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Giving A Well Loved Friend A Second Chance (Pic Heavy)

(60 posts)
  • Started 1 month ago by didimauw
  • Latest reply from jpbrewer
  1. didimauw

    didimauw

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    A Long And Drawn Out Saga.

    For those who didn't see my original post, I bought this 1967 Dunhill Tanshell at an antique store for $8.00. I knew It was in pretty rough shape, but for the price I couldn't pass it up. And plus I have never owned a Dunhill so I was really excited to find this. As soon as I picked it up, and saw the stores sticker on it, all I saw was "HILL" and Immediately knew what it was, and my heart started beating.

    So instead of sending it in somewhere to have it professionally fixed and pay the money, I'm going to "attempt" to restore it myself. If I fail, it was a good learning experience for $8.00.

    *** This is not going to be perfect, I just want to be able to smoke it***

    Here's what it looked like right after I brought it home.








    Ok, now that that's out of the way.

    ***PART ONE***

    I started with reaming the bowl so I could get a better look at the damage to the bowl walls. Using my Decatur pipe reamer, I started with the smallest cutting edge carefully and moved up two more sizes. Boy this bowl is pretty small.


    The cracks went much deeper than I thought. This may be more of a challenge than I was expecting...



    Now with most of the cake out of the way, I took my dental pick and investigated the weird discoloring on the front of the bowl. It immediately started crumbling. Lots and lots of what I believe to be wood putty started to fall out. It's not just a crack in the front of the bowl.


    That's when it truly hit me. Somebody loved this pipe so much, that they smoked it till cracking on both sides of the bowl. To the point that a huge chunk of the front came out. They wanted to keep smoking it so bad that they filled it with putty, and kept on going. This pipe must have been an absolutely great smoker, and it deserves to be brought back to life!

    Then I took my attention to the small pinhole in the bottom of the bowl. With my dental pick I probed at it until I couldn't get any more material from breaking free.

    And out of pure exhaustion, I decided to soak a cotton ball with Isopropyl Alcohol and stuff it in the bowl to let it soak to take care of any more oil and tar remaining, and loosen up the cracks a bit more. I may need to repeat a few times.

    We will see what it looks like tomorrow.

    Stay tuned for part two!

    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
    Posted 1 month ago #
  2. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Veeeeery interrrrrrresting! Thanks for the story and pix.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  3. jazz

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    Interesting indeed. I'll be keeping an eye on this one. You have more faith in that puffer than me, my friend. Good luck with it.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  4. rfernand

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    I wish you luck, but I am on the pessimistic side of this one.

    Dunhill will return.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  5. lightmybriar

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    I’ve resurrected worse with very few tools. We pipesmokers are a funny bunch. Sometimes insisting on perfection, other times we can smoke a cracked cob with mouse bites on it. I have faith that this pipe will smoke again! There are different levels of “repaired,” but if you’re just looking to get a good smoke, it can be done! You’re off to a good start.

    On a pipe adventure
    Steve
    Posted 1 month ago #
  6. didimauw

    didimauw

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    Yes I do not intend on selling this pipe. I don't even care if it looks good.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  7. seanv

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    Keep the updates coming. Can't wait to see how this turns out

    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. jvnshr

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    I am also wondering how it is going to turn out.

    Javan
    Posted 1 month ago #
  9. mikethompson

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    Oh I am following this for sure. That pipe looks like its seen some action. Hopefully you can bring it back to a smokable condition.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  10. odobenus

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    An honorable undertaking! Keep us posted.

    Non Serviam
    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. cosmicfolklore

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    Interesting

    Michael
    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. crashthegrey

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    While I absolutely envy your resolve, I must say that they may have patched up that much because they were cheap, not because it smoked well. I have to wonder how well it can smoke now. But you are doing an awesome thing and may one day tell me how great it smokes. Keep up the heavy work!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  13. tbradsim1

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    DidiI a suggestion for you, Orley a member here did such a resto, PM him and you may get some tops, he did a fine job that I can recall

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 1 month ago #
  14. didimauw

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    ***PART TWO***

    After a good soak in Iso alcohol, I could see the extent of the damage better.
    I decided to use a technique that I saw once on Rebornpipes and see how it works.

    The bottom of the bowl has some huge misshapen craters in it, so while I address the cracks from the inside of the bowl, I figured I should fill the bottom as well.

    I mixed up a batch of J.B Weld ( The overnight kind, not the instant kind) and spread it around inside till everything was smooth.

    And I let that sit overnight to harden.
    Before I went to bed I started to work on the stem. It wasn't chewed to badly but It was fairly misshapen. After vigourously cleaning with ISO Alcohol (about 50 pipe cleaners worth) I deemed it clean enough on the inside.

    Then I attempted to re file down the button.



    Then I was finally happy with the shape.

