Tag Archives: tobacco pipe restoration

Re-Stemming A His Nibs by Custombilt

 

photogrid_1485717467628

A couple of months ago I picked up a lot of Custom-Bilt and His Nibs pipes that were in poor condition, with things busy around here they were pushed aside until I could dedicate myself to pipes that would need more attention then normal. Now with a little free time I rummaged through the pipe box and came out with a small 4″ His Nibs, the perfect pipe for a quick winters smoke. The His Nibs pipes were introduced under Eugene Rich in the summer of 1947, designed for a short smoke while fishing, between classes or intermission at the theater, a smaller pipe but styled after is full size Custombilt counterpart. 

The Restore

 

photogrid_1485716832499photogrid_1485716742338

 This pipe like many others in the lot was well loved, each one smoked within an inch of it’s life. The nomenclature of this Nibs caught my eye it was well stamped, His Nibs over Imported Briar, the chamber held an uneven cake, the rim had a little build up and a scorched area towards the shank. The stem was in rough shape broken off dead center at the bit.

20170127_1010022

I reamed back the cake with the PipNet and Castleford reamers, starting with the Castlefords smallest attachment, then the PipNets smallest and finally back to the Castleford and its second smallest attachment bring the chamber back to briar, the chamber was free of imperfections.

20170127_1017422

I decided to re-stem rather then rebuild, the stem itself was an inch and three quarters long and the bit was missing a 6 mm section, so cutting and rebuilding the button was out of the question. I’m confident in my patch repair work if its a bite though but I was unsure if a patch would last in this situation. I started with the stummel, cleaning the mortise with EverClear, Q-Tips and stiff/soft pipe cleaners, cleaning until my final pipe cleaner came out as it went in. I set the stummel aside to dry and moved to cutting the replacement stem.

 

photogrid_1485715623657

Before cutting the tenon I drilled the bore with a 1/8 drill bit so the stem could slide onto the Pemo’s guide pin, I then mounted the Pemo tenon turning tool into a variable speed drill. I slid the stem onto the guide pin and adjusted the cutter set screw to make my first pass, removing a couple millimeters of material. I now measured the stock stem for the original length and using a coping saw I cut a few millimeters off the new tenon. Using the stock stem for measurements I made another pass on the tenon cutter until I had a tenon length match, I popped the stock stem onto the tenon cutter and set the cutter to match the tapered end of the stock tenon, I now slid the replacement stem onto the guide pin and cut the taper into the tenon.

 

photogrid_1485715803921

Now I slid the stock stem back onto the guide pin and set my cutter to the thickness of the stock tenon, backing it off a bit so my cut of the replacement tenon would not be an exact fit. The final snug fit between tenon and mortise would be achieved by removing the tenon material with 400 and 800 grit sandpaper wet. (You have to take your time here forcing the tenon into the mortise could result in a cracked shank or you risk snapping the tenon.)

photogrid_1485715871430

Once I achieved a snug fit between tenon and mortise and with the stem face flush with the stummel, I taped off the shank with painters tape to keep my abrasive sanding from damaging the stummel. Using a rotary sanding bit I removed the bulk of the stem material, leaving a step up from shank to stem.

photogrid_1485715997792

Now switching to 220 grit sandpaper and then made a final pass with an emery board, (you do not want an exact mach between stem and shank at this point there should still be a small step up from shank to stem, there is still plenty of sanding to be done) This is where things get tedious, I removed the painters tape and re-taped the shank with electrical tape, pulling it tight. I now sanded the stem with the finer grits of sandpaper. Using 400 grit sandpaper wet I sanded the saddle until my sandpaper began to hit the lip of the electrical tape (this allows you to know your getting closer to an exact match between shank and stem) , I now moved to 1000 grit sandpaper wet, sanding and removing the tape and re-tapping the shank from time to time to check the surface of the stem and shank (there should still be a very, very small step up from shank to stem at this point) I stopped my work on matching the stummel and stem and began shaping the stem and button using 400, 800 and 1000 grit sandpaper wet.

20170127_2225402

Once I have achieved the stem and button shape I was looking for I could move to my final sanding. At this point a very, very small step up from shank to stem still remains.

photogrid_1485711097976

Before my final fit and sanding of the stem I shaped and widened the slot using a slot funneling tool and needle files.

20170128_1754412

 This is the most time consuming step, using a divider between shank and stem I sanded the stem with 1500 sandpaper wet, sanding until the step up between shank and stem no longer exists. With the fit between shank and stem flush and smooth, I ran the stem with divider still in place through the various grits of micro-mesh 1500-2400 wet and 3200-6000 dry.

photogrid_1485716068969

Before polishing the stem with the remaining micro-mesh pads I bent the stem slightly using a Bic lighter, by brushing the stem lightly with the flame and bending it over a nail polish bottle. (use care with this method, things can go wrong quick, keep the flame at a distance moving it at all times never leaving it in one spot too long)

20170128_2141012

With a smooth fit and finish and the slight bend I was looking for I polished the stem with the remaining micro-mesh pads 8000 and 12000 dry.

