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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; Originally Posted by jader I have almost completed 2 of the 8 pipes. Both are/were almost complete except for the ...

  
  1. #31

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quote Originally Posted by jader View Post
    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!
    Honestly I've always throught the best way to get the old smell out is put a new smell in. I find that the salt and alcohol treatment (or the alcohol retort treatment, something you may want to look into as well) takes a little flavor out of the pipe. The reason pipes don't smoke well at first is because they have no cake. The cake helps mellow the flavor of what you're smoking as well as protect the bowl. Many swear by caking a bowl with PA or CH. Thats because it leaves a good amount of sugar in your bowl. As you smoke the pipe, that sweetness will come through in the smoke. Now I'm about to give you advice that could mean expulsion from the "cigar side" indefinitely...

    ACID cigars.

    Horrifying, right? Wedge an ACID kuba kuba in your pipe. As shallow as possible. Commence smoking. I have a medico I did this with. It was wayyy old. Smelled absolutely terrible. I tried it with a normal cigar, no luck. Decided "what the heck, It'll be a aro pipe anyway, I'll try it with an ACID." The cigar smoke re-flavors the inside and gives it a decent ghost to cover the pipes musty smell. ACID will leave a little sugar in as well. Now yes, there will be a ghost. Yes, you will taste ACID cigars for your first few smokes after. The trick is to wipe the inside down with a dry paper towel after the pipe dries and cools. Less noticable ghost.

    Try it with a normal medium/mild bodied cigar first. It will taste like cigar but it will cover old weird mustiness with a tobacco flavor. If that doesn't sound do-able, just smoke the pipe with something strong. After 10 or so smokes, you'll never be able to tell the difference. But I stand by my cigar-in-pipe cleaning method. I find that it works great and adds a slight flavor to my pipe that I tend to really enjoy for that first few smokes.

    Glad you enjoy that hand-reaming! Frankly, I think its a just plain better way to ream. Better end product. And it doesn't hurt that it makes the project a lot more personal. I just reamed a dress pipe I'm making last night! Doesn't look to shabby if I do say so myself

  2. #32

    ! jader's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Kyle, Thanks for the input. I may try the cigar method but I feel it maybe limited to pipes that I intend to keep.

    My thoughts with your method is it does not necessarily fix the problem, it just masks them. Not that I intend to sell any of the pipes I am restoring right now. In the future, after I build up skills, I would not mind selling the occasional refurb to help supplement my spending habits. I know if I was buying a used pipe from someone that was reconditioned, I would be highly disappointed if there was any odor coming from the pipe, be it tobacco, must/mildew, or anything else that smells.

    After a bit more research, I see multiple references to getting the musty smell out by filling the bowl 1/2 full with alcohol then burning it off. Anyone have an opinion on this?

  3. #33

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quote Originally Posted by jader View Post
    Kyle, Thanks for the input. I may try the cigar method but I feel it maybe limited to pipes that I intend to keep.

    My thoughts with your method is it does not necessarily fix the problem, it just masks them. Not that I intend to sell any of the pipes I am restoring right now. In the future, after I build up skills, I would not mind selling the occasional refurb to help supplement my spending habits. I know if I was buying a used pipe from someone that was reconditioned, I would be highly disappointed if there was any odor coming from the pipe, be it tobacco, must/mildew, or anything else that smells.

    After a bit more research, I see multiple references to getting the musty smell out by filling the bowl 1/2 full with alcohol then burning it off. Anyone have an opinion on this?
    I'm afraid thats probably true. I'm a pipe packrat, never sold one I've refurbed. The burning method is a sort of a different way to do the alcohol retort. As far as alcohol goes, go for the retort. Its the supreme way of cleaning a pipe. You'll find tonsss of videos online of how to retort a pipe. If anything could get the mustiness out, its the retort.

  4. #34

    ! jader's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Thanks Kyle, I really like the idea of the retort, one of the things I am finding I hate to do is clean the shank and inside bit, as its just a bit PITA. I swear with the number of pipe cleaners I have used on these two pipes alone, I could probably justify the $22.

    On a side note, I switched from Irish whiskey to 91% Isopropyl alcohol. I was going to wait until my second set of pipes, but figured maybe the salt treatment with the higher alcohol content would work to clean up this ghost. Oh, I also found someone that was using cotton balls instead of salt for their sweetening treatment. Have you tried this?

  5. #35

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quote Originally Posted by jader View Post
    Thanks Kyle, I really like the idea of the retort, one of the things I am finding I hate to do is clean the shank and inside bit, as its just a bit PITA. I swear with the number of pipe cleaners I have used on these two pipes alone, I could probably justify the $22.

    On a side note, I switched from Irish whiskey to 91% Isopropyl alcohol. I was going to wait until my second set of pipes, but figured maybe the salt treatment with the higher alcohol content would work to clean up this ghost. Oh, I also found someone that was using cotton balls instead of salt for their sweetening treatment. Have you tried this?
    I always use salt. Picking all the little pieces of cotton out of the bowl is the very definition of a PITA. Also, go for pure grain ethanol. EverClear. Isopropyl, even 91%, seems to just not work as well as ethanol. 91 iso will be better than irish whisky but if you're still having problems, try out that everclear. Everclear will work with a retort as well so if you still have problems after that, try out the retort with a bit of that ethanol.

