Tag Archives: estate pipes

Savinelli- Bing’s Favorite

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Bing Crosby’s White Christmas LP spinning on the hifi, growing up that album played every Christmas morning for as long as I can remember and its become a tradition I carry on with my daughter. I grew up with a wide variety of music, blues, jazz, swing, rock, punk and everything in between, my daughter has that same variety, Bing’s greatest hits is part of my daughter and my  morning ritual, its always playing as we get ready before dropping her off at school, it puts a little spring in your step. A replica of Bing Crosby’s preferred shape and style the Savinelli Bing’s Favorite is a pipe I’ve wanted to get my hands on, it reminds me of a simpler time when men were men and women left more to the imagination.

Bing’s Favorite 

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The well loved Bing had seen a bowl or two in its lifetime, a thick cake, rim overflow, chatter and someone buffed the bejesus out of the stem I’m guessing to try and remove the oxidation, luckily sparring the club and ball logo. On the plus side the nomenclature is crisp, right side shank- BINGS FAVORITE , left side shank- Italy, bottom shank- SAVINELLI PRODUCT.

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Reaming the chamber would be the first task, the chamber being on the smaller size only added to the difficulty of removing the rock hard carbon build up. When I started with the stummel I could not fit a pinky in the chamber its amazing the bowl didn’t crack under the stress. I attempted to ream the chamber with the smallest attachment that the PipNet reamer offered but to no avail the carbon was to hard and I risked damaging the rim. So I took the slow and steady approach, slowly picking away at the cake with a small pocket knife. Once I had opened the chamber a bit I tried the PipNet reamer again but the hard carbon build up was forcing an uneven cut, if I continued I would eventually dig into the briar on one side of the chamber. My third and final approach would leave the chamber free of cake, using a rotary sanding bit and variable speed drill I carefully removed the rock hard carbon I was then able to sand with 220 and 400 grit sandpaper leaving a carbon free chamber. I did uncover spider webbing along the chamber walls.

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The overflow on the rim was thick, in the past I would chip away at the build up but would risk damaging the rim itself and end up creating more work for myself. Now with thick build up I take my time, I sprayed a makeup pad with Method Wood For Good Polish and placed the stummel rim side down on the pad and went shopping with my daughter for an hour or so, when I returned to my desk I could see the Method had softened the build up. I now simply wiped the residue away with Q-Tips and a makeup pad, the rim beneath was flawless not a ding or dent. The previous owners lack of maintenance had preserved the rim, I wish this was true with all my estates.

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The internals of the pipe were much like the rest of the pipe ill maintained, I started off with my standard cleaning but my efforts would prove useless. My wife seeing the pipe cleaners and Q-Tips piling up suggested a retort “what a wonderful idea” it would seem my last few subjects were a bit relaxed and the thought of using the retort never crossed my mind. I hooked up the retort using EverClear and ran the pipe as a whole through the process a couple of times loosing the stubborn build up.

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I then proceeded with my standard internal cleaning of the stem and stummel using EverClear, stiff/soft pipe cleaners, mortise/shank brushes, cotton balls and Q-Tips , cleaning until my final pipe cleaner came out as it went in.

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After the internal cleaning I could see the spider webbing throughout the chamber walls better, it would seem the thick cake did not preserve the chamber as it did with the rim. I mixed a batch of pipe mud using cigar ash and a little water and applied it to the chamber with a finger pushing it into the small cracks. I left it aside to dry, once dry I removed the leftover with a rag.

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With the heat still pumping in the house I rocked the bowl coating once again.

(I have cut and paste the process for the bowl coating from a previous post below.)

Prepping the chamber before applying the bowl coat, the chamber was scrubbed thoroughly with EverClear during my internal cleaning but I gave it one more round with an EverClear dipped Q-Tip and allowed it to dry, removing any the loose debris from the crack with a pick. I then mixed a little cigar ash and water together to make pipe mud to fill the crack, I applied it with a finger and left to dry. Once the mud was hardened in the crack I wiped the excess from the chamber with a rag. The bowl coating is a three step process starting first with mixing the primer coat. (Step One)- I start with honey about 2.5 ml in an old medicine cup, I add activated charcoal powder a little at a time to the honey and stir with a toothpick until I get the right constancy (it will ball up on its self as the charcoal coasts the honey but continued mixing will combined the two) basically your looking for the toothpick to stand on its own for a few seconds before falling to the side of the cup. I let the mixture settle until the bubbles rise to the top. (Step Two)-I apply a thin layer of the mixture to the chamber with a small flat paint brush, starting from the bottom of the chamber and working up the side walls being careful not to get it on the rim  (If you do get it on the rim warm water and a Q-Tip will remove it just try not to get water in the chamber itself).  There will be quite a bit of primer coating leftover, I store it in a lock&lock and will keep for a while for reuse.

          I let the coating set in the chamber for a few minutes just so it looses some of its shine, I then insert a folded pipe cleaner into the airway and lay down a piece of printer paper on my desk top before moving to the next step.(Step Three)- I add a little charcoal powder to the bottom of the chamber and slowly turn the stummel in hand to coat the entire chamber any excess charcoal powder that falls to the paper can be reused. I leave the stummel aside to dry, the chamber should be a dark gray color when completely coated if any dark wet spots reappear repeat step three. When the chamber is well coated and wet spots have not re-emerge I tap the stummel lightly on the side of my finger to remove any leftover charcoal powder. In warm dry conditions I leave the chamber to cure for a couple of days before buffing the stummel, in high humidity it could take up to a week or longer. Once the coating has cured for a few days and is dry to the touch and doesn’t smear (If it does smear and appears wet again repeat step three and let dry) I’ll remove the pipe cleaner, blow out any leftover powder and wait an additional week before packing and puffing. To be honest its a pain and takes a long time to fully cure which is why I avoid it if I can but I believe the clean smooth finish is worth it. All I can say is if you decide to try this bowl coating take your time and be patient, its all trial and error.