    I then Cleaned it with more alcohol on the outside, and sanded it smooth. Followed by some White Diamond on the buffing wheel.
    Its not perfect, but it will work.

    Then at midnight, I decided I should sleep.

    Then in the morning everything was nice and filled in from the inside from the JB weld. I Then started to tackle the outer portion of the cracks.
    I just so happened to have a whole lot of briar dust in the garage. I packed the cracks and holes with the briar dust, and then dripped super glue over them.


    And I let that sit for 45 minutes while I took a break.

    When I came back inside everything had hardened.


    And I could start sanding the patches smooth.


    Then I sanded the excess JB weld on the inside down, so its just covering the cracks and fissures.

    After that I started lightly topping the bowl. I don't want to take off too much, and really shorten the bowl, So there will still be some spots that are noticable which is ok with me.

    And I wanted to try to sort of hide the massive scorch mark on the back of the bowl, so I sanded a small bevel around the edge.

    And that is how it sits for now.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  15. jpmcwjr

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    Holy Cow!! What a great documentary! I love your resolve and methodology.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  16. seanv

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    That is coming along nicely. Keep the updates coming

    Posted 1 month ago #
  17. didimauw

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    ***PART 3***

    And in order to coat the bowl, I wanted to make pipe mud mixture. But I didn't have any...

    So in the name of science...

    All I needed to do was add water and voila!

    Now I let that dry and harden overnight.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  18. seanv

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    Science can be tough sometimes

    Posted 1 month ago #
  19. pitchfork

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    "in the name of science."

    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. ashdigger

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    Sweet. Best post this year!!

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. derhammer

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    incredible restoration.

    Pierre
    Posted 1 month ago #
  22. jvnshr

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    I am not a Dunhill expert, so I can't say anything about the restored status of the pipe (proportions of the pipe, button, etc.), but this is one hell of a job Didi. And yes, we all know that science requires sacrifice, I was about to cry when I saw that you were forced to smoke a cigar to save a pipe

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. newbroom

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    Pipe smoking is a hands on experience that you can take as far as you want.
    There's great satisfaction in the busy work of pipes from running a cleaner through the draft hole to restoring what looks to be a hopeless case.
    I agree with your decision to diy the restore and not to worry about it being a 'restore' but more a refurbish. Mustn't offend the artisans who practice either or both.
    I'll bet this becomes one that you smoke most days, an instant favorite smoker! (ok, not so instant, but time is relative)

    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. mikethompson

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    Nice progress! I was a bit hesitant when I saw the JB weld used, but everything is coming along nicely.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  25. scloyd

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    This is a great thread. Looking forward to updates. Good job.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  26. didimauw

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    ***PART 4***

    So in an attempt to cover up some of the repairs, I wanted to re stain the pipe. At first I tried to cover the stamping with tape, and leave it without stain but that didn't work so I gave up on that idea.

    Using Fiebings Medium Brown leather dye, I coated the entire thing.

    In the spots that were lighter, and the patches I went over with dye twice. Then hitting it with a bic lighter to " set" the stain.

    I tend to move right on to the waxing minutes after staining, which is probably not the best method. So I will be letting this sit at least overnight.

    I am kind of worried that the big repair on the front won't take the stain as well. So after I let it soak in, I will take another look at it.

    And now I go out of town, cause the railroad calls.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  27. cosmicfolklore

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    You're doing a great job. I'd wonder how this compares to what the professionals would do. But, for your needs, it looks to be shaping up.


    How are you getting the stummel to balance like that on top of the water bottle, or am I missing something in this pic?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  28. jpmcwjr

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    Photoshop?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  29. didimauw

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    Hahahaha it's a tiny screwdriver jammed into the cap MAGIC. It works that's for sure!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  30. cigrmaster

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    didi, if that thing smokes good after all of that it will be a stunning success. We might even have to take away George's status as the maven of the refurb.

    Harris
    Posted 1 month ago #
  31. mso489

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    Boy, this is a great resuscitation in intensive care. Any smoking you get out of this fine old pipe will be well earned. Award for resolve.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  32. didimauw

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    Thank you everyone for support and comments. I'm just doing this for fun. And to see if this plan even comes together in the end.

    I mean, come on. A smokeable Dunhill for 8 bucks?? How cool would that be.

    Or... A big lesson on what NOT to do to a pipe for 8 bucks? Also very cool! It's a win-win in my world.

    Cigrmaster.... No no no no
    ... No lol

    Posted 1 month ago #
  33. didimauw

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    ***Part 5***

    So luckily the railroad said I could come home tonight. So I rushed into my office to continue. I have been thinking about it all night after all.

    I went over the finish with more alcohol, to see where it sits. Then I could still see very clearly where the repairs were, so I took a permanent marker to some of the spots to blend it in better. Ha.

