Tag Archives: Weber pipes

Restemming and Restoring a Weber Rusticated Oom Paul


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table came to us from a pipe hunt Jeff and I did in Washington earlier this year. We picked this Weber Imported Briar Bowl sans stem at an Antique Mall along the way of the hunt. The rusticated finish was unique and allowed some nice flame and straight grain to come through in the smooth portions of the bowl. On the right side of the shank it was clearly stamped with the Weber oval logo [over] Imported Briar. The finish is smooth other than the rusticated or carved portion on the left side of the bowl toward the front. The rim top and first ¼ inch of the bowl side below the rim top is smooth as is the shank end. The pipe bowl was filthy with grime and oil ground into the briar of the bowl and shank sides. There was a lot of dust in the carvings on the bowl sides. The bowl had a thick cake and a thick overflow of lava on the rim top.  The rim edges – both outer and inner – looked very good. Jeff took some photos of the bowl to show its overall condition and shape before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the lava on the rim top. He took photos of the stamping on the shank. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable.   I turned to Pipedia to see if I could figure out the stamping on the pipe and found a good article on the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Weber_Pipe_Co.). I quote from that article below.

Carl B. Weber was a German from Bavaria. Aged 21 he emigrated to the USA in 1911. In 1938 he established Weber Briars Inc. in Jersey City, New Jersey. Later renamed in Weber Pipe Co..

The firm grew to be one of the giants of American pipe industry focusing itself in the middle price and quality zone. Trademark: “Weber” in an oval. Beside that Weber – especially in the years after 1950 – was a most important supplier for private label pipes that went to an immense number of pipe shops. Alone in New York, exactly the same pipes were found at Wilke’s, Barclay Rex, Trinity East, Joe Strano’s Northampton Tobacconist in Ridgewood, Queens, Don-Lou in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn… Nearly all pipes for Wilke were unstained and many models, for example the “Wilke Danish Bent”, could hardly deny originating of Weber.

Among others well reputed pipemaker Anthony Passante¹ worked for Weber.

Weber Pipe Co. owned and manufactured Jobey pipes – when mainly sold in the USA by The Tinder Box from 1970’s – 80’s. In addition Jobey / Weber bought Danish freehands from Karl Erik (Ottendahl). These pipes were offered as Jobey Dansk. Ottendahl discontinued exports to the United States in 1987 and in the very same year – obviously only as a ghost brand – Jobey was transferred to Saint-Claude, France to be manufactured by Butz-Choquin.

Carl B. Weber is the author of the famous book “Weber’s Guide to Pipes and Pipe Smoking”.

