Brigham Estate Restoration (14 pictures)

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cgrd

Member
Feb 7, 2012
186
0
Winnipeg, MB
There was a large fundraiser flea market in town this past weekend. I wandered through looking for pipes, found a couple interesting ones but the vendors were asking champagne prices for 7-up. Unbeknownst to me, my parents had rolled through earlier and my Mom picked up a pipe for me! I decided to document my restoration process this time, and share the fun with everyone! :)
It's a Brigham two dot, shape 19. From the logo my guess is that it's circa 1980-1990. It appears to have been smoked maybe once. The finish of the pipe is in good shape.


The stem is jammed in there, and hardly moved. I had to twist it out (while praying to the pipe gods). There was about a 2mm gap between the stem and the shank. Oriented properly in the shank, the stem matched the shank; there weren't any irregularities that made me think it was a stem replacement. Perhaps the wood expanded?


The stem had oxidized, and spent some time in someone's mouth. There was a little bit of chatter, but a lot of gunk. Bleh, that old saying of not looking a gift horse in the mouth may apply to pipes!


There was a bit of rim char, but the chamber itself was nearly pristine. It had either been reamed back to wood or had only been smoked once or twice. Or, perhaps it was used as a prop? Either way, I was surprised.




I soaked the pipe stem in oxyclean for a couple of hours, rinsed it off and then used a magic eraser and a drop of Murphy's Oil Soap on the stem and pipe. That cleared off the oxidation on the pipe stem and the char on the rim. The gap between stem and shank was still there, and it the stem was still dangerously tight to insert or remove.






At this time, I took the opportunity to disinfect the stem with some Irish whiskey. I ran a whiskey soaked q-tip through the tenon and used another q-tip to scrub the shank. I set everything aside until after dinner.
The stem was dull and slightly "gritty" feeling after its cleaning, so I then used the full range of micromesh sanding pads to bring it back to smooth, shiny, and black. I also used the micromesh on the tenon to allow it to fit into the pipe more easily. Once I was happy with the stem and its fit, I rubbed on a generous amount of a beeswax & mineral oil mixture and hand buffed it.




Overall, it took about one hour of dedicated work throughout my day and I'm quite pleased with the result!








I did have a couple of questions for the Brigham experts here. I have not been able to find Shape #19 on Brigham's site or through Google. Any help there? I have also not seen that type of mouthpiece on a stem before...any info on that?
Thanks!

Chris.

 

gmwolford

Preferred Member
Jul 26, 2012
1,355
0
WV, USA
That is a rather unique looking stem/ bit; I'd be interested to know more about it, too.
Sometimes tar and buildup inside the mortise/shank will cause a very tight fit, both hard to remove and replace. I found out the (almost) hard way to always really clean that are real well before reducing the tenon diameter. Hope that helps in the future. Nice job, by the way, on that old gal.

 

cgrd

Member
Feb 7, 2012
186
0
Winnipeg, MB
Thanks Greg!
I had scrubbed the mortise/shank with a booze soaked q-tip and they were coming out clean. The old Brigham pipes have an aluminum tenon, so they're pretty tough. I used the micromesh pads to just remove enough for the stem to go in without me pushing as hard as I can. It's still tight but I'm no longer afraid that I'll snap the shank!

 

gmwolford

Preferred Member
Jul 26, 2012
1,355
0
WV, USA
No problem. Did you happen to rub a little beeswax on the tenon? Does wonder on too tight or too loose stems.

 

redbeard

Preferred Member
Jan 2, 2013
842
0
You asked my question, that end on that stem looks insane. Pretty cool pipe, and I don't see how there is any char on that rim with such a pristine bowl! Nice find! Even better your mom bought it for you so you can treasure it that much more.

 

fnord

Preferred Member
Dec 28, 2011
2,752
0
Topeka, KS
Chris:
Your mom did right by you and you did a superb job on the restoration. Well done.
The mouthpiece reminds of an old ad - Bewlay maybe - I once saw advertising pipes for denture wearers.
I just ran a Google search and found an entry in the pipemakersforum.
http://www.pipemakersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=8650
Looks like a ringer for yours.
Fnord

 

agnosticpipe

Preferred Member
Nov 3, 2013
2,586
4
Really nice pipe cgrd! I don't know that much about Brighams, abut would like to try one sometime. I have never seen a stem/button like that before, really unique. Great restore, enjoy smoking it. :clap:

 

petes03

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
5,245
0
Nice job! That is an unusual button on that stem, but a great looking pipe!

 

rockymtnsmoker

Senior Member
May 31, 2013
418
0
Nice resto! And what a nice mom to get you the pipe in the first place. Waiting on an older Brig I scored on Etsy to arrive so I can have some fun, too. I have a 1970s era Falcon with a bit like that. If I recall correctly, it is actually called a dental bit.

 

cgrd

Member
Feb 7, 2012
186
0
Winnipeg, MB
@rockymtnsmoker - Google image search shows that it is, thanks!
@ocpsdan - Ha! I'm in the midst of a Canadian prairie winter. I doubt I'll be able to smoke anything before April.

 

loseth

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2012
367
0
What did you use to scrub with the micromesh? Wax? Nothing? And what kind of cloth did you buff it with?

 

cgrd

Member
Feb 7, 2012
186
0
Winnipeg, MB
After the pipe soaked in the oxyclean, I used a magic eraser. Once the oxidation was off (the sponge came up clean) I added a drop of Murphy's oil soap and gently scrubbed the entire pipe with the magic eraser.
The micromesh are just sanding pads, I kept the stem and the pads wet, then used the 12000 grit on a dry stem. I used beeswax & mineral oil on a chamois cloth to hand buff the wax, and then a microfibre cloth to give it a final wipe down. I plan on buffing the stem a couple more times to work the wax in, and then apply a bit of straight beeswax to the tenon to aid in its removal from the pipe shank.

 

pruss

Preferred Member
Feb 6, 2013
3,427
0
Mytown
Nicely done!
Thanks for all the pics from different angles. What a pretty Canadian.
Don't worry, Spring will come to The 'Peg soon, and you'll be puffing again.
-- Pat