Tag Archives: waxing a stem

A Very Tired, Very Dirty Stanwell Bent Volcano with a cracked bowl

Blog by Steve Laug

Sometimes when I take in pipes for repair and restoration I am pretty stunned by the condition. This one obviously was an old favourite of the pipesmoker who brought it to me with 8 others in need of some TLC. I sat with him in my living room and went over the repair list of what needed to be done to bring it back to life. It had been restemmed before and the stem was good and heavy so it did not need to be replaced. There were tooth marks near the button on both sides of the stem. It had some deep oxidation that needed attention. Sometime in its life it had been buffed to the point that the stamping was all but gone on the underside of the shank. With a lens I could read Stanwell over Made in Denmark but all but one number of the shape number (1) was buffed away. The finish was sticky to touch from all the waxes and oils on the bowl. The sand blast was pretty worn away and now was shallow. The angled, tapered bowl had a thick cake and it had been reamed into almost an hour-glass shape. The rim top had an overflow of the tars on it and the blast was smooth. There was some damage on the front of the bowl from knocking the pipe out on something hard. There was a small crack on the left side of the bowl from the rim down about a 1/8 of an inch that would need to be repaired. From memory I knew that the bowl was drilled to follow the angle of the exterior of the bowl.When I turned the bowl over the bottom side was covered with cracks. There were four cracks of various sizes that did not go into the interior but rather sat on the surface of heel. They were all different in terms of depth and tended to follow the blast and cut across the ring grain. They were filled with grime and wax. The bottom of the bowl was a real mess.I took a close up photo of the rim to show the damage that had been done to it by reaming it with a knife rather than with a reamer. The cake was sticky and soft and what appeared to be an hourglass shape actually was not it followed the angled bowl walls. I was concerned that the inside of the bowl would also have cracks once the cake was removed. I recommended that we remove entire cake to assess the interior of the bowl. I also took a close up photo of the heel of the bowl to show the cracks.The stem was a replacement that was thick and well made. The fit against the shank was not too bad and there was little gap between the two parts. The stem was oxidized and there was come calcium build up on the first inch on both sides. There were tooth marks and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem near the button.The shank end shows how thick the buildup was inside of the shank. The tars and oils overflow the shank and show up on the end and walls. There were also two small holes drilled to the left and right of the mortise.I reamed the bowl with the PipNet reamer using the largest cutting head. Notice the angle of the cutting head as it shows the angle of the drilling of the bowl. I cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall reaming knife.  I sanded the bowl with 180 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. The third photo below shows the bowl after it has been sanded. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with acetone on cotton pads to remove the grime and the finish. The grime and oils came off the walls of the bowl and bowl sides and bottom to prepare the bowl for the repairs to the cracks. I drilled each end of all of the cracks with a microdrill bit on a Dremel. There were about 9 holes in the bottom of the bowl and two on the left side at the end of the shank.I put clear super glue into the cracks and pressed it down with a dental pick. I pressed briar dust into the glue and then put more dust in the glue and then more glue on top of the repair to seal it.I used a dental burr on the Dremel to rusticated the repaired areas on the bottom of the bowl and side to match them to the sand blast finish. I knocked off the rough areas of the rustication with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it into the surrounding finish. The photos show the progress of this process. With the exterior cracks repaired and sealed I turned to work on the internals. The airway in the shank and the mortise was absolutely a mess. I used the drill bit from the KleenReem pipe reamer to clean out the airway into the bowl from the mortise. It was almost closed off with the tars and oils. I turned the bit into the airway until it was smooth. I used a dental spatula to scrape out the inside of the mortise. The scraped tars and oils can be seen in the photos below.There were two small drilled holes in the end of the shank on both sides of the mortise. I filled them in with super glue and briar dust. I cleaned out the inside the mortise and shank with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until they came out clean.The bowl smelled strongly of old tobacco and there were oils in the briar walls. I wanted to remove that smell as much as possible. I stuffed two cotton balls into the bowl, set it in the ice cube tray and used an ear syringe to fill it with alcohol. I left it standing overnight while it pulled the oils out of the briar bowl. In the morning the cotton was stained a yellow brown.I recleaned the mortise and airways after it had soaked using alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners.I stained the repaired areas on the bowl with a dark brown stain. I used a black Sharpie Pen to fill in some of the grooves in the briar and then restained it. I flamed it with a lighter to set the stain.I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to raise a shine on the bowl. The photos below show the repaired areas and the blending into the surrounding briar. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I cleaned out the slot with a dental pick and pulled a lot of built up tars from there. I used a sharp knife to bevel the end of the tenon to open the air flow to the slot. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the oxidation and to also remove the tooth chatter and some of the tooth marks. Some of them were too deep and they would need to be repaired later. I cleaned out the inside of the stem with alcohol and cotton swabs to remove the buildup in the airway. The slot was very narrow and it was hard to push pipe cleaners through the airway. I decided to open up the slot with needle files to facilitate easier cleaning with pipe cleaners. I did not want to change the shape of the slot, but merely wanted to make it wider and tapered smoothly into the airway. I used both large and small round, oval and flattened oval files to shape the slot. Once I had it large enough for a pipe cleaner to pass through easily I folded a piece of sandpaper and sanded the inside of the slot. I sanded the stem around the button with 220 grit sandpaper and filled in the remaining tooth marks with black super glue. I set the stem aside to dry overnight. In the morning I sanded the stem with more 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repairs and blend them into the surface of the stem. I also reshaped the button and smoothed out the repairs I had made there. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil on a cloth to have a better look at where things were at. I noticed a small bubble in the patch on the underside of the stem once I had cleaned it so I put another drop of black superglue on it to fill it in. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads. After the final set of pads I set the stem aside and let the oil dry. I mixed up a batch of pipe mud – water and cigar ash – and applied it to the inside of the bowl to provide protection to the bare walls while a new cake is formed. When it dried I put the stem on the bowl and buffed it with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. Blue Diamond is a plastic polish that comes in a block. I load the buffing pad with it and polish the stem and the bowl. I use a light touch on the bowl so that I don’t load up the grooves and crevices with the polish. I gave the stem and bowl multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine to the finish. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The repairs on the bottom of the bowl blended in very well and those on the stem did also. This is the first of nine pipes that I am repairing for a guy who dropped them off at the house. It is ready for more years of service. Thanks for looking.




