Tag Archives: vulcanite

Yet Another Treasure – a 1911 BBB Own Make Glokar Poker


Blog by Steve Laug

It seems like just a few weeks ago I was contacted by an older gentleman about purchasing his pipe collection. He sent me the photos and I was amazed at what I saw. It had Dunhill pipes, BBB pipes, Orlik pipes, Barclay Rex Pipes, a couple of Meerschaums and a whole lot of other pipes. All I could say as I looked at the pipes was what a collection it was. We negotiated a deal and I think we both walked away quite happy with the exchange. But I have to tell you there was another very interesting pipe caught my interest when I looked at pictures of it. It was a beautiful older BBB Poker/Cherrywood sitter. It was a mess but there was something charming about  it. It is shown in the photo to the left. The larger pipe in the photo is also a BBB and from what I can gather it is on the larger side but not to degree it looks in the photo with the poker. This poker is tiny. It is only 4 ¼ inches long and 1 ½ inches tall. The black band on the shank is oxidized/tarnished Sterling Silver. I could not wait to get it in hand and figure out the age of the pipe. From the looks of it I could tell it was older. The stem was also very unique looking so I was looking forward to checking that out.

I have worked on a lot of BBB pipes over the years and never had the opportunity to work on one like this. It would be a great addition to my collection of older BBB pipes. From the photos the pipe appeared to be in good condition from the photo he sent me. He said that the pipe was stamped on the left side of the silver ferrule and read AF & Co over three hallmarks. The hallmarks are as follows: an anchor (Birmingham, England), a rampant lion (the symbol for quality of the silver) and the final one is a lower case “m” (the date stamp). I had him ship it to Jeff for cleanup so it would be a while before I held in hand.

When the package arrived at Jeff’s place in Idaho he waited for me and opened the box with me on Facetime to look at the collection of pipes as he removed them from the box. It is an amazing collection and one that I am going to enjoy working on over the months ahead. Jeff took some photos of the BBB Tiny Poker with a Sterling Silver Ferrule and a Peterson like system stem and internals for me to look at while he worked his magic in cleaning up the pipe. It is a an interesting pipe with a lot of potential and what appears to be some great grain under the grime and debris of the years.  Jeff took photos of the bowl, rim top to show the thickness of the cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top. It was obviously a great smoking pipe and a favourite. I am hoping that the thick lava coat on the crowned rim top protected things underneath it from damage to the edges and top. Cleaning it would make that clear! He took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button.  The photos of the stem also show the unique design and shape of the stem. I am looking forward to doing some research on the GLOKAR to figure out all I can about it.  Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the briar. You can see the beautiful shape and the grain on the bowl even through the dirt and debris of 110 years. At this point in the process it certainly looks its age.  The stamping on the pipe was on the left side of the shank and read BBB in a diamond separating OWN MAKE on each side of the diamond. There was no other stamping on the shank sides. On the silver ferrule on the shank of the pipe it is stamped top and left side and it has the BBB diamond logo and underneath that is AF&Co (which is the Adolph Frankau & Company logo). After his death, the BBB gradually became known as Britain’s Best Briars. It is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, English trademark in current use and the first pipe ever to have a registered trade mark. Underneath the AF&Co it is stamped with three hallmarks – an anchor, a lion and a lower case “m”.  The anchor identifies the city of origin of the silversmith (Birmingham, England), the rampant lion (the symbol for quality of the silver) and the final one is a lower case “m” (the date stamp). The silver is badly oxidized but you can see the hallmarks in the first photo below. The stamping is clear and readable.The hard rubber stem is also stamped and reads GLOKAR over TRADE MARK. It is very readable as can be seen in the photo below. Since the hallmarks were so clear, I turned to one of the numerous silver hallmark charts on line for the city of Birmingham, England to see what I could find out about the “m” date stamp and pin down and age for the pipe (https://www.silvermakersmarks.co.uk/Dates/Birmingham.html). I clicked on the section that applied to the date stamp on this pipe. The first chart below is the chart from 1773-2024.I am also including screen capture of the enlarged section on the Birmingham dates for the letter M. This chart covers pipes made in 1778-1986. I have drawn a read box around the hallmark pattern that matches the one on the BBB Silver ferrule. You can see that it dates the pipe to 1911. That means that this little pipe is roughly 110 years old.

With the information from the hallmark site I had a clear date for the manufacture of the pipe. It was definitely an old timer and really was another stellar acquisition.

I wanted know more about the GLOKAR stamp and what it signified. I had an inkling that I was dealing with a BBB system pipe not unlike the Peterson’s System pipes but I wanted to see what I could find out about that. I have a facsimile of a 1912 BBB Catalogue No. 20 that has a section dedicated to the Glokar. On page 107-110 there is information about the pipe and the various versions available. Interestingly it does not include a picture/drawing of my Poker. I quote the description of the Trademarked Glokar below.

The “Glokar” Mouthpiece does away with the great drawback of all ordinary pipes, viz., the unpleasant and possibly injurious, effect of the smoke upon the tongue, as the end of the stem  has a smooth, concave surface, which while forming a pleasant rest for the tongue, acts as a barrier between it and the smoke. Instead of pressing through an ordinary round bore, the smoke leaves the mouthpiece through a fan-shaped slot, which is drilled in and upward direction – thus preventing saliva from entering the bore of the pipe.

Advantages:

  1. The bore, being kept dry, requires less cleaning than that of an ordinary pipe.
  2. As no saliva can reach the bowl, the tobacco can be consumed to the last particle.
  3. The shape of the mouthpiece affords the perfection of comfort for the mouth, tongue ad lips.

I took a photo of the picture that was included in the catalogue for the “GLOKAR” and have included it below. The cutaway diagram shows the system in the bowl and shank as well a the patented lip design. It is remarkably like a Peterson’s system pipe. One of the differences is the shape of the exit of the air way in the button. This one is a slot rather than a round hole.Now it was time to work on the pipe. Jeff carefully cleaned the pipe from top to stern. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and then cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals of the shank, stem and shank extension with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the calabash and the tarnish and lava on the rim top. The finish looks much better and has a deep richness in the colour that highlights grain of the briar. The rim top looked good with some darkening on the top and outer edge of the bowl. Jeff soaked the stem in bath of Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. He worked it over with Soft Scrub All Purpose Cleaner to remove any remnants of oxidation. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver I was amazed it looked so good. Here are some photos of what I saw. I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. The rim top  was darkened but did not look otherwise damaged. There was also some darkening around the outer edge of the bowl that would need to be worked on. The silver ferrule was in great condition. I took close up photos of the stem to show the condition of the surface and button. I took a picture of the stamping on the shank. The reflection on the silver did not capture the stamping on the ferrule but it was all clear and readable as noted above.I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe with the short stem. It is a good looking pipe and very unique. I started my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening on the edges and rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to work over the edges (inner and outer) and the crowned rim top to try to minimize the darkening. While not flawless I was happy with the results.I polished the rim top and the rest of the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. After each pad I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth.  I was able to give a shine to the bowl and remove some of the surface scratches in the process.  I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the bowl and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I polished the silver ferrule with a jewelers cloth to remove any residual tarnish and also to protect it from future tarnish (at least for awhile). With that done the bowl was finished other than the final buffing. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the deep tooth marks against the button edge with clear super glue. Once it cured I sanded out the repairs and the tooth chatter on the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.    I filled in the Glokar Trademark stamping on the stem with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold to highlight the stamping. I rubbed it on and worked it into the stamp with a toothpick. I buffed it off with a cotton pad. The stamp looks really good at this point.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine.    With the bowl and the stem finished I put the pipe back together and buffed it on the wheel using Blue Diamond to give it a shine. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the wheel and then buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It really is an amazing little pipe. The dimensions of this part of the pipe are – Length: 4 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of this tiny pipe is .71 ounces /20 grams. This unique find – a 1911 BBB Glokar Poker with a silver ferrule is joining the other pipes in my collection of BBB pipes and will hold a place of honour while it is in my trust. This is another pipe that one day soon I will enjoy a special bowl of tobacco in it and be transported to a slower paced time in history where I can enjoy a respite. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.

