Custombilt Saddle Grain


Now after two month’s of dealing with a medical annoyance doctor’s have put me on a cocktail of meds to control my chronic hives and angioedema. The swelling in my hands has finally subsided so I can now get back to my refurbishing projects.

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 Starting the New Year off right .The Custombilt pipes that I received in November from fellow blogger Clint of Pipe Scoundrel were all in pretty nice shape. First up a large Rich Era Custombilt saddle grain billiard, its the first saddle grain Custombilt in my collection. 

 

Pipe as received.

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Overall she’s in nice shape some tar build up around the rim , chunky brittle cake, some red and white paint embedded in the crags. The stem had a few impressions as well.

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I started off with the stummel and set the stem aside to work on later. The chamber had a thick, uneven, crumbling cake and would have to go. Starting with the smallest attachment my Castleford reamer had to offer and working up to the largest that the chamber would except I removed the tired cake bring it back to briar. The chamber was free of any signs of a burn out. I finished up with 400 grit paper to smooth things out.

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My attention now turned to the rim. Caked with tar, paint and char. I applied a generous amount of Method wood for good polish to the rim and set aside to penetrate the built up. After allowing the polish to soften the build up I worked on the rim with a children’s tooth brush, makeup pads and Q-tips until the build up was removed. When I run into a tough build up I’ll leave the stummel upside down on a Method polish soaked makeup pad for 20 minutes.

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With the build up removed I could concentrat on the rim char. Using worn miro-mesh I was able to remove most of the rim darkening.

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There were a few dings in the rim after the tar and char was removed. I used a hot iron and damp rag to steam out the imperfections.

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The internals needed a good cleaning, I ran it though a retort using EverClear. I used a mortise brush, shank brush, Q-tips, cotton balls and hard/soft pipe cleaners to remove the debris.

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Next the externals, I started with Method polish but would need something stronger to remove the red and white oil based paint and what I think is blacktop crack filler for driveways. I used EverClear and Q-tips to remove the gunk.

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There was one scratch on the outside of the bowl that would need filling. I cleaned the area of work with EverClear and a Q-tip, filled the imperfection with Gorilla Glue and briar dust and left to dry. After drying I removed the excess glue and dust with miro-mesh. I restained the area with touch markers and wiped away the excess with an alcohol dampened rag.

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I now applied Howard’s butcher block conditioner with a rag and let it penetrate for 10 minutes , hand buffing off the excess with a clean rag.

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With the stummel complete now on to the stem, starting first with non-bleach Soft Scrub to remove the oxidation. I applied a generous amount using a children’s toothbrush and left it aside to begin working. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color I begin to remove the oxidation with a rag and plenty of elbow grease.

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The button/bit area of the stem had a few impressions that needed attention.

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I first rough sanded the area to be repaired with 400 grit wet sandpaper and then wiped down the area with an alcohol dampened rag. I mixed thick black CA glue and activated charcoal power into a paste and applied it with a toothpick to the impressions and worn button, I taped off the button with painters tape so the repair would stay in one spot I allowed the paste to harden a bit before removing the tape and again hitting it with accelerator. I now left it to cure for a few hours.

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After my internal cleaning of the mortise the tennon fit was left loose, this happens with many of my estates. I ues jewellers pliers to expand the tennon from the inside out by heating the tennon lightly with a bic lighter and inserting the tip of the pliers into the tennon and slowly expanding the tennon until a snug fit is achieved between mortise and tennon.

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After allowing the repair to cure I could now shape the new button. Using needle files I removed the excess paste and new button began to form. I used blue painters tape to tape the under side of my needle file so I wouldn’t cut into the bit and would be able to get the file flush against the new button.

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After completing the repair I wet sanded the stem first with 1000,1800, 2000 grit sandpaper then the various gits of micro-mesh.

Complete

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Finished up on the buffing wheel with white diamond, carnauba, and miro fiber hand buff.

This Custombilt was a true pleasure to clean up and add to my collection. Thanks Clint.

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3 thoughts on “Custombilt Saddle Grain”

  1. Holy crap man I can’t even believe that’s the same pipe. It turned out absolutely beautiful. I knew these would be in good hands. I can’t wait to see the other two! Excellent work my friend. Reblogging over on my site.

    Like

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