entered the United States at the age of 16 as a penniless immigrant. After a series of odd jobs he found work as a clerk in the import business of a tobacco tradesman in New York City. In 1862 William established his own company. The William Demuth Company specialized in pipes, smoker’s requisites, cigar-store figures, canes and other carved objects.

The Demuth Company is probably well known for the famous trademark, WDC in an inverted equilateral triangle. William commissioned the figurative meerschaum Presidential series, 29 precision-carved likenesses of John Adams, the second president of the United States (1797-1801) to Herbert Hoover, the 30th president (1929-1933), and “Columbus Landing in America,” a 32-inch-long centennial meerschaum masterpiece that took two years to complete and was exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

The Presidential series was the result of Demuth’s friendship with President James A. Garfield, a connoisseur of meerschaum pipes. Demuth presented two pipes to Garfield at his inauguration in 1881, one in his likeness, the other in the likeness of the President’s wife. Later, Demuth arranged for another figurative matching the others to be added to the collection as each new president acceded to the White House, terminating with President Hoover.

In early 1937, the City of New York notified S.M. Frank & Co. of their intent to take by eminent domain, part of the land on which the companies pipe factory was located. This was being done to widen two of the adjacent streets. As a result of this, Frank entered into negotiations to purchase the Wm. Demuth Co.’s pipe factory in the Richmond Hill section of Queens. It was agreed upon that Demuth would become a subsidiary of S.M. Frank and all pipe production of the two companies would be moved to DeMuth factory. New Corporate offices were located at 133 Fifth Avenue, NYC.

Demuth pipes continued to be made at the Richmond Hill plant till December 31. 1972. Then the Wm. Demuth Company met its official end as a subsidiary company by liquidation.

I came across an interesting catalog on the same page on pipedia.org which shows the exact same pipe that I am now working on. It is the same pipe as the first pipe on the left in second row. A close scrutiny of the picture confirms the following:

(a) Bakelite material was being newly introduced by WDC as WDC Bakelite line. This can be inferred from the Note on the flyer “BAKELITE IS A NEW PATENT COMPOSITION……….NOT BURN”.

(b) The pipe before me is model number 24718 and was at the time their second most expensive of all the pipes advertised in the flyer, retailing at $8!!

(c) The catalog was published by “John V Farwell Company, Chicago”. John V. Farwell & Co. was a department store in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The store’s history traces back to 1836, when the Wadsworth brothers came to Chicago to sell goods. John V. Farwell & Co. was the most successful store in the city until the 1871 Great Chicago Fire. The store continued to operate after the fire, but faced stiff competition from former partners Marshall Field and Levi Leiter. It was purchased by Carson, Pirie & Co. in 1926. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_V._Farwell_%26_Co.) I visited rebornpipes.com and came across an interesting article on materials used in pipe making (https://rebornpipes.com/2014/08/09/hard-rubber-and-other-early-plastic-used-in-pipes-ronald-j-de-haan/)

It is here that I found the following information on “BAKELITE”:

These qualities made Bakelite the most successful synthetic material in the first half of the 20th century. From 1928 it was also produced as molded resin. Both the pressed and the molded forms were suitable for the pipe making industry. Pipes were made from Bakelite and molded phenol-resin. Complete pipes of Bakelite are very rare because of its lack of heat resistance. Phenol-resin however was frequently used for pipe mouthpieces and cigarette holders because it imitated amber.

From the above gleaned information, it is safe to conclude that the pipe now on my worktable is of 1920s and early 1930 vintage and at that point in time was WDC’s new offering retailing at $ 8!!

