The Tinder Box (Canadian)

The Tinder Box

I received this Tinder Box a few months back and wasn’t sure what way to go with it. The shape is one I have become accustomed to but this particular pipe was covered in pink putty. I originally attempted to fill the pits with Gorilla glue and briar dust but I wasn’t happy with the results. I played around with a few different rustication’s and finally found one I was happy with. 

 

The Restoration

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Other then the fills the pipe was in lightly smoked condition. A little rim build up , oxidation and chatter.

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I reamed back the cake to a suitable thickness with my PipNet reamer. The chamber was free of any defects.

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Next I moved on to the internals cleaning with EverClear , stiff/soft pipe cleaners , Q-Tips and makeup pads. Cleaning until the final pipe cleaner came out as it went in.

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I removed the rim build-up using Method Wood For Good Polish, I applied a generous  amount to the rim and allowed it to penetrate  the build-up. Once the build-up softens its easily removed with makeup pads and Q-Tips. Once the rim was free of debris I could see  more of the dreaded pink filler, this helped in my decision making and rustication would be more appealing and easier then filling multiple fills.

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Next the stem oxidation removal, I applied a generous amount of non-bleach Soft Scrub and allowed it to sit so the Soft Scrub could penetrate the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color its time to scrub vigorously with a rag until the oxidation has been removed , adding more Soft Scrub as needed. Holding the stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation has been removed.

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With the oxidation removed from the stem and the chatter waiting to be addressed , I moved onto the stummel and the rustication. I tried a few different methods before finding what I liked . Using a burr bit set I began to carve the briar with a medium round burr working in different directions overlapping my previous pass. I used a diluted stain mix , a few drops of Fiebing’s dark brown dye and 10 ml of EverClear applying it with a brush hitting it with a Bic lighter in between coats, removing the excess stain with an EverClear dampened rag. Before hitting the wheel I applied Howard’s butcher block conditioner and left it for an hour to penetrate, removing the excess with a clean rag. I added a silver band not for repair purposes but for cosmetic, I’m usually stingy with my bands but in this case it was more aesthetically pleasing.

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With the stummel complete and waiting for the buffer, I could now finish the stem. I started with the chatter at the bit end , using 800, 1000 and 1500 grit sandpaper wet, then running though the various grits of micro-mesh pads. I use thin clear plastic as a shaft/stem divider. Like the kind found in the windows of children’s toy packaging.

Complete.

 

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I finished up on the wheel with a few coats carnauba and a micro fiber hand buffing. Buffing the stem with blue compound and carnauba.

Thanks For Taking A Look.

Tim.

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Lorenzo – Not A Typical Restoration

Lorenzo Firenze Monterosa

Lorenzo pipes I’ve always been a fan of there shapes and thick walls but not so much with the use of filler a little overboard in the putty department. In the past pipes with an overwhelming amount of filler or to beat up to save the shape I’ve opted to rusticate instead of sanding and filling. I had a few in my collection but recently gave one away to my father, so when I received this thick walled Lorenzon I knew it was a prime candidate to be carved and rusticated. Its been a few years since I’ve rusticated a pipe and I couldn’t wait to get into it..

The Restoration.

 

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The pipe was in poor condition when received , it appeared the previous owner attempted to band the cracked shank or removed an existing band. The shank was cracked in multiple areas straight though to the mortise. The shank was sanded leaving an uneven fit between shank and stem. The stem had tooth impressions, oxidation and the button was chewed. The chamber was thick with crumbling cake and rim tar and char. The stummel had quite a few large fills.

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I started with the chamber reaming back the cake to a suitable thickness. The odd shaped chamber led me to use both the Pipnet and Castleford reamers. Starting with the smallest attachments and working up to the largest the chamber would accept.

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With the chamber reamed I now concentrated on the caked rim. I applied a generous amount of Method Wood For Good Polish with a Q-Tip to the rim and left it upside down on a makeup pad to allow the polish to penetrate the build-up, once the build-up is softened it is easily removed with a makeup pad and Q-Tips.

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I now worked the stem/shank portion , sanding the stem/shank flush , the nomenclature due to my sanding and the previous owners sanding was almost nonexistent.

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I now banded the cracked shank with a wide band, I worked the band part way on then heated the band with my Wagner’s heat gun and pressed the band into place using the banding tool..

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I cleaned the internals using EverClear, stiff/soft pipe cleaners and shank brushes, cleaning until the final pipe cleaner came out as it went in.

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I decided to rusticate the stummel instead of filling multiple large fills. In the past I have craved stummels on less desirable pipes or pipes that are too far damaged . I drew out the pattern to be carved on the stummel and using a rotary burr set I carved the stummel, the thick walls of the Lorenzo pipe allowed me to go deeper into the briar.

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Before staining the stummel I sanded the smooth areas with 400,800 and 1000 grit sandpaper. Using Fiebing’s Leather dye I stained the stummel. I mixed black Fiebing’s with a little EverClear and applied it to the rusticated area of the stummel using a Q-Tip. Finally I mixed red Fiebing’s with a little EverClear and applied it to the smooth area of the stummel, I now left it for a few hours to dry, I removed the excess stain with an EverClear dampened rag.

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With the stummel ready to hit the wheel I moved onto the stem. I applied a generous amount of non-bleach Soft Scrub to the stem and left it aside to penetrate the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color is time to scrub vigorously with a rag adding more Soft Scrub as needed. Holding the stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation was removed.