It was time to work on the pipe. Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I took photos of the pipe bowl once I received it.  I decided to put a brass shank band on the pipe because I really like the look of a thin band between the wood and the bent stem on an Oom Paul. I just sold and English made one that I had done that with and really liked the looks. It is purely cosmetic as there are no cracks. I smoothed out the shank end with 220 grit sandpaper and polished it lightly with a 1500 grit micromesh pad. I pressed the band in place on the shank end and took some photos to show how it looked.   I went through my stem and chose two stems that would work with the pipe. The first one was a saddle stem. I had been drilled for a filter and was quite shiny. I was not sure if it was rubber or if it was plastic. I sanded the tenon down so that it would fit the pipe.I put it on the pipe and took photos. It was slightly smaller in diameter than the band on the shank but it did not look too band. I liked the overall look of the pipe with this stem. I set up my heat gun to bend the stem. I inserted a pipe cleaner in the airway and started heating the stem surface. I checked it regularly and found that the surface of the stem had split the length of the underside on the airway. I pitched the stem and went back to the work table to fit the second stem. This time I would use a rubber cast stem that had a taper rather than a saddle. It was also virtually the same diameter as the shank end with the band. I put it on my PIMO tenon turning tool and took the tenon down to where it almost fit the shanks and sanded it by hand for the snug fit I was looking for. I sanded the casting marks on the sides of the stem with my Dremel and sanding drum to smooth them out. I put the stem on the bowl and took photos. I would need to remove some of the vulcanite on the top of the stem to match the diameter of the shank. I liked the overall look of the new stem.  I used the Dremel and sanding drum to remove the excess vulcanite from the top part of the stem to match the shank.   I put a pipe cleaner in the stem and heated it with the heat gun until the vulcanite was flexible.  I bent it so that the pipe would sit comfortably in the mouth and hang nicely. I removed the new stem and turned my attention to the bowl for a while. I would come back to polishing the stem shortly. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and into the carvings around the bowl with a horsehair shoe brush. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.    I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I sanded the stem surface to remove the scratches, Dremel marks and casting marks and blend them into the surface of the vulcanite with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing of the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.   I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.  This Weber Imported Briar Rusticated Oom Paul came out really well with the brass band and the new stem. The briar and vulcanite stem taper make for a great looking pipe now that it has been restored and restemmed. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Weber Oom Paul fits nicely in the hand and hangs well in the mouth. Once it is packed with tobacco and fired up I am sure that it will feel great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Rebirthing a Weber Blackthorne Sandblast 115 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue is another mystery pipe to me. I took it in a trade for some repair work I am sure but I am not sure when I received it or who it came from. This one is a sandblast Billiard pipe with a tapered stem. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and clearly reads Blackthorne arched over Weber in an oval. That is followed by Imported Briar [over] the shape number 115. The taper stem is vulcanite and has metal inserted Weber oval logo on the left side. I think that this will be another nice looking piece once it is cleaned up. The bowl is thickly caked with a thick overflow of lava on the rim top. The top and edges of the bowl look good but I would be more certain once I reamed and cleaned it. The exterior of the briar was dirty with grime and dust. The stem has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides. It is lightly oxidized, calcified and dirty. I took photos of the pipe before my cleanup work They tell the story and give a glimpse of the promise that I see in this pipe. I took a photo of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl, the lava on the rim top and the inner edge.  The stem was a very good fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. It also shows the tooth marks on the stem and on the button surface.  I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is faint but readable in the photo below and is as noted above.I turned to Pipedia to see what I could learn about the Blackthorne pipe line made by Weber Pipe Company (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Weber_Pipe_Co). I have included a page from a catalogue shown in the article.I expanded the section from the above page that was about the Weber Blackthorne pipe. It reads as follows:

This Weber Blackthorne is striking in its individual beauty, extreme lightweight and cool smoking. And at just $5 it’s a value you can’t beat anywhere.

After the fine, age-old imported briar is turned, each bowl is subjected to a raging sand storm. This etches away all soft briar leaving a hard, durable lightweight bowl of rare beauty and sweetness. Note extra wide blue-black, satin smooth vulcanite stem, dry smoking condenser tube and a bowl lining of activated charcoal.

I love the description as it truly captures the beauty of the Weber Blackthorne pipe. It is also one of the first pipes I restored many years ago. The pipe is lightweight and well blasted. It looks very good. Now it was time to work on it.

I have to tell you I am spoiled with having Jeff do all the heavy clean up work on pipes. I almost forgot that on this one and started to work on the finish. I stopped myself when I realized I was working with a dirty pipe. I reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe reamer to remove the cake as a whole. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and finished by sanding the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel. I removed the stinger apparatus from the stem and put the stem in a bath of Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover made by Briarville Pipe Repair and Restoration Company. It soaked while I worked on the bowl. After about 30 minutes of soaking I removed it from the bath and dried it off with a paper towel and wiped away the oxidation.I scrubbed the interior of the bowl shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the surface of the bowl. I rinsed the bowl off with running water to remove the grime and the soap. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.    

With both parts of the Weber Blackthorne 115 Sandblast Billiard finished, I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax 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 mixed black and brown sandblast finish 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 Weber Billiard. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This beautiful billiard will be going onto the rebornpipes store. If you would like to purchase it and carry on the legacy of the previous pipe smoke send a message or an email to me. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this older American Made pipe.

Weber Scoop Junior Restemmed and Renewed


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is pictured below. The stamping is faint on the left side of the shank but it reads Weber in and oval over Scoop Junior. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Imported Briar. I decided to do a bit of reading on Weber pipes. I looked on Pipedia and found the following information.

Carl B. Weber was a German from Bavaria. Aged 21 he immigrated to the USA in 1911. In 1938 he established Weber Briars Inc. in Jersey City, New Jersey – later renamed the Weber Pipe Co. The firm grew to be one of the giants of American pipe industry focusing itself in the middle price and quality zone. Trademark: “Weber” in an oval. Beside that Weber – especially in the years after 1950 – was a most important supplier for private label pipes that went to an immense number of pipe shops. In New York alone for example, exactly the same pipes were found at Wilke’s, Barclay Rex, Trinity East, Joe Strano’s Northampton Tobacconist in Ridgewood, Queens, Don-Lou in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Nearly all pipes for Wilke were unstained and many models, for example the “Wilke Danish Bent”, could hardly deny originating of Weber. Among others well reputed pipemaker Anthony Passante worked for Weber.