 

Previous Repairs Can Wreak Havoc in a Restoration – Dunhill Shell Briar R F/T 1962 Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

This Dunhill came to us in the same lot of pipes as the 1922 Dunhill Bruyere Reading Pipe and the BBB Calabash Reading Pipe that I have already restored and written blogs on. It was a great looking blast on this pipe that caught our attention. The silver band on the shank was definitely an aftermarket addition to repair a cracked shank. It was made out of Sterling Silver so that was not a big deal to us when we purchased the lot. It was a filthy pipe with a thick cake in the bowl and a heavy lava overflow on the rim top. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had deep tooth marks on both sides next to the button. It is hard to see until the close up photos but the shank was seriously crack about 1/8 of an inch ahead of the band on the underside of the shank and from the shank end you could see two large crack at 3 and 9 o’clock. Jeff took photos of the pipe as it stood when we received it.  He took photos of the bowl and rim to give a picture of the depth of the cake and lava on the rim top. You can also see the nicks around the outer edge of the rim. Even the stem was pretty normal fare – tooth marks with a small hole in the underside and heavy wear and tear on the rest of the stem. Everything was pretty common in terms of the restorations that we work on at least we thought so at this point! He took some photos of the sides of the bowl to show the beautiful (and filthy), rugged sandblast around the bowl. It really was a magnificent looking bowl. It took a few photos to try to capture the stamping on the underside of the shank. There are deep scratches in the smooth portion of the shank and heel of the bowl. On the heel it is stamped R F/T. That is followed by Dunhill [over] Shell Briar followed by Made In [over] England with a 2 following the D in England. You can also see the repaired cracked shank in the photos below. The silver band is stamped Sterling Silver on the underside. If we had stopped here a lot of pain could have been avoided! If we just left is dirty and did a cursory clean up and just smoked it we could have avoided a multitude of issues. But that is not the way we work. Jeff attacked the cleanup by trying to take the pipe apart. The stem was stuck in the shank. He tried heat, cold and even pouring alcohol down the shank to try and loosen what we assumed was the grime and grit that held the stem firmly in the shank. Nothing worked. He even heated the band area to try to loosen the stem from the shank but nothing work. Finally after a combination of all of the above he felt what he thought was a bit of give in the stem and gave it a very careful twist…. Here is where all went horribly wrong. Remember that crack in the shank shown in the above photos? That is what gave and the shank came off in his hand! Now what to do. We talked and he was sick with what had happened but there was nothing to be done. And do you know what the worst part was? The stem was still stuck! He went back through all of the methods we all use to loosen a stem and finally it came free! BUT the band had been epoxied on the shank and it was not removable!

It was in this state that the pipe came to me in a bag. Now it was my turn to try to see if I could loosen the band. I took the broken shank and band and filled up a small jar with enough acetone to cover the band and let the piece soak for two days in the bath. I replenished the acetone as it evaporated. The incredible thing for me was that this had absolutely no effect on the band and briar. It was permanently bonded! Time to come up with a new plan of attack.I let the broken shank sit on my desk in pieces for several days – probably about a week while I worked on other pipes. Finally after recently repairing the broken shank on the Butz-Choquin for Randy (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/01/16/a-badly-broken-butz-choquin-pipe-makes-its-way-back-to-me-for-repair-and-restoration/) I had an idea for fixing this one. Give that blog a read if you want to know the difference.

In this case there was already a band and the break was further down the shank making it a bit more problematic to address. I cut a short piece of Delrin that would extend far enough into the bowl side of the broken shank to provide some stability and into the shank end to tie it together. I decided to leave the mortise the depth it was to add stability to the shank rather than drill it out and extend the tube in further. I would need to drill out the Delrin a bit and reduce the diameter of the tenon to fit inside the tube I the shank. It just might work and was certainly worth a try. I roughened up the Delrin with a sanding drum on the Dremel to provide a rough surface of the glue to bind to in the shank.I fit the Delrin piece in the bowl end of the broken shank to make sure it fit. I then painted the surface of the Delrin with super glue and pressed into the banded shank end. I coated the briar ends with an all purpose glue and joined the pieces together. I clamped them until the glue set. Once it had I filled in the gaps in the crack with clear CA glue and set it aside to cure. I used a corner of 220 sandpaper to carefully smooth out the glue on the crack repair. I was able to make it smooth and not ruin the sandblast! That alone was an accomplishment. The repair obscured the 2 on the date stamp. It is still present but now blurred.

I used a brass bristle wire brush to clean up a bit more of the sandblast on the rim top and then used a combination of Cherry and Mahogany stain pens to restain the rim edges and the repaired area of the shank and blend it into the rest of the bowl. With the repair completed and the briar restained I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 15 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm.     Now it was time to deal with the fit of the stem in the newly lined shank! I had a couple of options here. I could either drill out the tube and open the shank up a bit more or I could reduce the diameter of the tenon and make it fit that way. Since the shank was already fragile and twice repaired I opted for reducing the diameter of the tenon. I took it down with a Dremel and sanding drum until it was a close fit in the shank. I worked on it with 220 grit sandpaper to get it even closer. Once I had the tenon end in I could see that things were slightly off. So instead of continuing to reduce the diameter of the tenon I used a needle file to even out the inside of the shank and get as close to an equal fit on all sides of the tube. That was more of a job that I make it sound and actually took a fair bit of time.Once I had a good fit to the shank I put the stem and bowl together and took some photos of the pipe at this point in the process. I still needed to work on the fit of the stem to the shank and alignment and gaps but the tenon fit well. I also need to work on repairing the tooth marks. You will see in the last photo of the underside of the stem that I had already started the process.   With the fit of the stem taken care of I worked on the repairs necessary to make it fully functional. I took a bit of excess stem material off the flattened bottom of the stem at the shank to make the fit seamless. I also filled in the tooth marks and pin prick with black super glue and set the stem aside to cure.  Once the repairs cured I smoothed them out with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad until they blended in well with the surrounding vulcanite. I used a small flat needle file to clean up the sharp edge of the button but forgot to take photos of that! Once the repair was smoothed out I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I finished by polishing the stem with Before & After Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine and gave the stem a final wipe down with Obsidian Oil.    I am really happy to be finished with the rescue of this beautifully grained sandblast 1962 Dunhill Shell Briar R Pot. The grain is quite stunning and the blast is rugged. The repair to the broken shank while not a total thing of beauty worked very well and makes the pipe usable once again. The permanently affixed Sterling Silver band is useful reinforcement externally for the tube in the shank. The refit stem came out looking very good. The pipe should be a good smoking pipe and outlast all of us as it moves through the hands of the pipe men and women who take on the trust. The dimensions of this pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.48 ounces/41 grams. Because of the repairs to the pipe I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipes store in the British Pipe Makers section at a price that is significantly lower than it would have been had it not been repaired.   It might be a chance for one of you to add it to your collection for a good price. Thanks for following the work on this pipe in the blog.

 

Giving New Life to a Stanwell Royal Guard 582 Pickaxe Made in Denmark


Blog by Dal Stanton

After returning to Golden, Colorado, after nearly 5000 miles of travel over Christmas and New Year, it was good to return to my stationary Pipe Steward work desk!  I experimented with a mobile Pipe Steward worktable through the travels and it worked exceptionally well.  I am looking forward to traveling again in our R-pod travel trailer and taking my hobby with me.  Seeing family in Florida, Nashville, and St. Louis during our travels was wonderful, whipped frosting on the cake!  One highlight of our journeys was sharing a bowl with my son-in-law, Niko, in Nashville.  I was able to complete the Butz-Choquin Cocarde Geante Plus (see picture below) that Niko had commissioned that was huge enough not to be dwarfed by his larger than normal hands 😊.  The BC turned out beautifully and was the first to be restored from a Lot of 16 that was donated anonymously to The Pipe Steward from a pipe man in the Kansas City, Missouri, area who wanted his pipes to benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.

Niko commissioned the BC Cocarde Geante, but he also found another pipe from the Pipe Steward inventory that he wanted to add to his blossoming collection of pipes.  What caught his eye was a stylish Danish Royal Guard 582 Pickaxe with an eye-catching blasted surface to compliment the unique shape.  I acquired the Royal Guard Pickaxe in the ‘Lot of 68’ I found on the eBay auction block from a seller in West Hartford, Connecticut.  I will be uploading more of the ‘Lot of 68’ to the virtual ‘Help Me Baskets’ in the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! online collection where pipe men and women can choose and commission a pipe that catches their eye – all benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria.  This picture shows the plethora of quality pipes soon to be added to the online Dreamers collection.With the blasted Royal Guard Pickaxe now on the worktable here in Golden, I take a few pictures to take a closer look. The nomenclature is crisp and distinct and is in the smooth briar panel on the underside of the shank.  Stamped to the far right is the shape number ‘582’.  To the right of this is ROYAL GUARD [over] MADE IN DENMARK.  The shank cap is stamped with a diagonally over-lapping ‘RG’.I have grown in my appreciation of Danish pipes and have enjoyed adding some genuinely nice Danish pipes to my own collection – classic shapes and Freehands.  I am not familiar with the ‘Royal Guard’ name and my first effort at discovering more in Pipedia comes up empty.  Next, I pull out my prized copy of ‘Who Made that Pipe?’ by Herb Wilczak and Tom Colwell and discover that Royal Guard is a product of the well-known Danish pipe maker, Stanwell. My next stop to find information is Pipephil.eu where the Danish Stanwell provenance is confirmed.   The panel I clipped below provides some Royal Guard examples and confirmation with the same ‘RG’ stamping.