New Life for a KBB Yello-Bole Sandblast 2705 Billiard

Blog by Steve Laug

This is the second pipe that was sent to me by a fellow Canadian for a cleanup and restoration from the lot he had picked up in a local auction for a great price. This one is an older Yello-Bole sandblast billiard with the KBB cloverleaf on the underside of the shank. It has a great looking rugged sandblast on the bowl that highlights the grain. The overall finish appeared to be in good shape though the crevices in the blast were dirty. The bowl had been cleaned before the auction and there was some scratching on the bowl walls. There was still an overflow of tars in the finish that remained on to the rim in the parts that were not damaged. The outer edge of the rim had the look of a pipe that had been smoked hard and knocked out on anything close at hand no matter what it did to the pipe. There were nicks and dings all the way around the rim top and edges. The first five photos that I have included are ones that I received from the pipe’s owner when he emailed and asked me about repairing his find. The first is an overall view of the pipe. yb1The second and third photos are close up shots to clearly show the extent of the damage to the rim top and outer edges. As far as I could see from the photos the inner edge of the rim appeared to be in great shape. The outer edge was another story.yb2The last two photos he sent show the fit of the stem against the shank and the stamping on the underside of the shank. From the first photo it did not appear that the stem was properly seated in the shank. My experience has been that the stems on these older Yello-Bole pipes had an excellent fit but when tars collected around the walls of the shank surrounding the spade stinger the stem would not properly seat. I was hopeful this would be the case with this one. The second photo shows the clear stamping on the underside. It is stamped with the four digit shape number 2705 which is a billiard number and after the 5 is the letter u. The KBB cloverleaf is followed by the classic Yello-Bole stamp and under that it reads Algerian Bruyere.yb3When the pipe arrived I snapped some photos of the condition of the pipe before I started the cleanup. The stem had light oxidation and the yellow O logo was perfect. The inside of the shank was quite dirty so my assumption regarding the reason that the stem did not seat properly was correct. Unfortunately before I took the photos I had done some cleaning on the rim top and edges. I used a sanding block on the edges to knock off loose debris and a dental pick on the rim. I touched up the raw briar with a black Sharpie pen because I have learned that when it is mixed with a dark brown stain I can get a match to the colour of the stain on the bowl. blast1 blast2At this point in the process I used a brass bristle tire brush to scrub out the crevices and sandblast on the top surface. I did this to prepare the rim for restaining, to clean out the blast crevices and to smooth out some of the roughness I have found that this brush does a great job in lifting the dust and tar while not damaging the briar. The brass bristles are soft and do not scratch the briar but make easy work of the tars and build up on the rim of a blast. I scrubbed the inner beveled edge with the brush and it came out looking undamaged. The sandblast reappeared on the rim top as well.blast3I used the black Sharpie pen again to add a dark colour in the chips and nicks in the finish around the edges and the top of the bowl. When that was finished I stained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain thinned 50/50 with isopropyl alcohol. I fired the stain with a lighter and repeated the process until I was satisfied with the coverage on the bowl. You can see that the nicks along the edges of the rim look very good. The rim top needs to be polished and it will look the same after I have waxed and buffed it.blast4 blast5I probably should have cleaned up the inside of the bowl earlier but as I worked on the rim first it almost escaped my notice. In the last photo above I could see the cake in the bowl and what appeared to be some damage to the inside wall of the left side. I used a Savinelli Fitsall Reaming knife to take the cake out of the bowl. I was able to ream back the walls and the apparent damage disappeared. I used a pen knife to scrape the hard tars that had collected in the shank and mortise. I was amazed at the amount of powder that came out of the shank. It was thick and black and proved my point made earlier about it keeping the stem from seating properly against the shank.blast6I scrubbed the mortise and the airways in the stem and the shank with 99% isopropyl alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until I removed all of the grit and grime from those areas. I cleaned the spade stinger with alcohol and pipe cleaners and polished it with 0000 steel wool until it shone.blast7The pipe smelled of old aromatics and even with the bowl and shank clean the smell was present. I stuffed the bowl with cotton balls and used an eye dropper to fill it with isopropyl alcohol. I have found that cotton balls work as well as Kosher salt does and it is not as messy. I put a cotton swab in the shank up to the entrance of the airway into the bowl as it wicks alcohol into the shank and draws out the oils in that area. I put the pipe bowl upright in an ice-cube tray and let it sit over night to let it do its magic. The second photo shows the cotton balls, discoloured with the oils after sitting 8-9 hours. Once I removed the cotton balls I scrubbed out the shank and airway to remove any remnants of alcohol left behind and set the bowl aside to dry.

I have written about this alternative to the salt and alcohol treatment in an earlier blog that can be read here. https://rebornpipes.com/2013/02/10/sweetening-a-pipe-an-alternative-to-the-salt-and-alcohol-treatment/blast8I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the light oxidation and the light tooth chatter at the button. It did not take too much sanding to remove those from the stem.blast9I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. This is my normal routine and if you have been following the blog for any length of time you know that I always follow this procedure with the stems. Between the 4000 grit pad and the 6000 grit pad I buffed the stem with White Diamond and then went on to use the final three grits of micromesh pads. I gave the stem a rubdown with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads and after the last set put it aside to let the oil dry.blast10 blast11 blast12I hand waxed the bowl with Conservator’s Wax and buffed it with a shoe brush. I find that the wax does not clump in the crevices of a sandblast finish like carnauba does so I always hand wax this kind of finish. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the bowl and stem with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and then hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is ready to go back across Canada to its owner. It is a beauty and I think he will enjoy it. Thanks for looking.blast13 blast14 blast15 blast16 blast17 blast18 blast19 blast20


