Tag Archives: waxing

New Life for a Dark “Malaga” Canadian


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is yet another pipe from the batch of pipes I am cleaning up for Alex – this one is another “Malaga” –a Canadian it is a stained version of the pipe and has some interesting grain around the oil cured bowl and shank. The classic Canadian shape is carved to highlight the grain around the bowl. The pipe is stamped on the top side of the shank. It reads “MALAGA”. On the underside it is stamped IMPORTED BRIAR. The tapered stem is vulcanite and has no marking or stamping. It is a nice looking piece much like many of the pipes Alex is picking up. The bowl had a light cake in the chamber and the rim top and edges were in rough condition. There were dents and nicks and some darkening on the rim top. The outer edges had nicks and there was a chip in the back side of the bowl. The exterior of the briar was dusty with grime and dust. The stem has a lot of tooth marks and some very deep dents in the surface of the stem and button.. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before clean up. I took a photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. The bowl had a thin cake and the rim top significant damage to the top and edges of the bowl. The inner edge of the rim seemed to be slightly out of round and showed some burn damage. The outer edge had chips and dents and was rounded. The stem was a mess. There was some deep tooth marks on the stem and the button on both sides.I also took a photo of top side of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photo below and is as noted above – “MALAGA”. The stamping on the underside reads IMPORTED BRIAR very visible in the second photo below.For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, I am also including the link to a blog that I wrote that gives some of the history of the Malaga brand and the Malaga Pipe Shop in Royal Oak, Michigan in the USA. Here is the link – https://rebornpipes.com/tag/malaga-pipes/. That blog also includes links to a catalogue and the history of the pipemaker George Khoubesser. If you are interested to learn more then I invite you to follow the link to get a feel for the brand and the pipemaker.

The bowl had a thin cake so I reamed it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to get rid of remnants of cake. I finished by sanding the bowl with a dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper until the inside of the bowl was smooth.I decided to address the damage to the rim top and edges first. I topped the bowl on a topping board using 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damaged portions of the rim surface.I filled in the damaged around rim and the bowl with clear super glue. The photos below show the extent of the damaged areas.When the repairs had cured I sanded the briar with a folded piece of 220 followed by 400 grit sandpaper. I used the sandpaper to blend the repairs into the surface of the briar and to smooth out the inner edge of the bowl at the same time.I scrubbed the bowl with a cotton pad and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed the bowl under running water to wash off the soap and the grime that had been loosened. I cleaned up the inside of the shank and mortise with a dental spatula to remove the tar build up. I ran some cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol through the shank to remove the tars and oils. I also cleaned out the airway in the stem using pipe cleaners and alcohol. I polished the rim and the outside of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. I started the process of matching the stain on the bowl to the repaired and sanded areas I had worked on. I used a Walnut and a Cherry stain to begin the match.I polished the bowl further, wet sanding it with 3200-4000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad to further blend the stain into the surrounding finish on the rest of the bowl and shank. I used Black stain pen to further blend the stain into the surface of the surrounding briar. I wiped it off with the alcohol dampened cotton pad. The photos below tell the story. I finished polishing the bowl and shank with 6000-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads and wiped the bowl and shank down after each pad with a damp cloth. The photos show the stain blend on the newly repaired areas. I am pretty happy with the results. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I buffed the bowl with a microfiber cloth to polish the briar. I took photos of the pipe at this point to show what it looked like. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the deep tooth marks and rebuilt the surface of the button with clear super glue. Once the repair had cured I used a needle file to smooth out the repairs to the surface of the vulcanite. I sanded the repairs on the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to blend the repairs into the surface of the stem. I am happy with the stem surface once that was done. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I put the pipe back together and polished both the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The oil cured finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The grain really stands out against the dark finish providing a rich contrast. The finish on the briar works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, nicely grained Canadian. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 3/4 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This Malaga Canadian will be going back to Alex to add to his rack of Malaga pipes that are in his collection. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another of Alex’s Malaga collection.