Weber Pipe Co. owned and manufactured Jobey pipes – when mainly sold in the USA by The Tinderbox from 1970’s – 80’s. In addition Jobey / Weber bought Danish freehands from Karl Erik (Ottendahl). These pipes were offered as Jobey Dansk. Ottendahl discontinued exports to the United States in 1987 and in the very same year – obviously only as a ghost brand – Jobey was transferred to Saint-Claude, France to be manufactured by Butz-Choquin. Carl B. Weber is the author of the famous book “Weber’s Guide to Pipes and Pipe Smoking”.

This particular Weber was a shape that he made famous. I have had several different version of this pipe – mostly straight or ¼ bent and all were rusticated with Weber’s recognizable rustication. This one was different – it was smooth, with no fills and very interesting grain. The bottom of the bowl and shank was beautiful cross grain; the sides were a mix of grain and some stunning birdseye. The finish was shot and the briar was weathered and dry. There were two fine cracks on the rim at 7 and 11 but they did not extend into the bowl – more like hairline cracks. The flat rim and the crowned portion above the parallel lines encircling the bowl was almost tiger striped. The parallel lines were filled with dust and grime. It had a broken cake in the bowl and had been repaired at some point in its history with pipe mud to build up the bottom of the bowl at the airway. The end of the shank had some small nicks on both sides and the bottom edge that would make lining up a stem for a tight fit difficult but not impossible. The bowl did not come with a stem so a stem would have to be fit and shaped.
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The only stem I had in my box of stems was a chunky saddle bit that would work but would need to have major adjustments in terms of diameter. I turned the tenon on a PIMO tenon turning tool until the stem fit snuggly in the shank of the pipe.
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You can see from the next series of photos that the stem was far too wide in diameter and would need to be trimmed to size for a good fit against the shank.
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Before I worked on the stem I decided to do a bit of clean up on the bowl. I quickly reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer. I used the largest cutting head to ream the bowl.
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I lightly topped the bowl on a piece of sandpaper to remove the damage and the hard buildup on the surface of the rim.
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I wiped the bowl down with acetone on cotton pads to remove the damaged finish. I sanded the bowl with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge to smooth out the rough spots on the bowl and to further remove the finish.
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I trimmed the diameter of the stem with a sanding drum on a Dremel. A steady hand is essential in doing this to get close to the shank of the pipe but not nick it with the fast moving drum. I generally do this in several stages to get it even and the alignment with the sides and top of the shank correct. I also take as much off as possible with the Dremel so that the hand sanding is really fine tuning the shape of the stem.
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When the majority of the excess material has been removed with the Dremel I continue shaping the stem with 220 grit sandpaper squares. I sand until the marks from the Dremel are gone and the sides of the stem align with the line of the shank on each side. I want a good flow between the shank and the stem. I also sand the junction of the shank and stem until the flow is also correct. It takes a lot of sanding to get it to the place where the transitions are smooth and the old round chunky stem is a thing of the past.
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Once I had the stem fitted there was still fine tuning to do to it. There were still scratches and marks on the saddle and the sides of the stem. The sides of the stem were too thick and needed to be thinned and shaped. However, I decided to change my pace a little and stain the bowl with a black aniline stain undercoat. I applied it and flamed it several times until the coverage was even.
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When the stain was dry I wiped the bowl down with acetone on a cotton pad to remove some of the top black stain, while leaving it deep in the softer parts of the briar – the grain. I repeated the process until much of the black top coat was gone and the grain began to stand out on the bowl. It still would require some sanding and buffing to remove all that I wanted to remove before I applied a second coat of stain – an oxblood colour that would really set off the grain in this pipe.
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Before calling it a night I decided to bend the stem so I set up a heat gun and heated the stem until the vulcanite was pliable. Once it was soft I bent it over a wooden rolling pin that I use to keep the bend even. In this particular case because the stem was quite thick it took several reheatings until I got the bend the way I wanted it.
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In the morning when I got up I went down to the work table and gave the bowl its top coat of stain. I used an oxblood stain for the top coat as I thought the contrast between the black undercoat and the red would look good with this particular pipe.
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I set the bowl aside and went to work, letting it dry for 8 or more hours. When I returned home in the evening I worked on the shaping of the stem. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to thin it down and shape the edges on the blade. I also worked on the fit of the saddle to the shank to make sure the transition was smooth and as seamless as possible. Once I had the fit correct I sanded it with medium and fine grit sanding sponges and then my usual array of micromesh pads. I wet sanded with 1500-3200 grit pads and dry sanded with 3600-12000 grit pads.
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Once the stem was polished with the pads I buffed it with White Diamond on the wheel to further polish it and then gave it a final sanding with the last three grits of micromesh pads – 6000-12000 grit pads. I was not happy with the finish on the stem as it still showed scratches in the first batch of finished photos so I resanded it with the medium and fine grit pads to remove the scratches and then went through the micromesh pads again. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil and when dry buffed the pipe with White Diamond and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. The finished pipe is picture below. The finish came out quite nice. The contrast stain highlights the great grain on the pipe and makes the finish interesting to look at while smoking it.
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Reworking the Stem on a Weber Oom Paul