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
The leather covered case in which the pipe was safely ensconced for many years has borne the maximum brunt of uncared for storage. The leather has weathered while being exposed to the extreme climate and has cracked at a number of places. However, the hinges and the lock mechanisms are intact and function smoothly. I shall just be giving a nice wipe with a moist cloth and applying a neutral shoe polish coat which is rich in wax content. The lining within has stained near the bowl/ Bakelite base joint and near the rim top. This needs to be cleaned up. Age definitely shows on the stummel surface!! The briar is dull and lifeless and has taken on a layer of aged patina, through which one can make out the beautiful grain patterns all around. There is a heavy overflow of lava all over the entire stummel surface. The bowl is covered in oils, tars and grime accumulated over the years of storage and is sticky to the touch. To be honest, the stummel is filthy to say the least. A thorough cleaning of the stummel followed by polish should accentuate the beautiful mixed grain pattern seen on the stummel through all the dirt. The Bakelite base of the stummel is dirty and sticky. Few scratches are also seen on close observation. The bowl (‘Real Walnut Bowl’ as specified in the flyer above!!) screws-in directly on to the Bakelite base. There is no brass or any metal separator between the bowl and the base, which is surprising. The threads on the bowl and the Bakelite base are covered in oils, tars and gunk. The bowl has one small hole at the heel through which the smoke passes in to the shank. The heel of the Bakelite base shows traces of old oils and tars. This will need a thorough cleaning.There is heavy buildup of cake with a thick layer in the chamber. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber can be ascertained only after the cake has been removed completely and taken down to bare briar. The bowl however, feels robust and solid to the touch from the outside. The rim top has a thick layer of overflowing lava. The condition of the smooth rounded inner and outer edge and rim top can be commented upon once the overflow of lava is removed and the chamber is reamed. The shank end of the pipe is clean. These issues should be a breeze to address, unless some hidden gremlins present themselves!!The diamond Bakelite stem has a rounded orifice which also points to its vintage. It is a rich reddish color that is translucent and the light really plays through. I cannot wait to see the stem clean up. Deep tooth indentations and minor tooth chatter is seen on the upper and lower surface. The pointed corner edge of the lip on the left is broken and will either have to be reconstructed or filed away to a straight profile. The lip edges have also been chewed off and greatly deformed. The screw-in tenon appears to be a Delrin tenon (or is it bone?) and is covered with dried oils and tars. The fit of the stem in to the mortise is very loose and the alignment is overturned. This will be a first for me as I have corrected metal threaded stingers, but never a Delrin or bone. The mortise does show signs of accumulated dried oils, tars and remnants of ash, greatly restricting the air flow. As I was dismantling the pipe, the gold filigree band also separated from the diamond squared Bakelite shank.The overall condition of the pipe, with the thick build-up of cake in the chamber, clogged mortises, overflowing of lava covering the entire stummel and the deep bite marks to the stem makes me believe that this would have been one of my grandfather’s favorite pipes.