    I decided I was happy with how it looked, so I fought an April blizzard to go out to the garage and mess up the pipe some more.

    I took it to the buffing wheel and applied two coats of caranauba wax.

    Then I had a brilliant idea to use the side that has old white diamond on it. The white diamond polish tends to harden on the buffing wheel. I guess. And this happened.

    Took part of the stain off just on the front. Kinda left a shiny two toned flame look.

    Not sure if I like it or not yet. What say you? ( After all, I'm not selling it, or trying to make it look original, with the repairs and all..)

    Now I need to re address the top of the bowl. Certainly not happy with that yet.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  34. cosmicfolklore

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    COOL, let us know how she smokes!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  35. rfernand

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    I was on the pessimistic side of this one, and boy am I happy to be wrong. Great work! You gave it new life!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  36. seanv

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    Looks great

    Posted 1 month ago #
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    celticbrewer

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    Looking nice! Bringing life to a companion like this is awesome to see

    Posted 1 month ago #
  38. didimauw

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    So I'm deciding to leave the miscoloring on the front of the bowl.
    But after doing some research, turns out a lot, or most, or some Tanshells have rustication on the top of the bowl. This one in particular would have been on the front and back. That's perfect because that gives me a chance to cover up the repairs even more.

    So with my Dremel and a sanding...cylinder (?) I went back to work.

    Then I used a permanent marker to fill in the new rustication. Rusticates? Rusticraters?

    And then when I was happy with that I re sanded the inside of the bowl to smooth out the pipe mud. It made it look totally misshapen even more than it already is, and it was bothering me.
    I then buffed it with the Dremel one final time.

    Now I just gotta start breaking her in. I feel like I should name it now....

    Posted 1 month ago #
  39. weezell

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    DunHell????...

    "the weez"...
    Posted 1 month ago #
  40. weezell

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    Dunhell Damshell...

    Posted 1 month ago #
  41. jpmcwjr

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    Phoenix-Dunny?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  42. tbradsim1

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    J B Dunn.?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  43. mikethompson

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    Now that is a pipe with some character. Nice job bringing it back!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  44. ashdigger

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    I feel like I should name it now

    Survivor?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  45. didimauw

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    J. B. DAMSHELL the survivor. Lol I like it

    I feel bad though, cause I just going to beat the ever living hell out of it now...like the rest of my pipes.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  46. donjgiles

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    That is freaking awesome, great job!!!

    Don

    Posted 1 month ago #
  47. hawky454

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    Very cool! I enjoyed watching the progress of your work! Good job and cool thread!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  48. acidpox

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    Congrats and very nice job, reminds me I need to go check out my local antique stores, havnt been in like 6 months.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  49. didimauw

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    It's one of those lucky lottery things. Woohoo!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  50. rfernand

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    Posted 1 month ago #
  51. didimauw

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    Breaking it in with some Cornell & Diehl Briar Fox.

    Here's to another 50+ years of great smokes!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  52. seanv

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    Great work. I hope you are proud of that, you brought this pipe back from the dead!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  53. didimauw

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    And JB DAMSHELL the survivor performed great! A little hot at times, but I am a fast and hot smoker, so that's expected. I hate breaking pipes in for that reason.

    But as I was smoking it, It made me wonder. Who was the guy that owned this pipe? How long ago was his last smoke? What kind of things did he do while smoking? Was this his favorite, or only pipe?

    With the handful of pipes I have restored now, I never cared about that kind of stuff. But this one felt special as I was smoking it.

    I hope someday someone wants to fix my favorite pipes of today. Other than my cobs, which haven't been smoked much of late, out of my 20 pipes, my Stanwell, and my Rossi get smoked multiple times every day. Thick cake, dings, dents, dirt, grime, love. They just perform flawlessly every time. I believe that was what this gentleman went through with this pipe.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  54. pitchfork

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    Great thread. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  55. cosmicfolklore

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    Cool, and nice thoughts. After your dead, I will repair your pipes for you.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  56. jpmcwjr

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    What a nice gesture, Michael! Whoa!

    Anyway, yes, a great thread, and well done, Didi.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  57. trouttimes

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    Great save, great job. Thanks for sharing!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  58. didimauw

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    Michael, I'm going to put you in my will.

    It will be something like

    " First on the estate, Kevin's tobacco pipes. He wished that they go to...ANYONE BUT MICHAEL"

    haha

    But maybe I'll will you my "vegetable pipes and motor oil tobacco".

    ....nah lol

    Posted 1 month ago #
  59. didimauw

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    And thanks for the comments guys! I feel it starting something new in my world... A... Collection maybe... Uh oh...

    Posted 1 month ago #
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    jpbrewer

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    Incredible! It would never occur to me to even try.

    Posted 1 month ago #

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