Refreshing a Comoy’s Golden Grain 110 Billiard

Blog by Steve Laug

This is yet another from the old pipeman’s collection that came to me from the local pipe shop. It is a beautifully grained Comoy’s Billiard. The stamping on the pipe is very readable and clear. On the left side it reads Comoy’s over Golden Grain with a C on the side of the stem. On the right side of the shank it is stamped with COM (Country of Manufacture) circle Made in London over England and shape number 110. The finish is decent with a medium brown stain with great grain showing through. It is in good enough shape that I hope to not have to refinish it but rather just clean and renew the finish. There is thin cake in the bowl and rim darkening. The stem is oxidized and there is light tooth marks on top and bottom of the stem near the button. There is also some calcification from a Softee bit on the stem and button.gold1 gold2The photo to the left showgold3s the condition of the rim. The inner beveled edge of the rim is cake and dirty. There is a light lava overflow on the rim and some darkening as well. I am hoping that I will be able to scrub this off and also clean up the inner rim bevel in such a way that I can leave the original finish unaltered. It will take some slow and patient work to restore it and not just refinish it.

I reamed the bowl back to clean briar using a PipNet pipe reaming tool and a Savinelli Fitsall Reamer. I carefully worked the reamer over the beveled rim to remove the buildup on the edges of the rim.gold4I scraped the rim edge and bevel with a sharp pen knife to remove the carbon buildup that was there and scrubbed the rim and bowl with a small bit of Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the darkening and grime left behind after the scraping. The photo below shows the rim after this work over. It is looking pretty good at this point.gold5I cleaned out the internals of the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with 99% isopropyl alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs.gold6I “painted” the tooth marks in the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to raise the vulcanite. I am so thankful for the fact that vulcanite has memory and when heated will return to its original state if the tooth marks have not broken the edges. In this case it worked very well and I was able to minimize them with the flame and finish working on them with 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded the stem and removed the oxidation and the calcification on the button end.gold7I polished the cleaned stems with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I buffed the stem with White Diamond after the 4000 grit pad and then finished with the remaining three pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads and after the final rubdown set it aside to let the oil dry.gold8 gold9 gold10Once the oil dried I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing wheel to raise a shine on the bowl and stem and then hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful grained Comoy’s made pipe that should provide years of good smoking to whoever adds it to their rack next. It will be available for purchase on the rebornpipes store later today if you wish to add it to your collection. Thanks for looking.gold11 gold12 gold13 gold14 gold15 gold16 gold17 gold18 gold19



Checkered History and Heritage of an East German Howal Old Briar Rustified Dublin

Blog by Dal Stanton

Finally, a ‘simple’ clean up!  Or, so I hope.  The Howal has been in my ‘Help Me!’ basket for some time.  I bought him from a vendor in an antique market, in the shadow of Nevski Cathedral in downtown Sofia, Bulgaria.  It was from the same young man I purchased, out of his bag of pipe parts, an orphaned stummel which became my maiden restoration project published on Reborn Pipes.  I titled it, A Newbie Restore of a Dr. Plumb 9456 Oom Paul – only it wasn’t an Oom Paul.  Al Jones’ (aka, Upshallfan) comment to my first blog observed correctly: “the 9456 is a classic GBD shape, although it is considered to be a Bent Billiard (rather than a Oom-Paul).”  I’m thankful for much ‘newbie’ grace I have received!  Though, the pipe’s name is still Chicho Pavel, Bulgarian for Uncle Paul!  He continues to be a favorite in my rotation and a special friend.  The Howal (over Old Briar) Rustified Dublin now before me is of interest to me partly because of its origins.  The pictures from my work table give an overview of the pipe itself.howal1 howal2 howal3 howal4 howal5 howal6The Howal name is of interest to me because it originated from behind the former ‘Iron Curtain’ in East Germany during a geopolitical climate rife with change and human tragedy.  My wife and I have spent over two decades living behind what was formerly the Iron Curtain and this is the second Howal I’ve found in the same Antique Market here in Bulgaria.  The question that comes to my mind is whether Howals are more commonly found in Eastern Europe where perhaps, they were circulated under the old USSR in an enforced socialist, command economy?  Pipedia’s article was both interesting and helpful in understanding the predecessor of and origins of the Howal name:

C.S. Reich howal7was founded by Carl Sebastian Reich in Schweina, Germany in 1887. By its 50th jubilee in 1937 C.S. Reich was the biggest pipe factory in Germany.  In 1952, however, the owners of the company were imprisoned and the company itself was nationalized as Howal, an abbreviation of the German words for “wood products Liebenstein” or “Holzwaren Liebenstein”.  By the 1970’s Howal, after acquiring many other smaller pipe making firms, was the sole maker of smoking pipes in East Germany. In 1990, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification of the Germanys, the company was closed.

While helpful for a broad sweep, I discovered much missing from this summary and it raises more questions.  From another interesting source, Edith Raddatz’s lecture on tobacco pipe production in Schweina at the Tobacco Pipe Symposium in 2003, it describes a history of pipe production in this central German village that was reminiscent of my research into France’s pipe mecca, St. Claude.  A strong development of the pipe making industry can be traced in the 1800s to the apex of the C.S. Reich Co. being Germany’s largest pipe producer in 1937, but Raddatz’s lecture reveals that other producers of pipes were also based in the German village of Schweina.  Pipedia’s article above describes how the owners of the C.S. Reich Co. were arrested and imprisoned followed by the nationalization of the Reich Co. and becoming ‘Howal’, an acronym for “Wood Products Liebenstein” – Bad Liebenstein was the town that bordered and absorbed the village of Schweina. The question begs to be asked – which, unfortunately introduces the human tragedy wrapped around the name ‘Howal’ – Why were the owners arrested?  In an unlikely source, the website of the ‘Small Tools Museum’ adds the names of those imprisoned: shareholders Robert Hergert and Karl Reich.