THE PROCESS
As is always the case, I prefer to start my restoration with part that has the most significant damage. In this case it was the stem. I first cleaned out the internals of the airway with pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol. This was followed by cleaning the surface and the deep tooth marks with cotton pads dipped in alcohol. This helps to remove all the dirt, oils and grime from the surface before proceeding with fills. Since the tooth indentations are deep, I shall resort to the layering technique for the fills. Having cleaned the bite marks and the stem surface, I fill these with clear superglue and set it aside to dry. The fills had shrunk once the glue had cured, exposing the damage. I gave a second layer of superglue fill and set it aside to cure. I had decided to address the issue of broken corner of the lip edge by reconstructing it afresh using superglue (God, why can’t I simply straighten the edges which would have been way simpler than reconstructing the concave shaped lip edges!!). I went about this task by placing a big drop of superglue and holding the stem such that a droplet was formed at the broken edge. Once this was done, it was all about twisting, turning and blowing so that the droplet does not fall to the ground while remaining at the broken edge. After the droplet has hardened, I repeated the process till I had more than enough well cured and hardened large edge which then could be filed and shaped as required.While the stem fills were curing, I addressed the thick cake in the chamber. I started by reaming the chamber with size 2 and followed it up with size 3 and 4 head of PipNet reamer. I used a 220 grit sand paper, pinched between my thumb and forefinger, to sand the inner walls of the chamber of the pipe. Once I had reached the bare briar, I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad dipped in isopropyl alcohol. This removed all the residual carbon dust from the chamber. The walls of the chamber are nice and solid with no signs of heat fissures or cracks. I scrapped out the overflowing lava from the rim top with my fabricated knife. The inner and outer rim edges are pristine and that was a big relief.I cleaned the threads and the heel of the Bakelite base with cotton and alcohol. This was followed by cleaning the mortise and air way of the pipe using hard bristled and regular pipe cleaners, q-tips dipped in alcohol. The mortise and the draught hole were given a final clean with shank brushes dipped in alcohol. I dried the mortise with a rolled paper napkin. The shank internals and the draught hole are now nice and clean with an open and full draw.Using a hard bristled tooth brush dipped in undiluted Murphy’s oil soap and brass wire brush, I scrubbed the stummel, cleaning the surface thoroughly. I was very deliberate on the surface areas which were covered in overflowed lava over which dirt and grime had accumulated over the years. I rinsed the stummel under tap water, taking care that water does not enter the mortise or the chamber. I dried the stummel using cotton cloth and paper napkins. On close inspection, I observed a couple of minor dents and ding on the front portion of the stummel. These would need to be addressed. I also cleaned and removed the entire accumulated and now moistened gunk from the threads and base if the bowl with my fabricated dental spatula and the brass wired brush. The stummel is now clean and devoid of any grime and dirt. It is really surprising that the rim top, round edges and the stummel is in such pristine condition after so many years of storage and without a single fill. Speaks volumes about the quality of this line of pipes from WDC!! To further clean and highlight the grains, I sand the stummel with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper followed by 600 grit sand paper. For a deeper shine and to remove the scratches left behind by the coarse grit papers, I followed it up by sanding with the micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I wiped the stummel after each wet pad with a moist cloth to remove the resulting dust. I rub a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to briar and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. The pipe now looks lovely with beautiful grains showing off their beauty in all glory!! While the bowl was absorbing the balm, I worked the Bakelite base. I cleaned the surface with a cotton pad dipped in acetone and with horror I realized that I could see some swirls like marks on the shank. This got me worried and I immediately conferred with Mr. Steve, my mentor. He informed me that the Bakelite needs to be cleaned only with soap water!! Ah, well, what’s done is done. He suggested that I use the balm and see if it helps and it did but not to the full extent. I bashed on regardless, going through the complete micromesh pad cycle. It was then that I realized that the so called spots were from within and not external! Whew, what a relief. The Bakelite base looks absolutely stunning with a deep red color. With the bowl and Bakelite base now nice and clean and attractive, I worked the stem of the WDC.  Just to let the readers know, that all the while that I was working the bowl and base, I was simultaneously adding layers of superglue to the tooth indentations and chatter and the broken corner edge of the lip. Once I was satisfied with the thickness of the fill (I prefer over filling which can be evened out during sanding), I began by sanding the fills with a flat heat needle to achieve a rough match with the surrounding stem surface. I sharpened the lip edges using a needle file and sand the entire stem with 220 followed by 400, 800 and 1000 grit sand paper to perfectly blend the filled surface with the rest of the stem surface. This helps to reduce the sanding marks left behind by the more abrasive 220 grit paper. By mere sanding itself, the minor tooth marks seen on stem surfaces were completely addressed. I was especially careful while shaping the broken corner edge of the lip. Finally, after long hours at the table, I was able to achieve a satisfactory reconstruction of the lip along with the proper concave around the orifice. To bring a deep shine to the Bakelite stem, I went through the complete set of micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. The only part begging for attention was also the most attractive and costly item on this pipe; the gold filigree band!! This band was easily detached from the shank end and this made the cleaning job very easy. I use Colgate tooth powder to clean all the silver and gold bands and embellishments on pipes, a trick I learned from Abha, my wife. Some readers may find it surprising, but believe you me gentlemen, please at least give a try to see if it suits you. The band cleaned up nicely. I carefully applied a very small quantity of superglue along the shank end edges and stuck the band firmly over the shank end.Before moving on to polishing and buffing, the only issue that remained to be addressed was that of the overturned tenon. I discussed with Mr. Steve who suggested that I should try using clear nail polish coat over the threaded tenon and once the nail polish had completely dried, I should try the fit. I did just that and, viola!! The fit and alignment of the stem and shank was perfect!!