The concise summary of Stanwell provided by Pipephil is helpful (See: Link):

Brand & factory were established in 1942 by Poul Nielsen. The company has been owned since 2000 by Nordisk Tobaks Kompagni A/S. The factory in Borup crafted all Stanwell pipes from 1965 until 2009. From 2010 on the pipes are crafted by Barontini (Italy) exept for the limited editions. Production (2007): 115 000 Pipes/year.

According to this addition of information, with the COM being Denmark, the Royal Guard on my worktable would have been made at the Stanwell Borup factory dating between 1965 and 2009. The feel and look of the pipe lend toward the earlier or mid-date range – early 70s?  I return to Pipedia to the Stanwell article looking for additional information about the Royal Guard line.  I find nothing helpful.  Pipedia has a good article on ‘Stanwell Shape Numbers and Designers’ which I looked at hopeful of finding some correlation.  I compared the Stanwell shape number information (See: LINK) and found no correlation with the shape number, 582 and Stanwell shape numbering.

What I found of interest was that Stanwell did mark some of the ‘Royal Guard’ seconds with the ‘Stanwell’ name.  Steve restored an attractive Stanwell Royal Guard Made in Denmark  which also enjoyed the classic Stanwell ‘crowned S’ stem stamping.  These two pictures come from Steve’s rebornpipes writeup:

One other anecdotal piece of information I found while doing broad trolling while searching for Royal Guard information on the internet.  Several Royal Guard pipes come up in various sites selling pipes.  One ad, already sold, on the site Worthpoint (see: LINK), showed a Danish Freehand style like the RG on my worktable with the shape number 564 – 500s like the Pickaxe. It seems that all Royal Guard pipes have shape numbers in the 500s.  The RG pipe in the ad also has a very nice, blasted surface and a shank cap – military style fancy stem, and the RG stamping on the shank cap – the same DNA.   The seller provided a lot of information about the Stanwell linkage but also provided some information that helps hone in on the dating with a reference to the previous steward of the pipe: “It is from the personal collection of a physician who quit smoking in the early 1970’s. It would make an excellent addition to anyone’s collection.”  If the doctor quit in the early 70s, he would have acquired the pipe before this, and it would have been produced earlier yet.  It is very probably that the Royal Guard line could date back into the 60s which gives it an earlier Stanwell provenance.With a better understanding and appreciation for the Stanwell Royal Guard 582 Pickaxe on my worktable, I take a closer look at the issues.  The narrow conical chamber has some cake that will be removed to give the briar a fresh start.  The dark blasted surface shows the grime of some years, but generally in good condition and should clean up well.  The stem has minor oxidation, and the bit has tooth chatter or roughness, but not serious.  The shank cap, which appears to be a black acrylic, needs cleaning as well. Its appearance is like vulcanite and it appears to have oxidation or dulling on the upper side – the sun-side.  I take a picture of this, but showing different phases of black isn’t easy with the iPhone Xs camera!I start the cleaning by addressing the oxidation in the fancy RG stem, but first the airway is cleaned with a couple pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl 99%.  After this, the Royal Guard fancy stem joins other pipes in the queue for a soak in Mark Hoover’s (www.Lbepen.com) Before & After Deoxidizer. After several hours in the soak, the stem is fished out and the Deoxidizer fluid is squeegeed off with my fingers and a pipe cleaner wetted with isopropyl 99% is used to clean the airway of the fluid.  A cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 99% is then used to wipe off much of the raised oxidation.To encourage the conditioning of the stem, paraffin oil, a mineral oil, is applied to the vulcanite stem and set aside to absorb.Turning next to the blasted Pickaxe stummel, I take another close up of the chamber to show its condition.  The last bit of baccy the former steward used is an exhibit on the floor of the chamber.  The carbon cake buildup is moderate. The widest measurement of the chamber at the rim is only 11/16 inches.  Neither the Pipnet Reaming Kit nor the Kleen Reem Pipe Tool, which I pull out for tighter chambers, are small enough to reach far into the chamber to ream.  I therefore go directly to the Savinelli Fitsall Tool to do the job.  It scrapes the chamber walls and can reach down to the floor of the chamber where the cone tightens to the smallest radius.When the Fitsall tool has done its work, a piece of 240 sanding paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen completes the cleaning of the chamber as the walls are sanded.After an inspection of the chamber, the briar looks good.  There are no heating problems detected.  I move on.Next, the external blasted surface is cleaned using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a cotton pad to scrub.  A bristled toothbrush is also used to scrub the rough blasted surface. Next, the stummel is transferred to the sink where the cleaning continues using warm water, shank brushes with anti-oil dish washing liquid on the internals.  The dishwashing liquid helps break down the oils built up in the mortise.  While at the sink, I also use Magic Eraser on the acrylic shank cap – careful not to scrub over the ‘RG’ stamping.  After a thorough rinsing, the stummel is brought back to the worktable and pictures are taken showing raw spots on the fore and aft rim edge.The point of the Pickaxe is also worn, and bare spots are coming through.The scrubbing of the shank cap with Magic Eraser did a good job.  The cap now is a unified dull after the cleaning which should shine back up through the polishing phase.To complete the cleaning, I return to the internals using cotton buds and pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 99%. A small dental spoon also is used to scrape the mortise walls to remove residual gunk.  After some effort, the buds and pipe cleaners lighten indicating cleaner internals.  Later, I will continue the cleaning of the internals by using a kosher salt and alcohol soak.Turning now to the blasted briar surface of the stummel, there were raw or ‘bald’ spots on the rim and heel after the cleaning.  The most pronounced place on the front of the rim.To remedy these bald spots, I use a mahogany dye stick to refresh the rim edges and the blasted rim surface.  The same is done with the heel and a few small spots on the shank.  The results look good.  The blending between the dye stick and the native stummel hue is good. Next, I treat the blasted stummel with Before & After Restoration Balm. I apply the Balm by placing some on my fingers and working it into the rough blasted landscape. As I’ve described many times before, I notice the colors and textures of materials I use on pipes.  The Balm applies initially with a cream-like consistency and then thickens to a waxier texture as it’s worked in.  Some Balm is applied also to the acrylic shank cap as well – it will work on it too!  After thoroughly covering the stummel landscape, the stummel is put aside for the Balm to be absorbed.After about 20 minutes, excess Balm is removed with a microfiber cloth and then buffed up. I have two microfiber cloths of the same color dedicated to, first, wiping off the excess, and then, secondly, to buffing the stummel after cloth number 1 has wiped off the excess.  This dedication is helpful when I use cloth #1 on other pipes simply to give them a quick ‘spruce-up’ with Restoration Balm.  The next pictures do not do justice to the deepening of the hues of the dark blasted surface I can see with the eye.  The blasting on this Stanwell Royal Guard is attractive with deep burgundy flecking and the Restoration Balm brings this fact out more. With the stummel now waiting in the wings, the Royal Guard fancy stem is back on the table.  The Before & After Deoxidizer did a good job earlier.  Some pictures of the upper and lower bit show almost no tooth chatter but roughness from normal wear. To remove the roughness in the bit area and to address any remaining oxidation, the stem is sanded with 240 grade paper below the flare.Following the 240 sanding, the entire stem is wet sanded with 600 grade paper and then 0000 grade steel wool is applied.Next, the full regimen of 9 micromesh pads is applied starting with wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400.  Following this is dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of 3 pads, Obsidian Oil is applied to condition the stem as well as to protect against future oxidation when the pipe is put back into service. The gloss comes out nicely through the micromesh sanding. To get a look at the progress, the Pickaxe stummel and fancy stem are reunited.  The progress looks good, but I see a few cosmetic issues that will improve the overall presentation.First, I decide to apply micromesh pads to the shank cap to create a bit more pop in the acrylic.  I only use the final 6 micromesh pads, 3200 to 12000 to do the sanding/polishing.  I avoid the initial coarser pads because the surface is sufficiently smooth but simply needs some pop that the finer pads will deliver.  As hoped, the picture below shows the renewed ‘pop’ after using the pads.The second cosmetic application is to sharpen and smooth the inner chamber wall below the rim.  I like a smooth briar contrast with the dark blasted surface as a general preference.  The smooth briar panel on the underside, holding the nomenclature, looks good contrasted to the rough, dark blasted surface. I would like to emulate this contrast on the inner rim chamber wall. This inner upper chamber wall finishing enhances the looks of Danish Freehand pipes with their longer, taller stummel designs. The next two pictures show the forward quadrant and then the rear quadrant of the chamber as it is now.  There is some space here that should work well.   I apply a quick sanding on the upper chamber wall with 240 then 600 to clean it and smooth it further.  This is then followed with the full set of micromesh pads 1500 to 12000 to finish the inner chamber wall.  I like the way this finishes the rim providing a bit of bump in the classy category!  The last cosmetic upgrade is the RG stamping on the shank cap.  The stamping needs refreshing, and white acrylic paint is used to do the job.The first step is to place a drop of paint over the stamping and then spread it out with a toothpick. A cotton pad then daubs the wet paint to thin it out more over the lettering and this also quickly dries the paint.Using a toothpick, the excess paint is removed as the toothpick is scraped over the lettering.  The point of the toothpick is also helpful to edge off excess paint close to the stamping.  The final ‘RG’ looks good.On the home stretch – with stem and stummel reunited, a cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted on the rotary tool set at about 40% full power.  Blue Diamond compound is applied primarily to the smooth surfaces – the underside of the stummel, inner rim chamber wall, shank cap and fancy stem.  I do apply the compound to the blasted stummel but very, very lightly.  I do not want to load the rough blasted briar surface with compound making it difficult to remove and clean.  The results are good overall.  Following the application of the compound, the entire pipe is wiped down with a felt cloth to remove remnant compound residue.After the compound, another cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted, and carnauba wax is applied to stem and stummel.  Following the wax, the pipe is given a rigorous hand buffing with a microfiber cloth to raise the shine and to remove excess wax from the surface.I am pleased with the way this Danish Stanwell Royal Guard perked up through the restorative process.  The dark blasted briar surface draws the eye to the 3-D presentation of grain, and this is augmented by the smooth briar contrast of the inner chamber wall.  The Pickaxe shape is sharp and provides a unique tactile hold with the blasted surface.  The black acrylic shank cap provides a nice flow transitioning from the conical bowl to the fancy stem.   I think Niko will be pleased with this additional pipe of Denmark he commissioned, and he will have the first opportunity to acquire it from The Pipe Steward Store benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!