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After cleaning the stem I worked on the chewed button and tooth impressions, I removed some of the shallow impressions with a flat sided needle file , the deeper impressions would need filling. I rough sanded the area of repair with 400 grit sandpaper wiping down with an EverClear dampened rag. I filled the impressions with thick black CA glue and allowed to dry. I mixed thick black CA glue and charcoal powder together to form a paste to rebuild the button, applying the paste with a toothpick to the button and hitting it with accelerator to set ,I left it over night to cure. Using needle files and sandpaper I reformed the button .

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After banding the shank the stem / shank fit was off leaving a small gap between stem and shank. Using a small block of wood drilled to fit the tenon loosely , I lightly sanded the stem flat. I was able close the gap but not completely , the draw is air tight but if held up to the light you can still see a small gap.

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I now ran the stem thought the various grits of sandpaper and micro-mesh pads. Sanding the stem with 800, 1000 and 1500 grit sandpaper wet and micro-mesh 1500-3200 wet and 3600- 12000 dry.

Complete.

 

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I 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.

Thanks For Taking A Look.

Tim.

 

Savinelli Hercules 804 EX

Savinelli Hercules 804 EX

 

 

About a month ago I restored a few pipes for Clint from Pipe Scoundrel , one in particular was a rather fetching John Bessai Canadian the shape was one I was in search of myself  .
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Pipe Scoundrel’s John Bessai.
I had found a Tinder Box a few months before reviving Clint’s Bessai but it was lacking , first of all the Bessai was was a whopping seven inches long and the Tinder Box was just over six inches long , overall the Bessai was just a larger pipe and very comfortable in hand . So the search would continue.  
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Tinder Box.
A few weeks back I had my chance with a Savinelli Hercules 804 EX . From the auction photos it looked to be in good shape and very similar in shape to Clint’s Bessai . When the pipe arrived I was pleasantly surprised to see it was in fact very similar to the Bassia , same length, same general shape , the only difference the chamber was a bit taller on the Sav . 

The Restoration.

 

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She was a little rough around the edges , rim tar, char and one pretty good burn at the side of the rim. The stem had a few tooth impressions and oxidation.

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I tag teamed the chamber with a combination of old and new starting with my PipNet reamer , beginning with the smallest attachment . The PipNet reamer has a sturdier construction over the CastleFord reamer but the tip of the PipNet attachments are more blunt and in this case did not reach to the bottom of the chamber. The old CastleFord was the right fit , though the blades were very dull.

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Next I worked the caked rim , I applied a generous amount of Method Good For Wood Polish  to the rim with a Q-Tip and left the stummel upside down on a makeup pad to soften the build-up . Once the tars/oils broke up the residue was removed with Q-Tips and makeup pads.

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Once the build-up was removed I could see there was far more damage then I first thought. The inner edge of the rim was so charred it would crumble away with the slightest touch.

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I taped down 150 grit sandpaper to my desk top and began to top the rim. Once I was past the bulk of the char I sanded with 220 and 400 sandpaper. I decided a beveled rim would be more appealing and its also the same approach I took when restoring Clint’s Bessai, his pipes rim was in the same condition when I received it. I started with a flat sided needle file and began to remove the sharp inner edge of the rim, I would repeat this process a few times until I had the angle I was looking for.

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I finished the rim with 800, 1000 and 1500 grit sandpaper, removing the fine dust with an EverClear dampened rag.

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I ran a retort to remove the old tars, oils and tobacco. I would repeat this with fresh EverClear a few times to brake up the build-up.

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Next I cleaned the internals of the stem and stummel, using EverClear, Q-Tips long & short, makeup pads, shank & mortise brushes and stiff/soft pipe cleaners. Cleaning until my finale pipe cleaner came out as it when in.

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There were a few indentations that I steamed out using a house hold iron set to medium heat and a damp rag . I covered the area of the dings with the damp rag and held it to the hot iron to steam out the imperfections. I then sanded the stummel with 1000 and 1500 grit sandpaper, wiping down with an alcohol dampened rag.

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I decided to add a silver band, it was aesthetically pleasing. I heated the band and pressed it into place.

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I now mixed Fiebings red and dark brown leather dye together along with a little EverClear to lighten the mix. I applied a few coats of the stain with a bush and hit it with a Bic lighter to set the stain. I removed the excess stain with an EverClear dampened rag and lightly sanded with a worn 4000 micro-mesh pad, wiping down the stummel one last time with the EverClear dampened rag.

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With the stummel ready for the buffer I moved on to the stem. I applied a generous amount of non-bleach Soft Scrub to the stem and left it aside for the Soft Scrub to work at the oxidation. One the Soft Scrub turns form white to a brownish color its time to scrub vigorously with a rag, adding more Soft Scrub as needed . Holding the stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation has been removed.

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There were a few tooth impressions that would not respond to heat and would have to be filled. I rough sanded the area with 220 grit sandpaper, wiping with an EverClear dampened rag to remove the sanding dust, I then filled the imperfections with thick black CA glue hitting it with accelerator to set the patch, I now left it overnight to cure. The following morning I sanded the area with 220, 400 and 800 grit sand paper until the repair was flush.

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I now ran the stem though the various grits of micro-mesh 1500-2400 wet and 3200-12000 dry. I save the clear plastic windows from product packaging  for my shank/stem divider, its flexible and allows me to get closer to the tenon end of the stem for my finial polish.

Complete

 

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I finished up on the wheel with white diamond, carnauba and a micro-fiber hand buff. Buffing the stem with blue compound and carnauba.

Thanks For Taking A Look.

Tim-