To finish, I re-assembled the entire pipe. I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my local machine which is similar to a Dremel.  I set the speed at about half of the full power and polished the entire pipe with White Diamond compound. I wiped/ buffed the pipe with a soft cotton cloth to clear it of any leftover compound dust. I then mounted another cotton cloth wheel on to the polishing machine and applied several coats of carnauba wax over the bowl, Bakelite base and the Bakelite stem. I finished the restoration by giving the pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The completed pipe, with the dark brown hues of the grains on the bowl contrasting with the shining deep red Bakelite base and the translucent Bakelite stem, looks lovely, fresh and vibrant; the photographs speak for themselves. The leather covered case was cleaned and polished with wax rich neutral shoe polish. If only the pipe could tell some of my grand Old man’s stories and recount incidents witnessed while being smoked.…………… Cheers!! I am grateful to all the readers for their valuable time spent in reading this write up and joining me on this part of the journey in to the world of pipe restoration while I attempt to preserve a heritage and past memories which eternally shall remain a part of me. 

Refurbishing a Battered Dunhill Bruyere #32041


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

I had just finished restoring three pipes from my inheritance; a WDC Stratford, The Doodler and a Barling # 2639. Save for the WDC, these were easy projects and it helped that Abha, my wife, had done all the initial cleaning. I finished these pipes in real quick time.

Now I turned my attention once again to the pipes from my “Mumbai Bonanza”. I have restored three pipes; two Dunhill and a Stefano Exclusive from this lot of 30 and each one has been, well, to put it mildly a royal pain where you wouldn’t like it!!  How did I land up with this lot makes for an interesting read and about one which I have written in the restoration of the Stefano Exclusive (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/03/11/mumbai-bonanza-stefano-exclusive-restorationa-month-long-project/).

Here are pictures of the pipes that I received in this lot. This lot contains some very nice collectible pipes, a few well known brand pipes and some mediocre pipe brands. Overall, with seven Dunhills, a Preben Holm #1, a couple of “Made in England” Pete System pipes, Charatan’s and other assorted pipes, I would say that I had hit a huge jack pot!!! Hence, I like to call this find as “Mumbai Bonanza”.

The pipe that I decided to work on is from this find and is marked in a red circle in the picture below. It’s the third Dunhill from this lot, a Bruyere in a classic bulldog shape. The stummel surface boasts of some beautiful densely packed cross grain on the stummel, cap and also the shank top, bottom and side surfaces. It is stamped with “# 32041” towards the bowl and followed by “DUNHILL” over “BRUYERE” on the left side of the shank while the right side bears the COM stamp “MADE IN” over “ENGLAND” followed by underlined numeral “18”. Dunhill White Dot adorns the top of the vulcanite stem. The stampings on either side is deep, crisp and clear.The dating of this pipe is very straight forward and dates to 1978 (1960+18). Deciphering the shape code, “32041” is equally straight forward with the first digit 3 identifying this pipe as being Group size 3, second numeral, 2, identifies the style of mouthpiece as being a saddle stem and the digits 04 indicates Bulldog shape. With this information, I proceed ahead with the restoration of this handsome pipe.

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
The chamber is clean with a thin layer of cake which indicates that the pipe has been kept clean by its previous Steward; however, the reaming has been done unevenly. From what I can see, the chamber walls appear to be without any damage. The chamber is odorless. It is the rim top, including the outer and inner rim edge that shows significant damage on the left side in 11 o’clock and 7 o’clock directions. This must have been caused due to hammering of the edge against a hard surface to remove dottle!! There is not even a millimeter of surface on the rim top surface which does not show signs of severe damage. All in all, it appears like this pipe’s rim top was used by the previous Steward as a hammer while giving vent to his/ her anger, and if this is true by any stretch of imagination, HE/ SHE SHOULD ENROLL FOR ANGER MANAGEMENT TREATMENT!! Darkening of the outer rim edge is also seen all along the left half of the rim top, most significantly in 11 o’clock and 7 o’clock directions. I just hope that it does not go deep in to the briar!!  Being a Dunhill, any issue of fills is never to be expected and hold true for this pipe too. However, there are a number of scratches and dents that can be seen on the stummel surface. These dents and ding are probably caused due to uncared for storage by the previous Steward and further contributed to by the trash collector who had sold the pipes to me. The stummel is covered in dirt and grime. The briar looks lifeless and dull which is nothing serious to address.I am very pleased with the condition of the stem. The diamond saddle type vulcanite stem shows minor damage to the button end and the lip edges. Light scratches can be seen extending upwards from the button end towards the saddle. The quality of vulcanite is good. These issues should be an easy fix. The mortise is clogged and will have to be cleaned. In this project, repairs to the damaged outer edge and rim top surface will be a major challenge. While restoring the Dunhill Bruyere # 51671 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/03/13/reconstructing-a-broken-stem-on-dunhill-bruyere-51671/), I had faced difficulties in blending the repairs to the outer rim edges and these could be seen even after I had stained the stummel. Similar set of difficulties are envisaged on this pipe too!!!! I have learned my lesson and will follow the advice and suggestion received from readers of rebornpipes.com.