Edith Raddatz’s lecture (referenced above) brings more light to the difficult geopolitical realities these people faced (Google translated from German – brackets my clarifications):

By 1945 the company, which had meanwhile [passed to] the next generation – Kurt Reich And Walter Malsch – [had] about 100 employees.   Among them were many women who mainly did the painting work.  At the beginning of the 1950s, an era ended in Schweina. The first [oldest] tobacco pipe factory in Schweina closed their doors. There were several reasons for this. Kurt Reich passed away in 1941, [and] Walter Malsch [in] 1954.  The political situation in the newly founded GDR made the conditions for private entrepreneurship difficult. The heirs of the company “AR Sons” [Reich family] partly moved to West Germany. The operation was nationalized and later toys were made there.

howal8In post WWII occupied Germany, the Soviet occupied section was declared to be a sovereign state and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was established in 1949 (See link).  With a rudimentary understanding of Marxism and the economic philosophy undergirding it, it is not difficult to deduce what brought the demise of the C. S. Reich Co. and the formation of Howal.  Solidification of the FDR’s hold on power paralleled the necessity to nationalize private ownership and to institute a State-centered command economy.  These efforts gained momentum and forced companies/workers to work more with no additional pay.  In 1952, the year that the owners of C. S. Reich Co., were arrested, this edict was advanced (See link):

In July 1952 the second party conference of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) took place in East Berlin. In SED General Secretary Walter Ulbricht‘s words, there was to be the “systematic implementation of Socialism” (planmäßiger Aufbau des Sozialismus); it was decided that the process of  Sovietization should be intensified and the importance of the state expanded. The party was acting on demands made by Soviet premier Joseph Stalin.[2]

howal9As a result, Germany remembers the Uprising of 1953 which started in East Berlin, as factory workers revolted against the repression of the GDR, and spread to all East Germany.  Many lost their lives as Moscow responded to squelch the unrest with tanks on the streets.  In play also, was the mass exodus of people fleeing to West Germany, which included, per Edith Radditz’s lecture, the Reich family, who would have been heirs of the family’s legacy and company – pipe making.  Also in 1953, completing the State forced abolition of any Reich claim, the largest pipe making company of Germany was seized, nationalized, and changed from C. S. Reich Co. to Howal.  As ‘Howal’, pipes continued to be produced, undoubtedly with the same hands and sweat of the people of Schweina, along with other wooden products, such as toys.  In the Pipedia article I quoted above, it said:

By the 1970’s Howal, after acquiring many other smaller pipe making firms, was the sole maker of smoking pipes in East Germany. In 1990, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification of the Germanys, the company was closed.

My curiosity piqued, what does it mean when it says that Howal acquired many other smaller pipe making firms?  Should we question whether these words can be understood in the normal free market enterprise way we are accustomed?  Doubtful.

As I now look at this Howal before me, it is with a greater connection to its checkered past, the people of Germany’s pipe making heritage, and specifically, to the hands that drilled, shaped and finished the pipe.  The possible dating of this Howal spans from 1953 to 1990, when the Howal factory was closed for good with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the old USSR (See link).  The Howal markings on the left side of the shank are in very good shape.  The rustification is very attractive in the Dublin style – definitely an ‘olde world’ feel.  There are some marks on the rim.  The bowl is totally free of cake – someone did some clean-up work before coming to me.  The dark color of the stummel appears to be paint or a black stain – I can see brown around the nomenclature on the shank.  I will clean the stummel with Murphy’s and see what happens.  There is no oxidation on the stem nor teeth chatter or dents.  So, could this Howal be only a simple cleaning and freshening?

