Cleaning Up A Gourd Calabash

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Ahi Ka

Lifer
Feb 25, 2020
4,945
23,795
Aotearoa (New Zealand)
I saw this pipe listed with a bunch of vintage stuff the other week for single digits so I thought why not.

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When it arrived, I saw the chamber was full of charred newspaper and the button hole had been covered with tape before getting the twine wrapped around it. I got excited as I realised that it might not actually be a stem repair, but rather more to do with the pipe being a theatre prop.

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I removed some tarnish and polished up the silver to get a good read of the hallmarks. K&W 1907 Birmingham - who that is I haven’t the foggiest.

After cleaning up the stem (I’ve ignored the small amount of chatter on the top for the time being as my usual wrapping with friction tape is sufficient for me), I put Teflon on the bone tenon, screwed the stem on, and then unscrewed it, which with the extra take allowed the tenon to come free of the shank mortise.

this meant I could stuff 3 fluffy pipe cleaners soaked in isopropyl into the gourd and remove and repeat over the course of the weekend. Not as thorough as if I could remove the cap and meer cup, but I got a lot of gunk out.

the chamber had a lot of cake, after removing half I uncovered a chunk missing in the meer cup - which corresponds exactly with a spot on the gourd which has coloured. I think the old cake offered some protection over the last century

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I continued to slowly scrape away as much cake as I felt I could comfortably get off, sanded everything smooth with 240grit.

i then made up a batch of plaster of Paris and patched the hole and any of the remaining inconsistencies in the cup lining.

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I used a damp paper towel to smooth and then some sandpaper once it had cured.

after letting the pipe breath and dry out, I put Teflon on the shank side of the bone tenon, screwed her up, loaded with brown bogie and have begun the process of colouring the repair

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I’ll probably sand the chamber a bit smoother after a few bowls, and once I know the repair is solid.

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mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
39,135
51,131
You brought that one back from oblivion nicely. I like the size, big enough but not vast. The dings in the metal work only add character, for me. Bravo.
 
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ashdigger

Lifer
Jul 30, 2016
9,846
58,335
59
Vegas Baby!!!
I’m very disappointed that string wasn’t someone trying a ham-fisted repair.

I mean I would never do it, but that Footed Pete was repaired that way and I was hoping to forensically trace that nonsense back to you.
 
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Ahi Ka

Lifer
Feb 25, 2020
4,945
23,795
Aotearoa (New Zealand)
I’m very disappointed that string wasn’t someone trying a ham-fisted repair.

I mean I would never do it, but that Footed Pete was repaired that way and I was hoping to forensically trace that nonsense back to you.
And don’t forget the cannibal’s bulldog!…oh wait, maybe it is a kiwi take on pipe repair ?
 
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Ahi Ka

Lifer
Feb 25, 2020
4,945
23,795
Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Here’s a pic of the plaster after a couple of bowls. I’m curious to see how many it takes before the repair goes black.

Has anyone tried mixing a touch of charcoal or even black pigment to PoP so the repair is coloured from the outset?

D6EF3608-74B5-4391-A49A-53AC6CC6DEDC.jpeg
 

ashdigger

Lifer
Jul 30, 2016
9,846
58,335
59
Vegas Baby!!!
Here’s a pic of the plaster after a couple of bowls. I’m curious to see how many it takes before the repair goes black.

Has anyone tried mixing a touch of charcoal or even black pigment to PoP so the repair is coloured from the outset?

View attachment 156045
I haven’t tried mixing and with PoP even though I doubt it would ruin it. I like watching the changing of the surface.

Besides I hate bowl coatings.
 
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logs

Lifer
Apr 28, 2019
1,836
4,957
Never heard of repairing meer with plaster of paris. Is that a standard repair technique?
 
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