1st Estate Pipe Purchase Has a Demon of a Lakeland Ghost!

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ebnash

Member
Jun 5, 2019
243
2,582
Los Gatos, CA
I've been smoking pipes for all of about 5 years now and never really had any interest in purchasing Estate Pipes because I think my expectations are always too high. Other than searching for that perfect birth year Dunhill, I'd decided that estates were not for me. I'm the same way with cars. I want to be the only one who has driven and maintained my vehicles because I basically don't trust anyone else to care enough to do it right.

Well, last week I stumbled upon an older 1960's era Stanwell 86 Sixten Ivarsson design on eBay and fell in love with the pipe. No filter, vulcanite/handcut stem, and looked to be in beautiful shape. The seller had good feedback and reasonable amount of sales. I received the pipe and as soon as I unwrapped it from plastic, I was face punched with a stinky rose perfume that was just overwhelming. I'll admit that my sniffer and sense of taste is very sensitive, but it was all I could taste or smell for a few hours.

I messaged the seller and basically said I was disappointed that he would not mentioned that it's got Lakeland in it and that the stem was quite gunky for an "expertly cleaned and sanitized" pipe. He offered a somewhat sarcastic apology and claimed he did not notice any ghost and that my expectations were too high. Also offered a full refund and paid postage to send it back. I considered it for a couple hours, but damn, I really like this pipe.

So I set off to do a bunch of internet searching on Lakeland and general exorcisms of pipe ghosts.

I started with cutting any cake back as close to the wood as possible. Then I sanded the bowl, pretty much back to fresh wood. Did a bunch of brushing of the draft hole, bowl, and shank with 151 Grain Alcohol and it obviously made no difference. Then, I decided to soak the whole briar in a sealed container of 100% propanol over night. After it was removed, I did more brushing and cleaning, but no real difference. The propanol bath wreaked of Rose Water and I'm wondering it I should have just left it uncovered, rather than sealed? Either way, I let it dry out after vigorous cleaning, and now it's sitting on my desk at work packed with used coffee grounds. I'll do this a couple times and see if it makes a difference before trying to bake the stench out with activated carbon pellets.

I think my sense of smell and hatred of Lakeland is going to leave this pipe unusable for me, but if all else fails, I'll try smoking a pouch of Five Brothers through it and see what comes of it. The tough part is that I only smoke 2-3 bowls per week and the thought of spending my precious piping time suffering through crappy smokes to cast away this spirit seems like a waste...
 

finnian3

Member
Feb 12, 2015
152
232
Illinois
Did you do a salt bath and a retort? If that fails then I think it may be in your head. Not calling you touched, but like you said, the mere thought of Lakeland just sticks with you. I have gotten pipes that were used for smoking marijuana and have managed to get the taste out. Taking the cake down to the briar along with a salt bath + retort seemed to do the trick.
 
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mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
7,821
9,784
Near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
What cleaning and sanitizing did you do when you received it?

Any cake should be reamed down, then a salt and vodka bath, maybe two or three times.

Lastly, and most effective for me, is the fill the bowl and shank with damp coffee grounds. Let it sit until the grounds are dry. Try that two times or so. This will eliminate any ghosts you have.
 

tkcolo

Member
Apr 30, 2018
239
321
48
Granby, CO
I've had some beautiful estate pipes that had some terrible demons in them, and they wouldn't respond to anything I did. Not lakelake though. Something else terrible. Like maybe a shut-in died and decomposed with it in this mouth. Or maybe the briar root grew out of the bones of a tyrannical ruler.

I've had a million people tell me it's in my head, but it's not. Chunk it in the fire. Life is too short.

And for any non-believers, I'll sell the worst offender to you for $50 free shipping (what I paid for it). It's an older blasted military stanwell billiard. Beautiful pipe. I haven't burned this one because it's too pretty.

I'm never doing the alcohol soak again, because it has never worked out for me. Seriously, I soaked this in everclear, re-stained it (properly), and refinished the stem. I've done that to two pipes, and they were awful after. I wonder if the alcohol soak drives in something unremovable, because it also gurgles within 3 seconds of lighting it. There is no tobacco dry enough to not make this immediately gurgle.

Someone more educated than I tell me the alcohol soak is fine. I'd really like to know.
 

ebnash

Member
Jun 5, 2019
243
2,582
Los Gatos, CA
I've had some beautiful estate pipes that had some terrible demons in them, and they wouldn't respond to anything I did. Not lakelake though. Something else terrible. Like maybe a shut-in died and decomposed with it in this mouth. Or maybe the briar root grew out of the bones of a tyrannical ruler.

I've had a million people tell me it's in my head, but it's not. Chunk it in the fire. Life is too short.

