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gmwolford

Preferred Member
Jul 26, 2012
1,355
0
WV, USA
This is the old Master Craft I'm restoring:

It is one of the ones I got in my very first lot from a local antique mall. I've already started on the stem and forgot to photograph the bite marks on it; it sort of reminded my of Dracula's pipe from the two sharp, deep mark on top and bottom. In fact, I wouldn't have any before shot had my son not taken and saved a very few on his phone when we first unpacked them.
More photos to come ...

 

fnord

Preferred Member
Dec 28, 2011
2,747
0
Topeka, KS
Go get'em, Greg.
I can't wait to see what you do to this burner.
The top of the bowl looks a bit bashed in. Are you going to sand it down?
Please show the before, during and after pix.
Fnord

 

gmwolford

Preferred Member
Jul 26, 2012
1,355
0
WV, USA
Well, I wish I'd thought of taking photos as I did it, Fnord. But I didn't :roll:
The old gal was in pretty rough shape: there were several fills and the top of the bowl beat and charred badly. I started with acetate to remove the finish and grime, on the whole pipe save the nomenclature which was already light; I covered this with tape. Next I wiped her down, several times with 91% alcohol, of the rubbing variety. I had to start with 150 on the bowl to get it topped evenly; I still didn't get all the scorching off; I didn't want to go any deeper though.
I took my gathered briar dust and some super glue gel and went to work on the fills, most of which had fallen out already; maybe those were actually sandpits, but I digress ... There is one on the left side near the shank/bowl union that didn't come out too great but the others (except for the two-ish I missed completely) came out pretty good, especially for a first try I think. Now time to sand ...
Next came sandpaper for the entire pipe, rim and all, of 220/320/400; I stopped here after reading some advise on another thread that I may have been sanding too fine. I think that the advise was spot on as the stain soaked in much better it seemed. I probably could have gone to 600 but I was out of that grit so I skipped it.
Now for the big first time thing: Flaming in alcohol dye! I've applied it on other pipes but hadn't gotten the nerve up to set them ablaze. I set up an adjustable vise on mt table edge and clamped in a bamboo chopstick to hold the bowl; I set the shank on it. I applied a good coat of a custom mixed Fiebing's leather dye and set the Zippo to her. Whoosh! The whole pipe was was immediately engulfed with a blue flame, kind of eerie (and crazy) looking site it was. I watched as the dye dried up before my eyes, soaking into the thirsty wood, and the blue flame gently died away. I had survived the flaming in of the color, to my great relief. So, I did again, partly because I thought it probably needed it and partly because deep down I wanted to see it all again!
From there I took to buffing the briar and saw a couple of things: the grain was as nice as I thought, the color was almost exactly what I wanted and I didn't sand the end of the shank well enough. I was concerned that too much sanding, too much material removed, would effect how the shank and stem met so I took it east there, too easy as it turns out.
The stem had already been soaked in Oxyclean and rubbed out with the miracle eraser. It has to very deep tooth indentations on both the top and bottom; I really wish I'd photographed those! SO, I decided since I was trying all kinds of new tricks on this old girl I'd give another a go: I filed the teeth marks! Firstly, I used my new heat gun ($13 - Harbor Freight) to raise the marks as much as possible. I then took some small files and filed the teethmarks away, well, down more or less even, and reshaped the lip of the button. I have to admit this all worked out much better than I thought it would. And the process took less time, too, thanks in part to the heat gun I think.
Starting with 220 (I used all wet/dry paper for all the sanding) I worked out the file marks and "blended" in the area with the rest of the stem. Then it was on to 400/800, all wet sanded, to get it to a smooth, dull look. I took out my new pack of micro mesh (which to my chagrin only went to 4000, not 12000 like I thought) and began to wet polich the stem through the six grades I had. After the micro mesh, I used Novus plastic polish, #2 and #1, to shine and slick the stem up.
Now the pipe was reassembled and buffed up all together, yielding what I present to you now:




The requisite internal cleaning was all done prior to starting on the "make over" (reaming, salt/alcohol, etc.) so I took her for her "maiden voyage" before I wrote up this post and was quite pleased! It is Algerian briar, I think I failed to mention that, and smoked very nicely. The result was a cool, very tasty smoke with a bowl that got comfortably warm to hold. The newly shaped bit is very comfortable, IMO, being thinned slightly. And the dottle was very minimal and very dry; Not a single gurgle during the entire bowl I might add.

 

tbradsim1

Preferred Member
Jan 14, 2012
7,529
246
Masterful work Greg , hurrying up so son won"t outdo you. LOL. Just kidding The old cajun

 

gmwolford

Preferred Member
Jul 26, 2012
1,355
0
WV, USA
I am just finishing off an almost three hour bowl of AnniKake in this old pipe. I am truly surprised and pleased at how great a smoker this pipe is; it makes me remember why I was drawn to these old pipes from the very beginning.

 

gmwolford

Preferred Member
Jul 26, 2012
1,355
0
WV, USA
Thank you, Roth. She does smoke as good (better) than she looks! :puffpipe:
Seems I read somewhere that Algerian briar was supposed to be good wood. Whether I did or only thought I did, this piece of briar is really impressing me.

 
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