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Breathing Life into a “Malaga” Carved Ball


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is another pipe from the batch of pipes I am cleaning up for Alex – this one is another “Malaga” –a Ball or Apple with some interesting grain around the oil cured bowl and shank and some carved “feathers” around the bowl bottom. There is some beautiful grain around the bowl – almost a flame grain pattern. The pipe has not been stained but sports the usual Malaga oil cured look. The carver did a great job utilizing the block of briar to maximize the grain. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank. It reads “MALAGA”. The tapered stem is vulcanite and has no marking or stamping. This is the first Malaga Ball/Apple that I have worked on. It is a nice looking piece much like many of the pipes Alex is picking up. The bowl had a light cake in the chamber but the edges appeared to be in good condition. There was some lava on the rim top and some darkening on the rim top. The exterior of the briar and the carved areas were dusty with grime and dust. The stem is lightly oxidized and there was some tooth chatter on the top and underside near the button. The stem was in good condition under the grime. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before clean up. I took a photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. The bowl had a thin cake and the rim top had a lava overflow on the front and back side. The inner edge of the rim seemed to be undamaged but the lava made it hard to know for sure. The stem was in decent condition. There was some light pitting and deep oxidation on the stem. There was also some light tooth chatter on the top and underside of the stem at the button. I also took a photo of left side of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photo below and is as noted above – “MALAGA”.For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, I am also including the link to a blog that I wrote that gives some of the history of the Malaga brand and the Malaga Pipe Shop in Royal Oak, Michigan in the USA. Here is the link – https://rebornpipes.com/tag/malaga-pipes/. That blog also includes links to a catalogue and the history of the pipemaker George Khoubesser. If you are interested to learn more then I invite you to follow the link to get a feel for the brand and the pipemaker.

I reamed bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the third cutting head. I  took the cake back to bare briar so I could check out the walls of the chamber. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to get rid of remnants of cake. I finished by sanding the bowl with a dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper until the inside of the bowl was smooth. I scrubbed the bowl with a cotton pad and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed the bowl under running water to wash off the soap and the grime that had been loosened. I then turned to address the damage to the inner edge and top of the rim by carefully sanding it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the darkening to the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge of the bowl.I polished the rim and the outside of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove the sanding debris. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I had forgotten to clean up the inside of the shank and mortise. So I went back to clean up the internals. I scraped the mortise with a dental spatula to remove the tar build up. I ran some cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol through the shank to remove the tars and oils. I also cleaned out the airway in the stem using pipe cleaners and alcohol. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. I am happy with the stem surface once that was done. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I put the pipe back together and polished both the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The oil cured finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The dark feather/leaf like carvings stand out dark against the grain providing a rich contrast. The rich finish on the briar works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, nicely grained Apple. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This apple shaped Malaga with its unique carved surface is a new shape and carving design for me. The Apple/Ball will be going back to Alex to add to his rack of Malaga pipes that are in his collection. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another of Alex’s Malaga collection.

Rebirthing another Schoenleber Hand Made – A 31 Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is another pipe from the batch of pipes I am cleaning up for Alex – this one is another Schoenleber Hand Made – a ¼ Bent Bulldog with some beautiful grain around what appears to be an oil cured bowl and shank. The entire pipe has some beautiful mixed birdseye, cross and swirled grain around the bowl and shank. The pipe does not appear to have been stained but sports the same look as the Malaga pipes that I have been working on. The carver did a great job utilizing the block of briar to maximize the grain. The pipe is stamped on the top left side of the diamond shank. It reads Schoenleber over Hand Made. On the top right side of the shank it is stamped Imported Briar. On the right side next to the bowl/shank junction there is a number 31 which is either a shape number or size designation. The saddle stem is vulcanite and has no marking or stamping. This is another nice looking piece much like many of the pipes Alex is picking up. The bowl has been reamed and cleaned to all appearances. There some darkening on the rim top. The exterior of the briar was dirty with grime and dust. The stem deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before clean up. I took a photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. There was significant darkening on the top of the inwardly beveled rim at the back of the bowl. The bowl was quite clean. The outer edge of the bowl appeared to be in excellent condition. The stem was in decent condition. There was also some tooth chatter and two deep tooth marks on both sides of the stem near the button.I also took a photo of top, right side of the diamond shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photo below and is as noted above – Schoenleber Hand Made. On the opposite side it reads Imported Briar. There is also a 31 at the shank/bowl junction on the right side.I remember working on a Schoenleber pipe in the past and had a memory of the pipe being made for a shop in the New York area but could not remember much more than that. I quickly googled the brand to see what I could learn and found a link on Pipedia. Here is that link. I quote the article in full (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Schoenleber).

Louis Schoenleber lived in North Arlington N.J. and was an Austrian immigrant and skilled artisan in pipe making. His hand carved pipes were available in his shop, ‘Schoenleber’s Newark Pipe Shop’, at 26 Branford Pl., Newark NJ, thought to open in the 1920’s. Schoenleber’s carried a full line of tobaccos as well as related pipe smoking accessories. It’s thought the shop operated until the late 1960’s, and Louis Schoenleber died in 1976. It’s also fairly certain they may have sold to other brands such as Jelling, also in Newark and are very similar in design and finish.