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Next the stems oxidation, I applied non-bleach Soft Scrub and left the stem aside to allow the  Soft Scrub to penetrate the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color its time to scrub vigorously with a rag or makeup pad adding more Soft Scrub as needed, scrubbing until all oxidation has been removed. I use Q-Tips and Soft Scrub to remove the oxidation from around the button. (Holding the stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation has been removed)

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After the oxidation removal I concentrated on the tooth impressions I used a Bic lighter and lightly brushed the bit with the flame raising some of the deeper impressions. (Using this method can be risky and could result in a burn stem, the flame must be moving at all times never leaving it in one spot too long)  

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What remained of the tooth impressions after heating I removed with 400 and 800 grit sandpaper wet, I also ruffed up the surface of the button for repair. The button was worn down from over buffing and there was a small chip. I mixed thick black CA glue and activated charcoal powder together to form a paste, using a toothpick I applied the paste to the button building up in layers, I then hit it with accelerator to set the repair.

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I reshaped the button with a flat needle file, I then moved to 400, 800 and 1000 grit sandpaper wet to remove fine sanding marks and further shape the button. I tape off the bulk of the stem as it was in fine shape and I wanted to keep my more abrasive sanding in one area, I finished the bite with Micro-mesh pads 1500-2400 wet and 3200-4000 dry.

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 Before a final polish with 6000-12000 micro-mesh pads I reapplied the stem logo using gold Rub&Buff, applying the Rub&Buff with a Q-Tip allowing to sit for a moment before removing the excess with a rag. I removed the painters tape and polish the whole stem with 6000-12000 micro-mesh pads and in the process also removed any leftover Rub&Buff.

Complete 

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I finished up on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats of carnauba and a round on the nude wheel, buffing the stem with blue compound and carnauba. I hand buffed the pipe as a whole with a microfiber cloth before the photos.

Thanks For Stopping by

Tim. 

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Custombilt Hooked Bass

  The Custombilt Masterpieces and Sculptured Bowls were produced during the Eugene Rich years 1946-1952, each one beautifully carved and surrounded by chunky Custombilt rustication. The Hooked Bass I believe is one of thirteen, I have one other in my collection the Shriner’s Emblem that I have yet to restore. The Hooked Bass is the largest full bent Custombilt in my collection, with a generous 25mm by 47mm deep chamber and an overall length of 6 inches, a hardy yet surprisingly light weight pipe. This saddle bit Bilt was designed for a long relaxing smoke. 

 

-The Restore-

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The pipe was immaculate, the nomenclature crisp- Custombilt (Rich Era s) over Imported Briar and a shape stamp I have not seen before. Very lightly smoked, the chamber still held some of its original bowl coating. The stem, light oxidation, faint chatter and metal flecks thought out the vulcanite, I have many war time pipes with recycled rubber stems.

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I started with the chamber and its light cake. The largest PipNet reamer attachment was still to small for the massive chamber, I used the largest attachment and worked slowly around the inside wall of the chamber until I was back to briar. I uncovered a pit at the back of the chamber wall.

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Next the rim and one scorched area, I applied Method Wood For Good to the scorch and scrubbed with Q-Tips to try and lighten the area. When finished the rim blended pretty well. I wiped  down the stummel with a rag and Method Good For Wood, getting into the deeper carving with a soft children’s toothbrush.

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Next I moved to the internal cleaning of the stummel and stem. Using EverClear, mortise/shank brushes, stiff/soft pipe cleaners and Q-Tips cleaning until my finial pipe cleaner came out as it went in.

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After the internal cleaning of the chamber I could see the sand pit better. The original filler that had been packed in the pit was crumbling away, using a pick I removed any loose debris from the cavity, cleaning the area one more time with EverClear and let dry. I mixed some pipe mud using cigar ash, a little water and then repacked the pit. I left it to set, once dry I removed the excess with a rag.

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With the pit refilled I decided to use a bowl coating to give the chamber a line of defense while braking the pipe in. I had some premixed bowl coating in a lock&lock leftover from a previous pipe. I have cut and pasted my process for applying the bowl coating from a past post below.

Prepping the chamber before applying the bowl coat, the chamber was scrubbed thoroughly with EverClear during my internal cleaning but I gave it one more round with an EverClear dipped Q-Tip and allowed it to dry, removing any the loose debris from the crack with a pick. I then mixed a little cigar ash and water together to make pipe mud to fill the crack, I applied it with a finger and left to dry. Once the mud was hardened in the crack I wiped the excess from the chamber with a rag. The bowl coating is a three step process starting first with mixing the primer coat. (Step One)- I start with honey about 2.5 ml in an old medicine cup, I add activated charcoal powder a little at a time to the honey and stir with a toothpick until I get the right constancy (it will ball up on its self as the charcoal coasts the honey but continued mixing will combined the two) basically your looking for the toothpick to stand on its own for a few seconds before falling to the side of the cup. I let the mixture settle until the bubbles rise to the top. (Step Two)-I apply a thin layer of the mixture to the chamber with a small flat paint brush, starting from the bottom of the chamber and working up the side walls being careful not to get it on the rim  (If you do get it on the rim warm water and a Q-Tip will remove it just try not to get water in the chamber itself).  There will be quite a bit of primer coating leftover, I store it in a lock&lock and will keep for a while for reuse.