I decided to save the final pipe of the six I picked up in the states a few weekends ago for last. I knew it would take a bit more work to redo and wanted to take time focusing on it at the end of the cleanup work on the six. It was a Weber Imported Briar smooth finish in an Oom Paul shape. It is stamped on the left side of the shank with Weber in the oval and underneath it in script is stamped Imported Briar. The briar on this was in fairly decent shape and the stem was good other than a chunk that had been bitten or broken out of the button on the top edge. It was solid and the oxidation was actually quite light. The shape of the stem and the thickness of the vulcanite material left me lots of room to work with in reshaping the button. The next series of photos show the pipe as it was when I picked it up.

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The bowl needed to be reamed and the rim needed to be cleaned of the tars and build up. The finish was a dirty but looked like it would clean up easily. The stem was oxidized a slight bit and the bend in the stem had straightened and would need to be rebent after the new button was cut. The shank had a sump like the Peterson system pipes that was full of tars and grime. That would need to be cleaned out. The stinger apparatus that was a working part of the Weber pipes was tarred and black.

The next series of photos show the pipe after I wiped it down with some acetone to clean the finish and worked on the tars on the rim of the bowl. I also sanded the rim with some 320 grit sandpaper to remove the tars and smooth out the rim.

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I decided to tackle the stem first and rework the button. The first photo below shows the chunk that is missing from the stem. It was quite deep and was not repairable with my usual fixes. So in order to use the same stem I would need to cut back the stem to remove the break and then to reshape the button and the slot. The Weber slot is quite open and oval shaped so I would need to reshape the opening in the slot once I had reshaped the button. I used my Dremel with a sanding drum to cut away the broken part of the stem and to even it out until I had some good thickness in the stem material above and below the airway to work with in cutting the new button. The second, third and fourth photos show the stem after I removed the broken part with the Dremel. You can also see the work that would have to be done in reshaping the button and opening up the new slot.

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After I cut the stem I set it aside and reamed the bowl to remove the cake and even up the walls of the bowl. The existing cake was heavy in the top of the bowl and light in the lower portion. I wanted to ream it back to bare wood so I could build up a new even hard cake. I used a KleenReem pipe reamer at first to ream the bowl back (photos 1 and 2 below). The problem is that the KleenReem does not clean out the bottom of the bowl very well so I finished reaming it with my PipNet reamer and the T handle (photo 3 below). I also used the drill bit that comes with the KleenReem to clear out the airway to the bowl. It was pretty gummed up so that cleared out the airway. I also cleaned out the shank and mortise with cotton swabs and pipe cleaners and Everclear. Once the pipe cleaners and cotton swabs came out clean I was ready to work on the outside of the bowl. I have included a fourth photo in the series to show you the bowl after reaming.

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I wiped the bowl down with acetone again to remove the lasts of the grime and the buildup on the rim of the bowl. Once that was done I set it aside and began to work on the stem. The wiped down bowl is visible in the photo below.

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The next series of twelve photos shows the cutting of the new button on the stem. I used three different needle files to cut the button into the existing stem. You can trace the progress of the new button by the series of photos. I begin by cutting a straight line across the top of the stem and the bottom of the stem. I work to make both sides of the stem match one another so that the edge of the button is consistent on the top and the bottom. I do this initial cut with a flat rectangular blade needle file. I hold it firmly on the work table with one hand and work the file into the surface of the stem. Once I have the line defined on top and bottom I work the file like a carving knife against the new edge. I repeat the cut on the edge several times as the stem begins to taper into the button. I work the flat rectangular file first and then move through different flat edged files that have slightly different tooth patterns to keep carving away the vulcanite. By the last few photos you can see the shape of the button and the taper that works down the stem toward the new button.

