In your OPINION, best restoration guy/place

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sjmiller

Senior Member
May 8, 2015
399
0
I like puttering about with old pipes that I pick up cheap. Turn on some music, light up a bowl and go to work. Reaming out the bowl, cleanly up the stem, polishing, it relaxes me. I found an old CPF Italia billiard on Ebay the other day that for some reason spoke to me. Don't know why but it. (When I remember where I put my camera I will post some pictures.) Picked it up for twenty bucks thinking I'll clean it up and try it out. If it is a good smoker I'll add it to my rotation and if not stick it with a couple others that I plan on sending to the Free Pipe Project.
It arrived to day and I noticed that there were some hallmarks on the sterling band. Two of the three were readable and after a little time on the net I traced the hallmarks and the order they were arranged. The marks were a star and an anchor followed by an unreadable letter. That arrangement, with the anchor in the middle, meant it dated to before 1900. I was figuring I would find a KBB stamp on it when I first bought, thinking it was probably one of the last lines put out before KB&B ended the brand. Not the case. I decided very quickly I would not be doing the work on this pipe.
So in your opinion, who is the best pipe restoration guy/place?

 

gphenry

Member
Jul 5, 2014
144
0
I recently researched the same thing and decided to sent a Savinelli Punta Oro I freed from eBay to Walker Pipe Repair. He has quite a number of projects in que, but his communication has been great and recommendations are good.
http://www.walkerpiperepair.com

 

tbradsim1

Preferred Member
Jan 14, 2012
7,442
12
Mike Meyers is my go to Guy. He took over from Walker whom he had worked for. He is reasonable, does immaculate work.

 

xrundog

Preferred Member
Oct 23, 2014
737
0
Ames, IA
A CPF would be a pre-1920 pipe. But American made pipes aren't hallmarked. They are faux marks designed to mimic English hallmarks. It's usually a star an anchor and some sort of hard to identify critter. Maybe a heraldic lion.

Not all of the later CPF pipes were double stamped. I've had several stamped "Bakelite" (after 1910 or so) that just had the CPF stamp.

I'm not saying your pipe can't be earlier, just that the single stamp isn't a reliable indicator.

 

darthvader

New member
May 29, 2015
11
0
I second Ric Farrah at Briarville. He's got three of my pipes at present. Did a great job on the last three. Especially replacement stems.

 

framitz

Senior Member
Oct 25, 2013
314
0
I started with David Wolfe then mike took over. He does great work. Walker pipe repair. Shel

 

kcghost

Preferred Member
May 6, 2011
2,343
15
If all you want is a routine refurb there are lots of guys. If you need repair work the number thins dramatically.

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,598
4
If all you want is a routine refurb there are lots of guys. If you need repair work the number thins dramatically.
True.
It's also true that there's a big difference between "cleaning" and "refurb/restoration" (though most people use the terms interchangeably), and true refurb/restoration involves no small amount of repair-type work.
An example is how a briar pipe's mortise becomes less cylindrical over time & use from heat and humidity cycling, tenon pressure, deposit build-up, and so forth, and ends up either jugged or conical (conical is more common), and almost always egg-shaped on top of that. And since refurbishing or restoring an object means "returning it to its original specifications" by definition, the mortise should made cylindrical again. As should the tenon which fits into it. And the tightness of the fit itself should be as it originally was.
Doing those things is not trivial in terms of required experience and skill, and the tools to do it are quite expensive. (A full .25" to .50" 64ths fractional set plus a full letter set of quality chucking reamers to do just the mortise part of that procedure is around $1200) The result? Non-repair-equipped refurbishers are forced to skip that operation completely.
There are more examples, but you get the idea. A buffer, some sandpaper, and an assortment of Fiebing's dyes does not a refurbisher make.
(The reason I get a bit twitchy about this subject is because the barriers to entry to be a "refurbisher" are so low that many people are doing it who shouldn't, and I often get asked to un-do their screw-ups. A situation which had a certain schadenfreude-esque satisfaction the first few times, but now just pisses me off.)

 

conlejm

Preferred Member
Mar 22, 2014
1,432
1
I'd like to add my praises for Ric at Briarville. He just fixed a Ferndown Cumberland stem I had snapped at the tenon. Very quick turnaround and it is as good as new! Thank you Ric!

 

danlaxx1

New member
May 19, 2016
16
0
I just sent two pipes that are 100+ years old for a restoration. One needed a few things done, the other just needed minor stuff. I'll post before/after pics when I receive them. AFAIK, his current back log is 2-3 weeks.

 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,493
3
He doesn't 'blow his own horn' but you've already heard from the one guy I think is the best in the business, right here on this thread.

Even G.L. Pease takes advantage of this man's expertise.

(the picture had his name beneath it, but it doesn't show...it's George Dibos!)