Yet Another Treasure – a 1905 BBB Silver Capped Gourd Calabash


Blog by Steve Laug

Time really flies during this COVID-19 time! It seems like just a few weeks ago I was contacted by an older gentleman about purchasing his pipe collection. He sent me the photos and I was amazed at what I saw. The collection included Dunhill pipes, BBB pipes, Orlik pipes, Barclay Rex Pipes, a couple of Meerschaums and a whole lot of other pipes. All I could say as I looked at the pipes was what a collection it was. We negotiated a deal and I think we both walked away quite happy with the exchange. But I have to tell you there was another very interesting pipe caught my interest when I looked at pictures of it. It was a beautiful older BBB Calabash with an albatross wing bone extension that is shown in the photo below. I have worked on a lot of BBB pipes over the years and never had the opportunity to work on one like this. It would be a great addition to my collection of BBB pipes. From the photos the pipe appeared to be in good condition from the photo he sent me. He said that the pipe was stamped on the left side of the silver ferrule and read AF & Co over three hallmarks. The hallmarks are as follows: an anchor (Birmingham, England), a rampant lion (the symbol for quality of the silver) and the final one is a lower case “f” (the date stamp). It has the same stamp on the rim cap and the shank extension. I could not wait to get it and have a look at it up close and personal. I had him ship it to Jeff for cleanup so it would be a while before I held in hand.When the package arrived at Jeff’s place in Idaho he waited for me and opened the box with me on Facetime to look at the collection of pipes as he removed them from the box. It is an amazing collection and one that I am going to enjoy working on over the months ahead. Jeff took some photos of the BBB Calabash with the silver cap and bone shank extension for me to look at while he worked his magic in cleaning up the pipe. It is a real beauty. Jeff took photos of the bowl and the silver capped rim top to show the cake in the bowl. The silver cap has some nicks, dents and dings in it that will remain after the cleanup as part of the story of the pipe. He took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the gourd. You can see the beautiful shape and the contrast of the silver and the calabash even through the dirt and debris of over 105 years.       The stamping on the pipe was on the silver of the pipe rather than any where else on the gourd. It is on the rim cap, the ferrule and the end cap of the extension. On the rim cap it is stamped toward the front and reads AF&Co which are the Adolph Frankau Company. After his death, the BBB gradually became known as Britain’s Best Briars. Soon to be the oldest English trademark in current use and the first pipe ever to have a registered trade mark. “Britain’s Best Briars”, often called BBB, is one of the oldest brands still in production. At the back of the rim cap it is stamped with three hallmarks – an anchor, a lion and a lower case “f”.  The anchor identifies the city of origin of the silversmith (Birmingham, England), the rampant lion (the symbol for quality of the silver) and the final one is a lower case “f” (the date stamp). There is a slight variation on the stamping on the scalloped ferrule. It includes the BBB Diamond stamp above the AF&Co which is above the same three hallmarks noted above. The shank extension matches the ferrule exactly. All have the same date letter “h”.  The ferrule has some dents on the left side as shown in the photos below. Because of the attachment to the gourd I will be leaving the dents as a part of the pipe’s story. I turned to one of the numerous silver hallmark chars on line for the city of Birmingham, England (https://www.silvermakersmarks.co.uk/Dates/Birmingham.html) and was able click on the section that applied to the date stamp on this pipe. The first chart below is the chart from 1773-2024.I am also including screen capture of the enlarged section on the Birmingham dates for the letter F. This chart covers pipes made in 1778-2005. I have drawn a read box around the hallmark pattern that matches the one on the BBB pipe silverwork. You can see that it dates the pipe to 1905. That means that this gourd calabash is over 115 years old. All of the silverwork confirms the 1905 date for the pipe. The bowl lining in the calabash seems to be a clay lining that is seat in the gourd and held in place by the silver top cap.

With the information from the two sites I had a pretty clear idea on the background of the pipe. It was definitely an old timer and really was another stellar acquisition. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff carefully cleaned the pipe from top to stern. He reamed it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals of the shank, stem and shank extension with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. Without being able to remove the bowl liner the internal cleaning of the gourd was complicated but he cleaned it as much as possible. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the calabash and the tarnish and lava on the rim top. The finish looks much better and has a deep richness in the colour that highlights gourd. The rim top looked very good and the inner and outer edge looked very good. The nicks and dents in the silver remain and will be “war wounds” that travel with the pipe. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. He worked it over with Soft Scrub All Purpose Cleaner to remove any remnants of oxidation. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour I was amazed it looked so good. Here are some photos of what I saw.  I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. The rim top  looked good. There were some dents and scratches in the silver. I took close up photos of the stem to show the condition of the surface and button. I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe with the short stem and with the extension. It is a good looking pipe and very unique.I polished the silver rim top, edges and the gourd with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. After each pad I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth.  I was able to give a shine to the silver, remove scratches a bit and also polish the gourd.     I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the gourd with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the gourd. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I polished the scalloped silver ferrule with a jewelers cloth to remove any residual tarnish and also to protect it from future tarnish (at least for awhile). The interesting detail for me is that the ferrule is scalloped and the end of the shank extension that holds the stem also is scalloped.   With that done the bowl was finished other than the final buffing. I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the silver stem cap with a jewelers cloth that helps remove any residual tarnish and protects the silver.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine.    With the bowl and the short stem finished I put the pipe back together and buffed it on the wheel using Blue Diamond to give it a shine. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the wheel and then buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It really is an amazing little pipe. The dimensions of this part of the pipe are – Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the short version of the pipe is 2.33 ounces/66 grams. This unique find – a 1905 BBB Silver Capped Gourd Calabash is joining the other pipes in my collection of BBB pipes and will hold a place of honour while it is in my trust. This is another pipe that one day soon I will enjoy a special bowl of tobacco in it and be transported to a slower paced time in history where I can enjoy a respite. With the pipe and short stem finished all that remained was to finish the shank extension that fit in the shank end of the pipe. The end that fit into the shank had the same end cap as the stem itself. The opposite end was fitted to receive the end cap of the stem. The tube between the caps is albatross wing bone. There was a small crack in the bone at the joint of the silver that held the stem. I filled in the crack with clear CA glue to stabilized. It I polished it with the full gamut of micromesh sanding pads to blend it in the rest of the bone. I polished the silver with a jewelers cloth to remove residual tarnish in the turnings of the silver caps and polished the shank extension with Obsidian Oil. The length of the extension tube is 8 ½ inches. I took a few photos of the pipe next to the extension to give a sense of the size. I also took photos of the extension tube with the stem in place to show the look of it. Finally the last photos give a sense of the fully extended BBB Silver Capped Calabash with the bone extension. With it installed on the pipe the length of the pipe is 13 inches. Height and other measurements remain as noted above.