There was also an advertising card on the site that I have included below. It speaks to my assumptions about the curing process and the finishing process on the pipe. It also connects the pipe to Schoenleber’s Newark Pipe Shop in Newark, N.J. It also has a comment on the fact that pipes were made to order.I started the restoration by working on the darkening to the rear bevel of the rim top rim by lightly sanding the top with 220 and 400 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the darkening and maintain the patina on the pipe.The mortise and the airway in the shank were very clean and there was even bare uncoloured briar showing on the walls and the end of the mortise. No internal cleaning was necessary in this beautifully clean pipe. I turned to polishing the bowl and rim with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove the sanding debris. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I painted the tooth marks in the stem with a Bic lighter to try to raise the deep marks. Once the stem had cooled I filled in the remaining tooth marks with clear super glue. Once the repairs cured, I filed the repaired areas with a needle file to blend them into the surface of the stem. The filing made the sanding a bit simpler as it took the excess material down to the surface. I sanded the filed stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the filing marks on both sides of the stem. I am happy with the stem surface once that was done. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. With both parts of the pipe finished, I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The rich oil cured finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The finish on the briar works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, nicely grained ¼ bent Bulldog. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This Schoenleber Hand Made Bulldog will be going back to Alex soon to join his growing collection of American made pipes. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another of Alex’s pipes.

Giving New Life to a “Malaga” Cherrywood Sitter


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is another pipe from the batch of pipes I am cleaning up for Alex – this one is another “Malaga” –a Cherrywood with some interesting grain around the oil cured bowl and shank. There was a “bald” spot on the left side of the bowl but otherwise there was great grain around the rest of the bowl. There is some beautiful birdseye grain around the bowl and cross grain on the shank. The pipe has not been stained but sports the usual Malaga oil cured look. The carver did a great job utilizing the block of briar to maximize the grain. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank. It reads “MALAGA”. The saddle stem is vulcanite and has no marking or stamping. This is the first Cherrywood Malaga that I have been working on. It is a nice looking piece much like many of the pipes Alex is picking up. The bowl had been reamed and was in decent condition. There were some burn marks on the front outer edge of the bowl and some darkening on the rim top toward the back. The exterior of the briar was dusty with grime on the shank and bowl. The stem is lightly oxidized and there was some tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. The stem was in good condition under the grime. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before clean up. I took a photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. The rim top was clean but there was burn damage on the front outer edge of the rim. There was some darkening on the back topside of the rim. The inner edge of the rim was damaged at the back side and had been poorly beveled inward to mask it. The stem was in decent condition. There was some light oxidation on the stem. There was also some tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside of the stem at the button.I also took a photo of left side of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photo below and is as noted above – “MALAGA”.For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, I am also including the link to a blog that I wrote that gives some of the history of the Malaga brand and the Malaga Pipe Shop in Royal Oak, Michigan in the USA. Here is the link – https://rebornpipes.com/tag/malaga-pipes/. That blog also includes links to a catalogue and the history of the pipemaker George Khoubesser. If you are interested to learn more then I invite you to follow the link to get a feel for the brand and the pipemaker.

Since the pipe had been cleaned and reamed by the pipe shop that sold the pipe to Alex I decided to check out the clean up. The bowl had been well reamed. I used a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to scrape out the slight cake remnants that remained. I then turned to address the damage to the outer and inner edge of the rim by topping it on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the damage and the burned areas. I also sanded to remove the darkening and burn marks on the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge of the bowl. I decided to check on the cleanup work on the inside of the shank and mortise. I scraped the mortise with a dental spatula to check on tar build up and it was clean. I then ran some cotton swabs through the shank and found that it was filthy. Upon that discovery I scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I also cleaned out the airway in the stem using pipe cleaners and alcohol. I scrubbed out the airway in the stem in the same manner.I scrubbed the bowl with a cotton pad and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed the bowl under running water to wash off the soap and the grime that had been loosened. I polished the outside of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove the sanding debris. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. I am happy with the stem surface once that was done. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. With both parts of the pipe finished, I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The oil cured finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The rich finish on the briar works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, nicely grained classic Cherrywood Sitter. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This unique shaped Malaga, one I had not seen before. The Cherrywood Sitter will be going back to Alex to add to his rack of Malaga pipes that are in his collection. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another of Alex’s Malaga collection.