THE PROCESS
Since the stummel has significant damage, I start this project by tackling the stummel repairs first. I reamed the chamber with size 2 head of a PipNet reamer. The cake was thicker at the bottom and using my fabricated knife, I scraped out all the remaining cake. I further used one folded piece of 180 grit sand paper to sand out the last traces of remaining cake and expose the walls of the chamber to ascertain that there are no cracks/ heat fissures. I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad dipped in isopropyl alcohol to remove the carbon dust left behind by all the reaming and sanding process. The walls of the chamber were solid with just very fine superficial web of lines seen on one side. This was followed by cleaning the mortise by scraping away at the dried gunk with my fabricated spatula and followed it up with further cleaning using cue tips, pipe cleaners and shank brush dipped in isopropyl alcohol. With the thin sharp edge of my fabricated spatula, I cleaned in between the edges of the cap ring separating the cap from the rest of the stummel. Continuing with the cleaning regime, using a hard bristled tooth brush dipped in undiluted Murphy’s oil soap, I very deliberately scrubbed the surface of the stummel and the rim top. The original reddish dye was also washed away to some extent. The dirt and grime on the stummel surface was so stubborn that I had to resort to using a scotch-brite pad to get rid of it. While scrubbing the stummel, I paid special attention to areas where significant darkening was seen just below the rim outer edge. Thankfully, the burn marks were superficial and cleaned out nicely. However, a dark spot was revealed just below the cap ring and is marked in a red circle. The damages to the outer rim edge, uneven inner rim edge and stummel dents and dings are now clearly visible in the above pictures after the cleaning. I had a close, hard look at the darkened spot seen and marked in red. The briar on and around the spot was hard and solid with no deep heat fissures on the corresponding inner surface of the chamber. This ruled out the possibility of a burn out!!!! Phew, what a relief this was!!!! This external darkening, most probably, appears to have been caused when the pipe was placed in an ash tray alongside a smoldering cigarette butt, just a hypothesis!!! This will be addressed (hopefully!) when I sand the stummel surface to get rid of all the scratches and dents.

With the stummel now dried out, I got around to address the rim top and outer rim damage. The extent of the dip or trough caused due to banging the rim edge against a hard surface was deep and would necessitate heavy topping off of the rim surface, and I for one, absolutely wish to avoid any loss of briar!!!!! So, I decided to try out something different. I planned on first filling up the deep troughs on the rim edge using briar dust and superglue to roughly match the rim surface and some more and then topping it to achieve a smooth surface. Theoretically, this sounded logical.