I let the coating set in the chamber for a few minutes just so it looses some of its shine, I then insert a folded pipe cleaner into the airway and lay down a piece of printer paper on my desk top before moving to the next step.(Step Three)- I add a little charcoal powder to the bottom of the chamber and slowly turn the stummel in hand to coat the entire chamber any excess charcoal powder that falls to the paper can be reused. I leave the stummel aside to dry, the chamber should be a dark gray color when completely coated if any dark wet spots reappear repeat step three. When the chamber is well coated and wet spots have not re-emerge I tap the stummel lightly on the side of my finger to remove any leftover charcoal powder. In warm dry conditions I leave the chamber to cure for a couple of days before buffing the stummel, in high humidity it could take up to a week or longer. Once the coating has cured for a few days and is dry to the touch and doesn’t smear (If it does smear and appears wet again repeat step three and let dry) I’ll remove the pipe cleaner, blow out any leftover powder and wait an additional week before packing and puffing. To be honest its a pain and takes a long time to fully cure which is why I avoid it if I can but I believe the clean smooth finish is worth it. All I can say is if you decide to try this bowl coating take your time and be patient, its all trial and error.

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Before oxidation removal I addressed the light chatter.

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Using a Bic lighter I lightly brushed the bit with the flame to raise some of the chatter. Most of the shallow chatter raised what remained could be lightly sanded away.

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With chatter reduced I moved to the stems oxidation. I applied non-bleach Soft Scrub to the stem a left aside so the Soft Scrub could begin to penetrate the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color its time to scrub vigorously with a rag adding more Soft Scrub as needed until all oxidation has been removed. (Holding the stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation has been removed.) It took a few rounds to remove all oxidation.

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Many war time stems were made with recycled rubber and contain small bits of metal spread throughout the stems material, it cannot be removed and I’ve come to except that. After raising most of the chatter there were a few spots that needed attention. I sanded the deeper impressions with 400 grit sandpaper wet and then ran the stem though 800,1000 and 1500 grit sandpaper wet until the stems surface was smooth. I locked the tenon into my vice so I wouldn’t round out the edge of the stem face and would still have a smooth fit between stem and shank.

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After the rough sanding I ran the stem through the various grits of micro-mesh pads 1500-3200 wet and 3600- 12000 dry.

Complete

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I used Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner and a Q-Tip to get into the deeper rusticated areas where the buffing wheel couldn’t reach.I then buffed the stummel on the wheel with a few coats of carnauba and a round on a nude wheel. Buffing the stem with white diamond and carnauba. Hand buffing the pipe as a whole with a microfiber cloth before the photos.

Procure- Restore- Puff- Repeat

Thanks for dropping by-

Tim.

Peterson System Standard 305

 Its funny but sometimes you can surprise yourself , when it comes to pipe refurbishing I’m my number one critic,  sometimes you should leave well enough alone before things get out of hand and you make more work for yourself. In this case I was happy with the finished pipe, I only hope the photos due it justice. This Pete is one more form the lot my wife gifted me for Christmas and so far my favorite. I wish Peterson would bring back there deep craggy rustication, the look and  feel are incredible.

The Pete.

 

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 This System Standard 305 was loved and well enjoyed, chunky cake, stem oxidation, very faint chatter, grime embedded in the crags, loose band and rim build up. So much grime had built up from handling the pipe over the years the stummel appeared black. I have a newer XL 305 and love the way it smokes so this was a great addition.

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I started by reaming the chamber with the PipNet reamer, knowing the pipe had been put though its paces I decided to bring it back to briar. I then lightly sanded the chamber with 400 grit sandpaper. I uncovered one good crack and charring in the left side of the chamber.

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Next the rim build up, I applied a generous amount of Method Good For Wood polish and left it aside to penetrate the old tar and char. Once the build up softened I removed the residue with Q-Tips and a pick to get the crud out of the deeper rustication.

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With the rim clean I moved to the internal cleaning of the stem and stummel. I inserted a cotton ball into the mortise and soaked it in EverClear, I left it aside to brake up the old tars and nicotine. After soaking for an hour or so I cleaned the stummel and stem using EverClear, shank/mortise brushes, Q-Tips and stiff/soft pipe cleaners, cleaning until my final pipe cleaner came out as it went in.

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Forced air heating is a blessing this time of year, a killer on the sinuses but great for bowl coating cure. The bowl coating I use is something I try to avoid if I can, in the summer it can take a week or more depending on the humidity to achieve the right cure but when it cures fully its smooth and rock solid.

