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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; Kyle, The bug bit me and I am accumulating the various stuff needed to refinish/restore pipes. Just picked up a ...

  
  1. #346

    Newbie in the ocean


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Kyle,
    The bug bit me and I am accumulating the various stuff needed to refinish/restore pipes. Just picked up a bench grinder and polishing pads. Could you describe when and how you would use a bench grinder in the process of refinishing a briar pipe? I read about half of these postings and lost patience, so going directly to the source.
    Second question: what colors would be in your Feiblings starter pack?
    Thanks in advance

  2. #347

    Newbie in the ocean


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Well, not sure this thread is still alive but I thought I might document how I approached my pipe restoration project. You see, I bought a large used humidor on eBay that happened to come with five old beat up pipes, a tobacco pouch and about 8 ounces of dry tobacco (which, when rehydrated wasn't bad at all). The pipes include an Essex, a Surrey, a Straight Grain, a Kaywoodie and a no-name, all smooth wood, no blast or rustication. My goal was to restore these pipes to be good, every day smoking pipes that I would be proud to use having restored them myself.

    Anyway, here is the process I used:

    1. Disassembly of pipe briar from stem. Put the stems aside
    2. Scrape bowl using pipe reamer back to the wood or as close as I could get
    3. Vigorous rub down of briar with acetone and nubby rag to remove whatever coating might be over the stain
    4. 0000 steel wool scrub down that did a great job of removing stains, burn marks and minor dents and scratches
    5. Packed the briar with kosher salt, filled with EverClear. Kept filling as it evaporates.
    6. Waited 24 hours
    7. Dug out salt/alcohol mix, fill bowl half way with EverClear and then used pipe cleaner to ream out the shank.
    8. Wiped the whole briar down with clean shop towel until dry.
    9. Buffed the entire surface of the briar with polishing wheel on Ryobi bench grinder (gave the wood a nice gloss and smooth surface)
    10. Applied successive layers of mineral oil over 12 hours
    11. Applied two layers of tung oil at 24 hour intervals, polishing with microfiber towel
    12. Applied two layers of Paragon Wax at 24 hour intervals, polishing with microfiber towel

    The wood really came alive and brightened up quite a bit.

    The stems are obviously very old. One has a piece of vulcanite (or whatever it's made of) missing from the mouthpiece but it's still smokable. The other four are just old stems, highly oxidized and dreary. I considered chlorinating them but have so far held off, not sure if I would ruin them, and thinking that they might not be so easy to replace.

    So far, here is what I have done:

    1. Using EverClear and pipe cleaners, I cleaned the interior thoroughly. They weren't too bad inside.
    2. I took a razor and gently worked off some of the heavy oxidation by the mouth piece where the plastic formed an edge. It was really just gentle scraping and didn't scratch or harm the stem.
    3. I took a toothbrush and some Barkeeper's Friend and worked the stems to try to break up the oxidation. I wasn't that impressed with the result although some came off. I used my finger and also a rag to apply more pressure and it seemed to work a bit better. Still, bite marks and scuffs still existed along with some discoloration. I may have used my 0000 steel wool on some of the stubborn patches but wasn't aggressive at all with it.
    4. Then I turned on the bench grinder with polishing wheel and shined up each stem. This turned out to be a good idea and I think it added a bit of glossy shine to the stems. Don't forget to wear eye protection.
    5. Finally, I applied Paragon Wax to the stems which did a nice job of preserving my progress and adding some depth to the color and appearance.

    The final result made me happy. The wood looks great, the exposed metal pieces are also very presentable and the stems are very acceptable. I should have taken "before" pictures as the contrast with the final result would have been fun to see.

    I hope this helps someone out there doing a pipe restoration for the first time. This was my first time and I found this thread to be very helpful in steering me in the right direction.

    My best to you.

  3. #348

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Sorry for disappearing David! Sounds like you did a heck of a good job on those pipes, that all sounded like a solid game plan. The only thing I'd add is my favorite stem trick: toothpaste. Take some normal white paste and use that with a rag to polish the stem, that will make' em really glow if they aren't already!

  4. #349

    Newbie in the ocean


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Hi Kyle, I did try toothpaste but not the old timey stuff. It just got gooey so I moved on to the Barkeeper's Friend. I will hunt down a tube of the old style toothpaste and try again.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  5. #350

    Snuff-hound steinr1's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quote Originally Posted by range rat View Post
    Hi Kyle, I did try toothpaste but not the old timey stuff. It just got gooey so I moved on to the Barkeeper's Friend. I will hunt down a tube of the old style toothpaste and try again.
    Thanks for the encouragement.
    I use an automotive paint cutting compound (T-Cut) to clean off oxidation and polish stems. Using a pipe cleaner soaked in this stuff allows you to remove the oxidation from the inside of the stem - an oft forgotten area. Oxidised vulcanite can give a horrible taste. All done "manually". A lot of work, but eventually all the oxidation will go while removing the minimum of material from the stem. I often leave a bit around any stamping on the stem to prevent complete loss of that detail.

    I'm not so sure about the use of mineral oils on a pipe. I'd stick with vegetal dyes for recolouring, if needed, and simply use carnuba wax to give the final shine. Briar is a very hard wood and will take a natural gloss without even this (as I'm sure you have noticed).
    "Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level." - Quentin Crisp

  6. #351

    Young Fish


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Been awhile, but I've been steadily restoring pipes, probably 14 or 15 by now. Anyway, I am going to tackle a rusticated Curva Italy pipe. The pipe has been well used, and the bowl's finish is worn off a good deal. Like many rusticated bowls I find the color too dark anyway so I am going to take a crack at it. Think I might use a read stain once it's ready. But i have to strip it first! If memory serves, acetone is the best way (I usually sand smooth pipes). So has anyone done this that can offer any helpful hints? Or tell me how it usually goes. I imagine taking some acetone, a rag, a toothbrush and wondering why it is taking so long. Is that about how it goes? Do you rub some acetone on and let it sit for a minute or two? I've never used the stuff for anything. Anyway, any and all thougths are welcome.