20170128_222700220170129_1154482

Above the replacement and stock stem.

photogrid_1485716531720

With the stem complete it was time to finish the stummel, I applied Method Wood For Good Polish to the rim and left it upside down on a makeup pad for an hour to penetrate the build up. With the build up now softened I removed the debris with Q-Tips and a makeup pad. After cleaning the rim there were a few knock out dings left behind, using a house hold iron set to medium heat and a damp rag I steamed out the imperfections. I placed a damp rag over the rim and applied the rim flat against the hot iron, I would repeat this process a couple of times to get the results I was looking for. At the beginning of the restore I cleaned the mortise only in order to fit the new stem with the stem now complete I continued with the internal cleaning of the stummel and chamber, using EverClear, Q-Tips, stiff/soft pipe cleaners and mortise/shank brushes, cleaning until my final pipe cleaner came out as it went in.

photogrid_1485721249085

After steaming the rim there were still a few shallow imperfections and a darker area at the back of the rim, using worn 3200, 3600 and 4000 micro-mesh pads I smoothed out and lightened the rim. Before moving on I gave the stummel a wipe down with Method to remove the fine sanding dust and grime.

20170128_2230482

As a final step before hitting the wheel I applied Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner using a Q-Tip into the deeper craving of the stummel, left aside to penetrate for a few minutes and removing the excess with a clean rag.

Complete.

201701311109552photogrid_1485873130501photogrid_1485873041536photogrid_1485873064437photogrid_1485873193227

 

I finished up the stummel with a few coats carnauba and a spin on the nude wheel. Buffing the stem with blue compound, white diamond and carnauba. Hand buffing the pipe as a whole with a microfiber cloth just before the photos.

 

Thanks For Taking A look

Tim.

Advertisements

Savinelli- Bing’s Favorite

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 

photogrid_148511896153720170120_2145352photogrid_1485119338943photogrid_1485119082271

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.

20170121_1610012

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.

photogrid_1485116618598

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.

20170121_213226_hdr2

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.

photogrid_1485118935956

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.

photogrid_1485119960690

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.

photogrid_1485120339773

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.

photogrid_1485119170796

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)

photogrid_1485116668638

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)  

photogrid_1485119427059

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.

photogrid_1485119884228

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.

photogrid_1485116551312

 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 

201701241701132201701241701492201701241702022201701241705152201701241705302201701241700172201701241702182photogrid_1485288514389

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. 

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-

20170116160602320170116160527_132017011616062432201701161607092201701161608582photogrid_1484594504943photogrid_1484701470528photogrid_1484594541799

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.

20170116_1537072

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.

photogrid_1484613179649

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.

photogrid_1484612993504

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.

photogrid_1484690191933

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.

photogrid_1484690249367

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.

photogrid_1484690123069

Before oxidation removal I addressed the light chatter.

photogrid_1484690152843

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.

photogrid_1484690723470

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.

20170118_1200262

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.

20170118_1903122

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

Complete

201701191128522201701191129593201701191129242photogrid_14848375201472017011911345122201701191134202201701191130472photogrid_1484837453444

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.

A Dr.Plum Dinky Second?

201701081700282

screenshot_2017-01-08-18-23-072
Dr.Plumb DINKY.

DINKY is the only stamping on this 4 inch pipe, the only other marking is the word Mexico on the underside of the stem. The stamping is the same as the Dr.Plumb line of DINKY pipes so I would assume its a second or perhaps just an older make as most of the pipes in the Christmas lot are from the 80’s or 90’s. The shape is definitely similar.

 

The Restore

 

photogrid_1483311320959photogrid_1483311516473

The pipe was in good shape, light chatter and oxidation, rim build up and light cake.

20161231_2146182

The chamber was on the small side, I had to utilize the PipNet and Castleford reamers to remove the cake. The chamber was free of any defects.

photogrid_1483758125011

With the chamber complete I moved to the rim build up, I applied Method Good For Wood Polish to the rim and left aside to brake down the accumulation of tar and char. Once the build up softened I was able to remove the residue and some of the darkening using Q-Tips.