And for any non-believers, I'll sell the worst offender to you for $50 free shipping (what I paid for it). It's an older blasted military stanwell billiard. Beautiful pipe. I haven't burned this one because it's too pretty.

I'm never doing the alcohol soak again, because it has never worked out for me. Seriously, I soaked this in everclear, re-stained it (properly), and refinished the stem. I've done that to two pipes, and they were awful after. I wonder if the alcohol soak drives in something unremovable, because it also gurgles within 3 seconds of lighting it. There is no tobacco dry enough to not make this immediately gurgle.

Someone more educated than I tell me the alcohol soak is fine. I'd really like to know.
Thanks for chiming in here. I've read dozens of threads and 100's of posts about people trying to get ghosts out of pipes and so I entered into this knowing the likelyhood was low.
 
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ebnash

Member
Jun 5, 2019
243
2,582
Los Gatos, CA
What cleaning and sanitizing did you do when you received it?

Any cake should be reamed down, then a salt and vodka bath, maybe two or three times.

Lastly, and most effective for me, is the fill the bowl and shank with damp coffee grounds. Let it sit until the grounds are dry. Try that two times or so. This will eliminate any ghosts you have.
Pretty much everything I did is detailed in my original post above and includes reaming, sanding, alcohol bath, and I'm currently doing coffee grounds. Did you read the post?
 

tkcolo

Member
Apr 30, 2018
239
321
48
Granby, CO
Thanks for chiming in here. I've read dozens of threads and 100's of posts about people trying to get ghosts out of pipes and so I entered into this knowing the likelyhood was low.
I had 3 other older bulldogs that are pretty but foul. I tried everything. Including smoking 100 bowls through the prettiest trying to tough it out. Nothing ever changed. The experience actually stopped me from buying estate pipes altogether, unless I can hold it in my hands first and it passes the smell test. And I have hundreds of pipes. My favorites have all been ones I ended up buying new.

Some people are also more sensitive to taste and smell. I'm kinda judgy on people's tastes in tobacco, whiskey, and seasonings. I have a buddy who will only drink bud light lime. I can drink one, and my taste is wacked out for three days.
 

captainsousie

Preferred Member
Aug 1, 2012
3,738
2,815
I've been smoking pipes for all of about 5 years now and never really had any interest in purchasing Estate Pipes because I think my expectations are always too high. Other than searching for that perfect birth year Dunhill, I'd decided that estates were not for me. I'm the same way with cars. I want to be the only one who has driven and maintained my vehicles because I basically don't trust anyone else to care enough to do it right.

Well, last week I stumbled upon an older 1960's era Stanwell 86 Sixten Ivarsson design on eBay and fell in love with the pipe. No filter, vulcanite/handcut stem, and looked to be in beautiful shape. The seller had good feedback and reasonable amount of sales. I received the pipe and as soon as I unwrapped it from plastic, I was face punched with a stinky rose perfume that was just overwhelming. I'll admit that my sniffer and sense of taste is very sensitive, but it was all I could taste or smell for a few hours.

I messaged the seller and basically said I was disappointed that he would not mentioned that it's got Lakeland in it and that the stem was quite gunky for an "expertly cleaned and sanitized" pipe. He offered a somewhat sarcastic apology and claimed he did not notice any ghost and that my expectations were too high. Also offered a full refund and paid postage to send it back. I considered it for a couple hours, but damn, I really like this pipe.

So I set off to do a bunch of internet searching on Lakeland and general exorcisms of pipe ghosts.

I started with cutting any cake back as close to the wood as possible. Then I sanded the bowl, pretty much back to fresh wood. Did a bunch of brushing of the draft hole, bowl, and shank with 151 Grain Alcohol and it obviously made no difference. Then, I decided to soak the whole briar in a sealed container of 100% propanol over night. After it was removed, I did more brushing and cleaning, but no real difference. The propanol bath wreaked of Rose Water and I'm wondering it I should have just left it uncovered, rather than sealed? Either way, I let it dry out after vigorous cleaning, and now it's sitting on my desk at work packed with used coffee grounds. I'll do this a couple times and see if it makes a difference before trying to bake the stench out with activated carbon pellets.

I think my sense of smell and hatred of Lakeland is going to leave this pipe unusable for me, but if all else fails, I'll try smoking a pouch of Five Brothers through it and see what comes of it. The tough part is that I only smoke 2-3 bowls per week and the thought of spending my precious piping time suffering through crappy smokes to cast away this spirit seems like a waste...
You could always send it to Walker Pipe Repair for an ozone treatment. In my experience, it works quite well.
 