    I find retorts funny. Its like your pipe gets a little taste of what college is like. (The everclear goes in, then the everclear comes out. Repeat.)

  6. #36

    ! jader's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Best I can get here in florida is 151, no high grade Everclear.

  7. #37

    Maturing Puffer Fish JD11's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    How does 99% isopropryl alcohol (use for cleaning Fiber Optics) compare to ethanol ?

  8. #38

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quote Originally Posted by JD11 View Post
    How does 99% isopropryl alcohol (use for cleaning Fiber Optics) compare to ethanol ?
    Never actually used 99% iso. Always just stuck with EverClear when I need it.

  9. #39

    ! jader's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    I tried using the Isopropyl Alcohol method since i cannot get the 190 proof liquor in Florida. I really like its cleaning power over 80 proof liquor. It removed gunk that standard 80 proof did not penetrate. Unfortunately, the taste of 2 pipes I smoked were horrendous. Some of it was related to the Isopropyl and some may be because of a residual musty smell still in the pipes after my cotton ball/alcohol treatments. I ended up putting two pipes in the stove with some carbon last night to see if that removes the bad flavor. One was not smoked out of yet, and the other was. Any smells are gone, so lets see how they taste.

    If this ends up working, my de-ghosting method may still use the 91% Isopropyl Alcohol with the carbon/heating as the final touch. I would rather have a method that leaves behind no flavor, rather then imparting the 151 vodka (yes I can taste the vodka flavor) or 151 rum.

    As for polishing, i was very happy with the way things came out. I took some pictures after the final buffing. Unfortunately, I do not have before pics, and now I have to re-apply carnuba after heating the pipes .

    On the next round, one of my main focuses will be to remove all teeth marks from the stem. I did an OK job with the initial pipes, but they were not perfect. I think starting off with a 220 grit sanding instead of 600 grit will work out well.

    For the stems, I was thinking about trying the bleaching method for sanitation purpose as well.
    Has anyone tried bleaching the stems first to remove the heavy oxidation?
    If so, do you still clean the airway with alcohol/pipe cleaners before you start or does the bleach handle that?
    I do know that i have to cover up any painted markings with Vaseline, but do I also do this for etched/stamped markings?

  10. #40

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Never really done a whole lot with stem bleaching. Lets get some other minds in here too, any one else have advice they can add??

  11. #41

    Pipe making Gorilla caskwith's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    I used to bleach stems, but found it isnt really all the necessary as you to remove oxidation you still need to sand or scrap. A quick soak for hygiene reasons however is not a bad idea and it does serve to soften the oxidation somewhat. Wet and dry sandpaper in around 400 grit is good for heavy oxidation removal followed by 1000grit and a buffer. Also a scraper is good for getting rid of the worse followed by the 400, 1000 and buffer. If you dont have a buffer then micromesh is your answer.

  12. #42

    Huge Puffer Fish packed with spikes cp478's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Mr Clean magic erasers work great on the oxidation. I tried the bleach and didnt find it necessary. I use the magic erasers and some pipe sweetener or alchohol.
    Corporal Punishment!

  13. #43

    Pipe making Gorilla caskwith's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    Quote Originally Posted by cp478 View Post
    Mr Clean magic erasers work great on the oxidation. I tried the bleach and didnt find it necessary. I use the magic erasers and some pipe sweetener or alchohol.
    They are very good and don't leave deep scratches however I find they are not abrasive enough to remove deep oxidation and they can be very slow. You still need to buff afterwards as well if you want a shiny stem.

  14. #44

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    I've heard magic erasers work for mild oxidation as well, might have to try that. As far as buffing stems, what do you guys use? I know carnauba was is an obvious answer. What about toothpaste? I use that a lot now. Toothpaste on a rag and buff it onto the stem. Its an ulta fine abrasive that takes the stem to a really nice shine before you put wax on it.

    And thanks for your help guys, any other questions out there?

  15. #45

    ! jader's Avatar


     

    Re: How To Restore Estate Pipes YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE

    I tried the magic eraser and that worked fine as well. But yesterday I did try bleaching and i have to say I actually prefer to any other method. I think it gets the oxidation off nicely and then the stem is just left to do some sanding. I did a 225 grit, followed by 660 grit, then some Tripoli on the wheel. I think the best part about the whole process, I did not have to spend and hour getting buildup from the inside of the stem. Once the pipe is done with its alcohol treatment, then I will finish up the stem with white diamond and carnuba.

    On a bad note, I did crack break off a piece of the the tenon doing some thing stupid with pliers. Since this was a Savinelli, I thought that it had a removable insert like my others. Unfortunately that was not the case, ergo the crack.The good news is the pipe will still be usable and I learned my lesson.

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