A Once in a Lifetime Find – a 1922 Dunhill Bruyere Cased Reading Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

Time really flies during this COVID-19 time! It seems like just a few weeks ago I was contacted by an older gentleman about purchasing his pipe collection. He sent me the photos and I was amazed at what I saw. It had Dunhill pipes, BBB pipes, Orlik pipes, Barclay Rex Pipes, a couple of Meerschaums and a whole lot of other pipes. All I could say as I looked at the pipes was what a collection it was. We negotiated a deal and I think we both walked away quite happy with the exchange. But I have to tell you there was one pipe that took my breath away when I looked at pictures of it. It was a beautiful older cased Dunhill pipe that is shown in the photo below. I have worked on a lot of Dunhill pipes over the years and never had the opportunity to work on one like this. It would be a crown jewel of the Dunhill pipes that I have kept from the many I have worked on. From the photos it looked like the red leather case that housed it was in excellent condition. When the case was open it was lined with a cream coloured satin material on the top with Alfred Dunhill London embossed on the satin. The base of the case had more of a soft lining that was form fitted for the pipe and the shank extension. The pipe appeared to be in excellent condition from the photo he sent me. He said that the pipe was stamped on the left side and read Ao followed by Dunhill over London. On the right side it was stamped Made in England with a superscript underlined 2 after the D. Under that it was stamped Pat. America 1915 followed by the shape number 53. I could not wait to get it and have a look at it up close and personal. I had him ship it to Jeff for cleanup so it would be a while before I held in hand.I posted the above picture of the pipe on the Vintage Dunhill Collectors Group on Facebook to see if the folks there could help learn about the pipe while I waited for its arrival. Several of the readers suggested I look on both Pipedia and Pipephil to help date the pipe and get a feel for its provenance. I figured I would do that so I turned to both sites and read the information contained in them (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill). One of the readers also sent me an intriguing link on Pipedia to a pipe that looked like the one I had purchased. I have attached the photo from that below. The photo below shows a 1920 Dunhill Cased Reading Pipe from the collection of the late Derek Green (https://pipedia.org/wiki/File:Dunhill_cased_reading_pipe_.jpg). It is very similar to the one that I was awaiting so it was a great link for me.The John Loring Collection also had a 1922 Dunhill Bruyere 53 Reading pipe that is identical to mine. I include that  photo below. The stamping on the shank is identical to mine.When the package arrived at Jeff’s place in Idaho he waited for me and opened the box with me on Facetime to look at the collection of pipes as he removed them from the box. It is an amazing collection and one that I am going to enjoy working on over the months ahead. Jeff took some photos of the Dunhill Cased Bruyere 53 Reading Pipe for me to look at while he worked his magic in cleaning up the pipe. It is a real beauty. The stamping on the pipe was exactly as noted above. I am including the details that I see in the photos below. It was stamped on the left side Ao followed by DUNHILL (over) LONDON. The Ao stamp is the designation for a Bruyere finish on a pipe. The Dunhill over London (equally aligned) with the Made in England designation on the right side date the pipe to 1920-1922 according to John Loring’s, The Dunhill Briar Pipe book, page 11. The silver ferrule on the left had a AD in a diamond.

On the right side it was stamped MADE IN ENGLAND2 with a superscript underlined 2 after the D that further pins the date down to 1922 (1920 + 2 is the formula). Loring states on page 16  “ a pipe with  “D” with tails (first letter of Dunhill) and either no date code (most commonly found) dates to 1921. A pipe with a  2 with or without a “D” with tails dates to 1922.” Underneath that it was stamped Pat. America 1915 which I did not understand until I read Loring’s book (Page 12)  where he says “Inner tube patent numbers  or references also serve to denote the earliest the pipe could have been manufactured, e.g. an English patent reference  (PAT No 5861/12) would not have been stamped prior to the 1913 patent grant, nor a Canadian patent reference (PATENTED 1914) prior to the 1914 grant, nor a US patent reference  (PATENTED MARCH.9.15 or PAT. AMERICA 1915) prior to the 1915 grant.” Now I knew what I was dealing with concerning the PAT.AMERICA 1915 stamp. The number 53 following the stamping was the shape number for a bent billiard (https://rebornpipes.com/2012/11/01/dunhill-pipe-shapes-collated-by-eric-w-boehm/). Jeff removed this beauty from the case and took photos of it in various configurations and from different angles. It is quite stunning even with the tarnish on the silver. It is going to cleanup really well. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl. The smooth rim top showed some darkening and damage as did the inner and outer edges of the bowl. He took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button.   Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful grain even through the dirt and debris of almost 100 years.    The stamping is clear and readable as noted above. The marks on the silver are also clear and readable on the ferrule. The turned silver cap on the end of the military bit stem is also quite beautiful. With the information from the two sites and John Loring’s book I had a pretty clear idea on the background of the pipe. It was definitely an old timer and really was a once in a life time find. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff carefully cleaned the pipe from top to stern. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals of the shank, stem and shank extension with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks much better and has a deep richness in the colour that highlights some great grain. The rim top looked very good and the inner and outer edge looked very good. The nicks on the outer edge lifted with the scrubbing. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. He worked it over with Soft Scrub All Purpose Cleaner to remove any remnants of oxidation. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour I was amazed it looked so good. Here are some photos of what I saw.   I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. The rim top  looked good. There were some spots on the surface and some scratches. The inner edge has some rough spots but it was okay for now. I took close up photos of the stem to show the condition of the surface and button. I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe with the short stem and with the extension. It is a good looking pipe and very unique.I polished the smooth rim top and edges with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. After each pad I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth.  I was able to remove the damage on the top and edges.     I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I polished the scalloped silver ferrule with a jewelers cloth to remove any residual tarnish and also to protect it from future tarnish (at least for awhile). The interesting detail for me is that the ferrule is scallop and the end of the shank extension that holds the stem also is scalloped.With that done the bowl was finished other than the final buffing. I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the silver stem cap with a jewelers cloth that helps remove any residual tarnish and protects the silver.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. With the bowl and the short stem finished I put the pipe back together and buffed it on the wheel using Blue Diamond to give it a shine. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the wheel and then buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It really is an amazing little pipe. The dimensions of this part of the pipe are – Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the short version of the pipe is 1.13 ounces/32 grams. This once is a lifetime find – a 1922 Cased Dunhill Bruyere 53 Reading Pipe is joining the other pipes in my collection of Dunhills and will hold a place of honour while it is in my trust. One day soon I will enjoy a special bowl of tobacco in it and be transported to a slower paced time in history where I can enjoy a respite. With the pipe and short stem finished all that remained was to finish the shank extension that fit in the shank end of the pipe. The end that fit into the shank had the same end cap as the stem itself. The opposite end was fitted to receive the end cap of the stem. The tube between the caps appears to be hard rubber but I am not certain. Some of the pipes of this time period used albatross wing bones for the extension but this is not bone. I polished it with a jewelers cloth to remove residual tarnish in the turnings of the silver caps and polished the shank extension with Obsidian Oil.The extension tube itself is 7 ½ inches long. I took a few photos of the pipe next to the extension to give a sense of the size. I also took photos of the extension tube with the stem in place to show the look of it. Finally the last photos give a sense of the fully extended Bruyere Reading Pipe. With it installed on the pipe the length of the pipe is 12 inches. Height and other measurements remain as noted above. With the pipe finished I took it apart and put it carefully back in its case. The day will come (soon I hope) that I will take it out and smoke a bowl of some aged Virginia and enjoy the coolness of the smoke as I read a book on my front porch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this beautiful piece of Dunhill Pipe Crafting History.

 

 

A Badly Broken Butz-Choquin Pipe makes its way back to me for Repair and Restoration


Blog by Steve Laug

Back in August of 2018 I worked through the pipes in the estate of George Koch and one of them was an interesting Butz-Choquin Simour Pot that had a piece of copper inlaid into the back of the bowl on the left side. The stamping on the left side of the shank read Butz-Choquin and underneath it is a bit more faint but looks to read Simour. On the right side it was stamped St. Claude over France and a shape number 1507 beneath that. I was a great looking pipe when I finished. Here is the link to the blog on the pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2018/08/16/bringing-a-butz-choquin-simour-1507-back-to-life/). I have included a photo of the pipe when I finished it and when it was sold to a fellow named Randy in North Carolina.Randy loved the pipe and thoroughly enjoyed smoking it. Here is where the story shifts to the journey of the pipe back to Canada.

I received an email from Randy early in December about the pipe he had purchased. It was in need of a repair. I include his email below.

Steve, I bought a pipe from you about a year ago. I think l paid around $60 for it. I dropped it off my deck and broke the shank. Is that something that can normally be fixed and would it be worth it when comparing the original cost vs whatever your repair is. generally speaking? I know you haven’t seen the it, just trying to get a general idea if you think it might be worth the expense.

