Tag Archives: steaming out dents

Custom-Bilt (90% smooth)

Custom-Bilt 

An almost completely smooth Custom-Bilt an oddity I’ve wanted for my collection for some time . I have read of completely smooth Bilts (which I have yet to see or find) and partially rusticated Custom-Bilts,  I’ve seen a few photos of the partially rusticated pipes but never had the chance to get my hands on one. So when this puppy popped up a few weeks ago on EBay at a reasonable price I jumped all over it. Now I won’t go into the history of Tracy Mincer and Custom-Bilt pipes as I have written a few posts on the subject in the past but I must say I’m more and more impressed with each one I receive.

The Restoration. 

 

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The pipe for its age was in pretty good shape, ether it was well taken care of or it has seen little use. The chamber was free of cake and the mortise was fairly clean, the rim was the only issue a little beat up. The stem was oxidized , had a few tooth impressions and a ding in the side of the stem.

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The chamber being as clean as it was, it would not need a reaming but just a quick sanding with 400 grit sandpaper to remove a little doddle .

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I attempted to steam out the dents in the rim using a household iron and damp rag but the indentations were to deep.

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The rim would need to be topped , I tape a sheet of 400 grit sandpaper to my work surface and began sanding the rim until smooth . I then sanded with 800 and 1000 grit sandpaper until I had a mirror finish.

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I gave the stummel and stem internals a good cleaning using EverClear , shank and mortise brushes , Q-tips , cotton balls and soft/stiff pipe cleaners. I un-roll cotton balls and form a swab then twist it tightly into the mortise , then fill the chamber with a little EverClear and allow the swab to absorb the alcohol. I leave it to sit for for a few minutes to brake up the old tars and oils in the mortise. 20160510_144933~2

Using furniture touch-up markers I re-stained the stummel and freshly topped rim , leaving it aside to dry. I removed the excess stain with an alcohol dampened rag.

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Usually I wait till the end to buff the stummel and stem but this one I couldn’t wait to see finished . There are imperfections in the briar , a few pits and places that could have been filled but I decided it gave this particular pipe character.

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The stem oxidation was the next task, I appalled 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 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 was removed.

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When I received the pipe the stem and shank fit were off , the briar inside of the mortise was pushed up by the tenon and forming a wall that the tenon could not pass in-turn leaving a gap. Using a half round needle file I removed the excess briar , the fit was better but not flush , I then filed down the tenon edge and rounded it off with 400 grit sandpaper to get the proper fit.

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I tried to raise some of the tooth impressions with heat to no avail. I mixed thick black CA glue and charcoal powder into a paste and applied it to the stem with a toothpick , hitting it with accelerator to set the glue , leaving it overnight to cure.

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The next morning after allowing time for the patch to cure I removed the excess glue with a flat needle file.

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I removed the file marks with sandpaper starting with 400 grit and ending with 1500 grit sandpaper. I started saving the windows out of selling packages for my stem/shank divider , like the kind in kids toy packaging. Its flexible and seems like I can get a little closer to the end of the stem , closer then I would with a washer.

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I now ran the stem though the various micro-mesh pads.

Complete.

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I finished up with white diamond , a few coats of carnauba and a micro fiber hand buff. Buffing the stem with blue compound and carnauba.

Thanks For Taking A Look.

Tim.