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Prepping the chamber before applying the bowl coat, the chamber was scrubbed thoroughly with EverClear during my internal cleaning but I gave it one more round with an EverClear dipped Q-Tip and allowed it to dry, removing any the loose debris from the crack with a pick. I then mixed a little cigar ash and water together to make pipe mud to fill the crack, I applied it with a finger and left to dry. Once the mud was hardened in the crack I wiped the excess from the chamber with a rag. The bowl coating is a three step process starting first with mixing the primer coat. (Step One)- I start with honey about 2.5 ml in an old medicine cup, I add activated charcoal powder a little at a time to the honey and stir with a toothpick until I get the right constancy (it will ball up on its self as the charcoal coasts the honey but continued mixing will combined the two) basically your looking for the toothpick to stand on its own for a few seconds before falling to the side of the cup. I let the mixture settle until the bubbles rise to the top. (Step Two)-I apply a thin layer of the mixture to the chamber with a small flat paint brush, starting from the bottom of the chamber and working up the side walls being careful not to get it on the rim  (If you do get it on the rim warm water and a Q-Tip will remove it just try not to get water in the chamber itself).  There will be quite a bit of primer coating leftover, I store it in a lock&lock and will keep for a while for reuse.

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I let the coating set in the chamber for a few minutes just so it looses some of its shine, I then insert a folded pipe cleaner into the airway and lay down a piece of printer paper on my desk top before moving to the next step.(Step Three)- I add a little charcoal powder to the bottom of the chamber and slowly turn the stummel in hand to coat the entire chamber any excess charcoal powder that falls to the paper can be reused. I leave the stummel aside to dry, the chamber should be a dark gray color when completely coated if any dark wet spots reappear repeat step three. When the chamber is well coated and wet spots have not re-emerge I tap the stummel lightly on the side of my finger to remove any leftover charcoal powder. In warm dry conditions I leave the chamber to cure for a couple of days before buffing the stummel, in high humidity it could take up to a week or longer. Once the coating has cured for a few days and is dry to the touch and doesn’t smear (If it does smear and appears wet again repeat step three and let dry) I’ll remove the pipe cleaner, blow out any leftover powder and wait an additional week before packing and puffing. To be honest its a pain and takes a long time to fully cure which is why I avoid it if I can but I believe the clean smooth finish is worth it. All I can say is if you decide to try this bowl coating take your time and be patient, its all trial and error.

photogrid_1483662468237  As I was waiting for the bowl coating to cure I worked on removing the stem oxidation. I applied non- bleach Soft Scrub to the stem and left it aside, once the Soft Scrub turned from white to a brownish color I started scrubbing with a rag, the oxidation was stubborn as it is with most Petes I’ve run across, each time it looked as if the oxidation was removed and I went to the sink to wash off  the Soft Scrub the stem would instantly turn a brownish tan color and it appeared there was more oxidation now then when I originally started. I started over and went though the same process again but this time I was sidetracked and the stem was pushed back on the desk with the Soft Scrub still on it and there it sat for a day and a half, by the time I sat down to work again the stem was encased in crusty Soft Scrub. This has never happened before an hour at most with Soft Scrub I wasn’t sure what would happen to the stem material, in this case after a good scrubbing the oxidation was all but gone and the stem was left perfect. I was able to buff the stem with white diamond back to a glossy black without the use of micro-mesh, the light chatter was buffed off as well. I’ll have to retry this again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke but I was pretty happy with the results.

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When I received the pipe the bit was cocked to the left, I heated the stem with a Bic lighter moving the flame at all times so not to burn the stem and re-bent it over a bottle.

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Buffing the band with it removed from the stummel was much easier then tapping things off, I buffed the band with Brown Tripoli on the wheel, I was able to remove the pitting and tarnish.

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With the band buffed I reattached it to the shank with a bit of Gorilla Glue holding it in place until dry.

Complete.

 

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The old and the newPipe left 2000’s Peterson System Standard XL 305 Pipe right 1980’s Peterson System Standard 305.

I buffed the stummel with Renaissance Wax and a shoe polish brush , polishing the band with Brown Tripoli  and buffing the stem with white diamond and carnauba.

Thanks Baby and Thanks For Taking A Look.

Tim.

Peterson Emerald 53

I hope everyone had a Happy and safe Christmas, enjoyed family and friends and received some memorable gifts. My memorable gift would come as a lot of estate pipes that my wife snagged as a Christmas gift and after a little digging I saw what she payed and I was even more surprised.

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   Newly listed, new seller (zero feedback) and my wife said she knew at least one in the lot was a Peterson, even if she was wrong it was still a good deal. I had to go back through completed listings to find the original auction and I must say she has a good eye, the photos were poor and the description above offered null. So I guess there are deals to be had on the old bay.

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I was a pretty happy pappy on Christmas morning. Three Peterson’s, a Jobey, a small leather covered Big Ben and a bent little dinky pipe named Dinky. I started with the Peterson Emerald 53, a neat little pipe, tho the emerald band had lost its luster.

The Restore

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Overall the little Pete was in good shape, some rim build up, light chatter and oxidation, the emerald band was now a cream color and a chip at the rim, (highlighted in the above photos).

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I started off with the chamber and my PipNet reamer, starting with the smallest attachment and finishing with the second. The chamber was free of any char/defects.

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Next the rim build up, I applied Method Wood For Good polish to the rim with a Q-Tip and left it aside to penetrate the debris.Once the build up softens its easily removed with Q-Tips.

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Now with the rim clean I moved onto the internal cleaning. Using EverClear, shank/mortise brushes, Q-Tips and stiff/soft pipe cleaners I scrubbed the internals of the stummel and stem until my final pipe cleaner came out as it went in. I wiped down the exterior of the stem with an EverClear dampened makeup pad.

