Boot Polish on an Estate Stem?

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Franco Pipenbeans

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 7, 2021
580
1,406
Yorkshire, England
I’ve just taken delivery of a new estate pipe. I went to give it a little clean, as I do with all the estates that I buy, even the ones that claim to have been refurbished and I noticed some black gunk on my cloth. It looks suspiciously like boot polish or something similar.
So much for “refurbished and cleaned” then. ?

Has anyone else had this?

I presume I did the right thing by putting it into an oxy-action bath and wiping it off?
 
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Infantry23

Part of the Furniture Now
Nov 8, 2020
565
1,365
42
Smithsburg, Maryland
I don't suppose the boot polish would be harmful to the pipe since it's probably wax-based. I would clean it off as you did and then use a leather dye if you want something permanent and more suitable to a pipe
 
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Franco Pipenbeans

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 7, 2021
580
1,406
Yorkshire, England
I don't suppose the boot polish would be harmful to the pipe since it's probably wax-based. I would clean it off as you did and then use a leather dye if you want something permanent and more suitable to a pipe
I’m going to let it soak for an hour or two and then give it a clean and a mineral oil polish. That should do the trick but the boot polish did make me think “You cheeky bugger!” Because the stem was golden with oxidisation under the polish. ?
 

runscott

Part of the Furniture Now
Jun 3, 2020
526
1,157
Washington State
Since I started restoring things 20+ years ago, I can't look at a tin of Shinola without grimacing. People used to put it on anything that was dark - the worst for me was black leather pool cue grips. It was hell getting a Hoppe Pro grip restored after decades of having that crap rubbed into it. Same for leather pool cue cases - basically, any black leather.
 
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MilesDavis

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jun 16, 2022
187
423
I've encountered stems like that. A stem can get burned and when you start to give it a good scrub, the char gets all over your cleaning cloths.
 

Franco Pipenbeans

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 7, 2021
580
1,406
Yorkshire, England
I've encountered stems like that. A stem can get burned and when you start to give it a good scrub, the char gets all over your cleaning cloths.
Yeh, it was a bit more than just carbon; it was gooey, with a noticeable sent of boot polish.

Now I’m not saying it was done deliberately by the seller, maybe it was an accident but still, it makes you wonder.
 

macaroni

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 28, 2020
611
1,699
Texas
I don't know anything about shoe polish on a pipe stem--sounds yucky! LOL But I did know a senior adult woman in a church where I worked and she used black shoe polish on her hair when her dye ran out. LOL True story!

kindly
mike
p.s.--She also "accidentally" (???) ran over the church janitor (another senior lady friend of her's), breaking this woman's hip, and then taking her job. She told the church folk she wanted more gas money since her retired husband didn't like all the running around she did in their big Lincoln car, burning all that gasoline and spending all his extra cash.
 
Dec 3, 2021
2,337
17,681
Pennsylvania & New York
I just received two pipes from a seller that have stems that appear to have been spray painted with black paint to cover what appears to be heavy oxidation. I’m reluctant to sand it off as I’m hoping the metallic logos are still present underneath and I don’t think I want to risk using a solvent that might take off the logo paint (if they’re there). Perhaps, a heat gun might be the way to go—I’m hoping the paint might bubble and I can mostly peel it off. Ugh.
 
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Franco Pipenbeans

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 7, 2021
580
1,406
Yorkshire, England
Caveat emptor I guess but it’s really tricky to see these underhand tactics from photos alone. The seller I got my pipe from had a 99.9% satisfaction rating so I went with that.
As it turns out, the pipe smokes beautifully but it’s a bugger trying to get the shank off.
 
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karam

Lifer
Feb 2, 2019
1,995
7,758
Basel, Switzerland
Any times I've seen mention of staining briar they mention leather dye. I haven't managed to find any leather dyes but I've used simple brown shoe polish - the light stuff, not the proper old school boot polish for bulling - and it's worked fine. I don't slather it on though, just putting a light coating and then polishing it off, doesn't run or get wet when smoking the pipe, simply makes it look much fresher.
 

nolan613

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 21, 2019
132
147
77
Augusta, GA
Have done business on eBay for 20 years and always keep my descriptions conservative. Unfortunately this is not the case with everyone and I have noticed "new accounts" are more problematic, As always, if it seems to be too good well watch out.