I had Randy send me some photos of the pipe which due to computer issues on my old computer I know longer have but it was broken at the shank with a nasty break. We talked a bit back and forth by email and after the holidays he put it in the mail to me. I received it on Thursday late in the day and opened the package to see it up close and personal. The pipe was obviously a favourite of Randy’s and had been well smoked. The bowl had a thick cake and I needed to be able to see what was happening where the airway entered the bowl. I reamed it back with a PipNet pipe reamed so I could see it clearly. The shank had a thick build up of tars in the airway that made it hard to know what was happening with the airway from the break to bowl. I cleaned out the airway with a pick, knife and a lot of pipe cleaners and alcohol until was clean.I scrubbed down the externals of the bowl and the cracked shank area with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to remove the grime so that  I could work on the fit of the shank pieces together. The next photos show the cleaned bowl and shank pieces. It was a large chunk of briar that had broken off. I studied it for a while trying to figure out how I was going to repair it for him. Finally I figured out a plan. I would cut a piece of Delrin tubing and use it on the inside of the shank to provide a base to fuse the two parts together. The next photo shows the piece of Delrin. I needed to shorten the piece but it fit nicely in the shank and the broken piece.I roughed up the surface of the Delrin tube and glued it in the bowl half of the broken shank with black CA glue. I let it cure for a short period until the tube was solidly anchored in the bowl end.Once the tube was solidly in place. I gave the other end of the tube a coat of the black super glue and also coated the ends of the crack with clear super glue. The clear dries faster and that is what I wanted when I pressed the two halves together. I held them together until the glue cured and when it was finished I took the following photos. The depth of the crack for the shank end and the feather like rustications on the shank complicated the work a bit for me. I filled them in with clear CA glue so that the fit of the band would be solid. I filled in the crack with briar dust and clear CA glue until the surface of the crack was even with the surrounding briar on the shank.I sanded the shank repairs smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to prepare it for fitting the nickel band on the shank. My thinking was that the internal Delrin tube would stabilize the shank and the band on the outside would bind it together. Once it was cleaned off I knew I would need to do a bit more filling with briar dust but it was definitely getting there.   I fit the band on the end of the shank. It was snug so I heated the band with a lighter flame and pressed it onto the shank by pushing the shank end down on a piece of padding on my desk top. I pressed into place so that the edge of the band was at the edge of the shank. It was a tight fit and held the pieces of the repair in place from the outside. I sanded the repaired area above the band with a folded piece of sandpaper and then with micromesh sanding pads until it was smooth. I cleaned off the rim top with a pen knife to scrape away the lava build up. I polished it with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I cleaned up the beveled edge and the top until it was smooth. I restained the rim top and the shank repair with a Cherry and Walnut stain pen to match the rest of the pipe.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my finger tips to clean, enrich and enliven the briar. I let it sit on the briar for 15 minutes and buffed it off with a soft cotton cloth. I used a piece of 220 grit sandpaper to take some of the vulcanite off of the tenon to refit it to the shank of the pipe. Once a shank has been banded it compresses the diameter of the shank enough that the original tenon was too large to fit in the mortise. I slightly reduced it and the fit was perfect. I put it in place in the shank and took photos of the pipe at this point. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. With the stem done it was time to put the pipe back together. From where it was when it arrived to where it is now is a long hard push and it is definitely a different looking pipe. While it is not flawless it should now give Randy a good smoking pipe that looks very good. The finish and even the band looks really quite good with the rest of the pipe. The finish hides the repair quite a bit and it is solid. I will send it back to Randy later this week. I am looking forward to what he thinks of the restoration. Thanks for walking through this with me.

Working on a Trypis Bent Billiard with a Saddle Stem


Blog by Steve Laug

I finished the Brigham pipes and have one more Canadian Made pipe to work on. This one is a partially rusticated bent Billiard, stamped on a smooth panel on the left side of the shank with that reads Made in Canada next to the bowl and that is followed by Trypis. There is no shape number stamped on the pipe. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a lava overflow on the rim. The smooth rim top and edges appear to have some damage on the right side. It looks like the pipe had been dropped and the outer edge of the bowl was out of round. The smooth finish looks great but is dull with grime ground into the surface. The rustication is rugged and unique to Trypis pipes and while similar to Brigham Pipes it is uniquely his design. There was a beautiful pipe underneath all of the buildup of years of use. The thin saddle stem was oxidized and calcified toward the end with some tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl. The smooth rim top showed some darkening and damage as did the inner and outer edges of the bowl. He took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button.   Jeff took a photo of the side and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the well done and rugged rustication that I have seen on other Trypis pipes. Even under the dirt and debris of the years it looked very good. You can see the damage on the outer edge of the rim on the right side in the first photo below. The stamping is clear and readable as noted above. The flow of the stem is well done but there is no identifying marks on the stem side.I turned to Pipephil and looked up the brand for a quick summary of the detail on the brand (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-t8.html). I have included a photo of Phillip Trypis and a short summary of what was written in the side bar of the section. I quote in full below.

Phillip Trypis first worked for Brigham as production manager. He continued to supply the Canadian brand when he was established on his own with his own Trypis label. Phillip Trypis had a pipe shop in Toronto.

I then turned to Pipedia for more information (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Trypis_Pipes). There was a great quote from Stefan Seles. I have included that in full below.

“Phillip Trypis has been a pipe maker in Canada for well over 40 years. Originally from Greece, his experience ranges from cutting burls in a briar mill to making literally thousands of pipes out of his home in the hamlet of Oakwood, Ontario. Brigham pipes benefited from Phillip’s skills where he worked for a number of years. There he directed the pipe production of the company when it was producing over 50,000 a year. Even though he left to start his own pipe shop, he still imported briar and turned tens of thousands of bowls for Brigham not to mention produce a large number of his own branded pipes.

Just over a year ago, Phillip had a serious fall and although he is back making pipes, he is unable to travel around to sell them as he once did. He has asked me to help him in that effort.

The pipes listed below are some of his best work made from decades old MF and R ebuchauns as well as some recently purchased Italian plateau. The prices are excellent, especially given the age and quality of the briar used. In fact, I would venture to say that these pipes have no peers, especially below the $100.00 price. You must be the judge.

Many of the styles are traditional in form although Phillip has a number of freehand styles that are both familiar and off the beaten path. The vast majority of the higher priced pipes are very large pieces to be sure.”

With the information from the two sites I had the background on the pipe maker that I really enjoy to know when working on the pipe. This was a beauty and though I did not have any idea of when it was made it was a beauty. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

I am really happy to have Jeff’s help on cleaning up the pipes that we pick up along the way. He cleaned this filthy pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks much better and the great rustication on the bowl and shank had greatly improved. The rim top still was a mess. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. He scrubbed it with Soft Scrub All Purpose Cleaner to remove the majority of the oxidation. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour I was amazed it looked so good. I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. The rim top had a large chip out of the right outer edge that affected the look of the bowl. I would need to work on that edge of the bowl to bring it back to round. I took close up photos of the stem to show the condition of the surface and button. I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is faint but readable.  I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has some great looking rustication on the bowl and shank. I decided to start my restoration work on this one by dealing with the damaged rim top and edges. I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the darkening and damage. I filled in the damaged right outer edge of the rim with briar dust and clear super glue to bring it back to round. I topped the bowl once again to smooth out the repair and blend it into the rim top of the bowl. It looked a lot better than when I started.    I polished the smooth rim top and sides of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. After each pad I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth.   I stained the rim top with a combination of Cherry and Walnut stain pens. With that combination I was able to match the colour on the rest of the bowl.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush on the rustication to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process.    With that done the bowl was finished other than the final buffing. I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the surface of the vulcanite with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks. While some of them came out nicely there were several against the edge of the button that would not life. I filled them in with clear super glue. Once the repairs cured I used a file to flatten them out and then sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.       I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I am excited to finish this Trypis Bent Billiard as it is the last of Canadian Made pipes that I had in my to do box. It turned out to be a nice looking Bent Billiard. It has a combined finish with a smooth rim top and sides with a deep rustication on the front and back of the bowl and around the shank. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping through on the rim top, smooth panels and the rustication on the rest of the bowl and shank. Added to that the polished black vulcanite saddle stem was beautiful. This semi-rusticated Bent Billiard is nice looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 37grams/1.31ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next pipeman or woman. 