I start by taking a picture of the rim and markings to take a closer look at areas of question.  Then using Q-tips and pipe cleaners with isopropyl 95% I start cleaning the stummel internals.  After only one plunge of a Q-tip, I see that the mortise is full of the black finish that is also on the external surface.  I find no tobacco gunk in the mortise, only black dye – or whatever it is.  After several Q-tips and some pipe cleaners, I decide simple to fill the mortise with isopropyl and let it soak for a few hours.  This did the trick.  After pouring off the dirty isopropyl the Q-tips, after the soak, started coming out clean very quickly.  Stummel done.  The stem required very little effort.  The pictures show the progress.howal10 howal11 howal12 howal13 howal14 howal15I take undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and scrub the stummel surface with cotton pads and a bristled brush. I want to test the finish to see how solid it is as well as clean the grime out of the rustification ridges.  After a good scrub, I rinse the soap of the stummel with tap water, careful not to allow water inside. howal16After drying, I have two impressions of the black finish.  First, the splotched glossy areas left over from the Murphy’s scrub remind me of the acrylic finishes that I’ve seen on smooth briars.  Secondly, the finish now is speckled where the briar is coming through.  Decision time.  A plan starts formulating in my mind.  I like the rustification of the Howal Dublin and I very much like the feel of the Dublin in my hand – it has a good ‘meditation’ appeal, which is a good quality for a pipe J.  Yet, truth be known, I’m not a fan of the black finish.  To me it is plain and stark – it lacks depth and interplay with the tight, crisp rustification patterns.   I decide to continue scrubbing the surface with Murphy’s Soap to remove the remaining glossy spots but to leave the black hue in place.  After Murphy’s, I use some isopropyl 95% with a cotton pad and work on the glossy areas.  While not 100% gloss free, the last picture shows sufficient progress.  I will give more thought to the plan at this point.  The pictures tell the story.howal17 howal18 howal19With a night of rest now fueling the thoughts, I decide to use the dark stain on the stummel as a back coat for a subtle Oxblood over-coat.  My goal is to create more depth in the rustification by introducing another hue.  I begin preparation of the stummel by very lightly sanding the top peaks of the rustification ridges with a 1500 grade micromesh pad.  I do this to create entry points for the new dye in raw briar opened by the sanding.  I’m thinking of the restoration I did with the classic rustified Lorenzo Rialto for the basic approach I’m now employing.  I want the surface to be clean so I follow the sanding by wiping the surface with a cotton pad and isopropyl 95%. I use a black Sharpie pen to darken the worn ring of bare briar around the rim of the Dublin for better blending.  I included a picture of the Lorenzo Rialto to get an idea of where I’m hopefully heading!howal20 howal21 howal22 howal23In preparation to apply the stain, I cover the Howal gold lettering stamping with a bit of Petroleum Jelly to protect it. Using my wife’s hair dryer, I warm the stummel to open the briar to the new dye. Using a cork inserted in the bowl as a handle, I liberally apply Fiebing’s Oxblood Leather Dye to the surface of the stummel with a doubled pipe cleaner – careful to cover the entire stummel and rim.  After the initial application, I fire the aniline dye and the alcohol burns off quickly setting the hue in the briar.  After a few minutes, I repeat the process to assure an ample coverage and put the stummel aside to rest. The pictures show the progress.howal24 howal25With the newly dyed stummel resting, since the Howal’s stem came to me in good condition – no tooth chatter or dents, I start wet sanding the stem using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400.  I follow the wet sanding with an application of Obsidian Oil on the hungry vulcanite.  I then dry sand with micromesh pads 3200 to 4000 and then 6000 to 12000 – following each set with an application of Obsidian Oil.  The stem looks great – that newly polished vulcanite pop is very nice.  I put the stem aside to dry.  The pictures show the progress.howal26 howal27 howal28Time to ‘unwrap’ the fired, crusted Oxblood dye I applied to the dark stummel.  I mount a new felt polishing wheel on the Dremel and set the speed to the slowest setting and utilize the fine abrasion of Tripoli compound to take the crusted layer off.  Patiently, I move the wheel across the surface in a circular motion, allowing the RPMs of the Dremel and the compound to do the work – I apply little downward pressure on the briar.  As the results started to appear, I see the Oxblood speckling I was hoping to see, but not as much.  I decide to follow by lightly sanding the rustified surface with a 1500 micromesh pad.  This resulted in the direction I wanted to go, but I wanted the Oxblood hints, beginning to peek out, to be a few shades darker, richer.  Even though I had already put away the stain and cleaned up, I decide to repeat the staining as before – hopefully to realize the results I can envision in my mind.  The bottom picture in the set shows the stummel after the second staining with Frieberg’s Oxblood Leather Dye – not looking much different than before but simply to chronicle my procedure.  The first picture, after the Tripoli then after, the sanding show the developing motif with the Oxblood and the rustification. howal29 howal30 howal31After several hours, admittedly, I was a bit impatient to unwrap the fired crust the second time around.  In the time in between, I had some time to think about the next step. My usual approach is to use a felt polishing wheel with the application of Tripoli compound to smooth briars.  A felt wheel is flatter and firmer than a cotton cloth wheel and therefore, more abrasive than the cotton cloth wheel.  With use on a rustified surface, I’m thinking that the felt wheel might possibly ride more naturally on the peeks of the raised ridges and possible do its work unevenly – at least in theory.  My usual approach with the Dremel is to use a cotton cloth wheel when coming to the carnauba wax polishing stage.  I decide to mount a cotton cloth wheel for both compounds I employ, Tripoli and Blue Diamond, and see how it goes.  With the new cotton cloth wheel mounted on the Dremel, I’m ready to put theory into practice first with the Tripoli compound.  The only problem breaking in a new cotton cloth wheel is that loose fibers run amuck and I’m covered!  I continue to use the slowest speed the Dremel can offer for the compound.  After the Tripoli, again with a new cotton cloth wheel, I apply Blue Diamond compound.  I am truly amazed at the subtle Oxblood texturing that emerges – it is working!  I find that I spent more time with the Tripoli as the Tripoli was the abrasive that created the effects of the Oxblood speckles.  Where there were none or few Oxblood accents, I focused the Tripoli wheel at that area and the highlights would begin to appear.  With the Blue Diamond I spend much less time as it was shining what was already revealed not bringing out more.  I take a picture after the compound phase.howal32 After the compounds, I hand buff the stummel with a cotton cloth, not so much as to shine the stummel but to remove residue compound powders left over.  I do this before the application of carnauba wax, also with a cotton cloth wheel, but with the Dremel increased to number 2 of 5 (being the fastest).  After reuniting the stummel and stem, I give both several applications of carnauba wax.  The only difference in technique with the wax is that with a small, Dremel polishing wheel, I am able strategically to apply the wax so it doesn’t get gunked up in the ridges of the rustification.  I keep the wheel parallel with the grain and follow the ridges/valleys as I apply the carnauba.  With the compounds, you are still sanding and ‘taking off’ from the finish, even though it’s shining things.  With the wax, you’re not taking but leaving something behind – the wax has the purpose of polishing and protecting the finish. After applying the carnauba, I decide to do one more thing to recommission the rustified Dublin.  With Rub ‘n Buff European Gold Wax Metallic Finish, which I just acquired during my Christmas visit to the States, I spruced up the Howal nomenclature.  I applied the Rub ’n Buff with a pointed Q-tip and carefully wiped the excess.  After dried, again I spruced up the area with a few passes of the carnauba wax wheel.  A few pictures show the before and after.howal33 howal34To finish, I give the stummel and stem a rigorous hand buffing with a micromesh cloth to bring out and deepen the shine.