Another Rebirth – A Schoenleber Hand Made 3 Canadian


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is another pipe from the batch of pipes I am cleaning up for Alex – this one is a Schoenleber Hand Made – a Canadian with some beautiful grain around what appears to be an oil cured bowl and shank. The entire pipe has some beautiful birdseye grain around the bowl and cross grain on the front and back of the bowl. The pipe does not appear to have been stained but sports the same look as the Malaga pipes that I have been working on. The carver did a great job utilizing the block of briar to maximize the grain. The pipe is stamped on the top side of the shank. It reads Schoenleber over Hand Made. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Imported Briar. On the right side next to the bowl/shank junction there is a number 3 which is either a shape number or size designation. The tapered stem is vulcanite and has no marking or stamping. This is another nice looking piece much like many of the pipes Alex is picking up. There was cake in the bowl and a burn mark on the front inner edge of the bowl and darkening on the rim top. The exterior of the briar was dusty with grime and sticky spots on the shank and bowl. The stem is lightly oxidized and there light tooth chatter on both sides near the button. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before clean up. I took a photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. There was burn damage on the front of the inner edge and top of the rim. There was a thick cake in the bowl. The outer edge of the bowl appeared to be in excellent condition. The stem was in decent condition. There was some light oxidation on the stem. There was also some tooth chatter and marks at the button on both sides of the stem. I also took a photo of top and underside of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photo below and is as noted above – Schoenleber Hand Made. On the underside it reads Imported Briar. There is also a 3 at the shank/bowl junction on the right side.I remember working on a Schoenleber pipe in the past and had a memory of the pipe being made for a shop in the New York area but could not remember much more than that. I quickly googled the brand to see what I could learn and found a link on Pipedia. Here is that link. I quote the article in full (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Schoenleber).

Louis Schoenleber lived in North Arlington N.J. and was an Austrian immigrant and skilled artisan in pipe making. His hand carved pipes were available in his shop, ‘Schoenleber’s Newark Pipe Shop’, at 26 Branford Pl., Newark NJ, thought to open in the 1920’s. Schoenleber’s carried a full line of tobaccos as well as related pipe smoking accessories. It’s thought the shop operated until the late 1960’s, and Louis Schoenleber died in 1976. It’s also fairly certain they may have sold to other brands such as Jelling, also in Newark and are very similar in design and finish.

There was also an advertising card on the site that I have included below. It speaks to my assumptions about the curing process and the finishing process on the pipe. It also connects the pipe to Schoenleber’s Newark Pipe Shop in Newark, N.J. It also has a comment on the fact that pipes were made to order.I started the restoration by reaming the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using three of the four cutting heads to take the cake back to bare briar. I followed by using a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the remnants of the cake on the walls in the heel. I sanded the inside of the walls with a dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper. I worked on the slight damage to the inner edge of the rim by lightly topping the bowl to remove as much of the damaged rim top as possible without changing the shape. Once it was topped I sanded the inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the damage and the burned areas. I stained the rim top with a Maple stain pen to match the colour of the rest of the pipe. I scraped the mortise with a dental spatula to remove the hardened tars and oils on the walls. I then scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I also cleaned out the airway in the stem using pipe cleaners and alcohol.I polished the outside of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove the sanding debris. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem. I am happy with the stem surface once that was done. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. With both parts of the pipe finished, I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The rich oil cured finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The finish on the briar works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, nicely grained classic Canadian. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This Schoenleber Hand Made Shop pipe will be going back to Alex soon to join his growing collection of American made pipes. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another of Alex’s pipes.

Restoring your own Peterson Pipe – Part 2


Blog by Steve Laug

I originally wrote this blog for the Peterson’s Pipe book that Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg coauthored and just published. Parts of it have been included in the Peterson book but I am including it here so that it can be kept with the blogs of other pipes that I have restored. Part of the reason for rebornpipes is a repository for my learning of this restoration art. It is a beautiful pipe that I am enjoying today after my work on it. Thanks Mark for including it in the book. – Steve

The second Peterson pipe that is up for restoration is a Deluxe 11S. As I did with the first pipe, I detail Mark’s comments below in italics and follow that with my own observations once the pipe arrived on my work table. Before I begin any restoration or refurbishing of a pipe I take time to look it over and get an idea of what the work will entail. I do a thorough analysis of the pipe to determine both the time it will take to restore it and what challenges I will face in the process. This old Peterson came with some interesting challenges on the stem and very few on the bowl.

Preliminary Observations:
Pipe #2. An 11S System billiard from 1973, hand cut stem, really tired. Interesting stem and button problems—none too severe. The sterling band has been removed and reglued (old glue marks still plainly visible) slightly higher; band top bent down all around mortise to allow stem to appear closer to stummel—a bit of “retro” nostalgia, perhaps. Carbon build up on rim and in bowl commensurate with pipe’s age. Bowl dark from long use and little care.