20161231_2256232

Next was the internal cleaning of the stem and stummel, using EverClear, Q-Tips, shank/mortise brushes and stiff/soft pipe cleaners I scrubbed the airway, mortise and chamber with EverClear until my final pipe cleaner came out free of debris.

photogrid_1483311393631

The oxidation wasn’t bad on this little guy, I applied non-bleach Soft Scrub to the stem and left aside to penetrate the oxidation, once the Soft Scrub turned from white to a Brownish color I scrub with a rag adding more Soft Scrub as needed until all oxidation was removed (Holding the stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation has been removed) I used Q-Tips dipped in Soft Scrub to get the oxidation around the bit and in the concave of the saddle bit stem.

photogrid_1483311423818

After removing the oxidation the stem look good aside from some light chatter at the bit, I tapped off the bulk of the stem to keep my sanding in one area. I sanded the bit with micro-mesh 1500-2400 wet and 3200-6000 dry, then removing the tape to polish with the final two micro-mesh pads 8000-12000.

Complete

201701081700282201701081700442201701081701262photogrid_1483908101709

I finished up on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats carnauba and a round on a nude wheel. Buffing the stem with blue compound and carnauba, Hand buffing with a microfiber cloth just before the photos.

Procure, Restore, Puff, Repeat

Thanks for dropping by-

Tim.

Peterson’s Emerald 150

The grain is incredible and the bulldog is steadily becoming one of my favorite shapes. I’m getting down to the last few from the lot my wife gifted me for Christmas, this is the last Pete from the lot and just as beautiful as the other two. The Emerald line is one I’ll keep an eye out for going forward. The rusticated Emerald 53 I did a couple of posts back is unlike any  other rusticated Pete in my collection the Emerald’s rustication is deep and craggy reminiscent of a weathering coastline, beautiful.

The Emerald 150’s Revival

photogrid_1483067615509photogrid_1483067704908photogrid_1483067380791photogrid_1483067448274

The nomenclature is crisp- Peterson’s over Emerald on the left of the shank and made in the Republic of Ireland 150 on the right. The Emerald band still has a tint of green left, the stem is oxidized and shallow chatter. The rim has a little build up, I counted two small fills and the chambers old cake and leftover tobacco.

20161230_1102312

I started with the chamber and the PipNet reamer and reamed the cake back using the first two attachments, the chamber was free of cracks or charring.

photogrid_1483757459888

Next the rim build up, it was heavy towards the back of the rim. I applied Method Good For Wood polish to the rim and left it to soften the build up. Once the build up softens I scrubbed the area with Q-Tips, I had to repeat this a few times to remove all the build up. I gave the stummel a wipe down with a rag and Method.

photogrid_1483757037539

I cleaned the internals of the stem and stummel using EverClear , shank/mortise brushes, stiff/soft pipe cleaners and Q-Tips, cleaning until my final pipe cleaner came out as it went in. The internals were surprisingly clean, well maintained by the previous owner.

20161230_1539392photogrid_1483757111318

 The bead was intact but stuffed with old carnauba, using an X-Acto knife I carefully removed the old wax then cleaning the area with Method polish.

photogrid_1483757203302

There were a few dings in the briar that I steamed out using an iron set to medium heat and a damp rag. I covered the area to be steamed with the damp rag and placed the heated iron on the blemish, it took a few applications to get each ding flush with the existing briar.

photogrid_1483757255807

The two fills in the briar to be honest blended fairly well and I was going to leave them be but in the process of steaming out the dings I inadvertently popped out the filler. I applied a drip of Method polish to each fill and left it to soften and once soft I removed the fill with an X-Acto knife and pick. I lightly cleaned the area with EverClear and a Q-Tip. Using a toothpick I applied a small amount of gorilla Glue to the pit and packed with briar dust and left to dry a few minutes.

photogrid_1483757700542

With the patch dry I lightly sanded the area first with an emery-board, then 800, 1000 and 1500 grit sandpaper and finishing with a worn 3200 micro-mesh pad. I didn’t re-stain the area the natural finish of the pipe blended with the area of repair, just handling the stummel while working helped blend it further.

photogrid_1483756861302

The stubborn Peterson oxidation, I applied 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 I scrub with a rag adding more Soft Scrub as needed until all oxidation is removed (Holding the stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation has been removed) I worked on this stem on and off for an hour to remove all oxidation.

photogrid_1483757601154

There was a couple of deeper tooth impressions that would need sanding but the bulk of the stem looked good. I taped off the bit so my more abrasive sanding would remain in one area. I sanded the impressions with 400, 800, 1000 and 1500 sandpaper wet until the impressions were flush with the rest of the stem. I then sanded with micro-mesh pads 1500-2400 wet and finished with 3200-6000 dry, I removed the tape for the final two pads and polished the whole stem with 8000 and 12000 dry.

Complete 

2017010814054422201701081404112photogrid_1483896136341photogrid_1483896175534photogrid_1483896115511

I buffed the stummel with white diamond, a few coats of carnauba and a round on a nude wheel, buffing the stem with white diamond and carnauba. A final Hand buffing with a microfiber cloth before photos.

Happy Hunting, Refurbishing and Puffing.