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Once the button is at the place pictured above I move to work on the slot in the button. I wanted to open up the airway to match the other Weber stems that I have in my collection. If you can picture an American football, that is about the normal shape of the Weber slot. The next series of four photos shows the progress of the slot. I used a variety of smaller needle files – round, oval, flat and rectangular – to open the airway. Once I had it opened and shaped I used a folded piece of sandpaper (320 grit) to sand the opening and smooth it out. The last two photos show the shape of the slot when I had finished this part of the process.

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Once the slot was cut I needed to sand the stem to remove all the cut marks from the files and smooth out the surface and flow of the stem. The next four photos show the work with sandpapers and emery cloth. I began with folded medium grit emery cloth and worked through the medium grit sanding sponge and then 220 and 240 grit sandpaper. When I finished sanding with these sandpapers the oxidation was gone and the file marks were removed. The new button is very visible and the edge is well defined. It feels great in the mouth and catches nicely behind the teeth. The slot is smooth and the draw is open.

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In the last two photos above you can see that the stem needs to be bent to make it look right and hang correctly in the mouth. I set up my heat gun on the table and inserted a pipe cleaner in the stem. When I am bending a stem I do not want to put a kink in the airway or somehow collapse the airway in the process. Once I have this ready I turn the heat gun on the lowest setting and hold the stem about 2-3 inches above the tip of the gun. If you hold it to close the stem bubbles and the vulcanite can burn. I heat it until it straightens further and that gives me a good sign that the stem is pliable enough to bend. I either use a piece of dowel or some other round tool handle that has the proper bend that I am going for with the stem. I lay the heated stem over the handle or dowel and press the stem downward to comply with the bend. Once I have it where I want it I let it sit for a few moments and then submerge the end of the stem under cool water. The first two photos below show the process of heating the stem and bending it over the tool handle. I repeated this bending process several times to get the bend that I wanted in the stem. The third photo shows the stem after it has been cooled off. This was the angle that I wanted on the stem. All that remained was to do some more sanding to the surface to smooth it out.

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The next series of four photos show the pipe after the sanding has been finished. I wet sanded the stem with 400 and 600 grit wet dry sandpaper to further remove the scratches left by the previous sandpapers. I then used micromesh sanding pads 1500, 1800 and 2400 grit with water and wet sanded the stem further. I sanded the stem on the pipe be careful around the shank. I removed it from the shank to really smooth out the scratches around the saddle area of the stem. I sanded the button and the slot edges with the same grit micromesh until they were smooth and matte finished. I then polished the stem with Maguiar’s Scratch X2.0 rubbed on by hand and then scrubbed with a cotton pad. I sanded further with micromesh sanding pads 3200, 3600 and 4000 grit this time using water on the first two grits and then finishing that trio up by dry sanding with the 4000 grit pad. I coated the stem with Obsidian Oil and let it soak in before taking it to the buffer and buffing with White Diamond both the pipe and the stem. I took it back to the table and finished dry sanding with 6000, 8000, 12,000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I buffed the stem and pipe with several coats of carnauba wax to bring it to a shine.

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One of the perks of working on this pipe was that I did not need to restain it or remove the finish on the bowl and start over. The finish was salvageable and the darkening on the rim is smooth but in hand it is much lighter than it appears in the photo above.

 

 

Resurrecting an Old Weber Silver Grain Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

The fifth pipe of the six that I picked up in the antique malls in Washington State is a Weber Silver Grain Apple. It was probably the cleanest of the six in terms of work that would need to be done to bring it back to life and usefulness. The stem was oxidized and very pitted. The vulcanite was actually rough to touch. It was not the typical roughness I have come to expect in old vulcanite stems but more pitted with visible pits and ridges. There were two tooth marks – one on the top and one on the bottom of the stem about ½ inch above the edge of the button. The button itself was still very clean and the slot was the typical wide open oval that I have found on most of the older Weber pipes I have worked on. It was stamped Weber over SILVERGRAIN on the left side of the shank and IMPORTED BRIAR on the right side of the shank. On the underside of the shank there were some fairly deep gouges to the briar. The finish was not too bad just very dirty. The rim and inside lip of the bowl were very caked with tars and buildup and the bowl was caked with a light build up that was uneven around the sides of the bowl. There were also dings in the sides of the bowl that would need work. The W in a circle stamping on the stem was basically gone other than a small bottom edge of the circle. The silver band was dirty.