Breathing Life into a Patented Brigham Standard (1-Dot) Prince


Blog by Steve Laug

With this Canadian Made Brigham on the table I am finishing the last of the Brigham pipes I had waiting for me to complete. This one is a rusticated Prince, stamped on a smooth panel on the left side of the shank with faint stamping visible with a lens under light. It reads Can. Pat. 372982 followed by Brigham underlined and in script. There is no shape number stamped on the pipe. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a lava overflow on the rim. The smooth rim top and edges appear to have some damage. There is damage all the way around the outside edges of the bowl. The finish is tired and dried out looking and the rustication lacks the look of dimensionality that Brigham rustications seem to capture so well. Once again, I am hoping at this point that there was a beautiful pipe underneath all of the buildup of years of use. The stem was oxidized and calcified toward the end with some tooth chatter. There were also some tooth marks on both sides of the stem ahead of the button and on the button surface itself. There was a single brass dot on the left side of the taper stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl. The smooth rim top showed some darkening and damage as did the inner and outer edges of the bowl. He took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button. Jeff took a photo of the side and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the well done and rugged rustication that is typical of Brigham pipes. Even under the dirt and debris of the years it looked very good. The stamping is faint but readable as noted above. He included a pic of the one brass dot on the stem. For historical background for those unfamiliar with the brand I am including the information from Pipedia on Brigham pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history and background on the pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Brigham_Pipes). Charles Lemon (Dadspipes) is currently working on a book on the history of the brand. Until that is complete this article is a good summary. I have included it below.

Roy Brigham, after serving an apprenticeship under an Austrian pipesmith, started his own pipe repair shop in Toronto, in 1906. By 1918 the business had grown to include five other craftsmen and had developed a reputation across Canada for the high quality of workmanship. After repairing many different brands of pipes over the years, Roy noted certain recurring complaints by pipe smokers, the most common referred to as “tongue bite”. Tongue bite is a burning sensation on the smoker’s tongue, previously thought to be due to the heat of the smoke (i.e. a “hot smoking pipe”).

He soon began manufacturing his own pipes, which were lightweight, yet featured a more rugged construction, strengthening the weak points observed in other pipes. The problem of tongue bite intrigued him, and he decided to make overcoming it a future goal.

About 1938, Roy’s son Herb joined him to assist in the business. The business barely survived the great depression because pipes were considered to be a luxury, not a necessity, and selling pipes was difficult indeed. In approximately 1937 [1], after some experimentation, Roy and Herb discovered that tongue bite was in fact a form of mild chemical burn to the tongue, caused by tars and acids in the smoke. They found that by filtering the smoke, it was possible to retain the flavour of the tobacco and yet remove these impurities and thereby stop the tongue bite.

Just as Thomas Edison had searched far and wide for the perfect material from which to make the first electric light bulb filaments, Roy & Herb began experimenting with many materials, both common and exotic, in the quest for the perfect pipe filter. Results varied wildly. Most of the materials didn’t work at all and some actually imparted their own flavour into the smoke. They eventually found just two materials that were satisfactory in pipes: bamboo and rock maple. As bamboo was obviously not as readily available, rock maple then became the logical choice.

They were able to manufacture a replaceable hollow wooden tube made from rock maple dowelling, which when inserted into a specially made pipe, caused absolutely no restriction to the draw of the pipe, yet extracted many of the impurities which had caused tongue bite. The result was indeed a truly better smoking pipe…

I have written to Charles Lemon (Dadspipes) previously about Patent Number pipes and since this was another one, I referred to a previous blog I had written about the stamping on a 2199 Lovat shaped pipe. He responded with information that I am including in part below.

Hey Steve! Good to hear from you.

Shape 2199 is what most would call a Lovat. Brigham called it a Club for whatever reason- just to be different, perhaps!…As these are all Patent pipes, it’s more accurate to refer to their grade by name (the post 1980 grading scheme refers to Dots). Here is the original scheme: I also wrote Charles about this specific pipe and he sent me the reply below. It is fascinating information regarding this older Canadian made pipe.

Patent Prince – the Straight Prince is a Shape 13. I can’t tell from the pic how many Dots it has on the stem (1?). Dating will again be 1938-55.

With the information from Charles’ message and the chart above that he included I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. The pipe was made between 1938-1955 because of the Patent number and also that the 1 dot pipe was a Brigham Standard. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

I am really happy to have Jeff’s help on cleaning up the pipes that we pick up along the way. He cleaned this filthy pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks much better and the great rustication on the bowl and shank had greatly improved. The rim top still was a mess. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. He scrubbed it with Soft Scrub All Purpose Cleaner to remove the majority of the oxidation. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour I was amazed it looked so good. (This was the last pipe I worked on late last evening and I honestly forgot to take some before photos!! Must have been tired. I did a fair bit of work on the pipe and the this morning took the “before” photos. Sorry about that.)  I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. I had already started working on the rim top last evening. I lightly topped it and gave it a coat of stain to see the look. Lots more work to do on it but it is getting there. I took close up photos of the stem to show the condition of the surface and button. I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is faint but readable.I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has some great looking rustication on the bowl and shank. I decided to start my restoration work on this one by dealing with the damaged rim top and edges. I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the darkening and damage. I worked over the inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. The rim top and edges looked much better at this point. I polished the smooth rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. After each pad I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. With that done the bowl was finished other than the final buffing. I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth marks with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.   Before polishing the stem further I decided to fit the clean stem with a new Rock Maple Distillator.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I am excited to finish this Brigham Prince as it is the last of the lot that I have been restoring of this brand. It turned out to be a nice looking Standard 13 Rusticated Prince. It has a combined finish with a smooth rim top and the rest of the bowl and shank rusticated with the normal Brigham rustication. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping through on the rim top and the rustication on the rest of the bowl and shank. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem with four shining brass pins was beautiful. This rusticated Brigham Standard (1 Dot) Prince is nice looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 32grams/1.13ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next pipeman or woman. 

A Lovely Brigham Exclusive 306 Medium Straight Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

I have two more Brighams left to restore so I chose to work on the Dublin shaped 306 next. The pipe is a medium sized straight Dublin with a taper stem. It is a neat looking pipe with real character. The upper half of the bowl is smooth and highlights some nice grain. The rest of the bowl and shank bear the classic Brigham rustication pattern. It is stamped Brigham over and to the right of MADE IN CANADA on the underside of the shank and has the shape number 306 stamped to the left of that. The stem has three brass pins on the left side of the taper. There was a moderate cake in the bowl and a spattering of lave on the rim top and edges. The rim top is scratched but otherwise clear. The inner and outer edges of the bowl look very good. There is a small burn mark on the outer edge on the right side near the top. There was a beautiful pipe underneath all of the buildup of years of use. The stem was oxidized and had light tooth marks and chatter both sides ahead of the button and on the button surface itself. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl with the thick cake in the bowl and the damage and darkening on the rim top. He took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the condition of the stem.    Jeff took a photo of the side and heel of the bowl to show the smooth/rustic style of the rustication. Even under the dirt and debris of the years it looked very good.The stamping is faint but reads as noted above. He included pics of the 2 brass dots on the stem.   For the needed background I am including the information from Pipedia on Brigham pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Brigham_Pipes). Charles Lemon (Dadspipes) is currently working on a book on the history of the brand. Until that is complete this article is a good summary. I have included it below.

Roy Brigham, after serving an apprenticeship under an Austrian pipesmith, started his own pipe repair shop in Toronto, in 1906. By 1918 the business had grown to include five other craftsmen and had developed a reputation across Canada for the high quality of workmanship. After repairing many different brands of pipes over the years, Roy noted certain recurring complaints by pipe smokers, the most common referred to as “tongue bite”. Tongue bite is a burning sensation on the smoker’s tongue, previously thought to be due to the heat of the smoke (i.e. a “hot smoking pipe”).

He soon began manufacturing his own pipes, which were lightweight, yet featured a more rugged construction, strengthening the weak points observed in other pipes. The problem of tongue bite intrigued him, and he decided to make overcoming it a future goal.

About 1938, Roy’s son Herb joined him to assist in the business. The business barely survived the great depression because pipes were considered to be a luxury, not a necessity, and selling pipes was difficult indeed. In approximately 1937 [1], after some experimentation, Roy and Herb discovered that tongue bite was in fact a form of mild chemical burn to the tongue, caused by tars and acids in the smoke. They found that by filtering the smoke, it was possible to retain the flavour of the tobacco and yet remove these impurities and thereby stop the tongue bite.

Just as Thomas Edison had searched far and wide for the perfect material from which to make the first electric light bulb filaments, Roy & Herb began experimenting with many materials, both common and exotic, in the quest for the perfect pipe filter. Results varied wildly. Most of the materials didn’t work at all and some actually imparted their own flavour into the smoke. They eventually found just two materials that were satisfactory in pipes: bamboo and rock maple. As bamboo was obviously not as readily available, rock maple then became the logical choice.

