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How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

This is a discussion on How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE within the The Pipe Hobby How-To Discussion Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; ...

  
  1. #16

    Young Puffer Fish jwreed81's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Awesome post Kyle! As a newbie I've been hunting down this exact information myself, as you so well described. Nice to see your take, especially after you have seen all the other sites that I have been reading too.

    Yesterday, I received 10 pipes I won on ebay [First Pic], four of them I had questions about restoring/repairing. I'm presently working on them. I was gonna post a new thread about them and asking for advice, but thought you should take first crack (haha bad joke) at these. Maybe you got a tip or too for me?

    Mister Moo answered most of my calabash questions in another post - basically I understand to leave the bowl alone unless its caked, treat the stem as usual, and soak the gourd in alcohol and salt, then scrape gunk out... and pretty much nothin' else. I will clean the out side a bit though since mine has a little green crap stuck to the gourd and the bowl [Calabash 4].

    I also got a meerschaum lined briar but it has a lot (for meer) of cake buildup inside the bowl. I have a reamer now, but have never used one. I little hesitant to remove my first cake off of meerschaum! Is there anything I should try instead or maybe practice on first? [Meer Bowl 1-4]

    Now the more difficult questions for me concern a Ben Wade and a Savinelli, both are cracked. I am searching for a bit of info about them (being such a noob I don't know much more than Wikipedia about them), and whether they are fixable, how much should it cost to have them repaired, or if I should do it myself? [Ben Wade & Savinelli pics]

    I wouldn't mind a great couple of smokers, especially if repairing them cost me less than new ones. Since I don't have any sentimentality for these pipes and not really looking for a resale, I'm thinking about doing the work myself and forgiving the blemishes/mistakes I make…unless these are something really worth fixing right

    The Savinelli is cracked from underneath the bowl around to the front rim, with the grain along the centerline of the pipe. Its a small crack, but looks like it is split thru at the rim, not sure about the bowl. Looks like it might have been fixed once? (in the pic the ends of the crack have red arrows and there is a grey dotted line running ~.5" BENEATH the crack for identification purposes)

    The Ben Wade has a large crack running spanning the whole right side of the bowl from the shank to a bit past center, against the grain, running "horizontally" across the bowl. The crack is wide enough to fit a razor blade into. Must have been drooped hot or something cause this looks like a violent crack?

    Sorry, hope this wasn't too long and made sense! Thanks a bunch!

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  2. #17

    CBR
    CBR is offline
    Cheques & Balances CBR's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Good post, Kyle. I'm sure this'll be helpful to many prospective restorers.

  3. #18

    Young Puffer Fish jwreed81's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    errr...pic loading issues...couldn't edit anymore... just follow this link to my Photobucket Album

  4. #19

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Awesome post Kyle! As a newbie I've been hunting down this exact information myself, as you so well described. Nice to see your take, especially after you have seen all the other sites that I have been reading too. Thanks! I just love talking about pipe restoring. Its a big personal hobby of mine. Always more than happy to help! SorryI couldn't respond within the day, was busy as a bee last night!

    Yesterday, I received 10 pipes I won on ebay [First Pic], four of them I had questions about restoring/repairing. I'm presently working on them. I was gonna post a new thread about them and asking for advice, but thought you should take first crack (haha bad joke) at these. Maybe you got a tip or too for me? VERY pretty pipes. Especially that ben wade. Can't wait to see them finished!! I'd love to give any pointers I can.

    Mister Moo answered most of my calabash questions in another post - basically I understand to leave the bowl alone unless its caked, treat the stem as usual, and soak the gourd in alcohol and salt, then scrape gunk out... and pretty much nothin' else. I will clean the out side a bit though since mine has a little green crap stuck to the gourd and the bowl [Calabash 4]. I defer to Mister Moo on a calabash. I'm a briar guy, personally. No hands on experience with meer or calabash. It sounds like thats a pretty good game plan though.

    I also got a meerschaum lined briar but it has a lot (for meer) of cake buildup inside the bowl. I have a reamer now, but have never used one. I little hesitant to remove my first cake off of meerschaum! Is there anything I should try instead or maybe practice on first? [Meer Bowl 1-4]
    One thing I will say about this project, dont ream a meer. You want grain alcohol and lots of it. Everclear. Rather than reaming, you want to dissolve it off. Use a rag and gently rub the cake with a everclear soaked rag then give it a good soak with the stuff. Repeat. If this doesn't work, use a dowel rod with high grit sandpaper wrapped on it. Usually I'm a large proponentof just using a sharp knife, but in this case, a knife or reamer could remove the meer too (or gouge it).