I have a deeper appreciation for the name this rustified Dublin carries.  Understanding the past helps us to stay rooted in the present.  I appreciate better the legacy of the Howal name and the journey of the Carl Sebastian Reich family beginning in Schweina, Germany in 1887.  I’m very pleased with the results of the Oxblood finish.  In the presentation pictures below, I had to take some unusually close shots to see the subtle Oxblood highlights hidden by the reflection of the light.  To me, the finish adds depth and texture to the attractive rustified Dublin.  If you would like to add this Howal Old Briar to your pipe collection and stories, see my blog at The Pipe Steward.  Thanks for joining me!howal35 howal36 howal37 howal38 howal39 howal40


Love the shape of this Savinelli Classica 904KS Horn

Blog by Steve Laug

I have been cleaning up and restoring quite a few pipes over the holidays. I have had some free time and needed the space to relax and pipe refurbishing has always done that for me. Tomorrow I go back to the normal work week and then do some more traveling so my pipe work time will slow down considerably. I am hoping to finish a couple of more pipes this afternoon but we shall see. My brother picked up another interesting pipe for me to work on. The box he sent me before Christmas had a lot of unique and interesting pipes. This one is no exception to the pipes he sent me. I would call the shape of this Savinelli pipe a horn. It is a sandblast version that had a dirty finish and some overflow of cake and darkening on the rim. The pipe is stamped on a smooth part of the underside of the shank. It reads Savinelli in an oval over Classica. Next to that is the Savinelli S in a shield and next to that it is stamped 904KS over Italy. The stem is oxidized and there are tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside near the button. There is a crown logo stamped on the left side of the saddle shank. My brother took photos of the pipe when it arrived in Idaho Falls and before he cleaned it. The first four photos show the overall condition of the pipe.  class1class2He took a close up photo of the bowl and rim. Note the light cake in the bowl and the tars and oils built up on the back side of the rim top. The crevices of the sandblast are filled in but the inner and outer edge of the bowl look to be in good condition.class3The next three close up photos, show the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping is clear and readable. The S shield and the Italy stamp are the most hard to read but they are still readable. The fourth photo shows the gold crown on the side of the stem is also very clear.class4 class5The last two photos he sent to me show the tooth marks and chatter on the stem near the button. The oxidation is light but in the curves of the saddle they are darker.class6My brother scrubbed the exterior of the pipe and stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap and rinsed it with running water. He scrubbed the rim top to remove the oils and tars from the grooves and crevices. He reamed the bowl, cleaned out the inside of the shank, mortise and airway in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. When I received the pipe in Vancouver I took photos of what it looked like. The oxidation came to the surface of the stem and the finish looked washed out.class7 class8I took a close up of the rim top and the bowl. The bowl was very clean and my brother had been able to clean up the crevices in the sandblast. The stain was worn on the sides and top of the rim.class9I took close up photos of the stem. There are some dents in the top edge of the button and along the sharp edge of the button. There were tooth marks on both sides of the stem and some tooth chatter.class10I started the restoration process by working on the bowl. I wiped it down with alcohol and cotton pads to remove and dirt or grime. After it was cleaned off I restained it with brown aniline stain, flamed it and repeated the process until the coverage and colour were even and what I was looking for on this particular blast.class11 class12When the finish was dry I lightly buffed it with a shoe brush. I took photos of the bowl after the staining.class13 class14I hand waxed the bowl with Conservator’s Wax and buffed it harder with a shoe brush. I was able to raise the shine on the bowl and it was beginning to look better and better.class15 class16I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded the remainder of the stem at the same time to break up the oxidation. I was careful around the crown logo on the stem side. While the gold stamp was light the stamping itself was deep in the vulcanite and would be easy to restore once the stem was clean.class17I decided to scrub the stem with the Before & After Stem Deoxidizer and pipe stem polish starting with gritty DeniCare polish and then using Before & After’s Fine and Extra Fine Stem polish. While it cut through the oxidation on the flat and round portion of the stem it did not work as well in the curves of the saddle. I took photos of the stem after spending about an hour scrubbing the stem with the polishes. You can see the shadows of oxidation that still needed to be dealt with.class18 class19I used Rub’n Buff European Gold to rework the stamping in the crown on the side of the stem.class20I worked over the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads. After the last set of pads I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry.class21 class22 class23I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I gave the bowl another coat of Conservator’s Wax and buffed the bowl and stem with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a great looking pipe that has a lot of life in it. It should be a good addition to someone’s rack and provide years of good smokes. Thanks for looking.class24 class25 class26 class27 class28 class29 class30 class31 class32