  7. #352

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Depends on what it's finished with. I refinished a pipe that had a thick heavy coat of polyurethane (or something similar). I used a chemical stripper made for wood furniture (Formby's) - worked great, but definitely faded the stain. The stuff I used was like a gel, I used a thick heavy rag (chopped up jeans, IIRC) to just rub it in and rub it off. I then let it sit for a while so the chemicals would evaporate, then lightly sanded it. Then refinish.

  8. #353

    Snuff-hound steinr1's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quote Originally Posted by gahdzila View Post
    Depends on what it's finished with. I refinished a pipe that had a thick heavy coat of polyurethane (or something similar). I used a chemical stripper made for wood furniture (Formby's) - worked great, but definitely faded the stain. The stuff I used was like a gel, I used a thick heavy rag (chopped up jeans, IIRC) to just rub it in and rub it off. I then let it sit for a while so the chemicals would evaporate, then lightly sanded it. Then refinish.
    Agreed, gel paint strippers are probably the best idea for a rusticated pipe. They stand the best chance of removing everything from the little recesses. One point, it's best to dab or stipple on and similarly remove without rubbing as that can press the paint residue deeper into recesses. The paint should lift and be "peeled" or just washed off.

    I believe that Formby's is one of the gentler ones. Acetone and/or toluene? The Big Kahunas are the dichloromethane (DCM) based ones. DCM is being phased out of many strippers as it is nasty. Goggles, gloves and if you are using it for long periods, a respirator. Get the smallest drop on your skin and you will know about it. They WILL remove anything. Post treatment is normally by washing in lots of water so it's debateable how suitable for pipes they might be. Briar will dry. Part of the curing process is boiling, but after carving that might not be the best idea. I'm also a bit dubious about DCM based strippers as they can cause respiratory problems. You's need to be pretty certain that all the chemicals were removed before using a DCM stripped pipe. I know to my cost that the tiniest trace, otherwise undetectable, is still very active. A second stripping and repaint because of paint bubbling is annoying.

    Good luck and be careful...


    Or maybe bead blasting? Gentle on the wood and no worries about chemicals. Can't be more than a couple of minutes work for a friendly metal refinisher. Bet they've never been asked to do a pipe. They'll think it's for an engine exhaust rather than a human inlet.
    Last edited by steinr1; 06-13-2013 at 04:51 AM.
    "Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level." - Quentin Crisp

  9. #354

    Young Fish


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    well, I tried the bead blasting and it worked great! getting everything even was a bit of a challenge, but I am happy with the results. I will try to get a photo up when I finally get around to finishing this guy.

  10. #355

    Snuff-hound steinr1's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quote Originally Posted by labazro View Post
    well, I tried the bead blasting and it worked great! getting everything even was a bit of a challenge, but I am happy with the results. I will try to get a photo up when I finally get around to finishing this guy.
    Brilliant! Sounds like you might have done the blasting yourself. I'd love to have the facilities to do that, but on a scale that would deal with motorcycle components. (A friend stripped a frame using one of those hobby-scale spot blasters. Took absolutely ages...)

    Post a piccy of the blasted pipe before refinishing if you can. I'd like to see that.
    Last edited by steinr1; 07-01-2013 at 02:25 PM.
    "Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level." - Quentin Crisp

  11. #356

    Young Fish


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Here you go. Actually, my uncle had the equipment. We blasted two pipes, the first as R&D. I hope this photo comes through.
    How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE-pipe.jpg

  12. #357

    Full grown Puffer Fish jco3rd's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Hey Kyle! I have not so much of a restoration question as a repair question...



    Any suggestions? lol.

  13. #358

    Wizard of the puff shire Gandalf The Gray's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quote Originally Posted by jco3rd View Post
    Hey Kyle! I have not so much of a restoration question as a repair question...



    Any suggestions? lol.
    How much of the shank broke off?

  14. #359

    Snuff-hound steinr1's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quote Originally Posted by jco3rd View Post
    Hey Kyle! I have not so much of a restoration question as a repair question...
    Nasty place to break. If it's a relatively inexpensive pipe and/or one without sentimental value (i.e. nothing to lose...), I'd do this:

    Bore out the shank and bowl to take a brass tube of appropriate I/D. Line the entire length of the bore with this. No change in diameter to catch a pipe cleaner. Interference fit in the existing bore opened out to suit. Thickest walled tube you can find that fits. The two parts should still line up perfectly well and the break looks fresh and clean so hopefully will close fully. Drill three or four holes at an angle through the shank into the stub of the bowl avoiding the new liner tube. Different angles to give a bit of torsional integrity. Don't cross the streams! Either push brass pins (interference fit again) or better still, screw in appropriate thin threaded brass rod. End the pins below the surface so a bit of filler can be used to cover. Filler, if any, to the break should be cosmetic only. Steel can be used throughout. Better strength, but risk of rusting.

    Voila! A rival to Frankenpipe.

    How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE-dscf6093.jpg
    "Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level." - Quentin Crisp

  15. #360

    Full grown Puffer Fish jco3rd's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quote Originally Posted by Gandalf The Gray View Post
    How much of the shank broke off?
    This much:



    Robert thank you for the suggestion. What do you think about doing that, and then just wood glue to hold it together instead of brass pins or threaded rod?

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