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Now to address the chipped rim. I stated by cleaning the area to be repaired with a Q-Tip dipped in EverClear and removing any loose bits of briar. I then applied a thin layer of Gorilla Glue to the chipped area and then packed with briar dust, I would repeat this process a few times, building layer upon layer of glue and briar dust until I had built up the area just past the existing rim. I now had room to sand the repair without changing the shape of the pipe. With the patch not completely set I lightly sanded the area with an emery board until it was flush with the original rim, using a pick and micro-mesh pads I carefully began to rework the patch to match the original rim and rustication.

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Once the shape and rustication I wanted was achieved I applied Fiebing’s black to the patch and lightly flamed to set the dye, removing the excess with an alcohol dampened Q-Tip. I then lightly polished the area with a worn micro-mesh pad, then going back in with red Fiebing’s dye, lightly flaming once again to set the dye, removing the excess with an alcohol dampened Q-Tip and lightly polishing the area one last time with worn micro-mesh.

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With the stummel complete I moved to the stems oxidation, I applied a generous amount of non-bleach 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 scrub vigorously with a rag adding more Soft Scrub as needed until all oxidation has been removed (holding the stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation has been removed).

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With the oxidation removed the stem was in fine shape aside from some light chatter, I taped off the bulk of the stem to keep my sanding in one area. Using 1000 grit sand paper wet I began working the area until no visible chatter was left. I then ran the stem though the various grits of micro-mesh 1500-2400 wet and 3200-12000 dry. I removed the tape before polishing the whole stem with 8000 and 12000 mesh pads. (When tapping off a portion of the stem there will be a visible difference between the area of work and the untouched portion, it requires buffing with blue compound to remove the fine sanding marks and will match up once again).

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Now the rustication of the Peterson Emerald is far deeper then the Donegal line, so standard buffing would be disastrous, I went with Renaissance Wax and a shoe polish brush instead. I will say Renaissance Wax is not something I’ll break out that often, its not that the finished pipe isn’t beautiful, its the smell,” I can’t stand the smell ” but the aroma fades with time and leaves behind a beautiful pipe.

Complete

 

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Buffed the stummel with Renaissance Wax and a shoe polish brush, buffing the stem with blue compound.

Thanks For stopping by.

Tim.

Custom-Bilt, Tracy Mincer Patented Filter

My wife picked up this Bilt a couple of weeks ago as an early Christmas present from Mike at Briar Blues . She was thoroughly impressed by his customer service, there was a mix up in shipping and the pipe was shipped from Washington to California and we live in New York. The mix up was caught quickly, corrected and shipped to our front stoop. Now this is something that happens all the time with businesses, so why is this different. The difference is in the way it was handled, the mistake was caught quickly, corrected and we were notified immediately, no excuses were made. Aside from top notch costumer service he has a beautiful selection of pipes for every budget, his descriptions, photos and site layout are spot on, as a first time buyer from his establishment we are more then pleased and will definitely return. If you haven’t already checked out his online shop give it a look Briar Blues.

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The tell tale red dot of the Patented Filter.

The Tracy Mincer Patented Filter, granted to Mincer September 7, 1937 is one of the more interesting pipes made by Mincer, the design is unusual there is an aluminum insert that is held by a small plastic rod at either side of the mortise, usually the rod is red but I have seen black used as well, it can be difficult to spot on heavily rusticated pipes as it was on this Bilt being restored here. This particular Bilt I had an idea was a Patented Filter as it resembled some of the others in my collection but I could not see the tell tale red dot in the photos. The only draw back I’ve found to this Mincer line of pipes is the reverse style tenon, it can be difficult to achieve a tight fit between tenon and stem once the pipe is restored. 

The Restore

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This Custom-Bilt was available in the pipes under $100 section at Briar Blues , when I received the pipe it was partially cleaned, the oxidation had been removed from the stem, the stummel had been buffed and the chamber reamed. The condition of the pipe was decent no major problems, the nomenclature worn but you can still just make it out, the star shape stamp was well stamped on the right side of the shank, very light chatter and a little rim darkening. The internals on this line are a little difficult to clean well due to the filter system and would need a bit more attention.

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 For the most part the rim was clean just a small burn at the back end of the rim and overflow in-bedded in the carved rim. I applied Method Wood For Good polish to the rim and left to penetrate the embedded crud. Once the Method softened the build up I used Q-Tips, a toothbrush and a pick to remove the debris.

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The chamber was pre-reamed when my wife purchased the pipe but there was still a bit of old cake remaining, my first thoughts it could be a burnout but thankfully it wasn’t. Using the old Castleford reamer I removed the last bit of leftover cake, I then gave the chamber a quick once over with EverClear and Q-Tips. Before moving on to the internal cleaning of the mortise and stem I ran a retort to loosen up the old tars and tobacco.

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After the retort I cleaned the internals of the airway, mortise and stem using EverClear, mortise/shank brushes, stiff/soft pipe cleaners and Q-Tips cleaning until my final pipe cleaner came out as it went in. I cleaned the inner of the stem with EverClear and cotton balls.

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The stem oxidation was removed prior to my receiving the pipe but there was still a few tooth indentations, the rest of the stem look good so I taped off the bulk of the stem so my sanding would remain in the damaged area of the stem. I sanded the stem with 800, 1000, 1500 grit sandpaper wet to remove the indentations. I then ran the stem though the various grits of micro-mesh pads 1500-2400 and 3200-6000 dry, I removed the tape before sanding the whole stem with 8000 and 12000. ( There will be a noticeable difference in the finish of the stem after sanding one portion of the stem and leaving the other untouched, I buffed the stem with blue compound at low a speed to remove the fine sanding marks, I’ve had  great results using this process, once buffed the two sides blend perfectly.)