    Now the more difficult questions for me concern a Ben Wade and a Savinelli, both are cracked. I am searching for a bit of info about them (being such a noob I don't know much more than Wikipedia about them), and whether they are fixable, how much should it cost to have them repaired, or if I should do it myself? [Ben Wade & Savinelli pics] I think you should always do it yourself, if possible. Its easy to send it somewhere and have them send it back brand new a week or so later. But you don't know what they did with it. Pipe restoration will teach you more about the pipe. It'll show you the grain at its best and at its worst. It turns these pipes into something you CAN be sentimental about.

    I wouldn't mind a great couple of smokers, especially if repairing them cost me less than new ones. Since I don't have any sentimentality for these pipes and not really looking for a resale, I'm thinking about doing the work myself and forgiving the blemishes/mistakes I make…unless these are something really worth fixing right
    I think its all worth fixing right. So I'm hoping I can help you do that!

    The Savinelli is cracked from underneath the bowl around to the front rim, with the grain along the centerline of the pipe. Its a small crack, but looks like it is split thru at the rim, not sure about the bowl. Looks like it might have been fixed once? (in the pic the ends of the crack have red arrows and there is a grey dotted line running ~.5" BENEATH the crack for identification purposes)
    What I've hear you can do for hairline crack like that is superglue them. Now, this is going to involve a reshinish. You'll want to use acetone (or your material of choice) to remove the old carnauba finish and whatever else is on it. Then put a line of super glue down the crack. After letting that dry for a day or so, take 0000 grit steel wool (I do everything with this stuff!) and buff that area down. It should leave just the crack filled with the glue. Your other option is a wood filler. You'd do the same thing with that but make sure no alcohol or acetone get on the pipe afterwards. I'll dissolve the fill.

    The Ben Wade has a large crack running spanning the whole right side of the bowl from the shank to a bit past center, against the grain, running "horizontally" across the bowl. The crack is wide enough to fit a razor blade into. Must have been drooped hot or something cause this looks like a violent crack? You have the same options here for repair. In both of these cases, if the crack actually goes into the pipe, you might have future smoking troubles until you build cake over it. I have pipes that have cracks in the rim and for a white they weren't great smokers. But the more cake over that crack you develop, the more and more it'll smoke like the crack isn't even there.

    Sorry, hope this wasn't too long and made sense! Thanks a bunch!
    Always glad to help!!

  5. #20

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Very cool idea, and a great community service.

    Your advice to superglue cracks. . .it's good advice, I've done it on many restorations (filling the crack w/ briar dust before applying the superglue helps wick it deep in there and look less noticeable, too =D ).

    My worry is that since you are talking to people who may not know any better, you might note the dangers of superglue coming into contact with direct heat. It's my understanding the results can be quite toxic. So we should only glue cracks that don't actually make it into the bowl.

    I had no idea this was the case, thank you a ton Dave for your help! Luckily, I've never used this trick on a pipe with a deep enough crack but all you of that use this tip, take sure you use it safely!

    PM-ing you instead of posting, because I didn't want you to feel undermined in your own thread. I think it's a great thing you're doing. Wish someone had put this together back when I started restoration work!

    You'll never get a complaint from me! We all learn somehow. Most of my mistakes have, at the very worst, ruined an old pipe. Learning lessons with that as the very worst outcome is one thing, but when health is at risk (anymore than we already risk it by enjoying this wonderful leaf ) its much different. As I said before, please make sure if you're supergluing, use it wisely. If theres any chance it might be too deep, go with woodglue or fill! You can still smoke an imperfect pipe, you can't smoke if you're sick!

    And as always, I'm so glad this thread is helpful! Keep those questions coming, maybe I'll get a sticky!!


    Best,
    Dave

  6. #21

    Señor Corncob


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quick question, my first estate pipe i received earlier is a Peterson Tankard which was already restored by a popular E-tailer which i also immediately smoked a bowl of Dunhill EMP out of, smoked great but before smoking and after smoking there was an odor left that reeked of a really nauseating burning rubber smell which i have never experienced before....how can i get rid of the smell? or should i just continue to smoke out of it in hopes of burning away whatever was left over in the bowl after restoration?

  7. #22

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quick question, my first estate pipe i received earlier is a Peterson Tankard which was already restored by a popular E-tailer which i also immediately smoked a bowl of Dunhill EMP out of, smoked great but before smoking and after smoking there was an odor left that reeked of a really nauseating burning rubber smell which i have never experienced before....how can i get rid of the smell? or should i just continue to smoke out of it in hopes of burning away whatever was left over in the bowl after restoration?

    Nauseating burning rubber you say? Sounds like my first experience with latakia! Hahaha kidding of course, I'm sure thats not the case. What I would recommend is the salt treatment. Sometimes those restored pipes have been restored a little more recently and haven't had a time to release all the fumes or residues from whatever they cleaned with. This is one thing you'll be able to find pretty readily. Jump on youtube and type it in, if you have any troubles, I'll be happy to explain on here as well!

