Pipe Scoundrels Pipes.
Way back in February Clint of Pipes Scoundrels sent a huge package out of the blue . We had spoken a month or so before of a pipe that was in need of care but never figured out a plan. In the package a letter where he offered up a trade of sorts skill for skill, I love the barter system. In the package an incredible framed Pen & Ink work, that I watched though his blog come together. I was blown away by his skill and photos online. I had no idea it was coming my way, in person it was even more amazing, beautifully done. Also in the package a couple Pipe Scoundrels stickers ( he has a killer logo) and three pipes in need of repair/cleaning. A couple John Bessai pipes one Canadian, one Pot and an Iwan Ries a unique shape I’m not familiar with. I was excited to get to work , this was the first time I was to work on someone else’s pipes but I got side tracked and side tracked again but finally I had some time to sit and finish. Now the three are complete.
The first three photos were sent by Clint, this was the original pipe that we had talked about a few months back it was in need of a good cleaning. The shape was interesting and not one I’ve seen before. The name however I was familiar with, Iwan Rise & Co an establishment I would like to visit before I kick the bucket. There pipes were made by different manufacturer’s over the years.
Overall the pipe was in good condition. The stain had long worn to a lighter color, the chamber had a thick & crumbling cake, the stem was oxidized with mild tooth impressions and the rim had a few indentations.
The narrow chamber would need a tag team of young and old to tackle. My old Castleford reamer attachments ran a little smaller than the Pipnet set. Starting with the smallest attachment from my Castleford set I slowly worked my way to the bottom of the chamber, then working between the Pipnet set and Castleford set I reamed back the old cake. Finishing up with 400 grit sandpaper to smooth out the chamber.
Next I addressed the rim, for the most part it was free of any heavy tars, oils or charing. I applied a light coat of Method Wood For Good Polish to the rim and left it upside down on a make-up pad so the polish could soft up the residue. After allowing the stummel time to sit, the tars and oils were removed with a Q-Tip.
With the rim clean I could now work on the rim indentations. Using a household iron set to medium heat and damp rag I steamed the indentations out.
After the steam there were still a few spots in the inner portion of the rim that needed attention. I worked through a variety of sandpaper, starting with 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 until all traces of the dents were gone.
I now moved on to the internals of the stem and stummel. Using EverClear and a cotton ball lightly inserted in the chamber I ran a retort to loosen the old tars, oils and tobacco.
After the retort I did a vigorous cleaning of the stem and stummel internals. Using EverClear, a shank brush, mortise brush, Q-Tips, make-up pads and stiff/soft pipe cleaners. I worked the internals until my final pipe cleaner came out as it went in.
The stummel had one noticeable fill that the filler had crumbled away. Using Gorilla Glue and briar dust I filled the pit, after allowing the fill to dry I sanded the area with 800, 1000 and 1500 sandpaper.
Now the oxidized stem, I applied a generous amount of non-bleach Soft Scrub to the stem and left aside until the Soft Scrub penetrated the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish shade it’s time to scrub the stem vigorously with a rag until all noticeable oxidation is removed. Holding the stem under natural light will allow you to see if all oxidation has been removed.
The Soft Scrub had removed the oxidation and the stem was in good shape aside from light chatter at the bit/button area. I taped off the bit portion of the stem with blue painters tape so my sanding would remain in the area that needed attention. I started with 800 grit sandpaper wet, then 1000 grit paper wet, 1500 grit paper wet, then on to the various grits of micro-mesh -1500 mesh wet, 1800 mesh wet, 2000 grit sandpaper wet, 2400 mesh wet, 3200 mesh dry through 12000 dry. I removed the painters tape before polishing the stem with final two micro-mesh pads 8000 & 12000.
The final step before hitting the buffer was to tighten the loose-fitting tenon. I run into this more times than not after cleaning an estate pipe. I expanded the tenon by lightly heating the tenon with a Bic lighter and slowly inserting the end of a round tip pair of jewelry pliers. Repeating until a snug fit between tenon and mortise is achieved. When using this method to expand the tenon take care not to over or under heat, over heating causes melting, burning or a misaligned tenon , under heating will cause a cracked tenon.
Finished up on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats of carnauba and micro- fiber hand buffing. Buffing the stem with blue compound and carnauba.
Thanks again Clint I thoroughly enjoyed restoring these estates. I still think I got the better side of the deal.