Pipe #2.The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank Peterson’s Deluxe. On the right side it is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland and the shape number 11S. The silver band is stamped Peterson’s over Dublin on the left side. Next to that is the stamp Sterling over Silver. On the underside it bears the three hallmarks, the last of which is a lower case “d” which dates the pipe as having been made in 1971 as opposed to the date of 1973 Mark noted above. A first pass over the pipe showed that the finish was in quite good shape. I was dirty and a thin coat of grime and oily dirt had dulled the finish of the bowl. The stain looked to be in excellent shape under the grime. There were no serious dents or scratches on the bowl or rim (Photos 1 – 2). As Mark noted the silver band had been removed and reglued. Not only the old glue marks showed that but also the spillage of over filled glue and the gap between the folded shank end of the silver and the briar inside the band. The gap accounted for the difference between the old glue and the new. In examining the band it appears to be beveled inward rather than bent inward to appear closer to the stummel. The band had also been put on incorrectly in terms of the alignment of the stamping. It was turned to the right about a 1/8 turn so that the Peterson’s stamp was not aligned as it was in the pictures that I looked at for comparison. The silver had one significant dent in it on the right top edge – a slight pucker outward on the side and inward on the top of the shank. I was also very tarnished, a blue black in colour making it hard to read the hallmarks. Moving to the rim I was pleased to see that it had been well cared for. The inner and the outer edge of the rim were both undamaged. The slight chamfer on the inner rim was also undamaged. The cake was broken and full of pits and holes. The back edge of the rim had a build up on it that was not too thick and would quite easily be remedied.

Photo 1 Left Side View

Photo 2 Right Side View

Removing the stem I could see a gap between the top of the shank and the folded top edge of the silver band. It matched the distance between the bottom of the band and the glue line on the shank. That explained the gap. The band had been reglued higher on the shank, possibly to accomplish what Mark noted above – to bring the stem closer to the shank. The interior of the mortise and the sump was actually pretty clean. There was no grime or tarry buildup in the shank or sump. I was quite surprised. It looked as if it had been recently cleaned. The bowl smelled of latakia and strong English tobacco (Photo 3 – 4). The stem itself was good at the insert end. The screw in plastic tip that is on the Deluxe Peterson pipes was in place and in good shape. There was one flattened spot on it but it easily unscrewed from the tenon. The top side and underside of the stem near the button were dented with tooth marks. The ones on the underside were quite shallow. On the top surface there were 6 dents and several were quite deep, several actually had broken the surface of the vulcanite rather than denting it. The 90 degree top edge of the button had been flattened by tooth marks. There was a large piece missing. It was no longer sharp and distinct. There were also several tooth marks cutting into the edges of the air hole in the button. The stem was not too badly oxidized and should clean up quite easily (Photo 5 – 6). The underside of the stem is stamped Hand Cut. The photos below highlight the areas of concern that would need to be addressed in a restoration/refurbishment.

Photo 3 Top view of the bowl and the metal cap/band

Photo 4 Bottom view showing the inner chamfering of the end of the band/cap

Photo 5 Top view of stem damage

Photo 6 Underside view of the stem

I began the restoration, as has become a natural rhythm, by cleaning the internals of the pipe. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer. It is pictured in Photo 7 as a T handle and 4 different cutting heads. I generally start with the smallest head or the one that fits most easily into the bowl. I am careful to hold the head straight up and down while I am working on the bowl as it is easy to misalign the reamer and cut the bowl out of round. I work from the smallest head that fits until I get to the one that takes the cake back until the briar is bare. When I am working on a pipe that I intend to keep for myself I like to remove the cake and start over. Photos 8 – 10 show the process of the reaming with the PipNet and the finished bowl after reaming.

Photo 7 Pip Net set and Peterson 11S before reaming

Photo 8 Peterson Bowl with #1 Pip Net head inserted

Photo 9 Peterson Bowl with #2 Pip Net head inserted

Photo 10 Peterson Bowl after reaming

Sometimes at this point I will clean the internals but the band bothered me so I decided to address that issue next. It was not only lifted about a 1/8 inch leaving a gap between the end of the shank and the end of the cap, it was also turned in such a way that the stamping was not aligned as it originally had been (Photos 11 – 12). The band was turned about a 1/8 turn to the right. I found photos of the 11S on the internet that showed the original position of the band and I wanted to bring this band back to match the position shown in the photos.  I heated the band with my heat gun to soften the glue so that I could turn the band to the correct position and also press it back into place on the end of the shank (Photos 13 – 17). Eventually I wanted to flatten he beveled edge of the band to make the surface flush once again but would do that a little later in the process.