One of my favourite GBD Shapes and Finishes – a Prehistoric 269 Bulldog

Blog by Steve Laug

After refurbishing a lot of pipes over the years I have come to opinions about pipe brands and shaped. To my eye certain brands really get a certain shape and really nail it perfectly. To me the GBD Bulldog, shape 269 is one of those shapes. To me it is the quintessential straight shank bulldog. Others do it well but GBD absolutely gets the shape. Add to that fact that certain finishes have also grown on me over the years and one of those is the GBD Prehistoric sandblast. You combine the finish and the shape components on this pipe and I have a real beauty on the restoration table today. My brother is also becoming a die-hard GBD fan so when he saw this one he decided it was one to go after. Needless to say he got it. He took some photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up to send up to me in Vancouver. I have included those below.gbd1The finish on the pipe looks to be in excellent condition. Later close-up photos will show the grime and dust in the grooves and crevices of the sandblast but there are no chips or nicks in the briar. The bowl had remnants of tobacco in the bottom and the cake had overflowed on to the rim top. The curved bevel of the Prehistoric smooth rim was thickly tarred and caked. It was hard to tell from the photos if there were any nicks or deep scratches in the rim. I have found that the thicker the cake and tars on the rim the more likely it is that I will find the rim to be pretty pristine underneath. The stem was deeply oxidized and the GBD logo insert on the stem had been buffed to death but the fit of the stem to the shank was perfect. There was only light tooth chatter and a few scratches on the top and underside of the flat portion of the stem. The photo below gives a clear picture of the condition of the rim and the cake in the bowl.gbd2The sand blast on the heel of the bowl was deep and craggy and the contrast of browns in the stain really highlighted the layered look of the blast.gbd3The stamping on the left underside of the shank in a smooth panel is very readable and sharp. It reads GBD in the oval over Prehistoric in Germanic script. Next to that it reads London England over the shape number 269. The second photo below shows the over buffed roundel in the stem. It is still readable but is quite flattened and broadened. I will have to see if I can clean that up a bit in the process of the restoration – or at least not damage it any further.gbd4The next two photos show the top and underside of the stem. The oxidation is quite heavy and deep in the vulcanite. There is some light tooth chatter and scratches on the stem near the button and on top of the button on both sides but no deep tooth marks.gbd5My brother is getting really good at cleaning up these old timers and I have to say I am getting spoiled at getting pipes that I don’t have to ream and scrape to clean before I can start the restoration process. In this case he scrubbed the briar with Murphy’s Oil Soap and got rid of the grime and dust in the crevices and removed most of the buildup on the rim top. He reamed the bowl and scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. When I received it the pipe was clean and ready to restore. The briar was dry from the scrubbing and the removal of all of the oils. It appears to have lost some of the rich colour but I have learned that once I begin to work on it the life begins to come back to the briar so I was not too concerned. The oxidation had also really risen to the surface of the stem and looked ugly. I took the next four photos to show what the pipe looked like when it arrived.gbd6 gbd7I took a closeup photo of the rim top to show what it looked like when I received it. He had been able to remove the buildup and caking on the rim but there was still some darkening that needed to be dealt with. I also took closeup photos of the stem to show how the pitted and oxidized surface looked before I started. This was going to be a tough stem to clean up.gbd8 gbd9I decided to start with the rim top. I started polishing it by wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped it off with a damp cotton pad and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. The rim began to take on its original sheen and the darkening and rim damage was removed.gbd10I gave the bowl a light rub down with olive oil and it absorbed it quickly into the dry and lifeless feeling briar. I buffed it by hand with a soft microfiber cloth and took the next set of photos to show what a little oil will do to a dry and thirsty finish.gbd11 gbd12I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper being very careful around the GBD roundel on the stem. I was able to remove much of the surface oxidation on the stem and I started to see the black stem peeking through.gbd13I decided to try several of the stem polishes I have around here to try to break through the oxidation. I started with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish which is a very gritty and cuts through the oxidation and helps polish the stem. I followed that with the Before & After Polishes which are also gritty but each of them the Fine and the Extra Fine are less so than the Denicare polish. While they worked well overall and cut through a lot of oxidation it took much scrubbing with cotton pads to polish it to the place the stem is in the photo below.gbd14I still needed to polish the stem further with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed it down after each set of three pads with Obsidian Oil. After the last set of pads I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. gbd15 gbd16 gbd17I buffed the bowl rim and the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to shine it further. I gave the stem and the bowl rim multiple coats of carnauba wax on the wheel and hand applied Conservator’s Wax to the sandblast bowl sides and shank. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad, carefully buffing around the stamping and the brass roundel on the stem. The finished pipe is shown in the photos that follow. The overall appearance of the pipe is very good. In some of the close up photos the light shows me some spots along the crease of the button where the stubborn oxidation did not all come clean. Ah well. It is one of those that I think I will revisit repeatedly over the course of its life with me. Thanks for journeying with me on this troublesome oxidation removal process. Thanks for reading. gbd18 gbd19 gbd20 gbd21 gbd22 gbd23 gbd24 gbd25

An Estate Sale Find – A Castello Sea Rock SC 54P Bulldog

Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff is truly the king of estate sale, junque store and antique store pipe finds. He seems to have not only developed an eye for a good pipe but seems to have an uncanny ability to find them. A few months back now he messaged me from an estate sale he had gone to near Boise, Idaho. He had driven to the town the evening before so he was first in line for the sale. He found some great pipes in that sale and on that trip. I wrote about the finds he came home with on that trip in a previous blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2016/10/31/sometimes-you-just-get-lucky-an-amazing-pipe-hunt/). This little Castello Sea Rock 54P Bulldog came home with him on that trip. From his description and the photos that he sent along the pipe showed lots of promise. The Sea Rock Finish was dirty and the crevices had dust in them. The rim was tarred with overflow of cake from the heavily smoked bowl. The pipe seemed to sport an after factory band as there were no Castello marks on the silver. The stem was in good shape though it had tooth marks on the top and bottom sides next to the button. It had the diamond logo on the side of the saddle stem which I knew meant it was made for the United States market.castello1My brother took some close up photos of the rim top and the cake in the bowl to show what it looked like when he found it. You can see how thick the cake is and how much of the rim rustication has filled in with the overflow.castello2Other than being dirty, the finish was in very good shape. There were no chips of dings in the surface of the rim or on the bowl or the shank.castello3The silver band was tarnished and seemed to have some flaking on the surface. I am not sure if the silver plate is peeling or if it is just left over remnants of the sticky tag that had been there with the price. The stamping was very clear on a smooth patch on the left underside of the diamond shank and read Castello over SC Sea Rock Briar. Underneath that and to the left it read 54P (which is the shape number) and Made in Cantu over Italy. The underside of the left side of the Lucite stem also had stamping that read Hand Made over Castello and the number 5. The stamping of Hand is faint though it can be seen with a magnifying glass.castello4The fit of the stem against the shank was off – it looked as if the mortise was filled with oils and had pushed the stem out. It did not fit snugly against the shank. The faux diamond circle on the saddle portion of the stem is also visible in the photo below. The second photo below shows the debris on the silver band and the grime in the rustication of the shank.castello5The last two photos that my brother sent show the condition of the stem. It is hard to see the tooth marks near the button on both sides of the stem but you can see the chatter on the underside and the “gunk” (technical term) that had built up in the corners of the slot in the button.castello6Before I worked on the pipe I wanted to do a bit of research to see if I could shed some more light on the pipe I had in hand. I learned from the pipephil website that the rhinestone logo was originally on pipes for the US market. There was no hint as to why that was done only that it was and that it is occasionally still used http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-castello.html

I have an older article called PCCA’s Castello Grade & Style Guide. It was written by Robert C. Hamlin (c) 1988, 1992, 1994. Robert gathered some remarkable information on the Castello lines and I have often used his guide in the past to give me pertinent data. There I found more information regarding the shiny logo on the side of the stem.

“American logo’d Castello pipes use a small round “Diamond” (referred to and looking like, but it is NOT actually a diamond) inlaid into the mouthpiece. This was originally done so that the standard Castello white bar logo did not conflict with another brand and logo that was sold by Wally Frank called the “White Bar Pipe” (in the 1950’s).”