  8. #23

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    That was my first thought; "stop smoking latakia".

    Have you found a way to clean tar buildup off the rim without having to go through a total refinishing job?
    ********.com

  9. #24

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    That was my first thought; "stop smoking latakia".

    Have you found a way to clean tar buildup off the rim without having to go through a total refinishing job?

    While I do prefer to use acetone and pull the entire finish off then refinish, you also can use a rag and some spit. Another option is just redoing the rim. Using a qtip, acetone, and some careful rag rubbing, you can take the finish off the rim then rewax just that area. If thats not an option, a bit of saliva and an old rag will do the trip. Spit on the rag and use a nice bit of elbow grease and the tar and junk will come right off!

  10. #25

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Here's a recent project of mine for a friend. He's a big LOTR fan but wanted something a little more functional than a churchwarden. I restored a nice little zulu for him; it reminded him a lot of the clay pipes the old hobbit men smoke and the one Aragorn has.

    A little before and after...

    and...

  11. #26

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    No more questions guys?? C'mon, I know someone out there has something to say!!

  12. #27

    Briar Fish CaptainEnormous's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quote Originally Posted by karatekyle View Post
    No more questions guys?? C'mon, I know someone out there has something to say!!
    I've got one: Some of the "Pro" repair-people say they are able to transfer stamps on replacement stems. I can't, for the life of me, imagine how they'd do that. Aside from having spare Sav or Pete metal stamps around.

    Also, do you know what material is usually used to color a stem stamp? I know the dots are often lucite rod. . .drill a tiny hole, insert rod, trim, sand--recent Dunhills and older Saseini do this to great effect. But what about the plain white "paint" in a stem stamp? Like the Savinelli crown stamp, or the Peterson "p". Is it just some kind of paint? Some other material?

  13. #28

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    I've got one: Some of the "Pro" repair-people say they are able to transfer stamps on replacement stems. I can't, for the life of me, imagine how they'd do that. Aside from having spare Sav or Pete metal stamps around.

    I've head of this as well. I had some trouble refurbing a stem a while back (HEAVILY oxidized) but I wanted to keep the markings. A few people I emailed said if you're really serious about keeping the markings, use a little bit of clay and push it into the stamped area. I tried it and gave up. Its quite tough and takes a few tries and patience. After the clay dries, you're supposed to warm the area on the stem you're looking to stamp (zippo lighter or heat gun) then use your homemade clay stamp. I'm sure the really serious restoreers could have a small metal stamp made if they have to do it a lot.

    Also, do you know what material is usually used to color a stem stamp? I know the dots are often lucite rod. . .drill a tiny hole, insert rod, trim, sand--recent Dunhills and older Saseini do this to great effect. But what about the plain white "paint" in a stem stamp? Like the Savinelli crown stamp, or the Peterson "p". Is it just some kind of paint? Some other material?

    A lot of times when I'm cleaning my stems, that white paint will come off. Usually its set into the stem in a depressed stamp or something. What I do when I'm done cleaning is take whiteout/liquid paper/white paint (all have worked wonderfully) and paint a blob of sorts onto the area. After much trying, go back and polish the pipe in that area. It will leave the paint that isn't flush with the surface (ie the paint in the stamp). Just to give it a really professional job, I like to do another quick coat over it with a drop of polyurethane or some other wood finish. Then polish the excess off and wax and polish the whole stem. You'll be left with a pretty white detailed stamp that won't be in any hurry to flake or chip off.

  14. #29

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Working on turning a pretty Gardesana H.I.S. into a dress pipe. Removing finish so far has been a pain. I'll post pictures when its done, its a nice rusticated saddle bit billiard. It'll look great all black and shiny!

  15. #30

    ! jader's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    I have almost completed 2 of the 8 pipes. Both are/were almost complete except for the final polishing with carnuba (which is in the mail).

    One of them, the Kaywoodie Carburetor, still has a trace of an odor coming from both the bit and the bowl. After 3 salt treatments on the bowl and tons of alcohol, magic erasers, and polishing on the stem I am still detecting a "musty" smell. I cannot bleach the stem since the "tenon" is metal, so I am thinking of trying to sand it down a bit more and do some spot bleach treatment on the mouthpiece and use 151 inside. For the bowl, I am considering the "aquarium carbon in the oven technique". Any suggestions?

    The other pipe will be ready to smoke in a few days after I let it dry out for a few more days and apply the final carnuba. Really the only hiccup with this one was that it is deeply rusticated so there was a ton of build upin the nooks and crannies. The final technique that worked was actually goof off.

    By the way, I absolutely find great joy in reaming the bowl with my knife, a small pick, rat tail file and 600 grit sandpaper. And considering only 2 of the 4 bowls that I have reamed are normal shapes, I am not sure I will be buying any reamer. Thanks for the tip!

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