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ebnash

Member
Jun 5, 2019
243
2,582
Los Gatos, CA
You could always send it to Walker Pipe Repair for an ozone treatment. In my experience, it works quite well.
Thanks, I have worked with Mike Myers on a couple projects and I think this will be my last resort, as well. I'm just convinced that since Ozone is designed to attack organic compounds, that it might be useless against a ghost, I've read mixed results from trying to deghost using ozone, but I'm up for it if my other attempts fail.
 
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ebnash

Member
Jun 5, 2019
243
2,582
Los Gatos, CA
Yeah, now that I read it again you mentioned you are currently soaking it. Let that process run its course and then try it again.

The salt treatment and coffee grounds work every time.
Thanks, I have not tried the Salt/Alcohol bath yet, just full pipe soak in 100% Isopropyl, so I will go out and buy the appropriate salt this afternoon and prepare to do a couple of these cycles, as well.

From most of my reading, if always seems to take a combination of multiple tactics to make any headway on deghosting.
 

mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
7,821
9,784
Near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Thanks, I have not tried the Salt/Alcohol bath yet, just full pipe soak in 100% Isopropyl, so I will go out and buy the appropriate salt this afternoon and prepare to do a couple of these cycles, as well.

From most of my reading, if always seems to take a combination of multiple tactics to make any headway on deghosting.

You need the salt to soak up tars and gunk. The salt works in conjunction with the alcohol.

Here is a picture 6 hours apart:
P_20201028_100621.jpgP_20201028_151438.jpg

You can see the yellow brown gunk wicking away already
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
35,658
35,414
This isn't worth the savings with an estate pipe on eBay, by the time you account for your own time. Unless the challenge is a hobby in itself. Pack it in rice or salt for a year and see if that draws out the evil spirits. I'd be genuinely tempted to toss it in the dumpster. Until recently, Stanwell sold the Sixten Iversson 86 versions made in Italy. I bought one new for a modest price, and it is a good pipe.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
26,239
30,677
Helena, Alabama
I had one once that I went through all that you are, with the same results. I was just about to smash the pipe under the heal of my boot, when someone saved it by sending me a link to Greg Pease's blog where he details how he got rid of a hardcore ghost by putting the pipe stummel in charcoal and heating it in the oven. I don't remember the link, nor the temps and times, but someone who can do a better search than me should be able to find this info.
 

ofafeather

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2020
2,170
7,355
48
Where NY, CT & MA meet
I had one once that I went through all that you are, with the same results. I was just about to smash the pipe under the heal of my boot, when someone saved it by sending me a link to Greg Pease's blog where he details how he got rid of a hardcore ghost by putting the pipe stummel in charcoal and heating it in the oven. I don't remember the link, nor the temps and times, but someone who can do a better search than me should be able to find this info.
My recollection is putting activated charcoal in the bowl and gentle heat in the oven. Probably less than 200F.
 
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BROBS

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2019
11,345
38,227
39
IA
I've had some beautiful estate pipes that had some terrible demons in them, and they wouldn't respond to anything I did. Not lakelake though. Something else terrible. Like maybe a shut-in died and decomposed with it in this mouth. Or maybe the briar root grew out of the bones of a tyrannical ruler.

I've had a million people tell me it's in my head, but it's not. Chunk it in the fire. Life is too short.

And for any non-believers, I'll sell the worst offender to you for $50 free shipping (what I paid for it). It's an older blasted military stanwell billiard. Beautiful pipe. I haven't burned this one because it's too pretty.

I'm never doing the alcohol soak again, because it has never worked out for me. Seriously, I soaked this in everclear, re-stained it (properly), and refinished the stem. I've done that to two pipes, and they were awful after. I wonder if the alcohol soak drives in something unremovable, because it also gurgles within 3 seconds of lighting it. There is no tobacco dry enough to not make this immediately gurgle.

Someone more educated than I tell me the alcohol soak is fine. I'd really like to know.
I have had a similar experience when soaking a stummel in alcohol. I believe it damages the silicates in the wood, basically “sealing” the pores of the wood (even possibly with tars or oils driving them inwards) and not allowing it to be absorbent to water anymore.

I have brought some back from this, by thoroughly washing the interior of the pipe and shank over and over with warm water and bristled cleaners etc. then let it dry for a LONG time. I’m talking months.
 

BROBS

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2019
11,345
38,227
39
IA
Another alternative is to smoke the ghost out with C&D's Big N' Burley--a blend which has unmatched properties for destroying alien flavors. You'll need the stomach for a strong nic blend and daily smoking. Two weeks ought to do it.
Also after this you will be hopelessly addicted to strong blends 😂


this guy smelled the Big n Burley smoke coming from log’s window.