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Peterson Captain Pete XL80

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I was gifted this Captain Pete for Christmas by my wife its one that has pasted me by a few times and I didn't think I'd get in the shape I wanted the XL80, a shape I'm very found of.  The Captain Pete XL80 is chunky and has a shorter stem then the standard 80 shape and thats what was so eye catching for me, short and fat like many of the pipes in my collection. Jim Lilley connoisseur and collector of Peterson Pipes wrote a post on the Captain Pete on his blog, he has also contributed to Pipedia The Peterson Page , the Peterson's in his collection are amazing.
As Received
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The Captain was in was in decent shape when I received it, rim build up, tight tennon fit, a little chatter, worn stain and the start of an uneven cake.
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After looking over and disassembling the pipe, I set aside the stem and started with the stummel. First reaming the chamber with my Pipnet reamer starting with the smallest attachment and working up to the second attachment, smoothing things out with 400 grit sandpaper wrapped around a finger. The chamber was free of burn or pitting. Now my attention turned to the rim build up, I applied a generous amount of Method Wood For Good Polish with a Q-tip and allowed it to penetrate the oils and tars.
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After the Method Polish had time to penetrate the build it was easily removed with Q-tips. Some of the stain was removed along with the build up, which doesn't typically happen with Method polish.
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With the rim free of oils/tar I began my internal cleaning of the stem, chamber and mortise using EverClear, Q-tips, makeup pads and stiff/soft pipe cleaners, cleaning until the pipe cleaners came out as they went in.
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After my internal cleaning, I did a EverClear and cotton ball soak on the chamber allowing it to absorb the tars and oils while I worked on the stem.
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The stem was in good condition aside from a a little chatter and a couple of tooth impressions. To remove some of the shallow tooth chatter I heated the area with a Bic Lighter ( moving the flame at all times never leaving it in one spot too long) all but a couple of impressions raised.
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I now applied non-bleach Soft Scrub to the stem with a children's toothbrush and left it aside to penetrat the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color its time to scrub vigorously with a rag until the oxidation is removed, removing the leftover oxidation with a damp Magic Eraser.
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The couple of tooth impressions that were left I would remove with 1000 grit sandpaper wet. I tapped off the bit/button portion of the stem with blue painters tape so my rough sanding would remain in one area.
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Before polishing the stem with the finial three Micro-Mesh pads I touched up the P with Rub'n Buff. I applied it with a Q-tip and buffed off the excess with a rag and continued with my final polishing with the last three micro-mesh pads.
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The  rest of the stem would not need as much work as the bit/button portion, as the Soft Scrub and Magic Eraser removed all the oxidation. I left the painters tape on the stem and  ran the button area though the various grits of sandpaper and micro-mesh 1500, 1800, 2000 paper, 2400 wet then 3200-4000 dry, I removed the painters tape just before sanding the entire stem with the last three Micro-Mesh pads 6000-12000 dry.
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Raising rim dents with steam. Using a household iron on medium/high heat and damp rag, I covered the rim dents with the damp rag and applied it to the hot iron working in intervals until all the dents raised.
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This is the first time I had results work this well and would not have to sand the area afterwords.
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When I received the Captain the red stain on the rim was faded to an almost pink color and after cleaning the debris from the rim it was more so. I decided to re-stain the whole stummel with Fiebings Red leather dye. I gave the stummel a wipe down with an alcohol dampened rag, allowing it to dry then appling the red stain, I hit it with a Bic Lighter to set the stain, removed the excess stain with a alcohol dampened rag and left it overnight to dry completely before buffing.
Captain Complete
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I Finished up on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats of carnauba and a microfiber hand buffing. Buffing the stem with blue compound and buffing the spacer with black emery before gluing it back in place.

 

I had fun taking photos of this one, My Pop was a Navy Man so I’m also a collector of vintage nautical item’s as well.

Thanks For Taking A Look.

Quick Clean up , Pre-Transition Sasieni two dot 73

Pre-Transition Sasieni Two Dot 73
(1961-1979)

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The baby blue dots,
I’ve always been a fan of Sasieni pipes and there history. In fact the kick off to my estate refurbishing and collecting stated with a lot of pipes from a friends fathers estate. Included was nine or ten boxed smoked and Un-Smoked Sasieni two dot pipes. Many had the dreaded pink filler but a few I could never figure out why they were two dot and not four . I have two left in my collection , one Un-smoked Two Dot Oom Paul 80sxs with one small spot of filler and the one I’m writing about a thick walled, stubby Two dot 73. For life of me I cannot find one flaw, its been in the rack about three years now and with winter here I thought I could use a nose warmer. 

The unappreciated subject
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She was redone five years ago and went untouched for three. The stem has since oxidized, a little tar&char and a few impressions that would need attention.

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The new toy, my Castleford reamer has reached its end the attachments no longer stay in its handle. After reading many reviews and fellow refurbishing bloggers giving the thumbs up on the Pipnet reamer, my wife picked one up for me. I must say its a different world, the shape of the reamer attachments are far superior to the Castleford set, in that it reaches the bottom of the chamber more evenly and producers a cleaner cut through the cake.

I’m impressed.

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Starting with the stummel and my Pipnet reamer I cut back what little cake there was, first with the smallest attachment and working up to the third, then I lightly sanded the chamber with 1000 grit sandpaper. There was a little rim tar&char, I applied a little Method Wood For Good Polish with a Q-tip and allowed the polish to soften the build up. With the build up removed I worked on the rim darkening with worn micro-mesh until it faded.

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I now moved on to the internals. Using EverClear, Q-tips, makeup pads and stiff/soft pipe cleaners I cleaned the mortise, chamber, inner tube and the stem internals until the pipe cleaners came out as they went in. I cleaned the stem exterior with EverClear and a makeup pad.

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I applied Soft Scrub to the oxidized stem with a children’s toothbrush and left until the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color.

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Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color its time to introduce the old elbow grease. Scrubbing vigorously with a rag until the oxidation is removed, then finishing with a damp Magic Eraser to get off the last bit of oxidation.

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Now the chatter, I attempted to raise the chatter with heat to no avail. The Soft Scrub and Magic Eraser removed all the oxidation and the stem other then the chatter was in great shape. So I taped off the bit/button portion of the stem with blue painters tape so my work would remain in one area. I removed the impressions with 400 grit sandpaper wet and then ran the stem through the various grits of sandpaper and micro-mesh 1000-2400 wet, then 3200-6000 dry. I removed the painters tape before sanding with the last two micro-mesh pads and sanded the entire stem with 8000 and 12000 dry to shine it up before buffing.