Photo 11 Gap between end cap/band and the end of the shank

Photo 12 Heating the band to adjust and reset it

Photo 13 Heating the band

Photo 14 pressing the band into place

Photo 15 Adjusting the stamping on the band – putting it in place

Photo 16 The gap is closed

Photo 17 End view of the closed gap

I decided to clean up the band with silver polish and remove the tarnish from the surface. All of this was preparatory for the work I would do later to flatten the end of the band against the shank. In order to do that correctly I needed to clean off any of the build up so that as I flattened the band it would not have ripples or added dents in the surface (Photos 18 – 21). I use Hagerty Tarnish Preventive and Silver Polish to clean up a band as badly tarnished as this one. The jeweler’s cloth is far more labour intensive and this polish really cuts the tarnish and raises a shine. I apply it with a finer and rub it into the surface and then scrub it off with a cotton pad. Once I have removed the tarnish I finish by wiping down the band with the jeweler’s cloth.

Photo 18 Polishing the silver

Photo 19 Polishing the silver

Photo 20 Polishing the silver

Photo 21 Polishing the silver

To clean up the exterior of the bowl I use Everclear on a cotton pad. I wetted the pad with Everclear and wiped down the exterior of the bowl to remove the grime and build up. I have found that the alcohol removes the grit and grime as well as the wax that has been used on the bowl but does not damage the stain like an acetone wipe would. For the rim I scrubbed it down with the Everclear and then used a fine grit sanding sponge to loosen the hard tars that remained. I scrubbed, sanded and scrubbed until the rim was smooth and clean. This scrub down gives a clean surface to work with when doing the repair on the band (Photos 22 –27). When I had finished the cleaning both the bowl and the band the dents in the band were very visible and I knew clearly what I was working with in the upcoming repair.

Photo 22 Wiping down the rim with Everclear

Photo 23 Wiping down the rim with Everclear

Photo 24 Bowl after cleaning with Everclear

Photo 25 Bowl after cleaning with Everclear

Photo 26 Rim after cleaning with Everclear

Photo 27 Rim after cleaning with Everclear

I then cleaned out the shank and sump area to remove the tars and oils. I wanted to do this prior to heating the end of the band/cap with the heat gun. I have found that if I do not clean it prior to heating the oils and tars melt with the heat and make a huge mess of the work area. I used Everclear and cotton swabs to clean the shank and sump. It generally takes many swabs before the shank is clean (Photos 28 – 29).

Photo 28 Cleaning the shank and reservoir prior to heating

Photo 29 Shank and reservoir cleaned and ready

I took the pipe bowl to my heat gun and held the bowl shank down over the heat source. At this point I wanted to both soften the glue a second time and also soften the silver in order to be able to press it flat (Photo 30). I held it in position as long as I was able, took a break to cool the fingers and then did it a second and third time. I wanted silver very pliable. Once it was heated I pressed hard against a steel plate that I use for pressure fitting bands into place (Photo 31). I repeated the heating and the pressing until the end of the band was once again flat against the end of the shank. Photos 32 and 33 show the end of the band/cap after pressing it flat the first time.

Photo 30 Heating the end of the cap

Photo 31 pressing the cap on a steel plate to flatten it

Photo 32 After pressing it flat the first time

Photo 33 End view after pressing it flat

I then sanded the band surface with micromesh sanding pads. I started with 1800 grit and then polished the end with each successive grit of micromesh from 2400-12,000 (Photos 34 – 35). By the end of the sanding and polishing process the surface of the band is flat and relatively smooth. I was able to remove many of the dents with the repeated heating and pressing against the steel surface. In Photo 35 you can still see the few remaining dents that I was not able to remove. The overall look is greatly improved and with the stem in place the pipe looks as it supposed to in terms of the gap between the end cap and the stem.

Photo 34 Polishing the silver end cap with micromesh

Photo 35 End view after polishing

With the work on the bowl finished to this point, I gave the silver band a quick polish with the jeweler’s cloth and rubbed down the bowl with some Conservator’s Wax and hand buffed it. I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. The condition of the stem would make it necessary to use several of the tricks I have learned over the years to deal with dents, tooth marks and bite marks. Dents are always relatively easy and can be dealt with by heating the stem surface with either a Bic lighter or a heat gun to lift the vulcanite back into place. Vulcanite has memory so heat causes the surface to expand back to fill the dents and some of the shallow tooth marks. Bite marks are another problem all together. The surface of the stem has actually been cut and no amount of heat will lift the surface. A different method needs to be used to repair this kind of damage. This stem had both problems (Photos 36 – 37). There were also some divots or missing parts of vulcanite on the top edge of the button and around the opening into the airway on the button. This would need to be addressed in a different way.