They were able to manufacture a replaceable hollow wooden tube made from rock maple dowelling, which when inserted into a specially made pipe, caused absolutely no restriction to the draw of the pipe, yet extracted many of the impurities which had caused tongue bite. The result was indeed a truly better smoking pipe…

I sent Charles a quick email asking him about this pipe and sent along a photo of the Dublin pipe. I have included his response below.

306 Dublin – there were three sizes of Straight Dublin pipes in the original Brigham lineup -Shapes 5, 6 and 7, with 5 being the smallest and 7 the largest. Your 306, then, is a Medium Straight Dublin in what was then called the “Exclusive” grade. If the “Made in Canada” stamp is block letters in a single line separate from the Brigham logo, the pipe dates from between 1955 to about 1970. If the COM stamp is smaller and positioned under the Brigham logo, it will be a later production, made sometime in the 1970s. The Brigham lineup expanded to 6 grades from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s, and again to 8 grades by the mid-1960s. 

With the information from Charles I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I learned that the pipe was originally made between 1955 and 1970 (approximately) because of the stamping on the shank. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

I am really happy to have Jeff’s help on cleaning up the pipes that we pick up along the way. He cleaned this filthy pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with the combined smooth bowl top half and the great looking rustication on the rest of the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. He scrubbed it with Soft Scrub All Purpose Cleaner to remove the majority of the oxidation. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver it looked very good. I took some close up photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as both sides of the stem to show its condition. The rim top and edges looked good. There was a large scratch on the rim top just to the right of the rear of the bowl. It looks like a crack but it is actually a scratch I the surface. I took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button and on the top edge of the button as well.I took a photo of the stamping on the smooth underside of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is faint but readable.I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is an interesting pipe that you can see the smooth  portion of the bowl and the rustic finish on in the photo below. The combination of finishes makes this a beautiful pipe.I decided to start my restoration work on this one by cleaning up the rim top and edges of the bowl. I filled in the deep scratch on the rim top with clear CA. Once the repair cured I sanded it smooth to blend it into the rest of the rim top. I sanded the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and gave it a slight bevel to take care of the burn marks on the edge. The bowl looks much better once I had finished.    I polished the rim top and smooth portions on the bowl with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded it with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the finish down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth to remove the debris from sanding. The bowl started to really take on a shine as I worked it over. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. With that done the bowl was finished other than the final buffing. I filled the small marks in with CA and set the stem aside to cure. Once the repairs cured I sanded them with 220 grit sand paper to blend them into the rest of the stem surface. I started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper.  Before I finished the polishing stem I fit the clean stem with a new Rock Maple Distillator.    I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I am glad to finish this Brigham Exclusive Dublin 306 – a substantial feeling pipe that Brigham made in a large line of various shapes and sizes of Dublin’s. It has a unique Brigham look that is different from any other pipe making company. In this case it adds the touch of smooth top half of the bowl and the rustication on the rest of the bowl and shank. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen it. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the mix of smooth lines and hard rustication around the bowl and shank. Added to that the polished, rebuilt black, vulcanite saddle stem with two shining brass pins was beautiful. This Brigham Exclusive Dublin 306 is nice looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 27grams/.95ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

 

New Life for a Brigham 267 Tall Saddle Stem Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

I chose to work another Canadian Made Brigham to work on next. The pipe is a large straight Bulldog with a saddle stem. It is a neat looking pipe with real character. It is stamped Brigham over MADE IN CANADA on the left underside of the shank and has the shape number 267 stamped to the left of that. The stem has two brass pins on the top left side of the saddle. There was a heavy cake in the bowl and darkening on the rim top and edges. The rim top has a classic Brigham rustication matching that around the bowl and shank. There is some damage on the front and right outer edge of the bowl. I think that there was a beautiful pipe underneath all of the buildup of years of use. The stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter both sides ahead of the button and on the button surface itself. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl with the thick cake in the bowl and the damage and darkening on the rim top. He took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the condition of the stem.     Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the rustic condition of the finish. The rustication is well done and rugged in the spots on the bowl and rim. Even under the dirt and debris of the years it looked very good.     The stamping is very clear and reads as noted above. He included pics of the 2 brass dots on the stem. For the needed background I am including the information from Pipedia on Brigham pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Brigham_Pipes). Charles Lemon (Dadspipes) is currently working on a book on the history of the brand. Until that is complete this article is a good summary. I have included it below.

Roy Brigham, after serving an apprenticeship under an Austrian pipesmith, started his own pipe repair shop in Toronto, in 1906. By 1918 the business had grown to include five other craftsmen and had developed a reputation across Canada for the high quality of workmanship. After repairing many different brands of pipes over the years, Roy noted certain recurring complaints by pipe smokers, the most common referred to as “tongue bite”. Tongue bite is a burning sensation on the smoker’s tongue, previously thought to be due to the heat of the smoke (i.e. a “hot smoking pipe”).

He soon began manufacturing his own pipes, which were lightweight, yet featured a more rugged construction, strengthening the weak points observed in other pipes. The problem of tongue bite intrigued him, and he decided to make overcoming it a future goal.

About 1938, Roy’s son Herb joined him to assist in the business. The business barely survived the great depression because pipes were considered to be a luxury, not a necessity, and selling pipes was difficult indeed. In approximately 1937 [1], after some experimentation, Roy and Herb discovered that tongue bite was in fact a form of mild chemical burn to the tongue, caused by tars and acids in the smoke. They found that by filtering the smoke, it was possible to retain the flavour of the tobacco and yet remove these impurities and thereby stop the tongue bite.

Just as Thomas Edison had searched far and wide for the perfect material from which to make the first electric light bulb filaments, Roy & Herb began experimenting with many materials, both common and exotic, in the quest for the perfect pipe filter. Results varied wildly. Most of the materials didn’t work at all and some actually imparted their own flavour into the smoke. They eventually found just two materials that were satisfactory in pipes: bamboo and rock maple. As bamboo was obviously not as readily available, rock maple then became the logical choice.

They were able to manufacture a replaceable hollow wooden tube made from rock maple dowelling, which when inserted into a specially made pipe, caused absolutely no restriction to the draw of the pipe, yet extracted many of the impurities which had caused tongue bite. The result was indeed a truly better smoking pipe…

I sent Charles a quick email asking him about this pipe and sent along a photo of the Bulldog pipe. I have included his response below.

267 Bulldog – this is a “Tall Bulldog”, one of 4 or 5 Bulldog shapes from the original Brigham lineup. The 267 came with a diamond saddle stem (from what I can tell, Shape 66 was also a Bulldog but with a taper stem). Dating will be similar to the 306 Dublin… If the “Made in Canada” stamp is block letters in a single line separate from the Brigham logo, the pipe dates from between 1955 to about 1970…

With the information from Charles’ I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I learned that the pipe was originally made between 1955 and 1970 (approximately) because of the stamping on the shank. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

I am really happy to have Jeff’s help on cleaning up the pipes that we pick up along the way. He cleaned this filthy pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with great looking rustication on the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. He scrubbed it with Soft Scrub All Purpose Cleaner to remove the majority of the oxidation. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver it looked very good. I took some close up photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration.   I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as both sides of the stem to show its condition. The rim top and edges show a darkening and the damage on the inner edge. The roughening to the outer edge on the front and the right side seemed to have been minimized during the scrub and the briar swelled with the wetting of the bowl and it looked very good.  I took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button and on the top edge of the button as well.    I took a photo of the stamping on the left underside of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is clear and readable. I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is an interesting pipe that you can see the rustic finish on in the photo below. The twin rings around the bowl cap and the sharp angles of the pipe are smooth and give the pipe a nice look.I decided to start my restoration work on this one by cleaning up the rim top and edges of the bowl. I sanded the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and gave it a slight bevel to take care of the burn marks and roughness of the edge. The bowl looks much better once I had finished.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. With that done the bowl was finished other than the final buffing. I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks on the stem surface with the flame of a lighter to raise them. I was able to lift many of the marks other than those you can see in the photos below. I filled those marks in with CA and set the stem aside to cure. Once the repairs cured I sanded them with 220 grit sand paper to blend them into the rest of the stem surface. I started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper.  Before I finished the polishing stem I fit the clean stem with a new Rock Maple Distillator.     I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine.    I am glad to finish this Brigham 267 Tall Bulldog – an substantial feeling pipe that Brigham made in a large line of various shapes and sizes of Bulldogs. It is the first one of this style that I have worked on. It has a unique Brigham look that is different from any other pipe making company. In this case it adds the touch of smooth twin rings around the bowl cap and on all of the sharp edges of the diamond shank. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen it. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the mix of smooth lines and hard rustication around the bowl and shank. Added to that the polished, rebuilt black, vulcanite saddle stem with two shining brass pins was beautiful. This Brigham Tall Bulldog 267 is nice looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 24grams/.99ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.