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 After cleaning the old tars from the recessed stem the fit was no longer snug. I use the same process as I do with a standard tenon stem but instead of expanding the vulcanite tenon I am contracting the recessed stem,  I lightly heated the tenon end of the stem with a Bic lighter to contract the vulcanite and checking for a snug fit each time its heated (you have to take your time here as overheating with cause a non-fitting stem quite fast), I had to play with it a bit to get the right fit. For the saddle bit  Patented Filter Custom-Bilt pipes in my collection I use a heat gun on the lowest setting as the stem martial is thicker and more difficult to get it to contract.

Complete

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

Thanks For Taking A Look.

Tim. 

His Nibs ( Custombilt )

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The List

Everyone has his or her own, a list of pipes he or she desires to complete a collection. For me its Custom-Bilt and Custombilt pipes, I’ve been collecting these ugly, chunky, roughly carved pieces of briar for a long time and just recently stopped to take a look at what I really had. Originally it was Custom-Bilt pipes ( Tracy Mincer years ) and I had to have everyone I could get my hands on, I’ve redone many. Then Custombilt ( Eugene Rich years ) and a whole new line of pipes went on the list , many hard to find these days and finally the Wally Frank years still Custombilt but the nomenclature had changed, similar to the Rich era nomenclature but the standard S had been dropped for a cursive S. So this brings me to the His Nibs, introduced in 1947 by Mincer and Rich, at 4 inches long its certainly not the biggest Bilt but carved with the same care, retail price just $2.00, worth every penny. My wife picked this one up on Ebay, at last I could cross it off my list, many pop up but I’m picky the nomenclature is hard to find well stamped, sometimes its lightly stamped and other times its off and stamped half on the briar and half on the stem, this one is spot on beautiful. 

The restore

 

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The pipes was in great shape, very light chatter, a couple deeper tooth impressions, rim build up and one spot of filler.

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I started with chamber and my PipNet reamer starting with smallest and working up to the largest the chamber would except, in this case the third largest, it has a generous chamber for a 4 inch pipe. I took it back to bare briar to make sure things were solid.

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Next the rim build up, I applied Method Wood For Good Polish to the rim with a Q-Tip and left it aside to penetrate the residue. Once the Method works its magic on the build up it is removed with Q-Tips and a children’s toothbrush. There was some rim burn percent after removing the residue, I used worn micro-mesh to lighten it up. ( 3200, 3600, 4000 and 6000 pads )

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With the rim complete I turned my attention to the internals of the pipe. Cleaning the chamber, airways and mortise using EverClear, shank & mortise brushes, stiff/soft pipe cleaners and Q-Tips, cleaning until my finial pipe cleaner came out as it went in.

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Now I gave the stummel a good cleaning with Method Wood For Good Polish and a children’s toothbrush to remove the oils and embedded debris in the briar.

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There was one spot of filler top left photo ) its hard to see but its there, once it was removed the pit was a perfect rectangle, I was tempted to leave it because it was unique but filling it would give it a cleaner look or as clean a look as a Custombilt could have. I cleaned the area to be repaired with EverClear and a Q-Tip,filled the pit with Gorilla Glue and briar dust, I then left it aside to dry. Once dry I lightly sanded the area with worn micro-mesh, re-stained with a dark touch-up marker, removing the excess with an alcohol dampened Q-Tip.

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After staining the filled area I realized the whole stummel could be re-stained, using a dark brown touch-up maker I stained the deep crags.

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While in the process of removing the excess stain I also re-stained the whole pipe, leaving the deeper carvings darker and the rest of the stummel a lighter shade. Handling the stummel while working on the stem colored the it further, the end result was perfect.

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The stem was a little oxidized and had a couple of deeper tooth impressions that needed filling. To remove the oxidation I applied non-bleach soft scrub and left the stem aside to allow the Soft Scrub to penetrate the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from 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 ) I now gave the stem an EverClear wipe down before filling the tooth impressions. I mixed thick black CA glue along with a little charcoal powder to form a paste, I applied the paste with a toothpick, hitting it with accelerator to set the patch and leaving it over night to cure. The following morning I ran the stem though the first three micro-mesh pads 1500-2400 wet.

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I now ran the stem though the finial six grits of micro-mesh 3200-12000 dry  During the sanding I uncovered a few pores/bubbles in the rubber stem, there were far to many to attempt to fill, I’ll call them character marks.

Complete

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

It was a pleasure to cross this one off the list.

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Happy Collecting, Restoring And Puffing.

Tim.

Sue’s Pick-1776 Original

My wife who writes a blog at Mother Fogger.net  picked this pipe as I was experimenting with different stain techniques, she stopped my work half way though and told me she loved the way it look and it was now hers, so its now the Mother Fogger Pipe which was cool with me. Due to my wife’s interest in vaping I have finally kicked my filthy 26 year cigarette habit and I must say not only do I feel better but I also have a new found love for my pipe tobacco, I can sit and enjoy my pipe and truly taste the notes I have been missing with my muted taste buds ( Thank You Sue ). As for the pipe I can not find any info on the brand/make the only stamping is 1776 original on the left side of the shank, I vaguely remember pipes similar to this offered by Pipes and Cigars a few years back but I could be wrong. The pipe came to me in a large lot I purchased a few weeks back and it needed something and apparently my wife had the answer.