The above quote and the remainder of those following come from the same article by Robert Hamlin. You can read the full article at the following link: http://www.pipes.org/BURST/FORMATTED/196.016.html

I read further in the article to help me understand the stamping on the underside of the shank. My knowledge of Castello pipes is pretty limited so when I get one to restore I resort to this article and others to try to make heads or tails of the stamping. First of all I had no idea what the SC stamped ahead of the Sea Rock Briar stamping meant. I had seen Castello’s with the signature of Carlo Scotti on them but not this stamping. Robert gave me the information I needed.

“Older Castello pipes will usually include the “REG No.” and have the letters “SC” stamped as a part of the nomenclature. The SC stamp was for Scotti, Carlo (in Italy all names are listed last, first). Today the full name of Carlo Scotti, contained in a small oval, has replaced the SC stamp.”

I learned that the Sea Rock Briar stamp also signified something and told me more about the pipe. Robert pointed out:

“SEA ROCK [Carved Black or dark brown]: This is the lowest grade of the Castello line and is the most common in the USA. Sea Rocks are produced by taking a smooth bowl that has not been “final finished” and surface carving the finish with tools. This “carved” finish is then evened out using a steel wire brush, stained and then waxed. The Natural Vergin carved finish is left unstained and unwaxed as a rule, although we have seen waxed and partially waxed “Vergins”.” 

The remaining mystery for me was the meaning of the stamping on the stem. I of course understood the Hand Made and the Castello stamping but the number 5 was a mystery to me. I was not sure what it referred to. So once again Robert’s article gave me the information I needed to understand that last piece of the mystery.

“#2: All Castello standard shaped pipes have a number (3, 4, 5 or 6) stamped on the mouthpiece or sometimes on the lucite ferrule. What does this number mean? Not much really, it is the number of the size for the proper straw tube or reed that fits the shank and stem of the pipe. These straw tubes are rarely used in the United States. The Castello reed is considered superfluous and useless to most, but with this number you will always know which one fits (the different numbers have to do with length, not diameter).”

When the pipe arrived in Vancouver it was inside of a Castello suede bag missing only the drawstrings at the top. It bore the classic Castello Castle logo and reading Pipa Castello di Carl Scotti Cantu (Italy) stamped on the front in brown paint/ink. castello7I tipped the pipe out of the bag to see what my brother had done with it. He had written and warned me that he had done a minimal clean up on the pipe as he did not want to damage it. I was not sure what I would see when I removed it from the bag. The four photos below show the state of the pipe when it arrived.castello8 castello9Examining the pipe closely I could see that he had reamed the bowl and cleaned up the rim to remove the tars and oils that had overflowed onto the top of the rim. He had also cleaned the finish on the pipe quite nicely. The internals were cleaner but would need some more work but the pipe looked pretty good.castello10I took some photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. In the first photo of the top, you can see the tooth mark neat the button and the one on the top edge of the button. In the second photo you can see the damage to the underside of the stem near the button and on the top of the button there as well.castello11I used a brass bristle tire brush to clean up the small particles that still remained in the grooves on the rim of the bowl. It did not take too much to remove what was left and leave the rim clean.castello12I wiped off the sticky spots on the silver band with a little alcohol on a cotton pad. I could see that the band had been stamping diagonally in several places with letters from the word silver but that none of them spelled it out completely. I was pretty certain from Robert’s article above that the silver band was after market and may be part of a repair to a cracked shank. Cleaning the pipe further would either confirm or deny that assumption on my part. I polished the band with micromesh sanding pads from 1500-12000 grit pads. The polished band is shown in the photo below.castello13I sanded the tooth marks out on both sides of the stem at the button using 220 grit sandpaper and also sanded the damage to the button surface itself. There was also slight damage to the slot itself on the end of the button. I sanded the slot and cleaned up the damaged areas there. castello14I used micromesh sanding pads to polish the newly sanded areas on the Lucite stem surface. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and wiped the stem down with a damp cotton pad. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with the damp pad several times throughout the process. In doing so I was able to remove all signs of the damage to stem in those spots along the edge and top of the button.castello15 castello16 castello17With stem exterior finished other than buffing I ran a pipe cleaner with alcohol through to remove any sanding debris from my clean up and sanding of the surface and the slot. It was remarkably clean.castello18I cleaned out the shank with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs to remove the tars and oils that kept the stem from properly seating against the end of the tenon. It was pretty thickly tarred and took some scrubbing to remove the grime. While I was cleaning the interior of the grime I found what I had surmised was under the band. The end and inside of the mortise revealed a small crack underneath the grime. It looked like it had been repaired somewhere along its life. The end of the crack on the shank end was the worst part of the damage. The hairline crack on the exterior of the shank – almost an underline of the word Cantu showed signs of having been glued and clamped until it sealed. That settled my question regarding the purpose of the aftermarket silver band on the shank.castello19 castello20With the internals cleaned and the crack examined with a lens and deemed solid I polished the silver band with a jeweler’s cloth to further remove any remnants of tarnish and give it a deeper shine and protection. I hand waxed the bowl with some Conservator’s Wax and buffed it with a shoe brush to raise the initial shine on the briar. The photos below show the bowl after the waxing and polishing.castello21 castello22I put the stem in place in the shank. The fit was perfect and it sat snuggly against the end of the mortise as it did when it left Cantu. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel avoiding the silver band and the briar. I waxed the stem with carnauba wax on the wheel and buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is truly a beautiful little bulldog. The shape and the rustication make it a pleasure to hold in the hand. It fits snuggly with my thumb curled around the back of the bowl and the rest of the fingers holding the bowl. The finish is extremely tactile and should be interesting in hand as the bowl heats up during smoking. For me there is absolutely nothing lacking in the design and form of this old Sea Rock Briar and I think it will be one I hang onto. Thanks for walking with me through the restoration process.castello23 castello24 castello25 castello26 castello27 castello28 castello29 castello30 castello31