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.
Other then the fills the pipe was in lightly smoked condition. A little rim build up , oxidation and chatter.
I reamed back the cake to a suitable thickness with my PipNet reamer. The chamber was free of any defects.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.