The Restore/Face-lift 

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It was one more from the mad buffer lot it would seem he slowed as he approached the nomenclature, sparring most of it so its still legible. From the photos above you can see the excess carnauba wax caked in the stamping on the stummel. So much wax was used that the finish seemed dull. The acrylic stem was bent in an odd way a sharp bend at the very end of the bit.

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 I started with the caked rim, I applied a generous amount of Method Wood For Good Polish to the rim with a Q-Tip and left it to penetrate the tars and oils. Once the build up softens it was easily removed with Q-Tips and makeup pads. Next I moved to the excess wax build up on the stummel, I applied Method to the stummel and used a rag to remove the excess wax, using a children’s toothbrush to remove the wax from the stamping.

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Now using my Castle Ford reamer I reamed the cake back to a suitable thickness ( to be honest there wasn’t much there). It was also lightly smoked like many of the others in this lot.

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Now for the internals, using EverClear, Q-Tips and stiff/soft pipe cleaners I cleaned the mortise, draught and stems airway until my finial pipe cleaner came out as it went in.

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Originally I was going to try different stain coats with this inexpensive pipe, so removing the old stain was in order. I used acetone to remove the old stain and in the process I uncovered multiple fills.

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Using a pick I removed the old fill, I cleaned the area to be refilled with EverClear and a Q-Tip, then refilling with Gorilla Glue and briar dust and allowed time to dry. I sanded the newly filled pits with 800, 1000 and 1500 grit sandpaper.

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Next it was time to address the odd bend in the stem. I heated the stem on low heat with my Wagner heat gun until it became pliable, straightening the stem first to loose the odd bend and then re-bending it over a pill bottle. The rubber bit also saved this stem from chatter got to love em.

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This step is about the time my wife walked in and caught sight of the black stummel and orange acrylic stem and fell in love with the look ( shes crazy about orange ). Originally I was going for a dark first coat and a lighter top coat after some sanding but she loved it as is. I’ve never stained a pipe full black and soon realized it was going to take much more then one or two coats, I lost count it was definitely more then one or two. Last minute I decided to go with a lighter rim stain, in my opinion the contrast in color was a nice touch.

Complete

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Mother Fogger Approved!

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I finished her up on the wheel with a few coats carnauba and a micro-fiber hand buff, buffing the stem with carnauba.

Happy Collecting, Restoring and Puffing 

Tim.

Peterson – Donegal Rocky 999

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I’m down to the last few from the lot I picked up, I was drawn to this lot because of the Donegal’s its one of my favorite lines from Peterson, this is the first 999 I’ve gotten my hands on and I can see why its so popular with Peterson collectors, the shape alone is appealing but the comfort in hand is what sold me. I have parted with many from this lot but the Donegal’s are at home here.

The Restoration

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 She was in good, lightly smoked condition, the biggest issue was a crack in the bead but thankfully the piece was still in place. The stem was oxidized and the P logo was half buffed flush with the stem surface, light chatter and a little rim build-up. The silver band would need a bit of shining up as well.

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The chamber had seen very little use, it would not need reaming, a quick  scrub with EverClear  and Q-Tips would do the trick. The original bowl coating was still in great shape, it looked almost new.

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Like the pipes chamber the draught, mortise and stems airway needed very little cleaning. Using EverClear, Q-Tips and stiff/soft pipe cleaners I cleaned the internals until my finial pipe cleaner came out as it went in.

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I now gave the rim, stummel and silver band a wipe down with Method Wood For Good Polish to remove the old oils, dirt and tarnish.

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With the stummel clean I could now address the crack in the bead. I cleaned the area to be repaired with EverClear and a Q-Tip and let dry. I first applied Gorilla Glue to the crack with a toothpick, using an old charge card wedged in the recess I slowly moved the cracked portion back into place.I held the piece in place until the glue set. Once set I left the repair  to dry for an hour or so.

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After dry time I could now remove any excess glue, using folded 400, 1000 and 1500 sandpaper I carefully sanded away the excess, cleaning the area with alcohol to remove the fine sanding dust. I now re-stained the recessed portion of the bead with Fiebing’s black  leather dye, removing the excess stain with an alcohol dampened Q-Tip.

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The stummels finish was worn and the repaired area was lighter from the work done. I mixed Fiebing’s dark brown and red leather dye together with a little EverClear to lighten the stain bit and applied a few coats to the stummel with a brush, hitting it with a Bic lighter to set the stain. I used an alcohol dampened rag to remove the excess.

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Now to shine the band up. I taped off the shank with painters tape to keep the compound from overlapping and darkening the shank. I buffed the band with brown tripoli back to a shine. The stummel was now ready for the wheel.

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With the summel complete and waiting to be buffed I could now concentrate on the stem oxidation, I applied non-bleach Soft Scrub to the stem and left aside 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 all 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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The stem could now be sanded and polished. I tapped off the bit end of the stem with painters tape so my more abrasive sanding would remain in one area. To remove the light chatter I sanded with 800 and 1000 grit sandpaper wet and micro-mesh pads 1500-2400 wet then 3200-4000 dry. I removed the tape and sanded the whole stem with the remaining micro-mesh pads 6000-12000 dry.

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Before attempting to reapply the logo I buffed the stem with blue compound to remove the fine sanding blemishes.