Photo 36 View of the tooth mark on the underside of the stem

Photo 37 View of the tooth damage on the top side of the stem

I heated the top and underside of the stem with a Bic lighter. The key in this process is moving the flame of the lighter quickly across the surface of the vulcanite. Never leave it in one place as it will burn the vulcanite and cause more damage. Move the flame across the surface until it is heated. The lesser damaged areas will lift with this kind of heat very easily and then will need to be lightly sanded to remove the damage (Photos 38 – 39). A heat gun will be used to lift the larger dents.

Photo 38 Tooth marks after heating with a Bic lighter to lift the dents

Photo 39 Underside of the stem after heating with a Bic lighter to lift the dents

I followed up the heating with the lighter by sanding the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. Sanding has a dual purpose – it removes the signs of the small dents and at the same time highlights the areas that will need to be addressed with other methods. Photo 40 shows the top of the stem after sanding. There are three large spots that are actually both dents and cuts in the surface. The divot on the button is also very clear in this photo. Photo 41 shows the underside of the stem and the two remaining shallow dents that more heat will lift and remove.

Photo 40 Tooth marks after sanding with 220 grit sandpaper

Photo 41 Tooth marks on the underside of the stem after sanding with 220 grit sandpaper

To further work on the tooth marks I took the stem to the heat gun. I held the stem surface1-2 inches above the tip of the gun (Photo 42). Again the idea is to keep the stem moving over the heat. If it is held still in one place too long the vulcanite burns and the damage that occurs is worse than the dents. The heat lifted the remaining small dents on the underside of the stem and they were invisible after sanding. The dents on the top of the stem lifted considerably but not totally. The smaller ones only needed a little sanding to disappear. The large cut area I filled in with black super glue. I used black super glue to also build up the divot area on the button and the deeper dents and divots around the airhole (Photos 43 – 44). Once the glue was in place I set the stem aside in an upright position so that the super glue would dry and not run off the surface. Drying generally takes 6-8 hours to dry to touch. Once it is dry to touch I sand the excess away and add a second coat in the places that need more building up (Photos 45 – 46). Photo 47 shows the side profile of the button after the superglue has dried and the surface has been sanded.

Photo 42 Heating the dents with a heat gun

Photo 43 Building up the divot on the button with black superglue

Photo 44 Black super glue build up on the button

Photo 45 Super glue cleaned up with sand paper. Second coat applied to the divot area

Photo 46 second coat of superglue on the divot on the button

Photo 47 Stem profile after building up with black super glue

After I have reshaped the button and repaired the divots and cut areas on the stem it was time to sand the whole stem with the micromesh sanding pads. The sanding process blends in the repaired areas with the rest of the stem surface. I started sanding the stem with 1500 grit micromesh and worked on the edges of the button on the top side and also the ridge on the underside. I wanted these sharp edges to be clearly defined so I spent extra time with the coarser grit in order to sharpen these edges (Photos 48 – 49). I sanded with 1800 grit micromesh and further defined the edges and blended the patches into the stem surface (Photos 50 – 51).

Photo 48 Superglue repair after sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and 1500 grit micromesh. Tooth marks are also gone

Photo 49 the underside of the stem – sans tooth marks

Photo 50 – sanding the top of the stem with 1800 grit micromesh

Photo 51 sanding the underside of the stem with 1800 grit micromesh

The next series of photos (Photos 52 – 58) shows the progressive shine that the micromesh sanding pads bring to the surface of the vulcanite. Each of the successive grits of micromesh gives a deeper polish and a higher sheen. It always is amazing to me to see the difference in shine between the last four grits – 4000, 6000, 8000 and 12,000. Each one takes the shine to another level. When the sanding is completed all that remains is to buff the stem with White Diamond on the buffing wheel and then give it multiple coats of wax to protect the shine and prevent oxidation.

Photo 52 Sanding with 3200 and 3600 grit micromesh

Photo 53 sanding with 3200 and 3600 grit micromesh

Photo 54 sanding with 4000 and 6000 grit micromesh

Photo 55 sanding with 4000 and 6000 grit micromesh

Photo 56 sanding with 8000 and 12,000 grit micromesh

Photo 57 sanding with 8000 and 12,000 grit micromesh

Photo 58 End view of the button after sanding

I rubbed down the pipe with the Conservationist’s Wax and set it aside to dry for a few moments while I cleaned up the sanding pads. Once it was dry I hand buffed it with a soft cotton cloth to give it an initial shine and to highlight any areas that had scratches that I needed to sand some more before buffing it on the buffer (Photo 59).

