Tag Archives: The Doodler

Restoring a Tracy Mincer “The Doodler”

A pipe I picked up on a recent trip to La Conner, Washington was a billiard that has the drilled flutes from the top to the bowl of the bowl all the way around. It is stamped “The Doodler” over Imported Briar on the left side of the shank. On the right side of the bowl is a burn mark that covered two of the rings. The finish was in good shape. The outer edge of the rim had cuts and broken edges from hitting the bowl to empty it. On the back side of the bowl one of the rings have two notches out of the lower edges. The inside rings of the bowl were unstained. Usually on a Doodler there is a scoring ring around the top of the rim. On this rim that was missing on most of the rim. The bowl had a poorly developed cake and the shank was dirty. The rustication on the bottom of the bowl was rough in the grooves and smooth on the surface. The stem was original and had a stepped down tenon. There was also some oxidation on the stem and tooth chatter on both sides near the button.
IMG_7692 IMG_7693 IMG_7694 IMG_7699 I wiped down the bowl with acetone on cotton pads to remove the finish. It took some scrubbing to remove the finish and the buildup on the rim. Once the finish was removed the burn on the right side was very clear. It fortunately was not too deep in the briar and would be less problematic to minimize when I refinished the bowl. IMG_7700 IMG_7701 IMG_7702 IMG_7703 I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer. I used the third cutting head and took back the cake to the bare briar. I had to also use the second head to remove the cake from the bottom of the bowl. IMG_7704 I cleaned out the shank and the bowl with isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I used many of each and was able to remove much of the tars and oils in the shank. IMG_7706 The pipe cleaners and cotton swabs came out very dirty so I decided to set up a retort and boil out the shank and airways with hot alcohol. The alcohol in the test tube was heated with the votive candle and the boiling sent the hot alcohol into the shank. I had plugged the bowl with a cotton pad. I repeated the process until the alcohol came out clean. IMG_7707 IMG_7708 IMG_7709 Once I removed the retort I cleaned out the interior of the stem and shank with pipe cleaners and cotton swabs and more isopropyl. The remainder of the oils came out with this cleaning. I sanded the bowl with a medium and fine grit sanding sponge to smooth out the damage to the rim and the burn area. I followed that with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. After sanding I wiped it down with isopropyl alcohol on a cotton pad. I stained the bowl and shank with a dark brown aniline stain thinned 2:1 with isopropyl. I flamed the stain and then repeated the process until the coverage was even. IMG_7711 IMG_7712 IMG_7713 IMG_7714 I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and then with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge. I followed that by sanding it with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12,000 grit pads. Between each set of three pads I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil. IMG_7715 IMG_7716 IMG_7718 I buffed the bowl and stem with White Diamond and then gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax to shine and protect. I buffed it with soft flannel buffing pads to give it a final shine. The finished pipe is shown below. IMG_7720 IMG_7726 IMG_7721 IMG_7727 It is now joins my other Doodler and Holy Smoke Pipes in my pipe cupboard. If it is anything like the others it will smoke very well and stay cool throughout the entire smoke due to the drilling all around the bowl. Noname