Scoundrels – John Bessai Canadian


Pipes 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 of 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 wasn’t 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.

Seven inches long, beautiful grain and very comfortable in the hand. That’s the John Bessai Canadian, this was the final pipe I redid for Clint. History of John Bessai (thanks to jguss from pipesmagazine forum)

The Restoration.


The Canadian was in nice shape, to be honest I was saving the best for last and what I thought would the easiest but I’ve been wrong before. Aside from the deep tooth impressions and a small burn on the side of the rim, the pipe was pretty clean. Light build up on the rim and two spots that would need filling.


Starting with the chamber and my PipNet reamer I took the cake back to a suitable thickness. The like the rest of the pipe the chamber looked good.


I applied a generous amount of Method Good For Wood Polish to the rim and left it to penetrate the build up. Once the build up softened it was easily removed with a Q-Tip and make-up pads.


I now concentrated on the internals of the stummel and stem. Using EverClear, Make-up pads, Q-Tips, shank brushes and stiff/soft pipe cleaners, cleaning until the last pipe cleaner came out as it went in.


The side of the rim had a small burn, topping was not an option. I didn’t want to  change the shape of the bowl.


Using 800 grit sandpaper I worked at the burnt area until it faded , it wasn’t perfect but better then loosing the shape.


There were three pits on the front of the stummel, ether they were never filled or the fill crumbled away over the years. I cleaned the area with a Q-Tip dipped in EverClear and filled the pits with Gorilla Glue and Briar dust. Once the fill dried I the sanded the filled areas flush with 800 grit sandpaper finishing with 1000 grit sandpaper.


The stain was faded and after sanding the rim and fill areas it left even lighter areas, the stummel would need to be re-stained.I wiped down the stummel with an EverClear dampened rag and let dry. I mixed Fiebing’s leather dye red and dark brown. I applied the stain with a medium paint brush, hitting it with a Bic lighter to set the stain. I removed the excess stain with an alcohol dampened rag and left it to dry.


I removed the stem oxidation using non-bleach Soft Scrub and rag. I applied a generous amount of Soft Scrub to the stem and left it to penetrate the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color its time to begin scrubbing vigorously with a rag, applying  more Soft Scrub as needed. Holding the stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation was removed.


I sanded the area of the deep tooth impressions with 400 grit sandpaper, then wiped down the area with an alcohol dampened rag to remove the dust from sanding.


This is were things got interesting, I mixed thick black CA glue and charcoal powder into a paste and applying the paste with a toothpick to the impressions and worn button, as I always do when filling impressions, hitting it with accelerator to set the glue. I left it to cure over night.


The next morning after having time to cure I began to shape the new button with needle files and file down the area of the impressions. The patch looked funny as I began removing layers, the patch began to crumble/flake and I started uncovering a ton of bubbles in the patch. So I started over and mixed a new batch of CA glue and charcoal powder. I thought maybe I used the wrong amount of something and it was throwing it off but once again the same bubbles and flaking. I didn’t take photos but I went over this process a few time before I stopped and took a look at my CA glue, the CA glue had separated leaving a thick mass at the bottom of the bottle and a watery thin liquid on top. In the end I ordered a new bottle of CA and moved on. After receiving the new CA glue and sanding the stem completely with sandpaper and the various micro-mesh pads it looked pretty good but there was a slight discoloration at the bit end.


Last thing before hitting the buffer was to add the JB back to the stem, my conventional method would be to apply Rub&Buff and simply wipe the excess away leaving a prefect logo but the logo impression was not deep enough. I used a bristle from my boars hair beard brush as a paint brush. I applied white nail polish to the logo using the bristle and left it to dry, unconventional but it came out nice.



Finished up on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats of carnauba and a micro-fiber hand buffing. Buffing the stem with blue compound and carnauba.

The last of Clint’s trio and my favorite by far, I myself am searching for a similar pipe. Thanks Clint for the incredible Pen & Ink and giving me the opportunity to work on your pipes. I enjoyed seeing them come back to life.


Thank For Stopping In And Taking A Look.

4 thoughts on “Scoundrels – John Bessai Canadian”

  1. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am with these pipes Tim. They are even more beautiful in real life. The skill and talent you have that brought these pipes back to life is absolutely remarkable. They are by far the crowning jewels of my collection!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you again Clint, they were a pleasure to work on, send em my way anytime.

    Troy- the Canadian is by far my favorite as well, I was able to get my hands on a simalir pipe by The Tinderbox, though not as long or as nice.


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