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Its hard to see in the photos but there were a few dings in the rim. Using a hot iron and damp rag I steamed out the imperfections.

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Just before hitting the wheel I wiped down the stummel with Method polish and let dry.

Complete

 

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Finished her up on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats of carnauba and a microfiber hand buff. I buffed the inner tube with black emery compound.

Custombilt Bent Billiard (Rich Era)

The scoundrel Pipes

The pipes I received from fellow blogger Clint of Pipe Scoundrel are complete. They have a new home and are ready to be enjoyed once again. This trio of Bilts has been an eye opener, I believe there will be many more Rich era Custombilts in my future.

The last pipe as received

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The nomenclature was stamped unevenly but I could still make out the tell tail (S) of Eugene Rich era Bilts.

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The last of the trio a large bent billiard. Much like the last shes in pretty descent shape. The cake is a little thicker, the tennon would need tightening, rim tar&char, there is a little filler present and light chatter.

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I started off with the smallest attachment of my Castleford reamer and moving on to the largest that the chamber would except in this case it was one up from the first. I finished up with 400 grit sandpaper. The chamber was free of pitting or the start of a burn out.

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Now for the rim, it was thick with tars and build up. I applied a generous amount of Method Good For Wood Polish to a makeup pad and left the stummel upside down so the polish could soften the build up. I would have to repeat this process a couple of times to remove all the debris, using a children’s toothbrush and Q-tips. I have also uncovered a couple of dents on the rim that I will address later on.

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With the rim clean I moved to the chamber and mortise. I did a quick clean of the internals with EverClear and Qtips to remove the loose debris. Now the soak, I unrolled a cotton ball and formed a long swab, using the swab I twisted it into the mortise tightly. I now filled the chamber a quarter of the way with EverClear and allowed the swab to absorb the alcohol. Once the alcohol is absorbed I filled the chamber with two cotton balls and added EverClear to the cotton balls untill saturated. I now set the stummel aside while I worked on the stem.

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I started the stem by cleaning the exterior first with EverClear and a makeup pad, then the internals with EverClear and stiff/soft pipe cleaners, cleaning until the pipe cleaner came out as it went in.

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Now the oxidized stem I applied non-bleach Soft Scrub with a children’s toothbrush and left aside until the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color.

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Now the elbow grease, I  now scrubbed the stem vigorously with Soft Scrub and a rag to remove the oxidation

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Finishing with a damp Magic Eraser to remove the leftover oxidation. The surface still has a rough texture and would need to be sanded.

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The stem had a couple of tooth impressions, using a Bic lighter I heated the area of the impressions (moving the flame at all times never leaving it in one spot too long). I was able to raise a few but one was stubborn and would need filling.

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I roughed up the area to be repaired with 400 grit sandpaper, then wiped the area with an alcohol dampened rag. I made a paste using thick black CA glue and activated charcoal power and applied it to the impression with a toothpick, hitting it with accelerator to set the patch.

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After allowing time for the paste to cure I removed the excess using a needle file. I smoothed out the repaired area with 400 grit sandpaper .

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I now ran the stem though the various grits of sandpaper and micro-mesh 1000-2400 wet and 3200-12000 dry.

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The tennon was loose upon receiving the pipe. I used jewelers pliers and a Bic Lighter to expand the tennon from the inside out, by heating the tennon with the lighter and inserting the tip of the pliers into the tennon gradually untill a snug fit between mortise and tennon was achieved.

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With the stem complete I moved on to the stummel. After sitting for an hours or so the cotton balls had time to absorb some of the tars. The chamber was clean but I would have to repeat the process on the mortise a few more times. Then finishing up the mortise and draught with  EverClear, Q-tips and stiff/soft pipe cleaners until the pipe cleaners came out clean.

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Now to address the rim dents and darkening.

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Using a hot iron and a damp rag I steamed the dents out and lightened the rim darkening with worn micro-mesh.

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There were three spots of filler present that would have to go.

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I applied Method Wood For Good Polish to the filler and let it soften up for a few minutes.

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Using a pick and X-acto knife I removed the light colored filler.

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I refilled with briar dust and Gorilla Glue and left aside to dry.

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I removed the excess glue with worn miro-mesh, then stained the new fill with a touch up marker, lighting up the color to match with an alcohol dampened Q-tip.

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I now wiped down the stummel with Method polish and let dry. Next Howard’s butcher block conditioner, using a Q-tip I worked the Howard’s into the crags and then applied Howard’s to the whole stummel letting it penetrate for a few minutes, hand buffing the excess off with a clean rag. She was now ready for a final buff.

Complete

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Finished her up on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats of carnauba and a microfiber hand buff.

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The Gang all together.

 Clint your generosity is greatly appreciated. The pipes are beautiful and right at home in my collection.