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I decided to start work on this refurb by reaming the bowl and cleaning the bowl and shank. I used cotton swabs on the shank as it is a wide open drill from mortise to bowl. I believe this is because of the stinger apparatus that the Weber pipes used. It creates a chamber where the smoke swirls around the stinger and cools as it is then drawn to the stem and the mouth of the smoker. Once the bowl and shank were clean I worked on the outside of the bowl. I first lightly sanded the tars and buildup on the rim and the inner edge of the bowl to remove them. I used 320 grit sandpaper and lightly worked the area over to remove the buildup and to work on the inner edge. Once the rim was free of the tars and buildup I wiped the bowl and rim down with acetone on a cotton pad. The first wipe of that can be seen in the dark stains on the cotton pad in the pictures below. I also sanded the deep marks on the bottom of the shank. I steamed them a little to raise them and then sanded them to be as smooth as possible. I could not remove them entirely as the wood fibres were broken and would not rise totally. Sanding it to make it smooth would change the profile of the bottom of the shank so I brought is as far up as I could and smoothed out the roughness with the 320 grit sandpaper. I also cleaned the silver band with some tarnish remover and a jewelers polishing cloth. The band is stamped STERLING and came back to a clean shine.

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Once I had removed the grime and tars from the bowl and shank I took it to the buffer and buffed the pipe with Tripoli and White Diamond. The resultant shine and colour was excellent so I decided not to restain the pipe at all but to leave it natural and give it some wax. The next series of photos show the bowl and shank when I had finished the buffing. The stamping is still crisp and sharp as I lightly buffed over those areas. I also buffed the stem to remove some of the roughness of the vulcanite and prepare it for sanding. I did a bit of sanding around the tooth marks and chatter in front of the button before buffing.

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The stem was in need of quite a bit of work. I buffed it to begin with using Red Tripoli and then took it back to the work table to sand it with a medium grit sandpaper on a foam back to allow me to really work with the angles of the stem and button. I sanded with that sandpaper until the surface began to get smooth and I could feel the smoothness. I then progressed to the 320 grit sandpaper and worked on it longer. It took quite a bit of sanding to remove the ridges and pits. Once I had it to that point I decided to use the Maguiar’s Scratch X 2.0 and rubbed it on by hand and scrubbed the stem with a soft cotton pad to clean off the polish and the oxidation. I then worked with my micromesh sanding pads and wet sanded with the 1500-3200 grit pads. I then used another wipe down with Maguiar’s and then used the 3600-6000 grit pads on it. The next series of photos show the stem after all of the work described above and you can still see the roughness of the finish and the pitted oxidized state of the stem.ImageImageImage

At this point in the process I started over with my sanding of the stem. I again used the medium grit foam back sanding sponge and broke up the finish. I wanted to smooth out the pits in the vulcanite. I sanded and buffed with red Tripoli and then sanded it once again with the foam back sanding sponge. I wiped it down with a damp cloth and could see that I was finally gaining some ground on the roughness of the stem. I then sanded it with some 320 grit sandpaper and dampened the stem before sanding. I sanded it until the stem was smooth to my touch. I again wiped it down with a cotton pad and was ready to move on to the 400 and 600 grit wet dry sandpaper. I sanded the entire stem with these two grits and then buffed it with White Diamond and was pleased to see that I had the oxidation beat and the pitting was minimized. I then wet sanded with 1500, 1800 and 2400 grit micromesh sanding pads, polished the stem with Maguiar’s Scratch X2.0 and then moved on to 3200-4000 grit micromesh pads. I dry sanded with these pads and then took the stem and pipe to the buffer again and buffed it with White Diamond. I brought it back to the work table and wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil and let it dry while I did a few other things. Once it was dry I finished sanding with 6000, 8000 and 12,000 grit micromesh pads. I used these dry and once I was finished I gave the bowl another coating of wax and the stem a coating of Obsidian Oil and then several coats of carnauba wax. The finished pipe is pictured in the next series of photos.ImageImageImageImage

The bowl is only finished with multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed and polished. I did not use any stain on the bowl. In the final photo above you can see the dent in the bottom of the shank that remains but the roughness of the edges has been minimized. The silver band was also coated with several coats of wax to slow down the tarnishing. I lightly buffed the whole pipe on my buffer with a soft flannel buffing pad.