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.

 

photogrid_1483662628115photogrid_1483662743740photogrid_1483662656938

 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.

20170101_1936192

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.

20170101_1901532photogrid_1483663042890

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.

photogrid_1483663100064

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.

photogrid_1483663004863

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.

photogrid_1483662326209

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.

photogrid_1483662403388

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.

photogrid_1483662761364

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.

photogrid_1483662810768

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.

photogrid_1483662869945

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

Complete.

 

photogrid_1483843125082201701072257572201701072257372201701072255502201701072256262201701072258112photogrid_1483843069396201701072257132

 

201701072304222
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.

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.

20160109_191300~2

20160820_1631262
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

photogrid_148210630758520161208_111407220161208_1116292photogrid_1482106395457

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.

photogrid_1482106683459

 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.

photogrid_1482106761175

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.

photogrid_1482106807911

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.

photogrid_1482106452449

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.)

20161208_1406212

 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

201612291831072201612291831372photogrid_1483049922954photogrid_1483049617544201612291826402

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. 

Patching A Bite Through

Things have been crazy busy around here the past month, its a little calmer now so I have some time to put up a few posts. Last week A friend messaged me to put together a quick tutorial on stem repair, specifically patching a bite through hole at the bit end. I’ve been re-stemming most pipes so I had a few that would fit the bill. I focused on the patch repair and not so much on the entire stem as I said its out of the junk box so the stem is far from done but I think what lies below will help. Sorry it took so long to put up.

photogrid_1475891539883

Before getting started I cleaned the stem inside and out with EverClear, pipe cleaners and makeup pads.

20161006_203532

Next I roughed up the area to be repaired with a flat needle file and 220 grit sandpaper, cleaning the area once again with EverClear to remove the sanding debris.

photogrid_1475891638643

Before the damaged area can be repaired the airway must be plugged to prevent it from being glued shut. I use card stock or index cards, folded over on it’s self and cut to fit the airway, once a good fit is achieved I applied a generous amount of original chap-stick to the card stock to keep it from being glued into the airway. ( Vaseline is also good)

photogrid_1475891710729

With the stem roughed up, airway plugged and the stem wiped down with EverClear I now mixed thick black CA glue and charcoal powder together to form a paste. I used a 50-50 mix of glue and charcoal powder but you may have to play around with it a bit to get the right consistency.

photogrid_1475891737947

You have to work quickly once the paste is mixed as it has a tendency to harden rapidly, with my cardboard plug in place I applied the paste to the damaged area with a toothpick working from the outer edge of the damage to the middle of the hole building it up in layers. Hitting it with accelerator to set the repair, I now left it over night to cure. The end result is much more patch material then was needed but this what you want.

photogrid_1475891764504

The next morning after cure time I began to remove layers of the patch with a flat needle file working until I could see a difference in color between the patch and stem material , shaping the button at the same time.

photogrid_1475891794319

It’s easy to make a mistake reshaping the button or you may uncover small bubbles in the patch itself, using straight CA glue will cover up any imperfections. Apply the CA glue to the area and hit it with accelerator, this can be reworked right away as long as the area of work is not too deep, in the case of deeper holes more time will be needed to cure.

 photogrid_1475891839912

Once I achieved the shape I’m looking for I ran the stem through 220 grit sandpaper to remove the deeper file marks, then 400, 800, 1000 and 1500 grit sandpaper wet. Finally I ran the stem though the various grits of micro-mesh 1500-2400 wet and 3200-12000 dry.

20161007_2131432

Final step buffing wheel, I buffed with blue compound, carnauba and a round on a nude wheel .In the end the patch blended pretty well but its not always the case.

Hope this helps any questions shoot me a message.

Tim.

His Nibs ( Custombilt )

PhotoGrid_1471032644773

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

 

PhotoGrid_1470874178302PhotoGrid_1470874363131PhotoGrid_1470874239711

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

20160810_202625~2

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.

PhotoGrid_1471018921169

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 )

PhotoGrid_1471017138553

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.

20160810_214224~2

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.

PhotoGrid_1471018535261

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.

PhotoGrid_1471018643209

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.

20160811_161140~2

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.

PhotoGrid_1471017223853

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.

20160812_122444~2

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

20160812_124338~220160816155731~220160816155620~220160816155635~220160816155656~2

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.

20160816155731~2

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 

PhotoGrid_1469798402285

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.

PhotoGrid_1469798997198

 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.

20160728_154058~2

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.

PhotoGrid_1469798317464

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.

20160728_154043~2

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.

PhotoGrid_1469798268284

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.

20160728_152956

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.

PhotoGrid_1469799077090

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

PhotoGrid_1469753550200

Mother Fogger Approved!

20160816155414~220160816155428~220160816155439~220160816155451~2

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.