In 1948 Jean Cassegrain inherited a small shop near the French Theater on the Boulevard Poissonnière in Paris, called “Au Sultan”. Articles for smokers and fountain pens were offered there.
Now, the absolute bulk of the pipes Cassegrain found in the inventory was from war-time production and due to the sharp restrictions on pipe production the French government had enforced in 1940, these pipes were of very poor quality and showed large fills. Strictly speaking, they were not marketable now that the French pipe industry produced pipes of pre-war standards again. In this situation Cassegrain had the probably most enlightened moment in his life: he took some of these pipes to a leather worker who clad bowls and shanks in leather. Only the rims of the bowls and the shanks’ faces remained blank.
I like to get more bang for my buck, so I like to go after pipes listed in lots, keeping what I want and donating or selling off what doesn’t catch my eye. As the small flat rate box fills with extra pipes, I’ll take the box to my wife and daughter to see if anything catches their fancy. Usually it’s let em go to someone else but for some reason the leather-covered LONGCHAMP pipes my daughter found unique. She’s ten now and has taken an interest in some of my refurbishing projects. I have a few in my rotation that she wouldn’t let go, a red Color Duke by Dr.Grabow, a cheerywood Ropp and a BamBoo Briar.
Back Out Of The Box
The pipe was in good shape, leather wrap was a little dry & dirty, worn button, deep tooth impressions, oxidation, rim darkening and brittle cake.
A conventional reamer would not work with a ovel bowl, instead I started with 220 grit sandpaper and finished with 400 grit sandpaper.
The internals were caked in old tars,oils and tobacco. I ran it though a retort using EverClear and cotton balls. I then did a thorough cleaning of the chamber, mortise and stem with EverClear, Q-tips and stiff /soft pipe cleaners. Cleaning until the last pipe cleaner came out as it went in.
There were a few dings in the rim, using a household iron on medium/ high heat and a damp rag I would steam out the imperfections. Covering the rim with the damp rag and applying it to the hot iron working in intervals until the imperfections were almost gone.
What was left of the imperfections and darkening, I removed with worn micro-mesh pads.
The leather covering was dry and grimy. I busted out my wife’s leather cleaning products. I started with saddle soap to clean away the grease and grime, being careful not to get it into the chamber or mortise. I then switched to Doc Martin’s leather conditioner and finally ended with mink oil. The leather was now soft and supple.
The oxidized stem, I applied a generous amount of non-bleach Soft Scrub to the stem with a children’s toothbrush 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 until the oxidation is removed, finishing up with a damp Magic Eraser to remove the leftover oxidation.
It was now time to address the tooth impressions, I first roughed up the area of repair with 400 grit sandpaper so my fill would have a good hold and then cleaning with EverClear to remove my sanding dust.
To fill the deep impressions and rebuild the worn button I mixed thick black CA glue and activated charcoal power into a paste and applied it to the impressions/button using a toothpick. I then hit it with accelerator to set the repair, leaving it aside to cure overnight.
Now that the repair had time to cure overnight, I could shape the new button. Using a flat needle file I removed the excess until I had an uniformed shape.
Once the new button was at a suitable thickness I moved to 400 grit sandpaper to remove the file marks.
Before hitting the micro-mesh, I re-touched the logo. I tried multiple applications Rub & Buff, White Out Pen and finally white nail polish, which was the winner.
I then sanded the whole stem with 1000 grit sandpaper wet, then ran it though the various grits of micro-mesh pads, 1500-2400 wet and 3200-12000 dry. Stummel and stem complete she was now ready for the final buffing.
Finished up the rim on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats of carnauba and a microfiber hand buffing. I lightly buffed the leather covering with a clean buffing wheel. Buffing the stem with blue compound.
Thanks For Taking A Look.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is the first time I had results work this well and would not have to sand the area afterwords.
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.
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.
I’m a sucker for a fat bottom and that’s exactly what we have here in the Kaywoodie Hand-Made Over-size line of pipes. They’re getting harder to find, so when one pops up I have to jump on it. My search for a chunky Kaywoodie lead me to this line of pipes and about a year ago I had the pleasure of refurbishing two, there thick walls and chunky shape not only make it comfortable in the hand but it produces a cool smoke.
The nomenclature was lightly stamped or worn.
Over all she was in nice condition and seemed well cared for. Heavy stem oxidation, chatter and a little rim tar&char.
I started by reaming the chamber with my Pipnet reamer, first with the smallest attachment and working up to the third taking it back to briar, the chamber was free of any imperfections. I smoothed out the chamber with 400 grit sandpaper. The rim, I applied a generous amount of Method Good For Wood Polish and set aside to penetrate the debris. Using Q-tips I removed the oils and tars from the rim.
The char/rim darkening was removed with worn micro-mesh.Using EverClear, Q-tips and stiff/soft pipe cleaners I gave the mortise and chamber a quick once over to get out the loose debris. Now the soak, I unrolled a cotton ball, twisted it together to form a long swab and inserted it tightly into the mortise and filled the chamber with EverClear a quarter of the way. I allowed the swab to absorb the alcohol, then I filled the chamber with two cotton balls and added EverClear until the cotton balls were saturated. I left it aside to allow the cotton balls and alcohol to absorb the oils and tars.
The stem was heavily oxidized and had quite a bit of chatter. I started first by appling Soft Scrub with a children’s toothbrush to the stem and left it to penetrate the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color its time to start the vigorous scrubbing with a rag, I would repeat this process a few times to get the bulk of the oxidation off. To get the rest of stubborn oxidation I used heat. Heat can be your best friend or your worst enemy and doesn’t work on all stem materials.(Nylon & Acrylic stems do not respond the same and melt or burn, I have had success with ebonite swirled cumberland stems in the past) In this case I’m working with vulcanite which is more resilient and responds well to heat. I heated the oxidized portions of the stem with a Bic Lighter (moving the flame rapidly never leaving it in one spot too long) working carefully around the clover logo inserted in the stem, In the past I’ve had a few inserts on Kaywoodie and Dr. Grabow pipes pop out using this method of heat. At this time I heated the bit/button portion of the stem to raise some of the chatter.
With the oxidation removed I could begin sanding.
After giving the stummel time to sit to allow the cotton balls and EverClear to absorb the tars and oils I could do a good internal cleaning of the chamber,mortise and stem. Using cotton balls,Q-tips and stiff/soft pipe cleaners I cleaned the internals of the stummel and stem until the pipe cleaners came out as they went in.
After removing the chatter with 1000 grit sandpaper there was still one indentation on the button that did not raise with heat and would need filling. I mixed a paste using thick black CA glue and activated charcoal power, I taped off the button area so the fill would remain in one spot. I applied the paste with a toothpick allowed it to set up a bit, then removed the painters tape and hit it with the accelerator, setting it aside to cure.
After the fill had time to cure I began to form the new button with needle files and sandpaper. The stem could now be run though the various grits of micro-mesh.
I ran the stem through the various grits of sandpaper and micro-mesh. 1000 grit sandpaper wet, 1500,1800, 2000, 2400 wet and 3200-12000 dry. There were a few pieces of metal or aluminum embedded in the rubber which tells me it was wartime recycled rubber. You can see the embedded imperfections in my final photos. Tho not very noticeable.
I gave the stummel a wipe down with Howard’s butcher block conditioner and let it penetrate for a few minutes hand buffing off the excess. She was now ready for the wheel.
Finished up on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats of carnauba and a microfiber hand buffing, buffing the stem with blue compound & carnauba.
Pre-Transition Sasieni Two Dot 73
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just before hitting the wheel I wiped down the stummel with Method polish and let dry.
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.