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I used an alcohol dampened Q-Tip to remove the oils and compound from the P logo area. The bottom of the logo was still recessed but the top portion was buffed flush, the remaining top of the P was more of a faint outline. Using white enamel nail polish and paintbrushes for nail art ( gotta love having women in the house ) I attempted to reapplied the P logo numerous times to no success, my hands and eyes are not what they used to be, so my wife stepped in and reapplied the P, its damn close in my opinion , she left it aside to dry before I put it on the wheel.

Complete

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I taped off the silver band and buffed the stummel with a few coats carnauba and a micro-fiber hand buff, buffing the stem with blue compound and carnauba.

Happy  Collecting, Restoring and Puffing

Tim.

Savinelli Roma 614

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I’m down to the finial few from the pipe lot I picked up. Savinelli I can’t say enough, just a great smoking pipe and this one more to add. Savinelli Roma 614 a smaller pipe then I would typically puff but very comfortable clenched in jaw while working on more pipes.

The Restore

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A great looking pipe if you can see past the dirt, grime and oxidation. The nomenclature is well stamped, the stem logo buffed almost clean off which is nothing new with this lot and the softy bit didn’t save this one completely from chatter, just a couple of tooth impressions that would need attention. The rim and chamber looked good just a little rim burn on the right side.

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I started with the chamber and my PipNet reamer, starting with the smallest and working up to the largest the chamber would except, reaming the cake back to a suitable thickness.

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The rim had a light build-up and a burn to the right of the bowl. I applied Method Wood For Good Polish to the rim and allowed it to penetrate the old tars and oils. Once the build-up softens it would be removed with Q-Tips and makeup pads.

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Next the stummel and stem internal cleaning. Using EverClear, Q-Tips, stiff/soft pipe cleaners and shank/mortise brushes, I cleaned the airways and chamber until my finial pipe cleaner came out as it went in. I then stuffed the chamber and mortise with cotton balls and added EverClear to pull out the more stubborn tars, oils and lessen any ghosting.

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The stem was heavily oxidized, I applied a generous amount of non-bleach Soft Scrub and left it aside to penetrate the oxidation. Once the soft turns from white to a brownish color its time to scrub vigorously with a rag adding more Soft Scrub as needed ( Holding he stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation has been removed. ) I would repeat this process a few times to remove all the oxidation .

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The bit portion of the stem had a few shallow tooth impressions but the rest of the stem looked good. I taped off the bit end of the stem with painters tape to keep my sanding in one area. I removed the impressions with micro-mesh pads 1500-3200 wet and 4000-3600 dry, then I removed the tape and sanded the whole stem with 6000-12000 dry.

Complete

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I finished her up on the wheel with a few coats of carnauba and a micro-fiber hand buff, buffing the stem with blue compound and a few coats of carnauba.

Thanks For Taking A Look.

Tim.

Presumably, A Majestic C.G.F. Meer Lined (“SANDY”)

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I believe this to be a Majestic C.G.F. made pipe, the name “SANDY” is stamped on the right side of the shank, below that Made In France, there is no other stamping on the stummel. There is a C.G.F. logo on the stem, I have researched the C.G.F. logo and it seems to point to the Majestic company out of Paris France, there is very little info on Pipedia other then a few advertisements and examples of there pipes ( Majestic info ). I’m unsure if ” SANDY” refers to the pipes finish or a pipers name, I know there were mail order gimmicks back in the day where you could have a pipe personalized but I’m unsure if this is one of them.

Restoration

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The overall condition of the pipe was good. The meer lining was crack free, the stem chatter free and the C.G.F. logo was legible, it would seem the mad buffer did not get to this one. The chamber was a little caked and one noticeable fill .

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I jumped right in on the internal cleaning of the stummel and stem. The chamber being Meer I didn’t go with my PipNet reamer, instead I cleaned the chamber with EverClear, Q-Tips and 1000 grit sandpaper to remove the stubborn leftovers. The draught, mortise and stem were cleaned using EverClear, Q-Tips and stiff/soft pipe cleaners but this well used pipe would require a retort to get a deeper clean. After the retort I did one more good internal cleaning with EverClear, Q-Tips and pipe cleaners until my finial pipe cleaner came out clean.

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The right side of the bowl and shank had noticeable filler that needed to be removed. I applied Method Wood For Good Polish to the filler and left it to soften. Once the filler softened up I removed it with a pick and straight pin. I cleaned the area to be refilled with alcohol and a Q-Tip, filled the sand pit with Gorilla Glue and briar dust wiping away the excess with a alcohol dampened rag and left to dry. Once dry I lightly sanded the filled areas with a 3200 grit micro-mesh pad, tapping off the shank so not to disturb the  nomenclature with my sanding. I now touched up the new fills with a dark stain marker, let dry and removed the excess stain with an alcohol dampened Q-Tip.

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In the process of filling the sand pits I inadvertently removed some of the original stain surrounding the repair. I used a makeup pad and EverClear to remove the rest stain from the stummel and re-stained the stummel with a dark brown touch-up marker, allowing dry time and removing the excess with an alcohol dampened rag. Sandy was now ready for the wheel. The stem was oxidation free and chatter free, I cleaned the stem inside and out with EverClear and would just need a good buffing.

Complete

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 Before buffing the stummel I lightly polished the meer rim with worn micro-mesh 4000-12000. I finished the stummel on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats carnauba and micro-fiber hand buffing. Buffing the stem with blue compound and a few coats carnauba.

Thanks For Taking A Look.

Tim.