Photo 59 Coated with Conservationist’s Wax

After hand buffing, I took the pipe to the buffing wheel and buffed it with White Diamond. The next series of photos shows the pipe after buffing with White Diamond (Photos 60 –65).

Photo 60 right side after buffing with White Diamond

Photo 61 left side after buffing with White Diamond

Photo 62 top view after buffing with White Diamond. Note how the patch on the stem surface is blended into the shine

Photo 63 bottom view after buffing with White Diamond

Photo 64 pipe in pieces after buffing with White Diamond

Photo 65 pipe in pieces after buffing with White Diamond

The next five photos show the finished pipe after several coats of carnauba wax and a buff with a clean flannel buffing pad on the buffer. The stem looks new and the shine is deep and rich. The silver has a warm glow and the briar is clean and fresh looking. The top of the band on the shank is smooth with just a few small dents that could not be removed. The rim has been cleaned and restored. It is polished but it is not flawless, it does show its age but it shows it well.

Photo 66 The finished view of the left side of the pipe

Photo 67 The finished view of the right side of the pipe

Photo 68 Bottom side view of the finished pipe. The stem is undented and looks new

Photo 69 Top side view of the finished pipe

Photo 70 Another top side view of the finished pipe

Rebirthing a “Malaga” Ras Kassa Canadian


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is another pipe from the batch of pipes I am cleaning up for Alex – this one is another “Malaga” – this one a Canadian with some beautiful grain around the oil cured bowl and shank. The entire pipe has some beautiful birdseye grain around the bowl and cross grain on the front and back of the bowl. The pipe has not been stained but sports the usual Malaga oil cured look. The carver did a great job utilizing the block of briar to maximize the grain. The pipe is stamped on the top side of the shank. It reads MALAGA followed by RAS KASSA. The tapered stem is vulcanite and has no marking or stamping. This is another nice looking piece much like many of the pipes Alex is picking up. There was cake in the bowl and some lava overflow and darkening on the rim top. The exterior of the briar was dusty with grime and sticky spots on the shank and bowl. The stem is lightly oxidized and there a line of stickiness that appeared to be left behind from a Softee Bit protector. The stem was in good condition under the grime. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before clean up. I took a photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. There was a thick coat of lava on the rim top and it was hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looked like. The was a thick cake in the bowl. The outer edge of the bowl appeared to be in excellent condition. There was a slight inward bevel to the rim top. The stem was in decent condition. There was some light oxidation on the stem. There was also a line of stickiness that seemed to be a build up where there had been a Softee Bit Protector.I also took a photo of top side of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photo below and is as noted above – MALAGA RAS KASSA.For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, I am also including the link to a blog that I wrote that gives some of the history of the Malaga brand and the Malaga Pipe Shop in Royal Oak, Michigan in the USA. Here is the link – https://rebornpipes.com/tag/malaga-pipes/. That blog also includes links to a catalogue and the history of the pipemaker George Khoubesser. If you are interested to learn more then I invite you to follow the link to get a feel for the brand and the pipemaker.

I am also am including some printed material on the Malaga brand that came to me from the daughter of George Koch to help identify the particular stamping on the pipe. The link takes you to the entire collection of materials that were sent to me. I am also including one particular page that helps identify the RAS KASSA stamping on the pipe. https://rebornpipes.com/2019/02/27/malaga-pipes-catalogue-of-pipes-and-tobaccos/

It basically says that the stamping is applied to pipes with special rare grain patterns in the briar. These appear to be straight grain, birdseye, swirled grains etc. that are tight patterns. They are rare – 1 or 2 in every hundred pipes. This pipe is one of those. You can read the description in the detailed explanation below.I started the restoration by reaming the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using three of the four cutting heads to take the cake back to bare briar. I followed by using a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the remnants of the cake on the walls in the heel. I sanded the inside of the walls with a dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper. I worked on the slight damage to the inner edge of the rim by sanding it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the damage and the burned areas. I also sanded to remove the darkening and burn marks on the rim top.I scraped the mortise with a dental spatula to remove the hardened tars and oils on the walls. I then scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I also cleaned out the airway in the stem using pipe cleaners and alcohol.I scrubbed the bowl with a cotton pad and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed the bowl under running water to wash off the soap and the grime that had been loosened. I polished the outside of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove the sanding debris. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation the buildup left behind by the Softee Bit Protector. I am happy with the stem surface once that was done. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. With both parts of the pipe finished, I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The oil cured finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The rich finish on the briar works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, nicely grained classic Canadian. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This rarer Malaga Ras Kassa will be going back to Alex to add to his rack of Malaga pipes that are in his collection. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another of Alex’s Malaga collection.