I resorted to the layering method again; first I layered superglue over the damaged surfaces on the front and back outer rim edges, followed by sprinkling of briar dust, another layer of superglue followed by a final layer of briar dust. This final layer of briar dust reduces the probability of air pockets. In the last picture, you can see that the layering has been done to the level of the rim surface so that it sits evenly on a flat surface without showing any gaps. I set the stummel aside to cure. While the stummel fill was being set aside to cure, I tackled the stem repairs by first flaming the surface with a Bic lighter flame to raise the bite marks to the surface. This was followed by sanding the stem surface with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper. This step has a twofold purpose; firstly, it helps to roughly blend the raised bite marks with the rest of the stem surface and brings to fore the spots which require filling and secondly, it helps to rid the oxidation from the stem surface which helps subsequently in better finish after polishing. I cleaned out the surface with a cotton pad dipped in alcohol to remove all the dirt and grime. Once the surface was clean, the lip edges and the bite marks were filled with a superglue and activated charcoal mix and set aside to cure overnight. The fill repair to the outer rim edges had cured by this time and with a flat head needle file, I roughly sand the fills to match the surrounding surface. Using a folded piece of a 220 grit sand paper, I further blended the outer filled edges with the rest of the edge and created a slight bevel to mask the uneven inner rim edges. The rim top surface was topped on a piece of 220 grit sand paper to further blend and even out the rim top, checking frequently the progress being made. Personally, I prefer to avoid topping as I do not appreciate loosing even one mm of briar estate, but in this instance, I was left with no recourse but to top the rim. I lightly top it on 600 grit sand paper to reduce the sanding marks left behind by the 220. However, a few air pockets revealed themselves (marked in red-orange circle) at this stage which necessitated reapplication of briar dust and super glue. Sorry, missed out taking pictures of this stage!! While the second fill to the rim outer edge was curing, I turned my attention to work on the cured stem fills. Using a flat head needle file, I roughly matched the fills with the rest of the stem surface. For a better blending, I further sanded the entire stem with 220 followed by 400, 600 and 800 grit sand paper. This helps to reduce the sanding marks left behind by the more abrasive 220 grit paper. To bring a deep shine to the vulcanite stem, I went through the complete set of micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem with alcohol after each pad and rubbed it down with Extra Virgin Olive oil to rehydrate the vulcanite. The repairs have blended in very well and the stem now looks a shiny black and beautiful. The internals of the stem was cleaned out using alcohol and pipe cleaners. The finished stem is shown below. The next evening, the repairs to the edge had completely cured and I move ahead by filing and rough shaping with a flat head needle file. I further fine tune the blending by sanding it down with 220, 320, 600 and 800 grit sand papers. Here is how the repaired area appears at this stage. I am very pleased with the way this repair progressed. I sand the entire stummel using 220, 400, 600 and 800 grit sand papers. The little dents and dings that remained on the stummel and outer rim edge were also evened out under this sanding process. This was followed by polishing with micromesh pads. I wet sand the stummel with 1500 to 2400 grit pads and follow it up by dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I wiped the surface with a moist cotton cloth after every wet pad to check the progress. The repaired rim edge appears, in picture, as though it is patchy with air pockets. However, that is not the case. The fill is smooth and solid and should get masked after I have stained it. I rub a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to the briar with my finger tips and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. I had hoped that the balm would work its magic on the filled area and help in blending it a bit, and that did happen!! I am very pleased with the way these repairs have turned out. And now on to staining and polishing… After Mr. Steve had uploaded my write up on the Dunhill Bruyere Horn shaped pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/03/13/reconstructing-a-broken-stem-on-dunhill-bruyere-51671/), the feedback and responses were very educative and I had decided to incorporate these suggestions while working this project. Mr. Roland Borchers brought out that the original color of Bruyere was achieved by first staining with Dark Brown stain followed by Cherry red stain. Mr. Steve also concurred and then there was no turning back!! I stained the stummel in DB stain first. I use the powder variety of stain and mix it with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I heated the stummel surface with a heat gun and applied the stain with a folded pipe cleaner. As I paint the stummel with stain over sections at a time, I burn the dye using a Bic lighter that combusts the alcohol in the aniline dye and sets the dye pigmentation in the wood.  After fully saturating the stummel and covering the whole surface, including the rim top, I set the stummel aside to rest for several hours. By next evening, the stain had set nicely. I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel (because I do not have felt cloth buffing wheels!!) on the Dremel and set the speed at about 40% of full RPM and apply white compound to the stummel. This does help in revealing the grains gradually. This time around, the repaired area had blended very nicely in to the rest of the stummel surface. Here is another lesson that I have learned; it is advisable to use white compound after staining and not red Tripoli as I used to, for the reason that the red Tripoli compound is more abrasive and does not make sense to use after polishing by 12000 grit micromesh pad!! I followed this polish by re-staining the stummel with Cherry red stain. I set it aside to let the briar pores absorb the stain pigments. To finish, I re-attach the stem with the stummel. I mounted a cotton cloth buffing wheel to my local machine which is similar to a Dremel, set the speed at about half of the full power and applied White Diamond compound to the entire pipe. I wiped/ buffed the pipe with a soft cotton cloth to clear it of any leftover compound dust. I then mounted another cotton cloth wheel on to the polishing machine and applied several coats of carnauba wax. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The completed pipe looks lovely, fresh and vibrant; the photographs in this case, do not do justice to the appearance of this beautiful pipe. I cannot thank enough my friends and gentlemen who painstakingly identified my mistakes and suggested remedial measures after reading the write up for helping me to hone my skills while gaining experience.